If you have been active on the STEEM blockchain in the last months, it is almost impossible to not have heard something about the trading card game SteemMonsters which has been fascinating people since it's launch back in May 2018.
At least since the automated tournaments have been introduced a little over two weeks ago, Steem Monsters really has turned into quite a competitive game, as players are fighting for hundreds of STEEM and other prizes every day. So far, way over 5000$ worth in prizes have been given out to players - and this is just the beginning!
Even though some cards are way more powerful that others, it is not enough to just own good cards to be good at the game. You need to know how to use your Monsters and Summoners, if you want to secure your share of the huge prizepools.
In order to help you guys understand the game and it's tactics a little better, ultimately making you a better player with a better shot at some prizes, I have created a comprehensive Stratytorial (=Strategy-Tutorial) for the game I love. Although there definitely are at least a few players that are better than me at the top level, I was able to collect hundreds of STEEM in prizes especially in the lower leagues, qualifiying me for giving such instructions.
The Stratytorial basically consists of some general tips and tricks first, followed by a detailed look at the 15 different rulesets of the game. But enough talking now, let's get started!
1. Focus on one target area!
If you already are playing the game or at least have read the "How to play" section on steemmonsters.com, you should be aware of the fact that there are three different attack types of attacking: Melee-, Ranged- and Magic-Attacks! While it may be enough to know HOW monsters attack for your first few battles, it becomes important to know WHERE your monsters attack, if you want to take your game to the next level.
Without any extra abilities or special rulesets, monsters always attack the monster your enemy has standing at his front position. However, there is a way to get around those usually strong tank monsters in the front, if you are deciding to send monsters with the abilities "Sneak" (the last monster of your opponent gets attacked) or "Snipe" (The first Magic- or Ranged-Attack monster in the second row gets aimed at) onto the battlefield.
In theory, it does of course sound smart to avoid the strong tanks at your opponents front in every way possible - In practice however, you need to act coordinated, rather than shooting around in the area without a concrete plan.
In my eyes, one of the key things to look at when setting up your team, is the focus on one attack vector! This sounds awfully complicated, but in principle only means that you should focus on one target out of your opponents line-up. Usually it is particularly bad to send a mix of "Sneak" and "Snipe" monsters into the arena. In most cases it is best to just use some normal monsters attacking the front, combined with a maximum of one other attack vector, meaning EITHER "Sneak" OR "Snipe" monsters as an addition. I have digged out an example fight (Silver League) to help me illustrate my point:
While @taug is focusing on the opponents back with two "Sneak" monsters, @tufkat is attacking a little everywhere with his mix of both a "Sneak" and a"Snipe" monster. And even though @tufkat is using one more mana resource, he will loose this battle in almost every case. The result would be even more clear if @taug would be using the remaining mana for a "Creeping Ooze".
Under certain circumstances it may even make sense to completely fight without monsters with those special abilities, for example when you want to kill your opponents strong tank as fast as possible. That's what I did with @tufkat in a recent Diamond level tournament against @holger80:
As you can see, @tufkat's whole line-up is focused on taking down the enemy tank as quickly as possibly. In this match, this strategy worked out perfectly, @holger80's "Haunted Spirit" was dead before he even was able to join the action.
I hope you now get the point, that less attack targets are better in a lot of cases ;)
2. Use (Self-)"Healing" abilities especially in the lower leagues!
A short but important tip: Especially in the lower leagues, monsters with (self-) "Healing" abilities are the key to victory! While attack values and other abilities drastically get reduced from the Champions league down to the low ranks, the healing abilities stay almost as effective regardless of the league. One of the prime examples is the "Flesh Golem" out of the "Earth" splinter:
While the attack value doubles up and "Void" gets added as an ability when leveling the "Flesh Golem"from three to nine, the health points and therefore the healing ability as well stay exactly the same. However, pretty much all opponent "Melee" and "Ranged" attack monsters on level eight will have way more attack than on level three, taking down the "Flesh Golem" way easier up in level nine (opponents "Magic" attack values will rise as well, however that is compensate with the Golem's added "Void" ability)
It gets especially effective when a monster with "Self-Heal" like the "Flesh Golem" gets combined with a "Tank-Heal" monster like the "Wood Nymph" - a very tough front to get through in the lower leagues. In the green "Earth" splinter it is even possible to get three healers - put the "Flesh Golem" in front and support him with the "Wood Nymph" plus the legendary "Spirit of the Forest". As the amount the gets healed is calculated as a percentage of the starting life points a monster has in a fight (AFTER calculation of summoners effect's + abilities!), it is very effective to use summoners who raise the health like "Lyanna Natura" or monsters who raise the health like the blue "Sea Genie".
3. The lower the league is, the more important are the summoners!
As you all know, your summoners (expect the epic 2-mana-summoners from the Beta Edition) have either positive effects on your own or negative effects on your opponents monsters. While in total numbers those effects are as powerful in the higher leagues as they are in the low ones, the story is a totally different one when you look at it in relative numbers. To demonstrate what I mean, let's take a closer look at one of the most popular summoners in the game, the legendary "Selenia Sky" and her effect to boost all own "Ranged" attack values by one point. As an example for a "Ranged" attack monster, we will use the neutral "Centaur" and see how it get's effected by the "Selenia Sky's" ability.
You don't need to have a doctor's degree in Mathematics to see, that at level one the "Selenia Sky's" ability leads to a 100% gain in attack strength, while it only leads to a 33% gain at level ten.
Therefore the selection of the right summoner is especially important in the lower leagues. In theory, mistakes like using "Selenia Sky" in the "Broken Arrows" mode (no "ranged" monsters allowed there) are way worse in the Silver league than in the Diamond league.
Unfortunately this also leads to the topic, that the new legendary summoners with there heavy field effects are extremely powerful in the lower leagues and it is almost impossible to win tournaments down there without having them in your deck. This is not exactly perfect in my eyes, as those summoners are too expensive for most new players in those leagues. Fortunately, a new option has been released yesterday, allowing users to create tournaments where no legendary cards are allowed.
Besides those general tips and tricks, there are of course many more detailed hints for the fourteen special rulesets besides the "Standard" one. Those tips and tricks will be part of the second "Stratytorial" which will be released on my profile in the next days!
I hope those tips will help you to become a better Steem Monsters fighter on the virtual battlefield. Good luck with using those hints in the tournaments and in the league! It's worth it, over 5000$ in prizes are waiting in the next days and weeks! For more information about the upcoming tournaments, you can check the following post published on the official @steemmonsters account yesterday: $5000 paid out through tournaments!!!
If you ask me, we are just at the beginning! Upcoming updates like the possibility of card-delegation and more will definitely give the game even more boost! Big tournaments and much more fun will follow! And I will be there - so watch out! :P