Should You Summon: Monster Hunter Part 1

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Should You Summon: Monsters!

The hunt awaits!

Disclaimer: The opinions below are written by GamePress and do not actually reflect Nintendo, Cygames, or the fairy Notte's opinions (probably. If they do, it was a coincidence).

Man, we really need to figure out how these people from other worlds keep ending up here! First there was Alfonse and his friends, then Mega Man, and now these strange hunters! Well, I don't know much about hunting monsters, but I do know about hunting for new Adventurers! So let's craft that gear, cook a hot meal, and start that G Rank Hunt!

*horn sounds*

A Legendary Swordsman

That thing Berserker calls a sword looks more like a big hunk of iron! I hope he has the Guts to wield it, or someone just may go Berserk!

With a suit of armor crafted from the finest materials, Berserker takes up his sword and switches from Shadow to Flame to bring the hunt to a conclusion! He's got a new kit, but can he get the job done? Let's dive in!


First off, Berserker has a playstyle that is wholly unique to the new Monster Hunter adventurers for now. He has on demand immunity to knockbacks while charging his Force Strikes thanks to Great Sword Expertise, which also increases his Force Strike Damage by 30%, with an additional 20% damage to broken enemies. Additionally, he has three charge levels of Force Strike that do increasing damage, and his Force Strikes don’t cause him to lunge forward like most swords do, but are a sort of line attack that has a short range. This synergises with his S2, which increases the next Force Strike’s damage by 80% (though it doesn’t stack). All in all it plays very differently then than the normal two hit Force Strike play style of most swords, and it’s still being ironed out just what exactly Berserks optimal combo looks like. 


The other part of Berserker’s kit revolves around his S1, which gives a 5% Defense reduction and deals three hits that add up to about 900% damage. That’s pretty hefty for an S1 that costs only 2630 SP, though it doesn’t come close to the sort of damage the Ramona can put out with her skill. The Defense Down is the really juicy part, as it turns on Reduced Defense Devastator which increases Berserker’s crit rate by 20%. 


Which Dragon and Prints to use on Berserker is going to depend on how you build him: He obviously wants to dish out a lot of damage with Force Strikes, which tend to benefit most from Strength from Cerberus or Agni instead of Skill Damage from Sakuya, and with the crit rate increase he could also go for a build with Arctos. 


So Berserker has a lot of things going on in his kit, and he’s definitely not the same as all the other swords in Flame. Which is good, because Berserker marks the ninth Flame Sword, the most common Weapon and Element combo in the game. Being that Flame Swords are so highly oversaturated, it is somewhat hard to recommend Berserker. Not because he’s not powerful, he’s already turning up in both Master High Midgardsormr and Expert Volk with some regularity, but if you already have a Mana Spiral Euden or Naveed built, it is questionable how much of your resources you can justify in pouring into getting Berserker. Plus, as Euden is freely available to everyone, acquiring yet another Flame Sword can be something you Sleep on, just like Berserkers resistance. 

Verdict: Maybe. Berserker is powerful, has a unique kit, and is limited. However, he’s in a stacked Element and Weapon combo, and you need think hard before spending.

My life for Kitty!

Don't wig out, Vanessa's got a new look to dye for! She's devoted her life to her new friend Kitty, who is my new favorite person as he seems to be some sort of personal chef. One filet mignon, please. Medium rare, I'm not a barbarian.

Speaking of stacked, Vanessa joins the newly invigorated Light Roster as yet another powerful option. If she’d come out a month and a half ago, it would have been a slam dunk to pull for her amidst an anemic element. However, things have changed. The three previous banners have all released powerful Light Adventurers that have up ended the long established Light Meta. Now, like with Berserker, you’ll need to carefully evaluate your roster before you pull hard for her. 


To get it out of the way, Vanessa is very good. Her S1 inflicts seven hits that add up to around 900% damage and cost only 2786 SP and even inflict Paralysis at a 120% base chance. That’s all really excellent, as Light continues to favor Paralysis Punisher compositions. Her second skill, however, is the interesting one. Enraged Guard reads a lot like Fjorm’s Ice Mirror stapled to a selfish Last Bravery passive: it gives you a 70% damage reduction buff against the first source of damage, makes you immune to knockbacks, and gives you a 30% Strength buff for a whopping 90 seconds, which is good because the skill costs a massive 14000 SP and can’t exactly be spammed. While it doesn’t have the nuking potential that Ice Mirror does, granting that huge damage reduction and then a stellar Strength buff is nothing to sneeze at. 


Vanessa’s passives are also interesting. The first is Lance Expertise, which gives another unique Force Strike and increases Force Strike damage by 30%, and has two charge levels. The first level gives you a counter attack against damage from enemies under certain circumstances, and the second gives a 5% Defense Down buff. That plays into her own Reduced Defense Devastator ability as Vanessa also gets 20% crit rate against weakened foes. And thankfully, she’s blessed with Curse Res, which is still very nearly mandatory for Light content, like Flame where resistance is more of a flavor aspect. 


Taken all together and you get a really stellar kit. Vanessa could find a place in current Light content and future, the problem lies in the fact that she now has serious competition. Dragon Yule Malora continues to be a presence in Master High Zodiak as does Chitose, but they’re overshadowed by the newly dominant Gala Luca and Mitsuhide, as well as the persistence of double Gala Euden. Vanessa could replace any one of these Adventurers, but it’s harder to recommend her against actually powerful Adventures instead of the somewhat lackluster Light roster we had a short while ago. Despite the competition though, I’m going to go ahead and give Vanessa a yes, as at the very least, Light Lance isn’t nearly as saturated a field as Flame Sword and the Light Stable still pales in comparison to the power Flame has it its disposal. 


Verdict: Yes. Unless you already have every single top of the line Light Adventurer (DY!Malora in particular for the defensive co-ability) Vanessa can at the very least find a home on your solo teams, and she’s powerful enough for difficult group content. 

Heinwald's just the sort of kooky sleuth to help us track down these monsters! Watch out for that new dragon though, Heinwald, I hear he's even more Cursed than your usual friends!

Amusingly, with his recent Mana Spiral Heinwald is now in the top 10 Shadow DPS, though of course as a Staff wielder that’s not really his primary selling point. Summer Verica continues to outperform Heinwald in raw Heals Per Second, but as most content is a DPS race not a test of endurance that’s sort of a moot point. In Shadow, you won’t find a better healer and support. 

Make no mistake, you should only get Heinwald if you’re willing to compromise both DPS and healing to get an Adventurer that makes a passable buffer, damage dealer, and healer. Being a Jack of All Trades is actually a pretty nice position to be in when you’re good at all the jobs, so Heinwald can be a good pick.

But we’ve got to talk about the Gleo in the room. The fact remains that even with Cygames’ attempts to shift the meta away from everyone’s favorite bunny eared castle mom, she remains at the center of it. If you want to clear Master High Jupiter, Heinwald can get the job done, but groups continue to be dominated by Gleo as the fight is way easier to complete using her (and occasionally an Audric, though the revive system has hilariously resulted in 4xGleo becoming meta in Master as well as Expert). 

Still, Heinwald certainly has a lot going for him, and you could do a lot worse than picking him up. 

Verdict: Maybe. Heinwald is an excellent Adventurer but he’s both not new and overshadowed by the presence of the One True Queen. 

Verica looked into the future, and she foresees another spiffy set of duds for our old friends! Dang, I always have a hard time choosing who to summon for as it is. Wait, do I get a new set of clothes? Aww, outlook not so good? Guess it's probably another Cleo alt then...Not her? What about Elisanne? No? Huh, maybe we'll get something new after all.

Once upon a time, Verica was the undisputed queen of healing in Flame and put up a pretty good showing against Hildegard in everything that wasn’t Water content. Now though, she’s got serious competition in the healer slot in Flame in the form of Halloween Lowen. 

In a pure vacuum, Halloween  Lowen is straight up better than Verica. He’s got a better kit and can provide more support and healing than Verica. Life, however, is not a pure vacuum, and in the contest of High Midgardsormr Verica has a big leg up on Lowen: she’s Stun Immune, and she can cleanse Stun off her teammates, who are frequently all susceptible. In a perfect world that wouldn’t matter as all your teammates would always dodge everything, but in the world we live in many a MHMS run has been saved by a timely cleanse from Verica. 

With the recent update that gave us revives, Verica has lost even more luster as her ability to clean up oopsies is even less necessary, but it’s still relevant. You can take home a Verica and know you’ve got a solid healer, especially since Lowen is limited. 

Verdict: Maybe. Verica has fallen from her prime, but is still a powerful choice that can clear end game content. If you don't have H!Lowen, this goes to a yes. 

Whenever I see Yuya he always looks like he got run over by something. Probably Ezelith, that girls out of control lately.

Yuya has some of the lowest DPS in the game under optimal circumstances, and if he takes more than 40% damage it becomes even more laughable. 

Verdict: No. Yuya is utter garbage. 

A Fatalis Mistake
You feel a heavy sense of dread upon you...

You know, usually the Dragons go evil AFTER we've already met them. This guy seems like he started off evil and we had to beat some sense into him. Even now I feel like he's looking at me like I'm food, not a friend. Guess I better get that diagram out again... Say it with me, everyone, "Fairies are friends, not food."

Edit: After Xythar on reddit pointed out you can swap Bridal Dragon for A Suit of Midnight on Gleo as well, this section has been amended. Previously, the recommendation was No. 

Continuing the trend of 2nd Generation Dragons, Fatalis offers a 80% Strength boast to Shadow Adventurers with two unique wrinkles: the first is that 50% of his boost can be used on anyone, making him a slightly superior version of a 4★ dragon to anyone, and the second is that if you shapeshift into him you’re Cursed for the rest of the quest. 

Now, if Fatalis was a Light Dragon, that would barely matter as most Light Adventurers are Curse immune anyway. In Shadow, however, this is a serious problem. Curse is perhaps the most dangerous of the Afflictions as it locks you out of your skills as well as your Shapeshifting. However, in Master High Jupiter, it is standard for everyone in the group to bring Dragon Prep wyrmprints due to needing Audric to shapeshift and get off his Stun/Freeze to cheese the opening blast. You can easily replace all of your The Bridal Dragon prints with a Suit of Midnight, and get much the same results, as you rarely deal enough dragon damage for the 15% boost to be at all noticeable. 

The other option is just to not ever shapeshift with Fatalis, and thus avoid the affliction. That makes him great on AI as you don't have to worry about them ever shapeshifting, turning him into a weird sort of Primed Strength dragon. Still, that's a narrow niche to be in, abet one that encompasses the hardest content in the game. 

Verdict: Maybe. If you're planning on using the A Suit of Midnight Dragon Prep print, you can safely use Fatalis, or slap him on an AI. Generally though, he's inferior to dragons that don't come with such a serious drawback. 

I think maybe Cupid read the invitation wrong. We're not hunting love, we're hunting monsters and skinning them to make new weapons and armor. Right now he's just flying around irritating people with his talk about love and passion.

Despite the hate Cupid is receiving for pity breaking people on this banner, he's actually a better dragon than Fatalis by a country mile. For one thing, Cupid has the benefit of healing you instead of Cursing you, and he's got that very solid 60% Strength boost. Even with the release of powerful new dragons like Corsaint Phoenix and Diakokuten, Cupid performs an important role they can not. In the current quad DPS meta for Light, you still need at least one Cupid, and many teams are happy to run two or more as it just provides that extra layer of insurance.

As long as Cupid remains the only Light DPS dragon with a heal, he will also remain central to the meta, and is a great pick up, even in multiples as he's usable on anyone in the roster.  

Verdict: Yes. Even with powercrept options, Cupid's heal is invaluable and he's a staple for Light teams. 

Final Verdict

About the Rates

!!This is a limited banner!! While Heinwald and Cupid are not limited, Hunter Berserker, Hunter Vanessa, and Fatalis are Limited and will disappear into the vault for an unknown time after this banner ends. 

  • Standard 4% rates.
  • Hunter Berserker, Hunter Vanessa, and Heinwald share a 1.5% rate and are at .5% each. 
  • Fatalis and Cupid share a 1.6% rate and are at .8% each. 
  • Non-featured Adventurers are at .5%, while non-featured dragons are at .4%.
  • The 4★ Adventurers Verica and Yuya are each at 1.75%. 
  • Ifrit is also featured as well, at 1.75%. He's decent if you are new, otherwise don't chase. 

Final Verdict: Maybe. This one’s limited, so if you do want something go for it. Otherwise save your stash.

Vanessa is a great pick up for anyone, but the other offerings on this banner are varied. Berserker is good but is in one of the most powerful Elements and competes with Euden who is free to all, as well as a lot of other options that can be better like Naveed. Fatalis has a major drawback, and the rest of the offerings are old and growing a bit stale. Unless you are desperate to shore up your Light Roster or just have a fond place in your heart for Monster Hunter, probably give this one a miss and see what you get in your free pulls.

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About the Author(s)

Hailing from Hawaii, a lover of gatcha games and geek culture.