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Training espers for summon damage: An incomplete guide of considerations

Discussion in 'Guides' started by toooskies, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. toooskies

    toooskies Ascended Member

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    Aug 23, 2016
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    When choosing esper abilities, it's always been in the back of my mind: should I think about training for summon damage on this esper? I perused the various resources to evaluate JP espers and what they're capable of at 3*. Below are the fruits of that labor.

    This isn't a definitive set of best choices, just a guide to choose which espers are decent candidates for summon boost training.

    #1: Which espers do the most damage at 3*?
    I created a Google Sheet of summoning damage, excluding multipliers from summoners. This sheet only includes empty-grid base stats; obviously you'll accumulate more stats as you fill out your grid, but that will vary depending on build. But this is a good baseline of summon strength. Rather than regurgitate that back to you, a quick summary is all that's necessary here...

    TLDR: Outside of 3* Leviathan (who wins easily), the rest of the current espers end up in a tight range of damage.

    #2: Which espers can obtain summon bonuses without conflicts?
    I recommend going into Lyrgard's excellent esper builder for GL and JP for current and future espers. You may want to check out the actual espers and abilities, too. Here is how I would build these espers to summon (not arguing these are the best builds, even for the purpose, just an example):

    Siren: Easily obtains 100% summon boost while letting you pick up any single thing you want. Or in this case, both stat boosts.

    Ifrit: You have to give up one of Beast Killer+ or Plant Killer+. This build keeps BK+.

    Shiva: Both summon and stats, butyou could also fit in both Freeze abilities here if this is a MK farming esper for you.

    Ramuh: You give up a 50% Demon or Stone magic killer to get his summon bonuses. This build leaves out Demon, because Diabolos.

    Diabolos: Um, no.

    Titan: There are a few nice-to-haves, but nothing you'd miss on his grid.

    Tetra Sylpheed: You can get the Bird Killer and summoning, but not a lot else. (I think the wiki and the builder disagree on available abilities...)

    Odin Lots of decent passives you'd want before beefing up his summon.

    Leviathan: Can't take both the Spirit Killer+ and Aquan Killer+ in a summon build, but both of them are rare. Maybe grab the weak killers and Osmose? Or just respec if you desperately need them.

    Phoenix: Raise, Undead Killer+, and summons all in the same build, but no self-reraise and AOE regen abilities.

    Alexander: Summon damage, Machine Killer+, and Dispel in one package-- not a lot of good choices otherwise.

    TLDR: Siren, Shiva, Tetra Sylpheed, Phoenix, Alexander, and Titan (only physical attack esper!) don't make major sacrifices to train for esper summon damage.

    #3: Will I have a unit who will do enough summon damage to justify training an esper for the job?
    I added these up manually, so expect a mistake somewhere, and I may have missed a 7* summoner. But any of these units at 7* will be worth having a boosted esper around:

    TLDR: Is the unit a 7* base who summons primarily? Then they're a good choice.

    #4: How much gear do I need?
    Collecting For BIS, the STMRs of CG Citra (30% staff), Yuna (20% robe), Eiko (30% materia), and Kid Rydia (20% hat) add EVO MAG for all espers. 2x CG Nichol STMRs increase Leviathan damage specifically by 2.5x. Assuming GL doesn't let Eiko's materia stack, to max out Leviathan, you'd need 20 specific 5* units.

    How much damage will that get you? Assuming you start at 2.5x EVO MAG (four 10% EVO MAG materias plus base Kid Rydia), you'll end up at 3.1 (max EVO MAG) x 2.5 (Nichol STMR) = 7.75x. Going from 2.5x to 7.75x is roughly triple the initial Leviathan summon damage. (Most of that increase is from Nichol, the rest are nice-to-haves.)

    TLDR: You'll see a lot of scaling, particularly with a CG Nichol STMR or two.

    #5: What else might go into esper choice?
    • You may want at least one physical damage esper and at least one magical damage esper to target particular enemy defenses.
    • Elemental coverage is important, but limiting your choices to what your typical party looks like (or projects to look like) is a good idea. If you plan on using Tidus to imperil, build Siren or Leviathan to summon. Chasing the meta a little, CG Hyoh imperils Fire and Lightning, so Phoenix and Ramuh. Akstar does Fire and Ice, so Phoenix and Shiva. (Obviously, pick what goes with the units you'll use over time.)
    • Obviously, not all espers are available now. You might try to coordinate which espers are trained for summoning over time. We can only see as far as the JP meta.
    • Maybe you like a particular esper animation and want to see it all the time?
    TLDR: If you don't want to break and imperil specifically for your esper, pick espers that match what you'd already break and imperil for.

    #6: Is this even good damage?
    I dunno, maybe. Surely some snarky JP player who has looked at the videos will comment. If it isn't, they'll probably rebalance it at some point when they decide to release another summoner. If anything it's nice extra damage for a killing blow from a split-time healer/summoner.

    TLDR: I told you this was incomplete!

    #7: Too much to process all at once, what do you recommend?
    OK, fine. If you want to use summons for damage in the GL meta...

    • Build Shiva for summoning. Fryevia is meta now, chains with lots of units you might have, and puts up a great imperil. Plus, Shiva with a split stats/summon build is great on summoners with evoke abilities, knocking out most of your basic summoner concerns. Ice will also be fine in early 7* (CG Lasswell) and current JP 7* (Akstar), even before knowing what they'll do with Fryevia and Christine.
    • If you use Tidus, plan to use him at 7*, and wonder whether you should even level Siren, build her for summoning. She only needs to be level 3 to get both summon multipliers which will out-damage everyone without trained summon bonuses until 3* Leviathan.
    • Plan on Titan as a physical damage esper when GL gets his 3*.
    • Build Phoenix for summoning if you chase the meta, the bird will be a good summon next to both Hyoh and Akstar.
    • Leviathan will be a summon build if you have CG Nichol's STMR. (If you want to do this, go get more of him on his banner, now.) If you don't intend to get at least one CG Nichol STMR, you may not be committed enough to the summoner meta to not get Leviathan's killers.
    • Bahamut is going to take the summon damage crown back eventually, so if you just want to wait, that's fine too.
    • Feel free to skip the above advice to save a few hundred lapis if you didn't train them properly.
    #TLDR: Even that was too long, shorter?
    Shiva, Siren, Titan. Phoenix? Leviathan? Bahamut!

    liddokun, Aricin and Master Red like this.
  2. Master Red

    Master Red "Hall of Fame" Member Spooky Supporter

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    May 23, 2018
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    Ugh....too bad, I don't have Eiko dupes......
  3. Poots

    Poots "Hall of Fame" Member

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    Dec 30, 2016
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    TT, Hyoh, Barbie. Others on request.
    For those of us who don't currently have any of the 5* base summoners, but want to be ready for their eventual pull...what's some good gear/materia to get in the meantime (beyond your usual magic attack gear)? As much as it'd be great to get the STMRs you listed...those are just a lil hard to depend on having.
  4. toooskies

    toooskies Ascended Member

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    Aug 23, 2016
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    You can craft 10% EVO MAG and there is a 15% EVO MAG out there. Seymour has an upgrade with HP/SPR on top of 10% EVO MAG, and 5* Rydia has 40/20/10% MAG/SPR/EVOMAG. Nothing else I know of, but there might be more released in the future.

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