Finding the Best Reach Monster for the Earth Splinter in Splinterlands

By handtalk5 | Play-to-Earn | 25 May 2021


The Minotaur Warrior is one of the early Reach monsters from when Splinterlands was still in Beta. Back in the days, every Splinter had their one Reach monster and Grumpy Dwarf and Manticore as alternatives. Teams were very static and often looked the same on both sides of the fields during those times.

Nowadays, we have more choices and some cards that were used frequently due to lack of alternatives, are now not used that often anymore. The Minotaur Warrior is one of those cards. I feel like it is one of the weakest cards in the game and usually end up using another Reach monster.

Seizing the ongoing Battle Challenge as another opportunity to re-evaluate my lesser used cards, I created a short comparison of Reach monsters that are playable with Earth (including Neutral and Dragon). Having data like this somewhere in the back of my head, helps me greatly when trying to assemble my team in hectic situations.

For better comparability, we will be looking at max level cards.

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Minotaur Warrior

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To have the differences at a glance, I transcribed the max level attributes of each card to a table of this format:

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These are the stats of the Minotaur Warrior. Nothing too spectacular but a cool trait is the 4-mana cost, which allows the Minotaur Warrior to be used in the Little League ruleset.

I have to say that I do not like the Piercing ability very much because it usually triggers only once, if at all, and only applies excess damage, which is max 2 points with the Minotaur.

Orc Sergeant

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The Orc Sergeant costs 1 more mana and is such disqualified from the Little League. But along with the Horny Toad it is the only monster in this article with an odd mana count, so it might be good to get one of the two for the Odd Ones Out ruleset.

I prefer the Orc over the Minotaur because of its Inspire ability. Pack your team with 5 other melee monsters and that is an extra 5 ATK per round compared to the potentially 2 of the Minotaur’s Piercing ability.

Oaken Behemoth

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Comparing the Behemoth to the Minotaur has the touch of comparing light and heavy weight boxers. Not much point in doing so. With its 12 mana cost – which is the highest in the game – use the Oaken Behemoth in Unlimited Mana matches if you have. Why would you pick the Minotaur here?

Manticore

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Switching to Dragon. The Manticore is the reason I never use Minotaur Warrior when playing Earth with a Dragon summoner. It has no shield but its HP is high for a 4 mana monster. I do not count its speed to be a disadvantage. First, it’s just 1 point less. Second, there are so many Reverse Speed matches, that greater speed is not really an advantage per se.

The Manticore’s abilities are far superior to the Minotaur’s. Thorns is just such a great ability and flying is a nice bonus that makes it harder to hit and immune to Earthquake damage.

Gloridax Guardian

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The other Reach dragon is Gloridax Guardian. It seems somewhat underwhelming for a 6 mana legendary. Sure, it’s Protect ability is nice. But being placed in the second monster slot instead of the middle, its exposed to blast magic damage which may make it die early on, not putting the Protect armor to its full use. It also only has 1 more HP and 2 more shield points than the Minotaur Warrior with attack strength being the same.

Grumpy Dwarf

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The Dwarf seems on par with the Minotaur Warrior at first glance. But at a second glance I prefer the Dwarf. What the Dwarf is lacking in HP it brings in shield points and while with 4 HP it’s difficult to take full benefit from its Enrage ability, I still prefer playing the Dwarf. This feels kind of wrong because from my understanding Neutral supplements should be slightly weaker than native Splinter monsters.

Horny Toad

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Honestly, I totally forgot about the Toad until writing this post. It’s sitting on my list of Untamed cards to max out and I guess I should do that asap before the packs run out. The toad is awesome, delivering the same punch as the Minotaur but for just 3 mana and with the potential to poison the opponent. I consider Poison a very powerful ability especially when facing high HP tanks that are hard to clear out of the way.

Conclusion

This is the comparison on one spreadsheet.

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Personally, I prefer Orc Sergeant for Earth, Manticore for Dragon and Horny Toad for Neutral.

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This week’s match

I own a level 7 Minotaur Warrior but since I am not using it much, I put it up for rent on Peakmonsters. It is currently leased out and I do not want to break the contact. Therefore, I bought some additional BCX for this week’s challenge and merged them into a level 4 Minotaur to have something to fight with. With Beta cards this only takes 12 BCX, so while the price of the Minotaur has risen to 0.09 USD, it is still affordable.

 


Click on the video ^ to play or view the original match on Splinterlands.

 

It wasn’t easy to find a suitable match in Diamond 1 where a level four Minotaur Warrior would be useful but this relatively low-mana match turned out to be the perfect fit for the uncostly Minotaur.

  1. Brownie: With Swiftness and Inspire, and thus effectively 2 ATK, 7 SPD and 2 HP, I sometimes use the Brownie as a tank in low mana matches. This way, the first round I will usually have my monsters attack first and with force, which can make quite a difference.

  2. Minotaur Warrior: In its traditional Reach spot we find the monster of the week. Adding a nice touch to this match, the Minotaur delivered the winning blow in the last round.

  3. Failed Summoner: This was an All-Sneak match, so I figured a Failed Summoner to reflect some magic and divert ranged attacks from my Swamp Thing might be a good idea.

  4. Furious Chicken: Placed after the Failed Summoner as a layer of protection against blast damage from attacks that might be drawn to the Failed Summoner.

  5. Screeching Vulture: With its Scavenge ability, the Vulture is often a good pick in low mana matches because most players, like me, try to pack as many low cost monsters in their team as possible. This means a lot of monsters will die quickly, strengthening the Vulture.

  6. Swamp Thing: I feel like the Swamp Thing is ridiculously overpowered for 2 mana and often end up using it in high mana matches as well. The Slow effect adds up to Brownie’s swiftness, giving my team a great speed advantage and the Weaken ability can be fatal for your opponent’s dwarf team in low mana matches.

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Want to join the fight?

Create an account at the Splinterlands today and fight me in next week's battle challenge!

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Disclaimer: No financial advice included in this article. Just sharing my personal experience. Do your own research!

Some links in the article are referral links, feel free to use other sign-up methods.

Images courtesy of Splinterlands or taken in-game.

This is a re-published version from my account on the HIVE blockchain.

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handtalk5
handtalk5

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