The Unsung Summoning Stone

January 20, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Posted in Guild Wars, mmorpg | 17 Comments
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Since I’ve been playing Guild Wars a lot after the release of the Hall of Monuments Calculator, and therefore a lot of Hard Mode vanquishes, dungeons, missions and the like, I’ve been using a lot more summoning stones.

They’ve been in the game a long time now and I’ve had occasion to build up around 100 Mysterious Summoning Stones, a couple dozen Automaton, Mischievous, Frosty, Mercantile, and numerous other types.

For those who don’t know, they are essentially an NPC that does a little fighting for you.

With all the Hard Mode situations I’ve been getting into, I’ve got damned familiar with using them. Not such a great thing, considering how difficult they are to come by. Crafting them can be expensive, so the best way is often through Nicholas The Traveler. A once a week hand-in for random gifts isn’t exactly reliable though, so I’ve also done Zinn’s Task quite a bit, farmed up some festival quests for the things, and collected a few Royal Gifts to beef up my supply.

Saying all that though, you might think they’re worth it. Sometimes they’re not. Sometimes they’re worthless. Drop a summoning stone in Hard Mode and you may as well count on it dying within 30 seconds. If they catch aggro, they don’t last long.

Attack of the killer bees

Take for instance the summoning stone I hate the most. Swarm of Bees. It attacks in melee with most of its damage being done through Whirling Defense, and personally I can’t even keep track of its location due to it being a swarm of bees. Its attacks are worthless, and every time I’ve gotten it, it has died soon after.

Perhaps the most annoying thing about them dying quickly is that they leave you with summoning sickness. You’ll be unable to summon another stone for 60 minutes with that debuff on you, conveniently just long enough to finish most instances.

Their only other fault that I would bother complaining about is perhaps their aggro and our inability to control them. They attack who they want, and can often lead to bad pulls, and even wipes.

Not all summons are like Swarm of Bees however.

Many like different summons for different reasons. For instance I like the Juggernaut for the energy bonus when standing near him, but others despise him for being a bit of a body block and having so few attack skills. Some people like the Oni for its assassin damage output, but I think due to their long range shadowstepping and constant unwanted aggro collection that they suck. Replace your Oni summoning stones with Ebon Vanguard Assassin Support people.

There are some stones that have few faults. The Dream Rider has an extensive and useful mesmer bar, and its only fault lies in the same easy to kill flaw other stones have. The Gaki is a fairly useful buff for monks in an instance, it’s only fault being that it tends to send dorks in to convulsions of laughter.

I’ve even found myself preferring one type over all others. A stone that is derided and mocked, ignored and unused, brought out only before zoning into another instance to empty ones inventory.

Use Splinter Weapon on a Merchant to awesome effect.

The Mercantile Summoning Stone.

Not only are they in supply, Nicholas seems to give them out as much as Mysterious Summoning Stones, they are useful. I don’t think people realize how useful because often they are only used to sell things, and forgotten.

I myself put them aside until one day I was out solo farming. I had forgotten to sell some of my items upon last entering the outpost, and summoned the Merchant instead. I cleared some inventory space, and continued on with the farm, only to make a silly mistake and die. I ressed and traveled a fair distance back to the fight, only to discover the Merchant was still there. Not just that, but he had killed one of the 4 beasts assaulting him and was about to kill another. I rushed in to only have 2 left to kill. I was actually kind of shocked. The Merchant has Healing Signet, an interrupt, and I Will Survive? What the hell?

I had built up some 30 Mercantile stones, and began using them often. Sure he died sometimes, they all do, but the Merchant ended up being quite impressive to me. It is certainly no worse than most summoning stones, and I would say a damned sight more useful than the majority.

What are your favourite summoning stones?

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17 Comments

  1. The Gaki! Who can resist his pelvic thrust gait and oh-so-wonderful loincloth. And don’t forget the his happy little cries of B-eh-eh-eh-eh!

    But I’m also partial to the saltspray dragons, just because I am. And anything assassin-y of course. Oni, yes please.

    • i haven’t had the pleasure of the saltspray dragon. and i would resist the gaki any day.

  2. The Celestial Dragon is what i hate the most. It’s waay too big, Flying right behind my char spread Its wings blocking most of my screen.

    The summons i love are those “Heal bot” summons, like the celestial kirin or some froggy healer and of course the Gaki.

    The merchant is very convenient during vq-ing.

    • i haven’t had the displeasure of the celestial dragon. Though i prefer fighter stones to healing ones.

  3. The gaki. Sorry Hunter, but his healing is outstanding. šŸ˜‰
    The merchant is something my guild always brings, both for tanking but also because you never know when it’s going to be a 3-zone vq run.

    • He’s a good tank considering he’s a summoning stone, and he provides a service. I don’t see walmart or pawnbrokers coming with me on a vanq.

  4. GAKI!

    Oh no wait, that was a dork reflex. *suppress*

    In seriousness though, I agree with you on the merchant. He is super hardy and useful in combat and often is better than the heroes.

    I think the best ones though are the celestial ones. Nearly all of those have great skill bars

    • I’ve only seen a few celestial stones so I can’t really comment on them, i’ll have to see about getting a bunch and trying them out.

  5. Hands down my favorites are the siege turtle and the ooze. Both do solid aoe dammage and seem to be quite survivable.

    • Two more I’m not really familiar with. the ooze i’ve seen in action but didn’t have much opportunity to really study how well he did. never been in a party with siege turtles.

  6. I like all of them. Think I have around 400+ Mysterious (Nicholas always seems to give me lots), 100 Merchantile and handfuls of some of the others.

    I do wish the Igneous Summoning Stone could be used after you reach level 20. They could put a 24 hour timer or even a week cool down on it, but it would be nice to have the Fire Imp to use in caves/dungeons, as it glows. šŸ™‚

    • wow that’s a lot of stones. but i suppose if i didn’t use mine so liberally i’d have at least 250. i haven’t started a new character in ages so I’ve never had the opportunity of using the igneous.

  7. “The Mercantile Summoning Stone.

    Not only are they in supply, Nicholas seems to give them out as much as Mysterious Summoning Stones, they are useful.”
    Say what? I have 105 useless mysterious s.s. in my stash and have only gotten 5 mercantile so far. Ever.
    We’ve been doing all of the elite areas again for shits and giggles and we can all confirm how sturdy and actually useful the merchant is.
    And we agree with your assessment of the dream rider and the goat. šŸ˜€ Although it looks like we’re all dorks …

    • I get them all the time, but its random, not rarity. Okay maybe mysterious summoning stones are more common but the merchant isn’t exactly rare to me.

  8. Hey, nice write-up, and yes I have been looking for a good, Summuning stone
    Lately, my “cheap” #1 preference is “Kveldulf” (Arctic Summoning Stone). It’s reliable, with good health, and is one of the cheapest to buy.
    Whereas, the Meracntile Summoning Stone’s drop-rate, according to wiki, is around 5%. šŸ˜¦
    Maybe drop-rate from Nicholas has changed recently, but that is hardly reliable ? in fact, that’s pitiful.
    I wish GW would just make it(Mercantile) available from Consummables, just like the rest.

    • …then again, I’m a Ranger, so I prefer a nice cheap Warrior(like Kveldulf) to help in front of me.
      šŸ˜‰

    • i’ve never had too much trouble getting mercantile summoning stones, they’ve even built up a bit at times, but each person has their own experience.


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