How to win every game mode in Splinterlands

So it seems you have reached bronze 2 or higher, and you have come here to see how to beat the amazing game modes that splinterlands provides. Being a relatively new player myself, I went looking for any post on how to win in these game modes... but couldn't find any, so I decided to make my own. I have spent the past few days asking around on the splinterlands community, from streamers, and high level players on their methods of beating these game modes, and I will also be including my thoughts on beating these at a low rank where people won't usually have such a large variation of cards. The list of the game modes can be found here (my defenitions will be references to here also): https://splinterlands.fandom.com/wiki/Category:Rule_Sets

Before we dive in let's just remind ourselves of the importance of checking your opponent's battle history before choosing your cards, so you have an idea of what they will use and can be able to counter it. The game modes below are in alphabetical order, so if you have a particular mode you are interested in scroll down until you get close :)

Aim True
In the aim true mode, "Attacks won't miss. Abilities like evade or flight or phase won't give any advantage. Similarly de-buff like Blind will be rendered useless". This means that there is no chance for an opponent to dodge an attack, leaving the only luck factor in which equal-speed monsters attack first. In these situations, there are a few ways to play this. One of which is to use Alric Stormbringer (a summoner that gives +1 magic attack to all friendly units) and simply use magic attack, since there is a chance your opponent will try to take advantage of the game mode and use melee/ranged cards. In this, an essential card will be venari wavesmith:

The protect ability gives +2 armor to friendly units, very useful against melee and ranged attacks. However, your opponent may also be trying to use this strategy, so if you see that in their battle history they used magic often, you will want to try to counter this. For countering magic, anything with void (reduced damage from magic attacks) can be very effective. Personally, when I am anticipating magic from my opponent I love to use bortus (summoner, all enemy units recieve -1 magic attack) paired with torhilo the frozen in front.
This also works when you aren't sure that your opponent will use magic, as torhilo's 4 armor makes him very versatile against both physical and magic damage. If your prediction on your opponent using magic is correct, since low rank magic cards only have 1 magic attack, and your bortus will counter the +1 magic alric gives, torhilo will take no damage from your opponent's magic attacks. However, just to be safe, throwing in a venari wavesmith in your lineup will make your lineup even more versatile. Another effective thing you can do to both counter magic and take advantage of the game mode is use earth with mustang (also has void). Another great option in this game mode is to use owster rotwell, a summoner that gives all friendly units magic reflect, then using a harklaw in front to defend in case they use melee. (yes harklaw is a legendary, but you can usually find him for around 2 DEC/day if you rent). In any of these situations, oshannus can be the card card, but he is very hard to get so I won't be mentioning him.


Armored up
"Monsters get +2 added to their armor stat". In this game mode, every card gets +2 armor, which can usually only be ignored by cards with magic, meaning if water is allowed in the battle, you can safely assume your opponent will use magic. In this scenario, I personally love using alric, with torhilo the frozen in front with magic cards lined up behind him, and if there is the spare mana I'll use a wavesmith too in case my opponent doesn't use magic. However, if magic is unavailable, light is often your next best option. A sheildbearer in front with armorsmith can be a great combination, along with a healer such as venari crystalsmith or divine healer to heal your sheildbearer from any magic attacks while your armorsmith blocks the physical attacks. Magic is probably best here also to avoid pain from the possibility of your opponent using wizard of eastwood.

back to basics
"Monsters lose their own abilities. Summoner effects such as those that give abilities to monsters still take effect." If there is a mana limit of around 20, I find that water and magic with alric can be very useful since most of the cards don't come with any abilities anyways. Lineup example: spineback turtle, medusa, ice pixie, enchanted pixie, elven mystic, and chicken at the back because I love furious chicken (total mana cost: 20 mana). If you have a higher max mana, cards that simply have good stats but no abilities can be great.
Broken Arrows
"No monsters with ranged will be available to choose from". In this game mode, its quite straightforward, no ranged attacks are allowed. I would just recommend basing your deck completely on your prediction for what your enemy will choose, in lower ranks ranged attacks aren't usually used often, with the exception of being essential to some fire and earth decks, so you may want to choose a different type if you don't have other cards to fill those gaps.
Close range
"Range units can attack from position 1. Ranged monsters are the new Melee monsters". Usually, ranged attack monsters are unable to attack when in the first position. This game mode changes that. These situations give access to tanks that use ranged attacks instead of melee, such as cornealus, lava launcher, poseidon, etc., but if you don't have those I'd just recommend playing as you normally would.
Earthquake
"Monsters without flight ability will be hit with 2 melee damage after every round ends. Snared monsters will take 2 melee damage from earthquake per turn too." In this game mode all cards take 2 melee damage, meaning that only cards with flying can avoid taking damage or damage to their shield. I personally love this game mode, as there is so many ways to do this. One method is to simply use mostly flying cards, so use the element that you have the most flying cards on, and a tank with shield in front (reduced damage from physical attacks). Something I use often is a tank with shield in front (such as harklaw or living lava), and toward the back (but not all the way at the end of the lineup since you don't want to be hit by sneak attacks) any heal card such as cerberus or haunted spirit).


This is for trying to outlast the other opponent, some other things you can do is try and burst attack your opponent before your cards get killed from the earthquake. Since your opponent will most likely try and outlast you through using flying cards, snare as an ability of a monster you have or using vera salacia can be effective, but if they don't go that route and try to burst you...you probably won't survive.
Equalizer
"The initial Health of all Monsters is equal to that of the Monster on either team with the highest base Health". In this mode, regardless of the health of your cards, they will all have the same health. Note that all start of battle abilities relating to health will be taken into account, so cards such as Lyanna natura(summoner that gives +1 hp at start of battle) and cards with weaken(reduces the health of enemy monsters) will affect both teams. In this mode, just look for the best cards with the highest attack and speed for the mana cost. Also make sure that your lineup is full so you make the most of this game mode. If it isn't, consider filling an extra space with furious chicken, or another incredible one mana neutral card: creeping ooze(has slow ability that reduces the speed of all enemy monsters by one unit).

Equal Opportunity
"All monsters will attack from any position (range monsters cannot attack from position 1) and will target the enemy Monster with the lowest health". In this mode, using a card with taunt will be very effective at blocking your opponent's attacks to give time for your other cards to pick them off. The list of taunt cards are: magnor,the kraken, shieldbearer, and dark ha'on.


Even stevens
"Only even mana cards can be used. Your options to choose cards will be halved. You'll be forced to use cards that you really don't use much. But same goes for your opponent." Straightforward, no unique strategy for doing this, unless you have dragons which can increase the list of cards to choose from.
Explosive Weaponry
"All monsters get the Blast Ability which does additional damage to Monsters adjacent to the target Monster. Additional damage is equivalent to main damage/2 rounded up". Here, there are two good strategies that I know can work well. One is to use a taunt card in front, and another card behind that has heal to tank the blast effect. Another will be to use cards that have high speed and damage, preferably one or two with snipe(so the blast will effect 2 cards not just one if attacking the front or directly the back) so that you take your opponent's damage dealing cards out before they can even attack.
Fog of War
"Snipe and sneak abilities are gone". This basically means that unless a card has opportunity, only the first card in a lineup will be attacked. The most common deck used here will be a magic deck, so you can either use magic yourself, or try and counter magic either with a card that has void, or another idea is to use a dark deck with owster rotwell, but be careful and always check your opponents match history to make sure they used water in at least one of those 5 battles shown for confirmation that they might use magic. See my strategies explained at the top of the post for some more examples on countering magic.
Healed Out
"No type of healing is allowed in the battle. So, abilities like Tank Heal, Triage, Heal are rendered useless. This de-buff cannot be removed by using Cleanse. Summoners Like Byzantine Kitty, Scarred Llama and Chanseus The Great cannot perform Heal and Cleanse either". There are usually plenty of other alternatives to cards that have heal, so the game won't be altered very much.
Heavy Hitters
"All monsters do double damage when attacking an enemy that is stunned." This mode only makes a difference when you have cards with the stun ability, in which case it is more beneficial to use them. In lower ranks though not many people have any cards with the stun ability.
Holy Protection
"All monsters get the Divine Shield ability. The first time the Monster takes damage from a monster it is ignored". Here, you will want to make sure you don't spread out your damage, as it will take at least two attacks to kill an opponent's card. If you are running low on mana, consider swapping one of your higher mana costing cards for a cheaper one so you can fill your lineup to make the most of the mode.
Keep your distance
"Monsters with Melee attack type can't be used". Without melee monsters, only leaves magic and ranged, so again in this situation your goal will simply be to counter magic. Without a tank in front though that has void, and if you don't have any tanks with ranged or magic, your next best option is just peaceful giant. Something to be aware of in this mode is that there will be no attackers with sneak or opportunity(since those are on some melee monsters), so you can safely assume that the only two places your opponent can attack you is your first card and the one right behind it, so make sure you don't have a card with little health in the second spot either, but pile your more important cards to the back. An example is if you are using venari wavesmith in this mode, place it in the back of your lineup so all your cards get the benefits of the +2 armor.
Little League
"You can only use Monsters and Summoners with 4 or less mana". Quite straightforward, just try and make sure you can still fit in a tank up front such as cerberus and spineback turtle.
Lost Legendaries
"Legendary Monsters can't be used. Legendary Summoners are still available though". Not much to discuss here, legendary cards aren't usually that essential unless you are in a higher league than gold.
Lost Magic
"Magical Monsters can't be used. Your armor will play a very important role here. Get summoner which provides armor. (Drake of Arnak, The Peakrider, Chanseus the Great, Tyrus Paladium, Lir Deepswimmer). Or maybe one that takes armor away from your opponent. (Wizard of Eastwood) And, if possible use a monster that can penetrate". Fandom did a great job of explaining some strategies here, not much to add on. (link at the end of post and top of post).
Melee Mayhem
"Melee attack from anywhere. We recommend using your strongest melee attackers with abilities like blast, opportunity, retaliate and inspire. You could also select a summoner that will lower your opponents melee power, Zintar Mortaus or Camila Sungazer". In this mode, since most people will be using melee damage, you will probably want to use a card with shield in front. The strategy that I use is having zintar Mortaus as my summoner, and harklaw in front to tank. Some other options is to use cards that have flying to attempt to dodge the attacks. Another great path you can take is to use frozen soldier or serpernt of eld in front, with a venari wavesmith in your lineup to provide armor and some more magic to penetrate your opponent's shield and armor, however before using this, make sure your opponent does not have a track record of using earth or magic, as they greatly reduce your chance of winning with this.
Noxious Fumes
"All monsters start the game poisoned and will take 2 damage each turn unless cleansed. Big HP and cleanse are going to be your best bet here." Noxious fumes damages your cards and ignores armor/abilities except for cleanse. Two ways to play this: one is to outlast your opponent, and the other is to burst your opponent before noxious fumes can kill your cards. For most low rank players, cleanse isn't an option as it isn't a common thing to have. For outlasting your opponent, an example of a great high hp card is cards that have scavenge such as gelatinous cube. Pairing a high hp card to tank against your opponent trying to burst you with some self healing cards such as cerberus, haunted spirit, and water elemental can often be your best bet. Burst is also a great way to go but is riskier and more suitable for more experienced players.
Odd ones out
"Only odd mana cards can be used. Your options to choose cards will be halved". Since you will have less cards to choose from, using dragon if you have can greatly increase your choices.
Reverse Speed
"Slower monsters attack first". This mode will not only make your 1 speed monsters attack first, but also give them the highest chance of evasion. "A speed of 1 will also have the best chance of dodging if paired with evade and flying as well". Something to consider is that your opponent will most likely not use magic since most magic cards have a speed of above one, so if you have a one speed card with evade and/or flying, it will be very hard for that card to be attacked successfully. Phantom of the abyss has both flying and evade, but has high speed which harms it in this game mode. It is a better idea to use the one mana card that has flying, which there are plenty of in just the standard cards. A great card I love to use in this game mode is sandworm, very cheap to rent and fantastic here.

Rise of the commons
"Only Common and Rare Monsters may be used in battles. Make a well balanced team. Tank > Magic > Ranged Find you a nice tank with heal to lead your lineup. Try to focus your attack on a specific part of there team. Spreading out your attack thinly over their team is not a good idea". Amazing description here by fandom, I have nothing that I can really add to that.
Silenced Summoners
"Summoners do not give any stat buffs or debuffs or grant/use any abilities". Here, there is no need to spend 4 mana on a summoner, just use any of the 3 mana-cost summoners that has your favorite element on it. If the max-mana for the match isn't too high, my favorite method here is simply to use serpent of eld and water elemental behind. Serpent of eld will evade your opponents melee and ranged attacks(magic will probably not be used in this mode because there aren't summoners to buff them), while your water elemental will take the damage from snipe and sneak, and since this is a low mana battle your water elemental will heal the damage taken nicely. Throwing in a free chicken right before your water elemental will be very helpful if you have.

Spreading Fury
"All Monsters get the Enrage ability. Has increased Melee attack and Speed when damaged. Values are multiplied by 1.5 and rounded up". This ability will only benefit your cards as long as they aren't one-shot, so use higher health cards.
Stampede
"The Trample ability can trigger multiple times per attack if the trampled Monster is killed". For most low rank players, you probably won't have any cards with trample, so you can simply ignore this game mode as it wont affect you.
Super Sneak
"All monsters have the Sneak ability. Targets the last Monster on the enemy Team instead of the first Monster". Make sure you have a tank in the back of your lineup to protect your other cards. While your opponent's cards are targeting your last monster, you can have a high damage melee attacker in front to attack from that direction, something your opponent will probably not expect.
Target Practice
"All Ranged and Magic attack Monsters have the Snipe ability". Snipe will make your opponent's monsters target your next in line card that is not melee, so it is safe to have melee cards second in line. The first non-melee card you use in your lineup should have high health, two examples of these are earth elemental and peaceful giant.

Unprotected
"Monsters do not have any armor and do not get armor from Abilities or Summoner Buffs". This mode decreases the value of magic cards, so your main priority will be defending against physical attacks. Since armor is unusable, your next best options are cards with shield and flying abilities.
Up Close and Personal
"Only Monsters with Melee attack may be used in battles". Only melee, great! multiple approaches to this. One is to use armor, however you can be countered if your opponent has ability to remove that armor or a summoner such as wizard of eastwood. Cards with shield ability and cards with flying should also be something to prioritize. For your summoner, some of the best choices are malric inferno, zintaur mortalis, and mylor crowling(gives all friendly monsters thorns ability at start of battle that deals damage whenever the card takes damage from melee attack).



Weak magic
"Magic attacks hit Armor before reducing Health". Stack up on that armor!

Quoted material from https://splinterlands.fandom.com/wiki/Category:Rule_Sets
Screenshots and thumbnail used from splinterlands: https://splinterlands.com/

After looking through and spending time on these modes, I have gained a large appreciation for the time and effort that the splinterlands team has put into making these modes to make the game enjoyable and unique, so if anyone involved is reading this: Thank You.

I hope that this post can help someone, and it will all be worth it if the next time someone sees one of these modes they try out one of these strategies and win. Thank you for reading the post, and another huge thanks to splinterlands for creating this and the splinterlands community. It truly is one of the most helpful and positive communities out there, and in my experience, the best. So if you have any questions or would like to join the amazing community, you can join the discord server here: https://discord.com/invite/splinterlands



0
0
0.000
8 comments
avatar

Congratulations @blueberrr! You have completed the following achievement on the Hive blockchain and have been rewarded with new badge(s):

You got more than 10 replies.
Your next target is to reach 50 replies.

You can view your badges on your board and compare yourself to others in the Ranking
If you no longer want to receive notifications, reply to this comment with the word STOP

Check out the last post from @hivebuzz:

Hive Power Up Month - Feedback from Day 29
Hive Power Up Day - December 1st 2021 - Become an Orca!
0
0
0.000
avatar

Death elemental is very key in one's progression at a low level.

0
0
0.000
avatar

thank you for taking a look at my post everyone, it truly is amazing how supportive the community is.

0
0
0.000
avatar

This is a great and VERY LONG guide! Congratulations on being able to explain how to deal with every Ruleset of the game; I'll surely be sending your post to new players when they ask about the best strategy in each situation.

1_up_curator_luizeba.png

0
0
0.000