Serpentine Spy – spearfishing the backline
Dear Splinterlands fans let me show you one of the best Fire splinter’s card in action – Serpentine Spy
Serpentine Spy is monster that perfectly embodies my favorite Fire splinter – fast and deadly.
Lore suggests that Serpentine Spies are extremely sneaky, but I have my suspicion that might be bit exaggerated and those who see them just don’t live to tell the tale.
Either way anytime you summon Serpentine Spy opponent’s squishy monsters cover in fear, because they will on wrong side of spear.
Serpentine Spy is extremely fast and hits very hard and for 3 mana there is no better assassin in game. This means you will be playing him very often if you like Fire splinter.
Opportunity ability is innate trait that defines his playstyle – tuck him in safest spot in your team and let him do his deadly job without any interruptions.
His most important power spikes are at level 5, where he gets extra damage and surprisingly at level 6 where he gets important third hit point protecting him from being one shot by one of only two things he fears – Earthquakes and Enchanted Defenders with thorns.
Normally I try to pick battle where showcased monster did some extraordinary deeds, but let’s try something different today and show battle where opponent properly distracted my Serpentine Spy with chicken, which is good soft-counter and brought meta composition one league above mine and I was still able to emerge victorious largely thanks to Serpentine Spy. That will be true testament to awesomeness and reliability of this card.
Let’s get into match analysis, it is ranked match from diamond league:
Scouting revealed that opponent likes magic damage compositions, but nothing like only playing magic, he is balancing it out with non-magic builds.
This calls for small strategy adjustment and I just opted for making sure my tank will have void ability. Doing more would probably be overkill.
Healed out rule have synergy with sneak/opportunity attack plans in general and Close Range normally calls for some adjustments, but not in combination with Healed Out, which prevents Cornealus strategy so effect of Close Range will be quite small and we don’t need special adjustments.
In this match I am choosing one of my favorite common fire splinter’s strategies – picking off backline before going after tank.
+1 melee damage for all our assassins is always good and there are numerous damage thresholds at 3-4 damage. Marlic outperforms Pyre at lvl 4 with melee heavy teams.
Chain Golem is ideal tank for our situation, universal durable tank that will probably last for two rounds. Fits our plan to have tank with void ability and low damage is not that important because we plan to focus backline.
1 mana healer that works even with Healed Out rule? That’s very powerful almost guaranteeing inclusion to team. Placing in vulnerable second position is fine, because in case opponent uses monster with blast it will most probably be Ruler of the Sea, who negates armor repair by simply bypassing armor.
Important debuffer that will weaken opponent’s backline making it more vulnerable to our damage dealers. Also functions as secondary tank after Chain Golem is gone.
Most essential card for this strategy, he will be picking off opponent’s backline. Beauty of Opportunity is that it will target monster with lowest health, usually glass cannons or healers – something we do want to target. Very few monsters come near Serpentine Spy when it comes to mana efficiency. And they don’t have opportunity on top.
This will act as worse Serpentine Spy in this match. Slow, lower damage and cost more mana… but still good enough to play and fits strategy well. More health does matter and should tank more threatened side of Serpentine Spy
Solid damage dealer and great support monster for Serpentine Spy. Works as back-tank, hits quite hard for its mana cost and sneak, although nowhere near as good as opportunity tends to often hit same targets as opportunity attackers creating kinda focused fire on backline.
here is link to battle.
When it comes to dealing with meta decks, especially one with cards one league above yours luck plays a role. Parasitic Growth missing Mermaid followed by Mermaid winning initiative roll at start of round 2 means our tank is dead. Luckily friendly monsters hit rest of their attacks and it come down to initiative roll at last round. Thinking about it now changing position of Parasitic Growth and Serpentine Spy might yield slightly better results overall, it will be close though, just minor difference.
Do I play Serpentine Spy often? You bet! It is my favorite card from my favorite splinter! That’s enough to make it probably my second most played card (after chicken) Will this position change? Maybe if I get Yodin Zaku and a LOT of high mana games… but it is hard to beat chicken in play frequency. Can some other card make it to 2nd most played? Maybe, but that’s hard too.
Just one battle when it’s your favorite card?? OK, here are two more battle links:
Similar setup like featured game, but here I have higher level monsters and feel kinda bad for opponents mages here, its massacre
Serpentine Spy uses Magnor as distraction… who will bring destruction?
How to get Serpentine Spy? Good news is that you can get him from both Untamed packs and market, bad news is that if you want to buy singles its second most expensive Untamed common card, costing $0.089 per 1 BCX regular card or $0.92 per 1 BCX gold foil card. That’s quite a lot for common card still in print, but price is fair considering how good Serpentine Spy is.
Either way I recommend using Monstermarket.io ( owned by @reazuliqbal & @zaku) where you can get packs with 10% discount (does not count toward airdrops) or 3% instant cashback on card purchases.
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