If you are anything like me, you hate to waste time or resources on beginner mistakes. Therefore, this quick guide might help you out a lot in terms of how you should spend your resources in the early stages of the game. Should you buy booster packs, mystery potions or head to the market to buy monsters, maybe even summoners? This post should answer all the questions you might have about how to spend those first earned dark energy crystals.
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Note that this guide is meant for new players (novice and bronze league) and it's based on my personal opinion.
Also, if you have a lot of money to invest in cards, not all advice might apply for you.
I like to get straight to the point so let me give you a super quick overview straight off the bat.
1) Get strong neutral monsters
2) Get strong non-neutral monster
3) Level up your favourite summoner
4) Level up your favourite monsters
Neutral monsters can be used by any summoner and are therefore the number 1 priority.
Next up, you should start to get a preference for certain summoners after playing a while, you might want to prioritize monster of that splinter. For example if you really like alric stormbringer (water summoner), it's a good idea to invest in some water cards first.
Before you can use leveled up monsters, you need to level up your summoners, therefore you want to think about what summoners you want to upgrade first. You might want to go for the stronger ones in the free to play set (alric stormbringer, malric inferno), which is defintely a good idea, but keep in mind that these are also a lot more expensive than the weaker summoners, so that's a decision you will have to make.
When you have reached this point you will probably have played a decent amount of games and you will start to get preferences for certain monsters. Make sure to check out how many cards you need to level up a monster and how much stronger they get per level. It's important information when considering what monsters you want to level up.
So what about buying packs and mystery potions? Well, it's probably not the best way to invest your dark energy crystals, but it is a lot of fun to open a pack once in a while. Feel free to threat yourself once in a while with a pack, but it's not the best way to invest your hard earned DEC at the early stages of the game.
Must buy cards
Let's start with some of the best cards to acquire early on, these are neutral monsters and can be used by any summoner/splinter.
Okay, nothing is really a "must" in splinterlands, but there are some cards that will be really useful for you during the early stages in the game and some might even remain being usefull up until the highest league in splinterlands.
My first recommendation is the most used card in any league (which is good because it will remain useful for your entire splinterlands carreer).
It's the furious chicken.
It might not seem very useful, but it's a 0 cost card, which means that it will always give you an advantage when you have an open slot. Adding the chicken will usually result in absorbing 1 enemy attack, which might be the difference between a win and a loss, especially in low mana fights.
At the time of writing the cost of this card is $1.30 which is quite high for your first card, 2 months ago it was only 48 cents. That being said, the price of this card will probably continue to rise and therefore it might be a good investment to get it as soon as possible.
The next card is the creeping ooze, it's a bit similar to the furious chicken but it costs 1 mana and reduces the attack speed of all enemy monsters by 1. It's a good card because you sometimes find yourself with 1 mana left that you can't really fill, so having a good 1 mana option will definetly help you out.
Oh, and another good thing, this card is a lot cheaper. Only 12 cents at the time of writing.
It's the second most used card in bronze league and also has a decent amount of play time in higher leagues.
My last pick here is a more unexpected one, it's the sand worm.
The main use case for the sand worm is for the high mana fights. When you are just starting out, you don't have a lot of high mana cards and these are very important in high mana fights, especially 99 mana fights, because you will always have leftover mana to spend.
The sand worm has 5hp and 5 attack at level one and costs 0.22$ at the time of writing. It will be very good for boosting your early game, but it's also worth noting that this card is still used in 4-5% of the games in diamond and champion league!
Non-neutral monsters & leveling up
When it comes to non-neutral monsters, it all becomes a bit more complicated.
I would say that it's a good idea to focus on water and fire at the beginning of the game, especially since alric and malric are included in the free to play cards at the moment.
The more games you play at your level the more you will realise what cards and strategies are really strong, you should use this information to determine what you want to buy.
However, a lot of the free to play cards are already really strong (living lava, cerberus, almost all the water magic monsters...). So you might not want to wait too long before leveling up your first summoner because you can only use leveled-up monsters when you are using a leveled-up summoner.
I focused on upgrading malric first, but I realize that prices are rising fast and you might want to consider a cheaper alternative like pyre instead. That's a decision you will have to make for yourself.
Also, if you prefer any of the other splinters over fire and water, that's completely fine as well (especially mylor seems really strong as well at the moment).
One last thing I would like to mention is that you can simply scout the market and try to find those cheaper options, they might not have a great future in the higher leagues but they could really help you out as a level 3 monster in bronze. For example, I bought a level 3 grumpy dwarf for 23 cents, this might not be the best card, but at this level, with malric as my summoner, it's really strong. Once I'm in a league where he feels too weak, I will simply sell him again so no harm is done...
You still have to make a lot of decisions for yourself based on your own experiences. Splinterlands is not a game where I can simply tell you exactly what cards to buy and level-up and that's a good thing about the game.
Also, in time, new cards will be created and popular strategies might change. Also, certain cards might be less or more useful because of new cards being created. So we will still have to see how well this post ages.
For specific questions about certain cards or advice you will always be find help on the splinterlands discord, make sure to check it out! There can even be giveaways there, so make sure to check it out!
One last thing, it's always a good idea to keep an eye out for good events, you will spend DEC as an entry cost, but if you know your own skill and take a look at the prizes at stake, this can almost always be considered a "good investment".
Anyway, I hope this helped you with getting started, happy battling!
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