Gonna be honest here even if I have to play the bad guy (or girl. Whichever.) From my experiences with Helena (who was my first support Caster beyond the likes of Hans, Shakespeare and Mozart) I find myself mostly dissatisfied.
Don’t get me wrong, she’s been helpful when it comes to farming, but I just can’t find a use for her beyond that due to her weaknesses, some of which are quite crippling.
Her Mana Tuning gives an NP gauge boost, but the fact that it starts from 10% and needs a hefty investment to charge 20% is a huge turnoff. If there had been a secondary effect it might have been worth it. But all those materials and QP for a 1% charge per level? At a 7 turn CD at level 10?
Mahatma gives crit stars but only 5 per turn for five turns which doesn’t scale up. 2030 mitigates that, but only if the CE slot isn’t needed to buff her NP Strength or NP gain (which is also quite low).
Her NP Buff chance is 80%, at max level (again requiring commitment) which means it could still fail without someone like Ozy buffing her success rate. The NP buff is huge, that I’m not denying. But the fact that it isn’t a sure thing makes her a less likely pick when farming higher HP enemies.
Search for the Unknown is easily her best skill. Even if it only buffs it by 20%, the fact that it buffs all three card types means that, regardless of card draw, the party benefits. The three turn durations is great as well.
Her NP, post-interlude plus Mahatma, hits harder than most on her weight class, but again the chanciness of Mahatma makes her damage potential inconsistent. Great for farming, but she wouldn’t be my first pick against high HP enemies or non-assassin (or mixed class) groups.
The 4* Tier list description for Tier 2 goes “Excellent Servants with strong all-around performance, or especially valuable niches. They are typically among the best in their class among the 4* Servants.” And, honestly, I don’t think she fits it well enough to be elevated in Tier.
All around? Yes. But strong? Asides from her self NP buff, the values are quite low.
Valuable niches? Her 3rd skill is unique due to its diversity and a party-wide NP gauge charge is always useful but they’re not incredibly powerful with their low values.
Among the best in their class? Nitocris’s instant death niche makes her a better daily farmer (still wouldn’t use her on high HP or level enemies), but I won’t deny Helena’s sheer NP power post-interlude especially if Mahatma buffs her. Cas Gil’s supports (Arts and ATK buffs and nis NPs Def debuff) are better than her 3rd skill once all the values are added up. Eli Caster’s NP hits harder with an easy NP5 and Buster buff (not entirely sure how valid this will be post-interlude) and her Innocent Monster potentially gives more crit stars (min-max of 6-12 per turn for three turns with a 5 turn CD).
Different functions, yes, but it shows that Helena is a “Jack of all Trades, Master of None” sort. She fulfills many roles but the low values and high cooldowns of her skills mean that there is almost always a better choice, even if it’s not one available to a player.
For farming, she’s great and can help her team out by NP charging and eliminating a wave of her own with her own NP. Outside of that, however, harder content makes her a less likely choice when others are present though I wouldn’t mind having her on the Backline under the right circumstances.
Again, this is just my opinion after having and using her since E Pluribus came out.
No glares please