We're celebrating Halloween early with this week's battle challenge theme, Haunted Spider. Just sign your Dark Contract, die, claw your way out of the Tar Pits of Creaon and drag your rotting corpse across the Southern Waste, and you too might have the chance to live again as a Haunted Spider. What a deal!
Let's see exactly what you have to look forward to.
Haunted Spider is a 3 mana common ranged monster from the Death splinter. At level 1 it has 2 damage, 1 speed, 2 health, and no abilities. While quite fragile, the Spider still looks potentially useful at this level. Two ranged damage for 3 mana could be quite powerful in a low mana match. Just keep this monster protected at all costs because it's likely to go down in a single hit.
At level 4, the Haunted Spider gains its one and only ability, Poison. This massively increases the Spider's damage potential, which was already pretty impressive for 3 mana. By the time the Spider hits level 10, it has a total of 3 ranged damage, 4 speed, and 5 health. Now it has the chance to evade some attacks, and possibly survive even if one or two of those attacks connect. Plus, that extra damage never hurts (unless, of course, you're on the enemy team).
For this challenge, I rented a gold foil level 4 Haunted Spider to hopefully take advantage of that Poison ability. The only problem was that I only had one summoner, Brighton Bloom, who could bring it into battle at level 4. But I figured I'd give it a try.
The first chance I had to use the Haunted Spider was in this 12 mana Lost Legendaries battle. Since only Water and Death splinters were allowed, I thought there was a good chance my enemy would rely on magic, so I used Owster Rotwell as my summoner. I put a Chicken up front to hopefully reflect some early magic, then I had an Animated Corpse, an Undead Badger, and the Haunted Spider as backup.
My opponent did indeed bring some magic, which I was happy to see (although I take no pleasure in killing Venari Bonesmith, one of my favorite new reward cards). Luckily he had nothing that could touch my Spider in the back, so this would be a decent demonstration of its abilities. While the enemy Darkest Mage killed itself through reflected magic and our Badger badgered their archer, our Spider was able to quickly slice through the front line minions to expose the Bonesmith. We won the battle easily with no losses save the Chicken.
Next we had a 15 mana battle with Earthquake, which gave us the perfect opportunity to use Brighton Bloom with our Spider. We brought the Chicken/Badger/Spider combo again, but this time we used our extra mana on a Haunted Spirit and Creeping Ooze.
The enemy brought 3 flyers behind their own Chicken shield. Our Spider took out the Chicken, injecting some poison into its dying body, and drawing the enemy melee monsters forward into the battle. While our Badger worked on the enemy Griffin, our Spider attacked the Cockatrice, again making sure that the enemy's corpse was good and poisoned. Together the Spider and Spirit killed off the enemy Eagle, and then our Badger finished off the Griffin to win the battle.
Unfortunately, those two pointless poison hits were all we got out of the Haunted Spider. I tried several more battles with Bloom and the Spider, but RNG never allowed the poison to proc again. Ah well, at least we can imagine what it could have done to those monsters in the previous battle if they'd had a little more health. Had the previous battle used higher level monsters, being able to finish off the Cockatrice early with poison might have made the difference between winning and losing.
Haunted Spider packs quite a punch for a 3 mana monster. While I didn't quite get the results I was looking for in today's battles, that was more to do with forcing Bloom as the summoner rather than any problems with the Spider. I look forward to running a level 4 Haunted Spider again someday under a more appropriate leader to see what that Poison ability is really capable of.
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