Summoning is an awful mechanic

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.

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Yeah, summon don’t have much use in attacking in PvP, as your team is designed to win fast without losing any troops.

That’s pretty much it though. PvP/Guild War defense is better with summoner. Raid/Invasion/Delve also heavily relied on summoning to win against crazy stats troops. So I don’t think summoning is terrible mechanic at all.

What’s your summoning problem in PvP? Hero’s Champion Talents? Endless Bandit? As you said, it can be deal with by stunning hero, or killing them first. And if don’t want to scout every time in case of facing summoner, you can build an all-purpose team that combine both heavy single-hit and strong AoE. Stealthy summoner also can be killed by random target (Infernus), locked position spell (King Highforge), or just stun them first (Emperor Khosvash).


Summoners aren’t a ton of use in those other modes either, really. Invasion has a ton of mass damage, which counters summoning as a means to survive, and Zuul targets the summoner more often than not for his instant death, so it’s usually better to use a strategy which can kill Zuul faster than he can cast. Summoning can be a way to fill out empty party slots if you lose team members, but delves are lengthy and tedious to begin with, so using an attrition team on top of that is just awful.

There usually just isn’t any reason to use a summoner over a buffer when you are on the attack. Most “destroy armor, buff something” weapons do far more to help you survive inflated event stats, while a summoner in events has the problem that eventually the summoned troops can be one shot killed and so you are one skull cascade away from losing at any given time with a summon strategy.

Primarily, the biggest problem in PVP right now with regards to summoning is with the combination of stealth and summoning; as it generally forces you to use weaker spread damage to whittle down the summoner’s life with indirect damage and takes several times as long as a normal match to do for no extra reward for the tedium.

Have you ever checked your experience points after fighting a battle with a bunch of summoned troops? It can be stratospheric compared to the usual amount. Bandit summoners are particularly good at giving massive amounts of experience points.

I take it you don’t do guild wars? Having a summoner there can often make the difference between a good score and a great one.

Frankly, I think your view of the game and what someone might want to accomplish is kind of limited. There are all sorts of people who play in all sorts of different ways. The fact that summoners can slow a battle a bit does not mean the mechanic is broken. At most it means that you don’t like it.

You must love 4x Drakerider teams. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Looks like fat trolling.

The best use of Summoners IMO is for Delving to replace Troops that get killed off along the way.

If you can replace your dead front-rank troop with an Infernal King, you’ve at least got a chance to finish with a decent result.

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Experience points aren’t really worth much, and extra exp from killing summoned troops doesn’t substantially make up for the fact that you could have killed nearly as many troops in general fighting non-summoner teams.

The rewards you want to get from most fights are glory, ingots, traitstones, rank points, and seal credits, all of which are awarded on a per-win basis, encouraging an aggressive and fast playstyle. Souls and Gold are also things you usually want to farm in large quantities, but the hard caps make it impossible to farm either via a single drawn out battle.

I am not entirely sure what you mean by guild war scores; is there a bug which causes the game to count summoned troops as extra bonus color troops? Otherwise, from what I’ve read on the formula for scoring, it’s much better to defeat your opponent quickly while taking minimal damage, since your score drops as you take more actions, and if you take more damage than the opponent.

You can play a summoner team, if you really want to. But the game in no way encourages or rewards that style of play, and in fact, you are generally punished for playing in this way because every currency in the game that matters is awarded to players on how quickly you win each match.

Delves are the closest the game gets to an endurance mode where summoning could shine, but several factors hold it back. For one, the delve that you do daily you want to keep low level so your overpowered team can crush them quickly and easily. Because there is no difference in reward for beating a lvl 20 delve compared to a lvl 200 delve.

Then for the other delves you don’t want to use a summoner because you want to get good at beating the delve with the delve team so you can increase your faction renown for all the non-farming underworld cities.

Finally, the part that really makes delves fail as an endurance challenge where summoning could shine is the fact that it has a strict maximum number of rooms and an end. This means instead of needing to build a team that can last as long as possible, you need to just build a team that can handle the number of fights you know you will face.

Summoning would probably be a lot more viable as a strategy, rather than self imposed challenge, if there was some kind of true endurance mode, or a defensive mode. Like, for example, if there was a mode where surviving more turns against unending waves of enemies leads to greater rewards once completed.

I have despised summon/resurrect teams for a long time for this reason.

The Drake Rider team has always been more frustrating than a Fire Bomb team. Fast teams are designed to do AoE damage. But on a Drake Rider team, you can’t do AoE. You’re doing damage to 4 of 8 opponents. Then a 5th one shows up and you’re still 4 on 4. Then another one shows up and it’s 4 on 4. Then, finally, it’s 3 on 4, and so on.

But everyone else always responded, “haha, extra event gems”. Frustration is a cost.