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Lancer, the Knight of the Lance and Heroic Spirit of the Lance, is one of the seven normal Servant classes summoned for the Holy Grail War and considered one of the Three Knight Classes along with Saber and Archer. Servants placed within this class, many of which are Heroic Spirits who were knights, are very agile, proficient in hit-and-run tactics that capitalize on range and speed, and skilled with long-range melee weapons such as spears and lances.
Shared TropesTropes which apply to most members of the class besides the exceptions should go here.
- Anti-Magic: From their Class Skill, Magic Resistance.
- Born Unlucky: On average, Lancer-class Servants have an abysmal Luck stat and often have tragic backstories, on top of being Cosmic Playthings who are screwed over at every turn despite their best efforts.
- Fragile Speedster: One of the defining characteristics of most Lancers is that they tend to have a rather high Agility stat (usually around A-rank)... by comparison, however, their Endurance stat is often around C-rank at best. In gameplay terms, most Lancers are damage dealers with no defensive abilities and most generally have a Quick-oriented deck (usually QQABB setup, but some have a QQAAB setup, especially Arts-oriented Lancers like Fionn and Li Shuwen). Although, most Lancers tend to have Buster Noble Phantasms.
- Nonindicative Name: If you're not familiar with earlier works in the Fate series, you might think at first that they are a mounted class similar to Rider since they are named after a type of cavalryman (lance being a spear specifically designed for cavalry use), but all of them except Altria actually fight on foot. Additionally very few actually wield a lance, with most preferring a spear, scythe, or other polearm (indeed, most of them are better classified as pikemen infantry-type fighters, based on their weaponry and skill-set). Lancer Tamamo, being a Fighting Clown, somehow gets away with an umbrella.
- Planet of Hats:
- A lot of Irish Servants tend to be Lancers, or at least have a Lancer version. Of the six Irish Servants (not counting alternate copies of themselves), the only ones who aren't able to be Lancers (at this point) are Medb (Rider and Saber) and Fergus mac Róich (Saber-only).
- At least around the start of the game's life, the earlier Lancers tend to have a QQABB deck that emphasizes both speed and power, as well as either Buster or Quick NP. Nowadays their card layouts are more varied.
- Power Creep: Almost every Lancer in the game has at least two Quick cards in their deck (Kagetora and Romulus-Quirinus being the sole exceptions). However, the Lancers of the game's early lifespan have suffered from their poor Critical Star Drop Rates and low hit counts, making it difficult for them to drop Critical Stars, even with Quick Chains. This is noticeable with Lancers with Critical Hit-focused skillsets, who are unable to drop enough Critical Stars for themselves to gather. Similarly, those Lancers also tend to suffer from poor NP Gain, thus they take it longer to fill their NP Gauge. Many of the later Lancers eventually have far more efficient Critical Star Drops and better NP Gain than their senior colleagues. To keep the seniors relevant, many of them were given Balance Buff.
- Situational Sword: Several Lancers are able to deal extra damage against certain enemies with specific traits. In fact, five out of eight 5* Lancers do, including every 5* Lancer with a single-target Noble Phantasm.
- Tactical RockPaperScissors: In terms of the game, Lancers have an advantage against Archers and a weakness against Sabers. They also have the common strength and weakness against Berserkers and resistance from Rulers, as well as a defensive weakness to the Demon Pillars.
- Weapon of Choice: Polearms.