Surtr is one of the better evo material bosses we’ve gotten in a while, but his worth will always be relative to Goemon. The two monsters share many attributes, their most notable similarity being their full-board fire orb change. Surtr has some niche uses where he’s slightly better than Goemon — the most prominent being for hardcore farming — but in general Goemon is the better investment since he has more practical uses for farming and is also much better at clearing late-game content.
Compared to Goemon
Uevo Goemon is the king of push button speedfarming; without his full-board orb change there’s no push button method to deal with high HP boss floors. ROdin might have to say something about that, but he’s a 6-star GFE whose territory has been encroached by Awoken Ra. Goemon’s also a good leader for said teams since his nuke sets you up for an easy 5x/6x.
I could go on forever about Goemon, but this is a Surtr post. Sadly, he’s almost completely overshadowed by Goemon — perhaps the most crippling difference being the extra turn of cooldown on the active skill — but there are a few points where he can exceed:
- Navigating preemptive-laden dungeons since his active doesn’t reduce HP to 1.
- Since his active doesn’t have the nuke component, it’s slightly faster. The saved time adds a few more push button runs over a few hours.
- He’s technically less expensive to skill up.
Point (1) isn’t all that relevant since one can usually avoid preemptive deaths through proper planning. Point (2) is only relevant for a handful of players, but it’s actually a big deal for them where applicable. Goemon’s nuke is almost always an asset for push button farming, but in certain dungeons it’s not necessary e.g. Goemon on 10x. Over the course of long farming sessions — think 5+ hours — the time saved from not sitting through the nuke animation really adds up. Here’s a snippet from my personal investigation into 10x push button farming:
Optimizations range in the order of seconds, so you’re really looking at about 5% more time efficiency at most. However, if you’re farming +eggs on the order of the thousands, small optimizations like that can make a big difference. For simplicity, let’s say a run takes a minute each. If you farm Goemon for 8 hours in a day, that’s 480 runs or 1920 +eggs. Let’s be generous and say optimizations make you 5% more efficient. So instead, each run takes 57 seconds, leading to 505 runs or 2020 +eggs. That’s 100 more +eggs. Maybe that’s not a huge difference on paper, but for the player that has everything except time, that essentially amounts to free +eggs.
Those numbers are extremely rough, but you get the idea: using a team without a useless nuke equates to “free” +eggs when time is the only factor. This time difference was tested using evo Goemon vs. uevo Goemon. Which brings me to the next comparison: can Surtr replace evo Goemon for that time edge? Yes and no. Surtr is definitely a better sub since he brings a row and skill boost, but evo Goemon is a better leader since he still provides a 5x ATK boost (using a uevo Goemon active to hit the HP threshold, of course). Check out this post for more information on 10x farming team.
In short, only those that absolutely have to min-max their speedfarming should consider investing in a Surtr and that’s only after a uevo Goemon.
Uses as a Leader
Surtr isn’t all that impressive as a leader, having a Greek-esque 2x ATK, 2x HP leader skill that also has a fairly meaningless counterattack clause. Unfortunately, that leader skill is further limited to physical types only. To give an idea of how good — or bad — the leader skill is, we can compare him to another farmable monster:
Guan Yinping may have a worse active, but their awakenings are at least somewhat comparable. More importantly, she’s able to incorporate healers onto her team, something that’s a much bigger deal than a paltry counterattack. Well, whether she’s actually better or not isn’t really the point; the point is that Guan Yinping is a comparable leader, but isn’t exactly tearing up the game. If Guan Yinping is any indicator, I think it’s safe to assume there’s no real use for Surtr as a leader.
If he ever does become relevant for some reason or you just have a penchant for Norse giants, fire has some nice high-end physical sub options:
He’s not completely embarrassing as a farmable leader when paired with Belial or Freyr. With Leilan + Belial for your burst board, Freyr for the damage enhance and Guan Yinping for the orb enhance, you have a team that’s somewhat reminiscent of old Beelzebub-RSonia teams. Unfortunately, the team shares many of the same downsides without much upside. Similar to devil teams, physical teams struggle with RCV so +eggs are almost mandatory. The offensive capabilities are also lackluster compared to contemporary tank teams. Unlike RSonia, Surtr has a poor farmable sub selection and suffers from his better subs being awoken or just plain difficult to skill up. I’d imagine if you had the skill ups and +eggs to run a good version of the team that you’d almost certainly have other, better team options.
His counterattack can be cute for dealing with perseverance, but it’s probably better to find some other way to deal with it — like an Archdemon active counterattack or a delay or poison if allowed — than handicap your team with Surtr’s leader skill.
Surtr is one of the more useful evo material bosses we’ve gotten in a while, but with much of that value being tied up in hardcore farming and a better general-use option in uevo Goemon existing, there isn’t any real reason to invest in him. I’ll likely skill one up in the process of farming Ariel skill ups from his dungeon, but I don’t have a pressing need for him since I already have max skill uevo and evo Goemons.
If I missed anything or you have suggestions to improve this post, please let me know in the comments and I’ll update the post.