Alright, since I’m sufficiently finished considering options in my barracks for Vital Astra for now (F!Ike and B!Ike are strong contenders), I can actually think about Summoner Duels again.
I think it has tons of potential. But, they have to be exceptionally careful with new unit design gameplay-wise. More so than in any other mode does it become so obvious which units are the best, and it becomes frustrating quickly when you see the same team compositions (especially if you lose to them). That’s why the banning feature in SDS is so good—as long as they didn’t design all their teams to smash yours in particular, you can at least eliminate ridiculously bad matchups.
In fact, I actually think it’s a good idea to be “strong” in a color on your Save tanks and veto teams that are bad for them. For example, if running a couple of green Save tanks, V!Chrom becomes an instant-veto. You can do the same offensively, and coordinate it with your tanks, and try to target teams you’re strong against overall by vetoing others. It’s kind of like running multiple decks of one or two colors in a veto-style Magic: The Gathering tournament, if anyone here has done that.
Things like that, strategic stuff—the details of building the units and teams, then how to wield them—give the mode a lot of fun aspects for me. Summoner Duels is also loudly despised by many, but I like it almost as much as I like AR, which has been my favorite mode for a long time.
With that said, I try to not spam playing Duels. I don’t want it to get stale with repetition yet, so I don’t have even one unit to 1500 Favor in the main Duel mode. I’m at rank 698 as I write this in SDS, which is 1615 favor, just into tier 7. I got just under that last round, leaving me at only tier 4, but I played much better (and maybe got luckier?) this time around and got to tier 7 with just one loss. I’m hoping to hit the cap this time (1900), but we will see how my next round of games goes.
It’s been fun using L!Julia this season. I have her tricked out since she’s used with my L!Grima on Earth seasons in Arena, so she’s a good nuke in SDS, too. I’ll update with my final favor this round whenever I play some more.