When should I summon units?

So I was going about my daily FEH business and I was particularly looking forward to the Healing Skills banner as I needed a WT!Olwen or a L’Arachel for my third cavalry team. As a side note, I did have better luck with the color selection for summoning (two blues and three greens, which were both of my focus colors), though I spent 15 orbs on the banner to see if I could get anything and I didn’t get much out of it. I want to spend more Orbs on the banner, but I think I should avoid it for now and keep sticking with saving up for Gunnthra merges.

That being said though, I thought about whether or not it’s a good idea to summon out of need for any units or if it’s really just attempting to get the units you want. For example, I feel as though I’ve been lacking certain F2P units (namely very good units like Eirika, Nino, Nowi, etc.) even when summoning regularly. Basically, is there ever a need to summon to get units to fill a certain role rather than aiming for the unit you want?

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This is a very difficult question

What do you mean by “units you want”?

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I think the best answer to this question is simply to try to find the best of both worlds. This game is no fun if you just do the same cookie-cutter units and builds with no variation of what you personally want to do.

Find a unit of a class that you need that you also like and focus on them. That’s what I’ve personally been doing and it even keeps me from slipping up and summoning for units that I think are really cool, because I’m already building a unit of that particular class type that I really like.

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Want > self-induced “need”

Fodder to finish a particular build > merges
(Note fodder to progress a build or maybe use in a build < merges).

While those f2p units are good you certainly don’t need them, I get along just fine while refusing to use such incredibly popular characters.

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If you’re trying really hard to do well in Aether Raids, or are wanting to use someone like Adrift Azura in Arena, then you’ll want to set aside the want and try to pull for what you need to do well in these modes. That means things like Helbindi for G Duel Infantry, possibly trying to get a second Eir if you’re wanting to Light Blessing stack, etc.

Now, if you’re already doing well in Raids and Arena (or simply don’t care enough) then you’ve pretty much already answered your question.

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What are your goals in the game? The answer to this question determines what you summon on.

You can’t have everything in this game. It’s probably impossible to collect everything, especially now. It’s a game where resources are rare, and everything comes in a trickling rate. So, you have to define goals and then aim for that, and be happy you that you might not (or probably won’t) achieve anything else.

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Remind me how long ago you started?

I’ll tell you, I really went for quantity over immediate needs from my 3rd or 4th month into the game until my 19th month (now), and I got exactly what that style of summoning grants in the way of consequences. Over 150 units at 5*, and this

I have quite a bit of foddering power for a f2p. At what cost?

The game was pretty disgusting from the time I started pinching (around month 4) until about 13 months in. That’s when I started having enough copies of everything that I could play looser and never run into situations where I knew that I wanted to fodder some 4* unit and didn’t have a copy. But before then I was working with very little and AA became pretty annoying when I was trying to play with underinvested units. GHBs and stuff I could generally find a way to clear using my merged units (and eventually my understanding of the game improved enough that I did them with unmerged 5*s), but I hadn’t set up the hard-counters for AA with blessings and everything and it got pretty wretched sometimes. Also, in general the game wasn’t that enjoyable. Veterans like @Krazytre will remember that I spent a lot of time just helping others make builds and complaining how stupid the arena scoring system is

because

because I decided, questionably, to respect it enough to merge some of the 3*-4*s that I liked most, leaving me no feathers for just about anything else. Now I don’t even use my merged units that much outside arena, half because two of them are dragons and we’re getting to the point of “throw a stick and hit an anti-dragon” and half because my taste in play style took a huge turn that you can read about if you want. I made a thread about it and can link you

Arguably, that was more an issue with my feather decisions than with my orb decisions. I could have spent more orbs on units that seemed moderately interesting to me and less on fodder. I would have had a few more units to work with during those wretched months, but they would probably be mostly benchwarming these days. Even most of my 5*s don’t even see that much use now, and I’ve figured out for the most part how to clear AA using my underinvested units and 4* hard-counters (ex: give Selena axebreaker).

So…I guess that means it’s fine to summon mostly for meta units and fodder and very little else, and to be very picky about orb prices?

If you’re after 4* units, I think my recommendation is definitely to wait. Using free summons to chase them is probably ok, but if I’m not mistaken it’s usually easier to pull a focus unit than a specific 3* or 4* unit. They will come, eventually. Quick enough? Well…why do you need them so soon? Keep in mind that they’re harder to pull than focus units from any specific stone of a given colour and also that they will appear on any banner, whereas 5* exclusives are very hard to get if they aren’t focus units. If there are 5* exclusives you know you want and are willing to pay orbs for, then save your orbs for those units.

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No, there isn’t unless said unit is so unique nothing else can replicate them (like L!Alm, L!Azura, Ophelia assuming you already have Spiral fodder). Spending orbs just to get “strong” F2P units at 3-4 star like Nino and Nowi is wasteful. Technically, I did that yesterday puling for Karla but I don’t regret the Ares I got. (If It was Sigurd again like the last Karla banner, I wouldn’t have even tried.)

Organize your desires into three piles:

  1. Must have
  2. Would be nice if I had
  3. Future Project

By definition, all 3-4 stars and grail heroes are future projects because you’ll always keep getting them as long as you keep playing the game and pulling on free banners. Only 5 star exclusives should populate the first two brackets. Also, feathers are always going to be accumulated over time, don’t ever pull just for skill fodder (like QR3, Galeforce, or Ether) that already exists on 5 star units that can be promoted from the 4 star bracket, even if you don’t currently have that unit.

For me,
Must have = heroes that change the meta (like Ophelia or L!Azura) or fodder that changes the meta (like Spiral 3) or fodder necessary to make a hero operate at a Tier 1 level (like Spiral 3 for L!Ike or Ophelia or DC for OG Laev)
Would be nice = heroes (Claude) or fodders (Sparrow 3) that are just slight powercreep over existing heroes, merges for existing 5 star heroes (even if it is meant to fix a really bad bane because most Tier 1 heroes are good enough to function at least a Tier 2 level even with banes to their best stats) or fodders that let them have different builds on top of their pre-existing one

Don’t aim for too hard for the would be nice column. Count your blessings if you get them, accept your luck if you don’t get them; don’t waste orbs going for it.

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I started last year if I remember correctly, and less than halfway through Book II.

Honestly, I think the thing that’s bothering me is that I don’t have a direction for this game. Right now, I’d rather want to wait to summon merges for an OG Gunnthra, but I’m fairly sure I could be doing something else or something better as a use of my Orbs.

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Unless you are paying money into this game or you care more for your favorite hero than actually doing well in PvP modes, getting more than +1 merged 5 star exclusives is a waste of your time and orbs. It takes 3-6 months of optimal orb farming (depending on your luck) just to accumulate enough orbs to complete such a project, all while skipping pulls for the meta-defining heroes. At least for me, that really is not worth it, even if I tank my arena score for months.

If that’s the case then, if I don’t really care much for Arena or Aether Raids, what exactly should I be spending my Orbs and feathers on?

Spend them on who you think is worth it. People you like, and fodder they need. Just do whatever makes you happy.

I know it sounds cheesy but that’s my honest opinion

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