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MMM - Classily Costumed Celt Causes Confusion and Chaos, Cause? Countering Catastrophe (Valentines 2022)

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The Modern Magus Magazine

Greetings, one and all, and welcome once again to the season of feeling warm and fluffy from receiving chocolate from cute anime girls / boys while ignoring the crushing reality of being alone in real life. The joke never gets old.

…Joke, yeah. They say it’s prime British humour to make yourself the butt of jokes, right?

In any case, we have a singular Servant to look at, and frankly, an addition I’ve been anticipating since the game’s conception where we got spooked by Bazette’s CE. For how much I like the lady, Bazette feels kind of criminally underused in the expanded Fate setting outside of her main cast position in Prisma Ilya. And even then, she doesn’t exactly steal the show.

Instead, she can steal my wallet. Damn you, DW Lasengle!
Valentine's 2024 Banner
NA Release Date: 02/2024
Introduction

Once again, a Servant who I feel a burning compulsion to ignore their latter ascensions for. Who tried to convince the Japanese Gacha industry that feminine women in skimpy outfits and dresses sell? Give me a girl who looks killer in a suit and can punch your skeleton into the atmosphere any day of the week.

Servant Data
Alter Ego
Magic Resistance B

Increase your Debuff Resist by 17.5%.

Riding A

Increase your Quick Card effectiveness by 10%.

Divinity B

Apply Damage Plus for yourself (Total Card Damage +175).

Gods Holder EX

Increase own Critical Strength by 5%.
Extends the duration of offensive buffs on self to the end of the enemy's turn (instead of the end of your own turn).

Overview

As an Alter Ego, Bazette has some pretty rough competition in the base stats department, as the class typically possesses good stats on both ends and powerful passives. Thankfully for her, she passes where it matters most, having the tied-highest attack stat of her class, alongside Kingprotea. Unfortunately, she can’t exactly outdo Kingprotea’s colossal HP, too, rocking the 2nd worst HP stat of her class and rarity in exchange.

But that’s still a solid stat lineup for an offensive Servant, placing her tied 3rd for highest attack stat in the game before class modifiers, and she doesn’t suffer too much on the HP front since, like I said, Alter Egos have pretty good statlines on the whole.

So far as passives go, Bazette is also in a great place. Her Magic Resistance gives a decent bump to her resilience against debuffs, while Divinity is a small boost to her regular card damage output. More notably, however, is her A-rank Riding, boosting her primary card type by 10%, and her unique passive Gods Holder EX, giving her a minor boost to Critical Damage and a very…odd effect if you don’t understand the context.

In normal FGO gameplay, player offensive buffs expire at the end of the player turn, once all attacks go out, as they become irrelevant past that point. After all, no Servant can deal damage during the enemy turn, outside of things like DoTs, which aren’t influenced by offensive buffs.

Until now, that is. While I’ll cover it later, Fragarach is essentially a counter NP, meaning it strikes when the enemy attacks. As such, Bazette needs her offensive buffs to last into the enemy turn (particularly important for 1-turn buffs, at least) so she reaps the benefits. So essentially it’s more of a “we need this for the Servant to actually function” passive than a straight power boost, but she’d certainly be worse off without it.

So while not the most mind-blowing baseline to work with, Bazette starts with a very good offensive profile and some interesting quirks.

NP Generation
Servant Skills
Noble Phantasm
Conclusion

So how is Bazette in practice? She can certainly lend you a hand:

Bazette’s critical damage game is pretty strong, and extremely self-sufficient. With both her own buffs and those Skadi can provide, Bazette’s Quick crits can hit some insanely high numbers, and consistently, too, due to her numerous sources of critical stars in her kit and excellent stargen. While sometimes this can be a little fidgety to work with due to how her gauge charger is also her critical damage buff button, the fact this plays in tandem with Fragarach’s own damage output means it doesn’t hurt too much if you miss out on the optimal moment to drop buffs.

While Fragarach’s raw damage output isn’t anything exceptional, the way it can be used does hold value. In many cases a Servant’s damage output is overkill on a single gauge bar, especially on the first turn of a fight where you get the biggest burst of damage out. Bazette, however, can theoretically set up a powerful NPXX crit chain to take out the first bar, then bring down the next with Fragarach, a niche quite literally no other Servant in the game can claim (Okay, theoretically Angra can, but the actual damage output of Verg Avesta is far lower than anything Fragarach puts out), and likely none in the future will, either. Fragarach also has some situational usage in being able to dodge offensive debuffs placed on certain turns, or hit in the gap between where bosses apply a persistent Evasion/Invincible buff at the end of their turn, then have it expire at the end of the player turn. Regardless, Fragarach is unique, and that uniqueness provides opportunities other NP’s don’t.

Perhaps an aspect overlooked by many when examining Bazette, she does have an in-kit way of taunting and eating ST NP’s while taking no damage, and also blanking any debuffs that come with it. In other words, she can provide defensive pseudo-support. Naturally if said NP removes buffs before damage or has Sure Hit / Invincible Pierce she’ll still need external support to live it, but the combination on principle is useful.

However, she comes at the cost of an arm and a leg:

With both a dependence on card luck for critical damage windows and enemy AI to get Fragarach counters off, Bazette isn’t exactly the most consistent in reaching her peak damage output in fights. And while that could be excused by high peaks of damage, neither Fragarach nor Bazette’s critical damage output are the greatest out there. Good, for sure, but not enough to justify risking it over more consistent offensive options.

The fundamental flaw that has to be managed with Bazette’s kit is ultimately, well, enduring the attacks to trigger Fragarach itself. With her great NP gain and critical damage focus, Bazette can set up her NP every other turn usually, sometimes on consecutive turns. Conversely, this means she will be eating a lot of enemy focus and attacks, with no real way to endure outside her 1-turn Evasion. This can, like everything, be mitigated with her support lineup, but even her ideal defensive support combo in Skadi+Reines can struggle to keep her alive if enemy regular attacks really hurt. It doesn’t help that Bazette's defensive class advantage is an uncommon class, so she’s taking 1x damage most of the time.

For a Servant/NP I’ve been anticipating for quite some time, I have to say from the perspective of how it feels to use Bazette, she’s great. While it may not tickle the itch of being able to reverse time and pierce someone’s heart with Fragarach as they become completely dumbfounded on what just happened, given FGO’s limitations I’m satisfied.

But at the same time, Bazette definitely has flaws. She focuses a lot on being able to make the Fragarach counter style functional, while not getting a big enough payoff to make it worth the additional hassle/risk. She does, however, still compete with the premier Servants with her kind of specialty on the damage front, so it ultimately doesn’t make her definitively inferior, just harder to use. And at the same time, Fragarach’s unique nature as a NP enables it to skirt around some mechanics other Servants simply can’t, or have to via different means.

The short answer being, Bazette’s actual power will be very dependent on how useful Fragarach’s unique traits are for future difficult content. While I can think of plenty of fights in existing areas that she’ll be handy for, there’s no guarantee that Lasengle won’t adapt all fights from now on to deny Fragarach cheesing certain mechanics.

However, keeping to brass tacks, Bazette does sufficient damage to be effective in difficult content, has a unique niche that has no competition, and if you hate yourself she can even be a farmer. Rath™ Seal of Approval.

Outro

And thus, we conclude this year’s Valentines. The Hollow Ataraxia crew is essentially re-united, unless you count minor characters like the Track club trio or Mitsuzuri’s little brother. With one underappreciated Nasu VN fully included in FGO, that only leaves me with one question, considering Golden Week isn’t too far off…

Tsukihime collab when?

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