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Summoner's Legion

Summoner’s Legion is a trading card MMO that allows players to strategically build decks with powerful, upgraded units to enter with battle against other players and AIs. Cards can be placed on different lanes in the battlefield. When placed, they come to life with fully animated characters and spell effects, adding an extra layer of strategy due to the importance of placement.

Publisher: R2 Games
Playerbase: Medium
Type: Browser Card Game
Release Date: January 21, 2015 (International)
PvP: Arenas
Pros: +Unique gameplay mechanics (Card placement). +Cooperative dungeons. +Solo campaign.
Cons:  -AFK battle system makes wins feel unrewarding. -Pay-to-win elements.

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Overview

Summoner's Legion Overview

Summoner’s Legion is a trading card game MMO with strategic, action-packed combat set in a fantasy world. Players become summoners and use decks of cards to summon their allies to combat and strategically crush their opponents in multiple game modes. Hearthstone fans will feel at home with its gameplay mechanics, borrowing many ideas and design choices from Hearthstone and Magic: The Gathering.  But at the same time, Summoner's Legion offers some unique features to keep players interested.

Summoner's Legion Key Features:

  • Four Playable Heroes – with their own weapons + abilities that can be used with any deck.
  • Five Races – determine the ability types of cards.
  • Hundreds of Cards – cards are varied in rarity and power.
  • Multiple Game Modes – such as Arena, Dungeons, + Solo Campaign.
  • Crafting System – allows players to power up cards and recycle unused cards.

Summoner's Legion Screenshots

Summoner's Legion Featured Video

Full Review

Summoner's Legion Review

By Margo Sikes

Summoner’s Legion is a free-to-play, collectible card MMO developed and published by R2 Games, the creator of Stormthrone: Aeos Rising. The game’s first beta server launched on January 21, 2015 and is continuing to launch new servers, available on R2 Games’ website. Its developers host Championship tournaments with cash prizes, also offering in-depth deck analysis of the winning players on their website. The game features gameplay mechanics found in the popular Hearthstone, simplifying some of its mechanics and expanding upon others. The game’s battlefield sets it apart from other TCG MMOs, allowing players to turn their cards into characters that move and fight on a field above the player’s hand.

Starting Out

Summoner’s Legion begins with a three stage tutorial that briefly introduces the game’s mechanics, beginning with the most basic and moving onto more advanced mechanics. After completing it, players are initially only able to play the single-player campaign, which offers advice in its early stages in a less intrusive way than the beginning three stages. Overall its tutorial is very brief, as Summoner’s Legion is not a particularly complex game, with its intricacies coming from its battlefield placement system and card synergy. Players also find that it has an AFK mode, like many of R2Games’ properties, making it more casually oriented than other TCG MMOs. Premium currency, Gold, is rewarded to players in the single player campaign alongside the Silver, the regular currency, giving players a taste of the powerful cash shop items.

Gameplay

Although it has some differences that set it apart, the core gameplay of Summoner’s Legion is very much similar to Hearthstone and Magic: The Gathering. Players start the game by drawing four cards, with the option to discard and re-draw any of their cards, a mechanic found in Hearthstone that reduces the chances of having a poor hand. Mana points act as the player’s currency to place cards in the field and use abilities, gaining one point per turn. The larger mana cost a card has, the more powerful its stats. However, a deck overly filled with high-cost cards will only lead to the player being unable to play any cards early on. As a result, a balance must be struck between high and low cost cards.

The game’s stand-out feature is its battlefield. Although many of its mechanics are very similar to Hearthstone on paper, it feels very different due to its battlefield mechanic. The player and their opponent are shown as characters in an environment with multiple rows of tiles between them. When the player selects a card to summon, they must pick one of the first three unoccupied tiles in front of their character, in any row. Row amount depends on the game mode: PvP generally has two rows, Dungeons have three, and the single-player campaign has two. The card turns into a character that automatically moves forward every turn and attacking anything in its direct path, depending on its abilities. Reducing the enemy player’s HP to zero is the goal of the game and is only possible by playing the cards correctly on the battlefield. That is, it is important that defensive units are generally in the front of each row, defending weaker, long-ranged units that deal more damage.

Classes

To begin building a deck, players pick from one of the game’s four classes: Mage, Warrior, Priest, and Ranger, all with different strengths. Each class has an upgradable weapon that has different attributes depending on the class. Mages deal damage over time, Ranger deals direct damage to any unit, Priest can heal their troops, and Warrior can bolster their allied unit’s attack by +1. These classes also come with some unique skill cards that further push each class into their own, unique play styles. While each class has a focus, there is no one best deck in Summoner’s Legion, as evidenced by the variation found in the championship decks that the developers reviewed. There is significant class imbalance, however, with hardly any Warrior or Mage representation found towards the finals. Only the Ranger and Priest reign strong.

Deck Building

The unique traits of the cards are one of Summoner’s Legion’s strengths. That is, there’s enough variety between them to warrant building new decks often. Many races exist in the game from centaurs, to pegasi, bunny girls, and undead, with no restrictions on mixing types, unlike the deck restrictions in Urban Rivals. This leads to a significant amount of difference between every individual deck, even at the beginning of the game where players have a smaller card collection. One of the most important aspects of card building is the MP cost curve, making sure that decks have an even spread of card MP costs that they can play at every phase of the game. Exceptions to this exist, for example, some ranger decks aim to burn enemy HP as quickly as possible by barraging them with low-cost units and using their hero skill to attack the opponent directly. On the other hand, some priest decks have a lot of higher-cost cards with high amounts of life to play defensively and counter the ranger burn decks.

Acquiring and Upgrading New Cards

To acquire new cards, players have a variety of choices. They can visit the cash shop to purchase booster packs with either in-game or premium currency, which yields a random variety of cards. Individual cards are available as rewards from a variety of modes; single player campaign rewards basic cards randomly drawn from dungeons, from gaining achievements, attaining PvP currency, and more. One unique feature of Summoner’s Legion that speaks to its casual nature is the Barracks. The Barracks is a building that players can recruit Mercenaries in that can be sent out to train, coming back at a chosen time interval to bring players back rewards. They typically offer experience, Silver, and sometimes even cards.

Upgrading cards can be done at the Alchemist found in the game’s hub city. Upgrading a card increases its stats without changing its mana cost, making card upgrades absolutely necessary for competitive play. Players spend Magic Dust and Magic Shards to upgrade individual cards, materials found in single-player modes, and can also be upgraded with premium currency. Upgrading cards also has a level requirement so lower-level players can generally not have fully upgraded cards. Players can also recycle the cards that they no longer find useful to acquire the materials that are used to upgrade cards. This is especially useful when a player has more than two copies of one card, as each deck can only have two copies of a card contained in it.

Game Modes

The PvP of Summoner’s Legion is found in its Arena, which has a ranking system that rewards win streaks. It offers 1v1 and 2v2 ladders, both offering great rewards to players who succeed. The currency gained from Arena can be used to purchase cards in the shop, unlocking as the players increase in rank. The game also offers a training mode for PvP that allows players to test their decks against each other without worrying about ranking.

A unique feature of Summoner’s Legion is its Dungeon system, which allows three players to group up and fight difficult NPCs. It has a chance to reward cards, upgrade currency, and premium currency. Another player-vs-AI mode that the game offers is the Campaign, which is a long, rewarding single-player mode that gives cards and currency as first-time clear prizes. It is worth nothing that the single-player modes of the game don’t suffer from balance issues as the PvP mode tends to.

Cash Shop

The game’s cash shop offers a large booster pack with guaranteed rare cards for a relatively low price. While premium currency can be attained from regular gameplay, it is very slow. The premium currency can also be used to upgrade cards and weapons, instantly clear single player stages, and get daily special rewards, offering an unfair advantage to players who decide to spend money on the game. VIP status can also be purchased through a subscription, which offers even greater rewards to players who are willing to pay to get further in the game, a common theme for Chinese developers. Players not interested in PvP won’t be as affected by the pay-to-win elements as its PvP is optional.

Final Verdict - Fair

Summoner’s Legion offers plenty of unique features that set it apart from other collectible card game MMOs, such as its interesting battlefield and awesome co-operative card battles in dungeons. One issue it has is that its AFK system is usable in PvP modes and Dungeons which damages the integrity of the strategic gameplay. Harkening to the uninvolved card play of games like Berserk: The Cataclysm, wins or losses feel unrewarding. Its user interface is clunky and its art is inconsistent, getting especially confusing when multiple, different cards use the same artwork and models with slight edits. It is also harmed by its pay-to-win nature, making PvP progression difficult for any player not interested in spending money.

Screenshots

Summoner's Legion Screenshots

Videos

Summoner's Legion Videos

System Requirements

Summoner's Legion System Requirements

Minimum Requirements:

Operating System: XP / Vista / 7 / 8
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Equivalent
Video Card: Any Graphics Card (Integrated works well too)
RAM: 512 MB
Hard Disk Space: 100 MB (Cache)

Summoner's Legion is a browser based MMO and will run smoothly on practically any PC. The game was tested and works well on Internet Explorer, Opera, Firefox and Chrome. Any modern web-browser should run the game smoothly.

Additional Info

Summoner's Legion Additional Information

Developer: R2 Games
Platforms: Web (browser) and Facebook
Release Date: January 21, 2015 (Worldwide)

Development History / Background:

Summoner's Legion was developed by Chinese game developer R2 Games and published globally through their R2 Games portal. Summoner's Legion is a CCG MMO meant to capitalize on the popularity of the genre after Hearthstone was launched. The game was released in the West on January 21, 2015 and is available globally without IP Restrictions.