That's how many different Monsters you'll find in the Splinterlands catalogue.
That's the number of Monster cards with even mana costs. You should be able to find a winning team in there somewhere, right?
Yep, we're talking today about a ruleset that is pretty straightforward because all it does is restricts the number of Monsters you're able to play to about half. It can be hard to create an ideal team, but if you have a decent collection, it should be easy enough to rustle up some even contenders.
I always enjoy what I call restrictive rulesets, those that eliminate a large portion of Monsters and/or Summoners from consideration. These battles force me to stay on my toes, leave my comfortable habits behind and pay extra close attention to my strategy. With everything I have ever done in life, I have especially excelled in the face of adversity. If there is a looming deadline, I get quality work done at a rapid pace. If there is a storm on the day of the race, I'll run a personal best. If half my monsters are eliminated from a particular battle, I'll rise to the occasion. That's my first piece of advice: Don't let it be a disadvantage.
Disadvantages are only a problem when they are yours alone, and in Splinterlands, rulesets are always shared by both players. Considering a ruleset to be a disadvantage in Splinterlands is like willingly giving the advantage to your opponent, which is never a smart move. You might as well battle to the best of your ability, or even tell yourself that you have the advantage because of how you excel through diversity. If you're worried you can't hit the ball because it's raining, just think about how the pitcher feels.
Don't Waste Time
The greatest temptation in my experience with Even Stevens battle is to spend too much time looking at your collection and deciding on your team. When certain cards you're accustomed to seeing aren't there, it can be difficult to find worthy replacements. Just remember that your opponent is having the same struggles at the same moment.
My advice for dealing with this concern is to give yourself less time. Do this by spending at least 30 seconds right off the bat studying your opponent's battle history. When looking at their recently played teams, pay extra attention to the even mana Monsters, which you'll have a strong chance of meeting in the upcoming Even Stevens battle.
There is always plenty of time to make a Splinterlands team. It only becomes a problem when you let your drafting judgement become clouded by doubt. This mistake is especially easy to make in a restrictive ruleset like Even Stevens because your collection may feel inadequate. Your collection is simply the cards you have. If you want to maximize the possibilities, then you have a total of 122 cards to choose from, but you'll have to acquire them all in preparation for the next Even Stevens battle.
Go with the Flow
Out of 33 rulesets, there is only 1 that eliminates half your collection of Monsters simply because they have odd mana costs. Don't expect to have access to all the same familiar abilities. If you're accustomed to using Shield or Retaliate in your tank position for example, then use Even Stevens as an opportunity to broaden your horizons. Maybe consider running a double-Heal scenario (Healing up front, Tank Heal somewhere in the back). I may be mistaken, and I'm not going to take the time to count, but in my collection there are more even Monsters with healing related abilities than aggressive ones.
By going with the flow in Even Stevens, you can teach yourself valuable strategies that you'll remember in the future for other kinds of battles. You'll be forced into situations and justifications that you would normally avoid, and having to face these fears will open up your eyes in some unexpected ways.
Use Smaller Monsters
This is entirely personal preference, but I tend to avoid Monsters with high mana costs in the Even Stevens ruleset. There are a lot of 10 Mana Legendaries that I use under normal conditions, but many of these cards perform best when teamed with certain supporting abilities. Many of those supporting abilities are not available in this restrictive ruleset, so it's always easier for me to choose low-mana Monsters in the first place.
Smaller Monsters are better at standing alone, a skill that is extremely helpful in the Even Stevens ruleset. They have fewer abilities and straightforward strategies, which makes it easier for you to predict the course of the battle. Plus, with fewer Monsters to choose from, filling up your roster will sometimes give you an advantage over your opponent if they leave a few open spaces on theirs.
Some Cards I Like to Play
Here are some cards I enjoy playing in the Even Stevens ruleset. They are (of course) all even mana costs. The fact that these are some of my best go-to cards doesn't have to mean that they are the best. Like I always say, Splinterlands battling has tons of correct solutions to every problem. The best players are the ones who stay adaptable to every situation and who learn to use each and every card for its unique skills and abilities. If you have some good Even Stevens suggestions, please share them in the comments below so everyone reading can benefit.
I've always thought of the Twisted Jester as incredibly powerful for a 4 mana card. I guess that's why he's the chief bodyguard for the Lord of Darkness. If you play him at level 5 or higher, he can be an extreme nuisance for your opponent because of the Dodge ability. If you're playing with Death in Even Stevens, I highly recommend the Jester, no only for comic relief, but for winning.
Defender of Truth
This original protector is an excellent fit pretty much anywhere except level 1. Even at level 2, before he gains his Protect ability, he comes with a 2 Magic attack that can go a long way in an Even Stevens battle, especially at only 4 mana. Add him to your collection and he'll have a place in every Even Stevens battle when you're using the Life Splinter.
This card has never gotten much credit from the community, but I've always liked it. It's very versatile, and when played with Alric Stormbringer it has a powerful Magic attack, especially at lower levels. The Genie is great to play at level one, but I couldn't resist maxing mine out. The Strengthen ability (which gives every member of your team an additional Health point) is tough to pass up, especially in the Even Stevens ruleset.
The Gloridax Guardian is my second favorite Protector, just behind the Defender of Truth. You'll notice that with this Legendary card, you have to have it leveled up to the max to take advantage of this ability. Even before level 4 however, Shield and Reach are a very good combination. They can make sure that your back row attackers are protected through the first several rounds of the battle, absorbing the damage from the enemy tank. The Guardian is also very good in Reverse Speed, but the low Speed isn't a hindrance in normal rulesets either. Legendaries are often easier to level up than you'd think since it only takes 11 BCX to reach the max level of 4.
Naga Fire Wizard
I absolutely love this shielded Magic attacker; I use the Fire Wizard whenever I get a chance. I even sometimes like to put it all the way in the back of my team where its Thorns will tear up the enemy's Sneak attackers. It's sometimes smart to use the wizard in lieu of a Reach attacker because as a Magic attack, it can attack from any position. You may even consider using it as a tank in the Keep Your Distance ruleset.
This 4-mana sneaker may be small, but he packs a punch. Starting off with a Melee attack of 2 makes him very powerful at level 1, especially when paired with Daria Dragonscale's Melee buff. If you can get the Goblin Thief to level 10, you can do as much as 5 or 6 damage per attack. That's almost Sandworm level damage! Plus, the Shatter ability will destroy the Armor of your enemies when it lands attacks, great for those heavily armored rear cards like the Enchanted Defender.
I use the Halfling Alchemist a lot as a recommendation, and this ruleset is no exception. This is a great Neutral card, and its 100% unique Halvening ability is available even at level 1. Honestly, you can play the Alchemist at level 1 in the Diamond League and it will do its job perfectly well. Your goal when using this card is to allow it to halve the attack power of 2 separate enemies. If you can accomplish that, you'll almost certainly win.
I hope this strategy guide has helped prepare you for the Even Stevens ruleset, one of the most restrictive rulesets in Splinterlands! Feel free to share your own advice in the comments below, and as always...
See you on the battlefield!
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
- Close Range
- Broken Arrows
- Lost Legendaries
- Taking Sides
- Rise of the Commons