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  3. Rabbit's Reviews #190: James Moriarty (5* Archer)
James Moriarty (5* Archer)

Once Valentine’s ends, it’ll be about time for Shinjuku, which means a singularity’s worth of new servants. The Napoleon of Crime is the featured SSR this time around, and he’s an interesting case. He’s not especially strong—he could really use an interlude and a skill buff or two—but he has a unique, well-defined playstyle that can work quite well if you like him enough to build around him.

ATK: 11781
HP: 13685
Attribute: Man
Growth Curve: Semi S
Star Absorption: 153
Star Generation: 8%
NP Charge ATK: 0.38%
NP Charge DEF: 3%
Death Rate: 31.5%
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Traits: Humanoid, Male, Servant, Weak to Enuma Elish

Cards: QAAAB
Q: 3-hit
A: 4-hit
B: 5-hit
E: 6-hit

Availability: Limited

Active Skills:
Magic Bullet Shooter EX (Self pierce invuln for 1 turn; Self star weight up 300-600% for 1 turn; 7 turn cooldown)
The Extremities of Spiderwebs A++ (Requires 10 critical stars to use; Consumes 10 critical stars; Self NP damage up 20% for 3 turns; Self charge NP gauge 30-50%; 8 turn cooldown)
Charisma of Wicked Wisdom A (Party attack up 10-20% for 3 turns; Non-self Evil allies attack up an additional 10-20% for 3 turns; 7 turn cooldown)

Passive Skills:
Magic Resistance D (Self debuff resistance up 12.5%)
Independent Action A+ (Self crit damage up 11%)

Noble Phantasm:
The Dynamics of an Asteroid
Type: Buster
Hit-Count: 12
-Reduces one enemy’s defense by 20-40%** for 3 turns
-Deals 600-1000%* damage to the target
*Scales with NP level
**Scales with overcharge

Total Ascension Materials:
-Archer Piece x17
-Archer Monument x17
-Forbidden Page x8
-Deadly Poisonous Needle x24
-Claw of Chaos x9
-Scarab of Wisdom x5

Total Skill Materials (per skill):
-Gem of Archer x17
-Magic Gem of Archer x17
-Secret Gem of Archer x17
-Deadly Poisonous Needle x36
-Forbidden Page x15
-Void’s Dust x48
-Magical Cerebrospinal Fluid x72
-Crystallized Lore x1
This is the silliest stuff that ever I heard!

User Info: 22whiterabbit22

1 week ago#2
Moriarty has fairly average stats as SSR Archers go—his attack is identical to Tesla’s, and he has marginally lower health. His cards won’t hit as hard as Gil’s or Ishtar’s (or Arjuna’s, if you happen to use him), but the damage difference (from stats, at least) won’t be especially significant. Moriarty’s NP gain is slightly below the norm for his triple-Arts deck, but he’s at a bit more of a disadvantage in that regard than he seems on paper, for several reasons. First off, his Quick is pretty terrible, just barely breaking 1%—it’s essentially a dead card as NP gain goes. Additionally, as a non-Caster he doesn’t get Territory Creation to fall back on, and his Buster NP makes NPAA chains far less effective than on true Arts servants. With crits and good use of his battery, Moriarty can NP consistently, but it takes strategy for him to build meter well, and if you’re just using him casually his NP gain may feel sluggish. He has high hit-counts across the board, though, and while his deck is very much not conducive to star gen, a star gen buff can fix that. For passives, he has a weak version of Magic Resistance, as well as a high level of Independent Action for amped crits. In case it’s not obvious yet, Moriarty really wants to be critting.

Moriarty’s mats are pretty terrible. He asks for lots of stingers and dust, along with some pages, but the worst ask is fluids. Fluids are a new bronze mat that will be introduced with Shinjuku. They aren’t especially common outside of the chapter, and Moriarty needs 72 per skill, for a total of 216 if you want him maxed. I’ve done it. It’s not fun.

Mori’s skillset has a strong concept driving it, but it’s a little undertuned overall. It’s not a bad skillset, but there’s definitely room for improvement. Recommended skill order is 3>2>1.
-Magic Bullet Shooter is a simplistic skill, giving a turn of invuln pierce and star weight up every five turns. These are both nice effects. Pierce invuln is great for getting around annoying dodges and invulns—all too common in hard content situations—while one-turn star weight boosts give you a lot of control over where your stars are going and when. While three-turn boosts can have advantages in dedicated damage dealers’ kits—especially on those who also have crit damage boosts, like Jalter—one-turn boosts are ideal on servants who like work alongside other semi-supports or damage-dealers, as you can draw stars for a brave chain and then get out of the way to let your other servants crit on subsequent turns. The problems with Moriarty’s skill, though, are twofold. First, Moriarty has unusually high NP steroids for an ST servant, but his actually card damage boosts are low-ish, meaning his crits won’t hit as hard as you might expect, especially given his triple-Arts deck. This skill usually ends up being most useful for boosting effective NP gain (through crits) rather than for actually doing damage. The second issue with this skill is that it’s rather plain. Pierce invuln and one-turn star weight boosts are usually treated as secondary bonuses alongside a more powerful effect, or are at least on a short cooldown (as in the cases of Izou and Summer Nobu). This leaves the skill in a weird place. On the one hand, Moriarty needs to be critting in order to work, mostly because of his low base NP gain, and to that end this skill is pivotal in the context of his kit—but on the other hand, the skill itself is rather weak, and it leaves Moriarty feeling somewhat lacking in terms of overall tools.
This is the silliest stuff that ever I heard!

User Info: 22whiterabbit22

1 week ago#3
-Spiderwebs was an early example of a type of demerit-based skill DW has experimented with a little bit but seems hesitant to commit to. It requires 10 stars to use and consumes those stars, effectively meaning you can generate more than 50 stars in a turn and still have a use for the extras. Unfortunately, unlike with the later Semiramis, this skill doesn’t really do enough to earn its demerit. A 50% battery on a 6-turn cooldown, while not especially common, isn’t unprecedented—and some such batteries, like Pioneer of the Stars, even come with extra effects and no have demerit. Spiderwebs gets a 20%, 3-turn NP damage buff, which is nice but not enough so to warrant the awkwardness of the skill’s demerit. Additionally, the buff and the battery don’t mesh particularly well together, as you ideally want to NP twice within the buff’s duration, but the fact that you have to use the battery in order to activate the buff means Moriarty has to fill his entire gauge in two turns without the battery’s help—in other words, Moriarty can’t optimally NP->Battery->NP, as the buff doesn’t take effect until the battery is used and thus the battery needs to be used before the first NP. Granted, a 50% battery is nice to have, and the extra damage pushes Moriarty a little above the normal buff range for ST NPs, but between the resulting inflexibility and the way it hinders Moriarty’s ability to crit, the demerit is a significant drawback.
-Moriarty’s skillset ends with a standard specialty Charisma that provides a doubled boost to Evil servants. Between this skill and the overcharge effect on Moriarty’s NP, Mori can actually provide a surprising level of damage ampage to Evil party members. This fits well with his character—he’s at his best supporting and enabling other evildoers—but it also means Moriarty’s best teams tend to be unusual comps that can be difficult to make work in hard content situations.

The Dynamics of an Asteroid is the best part of Mori’s kit, and it also has to be one of the coolest NPs in the game. Pre-NP defense down is awesome to have, and with Moriarty’s in-kit buffs he breaks the usual 50%-ish buff threshold for ST servants. With outside buffs, he can hit quite hard, and if he ever gets an interlude he’ll be in very good shape from an NP damage perspective. This NP also hits 12 times, meaning a star gen buff will turn this into a makeshift star engine. Not bad, eh? The catch here is that this NP is at a card type mismatch with Moriarty’s deck. If Mori were a QAABB servant, he could set up powerful crit-fueled NPBB chains, while if this were an Arts NP, it would get a fairly significant refund and Mori could potentially loop his NP with NPAA chains (especially with overkill). Of all of the QAAAB NPB servants in the game, Moriarty is among the most badly hurt by the deck mismatch, and it significantly hinders his ability to do the things he seems to want to do.
This is the silliest stuff that ever I heard!

User Info: 22whiterabbit22

1 week ago#4
Usage Tips:

While Moriarty isn’t the best servant out there—particularly in standard double-support teams—he can be a ton of fun to use with a little creative thinking. Moriarty’s ability to boost the damage of Evil allies means his most effective team comps tend to be those that pair him with another DPS or semi-support—and sometimes even two—for a consistent stream of damage from various sources. Ivan and Salieri are both great candidates for this, as Moriarty enables them to hit quite hard, while they also provide damage boosts that Moriarty can use. Somewhat ironically, Sherlock is also a great partner for Moriarty (despite not being evil), as Sherlock’s star burst can allow Moriarty to crit or use his battery, and the crit damage buffs Sherlock provides let Moriarty’s crits do meaningful damage. I ran Sherlock/Moriarty/Ivan for most of LB1 and had quite a bit of success. These sorts of teams need to be able to win quickly, as they usually lack healing and Mori has zero in-kit survivability, but each servant’s damage output ends up impressively high for a team with no full supports, and with three servants capable of high damage you can usually drop mid-to-high level enemies before they can kill you. As a side-note, the recently-released Lanling might be a good support to pair with Moriarty if you do want to go the two-support route, as Lanling provides significant crit damage boosts along with a star gen boost to take advantage of Moriarty’s high hit-counts. His Arts boost can also help stabilize Mori’s NP gain, and his attack buffs (from his NP and his Charisma) can amp Moriarty’s damage.

Afternoon in the Citadel is arguably the best CE for Moriarty. It provides significant boosts to Arts cards, Buster cards, and NP damage, amping Moriarty’s NP and boosting his overall card damage and NP gain. Its stat spread is also fully concentrated on HP, which is somewhat disappointing in general but which actually helps Moriarty to overcome his lack of bulk. Summer Little is another great pick here, though, as it boosts Moriarty’s crit damage, NP damage, and NP gain, shoring up two of his weaknesses and amplifying one of his strengths. One good thing about Moriarty is that he appreciates pretty much any type of buff you give him (outside of Quick buffs), so most CEs will help him in one way or another.

Grail Potential:

Stats aren’t Moriarty’s problem, and Archers are weak-ish grail picks in general, so I’d pass on this one unless you love the character. If you want to make Moriarty work, you can definitely do it at 90, and the extra 10 levels aren’t going to make him much more useful.

In Conclusion:

Moriarty is a conceptually strong servant, and if you build semi-support-heavy teams around him the results can be highly entertaining. He’s not all that great for hard content, though, especially if you want to run more standard teams, and he needs careful team-building and strategy in order to shine, so if you aren’t enamored with his character, he’s probably one to skip.

Rabbit’s Arbitrary Ratings:

Overall: 6/10
Single-Target DPS: 7/10
Survivability: 2/10
Offensive Utility: 7/10
Defensive Utility: N/A
Farming Usefulness: 4/10
Dandyism: 10/10
This is the silliest stuff that ever I heard!

User Info: KeyKing7

1 week ago#5
I was reading over his deck mismatch, and from what I could gather he seems to be suffering from Enkidu syndrome - great potential only to be hindered by an odd deck. Love his design though.
Dishonor on you! Dishonor on your cow!
Cold as hell take: Magic Bullet Shooter is, both in-kit and globally, the weakest skill any SSR gets after MHX, and it's not even particularly close. Yes, this means I'm saying it's worse than a base Instinct. 5-turn starweight upper with pierce invuln is absolute hot garbage. Not even a crit buff to help a lil with the gimmick? Seriously?
Shine on, you crazy diamond.

User Info: u3br

1 week ago#7
This was a long and stressful review to read

I appreciate its thoroughness, and I feel bad for how awkward this guy is

User Info: BlueCrash21

1 week ago#8
His design is really goood. Still gonna try to get him regardless of any gameplay stuff because of the design and his story.
(edited 1 week ago)

User Info: MrSmokestack

1 week ago#9
KanzarisKelshen posted...
Cold as hell take: Magic Bullet Shooter is, both in-kit and globally, the weakest skill any SSR gets after MHX, and it's not even particularly close. Yes, this means I'm saying it's worse than a base Instinct. 5-turn starweight upper with pierce invuln is absolute hot garbage. Not even a crit buff to help a lil with the gimmick? Seriously?

I don't know about you, but going from Ishtar 2 to Moriarty 2 is quite the jarring transition.
"Nice hustle, tons of fun! Next time eat a salad." -Scout
Extremity I can deal with, it's a battery + boost which is legit

Magic Shooter tho, I can't think of a single skill an SSR has that isn't a lot better when it comes to doing star absorb. Sherlock's Deducitive Reasoning, Gilgamesh's Treasure of Babylon, multiple servants' Self Mods, Eternal Arms Mastery, Lucha Libre, Hero's Bridesmaid, Shinsengumi Law, Persistence...the only weaker ones are legit Natural Body EX and Weak Constitution, both of which came before Mori. It really is a shambles of a skill.
Shine on, you crazy diamond.
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  3. Rabbit's Reviews #190: James Moriarty (5* Archer)