For whatever reason it seems that the new pvp setup has been matching me with a TON of summoner teams today, and it’s made me realize something; Summoning in this game is fundamentally broken.
I don’t mean this as in “it’s unbeatable”. To beat a summoning team just bring some damage-all spells with you, and eventually you can take down the summoner. No, these are broken because they are fundamentally opposed to the game’s reward structure.
You are not given any reward for quitting an unwinnable match, nor are you given any extra rewards for winning an extremely difficult, tedious, or lengthy match. So, you primarily want to win a match as quickly and efficiently as possible.
So where do Summoners fit into this? Well, on the attacker side, they are completely and absolutely useless. There is just no place for a summoner on an attacking team, unless it happens to be a side effect of a spell that does something else that you want for your team. The requirement that one of your troops die in order to summon anything means that nearly any team you build around summoning will be starting off handicapped.
On defense though? Well, they’re not overpowered by any means. Again, you can easily build a team with enough general non-targeted damage to deal with stealthy summoners. No, the problem is that they are explicitly designed to waste time. Which is, again, the thing you specifically DON’T want to have happen when you are playing the game. Since you can’t just hit them with a high damage single target spell, you are forced to play a slow game, whittling away at the summoner’s health gradually with indirect damage.
As scatter damage and damage-all spells tend to be fairly low damage, this often means having to spend 5-6 spell casts to kill the summoner, all while effectively fighting 4-5 teams worth of summoned troops who all have the same stats and bonuses as the troops the player entered the match with, just to eventually get the same rewards you would from fighting a normal team that takes a quarter of the time to beat.
I’m not saying that the idea of summoning is bad on it’s own; I like summoning, and I play a summoner mainly in several games. But here, the way the game is designed, Summoners are purely attrition strategy troops, so players never get to enjoy BEING a summoner, but still have to face the tedium and annoyance of dealing with summoners. That’s not really striking a good design balance.