Time is the master: the basic strategy of using speed to evade attacks
I'm writing this week's Splinterlands share your battle feat. the Time Mage with the Pink Floyd song on my mind:
Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
Fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your hometown
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way
(Time, from the album "The Dark Side of the Moon", by Pink Floyd)
And indeed, today I'll share a battle (and an extra one) where I used the Time Mage to slow down (diminish) time or, in fact, slow down its counterpart: speed. As you should know if you completed your basic physics studies, "the speed of a moving body is the distance travelled by it in unit time".
The Time Mage Lore
What's the story behind the Time Master? As the lore goes:
Time Mages are members of the Order of the Silver Shield and close associates of the Wizards' Council. They are trusted to peer through the fabric of time and reality to foretell the future or manipulate the present by slowing the flow of time. They can also speed up the aging process of armor, causing it to rust prematurely.
The Time Mage is a powerful monster in line ups for any league, not because of her magic attack (which is low at level 1), but because of her abilities. In my case, I own a single gold foil BCX, which means she has one magic attack only, but speed of 5 and health of 3, and more importantly: she debuffs one speed of all monsters in the opponent's line up (unless it has immunity).
|Slow ability: Reduces the Speed of all enemy Monsters.||As advised in Splintercards: Be careful not to use monster with this ability in the Reverse speed ruleset; to do so is to buff your enemy's team.|
OK, enough with the Time Mage's lore and stats, let's look how we can use its ability in our favour!
Spreading Fury ruleset strategy: it's all about speed!
This strategy for the Spreading Fury ruleset I learned from @hawks21, and I have been using its variations ever since. The idea is to benefit from the increased speed a monster has once it is attacked under the Spreading Fury ruleset (and with other evasive abilities):
|Spreading fury: All monsters get the enrage ability - increased Melee attack and Speed when damaged. Values are multiplied by 1.5 and rounded up.||While Splintercards suggests to put monsters with sneak and opportunity in the back row, I believe best is top avoid these monsters and to concentrate the attack on the tank, so that only it benefits from fury.|
Note that only monsters with melee attack will benefit from increased attacking stats when infuriated, but all monsters (including those without attack) benefit from increased speed - and that's something beginners often overlook.
While in the strategy demonstrated by @hawks21, he uses the Byzantiny Kitty as summoner to give a +2 speed buff to all monsters in the line up, I don't own or usually rent it. I therefore make do with what I got. Usually, I use a level 3 Kelya Frendul as summoner to get the +1 speed buff, combined with Djinn Oshannus as tank, to benefit from his already high speed and the phase ability that he gets at level 2.
|Phase ability: Magic attack can miss this Monster (using the same hit/miss calculation as for Melee and Ranged attacks).||A fast monster with phase is able to evade all types of attack.|
The speed differential between the monster attacking and the monster defending is a key variable for attack accuracy: attack accuracy of range and melee decreases by 10 percentage points per speed differential point (but not magic attack, which always hit monsters without phase). This means that if the attacking monster has a speed of 1 and the defending monster an a speed of 11, the attack accuracy will be... 0!
Let's see how I deployed this strategy, this time (no pun intended!) featuring Time Mage.
To make do for the absence of the Byzantine Kitty on my available deck, I chose the following line up for the battle:
- Summoner: As Time Mage is from the Life splinter, I decided to use Mother Kala at level 4 as summoner, who gives +1 health as buff. Using level 4 is important, so she can summon a level 5 common monster (I was playing silver league).
- Tank: Level 2 legendary Almo Cambio with phase ability and 5 speed points to begin with was the tank of choice.
- Second position: This week's star, Time Mage, to debuff one speed from all monsters in the opponent's line up, and thus augment the speed differential.
- Third position: Creeping Ooze why not decrease yet another speed from the opponent's monsters?
- Fourth position: Spirit Miner, a legendary neutral monster that at level 2 has swiftness, increasing all friendly monsters' speed by one.
- Fifth position: yet another monster with swiftness - at level 5 -, Supply Runner.
- Sixth position: Venari Crystalsmith, to heal the tank. In hindsight, a monster with tank heal is not so adequate for the spreading fury ruleset, as sometimes (I still don't get when), by healing the tank it removes the fury it got from the enrage ability.
My opponent - a bot with only level 1 cards, which was disappointing - also chose life and used Time Mage.
After buffs and debuffs, all monsters in my opponent's line up had only one speed poiont - except for his Time Mage, with 2. This was actually good, because in round 1, Time Mage did hit Almo Cambio, enraging and bringing his speed to 11!
The battle ended in round 6, and I had a couple casualties: our dearest Time Mage and the Creeping Ooze - yet losing their debuffs still did not make my opponent hit Almo Cambio.
Here's the link for the full battle. And here's another battle, with lower mana cap, where I used the same strategy, this time against an (yet another weak) opponent summoning Earth monsters with a Dragon summoner. As you will see, even the fast Unicorn Mustang missed several attacks due to the speed differential to Almo Cambio.
Reflecting on the battle
Having a level 1 bot as opponent was disappointing - I would have liked to have tested the strategy against a real opponent with maxed cards for silver. Yet, the battle did demonstrate the strategy, even if the opponents were not that strong...
Splinterlands is an fun card-based play-to-earn game, that requires strategy. Splinterlands has its own economy, tokens and assets (NFTs), representing also an investment opportunity for some. But I prefer to enjoy it as a game, and whatever I profit from it is an addition. If you want to start playing it, you can use my referral link to register: let me know you did it and I will send you a gift card if you buy a hive account "spellbook" (needed to hold assets as an alternative to creating a hive account elsewhere).