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Who’s the Best Fate/Grand Order 4-Star Servant to Pick?

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Fate Grand Order

Fate/Grand Order has been downloaded over 12 million times and to celebrate, Aniplex has given every player that’s cleared the prologue a ticket good for their choice of almost any 4-Star “SR” Servant. These “Super Rare”-type Servants are among the strongest in the game, just a step below the top-tier 5-Star “SSR” characters, and form the backbone of a Fate/Grand Order fighting team. But with over 50 Servants to choose from in the eligible roster, one is spoilt for choice. Who’s the best Servant to pick? That’s what I’m here to help you with.

Friendly Neighborhood Fate/Grand Order Familiars

The Fate/Grand Order 12 Million Downloads Campaign Ticket represents a rare opportunity for players. It’s the chance to skip the gacha and get a free copy of a Servant they want or need. That said, only you can choose who to add to your roster, and your desire comes first. In other words: Let your heart lead the way, and choose whichever Servant you like most. All Servants are valid, even the ones that aren’t quite as good as some of their peers. Every Servant is unique and adds new options and ways to patch holes in your roster. Of course, there’s a lot to go over given the size of the offering, so I’ve arranged suggestions based on various scenarios. Now, this isn’t gospel truth, but rather the observations of a longtime player dispensing advice for newer ones that might be confused.

Here’s the full roster of available Servants:

Fate Grand Order

If you’re new to Fate/Grand Order and need a strong Servant to get you through the campaign:

FGO

Consider picking up Heracles, Ibaraki-Douji, Gorgon, Altria Pendragon (Alter), or Emiya.

Players new to Fate/Grand Order in 2020 need a helping hand. By now, they’ve missed out on several very good event giveaway Servants and might not have the kind of roster that attracts a lot of friend requests from veterans. To that end, a strong, self-sufficient Berserker or other damage-dealer is a good pick. Heracles was a popular pick in the early days and has a well-earned reputation for being the “Last Servant Standing,” thanks to the special Craft Essence that unlocks after maxing out his Bond Level. Ibaraki-Douji’s powerful ultimate attack can wipe away enemy buffing effects, and she packs in some team support despite her selfish Oni personality. Saber Alter’s Noble Phantasm damage output is so insane that years later and against stiffening competition, she’s still competitive with many 5-Star Servants – including her own son, Mordred. Emiya was lackluster in FGO‘s early days, but upgrade quests have since evolved him into one of the most versatile Servants in his class. Gorgon is an outlier pick, but she (and the Avenger of Shinjuku) are the only easily accessible “Extra”-class Servants in the game at this time, aside from event giveaways.

If you’ve got a strong damage dealer, but need some support: 

FGO

Consider grabbing Helena Blavatsky, Gilgamesh (Caster), Caster of Midrash, Medea (Lily), or Nitocris.

In as far as a game with no multiplayer component can have a “meta,” Fate/Grand Order‘s meta revolves not around damage-dealers, but support units. These units don’t do a ton of damage on their own, usually, but bring tons of utility via their supporting skills, charging Noble Phantasms, cutting damage, or increasing the effectiveness of their peers’ attacks. Merlin, Zhuge Liang, Scathach-Skadi, and Tamamo-no-Mae lead the pack as the premier support units in the game, but they’re rare 5-Star Servants. Players that don’t have them (or lack friends who have them) can make do with some strong 4-Star options.

Russian occultist Helena Blavatsky might be the most versatile of the 4-Star casters. Her abilities allow her to charge the whole team’s Noble Phantasm and boost the card effects of any attacks they deal for three turns. She even has a pretty good damage-dealing Noble Phantasm of her own. Caster Gilgamesh, a star of the recent Fate/Grand Order: Absolute Demonic Front Babylonia anime, is a more specialized, Arts-element support caster who is able to juice up fellow Arts units to new heights of power. The Caster of Midrash is a relatively rare caster with a single-target, damage-dealing Noble Phantasm. Medea Lily, the youthful version of Fate/Stay Night OG Medea, is one of the only healing-oriented Servants in the game, though unfortunately, healing tends to get a short shrift in FGO. Still, she can wipe away nasty status effects and keep a team in good health. Nitocris isn’t so much a support Servant per se, but her ability to charge her own Noble Phantasm on the first turn makes her a premier “farming” Servant, particularly against Assassin-class enemies.

You have Scathach-Skadi (and a friend with Scathach-Skadi): 

FGO

Consider selecting Parvati, Valkyrie, Atalante, Lancelot (Berserker), or Astolfo.

You might be a mid-game or late-game player, or maybe you just happened to get lucky on the July 2020 Anniversary banner. Either way, you have access to Scathach-Skadi, Queen of the Land of Shadows and Savior of Quick. Her arrival was the biggest shift in FGO‘s meta since Merlin was added to the game a year earlier. Scathach-Skadi’s ability to vastly boost the effectiveness of a Servant’s Quick-element attacks, as well as deliver a 50% Noble Phantasm charge, made a whole category of previously-lackluster Servants top-class picks. The high hit counts in their Noble Phantasms allowed them to gain enough NP charge to unleash it again with a minimum of assistance. These “Skadi Loops,” featuring a damage-dealing Servant, your Skadi, and a friend’s Skadi, are at the moment one of the fastest ways to clear non-boss content. And it just so happens that four of the top choices of Servant for Skadi Loops (plus Astolfo, and Frankenstein) are available from the Fate/Grand Order 12 Million Download promo ticket.

The Indian goddess Parvati manifested in the body of Fate/Stay Night  heroine Sakura Matou and brought with her the most reliable skillset possible for Skadi looping, with a self-buff for Quick-elemental attacks and stats that make her a strong contender even outside the Skadi Looping niche. The three-in-one Servant Valkyrie is a similar deal to Parvati, though they trade looping reliability for a broadly applicable skill loadout. Fate/Apocrypha Archer Atalante was in the game at launch, but came into her own with Skadi’s arrival, and her Noble Phantasm can generate more critical stars than you’ll know what to do with. Fellow Apocrypha alum (and fan favorite) Rider Astolfo and Fate/Zero Berserker Lancelot both need a bit of help to loop reliably, but are still good picks, particularly if you’re facing enemies that the lancers are less effective against.

You want to experience the power of a “Blue Wave” in FGO:

Arts Servants

Try Yagyu Munenori, Lancelot (Saber), Emiya (Alter), Li Shuwen, or Thomas Edison.

Fate/Grand Order‘s Arts element mostly contains the game’s best casters, but it also plays host to some unusual and singularly powerful styles of play that is facilitated by some unique damage-dealing Servants. Yagyu Munenori and Lancelot (Saber) are among the game’s best single-target Saber units, able to deal tremendous damage and refill their own Noble Phantasms in the process. Emiya (Alter) trades the versatility of his core version for a deathwish-powered rapid-fire Noble Phantasm. Li Shuwen is better known as Fate/Extra‘s Assassin, but is no less deadly with a spear in hand and is able to pierce any opponent’s defenses. Thomas Edison, the lion-headed Presi-king of the American Singularity, is frankly a mediocre Servant for general use. However, his peculiar skill set, used in combination with other Servants, can facilitate “Stalling.” It’s a unique strategy used by some in FGO‘s challenge quests to draw out a battle for as long as possible, gradually chipping enemies down to size and carefully managing skills and defenses to exhaust powerful foes. If you do want an Arts caster to do some Blue-Waving with, Nitocris and Caster of Midrash are a more reliable pick than Edison.

You have everything you need or want right now, but just don’t know who to choose pick:

Story-locked Servants

Pick a Story-locked Servant (or one you don’t have yet).

If you don’t have any particular need to fill, you should pick a Servant that’s “Story-Locked.” Story-locked Servants are usually only available when rolling on the default “Story” Summon banner, or when they are specifically in the rate-up roster on a limited banner. Given that the best gacha advice in FGO is typically to only roll on limited-time event banners, Story-locked Servants are quite rare. After all, unless a given banner is celebrating the part in the story they’re from or if they play a role in a seasonal or limited event, a Story-locked Servant stands little chance of seeing daylight. If you don’t have a specific hole in your roster (or heart) to fill, get a Servant that would otherwise not have much of a chance to show up.

Among the Story-Locked Servants, Yagyu Munenori, Emiya Alter, Li Shuwen, Caster of Midrash, and Tristan are particularly well-regarded in their respective classes. Gorgon, of course, is an Extra-class Servant you can consider if you don’t have an Avenger of your own yet.

In the end, only you can decide who you want to pick for Fate/Grand Order‘s 12 Million Download promo, so choose wisely.

Fate/Grand Order is immediately available on iOS and Android. Check out more details on the FGO 12 Million Download event, or visit our beginner’s guide for other tips on starting and getting the most out of the game.

Josh Tolentino
Josh Tolentino helped run Japanator as Managing Editor since 2012, before it and Siliconera teamed up. That said, it's been years since he watched enough anime to keep his otaku license valid. Maybe one day he'll see enough of a given season to pretend to know what's hot. Until then, it's Star Trek reruns, gacha games, and bylines at Destructoid and GameCritics.