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, Bonus Heroes, and particular Heroes that may be powerful or relevant in the current season.
Summoner Duels: Ranked
This week’s Summoner Duels rotation is Summoner Duels Ranked, in which players bring a team composed of five units, one of which is the Captain. Unlike Summoner Duels Survival, there are no opportunities to ban units from the other player’s team, so you must be prepared to deal with common meta threats, or pick a god and pray you don’t run into a unit that beats your whole team.
The Map: Highland Wood
This week’s map, Highland Wood, features a number of water tiles and mountains around the edges of the scoring box, as well as a 2 x 2 section of mountains and forests in the center. As water and mountains are impassable to all movement types except fliers, they have a significant advantage over the other three movement types when it comes to mobility and threat range. Cavalry and infantry can still move freely through the open grass tiles on the edges of the scoring box, but the paths are more limited. In particular, melee cavalry and infantry can be fairly easily walled by simply standing on the other side of a river or mountain.
The captain skills available this week are:
Eminence, which gives the Captain the Pathfinder effect, allowing allies to move through their space without spending any movement, as well as inflicting -3 Def and Res on foes within 3 spaces of the Captain during combat.
Rallying Cry, which activates at the start of turns 2 through 5, providing a stat buff of +6 to all stats to the Captain and any allies within 2 spaces of the Captain.
Storm of Blows, which neutralizes any bonuses on the Captain’s foe during combat. It also grants a guaranteed follow-up attack to the Captain and any allies within two spaces of the Captain.
Overall, Storm of Blows is a strong choice for most teams; the guaranteed follow-up is a potent effect that can allow slow units to follow-up and all units to break through effects like Wary Fighter, though it is still disabled by Hardy Fighter and Null Follow-Up. The bonus neutralization can also be useful in some circumstances. Eminence is a decent effect that works well on some teams, providing some minor bonuses to mobility and stat penalties during combat, and the Pathfinder effect can be useful if the Captain can stand near enemy threat range and allow a high mobility unit with Canto to move several spaces in, get a KO, and retreat back through the Captain’s space. Rallying Cry is a generally mediocre option, however, it may have some use on teams which scale with visible buffs, such as units using effects like Bonus Doubler or weapons like Gronnblade+. However, there are many effects on common meta units which neutralize visible stat bonuses, such as Distant Def 4 and Lull Atk/Def. In addition, the buffs from Rallying Cry are disabled in combat with any Captain using Storm of Blows just as any other stat buffs are.
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 of Summoner Duels Ranked 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 most teams they face in Summoner Duels Ranked or Survival to include one of the three - though there may be some teams that do not. This season, the bonus allies are Legendary Myrrh, Legendary Seliph, and Legendary Hector.
Legendary Myrrh is a flying blue dragon with high Atk, Def, and Res. Her base kit focuses on melee combat, with skills that boost her Def and Res, block foe follow-up attacks, guarantee her follow-up attack, reduce her damage taken with Dragon Wall, and block teleportation effects within 4 spaces of her if she can activate her Warp Bubble status effect. This last ability is highly useful against some teams in Summoner Duels, as many strong units rely on or grant teleportation effects: Summer Edelgard’s movement with Assault Troop is blocked, as is Ash’s Opening Retainer. This can heavily limit the mobility of the enemy team. Because of this, Myrrh is a very solid choice of bonus unit. While she does not threaten a large area of the map, her combat is relatively strong and her anti-warp is a great counter to some meta teams.
Legendary Seliph is a sword cavalry with high Atk, Def, and Res, and low Spd. His base kit focuses on enemy phase melee combat, in particular, gaining a guaranteed follow-up attack before his foe can follow-up, allowing him to strike twice after they attack him once. However, this is still disabled by Null Follow-Up and similar effects, and he is vulnerable to being KO’d on the first attack by many strong meta threats. His lack of player phase makes him a mediocre choice of bonus unit.
Legendary Hector is an axe armor with high Atk and Def. His base kit focuses on strong enemy phase combat, with 40% damage reduction against the first hit and significant penalties to his foe’s Atk and Def. In addition, his C skill Ostia’s Pulse II offers fantastic support, activating at the start of his turn to target himself and all allies so long as there are not more than 2 units on his team of that movement type. It charges those units’ Special by 1 if its cooldown is at maximum, and buffs their Def and Res by 6. The Special charge, in particular, is a highly useful support effect that can allow many units to charge a Special before their first combat, sometimes with a little bit of extra help like Quickened Pulse. Skills like Even Pulse Tie and Pulse Smoke can be useful for countering teams that use Legendary Hector, as well as other common meta skills like Hardy Fighter.
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.
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.
New Year Dagr has been a prominent threat in Summoner Duels since her release, largely on the strength of her Duo Skill, which grants Pathfinder to all allies within 5 rows and 5 columns centered on her position. This can easily be used to grant Pathfinder to an entire team, allowing the team to threaten ever larger areas of the map as each unit moves further into position and their teammates can move through them freely. Dagr’s combat is also solid, with her unique Jotnar Bow accelerating her Special activation in addition to debuffing her foe’s stats based on Dagr’s visible buffs, and her unique B skill Sun-Twin Wing debuffing her foe’s Spd and Def by 5 and granting her the effects of Null Follow-Up so long as she is above 25% HP.
Eitri is also a highly useful unit in the current rotation, due again to her strong combat, flying movement, and Canto 2 effect in Grim Brokkr. In particular, she excels if she can gain extra Mov from an effect like Gray Waves on Hatari Azura. Eitri’s canto allows her to get free KOs in many cases by retreating, if her combat is strong enough and the unit is not protected by a Far Save. With a lot of support from skills like Quickened Pulse or units like Valentine’s Chrom or Legendary Hector, Eitri can fully charge a Special like Blazing Wind before entering her first combat. By boosting her visible Atk with skills like Life and Death, she can deal massive damage to a Far Save unit before combat and easily KO them in a single hit.
Valentian Palla is a unit with several strengths that shine in the current season, her flying movement combined with Canto 2 and a weapon that strikes twice and targets the lower of Def or Res make her a threat on both player phase and enemy phase. She can additionally use a skill like Vantage to gain priority over enemies when she is attacked, so long as she is below 75% HP. Pairing her with Winter Bernadetta and having Palla use the Assist Ardent Sacrifice can ensure this, making Palla very difficult to attack without an effect like Hardy Bearing that disables Vantage and other skills that change attack priority.
Bridal Catria is a unit that dominates many modes, and Summoner Duels is no exception. Her unique Triangle Attack buff is applied to herself and nearby allies at the start of their turn, allowing them to target next to any ally within 2 spaces, as well as strike twice when initiating combat while at least two allies are within two spaces. This can make nearly every unit on a team a huge threat when near enough allies, especially if the ball of units is also protected by a unit using a skill like A/D Far Save.
Summer Thorr hasn’t even been out for a day, and is already poised to become a huge threat 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. 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.