While I'm knocking down these rulesets one by one in this strategy series, exciting new things are always happening in the Splinterverse, not the least of which is this new ruleset (coming soon) that has been eagerly awaited by the entire community!
Can you guess the ruleset?
Preales, Partnerships and Praetoria
With the first Land presale in the rear view mirror, our players are now looking to the 2nd Stage sale to acquire the land they're after. You'll find all the details in THIS POST. Keep in mind that these 3 Presales are your only chance to get Land for prices cheaper than the "retail" price of $20 per PLOT. Check out the chart below!
Enough of all the news; we're here to chat about the Close Range ruleset! It's a tough one to master with a lot of extra things to consider. Let's jump in.
Ranged attackers tend to have more powerful attacks than non-Ranged ones, but this is typically balanced out by a few other factors. First, Range attacks are always stopped first by Armor, while Magic attacks always pass right through to the enemy's Health. Secondly, in every other ruleset, Range attackers lose the ability to attack when they find themselves in the front row.
The Close Range ruleset superpowers your Range attackers by allowing them to attack from any position, a simple change that can flip your strategy on its head.
This is one of those rulesets that reminds you to always do things differently. If you reach for the same old Monsters, you'll be in for some punishment. Just a couple of Range attacks from the front row is usually enough to finish the enemy's team for good, but there are lots of other ways to nail the coffin shut in this ruleset.
Blast is Your Friend
I recommend using as much Blast as possible in the Close Range ruleset, and here's why. Monsters with the Blast ability are almost always Range attackers. In a normal battle they can be used to thin out the enemy's back row before they're usually killed by Return Fire or Magic Reflect. If your Ranged Blasters are able to attack from the front as well, several more Blast attacks will happen in the course of the battle and you'll almost certainly win.
The one that comes to mind for both Range and Blast is the Fire Splinter. I know that everyone loves Yodin Zaku giving every monster Blast, but did you notice how many Range attackers in the Fire Splinter already had the Blast ability. I don't think every Monster on the battlefield needs Blast, but 2 or 3 strategically placed Fire Blasters will almost always get you a win.
Make them Hard to Kill
In this ruleset you should plan on at least some of your Range attackers ending up in the front row, so the question becomes "which ones will hold up best?" Just start scrolling through your Range attackers and checking out their abilities. You'll probably notice that some stand out. Some Range attackers (like the Twisted Jester or the Fire Spitter) have the Dodge ability and are therefore incredibly hard to hit. Others (like the Water Elemental and Earth Elemental) have Healing.
Using Life Leech (Vampire) is another way to make sure your Range attackers have plenty of Health by the time they reach the front row. With the Silvershield Sheriff in the Life Splinter, you can increase the Armor of everyone on your team, a buff that is extra effective in Close Range. Not to mention that the Sheriff is one of those superpowered 5 Range attackers.
Target the Armor
There are a couple good ways to do this through clever placement of your team's abilities. With Rust, you can debuff the armor of the entire enemy team, and with Shatter you can destroy each monster's Armor one at a time, making them far easier to kill.
The enemy will almost certainly be using the Repair ability, so you'll want to respond appropriately with 2 abilities in particular: Snipe and Opportunity. If you can knock out the Repairman early, then the repairs will stop happening and allow you to squeeze in for a victory.
Don't Overdo It
At a glance, you may think that the way to win in this ruleset is too pack your team with only Range attackers. Splinterlands is a game of delicate balance, even in these more extreme rulesets. If you try to do too much of one thing, it will almost always come back to bite you.
This is an overgeneralization, but if you have 5 Monsters on your team, I think the sweet spot is for 3 of them to be Range attackers in this ruleset. It's pretty important to sprinkle in other abilities, and most tanks are not Range attackers to begin with. So unless you want your team to fall like dominoes, you'll probably still want a big beefy tank in the front. I usually try to throw in at least one Opportunity Monster, and if room, one with Sneak as well.
Blind is quickly becoming my new favorite ability. It is highly underestimated, and I've found that most players don't even know which good cards have the Blind ability. It can be stacked, and it reduces hit percentage by half.
In a battle with a heavy emphasis on Range attacks, being missed is extremely valuable. If you tuck the Blind ability into the back of your team, you'll get missed a lot. If an attacker with Blast is the one missing you, then it's sometimes like getting missed by 3 separate attacks.
A good rule of thumb is if you get missed 5 times in one battle, you'll probably win.
Some Cards I Like In Close Range
These are some cards that I find myself using over and over in the Close Range ruleset. Now I'm not claiming that they're the best cards or anything. There are almost 300 different cards in Splinterlands already, which means that every problem has more than one solution, and every situation has multiple ways out. If you have some good recommendations, let me know in the comments so every reader can benefit. Thanks!
I'm a sucker for the really powerful Range attackers. Ettin is one who at its highest level can attack for 5 damage. Throw in Piercing and Knockout damage, and the Spearman becomes a one-man, 2-headed wrecking ball from hell.
Water Elemental is almost perfect for this Ruleset. If you're able to offer Protect and give it some Armor, then it might just be the tank you've been waiting for in Close Range. The Dodge and Healing abilities both lend themselves very well to this ruleset. Try for yourself!
I don't highly recommend the Earth Splinter in the Close Range Ruleset. I'm always more likely to reach for Red or Black if I have my choice. However, if because of a Daily Quest you need to use Earth, you'll almost certainly want the Javelin Thrower in your lineup. She's very difficult to hit, no matter where she sits on your team.
The Boatman has always stood out to me as a unique combination of abilities. The one that makes him so valuable in the Close Range ruleset is Protect, which adds Armor to your entire team. I like using Range attackers who were never meant to have Armor; those are the ones that become unbeatable when protected. Plus, the Boatman has a powerful Range attack on his own.
I love Monsters with Life Leech in situations like this because they'll never know what hit them. Your enemy may think they're winning until out of nowhere steps up a Vampire who has been quietly accumulating Health for the entire battle. Now they have to use their 2 remaining Monsters to somehow inflict 21 damage against your overpowered Vampire. Congrats, you won.
Another Life Leech Monster that I love is the Black Dragon, but he also comes with a handful of other useful abilities in this ruleset. His Strengthen adds 1 Health to everyone on your team, allowing you to use more low-Health hard-hitters. Plus his Slow ability makes it harder for every Range or Melee attack against you to land.
Correct me if I'm wrong here, but I'm pretty sure the Cyclops is the only Range attacking Monster with the Shield ability. Try using him as a tank in the Close Range ruleset and you'll see why this little-known fact is important. Throw in some Protect for Armor and a Tank Heal or 2, and the Cyclops will become nearly impossible to defeat in front.
Previous Editions of the RuleSet Strategy Series
- Back to Basics
- Healed Out
- Heavy Hitters
- Silenced Summoners
- Aim True
- Super Sneak
- Melee Mayhem
- Keep Your Distance
- Weak Magic
- Up Close and Personal
- Lost magic
- Target Practice
- Fog of War
- Armored Up
- Reverse Speed