I logged back into one of my referral accounts, and started doing the fusion just to see if I could from a cold start. I had 6M silver, literally 0 shards, and missed IG tournament. Not a great position.
I managed to complete champ chase by getting ronda, djamarsa and relickeeper. I popped ancients as I got them (about 10 total with average luck), and camped out at the market for the last 200 points. It was really sketchy at some point, as I didn't check my potion stocks and was literally 1 minor blue potion short of being able to fuse relickeeper. I was saved by CvC, where you get greater potions in the milestones (at tier I only!)
I won arena I and champ chase, so now I have made up for missing IG and got the extra 5 frags needed to skip summon rush! If I win another tourney, I can skip artifact III as well.
Also, FK was a pain in the ass, running stage 7 (LOL). Spider 10 and dragon 16 will be much easier.
Overall I'm really happy I managed to do this. Pythion is a great progress champ, so I'll now be able to develop a true ftp account!