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1. Getting Started
The first stumbling block I hit out of the gate when starting Steem Monsters is how does Magic Attack work. Magic Attack is special in that it can attack from ANY row, it NEVER misses, and it ONLY applies DAMAGE TO HEALTH (meaning that it ignores armor). This can be huge and will be discussed later.
Melee and ranged attack function mostly in the same manner, but melee can only attack from the front row (unless the monster has the sneak ability) and ranged monsters cannot attack from the first slot. They both do damage to armor first and have a chance to miss when attacking.
Lastly, speed is important in that it affects the order in which you and your opponent's monsters attack. Otherwise, Armor and HP are pretty straightforward. Every point of physical damage is reduced from armor first, and then once the armor reaches 0, it is then removed from HP on the next attack.
You should really look at all these, but the below are the most important ones to first learn in my opinion.
Know the difference for the symbols between heal and tank heal. Heal is the single start looking shape and heals a portion of the monsters health each round. Tank heal, which is several of the kinda star-shaped objects heals whatever card is in the first row or position.
Sneak allows a monster to attack the last monster of the enemies instead of the first monster. This is awesome for melee champions as it allows them to attack from the second row and is great at taking out healers or cards that have debuff abilities that are usually placed on the end.
Weaken, Inspire, Protect are some important buff/debuff abilities. Weaken removes 1 health from all enemy monsters, inspire provides +1 melee attack to all your monsters, and protect provides +2 armor to all friendly monsters. Depending on the rules and how many cards are in play, these buffs/debuffs can provide significant advantages.
The rest of the abilities can be learned as you go for the most part referring back to the list from time to time when something happens that doesn't make sense. It would be good to briefly read through all the abilities before starting out but isn't mandatory if you ask me.
2. Let the Battles Begin!
When you click on the "BATTLE!" tab the below screen is the first you will see.
The very first row of information will show you how much time is remaining in the current season, what your current season rank is and what your rank rewards will be to the right of that. If you click on "Your League" icon or the "LEAGUE OVERVIEW" to the right it will show you how many points you need for different Leagues and more specifically what the end of season rewards will be for that League.
The next row of information is for Practice and Ranked games with a How to Play section that covers all the rules and details on Steem Monsters covered previously. I played a couple of Practice games and just jumped right into Rank. You can easily learn this game playing Ranked matches and it's not really going to hurt your Rank score in the long run. If you do find yourself running into any issues or have any questions it is worth giving the How to Play section a look as well.
You receive one daily quest that rewards a booster pack upon completion and is on a 24-hour cooldown (ie DAILY quest). Looking at the screenshot above I had to win 5 games with the water deck in order to complete my Daily. Once completed you'll have to click claim which should show up below the treasure chest in order to be rewarded your free booster pack which can be opened right away or saved for later.
Below the quest information shows your most recent battle log. If you want you can see battles by top players by selecting "TOP BATTLES" the current season "LEADERBOARD" or information for the "LAST SEASON". It is also possible to search the Battle Log of others players by typing their name into the right of "PLAYER:" to see some of their most recent games.
Once a ranked or practice game is selected the below loading screen appears. It is important to be ready once the game is chosen as I've found it's usually pretty difficult to cancel the match as matches are found pretty quickly.
The below screen is a relatively new screen that has been added for the game. Before this season the rules and mana cap was static and only changed once every 48 hours if I remember correctly. Now the rules and mana cap is changed every game to make the game more dynamic. This helps to limit the ability of afk farmers from climbing the ladder rank with bots and was a much needed and greatly appreciated improvement.
I've found that this change has also made the game more enjoyable for myself as it requires a little more thought and less mindless clicking to complete dailies and move up the ladder.
Once a match is found the below screen pops up so you can start creating your deck. It's important to review the rule and mana cap quickly before setting up the team which is in the top center. Then the summoner should be selected choosing either a fire, water, earth, life, death, or dragon deck to move forward with.
I always start my deck out with a melee tank. The second card I usually try to make a little tanky either ranged or magic damage. The "middle" of my deck I usually try to stack with high dps and low health champions. Then I try and always end my deck with another high health healer or a high health card with a buff/debuff ability. The reason I look for high health cards in the last position is to deal with cards that have the sneak ability as well.
Once the game is started the below image is what will be displayed. The important numbers to not on the cards will be the speed which is the number in the blue circle, the damage which is displayed above the speed, the abilities at the bottom of each card, and the level at the top right to the right of the star.
The biggest confusion I had when first starting was the level. As the cards increase in level, they gain additional health, damage, and abilities. Chances are if you keep loosing to the same deck, but can't figure out why it is because they have higher level cards with additional stats then you.
Finally the results screen which displays the outcome of the match as well as how many ladder points are won or loss for each inidivual. From this screen you can either view the replay, battle again, or move on to something else.
3. Improvements / Changes
It annoys me on the "Collection" screen that it doesn't either:
- separate Alpha cards and Beta cards to show how many of each you have or
- give you the option at the top to filter between editions like on the "Market" screen
I would like to be able to see one way or the other so that it would better help me to determine cards that I can level up or maybe some that I want to sell from a certain edition. Just being picky, but it is something that I would like to see changed.
It doesn't look like I will be able to show this, but when the game was first released cards would level up based on experience and the way you got the experience was through combining cards. I don't know if it was ever stated or just assumed that you would be able to level up cards and gain experience through combat or just assumed, but that is something I would love to see implemented into the game at some point.
I realize the point of encouraging people to combine cards to make them stronger is to make the cards more and more rare over time. It also creates a pay to win type scenario as well ie if you can afford to max out your cards, you will have stronger cards and can progress further into the ladder.
It would be nice to create a "free" aspect of the game where you can also max out cards using some sort of grinding method for those that have the time, but not necessarily the money. Another option could be creating another ranked ladder where if you own a card you automatically get the "max" card for that ladder, or a level 1 ladder where all cards battled are lowered to level 1 to make it a more skill based ladder (since everyone should be on a more even playing field) with rewards at the end of the season.
I want to see updates made to the game, buffs, debuffs, changes, announcements etc. available on the SteemMonster website. I know they make those on the Steemit Account, but since the Steemit feed is so terrible, would be nice to see those updates on the SteemMonster website as well.
4. Additional Information
Want to earn even more free booster packs? Play ranked games to move up on the ladder.
Currently, there are the Bronze, Silver, Gold, Diamond, and Champions Leagues each with 3 different tiers. The Bronze 3 League will earn you 1 Booster pack while the top Champion 1 League will currently earn you 30 booster backs for 4700+ points.
To open the booster packs you go to the top of the website and look for the "OPEN" tab. Packs can either be opened one at a time if you want to do a livestream opening of a bunch of packs or they can be opened all up at once.
The picture above shows that I had 2 booster packs from dailies waiting to be opened and the one below shows what happens when you open both at the same time. I find it's more enjoyable to open them one at a time to have the thrill of possibly getting a gold foil card over and over.
I've been playing this game since it went live and rarely does a day go by that I don't at least try to log on to complete my daily quest. This is the most fun DApp I've played and definitely the best running. I can't wait to see what the future holds for SteemMonsters and what the developers will think of next for this awesome game.
I wanted to give a shoutout to @contestkings as well since they are a great source of free cards to those starting out in SteemMonsters. ContestKings is all about creating great giveaways that don't require like, follow, and resteems and are putting out great giveaways or sharing great contests.
Once again if you've enjoyed this article and are considering signing up for SteemMonsters I would greatly appreciate anyone who decides to use my Affiliate Link as it will help keep great articles like these coming out for this amazing game.
Check back in the future because I haven't decided if I will just be trying to keep this article updated as changes to the game roll out or just write a new article.