SplinterLands Investing, Battling and Earning - 12 Beginner's Tips
Our favorite collectable NFT game is getting a lot of new players, and I find myself thinking about the best pieces of advice for these new players, since I am generally someone who tries to help, though I cannot help everyone, I usually will take the time to help a new user with questions - and we have a number of new players stopping by our EARN guild asking, plus I see the questions all around on other posts as well.
I want to cover three separate (but related!) sections today - Investing, Battling, and Earning. These are three different components of the game, and each is important if you want to maximize your experience.
Part 1 - Investing
As most people are aware, we are on a rocketship to the moon right now with SplinterLands. Apart from waiting for vouchers and chaos legion packs, players can only buy single cards off the market. To some players that seems expensive, and indeed card prices have gone up. But there are some important tips here - as the recent updates will presumeably make it less profitable to stay in bronze leage, interested players will be shooting for 15k collection power as soon as possible to make it to Silver 3 League.
Tip #1 - Work up to 15k collection power
So your very first goal as a player will be to work up to 15k collection power to be able to escape Bronze League. Silver is not as scary as it sounds, there are many new players in Silver League, the rewards are much better, and you get an increased amount of DEC per win.
But make sure you are strategic in your collection power quest!
Tip #2 - Don't pay too much for Collection Power
You might be tempted to buy, or even think you have to buy, really expensive cards 'to compete' in silver league, but its just not true. Here is a comment that I detected, I am sure there are other players who feel this way at first as well -
It made me laugh, because I use none of these super expensive cards and usually can make it all the way through Silver and into Gold 3 by the end of the season. We will talk more about this in the Battling section, but know that super legendaries are not your best bet for Collection Power, or even necessarily for win rate!
Peakmonsters.com allows you to compare prices for collection power, generally cheap commons and gold foil commons are the best - here is a recent example search we did for some new users in our discord (thanks @frugal-fun!)
Tip #3 - Understand the Reward Cards Cycle
The rewards card cycle is another thing that is important to understand, because while reward cards are 'in print', they are always cheap, and as soon as they go out of print, their prices go up. This is something like supply and demand, some players sell their rewards, which is their right, but this creates an interesting and predictable price dynamic. Some of my best investments in splinterlands have been scooping up reward cards before they go out of print.
You can use this tool to see the current print rates and how close the cards are to becoming out of print:
Tip #4 - Buy (cheap) cards that will win you battles
This seems obvious, but its not always obvious which cards will win what battles in which league. The game is quite complex, and the differences between the leagues and the monster levels mean that the metagame changes from league to league.
As we are about to get into tips for Battling, I will just say here, study battles, and find cheap combos that can overcome in many situations.
Part 2 - Battling
So you want to be a Battler? Of course you do - and if you are reading this then you already probably know how to play - for the most part. So I will break into a few important tips for you as you consider investing in cards that will help you win battles, and battling them.
Tip #5 - Focus on 2-3 splinters to start.
It might be tempting to spread yourself out to all the splinters, and if you want to invest a lot of money it could be a good strategy to do so! But when you are just getting started, it is much better to have a better team in a few splinters than weaker teams in all of them. Focus your efforts on finding devastating combos for a few splinters in a few rule sets. With that in mind -
Tip #6 - Its all about the combos
So we are back to the guy who thought he needed to spend 10,000 dollars to play in Silver League. Check out my response to him -
Contessa Lament and Undead Rex, one of my favorite death combos for low point matches. Undead Rex is also brutal on everybody enrages rulesets, get ready for 8 attack when its hurt!
Its about 40 dollars to level him up to 5th level, where he gets trample, wow what a beast he is here. Don't even get me started on the crazy power of this card in blast or stampede rulesets. Of course your Contessa Lament will have to be leveled up as well, she is currently -4.7 dollars per BCX, and will need to be level 4 if you expect her to summon a level 5 common.
Undead Rex dominates in low mana battles, so you might want to get a few small support pieces to help him out - here's a 12 dollar card leveled to level 4 to get nasty poison strike -
Or a little over 4 dollars to give your enemies affliction so they can't heal - I'm looking at you Kron.
If there is too much mana on the match, its hard to win with this set up, as usually a more defensive tank with shield or void or other ability will be able to soak up more damange. But this is a ~$200 dollar team that I get all my death quest wins with all the way into Gold League.
Tip # 7 - Don't neglect the power of Neutral (and Dragon) cards.
Neutral cards can be used with any summoner, and here we can find some great abilities that we can use no matter what Splinter is available or what our collection looks like (except of course No Neutral ruleset).
For just over 30 dollars, we can get a level 5 Elven Defender, which has shield. Shield is so important in a lot of battles, they take half damage from both physical and ranged attacks. And if the attacker only has one power (like many ranged monsters after Contessa's -1 to ranged attacks), they will not even be able to hurt it!
Take a look at the Enchanted Defender -
For 15 dollars we can get him thorns, and he makes up a great backline defender. And this is one of the best, most undervalued cards in the Equalizer ruleset, where he will have as much health as the top monster.
Take careful note of the possibilities of the neutral cards!
Tip # 8 - Use Rental APR to figure out if renting is worth it over buying
This bridges us into the Earning section, but the choice to rent or to buy is a hugely important one. I personally think the rental APR is exactly the right statistic to understand to make these decisions.
Let's take a look at a Bronze/Silver league heavyweight - Mylor Crowling. Mylor is a great summoner because he gives everyone thorns, and makes physical heavy teams, like Malric based setups, pay dearly for each attack they make.
Mylor seems expensive, but you can currently rent a level 1 Mylor for over 200% apr! Use PeakMonsters.com to check out these stats:
If the APR to rent is so high, it seems to me you are better off buying it. Most of the card rental aprs have fallen to 10-30% apr, high apr's indicate that not only is the card useful in battle, it is probably cheaply priced. As the price of the card goes up, this APR will fall with the same rental fees.
Here is another extremely useful card with huge rental apr:
A low point support card with repair from first level, this card can make or break your life splinter set up. I am currently renting some lvl 1 armorsmith cards out for a whopping 450%+ apr on the market price.
Part 3 - Earning
This brings us to our final part - Earning. This is what we all want to do, and in the end, its what let's you know you are 'winning' or not. If you are gaining in collection size, power and value, you can say you have invested and spent your time well.
Tip #9 - Understand the different ways to earn in game
There are a ton of different ways to earn in this game, but let's review the main ones -
Daily Quest rewards
If you get a quest you don't like or don't have the cards to complete, you can get a new quest, but just once per day. Understand which quests you are able to complete, and which ones are the worst for your deck. Currently the Life Quest is the worst for me, so I will reset it, and although I don't like the snipe quest, I will often not reset in because if it comes up life, I'm screwed for the day.
Battle for DEC
DEC rewards for battling are higher early in the season than later. If you are going to sit down to play for awhile, this is the time to do it. You can play as much as you want, DEC drop rate is pretty much meaningless and you can learn about that here.
Combine this with rental rates being cheaper at the beginning than at the end, and it means that the most profitable time to rent is in the beginning of the season, pushing up quickly to a new league and battling there, giving up your rentals as the DEC lowers and rental prices rise as everyone shoots for season rewards.
Another obvious one, the rewards are for the league you are in at the end, so if you are getting started this may not be the biggest area for you, focus more on other areas, like mentioned above.
Holding DEC in your account is currently giving an enormous APR on SPS airdrop. You can combine this will providing liquidity to official DEC pools, see my guide on that, and use beeswap.dcity.io for all your pooling and swapping needs.
Tip #10 - Learn to Post on Splintertalk.io
HIVE is a high-tech blockchain with some social features. The social aspect is not as well understood, there is no centralized force making sure you 'have a good time'.
Yesterday I found @christislord, a new user who has started to make posts. He noticed that some people were getting more rewards than him, he wondered what he was doing wrong - check out my advise to him:
No one knows you exist on HIVE, until they do. You can post into the void - or use some simple strategies to get noticed. Using Splintertalk.io is one of the most important ways to do this.
Tip #11 - Use the right tags when posting
Another way to get noticed is to use the right tags. Tags work differently on HIVE than they do on other social medias. Here again is an advise I left on @christislord's blog:
As mentioned here, one reason that tags can be so complicated is that there are no rules, just accumulated culture. Some tags are monitored, some are not.
If you are posting about splinterlands, always use the SPT tag, this should be automatic if you post from splintertalk.io.
#leofinance is another important tag, a finance community dedicated to crypto, trading and investment. If you are writing about the financial side of the game, not just gameplay, be sure to use leofinance tag. Be ready to get a downvote though for using it incorrectly - for example on a 'Check out my Battle' type post.
#palnet, #archon, #neoxian #proofofbrain are more general tags, these communities have and maintain their own rules and cultures, explore them and see if using them is right for you. @flauwy has recently started a gaming community, read that post to find out more and use the #oneup tag for all your gaming posts.
Tip #12 - Participate in Splinterlands Contests
Each week the Splinterlands team hosts a 'Share your Battle contest', where they hand out fat upvotes for people talking about battle strategies around different cards. This week's involved Crystal Jaguar, but you can actually do any card, any week.
Bonus Tip - Comment on Other People's Posts
This is an underrated advise, not only can you get upvoted and receive rewards for comments, appearing under other people's posts is one of the best ways to let other players know you exist and are paying attention to what is being posted around HIVE. Frequently, leaving a good comment can get people to check out your blog, your wallet, your collection, and maybe even follow you!
Even if they don't follow you, next time they see you, you won't be 'new' any more!
All my tips
There it is, all my beginner tips for you to use or ignore as you see fit. I will likely be posting some more advanced content as time goes on, SplinterLands is just too exciting right now not to post about it!
Do you have any questions, comments or requests? Leave me a reply down below. Remember HIVE and all tribes here are not like other social medias, it uses different (stake based) mechanics, and is not built with 'user experience' or even 'user retention' in mind from the social side. It is however built with decentralized, immutable principles, which allow you to be the owner of everything you do here, from NFT's, tokens and written content. Good Luck!