Splinterlands is going to change the face of trading cards over the coming ten years. The game itself and it’s first sets have been extremely well received, it has an ecosystem of websites that add additional functionality to the game,it has a thriving and profitable tournament scene, the first main set just sold out, and one of the largest updates it’s fans have been waiting for seems poised to release any day. When you experience all of this together it’s hard not to feel like you are falling down a rabbit-hole headfirst into a gaming experience that feels unlike anything else available before.
I love trading card games and for that reason I’ve been unable to get into most of the larger IPs on the market. The largest trading card games, in my opinion, seem to have mutated into weird exploitative versions of themselves with digital items existing or being usable only when it serves to produce the most profit. I think if you’ve ever played Hearthstone or Magic the Gathering arena after growing up playing with actual cards this will ring true. Something has been lost in card gaming's transition from kitchen tables, to professional tournament settings, to weekly local tournament, to a largely digital product being played on more screens than tables.
Splinterlands feels like the game I’ve been waiting decades for. Gameplay feels familiar but fresh, the market just works, and I can even do wild stuff like renting out my cards. My collection finally feels like its MINE again. When I click on a monster I love like Gelatinous Cube and see the dozens of copies of it I own because I believe it’s value can only go up I feel like I’m finally to play a digital TCG they way I most enjoyed in person, through my trade binder.
Remember showing up to a weekly tournament with my deck and a trade binder in your backpack? For years that was a huge part of my life and, as I was working 50+ hour weeks trying to reach towards my goals, something that made up a large portion of my social and recreational time. It was a time to play in the all important tournament rounds but, just as importantly to catch up and trade with friends. Maybe you’d meet a friend you’d not seen in a while who was getting back in and loan him some cards you don’t mean much to you but would make their day. I always loved seeing what deals the stores had on their shelves but then quickly moved over to the table with all the nerds looking at binders with others hovering over their shoulders. My fellow degenerate traders.
Suddenly all that is possible again from the comfort of my office and, if you cant tell, I’m hooked.
As a simple into to the game this articles is not going to get into specifics (that will be coming soon) as Splinterlands is a game of incredible complexity. From here on out I want to tell you what you should expect if you decide to gave the game a shot.
First, you can head on over to the Splinterlands official website and try a few rounds for free. If you decide that this is something you want to experience more of you can buy a Spellbook for $10 and that is where everything falls into your lap. If possible if would mean a ton if you could use my REFERRAL LINK which will lead to more rewards for both of us but no pressure ;)
Now you have the full game experience with a starter collection, store and market access, daily quests and biweekly leagues (with very generous rewards), guilds, and a ton of other features. While the starter cards are generous it’s best used as the glue to hold together a collection you build yourself.
How to build a collection in any TCG is always going to be a question that can only be answered personality. I dropped about $50 into the game with the motivation of stretching that as far as possible but made a few rookie errors. Currently all cards in the Splinterlands are Summoners or Monsters. For each battle you’ll select a Summoner to serve as your general and a series of monsters to serve as your army. Your summoner will determine what kinds of monsters you can use and will provide a buff for your army (or a debuff for your opponents)! A summoners level determines how high level the monsters it uses can be so you can build your collection both “tall” (using a smaller amount of high level cards) or “wide” (using a variety of low level cards).
In general, when it comes to building your first small collection, I recommend you drop in $5-100 and seeking out some articles on high bang for their buck Monsters. There are a ton of Monsters out there who will be huge additions to your collection for less than .50 cents a card. You just need to seek them out. The game have 6 Splinters that are a lot like Colors in Magic the Gathering. In my opinion it is a very normal thing to have 1-3 “dump Splinters” you stay away from using at all in your first few months as you build your collection. Just do your dailies and biweekly league events and you’ll be pulling in multiple cards a day (along with the DEC needed to just buy whatever cards you want (or just keep as profit!)).
Battles can seem very complicated at first but, in time, it becomes clear this is that ‘easy to pick up, hard to master’ complexity that makes a game so addictive. For each battle you’ll be given a Mana Cap from which to buy your Summoner and Monsters for the fight. Each battle will also have a Rule Set which are a few unique rules that keep every battle feeling fresh. Maybe you’ll have a fairly normal 28 Mana but only be able to summon odd cost creatures. Other times you’ll have a HUGE 99 Mana Cap but both you and your opponent can only summon melee creatures. These Rule Sets are designed masterfully to stir the pot and lead to unique situations where a monster or series of monsters that might otherwise not shine can become absolutely unstoppable.
One of my favorite Rule Sets is called Equalizer that makes all monsters have the HP of the largest monster on the battlefield. I almost never lose Equalizer games because I play the Death Splinter a lot and have a variety of Life Leach creatures that really shine when given high hit point pools. I often will just park a Vampire and Ancient Lich (maybe an Undead Dragon if I’m feeling spicy) in my back line and by the time my opponent has killed my main tank my leaching creatures have drained all my opponent creatures down and have become absolutely massive. In this way these Rule Sets stop someone from coming in with one good deck and just winning every game, it’s amazing.
Tournaments, Guilds, DEC (and DEC Capture Rate), Leagues (and League Rewards), and the Shops and Markets are all huge subjects I’ll be giving specialized guides on over the coming weeks. I can’t wait to dig in deeper here, there is so much to discover yall!
Complete you Daily Quests and keep your DEC Capture Rate high if possible.
Consider add Goldfoil cards to your collection. They start at a higher level each one will increase your DEC generation in any battle you use it in 10%. Over time this is a massive bonus.
Don’t be scared to enter Novice or Bronze League tournaments! These will be very cheap for you and often will reward more for last place than they cost to enter! This is a great way to generate early DEC just be learning to play the game.
Consider buying your cards through MonsterMarket.ioMonsterMarket.io. You will get a flat 3% DEC back on all your card purchases and, over time, this is the kind of thing it would be foolish to ignore. Also, if looking for a better overview of your collection check out PeakMonsters.io
Please feel free to ask any questions you might have to the Discord! The community is very friendly and you might find yourself being loaned some cards but generous veteran players! Please also feel free to ask here, I’d love to help out however possible!
I hope this introductory guide has been helpful. As mentioned this will be a continuing series with each new article providing additional information on how to thrive in the Splinterlands and see your profits maximized.
I really believe Play2Earn is going to change gaming and, in a very real way, Splinterlands is the game that made me see the amazing future we have coming to us as gamers.
Stay positive ya’ll and please take care of yourselves and each other.