Nostalgia Ain't What it Used to Be: Using Spineback Turtle in Battle!

This week's Share Your Battle challenge features Spineback Turtle! This is another one of the cards that is no longer in the starter set, and it's always fun to take an old friend out for a spin. I have plenty of memories using old Spineback Turtle in combination with a backline full of magic to mow through enemy teams.

Unfortunately, between the difficult ladder conditions from the start of the season and the meta changes since the release of Chaos Legion, this was one of the more frustrating Share Your Battle challenges for me to date. I took more losses than I'd like to admit while trying to figure out the best way to showcase Spineback Turtle. I was finally able to find a battle that did it justice, though it did involve some lucky guesses on my part.

If you wanted to jump right to the action, the Battle Link is right here. Want to hear some more about the lineup? Read on further!

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First up: the ruleset. This was a decent ruleset for Spineback Turtle because it gives us enough space to include both the Spineback Turtle, some support for it, and a bit of damage at the back. Notably, it also included the Earth splinter, and based on my opponent's match history I had a strong feeling that they would go for a lineup heavy on magic
Spineback Turtle is in the water splinter so we have to choose a water summoner. Going along with my guess that my opponent's lineup would be magic, I attempted to counter-pick by choosing Bortus.
I started my team with my tank and secondary tank. Our card of the week, Spineback Turtle, has plenty of HP, plus a bit of shield which allows me to bring some effective support cards to par it with. I rented it through PeakMonsters and it just happened to be an Alpha version, which was a cool bonus. I didn't have much more mana to spend on a secondary tank so I threw in Hardy Stonefish as a secondary tank/meat shield. I really didn't want to have to use it as a tank and if it ended up playing out that way then I would probably be losing, but it could potentially buy me an extra turn or two.
Depending on how you feel about my strategy here, the next portion of my lineup is either the "support" section, or the "cheesy" section. Yes, I went with a double healing lineup. Merdaali Guardian to heal HP and Scavo Hireling to keep my armor repaired. If my opponent's lineup didn't have enough burst damage then these guys can keep my monsters healed up all day!

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We'll round out our team with as much damage as we can fit in. My plan is for Feasting Seaweed and Deeplurker to take out my opponent's damage before they can manage to kill my Spineback Turtle and healers.

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With the lineup set, it's off into battle! When I see the selected teams I am hopeful - my opponent has indeed chosen an Earth lineup with plenty of magic damage as I predicted, and the armor repair from my Scavo Hireling will nullify the their Mustang's attacks. However, with 3 magic damage outputted per round from my opponent's casters compared with 2 HP healed by Merdaali Guardian, I have to take out some enemy monsters sooner rather than later.

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In the first round of battle my monsters are able to knock out my opponent's Chaos Agent secondary tank and put a serious dent in their Goblin Psychic.

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One more round and the battle is nearly won - at this point there are still a bunch of monsters on the field, but with the Goblin Psychic gone my Scavo Hireling can repair armor each turn to offset the Unicorn Mustang and my Merdaali Guardian will heal 2 HP per turn to cancel out the Regal Peryton's magic damage.

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It actually ended up taking quite a few more rounds thanks to the Peryton dodging a whole lot of attacks (darn that 5 speed plus flying!). But it was just a matter of time until my damage took out my opponent's team. And again, if you wanted to see the whole battle for yourself, you can see it right here.

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Spineback Turtle played a huge role here as a tank with sufficient HP and armor in order to stay alive while Feasting Seaweed and Deeplurker finished the job. Overall my strategy worked out perfectly - Spineback Turtle stood strong as an immovable object.

Although the process of battling on the ladder until I managed to pull off this particular victory was rather frustrating, the outcome of this matchup totally made my day - there is nothing like the feeling of predicting your opponent's lineup and then picking the perfect counter to it!

I played more than my share of Spineback Turtle back in the good old days of Alric being in the starter set of cards. Right now, Spineback Turtle can still work well as a servicable tank, but we have a lot more melee options since the release of Chaos Legion. Spineback Turtle is probably not a card I'll go out of my way to get very often, but it was nice getting to use it again and, it does have a great niche as a low cost tank.

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Thank you so much for reading all the way to the end. Interested in seeing some more of my writing in the future? Be sure to give me a follow! In the meantime, if you'd like to see some of my recent posts:


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