Beginners guide to Kelya Frendul


This is a data-driven beginners guide to Kelya Frendul. We have analyzed 700.000 matches featuring Kelya in the Silver league. This dataset forms the basis for this guide.

This guide is based on match statistics that we have collected since the launch of Chaos Legion. We will use data from Silver league, because strategies in Silver league are more refined than in Bronze, while still primarily based on level 1 free-to-play cards. So using this as a basis is ideal for creating a beginners guide, which is the purpose of this post.

Kelya Frendul is the second most successful Chaos Legion starting summoner, only outclassed by Obsidian. But Kelya is a much more versatile summoner, who can adapt different strategies that fit most situations. Learning to play Kelya is probably the best way to understand the dynamics of the game at this moment, and can be a great main summoner to start with. The water deck also has some of the most powerful cards that can currently be acquired relatively cheaply, and is therefore a great tool for figthing your way out of the lower leagues.

The guide features an introduction to Kelya Frendul and her most important cards. Win rates across all mana limits, win rate in different rules and against different summoners. We also cover team setup at a range of manas, and we discuss the best options for first card purchases to expand your Obsidian deck.

Introduction to Kelya Frendul

Keyla Frendul, mercenary dwarven mage. She forges powerful weapons and enhances her allies with water magic. She commands the Wave Breakers, a famously powerful group of dwarves. For enough coin, Kelya and her companions will fight for anyone. The most generous bidder around now is the Chaos Legion. If you learn to play Kelya, she will quickly secure you those wins and the sweet sweet dark energy crystals.

In accordance with the lore, Kelya Frendul’s ingame ability is to grant enhance her team with water magic, gibing increased speed (+1) and protection (+1 armor). These buffs are really good. Armor is of course great against any melee or ranged team. But when you face magic instead, you will still have a positive effect from your summoner, as you will often get to strike before your opponent due to the +1 speed buff.

Kelya Frendul is in our opinion the most versatile of the Chaos Legion summoners. You have a wide range of styles to play, and the water deck has great cards for any style. While the armor buff, at least to the authors, can somehow feel like a prompt to play melee monsters, there really is no reason to avoid range or magic cards. Magic monsters have equal use for armor, if not more (since they rarely have armor themselves). Nevertheless, the basic Kelya deck uses more melee cards than range or magic. But the reason for this is simply that her melee cards are very powerful.

The most important card in Kelya’s deck is the Deeplurker:

Deeplurker gives you A LOT for your mana. It is bulky, has great damage, and Opportunity. Comparable cards in the other decks are for example Tenyii Striker, Venari Knifer, Silent Sha-vi or Chaos Knight. Tenyii Striker and Silent Sha-vi are pretty great cards, but there is little question that Deeplurker outshines them both, and with good margin. With Kelya, you even give it a point of armor to make it even that much harder to take out.
Your second most important card is the Ice Pixie

This card is so cheap, has magic attack, and is Flying. With Kelya, it also has armor, and can be very annoying for Opportunity monsters. Ice Pixie will never feel like it won your match for you, even though it just might have.

Besides the Deeplurker and Ice Pixie, you have a bunch of great cards at your disposal. For other summoners, we have highlighted the ones you will use a lot. With Kelya, you will use all of your Chaos Legion water cards, so here they are:

For neutral Chaos Legion cards, you will likely find great use in these:

Of the untamed cards, these will be your most frequently used ones:

So that is a whole bunch of cards to get used to. A few things are worth mentioning:

The water deck has Cleanse in its base deck with River Nymph

Cleanse is super-important in the Noxious Fumes ruleset. Use a tough monster in front, cleanse the poison from it, and laugh all the way to victory.

You can run both healing and/or armor restoration if you like to outlast your opponent. The two cards:

are your options for this strategy. Tank Heal works best with a high-health frontline such as Diemonshark or Elven Defender. Repair can be used with any frontline since everything has armor when you play Kelya, but it is great alongside Serpent of Eld.

You can play several small monsters to create an annoying wall of 1-armor monsters for your opponent in low mana matches. Their armor will make sure your opponent has to use a lot of hits to get through them. You can put hard hitting monsters behind these small monsters, and get in many hits before you will lose anything important. Use these three monsters:

for this strategy. This is increadily effective in low mana Holy Protection matches, where every monster gets Divine Shield. If you invest (or rent) in your water deck, you can also add Furious Chicken, Torrent Fiend and Creeping Ooze to this miniature wall.

Now lets get to the actual data. When, against who, and how will you win with Kelya Frendul:

Win rate at different manas


Kelya Frendul has two defining features in terms of her mana curve. She is not that good below 20 mana, but above that she does pretty well overall. There is a bit of a weird spread going on for the individual mana levels, but the average stats are generally good above 20.
In part, we can attribute this to the fact that Kelya has more good medium and high-mana cards than most other Chaos Legion summoners. Also, her versatility makes her more able to adapt her strategy to the circumstances.

Correspondingly, she isn’t super-focused on a single strategy, which is often more effective at low mana. Take the case with Tarsa, who absolutely always looks to play Serpentine Spy and Tenyii Striker. Once she can do that safely, she has her peak win rate. Similarly, Thaddius brood is best at 12 mana, where simply playing Cursed Windeku is an almost guaranteed win. This is not how Kelya works. You have to adapt to the rule, mana limit and what you expect your opponent to do. If you do this, you can clearly play any mana from about 20 and up.

Win rate in different rules

The table below shows Kelya’s win rate for the different rules.

--- Rule --- --- Win rate ---
Explosive Weaponry 0.55
Lost Magic 0.54
Even Stevens 0.54
Standard 0.52
Weak Magic 0.52
Spreading Fury 0.51
Odd Ones Out 0.51
Target Practice 0.51
Up Close & Personal 0.51
Lost Legendaries 0.51
Equal Opportunity 0.51
Little League 0.51
Back to Basics 0.50
Rise of the Commons 0.50
Taking Sides 0.50
Healed Out 0.50
Close Range 0.50
Fog of War 0.50
Heavy Hitters 0.50
Noxious Fumes 0.49
Stampede 0.49
Super Sneak 0.48
Broken Arrows 0.48
Melee Mayhem 0.48
Earthquake 0.47
Aim True 0.46
Holy Protection 0.46
Silenced Summoners 0.45
Equalizer 0.44
Keep Your Distance 0.44
Armored Up 0.43
Unprotected 0.39
Reverse Speed 0.33

Kelya’s best rule is Explosive Weaponry. This rule is great for her, because her speed buff often allows her to hit first, and the armor provides some protection against the blast for ranged and melee attacks. Deeplurker and Feasting Seaweed are also very effective in this mode, since they will often target monsters in the middle of the enemy lineup, maximizing the effectiveness of blast. Deeplurker will blast for two damage, and make short work of the enemy team.

Among the top rules are those who limit the effectiveness of magic monsters. This allows your armor buff to have value, and increases the effectiveness of Diemonshark as a tank by a huge margin. Conversely, the two rules that give or remove armor are bad for Kelya. Enemy armor is obviously a problem since her main damage is melee, and no armor leaves Kelya with a very weak frontline.

When she can’t play melee monsters, Kelya struggles. There are a very limited number of cards left in her deck in the Keep Your Distance rule. Avoid it if possible, unless you have expanded your deck beyond the basic set.

Equalizer is pretty bad for Kelya. Many of the most powerful cards in Kelya’s deck are already pretty tanky, and she therefore gains much less value from this rule than many other summoners can.

The melee favored rulesets, such as super-sneak, equal opportunity and melee mayhem are neutral rules for Kelya. She has a deck that can be set up such that most of the melee monsters can attack even without these rules. On the other hand, she can position monsters and adapt to the rules just fine, so they are not problematic either.

The worst rule is Reverse speed, which makes sense since Kelya essentially gives a debuff to her team in this mode.

Win rate against other summoners

--- Rule --- --- Win rate ---
Pyre 0.68
Tarsa 0.64
General Sloan 0.63
Thaddius Brood 0.61
Bortus 0.60
Contessa L'ament 0.60
Mother Khala 0.55
Wizard of Eastwood 0.52
Drake of Arnak 0.41
Obsidian 0.29

The table above shows how Kelya matches against the other free-to-play summoners. She absolutely destroys the fire summoners, with Pyre being the easier one of the two. This can be attributed to the armor buff, which provides huge protection against the fire deck.

Similarly, the armor buff is pretty great against General Sloan. It buys you a lot of time to get through the inevitable Shieldbearer, and once that one is down, Deeplurker will eat up the Pelacor Arbalest (Sloan’s main damage card), and the match is sealed.

Thaddius Brood is not a huge treath. His magic debuff is mostly irrelevant, and Kelya’s armor partially counteracts the health debuff.

Bortus (with the base deck) is simply worse than Kelya in a water-water match, and should be of little concern. Contessa L’ament is a ranged counter, which doesn’t bother Kelya too much, and is also an easy target.

Wizard of Eastwood has an effect to worry about. He gives -2 armor, while Keyla gives +1, leaving her without the protection she usually relies on. The result is that Kelya goes pretty even with him, but with a slight advantage based on this dataset.

The two hard summoners are Drake of Arnak and Obsidian. Drake provides armor to his team, and can adapt the most suitable deck for rules. This allows him to beat Kelya consistently. Obsidian disregards the armor buff, and Kelya has no good tank against magic damage in the base deck. The result is horrible, with less than 30% win chance. Avoid Obsidian at all costs.

Team setup

We have established the situations where you want to play Kelya Frendul: Above 20 mana, most rules except those that disallows melee monsters and the two that give or remove armor, and against everything except Drake of Arnak and Obsidian.

Now, lets look at which monsters you want to use when you decide to play her:
We will not consider every single mana option, but provide an set of examples that should be sufficient as a basis for selecting teams for the remaining mana options. The following team suggestions are based on win rates at each specific mana limit. For each mana limit, we set up the team by exploring which monster combinations have the highest win rates. Positioning is the authors’ suggestion based on examination of a selection of matches, so it is not set in stone.

Disclaimer: Kelya Frendul was the hardest summoner to identify base deck teams for. She has a huge variety of playstyles, and a lot of players supply the base deck with a few additional cheap, and very powerful, cards. The teams below are what we were able to identify based on the stats. Many players will find that they can easily improve on these teams with non-base cards that they have available.

12 mana:

13 mana:

14 mana:

15 mana:

Between 16 and 30 mana, Serpent of Eld is the best tank. Be careful not to play it against magic teams, or you will get destroyed.
16 mana:

18 mana:

20 mana:

23 mana:

27 mana:

30 mana:

34 mana:

38 mana:

44 mana:

99 mana:

Expanding your deck

If you find that you like to play Kelya, and you want to expand your deck, the following cards are your best options: They are sorted based on win rate for level 1 cards. The best card is the first one, and we have only included cards that cost less than 5$ at the time of writing

For a slightly higher budget, the following cards are top choices:

It is worth mentioning here that a water sneak/opportunity deck often showed up in the teams statistics, with high win rates. It consists of a combination of the following cards (there are a number of other cards sprinkled in here and there, but these show up most often):

Closing Remarks

We hope you found this guide useful. We have tried to provide a comprehensive guide for Kelya Frendul. Match statistics were used in all parts of this guide. Very little information has been based on the authors' opinions. This makes the guide reliable at the time of writing, but it will also mean that the statistics and best teams presented here can change over time.

Let us know if this guide has helped you, and if you have any other comments or suggestions please let us know.

Please also check out our other content:

Beginner Guides
Beginners guide - Obsidian
Beginners guide - Thaddius Brood
Beginners guide - Tarsa
Beginners guide - General Sloan

Summoner and Card statistics
Best Legendary Cards of Chaos Legion - Week 1 statistics
Chaos summoners - Week 1 statistics

Rule set strategies
We are also creating guides for specific rules. You can find them here:
Strategycorner with Mammuter #5: How to WIN in Reverse Speed
Strategycorner with Mammuter #4: How to WIN in Melee Mayhem
Strategycorner with Mammuter #3: Noxious Fumes

If you would like to see more of this content, please let me know, like and share the post. Also, if you have not yet started playing Splinterlands, you can join and support me and the same time with the following link

Join Splinterlands

Another way to support us is through card delegations or donations. If you want to do that, we are @kalkulus and @mammuter.

Best of luck in Splinterlands!


Great writeup! Kelya is one of my favorite CL summoners, once the general sale starts I'll by trying to get myself a levelled up copy!



Boom! you have been manually curated by failingforward for your great content



Thank you for producing these beginner guides. They have helped my game play a whole lot.



That's great! I'm glad you find them useful!


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reads this guide
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