This may be old news if you're a keen Splinterlands player (and if you're not, why would you even be interested in this post), but there are four new Reward Cards which I would like to examine a bit more closely. These new cards came out to replace another four that have been fully distributed out, or are just in the process, and they never will be printed ever again. So before looking at the replacement, let's see what we are saying goodbye to:
Four Monsters on the Way Out
- The Hobgoblin, a neutral double striker
- The Flame Imp, an airborne magic tosser from the Fire Splinter
- The Mushroom Seer, an earth-magic fun guy with the silencing ability
- Good Lord Arinthius, a legendary head in a jar
I might not be alone when I say that the last two of these are by far more desirable awards than the first two. Especially Lord Anus, whose sudden price surge indicates that many players appreciate his powers. Even though he is completely passive, that is without any type of attack whatsoever, it takes a good amount of force to beat him. Even as a level 1 he voids magic, and shields from melee and ranged attacks. In higher levels he gains the reflect and thorns abilities, returning magic and melee damage to the attacker.
My other favorite card out of these was the Shroomie, mostly for being a decently strong magician, but also for his silencing ability right from the first level on, reducing the opponent's magic attacks. After level 5 he even becomes a poisonous mushroom, meaning that once infected, the victim keeps losing points even if the Mushroom itself has been killed off. Such a great monster. We'll miss you, Mushroom Seer.
The other two monsters didn't tickle my fancy too much. The Hobgoblin got me super excited in the beginning, mostly because it was the first reward card I received. Back then I could have sold him for two bucks(!), but I didn't. Instead I used him for his double strike ability. It was okay, and in fact on some occasions his extra move could even decide a battle in my favor. More often than not, however, he got killed before he had a chance to show his skills.
Finally, the Flame Imp was an annoying little bastard, I never really liked. Sure, magic never misses, while other monsters attacking him might, due to his flying ability. But his relatively week stats didn't really seem it was worthwhile sending him into battle. And yes, at level five his swiftness increases everyone else's speed. Still, this card may be the one I won't miss very much. I might sell him though, once scarcity has driven his price up.
So yeah, that's it then. If you still want any of these cards, you'll need to buy them from other players. Instead, there are four fresh new cards coming out to take their place:
Four Fresh New Monsters
- The Beetle Queen, an insect lady practicing fire-magic
- The Naga Windmaster, a range attacker from the Water Splinter
- The Unholy Spirit, a low-mana legendary death-magician
- The Furious Chicken, an even-lower-mana neutral case of pointlessness
Out of these I'm most looking forward to the Windmaster with its new ability headwind. If you click on "How to Play" under battles, you find a list of abilities, along with their explanations... except this one, for being so new. Its purpose is to reduce the damage caused by ranged attacks for all monsters battling on the side of the Windmaster. Not bad! At level five he also gets to shatter, that is get completely rid of any armor it once hits. A maxed Windmaster gets even a poison ability, though at that point it may be a case of overkill.
The Queen Beetle is also interesting, for being the only monster in the Fire Splinter with a tank heal ability, albeit only at level 5. Until then the Queen is merely a benign magician, whose armor and health don't even improve until the last few levels. And yes, a maxed Queen can even inspire her troops, meaning they get an additional melee attack point. So far I have sent her into battle a couple of times (at level 1), but she has yet to prove herself worthy. In other words, I may need to level her up.
The most interesting attribute of the Unholy Spirit (vodka?) is that it only takes two mana points, but offers a number of abilities: flying is a given from level 1, then each subsequent level respectively adds demoralize, reducing everyone's damage taken from melee attacks, headwind, the new ability brought to us by the Windmaster, and at max level it even becomes blinding, which reduces the chance of being hit by ranged or melee attacks by 15%. Sure, the magic attack of the Booze never goes beyond 1, but what can you expect for 2 mana points?
Finally, let's analyze the Furious Chicken. Its zero mana means you can fit him in if there is space in your line-up, in other words if you've used up your mana allowance. But what does this Chook offer you, other than being furious? At the first two levels nothing. Of course it takes up space, and it takes an entire turn to kill the sucker, that's true. But no attack, no armor, and only one health, which will never change even at the max level. However, at level 3 it gets a melee attack, and at level 5 it can get enraged, meaning that if attacked it can increase its (meager) speed and attack points. The weird thing is, though, that with no armor and only one health, even the weakest attack will snuff him out! I guess he's best played with a summoner who offers an extra health or armor. Poc-POC!!!
All together, I'm not sure if these new cards make up for the ones discontinued, however, the old ones will be still around, so the new additions are actually a nice enhancement to the gaming experience. In any case, I look forward to trying out these new monsters.
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