All Monsters Are Not Created Equal

Originally, I had considered naming this piece "Equal Rites" in homage to the brilliant British author Terry Pratchett. However, "All Monsters Are Not Created Equal" seems to fit more accurately. In Splinterlands, monsters are far from being equal, even under the Equalizer ruleset. Their hierarchy is clear through their rarity and mana cost. Hence, I decided to delve into an analysis of a battle with the lowest possible mana cap—just 12 points. This limitation excludes the best cards and makes players seek the best combinations that would generate the most synergy, taking into account additional modifiers, like "What Doesn’t Kill You" in this case.

Almost no strategy can beat Obsidian let magic set under these circumstances. You’d have to debuff the magic strikers and deploy a tank with Void or, at the very least, a healer. However, such monsters typically come at a high cost. Thus, I opted to stick with the Earth Splinter.

There remained a possibility of encountering an elaborate anti-magic strategy. In anticipation, I used Mycelic Morphoid with Thorns as a tank—a cost-effective option at just 1 mana point.

To ensure my cards would get some extra HP, I drafted Lurking Puffer. True, this monster lacks attack abilities, unless weapon-trained by somebody. Yet it only costs 2 mana points.

The keen and priciest card in my set was Moxian Rebel. This single monster actually generates 6 magic attack damage per round, thanks to the summoner’s buff and the attack abilities Rebel grants to adjected monsters.

In low to mid-mana cap games, I often assign Chaos Agent the role of a rear tank. Its affordability and evasive ability make it suitable for protecting the backline. Remarkably, in this instance, it proved as potent as the other offensive cards. In this case, it even became equally dangerous as the other offensive cards.

The Battle

My opponent adopted a similar strategy, relying heavily on Obsidian and magic monsters. However, drafting Spirit Hoarder proved futile in such a setup. A wise player would concentrate offensive power on the frontline, as splitting attack abilities among multiple Equilized monsters makes no sense. That renders Spirit Hoarder's Triage redundant. Placing Fungus Fiend in the last position suggested my opponent expected to face Sneak monsters. While Fungus Fiend serves as cannon fodder at no cost, it could have been used more effectively as a secondary tank.

Nevertheless, victory was assured for me from the outset—a simple arithmetic of 4 magic damage per round against 6. The melee monsters played a marginal role, notwithstanding Enrage buffs, and got swiftly wiped out. Four rounds later, I emerged triumphant.

See the full battle here!

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