Splinterlands Strategy Session: Amplify Defense
The Amplify Defense
Strategy Description: One of the new abilities introduced with the Chaos Legion set is Amplify. This ability increases the damage done by the Thorns (melee) ability, Return Fire (ranged) ability, and Magic Reflect (magic) ability. These three defensive abilities were already powerful and incredibly useful but the synergy produced with the new Amplify cards gives some of those old staple defensive cards even more value in the arena. With a card from each splinter, excluding Dragon, and one neutral card offering the ability, this is a very versatile defensive tactic that can often times catch an opponent off guard when they decide to bring some heavy offensive fire power typically seen in Yodin and Alric teams that can be so hard to defend.
Starring Almo Cambio
Game Rules & Mana Cap: A small 18 mana cap really limits the strategic options, the No Healing and Keep Your Distance rule sets further whittle down the available cards and tactics at my disposal.
Card Selection & Placement: Almo uses close to 40% of my mana cap so he'd better provide more than just a large meat shield. Luckily I choose correctly and my opponent @estariaaaa goes with an all ranged attack. My Furious Chicken and Chaos Agent provide some cheap HP to absorb blast, snipe, or opportunity damage. My Venari Heatsmith brings some good armor/hp defense to withstand a few rounds of sneak attacks while empowering Almo with the Amplify ability. The Blight Doctor rounds out my team and is the lone offensive weapon I bring to this hand, but his Poison and Scavanger abilities end up being enough to keep him alive while doling out enough damage to take down the formidable Lord Arianthus while the combination of Heatsmith and Almo do enough defensive damage to take out all my opponents attackers in 2 rounds.
Starring Lord Arianthus
Game Rules & Mana Cap: Another game with the No Healing and Keep Your Distance rule sets and a relatively small 20 mana cap. Card selection and placement in these games can be tricky.
Card Selection & Placement: One of the premiere defenders in the game, Lord Arianthus takes center stage as my primary defense. At only 5 mana, Lord A. provides stout defensive ability against anything my opponent @manfredunio can bring to the table. Once again, Furious Chicken and Chaos Agent provide some cheap HP to block any blast, snipe, or opportunity attacks I might face. Venari Heatsmith comes next with the all important Amplify ability boosting Lord A's already potent defense and Void Armor to give him some excellent defense / mana stats. My Fire Demon with a high powered ranged blast attack and Doctor Blight come last and give me enough offensive firepower to get the victory.
Starring Venari Heatsmith
Game Rules & Mana Cap: Another battle with the Keep Your Distance rule set, this time with an ample 40 mana cap gives me a lot of flexibility and options to choose how I want to attack and defend.
Card Selection & Placement: My first four cards in this lineup are heavy on defense while my last two provide the only real offensive weapons to the match. Lord Arianthus, Almo Cambia, Prismatic Energy, and Venari Heatsmith combine to give me 35 HP, 3 Void Armor, Magic Reflect, Return Fire, and Amplify to return damage to my opponent @nidorino no matter what offense he throws at me. In a game where Yodin should be the clear favorite, I turn my opponents offense against him Judo style while letting Lava Launcher come through with an opportune Stun attack and the randomness of Gem Meteor do their thing to secure the win.
Starring Dex Paragon
Game Rules & Mana Cap: With the tiniest of possible mana caps coming in at 12 and Silenced Summoner and No Healing as the rule sets I have to work with there aren't many strategic plays I'm confident in here. In these low mana matches it's critical to get the most out of every card you choose and fighting above my weight class in Diamond League with only gold level cards makes this game even more difficult.
Card Selection & Placement: As we've seen before, Lord Arianthus provides my best option at the tank position with returned damage against any melee or magic attackers I may face. Some 0 mana cards provide some critical protection against blast, snipe, opportunity, and sneak attacks while Celestial Harpy at 2 mana gets behind my opponent @low-key102 defense. Dax Paragon boosts the return damage power of Lord A enough to take out the powerful Ruler of the Sea and leave my opponent with no attack power after two rounds so I can wear down the enemy team and get a big end of season victory.
Game Rules & Mana Cap: With a medium sized 26 mana cap and the Silenced Summoner and Close Range rule sets in play there are many different ways to play this hand both offensively and defensively but playing with Gold league cards against Diamond level opponents means I have an uphill battle where each card I select can be critical to my success.
Card Selection & Placement: My defense here is set up to protect mainly vs. ranged attackers with Almo Cambio in the tank position, but the combination of Pelacor Conjurer with Divine Shield and Magic Reflect at only 2 mana and my Crystal Werewolf with Thorns and Silence protecting from sneak attackers give me a strong enough magic defense to nullify @kickingfish main attacker Ruler of the Sea and reflect him out of the game after three rounds. Lunakari Mistress provides a potent attack at a cost of 6 mana while Dax Paragon really shines with the team bossting Amplify ability and Affliction to prevent the opponents tank from healing and dragging me into the deep rounds where Fatigue determines who wins. My Divine Healer provides support to Almo and ensures he survives through the entire match but wasn't critical to the success of this hand.
Starring Queen Mycelia
Game Rules & Mana Cap: The 36 point mana cap provides a big enough canvass to make just about any offensive or defensive strategy playable in this hand. The Target Practice (all ranged/magic attackers get the Snipe ability) and Close Range (ranged attackers can still attack in the 1st position) tend to favor ranged attacks which I properly account for in my defensive strategy.
Card Selection & Placement: In this particular rule set Lord A in the tank position will most likely only be facing a melee attack early in the game so his Shield and Thorns were the proper call. Almo is again relied on for the position I guess will be taking the most damage. Queen Mycelia brings the all important Amplify to my team as well as a Triage Heal that pairs well with Almo's high HP and Immunity. Iza the Fanged gives me a potent attack to the rear position of my opponent @drojdrojdroj team and the Scavenger ability to give her a decent base of HP by the time she gets into enemy range. The Spirit of the Forrest is one of my all time favorite cards and gives me a solid defensive boost with Tank Heal and Protect while also providing a solid ranged attack and the extremely powerful Doctor Blight rounds out my team with his deadly arsenal of abilities. The Triage and Protect abilities from Queen Mycelia and SoF were critical in this battle to keep Almo alive through several rounds and let his Return Fire weaken my opponents offense enough for me to take home the W.
Closing Thoughts, Useful Tips / Tricks for Success
The Amplify defense is very versatile and can be successfully used in low, medium, or high mana matches. The critical part to this strategy is understanding the rule sets you're working with and correctly anticipating your opponents attack so you can get the proper defensive cards in the correct position to absorb and return the damage they'll taking. There are currently 3 summoners in the game who give return damage abilities to all of your team which make this defensive incredibly tough to beat if used properly. Mylor with Thorns for melee attacks, Owster Rotwell with Reflect for magic attacks, and Lir Deepswimmer with Return Fire for ranged attacks are each excellent choices when going with this defensive tactic, but each splinter has some good options that can successfully implement this Amplify Defense regardless of your summoner.
Are you new to the game or feeling stuck below the league you want to be playing in? Reply to this post with your general game questions or a link to a battle of yours that you would like some friendly advice on how to improve and I'll review your card selection and lineup and offer my thoughts on how you could improve your game.
Other game strategy posts:
The Double Tap Opportunity Attack - Double or triple up on opportunity attackers to quickly take out the weakest links in your opponents defense.
Images and Lore from Splinterlands.com and Splintercards.com
Thanks a lot for those insights. I bet a lot of work went into writing this article. It's a bit sad to see that it gets so little attention.
Well, the better for us chosen few. ;) We can keep that strategy for ourselves.