Tiny Crypt Beetle Can Become Invulnerable? 😏
Crypt Beetle's time in the spotlight was due a week ago as the previous Battle Challenge monster. However, I skipped Beetle since I didn't find a battle that would do the tiny monster justice. Because despite its unassuming stats, it could deliver results when it counts. You just have to let it out at the right place and time.
Small But Sturdy Crypt Beetle
Crypt Beetle is a new Chaos Legion Death monster with Common rarity. At three mana costs, its specs are expectedly modest. Its single selling point is its Shield ability. It has the skill at level 1, and even if you upgrade up to level 10, it would still have that one ability.
Its milestone progressions are at Level 5, when it increases its attack power to two, and at Level 10, with an attack peaking at three. Playing at Silver Leagues, Crypt Beetle is capped at level 5, so I've rented one for 1.80 DEC a day. But for the battle I'd be showcasing, a level 1 Bettle would have been enough. So you might as well buy one for a low price at $0.06.
Just for fun. I will give one Crypt Beetle card to the first player who leaves a comment with the correct number of Crypt Beetles that appears on the GIF at the top of this post. Good luck! 🤝 Won by @henruc.
Shield and Demoralize Dominating Melee-Only Fights
Crypt Beetle is too fragile to be on the frontline, so it's not a good choice for a tank (unless you really got no other better option). Perhaps it would be okay to place it on the backline when there are rulesets like Melee Mayhem, Super Sneak, and Equal Opportunity. Those allow Beetle to attack from any position. But they still aren't absolutely compelling reasons to have Beetle on the team.
Death is the most Demoralizing Splinter
Death has the most melee debuffs out of all splinters. This is especially true within the Silver league cap, having two monsters and one summoner that nerfs melee damage. You can also add Neutral's Disintegrator for maximized impact.
And if you combined those heavy debuffs with a monster with Shield, you could get zero damage during an all-melee battle fest.
However, I wouldn't recommend you to get all these cards that I mentioned. It's not practical to purchase or rent all of them to dominate one specific ruleset. Legendary cards like Chain Golem, Lord Arianthus, and Fallen Specter are generally more expensive. Thus, it's not cost efficient. But I think it's worth acquiring some of the cheaper cards like Crypt Beetle, Disintegrator, and Harklaw to get that extra advantage when the melee ruleset comes up.
Shields Up: Preparing For Battle
I finally got the Up Close & Personal ruleset. Earthquake complicates things, but I really got no other option because I don't have Brighton Bloom or melee monsters that have Flying. So, I'll have to settle with the one Flying-type I got and some monsters with Shield to mitigate Earthquake damage.
[Summoner] Zintar Mortalis. The OG Death splinter summoner proves it's not to be fully outdone by the newer summoners. Its melee debuff ability would prove extremely advantageous in this fight.
[1st Position] Harklaw is my primary tank and the monster I'll rely on the most. It will, hopefully, outlast all the other enemies amidst the Earthquake barrage with its Shield skill.
[2nd Position] Spineback Wolf won't contribute much to the fight because Earthquake will knock it out in a few rounds. But I'm expecting it to deal some damage with its Reach skill.
[3rd Position] Disintegrator places a second melee debuff on the enemy camp. It won't get to attack, but the debuff is enough reason to include it in this battle.
[4th Position] Pelacor Deceiver would also be mostly idle, but it's there because it's immune to Earthquake damage. It's good to at least have one Flying monster on this ruleset as a backup.
[5th Position] Sand Worm is similar to Spineback Wolf's function in the team: attack a few times from its spot until Earthquake takes it out in the first several rounds.
[6th Position] Crypt Beetle is crucial in protecting my team from Sneak and Opportunity attacks. It's the only other monster that has Shield, so it has high durability in this match.
The Battle: Strong Shield Versus Strong Spear
The opponent has better offense potential with five monsters capable of attacking, while I only got three. But on the other hand, I have a much better defensive game. I got a bit of edge too as most of the enemies' attack has dropped to one point. Despite having some protection with Divine Shield, it would only be active for a single round of Earthquake. My Shield offers better protection since it reduces damage for the entire match.
It's like a strong shield versus a strong spear. Who would win?
I enjoy seeing that zero damage on Crypt Beetle. It looks so frail, yet both Feral Spirit and the intimidating Silvershield Assassin can't even leave a scratch. However, there's still the stronger Sand Worm who obliterates my Beetle's armor in Round 1. Such a shame about the high mana cap. If it wasn't as high as 40, then high-cost monsters like Sand Worm wouldn't have made the cut. Crypt Beetle would have kept shrugging off more Sneak attacks.
Round 2 starts with the first Earthquake beatdown. All of the enemies' Divine Shields are now gone. There's still not a dent of health in my tank, Harklaw. The enemy focuses its attack force on the rear, so Crypt Beetle takes the brunt of the assault. It survives one Earthquake damage and seven monster attacks. But a second hit from Sand Worm knocks it out of the game. The tiny Beetle did more than enough and bows out with pride.
Another wave of two damage pummels every monster in the field at the beginning of Round 3. Silvershield Knight was destroyed by Harklaw on the previous round, who amusingly still has max health until now. Lots of monsters are teetering n the edge of their consciousness, if an attack won't knock them out in this round, then the next round's Earthquake will.
Round 4 does that as expected and only half of the monsters are left. Earthquake is truly a tremendous equalizing force. At this point, it's not hard to tell who would win. The enemy team can only last up to three more rounds because of Earthquake. I also got three monsters, and my Harklaw is still shielded up and with full health.
The defensive play has paid off with a 🥳 Victory 🥳 at the beginning of Round 6. Earthquake crushed every monster in the field except for Harklaw, remaining as the last man standing.
Battle Retrospective: What I'd Do Differently
The Demoralize & Shield combo worked effectively well in Up Close & Personal ruleset, so I won't change my setup. However, a battle with the Silver top ranker, ueyuey 😎, made me realize that there could be a much better strategy for this specific battle scenario.
Yodin Zaku's ranged attack buff would be useless in a melee-only battle but its Blast still remains lethal. My monsters with Shield that guards my frontline and rearmost would be invulnerable, but the splash damage would slowly chip away the health of my monsters in between. It's also possible to replicate the Demoralize & Shield combo within the Fire splinter since there are Red monsters with that skill. so, ueyuey's Yodin Zaku lineup both had a strong defense and good offense.
I, unfortunately, forgot to record the battle link so I'm unable to showcase it on this post. However, I'd say that it's not a strategy that I'd like to adopt because Yodin Zaku is too expensive. Besides, I'm content with winning 50% to 70% of my battles. It's alright not to compete with league rankers with more than a 90% win rate. 😅
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