I have been pretty active in the discord lately, mainly trying to help beginners with questions about strategy. Questions that get asked over and over again are: how to get started, how to get out of bronze, what cards should I buy/rent in bronze, etc.
This post aims to answer all those questions and really get help to get beginners started with splinterland strategies.
You should note that I do not necessarily have the best answer to everything. I'm just a splinterlands player that has been getting into splinterland strategies for a couple of months now and I have created my share of guides as well. With all my experience I'm trying to help beginners as much as possible. However, I'm still a human player with personal preferences, keep that in mind!
My intention is to get you guys all the basic strategy information you need to get started. However, I want to avoid giving you an information overload, so I will link to a lot of other articles that will go more in-depth on these topics. This way you can still decide what topics you wan't to get into more. That being said, the information in this article alone should be enough to at least get you started.
Understand the game mechanics
Before we can really get into splinterlandss strategies you will need to understand how the game mechanics work. If you know this already, good, skip to the next subtitle. For this tutorial to make sense, you should understand at the least the very basics.
If you are completely new to the game, it might be worth it to quickly go through this article: New player guide. It's less about strategy and more about the basics in general.
Most of this stuff you can learn while playing. You will figure out how the abilities work, how magic damage works, how shields work, how attack speed works, etc.
However, there are a couple of things that you might not know yet. For example, did you know that it's possible to have a 100% chance of missing?
Did you know that an ability given by a battle condition (let's say opportunity) does not have priority over the native ability of the card (let's say sneak). Meaning that if a monster has the sneak ability but also gets the opportunity ability from the battle conditions, the monster will attack the last enemy monster and not the one with the lowest health.
Also, did you know that the reflect magic ability will be triggered when someone takes damages, but the shatter ability will only trigger when a monster is actually attacked (this matters when the blast ability comes into play)
Okay, if you didn't get any of that last paragraph at all, that's completely fine. I just wanted to make a point, that even if you think you know it all, there is a big chance that you don't know everything. Having the mindset that you will need to keep learning as you make your way through bronze, silver and gold leagues (and even when you go higher) is the way to go!
In terms of strategy, I highly recommend to focus on 2 splinters and maybe have a third as a backup.
Why? Well, if you only focus on one, you will have too many games where you cannot use the only splinter you invested in. If you invest in all 5 splinters, you would invest a little bit of money in every deck, meaning your strongest deck will not be as strong. If you focus on 2 splinters, you can usually play at least 1 of them.
Having a third splinter where you occasionally buy some cheaper cards for (go for the quick-wins) will be good to use as a backup splinter. It will be far inferior to your other 2, but you still have a fighting chance with this one!
Once again, this is not a right or wrong situation, this is simply what worked best for me.
For me using Malric with fire and Alric with water were the best options! Also, it's no coincidence that these summoners are the most expensive summoners of the free 2 play cards at the moment.
The only downside is that once you want to upgrade these summoners you will realise that these guys are very expensive. However, as long as you are sticking with the leve 1 f2p version of the card you have nothing to worry about.
My backup splinter would be earth with Mylor Crowling.
Also, if you are okay with paying the cost to rent (or buy... if you are rich) you can consider going with Yodin Zaku. He is expensive, but he will make your life very easy in bronze and silver (guide here).
I'm not going to go too in-depth about these specific strategies in this post, but I will link to separate posts and give you a little bit of information about these strategies.
The basic strategy is really simple. Malric adds +1 damage to every melee monster, so we want to use as many melee monsters as possible. Using a lot of small mana melee creatures (or large ones for higher mana battles) that can attack when they are not in first position is the way to go. Now, since these cards will be pretty squishy it's important to have a good tank as your first creature, living lava is an obvious pick here
It's not overly complicated, Alric buffs the magic damage of our monsters so we tend to use as many magic monsters as possible. The more magic monsters we use, the more impact our summoner buff will have.
In very low mana fights I often don't even use a melee creature (who would be our frontline tank). Instead I would use a chicken, albatros and or ooze as the frontline. These low mana creatures can buy some time for our damage dealers to get the job done. And even after that, you would have at least a 4 health magic monster after that. Usually you will kill the enemy fast enough. Remember, every creature will deal at least 2 damage + they ignore armor, making them real killing machines. If you don't have cards like "ooze" or "furious chicken", the spinback turtle is also a good option in.
The game plan is pretty straightforward, we want to make as much use of our summoner ability as possible. This means that we need to be able to absorb a lot of attacks. Also, since the thorns ability is only effective against melee monsters, we either want to use it only when we expect a lot of melee monsters, or we can put some anti-magic monsters in our lineup.
Now that I have pointed you to the right directions when it comes to what summoners, monsters and strategies to use, it's time to discuss another very important something, the battle conditions.
If you simply always read and think about the battle rules you will have a big advantage over the average bronze player. This may sound silly, but it's true. Even I made a lot of mistakes.
For example let's say the battle condition is "back to basics", this means monsters lose all their abilities. Some players even forget that part, but most players will think about the fact that their monsters will not be able to use their ability.
However, not all of you (and especially players in the lowest leagues) will think about the fact that the enemy player will also lose all their abilities. Meaning that you don't have to care about defending your backline, you don't need to think about getting sniped, you know the exact order of how your monsters will die, etc. If you think about stuff like this, you will have an edge!
Don't limit your thinking, thinking about how these battle rules affect your opponent is equally important than thinking about how these affect you. It makes you more likely to predict and counter your enemy, more on that later.
Going over all the battle conditions one by one is pretty impossible, but I do have a detailed article about earthquake and noxious fumes. If you wan't to go the extra mile, make sure to check them out!
Next to specific strategies, you should also learn about some strategy concepts. Once again, I will not go into too much detail, but I will instead link to articles if you want to learn more about it.
One of the most important concepts is to focus your fire. Meaning that you don't spread out your damage too much so that no one will actually die in the first round. This does not mean that you should only use monsters that attack the enemy first monster either, just don't just sneak, snipe, opportunity and reach all in one lineup (sidenote: this might actually be okay in some very specific situations).
The next one I have to mention is positioning. Where focus fire focuses on offence, positioning focuses more on defence. Gotta protect those squishy damage dealers.
Last but not least, scouting. With scouting, I'm talking about getting information from your enemy before you actually submit your teams. This is something that a lot of bronze league players don't know and will definitely give you an edge!
Anticipate the plan of your enemy
You will often see that the battle rules and the allowed splinters are making a certain strategy seem like the obvious pick. When this happens, your enemy will often think the same way. In this case it might be better to counter that strategy instead of playing it.
You don't have to commit entirely to countering a certain strategy, but if it seems likely that the enemy will play a high magic damage strategy, add one/multiple anti-magic monsters to the lineup.
Keep in mind, that scouting the enemy will also help with this.
Doing this might not be useful every single fight, but trying to anticipate your enemy will definitely give you an edge in the lower leagues. Also, it becomes more and more important once you start climbing the ladder, so the sooner you start practicing this, the better!
Scouting, battle rules, sandworm in high mana battles
What to buy/rent
Okay what the buy and or rent is something that I could also write an entire post about. However, you should probably mainly focus on the cards that I discussed in the strategy posts. The most important factor is what splinter(s) you usually play.
I also don't want to get into the discussion about whether or not you should buy or rent. That being said, if you have to rent in order to get enough power to reach the next league, do it!
Next to splinter specific monsters there are also a couple of neutrals that are really good and that you can use with any splinter. Currently, I'm mainly liking the sandworm and the creeping ooze as your first neutral monsters to get. Furious chicken is also extremely good, but it has gotten too expensive at the time of writing.
Once you have most of the monsters that you want you should start thinking about levelling your team. Before you can use levelled monsters your summoner has to be levelled. More information on level limitations can be found under stats (after you select a card).
When you level up a monster, consider the increased stats (what is he actually gaining), 1 more damage is usually a lot more important than one more attack speed. Also, think about the total price, some monsters require more cards too be upgraded than others.
In order to stay up-to-date and learn more about splinterlands you should:
- Join the splinterlands discord
- Join publish0x and HIVE and follow your favourite splinterlands content creators. My name on Publish0x is Frosttag, it's Freeztag on HIVE (not a hint at all)
- Analyze your season stats
- And one last tip: learn from other players. Especially useful if you keep getting wrecked by the same strategy.
Now, the beginning of the game often feels a bit slow. The better cards you get the more you will earn, the more cards you will get... You get the idea. However, the beginning is slow. The best way to boost your splinterlands carreer is to start blogging about it and use the crypto that you earn to buy splinterlands assets. More information about that can be found here.
Let's wrap it up
Thanks for reading the article, I hope it helped with launching your career as a splinterlands pro.
I know this might all feel a bit overwhelming, but remember to take it step by step. You will also learn a lot by simply playing the game. Over time you will figure everything out, reading posts like this one can simply speed up the process.
Comments, critique, tips and all that stuff is always appreciated, feel free to leave a comment!
See you on the battlefield!