New player guide! How to spend your first $1,000 In Splinterlands
Hello Splinterlands, today I want to bring you a guide for how I would personally spend my first $1,000 into Splinterlands if I was just getting into the game based on whether I want to focus on Ranked play or Tournament play as they have vastly different requirements and setups.
Because this guide will be extremely thorough, this one will focus on Ranked play and I'll do another one for Tournaments sometime down the line.
There's quite a few things to consider when you're first starting out and things can be confusing. It's especially hard to make decisions when you may not even know how something works or that it even exists so I'll be going over the key aspects of the game and how I would set up an account for each path from a complete beginners perspective.
When I first started, I made a lot of mistakes that set me back so this guide is an attempt to put good information out there and help beginners get set up better than I was. The Splinterlands and Hive community is super helpful and has done so much for me on my journey that I wanted to give something back.
Before I dive into Ranked vs Tournaments I want to go over some things you SHOULDN'T do for either route.
Don't buy Chaos Legion Packs - At $4, packs are a lottery ticket right now so unless you get exceptionally lucky with a gold foil legendary or you just want to gamble for fun, you're going to be better off simply buying the cards you want / need from the market directly. There is a 3rd party way to buy packs cheaper off the Hive market but I don't recommend doing that either.
Don't buy Summoners, rent them until you have all the monsters first - This may seem weird but the reason is that summoners are super expensive and have the worst Card power / $ ratios but aren't any more expensive to rent than the monsters are. I'll explain why Card Power (CP from now on) is so important later on.
Only buy cards that will be part of the Modern Format. (Chaos Legion, Chaos Legion Reward cards, Untamed, Untamed Reward Cards, Dice) These will typically be cheaper as they are the newer cards, some of which are still in print like Chaos Legion and Chaos Legion Reward cards so they're more available.
Now that we've established some guide lines, when it comes to Ranked vs Tournaments, the big difference between the two is that for ranked play, you're going to focus on acquiring cheap CP first and foremost and you can usually play a league above your card levels so silver level cards should be able to hit gold 3 rating.
With tournament play, a good chunk of your budget will go towards buying SPS as you need staked SPS to enter tournaments and since I'll be focusing on Bronze tournaments, you want to get as many of your cards as you can to a Bronze level for all splinters and then stop. I'll cover how to setup an account for tournament play in another post.
Let's dive in!
Building for Ranked Play
Ranked play is sort of the default way most people will play the game to earn rewards. When you search for a match it'll find an opponent in your current league (novice, bronze, silver, etc) with a similar rating.
Speaking of leagues, each one has two different requirements before you can reach said league. The first is that you have a high enough rating to qualify for the league and the second is that you have enough CP through cards you either own, rent, or have delegated to you.
As shown here, you can reach Bronze Three as soon as you have more than 100 rating but once you want to go to Bronze Two, you need to have 400 rating AND a minimum of 1,000 CP. For Bronze One, it jumps to 700 rating and 5,000 CP.
This is why we'll be focusing on getting some Cheap CP for ranked play because what usually happens is that you'll have enough rating for Bronze One but only enough CP to play in Bronze Two and it's frustrating knowing you have the skill and ability to get better rewards but be held back by your CP.
The next thing you need to know is that a Bronze reward chest is different than a Silver reward chest.
On the left you can see the Bronze chest from the daily quest is worth about $0.056 and the two chests (that's right you get TWO chests at silver for the daily quest!) are worth $0.152 so our first goal will be to get to Silver three which will take 15,000 power.
Power is super cheap right now so it's a great time to get in! A lot of that has to do with the current reward cards so we'll definitely include a lot of those. These recommendations will help you build capable teams with cards that have multiple uses. Remember, it's more important to have max level cards for the league you're in than to pay two, three, or even ten times as much for a single copy of a "top tier" card.
The First Cards I'd Buy
Now I'll explain my choices.
Life has 3 good reward cards in Djinn Renova, Venari Crystalsmith, and Pelacor Conjurer. General Sloan is also the cheapest Chaos Legion Rare summoner so when it does come time to pick up summoners that helps if you want to go that direction.
Next we have the Dragons; Djinn Chwala, Twillight Basilisk, and Naga Assassin. The reason we pick up Dragons is because when you use a Dragon Summoner, you can pair it with any other splinter like Life or Water, this let's us get more value out of all these reward cards as we can play Dragons + Djinn Oshannus and Venari Wavesmith or we can play Dragons + Djinn Renova, Venari Crystalsmith, and Pelacor Conjurer for example.
With more cards than any other faction we have the Neutrals. Neutrals are good investments as they're similar to Dragons in that they can be played with any other splinter but even less restricting as you don't need a Dragon summoner to play them.
After that we have Djinn Oshannus and Venari Wavesmith, two incredible cards for their price that will let us get into the Water Splinter. I threw in the Pelacor Bandit as it can be nice to have a 3 mana sneak attack to threaten the backline and it's cheap CP.
I follow that up with the Death cards Harklaw and Venari Bonesmith. While we won't focus on Death a ton, these are good cards worth picking up and there will be times when we HAVE to play one of our side Splinters because the rules favor it or the other Splinters are banned.
Next we have the Lava Launcher. Fire's reward cards aren't the best IMO but the Lava Launcher is solid in high mana games and we may want to play Fire in the Noxious Rulset which I'll explain later on when we get to a key card.
Finally, we have Pelacor Mercernary and Djinn Biljka for the Earth Splinter. The Mercenary isn't the greatest card in Silver but it gets Heal in Gold so if you ever plan to move up later on he becomes a beast. The Bilkja pairs well with Obsidian as it has Magic attack, Camouflage, and Void so it's worth picking one up.
Expanding The Deck
Now we need to fill out our teams and since we saved so much with those reward cards we can afford to do pretty much whatever we want so here's my plan.
I'm recommending each factions "Fiend" card as they really are super useful. While you start to see quite a few higher mana battles in Silver, there's still plenty of low mana battles where you can struggle to place a full lineup and that's where these ZERO mana cards come in.
Next we need to prepare for high mana battles and acquire some big guns as most of what we got is low mana or midrange.
Yeah baby, now that's what I'm talking about!
These cards will serve you well as I really think they're the powerhouses of their respective Splinters and any time you need to fill 50-99 mana battles you'll be able to maximize your mana.
Uriel - With flying and Heal he's hard to take down, especially if you add Repair from Adelade or Tank Heal from Venari Crystalsmith. Recharge sucks but it's fine considering he's a great tank.
Prismologist - Really solid damage dealer, the blast is so useful and if you do go the General Sloan route she only gets stronger.
Adelade Brightwing - Good synergy with Uriel and with flying herself, the Life team is good in Earthquake battles. Resurrect synergy with Alvar.
Chaos Dragon - Not a fan at level 1 but at level 2 when it gets blast it is such a beast. Can win the game in a single shot if it scatters on the backline just right, potential 7 damage a round.
Carnage Titan - Big time damage, Double strike from the reach position, yes please!
Grund - Similar to Carnage Titan, big double strike melee damage and you can play both!
Nerissa Tridawn - No abilities, just great stats. 3 Magic damage, 10 health!
Wave Brood - Place in the very back to protect your more powerful units with it's Taunt. Heal him with Triage.
River Hellondale - Decent magic damage with inspire and Resurrect, synergizes with Alvar.
Grum Flameblade - Really strong Tank, if he ever manages to hit and kill anything he'll even power up with Bloodlust.
Forgotten One - Immunity is a big deal, can single handedly win you a Noxious Poison battle, just try to keep him safe till everyone else dies of poison.
Legionnaire Alvar - He's meh at level 1 but at level 2 in Silver he gets Giant Killer and becomes very much a threat in high mana games when you expect your opponent may go for Giant's (monsters that cost 10 mana or more)
Finishing The Deck
We got our cheap reward cards and we got our beast carry cards but now we need to finish the deck and fill in the last remaining holes to make it all work. These are the cards that glue the whole thing together.
While I can't go over every card, most of it is fairly straight forward and as you play and learn the game you'll start to figure out why I'm recommending what I am.
Adding Up The Cost
I'll be using the the Low Buy Price on Peakmonsters to determine the cost for all of our monsters at the time of this writing, remember prices are always fluctuating!
We're aiming for max monsters in silver which are level 5 commons, level 4 rares, level 3 epics, and level 2 legendary's.
(NOTE : If you're patient, it's better to set the HIGH BID and wait to get filled as it's almost always cheaper that way. However to set bids on Peakmonsters you need DEC and a beginner may want their cards NOW so they can start playing!)
|Magi of Chaos||$1.70||10||$17.10||1000|
|Uriel The Purifier||$8.70||3||$26.10||1500|
Hopefully you can see why I wanted to go after those cheap reward cards, when you add them all up they come out to $55.42 and 8,600 power and it's just crazy how much cheaper those cards are to their Chaos Legion equivalent.
Just about every card on this list is one I play with regularly in Silver.
Here I am 8th overall on the Silver Leaderboard with 531 battles, of which 411 of those are wins this season so you can trust that I at least kind of know what I'm talking about. I'm not saying you can top the leaderboard with these cards, you'll have to invest quite a bit more than $1,000 to do that or go the rental route like I do, but this gives you a solid foundation for your every day run of the mill ranked play and daily quest completion.
I left you with about $380 open because there's a few different things you can do at this point. With 44,200 CP, you'll have just enough power for Silver Two.
I recommend to just go for more cheap power to unlock Gold 3. With this deck, once you practice with it a bit and learn more about the game, you should be able to hit Gold 3 from a rating perspective even though you have silver level cards.
That takes another 55,800 CP which is more power than the first $670 got us so is it even possible? The answer is yes, with just reward cards you could get 100,000 more power even!
I didn't go all the way to 55,800 power but I'm guessing you get the idea here. Basically you just take the reward cards we bought for the deck and level them up to their maximum. Most people don't know this but when you max a card out, you get a 5% CP bonus so that's why 46 Lava Launchers at 100 CP each comes out to 4,830 CP and not 4,600.
It may feel dumb buying a max level card since your league will cap you but it's by far the cheapest way to get yourself to Gold 3 where the amount of loot chests jumps up again for daily quest rewards and end of season rewards. Plus you never know, you may grow into Diamond League and then you'll be happy to have bought those cards when they were cheap.
The second option is you could go for some big ticket monsters. I'd recommend looking into Axemaster (Water) Cornealus (Neutral), Kron the Undying (Earth) Kralus (Life) and Dragon Jumper (Dragon). These would all pair well with what the deck is already doing but keep in mind these are really expensive so they may not be the most efficient option but if you're after raw strength they certainly provide that.
You could start buying summoners if you like the idea of owning all your cards and don't want to rent at all.
As you can see, they are crazy expensive compared to the other cards and you're barely getting any card power either, but look at this!
I can rent a level 4 General Sloan for a little more than 7 DEC a day and this is at the end of the season. That amounts to 1.1 cent per day. Compared to the $53.50 price, I could rent General Sloan for 4,863 days or 13.3 years before I spent $53.50 renting her.
That's why I prefer to buy monsters and rent summoners, if I want to play Lorna Shine one day I can rent Lorna Shine because I didn't commit to General Sloan for example. Plus, I'm trying to save my money for the Chaos Legion Legendary summoners that will come out soon so I don't want to invest in the rare summoners when I may not play them as much after I get the Legendary summoners.
I know this is a super long post and not everyone will make it to the end but if you're serious about investing into Splinterlands I think you'll find this guide to ranked play extremely useful. You don't have to follow everything I said exactly either, feel free to get your favorite monster or put more money into your favorite Splinter, like I said, this is just what I would do knowing what I know now and I can't help but try to min/max the most out of my $.
Good luck out there and thanks for reading!
Cya next time!