Oh, I am very much looking forward to the GP review for her.
And the tier placement.
And the discussion here.
Sima-Yi (I’ll just be calling her Reines from now on) is the 5* Limited Servant introduced with the Case Files event. Is she worth the SQ to summon her?
S1 is a copy of her older adopted brother’s, just with slightly lower values. A scaling DEF buff from 15%—>25%, a flat damage cut from 200—>400, and a party 10% NP charge. Waver’s weakest skill, but on Reines’ more defensively minded bend it makes sense. But it does feature slightly lower values.
S2: Currently her best skill (and after her other is improved, probably still her best skill). It’s a targetable 20% charge, that then increases the damage of that same ally by 40%. That’s one of the higher values - lower than Caster Nero’s 50% and tied with Bride Nero. It lowers Reines’ own attack by a flat 20% as a demerit; that isn’t really a big deal though thanks to a) her NP and b) she’s not meant to be the attacker.
S3 is the (in my opinion, wonderful and often overlooked) CE Volumen Hydrargyrum. It’s a 2 time Invincibility for an ally that also increases their Debuff Resist by a pretty good amount. In the future this further gives a 20% battery, but that’s a bit over a year away.
(So if you’re keeping track, she currently gives a single party member a 30% NP Battery. That’s rare - Skadi (50%); Waver (50%); Bride in the near future (30%); Miyu (30%); and Castoria in the future (50%) are the only ones that can do that - Parvati kinda with her skill + NP effect)/Overcharge 2 Tamamo (for the party, 31.25%)/really, really overworked and gimmicked Salome (100% for the party) are also in the mix.
Skill (and Ascension) Mats: She’s a 5* and they’re almost always expensive lol, prepare to be unamused.
Gears, Pages, Horns, and Scarabs are needed for Ascension. More Gears, more Pages, Stakes, and Bells are needed for Skills. So, so many Stakes.
All together it’s 53 Gears (56); 55 Pages (35); 9 Horns (20 just from this one event); 5 Scarabs (10 just from this one event); 216 Stakes (30); and 72 Bells (20). The numbers in parentheses are how many we get from shops/events in the next 3 months. There is also a Hunting Quest week soon that will feature Stakes one day and Pages the next.
Mat Farming Locations and (Approximate) AP Cost:
Stakes (Gallows Hill, Salem): 6,739.2 AP
Gears (Daping Yu, SIN) (This gets Gears and Bells): 3,858.4 AP
- + 46 Bells
Pages (Shinjuku 2-chome, Shinjuku): 3,806 AP
*It’s an extra 253 AP to farm them at Hyde Park and get Bones instead of Shinjuku and getting some Blood. I’d personally farm Hyde Park but it is cheaper to not.
Bells (Ba Men Cave, SIN): 1,391 AP
Total: 15,794.6 AP///55 Days (Natural AP regen)///113 Gold Apple Refills.
Verdict: Her skills are all good, and while it might not be needed right now to level her S3 (though the CD is nice), it will be important in the future since the battery will scale. Level her S2 first for the potent damage boost.
NP: Her NP is supportive - it’s a scaling AoE DEF debuff for 3 turns, it grants the party “Ignore Defense Class Disadvantage” for 3 turns, and it removes her own debuffs (such as the Atk penalty from her S2). It then has a chance to lower enemy Crit chance for 3 turns, 20% at OC1, which is pretty good considering the values enemies have for that.
So, her NP provides the same DEF debuff as Waver’s post-Interlude, but doesn’t lower the enemy NP gauge or stun. Those are 2 things that make Waver’s great
also his Curses but whatever. Instead, it tries to provide survivability not by stall but by lowering enemy damage, which is…maybe better? Usually worse. Ignoring Class Disadvantage effectively means any Berserker you bring along now has 2x their HP, and it means any Servant you bring along if you’re fighting Berserkers effectively has 2x their HP. Combined with her DEF Up and Damage Cut from her S1, that starts to add up to a significant amount of damage prevention. And then on top of that, she can make an ally Invincible for 2 hits, which is even better for Berserkers.
A hypothetical situation to show what her damage mitigation means
To illustrate: Say an attack would normally deal 10k damage to your Berserker, since the enemy has advantage. Reines lowers that immediately to 5000. Her S1 then provides a 25% DEF boost, meaning that 5k becomes 3,750. Then THAT gets cut by a flat 400, meaning the OG 10k damage is 3,350. Basically 1/3 of what it would have originally been.
Now if you paired her with her brother - 10k damage becomes 5k, then you have a 55% cut in that taking it to 2,250, then you have a 900 flat damage cut meaning a 10k original hit ends up hitting for a paltry 1,350. That’s an 87% reduction in the damage you took. 2x Waver would make it hit for about 3k instead.
Now to be honest that won’t matter if the enemy does NP, since that’s probably still powerful enough to kill (a point in Waver’s favor); she doesn’t provide healing so it’s still a damage race (a point in Jeanne’s, Tamamo’s, or Night’s favor); and there are only so many fights where you’re going to need something like that anyway (it’s Fate/Farming Simulator).
How is she for farming support?
Right now, worse than Waver. Mostly.
In the future? I’d say better than Waver. Mostly.
Right now, Waver can provide a full-party 20% charge, and a single ally for 50%. That means he works with 2x Kscopes, a Kscope and an Imaginary Element, or a Kscope and any of a host of free 50% starting CEs. Reines can only work with…a single Kscope or a single MLB Imaginary Element. But in the future, when she gets 1 single party 10% and 2x targeted 20% gauges, she can then work with 2x Kscopes OR 2x Imaginary Elements, or any of the host of free 50% starting CEs. And if you’re not running 2 individual farmers (say you’re using someone with a 50% battery like Tesla or OG Saber) Reines provides a larger damage boost to them than her brother does. There might also be (rare) cases where your looping benchmarks mean a 30% charge is more than you need, so having 2x 20% charges helps with NPing 3 turns straight.
And then the last, and probably for some the biggest, downside: she’s a Rider, which means she hogs stars. I personally don’t think this is a problem, since her best ally is going to be a Berserker who benefits from all the DEF buffs she provides and they’re allergic to stars anyway, and she doesn’t provide a crit boost. But for some, Waver providing a crit boost and not being as star greedy are huge points in his favor. I instead remember bosses like the Bull of Heaven and how deadly it can be bring a Caster to a fight when they don’t take at least neutral damage, and so having a Rider for Rider bosses means Reines will survive longer herself.
Outlook: Reines at her release is good. She can do something no one else can do (negate party class disadvantage) and then an do something very few people can do (targetable 30% battery). Her Attack boost is big. But by the time she gets her 50% battery, it’s just about time for Castoria, who makes NP looping so much better. Reines in my opinion therefore has a short shelf life.
Should you roll for her? Probably not. But you should roll for Astraea (look for my next discussion thread on her tomorrow or the next day to see why) and maybe Reines is a pleasant little surprise along the way.