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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.


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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.


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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)

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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.


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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!)

NamePriceQuantityTotalCard Power
Pelacor Conjurer$0.02060$1.20300
Pelacor Bandit$0.02060$1.20300
Pelacor Mercenary$0.02060$1.20300
Cruel Sethropod$0.08160$4.86300
Disintegrator$0.09860$5.88300
Antoid Platoon$0.09860$5.88300
Radiated Brute$0.1360$5.64300
Stitch Leach$0.02060$7.8300
Chaos Agent$0.02060$8.40300
Riftwing$0.12860$7.68300
Silent Sha-vi$0.14660$8.76300
Supply Runner$0.15860$9.48300
Goblin Psychic$0.2260$13.20300
Deep Lurker$0.2760$16.20300
Venari Crystalsmith$0.0925$2.25500
Venari Wavesmith$0.0825$2500
Twilight Basilisk$0.06225$1.55500
Gargoya Devil$0.06225$1.55500
Naga Assassin$0.06825$1.77500
Celestial Harpy$0.1925$4.75500
Angelic Mandarin$0.20725$5.17500
Time Mage$0.30625$7.65500
Regal Peryton$0.3325$8.25500
Mycelic Slipspawn$0.33425$8.35500
Tenyii Striker$0.48425$12.1500
Xenith Monk$0.61625$15.4500
Cursed Windeku$0.83325$20.83500
Djinn Renova$0.3410$3.401000
Djinn Chwala$0.3510$3.501000
Uraeus$0.3410$3.401000
Dax Paragon$1.1410$11.401000
Djinn Inferni$1.2910$12.901000
Prismologist$1.4410$14.401000
Magi of Chaos$1.7010$17.101000
Nerissa Tridawn$1.7010$17.101000
Igor Darkspear$1.7710$17.701000
Magi Necrosi$2.3410$23.401000
Wave Brood$2.5010$251000
Forgotten One$3.1110$31.101000
Grund$3.1510$31.501000
Fungus Fiend$3.761$3.76500
Corpse Fiend$41$4500
Soul Fiend$4.121$4.12500
Scorch Fiend$4.121$4.12500
Torrent Fiend$4.151$4.15500
Harklaw$1.733$5.191500
Djinn Biljka$1.803$5.401500
Djinn Oshannus$2.723$8.161500
Legionnaire Alvar$63$181500
River Hellondale$6.803$20.401500
Spirit Hoarder$8.503$25.501500
Adelade Brightwing$8.703$26.101500
Grum Flameblade$8.513$25.531500
Uriel The Purifier$8.703$26.101500
Chaos Dragon$8.703$26.101500
Queen Mycelia$13.963$41.881500
Carnage Titan$14.133$42.391500
TotalNANA$670.8044,200

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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.

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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.

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Conclusion

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.

Option #1

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!

NamePriceQuantityTotalCard Power
Gargoya Devil$0.065115$7.472,415
Venari Bonesmith$0.067115$7.702,415
Naga Assassin$0.068115$7.822,415
Twilight Basilisk$0.068115$7.822,415
Venari Wavesmith$0.076115$8.742,415
Venari Crystalsmith$0.087115$102,415
Lava Launcher$0.3346$15.324,830
Uraeus$0.34646$15.914,830
Djinn Renova$0.35246$16.194,830
Djinn Chwala$0.36146$16.604,830
TotalNANA$113.5733,810

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.

Option #2

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.

Option #3

You could start buying summoners if you like the idea of owning all your cards and don't want to rent at all.

NamePriceQuantityTotalCard Power
General Sloan$2.1425$53.50500
Tarsa$2.4525$61.25500
Thadius Brood$2.7025$67.50500
Obsidian$2.9525$73.75500
Kelya Frendul$3.8725$96.75500
TotalNANA$352.752500

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!

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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.

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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!

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Skipping summoners is a really interesting strategy here! I know a lot of people (myself included, at least currently) think to make them the top priority, but you make a good point that renting them is cheaper, and you can free up more of your budget for other cards by doing so. You have given me some things to think about, thank you for writing this article!

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You're welcome! I know it's kind of a wild take which is why I left enough money in the budget at the end to get summoners if that's what someone is dead set on doing or disagrees with me. I just think for ranked play you're better off getting the power for Gold 3 as quickly as possible. That's more DEC per battle, 6 chests per daily quest, 22 at EoS and a higher pack drop rate in each chest. The downside being you spend some of that DEC renting your summoners.

Could get burned if there's ever a big crunch on summoners for some reason and people stop renting their extras out for so cheap but for now I'll keep doing it.

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I think getting / renting golden summoners is a bit more efficent and its more rewarding (10%dec).

Posted using Splintertalk

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Great post.always awesome to receive advise from a really good player.lol you knocked me out of a tourney a while back so i do think this is very solid advice.
Thanks

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Thank you for saying so and sorry about that tournament battle! 8D

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Lol.No stress,i become a better player when i lose as i learn from those battles and change my strategies

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I think you actually won that Tourney if i remember correctly,you knocked me out in the 4th or 5th round

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Yes exactly! I'm always trying to learn, especially from my mistakes, well said!

Hmm, it's possible, do you remember the name of the tournament? I play a lot of tournaments so I don't always remember!

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I am not a new player and have the old cards, but this is a great guide and deserves some love.

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Thanks Slobberchops, I am feeling the love! Never seen so many notifications on my post before!

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Thanks for sharing! - @azircon

excellent post, honest, informative and will help noobs and experienced players both! Keep them coming please! Highly impressed.

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Wow that's very kind of you, thanks so much!

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What to spend 1000$ in splinterlands?

But how to get 1000$??? xD

A well detailed and informative guide.

!1UP

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lol! If I knew an easy way I'd make a guide for that too! 8D

Thanks for the 1up!

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This was thoroughly thought out and very clearly presented. Regarding summoners, that's the complete opposite strategy to my thinking, and what I'd recommend to other people, my thought process being, no point maxing out a card beyond your summoners abilities, but the whole renting aspect just blew my mind, and makes perfect sense. Thanks for the post and unique insights :)

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I'm glad you think so, definitely tried my best to not only give the information / data but make it easy to understand.

When it comes to summoners, we'll see how long it lasts, I think once Chaos Legion sells out and the supply isn't so high, renting summoners might not be sustainable / affordable but for now it's been working for me.

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(Edited)

Renting summoners is a great strat at least on paper, however, I personally cannot bear the constant cancellations related to that. Even the level 2 summoners I'm trying to rent on my Bronze I alt account are getting cancelled daily. That's too annoying for me. 😁

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this definitely should have been posted earlier!! 😭 thank you for this ~

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Informative post, thanks for sharing

And on summoners I do too prefer to rent for now but in long term want to get my own gold summoners 🙂

!PIZZA

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You're welcome!

Gold summoners would be awesome for the DEC bonus every battle you can win with them!

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Very good article, your strategy is quite interesting, in fact regarding summoners I have a very similar thought to yours, the only thing that causes me some alert is how they go up when they are removed from the Spellbook, Arlic is an example of that.

But waiting to buy them after optimizing the attack cards is certainly a great idea.

Thanks for sharing

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That's true but Alric is also out of print so as long as Chaos Legion packs are available the price shouldn't get too high for these summoners but you never know.

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Great information. Love the break down.
!HBIT

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