Welcome to This Week in Summoner Duels, an article series with tips and tricks for the current week of Summoner Duels Ranked or Summoner Duels Survival. The aim of this series is to give players a brief overview of what they can expect to see in Duels, so that they can better prepare for and react to the meta. This includes the map, Captain Skills, and particular Heroes that may be powerful or relevant in the current season.
The Map: Tight Passage
This week’s map, Tight Passage, features a few trenches, moats, and breakable walls. The center of the scoring box has two trenches surrounded by four breakable walls, making cavalry mobility slightly limited but largely unrestricted. The top left and bottom right corners of the box neighbor several water tiles, potentially allowing flying units to more easily threaten those areas. The largely unrestricted terrain means that cavalry units are a strong choice this week, but all movement types can perform well on the right team.
The captain skills available this week are:
Mass Confusion, which boosts the Captain’s Atk by 5 during combat and activates a debuff at the start of turns 2 through 5 which targets any foes adjacent to another foe, applying a debuff of Atk, Def, and Res -7.
Turmoil, which boosts the Captain’s Mov by 1 at the start of their turn, and allows them to count as two Heroes for the purposes of determining points from which units are in the scoring box.
Earth Rendering, which activates at the start of turns 2 through 4 if the Captain is inside the scoring box, moving the entire box one space closer to your team (up or down on the map depending on which side you’re on).
All of these skills are solid choices on the right team. Turmoil is a great choice for Captains that are individually very threatening, such as Brave Eirika or Summer Dimitri, to extend their threat range. However, it renders them vulnerable to Stall effects like those found on Riev and Summer Thorr. Earth Rendering is a solid choice on most teams that can make it easier to score points on later turns. It is particularly useful on teams that do not have great mobility, and against opposing teams that are not very mobile. Mass Confusion is also a decent choice that boosts the Captain’s combat slightly and applies a potentially useful debuff. However, this debuff is cleared by any foes that act before seeing combat. It pairs well with effects that scale with foe debuffs, like Atk/Spd Catch or Blizzard (+Eff).
In every season so far of Summoner Duels Ranked and Survival, there are three Bonus Allies. Using one of these allies on a team allows the player one extra loss before they get kicked out for the week, so they can lose a total of 4 times instead of 3. In addition, the bonus ally reduces the Glory lost on a defeat by 40 points. These effects are both useful, and many players will opt to use one of the three, so players should expect many teams they face to include one of the three - though there may be some teams that do not. This season, the bonus allies are Legendary Corrin, Legendary Xander, and Legendary Lucina.
Legendary Corrin is a colorless dragon infantry with a unique Special, Negating Fang, that reduces damage from a foe’s attack by 30% and then boosts Corrin’s next attack by 30% of her Atk. This makes her difficult to engage for many units. However, as a melee infantry, her mobility is rather low and she can only attack adjacent enemies. Additionally, effects that strike twice such as Brave Bow+ or Dire Thunder will only have the damage of their first hit reduced.
Legendary Xander is an axe cavalry. His Ebon Bolverk grants him Null Follow-Up and boosts his Special charge by 1 per attack if he starts his turn within 2 spaces of 2 or more allies. It also boosts his stats and restores 7 HP after combat. His B skil Chivalry provides a further debuff to his foe’s stats, and reduces damage taken in combat and from area of effect Specials by 50% of his foe’s current HP percentage, so up to 50% when they are at full health. It also provides Canto [Rem. +1], allowing him to move 1 space after combat, or more if he didn’t use all of his movement before combat. These effects combine to make him a threatening combat unit with good mobility.
Legendary Lucina is a blue bow infantry. Her unique Assist, Future Vision II, swaps the positions of her and a target ally while also Refreshing her, allowing her to act again. It should be noted that in Summoner Duels, this is not immediate; the Lucina player must wait for their next turn. In addition, it targets her nearest foes within 4 spaces, applying a debuff of Atk/Def -7. Her unique weapon, Thogn (+Eff), contains a variety of useful effects. When she uses or is the target of an Assist, it grants a status effect to her and her target that guarantees a follow-up attack when initiating combat. It also provides a stat boost when initiating combat, and applies additional penalties to her foe based on their visible stat debuffs so long as Lucina is within 3 spaces of an ally when initiating combat. These effects combine to make Lucina a mobile, decently threatening unit that can buff allies and debuff foes.
Of the bonus units available this week, Lucina and Xander are both great choices on many teams. Corrin is somewhat less flexible in her use but can still be threatening in the right context. Since this week is Summoner Duels Survival, it is only necessary to include a bonus hero on one out of the four teams in order to receive the bonus effects. Likewise, if a player’s team is extremely weak to a single unit, bonus or otherwise, they can simply choose to ban all opponent’s teams that use that unit. So the bonus units and other common units are not as unavoidable as they can be in Summoner Duels Ranked.
Units to Watch Out For
There are several units that are extremely powerful and will likely be decently common in this phase of Summoner Duels. The following list showcases a few of those, though it is by no means conclusive. Since this is Summoner Duels Survival, players must decide which threats their teams can reasonably handle, while being free to ban teams with particular units that are extremely dominant. This season, some of the top choices are as follows:
Ymir is a new unit, a green cavalry dragon with several interesting support effects. Her weapon Everliving Breath heals her nearby allies by 10 HP whenever she is the user or target of any rally Assist or movement Assist, as well as neutralizing Penalties on those allies. This allows her to provide some healing while also using useful movement Assists like Reposition to get allies closer to combat or allow them to retreat. It also boosts her stats by 5 during combat and grants her a guaranteed follow-up attack. Her unique C skill Everliving Domain provides an effect to herself and nearby allies similar to Miracle; if they are above 75% HP, they will survive any single hit that would knock them down to 0 HP and instead be left with 1 HP. This can be very useful to allow Far Save units like Ascended Fjorm to survive a Deadeye from Valentine’s Chrom, for example. Everliving Domain also boosts Ymir and her nearby allies’ Def and Res by 4 in combat. All of these effects make Ymir and her allies more difficult to KO, and her combat is also solid, making her a good addition to many teams.
Ascended Idunn is a blue armored dragon who has proven herself to be a top-tier Savior unit in Summoner Duels. Her Dew Dragonstone provides several useful effects, accelerating her Special trigger, removing her armor weakness, granting bonus damage against armored foes, and blocking foe follow-up attacks and neutralizing her penalties if she is within 3 spaces of an ally. These effects are similar to those on Brave Hector’s refined Maltet, but Idunn possesses a much better statline. In particular, her Res is far superior to Hector’s and makes it much easier for her to survive strong magical hits. Using skills like Hardy Fighter and A/R Far Save, Idunn has become a staple on many of the top meta teams and is a unit that you need a counter for if you want to beat them.
Summer Edelgard is a recent threat with powerful combat and unique movement. Her new C skill Assault Troop allows her to move up to 3 spaces in any one cardinal direction, so either up, down, left, or right. This movement is counted as a Warp effect, so it is blocked by Legendary Myrrh’s Warp Bubble and Brave Gatekeeper’s Detailed Report. Edelgard also has access to Raging Storm, allowing her to act again after combat if she initiated combat while not adjacent to an ally. Her weapon Regal Sunshade has a variety of effects, including reducing the damage taken from her first hit in combat by 40%, and striking twice if there are a certain number of foes within 3 rows or columns of Edelgard; the required number varies based on the total number of foes on the enemy team. For summoner duels, it is usually 2 foes; this is generally an easy requirement to meet. All of these effects combine to make Edelgard a highly threatening and decently mobile unit that can be difficult to KO.
Summer Thorr is a recent addition to the meta with huge potential in Summoner Duels. Her weapon Divine Whimsy has several useful effects, the most prominent being that it targets the foe with the lowest Spd at the start of Thorr’s turn, applying the Stall effect as well as a new effect called Exposure to that foe and any foes within 2 spaces. Stall restricts the unit’s movement to 1 space through their next action, but only if that unit was under the effect of March from a skill like Armor March or Yuri’s Honorable Blade. This effect is particularly relevant this season due to the Turmoil Captain skill. Exposure causes that unit to take +10 damage from enemy units, so Thorr and her teammates deal 10 extra damage on each hit. Divine Whimsy also accelerates her Special trigger by 1, and Pulses it by 1 at the start of any turn on which she’s within 2 spaces of an ally. So Thorr can charge up a powerful Special like Blazing Wind at the start of turn 2 with only one extra Pulse from a source like Valentine’s Chrom, Legendary Hector, or the Quickened Pulse seal. Thorr’s Duo skill with Loki targets all foes within 5 rows or columns centered on her, neutralizing any Bonus that is active on those foes, including both stat bonuses and positive status effects like March. It also targets foes in the same row or column, inflicting Gravity, which restricts their movement to 1 space through their next action. With all of these powerful effects, Thorr is a great addition to many teams and a unit that you should prepare to face.
Brave Eirika is nearly a year old at this point, but still a top tier threat due to a combination of unique and powerful effects. Her Binding Reginleif is effective against armored and cavalry units, granting her bonus damage against a huge percentage of the meta. It also accelerates Special trigger, reduces the damage from her foe’s first attack by 30%, and prevents any effects that deny her follow-up attack when she initiates combat. Her B skill Moonlight Bangle provides Canto 2, allowing her to move 2 spaces after combat. In addition, it nullifies effects that slow her Special charge, and powers up her Specials to deal an additional percentage of her foe’s Def based on the Special’s cooldown. This combination of effects allows her to activate extremely strong Moonbows and Lunas almost unhindered, unless the foe is fast enough to deny her follow-up or strong enough to KO her on the first counterattack.
Spring Sonya is a dominant threat in the Summoner Duels meta, a green tome flier with an incredibly powerful weapon and Harmonic Skill. Her Harmonic Skill grants Special cooldown -2 to herself and all allies from Fire Emblem Echoes and Fire Emblem Awakening, allowing her to provide charge for potentially an entire team if the right units are used, as well as granting units from those titles a boost of Atk and Spd +4 in combat for the remainder of that turn. Her tome, Magic Rabbits, has a similar Special-accelerating effect at the start of turn 1, as well as allowing her to warp within 2 spaces of any ally within 2 spaces, and granting a bonus to her Atk and Spd in combat. With this tome, she can immediately charge powerful Specials like Luna or Blazing Wind, and her warp effect allows her to threaten huge areas of the map from safely behind her allies.