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Welcome to the first edition of Should You Summon for the year of 2022. Whether you are new to these articles or not, their purpose is to provide a second opinion to help you decide whether you should consider pulling for the latest adventurers or dragons in Dragalia Lost. This time around, the developers have been generous enough to combine the newly released units from Hinomoto to welcome in the New Year, but the newly released Gala dragon as well. Considering all 4 featured units are limited, you would expect them to make an impact with their respective elements. Let us see if they do just that.
Leader of the Tiger Clan
Representing the tiger zodiac, the wyrmclan leader Shingen joins an ever-growing roster of wind damage adventurers to choose from. Unlike most of his competition though, Shingen takes to the battlefield wielding an axe, an archetype within this element that hasn’t seen significant dominance since the days in which the adventurer Lin You received her spiral. While herself and the adventurer Kimono Luca have remained solid damage staples within the element, neither of them has made a significant impact within the meta for challenging endgame content. Let us see then if Shingen has the prowess of a limited adventurer to take charge of this weapon class.
Shingen’s main method of gaining significant damage capabilities whilst wielding him is with his unique Battle Fervor buff. As described in his first passive ability Tiger’s Ferocity, this not only increases the damage of all attacks dealt by him by 50%, but also increases his strength by 20%. Shingen will also receive additional benefits, which I will get to later.
For him to gain this Battle Fervor buff, Shingen must first acquire three stacks of the Veteran’s Mettle effect. One of his main ways of doing so is described in his second unique passive ability Tiger’s Ferocity, which automatically grants him two stacks of this affect whenever he takes damage (20 second cooldown). This ability also grants him a unique force strike that, while executing it, will grant him three stacks of Veteran’s Mettle if hit by an attack, but at the cost of damage output. He will be immune to knockback while executing this action though, ensuring he has no issues activating this perk. Finally, his second skill Fearless Tiger, at an SP cost of 7,500, will grant him a stack of the ‘Veteran’s Mettle’ effect, as well as a defence amp (maximum level of 3).
The amount of stacks of Veteran’s Mettle he has directly ties into how powerful his first skill Furinkazan, at an SP cost of 2,040, is. At base, this skill will begin preparing a powerful attack, after which will deal 1 hit of 1,600% damage to surrounding enemies, apply a burst gambit called Tiger’s Burst (Gambit Counter: 30), and inflict stormlash. We’ll discuss what a burst gambit is later, but by tapping the screen while preparing the attack will result in additional hits of 800% damage, equal to the total amount of Veteran’s Mettle the player has. It is important to note that the user is immune to knockback will preparing and executing this skill as well, ensuring that the enemy has no means in disrupting the additional hits of this skill. Each additional hit will provide the following benefits:
- First additional hit: Reduces the strength of enemies by 10% for 30 seconds (does not stack).
- Second additional hit: Inflicts scorchrend
- Third additional hit: Restores HP with 35% recovery potency, grants the user immunity to knockback for 10 seconds, consumes all stacks of Veteran’s Mettle, and grants the Battle Fervor effect for 30 seconds
When Shingen activates his Battle Fervor buff, his first skill can be tapped up to three times without consuming any Veteran’s Mettle, but it will not grant Battle Fervor. His second skill Fearless Tiger meanwhile loses the benefit of granting a Veteran Mettle effect while he has Battle Fervor going, but he will instead have his HP increase by 10% for the remainder of the quest, and reduce damage taken by 70% for 3 seconds. This is on top of the defence amp granted at base. Finally, the passive ability Tiger’s Tenacity grants Shingen the ability to create cyclones with his third and fifth attacks whilst having battle fervor.
A burst gambit is a new mechanic that has been introduced with this batch of adventurers. A burst gambit applies a debuff to an enemy which has an associated counter to it. To reduce this counter, an adventurer on the team must successfully apply an affliction, a debuff or any other burst gambit on the enemy. Note that only one burst gambit can be active on an enemy at any time, except for raid bosses, where 4 burst gambits can be active, one from each player’s team.
Shingen presents an excellent example of the way in which a burst gambit works. His burst gambit, Tiger’s Burst, has a counter of 30. Assuming that a burst gambit is already applied on the enemy, and he has full access to the maximum hits of his first skill Furinkazan, he can reduce its counter by at most 4:
- Twice with his first hit (burst gambit reapplication and stormlash infliction)
- Once more with the strength reduction of his additional hit
- Finally, with the application of scorchrend with his second additional hit
When the burst gambit counter reaches 0, this burst gambit will restore HP to all teammates with 140% recovery potency.
Overall, Shingen presents an adventurer kit that strikes a balance between offensive and defensive capabilities for himself and the team. His innate ability to grant himself knockback immunity using his first skill, which is at a relatively low SP count, presents a playstyle for the user that is easy to manage in the heat of a battle, and ensures his movement will never be restricted within a fight. His defence amp and strength reduction capabilities also ensure his teammates have a greater chance of surviving a fight, which can prove quite useful in Legend difficulty endgame content, where one wrong move can spell disaster for the battle. His dual affliction output may also end up receiving significantly more appreciation going into the future if more potent burst gambits enter the game. Finally, the benefits of his battle fervor cannot be underestimated, as two sources of additional damage not only provides his first skill and dragon form with significant damage capabilities. In some respects, the innate potent of his first skill reminds us of Gala Ranzal, who packed all his damage capabilities into a significant punch with his first skill Cyclone Blade.
If there was only one criticism of his playstyle to point out, it is the ease in reacquiring stacks of Veteran Mettle. Considering that this buff only lasts for a 30 second timeframe, having to adapt your rotation to ensure you can attain the Battle Fervor buff again can prove challenging depending on the fight you are facing. As such, players who can learn the ins and outs of the mechanics of endgame fights can properly utilise damage rotations of Shingen to ensure you can always get the most out of him as much possible. While learning the intricacies of his playstyle can lead to a rewarding experience, there is the other side of this argument being that there is other wind element adventurer who already possess equally impressive damage capabilities, without having to learn his intricate playstyle. Due to these reasons, I would recommend summoning for Shingen if you enjoy learning unique playstyles that provide a rewarding offensive and defensive unit experience.
For co-abilities, you can never go wrong with the typical damage setup of strength, wind element and skill damage boosts found on blade adventurers, the adventurer Mona, and wand adventurers respectively. For the blade adventurer backline option, I would recommend Yukata Lathna, as she additionally provides the dragon haste chain co-ability, which increases the fill rate of the dragon gauge during battle. In battles without the Curse of Nihility debuff, I would recommend choosing Dragonyule Xainfried as the wand backline unit, as he provides the dragon haste chain co-ability, which increases the user’s strength by a set amount each time the user shapeshifts (up to three times during a quest). Outside of these options, an excellent alternative to these three is the critical rate co-ability found on dagger adventurers, which will increase the chances of Shingen inflicting a critical hit during a battle. If you can maintain Shingen’s combo during a battle, you may also wish to consider the adventurer Nino as a backline option, who provides the dragon haste co-ability and the combo = critical rate chain co-ability, which passively increases the user’s critical rate by 1% per 10 hit combo, up to a maximum of 20%.
Due to the random nature of acquiring abilities from Enter the Kaleidoscape, I won’t be considering portrait prints into these builds, as they offer significant opportunities to diversify a typical damage build. As such, when considering dual affliction availability (stormlash and poison), and only considering a normal state of an enemy, I believe the following setup is a good base to build off:
- Either of the 5-star +20% Flurry Strength wyrmprints (Memory of a Friend or Emissaries of the Heavens)
- Kung Fu Masters (+14% Critical Rate (Axe))
- Either of the 5-star +25% Stormlash Punisher wyrmprints (Going Undercover or Sweet Surprise)
- Either of the 4-star +15% Critical Damage wyrmprints (Chariot Drift or Hastened Squall (exclusive to wind-attuned adventurers)
- The Plaguebringers (+25% Poison Punisher)
- Your choice of 2 +20% Skill Damage dominion wyrmprints
For dragons, the best choice for the wind-element is Gala Beast Volk, who provides a 100% strength passive ability boost, as well as a 15% individual punisher effect to poisoned and stormlashed foes. His dragon skill also provides a team strength amp (maximum level of 3). His only downside is a relatively mild dragon form compared to what has recently been released for other gala dragons. The newly released Fudo Myo-o, who I will discuss later, seems to be the next best option. For Fudo Myo-o, she provides a permanent 70% strength passive boost, and an additional 30% wind element damage boost and 10% attack rate once both of her Mantra of Compassion shields are removed. It also provides a 50% dragon gauge fill. Her downside is that her dragon skill reapplies her Mantra of Compassion both, thereby removing the 30% wind element modifier and 10% attack rate. Outside of these two, Gala Reborn Zephyr remains a relatively great dragon due to a strong form and great passive abilities, while Midgardsormr Zero continues to have a prolonged life thanks to the permanent 10% wind resistance reduction when using his dragon skill.
Leader of the Monkey Clan
Representing the monkey zodiac, while also boasting blood of the tiger wyrmclan, the leader Yukimura is the second New Year’s unit to grace the Halidom this year. Yukimura enters the game as the fourth shadow attuned lance wielder, a weapon archetype which already possesses excellent damage and utility options. Whether it is the shadowblight infliction capabilities of Summer Leonidas, or the hard-hitting dragon-focus playstyle of Forte, this weapon-element combo is no stranger to fun and unique playstyles. Let’s see then if Yukimura has what it takes to meet and possibly surpass her compatriots within this class.
Yukimura’s main mechanic is to ramp up to attaining her fighting spirit mode, which can be unlocked by utilising her first skill, Monkey Overdrive, three times. At an SP cost of 7,800, it may take some time to build up to her full damage potential. In the meantime, though, this skill in its base form has three empowering variations to it:
- The first use deals 1 hit of 1,348% damage and upgrades the skill to the next variant if the attack connects
- The second variant deals 1 hit of 1,722% damage, increases its area of effect, and upgrades the skill to its final variant if the attack connects
- The third variant deals 2 hits of 987% damage, increases its area of effect further, and unleashes the user’s fighting spirit. The user is also immune to knockback during this attack
To speed up the process of Yukimura getting to use the final variant of Monkey Overdrive, her second skill Monkey Crossdive, at an SP cost of 5,120, will deal 2 hits of 684% damage, and fill the skill gauge of Monkey Overdrive by 15%.
On using the final variant of Monkey Overdrive and unleashing her fighting spirit, Yukimura is provided a significant number of benefits outlined in her first passive ability Might of the Monkey. This ability activates the following effects while the user’s fighting spirit is unleashed:
- Increases the user’s strength by 10%
- Increases the user’s skill damage by 40%
- The user is granted knockback immunity
- The user’s standard attack patterns, as well as their first and second skills are changed
- The user is granted a unique dodge that deals 144% damage to surrounding enemies, and by tapping the screen during the dodge, the user can interrupt it and perform a unique dash attach towards the enemy
- The user’s combo will begin with the second attack in their standard attack combo if a unique dash attack or force strike has just been used
Her first skill is changed to Monkey-Tiger Wrath, which will deal 4 hits of 375% damage to enemies directly ahead, applies a burst gambit called ‘Monkey’s Burst’, and deals 1 additional hit based on the number of times the user taps the screen. The benefits are as follows:
- 0 to 4 taps: 1 hit of 375% damage, and applies ‘Monkey’s Burst’ again
- 5 taps: 1 hit of 584% damage, applies ‘Monkey’s Burst’ again, and fills the skill gauge for his empowered second skill by 15%
This is all at an SP cost of 2,980. When Monkey’s Burst activates (gambit counter of 15), it will deal 1 damage of 4300% to the affected target and nearby enemies.
Her second skill meanwhile transforms into Monkey-Tiger Chaos, which will deal 21 hits of 101% damage to enemies directly ahead, inflict shadowblight, and will increase the power of the 22nd and 23rd hit by tapping the screen a set number of times during the attack. The benefits are as follows:
- 0 to 7 taps: 2 hits of 589% damage
- 8 taps: 2 hits of 747% damage and inflicts scorchrend
This is at an SP cost of 6,120 SP. Moving onto the rest of her kit, her second passive ability Flurry Strength increases the user’s strength by 20% when the combo count is 15 or higher. Finally, Yukimura is the first adventurer within the shadow element to possess the combo time chain co-ability, which extends the timeframe for the combo counter to reset by 2.5 seconds.
Overall, Yukimura presents one of the most fun playstyles to ever grace the playerbase in Dragalia Lost. Of course, her only significant downside is her time to ramp up to her true fighting spirit, as she is ordinary for damage outside of this. Once she enters though, her damage capabilities easily match that of Gala Zethia, who has remained on top as the premier shadow damage dealer of the game. Unlike Gala Zethia though, Yukimura brings affliction utility from her second skill, trading off from the usual amps we have seen from adventurer since Curse of Nihility was first introduced. This may ultimately be her single downside, as a lack of dispel capabilities means she brings limited utility to a team environment outside of raw damage. However, even when considering this though, her brilliant damage and incredibly fun playstyle will make her an excellent and enjoyable pick in all shadow endgame content, which is why I recommend summoning for her.
For co-abilities, the standard damage setup of strength, critical rate and skill damage boosting effects found on blade, dagger and wand adventurer will serve you well in best optimising Yukimura’s damage capabilities. For specific choices, the adventurer Ieyasu provides the dragon haste chain co-ability, which increases the fill rate of the dragon gauge during a battle. For content without the curse of nihility debuff, the adventurer Vania provides an 8% critical rate on-field buff when their HP is at 60% or above. If you are planning to utilise a skill share which afflict poison, you may wish to use Delphi as the dagger adventurer backline, as he increases the chances of inflicting poison by 50% via his chain co-ability.
Assuming access to the poison and shadowblight afflictions, and only considering the normal state of an enemy, the following wyrmprint setup is a good start to build off from:
- A Man Unchanging (+30% Poison Punisher)
- Either of the 5-star +20% Flurry Strength wyrmprints (Memory of a Friend or Emissaries of the Heavens)
- Welcome to the Opera! (+25% Shadowblight Punisher)
- A Small Courage (+20% Skill Damage)
- Saint Starfall’s Circus (+12% Critical Rate (Lance))
- Any of the +20% Skill Damage dominion prints
- Either of the Sword Psalm III dominion prints
For dragons, Gala Bahamut remains the premier dragon for shadow damage users in most content, thanks to his incredibly strong dragon form, amp utility, and excellent base passive strength boost. Outside of Gala Bahamut, Arsene and Gala Cat Sith are excellent secondary choices for content with and without Curse of Nihility respectively. Both provide significant boosts to the damage inflicted during skills, which Yukimura boasts impressive modifiers to make use out of them. Outside of these dragons, the next best choice is the recently fifth unbound dragon Chthonius, who provides a respectable passive strength increase, a further strength increases per shapeshift (not immune to the curse of nihility debuff), and the Surge of Strength buff for the first 180 seconds of a fight.
Wings of Judgement
The featured Gala dragon of the banner, Gala Beast Ciella marks the third entry of a playable Agito unit within Dragalia Lost. She enters the game in a time where the water element has desperately required a significant boost in damage output with a strong dragon form and base passive ability. Let us see then if Gala Beast Ciella can sink her foes into despair, just as she has done for many players in the past.
Starting with her passive abilities, the Wings of Judgement ability grants water attuned adventurers a base 100% strength increase, and regardless of the user’s element, grants a unique dragon strike while shapeshifted as Gala Beast Ciella. This dragonstrike will also summon a crystal arrow (maximum of two at any time), which will allow Gala Beast Ciella to have her standard attacks ricochet off from. They also have an additional fact when Gala Beast Ciella utilises her skill, which I will get to later.
Her second passive ability Desperate Agony allows water attuned adventurers to increase their damage to frostbitten enemies by 15%. Additionally, while shapeshifted as Gala Beast Ciella, the user can apply stacks of the ‘Vunerability’ debuff by using standard attacks when the combo count is 15 or higher. This debuff can stack up to 10 times, with each reducing the defence and frostbite resistance by 1% and 2% respectively for the remainder of the quest. As a trade-off for the significant power grants to the player though, the user’s defence is permanently reduced by 20% during the battle, and the window between hitting an enemy and the combo counter resetting is reduced by 1 second.
Finally, while in shapeshifted as Gala Beast Ciella, the player can utilise her unique skill Frozen Anguish. This skill will deal 1 hit of 2,400% to surrounding enemies and apply frostbite. Additionally, if this skill hits a crystal arrow, it will cause it to deal 6 hits of 90% damage to surrounding enemies before disappearing.
While Gala Beast Ciella’s passive strength increase and frostbite punisher effect to an adventurer not in dragon form may not be significantly better compared to the rest of the competition, it is hard to deny just how significant her dragon form damage is. Her Vulnerability debuff not only directly increases a user’s damage against an enemy thanks to the defence reduction, but the ease in applying the frostbite affliction greatly improves its uptime, ensuring players can reap the benefits of punisher effects. Her significantly strong standard attacks and dragon skill are the cherry on top to cement her place within the water meta. Her only drawback is a lack of team strength amp application that her competition, Summer Marishiten, can grant, which can significantly ramp up the damage capabilities of a water team. However, considering we will likely get more adventurers with team strength amp utility, as well as an adventurer that is exclusively able to produce them in a rapid timeframe, this is a relatively small downside to her. As such, I highly recommend summoning her to significantly boost the damage output of your water-element team.
As marks tradition, the wyrmclan which matches the zodiac of the year has yet again brought along there pactbound dragon. This year, it is the unwavering guardian Fudo Myo-o, who watches over Shingen with an ever-burning flame in her heart. While it is doubtful she has the means to surpass the excellent Gala Beast Volk within the wind-element, she may have what it takes to cement a strong second position behind him.
Starting with her passive abilities, Fudo Myo-o provides a base 70% strength increase to wind attuned adventurers. Additionally, she grants the Divine Mantras passive ability, which grants the user the ‘Mantra of Compassion’ effect at the start of quests. This buff nullifies damage up to 100% of the user’s HP up to two times (non-stackable). When all uses of this effect are consumed, the user will instead be granted the ‘Mantra of Wrath’ effect, as well as having their dragon gauge filled by 50% (180 second cooldown). The Mantra of Wrath effect increases the user’s attack rate by 10% and adds 30% to the wind-element damage modifier for the remainder of a quest.
Whilst in dragon form, Fudo Myo-o possess excellent standard attack damage, as well as the unique dragon skill Kurikara Gust. This skill will deal 6 hits of 417% damage to the target and nearby enemies, inflict stormlash and grant the user the ‘Mantra of Compassion’ effect. Do note that the user cannot have the ‘Mantra of Compassion’ and ‘Mantra of Wrath’ effects at the same time, so only use this skill if you have a way to activate Mantra of Wrath within a quick timespan.
Overall, Fudo Myo-o provides a slightly better passive ability compared to Gala Reborn Zephyr, who only grants the 30% wind-element damage modifier that must be reset by filling 10% of the dragon gauge. While Fudo Myo-o’s skill is counteractive to reaping the main benefits of her passive abilities, her standard attack, combined with the ability to shapeshift more often from the dragon gauge fill effect, allows her to have a relatively strong dragon form in the wind element. Of course, while these perks make her an excellent addition to the element, she is unable to top the dragon Gala Beast Volk, whose 100% strength passive ability, 15% individual punishers to poison and stormlash, and strength capabilities with his dragon skill make him the ultimate go-to dragon still. However, Fudo Myo-o seem to provide excellent damage capabilities to AI-controlled adventurers, who won’t be utilising the associated dragon form for their damage output. As such, I would only recommend summoning her if you need to improve your solo wind elemental team.
On summoning rates and wyrmsigils
- A Gala summon showcase provides a boosted 6% adventurer summon rate over the 4% summoning rate of standard summoning banners.
- Shingen and Yukimura are summonable at 0.5% focus rates respectively, while Gala Beast Ciella and Fudo Myo-o is at a boosted 0.8% summoning rate.
- All adventurers are limited on this banner
- Outside of these four focus units, the adventurers Gala Notte and Gala Elisanne are the remaining sparkable options of the banner.
Final Verdict: Summon
All four units provide excellent boosts and incredibly gameplay opportunities within Dragalia Lost that are too good to skip on. Shingen and Yukimura’s tap-focused playstyle provide engaging and rewarding gameplay if you can make the most of their damage capabilities. Gala Beast Ciella meanwhile provides excellent support utility and the damage boost that the water element has been waiting for a while. Finally, Fudo Myo-o looks set to be an excellent backline or alternative option to the prowess of Gala Beast Volk. Because of these reasons, as well as the lacklustre next summon showcase and a potential collaboration seemingly being debunked for this month, this is a great to summon for adventurers and dragons that will grant significant boosts to your respective elemental rosters.