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Characters / Fate/Grand Order: Berserkers

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Heroic Spirit of Rage

Berserker, Heroic Spirit of Rage, is one of the seven normal Servant classes summoned for the Holy Grail War and is also one of the Four Cavalry Classes. Servants in this class are most likely Heroic Spirits who have gone berserk at least once in their lifetime. This trait allows them to use the special ability Mad Enhancement, which trades their consciousness and sanity for a large power boost. Magi use this class so Heroic Spirits with insufficient abilities and strength can be strengthened with this skill to make up for their lower attributes and compete against stronger opponents. And if used on an already strong Heroic Spirit, such as Heracles, they become empowered to truly extraordinary levels. Abuse of this ability to create powerful Servants has made the class believed to be the strongest out of all seven, with the caveat that they require much more mana to both control and maintain.


Shared Tropes

Tropes which apply to most members of the class besides the exceptions should go here.
  • The Artifact:
    • Berserkers incapable of speech such as Heracles, Lu Bu, and Darius III. After launch, most of the game's Berserkers, even those with really high Mad Enhancement, can talk (although they still have a tendency to be really aggressive or loony when they do) because the format of the game makes characterizing people who can't talk very difficult. Newer Berserkers can talk simply to ensure they can get characterization and meaningful interactions with others.
    • The Mad Enhancement trait itself used to be the defining element of the Berserker class, and exclusive to them. In Grand Order it can be found in other Servants whose legends mention mental health problems, while those in the proper Berserker class lean more towards Insane Equals Violent.
  • An Axe to Grind: One of the side effects of the class system is that users of poleaxes or similar weapons (like large maces) tend to get dumped into this class, even when they don't receive much Mad Enhancement; the fighting style of most heroic axe users simply fits in this class the best, since both Sabers and Lancers are somewhat different and a poleaxe user may not have a Noble Phantasm qualifying them for Rider. Kintoki, Beowulf, Frankenstein and Paul Bunyan are good examples of this phenomenon.
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  • Beast Man: Their class card depicts a hulking and bestial-looking warrior wielding a massive cleaver.
  • The Berserker: Being summoned with the "Mad Enhancement" class skill — especially at higher levels — robs them of their ability for rational thought and limits their ability to effectively use their Noble Phantasms, but greatly boosts their physical parameters. The majority of them have very aggressive BBBQA decks as a result, showing a total focus on offense but finding it difficult to use smaller, more controlled attacks. It also makes it very difficult for them to fill their Noble Phantasm gauge and even use it once, often requiring external aid such as a Craft Essence or even a Command Spell - mirroring how Berserkers in other works need Command Spells to use their more complicated Noble Phantasms.
  • Blood Knight: The saner (relative to the class) examples tend to be this.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: In the early days of the game, deploying an all-Berserker team normally guarantees you will be able to cause super-effective damage to all of your enemies. This changed come the advent of higher-leveled enemies plus more specialized battle challenges, nearly relegating the entire class into Crutch Character. However, well-planned playstyles (especially if they are built specifically to the strengths of a centerpiece Berserker Servant) can guarantee that they will not only live, but also deal as much damage as possible to enemies—even in comparison to some specialized team compositions designed along expected Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors lines (especially in several challenge quests that involve facing multiple bosses with different variety of classes, which AoE Berserkers like Chacha and Raiko comes into play). The catch, however, is that the moment the Berserker Servant is taken out anyway, the entire team may fall apart/have difficulty lasting out your enemies.
  • Dying as Yourself: Usually, in between a deathblow being struck and the Berserker dissipating completely, Madness Enhancement wears off, and the Servant has a few moments of clarity and sanity.
  • Evil Makes You Ugly: "Evil" is a bit of a stretch, but it's common for Berserkers with intense Madness Enhancement to have it distort their bodies. Heracles's barely-human appearance and Darius being a towering, obsidian colossus are both the result of Madness Enhancement. Also, under his helmet, Lancelot has teeth like a shark.
  • Glass Cannon:
    • They're semi-super-effective (150% damage) against every other class in the game outside of Shielder and Foreigner, but to compensate, they also take full super-effective damage from all of them. NPC Berserkers "compensate" for this with above-average HP, but player ones tend to have standard or even low HP totals for their rarity. This leads to Cú Chulainn Alter and Heracles being particularly prized by some because their skills and high raw stats allow them compensate for their class' fragility. Heracles in particular is considered by many to be the best Berserker in the game because of his ability to avert this so hard. To the point he can solo the final boss of the story on his own with the right setup.
    • This trope is especially true in FGO Arcade. The PvP nature of this game displays the strength and weakness of the class perfectly. Since the Servants' HP aren't that high, Berserkers only need a few hits to defeat their opponents, but on the flip side, Berserkers tend to die quickly for the same reason.
  • Logical Weakness: Berserkers are defined by both their madness and how they gave into it for power. Thus, who better to face them than Foreigners, who not only gained power from contacting mind-rending eldritch horrors but overcame the insanity to bring out their full power?
  • Mask of Sanity: Berserkers with very high or very low Mad Enhancement can appear lucid and even-keeled. Then a Berserk Button is lightly tapped and they all but leap at the offending force in a violent rage.
  • The Mentally Disturbed: While being a powerful warrior is also useful, being famous for your severe mental illness is the only criterion you need to be summoned as a Berserker - everything from explosive rage disorder to chronic depression will work just fine.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: While at the beginning of the game most Berserkers were big burly men, nowadays most of them are beautiful women with no visible musculature, with the sole exception being Penthesilea.
  • Nerf: The introduction of the Foreigner class serves as this, since not only do Berserkers not do 150% damage to them like they do against all other summonable Servants, but they are, in fact, reduced to dealing 50% damage instead, with exactly the same (relative) fragility as they have against everything else. This makes nodes with strong Berserkers far easier, since players don't have to worry as much about only having one Servant that the enemy can't just one-shot with a casual Buster attack, making their frequently absurdly-inflated HPnote  the only real issue with taking them down.
  • Planet of Hats:
  • Power Born of Madness: The effect of their Class Skill, Mad Enhancement, takes away their reasoning and in exchange boosts their stats. At the lowest ranks it doesn't really do much either way, but by D Servants like Frankenstein start finding it difficult to speak even if they're rational and C-A are often just completely crazed warriors. However, once you get up to EX you reach a point where you can speak to the Servant and be understood, but cannot hope to reach any real understanding. However, several of the Servants who qualify for classes other than Berserker imply that the tradeoff is generally not worth it. Apart from being mana hogs, Herakles can't display his fighting techniques, Noble Phantasms or cunning, Lancelot loses a Noble Phantasm and a great deal of flexibility in exchange for a meager stat boost while Lu Bu can only use part of his very versatile Noble Phantasm.
  • Screaming Warrior: Heracles and Lu Bu are never seen speaking while Lancelot struggles to say more than 'Arthur' or 'Galahad'. Darius is almost the same, occasionally screaming 'Iskandar', but he also has his very rare moments of simplified speech. Eric and Caligula are capable of speaking normally on occasion, but generally don't. Finally, Asterios and Fran are perfectly capable of speaking, but they don't sound very used to it and generally just choose to roar and scream during combat and make mumbling noises outside of it. As for the rest, a few like Ibarakinote  or Beowulf are almost entirely rational while the likes of Nightingale or Kiyohime can speak coherently even while fighting because their madness isn't associated with fighting.
  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: In terms of the game, Berserkers have an offensive advantage and defensive weakness against every other playable class except Shielder, who is neutral to every other class, and Foreigner, which is a genuine counter to Berserkers.
  • Unskilled, but Strong:
    • One of the things that usually vanishes along with a Berserker's sanity is their motor skills. This results in their skill with a weapon being reduced to "smash the opponent to bits with wild swings", with technique almost becoming non-existent. In-game, this is represented with the bulk of Berserkers having a QABBB Command Deck and a low critical star weight - with three Buster cards at their disposal, they can deal a lot of direct damage with normal attacks, but have difficulty building up both critical stars and Noble Phantasm gauges. However, a few Berserkers do have a QAABB or even QQABB deck. These tend to be the more apparently rational Berserkers, though they're often very mentally ill.
    • In some cases this is a double-edged sword, as they lose any skills and knowledge they may have had in return for brute strength. Lancelot was a heroic knight renowned for his nearly superhuman skill at arms. Lu Bu was an unsurpassed equestrian, spearman, and archer. Heracles fits the parameters for every base class except Caster, yet Berserker is canonically his weakest possible incarnation, as he loses his vast martial mastery and famous cunning in exchange for more of something he already has plenty of (physical strength).
  • Unstoppable Rage: The stereotypical form of Mad Enhancement, where a Servant is empowered but made less controllable by their insane, frothing anger. Some Berserkers have quite different forms of mental illness, but this is the most common (hence the class name).