One of the challenges for splinterlands to take off in popularity is the initial upfront cost players have to put in order to have a competitive deck. I do not know how to solve this, but would like to bring up specific cards that tend to be played a lot and cost to obtain is reasonable. The focus would be the most common card I see for each splinter and explain why they are considered popular. Hopefully this will help new players and players who struggle to move up in ranking on what cards to obtain but whom have minimum assets to spend into this game. This is based on my +4000 games of experience playing so far. Furthermore it is mostly focused on bronze to silver ranks as most of my time has been within that range. For veterans who read this post and like to chime in please feel free.
Common Cards That Players Love
There are a few factors as to why commons are used by many. The supply of commons are the highest in the game and because there is a large supply the prices would also be among some of the lowest. When upfront cost is considered many players would likely focus on their favorites and level up their summoners/monsters as high as possible without burning the wallet. So a gradual leveling up of commons is less costly in the initial levels of 1 - 4, but gets expensive at higher levels than other rarity cards. This is due to commons requiring a lot of cards to max.(I would like to add that Untamed cards are not discussed here due mostly I have not seen enough battles with and against them to identify what cards are the most popular.)
Fire Splinter - Cerberus
Level 1 Priced = $0.60 - $0.90 for beta or alpha respectively
You will soon find out that most if not all cards listed here mainly focuses on healing. Cerberus starts off the list. Although not a common card the popularity for using this card is still high. It's benefits includes low mana that has heal and can have decent attack of 3 at level 3. The self heal is key for some players playing fire splinter to be putting Cerberus at the front.
Water Splinter - Spineback Turtle
Level 1 Priced = $0.19 to $0.53 beta and alpha respectively.
Often used at the front of the formation and players invest a bit more to make it a level 4 to gain its thorn ability. The thorn ability makes this card difficult to kill as it has high health and decent toughness for a 4 mana monster. Call it a monster shield for water splinter more like it.
Earth Splinter - Flesh Golem
Level 1 Priced = $0.26 to $1.15 beta and alpha respectively.
At level 1 the card will not be much of a use other than a punching bag. A level 3 or higher card is needed to get this monsters's healing ability. At a 6 mana cost it may seem less desirable, however it has a high health to offset. I see this monster in the front position of formations.
Life Splinter - Divine Healer
Level 1 Priced = $0.12 to $0.48 beta and alpha respectively.
At level 3 the card has a magic attack, but even at level 1 it serves it's purpose. Which is to heal first position monster in formation. The Divine Healer is likely to be located at the end of formations. Cost for it at level 3 is relatively less than previously discussed Flesh Golem.
Death Splinter - Haunted Spirit
Level 1 Priced = $0.65 to $1.45 beta and alpha respectively.
Another self heal monster at level 1. Again like many of the other cards listed here this monster tends to be placed at front of formations. Another positive is that Haunted Spirit can have a melee attack of 3 at level 3.
+ Water Splinter - Sea Monster
+ Earth Splinter - Wood Nymph
+ Neutral - Furious Chicken
+ Dragon Splinter - Manticore
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