Preparing for Hokusai

So, I’ve had a long discussion with my bank account, and it understands that come January I will be rolling for and acquiring Hokusai. This means that this thread isn’t as much of a “should I get her?” as much as it is “will it be worth it?”. I have a few leading questions that hopefully those of you with greater experience and knowledge of FGO with what’s the come in the JP server may be able to answer.

How reasonable is Hokusai’s neutral damage? I know she’ll be a beast at handling Berserkers (and other Foreigners), but I worry that there’ll be somewhat of an Avenger Effect with her in regards to the multitude of other classes available.

How relevant are foreigners in general? I want to say that Berserkers are actually pretty common, and that gives me the impression that I’ll find it worthwhile to stick her in my team often, but that could also be my memory being biased towards her. I’m not just interested in challenge quests, nor am I really hardcore on min-maxing my farming efficiency, so that’s not a concern.

I also welcome any general comments on her performance as a servant that might not have been requested above.

Thanks for your time!

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All good questions.

There is a bit of an Avenger effect—but Hokusai has a very high attack stat, bonus damage on her NP against a third of enemies in the game, and the ability to stack defense down, plus an arts boost. She won’t hit for SE-levels of damage often, but you won’t necessarily be wanting for damage, either. She also has a high star weight and high stargen, so she’ll crit pretty often, too.

But given the choice between, say, Hokusai or Arjuna for a Saber node, I’d still bring Arjuna.

Foreigners are extra helpful against Berserker bosses, especially with break bars and accompanying enemies thrown into the mix—there’s a boss encounter in LB3 that comes to mind. Hokusai is better than Abby in this regard because she has great NP gain on her arts cards.

An important thing about Hokusai is that she’s really an Arts Crit servant—her NP gain is weighted towards her Arts cards and her NP refund is nothing special for an AoE Arts NP, so you really need to supply arts boosts, NP gain boosts, and crit stars for her to loop her NP.

The ‘Hokusai Sweep’ CQ-clearing style is expensive to pull off, but generally it looks like:

Hokusai + (3 of Tamamo/Waver/Bride/CasGil) + Star Generating NP (CasGil, Atalante, Emiya, Suzuka)/Buff Removal NP (Abby, Medea, Diarmuid, etc.).

Buff Hokusai right before an enemies launches an AoE NP, then swap her to the final slot.

Pop CasGil’s (or Atalante’s, or Suzuka’s, or Emiya’s, or Raikou’s) NP to create stars for the next turn. Eat the AoE NP and die.

Let Hokusai solo—stack def down and make arts crits to consistently loop your NP.

She’s not broken or anything—but I honestly can’t see her being anything but Tier 2 or Tier 1 when she gets released. She’s the best arts servant in a LONG time and holds her own even in the Skadi era.

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and she has great animations

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I mean, of course :)

Ah, yeah. I should have mentioned who I might have to support her. I do have both a highly-skilled Tamamo and Caster Gil, so knowing that she’s actually crit-enabled makes me even more excited. I really enjoy playing Arts teams, either as much if not more than Buster Crit memes.

I also forgot entirely about the Man attribute of her NP. How well does this function relative to say Gilgamesh’s Enuma Elish bonus? (Note: I know Gil’s is much more powerful due to his NP+, Buster, and greater attack, but my question is more does the attribute bonus damage make any noticeable difference relative to her normal NP damage?)

This is one of the many reasons I’m going hard for her. She’s just beautiful, and I’m also a big fan of Hokusai’s artwork in real life. The fact her NP is basically his most famous work (at least in the West) was a huge boost in appreciation.

I also forgot entirely about the Man attribute of her NP. How well does this function relative to say Gilgamesh’s Enuma Elish bonus? (Note: I know Gil’s is much more powerful due to his NP+, Buster, and greater attack, but my question is more does the attribute bonus damage make any noticeable difference relative to her normal NP damage?)

Notable enough to where her damage outside her niche is pretty, uh, unremarkable to be polite. In tandem with the fact that she’s no farmer (despite the battery and SE modifier), makes her something of a go-hard-or-go-home type IMO.

Oh yeah, then you’re pretty set. Hokusai’s 6-hit arts cards on top of CasGil’s 100% stargen boost should product more stars than Jack’s 5-hit quicks, especially with overkill. Her NP will drop lots of stars too.

The Man attribute bonus is identical to Gil’s bonus—it’s a 1.5x multiplier that scales multiplicatively with NP strength up (so with Black Grail, she’ll do stupid amounts of damage). (This is different from powermod bonuses like Jack’s or Raikou’s.)

This is pretty much the predominant argument I see against her; if you’re not against Berserkers/Foreigners/Man, you’re like a wet noodle. I think I’m okay with that. Don’t need all of my Servants to be a Swiss army knife, though I want to ensure the frequency of those she does affect is high enough for the investment.

Good to know. I wasn’t sure about how all the math stacked up and whatnot. Would you recommend something like Black Grail used on her, or something more general like Formal Craft or even a hybrid such as Dive to Blue or Another Ending?

Black Grail gives the most damage, but something like Holy Night Supper is good too—gets her to 80% with her battery (so, like, Waver can top you off) and also boosts crit damage.

Dive to Blue and Another Ending are also fine—it’s just hard to beat the silly amount of damage Black Grail provides.

And yeah, like I said, outside of her niche, her damage isn’t SE-levels of effective, but it’s not like she hits like a wet noodle, either.

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if you’re not against Berserkers/Foreigners/Man, you’re like a wet noodle. I think I’m okay with that. Don’t need all of my Servants to be a Swiss army knife, though I want to ensure the frequency of those she does affect is high enough for the investment.

And that’s fair. I don’t even think she’s a bad Servant for what she’s supposed to be (if, overhyped specifically by virtue of a lot of people seeing the racing videos but not interrogating what she specifically requires to do exactly that, like superscope/MLB BG meme supports etc, literally Tamamo/Bride/MLB BG and NP2 - later NP3 - were all used in the video ka ga put out that popularized Hokusai Sweep).

But she’s definitely based on no small number of conditionals, in between the aforementioned being CQ-aligned and her NP dmg being pitiful if not in her element

And yeah, like I said, outside of her niche, her damage isn’t SE-levels of effective, but it’s not like she hits like a wet noodle, either.

I mean, she kind of literally is though, even if she’s no Phantom or whomever. Literally 2K better than post-upgrade Gorgon, who’s historically a pretty terrible Servant on balance, ~3K more at NP2 for them both. She outright requires even higher NP levels and meme support bond CEs (Bride, etc) to deal with farming nodes (loop right on back to conditional SQ destroyer.

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But that’s not considering her defense down stacking or crit potential.

The point of Hokusai (and most Arts servants) is sustained damage, not Bustery burst damage. Her defense down is pretty significant ESPECIALLY since you’ll be critting often. It’s not difficult to get 40%+ defense down on a single enemy—that’s like two Charismas for the entire team against a single target.

Her star weight is about 1.5x Bride’s and more than 3x the common caster supports’. Her stargen is 15%—to put that in perspective, that’s 4.1% HIGHER than Caster Gilgamesh—with his stargen boost up, her 6-hit arts cards (which have 1 more hit than his) will absolutely rain stars.

And sweeps don’t have to be expensive—here she is at np1 with CasGil, Helena, and Tamamo:

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I mean nowadays “burst” or “sustained” damage is even less of a specifically card type thing with the tools available in JP than it ever has been. Merlin is able to sustain easier than Tamamo is by virtue of his insta-charge and invul; Gramps and Cu (Alter) have literally always been at the tops of soloist efficacy since their release; Scathach, the queen, has been notorious for her wonky gen and burst-y damage (before Skadi supercharged her so hard that becomes less and less of an issue, unsurprisingly).

I’m not saying it literally can’t be done at lower NP levels, it certainly can, but she asks for higher NP levels for Hokusai Sweep comps, and she is just a plainly restrictive Servant to play with if you care about min-turn comps which is the point of her Sweeps in the first place (or at least, again, the main popularizing thing). Hokusai System is restrictive, even before its costliness for consistent efficacy. That’s what I’m talking about, her necessarily being restrictive if you want to make her worst in the first place most easily (vs various others that don’t need the same). Certainly she can be a team player fine enough provided you work around her, yeah.

E: Also, isn’t that damage icon rep. of the +100/200% dmg boost? I can’t imagine that not making a difference, I just noticed.

Get a good therapist for when you don’t get her?

Just my 2 cents from my experience using her…
She’s definitely a more niche pick in terms of being someone you’d break out for tougher story quests or CQs. I’ve used her to do the Leonidas Exhibition quest from 2018 Gilfest, The prison tower CQ and a few of the more notorious LB story quests. The comps use Iwith with are her just the generic arts setup i.e. (tammy and waver) The reason I do this is because the bar for 3T sweeping are pretty ridiculous, just as whale if not even more whale than Skadi. So if you can 3T which most can’t you’ll have to make do with the goodole stallish setups, which are kinda less viable for a lot of CQs. Here are some issues I’ve run into using her.

  1. Damage against neutral targets with in kit buffs and trait DPS is just blehh. So she’s highly reliant on BG and Tammys Fox wedding if you want respectable levels of damage.
  2. Because of her defence dropping skills you’d think to run her solo to maximise defense stacks but if you’re going solo you’d be basically running the whale comp.
  3. I can’t verify this but I’ve heard several times that max defence down stacking is capped at 100% which means a lot of the extra DPS is lost from the limit for defence down stacking.

Disclaimer: I wasn’t able to pull her myself so I’ve been a using a lvl 100 NP 3 Hoku from support.

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I can’t verify this but I’ve heard several times that max defence down stacking is capped at 100% which means a lot of the extra DPS is lost from the limit for defence down stacking.

Yeah, that’s why something like this was such an effect comp against STELLA last Nerofest, stacking ~100% DEF buffs for the party (Lord’s 30% AOE base, Tama’s self 30+30, Waver’s 30 before factoring in dmg cut and junk). Also brought up here. Not that her DEF downs aren’t noteworthy.

idk If it’s been mentioned, I tried to read through most of the posts, but her mats are really easy to assemble.

For the most part.

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Yeah compared to most SSR, and some SR, Hokusai isn’t too hungry for mats. Though the 45 gallstones has me concerned as I seem to never have enough of those. Whereas all the other mats come up frequently enough in events where they won’t be a strain on resources.

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Hello, will be rolling for her as well.

Aside from the fact of berserkers being pretty common, and she being one of the 3 safest options to deal with them without dying in like 2 stary crits from them (with the other 2 being ST, so, best zerck farmer in the game), she causes extra dmg to man/mankind atribute enemies on NP, which is around 1/4 of all enemies, think as a Arts, more limited Enuma Elish…
She also can stack a lot of def debuffs from her arts cards, thanks to a skill…and charge NP with a skill.
Seems a solid farmer to me. Even at NP1 and neutral class, she will still refund quite well (and crit well, provided there are no Riders in the party).

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I feel you. MHXA knocked me down to 5 gallstones…I think it was her at least lol. But I’ll get them back. Hokusai is in clear 10/10/10 range so I’ll get it done.

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Her crits will hit hard regardless, but at NP1, her NP will be kinda potato without proper support, CE, and bonus damage. That’s why if possible, going for NP2 will give her more room for different CE/ support options.