The Modern Magus Magazine
Now that feels like it didn’t take long at all.
With every Servant in this banner already having appeared in Traum’s story, and was playable at least once as a story support, there’s not really much surprise to be had here. But regardless, we’ve got what is essentially a full story chapter’s worth of Servants to get through, and my keyboard doesn’t type for itself.
James Moriarty (Ruler)
Your local evil mastermind grandpa has discovered the secret to eternal youth, and he’s using it to play the stock market.
In other words, young James has become the most feared thing in this decade - an actually smart user on /r/superstonk.
|Base Atk||1,615||Base HP||2,183|
|Max Atk||10,450||Max HP||14,877|
|Grail Atk||11,439||Grail HP||16,309|
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As an SSR Ruler, Moriarty’s base stats are ultimately pretty average. With the 4th worst Attack and 4th worst HP of his class, he’s a little underpowered in his general base stats, with a Servant like Himiko outclassing him in both areas, but regardless Ruler statlines are pretty strong - due to the Ruler class’s 1.1x Attack modifier, his attack stat is effectively in the range of 11500 instead of its displayed number, more or less on average for an SSR, and his HP is effectively far higher due to the perks of his class advantage.
In other words, being slightly below-average for a Ruler is still being a very strong Servant overall, at least so far as your base stats go.
On the Passives front, James here is far more exceptional. With Independent Action A and two unique passives to his name, he stands out a lot more. The additional critical damage is certainly nice, but Scheme Creation provides him with a 5% boost to both his Arts cards and NP damage, adding up for a notable boost to his NP damage, while Panic Cut is one of those rare and potent “I’m immune to certain debuffs” passives, making Charm, Confusion (Periodical chance for Skill Seal, notably on Kotaro’s NP), Terror (Periodical chance for Stun, notably an Abigail skill), and Skill Seal all ineffective against him.
Just Charm immunity alone would’ve been insanely good to have, but everything else on top (especially Skill Seal. It’s bad in player hands, but really annoying to deal with when an enemy slaps it on you) means Moriarty can just ignore a wide range of enemy debuffs for free.
I suppose the “cost” for this passive is that James notably lacks the Magic Resistance most Rulers have, meaning all other debuffs have very good odds of landing on him, but flat-out immunity to a good range of debuffs instead of a low chance to ignore most is probably better overall.
So how is the Yung Mori-T on the whole? On one hand, he’s got a loaded portfolio, and all his investments are skyrocketing:
However, he’s also simply part of a big bubble, and it’s about to pop:
It may seem like I’ve been pretty critical of young James until now, but that’s ultimately because I’ve been comparing him to one of the most prestigious positions a Servant can hold in FGO. Taking him in a vacuum, he brings much more to the table than most Servants in the game, by virtue of both his class and ability to farm, period. He might look like a clown, and I may have clowned on him a little, but it doesn’t mean he is one.
Case in point, he’s a very desirable Servant if you are lacking a dependable universal farmer, and even if not he’s a solid option for an offensive Ruler in CQ content, especially since the number of SSR Rulers with offensive NP’s that don’t focus on a critical damage strategy are surprisingly low. Now just don’t tell him that his new class and look as actually made him closer to his archnemesis, gameplay-wise, than anything else. He might not be able to cut that Panic.
Rath™ Seal of Approval.
If there were one Servant in human history that I feel the Fate fandom has collectively wanted added to the Fate universe as a whole, it’s probably this one. Either that or El Cid. Funny what the Spaniards can do in mythology and history when they put their minds to it, huh?
But since it’s Fate, we obviously also have to include an Uma Musume maid character. At this point I’m not even surprised.
|Base Atk||1,440||Base HP||2,019|
|Max Atk||8,643||Max HP||12,622|
|Grail Atk||10,465||Grail HP||15,304|
In terms of base stats, the Don…isn’t doing so well. With the 5th worst Attack stat of any 4* Lancer and 7th best HP stat, he lacks a fair bit in offensive power, but his HP isn’t particularly great in compensation, a number of fellow Lancers with similar or greater Attack stats also having higher HP.
It’s unsurprising considering Don Quixote as a heroic spirit definitely isn’t one you expect to be great in his parameters, but still a bad hand to be given.
His Passives don’t help much in that regard, either. While Gramps here packs 3 Passives, his Riding and Magic Resistance are both low-ranking, meaning he doesn’t get much out of them, even if the baseline debuff resistance from E-rank Magic Resistance remains decent. His unique passive of Accompanying Servant provides a moderate boost to his Death Resistance, but that ultimately will not see many applications, and even if it does, the nature of how inconsistent Death effects are means it’d be hard to see its effects when put into action.
So yeah, he’s not doing great in this area.
How does this old knight shape up, then? On one hand, he’s fighting loyally for chivalry and a fine lady’s hand:
However, he hasn’t tended to his chickens in weeks and I’m pretty sure he just lost his harvest:
I think a lesson most FGO players will have learned if they’ve played since the outset is that sometimes your favorites just aren’t that great. I’ve been throwing Karna in almost every composition possible since he was added, even though having a 25% gauge charger and a 3-turn Critical Damage buff fell out of fashion 1 year into the game’s launch.
Being of the same class as my own favorite, Don Quixote runs into similar issues. Nothing built into his kit is explicitly bad, but the specific niches he tries to push for aren’t particularly useful, or are done better by more accessible options. He can certainly wreck house in a challenge quest with a few crits in the right places, but that depends on card draw luck and a lesser damage output that Servants like Kagetora can throw out without any conditionals.
Maybe, just maybe, he should consider retirement.
This entire gacha is really just a geriatric bonanza with one of them being in denial, huh?
In any case, Zhang is something of a lesser-known Sage and General figure in Chinese history, though he was mentioned somewhat briefly in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms. I suppose that’s your short straw when you lead an unsuccessful rebellion without much long term impact on your nation.
…Oh no, I’m not looking at you at all, Amakusa.
|Base Atk||1,252||Base HP||1,711|
|Max Atk||6,744||Max HP||9,506|
|Grail Atk||9,127||Grail HP||12,889|
The first new 3* Caster in quite a while, Zhang leaves a pretty good impression from the get-go. With the 4th best Attack stat and 4th worst HP stat for his class and rarity, the Sage is pretty much in line with typical stat numbers for his offensive distribution. Being offensively-oriented is, naturally, good to begin with, even if the Caster class, especially at his rarity, isn’t exactly an offensive powerhouse.
He also has the two Caster class skills to supplement himself - B-rank Territory and Item Creation provide a notable boost to both his Arts cards and Debuff Success rate, which is always nice to have around. Albeit, compared to most Casters, Zhang doesn’t use Territory Creation as effectively as other Casters, due to his Quick card focus.
So how is Zhang Jiao, all things in consideration? On one hand, he’s a fine teacher, a wise sage, and the most powerful weatherman on earth:
However, he’s also, like many, yet another failed revolutionary left scattered to the wind:
Of the many 3* Servants out there added to the pool, you probably can’t do much better than Zhang Jiao. While he’s not competing with the big name SSR supports out there, or even the niche battlesuit gauge charger role that similarly has a good sum of competition, he makes for a new support option that pushes a niche no other Servant can, while at the same time being a competent farming Servant in his own right, if only for his class advantage.
It certainly helps that Zhang is now one of two Quick Caster farming options out there, where his predecessor by a couple months, Daikokuten, hilariously has worse damage issues than he does (following my assumptions on NP level, at least). That means he may be the only Caster-class farming option for people out there who lack the key components for an Arts or Buster farming core, but do have a Skadi / Reines.
And if that isn’t a solid position to be in, even if he isn’t outstanding in any of the roles he can fill, then I don’t know what is. Rath™ Seal of Approval.
Phew. Tackling the huge influx of Servants in a new story chapter is always pretty intense, and this time is no different…even if it’s technically not a “true” main story chapter.
And like, half of the Servant silhouettes have now been revealed, pretty much dead on the midway point of the year. It feels like it got filled out in no time at all.
Following this we’re likely to have a fairly long drought of content in the lead-up to FGO’s…7th anniversary (God, this game is old. For a mobage, at least) before getting dunked head-first into another huge batch of Summer Servants.
I’ll get my Summer Shuten / Ibuki, I swear it. But until then!