Summoners War was released in 2014 and has been constantly changing and evolving since that point with new monsters, dozens of skill rebalances, and even new core features being added. Because of this, the amount of information new players are confronted with can be overwhelming, especially given how much outdated information there is and how uninformative the built-in tutorials are. The purpose of this guide is to concisely provide a basic “big picture” overview of the game, to do this without using gamer jargon, and to relay a few generally accepted tips and warnings. In Part 1 we talk about the following important topics:
1. Collecting Monsters
2. Making Monsters More Powerful
3. Ways to Use Monsters (and Events)
Summoners War – Week One Guide
1. Collecting Monsters
The rarity and relative power of a monster in Summoners War is defined by how many “stars” that monster typically starts with. The most stars a monster can start with is five, while some monsters will start with only one star. Monsters that typically start with, or are “naturally” one star, are very common and tend to be very weak and not useful in battle. Monsters that start with, or are “naturally” five stars, are exceptionally rare and tend to be very strong and useful in battle. There are, however, exceptions – there are some natural three star monsters that are much, much more useful or strong than some natural five-star monsters. The game isn’t so simple as abandoning your two-star monsters as three-star monsters are acquired, then abandoning three-star monsters once you get four-star monsters, etc.
Monsters can be acquired in many different ways (clearing a specific level for the first time, purchasing from various in-game stores, as a random drop for beating a level, as a reward for ranking high in the arena, etc.). However, the vast majority of the monsters you receive in the start of the game will come from opening Unknown Scrolls and Mystic Scrolls. Unknown Scrolls are very common (late game players can get dozens an hour) and can only provide one, two, or (rarely) three star monsters. Mystic Scrolls are much harder to get and will always provide at least a level three monster, while roughly 10% of the time they will provide a four star monster, and 1% or less of the time they will provide a five star monster (the most rare and typically the most powerful monsters).
Most monsters come in five different variations or elemental versions. The elements are fire, water, wind, dark, and light. Each element of a monster (collectively referred to as a “family”) has slightly different abilities, and within some families it is only a specific element that is commonly desirable. For example, within the pixie family there is the fire pixie, water pixie, wind pixie, dark pixie, and light pixie, and it is the wind pixie that is generally thought of as being the best. Elements aren’t only aesthetic but rather each element is strong or weak against other elements. Fire monsters take less damage from wind monsters and do more damage against wind monsters, wind monsters take less damage from water monsters and do more damage to water monsters, and water monsters takes less damage from fire monsters and do more damage against fire monsters. Light and dark monsters do extra damage to each other, so in a sense they are at both an advantage and disadvantage when facing each other.
Mystic Scrolls provide fire/water/wind monsters only, while light monsters and dark monsters come from a special Scroll of Light and Darkness. Scrolls of Light and Darkness are very difficult to obtain, and even endgame players will typically only open a couple a month unless they spend realworld money. Because of this, if you get a light or dark natural four star monster then you should feel very lucky, and if you get a light or dark natural five star monster then you should feel as if you are the chosen one.
With so many monsters almost all of them must suck, right? While that seems to be the consensus in public chat, if we were to pick one thing for you to take away from this guide it would be to STOP LISTENING TO PEOPLE IN PUBLIC CHAT. People in public chat will intentionally try to get you to do stupid things, and even when they are trying to help the advice provided is often only marginally better. While there are plenty of truly worthless monsters, many of the monsters in this game are good at something and are worth keeping. This is for a multitude of reasons: (1) Many of the “best” monsters are negligibly better than the “trash” monsters until you have access to things that only people at the very end of the game have access to; (2) There are many monsters that are not generally useful but that are exceptionally useful at a very narrow niche, and having them can be the difference between success and failure when dealing with that niche; (3) Monsters do not fight on their own in a vacuum but instead as a part of a team, and if you have a great team except one missing piece then a “trash” monster may best fill-in for that missing piece; (4) There are monsters that are worthless for the end of the game, but these “trash” monsters are in fact bridges that get you to the end of the game – bridges aren’t trash, they are the only reason you get to where you need to go; (5) The game is being constantly added to and rebalanced, and so with the addition of a new monster or a patch or a new feature a monster can suddenly become much more useful; (6) Just because a monster is only 85% as good at filling a role doesn’t mean it is trash.
With that said, we don’t mean to say that you should just build whatever random monsters you think are cool unless you are willing to progress very, very slowly. There are some monsters you can get early in the game that are going to be much more useful to you. In descending importance, here they are:
- Light Inugami (Belladeon AKA Bella)
- Wind Griffon (Bernard)
- Wind Pixie (Shannon)
- Water Garuda (Konamiya AKA Kona)
- Fire Harpu (Colleen)
- Light Vagabond (Darion)
- Wind Penguin Knight (Mav)
Also, later in the game you will be able to smoosh-together (“fuse”) a bunch of weak monsters into more powerful monsters. Two monsters that are powerful and good to smoosh-together are the Fire Sylph (Baretta) and the Dark Ifrit (Veromos AKA Vero). The Dark Ifrit is one of the top 10 most-powerful monsters in the game, while the Fire Sylph is a great monster who you will likely never stop using.
Save these monsters so you can smoosh them together to create the Dark Ifrit (Veromos AKA Vero):
- Water Bearman AND Water Grim Reaper AND Wind Inferno AND Fire Imp OR Water Undine
- Fire Beast Hunter AND Fire Salamander AND Water Harpy AND Wind Harpu OR Fire Succubus
- Wind Lizardman AND Wind Minotauros AND Fire Living Armor AND Water Pixie OR Wind Vampire
- Dark Yeti
Save these monsters so you can smoosh them together to create the Fire Sylph (Baretta):
- Fire Sepent
- Fire Martial Cat
- Water Magic Archer
- Wind Salamander
The game is also designed for you to get rid of most of the monsters you acquire, and so as you get rid of monsters you should be careful to only get rid of ones you won’t miss. Unless you have a duplicate, don’t ever get rid of a light, dark, 4-star, or 5-star monster. When you get these monsters or the first of any of the monsters listed above you should IMMEDIATELY go to the Monster tab, select the monster, click on the picture of the gear on the info tab, check “lock monster” to lock the monster, and then hit “change.” This will prevent you from accidently getting rid of the monster, and will also help give you pause when tempted to get rid of a monster you should possibly be saving for later. There are many monsters that you will likely never get again, and there are many, many players who are kicking themselves for not saving a monster they now need but got rid of.
2. Making Monsters More Powerful
Monsters can be made more powerful through many different processes. Some of these processes only take a few minutes of playing to advance in, others take several hours to complete, and some couldn’t be done perfectly if you played the game nonstop for 100 years (but don’t let that intimidate you, because “perfect” in this case is only marginally better than what is more realistically achievable).
“Leveling up” – When you use a monster it gets experience, and when it gets enough experience it takes less damage from the same attacks, it can take more points worth of damage, and it gets better at inflicting damage on other monsters. Whenever this increase occurs the monster’s level increases, and there is a limit to how many times this increase can occur for a specific monster. The limit, or maximum level that a monster can reach, is defined by how many stars the monster has. The most stars a monster can ever possibly have is six, whereas the fewest is one. A six-star monster has a maximum level of 40, a five-star 35, a four-star 30, a three-star 25, a two-star 20, and a one-star 15. With the exception of six-star monsters, whenever a monster reaches its maximum level it can get another star and then repeat the leveling process. Six stars is the most stars and level forty the most levels ever possible in the game.
“Evolving” (Increasing Stars/Maximum Level) – It is possible to add stars to a monster until it has as many as six total stars (it is not possible to have 7 stars). When a star is added to a monster, it is referred to as evolving the monster. Evolving does not change what type or element the monster is or how many “natural” stars it has. For example, the light inugami is a “nat 3” meaning that it typically starts with three stars when it is first acquired – it is possible, and recommended, to add as many stars to the light inugami as possible, and so after adding stars the light inugami could have as many as 6 stars but it would still be referred to as being a nat 3 (a six-starred nat 3). In contrast, the light beast monk typically comes with five stars, and after adding one star to it, then it would be a light beast monk with six stars and still be referred to as being a nat 5 (a six-starred nat 5). The process of adding stars to a monster is done using a special building called the “Power-Up Circle” and requires you to sacrifice monsters in the process. After you select the Power-Up Circle building you select the monster you want to evolve, and then you select the sacrifices. The monster that is being evolved must be at its current maximum level (allowed by how many stars it has), and you need a number of sacrifices equal to the number of stars that the to-be-evolved monster has and those sacrifices must also have the same number of stars as that to-be-evolved monster. For example, evolving a 3-star monster into a 4-star monster requires that the to-be-evolved 3-star monster be level 25, and also requires 3 sacrifices that also have 3-stars (the sacrifices can be of any level). It should also be noted that while a monster’s level is reset to 1 after each evolution, that a level 1 six-star is much more powerful than a level 1 one-star, and that the amount of experience necessary for a six-star to increase its level once is much greater than the amount of experience necessary for a one-star monster to increase its level once.
“Awakening” (One-time Stat Increase and More) – In addition to leveling up and adding stars to a monster, you can also do a one-time power increase by “awakening” it. When a monster is awakened it becomes much more powerful and acquires a name (which is always the same based on its element and family). Many of the monsters early in the game receive much more powerful moves by being awakened, and so be sure to check their profile to see what they get and prioritize awakening them. Monsters are awakened by collecting and spending the necessary elemental and magical essences. Elemental Essences are collecting by fighting the corresponding elemental guardians (the bosses of the elemental halls) in Cairos Dungeon. Which halls are open depends on which day of the week it is. Sundays are light, Mondays are dark, Tuesdays are fire, Wednesdays are water, Thursdays are wind, and Magic is available every day of the week. Which essences are needed and how many are needed will vary greatly based on the number of nat stars that a monsters has, and a monster can be awakened at any point without consequence (regardless of whether a monster is awakened at level 1 or at level 40, they will always end up with the same stats).
“Skillups” – When in combat, monsters can do many different things. The different things they can do in combat are the “skills” that they have, and one way to make monsters more powerful is to improve the power of their skills. For example, the light garuda’s second skill is, “Resurge: Fills up an ally target’s Attack Bar and strengthens their Attack Power for 1 turn. (Reusable in 4 turns)” Before skilling-up this skill, your light gardua would typically only be able to use it every 4th turn. However, after skilling it up it will be able to use it every other turn. Many monsters only shine once they receive skill improvements, so look at how much its skill improvement would help it before giving up on it. There are only two ways to improve a monster’s skill level: (1) by sacrificing other monsters of the same family to it, (2) by sacrificing devilmon to it. This is done in the Power-Up Circle, the same place that evolving is done (think of it as the place you power-up stars and power-up skills). For example, one could select the Power-Up Circle, select the Light Garuda, and then select one (or more) water, fire, or wind Garudas and hit the “Power Up” button. However many Garudas were sacrificed would result in skills being improved a corresponding number of times – as long as all of the skills aren’t already maxed out they will always be improved a number of times equal to the number of sacrifices, but these improvements will target skills randomly. Rather than using Garudas, devilmon COULD be used. But this would be EXTREMELY FOOLISH. Devilmon automatically count as members of the same family when sacrificed, and they are extremely rare. So when you can buy dozens of Garudas from the store, and they would function the same as Devilmon, it would be extremely wasteful to use Devilmon on such a common monster. The general rule of thumb is that devilmon ought only be used on monsters that don’t have any common family members – you aren’t going to get enough extra nat 5s of the same family to power up a nat 5’s skills, and you will only rarely get duplicate nat 4’s, so for these monsters you use devilmon. One last thing to keep in mind is that some 4 star monsters have 3 star family members – the light taoist is a nat 4 but the fire taoist is a nat 3, and so it may be best to wait and power up the light taoist with fire taoists rather than use devilmon.
“Runes” (your monster’s Armor and Weapons) – The same way that a soldier equips armor and wields weapons, your monsters will equip and wield runes. Runes provide bonuses to a monster’s defense, to their offense, and can also provide bonuses to things like speed. When sets of matching runes are equipped, they can also grant special abilities and bonuses such as healing your monster for a certain percent of the damage it inflicts (“vampire” runes), having a chance to stun the enemies your monster attacks (“despair” runes), and the most-infamous special ability: to have a chance to immediately get an extra turn/move (“violent” runes). One of the biggest mistakes new players make is to not understand how much of a difference runes make. Most level 25 nat-3 monsters could, if equipped with end-game runes, EASILY defeat most level 40 nat-5 monsters equipped with the runes you will have at the start of the game. In other words, you could be doing everything perfectly right in terms of building teams and getting good monsters, but then just lack the runes to utilize those teams to their full potential; progression is limited not just by what monsters you have, but by how you rune them. You should also keep in mind that if you google how to best rune a specific monster it will tell you what runes are best for the end of the game – DO NOT BE MISLEAD, you do not have access to end-game runes and so your monster will likely be much weaker with those runes than something like a fatal rune set because end-game runes have lots of other bonuses and features that your starter runes don’t.
3. Ways to Use Monsters (and Events)
There are a large number of different ways to use your monster. Luckily, you don’t actually have to worry about all of them and instead they will be unlocked automatically as you play the game. Despite this, it still seems like it is good to have some sense of what the game is and the different play modes it offers. Be warned that minor spoilers follow (though if you read public chat you are likely to see equal spoilers).
Scenarios – The first area is unlocked at the start of the game, and then each additional location becomes unlocked as the previous location is cleared. Defeating a scenario on normal difficulty unlocks the more difficult nightmare difficulty, and defeating the nightmare difficulty unlocks the most difficult hell difficulty. Fighting on higher difficulties offers much better rewards and is often a much more cost-efficient way to level up monsters (but whether it is more time-efficient also depends on how fast your monsters can clear the stage). Do your best to not be intimidated by higher difficulties – the “nightmare” difficulty of Garen Forest (the first area) is much, much, much easier than the normal difficulty of the end scenarios. Even after you complete all of the scenarios on all difficulties you will continue to return and replay the scenarios to level up your monsters and to, on hell difficulty, gather resources to build more buildings.
The Arena – Unlocked after first clear of Garen Forest. The purpose of the arena is to get as many ranking points as possible while also gaining glory points. You get more ranking points by defeating the monsters that other players leave in the arena (assign to their “arena defense”), while you lose points when other players defeat the monsters you send to the arena (that you assign as your “arena defense”). So much as you are defeating other players more than getting defeated, you will move up to a higher ranking. At the end of the week you get rewards based on what rank you were when the week ended, and so there is an incentive to try and climb to as high of a rank as possible. You might also want to do this sooner than later, because until you get to account level 15-ish you will only be fighting other new players, and then suddenly you will notice that many of your opponents are level 50. This is because new players are put in their own little safe place until certain criteria are met, but don’t let this scare you – rather than trying to achieve a high rank, many people intentionally leave weak monsters in the arena so that they get defeated more frequently and stay at a low rank where the opponents are easier and the glory points easier to obtain. Glory points can buy a lot of the best things in the game, and your first priority should be the weekly devilmon from the glory shop. Devilmon are so amazing that you are only allowed to get one per week, and the arena will be where you get the vast majority of your devilmon – so start hoarding them now for when you get an amazing monster worthy of them. You can also use glory points to buy buildings that make your energy regenerate faster, allow you to store more energy (get more energy per refill), and make your monsters much, much stronger (one of the buildings can provide as much as a 20% bonus to each monster’s health). After getting the devilmon each week, depending on how you play, a good second priority would likely be the buildings that make your energy return faster (Mysterious Plant) and allow you to store more energy (Sanctum of Energy).
Cairos Dungeons – Unlocked after first clear of Kabir Ruins. This is where you will fight various bosses to get the best runes and to get elemental and magical essences. You get better runes by fighting in the Giant’s Keep, Dragon’s Lair, and Necropolis. Each time you clear a level it allows you to fight at a more difficult/deeper level, that if cleared provides better runes and rewards. Depending on the day of the week, differnet “halls” will also be open that, when cleared, grant a chance of getting essences of the corresponding elements. Sundays are light, Mondays are dark, Tuesdays are fire, Wednesdays are water, Thursdays are wind, and Magic is available every day of the week. By chance you may get some of the elemental essences you need while trying to gather magical essences, but not vice versa, and so if time isn’t a factor it often makes sense to gather magical essences first. However, it may be best to wait until you are a higher level to awaken at all – the consensus seems to be that mid level essences are best gathered at b7 or B6, while high essences best gathered at b10. Clearing these levels will be difficult for the first few weeks you play, and so it may be best to just not worry about awakening your monsterfIs until you can do so more easily later in the game.
Guilds – When you join a guild your guild can designate you as an “Attacker”. If you are an attacker, then when your guild goes to war with another guild, you will be shown groups of monsters sent by the opposing team. You attack the opposing team and win guild points based on how much damage you do. You also want to make sure that you set your team on defense so you can earn guild points whenever you successfully defend. The two most prized items in the guild shop are a cheap weekly rainbowmon, and ifrit summoning pieces. The ifrit summoning pieces will take a long time to collect, but once enough are collected, it allows you to summon an ifrit of a random fire/water/wind elemental affiliation. Because of how many guild points it takes to collect enough summoning pieces, you should most likely focus on the rainbowmon instead (which will go a long ways towards helping you 6-star a monster).
Trial of Ascension – Unlocked at player level 15. You fight your way up a tower, with better and better rewards the higher you go. The tower’s greatest rewards are a devilmon, a light and dark scroll, and a legendary scroll which when used provides a guaranteed nat 4 or better. You won’t, however, have to worry about this. Unlike the arena or guilds, you are not going to be able to do much with the Trial of Ascension until much later in the game.
Dimensional Rift – Unlocked after first clear of Chiruka Remains. These are the most time-efficient sources of experience and mana stones in the game. They are also the least energy-efficient source of experience and manage stones in the game. We recommend that you play these only if you are short on realworld time and will stop playing while still having 20 energy to spare. The other thing that can make the dimensional rift much, much more lucrative is if they are played while receiving 2x experience or 2x mana. If played during a 2x mana event you get 50,000 MANA FOR 30 ENERGY, which is actually quite good.
World Boss – Unlocked after first clear of dimension rift. You should put together enough level 30 monsters to do this three times a day as soon as possible. Even with an “F” score you have a very small chance of getting some incredible rewards. And some of the energy you spend on this will be refunded to you in the form of crystals when the world boss dies.
Rift of Worlds – Unlocked after first assist in clear of World Boss. This is the end game and has the most difficult bosses as well as a realtime raid where you watch your monster fight alongside teams of other players’ monsters. You absolutely do not have to worry about this for a long, long time.
Events – There are a ton of events for this game, both monthly recurring events and one-time events. These events can be very, very generous and frequently reward crystals, a devilmon, or a light and dark scroll, for playing the game in the exact same way that you are already playing it. But they require you to check in regularly to get the rewards typically, so be sure to always check the “event” and news page to keep track of what is happening.
Thanks to user ‘KitsuneKarl’ for help creating this Summoners War Guide.
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