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If you are new to Summoners War and you are completely unaware of how to build a (Trial of Ascension) ToA team, then you may want to find a guide that will walk you through the basics. This is more for players who are stuck and looking at their stable of monsters, thinking, "What can I build next?"
If you don't want to think too hard about it, you can build the following units and have pretty decent success in ToA and TOAH:
- Barretta (Fusion)
- Veromos (Fusion)
- Spectra (Fire Secret Dungeon, Mystic Scroll) Better after Second Awakening
- Mav (Mystic Scroll)
- Belladeon (Light Secret Dungeon, Light & Dark Scroll)
- Shannon (Unknown Scroll)
Just these monsters alone will give you coverage on almost every Trial of Ascension level, and most of them are useful in several other parts of the game, too. But if you're looking to be a bit more creative, this article includes the stats and unique strengths of other monsters that I've used to clear ToA so you can get customizing.
Mellia: Wind Dryad
Mellia is a monster I always thought could be good but never had the time to build. After I pulled a few from mystic scrolls one day I decided to take her to 6 star and I wasn't disappointed. Mellia doesn't need many skill ups so if you have some from the Hall of Heroes a few months back you should definitely build her.
So let's talk about why you would want Mellia in your TOA team. Mellia is my queen of dots. Her passive makes all of her other abilities leave a two-turn continuous damage debuff. So let's keep that in mind. Her first skill hits and absorbs 15% of the attack bar half of the time. Not too special until you consider it's also a dot because of her passive. Now you have a dot/attack bar reduction on first skill. Her second skill hits all enemies, slows them, has a chance to reduce all attack bars and it's a dot because of the passive.
Mellia is great for both safe wave clear and boss fights. Even without her continuous damage passive, she will still stop the boss from getting a lot of turns due to attack bar reduction.
I built my Wind Dryad Violent/Focus. Getting a violent proc on her can mean getting 2-3 continuous damage debuffs on every enemy. Since her first skill absorbs attack bar she will be getting lots of turns on Violent.
Note: Mellia can be summoned from Mystic Scrolls and a past Hall of Heroes.
Verdehile: Fire Vampire
I think Verdehile gets overlooked for TOA because he's so stuck in most players' minds as the Dragon team leader. Even without the leader skill, Verdehile's passive is reason alone to bring him for some floors. Every time he lands a critical hit he fills ally attack bars by 20%. This boils down to more turns for your team.
I use Verdehile for floors like Jamire one where you absolutely need to land your stuns, attack breaks or other debuffs. More turns mean more chances. He can also be used on very safe slow tank-y teams. Turn cycling with a Belladeon and a Veromos can be a strong early strategy for players climbing TOA Normal for the first time.
Verdehile is one of those monsters every player should have and since you can fuse him he might be the most attainable key unit in the game.
I built my Verdehile Swift/Energy but Swift/Blade or Violent Blade are good as well. You want him to get lots of turns and have enough health and defense to take a few hits. Most of all you want him to have a high critical hit rate so he can activate is passive on every turn. Damage is nice to have but don't go out of your way to get it.
Note: Verdehile can be fused but can also be found in Mystic Scrolls, Fire Scrolls and Legendary Scrolls
Woochi: Wind Taoist
Woochi is by far one of my favorite units. I built this monster on a hunch because he seemed good enough, and I wasn't disappointed. At that point, I hadn't seen many people use him, and I realized most people look over him for some of his brothers.
What makes him great is that he has 2 AOE attack bar reducing moves. His second skill hits all enemies twice each with a chance to reduce the bar by 30%. His Third skill reduces all enemy attack bars to 0.
I run mine on Despair runes with lots of health and speed. I've found when paired with even one other stunner or attack bar reducer you can lock down the enemy team for quite a while.
As a bonus, he has a 28% Resistance Leader skill which very situational but can be helpful on certain floors and during some PvP matches.
Note: Wind Taoist can be summoned from Mystical scrolls.
Gorgo: Dark Warbear (2A)
It is important to keep in mind that Gorgo is only worth bringing into ToA after the second awakening (2A). Even though he's not a popular choice, I'm still glad that I picked him.
All of his skills and stats can help you in ToA. None of his skills are wasted. Gorgo's first skill does damage based on his health and has a chance to reduce attack bar on a single target, which is very handy for bosses.
The second skill hits all enemies to reduce attack power and includes a small 15% attack bar reduction. 15% is not a lot, but it can sometimes make all the difference. Gorgo's third skill is a passive one that gives him a better chance to land a critical hit and he stuns on all critical hits. This gives him the feeling of having built Despair without taking the stat lost to do so.
I built my Gorgo Energy/Energy/Blade but I've seen some success with Rage.
Note: Gorgo can be summoned through the Dark Secret Dungeon
Bagir: Water Ice Giant
First, I want to say if you have a Hwa (Fire Rakshasa) you probably don't need to build this guy. Hwa is a 4-star unit though so getting Bagir and lots of skill up can be much easier for someone still in their first few months of play.
Bagir doesn't get enough love for what he does. He has 2 attack bar-reducing abilities, a strip, and a defense break. All of it can only be applied to a single target, though. His second attack will set the enemies attack bar to zero 100% of the time if they already have a debuff on them. This is super reliable, and without it, I wouldn't have cleared ToA floor 100 the first time. Ath' Taros is especially vulnerable to this and because of that, I would highly recommend building Bagir.
I think he's one of those monsters that gets neglected because of a much more impressive sibling (Skogul).
I Built my Bagir Violent/Guard so I could spam attack bar reductions and attack breaks.
Note: Bagir can be summoned from Mystical Scrolls.
Updated for Second Awakening
Hemos: Water Grim Reaper
I have to say that at a certain point I benched this guy. I no longer use him for high-level ToA or ToA Hard. However, he is very useful and if I had brought him up to 6-star, I may still be utilizing him due to his easy skill ups. You can even buy pieces in the guild shop.
Edit: Hemos is back!!!
What makes Hemos so great is his dots. His second ability will apply two dots for two turns to all enemies. When paired with Baretta, this can give you an opening turn with 4 dots on all enemies. It's a great way to start any fight. His 3rd skill is a single target slow with a chance to freeze. More crowd control is always welcome. The nice thing about Hemos is that his dots will crush waves of enemies and his slow provides support during boss fights.
Mine is built Fatal/Blade, but you should build yours Violent/Focus.
Note: Hemos can be summoned from many places. Mostly Mystical Scrolls and Guild shop.
I would only use Guild Shop to purchase the 1st one. His whole family is 3 star so they will come often from scrolls.
Hraesvelg: Wind Barbarian King
I don't think I've ever seen Hraesvelg on anyone's Trial of Ascension recommended list. I think it's because Mav is the superior wind speedster for most of ToA and Bernard is much more accessible. When bringing Hraesvelg though you are bringing him for a much different reason. Sure he has a speed buff and dots but his two biggest assets over the competition are his health regeneration and his Brand. Hraesvelg's 3rd skill buffs the teams attack and speed which is useful but while it's on cooldown he gains attack speed and will heal 10% of his health per turn. This gives him a lot of sustain. His seconds skill though is why he's here. It does a lot of damage and then Brands the target, as a bonus it also refills his attack bar by 50%.
Brand causes the target to take and extra 25% damage from all attacks. It's sort of like having an extra defense break. It can massively increase your damage output and on floors with bosses who heal a lot, it can make the difference.
I built my Hraesvelg Fatal/Blade. Some players may find the need him beefier, so a despair built with more tank stats could work well. Just try to keep him fast either way.
Note: Hraesvelg can be summoned from Mystical scrolls and other places 4 stars can come from.
Chilling: Water Jack-O-Lantern
Chilling is one of those monster everyone should have. I use mine in Dragons, Guild Siege, RTA and TOA. There are certain floors like the annoying Dark Phantom Thief floor that just require a good strip. That's why you bring chilling. His passive lets him strip on every single hit. Not only does he remove the buff though. He applies it to himself and gains speed for each buff on him. His first skill hits 3 times so this will steal 3 beneficial effects if they have that many to give. This also means if he steals invincibility on the first hit the next two still do damage. His secondly skill is fairly useful for TOA teams as well. It's a full party Speed and Critical hit rate buff. I like to use him with units like Mellia, Verad and Woochi to really lock things down.
I built my Chilling on Swift/Shield. I found this to be universally beneficial. Swift is a must since you want him getting lots of turns but besides a little bit of health and defense you don't need to worry to much for his stats. Just don't worry about accuracy he has no use for it.
Trial of Ascension: Try Something New
The Trial of Ascension is a one-hundred-floor puzzle. You'll likely find a team that works for most of the floors, and then you'll get stuck. When you get stuck, check what monsters you have and see if any of those that I've listed are there. Try something new. It might be just what you need.