Since the pet is the centre of a summoner’s strenght, choosing the right one is a crucial point. Of course, first of all your pet should look cool – after all, the Awesomeness Factor must not be underestimated. But apart for that, we can distinguish between three different kinds of pet: melee, ranged or mixed.
One important thing: all the pets belonging to the same category, no matter what their race is, will have approximately the same stats. As far as I know, there are no particular exeptions to this rule. Pets that are originally low level also follow this rule, or get penalized in the slightest measure: if I get a Murray now that I’m level 44 he will have as much life and attack as any other melee pet whose original level is higher. In other words, you don’t have to worry about the specific race of the pet you want, but only about the type of pet he is.
Melee are short range fighters. They have a lot of hp, but less attack power. As far as I noticed, there is a further division of something like three different kinds of melee, with more hp and consequent less attack or vice versa; the main idea, however, doesn’t change. Melee need to run to the enemy in order to be able to attack him, and this can be a real drag if you are surrounded by aggro mobs, or if you are dueling and want to keep the distance. On the other hand, they are a sort of ‘hp reserve’, and if you have Unified Force that might be useful. Furthermore, in early levels you could use your pet to tank – but that’s not the best idea ever, scroll down and read about the Golden Rule to understand why.
Ranged pets can be divided in physical and magical. Both of these have lower hp than the melee pets and can attack from the distance – which is something you should not underestimate. I have started using ranged pets – especially magical – the moment I started soloing: ranged pets have a higher damage output, and with Unified Force, it’s much better for me to tank instead of sending my pet to be slaughtered.
Mixed pets are rare, and have both long and short range attacks. This feature might sound cool, but it’s completely useless: your pet will have lower hp than a melee, and lower damage output than a ranged one. Don’t bother using these.
If you have to pick one, I suggest you stick to long range, in particular magical. Why, you ask? Well, ranged are better damage dealers, you won’t need a tank anyways, and they don’t have to run to the enemy catching the attention of every mob in the area. As for the magical, I have a threory which might be completely wrong, but works in the overall.
Pets get influenced by the equip you have – not in hp though, only in attack and defense. Normally – as in, with my armour and staff equipped – my Goddess deals about 250 damage and gets dealt 40 by a magical mob. I unequipped everything and sent her to attack the same mob; she dealt about 180 and got dealt 80. I then did the same with my Minimal Chic – a melee summon. The difference in damage was much less, and his basic attack was about 180 with everything on. My theory is, the magical pet gets much more benefits from my staff because she attacks with the same stat, while the melee pet gets less influenced because his attack is based on a different parameter. Also, if you have intelligence jewelry equipped, it will give bonuses to a magical pet, but not to a melee one. Moral of the story: go for magical, it’s a sh!t load of additional damage. This applies also in choosing between Goddess and Satan at level 24, so keep it in mind when you do. In the Skill Analysis you’ll find more about these two special summons.
** Reps Analysis **Reps stands for ‘repeatable quests’ – at least for me >> – and are those irritating, time-taking quests in which you collect vouchers from random people in order to get exp. They start at level 8, and never end again. Fun fun fun, ay?This analysis refers to the DeFugel reps, I don’t know much about the Craxion ones. Sorry bout this, there’s not much I can do though.
Oh, and reps can be repeated until you’re 5 levels over the minimum required level, so when I say ‘do 17s as long as you can’ means do 17s until you turn level 21, then you have to do 19s for one level. Just clearing this out.
8, 11, 14, 17 Reps
At these levels you don’t have much choice: concentrate both your and your pet’s attack on one mob at a time – unless they are lower level than you and you think you can manage two at a time. Kill them one by one until they’re finished. The best idea is to do these reps in parties, even if you’ll have to share the exp. After level sixteen, if you can party with a priest that will
have already gotten his AoE. You’ll have Unified Force, so you could tank three or four of them – start with two though, then three, then see if you can go up. 17s were one of my favourites, but I wouldn’t know the reason; I just remember I liked ’em.
19, 22, 25 Reps
Avoid as long as possible 19s, while 22s and 25s are both pretty nice. You still don’t have an AoE, so stick together with priests-archers-mages if you can. The best idea for 25s is to start doing them at level 26, so you’ll be able to AoE.
28s are wonderful. You have your AoE, tanking is easy and there’s not much to walk. Just watch out for the bosses that are in the middle of the two areas, they can mess up your tanking by turning you in a squirrel. Cute but annoying. Avoid 31s at least until level 32. If you tank, be careful about the ranged enemies – hide behind a tree so they’ll have to get close and you’ll be able to AoE them.
34, 37 Reps
34s are nice, and you have your new armour – which you’ll better star upgrading immediately. A little walking to do, but easy. Again, tank and then hide behind a tree to get the ranged enemies close. Use the pet’s AoE stuns to get less damage. Avoid 37s as long as possible.
40, 43 Reps
I didn’t mind 40s at all. The first part is simple, while the piranhas are a drag to go fetch, because you’ll have to swim, but not horrible after all. Sprits and ranged Nols hurt, so be careful about that when you tank. 43s are good too, you just have to collect mobs and hide behind those little chariot things in the middle of the fields to AoE for the spirits part, and behind those chicken barn things for the centaur-nol part.
** Skill Analysis. **
Mana of Shock
This is a second ‘purely magical’ attack, as in it is simply an attack that deals magical damage to one opponent without particular effects. It’s one of the skill I indend to maximise, and I currently have it at the maximum possible level. Why? Because it’s more powerful than your basic attack, obviously, because it has a short cooldown time – you can use it every 2/3 basic attacks – and, together with the magic attack and Mana’s Afterimage, constitutes the basis of your attack…and you need solid basis to build a powerful offensive.
Explosion of Mana [lv.4]
Personally, I haven’t given much importance to this skill up to now. It’s an attack that, like the poisonous arrow of archers, deals damages over time. My suggestion is, either you set out to maximise this skill, or you leave it to level 1, because the damage infliclted at middle levels isn’t enough to make the skill worthwhile. The positive side of it is that the duration is just a little shorter than the cooldown time, so it can be used often.
Debuffs are often undervalued by summoners. They are not, in fact, useful in field fighting, nor in duels usually… but they can make you a valuable ally when you’re in a party, or in TW. Disturb reduces the opponent’s chance to hit… for the moment, I have it on my bar, but the skill is still at level 1. Again, I suggest you concentrate on attacks/aoes, but if you have spare points you might consider using them on debuffs.
Mana’s Afterimage [lv.12]
I mentioned this skill before. It’s a skill you can use after Mana of Shock – about halfway through the cooldown – and is another powerful pure magic attack. Same concept of the Mana of Shock: your basic attack will be built of combination of basic attack-Mana of Shock-Mana’s Afterimage, it’s worth maximising the power of this trio.
Expansion of Fatigue [lv.12]
A debuff that slows down the movement of the opponent. I find this skill particularly useful in two occasions: in duels with warriors-assassins-archers and in TW.
In duels with warriors or sins, that’s more or less how I use it: I run away as far as I can, then I turn, slow down the opponent and attack him while he takes ages to get closer.
With archers it’s not as useful, and it works the other way round: you get as close as you can, slow down the opponent and attack while he tries to keep a distance to use arrows.
However, using Debuffs is only useful when you’re more or less even with your opponent, and need tactics to win; if he’s stronger, you won’t have time for subtlety, and if he’s weaker, just attack him, he won’t last much. Don’t waste time with debuffs unless it’s necessary to win.
In TW this move can be used to slow down opponent that are running away from you, so you can finish them off. Of course, this means they’re supposed to run away from you. that might not happen too often…
Shout of Chaos [lv.12]
I don’t often use this – I rarely miss an attack, against any class. It decreases the opponent’s dodging rate. If you have an aim problem – no pun intended – you might consider using this.
Lazy Heart [lv.16]
Another debuff, which reduces the opponent’s defence. This might be useful against warriors, but again, unless you’re even and need a slight advantage, don’t bother using this. If you have spare points, on the other hand, debuffs are useful in TW, if you just debuff the opponent while a mage or a higher level deals damage.
Again, I don’t use this much. Provoke reduces critical hit rate. You have to take level 1 of this because it’s on the way for Block Skill, but I didn’t bother wasting any other point on this.
Blunt Blade [lv.18]
Reduces opponent’s damage. Either you maximise it or leave it at level 1. I left it at level 1.
Block Skill [lv.18]
The only debuff useful beyond discussion. It’s a skill that blocks every move of the opponent but the basic attack. The first level lasts 9 seconds, which is quite some time; in this time, the opponent will only be able to attack you with his basic attack. Get this, maximise this, and use it as often as you can in duels and TW. It pisses off the opponent and keeps him from healing/stunning you.
Fury of Land [lv.22]
The first AoE – an attack that deals damage on an area, not to a single enemy -, that you get at lev 22. It’s completely useless on its own, but it’s good – once you got Judgement of Nature – to finish off the enemies. I currently have this skill at the maximum allowed for my level. Never try to use this alone though, especially in the gap between level 22 and 26 – it just pisses off a whole bunch of mobs.
Judgement of Nature [lv.26]
The proper AoE. It’s got a cool name and a cooler graphic effect. In my opinion, it is definitely the coolest AoE out of the whole lot – forget reddish arrows raining from above or purplish blobs rotating around, thunders are the real deal. Always have it at the maximum level allowed.
Anyways… It’s exactly as powerful as any other class AoE, but it’s the latest, as in we get it later, and all the levels are later with respect to, for example, a mage’s. The downside is that the maximum allowed with the cap at level 60 is level 2, which you get at level 44 – in other words, quite late.
– Summon –
Important Note – Only follow to the end ONE side of the Summon Tree. To decide which, read the description of Summon Spirit of Goddess/Summon Darkness Devil.
Seduce Beast&Summon; BeastThese skills are there from the beginning. Seduce allows you to take a mob you defeated as your pet, just use the skill on the corpse. His level has to be equal or less than yours, and you can’t Seduce bosses. Summoning… I refuse to explain the use of this skill. Duh.
Menacing Crystal Summon [lv.12]
Even though I followed the other side of the Summon Tree, I took this skill, because it’s pretty useful in reps. It attracts the attention of the mobs around it, which will turn to attack the crystal. That’s how I use it: I tank 4-6 mobs – depending on the level – and then cast the crystal in the middle of them, so that I can cast my AoE without problems. It also saves you some repair money. I have to say that this skill was introduced that I was already level 33, so I had my AoE already. It’s probably not as useful in early levels.
Protecting Crystal Summon [lv.12]
This crystal should give you a 180% defence level buff. This means that whoever attacks you when you’re inside it has a higher probability of missing… and it usually works. The problem is that it’s an area buff, so you have to keep close to the crystal or the effect will vanish. My suggestion is to take this skill even if you’re following the other side of the Summon Tree.
Summon Auto Arrow Turret [lv.18]
Compleeeetely useless. It summons this spider-ish thing that shoots arrows. The thing vanishes in a while, you can’t control it and you can’t have your pet in the meanwhile. Dont take this skill unless you want to go for the Devil Summon.
Summon Magic Bomb Turret [lv.18]
Same as the Auro Arrow one, just this one shoots magic attacks. Don’t take it unless you’re going for the Goddess Summon.
Summon Spirit of Goddess/Summon Darkness Devil [lv.24]
These will take a little more discussion. Both of this skills allow you to summon a special pet, which will be your best friend until the very end. Both these pets, in fact, are much better than the common ones for one main reason: they both possess special attacks in addition to the normal ones.
Summon Spirit of Goddess allows you to summon the Spirit of Goddess – a floating, glowing, winged, semi-naked fairy-ish purple and white thing. The Goddess – mine is called Brunhilda – utilizes magical attack, has some special attacks specific of the Wizard class. At level one of the skill, she has Freeze, which freezes all the enemies around her for 5 seconds. At level two of the skill – which is available at level 52 – she learns also Fear, while – according to Roy, who knows everything anyways – at level 3 of the skill she’ll get Annihilative Heat, an attack that deals 180% damage to the opponent.
Summon Darkness Devil lets you summon the Black Satan – a demon thing with various wings/claws/protuberances and flaming appendices.
The Satan uses physical attack, and has Warrior special skills. Level one of the skill allows the Satan to stun, while level 2 is Slow – though I’m not sure here-, and level 3 a 180% damage skill as the Goddess.
You probably will have noticed that Summoners usually pick the Goddess. This has to do with the special attacks, but also with the fact that she’s long range – I’ll write a paragraph on the choice of pet soon. Basically, most people believe that the Goddess is better, but I’ve seen summoners with Satans that were happy about their choice, so in the end I guess you could make your own decision – even though I picked the Goddess and prefer it to the demon, mainly because of the ranged attack.
A last note – while you can still keep on collecting normal pets for fun and to look cool in town, when you’re on the field, in duel or in TW ALWAYS use the Goddess/Satan, unless mobs are really, really weak.
– Control –
The classic heal, only this is for your pet. Remember the Golden Rule: never let your pet die? Well, this is a good skill to ensure you stick to the rule. I always had this on the maximum level available, as you’ll need to keep up with the hp increase of your pet in order to be able to cure him decently. The cooldown time is not excellent, so you have to be smart about the timing of this skill – and only use it when it’s really necessary. A common mistake that I make in using it is to ‘overheal’ my pet: using the skill when your pet is still ok will waste part of the healing power of this skill and block you from using it in case of real need. I usually stick to the post-AoE rule in duels/TW: unless I think the pet will not survive through an AoE, I wait till the end of it before curing, as usually there is a little break before next AoE, and at that point Care will be already halfway through the cooldown.
Shaking Blood [lv.12]
A buff you can cast on the pet to increase the hp. Very useful, lasts 14 minutes, while the cooldown is realively short. Make sure you always have it on your pet. Maximise this skill, as it’s one of the only two decent buffs you have.
Protection of Earth [lv.16]
The second decent-lasting buff, increases your pet defence. It lasts 14 minutes as the Shaking Blood. Maximise this too, because, together with the Shaking Blood, this will help you to stick to the Golden Rule – if your pet gets attacked, Unified Force does not apply, so this will decrease the amount of damage your pet will get.
Unified Force of MP [lv.16]
This is the one of the best tricks you dispose of. Unified Force is an infinite-duration buff you can apply to your pet, that will share the damage you get between you and your pet…if basically halves the damage you get. Be careful though: it doesn’t work if your pet gets attacked. Make sure you are the one getting damaged, and you’ll be nearly invincible.
ALWAYS have this buff on your pet, and be very careful about getting debuffed.
Shared Blood [lv.18]
This skill can be either really useful or completely irrelevant. It transfers to you half of the hp of the pet – at level 1. It’s very useful if you consciously decide to act against the Golden Rule; this usually happens in one of two situations: you either have pulled by error too many mobs and now you’re dying, and you already used a pot, or you’re duelling, and obviously can’t use a pot. In both cases there’s a good chance you’re still gonna die, but if you manage to run away or end it fast enough you might survive. There are also rare cases in which you do something sensed by taking the pet’s hp, and that’s when you’re ready to heal him immediately after. In every other case, using a pot is a better idea.
Cheer of Fury [lv.18]
This is the first of the various buffs that are too short to be useful. It increases your pet’s damage for 14 seconds. I just ignored this skill.
Shout of Whip [lv.22]
Increases the pet’s speed. If you REALLY have points to waste, get this to make your pet walk faster and not lag behind as every pet usually does. Apart for this, same as Cheer of Fury.
Distorted Memory [lv.22]
This is another of those skills that go against the Golder Rule. It turns the mobs’ attention to the pet. Again, only use this in crisis situations, to gain some time to run away while you let your pet die. Being a summoner, though, you won’t find yourself often in crisis situations, especially when you get a decent armour… personally I find this skill useless.
Price of Sacrifice [lv.26]
Again, an against-Golden-Rule skill. This lets you sacrifice your pet to get 6 second of invincibility. The cooldown time is absurdly long: eight minute must pass before you can use this again. I personally think it’s crazy, as all the other classes don’t have to pay a price like sacrificing a pet and have cooldown 15-45 seconds for the same exact skill…Anyways. The riddiculous cooldown makes this skill impossible to be integrated in your fighting method, and anyways losing the pet for so little time is not a brilliant idea.
Unless somebody realises that this skill is absurd and fixes it, it’s pointless to have it.
Voucher of Luck [lv.26]
Another short-time buff, for critical rate this time. Just as Cheer of Fury and Shout of Whip, it’s pretty much pointless.