Ah, bosses. Those capstone encounters that signify the end of a run, or the end of a segment of a run. In Summoners War they also signify the best rewards, from runes to devilmon to legendary scrolls. So how do we deal with these boss encounters? Continuous Damage: If you answered continuous damage, you are correct for the most part. For many bosses the most efficient answer is to control them as much as possible and stack as much continuous damage as possible (there is a limit of 10 debuffs on a monster). Each separate instance of this debuff will deal 5% of the targets health on its turn, the damage of which ignores defense and damage reducing effects (e.g. Darion’s passive). If that was all there was to it, this would be a short guide, but there are bosses that are immune to continuous damage as well as bosses that continuous damage can be difficult to use on because of cleansing, immunity, or shields. In these cases we look at two other special attack functions: damage proportional to enemy max health and damage that ignores defense. Max health attacks tend to be more reliable as the monsters are often able to be built with more survivability. These attacks do a certain percent of the enemy’s max HP on attack, often with an attack power contribution as well. The bulk of the damage comes from the percentage damage though, so high attack power can be sacrificed. This damage does not ignore defense or damage reduction skills, so always use these skills when the target is defense broken. Ignores defense attacks do just that, they bypass the enemy defense stat altogether. This has the benefit of requiring no debuffs on the enemy which can be resisted, just buff your attacker and let them rip. They tend to be squishy champions and therefore less reliable, but against some enemies who are immune to debuffs, like Akroma, these monsters are your best offense. A few things remain constant regardless of the damage type we go with. 3* monsters are easier to obtain and to skill up, while 4* monsters are harder to obtain and skill up, but should have higher stats when all is said and done. The 4th rune slot for all is crit rate % with crit damage substats until your runes are good enough to have over 60% crit rate through substats, then you can consider switching out the crit rate% rune with a crit damage % rune.
Honorable 2* mentionsDecamaron (Dark Salamander): You obtain an awakened version through the new player quests. It has a passive that inflicts 5% of the enemy Max HP with each attack. While that is a lower percentage than many of the skills we will see, it is always active. Its second skill also inflicts continuous damage, making it a great early game boss killer accessible to all. Taru (Light Imp): Also obtained awakened through the new player quests, its third skill ignores defense and also gets a 50% bonus to crit chance, which means you can build into crit damage in slot 4 right from the get go.
Damage based on enemy Max HP
3* monstersYaku: With a self-buff on skill 1, max hp damage and continuous damage on skill 2, and five attacks with a 25% chance to ignore defense on skill 3, not to mention awakening into a 15% crit rate bonus, this little guy was made to wreck bosses. He is not the only Imp Champion that can fill the role; both the fire and dark imp champions also have boss slaying skills, but Yaku’s combination of skills makes him the best representative of the type. How to get: Unkown Scroll, Social Summons, Mystical Scroll, Water Scroll, Temple of Wishes. Runes: Fatal/Blade early, the transition to Rage/Blade. Atk%/CR or CD/Atk% Lyn: All amazons do enemy max damage with their first skill now, but Lyn not only does enemy max hp with all three skills, her third skill gets a massive 30% bonus when the target can’t be stunned, which happens to apply to most bosses. There are videos out there of players with extremely good runes taking more than half the health of bosses like the B10 giant and Lyrith in one use of her third skill. The Wind Amazon with two skills based of enemy max hp is the next best candidate. There are videos out there of players with extremely good runes taking more than half the health of bosses like the B10 giant and Lyrith in one use of her third skill. The Wind Amazon with two skills based of enemy max hp is the next best candidate. How to get: Scroll of Light and Dark, Temple of Wishes. Runes: Fatal/Blade early transitioning to Rage/Blade. Spd/CR or CD/HP Spectra: Easily obtainable from a secret dungeon and easily skilled up, Spectra also has a blistering base speed of 126. His third skill is an AoE speed break and ATB reduction which does no damage(no glance chance based on attribute, but won’t trigger despair procs) and is very useful in ToA. Since his first skill scales off of speed, he can do surprising damage when put on swift runes. His second skill is a useful enemy max hp based nuke, although it does do 10% of his own health as damage to him. The light Griffon has the same second skill, but a far less useful third skill. How to get: Secret Dungeon, Unknown Scroll, Social Summons, Mystical Scroll, Fire Scroll, Temple of Wishes Runes: Swift/Focus Spd/CR or CD/HP% or HP or DEF%/CR or CD/HP or DEF% Marble: A tanky option that also brings some decent control for ToA battles. His third skill functions much like Spectra’s second skill, a hard hit to the enemy that also damages Marble by 10% of his health. How to get: Scroll of Light and Dark, Temple of Wishes. Runes: Despair/Focus HP%/CD or CR/DEF% Priz: Sneaking onto the list is the light 3* version of the other 2* elementals. Like many of his 2* relatives his second skill hits for a percentage of the enemy’s max hp. His passive works like Darion except it only works for attacks from fire, wind, or water monsters, but reduces that damage by 20% as opposed to 15% How to get: Scroll of Light and Dark, Temple of Wishes. Runes: Violent/Blade Atk%/CR or CD/Atk% Lusha: Like Spectra and Marble, Lusha has an attack to deal enemy max HP damage at the cost of taking 10% damage to yourself. Lusha is available from a secret dungeon, which makes him much easier to obtain than the other light monsters on the list. How to get: Secret Dungeon, Scroll of Light and Dark, Temple of Wishes. Runes: Violent/ any two rune set Spd/CR or CD/HP% or HP%/CD or CR/HP or Def% Prom: The light grim reaper’s third skill hits all enemies for a portion of their max hp. Unique to the 3* for an AoE attack of this type, however the percentage of HP dealt as damage is lower than the other attackers on the list, making him less ideal as a boss slayer. How to get: Scoll of light and dark, Temple of Wishes. Runes: Violent/Blade Atk% or Spd/CR or CD/Atk % You may have noticed a preponderance of light monsters in this section, making them on the difficult side to obtain. Fortunately two of the options are available through secret dungeons.
4* MonstersLupinus: The wind magic knight has some interesting skills. Like all magic knights, her first skill hits the main target three times, with the third hit also hitting all enemies. Her second skill hits one target three times and silences it, and her third skill functions like her first skill except that it does damage according to the enemies HP and reduces the ATB. This makes her unique in that her three hits on the main target adds up to the same damage as a single target attack, but the third attack also does aoe % health damage. The dark magic knight also has a very good single target attack that does enemy max hp damage, and also heals your team for 30% of the damage dealt. How to get: Mystical Scroll, Wind Scroll, Legendary Scroll, Temple of Wishes. Runes: Despair/Blade Spd/CR or CD/HP% or Atk% Isael: The dark succubus has an AoE attack that deals damage based on enemy max HP. Like most AoE skills of this type the percentage ratio is lower than the single target attacks, making her less suitable to boss slaying. How to get: Scroll of Light and Dark, Temple of Wishes. Runes: Violent/Focus Spd or Atk%/CR or CD/Atk% How to get: Scroll of Light and Dark, Temple of Wishes. Runes: Fatal transitioning into Rage. For the 2 set Blade is a good option, but Focus is a better option if you need her first skill to strip buffs. Spd or Atk%/CD or CR/Atk%
Who are the best?Always a somewhat subjective question, but I think it is safe to say that from the 3* monsters the ease of acquiring and skilling up combined with the super high base speed and usefulness of the third skill makes Spectra the clear choice. From the 4* it’s probably going to be more controversial, but I like Lupinus. With Despair runes on she brings good control contribution to a ToA team and the multi-hit and AoE aspects of her kit make her useful in situations where other monsters on the list might struggle, like secret dungeons and necropolis. She does have rather slow speed at a base of 99 which makes it feel necessary to use a slot 2 spd rune.
Ignore DefenseNote: There are more monsters with ignore defense attacks than are covered here. Yet those monsters either have a random chance to ignore defense or need specific conditions met to ignore defense. Those monsters will not be covered here as we want reliable damage and not have runs fail due to a run of bad RNG.
Drunken Master: All drunken masters ignore defense on skill one. None of them really build on that skill to have any one stand out as an exemplar. At 150% attack scaling, it’s not really the kind of high damage we are looking for in a boss slaying skill, but it might be a nice bonus if you are using a drunken master as a healer… though you will need great substats to keep them alive.Runes: Violent/Revenge Atk%/CR or CD/Atk% Bulldozer: The fire Frankenstein packs a big dose of ignore defense on the third skill and is pretty tanky thanks to defense and HP scaling. Using his third skill makes him stunned for a round though, so not an ideal set up. How to get: Unknown Scrolls, Social Summons, Mystical Scrolls, Fire Scroll Runes: Rage/Blade or Rage/Focus Def%/CD or CR/Def% Kahli: Three of the high elementals have an ignore defense attack on skill two (fire, water, light), but the fire high elemental’s third skill is a party wide attack power and attack speed buff which also grants Kahli a round of invulnerability. This gives her an edge over her sisters, although the light high elemental’s third skill is interesting as well. With a 300% attack scaling, this skill is more the kind of damage we are looking for. Easy to acquire and skill up thanks to the fire, wind, and water high elementals all dropping from scenarios. This gives her an edge over her sisters, although the light high elemental’s third skill is interesting as well. With a 300% attack scaling, this skill is more the kind of damage we are looking for. Easy to acquire and skill up thanks to the fire, wind, and water high elementals all dropping from scenarios. How to get: Vrofagus Ruins, Unknown Scroll, Social Summons, Mystical Scroll, Fire Scroll. Runes: Rage/Blade Atk%/CR or CD/Atk%