Splinterlands Weekly Battle Challenge: Does Pirate Captain add anything to the Bronze league magic team?

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For this week's battle challenge, we'll be putting another starter card through its paces: Pirate Captain. Is the humble Pirate Captain good enough to earn a place in the starter Water magic deck? Let's find out!

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The Card

Pirate Captain is a 3 mana common ranged Water monster from the Alpha/Beta starter set. At level 1, the Pirate Captain has 1 attack, 2 speed, 3 health, and Snipe. Among the starter snipers, this is a bit on the weak side. For comparison, the Fire splinter gets Fire Beetle for the same cost but with 1 more health. Among the neutral monsters, Centaur is similar, but costs an extra mana to gain 1 speed and 1 health. Water itself has Sniping Narwhal, which costs 5 mana for 1 extra attack and 1 more health. Not to mention that Water also has the excellent Water Elemental competing for the ranged slot. Pirate Captain will really have to work to prove his worth.

Let's try him out in some Bronze-level battles to see what he can do.

Battle 1

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For this first battle, we have 26 mana available and the Odd Ones Out ruleset. Great! That means we only have 2 magic monsters available, the starter card Enchanted Pixie and the reward Venari Wavesmith, so there's plenty of room for the Captain. I chose to include an Albatross, Serpent of Eld, and Pelacor Bandit in front of the Wavesmith, and let Pirate Captain bring up the rear.

My opponent also ran Water, but was much more ranged-focused. Behind Serpent of Eld, they fielded a Crustacean King, Water Elemental, Sniping Narwhal, and Pirate Captain. Luckily for me, they brought Alric instead of Bortus, so I had the summoner advantage.

Although the enemy snipers made quick work of my magic monsters, they did hold out just long enough to take out the enemy Serpent. That was key, as none of the other enemies were able to attack from the front line. Our Pelacor Bandit killed off the enemy Pirate Captain, but unfortunately our Captain own did not make a huge impact. Due to his Snipe ability and the composition of the enemy team, he essentially distributed 1 damage to each of the enemies over the course of the battle, making it difficult to tell how valuable he really was. Still, a win is a win, right?

Battle 2

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For our second battle, we had 24 mana and the Close Range ruleset. This was just enough mana for me to use the full complement of early magic monsters, Medusa, Elven Mystic, Wavesmith, Enchanted Pixie, and Ice Pixie. With Close Range, I could have put my Pirate Captain up front, but I chose to place him in the back so he would last a little longer.

Apparently my opponent was me from last week, using a fairly standard Fire deck for Bronze league. Up front was a Cerberus, followed by a Goblin Shaman, Spark Pixies, Fire Elemental, Serpentine Spy, and Kobold Miner. Now, I would expect the Water magic team to take this out without any additional help, but maybe Pirate Captain could make it even cleaner?

Our Medusa went down quickly with no tank to protect her, but focused fire from the other magic-users killed the enemy Cerberus just as fast. Our Mystic didn't last long either, but once we had the Shaman down, we swiftly stabilized and chewed through the rest of the enemy team. As for our Pirate Captain, he had one miss against the Spark Pixies and then scored the killing blow against Serpentine Spy once the battle was already decided. I want to say that at least he didn't make the team any worse, but I think we would have performed better by replacing him with a Cocatrice up front to tank a couple hits.

Ah well, on to the next battle!

Battle 3

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For my third battle, I had the same rules as the first, 26 mana and Odd Ones Out. This time I left out the Bandit and Albatross and brought a Water Elemental in their place. Had I fought the same opponent as my first game, I think this would have worked well, focusing more damage up front instead of splitting so much between the first, second, and last positions.

But for whatever reason (I always suspect a malfunctioning bot, but who knows?) my opponent only spent 16 mana, bringing just a Peaceful Giant, Wavesmith, and Enchanted Pixie. It looked like a definitive win for me, but I played it out anyway. I'll spare you the details, but once again our Pirate Captain was superfluous, just plinking a bit of armor on monsters that would die to magic damage anyway.

Which leads me to conclude...

Final Thoughts

Unfortunately , I cannot endorse the use of Pirate Captain in the standard Bronze Water magic deck. He just doesn't add anything to the team, and the mana would be better spent on a tank to protect your magic monsters. That's not to say that Pirate Captain is useless—he did a fairly good job on our first opponent's team, after all—but he doesn't mesh with the magic archetype very well, at least not against the teams I fought. If you are fighting in Bronze league and using a Water deck, probably best to stick to what you know works.

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