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: Mountain Pass
This week’s map, Mountain Pass, features many mountain tiles, which cannot be traversed by infantry, armors, or cavalry, only by flying units. It also has two trench tiles in the center of the scoring box which slow the movement of cavalry to only 1 space. As such, cavalry are a weaker choice this week, though they can still be positioned above or below the box to threaten areas on the other side of the mountain/trench “wall” in the middle of the box. Flying units are perhaps the strongest movement type this week, with infantry also being a strong choice, and armors maintain relevance for their ability to use skills like A/D Far Save. Units with skills that allow their allies to teleport, such as Ash with Opening Retainer, can also be used to allow cavalry to avoid the trenches and mountains.
The captain skills available this week are:
- Secret Maneuver, which activates during the Captain’s combat and disables the skills of all other foes. In addition, it provides Special cooldown count -1 to all allied units at the start of turns 2 through 5, charging up the team’s Specials.
- Eminence, which grants the Captain the Pathfinder effect, allowing their allies to move through their map tile without “spending” a tile of movement. In addition, foes within 3 spaces of the captain have their Def and Res reduced by 3 in combat.
- Mass Confusion, which grants Atk +5 to the captain during combat. In addition, at the start of turns 2 through 5, it applies Atk/Def/Res -7 to any foe adjacent to another foe through their next action.
Secret Maneuver is a highly powerful Captain Skill that is extremely useful on the right team, as it allows units to charge Specials like Blazing Wind or Lethality before their first combat, so they can immediately shred through units that would ordinarily survive a hit. Eminence is an interesting Captain Skill that is mediocre for most teams; the Pathfinder Effect is rarely game-changing and the foe debuff is a relatively minor benefit. Mass Confusion is a solid choice that can be very good on the right team; in particular, it is excellent when paired with units like Gunnthra that gain in-combat effects when their foe has a visible stat debuff. Overall, Secret Maneuver is generally the best choice, but requires particular skill choices to get the most out of. Mass Confusion is another very solid choice. Eminence is generally the weakest of the three, though it may have some relevance on particular teams.
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 Nanna, Legendary Chrom, and Legendary Lyn.
Legendary Nanna is a sword cavalry. Her unique weapon and skill allow her to ignore all forms of percentage-based damage reduction when attacking, as well as to follow-up before her foe can counterattack (if she is fast enough to follow-up). She is an extremely threatening unit in melee combat and is very difficult to survive without triangle advantage and high Def. Her B skill Hoðr's Zeal also grants Canto (Rem. +1), allowing her to retreat at least 1 space after combat. Overall, she is a good choice of bonus unit with great combat and good mobility, who is unfortunately somewhat hampered by the terrain of Mountain Pass.
Legendary Chrom is a blue bow infantry. In addition to the standard flying effectiveness that all bows share, Chrom’s Randgríðr is also effective against armored units, making him a solid choice for KOing most Far Saves, especially if he can charge up a special using Secret Maneuver or other skills like Time’s Pulse. His unique assist To Change Fate! is essentially an enhanced version of Reposition, which also refreshes Chrom, allowing him to act again after using it. It also applies the Isolation status effect and gives him a +6 Atk buff. This is a great skill that can allow Chrom to move an ally without sacrificing his single action for the turn. Overall, Chrom is a great bonus unit; while he is not as strong as the similar Valentine’s Chrom, he maintains many of the same strengths that make Valentine’s Chrom so dominant.
Legendary Lyn is a green bow infantry. With her unique skills Swift Mulagir (+Eff) and Laws of Sacae II, she can deny counterattacks from melee foes and deal high damage. In particular, her skills make her great at dealing with most variants of Brave Hector, who is a fairly common choice of Far Save, and she has solid matchups against other units as well.
Overall, all three bonus Heroes are solid choices this week, with Chrom being generally the most flexible and useful, Lyn being a solid pick that counters some meta units very well, and Nanna being a melee threat with great mobility and huge damage that is somewhat hindered by the terrain of this week’s map.
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.
Medeus is a new Dark Mythic with multiple effects that can make him a big threat in Summoner Duels. The most prominent of these is his new inheritable C skill Canto Control, which affects foes within 4 spaces of him, reducing Canto to 1 space of movement for melee foes and disabling it entirely for ranged foes. Canto is extremely prominent on common meta threats like Yuri and Brave Eirika, so Canto Control can significantly limit the extent to which they can KO a unit and safely retreat. Medeus also applies the En Garde status to himself and allies, which blocks out-of-combat damage except from Specials, which is not an incredibly useful effect in Summoner Duels but can counter some skills such as Valentine’s Lif’s duo skill or skills like Savage Blow. Lastly, he also has high Atk, Def, and Res, with ways to block enemy follow-ups, guarantee his own follow-up, and reduce enemy damage by up to 60%, so he can be threatening and very difficult to KO. Dragon effectiveness on a unit like Legendary Marth or damage-piercing from a Special like Deadeye can make Medeus much easier to deal with.
Young Ike is another fresh threat that can be very hard to beat. His Sturdy War Sword provides several useful effects based on the number of allies within 4 spaces; including reducing his damage taken on the first hit (generally by 40%), providing Null Follow-Up, and charging his Special by half its cooldown at the start of combat. This combination of effects can allow him to take a single hit and then retaliate with a powerful Radiant Aether, and with his default Distant Dart and Null C-Disrupt, there is no unit he cannot counterattack. His duo skill hits foes in the 5 rows and 5 columns centered on him, applying an Atk and Spd debuff of -7, the Guard status effect, and Special cooldown count +2, so he can hit foes that have a Special ready and disable it. However, he is vulnerable to damage reduction-piercing effects like Deadeye, as well as weapons which strike twice before he can counterattack, unless he is using a seal like Deflect Missile or Deflect Magic to reduce the damage.
Spring Sonya is an up-and-comer 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. Especially in combination with Secret Maneuver, she is a highly threatening unit.
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, Canto 2 effect in Grim Brokkr, and ability to gain Special charge from Secret Maneuver. 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. Depending on Eitri’s build, she can often defeat Brave Hector while easily surviving due to her solid defenses and the damage reduction effect of Divine Recreation. Her matchup against Ascended Fjorm is generally bad, since Eitri lacks the Speed to follow-up and her guaranteed follow-up is canceled by Hardy Fighter. However, with enough support from skills like Quickened Pulse and Secret Maneuver, 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 using Hardy Fighter before combat and easily KO them in a single hit.
Yuri remains a strong unit in Summoner Duels for the sheer variety of useful effects he possesses. He has an innate March effect in Honorable Blade as well as Canto 2, allowing him to move up to 3 spaces and retreat 2 spaces after taking an action - which includes combat, but also the use of Foul Play, his unique Assist which swaps the spaces of himself and any allied unit exactly 3 spaces away from him. His combat is also solid, though he may struggle against many Far Save units; he can charge a 2-cooldown Special like Moonbow or Glimmer fully at the start of each turn using his default Time’s Pulse. He may also opt for longer cooldown Specials like Lethality or Blazing Wind in order to more effectively deal damage to units using Far Saves.