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 Post subject: HUv1.7 Summons Strategies
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:16 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 11:28 am
Posts: 1133
Location: Vancouver, BC
There are two main types of summon:
  • Lots of HP but low damage (Skeleton, SkeletonKnight, Valk, SpiritWolf, Decoy). If you don't have a good way of defeating trash (Merc, yourself, other summons, curses (I found Terror great for isolating a unique critter from his minions)), then these summons might get outnumbered and beaten down.
  • Lots of damage but low HP (Golems, SkeletonMage, SpiritBlade, DireWolf, Grizzly). These were balanced along the idea of a skill like FireBall (hits several targets and is done). If you have something to tank (Merc, yourself, other summons, AI curses), then these summons are very effective.

Other summons are:
  • Raven - Basically the same as ChargedBolt, but not spammable and never misses. It casts DimVision (including the -5%EnemyRes), so could be considered a defensive summon.
  • AssassinShadows - Super hard-coded, too strong early game, seemed fine to me late game, but they're an in-the-middle summon for durability/damage.
  • DruidSpirits - A free aura (i.e. doesn't use your right-click option), if you level them then they survive fine. Without investment they won't survive more than a few fights on average unless you have a few tanks around, and probably won't contribute a lot to ActBoss fights with lots of AoE damage (e.g. Diablo, Baal).
  • Vines - Similar durability to Spirits, the %HP and %MP per corpse is based on your character's max stats. They're similar to a free Redemption aura.
  • Traps - There's a cap of 4 trap summons out at the same time, but you can have a single DeathSentry out as well. A single trap won't deal exceptional damage, while 4 of them certainly would. You might need to tank for them to help them consistently hit things (consider MindBlast).

Every summon inherits your +%SpellDmg and -%PierceRes, except Valk, Decoy, Assassin Shadows, and Spirits.

For summons that gain the same +HP per level (Spirits, Vines, Shadows, and low-HP summons except SkeletonMage), the +HP mod from BattleOrders, OakSage, and Prayer is extremely effective. This is because those summons gain +%HP per level, so if around level 20 they have around +200%HP then the +30HP of Level 19 Prayer would act as +90HP. For summons that gain more HP with each level (SkeletonKnight, Skeleton, SkeletonMage, Valk, SpiritWolf) those HP are base HP numbers, so look for buffs with +%HP such as OakSage and BattleOrders.

For most summons, maxing their level quickly or at least to the end of the current Tier (Tiers end at level 8, 16, 22, and 28) will result in them being stronger than normal. If you spread out your points across 3 or more summon skills, then they might be a bit weak while you level. The cause of this is posted in Homemade Modifications, but would probably only interest Modders.

For SkeletonMage, their damage is determined by (SkeletonMasteryLevel + SkeletonMageLevel) / 2, so you can make high-damage Mages if you concentrate on those two skills early, but you might need a Merc or Party to tank for you.

SkeletonKnight does not need a corpse, and when it dies it will generate a corpse, so you can use it to tank Bosses if you don't want a tanking Merc.

Curses can tank for you too, Confuse, Attract, and DimVision work very well for Trash. For non-Necromancers, you can find wands with +Curse oSkills if you need them.

Ask questions if you are having trouble with Summons. They are balanced to be too strong, but I know their AI can be silly so they end up being not too strong.

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