Steemmonsters Rule Analysis and Budget Decks - November 8-9
A new rule is upon us, and thus it is time for another Steemmonsters post. A card-game played on the Steem blockchain.
The point of these posts is to explain the current rule, to help people build decks for it. Also, it provides a couple of cheap decks so people could climb the ladder and/or earn their daily quest rewards.
Cheap? Under $2, the cost of a single pack, which is the daily reward. Prices are pulled from the Steem Monsters marketplace at the time of writing this post, so you need to buy the cards if you're missing any. If I recommend a level 3 Monster, simply buy 5 copies of a level 1 Monster and combine them. It's usually the cheapest route.
Without further ado, let's dive in.
This rule has two things that jump out at us. First, the effect, summoners are silenced. The second, the fact we have a whopping 27 mana to play with.
Let's see how each affects us:
Certain splinters are very powerful to a large degree because they have a very strong summoner power. Death Splinter (Black) is the most notable example. Such splinters will be brought down in this rule, relative to their normal power.
Conversely, Splinters that have relatively underwhelming summoner powers, such as Earth (Green) and Life (White), will be brought up, especially if they were already good without their summoner power.
Finally, Splinters such as Water (Blue) with their Magic build-around have more freedom, they aren't penalized for not going for the Magic route.
And yes, if you have any of the Epic Summoners, which only cost 2, as opposed to the standard 3, but do not give any stat benefits, are a net-gain. But as they go for over $2 each, they're beyond the scope of this post. Use them if you have them! Though you likely won't need the mana anyway, which brings us to the next topic.
The immediate reaction to this is, "Sweet! I can use everything and anything!" And then you take, say, a Fire list, put in Kobold Miner and Elven Cutthroat to double-dip on Sneak, Fire Beetle and Centaur to double-dip on Snipe, and since you're using the "diffused targeting" strategy, you certainly have to use a Goblin Shaman as well for its Weaken, and all it cost you is 18/27 points. Still a bunch of points to go!
But you forgot that you only have 6 monster slots to work with. You now have 9 points, and the most expensive monster you can use goes for 7 points, and is Legendary. If you have the neutral Hydra, you can make it work. If you have to put in a 6-pointer in, such as the Pit Ogre, you'll be giving up 3 points, so all those "cheap" monsters you picked earlier? Not so cheap.
Furthermore, this list often only works well in Fire due to the Summoner power, which really makes the Sneak minions notably stronger.
Instead, minions such as Cyclops, which aren't very cost-effective, meaning, how strong they are for their point-cost, might still be the way to go, because they're still stronger than other, cheaper, more cost-effective monsters, and you have the points to spare.
(If you have the Hydra, you should use it.)
This brings me to my last point. You want to have monsters that can deal at least 2 damage with an attack when possible, unless they have Snipe, or use magic, because with the lowered damage going around in lower levels, Shield is going to be quite strong, which I'll show next.
Tank in the Light!
This list is very strong even with only level-1 Monsters. In that case, you can switch out the Peacebringer for the Defender of the Light, and also switch the Defender to be in the 2nd position, while the Divine Healer is in the 3rd.
So, you're going to face quite a bit of 1-attack Monsters, and Shield negates those to zero. That is also why we avoid using 1-attack Monsters ourselves. The Paladin? He's here to tank, not kill. And if the opponent has a couple of 2-attack Monsters? We've got healing for our tank.
If you face a meta that goes for heavy magic useage instead of ranged and melee attacks, simply switch out the Silvershield Paladin for a Clay Golem.
Air Elemental is in the last position because its Speed of 6 gives it a pretty decent shot at dodging attacks.
Earth List Scheme
Instead of giving you a list, I wanted to give you a list-building schematic. I can also use this opportunity to discuss how leveling cards can give you new opportunities.
First row has our summoner, simple enough. Second row, or first monster row, has our tank. We rely on this to tank everything. A level 1 Stone Golem will suffice, due to having Shield, however, that leaves it vulnerable to magic attacks. Enter the Flesh Golem, who at level 3 gains Heal. Heal is not made equal on all monsters, as the monster has to live through to its turn to make use of it. That is why Cerberus (from the Fire splinter) with its base 5 HP, or even the very strong Haunted Spirit (from the Death Splinter) with its base 7 HP, aren't as good. Flesh Golem though, is quite likely to live to its turn, heal for 3 points, and get to live to yet another turn where it heals.
Then we put in all of our magical and ranged monsters, support ones too. We try to make sure any ranged monster has at least 2 attack, or Snipe, to bypass annoying enemy Shields.
The last row is another interesting one here. Up to level 4, Earth Elemental could be placed anywhere along the "third row" options. It's just another ranged monster. But when it hits level 4, Earth Elemental also obtains the powerful Heal ability. And Heal or Dodge are quite powerful on the last slot, as that counteracts opponents who use Sneak, essentially rendering them useless.
Water's Water Elemental is a ranged monster that starts with Heal, so is a very good option as well, to do the same.
I hope this has given you more things to look at, including what to not do and why, and how to improve your lists with powerful lucky drops you obtained. If you have any feedback, feel free to share below!
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© Guy Shalev 2018.