Helena Blavatsky Appreciation Thread

Hey, it’s that time again!

We’ve got a new shiny writeup for Helena Blavatsky. Fans of Helena will have her participation in the upcoming Gudaguda 2 event to look forward to, as well as her upcoming Interlude after the CCC event. You’d be surprised at her NP damage post-Interlude! Even after factoring in recent JP upgrades, her NP is still within the top 5 of AoE NP 4* Servants damage-wise at equal NP levels. Impressive stuff for a Caster!

Apart from re-prioritizing a few of her skills (not Mana-tuning first, scandalous!), and placing more emphasis on her farming role (with those cooldowns, long-term support is, relatively speaking, a lost cause), we’ve also updated her CE selection.

Hope you enjoy it, we’ll have a bunch of new writeups coming this week. Some more timely than others cough Nobu cough!

Anyway, what have your experiences been with Helena? Especially for players without Waver, her NP charging capability can be a gift from the heavens. It caused my JP account to have her at bond 10 eventually.

Do you feel she is powerful right now? What if we factor in her Interlude? (do you think we’ll bump her up a tier?)

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I lack Merlin and Waver on my main account, so my NP3 Helena has been quite the blessing. The added effects of her NP have been useful in more challenging fights, and her NP charge + team wide card buff makes farming quite easy.
I think she could reach Tier 2 post-interlude easily.

She’s still great at farming. Depending on your CEs and servants, she can be even better than Waver, since she’s also providing an AoE NP to clear a wave.

Her long CDs are definitely an issue for challenge quests. Tamamo and Atlas Uniform can help with that, but more often than not, I’ll use a taunt CE or Kerry’s Scapegoat to rotate her out after she uses her buffs.

Great servant with great value but its frustrating how long her cooldowns are. I know she’s been called a 4-star Waver by some but I have a hard time comparing her just because the overall values on her skills are worse while the cooldowns are so much higher.

As such, I can’t find her being useful outside of 3-turn farming strats, or being that temporary buffer when your support Waver/Merlin goes down during a hard boss fight. She lacks any hard sustain skill that makes her viable for more challenging material. Tier 2 is probably a fair place for her.

I feel her best place is farming & mob swapping. And be a “Blitzkrieg” style support for your DPS (could be top as any other supports in this case). It is because her NP damage is good, her supportive skills are also decent.
But it is not recommend to put her in a long-turn fight, especially for boss fight with multi hp bar, if your DPS wont kill the enemy quick, you will find her role is quite bitter, because her skills’ CD are frustrating long, and no defensive/healing function ability, very limited debuff on enemy (from her NP) to provide team-wide durability and tougheness.
Honestly as time goes by, when more and more multi hp bar boss with extensive buff/debuff come to NA, her function and utility in your team will be further narrowed. She isnt a bad, just not versatile. Her interlude will add her NP damage, but overall still hard to occupy a position of tier 1-2 SR.

Good update!
She was my first servant to reach bond 10 (obviously because I don’t own a Waver) and I still use her for farming everyday. Even if I had a Waver I might still prefer using her because of her AoE wave clearing potential. Like the write-up says, in fast paced fights she is an excellent choice and I’d be happy if she moved up a tier after her interlude. Her damage potential is relying a bit too much on her chance based second skill, which could be alleviated by an NP upgrade.

As someone who hasn’t a SSR support caster, Helena is a god send hybrid support. Gonna try to be objective as possible here

She’s objectively a mix of Waver and Tamamo. Pretty middle of the road base stats. She can be a decent star generator because of her 6 hit quick and 3 arts in an AAQ chain.

In terms of skills the 20% np gauge is excellent, a downgrade from Merlin who was charisma tied to it and Waver whose defense buff and charisma give 10% each that are also 2 separate skills that are great independently. Helena has this 20% gauge as a vanilla skill but is nonetheless very valuable even without additional buffs.

Her second skill is the weak link however it provides other benefits. At rank 10 it can proc 80% of the time which still makes it unreliable to power up her NP. The good part of the skill is the stars/turn. 5 stars is 60% of a 2030 CE and half of a MLB 2030 which makes Helena a viable staple for buster/art/quick crit teams if she has her own 2030.

Finally her 3rd skill is definitely the best. It gives a 20% boost to all card types for 3 turns at max rank. Essentially watered down versions of mana bursts that various servants possess. For reference you have Merlin, Tamamo, and in the future Skadi who provide a 50% buff to their respective supports, BUSTER/ARTS/QUICK. Other servants such as Shakespeare, Mozart, an Atalante can also provide 40% team buffs but only last for one turn. Which adds value to Helena as a lower rarity support, although the skill provides 20% for all card types it’s spread out for 3 turns, which makes every servant’s card on the team stronger.

When it comes to her NP it won’t hit for much if you’re not against assassin mobs, and it sure won’t hit hard against a single boss due to it being AOE. Her NP strength relies with her 2nd skill but not heavily if she’s buffed with an attack up of her own ARTS up. The value of it is in the debuffs it provides, defense down, crit down, and resist down. She should always be the first in an NP chain to soften enemies as her role is meant to weaken as much as possible while your main attack sweeps.

Overall Helena is a good servant who can hold her own in terms of supporting even with a Waver, Merlin or Tamamo in the team. She can also put up damage with her NP which the 3 can’t making her a hybrid support worth putting on any team if you have no SSR supports.

CEs I highly recommend her with:
2030 if she’s going to be the star gen
Golden catches a carp for switch in crit strategies that work well with Arash and mystic codes that fit your team compositions
Demon-Ox King for psuedo Merlin buff or any equivalent for the other card types if there are any

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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.

Excellent? Debatable.

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 :sweat_smile:

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Helena’s in a bit of a weird spot as a servant. Her ability to NP gauge prop for the team is incredibly useful for people lacking Waver or Merlin, but her staying power as a support both in terms of durability and cooldowns are awful.

A little down the line she gets a NP interlude, which ends up massively assisting her own farming potential, since she actually has some pretty powerful offensive steroids for her own benefit, too. I don’t think she’ll ever be able to perform in a way other servants can’t, but she is only ever sitting a couple of rungs below the top tier supports on the ladder.

Can’t go wrong with using her, either way.

tbh the sad thing helena oba san is, unless you are farming, and cant bring a support waver/melin for wahtever reason,

during hard quests or story fights, there is no reason to ever bring her
especially when during situations like this, you would only have 1 DPS max, in which case
chrion is basically a wayyy better buffer dps hybrid, with his only downside being his archer star weight if he supports

sure he’s only single target, but again in fights like this, your setup would be
dps, support, and a hybrid/support
a 50% crit buff for 3 turn, with 35% all card type up,

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Just came by to thank for calling her a foremost bargain waiver rather than old description

Also

I have both waiver and merlin but i still use helena 90% of the time sometimes even in conjunction with the two, love her just waiting till i get 3 more grails before i start maxing her (used up mine maxing musashi due to promising that id max my very first ssr lol)

Hah, yeah, I am not usually fond of comparing Servants directly, but in function (at high end) it really is her purpose to be a substitute for Waver.

I think whether one owns Waver or Merlin heavily influences the perception of Helena. Even if the cost investment might seem steep, a 20% team NP charge is utterly valuable to an immense amount of players. Especially when your skill levels are limited early on, having access to her to speed up farming is simply a great boon. Plenty of players who lack a Kaleidoscope and rely on hybrid CEs to get going - a situation in which you need Waver and another source of NP charging.

And NP charges aren’t so common (especially teamwide ones) that having one isn’t a valuable niche by itself.

Personally, I think being an all-round good Servant is not important in the grand scheme of things. As the roster grows ever larger, it’s all about carving out that valuable niche that few other Servants can provide. Being a 4* greatly aids in that usability.

:sweat_smile:Probably should have remembered to type down that it’s a reason why I don’t think she should be brought up to Tier 2 even after her Interlude.

I’ll go edit it now. Thanks.

Edit in response to your Edit :grin:: No worries. It’s all good.

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When you think about it, the fact she’s compared to blatantly broken units like Waver and Merlin is a feat in itself.

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Personally, she was my first support (Even before Hans, but little ■■■■■■ didn’t answer any summon from the friends gacha). I rolled for her right away when the singularity came out, and I fell really really good when she joined my Chaldea. By that time I didn’t really know she was a support or whatever, I just wanted that cute ufo loli.

Her performance for me was formidable, really, in fact I got her to Bond 10. Her Bond CE was also really, really helpful during Barbatos Raid, too.
Honestly I never used her for farming, so I don’t really know her capabilites for such task. Her NP damage was very good imo, for a 4 stars servant. And to be honest I didn’t really give much thought to her issues being Cooldowns, I thought “Oh, but it lasts for 3 turns so it only has a 4 turn downtime, it’s not the worst and it’s pretty useful too” so I always thought it was a bit of an exaggeration. Later, though, specially during Rashoumon, I realized what that “minor” issue actually meant, so I’d rather use her on simple quests and other challenges when I actually could afford to use her without many issues. Something to note from my experience, I prioritized Search for the Unknown over Mana Tuning, so I didn’t rely that much on NP batteries, and I always understimated the value of Stars per turn. Eventually though I found those skills to be of better use with a better planning.

She remains as my favorite Caster support, even owning Merlin and Waver, I still find her very useful when I do card performance based teams, and she’s my main support for Arts team, and I’m really looking forward to that NP upgrade. Personally I find her being Tier 3 is arguably fine (Some might find her better than that, others worse), and I find it reasonable to move her up to Tier 2 when her NP upgrade arrives (600% Damage actually sounds very powerful, with 50% Up on her 2nd skill)

Note that the main reason to pick Mana Tuning over Search of the unknown is:

  1. the benchmark of 20% NP gauge (basically, anything below 20% is very subpar in terms of making a Servant usable with 3-turn stuff or speeding up farming)
  2. The scaling of search of the unknown. You basically get 5% extra on the buff for a lot of materials. That makes me a sad panda.

Of course that doesn’t mean in isolation either is better, it’s more that the benefit of leveling it as vastly different.

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Yeah, I always look at the final values first, then I realize the scaling, how it profits and what the investment meant. Looking back, those feathers are really something.

Feather hell is real. Agartha cannot come soon enough. We can finally farm them.

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I don’t have Helena, but just from the writeup, I think she is the only (or one of the few) with a quick 3-turn party steroid. It’s not great with only 20% at L10 and a min of a 7 CD, though (it does also boost buster and arts, adding to its usefulness). While small, it’s a card buff so that stacks multiplicably with attack buffs, so if a servant is quick-based and has no self-quick buff, it’s a nice addition.

For challenging content, I would see her needing to be backed up by another support. Maybe Tamamo can help with those CDs, or Merlin/Hans with healing.

Is the omni cardmod boost more handy for servants with split-decks, like Emiya or Carmilla?