In this week's Splinterlands Challenge I will be using the Alpha/Beta edition "Feral Spirit" card in a match. Feral Spirit is a common Life monster that combines fast speed with the "Sneak" ability to attack monsters at the back of the opponent's lineup. In this article, I'll share my strategy for including Feral Spirit in the lineup, discuss the results of the battle, and give my overall thoughts on the monster.
One of the things that I enjoy about Splinterlands is that the Mana cap and ruleset can change from battle to battle which forces players to adjust their strategy accordingly. For this match, there was an allotment of 23 Mana with no modifications to the standard ruleset.
Since Feral Spirit is a Life monster, I used Mother Khala for this challenge as she is the only Life summoner that I have. I had a difficult time deciding what monster to put in the first position. On one hand, Shield Bearer has very high health and good armor. At the same time, Goblin Mech, which is a neutral monster, can be included for battles with the Life Splinter and has good speed and the “Pierce” ability. Each of them has its advantages, but for this battle, I chose Shield Bearer.
Without a doubt, my favorite monster to use in the second position with the Life Splinter is Luminous Eagle. Luminous Eagle has “Reach”, which allows it to attack from the second position and the flight ability which helps it dodge certain attacks.
Furious Chicken is an incredibly valuable monster that I like to use as a buffer between my melee monsters and my ranged and magic monsters in the back of my formation. It costs 0 Mana and can absorb hits in place of my more powerful monsters taking damage.
Since Feral Spirit has very low health. I put this card at the rear of my formation. Normally, a mele monster must be in the first position to attack, but since Feral Spirit has the sneak ability, it can attack from anywhere in the lineup. An added benefit of the sneak ability is that this monster will target the last enemy monster in the opponent’s lineup.
With just a few Mana left, I chose to use Truthspeaker to give an additional armor buff to all friendly monsters.
As soon as I saw that my opponent had chosen the Fire Splinter and Living Lava as the first position monster, I knew that I was in trouble. Living Lava is an incredibly strong first position monster because it has the "Shield" ability which reduces the damage it takes from melee attacks. Normally, the combination of Shieldbearer and Luminous Eagle would deliver four damage per turn, but with the "Shield" ability for Living Lava, I was only able to deal two damage per turn to their first position monster. At the end of the day, my monsters simply were not able to deal enough damage to living lava to carry the victory.
In general, I prefer to have a mix of ranged, magic, and melee monsters on my team. Going into this battle, I knew that it would be difficult since all of my monsters relied on melee as their primary means of attack. Had this been a different battle, I probably would have saved six Mana by not using Truthspeaker or Feral Spirit and instead using light Elemental and Creeping Ooze. This would have given me a little bit more variety in terms of how I could attack and also given me a little bit of a speed boost compared to the other team.
Although I was not the victor in this match, it did give me a good opportunity to use Feral Spirit and learn some of its strengths and weaknesses. On the plus side, Feral Spirit only costs three Mana which makes it a great monster to use after you have chosen your primary team and have a few Mana left over. The sneak ability is effective for targeting enemy monsters at the rear of the enemy’s lineup.
Although the Feral Spirit does have some strong points, I prefer other monsters when comparing on a monster-to-monster basis. For example, Khmer Princess of the Earth Splinter costs one less mana and has the same health but attacks using magic which means that her attacks never miss and directly affect the health of the enemy monster. Ice Pixie of the Water Splinter offers similar characteristics and is also preferable to Feral Spirit in my opinion.
Although I believe that other monsters give more value for the Mana, Splinterlands matches are not fought simply between monsters. Rather, they are fought by choosing a complete lineup and a complete team that must fight together. Within the Life Splinter, Khmer Princess or Ice Pixie simply are not playable. The question I have to ask is not if Feral Spirit is the “best” 3 mana monster, but rather if Feral Spirit contributes some unique advantage to my Life Splinter lineup.
That is quite a hard question to answer. For only one additional Mana cost, I could use Light Elemental which is FAR more powerful IMO. I don’t see Feral Spirit being a frequent part of my lineup, but I do think that there can still be odd or unique situations in which it would be a benefit to have. If Mana is extremely limited and I can’t afford to play Light Elemental, I would be quite glad to have Feral Spirit on my team. It's also possible to imagine a situation in which it would be preferable to spend 4 Mana on the combination of Creeping Ooze and Feral spirit instead of a single Light Elemental card.
Anyway, its always great to take part in the challenges and try out new monsters. Congrats to my opponent for choosing a solid team to carry them to victory.