The Summoner Meta (so far, Early Hardmode)! (2024)

Rules of Thumb, Summoner Class (Master Mode 06/08/2020):

Souper Chicken;2292842508243377226 said:

Yeah I'm gonna start a summon Master playthrough now. Sadly I deleted my other one because I was salty lmao

If you're having issues in Early Hardmode with survivability, I recommend the following stuff:

1.) Fish for Crates as early as possible. Mostly for Danger Sense, Iron Skin & Hunter Potions. Night Owl, Spelunker & Shine are good for Exploring.

2.) Use weapons that allow you to focus on Movement & less on accuracy. Anything that has DoT, AoE or Splatter DMG will be good (i.e. Beenades).

3.) Before your first Mech Boss, farm for Frozen Shell, Worm Scarf (Brain of Confusion) & Star Veil/ Cross Necklace. Change most of your accessories to Menacing, because Warding won't help Summoner much, but DPS will!

Good luck! The Summoner Meta (so far, Early Hardmode)! (1)

Source: Steam Forums
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Addendum [06/10/2020]: Original Post

Pizzarugi said:

I am a returning Terraria player who hasn't played since they added Wall of Flesh. Summons are a very new thing to me plus how flails got reworked (I like it), but I've always been a summoner nut from other games so naturally I was drawn to the playstyle here.

Hello & welcome back! I fully get your love for legacy classes, I play my games almost the same exact way, so I'm very glad you posted this. This has to be one of the most reasonable suggestions I've seen yet, let's discuss!

Pizzarugi said:

Whips are great on paper...Whips either need a much greater range or summoner armor must be made more resilient so you're not heavily punished for trying to smack something.

I can't be sure if this is intentional design by the developers or an oversight, but I've come to realize that there are too many micro-effects & macro-results between items of arguable effectiveness to be a mistake. The Summoner Meta (so far, Early Hardmode)! (2)The Summoner Meta (so far, Early Hardmode)! (3) Why are knock-back & DPS always competing between upgrades (or at least contrasting one another?), why are accuracy & scatter DMG always opposing as well, they're not just there for the sake of being there, right? So why?

This is how I approach nearly all of my games, especially the open-world & sandbox ones, so I'm always asking these kinds of questions & testing things out myself. If knock-back is MOSTLY used to keep enemies away, who benefits most from having knock-back? IMHO, a Ranger will typically have good movement, regardless of the build-type, so knock-back is a great concept, but... accuracy is probably more useful than knocking enemies around in unpredictable pathways. So again, who benefits from it most? Yes, most of the unique guns in the game tend to have great knock-back, to include some of the larger melee weapons, but what builds will really be using them like that?

Summoner, for the most part seems to have the least, to no Knock-back in the entire game. In addition, if we're looking at it from a purely Meta perspective, Summoner would benefit from having knock-back the most, right? Well, if that's the case, whats in the way to stop us, the players, from using a rather unused feature by most other Classes? As a person playing as a Summoner myself on Master Mode difficulty, Whips seem interchangeable. I can either melt enemies away slowly or rapidly, especially if I have their pattern down. The Whip IMHO, simply seems to be an eraser for advanced players. The only downside I can see from using Whips is that perhaps there could've been a tool-tip to express this fact, so players wouldn't feel boxed into trying to make the Whip work in instances it simply does not. However, however...

Pizzarugi said:

My other problem with summoner in 1.4 is the lack of availability...That leaves you with the Hornet Staff which you can get by killing the Queen Bee enough times or crafting the Imp Staff, either of which already near the end of pre-hardmode. Most of the time in this state, you're either stuck with a Baby Finch or no minion at all.

...this is where our perspectives start to diverge. It doesn't make sense to me, to analyse Summoner from a Meta perspective (listing off all the Summoner's items, where to get them, numbers, stats & comparisons), but fail to look at the game through the very same lens, why do that? If a player is informed on this level, why the failings in other basic areas that contribute to that information? Did you discover the Vampire Frog Staff on your own, or from a YouTube video? How do you know about the Finch Staff, did someone spoil it for you or did you play on Journey Mode first? I'm asking you these questions, only because most of your information seems microwaved.

That's one of the many pitfalls of spoiler culture & microwaved information, especially from some YouTuber... you rarely get to form your own experience, which robs you from forming your own unique opinions. I say this because I know for almost a fact, that Summoner is a stumble upon Class in Terraria. How can I prove it? Well, from what you-yourself just said & from my own, spoiler-free experience. You rarely get to craft anything Summoner-based, you either find it, get lucky or love it enough to invest in making it better, no matter how difficult. There's no room for complaining if that's true, because now I have to question why it is you'd think Summoner was anything like the big three, in any way at all (Melee, Ranger, Magic)?

If Summoner is indeed a stumble upon Class, no different than other games by-the-way, complaining about it's upgrade path is unwarranted, because you either a.) shouldn't know about it yet, b.) have invested into it enough by this point to know being a purist isn't required, or expected of you, c.) have already moved on because you naturally fell into a more comfortable playstyle, or d.) have played on Journey Mode to bypass the other luck-based factors, which is super Meta. None of these things occurred to you, which leads me to believe you skipped steps; someone spoon fed you this information or you were negatively impacted by spoiler culture.

Pizzarugi said:

When you reach hardmode:
- The earliest summoner stuff you can acquire is by farming Black Recluses which are in rare and tiny mini-biomes so you better hope you found it prior to reaching hardmode.
...- Terraprisma requires you not only kill a boss that is exceptionally powerful, but while she's enraged and can 1shot you. If you're not a skilled player, this weapon is impossible to acquire.

The only hardmode summoner weapons you can reliably get is the Spider Staff, Optic Staff (took me ages to actually get strong enough to fight the mechanical bosses on expert mode as a summoner), Pygmy Staff...

With everything you've just detailed, as true as it may be, if we both have to accept that Summoner is a stumble upon Class in Terraria, what now? All you would've done is analyse the progression path of an optional Class in this game through a warped, dirty lens. With this kind of narrative, we've turned a possibly intended mechanic, into a flaw by the Developers. What if Summoners progression path is supposed to be awkward, you may not like it, I may not like it, but to be fair, we shouldn't even know about it if it didn't initially interest us in the first place, should it? On the other hand, if it did, we should know about all the steps needed to get what it is we want on our own terms. How do I know you & others didn't do this part? Because you're listing stats & progression paths without any clear steps on how to get them organically, which means many of you probably shot through the game, darting for items you already knew about, before you even knew what it would take to get them; I can tell you that, only because I actually did it, naturally.

I have no idea what a Terraprisma is, I'm still developing the Meta for my current Summoner. How is it that I'm arguing against most of your opinions, but am still the only one who seems to still be in the gym? How am I schooling players about options they don't seem to know about, who've already, somehow beaten the game? Did you skip the entire first half or something? Why aren't you still developing your strategies, right this second? Summoner seems extremely powerful IMHO, but I know for a fact I have a LOT more exploring to do before I even try fighting a real Boss. I don't wanna seem accusational, but all the evidence is pointing toward the fact that you & others rushed, or had your information about Summoner spoon fed to you. If that's the case, I'm sorry that happened to you, you're truly missing out. The Summoner Meta (so far, Early Hardmode)! (4)The Summoner Meta (so far, Early Hardmode)! (5)

Pizzarugi said:

Who's really at an advantage here?

According to a youtube video I saw comparing DPS...

This is likely your biggest culprit. unless you've tested this information for yourself, don't go trusting what some YouTuber said, jsut because they toss some numbers & pretty graphics your way. They are human beings & subject to error, just like you & I. Did they list all of the things you're NOT doing while doing this showcase? What did their load-out consist of? Were they using any Emblems; if so how many? Were they using Potions; what kind of potions? Were you swapping Minions, using DoT, raw DPS, any Debuffs? All of this stuff matters & if you or that person didn't cover this information, it's an incomplete test, which is why labing is SUPER imperative!

Pizzarugi said:

In most cases, I had to not play summoner at all in order to progress the game...Even now I'm struggling to complete a couple of the Celestial Pillars primarily as a summoner (don't get me STARTED on the solar one) because the mobs just hit so hard against my flimsy tiki armor.

If you're having a rough time, I'm sorry to hear that, but it's something that can & will happen if your information is microwaved & not organic. What's your current load-out? Have you tried swapping accessories around, have you tried dumping everything into DPS while ignoring defense? Have you tried other Summoner Armors? Do you know the strengths & weaknesses that lead you to choose Tiki over any others?

  1. What have you done to address your Classes fragility?
  2. Are you using any items with high stun or knock-back?
  3. Are you stacking Dot on top of your other passive DPS?
  4. Are you going for accuracy of scatter DMG?
  5. Have you tried seeing if certain Minions perform better than others during this event?

If you haven't done a good portion of these things, can you really critique the Class fairly? Better yet, is it fair to be giving the Developers tips on how to fix it, when it's totally plausible that it's not broken?

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Pizzarugi said:

TL;DR:

My suggestions to make summoning more fun is the following:
1. Add more craftable options using metals and/or gems for both normal and hardmode.
2. Buff summoner weapons that can only be obtained from kills or finding in chests to make them worth finding and compete with crafted alternatives.
3. Increase the drop rate of some of the summoner weapons, especially the ones that drop from Blood Moon mobs/bosses.
4. Either nerf Dreadnautilus or buff Sanguine Staff
5a. Make summoner armors more durable to justify using whips in close range. Second most durable armor below melee would be ideal, but I'd settle on ranger-level of defense.
5b. Make minions actually minions and not just passive damage dealers. Allow them to intercept enemy attacks and block projectiles, allow them to take damage and give enemies the ability to aggro onto them. I played Diablo 2 and Path of Exile, I know what to expect, and it would justify your weak armor.
6. Make whips "poke" rather than sweep in order to more accurately tag enemies you want focused down.
7. Give whips more range if nothing is done about suggestion 5a/b.
8. At the very least, buff all minions across the board so they can actually kill bosses without your help. It's hard to call yourself a summoner when you're the one putting out more damage than your minions are most of the time.

Not too long & a very good read, I enjoyed reviewing your criticism! The Summoner Meta (so far, Early Hardmode)! (6)The Summoner Meta (so far, Early Hardmode)! (7) However, as a person who disagrees with your opinions, I have to do the obvious counterpoints.

  1. If Summoner is a stumble upon Class in Terraria, then no, it shouldn't have these items. If you want a Summoner starting weapon, Journey Mode exists. This entire first section is invalidated by something fundamental, which is already a bad start.
  2. I can't argue this point, if you feel Summoner is under-powered, that's a valid criticism, even if I disagree.
  3. Why though? If Summoner is a stumble upon Class, as we covered earlier, the drop rate is working as intended IMHO.
  4. Haven't fought this Boss or used this item, so I can't comment on this.
  5. I don't agree with this, Summoner is one of the only Classes with passive damage at all times. This being the case, Summoner is the only Class in the game that can set up traps, builds, structures or devices without sacrificing it's main source of damage & doesn't lose out on focusing on scatter DMG over accuracy, typically because they don't have to specialize in any specific weapon (which also means that Weapon DPS is negligible in the face of versatility or reliability).
  6. I don't agree with this, wild, sweeping DMG is the Summoner Classes' bread & butter, it fits the theme exactly as I described it to you. Whips are exactly as they should be IMHO (functionality over accuracy, non-committal over being purist).
  7. I guess? It's not like Whips are extremely broken or anything. I don't think a slight buff would hurt anything, but I do know that "Large" is Tinkering option with Melee-base/ melee-like weaponry, so that's already in the game if it happens to work for Whips too.
  8. This I'm totally against. Your Minions can already, pretty much kill most things without you lifting a finger. In fact, you can farm Enemy Banners by standing in one spot most times & doing nothing. For that to translate over to Bosses is a bit extreme IMHO. I don't want any Class in this game that would allow you to turn your brain off like that, it'd be toxic for the entire game in the long run... not thanks! The Summoner Meta (so far, Early Hardmode)! (8)The Summoner Meta (so far, Early Hardmode)! (9)The Summoner Meta (so far, Early Hardmode)! (10)

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Pizzarugi, I don't wanna go back & forth about things that won't be helpful to you (I totally misunderstood your position). So, I'll stop doing the whole point for point style & focus on addressing your concerns. Here's a list of things that may help you, as DPS can always be modified & adjusted to your liking with a certain amount of creativity.

A.) If you haven't taken any of the DD2 Summoner Classes for a spin (they're extremely powerful btw), I suggest you give it a try & see how you feel about it. You'll still technically be a Summoner, but you'll likely have the defense & specialized Weapon Class you're looking for. I strongly suggest the Apprentice & Dark Artist set-ups, since you prefer ranged combat.

B.) The learning curve might be too high for standard Summoner, seeing as how you were brought into the game with a veteran player & left to fend for yourself, you might have a warped perception of progression (vets tend to do a lot of skips in Terraria) Again, try out the DD2 Summoner Classes to get a basic understanding of how it's supposed to be played, without the steep punishment for making mistakes; Summoner is pretty diverse.

  • Monk Summoner
  • Huntress Summoner
  • Apprentice Summoner
  • Squire Summoner

C.) Get Practice fighting against the Old One's Army. It's good experience & also your natural progression path, it's pay-to-win, you don't have to worry about killing a Boss really. Slamming your face into the event is enough to net you the items you'll need. Don't take my word for it though, try it yourself & give us feedback on your progress if you're feeling up to it... The Summoner Meta (so far, Early Hardmode)! (11)The Summoner Meta (so far, Early Hardmode)! (12)

Addendum: 06-17-2020

The Summoner Meta (so far, Early Hardmode)! (13)

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