[Top 5] Fate Grand Order Best Lancers

Fate Grand Order Best Lancers
I Pike You, Valentine

Here’s a not-so-pleasant factoid about Archer Class Enemy Monsters & Servants, their Noble Phantasm (NP) gauges fill with obscene ease. Similar to Assassin Class foes, they have a 3-segmented NP bar, meaning that they just need 3 uninterrupted turns to activate their Noble Phantasms. Gilgamesh, the King of Heroes and frequent franchise antagonist, has a Skill that can fill the gauge even faster and he can use it multiple times in a row to unleash his world-shattering sword against your party frightfully fast.

To curtail such bombardments, the best defense is a merciless offense. You could use a Berserker against Archer enemies, but why not put the Rock-Paper-Scissors-Warlock wheel to good use and enlist an Archer instead? Your Lancer of choice will not only receive less damage from Archer arrows, bullets, rice bags, and other assorted projectiles, but they’ll retaliate with twice as much damage in turn. Which Lancers work best at skewering would-be sharpshooters? Read on!

5. Li Shuwen

Want to know where his lance is? It’s in who he’s looking at.

Li Shuwen from the Fate/Extra spin-off games has swapped out his Assassin Class for a Lancer role. The legendary martial artist is one of the few Arts-based Lancers and of an even rarer breed whose Arts Noble Phantasm does actual damage. Befitting a former Assassin, Li’s series of Skills makes for a deadly repertoire.

Should your enemies try to escape you with Evasion, his Chinese Martial Arts A+++ applies the Sure Hit buff to Li Shuwen’s Command Cards while increasing his own critical damage for 1 turn. This makes for a deadly compliment to his second Skill, Sphere Boundary B, which increases his Critical Star absorption for a turn so that enhanced critical damage is guaranteed to happen; Ironically, it also allows Li to use Evasion himself. His last Skill perfects his onslaught with Juezhao B. Even if your enemy has outright Invincibility, Juezhao B will have all of Li Shuwen’s attacks hurt them regardless while increasing the power of all his Arts cards. You can use all of them in conjunction with his Arts Noble Phantasm, No Second Strike, a single-target attack that bypasses enemy defense buffs and reduces their defenses for 3 turns while having a (small) chance to Instant-Kill them with overcharge.

Befitting his Noble Phantasm name, Li Shuwen is all about setting up one glorious single turn combo with all his Skills active at once, but his heavy Arts deck requires a fair bit of Critical Star set-up with fellow Lancers and Assassins to make the devastation possible.

4. Cu Chulainn

Thought you’d seen the last of him, huh?

Cu, the very first Lancer in the franchise, is back. That Battle Continuation sure is handy. From #8 on our overall best Servants in Fate/Grand Order to the #4 slot in our Top 5 Best Lancers, Cu is one fighting Celt who loves to stick around. To summarize, Cu’s greatest asset is his sheer tenacity.

Fully leveled, Battle Continuation A can be used every seven turns while giving Cu a one-time resurrection buff of Guts for 5 turns. While a lot of Evasion Skills in the game (see Shuwen’s above) only last a round or so, his Protection from Arrows B gives him Evasion from 3 (non-Sure Hit) attacks; that includes most Noble Phantasms. Maxed out, you can use it every 5 turns with a modest defense buff that lasts 3 turns. Topping his Skills off is Disengage C, which lets him remove personal debuffs and restore up to 1500 HP.

With your back against the wall, there are few Servants better at being a last resort than Cu. Particularly if you’re having a hard time with raid bosses and need a way to stall until the rounds run out.

3. Karna

His former Masters were a chubby shut-in and a crazed priest. You’ll likely be an upgrade.

Famed tragic antagonist from the Mahabharata, Karna is no stranger to the Fate franchise. The solar demigod has had starring roles in the Fate/Extra Playstation games and the Fate/Apocrypha anime as an intimidating, but honorable opponent. Here, as a playable character, this polite prince may shock you as he seamlessly shifts from polite vassal to avatar of heavenly wrath with nary a note of deceit.

Karna is a Buster Lancer, a more straightforward damage dealer than his Arts or Quick counterparts. In fact, his second ability, Mana Burst (Flame) A, enhances the damage of both his Buster Cards and his Noble Phantasm. Slapping this Skill on top of a Buster Brave Chain with his NP Vasavi Shakti EX will give the entire enemy team the worst (and last) sunburn of their lives. Karna also has an easier time building up his NP gauge than most Lancers (even the one at the top of this list), because his last ability, Uncrowned Arms Mastership. It charges his meter by 25% whenever it’s used and increases his Critical Star generation and Critical Damage for 3 turns, so he’ll still be unleashing loads of carnage as he gathers steam.

Oh, and that Noble Phantasm of his does extra damage against enemies who have the Divine trait: a trait that a multitude of the most dangerous Archer foes possess. Happy hunting!

2. Altria Pendragon (Lancer)

The Lion King…er….Queen.

Songs are sung and references are made to King Arthur’s legendary sword, Excalibur. Less well known, in spite of being its equal or even superior in mystic might, was his holy spear, Rhongonmyniad. Perhaps if he had used it instead of the sword, his story might have ended happier.

In a setting loaded with parallel timelines and alternate dimensions, you meet a version of Arthur that did and she uses it to apocalyptic effect. Altria Pendragon is another Buster Lancer, one who can get right into routing the enemy’s ranks. She begins with an A-ranked Mana Burst Skill right out of the gate which can boost her Buster Cards’ offensive power by 50% every 5 turns when fully leveled up. Her next one, Charisma B, shows her to be a team player as it increases the entire party’s attack for 3 turns and its cooldown can likewise be reduced to 5 turns after it’s maxed out.

As great as those are, the ominously named Blessings from the End of the World EX might be the Skill most players will invest in first as it raises her NP gauge by 30% at Level 1 and 50% at Level 10 while removing any debuffs that managed to bypass her high Magic Resistance. Ergo, with the right team and Craft Essence composition, you could use her NP several times in a single battle. A feat that her fellow Buster Lancers, including Karna, would be hard pressed to emulate.

Fittingly for such a powerful Servant, there are some caveats to attaining this version of Altria as you need to complete the Sixth Singularity first for her to be unlockable from the Summon System. Along the way, you might snag one of the other Lancers on this list, maybe even her “Alter” self from London who specializes more in Critical damage. But the sight of her rising into the heavens, raising up her lance, and then rocketing down back to Earth to smite your foes with Rhongomyniad A++ (which ignores Invincibility) is a jousting spectacle you don’t want to deprive yourself of. She also comes with a horse, so that’s pretty neat.

1. Scathach

See that spear? She made it herself out of sea monster bones. She also killed that sea monster.

The game’s poster girl for the entire Lancer class and with very good reason. We’ve had Lancers who generate lots of Critical Stars, Lancers who buff the entire team, and ones who have a hard time dying, but that’s all indulgent fluff for what a Lancer’s true purpose on any team is: slaying Archers. And Scathach is the very best at doing that.

Her spear and her first Skill, Wisdom of Dun Scaith A+, may remind you of Cu, but it ought to as Scathach was one of his greatest mentors and taught him all he knows about spearmanship. This ability lets Scathach use Evasion for one turn, seemingly inferior to Protection from Arrows, but packaged with it is the high probability to increase both her critical damage and Critical Star absorption for 3 turns, self-buffs that Cu sorely lacks. The 80% chance per buff never changes as it’s leveled, but the effectiveness of each does.

As tempting as it is to invest all your Materials into it, you might want to save them for her second one, Primordial Rune. This Skill has no rank, because frankly, it’s in a class of its own. Primordial Rune can be used to drastically enhance a Servant’s Quick Cards and Noble Phantasm for one turn from 30% to 50%. Scathach can use it on herself or another Servant who’s more poised to unleash a Quick-based blitz like Cu or even Servants from other Classes like Okita Soji or Ushiwakamaru.

If you were impressed by the anti-Divine damage Karna was capable with his Noble Phantasm, those numbers barely hold a candle to the ones this warrior queen’s last Skill can enable. Scathach’s God Slayer B can outright double the damage she deals to both Divine and Undead enemies. Thus she is capable of bringing deities down to Earth and making sure its ghouls stay under it. 

Scathach’s Noble Phantasm is called Gae Bolg Alternative B, but it ought to be called Gae Bolg Prime or Zero or Omega or some other ostentatious epithet because it is the single most destructive and powerful Noble Phantasm in the entire game. Besides the ludicrous agony it inflicts on whatever single enemy is unlucky enough to be targeted by it, should they survive, it also has a 500% chance to stun them for one turn (disrupting their strategies) and like Cu’s version of the technique, it has a chance to Instant-Kill them. It’s little wonder why there’s a sizable subset of people who spend real-world money to buy premium currency to boost their chances at getting multiple copies of Scathach.

And that’s the one-true downside to Scathach. She’s a Limited Servant, so she’s only in the Summoning pool during special events or banners. As a result, she’s one of the rarest Servants in the game, but as this lengthy section of the article stresses, she’s well worth gambling a few Summoning Tickets during the occasions she’s available. Deadly as she is elusive, a poetic quality, but potentially very expensive.

 

So that’s our list of the game’s greatest Lancers. Feel free to argue against it or you can always ignore it completely as you try to take on the likes of Gilgamesh and Orion (nee Artemis) with Berserkers. Though that doesn’t tend to end very well in the Fate Franchise.

Even Battle Continuation has its limits.

You may also be interested in:

  1. [Top 10] Fate Grand Order Best Servants
  2. [Top 3] Fate Grand Order Starters
  3. Top 10 New & Upcoming RPGs for PC (2018-2023)
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Born in Springfield (no, not THAT one...maybe), Enrique Tensuan uses the power of the written word and pop media entertainment to battle entropy and his own treasonous waistline.
Gamer Since: 1994
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Fate/Grand Order
Top 3 Favorite Games:Psychonauts, Poker Night at the Inventory, Rayman Legends
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Bpbartlett 1 year 1 month ago

Glad to see that Cu gets a spot in the Top 5. He was one of my favorite characters from Fate/Stay Night.