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Subject: Summons strategy rss

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Mikael Fransson
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I know that some locked classes probably have interesting summoning rules and there are probably items I haven't seen that summons stuff. We have gotten the Skeleton Ring summon which is nice.


I still think the initial summons are a bit weak, so how about some tactics or strategies you use to make them worthwhile?

Tactics

Shield: Put a summon between you and the enemy and they will waste their attack(s) on it for at least one round. Even being adjacent to both you and your summon, enemies should target it first as it will have higher initiative.

Initiative: Make sure you go late while summoning so that it won't get wrecked immediately, then go early to make sure it gets to act.

Block: Put it in a door to block enemies or trap enemies in a corner with you. Remember to keep track of fliers and jumpers.

Item destroyer: Need a door or some dungeon closet smashed? Drop a summon and draw away the enemy, it can whack away at the target while you do better things. Targets with hitpoints should count as enemies with initiative 99.

Curse sink: Got a lot of curses in your deck? Have you summons do their crappy attacks to weed them out.

Instant ally: If you can summon and then use any ability requiring nearby allies this is a no-brainer. Also if your abilities are affected by the number of nearby allies this is of course helped by your summons.

Avoid retaliate: If the enemies have retaliate and you have a melee summon, think twice before you play it as your summon is likely to melt way too quickly.

Swarm: If you start summoning using
Spoiler (click to reveal)
items
or card actions it is usually better if you can summon ALOT of summons. If each character in a 4 man group summons two summons in consecutive turns you are looking at 12 allied figures on the board. Add area or global buffs to his and you will have quite the force. This can get a bit tight space-wise on the board so plan accordingly.

Spoiler tactics:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Combat drop: As far as I can tell it's ok to drop a summon during move if you have it in an item. So use this to make a large move and drop a fighting skeleton on the way.

Re-use: Some items and as gabrielrockman1 suggest the Spellweaver has the ability to re-use summons. For example if you summon dies, some items can just get it back easily letting you keep them around more. This can be very powerful as the more summons you have in play, the more likely you are to have use for them, ie, them not dieing. See the Swarm note above.



Enchantment:

In general, this is expensive so certainly not something you do early on.

Hitpoints: Gives some more staying power and is best with ample access to healing.
Move: Slow summons are not good. Melee summons which get left behind could find this useful.
Range: Adding range to eg. the Spellweavers ranged summons would improve them a lot.
Attack: A flat upgrade that should usually help with dealing some damage before the summon is destroyed. Most useful if you can keep the summon alive, so probably more worth it for ranged summons.

What else, got any devious moves?
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Robert Marney
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Pretty solid writeup. You'll need all these tricks for the unlocked classes that rely on summons more heavily. Remember, the starting classes use summons in an assist role. The summons can't be super strong, because they would overshadow your actual character. As you find classes that rely on summoning more, the cards will get a lot more impressive.

Enhancements: I ended up enhancing damage on summons whenever I could, but there's also a strong argument for Range or Move if the summon has only 1-2 speed or range. Generally, Range 3 is enough to avoid being targeted by enemies, while Move 3 is enough to get in position, but you can never have too much Attack. HP is only good if it gets you past the Retaliate breakpoint, so most summons have no particular use for it.
 
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Mathue Faulkner
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With unlocked classes, I'm more likely to Summon behind me and take the hits so that my Summons aren't targeted. I'll tend towards tanking in those situations to keep Summons alive...
 
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Gu├░brandur Magn├║sson
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I find that many summons, especially melee summons, depend heavily on team comp.

The biggest contributions to the survival of the wretched Rat for example has, for me, been having a Brute in the team. The extra body to occupy the frontline is a huge help
The very classic: Slow-Fast strategy is the other Summoning Ace-in-the-hole. Especially if you have some control effects like the Mindthief does. The general rule with summons is that they need to do three things to be worth a loss, three attacks, two attacks and tank 1 attack, one attack and tank 2, ETC. The hard part is actually netting some benefits from these gains. If the summon tanks attack's that might've been avoided simply by not running into the face of certain death then that's useless, if the summon is throwing down the pain against some critter that's somehow been left behind (or just spawned in a bad place). This is why I think that the hot-drop (Slow initiative to deploy, fast to capitalize) is a good way to put a summon in play. You can cover the summon with your controls and use it to speed up the butchering of your enemies.
 
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Jamey P
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Anything that affects an open-ended number of allies (whether adjacent, within range x, or all allies) scales very well with summons, even small, weak ones. Enhancing 'affects all adjacent allies' shield/healing/retaliate'cards with Bless can let you pour multiple blessings into a single character's deck quickly, or with Strengthen to make their attacks more reliable and potent.

Consider the composition of the summoning character's attack modifier deck---some perk choices that are good for a character in general are less effective on a summon (e.g. rolling heal on a summon that's going to be one-shotted by the first hit), and some characters' AMDs are more potent in general. If you have an appropriate AMD deck, place an accordingly higher value/priority on summons.
 
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Gabriel Rockman
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The Spellweaver should normally transfer his summon from the active area to the lost area before he uses Reviving Ether. That way he gets 2 more XP for activating it again, and he can place it in a more useful spot (quite often his summon will be far behind everyone else).
 
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H G
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gabrielrockman1 wrote:
The Spellweaver should normally transfer his summon from the active area to the lost area before he uses Reviving Ether. That way he gets 2 more XP for activating it again, and he can place it in a more useful spot (quite often his summon will be far behind everyone else).

A card in the "active" area is considered either discarded or lost (based on the card). You can collect it from the active area with Reviving Ether without having to have dismissed or forced it to be killed in advance.
 
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Sean McCarthy
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Hilaryg wrote:
gabrielrockman1 wrote:
The Spellweaver should normally transfer his summon from the active area to the lost area before he uses Reviving Ether. That way he gets 2 more XP for activating it again, and he can place it in a more useful spot (quite often his summon will be far behind everyone else).

A card in the "active" area is considered either discarded or lost (based on the card). You can collect it from the active area with Reviving Ether without having to have dismissed or forced it to be killed in advance.


That's exactly what he's saying, but with different terms.
 
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Mathue Faulkner
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SevenSpirits wrote:
Hilaryg wrote:
gabrielrockman1 wrote:
The Spellweaver should normally transfer his summon from the active area to the lost area before he uses Reviving Ether. That way he gets 2 more XP for activating it again, and he can place it in a more useful spot (quite often his summon will be far behind everyone else).

A card in the "active" area is considered either discarded or lost (based on the card). You can collect it from the active area with Reviving Ether without having to have dismissed or forced it to be killed in advance.


That's exactly what he's saying, but with different terms.

No, Hilary is pointing a subtlety in the rules. The "Active" card is already considered to be Lost or Discarded for effects like Reviving Ether so you don't have to actually move it into one of those piles like Gabriel pointed out. I don't know whether there are edge cases where it actually makes a difference though.
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Gareth Kalier
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Agreed - and also on number of characters. Summons tend to be better in a two character party than with four. Two reasons for this - firstly the number of monsters tends to scale with the number of characters so introducing an ally on the characters' side has a greater impact on the odds, plus with less monsters a summon is more likely to survive long enough to do something; and secondly, summons and melee summons in particular take up space. In a four character party, you may find that summons end up on the hexes that your main characters need to be on and otherwise generally get in the way.
 
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