Djinn Muirat may not be so Legendary after all?
I badly wanted to do a Battle Challenge post featuring this week's Crypt Beetle. But I didn't get battles with rulesets that let the card shine. I've been waiting for Up Close & Personal or Melee Mayhem to showcase the Beetle's Shield ability's usefulness, but I got none. Maybe it will have its shot next time.
So I'm taking this chance to talk about a Death Splinter monster that I both love and dislike.
Djinn Muirat: New Legendary Chaos Legion Death Monster
Splinterlands art may not be on the usual type we see in TCGs, but the style works great to set it apart from the other collectible cards. It always had its own charm, and I like it a lot. Chaos Legion artwork, though, is something I definitely dig. Look at my tweet several months ago, before the new edition's release. I don't know the card's stats and skills, but I was already gunning for the card just because of the art alone. There's a reason why it's one of the two monster art you see on the Splinterlands' landing page.
But I guess I should read the bold print text and numbers before buying the card; the skills don't match its powerful look.
For a Legendary card, Djinn Muirat feels too constrained and a lot less intimidating compared to its Chaos Legion Legendary peers. This hits especially true for players like me in the Silver League. It's not a totally bad card because it's got plenty skills and good stats. But I wonder if this card could have been better classified as an Epic card instead.
|Void Armor||Unlocked at Level 1; Playable starting Bronze League|
Void Armor allows armor to shield the monster's health from Magic attacks. It's a nice skill but having the Void skill would have been infinitely better.
|Knock Out||Unlocked at Level 1; Playable starting Bronze League|
Again, it's not a bad skill, but I hope it had something else. Knock Out requires another monster with Stun to trigger the double damage, so it's highly dependent on how the other monster performs.
|Giant Killer||Unlocked at Level 2; Playable starting Silver League|
I think it's another iffy skill that could have been replaced by something more universal. Giant Killer's double damage only works to a small population of monsters.
|Magic Reflect||Unlocked at Level 3; Playable starting Gold League|
Perhaps this is the only skill that I truly liked on this card. Magic Reflect is a fantastic partner for Void Armor as a magic counter.
|Forcefield||Unlocked at Level 4; Playable starting Diamond League|
Do Diamond Leagues often have monsters with 5+ attack points? Haven't been there much, so I couldn't tell if Forcefield would be a gamechanger or a flop.
Giant Killer Ability, a Meh Skill that Activates too Infrequently?
I've got an issue with Giant Killer as it's useless most of the time, since there aren't a lot of monsters with ten and up mana cost. And I rarely encounter them as a player in the Silver Leagues.
The Alpha and Beta editions had none. The early days of Splinterlands were focused on optimizing teams with limited mana pool, so 50+ mana fights are extremely rare. Monsters with a seven-mana cost were already the highest of the bunch.
When Reward cards were first released, we got our hands on the first two monsters with ten-and-beyond mana -- The Kraken and Goblin Mech. Their costs were 12 and 10 respectively. The Untamed Edition then started the trend of big mana cap battles and paved the way for more super-heavyweights.
Splinterlands now has 19 monsters with ten-and-up mana costs (if I counted correctly). That's still too few monsters out of hundreds. It doesn't help Djinn Muirats's case that among the 19, there are several with Void skills that mitigate magic damage. The likes of Fire's Grum Flameblade and Dragon's Robo-Dragon Knight have Void at level 1, neutralizing the Giant Killer's doubled attack.
It would have been better if the timing of unlocking Giant Killer was swapped with Magic Reflect. Muirat would be formidable in the Silver Leagues with that combo. 😩
Preparing a Squad for Djinn Muirat
After all the rant, let's head unto a battle.
Holy Protection grants Divine Shield on every monster on the field. Redemption or Blast can damage multiple monsters and make short work of those shields. And since I got no monster with Redemption, I'd be going with Blast's splash hit. Close Range doesn't particularly influence my team strategy, so I'm proceeding as if that doesn't exist. 😆
I've only recently purchased Djinn Muirat so I'm putting it to good use, at least, trying my best to include it as much as possible. I've rented a Summoner with a Magic attack buff to complement my new Legendary monster. Several of the cards selected for the match are meant to support Muirat and bring out its best.
Team, let's raise Muirat up! 🙌
[Summoner] Delwyn Dragonscale. My go-to Dragon summoner is Quix, but I'm letting it take a break. Delwyn is a lot pricier than Quix to rent, but I hope its magic buff delivers.
[1st Position] Harklaw is an incredibly reliable tank with Shield and Immunity that nullifies any negative status effect. My frontline is well-defended with this monster around.
[2nd Position] Djinn Muirat. One thing it has going for it is its durability. It has decent armor and high health, so it would be a good frontline defender when my Harklaw falls. Its Magic attack will be raised by Delwyn to four points.
[3rd Position] Creeping Ooze fills up the last one mana point remaining after I've rallied all my essential monsters. It's Slow would work well on this lineup because most aren't fast, evening the playing field a little.
[4th Position] Lightning Dragon. Djinn Muirat has Knock Out skill that deals double damage to stunned enemies. So here's Lightning Dragon to help Muirat pull that off.
[5th Position] Chaos Dragon. The ruleset's Divine Shield is quite pesky, so I got to get rid of it the soonest. The Dragon's splash damage coupled with Scattershot may just land in the middle of the enemy team, canceling three Shields at once.
The Battle: Would Muirat Win Me Over?
The matchup feels pretty even; monsters on both sides are decently leveled up for Silver League standards. Mana utilization is almost equal, close to max capacity.
Click to view battle
I was thrilled to see Grum Flameblade as the enemy's tank. I thought that Giant Killer would finally have its chance to unleash its full wrath since Grum had eleven mana cost. I was still very optimistic about the skill then, but after this specific battle, not anymore. 😅
In the first move of the battle, my ever-reliable and speedy Lightning Dragon successfully stunned Grum Flameblade. So would Knock Out and Giant Killer activate at the same time? It had a 3 base attack due to Delwyn's buff. Thus doubling that with Giant Killer, we get 6. But then we get to double that again because of Knock Out, so the final damage should be 12! Massive damage in one turn! 😱
When Muirat finally got its turn, that 12 damage I was expecting went up in smoke. Grum had Void and Void Armor. I wasn't able to notice it right away as I was focused on my team. So the 12-point attack got halved to 6. This was the moment that I became disillusioned with Muirat. It was already hard to come by an enemy monster that fits the condition needed by Giant Killer. But when we finally got it, it didn't deliver.
Chaos Dragon saved my sour mood for the first round by dishing out splash damage on three monsters, disabling their shields.
By Round 2, I lost my Creeping Ooze to the Opportunist, Serpentine Spy. The speed debuff is now gone. Djinn Muirat reminded me again how lame it is with weak 3-point damage against a Giant.
Round 3 began with Lightning Dragon landing a stun hit on Grum Flameblade again. But Muirat's Knock Out skill wouldn't take effect because the Dragon's attack was enough to put Grum out of the game. The enemies retaliated and avenged their loss by eliminating Harklaw on my team. Djinn Muirat took its place as the main tank.
Lightning Dragon has really brought its A-game. By Round 4, three out of its four attacks were all Stuns. It's Fineas Rage who got a time out. Oh, Chaos Dragon sneakily destroyed Lava Launcher in the earlier round, so we won't be seeing the Fire monster from here on.
Because of Lightning Dragon's setup, Muirat dealt double damage on Fineas Rage, killing the monster and leaving the enemy with three members. At this point, it's obvious who would win. The enemy team is heavily bleeding while I still got two monsters in max health.
Djinn Muirat deals the 🥳 Victory 🥳 hit on the last enemy standing, Tenyii Striker, at Round 5.
Battle Retrospective: What I had realized
The Blast attacks from Chaos Dragon worked overtime, destroying several Divine Shields. Overall, it's a good team composition that led to a win. Not much to change in this specific play, but what I would do differently next time is put Lightning Dragon at the rearmost. Chaos Dragon tried its best to dodge attacks, and it did a few times. But Lightning Dragon would have had an easier time evading sneak attacks with a six-point speed stat. That's double the speed of Chaos Dragon.
What I had realized after battling with Djinn Muirat several times is that it's a bit dull. Apologies to the Djinn, but two of its skills are rarely activated, so they're mostly useless. 😣 I'm only in the Silver Leagues, so the legendary monster is capped at level 2. It may have better performance in the higher leagues with a higher level. As I previously mentioned, there's not a of lot ten-and-up mana monsters, and its Knock Out skill requires a second monster with Stun.
Although my high hopes for the new Legendary monster were dashed after seeing its questionable skills, I realize that it's still a strong card. Perhaps not on a Legendary level, but it has its merits too. So far, it has proven to be a fine backup tank. It's got good protection, powered up by Void Armor. Its health is pretty high, too.
Djinn Muirat won't be my first pick in battles. But for those with 50+ mana caps, I will certainly reserve a spot for it. Coupled with monsters like Death Splinter's Phantom Soldier and other Dragons, my usually feeble backline becomes exceptionally durable.
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