Weekly Battle Challenge: Cursed Windeku (Modern Silver)
I wish everyone a Happy New Year, and for we all flourish in this brand-new 2023. My grind in the Splinterlands continues even in the holidays. I am looking forward to another year of playing this game. With that said, let's take a look at Cursed Windeku in my first 2023 Splinterlands blog!
I am sure every player is familiar with our card of the week. It's a free card and arguably one of the best free cards for the death element. As a daily player, I see it played in many matches per day. I am sure many players see its greatness as much as I do.
At the silver level, you can play this card up to level 4. It's not a fancy card by any means, just a straight tank with thorns. What makes it good is that it packs everything you need to win a game in just 6 mana. It hits with power (3 attacks), can absorb hits (11 HP), and isn't slow by any means (3 speed). At the lower leagues, stats are vital due to fewer abilities in play so a stat-oriented monster like this is very good.
There are plenty of other cards in the 5-7 mana range but none of them are as well-rounded as Cursed Windeku. This brings up another reason why this card is played many times -- it's a very safe pick. A bad team composition can really ruin your chance in a Splinterlands match. Sometimes, you just want to not take too much risk and this card is among those you will pick to handle most situations.
Of course, if you are good with prediction, or the rules set to favor a particular lineup, you should go for those if you are confident. This is just the tank card you can always fall back on as a reliable choice in any matches.
Battle of the Day
This time, we have a 54 mana battle with the Up to Eleven and Tis but Scratches rules sets. Personally, I think there's no wrong color in this battle. With such a large amount of mana, you can craft any team you want with any color. If you don't have a lot of cards, I'd go for the color with the most amount of cards you got. I picked black because the color has some strong options that are 8 mana and above, and we are expected to play these gigantic monsters in this battle.
|The biggest reason why I picked Owster Rotwell is the Up to Eleven rules set. Many magic monsters are not durable and cannot take a lot of hits from the amplified magic reflect. I cannot guarantee that my opponent will play many magic monsters, but I got it covered if that's the case. Thaddius Brood is the better summoner in a lot of cases. It doesn't just limit the magic teams with -1 magic, but also has -1 health that hurts the opponent no matter what. This battle is an exception from the norm, in which I think Rotwell can provide more.|
|It surprises no one to see our card of the day on the tank slot. Cursed Windeku is best played up front and there are not a lot of reasons to have it in other positions. My summoner is making magic monsters hard to play against me and this card is here to keep the melee monsters in check. With just two cards, I am already limiting two attack types that my opponent can play.|
|The Gorlodon is the biggest death monster with reach. I use it quite often in high mana battles as playing melee cards with reach is part of my play style. I really love to use them. It's nothing special, just a big monster with a huge swing. The 1 speed can be an issue in some matches. I don't mind it in this case because I think the 12 HP it has will be useful.|
|Cthulhu is one of my personal favorite cards for "out of game" reason. I am a big fan of the Cthulhu mythos and I have a soft spot for this card. With that said, this card isn't bad at all. At the silver level, I can play the level 2 version of it with stun, but I only have level 1 rented and it's already good enough. This card is similar to The Gorlodon; it's a huge, slow body with good damage. I have it here for the same reason as above, I am looking for tankiness among my cards in this match.|
|What I want from Magi Necrosi is the snipe ability. This card is the sniper in this match. I am looking to take out monsters in the middle of the lineup with this. I really love this card because magic attack goes through armor and 3 damage is huge. I often take out the high attack, low HP cards in 2 turns with this card.|
|Lira The Dark is another sniper I add to combo with Magi Necrosi. I want to take out weak cards in the middle if my opponent were to play those cards. The opportunity ability let her target those cards right away. Sometimes, opportunity and snipe will have different targets, but I am happy to take the chance this time. As you all can see, I am playing all high attack monsters in this match and I am looking to take out the weak links of my opponent's team as quick as possible.|
|Queen of Crows is another high HP card in my matchup. The biggest reason I play this here is the headwind ability. I already limited melee and magic attacks with other cards and this covers the last attack type (ranged) for me. It doesn't matter what kind of attack my opponent brings to the table; I have things that limit them. This is a play style of Death -- to debuff the opponent and eventually outlast them in a grind. This card certainly helps with that plan. Its 12 HP also makes it a good card to play at the behind to tank out sneak hits. Even if my opponent goes from the front, the close range ability makes sure it can attack as the sole survivor. A common issue with ranged cards is that they are unable to attack up front and close range solves that issue. It makes ranged cards much more playable.|
While each card has its individual purpose, there's also a team plan:
- Grind It Out: I want to have higher HP than my opponent, run my debuffs for as long as possible (they are gone if the monster dies), and outlasts my opponent.
- Balanced Attack Types: As we can see, I am running two of each attack type. This ensures that I will not lose to an opponent who focuses on countering one specific attack type. With the Up to Eleven rules set, I have to factor in that my opponent might play some sort of reflect damage. With two monsters packing each of three different attack types, I am spreading my attacks and lowering my risk of a hard counter. It's like the go-to term of investing: never put all the eggs in one basket. Sometimes you should in Splinterlands, but not in this specific match.
- Big hits: When you are playing a high mana match, you should always count on big hits from both sides. Besides Queen of Crows, my other monsters all pack 3+ attacks so every hit is sure to hurt my opponent. Having 3+ attacks also limits the impact of attack debuff like my Queen of Crows' headwind. You absolutely don't want to hit for 1 damage per attack in a 54 mana match.
The first thing I saw from this match was that my opponent probably lacked the high mana cards in his collection. The highest mana cards he played were the 7 mana Disintegrator and 7 mana Dhampir Stalker. His team totaled to only 32 mana so he was already at a disadvantage to start the match. It's okay to run a team with 1 or 2 less mana than the given amount, but you should always try to spend every mana whenever possible. Of course, this doesn't apply to a 99 mana match, in which you should just try to run all the biggest, nastiest monsters (with synergies taken into account, of course) you can find in your collection.
As we can see, the opponent did debuff two attack types so I made the correct choice by going with all three types here. Lira's great speed came into play right away as I took out a monster with the first attack of the round. This was what I wanted out of Lira.
I just wanted to show the value of damage debuff with this picture. The opponent's tank would be down and out by now if not for the damage nerf. One thing we have to always factor in is "how many hits to take down a monster". It doesn't matter if we have 1 damage or 99 damage on our cards; the key objective we need to go for is to eliminate a monster with the least hits possible.
For instance, if it would take precisely 4 hits to kill card X with both 9 and 10 damage, then it doesn't matter if my opponent nerfs my damage from 10 to 9 because we would have to hit the same amount of times anyway. We gain value whenever we drop the "hit count" by 1. As our opponent was getting 2 more hits on their Windeku before it went down, the damage debuff he had provided value to this specific match.
We have a perfect example to illustrate my point right at the beginning of round 2. My Lira's 3 damage and Magi Necrosi's 2 damage hit for precisely 5 on the Dhampir Stalker to take it down. In this case, it didn't matter if my Necrosi hit for 2 or 3. As long as it's not 1 and the Dhampir survives, I am all happy. This kill is also showing off what I said in my lineup breakdown. I hoped for the two of them to target the same monster and take it down quickly, and they did just that to start off round 2. The Dhampir Stalker did not move yet, so I am getting value out of this kill by preventing 2 damage coming at me later in the round. This is the edge we get from higher speed -- to sustain higher damage per round than our opponent.
The winner was evident at the end of round 2. There's no way I would lose this match by now. Our plan played out very well in this one. Queen of Crow ate up all the Silent Sha-vi's attacks and did not die. Our tank ate a lot of hits and survived for two complete rounds, which is usually more than enough. Also, the amplify ability proved its worth as my Windeku's thorn reflect damage clear the Disintegrator's 3 shield all at once.
The best value one can find from armor is to take a massive hit with just 1 armor. We prevented that in this case and every tiny bit of value we gained or denied is what led us to victory.
In conclusion, Cursed Windeku is a very well-rounded tank and a very reliable card to fall back on in most rules set. At the lower league levels, I highly recommend you all to consider this card whenever you play black. I hope you all are able to learn something from this post to start the year off.
That's all from me today. If you are not yet a warrior of the Splinterlands, grab your ticket and join us!
Disclaimer: Unlinked images are all taken by me from the Splinterlands game and/or the Splinterlands card database. Other images are properly credited. All rights reserved.