Xenith Archer: The Apex of Generic Balance, a Battle Strategy Guide
Card Impressions: Another one
Greetings Splinterlanders and welcome to another card strategy post. Today we are looking at the Neutral card. Xenith Archer this card is a 2 mana cost neutral ranged rare card in the new CL expansion. This card at lvl 1 has 1 ranged attack, 1 speed, and 2 hp. This card gains no abilities it just gradually attains better stats as it is leveled. Essentially allowing it to "fill out" 2 mana in any lineup ranged comes into play.
Placement and Strategy: 3 Example Battles
This card is a good spacer and additionally is a small amount of damage to add to your lineup for 2 mana in whichever Splinter (note this card will be VERY common in modern where it is one of the few neutrals utile). This card also doubles well as "fodder" and usually absorbs opportunity and snipe damage when placed correctly. Below I have THREE fights to illustrate the general use of Xenith Archer.
Sniper Fodder: Even if fleeting
In the battle displayed above I use Xenith archer to potentially absorb a hit of either Sniper or opportunity, and she in fact does so. This match comes down to immunity (Harklaw and Almo Cambio) outlasting the positioned enemy lineup, coupled with excessive healing in the backline (Cornealeus and Soul Harvester).
Yodin Zaku's Chosen: Another Card Joins the Fray
In the match located here Xenith archer was used to fill out the ranks in yodin's lineup. This is naturally to be expected with the majority of ranged cards available to fire (neutral or otherwise). In this battle I used grum and calduum as anti-magic tanks. The enemy focusing fire to the front ends up being their undoing, due to blast ripping through their position 2 people like butter
When all else fails...
When all else fails fill the lineup! In this case Xenith was used to great effect in a dragon/death lineup.
In this match located here Xenith Archer played the role of cannon fodder and added physical damage to round out the damage types in this lineup. Cthulu's cripple however won the day reducing max hp to the enemy tank with tank heal (thus reducing overall healing and leading to a quick death of the primary tank). In this case Xenith Archer was NOT the best choice, but will be one of the few available choices in modern (which will happen in a bit over a week) to fill this sort of lineup.
Meta Musings: Where will I see this?
In the current meta ranged is typically played with Yodin Zaku, or the modern light Splinter favorite General Sloan. Overall Archers have been seeing more play aswell due to the high probability of the enemy using an "anti-magic" lineup at low or high-tier meta play. Ranged creatures (typically) are faster and deal more damage per hit but don't go through armor and are subject to the weaknesses of physical damage. However when dealing with magic character ranged characters can decimemide a "counter" lineup by simply being different from what is excepted by the enemy (or to counter that very predictable "here it comes again" anti- magic lineup that was played the last 5 matches by your opponent). This card is a good card even at lvl 1, as a neutral card able to stack with faction specific spaces of similar stature.
Talking Tidbits: Lore? Another one
Excerpt is as follows "The Xenith Scale is devoted to enlightenment, knowledge, and the protection of others. Members among the order practice to remain balanced in all things and believe Mana, too, should remain balanced. It should not be used to cause chaos or disorder, nor should it be used to tip the scales of justice in either direction. The order believes in fate and that everything has its proper place. Fate and destiny are predetermined, and they should not be altered.
Archers adhere to this creed in their everyday life. They often say, an arrow must be perfectly balanced on a bow string to hit its mark. If it sits too far forward or too far back it won't be able to sail through the air.
Like all Xenith warriors, archers would much prefer to find a peaceful solution to a problem or stay out of an altercation altogether. When they are pulled into a fight, they see it as a way to restore balance to a situation.
Explosions shook the battlefield. People ran from their homes pleading for help, their screams drowned out by the sound of fighting. Fires burned through the streets and buildings collapsed in heaps of smoke and dust. The group known as the Chaos Legion had arrived and they weren't taking prisoners.
Xenith warriors stood in the distance, hoods covering their faces. Their creed prevented them from getting involved in political disputes, but this was no dispute. This was a massacre. “We must do something! We can't let these people fall at the hands of these invaders!” A bronze skinned woman yelled, yanking the hood off her head. An elder Xenith member responded, “This is the way of it Delya. We must consult with the monks to see what they decree. If they believe this is fate, then we must remain out of it!”
Delya angrily turned away from the group and pulled her hood over her head. She pulled a bow from her quiver and took aim at an enemy soldier within range. “Delya, no!” Screamed the Xenith member. The arrow flew and embedded itself in the heart of the Chaos Legion soldier. They slumped to the ground, unmoving. Delya shot a glare back at the Xenith warriors and readied another arrow. “Now, I am part of the disorder. I will bring balance to what I have started.”" End of Excerpt
This Archer's lore is rather contradictory in nature (or selective I should say). It's an order of monks that think any involvement in anything to influence evil or justice in either direction is strictly forbidden. However instigating a fight and continuing it is "bringing balance". Or responding to a strike with lethal force etc in retaliation is "balance". After reading through the lore it is apparent pretty much every proper noun could be replaced with any generic fantasy name and read exactly the same. There isn't much that even makes this lore specific to Splinterlands or unique to the established lore aside from mentioning "Chaos Legion". I usually am someone into the lore relative to card abilities, but this time this card's lore is about as bland as the neutral ranged card itself. It needs a bit more fleshing out and feels a bit forced or "mad libbed" just to fit another character into the card game. That being said I don't think the lore is "awful" I just think it isn't the most original or consistent thing out there. Compared to previous iterations of lore this one just felt like "meh".
Giveaway: Generic Balancer
This week I will be offering 3 people who comment AND like this post a 15 delegation of a random rare or better neutral card (to round out your lineups). Don't forget to follow for more writing, tournaments, gaming, or whatever else I might be posting.
Keep Summoning and See You in the #Splinterlands