Welcome to another update on my attempt to challenge the Splinterlands ranked leagues with only the initial set of cards!… Plus, whatever I can earn or win. After making a frustrating push to try to get into the top 20 of the Bronze league last season, and falling short, I started this week back at the start of Bronze II. Before I get into my weekly update, let's talk about the Bronze league a little.
The Bronze league of Splinterlands certainly feels like it is full of bot accounts. This is good in one respect, as you never have to really wait to get a match. It does also lead to getting paired against the same opponents a lot. Bots tend not to excel at the game, so you tend to beat them more often than not at this level, which tends to mean that their rating is on the low to middle range of the league.
However, sometimes they win due to random luck. Since you mainly get paired up against them, loses end up costing a large amount of rating compared to how much you tend to win. An example match can be found here, where my monsters manage to miss at least 6 times against a 1 speed flying monster. (To be fair, I don't know if this opponent was a bot, but I essentially lost to terrible luck.)
At any rate, this can make it quite difficult to get into the top of the Bronze league, unless your cards are maxed out - at which point you've likely already qualified to advance to the Silver league. This leads to the same people sitting at the top of the Bronze league season after season, which doesn't seem like it's a healthy competitive environment. I'm not sure the best way to address it, but to a relatively new player it does feel like a problem with how leagues are balanced.
At any rate, to try to make a more serious push at the top spots, I spent about 200 Dark Energy Crystals , or DEC, to rent 4 of the Legendary summoner cards for 2 weeks. I think I have yet to actually lose a game where I've played Yodin Zaku. The cost for actually buying these cards would be a bit over 48,000 DEC, with Yodin being slight more than half of that amount.
I actually feel guilty about using these if I'm not sure my opponent is a bot or also has these cards. I also tend to play Earth quite often as I'm a fan of the Earth summoner Mylor Crowling's thorns ability and the rare Earth monster card Unicorn Mustang is a great tank. The Legendary Scarred Llama Mage summoner was relatively expensive to rent, so I skipped him. Honestly, I probably could have just gone with Yodin Zaku and not bothered with the others.
Anyhow, I'll talk a little bit more at the end. But, for now, here's a breakdown of what has happened so far this season:
Daily Quest # 78 - Win 5 with Fire. This took 8 games to complete, though I won one when an opponent instantly surrendered so I didn't get to submit a deck or get quest credit. For completing this daily quest I received a 5th copy of the common Death card Phantasm. This was enough copies to combine them and level it up!
With another Kobold Mining Expedition tournament about to start, I decided to sink a bunch of DEC into getting the last 2 Untamed Epic cards I still didn't own. I picked up the Fire card Ferexia General for about 510 DEC and the Neutral card Tortisian Chief for about 864 DEC. Now, with one of all of the playable cards for the Kobold Mining Expedition tournaments I can start focusing on building up my Bronze league set of cards.
For the tournament itself, I went 9-2 the first round easily making it to the second, and final, round. I also got paired against the player who has been perpetually sitting at the #1 spot in Bronze, and you can see that match here. Day two went poorly and I finished 15-7, coming in 24th place and winning 400 DEC.
Daily Quest # 79 - Win 5 with Earth. This took 6 matches and for completing the daily quest I received a Gold potion. I played a lot more matches and got myself solidly into Bronze I as well. A lot more happened outside the game this day as well!
I attended @MarcusWahl's Twitch stream and got a 100 DEC consolation prize for losing against him in a match, but more importantly I won the random Untamed pack he gave away to viewers. @Clove71 also was streaming on Twitch and I won a 4th copy of the Fire common Exploding Dwarf from her giveaways. Finally, I attended @StealthTrader's YouTube live stream, and got a copy of the Water common Sea Monster.
These streams were literally one after another, with Marcus ending his as Clove was starting hers. Then, StealthTrader ran his stream once Clove wrapped hers up. After all of the streams, I spent 78 DEC for 2 Legendary Potions and 196 DEC for 4 Gold Potions and opened the pack I had won!
As if this day wasn't long enough already, there was also a second Kobold Mining tournament starting. I had a great day one, going 10-1, sadly losing in a rematch against the #1 Bronze league player. Day two went worse, as usual, and I ended up going 16-5, technically coming in 10th place and winning 1100 DEC. There was an issue with my first game on day two where I missed submitting a deck for my first game, which may have cost me a higher payout. Ah well, I should have been trying to multi-task during a tournament!
Daily Quest # 80 - Win 5 with Life… Re-rolled to Win 3 with no Neutral. This took 5 games, because I messed up 2 and played Neutral monsters. For completing the daily quest, I got a Gold potion. I attended another Twitch stream that @MarcusWahl was doing, and picked up another 100 DEC for losing against him again.
Daily Quest # 81 - Win 5 with Earth. This took 8 games to complete, though in one my opponent instantly surrendered before I could submit a deck for quest credit. For finishing the daily I got 12 DEC. I attended a third in a row Twitch stream that @MarcusWahl was doing, and picked up another 100 DEC for losing against him again. @Clove71 also did an evening Twitch stream, where I picked up a 2nd copy of the Epic Neutral monster card Grenadir!
Daily Quest # 82: Win 5 with Death… re-rolled to Win 5 with Fire. This took 8 games to complete. For finishing the daily I got a 5th copy of the Fire common monster card Flame Monkey.
Having finished my Novice tournament collection, I put in a couple of bids on Peakmonsters for the Water summoner Bortus. I already opened 3 copies of him from packs, so I only needed to get a couple more in order to level him up (for the Bronze league summoner cap of 2). I got two copies for about 816 DEC!
Daily Quest # 83 - Win 5 with Life.. rerolled to win 3 with Neutral. This took 6 games, one of which was an instant surrender. For completing the quest I got a very nice daily reward of a Gold copy of the Earth common monster card Nectar Queen! Since I had good luck, I went ahead and bought 5 more Legendary potions for 194 DEC and 4 Gold potions for 194 DEC, then finally opened the Dice pack I had won from a prior @Clove71 stream weeks ago!
Daily Quest # 84 - Win 5 with Life.. rerolled to Win 3 with no Neutral (again)! This took 8 games to complete, two of which I won, but played Neutral cards in. For completing the daily quest, I got a 7th copy of the common Water card Wave Runner.
The end of the week also proved to be quite eventful! @MarcusWahl did another Twitch stream, where I actually beat him again to win 500 DEC. With a little over 2,000 DEC in my pocket I went on a bit of a shopping spree on PeakMonsters. I spent about 1,400 DEC and picked up: 2 more Undead Rex cards to level it up to 2, 2 more Warrior of Peace cards to level it up to 2, 2 Biceratrops, 2 more Screeching Vulture cards to level it up to 3, a Silvershield Archers card, a Sea Genie card, 2 Undead Badger cards to level it up to 2, a Level 3 Armor Smith card, a Wood Nymph card, 5 Fineas Rage cards to level him up to 2, 3 Molton Ogre cards to level it up to 2, a Centura Mage card , and 5 Bone Golem cards to level it up to 2!
Phew! This has been a long article already, so I won't go on too much further. To try to summarize, I'm not too comfortable with renting cards, even though it is extremely cheap to do so compared to buying them. Playing the Legendary summoners in Bronze feels like it overpowers most opponents, and I expect the top of the leader board is probably doing just that.
After playing about 220 matches in ranked, I'm sitting at 40th place in the Bronze league at the time of this writing. I was briefly in 19th place, but that was very early in the season, and losing a couple of matches knocked me back about 100 places. With the rented cards, I technically now just qualify to advance to Silver III. But, since it's only a temporary bump up, I probably will skip it and make another run at the Bronze top 20.
For powering up my deck, I would really like to level up Mylor Crowling. However, that will likely cost about 4,000-5,000 DEC from the marketplace, if he doesn't shoot up in price further. Maybe I'll get lucky and win one from @Clove71, as she has been giving him away as a prize.
I've also been toying with the idea of trying to get a level 2 Epic summoner - which allows you to play level 3 rare cards in Bronze, unlike any other summoners. The better ones are around the same price as Mylor, so it would also be a costly proposition given how low Bronze DEC income tends to be.
I also got one referral from somewhere! Though, they haven't bought the spellbook, so I haven't gotten anything from it. @PUPIL_29284, whoever you are, if you do end up playing Splinterlands let me know!
Anyhow, that's it for this midseason update! Thank you for reading, if you made it this far! If you have any thoughts on the format of this blog, my renting/purchasing decisions, or Splinterlands in general, please let me know in the comments!