To Merlin, or not to Merlin. That is the question. (Edit: Question answered)

Good people, help me decide. Throw to me your opinions, as I’ve spent months going over this in my head and can’t come to a decision for myself.

Initially, Merlin sounds like such a slam-dunk. One of the three best supporters in the game currently and often touted as the best among them (until the release of Castoria anyway). But current circumstances make it so that skipping him actually becomes an option.

One thing to consider is how degraded the Buster meta has become. While buster can reach the highest numbers, it’s often highly unnecessary and inefficient due to the existence of break bars. It’s also not very conducive to farming either. It seems like DW themselves realized this and is the reason why they’re pushing Buster-crit as the new meta w/ servants like Godjuna and Orion. But I’ve often found going for buster-crit to be far too unreliable. For one, the buster servant themselves usually have no way of generating stars themselves, and even if they do it’s a 1-turn setup and so does not fix the issue of farming. Of course you can bring support for star generation, but that leads to the other issue of card RNG. The reason why NP-looping is usually the focus of both quick and arts metas is due to the sheer consistency. If your bar is full, you have an NP card readily available regardless of RNG, and I haven’t seen any evidence to suggest consistency on the same level is possible w/ buster. The best buster-crit setups I’ve seen either trade consistency for damage, or trade damage for consistency and even then isn’t as consistent as arts/quick setups. I know some players don’t care about 90% consistency vs. 99% consistency, but for players like me who rely on near 100% consistency for farming it matters a lot (obvious implication is obvious).

But on the other hand, Merlin isn’t just a one-trick pony. In particular, his ability to help the entire front-line NP-loop cannot be overlooked. Add to that his on-demand 20 party charge w/ atk up, party invincibility, and heal/crit assistance, he brings a lot to the table for regular questing and stalling tactics even without any busters on the field. And it isn’t like buster is unviable either, and I have certainly have some buster servants that can use some support (Vanilla Artoria, Ozy, Semiramis, Amakusa, SummerAlter, etc.) So Merlin can easily be used with or without buster servants, but is it worth it?

Normally the answer would be a resounding: “DUH”, but in this case just before the release of the AOE goddess herself :fgo_spaceishtarwink: I can’t seem to come to a decision. 700 SQ + 30 tics are not nearly enough for me to feel safe rolling for both (500 SQ LOST ON KAMA BANNER, I’M NEVER FORGETTING DW :fu:), but should I chance it regardless? Should I skip and go for NP2 Spishtar? Should I assign myself a firm limit, but if I do what should that limit be? I want Spishtar more than Mer-boy, but I also want Mer-boy quite a lot too.

TL;DR: So I ask of you, a̵r̵e̵ ̵y̵o̵u̵ ̵m̵y̵ ̵m̵a̵s̵t̵e̵r̵ are you rolling for Merlin or saving for Spishtar? How is everyone else coping with this? Am I the only one struggling here? Sunday is rapidly approaching and I can’t make my mind up… This is truly gacha hell… Save me Oni Cure!

Update: Thanks everyone for your opinions. It really helped me make my mind up. Unfortunately, my OCD got the better of me. :fgo_gudako:

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Bold of you to assume everyone is rolling for either :feh_thinkinglikelukas:

Merlin is probably gonna be more valuable than spishtar, because his next banner comes close to castoria (so skip) and spishtar is rather mediocre until Mrs. Arts Queen helps her out. You could roll merlin now, spishtar on her rerun

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I have to say, you make a fair point. Thanks to Clarivoyance EX and of course by seeing the rise of the quick meta, we know just how badly Buster Meta has aged with the updates, still strong but not versatile at all. Merlin is kind of a luxury, pretty good to have but not a must like Weibah. That said, I cannot answer the eternal question for you. What I can say is that reading you has convinced me to not roll Merlin (once more, failed 2 times already), and keep saving for the GOGOGOGO + Castoria combo which im sure will be far more useful and fun to me.

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True. And I’ve considered that, but my current lack of good AOE servants outside of Parvati makes me want her nao even w/out the Arts Goddess. Also, there’s a half year gap b/w Arts-god and Spishtar re-run. That’s a half a year w/out the godly combo I so desperately want…

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roll for siegfried to trick the gacha

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It’s fine, Merlin appears in 3 Sundays, so even if you jump over the first Sunday there’s still the 2 next Sundays. :fgo_mashthink:

Now to what I’m doing: I’m trying to going all in for Bunny Lion. Afterwards it’s Space Ishtar and Skadi. Well, probably only one since I won’t have enough to roll on both, lol. Merlin? Hah, he’s not even in the picture. Waiting for Proto-Merlin to appear. Yea, I’m an optimist.

Then again I may not be the right one to ask since I’m playing just fine while still lacking dramatic sfx start THE BIG 3 SUPPORTS!!! dramatic sfx ends. So no “DUH” from me. :fgo_insane:

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Of course! Why didn’t I think of that? It’s so simple!

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I can’t say I’m unbiased, but I really would rank Merlin as a must. Busters are still a good call for spawn-based events, which are about as frequent as lotteries are, since they can sustain damage outside of buff windows, and Merlin can keep Busters cooking more effectively than anyone. Not to mention, even in the age of Castoria, even the Queen of Arts herself simply isn’t as good on her own as a Merlin is on his own since she lacks sustain to cope with incoming normal attacks. And, my personal favourite thing about Merlin gameplay-wise, is that he’s capable of hard-carrying for almost anyone, even lower-rarity Servants, regardless of colour, even though he’s obviously Buster optimised - there’s simply not another Servant that is as good as Merlin in that respect. He’s also going to be virtually impossible to borrow, because double Merlin is superfluous, as opposed to double Skadi and double Castoria that require doubles to function and hence take priority on friend lists.

Obviously, it’s a question of your gameplay priorities. If your goal is to get NP2 Spishtar DCS and literally never use another team, Merlin is a waste of your time. If you’d like a linchpin Servant that can single-handedly make any Servant viable, no matter how shitty, Merlin is simply unmatched at that function. I, personally, would never go without him - even with a Skadi in the Age of Quick, my Merlin sees far more use simply because he’s a better one-stop shop when I’m building around bonuses, and he enables the use of a broader range of Servants in a broader range of contexts, which helps keep the game fresh. He may not be optimised for 3T farming, but on nodes where 3T is literally impossible or where you’d simply rather use any Servant other than the 5-10 top tier loopers, he’s indispensable.

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I am not reading all that, but unless you are referring to additional np levels of merlin, there’s no contest. Top tier support > DPS

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Agreed, I throw away my main account because it failed to get Castoria and decided to play newmade account that got castoria instead :feh_navarreculture:

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Is there qny place I can farm reverse dragon fangs in the event right now cause I only have 8 and I meed 10 if I 2ant Siegfrieds costume

Only from missions

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I have the same debate going on as you.
But for me it’s an easy decision. A large amount of my favorite servants is Buster, and I dom’t care much for meta, so I’ll be trying for Merlin anyway.
In the end, no one can make that decision for you :fgo_ereshlove:

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I’ll be trying for Merlin with whatever tickets I get, and if I don’t get him (which is very likely), I’ll save for his rerun next year :fgo_buster:

A few of my favorite servants are Buster (Cú Alter, AA, Karna) so they could benefit a lot from Merlin, plus I like Merlin as a character

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I have Merlin already so I won’t be going for additional NP levels, but when I got him it absolutely changed the game for me. I was able to do difficult CQs without always relying on command seal revives for another shot . . . I recently gave Merlin a Lantern of Chaldea as thanks for all his help.

Plus, I love his voice. :heart:

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I’m also asking myself the same question. I don’t have merlin, but everytime I use him as friend support, he just makes every single fight a cakewalk. For a while now I actively try to avoid using him. Only when a fight is particularly difficult or if I’m short on time I allow myself to use him.

Honestly I probably need him the most for farming purposes. He can enable arjuna alter buster comps way better than Shakespeare and cheng gong.

However I managed to get both saber medb and berserker musashi without spending that much sqs, still have around 500 left. So I’ll probably roll

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Rolling for SpIshtar is playing the long game, she’s not that great until Castoria comes (and she gets a rerun a few months after). We’re talking about roughly a year of wait here.

If your roster is developed enough that you have no immediate need for anyone, yeah go for her, but Merlin will definitely be a valuable resource if you don’t have her. Remember that at least for the next two years no buster support would come even close to matching, let alone replacing him.

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Merlin isn’t a 3T farming support - he’s a CQ support. I will be pulling for Merlin, but not nearly as hard I will for Spishtar and Castoria. Ultimately, I believe I can beat any Boss or CQ if I CS revive, so he’s a luxury rather than a fundamental QoL upgrade like Castoria will be.

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Yeah, biggest reason for me wanting him. I’ve been totally fine without native merlin most of the time, especially when I don’t mind getting creative with okkie instead. But it’s already getting harder to find merlin, especially if you need a specific ce. Used to be I had my pick of bond ce, PC, 2030, starbomb, DB, etc off support when I needed him. Now… Sometimes 5 refreshed and I still have to pick a sub optimal CE or ask someone to put it up.

I might not like merlin personally, but I do like stalling and merlin kit is too much fun in many stall teams to want to loose easy access to.

Also, I’m not a huge rin fan and already have plenty of arts servants I’d like to use with castoria already. Sure I won’t be able to 6 slot loop a 1/1/3 node with them or whatever it is spishtar does, but I haven’t minded my limited quick meta looping enabled by arash instead of native skadi. I’m no whale and don’t feel like I particularly need the extra lottery efficiency when slow and steady farming all year keeps my material levels out of any serious deficiencies.

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:fgo_think: scales maybe? The camelot casino is supposed to have a chance to drop scales but I don’t know if we have access to the high enough nodes yet. Fangs aren’t a drop material.