The long-awaited CCC event is coming at last on 4/23/19, and with it comes a slew of 5 whole new Servants, including an awesome and unique welfare.
This time we made sure to include the tier rank with the writeup right away, but we did not include our explanations. The explanations have been added now for all 5 of them, and they are visible on the tier list - but we've added them to this post as well.
Of course, the big questions for most NA-only Masters are: Are Alter Ego and Moon Cancer Servants good? Should I roll the gacha to access the Alter Ego Servants or risk losing out? We'll answer those question first before listing the placements and their explanations.
Expect the next Change Log after CCC, as we will have a batch of Interludes for Vlad, Jeanne, Brynhild and Helena (at last!).
Updated (JP) Class Triangle
Moon Cancers complete the Ruler-Avenger triangle, by dealing class advantaged damage to Avengers (and Berserkers) while Rulers (and Berserkers) deal class advantaged damage to Moon Cancers.
With Caster-level Star Weight, base star generation only second to Assassins, and 1.0x damage modifiers, the Moon Cancer class lacks any strong inherent weaknesses that plague some of the Caster and Assassin Servants.
They're a decent class, but they typically don't really benefit from class advantage very often. Masters can use them anywhere they like and, with only 2 currently released Servants in the class on JP, they have some great support potential. While BB is not primarily a damage Servant, with proper support she can blast away any Avenger Servants. The Avenger of Shinjuku fights in Shinjuku are also much easier to deal with, should Masters still have to work their way through that singularity.
Alter Egos are a whole new addition to the class triangles, dealing Berserker-level (1.5x) class advantaged damage to Cavalry-class Servants (Rider, Casters and Assassins) while doing class-disadvantaged damage to Knight class Servants (Sabers, Archers and Lancers). In addition, they deal neutral damage to the Extra triangle (Rulers, Avengers and Moon Cancers). Berserkers interact normally with Alter Egos, taking full 2.0x class damage from Alter Egos, and dealing the standard 1.5x damage to them.
Note that Alter Egos do not receive any defensive class advantage perks. They take full damage from everything except for one class - this makes them rather fragile at the highest level of play, but still fully usable.
The exception to all of this comes at the end of the current year for NA. Once the Foreigner class is released, Alter Egos will be one of only two classes capable of dealing full class advantaged damage to them while also receiving a defensive class advantage much like a normal class triangle. The other class that deals class advantaged damage to Foreigners are...Foreigners themselves.
With Saber-level Star Weight and base star generation, and 1.0x damage modifiers, the Alter Ego can function in a damage role capacity with no major drawbacks except for their 1.5x class advantage modifier.
In short, Masters should not feel forced to roll the gacha strictly for a new class. The new Halloween event in October this year will reward every Master with a welfare Alter Ego who will be more than sufficient for any encounters where an Alter Ego is ideal. Masters won't miss out in the long run.
For Alter Ego Servants as a whole, the problem is mainly one of specialization and how often one can actually use Alter Ego Servants to full effect. The 1.5x class advantage Alter Ego Servants have does greatly diminish their damage ceiling in optimal conditions, and Masters with large (leveled) rosters will frequently find themselves fielding a full class advantaged Servant to better effect. Furthermore, mixed cavalry class nodes are actually rather rare, and the main advantage of having class advantage against multiple enemies in the same node doesn't occur as often as Alter Ego Servants would like.
The flexibility is really the main advantage. Any Challenge Quest involving a cavalry Servant can be beaten with an Alter Ego just fine, and they are great for plugging holes in a roster. Masters with, say, few Caster DPS Servants will find Alter Ego Servants great at dealing with Assassins.
The fact that all the newly released Alter Ego Servants will find themselves upgraded in the future is a hint that the 1.5x modifier is quite a steep demerit.
4 Star Tier List Changes
Suzuka Gozen placed into Tier 3:
AoE Saber is a highly crowded niche that features many strong competitors. Suzuka Gozen differs from most of her counterparts by packing both decent farming potential and critical damage, which creates a solid argument for picking her up for battles that last for more than just a few turns. However, neither of her aspects are particularly powerful enough to warrant a Tier 1 or Tier 2 placements as her NP damage is, while not weak, not on the same level as AoE Saber specialists like Saber Alter. Furthermore, despite the strong Critical Damage buff on her Noble Phantasm, Suzuka still requires a team built around her to make use of her Critical niche.
Thus, we decided that Tier 3 is a fair reflection of her quality.
Passionlip placed into Tier 2:
Passionlip comes out as the best in the respective Tier Lists of this event’s gacha Servant lineup (disregarding the power difference between rarities of course). Her synergistic skill set grants her a very strong niche in being a reliable tank. Passionlip is different to most Taunters in the game in that her other abilities are also quite respectable, featuring decent (if inconsistent) NP/Star generation and above average damage output, capable of being used in most standard Buster teams. In fact, her kit takes full advantage of all of Merlin's support, indirectly making her much more powerful than her Alter Ego base kit makes her seem.
Passionlip’s downsides are thus relatively minor in an optimal setting, and the consensus among the panel was that she deserves to be among the upper tier Servants. Hence she gets a strong Tier 2 placement to reflect her well-rounded strengths.
BB placed in Tier 1:
Another amazing welfare Servant, BB has a highly synergistic skill set that can be used in most bread and butter Arts teams. Her ability to serve as a sustained NP battery for the team, unique niche in countering Avengers, and powerful multi-purpose skills grant her a highly valued position in many Masters’ lineups. While her damage is on the lower side, her high NP level and constant NP spamming remedy that to a certain level.
Her unique class and flexibility earned her a unanimous decision from the panel to be another member of the Tier 1 club.
5 Star Tier List Changes
Meltryllis placed in Tier 3:
Meltryllis was one of the more contentious Servants for us to evaluate. Meltryllis’s self-sufficiency, survivability, utility, and damage output are above average, without a particularly detrimental flaw in her skill set. However, Fate / Grand Order is a game that rewards specialization over versatility, and Meltryllis does not have any particular niche in which she excels over all others. Her Alter Ego class grants her bonus damage against multiple classes, but in practice, most Masters would still prefer to use a Rider / Assassin / Caster over her to counter a specific class, as they will most likely do more damage and take less damage at the same time. Melt's Quick focus is also more common among both Rider and Assassin Servants.
Our early rating for Meltryllis landed at Tier 3 in the end. In the current environment of the game, Meltryllis serves as a fantastic Assassin killer, as most Casters are fairly weak offensively. Furthermore, mixed nodes, while still uncommon, are nevertheless good situations where she can shine thanks to her sustained DPS. Thus, our final consensus is that she fits the definition of a Tier 3 Servant more, and with the right future buffs (and support), she might reach a higher tier.
Kiara Sessyoin placed in Tier 4:
Probably the Servant we had most difficulty with placing. It is no secret that Kiara’s damage output on release is poor. Our initial discussion point regarding her revolved around whether or not she has a role that she particularly excels at over others, and unfortunately for her, she does fall short in most fundamental roles that she could fulfill. While her NP Charge, NP refunding, utility and survivability are good, her poor damage can still make her lackluster at farming. Furthermore, her long cooldowns make using her in Challenge Quest tricky at times.
Of course, Kiara will be the subject of not one, but two Rank Ups in time, both of which reduce the cooldowns on her skills, improve her damage, and provide even more utility.
Until then, by our definition, she would be either a Tier 4 or Tier 5 Servant. In the end, we decided that both a 50% NP Battery, a rare multi-hitting Arts AoE NP, and a wide array of strong utility makes her more capable than current Tier 5 Servants, and thus she is placed in Tier 4 instead.
These are the explanations you can find on the Tier List pages. As with all Servants, these differ from the placement text and are unique per Servant.
In the midst of the overpopulated AoE Saber roster, Suzuka Gozen does find a way to differentiate herself. Being one of the rare Sabers that packs solid AoE NP damage, NP charging and good Critical Damage potential, Suzuka is a solid choice for farming and general purpose alike. Her other aspects are not as strong, as she has middling NP and Star Generation, poor survivability and limited utility.
Overall, Suzuka Gozen is a strong, but not exceptional Servant. She fulfills her role well and easily avoids the lower tiers, but there are also more potent alternatives for each of her primary aspects.
It is rare that a Servant has a skill set as synergistic as Passionlip’s. The combination of Defense buffs, Debuff Immunity, short-cooldown Taunt, Self-Healing and Damage Cut makes Passionlip highly durable, and capable of functioning as a dedicated team protector. Her Buster-centric deck and self-buffs also allow her to dish out decent damage on the side through the use of Buster supports. As Buster options are typically few against Casters and Assassins, this added flexibility is a welcome addition.
Passionlip does have a few minor flaws in return, namely the lackluster damage ceiling on her Noble Phantasm before her NP Upgrade and her Alter Ego classing not granting resistance to any class to synergize with her tanking niche. However, these demerits are not significant enough to devalue her many strengths.
The de facto Avenger slayer in the game, BB is the only member of the elusive Mooncancer class for now. Despite having relatively mediocre attack and consequently lackluster damage output, BB makes up for it with a stellar supportive skill set that thrives in any stalling or NP spamming team, acting as one of the best NP batteries in the game for lengthy battles. In addition, her status as a welfare servant ensures her NP hurts regardless.
There are very few Servants in the game that can match what BB offers, and even then her unique combination of class, utility, and welfare status makes her extremely valuable for any Master.
This sadistic Alter Ego is a classic case of how one’s class can tremendously elevate or hinder a Servant’s potential. Meltryllis is not lacking in most aspects, possessing good NP and Star Generation, decent utility, strong sustained damage and better survivability than most. However, her Alter Ego class means her damage is rarely, if ever, the best against certain enemies. Unfortunately, specialization is generally better over the long run as a Master's roster grows ever larger.
Yet, Meltryllis does become more relevant in the future thanks to a combination of a Rank Up that makes her Melt Virus much easier to use, and the existence of better support for Quick Servants. For now, she remains a strong Servant, but one that is still biding her time.
At first sight, Kiara has some standout skills with a wide array of strong effects tacked on and several amazing passives. However, she is severely hamstrung by her poor damage output and the high cooldown on all of her skills. Being an Arts Alter Ego with wide coverage, Kiara is a decent alternative for Masters with limited Servant rosters and a preference for Arts Servants, but her value diminishes as more options are available. One primary advantage is her strong NP charge opening up some nice farming opportunities via Arts refunding.
Kiara is definitely not a terrible Servant even in her initial state, but her lack of focus on a specialization means she is rarely if ever the best choice for a task. Luckily for this Devilish Bodhisattva, her usefulness will increase notably in the future with two Rank Up quests.