I'll admit, when I did Expert and Master Mode summoner, I did all Cell staff with Vortex Beater+Chlorophyte and just kept my distance the entire time (w/ Spooky armor so it still felt like summoner).That's also probably because a hoard of minions synergises better with kaleidoscope's tag than 1 big dragon does. If you looked at the morning star tests dragon did a bit better than cell but cell closed the gap when kaleidoscope was used.
However keep in mind kaleidoscope is somewhat weak by the time you get the stardust minions, I did some more Empress tests for this thread and phantasm + dragon always outperformed kaleidoscope + cells.
Also in my moonlord tests the shorter range on whips was a very noticeable downside. In my empress tests the only way firecracker + dragon outperformed phantasm + dragon was when using full spooky armor.