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The best Summoner builds in Terraria Calamity

Bringing style to the 'all kill, no skill' class.

The popular Calamity mod for Terraria adds even more content to the base game, with enemies, bosses, and new biomes to explore, which means there will be plenty of new ways to die as you progress. Calamity also adds a few new ways to fight back, which new equipment and weapons, and even a new class system where you can choose your playstyle. If you prefer to idle near the fight instead of frantically dodging and dashing into enemies to strike again, then you should probably give the Summoner class of a healthy shake. Here are our best Summoner builds for Terraria Calamity, from pre-Hardmode to the pre-Moon Lord.

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Related: The best accessories in Terraria

Pre-Hardmode Summoner Build

If you’re still building your initial housing, that’s as good of an excuse as any to not have eliminated the Wall of Flesh yet to enter Hardmode. Until you decide to sacrifice the Guide to Hell, you’ll struggle a bit for decent summons. A quick rule of thumb is to keep a ranged weapon always available to help whittle down stronger foes — even a simple bow can help end enemies earlier, meaning there’s less for you to be concerned about. Pre-Hardmode, we suggest this gear:

  • Ogscule
    • This strange weapon fires lasers erratically around the player, with some of the biggest pre-Hardmode DPS available. The classless weapon (meaning it can be used freely by any class) is more than enough to eliminate most threats while your minions do the rest of the work, but don’t be afraid to move a bit to stay alive while it charges for 5 seconds between 10-second blasts.
      • Demon Eyes can only drop this weapon while wearing a full Wood armor suit. It’s a weird drop condition, but it’s a weird weapon.
  • Snapthorn
    • This is your melee weapon that you’ll use to direct your minions. Whips cause all summoned minions to focus on the struck target, so this weapon can help dish out some additional damage and for focusing minions during hectic battles. The bad news is that you’ll need to work through the jungle for this, but you can gather the materials necessary for the Belladonna Spirit Staff while you’re there.
      • Stinger (x15)
      • Vine (x3)
      • Jungle Spores (x12)
  • Belladonna Spirit Staff
    • This staff summons an ethereal forest spirit minion, which can fly through walls and poison enemies for a hefty DoT. Reforge it to hit Mythical, and keep the spirit up to eliminate most enemies on screen — you won’t even need to pay attention unless there’s a boss fight.
      • Vine (x4)
      • Jungle Spores (x5)
      • Stinger (x8)
      • Rich Mahogany (x25)
  • Sun Spirit Staff
    • This staff summons a sun that floats above the players’ head and fires energy beams at nearby enemies. It is one of the fastest-firing pre-Hardmode minions, and pushes out some decent punishment with a base 39 damage.
      • Sandstone Brick (x20)
      • Desert Feather (x2)
  • Wulfrum Armor (set)
    • Wulfrum might not offer the best defense, but its additional minion slot means you can push out even more punishment in exchange. Additionally, double-tapping down changes this set into heavier armor, letting you take even more punishment in exchange for a singular Wulfrum Metal Scrap. Note that you can only use the built-in gun while in Power Armor mode.
      • Wulfrum Metal Scrap (x25)
      • Energy Core (x3)

Hardmode — Mechanical Bosses Summoner build

Screenshot by Gamepur

If you’ve completed the Wall of Flesh, you’ll have a lot more materials available to explore with. While many of the items in a pre-Mechanical Trio build are farmed from re-summoning enemies, don’t neglect your material gathering to round out this build. This build begins to take its true shape in Hardmode, as the screen can fill with enemies during a litany of events — the greatest advantage a Summoner can offer in these times is the ability to focus high-health mobs while the rest of the party deals with the trash

  • Firecracker
    • This whip offers a base of 38 damage per swing and focuses all of your minions on the hit target. When your minions hit the target struck by the Firecracker, the target explodes with 2.75 times the damage from the minion. Keep Firecracker proceed on the highest HP enemies, or you’ll lose far too much DPS to keep this build viable.
      • Dropped from the Wall of Flesh at a 12.5% chance.
  • Dart Rifle
    • Many players will encourage you to stay within your class while gearing, but in execution, there are far too many times where a ranged weapon will help immensely. Whether you’re trying to farm in the Dungeon or working your way through the Hallowed biome, a bit of range is a pleasant respite. The Dart Rifle is adequate for this means, using darts as an ammunition. Reforge it until it receives the Unreal modifier, and use it as the situation calls for it.
      • Dropped by Corrupt Mimics at a 20% chance. If your world has the Crimson, instead, Sea’s Searing can be an acceptable exchange.
  • Sanguine Staff
    • The Sanguine Staff summons a bat minion that remains by the side of the summoner until an enemy is seen, at which point it will begin flying a loop between the player and enemy. This summon is extremely valuable, providing consistent damage — the weakest point of any Summoner build. The bad news here is that you’ll need to farm Blood Moons for a hope of it dropping.
      • Dropped by the Dreanautilus during a Blood Moon with a 50% chance.
  • Shellfish Staff
    • This summon is one of the more enjoyable summons available pre-Mechanical Boss. The Shellfish Staff summons shellfish which attach to an enemy, dealing DoT with a base of 75 DPS. Summoners can have up to five shellfish summoned at once, attached to the same target, but be warned — each shellfish takes two minion slots. Have a Bewitching Table accessible to increase your minion capacity.
      • Dropped by the Giant Clam mini-boss at a 25% rate.
  • Summoner Emblem
    • A necessary tool of the Summoner trade, this increases outgoing damage by 15% for both minions, sentries, and whips.
      • Dropped by the Wall of Flesh at a 12.5% rate.
  • Obsidian Armor
    • Increases your whip range and attack speed, while increasing your minion damage by 15%, stacking with other buffs. The full set is what gives the minion attack bonus — either use the full set or don’t use any of it.
      • Silk (x30)
      • Obsidian (x60)
      • Shadow Scale or Tissue Sample (x30)

Pre-Moon Lord Summoning build

Screenshot by Gamepur

You have a heft of bosses under your belt and are likely glowing with a couple of different colors at this stage of the game. There’s also still many slices of humble pie in your future, but you can mitigate some of it by finding a reliable damage build that gives you enough time to dodge the absurdly fast attacks in your near future. Try this set:

  • Morning Star
    • This massive whip offers 165 damage and grants minions the ability to hit foes critically. While Kaleidoscope offers greater immediate damage with 180, Morning Star offers a greater critical hit buff for your minions — this weapon offers a 12% buff versus the Kaleidoscopes 10%. It also offers the largest knockback on whips in the game, meaning you’ll have plenty of breathing room to maneuver around enemies.
      • The Morning Stardrops in the Hardmode Dungeon post-Plantera at a 0.5% chance — use battle potions and water candles to increase the spawn, and decrease the grind.
  • Resurrection Butterfly
    • The Resurrection Butterfly’s strength isn’t in the damage per hit (65 base), but how frequently it attacks. This summon brings two butterflies out per cast (costing only one minion slot per), where on flies through enemies to damage while the other shoots petals at it. If you can afford the slots, don’t be shy in bringing out two or three pairs.
      • Silk (x40)
      • Ectoplasm (x20)
      • Life Alloy (x5)
      • Butterfly Dust (x2)
      • Gold Butterfly (x2003)
  • Terraprisma
    • This weapon summons a sword that attacks enemies on its own — the attack comes quick, they’re impactful, and you can summon multiple swords. An easy buff for this weapon is to simply dedicate more minion slots to summon more Terraprismas, resulting in more outgoing damage.
      • A guaranteed drop from the Empress of Light, if all damage dealt occurs during the day. This is one of the hardest fights to complete under these pretenses because the Empress can only be summoned at night, meaning you’ll be dodging until daytime — don’t summon anything until the day, or you’ll fail the challenge.
  • Spooky Armor
    • For this build, we want the Spooky Armor set to increase minion damage by 25%. the Plaguebringer Armor set gives 3 additional summon slots, but the Spooky Armor is simply BiS until post-Moon Lord. With five active minions, Spooky Armor offers a staggering 790% damage increase for minions. Switch to Stardust Armor post-Moon Lord, and keep that Summoner Emblem active.

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Chris Davenport
Chris Davenport is a freelance writer for Gamepur. He's been writing video game guides for the past five years and has been featured on GameRant.