We’ve reached the point I guess that @Psychedeliccreature started doing topics for servants as they released in JP
or we’ve been there for a while already, I only remember from around this point though but instead of reviving a dead thread from 2 years ago, we can have a new one all to our NA selves
Arts Crit ST Sabers are a fairly common typing, with Dioscuri, Benienma, Yagyu, Hokusai, Saberlot, and Summer Medb all fitting that bill to some extent. Saito Hajime was the captain of the Shinsengumi’s third unit, and now he comes with Guda Guda whatever number we’re on - and I’m so thankful that Guda Guda Honnoji Final wasn’t actually the final, since Guda Guda just doesn’t miss.
Saito tends towards the middle of the 4* Saber pack in terms of stats for offense and defense, and his skillset provides a mix of both as well.
Skill 1 is a combined Arts/Buster buff (20% for 3 turns for each) with a decent star bomb - 20 stars at max. He does have a BBAAQ deck with an Arts NP, so he’ll get a bunch of use from this skill, and he does have crit damage via a small passive and his S3, but he doesn’t have a way to reliably draw those stars to himself, so you’ll just have to hope RNG is on your side.
Skill 2 is purely defensive - it is a 1-turn Evasion with a 3-turn 18% Defense buff. I don’t like the 6 turn CD at max, and Evasion is worse than Invincibility, but this skill is fine. At the very least it doesn’t force you to choose between the survival and 1 turn of damage bonuses like many skills do.
Skill 3 is another damage buff, with a 30% attack and a 100% crit damage buff, both for the lesser of 3 attacks or 3 turns. I prefer this to 1-turn damage buffs, since while you might miss out slightly on damage if you had a Brave chain (the extra attack won’t have any buffs) it isn’t wasted if you only draw one or two cards for him on the turn that you use it, or if you have the inevitable miss on a 90% crit This can also help against break bar enemies, as you might be able to use just his NP to break the first bar, and then on the next turn use a couple of crits to delete the next one.
His S3 append is anti-Assassins. It’s there
Mugyo is a ST Arts NP that has a pre-damage OC-based Arts Resist down for the enemy (20% at base), deals the usual amount of damage, and then reduces the enemy’s crit chance by a flat 20% for 3 turns. This is able to deal a pretty good amount of damage, as he’ll usually have at least an effective 50% Arts buff if you add in his S1 and probably a 30% Attack buff from his S3. It’s also kinda spammable, so that could increase on the next turn.
|Saito||(without ramping damage from consecutive NPs)||39.2k||52.3k||65.4K|
|Hokusai||Assumed NP5 due to welfare||60.6k|
|Saberlot||Ignores Defense *NP Interlude||39.2k||49.1k||58.9k|
So, for just NP damage Yagyu would win, but he also is limited to 1-turn damage buffs. Saberlot falls the furthest behind, but he has the best crit access and reliability, and Hokusai kinda sits in the middle with pretty good NP damage and crit damage. Saberlot and Hokusai have NP charge skills, while Saito doesn’t really need them as his NP gain on NP (with 2x Castoria) is really good. My personal opinion is that he’s the best overall of those 4, but can’t do the same things Yagyu can (CQ solos), and despite having a higher ceiling (100% vs 50%) he’s behind Lancelot in regards to crit damage since he only has that for 3 attacks, while depending on card draw Lancelot can get that 50% for up to 10 (well, more if you ran a Saberlot solo but in a team and without BB or Bunnytoria it’s only going to be a max of 10 cards in 3 turns).
For overall NP damage, Saito’s is high, being I think the 2nd most for a 4* behind only Yagyu, but it isn’t high enough to put him over any ST 5*s.
I don’t like how many he takes
On the plus side, all of his mats are available to farm already, so you don’t have to wait and hope they make a new one part of the monthly exchange or anything.
Saito is a very solid Servant - he isn’t perfect, he isn’t OP, but he also isn’t unnecessary or under powered. He’s able to walk into a space that already has some very strong competition and make a name for himself there that lets him stand out without invalidating who was already there (yes, this is a reference to how Summer Ibuki just kills the need for Summer Musashi). Anything that he doesn’t have right now that I think I’d like for him would be something that would end up stepping on the toes of others, so I’ll forgive his relatively weak second skill since that’s the one I’d replace.