Social Media Challenge - Venari Marksrat and the Martyr Ability

Hello dear Splinterlands Community! Today is Social Media Challenge Day and I want to talk about one specific little monster: Venary Marksrat!

Since the launch of soulbound reward cards and the introduction of new abilities, such as Martyr and the possibility to summon gladiators in ranked battles, more than a year has passed. A lot of players are tired of pulling the same reward cards from loot chests month after month and are annoyed that they cannot be unstaked. Many players in higher leagues have most of these cards at max level and find it useless to accumulate more of them.

I, for one, still enjoy receiving these cards and I use them a lot in my battles, especially the commons and rares. One of my favourites is Venary Marksrat. Using his Martyr ability, which gives bloodlust like boosts to the monsters either side of him, remains one of my favourite strategies in many different combinations and lineups. Let’s take a closer look at this little darling before we see him in action:

Venari Marksrat is not the fastest and doesn't hit hard. His primary skill is to die and martyr for his team mates. Most players want him only for that and therefore avoid leveling him up so that he dies quickly with 2 health. I prefer to level him up as I find his abilities at higher levels very important and he does eventually get faster and will have 2 range attack later on. At level 5 he gets the Snare ability, which takes away the Flying ability from a flying monster. Sometimes these are in the first position and slowing them down with Snare allows other monsters in the team to hit their target more frequently. Above all, Venary Marksrat receives the Shatter ability at max level, which is very important when attacking enemy tanks with lots of shield. I therefore don't mind him having more health, not necessarily dying in the first round but later.

So now let’s take a closer look at the Martyr ability and how to use it. As already mentioned, this ability, when the monster dies, gives an all round stats boost (like Bloodlust) to adjacent monsters on both sides. This means we want Venary Marksrat to be deliberately targeted. There are 4 main ways to make this happen:

1.Place him in the first position. This is not the most effective way to trigger the Martyr ability but it happens quickly and helps the tank behind him to gain in power. The drawback is that it helps only one other monster. It is better to place him between two monsters.

2.Place him in second position in anticipation of getting hit by a Snipe enemy. This is also not always effective, when your opponent doesn’t field a sniper in his team. Of course, when there is the Target Practice ruleset, where all monsters have the Snipe ability, the little rat will surely die within 2 enemy range or magic strikes (when your rat is leveled up).

3.Wait for the Earthquake ruleset and place him strategically between 2 monsters that you want boosted.

4.Wait for the Noxious Fumes ruleset and place him strategically between 2 monsters that you want boosted.

These are the 4 main ways to exploit the Martyr ability most effectively. There is also the Equal Opportunity ruleset but it can be unpredictable, when you have other monsters in the team with low health, but in the end, the rat will still die and do its job.

Now let's take a look at a battle to illustrate the strategy. I have chosen a mid-mana battle with the Noxious Fumes ruleset. The battle also has the Fog of War ruleset, which means that Venari Marksrat would not be hit unless he is poisoned. I have chosen the Life Deck because I want to put 2 important magic monsters either side of him.

The lineup is as follows with Grandmaster Rathe to summon the team:

1.Position 1 – Pelacor Conjurer. For 2 mana he has 8 health, which is significant in a Noxious Fumes ruleset. He also has mega defenses: Flying, Magic Reflect, Divine Shield and Phase, making him hard to get rid of.

2.Position 2 – Blinding Reflector with Magic Reflect and Blind is in second position. He does not have a great deal of health but Grandmaster Rathe will give him added protection for his shield through Void Armour.

3.Position 3 – Djinn Renova comes to the table with important abilities, such as Triage and Strengthen. I want her boosted by Venary Marksrat. She already has 4 magic and will become even more powerful.

4.Position 4 – the star of the day Venary Marksrat

5.Position 5 – Adelade Brightwing is not here for her firepower but her abilities: Resurrect, Immunity and Swiftness, among others. I want her boosted, too and she should also resurrect the rat.

6.Position 6 – Last but not least comes another rat, Venary Crystalsmith. His Tank Heal and Dispel abilities should come in very handy.

Let's watch the battle and see how it plays out:


Round 1 was a round of misses. Pelacor Conjurer did well to avoid getting hit and at the end of the round, it was clear that the enemy tank would go down with poison.


The enemy tank got resurrected and perished soon after. Pelacor Conjurer continued collecting misses and was likely to be the match winner as a result of his great agility.


Spirit Hoarder succumbed to poison and Venary Marksrat was down to 1 health, ready to Martyr. Pelacor Conjurer continued to mostly collect misses and remained at 9 health.


Finally in round 4 Venary Marksrat martyred and was resurrected by Adelade Brightwing. The enemy Conjurer then bit the dust while ours got more misses. The opposition was down to 3.


At the beginning of round 5 I realized that a resurrected monster will not get poisoned again in a Noxious Fumes ruleset. That's nice but the rat was supposed to go down a second time... The enemy Renova got toasted and the end was nigh.


The enemy Brightwing survived the last round to now take her leave and we went out for beer and pizza.

The enemy Brightwing survived the last round to now take her leave and we went out for beer and pizza.


That was a nice little show of force and a display of my favourite Marksrat strategy. I hope you enjoyed viewing the battle!

And further to the comments at the beginning of this post about soulbound reward cards, I am very excited to read in one ot the recent Town Hall summaries, that there will be new soulbound reward cards coming out soonish. This is going to be great and blow fresh wind into the loot chest reward system. It also seems that unstaking the existing cards will be a costly affair so I am happy to continue accumulating some Verary Marksrats for my main account from loot chests, as I don’t think that I will eventually chase more BCX on the open market once they are unstaked.

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