Weekly Battle Challenge: Mycelic Infantry (Modern Silver)
How's everyone doing early on in the brand new season? The grind continues for me whether it's the holiday season or not, but I hope everyone gets what they want for the Christmas season. For me though, it's more Splinterlands in Christmas land and let's break down the card of the week. As always, I will be analyzing the cards at the silver level, as it is the level I have stuck to until now.
I will be honest here and I am not going to mindlessly say this card is good -- because it is not very good at the silver level. There will always be great cards and not-so-good cards at every level. That is the nature of a good game and I want to give you an honest take on a card.
At the silver level, you can play this card up to level 4, so it is just a slow tank with shield. Most of the time, there are just better choices for a tank than this card:
Those cards I marked in a red box are the other commonly used tank cards between 6 to 8 mana. The most popular alternative is Unicorn Mustang. Full magic team is a prevalent strategy at the silver level, making Mustang the best counter tank against it. Even if we guessed wrong, Mustang is fast and can hit like a mustang car at peak speed, so it's the safest pick. Alternatively, a thorn tank like Djinn Chwala or Venari Knifer is used a lot too. Djinn Chwala is especially great at this level due to its high tanking stats (6 shield and 10 HP can take and reflect a lot of hits) and its high stats-per-mana. If we include old cards from the wild format, the 6 mana Stone Golem is also a very popular pick for the tank slot in front of a team.
All of these cards left Mycelic Infantry out on the sideline. Unless you don't have all the cards I mentioned above, it is rare for you to pick this card over them. That is not to say Mycelic Infantry has no usage. Even if we look at the picture above, I will put Mycelic Infantry over Elven Defender. I find Elven Defender's 2 attack too low to impact a match in the current meta. Thus, if I am playing green, Mycelic Infantry is better if I want a shield tank.
With all that said, Mycelic Infantry is not entirely useless. If you predict your opponent is going to run a team with many ranged monsters, then Mycelic Infantry is the go-to tank. Among all the cards you can pick from, shield is the only ability that does something against ranged attack. There are also multiple rules sets that make this card a better choice:
- Close Range: This rule set incentivizes the opponent to play ranged cards, which Mycelic Infantry can take more hits than other tanks.
- Earthquake: Besides the obvious plan to play more flying cards, shield also reduces the earthquake damage to just 1, so they are good considerations to play too.
- Lost Magic: You know that every monster that can be played must go through your shield ability.
- Reverse Speed: This card has 1 speed on all levels, which makes it among the fastest in this rules set.
- Super Sneak: I usually play this rules set with a tank in front and a tank in the back. This card can be used in either of those slots.
- Up Close and Personal: You need a lot of melee cards in this one. This card is handy in a way that most opponents will be running thorn in this rules set and shield makes thorn reflect damage just 1 instead of 2. This card is extra tanky here thanks to this little detail.
Battle of the Day
Today, we have a modern silver level battle with the rules as shown above. There are a lot of colors to pick from, but I go with green because green has a lot of good melee monsters between 5-8 mana.
|Do note that Mylor Crowling is the go-to green summoner for this rules set. I am using Wizard of Eastwood because I don't have Mylor Crowling rented at that time. Some players will run Obsidian and a full magic team as an "anti-rules" idea to surprise the opponent. This time, I figured I would just play safe and cut armor from my opponent's monsters. One thing of note is that most of the big monsters will have armor, so you are bound to get value out of this summoner on matches that are above 30 in total mana.|
|On the tank slot is our card of the day, Mycelic Infantry. I put it in front as I predict my opponent to go with a heavy melee lineup and play by the rules set. If I predict correctly, then this card is there to eat up a lot of damage while my other cards take care of my opponent through sneak. This card is a heavy hitter, but that is less important here as I am looking to kill my opponent from behind -- like it's not important to kill my opponent's frontline, I want to get him from the back. Hence, I care more about the tanking I can get from this card in this instance.|
|On the second slot is one of the best green cards at the silver level, Unicorn Mustang. This card is an insurance at the second slot. If my prediction is incorrect and my opponent is running a heavy magic team, then this card will be there to tank them out after my Mycelic Infantry goes down from magic damage. This ensures that I can handle all kinds of damage up front with just two cards and keep my monsters in the middle safe for as long as possible.|
|Disintegrator is one of the best situational cards you can use whenever you predict a heavy melee lineup or in any melee-incentivized rules sets -- like this one! I put this card in the third slot because it is the safest in my lineup and I want this to keep this alive as long as possible. This card will really hurt my opponent for running a melee lineup with its demoralize ability.|
Another thing to note is that this card is much better in rules set that gives it opportunity or sneak. You want this card safe in the middle of the pack usually but it cannot attack in these cases. With the rules sets I mentioned, this can attack from safety and do more than just lowering your opponent's melee attack. If you ever think about playing this as a tank in front, please don't. This card is just too soft for a 7 mana up front and it will die too quickly to do anything.
|Venari Seedsmith might look like the odd monster out of this lineup. It is the last monster I put in for my squad as I think it is the best 5 mana card I saw then. Its purpose in this match is simple: keep Disintegrator alive for as long as possible. The two things I want from this card are the 3 ranged attack, and more importantly, the scavenge ability. It will grow to 5-7 HP before my opponent can get to it from the back and can eat up a fair share of hits. I put it in the middle so it has time to grow. In this rules set, the 3rd and 4th slots are the safest of all.. You want to put your soft monsters here instead of the back.|
|Lichen Beast provides a lot of value from a 5 mana card. It can hit hard to start, hit harder when enraged, and 7 HP is above average for a 5 cost card. I play it at the 5th slot so it won't take every hit from round 1. With enrage, you want the card to survive until its turn in the round so it can hit with enraged damage. Then, you want it to survive until the next turn for a fast hit with increased speed. This is the most value you can get out of the enrage ability. The best scenario to achieve this is for my opponent to kill my Knifer in the middle of a round and for only 1-2 leftover hits to connect on the Beast. This way, my Beast will survive to hit back with anger. If I put it at the 1st or 6th slot, it might go down before it can react, which is a bad way to play enrage cards with lackluster durability. Also, it will 100% go into enrage mode if it hits a thorn monster, which is abundant in this rule set.|
|Venari Knifer is used as my anti-sneak tank. If my opponent follows through with the rules set, I want this card to reflect as many hits as possible. Another important thing to note is the 5 speed from this card. I am expecting this card to attack at least once before it dies. You always want to think about getting as many hits as possible. Hence, I am playing this over slower cards because I want it to attack first on every turn. before it tanks and goes down.|
My overall plan is simple:
- Swarm from behind: I embrace the sneak rules set and try to win going from the back to the front.
- Survive: I want my cards to survive as long as possible to leverage my total hits and total damage per turn.
- Big hits: You should always expect your opponent to have thorn monsters out in the sneak rules set. As such, you want to hit hard on every hit so you take out the monsters with the least amount of hits. I run 5 monsters with 3-4 attacks, with Disintegrator being the only exception.
You know this match is absolute quality just by looking at my opponent's lineup. He's clearly a serious player with a legendary summoner and a full set of gold cards. I really like his plan and setup. Essentially, he wants me to have a hard time with any lineup I can come up with. His summoner punishes me if I ever go against the rules set and run a ranged or magic lineup. He also put up thorn tanks in front and at the back so a melee lineup is punished as well. Cornealus is one of the best cards you can play against sneak. High HP, heal, and thorn are all in the recipe to beat a sneaky team. We also share a similar opinion on using scavenge ability to grow our monster to take more hits.
This is the beginning of round 2 and no one has gone down yet after a full round of heavy hits. The first hit is critical here because we have a 5 speed tie between my Knifer and his Silent Sha-vi. The best scenario is for my Knifer to go first and kill the Cornealus so I can try to hit and kill the Riftwing this round. Sadly, the Sha-vi went first and cut me from all the edges I could get here.
This is the situation after all the 4 speed monsters had moved. Two monsters were down but it's still a close match.
And this is when both tanks died after all the attacks of the round were made. My Mycelic Infantry got reflected to death by the thorn damage. However, the key thing I want you all to look at is the 1 HP Riftwing, and how this would play differently if my Knifer were to move first. If my Knifer moves first, the Riftwing would be dead now (barring a flying dodge) as my Unicorn Mustang and Lichen Beast would hit for a total of 9 damage.
Instead, I have to pray that I don't miss an attack or the Riftwing will continue to grow and get much harder to kill.
Disintegrator is the MVP because I would have lost the Lichen Beast otherwise. The Sha-vi hitting for 2 every time instead of 3 kept my Beast alive for an extra turn.
On the other hand, maybe it didn't matter if my Beast was alive or not because my opponent had already lost the match by now. I outlasted my opponent with heavy hits and the demoralize ability keeping their attack power low. Mycelic Infantry's shield enabled my game plan to work as the monster ate a lot of hits and thorn damage for me. This kept Unicorn Mustang as a 4 damage sneak attacker to hit the backline of my opponent.
In conclusion, Mycelic Infantry is not a card you will use very often at the modern silver league level but there are scenarios when it's a superb choice. Learning when to use a specific card is key to winning more in this game. I hope you all are able to learn something from this post.
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.