Splinterlands Strategy Guide: Ruleset "Unprotected"

Find out the best Strategies to be used on Matches with the Ruleset "Unprotected"!


"Unprotected" Ruleset


Monsters do not have any armor and do not get armor from Abilities or Summoner Buffs.

Let's start this post being very straightfoward with the effects of this Ruleset: THERE IS NO ARMOR on the match, regardless its origin: Monster own stats, abilities, Summoner buffs...

There is no way to any Monster have Armor in an Unprotected match, and no way to circumvent this limitation.

Considering that there's no Armor in the game, Health is now the only stat keeping your Monsters alive: buffs and debuffs to Health are way more important now; similarly, Health recovery (Heal, Tank Heal, etc.) are also key to keep your team alive.

The most interesting effect of the Unprotected Ruleset is that it makes both Melee and Ranged attacks work like Magic. The main advantage of Magic Damage is that it bypass Armor, dealing damage directly to the Monster's Health. But if there's no Armor in the match, all kinds of Attack deals damage to the Health! This means that, indirectly, this Ruleset is a buff to Melee and Ranged Monsters, and a debuff to Magic Monsters.

Let's see the strategies that one can use on Unprotected Ruleset!

Basic Strategy #1: No Piercing, Protect, Rust & Repair!

First things first: do NOT play Monsters with these abilities: Piercing, Protect, Rust and Repair!

Piercing: If the attack damage exceeds the target's Armor, the remainder will damage the target's Health.
Protect: All friendly Monsters gain +2 Armor.
Rust: Reduces the Armor of all enemy Monsters.
Repair: Restores some armor to the friendly Monster whose armor has taken the most damage.

All those four abilities are related to Armor and, due the lack of Armor in "Unprotected" matches, they're totally useless.

Not only they're useless, but they're also costing you Mana. The Mana Cost of a Monster incorporate their abilities; by playing a Monster with those abilities, you'll be paying the Mana Cost of them, without receiving any advantage. You're just shooting yourself in the foot.


So let's forget about really popular Monsters like Venari Wavesmith, Truthspeaker, Queen Mycelia, Goblin Mech or Adelade Brightwing, OK? 😅

Basic Strategy #2: High Health Tank and Healing Abilities


The majority of the Tanks have lots of Armor, in order to allow them to fullfil their Tank Role and protect the rest of the team. We're talking about Monsters like the Frozen Soldier, the Chaos Knight or the Carnage Titan. All those Monsters have a high ratio of Armor/Health, meaning that their defensive capabilities are based on their high Armor.

In Unprotected Matches, it's better to focus on Tanks that originally don't have Armor or, in the worse case, have just a few points of Armor. These Monsters have high Health or other defensive abilities (like Shield or Void Armor to compensate their lack of Armor, making them way more valuable in this scenario.


We're talking about Monsters like Lobstradamus, the Frost Giant and the Harklaw, all with 9 Health and the Shield ability.


Similarly, both Heal and Tank Heal are now necessary to keep your tank alive. A Double or even a Triple Heal is a great strategy, combo'ing a Tank with Heal with one or two backline Monsters with Tank Heal, like Sea Monster + Crystacean King + Merdaali Guardian.

One really interesting ability is the Scavenger, that gives +1 Health for each and every Monster that died in the game (from both your and your opponent's team). Monsters with Scavenger usually have High Health, no Armor, and will end up receiving lots of free extra Health during the Match considering that everyone's without Armor and, thus, more prone to being killed in the battle.


Monsters like the Gelatinous Cube and the Riftwing are great secondary or tertiary tanks, as they'll have enough time to receive the extra Health.

Basic Strategy #3: Avoiding Damage: Flying and Dodge

As I said before, the Unprotected Ruleset is a huge buff to Melee and Ranged Monsters in detriment of the Magic Monsters. This means that the majority of the matches will have way more Melee/Ranged Monsters than the usual.


What's interesting is that there are some abilities that allows your Monsters to avoid taking this Melee and Ranged damage: Flying and Dodge.

Flying: Has an increased chance of evading Melee or Ranged attacks from Monsters who do not have the Flying ability. (+25% chance of evading Melee/Ranged Attacks)
Dodge: Has an increased chance of evading Melee or Ranged attacks. (+25% chance of evading Melee/Ranged Attacks)


What's even better is that those abilities can be cumulated! Phantom of the Abyss, right at Level 1, have both Flying and Dodge, meaning that he can dodge 50% of the Melee and Ranged attacks coming his way. Similarly, both the Vampire Bat and the Fire Spitter have these abilities at Level 6.


Another idea is to combo Monsters with Dodge (like the Serpent of Eld or the Spirit Miner) with the Summoner Brighton Bloom, that gives Flying to all your Monsters. This strategy allows you to create a Monster with High Speed, Flying AND Dodge, making your Monster incredibly difficult to be hit.

Basic Strategy #4: Reduce the Incoming Damage: Demoralize, Headwinds and Silence


Considering the lack of Armor, your best bet to keep your team alive is debuffing the enemy team and reducing their attacks.


Demoralize reduces the Melee attack of all enemy Monsters, and is a very common ability that can be found in lots of accessible cards like the Warrior of Peace, the Disintegrator and the Molten Ogre right at Level 1.


Headwinds, the ability that reduces the Ranged attack of the enemy, in the other hand, is a very rare ability that's usually available only on higher leveled cards that are very expensive and outside the scope of the majority of the players. The Naga Windmaster is the only card that has this ability at Level 1, and can be great against Ranged-heavy Splinters like Life.


And, finally, we have Silence, the ability that reduces the Magic attack of your opponent. As I said before, it's rare to see Magic Monsters on Unprotected matches as they're usually way weaker than their Ranged or Melee counterparts. Nonetheless, if you think that your enemy is going to play lots of Magic Monsters (for example, he's on a streak with the Summoner Obsidian or Alric Stormbringer), you have a few options to counter them with Monsters like Mushroom Seer and Crystal Werewolf.

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