Beginners guide to Obsidian



This is a data-driven beginners guide to Obsidian. We have analyzed 800.000 matches featuring Obsidian 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.

Obsidian is currently the most popular starting summoner, and for good reason. Her starting deck is very powerful compared to the others. However, you must still have some idea about how to play her, and you will also often find yourself faced with a mirror matchup: Obsidian vs. Obsidian. Hopefully this guide will help you secure those wins and climb up the ranking.

The guide features an introduction to Obsidian 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 Obsidian

Obsidian, the last Earth mage, murdered her whole village before joining the Chaos Legion. The reason for this act was that she was not allowed by her village elders to enter a the yearly magic contest. Seems like a bit of an over-reaction, but thats what we’re told about her background. Not the nicest person around, and she brings pain (and match losses) to her opponent in many Splinterlands matches.

Obsidian amplifies the magic monsters in her team with +1 magic damage. Since magic damage cannot miss, except for attacks on the few monsters who have Phase, this is a very powerful buff. Before Chaos Legion arrived, the player base faced this constantly with Alric Stormbringer. Now, Obsidian has pretty much taken over Alric’s role, although there is more counterplay available due to the differences in the old water deck and the new earth deck. This is good, as playing Obsidian takes a little more involvement and strategy from the player than playing Alric Stormbringer did.

Starting deck comments
When you play Obsidian, you want to include many magic monsters in your team. This way, you get the most benefit from you summoner buff, and you will often be able to shred through your opponents team, one monster at the time, with the magic damage focus fire. Based on the stats, and as you will see in the team section below, the most important card in Obsidian’s starting deck is the Regal Peryton

This card you should really put into every team with Obsidian. The other magic cards you have available are

Some other important cards, mostly used to form the frontline that protects your magic damage monsters, are:

Hill Giant and Unicorn Mustang are your main tanks. Most often, you want to place these two in the first position.

Failed Summoner has the Magic Reflect ability, which returns damage when it is hit with magic damage. The damage returned is “… damage equivalent to the attacker's damage divided by 2, rounded up” (quotation from This means that you return 1 damage for 1 and 2 damage attacks, 2 damage for a 3 damage incoming attack, and so on. Failed Summoner is very important since you must always consider that when you can play Obsidian, your opponent can too.

Chaos Agent and Mycelic Morphoid are filler cards that you will include when you have leftover mana, or when you need a cheap frontline in low mana matches. They are also very useful in rulesets that give them additional protection, such as Holy Protection and Armored Up.

The cards mentioned above form the core set you will most often use. There are other options available, which you should examine and learn about, as they may be useful if you see your opponent playing a certain strategy, or for certain rules such as Earthquake, Equal Opportunity etc.

Win rate at different manas


The chart above shows Obsidian’s win rate at different manas. The trend is very clear. She goes even with the other summoners up to 22 mana, and then she drastically increases in power as mana increases.
There are two important break-points in the mana curve: At 26 mana, you can play Unicorn Mustang plus three or four magic monsters. Unicorn Mustang is a very powerful frontline that provides much more protection for your team than you can afford at lower mana.
At 32 mana, you can play both Unicorn Mustang and Mycelic Slipspawn. With both of these, you have huge protection for the more fragile monsters you want to play.

  • To secure very good win rates, play Obsidian mostly from 26 mana and above.
  • In magic-favored rulesets, you can play her at low mana too.

Win rate in different rules

--- Rule --- --- Win rate ---
Back to Basics 0.59
Keep Your Distance 0.55
Armored Up 0.55
Equalizer 0.55
Fog of War 0.55
Holy Protection 0.54
Earthquake 0.53
Rise of the Commons 0.53
Spreading Fury 0.53
Odd Ones Out 0.52
Lost Legendaries 0.52
Stampede 0.52
Broken Arrows 0.51
Standard 0.51
Taking Sides 0.51
Reverse Speed 0.51
Heavy Hitters 0.51
Unprotected 0.50
Target Practice 0.50
Melee Mayhem 0.50
Close Range 0.50
Equal Opportunity 0.50
Healed Out 0.49
Weak Magic 0.49
Even Stevens 0.49
Little League 0.49
Explosive Weaponry 0.48
Super Sneak 0.48
Noxious Fumes 0.48
Aim True 0.47
Silenced Summoners 0.47
Up Close & Personal 0.27
Lost Magic 0.19
The table above shows Obsidians win rate in different rule sets. The easiest one is back to basics, which has very little negative effect on Obsidians monsters. The magic damage will still be as high as in standard rules, but you will lose Flying, Tank Heal and Taunt. Keep Your Distance is also great for Obsidian, since she can just use an all-magic setup, or potentially some non-attacking monsters as a frontline.

Armored up is simply a buff to Obsidian, since she has little armor on the monsters she uses, and does not care about the opponents armor. Holy Protection is also mostly a buff for her, as she will naturally focus fire the opponents front line with the magic monsters. Equalizer allows you to play the fragile monsters (Khmer Princess, Goblin Psychic) with less concern for their health, and your focus fire is an effective strategy to bring down the enemy team when they all have high health.

A bunch of the rules are pretty neutral for Obsidian. The hard rules are those that power up melee or ranged monsters, or those that weaken or restrict your ability to play magic monsters.

It is worth noting that Obsidian does well in Odd Ones Out, and bad in Even Stevens. This is likely because Regal Peryton and Mycelic Slipspawn are very important cards. There are more magic cards in Even Stevens, but they are not as powerful as the two odd mana cards.

Obsidian does well in Earthquake since Regal Peryton is flying. She does bad in Noxious Fumes since she has no way to cleanse the poison. Explosive Weaponry is apparently not very good for Obsidian. This may be because she rarely uses Snipe or Opportunity, which benefits more from Blast than mother monsters.

Finally, Silenced Summoners is a bad rule for any Chaos Legion summoner. In that rule, they are strictly worse than their Untamed counterpart, who costs one less mana.

Win rate against other summoners

--- Rule --- --- Win rate ---
Pyre 0.80
Contessa L'ament 0.77
Drake of Arnak 0.72
Kelya Frendul 0.71
Mother Khala 0.68
General Sloan 0.61
Wizard of Eastwood 0.58
Tarsa 0.54
Bortus 0.39
Thaddius Brood 0.26

Obdisian has a pretty easy time against most summoners. Pyre is the easiest prey with his basic deck, and all the summoners who provide armor or irrelevant debuffs (Contessa) are also easy targets. Wizard does slightly better than the others, even though his armor debuff does little against Obsidian. This is possibly due to access to Unicorn Mustang and Failed Summoner, who are strong magic counters. Tarsa and Sloan have buffs that are relevant, but they cannot compete against Obsidian when you consider all manas and all rules.
The two dangerous summoners for Obsidian are Thaddius Brood and Bortus. These summoners can shut down Obsidian completely if they use a monster with Void. This can be done with for example Bone Golem, Torhilo the Frozen or Djinn Oshannus. Even if they dont use those monsters, you an expect a very difficult match if you face them. If you expect them, but insist on playing Obsidian, consider only using the monsters that have two magic attack (Mycelic Slipspawn and Goblin Psychic), and then some combination of the melee or ranged monsters you have access to.

Team setup

We have established the situations where you want to play Obsidian: Any mana is acceptable, but you have significantly higher chances above 26 mana. Also, apart from a few rulesets, you should be fine. You should also have an idea about which summoners you can expect to beat and who you have less chances against.

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.

12 mana:

14 mana:

16 mana:

Adjust position of the last two depending on if you expect sneak. Try to protect the Khmer Princess.

18 mana:

21 mana:

23 mana:

26 mana:

29 mana:

32 mana:

38 mana:

44 mana

99 mana:

This setup is clearly not optimal, since the Unicorn Mustang is not able to attack before Mycelic Infantry dies. However, it is apparently better (in terms of overall win rate) than any other option the starting deck has.

Expanding your deck

If you find that you like to play Obsidian, 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 10$ at the time of writing. Obsidian is one of the more expensive summoners to build a deck for because magic cards are very popular:

We also cannot ignore the Chaos Legion Earth legendary card:

It costs just below 30$ at the time of writing, but is arguably better than all of the other options together. In our statistics, it is clearly the best card for Obsidian. Any player who experienced Alric Stormbringer with Venari Wavesmith before Chaos Legion arrived knows how powerful the Protect is for these magic decks.

Closing Remarks

We hope you found this guide useful. We have tried to provide a comprehensive guide for Obsidian. 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 - 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
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 us 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!


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This appears to be a very execelent coverage for Obsidian. I like the way that you have broken down the information into usable items. I will follow and look forward to further articles from you.


A fantastic write up. This has been one of the most informative series of strategy posts, I have seen. You have my upvote, I wish it was worth more.


Thank you very much. A supportive comment is worth a lot. Appreciate it :)


Great analysis as usual! I hate the earth splinter, so it's nice to see my favored death splinter counters the new meta of it so nicely.

I'd be interested to see the win rate vs mana cap for a lot of summoners. Mostly interested in which ones perform well at low mana caps (Lorna would be my first guess, but not really sure beyond that).


I can put that chart on my to-do list.

I think you're right about Lorna being good. She even got a new great sneak card (Stitch Leech) to add to her sneak deck, and that has higher damage than the ones she used to play. Malric is also good I think.

Of the Chaos Legion summoners, Thaddius comes out best at very low mana because of Windeku, and Tarsa when mana is around 15-20. (Though this is stats with unleveled cards, I dont know how things change with leveled versions).



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