Summoning Guide

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Here is a guide for Summoning/spending gems in the summoning portal.

Basics

2 examples of Tome/Parch summons. The banner on top is a generic non-time-limited banner using "parchment pieces". The bottom one is a limited banner using "wings of judgement" as their tomes.

Here, we detail what has been said in Beginner's Guide#Negotiations & Summoning.

The 3 important types of banner are: banners using Gems, banners using "parchs/tomes" and generic banners using "files" (or Hell Buns):

  • Banners using Gems are the main banners of the game. This is where you will spend most of your Gems. Most of them are time-limited and proposed either new demons or older (banner exclusive) demons!
    • Step 1 of most Step Up banners costs only 500 Gems instead of 1000: this is a really good deal.
    • There is also 1 generic/non time-limited "Gem banner": like in most gacha games, this is the worst banner; don't pull on it.
    • Banners (using gems) where you summon Skill Genomes instead of demons exist too.
  • Banners using "tomes" or "parchs" are what some other gacha games would call fragment summons. They are extremely important banners since you are guaranteed one of the banner demons from it.
    • Unlike some other games, you do not have a different parch/tome for each banner demon. Instead you have a different parch/tome for each "category" of banner demons, and the parchs/tomes of a corresponding category can only be obtain in a banner dedicated to that category of demons.
      • You have categories and tomes like: "dimensional demons" (dimensional tomes), "Tenmas" (tomes of Temna), "Masakado" (tome of Masakado), "the three Archangels" (wings of judgement) etc. (new categories are regularly created)
    • For each summon in Gem banners you are guaranteed to get as many parchs/tomes as the numbers of demons you summoned.
    • The tome banners are refered in-game as "Absolute Summon". They are time-limited (except for one), they guarantee you to summon one of the demon of that category, but you usually don't get to choose which one, though it depends on the banner.
    • Among all these specific tomes, there is a generic parch/tome called "parchment piece" with a non time-limited Absolute Summon banner (see the picture on the right). Be careful: time-limited Fiends/Heroes/Reapers only Absolute "Parchment" banners exist! Therefore do not waste "parchment pieces" on the generic Absolute Summon one.
  • Banners using files or Hell Buns: there is no time-limited banner for any of them. You cannot exchange these files for anything either. You can hoard them or use them immediately: it doesn't matter.

Guides

Beginner Advices

First, if you just started the game read Beginner's Guide#Action Beginners SHOULD urgently perform + advices on limited packs. This banner is excellent.

Beyond the Dash Start Step up, for beginners, here is a guide:

  • Earnings: if you are a beginner, there will be a lot of 1-time missions giving a lot of Gems. However, you may wonder how much you can gain from resettable Gems earnings only? The short answer is around 4200 a month minimum (i.e. lowest PVP rank) and can jump to 5000 in Gold PVP or even 5500+ in Diamond.
    • This earning assumes you do every resettable gems: Hell Park, PVP Training, dailies and weeklies, and most importantly you need to be in a Faction and participate in Democalypse.
    • Sega also regularly gives free Gems in time-limited Login Bonus or Events, so you could probably increase the monthly earning by several 100s.
  • Perform the Step 1s: if you are a beginner, you want as many 5★ as possible. In most Step Up banners, the Step 1 only costs 500 Gems (half price) for 10 demons and 10 parchs/tomes. So perform all the 500 Gems costing Step 1s you see.
    • Gathering a tons of 5★s is important as a new player because they are likely to be useful to your roster (since you start with very little). Moreover:
      • even the less useful Fusable 5★s can save you up at least 1.6 millions Magnetites if used as fusion material.
      • duplicates can be used for Panels (see Spirit Merge) which grants very strong buffs to a demon.
      • as a beginner, you will severely lack strong transferable Skills. Many 5★ demons have strong "Gacha skills" and you would want to use a Blank Genome on those skills (see Skill Transfer for info on what Gacha skills are) (see Skill Transfer#Gacha skills from 5★ for a list of good Gacha skills) Pulling 5★s is the most consistent way to obtain Auto-Buff/Debuff like Auto-Taruka which are very good in PVP.
    • That being said, after reaching a comfortable roster you may want to calm down on the Step 1 mania. Indeed, at some point you will crave the new banner demons so much that getting twice more random 5★s isn't enough.
  • The Excess of Gems. Even if you are in your "Step 1s mania"-phase. It is possible you accumulate more Gems than you can spend them on Step 1s. In this case, you want to summon all the Steps of a Step Up you find good! (Step Ups are usually either 6-Steps or 10-Steps with very rare 3-Steps) You better verify you have enough Gems to go all the way until the last Step or at least until Step 6 as it usually provides you with a guaranteed (random) 5★.
    • Be careful! Having excess of Gems doesn't mean you should spend it in the first banner you see. There exists many resources to check whether a banner is worth it:
      • The profile page of the banner demon. In section "Role Summary" of each demon, there is an evalution and even a Tier rating of the demon (you can also see the full Tier List here: Tier List). The rating assesses the demon at its Full Potential (Full Panels, Best Skills etc.) however it is rare for a demon to be good at its Full Potential but very bad at its Base. If it is the case, it will be noted in the "Cons". New demons don't immediately have their profile up: you will need to wait a few days.
      • You can learn from PVP Team Guide to get an understanding of the Metagame and assess yourself whether this new demon fits one of the Standard PVP Teams.
      • Discord or Reddit: you can ask people there.
    • Remark: at each new release or rerun, we get Step Up banners and a non-Setp Up version. Step Ups are BETTER than non-Step Ups.
  • Rate of new banners: Usually, we get new banners every Wednesday, and each with an associated Step-Up. (This does not mean new demons, the new banner can be a rerun) The rate of new demons can be as low as 2 weeks.

Advanced Strategies

As we mention previously, Tier List, the demon's profile page, PVP Team Guide and Discord/Reddit are good tools to assess the worth of some featured banner demons.

You can proceed without any kind of "Gem strategies" but, if you need, here are some strategies:

  • Step 1s in moderation. Let's assume you now want to be picky with the Step 1s you want to perform. Your decision should be determined by the parchs/tomes it gives as 10 tomes/parchs for only 500 Gems is such a good deal.
    • Step 1s givng "parchment pieces" (the generic white parch) are a must-do; indeed, we regularly have time-limited Absolute Summon "parchment pieces" banners where the featured demons are either Heroes, Fiends or Reapers (the 3 of them are non-fusable races).
    • For the other Step 1s, the decision should be driven by a ratio between how good the banner demons are and how often you think the banner would rerun. Even then, unlike the white parch summons, you are unlikely to ever be able to get enough tomes to perform an Absolute Summon solely from Step 1s: you will at some point need to do 1 or 2 Full Step Ups to gather the remaining tomes. Therefore, you should probably decide in advance what are the 1 or 2 types of tomes you are aiming to get an Absolute from and avoid spending Gems in all the other Step 1s.
  • Absolute Summon buyout. For Tome Summons requiring 200 tomes (example: dimensional tomes) the Step Ups are usually 10-steps with 1st Step and 7th Step at 500 Gems. As such if you have gathered 18000 Gems and a dimensional banner pop up, you are 100% sure to be able to Tome Summons by spending your 18K in the Step Up. For 300-tomes banners (Masakado and many other), the threshold is 27500 Gems. 300-tomes banners regurlarly hold special banners whereby a Full Step Up (6-Steps) will give 100 tomes instead of 60: this means the threshold can actually be 16500 Gems for 300-tomes banners.
    • The strategy is simple: aim for saving up 16500, 18000 or 27500 Gems, and it is only after reaching this point you will worry about which banners you will spend your Gems in.
    • The "buyout" strategy and the "Step 1s in moderation" strategy are somewhat opposite: the "buyout" strat forces you into ascetism but you get more time to see what are the best type of banners, the "Step 1s" forces you to decide in advance what tomes you wish to accumulate or not but allow you to pull more demons.
    • You can also mix the two strategies.
    • Reminder: your monthly earning of resettable (free) Gems should be between 4200 Gems and 5500+ Gems, so the aforementioned strategy is a 3-months to 6-months planning.
  • Anniversary planning. Sega typically proposes excellent banners during Anniversary of Dx2 (Around January) as well as during half Annivn (end of July). It also proposes very good banners for Anniversary of games of the Series (in 2019 they celebrated SMTI Anniv and in 2020 they celebrated SMTII Anniv, please go to wikipedia for the release date of other SMT games). You should plan to save Gems for Anniv events.
  • Step 1s mania. Even after you obtained a decent roster, you are not forced to switch to the 2 strategies above. Doing all Step 1s and using the remaining Gems for any interesting banner you see is still a valid strategy.


  • Skill Genome banner. Skill Genome banners also exist. There 2 types: "Step up" and "Box". The Step Ups are 5-steps and unlike the demon banners each step are only a single pull (not 10), step 1 costs 100 Gems, step 2 200 Gems etc. The Box is a gathering of 50 or 30 skills (you can look what skills are inside each Box banner), and when you pull 1 of the 30/50 skills, it disappear from the Box. So, by pulling all the skills you are 100% sure to get all the skills of the Box (P.S.: a Box doesn't have duplicates of a same skill)
    • Good skills are only good on excellent demons. A lot of banner-featured 5★s skills have cheaper equivalent anyways, for example Force Amp increases Force damage by 25%: this is a strong 5★ skill but Force Boost, its cheap equivalent, exists and boost it to 15% instead. (There exists however some exceptionally good skills with no cheap equivalent.)
    • For the Step Up, the Step 1 for 100 Gems isn't bad because you are guaranteed a 4★ or 5★ skill. Beyond that it is up to you and whether you already have a good demon roster but no good skill.
    • For Boxes, even if good skills are good on excellent demons only, the "guaranteed" nature of the Box can make some Boxes worth to summon even if you do not have a good roster yet. It depends on the skills in the Box (please check the skills yourself), the most "unique" skills to look for are:
      • Dark Pierce (weak), a near must-have for Alice. And while Alice is not fusable, she is in the general summon pull (summonable from files and present in all banners), so it is only a matter of time before you would get her. Therefore pulling for this skill is not crazy.
      • Recarmdra, this is a 4★ skill not a 5★, so you actually need to look at the Box detail to see if it has it. Recarmdra isn't so hard to obtain since you can get it as Gacha skill of some demons. Only pull for it if you are in a process of building a PVP team with a bulky reviver and can't afford to wait indefinitely.
      • Prayer, also a 4★ skill. Much more scarce. Only pull if you immediately need it (for example, if you are close to finishing a team to farm Brands of Sin 11: Sloth).
      • Null Charm and Null Bind. If you have no counter against Ailment Team and immediately need one, or are in the process of building an anti-ailment Asherah. Don't pull for it unless immediate need.
      • Epitome of Carnage and Epitome of Fortitude don't fall into the "unique skills with no weaker equivalent", as such they may not be worth it if you don't have an established roster yet... at least not alone. If the Box contains one Epitome in addition to several of the above skills (Epitome + Dark Pierce is also enough), you should think about going for the Box.

Notable Recurrent Banners

Top Banner Exclusive Demons people are chasing.

This list may not be regularly updated

Last update July 2020. Here we give what are the best "banners" to summon in based on the patterns (in terms of rates, or bonus tomes, demons etc.) Sega showed so far. Saving up Gems for those banners is not a bad idea. The list mostly includes "rerun" banners as we cannot predict the quality of "new banners"; it is is ordered from best to worse:

  1. General Masakado banner: Top Tier demon, the banner usually offer a Special Step Up giving more Tomes of Masakado (300 Tomes would only cost 16,500 Gems worth of summons; and 300 Tomes = Guaranteed Masakado). The most efficient way to summon him is through Tome Summon: so hoard 16,500 Gems if you aim for him. You can expect this banner to appear every 4 months or so.
  2. Hero Masakado A banner: Extremely powerful demon. Top Tier for building a Defense Team for PVP. 300 Tomes (costing 16,500 Gems in total) to Tome Summon the demon. Very rare banner: average time is around 6 months
  3. Dimensional banner (banners summoning Dimensional/Alt demons such as Shiva A, Susano-o A etc.): Proposes many Top Tier demons. Cost of Tome summon: 200 Tomes = 18,000 Gems only (Tome summon guarantees a random 5★ Dimensional demon). Very frequent banners: sometimes, it appeared every months.
  4. Anniversary banners: usually Anniversary banners offers "Special Step Up" that gives more Tomes. (300 Tomes for only 16,500 Gems). Those are not "rerun" banners: usually the banner is on new demons; they are often high Tier demons. You could expect 1 every year... Or Half a year, since Sega celebrated the 1.5 anniv year of the game, they also celebrated SMTI anniversary in 2019 and SMTII anniversary in 2020.
  5. Tenma banner (Banner for Tenma Race: Asura Lord, Indrajit, Yama etc.): Strong demons. But Tome Summon costs 27,500 Gems and it randomly picks a Tenma (you may get a less than optimal one). Also the rate for each Tenma is usually very low. Quite rare: maybe every 4 or 5 months.

Top Bait banners (listed from the worse to the better):

  1. Lucifer banner: guaranteed Lucifer at Step 6 (I.E. 5500 Gems). This is bad, except for Step 1 which gives you 10 Parchment Pieces for 500 Gems only. Do not go all the way to Step 6 though.
  2. Rider Banners (banners for Red Rider, Pale Rider and/or Black Rider): Guaranteed Rider at Step 10 (=9000 Gems). Each Rider has a Step Up, so you actually choose which one you will get guaranteed. For beginners, this is a bait banner. Pale Rider banner is the better choice out of the 3 banners though.

Rerolling

   Gacha Rates: 3% for a 5★, 7.5% for a 4★, and 89.5% for a 3★

What to reroll for

  • First off: Rerolling is not necessary, it will only give you a headstart and makes your PvP easier. A decent 5* from your Absolute Beginner File will bring you through most of mid and early game and you can fuse the rest that you need.
  • If however you want to breeze through the game and also want to be competitive in PvP early on, you should reroll for a Gacha Exclusive Demon.
    • This heavily depends on what current Banner is available. If in doubt, ask people on Discord!
  • List of 'limited' exclusive Demons, generally not pullable (depends on the limited banners that are up):

Steps to Reroll

  1. Complete the tutorial until you get the 5★ Beginner Absolute File.
  2. Pray to RNGesus.
  3. If you want, you can continue the story a bit further to get some more gems to pull more.
    • If you are unhappy with your pulls clear data (or if rooted on Android, delete com.sega.d2megaten.v2.playerprefs.xml inside data/com.sega.d2megaten/shared_prefs) and repeat.
  4. Save account via the Facebook link / Recovery Code.

For recommended demons please check Tier List.

Note - Any 5★ is better than no 5★ and most 5★s are fusable with time.

See also