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MMM - Prancing Ponce Presents as Premium Pretender, Provides Perfect Patronage. Plus Publisher Pulls Back Postulation (Oberon Gacha + Fairy Knight Lancelot Re-Examination)

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Article by GamepressRath
MMM LB6 Finale

The Modern Magus Magazine

Boy these past two months have been pretty busy. I prefer this spaced out introduction of new Servants instead of the bundled method we traditionally see from story chapters, but it has provided it with an onslaught of heavy hitters.

To the point, Oberon. We all knew he was coming, and he’s joining the roster with a fancy new class to finally complete the third class triangle formed by Alter Ego, Foreigner, and now Pretender.

And in addition, I’ll be re-visiting Fairy Knight Lancelot a little at the end, as a commenter did bring to my attention that my assessment of her on release got...outdated very fast. I guess that’s what happens when your biggest flaw is a lack of good Buster support, then you get Koyanskaya added...and Oberon too will be a contributing factor.

LB6 Finale Pickup
NA Release Date: 08/2023

Oberon

Introduction

You know, some people in the Fate fandom may not see why the series portrays Shakespeare as, putting it plainly, an overdramatic asshole who likes to use the suffering of others for entertainment. Oberon is, so far as I know, the first character who is featured in a Shakespeare play to be a Servant.

And boy, does he suffer for being a fictitious fairy. I think that’s all I can really say without LB6 spoilers.

Servant Data
Pretender

5

5
??? (Oberon)

While on the field, increase debuff success rate for all non-Foreigner allies by 10%.
While on the field, decrease buff success rate for all Merlin allies by 20%.

Territory Creation E-

Increase your Arts Card effectiveness by 1.5%.

Item Construction A+

Increase your Debuff Chance Rate by 11%.

Riding A

Increase your Quick Card effectiveness by 10%.

A Midsummer Night's Dream EX

Grants self immunity to Mental Debuffs.
Grants self immunity to Curse.

Overview

Normally I’d be delving into some good ‘ol class comparison in this section, but as Oberon is the first of the new Pretender class, I’ll instead talk about the class’s perks.

Being something of the antithesis to Alter Ego, the Pretender class shares the setup of 1.5x offensive class advantage versus a group of 3 Servants, but instead for the Saber, Archer, and Lancer classes. Naturally, Pretender also suffers 0.5x effectiveness attacking the horsemen classes (Caster, Rider, Assassin), and completes the triangle with Foreigner and Alter Ego, getting traditional class advantage / weakness by beating Alter Ego, and losing to Foreigner.

The class’s own statistical benefits aren’t very outstanding, however. They have a standard 1.0x attack modifier, Saber class star weight, and base stat modifiers that appear similar to Alter Ego. The only really notable trait to the class is their high base star generation rate, only beaten by Assassins. So all Pretenders will be fairly good at stargen, for all that matters.

Oberon himself isn’t packing a particularly impressive statline. His HP is fairly average, and likewise his attack is neither poor nor outstanding. He doesn’t pack what you’d want out of a big offensive damage dealer, but he’s not too gimped on either front. He’s just kind of mediocre.

He has more than enough to compensate from his passives, though. Packing 5, 3 of them generic and 2 unique, it’s a bit to unpack.

Oberon’s generic passives are Territory Creation, Item Construction, and Riding. His Territory Creation is of a pitiful rank, barely boosting his Arts cards at all, but his Item Construction and Riding are great, increasing the consistency of his debuffs with a flat 11% boost to their application rate, and Riding giving his Quick cards a solid 10% boost in every aspect.

For the uniques, we’ll start with ???. No, I’m not confused, that’s just the default name of the skill. Unfortunately the name of this passive is a spoiler, so it’s helpfully censored in the game itself until you clear LB6 and get Oberon to his 3rd ascension. So look forward to that, I guess. In any case, this skill, henceforth called “Anti-Merlin”, gives a passive +10% boost to the debuff application rate of all non-Foreigner allies, which is one heck of a neat supportive perk. It even lets Oberon’s own debuffs get past most Magic Resistance, which will be relevant for his NP. The drawback is all of Merlin’s buffs while they’re on the same formation will have a 20% chance of...missing. And you really don’t like that on Merlin.

Lesson taken, don’t run Oberon and Merlin in the same team.

The second of his unique passives is A Midsummer Night’s Dream, granting him immunity to both mental debuffs and curse. Boy, I would love to have him around for a fight in LB6 in retrospect, but I suppose that isn’t happening. The more important of the two here is Mental Debuff immunity, making him immune to Charm, Terror, and Panic for what it’s worth. I think Sleep is also a mental debuff, so that’s also off the table against him. Considering those debuffs number most of the sources of turn-eating debuffs in the game, it makes him nice and resilient for difficult content.

So while Oberon isn’t winning any prizes for his statline, his exclusive class (at present) and excellent passive lineup make him quite desirable.

NP Generation
Servant Skills
Noble Phantasm
Conclusion

So, how good is Oberon in practice? On one hand, he’s done pleading innocence, spinning infinity:

Even outside of the context of Buster support, Oberon blows open a load of potential for farming strategies with his 70% NP gauge charge. Plenty of Servants who, even under Koyanskaya, had issues forming 3-turn loops can get stronger or less demanding setups, CE-wise. And on top of that, Oberon’s NP Power Boost buff is universally useful, providing a potentially colossal damage boost on the last wave of farming.

It probably won’t be relevant, but Oberon presents a new multiplicative buff to bolster NP damage, which in turn drastically increases the maximum damage output of NPs, especially Buster ones. With gauge breaks being universal for modern difficult content, it’s unlikely this new potential damage ceiling will end up mattering, but it does let you do the funny and oneshot Goetia very easily in the memorial quest.

As the first Pretender, Oberon presents an exclusive niche in being able to farm mixed knight class nodes (I didn’t really mention this since I thought it obvious, but Oberon 3-turn loops very easily with double Koyanskaya support), as well as being the only class advantage over Alter Egos presently. While we thankfully haven’t had too much difficult content with Alter Ego bosses, I would’ve appreciated his presence versus Limbo’s surprise visit in the Arjuna Alter fight of LB4, that’s for sure.

While it’s something of a footnote, Oberon’s Sleep NP has some great supportive potential, being a button you can pull out in difficult content to immediately lock down a turn. With the right support, it may also be possible to chain Oberon’s NP consecutively, giving an entire horde of foes a long naptime. In any case, being able to steal the enemy’s turns frequently is a great perk.

But on the other hand, he’s just another soul for sale, the same old story:

I’ve talked a lot about Oberon in the position of a support, but the reality is he doesn’t offer much by sticking around on the frontline - all of his skills are offensive buffs, and his only real defensive perk is the Sleep on his NP. His specialty lies in being Battlesuit swapped in on a big turn and setting up a powerful NP, not sticking around and building up buffs on the team.

All jokes aside, Oberon’s Anti-Merlin passive is really bad for his team building potential. Since Oberon lends himself best to Buster support, his very presence making all of Merlin’s buffs unreliable essentially makes him a non-option - it’d be like turning all his skills into Imperial Privilege and his NP into Hans’s. Yeah, pretty scary. As such, he can only work alongside Koyanskaya for Buster support, which in turn means his applications outside of farming are even more limited.

It’s pretty crazy to get two 50%+ gauge charger supports in the same month, then again supporting the same card type and having synergy with each other.

Oberon is a big milestone for Buster farming, much like Koyanskaya is, but the two in combination allow for some truly disgusting farm setups. Plenty of Servants who previously had no means of 3-turn farming, primarily Buster ones, now can with their presence, and some of them end up gaining overwhelming firepower as a result. Oberon more or less claims the Kingship of the Battlesuit swap gauge charge support, with the most powerful damage boost and gauge charge available for the last turn of a battle, especially if you’re in the habit of Black Grail farming.

Then even putting that aside, Oberon’s reverse side conceals a surprisingly playable farming option under double Koyanskaya, with powerful gauge chargers to use for his own looping, a wide strike zone of classes, and he can always use End of the Dream for his own NP to bolster its damage. He doesn’t even lose out that much from the Koyanskaya flaw of not being able to be supported by 2 copies of himself, since NP Power Boost can’t be stacked on itself, making a second Oberon sub-optimal.

At this point it feels like I’m repeating myself, but Oberon proves a powerful new support option primarily for farming that also elevates Buster higher in the overall card-type meta. Rath™ Seal of Approval, with a recommendation.

Melusine (Fae Knight Lancelot) (Reassessment)

Servant Data
Overview

So, with Oberon out the way, let’s be plain - I can’t see the future, and in the case of Melusine, the future shortly after her release was really good for her, making some of my assessment of her kit outdated incredibly quickly.

As such, let’s talk about her. The discussion of Melusine’s ST Arts form and how she performs as a crit Servant is more or less unchanged - she’s still a strong ST Arts looping option, but that side of her kit is now sadly the lesser one.

I was considering how to open her re-examination, but I think I’ll just lead with the meta farming setup she can do:

Melusine w/LB Black Grail / Konyanskaya / Konyanskaya / Oberon

Battle Suit for Mystic Code

  • Turn 1: Use Ray Horizon and Dragonheart, both Konyanskayas’ Killing Technique and NFF Special. Use NP (130% gauge)
  • Turn 2: Use both Konyanskayas’ Innovator Bunny on Melusine, use Ray Horizon again. Use NP (100% gauge)
  • Turn 3: Use Dragonheart again, Battlesuit swap Oberon in for one of the Konyanskayas, use all of Oberon’s skills on Melusine. Use Battlesuit’s Attack buff. Use NP (100% gauge).

In this setup, Melusine loops consistently on any enemy class and layout, dealing 91k damage neutral on her first NP, 116k on the second, and 203k damage on the third.

Now I’m sure that looks very impressive to you, but let me tell you, I’m being influenced by Oberon a little bit here:

I lied.

The damage I quoted for her 3rd NP isn’t the right number, it IS the damage she does on her 3rd NP...versus Saber enemies.

No, I didn’t typo there. Melusine with that setup does 203k damage on Wave 3, with an AOE NP, versus SABER enemies. With class disadvantage!

The actual damage is 407,400 damage neutral. She nearly does 1 million damage with class advantage. She actually does, too, provided any of the targets are Human trait or attribute.

Now you might doubt the numbers quoted here, so I’ll put down the formula for convenience so you can check it yourself:


15154
(Melusine’s atk after 1k atk fous and assumed level 80 MLB Black Grail)

X

0.23
(The universal damage modifier that alters attack stats to the actual damage in-game)

X

1.05
(Lancer class attack modifier)

X

3
(Melusine’s 300% NP damage modifier)

X

1.5
(Buster card damage modifier)

X

2.1
(Attack buffs: Dragonheart 1 (+40%), Dragonheart 2 (+40%), and Battlesuit Attack Buff (+30%) for +110%)

X

3.1
(Buster buffs: NFF Special 1 (+50%), NFF Special 2 (+50%), Hollowheart Albion buff 1,2, and 3 (+20% each, for 60% total), and End of the Dream (+50%) for +210%)

X

3.8
(NP Damage Up buffs: Black Grail LB (+80%), Ray Horizon 2 (+30%), Curtain of Night (+30%) for +140%, then doubled by NP Damage Up Boost to +280%)

With that breakdown out of the way, I can commend Melusine for being the first Servant to earn the title of a universal farmer even in a node she has class disadvantage for.

Now obviously, this setup is very premium - it demands owning a copy of 3 recent Servants who are all Limited, on top of a prestigious MLB Black Grail, but it does speak to her potency nonetheless - a regular Black Grail or even just the Heaven’s Feel CE still provides her an obscene amount of damage, and Melusine can still farm dependably without double Konyanskaya at her disposal.

But her unique position of having 130% gauge charge at her disposal makes her (so far as I know) the only Buster Servant capable of running Black Grail in Konyanskaya and Oberon setups, unless you count swapping Space Ishtar to Buster mid-battle, which makes her incredibly fearsome as a farmer - as she simply does her loop. No ifs, conditionals, or buts. She can farm a node with 3 waves of a single enemy as effectively as 3, and her damage output is even good enough to handle that…though probably not with the class disadvantage.

Realistically the Saber node farming thing is a meme, but it is a good way to show how overwhelmingly consistent Melusine is for farming. And that’s ignoring how good her newly improved support lineup is for her in CQ’s - her absurdly high potential damage output while also piercing Invincible effects will give her plenty of use when class advantage lines up for her.

So the super TLDR is you can ignore anything negative I said about Melusine’s Buster form in her MMM, and consider this the real evaluation of that side of her kit.

...and it’s crazy good. Have your posthumous recommendation on top of the seal of approval, I guess?

Outro

A bit of an abnormal edition of the MMM, but we live in strange times. Main chapters feel like events in themselves, and we’re getting the Summer event the latest we’ve ever seen it.

And most bizarre of all, Rath actually got the motivation to go back and reassess a Servant who got buffed (by the meta).

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to take my well-deserved break from this marathon of Servant releases. Call me when Achilles becomes a Pokemon trainer.

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