Return of Nero Fest 2018: Act I: The Twelve Labors

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Boss Statistics

Heracles2 HP
NP Bar

NP Type
2 per turn
Humanoid, Servant, Divine, Weak to Enuma Elish, Heaven or Earth, Greek Mythology Males
Passive Passively high crit chance.
Increase damage by 200.
Heracles begins the match with 11 stocks of Guts. When his HP reaches 0, he will instant revive with 50% of his health (121,016 HP). He begins with this buff active.
Skills Upon entering the third wave, Heracles will auto-cast a skill that inflicts a cripplingly strong Arts debuff on your entire front line for 99 turns. This can be removed with debuff cleanse skills.
Grant self Evasion (1 turn) and crit damage up (3 turns). Heracles will use this skill randomly.
Grants self Attack up (3 turns) and Mental Debuff Resistance up (3 turns).
NP Effect Nine Lives: High single target damage, decreases enemy defense for three turns.
Battle 1/3





Iron Golem

Battle 2/3

Iron Golem


Iron Golem



Fatal Battle 3/3


Boss Analysis

  • Aside from the Arts debuff, the battle is straightforward. Heracles has a 11 charges of guts that cannot be removed in any way but reducing his hp to 0 for each charge. The remaining charges can be checked by holding down Heracles' enemy icon.
  • Heracles will auto-cast a crippling (roughly 90%) Arts down debuff (permanent) right as the third wave starts, which cannot miss (500% success rate) unless you have debuff immunity (Buff_DebuffImmune). This can also be removed using Servants’ cleanse skills, or the debuff cleanse skill on Mystic Code: Atlas Academy Uniform.
  • Heracles will cast Valor randomly, which will make charm strategies more of a bonus effect than a guarantee unless Masters prevent Heracles from casting it in the first place.
  • Heracles will also cast Mind's Eye (Fake), especially if he's under 50% HP, which can be countered by Sure Hit/Ignore Invincible effects.

Team Composition Recommendations

  • This challenge becomes much easier with the Two Gods Three Legs CE. It is also manageable without it, but the increase in damage reduces the turns needed to whittle down Heracles' stacks of guts and thus makes the quest easier. Supporting units would make good use of Craft Essences like Fragments of 2030 or similar CEs for extra crits or other support effects.
  • The Permanent Arts Down debuff can be removed with the Mystic Code: Atlas Academy Uniform or a Servant with cleanse. Alternatively, keep the Arts-based damage dealers in the backline or rely on full Arts chains for NP generation.
  • Another approach would be to try to use Servants who aren't completely reliant on Arts cards for their NP generation (i.e. Tamamo Lancer or Kintoki Rider), or abuse a crit-based strategy, in order to circumvent the Arts debuff and quickly take down Heracles' Guts stacks. Servants who can generate stars or increase critical damage are invaluable for this strategy.
  • Since Heracles has a single target NP and only two actions per turn, defensively stalling out Heracles is a good option for a consistent clear. Bringing Servants/Mystic Codes with good sustain, survivability, or taunts are great ways to run the battle in your favor.
  • One of the best defensive buffs against Berserkers currently in the game is to bring defense up buffs. Defense up buffs or Attack Down debuffs scale in effectiveness against Berserkers due to their class-advantaged damaging attacks. Defense buffs also heavily curtail losing squishy Servants to a stray Heracles crit (leaving you time to react). Both Mash and Waver are thus great picks in this fight.
  • Conversely, offensive utility like stuns, charms, and NP Seals are also a great proactive way to restrain Heracles. However, Heracles' Mental Debuff Resistance from Valor may cause charms to fail.
  • If the Evade is an annoyance, bring Servants with Sure Hit / Ignore Invincible, Buff Removal, or Buff Block as possible counter options.
  • Mystic Code options are flexible. If you do not have a Servant with a cleanse skill on hand then Atlas Academy Uniform is recommended for the debuff cleanse skill for Servants that rely on their Arts cards.
  • Guts buffs always trigger when an attack chain is broken.Try to ensure you don't waste damage from attacking Heracles when his health hits zero by choosing a different Servant's command cards when you know Heracles will lose a stack of Guts. Similarly, Noble Phantasms also interrupt the attack chain and can be used to activate the Heracles’ next life mid-combo.

Budget Strategy Recommendations:

  • For Masters looking for Defense Supports, Mash and Waver perform incredibly well. Mash is great in any team due to being the only Servant who receives class neutral damage from Heracles. Furthermore her powerful defensive buffs can keep the team alive for long periods of time. Whenever the defense buffs are down or when Heracles uses his NP, Mash’s taunt combined with an immunity can save the team from any premature deaths.
  • Waver provides a more balanced mix of offense and defense, but his access to a powerful defense up allows him to work well in tandem with someone like Mash, Merlin or Medea (Lily) against Berserkers. His own NP is also great at covering any dangerous turns. For fights like these though, his longer team-wide cooldowns start to become noticeable in terms of defense.
  • For Masters with access to Medea Lily or Saint Martha (Rider version), the Chaldea Combat Uniform can be used to swap them in or out to remove the Arts down debuff. Both Servants are guaranteed to have access to an NP(post-interlude) or a skill that removes the Arts debuff from the entire team. Great for Arts strategies.
  • In terms of Offense, Euryale and Robin Hood are excellent budget Nuke options provided they are cleansed of their Arts down debuff. They also possess stalling or defensive skills respectively. Both Ridertoki and Chloe(if cleansed) are incredible welfare options too.
  • Premium powerful nukers include Scathach, who circumvents the Arts buff and can spread out her buffs (she overkills easily) or Jeanne d’Arc (Alter) who eats Berserkers for breakfast (but is fragile). There are plenty more options listed below, but these do stand out.
  • Finally, Servants like Nero, Cu Chulainn or Heracles himself can clinch victory from the jaws of defeat if fielded as the final Servant.
  • A consistent sample team would therefore be a Euryale, Mash, and Medea Lily frontline, with the Atlas Academy Mystic Code. Euryale is already a very strong option, given her ability to both deal high damage and stall during dangerous turns; equipping the Two Gods Three Legs CE skyrockets her damage potential outside of her NP. Meanwhile Mash and Medea Lily can keep Euryale alive for a good amount of time.
  • Alternatively, strong premium DPS Servants like Scathach with her anti-divine buff or Jeanne Alter supported by Zhuge Liang would make very quick work of Heracles. Potentially, they can drop up to 3 lives in a BNPB brave chain with the Two Gods Three Legs CE and critical hits or remove one stack with each brave chain otherwise. A team with Hans and Mash plus a premium DPS Servant can also yield some very good results.

Soloable for New Masters?

  • Certainly! Yet, it can be a little RNG-y heavy, and Masters should field some Taunt Servants to ease themselves through the Golems.
  • When soloing, Masters field lvl 1+ Servants with a Taunt (Georgios and Leonidas) to draw fire for 2 turns (one at a time) and then leave the borrowed maxed Servant on their own. 
  • For this quest though, it's much easier if the Taunt Servants can last a few more turns against the golems.
  • Enkidu is a new spectacular solo option here, with his stunlocking NP, Evasion, Evasion removal, Critical reduction and massive healing. 
  • Otherwise, solo-capable Servants from last year (Scathach, Cu Alter) are also great alternatives.
  • Note: Make sure to spread damage and skills so as to not waste key damage buffs on Overkill.
  • See the video links for strategies to imitate.

Video Links

Note that these videos are not affiliated with GamePress, but showcase some lineups that are effective in clearing the final challenge. These can serve as a good reference for how to rotate skills during this quest or simply to have a look at the encounter before diving in.

Team Recommendations Table

Arts NP
Sherlock Holmes
Buster NP
Enkidu QuetzalcoatlMiyamoto Musashi King HassanGilgamesh Karna PenthesileaMinamoto no Raikou (Lancer)
Quick Single Target NP
Sure Hit / Ignore Invincible ST Damage
Sherlock HolmesMiyamoto MusashiChloe von Einzbern Avenger of Shinjuku
Last Resort or Last Stand
King Hassan
w/ Bond CE
Support – Debuff Cleanse (for Arts Down)
BBMinamoto no Raikou (Lancer)
Jeanne d'Arc Strengthening/Interlude
Support – Taunt
Support - Hard Survivability
Support – NP Charge and Damage Support