Splinterlands Guide - Abilities and tips for every ruleset


Splinterlands Guide - Abilities and Tips for Every Ruleset.png

For a while now I've been keeping track of abilities, stats, and tips to improve my win rate in every ruleset in Splinterlands. So I decided to clean it up, make it readable and all in one page, and share it here. Note that this is inspired by other posts, as well as by the great content on Splintercards.com. If there's anything I'm missing, please let me know in the comments. Hope you find this useful to help you win in the Arena!

Note: the rulesets are listed in alphabetical order

Aim true: Melee and Ranged attacks always hit their target.

  • Blind, flying, and dodge are useless
  • Speed it good, but don't use it with the objective of making the enemy miss (i.e. don't forget to bring enough punch to actually kill the enemy)
  • Thorns and Return Fire are useful

Armored up: All Monsters have 2 Armor in addition to their normal Armor stat.

  • Rust negates this ruleset
  • Magic helpful as it hits the health directly
  • Repair monsters are great and can create a wall of survivability
  • Summoners with extra armor are a bit of a waste (you're just stacking additional armor)

Back to basics: Monsters lose all abilities.

  • Since this negates all abilities, all monsters in the back row are safe. Therefore, glass cannons (high damage low health) can be safely used in the back.
  • Magic & Ranged are necessary for back row.
  • Use 1 or 2 tanks in the front line to give your back row enough time to do damage
  • Yodin is the MVP in this ruleset; other summoners with multiple abilities can massively increase your chances of winning

Broken arrows: Ranged attack Monsters may not be used in battles.

  • Obviously try to avoid Summoners with Ranged buffs/debuffs as well as Headwinds and Return Fire, as they don't play a role
  • Expect more magic, so use Magic Reflect, Void, Void Armor, and Silence
  • Expect more melee, so use Thorns and Demoralize
  • Less Ranged means less Snipe (keep in mind for positioning)

Close Range: Ranged attacks may be used in the first position in battles.

  • Generally I try to counter this, rather than take advantage of it. I assume the opponent will use more Ranged and therefore I use Headwinds and Return Fire
  • Lir Deepswimmer can be clutch if your opponent packs in the Ranged monsters; don't forget Amplify if using Lir, especially to combat Yodin
  • If using Ranged with this ruleset, consider high HP Ranged monsters to put in the front 2-3 spots

Earthquake: Non-flying Monsters take 2 Melee damage at the end of each round.

  • Flying is obviously very important (and Brighton Bloom as your summoner can be clutch)
  • Snare helps you counter Brighton or any flying enemies; especially useful if you aren't bringing too much Flying yourself
  • Shield and Repair are very useful as armor soaks up the Earthquake damage
  • Heal and Tank Heal can play a big role, as it might come down to last man standing (less often than Poison)
  • Scavenger very useful as many units are likely to die
  • Kitty is another great option to help with survivability, especially when it comes down to the last 2 monsters

Equal Opportunity: All Monsters have the Opportunity ability.

  • Speed is often the deciding factor here
  • Remember that your weakest HP monster will get hit first (and if it's a tie then it'll be the one closest to the front)
  • Make the monster they'll hit be hard to hit (e.g. high speed) to improve your odds (e.g. I like to use someone like Spark Pixies or Naga Assassin - yes they may die early but they also have a good chance of dodging a few attacks before going down)
  • Taunt is absolutely massive in this ruleset; combined with lots of healing/repair it can nullify the advantage for your opponent
  • Monsters with two attack types, or with Double Strike are even deadlier and can be used in any position
  • Monsters with Trample can be used anywhere, and if your enemy doesn't put their weakest monster in the very back then your Trample will trigger
  • Monsters with high armor and low HP can be used to "trick" the opponent into attacking them, e.g. Legionnaire Alvar can be clutch

Equalizer: The initial Health of all Monsters is equal to that of the Monster on either team with the highest base Health.

  • Focus on filling up your team (i.e. using 6 monsters) and maximizing the damage output of your team
  • Heal, Tank Heal, and Triage are amazing, as these battles frequently have monsters with very high HP and those abilities will heal a LOT of HP as a result

Even Stevens: Only Monsters with even Mana costs may be used in battles.

  • As pointed out on Splintercards, "there are no special tricks for this ruleset" but since you know that all Odd Mana monsters are not eligible you can rule those out from what your enemy might bring and think about countering the Even Mana monsters
  • 0 Mana monsters (Furious Chicken and the Fiends) work here and are very useful to add some extra padding

Explosive Weaponry: All Monsters have the Blast ability.

  • It's all about SPEED: go first and dish out as much damage as possible
  • Snipe and opportunity maximize your damage as the blast will hit 2 enemies instead of 1 (in the case of regular or sneak attacks)
  • Remember that Magic - even the blast hits - go past the armor, which makes Magic damage dealers especially deadly in this ruleset
  • Magic Reflect and Return Fire can be extremely deadly here, and can be a hard counter to speed teams

Fog of war: Monsters lose the Sneak and Snipe abilities.

  • Tanks are your friends as your back row is safer in this ruleset; typically best to order in descending HP (highest HP at the front, and down from there)
  • Opportunity still works, and can surprise the enemy (beware of using glass cannons)
  • Snipe monsters can still be valuable, and you can consider using them to focus fire the monster in the first position
  • Avoid using your sneak monsters obviously...

Healed out: All healing abilities are removed from Monsters and Summoners.

  • Life Leech and Scavenger are not affected by this ruleset, so bring them in for pseudo-healing
  • Repair also works here, so Void Armor monsters + Repair simulates healing to increase survivability
  • Avoid all healing abilities (Heal, Tank Heal, Triage) as they have no impact
  • Affliction is not necessary
  • Note that Cleanse does not negate the effect of this ruleset

Heavy hitters: All Monsters have the Knock Out ability.

  • Knock out deals double damage to stunned enemies, so bring your Stun monsters
  • A fast stun monster who can go before the rest of your team is ideal (e.g. Spark Pixies)

Holy protection: All Monsters have the Divine Shield ability.

  • To quickly remove holy protection from your enemies, you can use Blast, Double Strike, or Redemption
  • Resurrect is clutch as a resurrected ally gets Divine Shield again
  • Fill up the whole team (i.e. 6 monsters) to maximize the damage you can soak up
  • Poison is helpful as you can apply Poison even when hitting the Divine Shield, dealing damage to that enemy at the end of the round

Keep your distance: Monsters with Melee attack may not be used in battles.

  • For this ruleset you need monsters with high HP who can play in the front (e.g. no attack like Lord Arianthus, or high survivability like Lobstradamus, Djinn Oshannus, etc.)
  • Close Range is useful (Molten Ash Golem, Wave Brood, Lava Launcher)
  • Since you know there will be no Melee, that means it's all Magic and Ranged, so take advantage of it with Magic Reflect and Return Fire

Little league: Only Monsters & Summoners that cost 4 Mana or less may be used in battles.

  • Maximize health and damage output
  • Typically teams have lower health, so the "redemption abuse" tactic works well in this ruleset
  • Doctor Blight is the MVP

Lost legendaries: Legendary Monsters may not be used in battles.

  • There are no special tricks for this ruleset, however remember that any ruleset which excludes a certain type of Monster should help you better predict what you'll be facing on the other side (fewer options for your enemy)

Lost magic: Monsters with Magic attack may not be used in battles.

  • Return Fire and Thorns are helpful
  • Shield is amazing, as you know all monsters on the opposing team will deal less damage that way; combine that with Headwinds/Demoralize and you can have indestructible tanks
  • Dodge, Blind, and Flying will always work (except if your opponent uses True Strike, but that's a bit niche... other than Kitty of course)
  • Since there's no Magic, abilities like Magic Reflect, Silence, Void, and Void Armor aren't helpful

Melee mayhem: Melee attack Monsters can attack from any position.

  • Thorns on your tank is very useful; add Shield and Demoralize to add survivability
  • Retaliate in the first slot can be clutch
  • Summoners with +1 or -1 melee are very helpful
  • Consider ignoring ruleset (use Magic/Ranged) to catch opponent off guard
  • There are many rather slow Melee monsters, so a fast monster with Dodge and/or Flying in your first slot can be a great tactic (e.g. Cocatrice)
  • Glass cannons (e.g. Exploding Dwarf and Exploding Rats can be very useful)

Noxious Fumes: All Monsters start the battle Poisoned.

  • Higher HP and cleanse are the best choise. However there may be some cases where you go for a big offensive attack and wipe out your opponent before the poison becomes a factor.

  • High HP monsters are necessary

  • Cleanse is extremely important; think about monster placement to ensure the RIGHT monster gets cleansed before your cleanser dies!

  • Resurrect is very useful as a resurrected monster comes back without Poison (take this into account and see if you can get your cleanser to die first and come back)

  • Immunity can catch your enemy off-guard

  • Scavenger is useful as well as typically a lot of Monsters die in this ruleset

  • The Cube is the MVP monster, by far; can be countered by Affliction (e.g. Mimosa or Doctor Blight)

  • Llama is the MVP summoner here; just make sure your last monster standing has Heal or Tank Heal (which makes it heal itself) and high HP

Odd ones out: Only Monsters with odd Mana costs may be used in battles.

  • No special tricks in this ruleset but use the information to better predict your opponent's cards

Reverse speed: Monsters with the lowest Speed attack first and have the highest chance of evading attacks.

  • 1 speed monsters are the best here
  • Combine low speed with Flying, Dodge, and Blind to be harder to hit
  • Enrage and Last Stand can be dangerous as they will increase your speed; Only showstoppers if the monster's initial speed is already quite high

Rise of the commons: Only Common and Rare Monsters may be used in battles.

  • Typically lower total damage output here, so particularly important to have your team focus fire here (e.g. may not be good to spread out damage with snipe/opportunity/sneak)

Silenced summoners: Summoners do not give any stat buffs or debuffs or grant/use any abilities.

  • Use your lowest mana summoner (though don't forget summoner level still plays here)
  • Use the information to know your opponent can't come with crazy summoner abilities (so no need to worry about countering Yodin or Kitty in this one!)

Spreading fury: All Monsters have the Enrage ability.

  • High speed wins the game in this one; combine with Blind/Flying/Dodge to make your team extremely hard to hit
  • Remember that while Enrage increases everyone's speed, it only increases melee damage, so feel free to use more melee monsters
  • Focus fire on one enemy at a time, so you don't enrage a bunch of enemies
  • Enrage + Piercing + Trample can be extremely deadly; for Fire consider using Qid with a beefy Trample monster in the front (e.g. Molten Ogre, Magnor)
  • Nightmare is clutch, particularly since it also has Phase

Stampede: The Trample ability can trigger multiple times per attack if the trampled Monster is killed.

  • High HP tanks help reduce the likelihood of Trample
  • If you are planning on trampling over your enemies, bring Piercing as well (Desert Dragon's favorite ruleset)
  • Exploding Dwarf, if you can get him to survive, is an MVP here (especially true if this ruleset is combined with Equalizer)
  • Dispel removes Trample

Super sneak: All Melee attack Monsters have the Sneak ability.

  • Consider completely ignoring the ruleset and playing Magic/Ranged to catch your opponent off guard
  • If using Melee, try to focus fire to the back (i.e. keep in mind Reach in position 2 will still attach the enemy in the front)
  • Shield, Retaliate, and Thorns in the last position helps counter the opponent; Mix in some Triage to add survivability

Taking sides: Neutral Monsters may not be used in battles.

  • No special tricks, but use the information to help predict what your opponent will bring

Target practice: All Ranged and Magic attack Monsters have the Snipe ability.

  • Put a monster in position 2 that will be able to soak up lots of damage (high HP, Shield, Void, Void Armor) and counter (Magic Reflect, Return Fire)
  • Increase survivability of your position 2 monster with Triage
  • Consider a slightly weaker (e.g. glass cannon type of monster) in position 1, as position 2 will be taking more damage

Unprotected: Monsters do not have any armor and do not get armor from Abilities or Summoner Buffs.

  • Protect, Piercing, Repair, and Rust are useless in this ruleset
  • Redemption abuse works particularly well here, as you can just focus on weakening HP and don't have to worry about armor

Up close & personal: Only Monsters with Melee attack may be used in battles.

  • Thorns can single-handedly win this ruleset; Combine it with lots of very high HP monsters and demoralize and you can win entirely by returning damage to your enemies
  • A Shield tank and some Demoralize support can make your tank indestructible
  • Summoners with +1 or -1 melee are very helpful
  • Blast damage is clutch (Yodin once again dominates this ruleset)
  • Sneak and Opportunity are very useful; Reach is also useful
  • There are many rather slow Melee monsters, so a fast monster with Dodge and/or Flying in your first slot can be a great tactic (e.g. Cocatrice)

Weak magic: Magic attacks hit Armor before reducing Health.

  • Everyone technically has Void Armor, so use summoners with +armor, Protect and Repair to take advantage
  • Use Rust if bringing in Magic monsters

That's it! I hope this guide is useful, and I do plan on updating it. If there's something I've missed, please type it in the comments!


Awesome summary of what to do for each rule set!