Welcome to This Week in Summoner Duels, an article series with tips and tricks for the current week of Summoner Duels Ranked or Summoner Duels Survival. The aim of this series is to give players a brief overview of what they can expect to see in Duels, so that they can better prepare for and react to the meta. This includes the map, Captain Skills, Bonus Heroes, and particular Heroes that may be powerful or relevant in the current season.
Summoner Duels: Ranked
This week’s Summoner Duels rotation is Summoner Duels Ranked, in which players bring a team composed of five units, one of which is the Captain. Unlike Summoner Duels Survival, there are no opportunities to ban units from the other player’s team, so you must be prepared to deal with common meta threats, or pick a god and pray you don’t run into a unit that beats your whole team.
The Map: Enclosed Ruins
This week’s map, Enclosed Ruins, features a number of trenches and forests. The starting positions are also rather unusual, being spread around the top left corner and bottom right corner with one on each team actually being inside the scoring box. There are also a number of breakable and non-breakable walls around the boundaries of the map. The scoring box is fully divided by trenches and forests down the middle, meaning that cavalry allies will have a difficult time traversing it and infantry are slowed by the forests. This terrain makes flying units a strong choice this week, with infantry being decent as well, armors maintaining relevance due to skills like D/R Far Save, and cavalry being relatively weaker than some other weeks. Cavalry units can still excel if paired with a unit like Ash or Summer Tana that allows them to teleport over the difficult terrain.
The captain skills available this week are:
Adroit Captain, which boosts the Captain’s Spd by 5 during combat and provides the Null Follow-Up effect to the Captain and any allies within two spaces of the Captain provided that unit’s Spd is higher than their foe’s.
Effulgence, which grants a boost of Atk and Spd +4 and neutralizes the stat penalties of the Captain and any allies within two spaces of the Captain during combat.
Dauntless, which activates at the start of turns 2 through 5, applying a status effect to the Captain and any allies within two spaces, which provides +1 Special charge per attack during combat. It also inflicts Guard, slowing Special charge during combat, on any foes in a cardinal direction of the Captain at the start of their turn.
All of these Captain skills are a good choice on the right team. Adroit Captain is great for fast units that either don’t have access to Null Follow-Up, or prefer a different B skill, like Legendary Dimitri. Effulgence is a decent effect that provides a small boost under most circumstances, but a much larger boost against enemy teams using skills like Sudden Panic or any Menace skill. Dauntless is an interesting option that can provide some extra charge but does nothing to help units charge their Special before combat, so its use is somewhat more limited. It can be useful to provide an effect similar to Steady Breath for enemy phase units, allowing them to activate Specials on their first counterattack. For player phase units, it is useful if the unit can follow-up attack and activate a powerful Special on it, since it provides Special charge on both the unit’s attacks and their foe’s, and does not require any stat check unlike skills like Heavy Blade and Flashing Blade.
In every season so far of Summoner Duels Ranked and Survival, there are three Bonus Allies. Using one of these allies on a team allows the player one extra loss before they get kicked out of Summoner Duels Ranked for the week, so they can lose a total of 4 times instead of 3. In addition, the bonus ally reduces the Glory lost on a defeat by 40 points. These effects are both useful, and many players will opt to use one of the three, so players should expect most teams they face in Summoner Duels Ranked or Survival to include one of the three - though there may be some teams that do not. This season, the bonus allies are Askr, Reginn, and Sothis.
Askr is a colorless infantry beast. At the start of his turn, he applies a buff of Resonance: Blades and Resonance: Shields on himself and all allies within 2 spaces so long as at least one of those allies is from a Fire Emblem game other than Heroes. This buffs all stats by 4 in combat and blocks a follow-up attack. It also charges his and those allies’ Specials by 1 under the same conditions. His weapon, Illuminating Horn, boosts his stats in combat, gives a guaranteed follow-up attack, and provides a bonus equal to 20% of his Def stat to his own damage and reduces his foe’s damage dealt to him by the same amount. Overall, he has very strong combat and provides solid team support for most teams.
Reginn is a sword cavalry. Her weapon Lyngheiðr has several effects including granting Canto 3 on turns 1 through 4, allowing her to move up to 3 spaces after combat. Her unique Special Seiðr Shell charges itself fully at the start of turn 1. When it activates, it adds 15 damage and makes her attack target the lower of her foe’s Def and Res. These effects combine to make Reginn a powerful and mobile threat in Summoner Duels, albeit one that is somewhat held back by the trenches and forests in this week’s map.
Sothis is a red dragon infantry. Her Sublime Surge (+Eff) allows her to counterattack at range, neutralizes her weakness to dragon-effective weaponry, boosts her stats in combat, and reduces the damage taken from her foe’s first attack in combat by 40%. Her unique Special Sirius+ neutralizes any effects that slow its activation, dealing bonus damage equal to 35% of Sothis’s Spd when it activates and restoring her HP by 35% of the damage dealt.
Overall, Askr and Reginn are strong choices and Sothis is a decent choice that is somewhat vulnerable to common ranged threats. Askr is arguably the best due to his extreme resistance to physical damage as well as team support effects, but Reginn can also excel with the support of a unit that allows her to move over the difficult terrain. Sothis is vulnerable to being KO’d by threats like Valentine’s Chrom and Brave Byleth, and the damage reduction of Sublime Surge does not apply against Deadeye, Lethality, and similar effects. In addition, as a melee infantry unit, she cannot threaten as large a range of tiles as many other units. However, she does have better matchups against other common units like New Year Dagr and is still a decent choice overall. Since this week is Summoner Duels Ranked, it is necessary to bring one of the bonus units on your actual team used in combat, so apart from the single free loss you get when using a bonus unit, it may or may not be worth including any of them, depending on your team.
Units to Watch Out For
There are several units that are extremely powerful and will likely be decently common in this phase of Summoner Duels. The following list showcases a few of those, though it is by no means conclusive.
Flame Tana is a green dagger flier. She has strong combat as well as multiple useful support effects. Her Kindling Taiko strengthens her damage and reduces her damage taken against blue, green, and colorless allies, but most importantly, it also confers a buff of Canto 1 to Tana and all allies within 2 spaces at the start of her turn. This allows all of those allies to move 1 space after combat. While it is less Canto than some other units have access to, this can be a gamechanging effect for units that do not otherwise have access to Canto, such as many infantry units, or flying or cavalry units that prefer a B skill other than a Trace. In addition, Tana’s Harmonized skill with Peony functions similarly to Dance, granting another action to the ally with the highest HP within 2 spaces that is from either Fire Emblem Heroes or Fire Emblem Sacred Stones, as well as providing Resonance: Blades to all allies from those titles, boosting their Atk and Spd by 4 during combat.
Hatari Azura is a green tome cavalry dancer. As one of only two cavalry dancers in the game along with Masquerade Sigurd, her 3 mov allows her to keep up with the movement of cavalry allies better than most, but what really sets her apart is her Gray Waves, shared with Legendary Azura, which functions as Sing but additionally grants the March status effect to infantry and flying allies, increasing their Mov by 1. In a season where flying allies dominate the terrain like this one, this is a highly useful effect to pair with a unit like Eitri or New Year Dagr. Additionally, Azura’s Dancing Flames buffs all her adjacent allies by +6 in all stats whenever she uses Gray Waves to give an ally another action. Her Harmonized skill with Leanne is essentially another Dance that only affects allies from Fates and Path of Radiance, granting another action to the highest of those allies within 2 spaces that has ended their turn, as well as granting Resonance: Blades to all allies from those titles, increasing their Atk and Spd by 4 during combat. Legendary Azura is another strong choice, as she shares the Gray Waves effect of granting March to infantry and flying allies, in addition to Null Panic if she opts for Gray Waves II.
Brave Byleth is a colorless tome flier with a variety of strong effects that make her a threat in Summoner Duels. At the start of her turn, her weapon Inner Wellspring provides a buff of Null Follow-Up and charges her Special by 1 so long as she is within two spaces of an ally. In combination with the Slaying effect on her weapon, this fully charges her Special Divine Pulse. Divine Pulse activates in combat to boost damage by 25% of her Spd, reduce the damage taken from her foe’s next attack by 75%, and boost the damage of Byleth’s next attack in that combat by 20% of her Spd. The damage bonus is useful and the 75% damage reduction allows her to survive strong hits from units, including threats like Valentine’s Chrom with charged Deadeye, since Deadeye does not bypass Special-based damage reduction. However, if not using Iote’s Shield or a similar effect Byleth will still take a large amount of damage from Deadeye, since she is weak to bows and Deadeye doubles damage. Then, after combat, Inner Wellspring charges her Special by 1 if it activated before or during combat, effectively fully charging it again for the next encounter. In addition to these unique skills, Byleth’s new inheritable B skill Spd Preempt grants her a Vantage effect against any bow, tome, dagger, or staff units she is faster than, allowing her to counterattack before her foe attacks. This can be bypassed by Hardy Bearing and similar effects.
Brave Tiki is a green infantry dragon with strong enemy phase combat. Her Remote Breath includes a variety of strong effects, with the most unique being that she charges her own Special by 1 before her first attack in combat and inflicts -1 Special charge on her foe, so long as she is within 3 spaces of an ally. This allows her to effectively “turn off” strong precharged Specials like Valentine’s Chrom’s Deadeye or Brave Byleth’s Divine Pulse, allowing Tiki to survive their attack and then likely KO them with her own Glimmer or other Special. Her B skill New Divinity helps with this by providing an additional debuff to her foe’s stats, blocking a follow-up attack, and reducing damage taken by up to 40% if Tiki’s Res exceeds her foe’s by up to 10. While this type of damage reduction is ordinarily ignored by Specials like Deadeye, Tiki’s ability to rewind the Special with her Remote renders this a very strong effect. However, it should be noted that it does not work on Specials that activate and deal damage before combat, such as Blazing Wind.
Spring Sonya is a dominant threat in the Summoner Duels meta, a green tome flier with an incredibly powerful weapon and Harmonic Skill. Her Harmonic Skill grants Special cooldown -2 to herself and all allies from Fire Emblem Echoes and Fire Emblem Awakening, allowing her to provide charge for potentially an entire team if the right units are used, as well as granting units from those titles a boost of Atk and Spd +4 in combat for the remainder of that turn. Her tome, Magic Rabbits, has a similar Special-accelerating effect at the start of turn 1, as well as allowing her to warp within 2 spaces of any ally within 2 spaces, and granting a bonus to her Atk and Spd in combat. With this tome, she can immediately charge powerful Specials like Luna or Blazing Wind, and her warp effect allows her to threaten huge areas of the map from safely behind her allies.
New Year Dagr has been a prominent threat in Summoner Duels since her release, largely on the strength of her Duo Skill, which grants Pathfinder to all allies within 5 rows and 5 columns centered on her position. This can easily be used to grant Pathfinder to an entire team, allowing the team to threaten ever larger areas of the map as each unit moves further into position and their teammates can move through them freely. Dagr’s combat is also solid, with her unique Jotnar Bow accelerating her Special activation in addition to debuffing her foe’s stats based on Dagr’s visible buffs, and her unique B skill Sun-Twin Wing debuffing her foe’s Spd and Def by 5 and granting her the effects of Null Follow-Up so long as she is above 25% HP. Since this week’s map features trenches and forests which restrict the movement of cavalry, Dagr excels as a flying unit that can help her team get more mobility with Pathfinder.
Eitri is also a highly useful unit in the current rotation, due again to her strong combat, flying movement, and Canto 2 effect in Grim Brokkr. In particular, she excels if she can gain extra Mov from an effect like Gray Waves on Hatari Azura. Eitri’s canto allows her to get free KOs in many cases by retreating, if her combat is strong enough and the unit is not protected by a Far Save. With a lot of support from skills like Quickened Pulse or units like Valentine’s Chrom or Legendary Hector, Eitri can fully charge a Special like Blazing Wind before entering her first combat. By boosting her visible Atk with skills like Life and Death, she can deal massive damage to a Far Save unit before combat and easily KO them in a single hit.