Everyone's a Target...
With Rulesets like this one, all your best laid plans are typically undone by an entirely unpredictable enemy team. Just looking at their recent battle history is never enough to know which cards they might choose in a Target Practice battle. All you can do is create a team that (you hope) will minimize the damage coming your way and maximize the damage going out.
The First 2 Cards
Despite what you may think about needing strong Range attackers, the first two cards in your lineup (tank and reacher) are the most important in a Target Practice battle. If you use a tank that is not Armored enough, it will fall too soon, and if you do not have a competent Reach monster filling in the void, then all your Snipers will be exposed and destroyed.
I would avoid using a Magic or Range attacker in the second position and here's why. All of your Range and Magic attackers are going after the opponent's back row with their newfound Snipe abilities, which will reduce the pressure on your enemy's tank. If you do not have at least the first 2 cards attacking the tank, chances are you will not be doing enough damage.
Do not Ignore the Reach position when Target Practice is the Ruleset.
Blast is Your Friend (and Your Enemy)
Obviously if you have the option, you should use Yodin Zaku in this Ruleset, the Legendary Summoner that gives all friendly Monsters Blast. Even if you're not able to pull out the ancient Yodin, there are a lot of great Blast monsters to choose from.
Let me explain why Blast is even more effective than at first glance in this Ruleset. In the normal course of a Blast attack, the tank is hit with the original attack, then the Blast damage is done to the second monster. In a Target Practice battle, the main Blast attack is almost always directed at a monster somewhere in the back of your enemy's team. This means that Blast tends to damage not 2 enemy cards, but 3.
This goes both ways. You can count on your opponent turning in a Blast heavy team for Target Practice. How do you defend against this? My favorite way is to debuff the Range attacks of the enemy team with my girl Contessa L'ament. That way, To be safe, you should also use the Silence ability. If you can reduce both the Range and Magic attacks of every one of the other team's makeshift snipers, your team will last a lot longer.
Sprinkle some Opportunity
Opportunity was a later added ability that presented a different approach to sneaky attacking. Your Opportunity attackers will always go for the enemy monster with the least Health. Since every enemy attacker is a sniper in Target Practice, Opportunity will help you take out the weakest (and the hardest hitters) first.
Using different abilities that allow you to attack different positions is key in this Ruleset. It is very easy to fall into the trap of overloading your team with Range attackers, then getting torn apart from the inside out. Opportunity will always make your enemy more manageable.
The 2 main defensive abilities for the Target Practice Ruleset are Return Fire and Magic Reflect. If victory is what you're after, make sure you throw in at least one instance of each ability. If your enemy is coming at you with a lot of Blast (which they almost certainly will be), they will be bombarded by Reflect and Return Fire damage.
Magic Reflect is especially useful in this way because it will always bypass Armor. If the enemy's Magic Blast attack is causing damage to 3 of your monsters and 2 of them have Reflect, the Magic attacker will most likely be brought down by their own first attack.
The Speed Approach
There are so many buffs and debuffs to Speed in the Splinterlands catalogue that they present an entire world of their own strategies. There is one expectation that every enemy has in Target Practice: The expectation that they will hit their target. You can throw a wrench in their plans by using fast monsters and multiple Speed buffs.
Obviously you cannot be missed by a Magic attack. But for fear of Magic Reflect, your enemy will never completely fill their team with Magic Reflect. There will be a couple Melee attackers and at least 1 or 2 Range attackers, each of which gives you an opportunity to be missed.
If you can set up the battle so your entire team attacks first, you may be able to take out their weakest attackers before they do any damage. In addition, when they do get around to attacking, you're sure to be missed. If they miss you with a Range Blast attack, they're actually missing out on damage to 3 separate cards. More than perhaps any other Ruleset, being missed goes a long way in Target Practice.
Other Abilities to Cram In
The Poison ability can come back and save you from defeat when you think all hope is lost. Because of the way snipers tend to attack lower Health monsters, their victims are usually extra vulnerable to Poison. Usually once the next round comes up, the Poison just finishes them off, readying the next target for Poison.
Never forget Tank Heal and Repair, 2 abilities that are imperative for almost any Ruleset. Double Repair is often useful in this Ruleset (or a combination of Protect and Repair), especially since the monsters in the back will need to be repaired as much as those in the front.
Some Cards I Like
Here are some cards I like to play in the Target Practice Ruleset. Maybe you ought to give some of them a try! Do you have some awesome cards that you love to play in the Target Practice Ruleset? Let me know in the comments so everyone can be as awesome as you!
Ruler of the Seas
The Ruler of the Seas is perhaps the ultimate weapon for a Target Practice battle in the Water Splinter. Even on level 1, when played with Alric Stormbringer, the Ruler is swinging for 3 Magic attack. With the Blast ability, 3 is the key number. A Blast attack for 3 does 2 Blast damage to each adjacent monster. The higher you level your Ruler, the more perfect for this Ruleset he becomes, gaining both the Silence and Swiftness abilities.
The native Blast ability and relatively low Mana cost make the Fire Elemental a tough monster in the Target Practice Ruleset. I would highly recommend either buffing the Range attack or leveling this card to 4, where its attack increases to 3. Affliction (which makes a card impossible to heal) is a nice little bonus ability, and at the max level of 10, she gains the powerful Redemption ability. Usually by the time the Fire Elemental is taken down, Redemption will bring a couple enemies with her.
The combination of Piercing and Sniper is a powerful one. The Javelin Thrower is fast and strong; she will almost definitely take out one of the weakest enemies in the first round. Then if you're lucky she will also dodge some attacks with her other incredibly useful ability.
Defender of Truth
For the Life Splinter I can never resist reaching for the original Protector, the Defender of Truth. He comes with a strong Magic attack and the single Protect ability that will usually be enough to keep you alive until the bitter end. If you can buff his Magic attack, even better.
Feast your eyes on perhaps the greatest combination of abilities for the Target Practice Ruleset. The Lightning Dragon will beg you to level it to 4, when it gains the Blast ability. It would have been tough enough without it, but you might as well really send them a message.
Lord Arianthus is an excellent addition to a Target Practice lineup. He works well as a tank, but in the very back he will also draw some Sniper fire (which is Voided and Shielded). Even his Thorns will be put to use if used in the tank or rear position.
I hope this strategy guide has given you some tips and tools that will help you navigate the Target Practice Ruleset. If you have tips of your own, leave them below!
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