Brawling with Bloodlust: Why Gladiator cards are a deadly addition to your brawl lineup

in Splinterlands10 months ago (edited)

It's a battle in the Gladiator Arena where all monsters revel in the glory of battle and fight with the Bloodlust ability.

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Our guild recently went up one tier in the Brawls, and since I don't use the Animated Corpse, I'm going rogue with the theme for this week's SHARE YOUR BATTLE WEEKLY CHALLENGE by featuring the Bloodlust ability, instead.
How effective is the bloodlust ability? Let's find out.



Bloodlust is an ability that gives monsters +1 to all stats every time they defeat an opponent.

This means that even at Level 1, monsters with Bloodlust can be dangerous opponents because they gradually increase in attack, speed, armor, and life points, rendering them indestructible killing machines.

That is...if they can trigger the ability.

Bloodlust is not guaranteed in every battle. The monster has to land a killing blow to activate it. Only then will the ability trigger and make the monster stronger, faster (or slower if limited by the Slow ruleset), and sturdier.

There is also a risk to Bloodlust. In battle, the stronger a monster gets, the higher the blowback it will experience when facing monsters with counterattack abilities. Thus, monsters with abilities like Magic Reflect and Return Fire can cause more damage against Bloodlust as the attacking monster's power increases. And protective abilities like Forcefield can neutralize Bloodlust because these monsters will only get +1 damage when their opponent has a +5 attack damage and higher.

Thus, as far as abilities go, Bloodlust brings a new layer of excitement to battles because of its unpredictability.

It is also worth noting that Bloodlust is exclusive only to Gladiator Cards used during brawls. So, unless you are part of a brawling guild, it is unlikely that you will encounter this ability in ranked battles.

With that in mind, let's see Bloodlust in action.

Battle 1: Bloodlust vs. Last Stand

When it comes to summoners, the Scarred Llama Mage and his Last Stand plus Cleanse combination can be very effective when faced with the Noxious Fumes ruleset. But it looks like it has met its match in the brawls with Bloodlust.

For this battle, the rulesets are Target Practice and Noxious Fumes with a 24 mana cap. All splinters except Life are also playable.

In building my team, I took a gamble and used a combination of the Byzantine Kitty as a summoner and Quora Towershead as my main attacker. It's risky because, at 7 mana and 10 mana, these two cards will have already used more than two-thirds of the battle's 24 mana cap.

But it is worth the mana cost because, with Quora Townshead's Heal and combined magic and melee attacks, she will outlast most monsters when considering the Noxious Fumes ruleset.

However, this means that I can only use monsters like the Failed Summoner, the Screeching Vulture, Brownie, Creeping Ooze, and Furious Chicken—low mana monsters that will be eliminated in two rounds based on their life points.

On the other hand, my opponent used the Scarred Llama Mage as summoner with the Chain Golem as a tank, the Furious Chicken and Earth Elemental to take on Snipe attacks, and the Flesh Golem at the back.

Here are the battle lineups after the buffs are applied.

Battle Bloodlust Quora R1 Buffs.jpg

Based on this lineup, it looks like my opponent's strategy is to keep healing and survive the Poison until Last Stand kicks in. After all, when applied to the Flesh Golem, the Last Stand ability gives a dangerous power boost to eliminate multiple monsters and outlast everyone until fatigue sets in.

Once the battle started, the opponent gained ground early such that by the time Poison kicked in at the start of Round 3, all I had left was Quora Towershead. However, it was also here that the Bloodlust ability was triggered and Quora Towershead began to dominate.

Quora Towershead did so well that even after Last Stand was activated in Round 6 and the Flesh Golem's stats were increased to +5 melee attack, +5 speed, and +16 life points, the Bloodlust has triggered enough times to give her a +4 magic attack,+4 melee attack, and +7 speed. Together with a double heal, from Byzantine Kitty, the Bloodlust abilitywas more than enough to overcome the Flesh Golem's Last Stand.

Here is a link to the battle.

Outside of guild brawls, I find it difficult to win against the Flesh Golem's Last Stand unless you have a similar last stand setup. Thus, the addition of Bloodlust gave me new options to experiment on my lineups, making brawls a more exciting arena for gameplay.

Battle 2: Edith Emberstar vs. Edith Emberstar

This time, it's a battle of Edith Emberstars with both teams using the same Gladiator Card.

For this battle, the gameplay was limited by the Close Range ruleset and a 44 mana cap. All splinters except Death were also active.

Given these parameters, I decided to use Valnamor as summoner with Almo Cambio as a tank, followed by Prismatic Energy, Crustacean King, Ruler of the Seas, Edith Emberstar, and Spirit Miner in the last position.

Interestingly, my opponent used almost the same monsters I did—monsters from the Water Splinter, a Level 2 Edith Emberstar, and a non-attacking monster as a tank (Almo Cambio for me and Lord Arianthus for the opponent).

However, there were two key differences. First was the Summoner. While I leaned on the magic attacks with Valnamor, the opponent used Daria Dragonscale, perhaps to allow him to use the Gold Dragon. This leads to our second difference—instead of the Gold Dragon, I used the Spirit Miner for his speed boost and Blind ability.

Here are the lineups after the buffs are applied.

Battle Bloodlust R1 12-32 Buffs.jpg

In the end, my team won.

How? The Spirit Miner's +1 speed boost and Blind ability, prevented the opponent's Edith Emberstar from hitting my tank and triggering Bloodlust.

The result is that he missed Almo Cambio 4 times, hitting only once before being eliminated. Plus, the only time that Edith Emberstar hit my tank also resulted in a counterattack, which caused more damage to the opponent's team.

In contrast, because my team was faster, my Edith Emberstar kept hitting the opponent's tank, allowing it to trigger Bloodlust 3 times before the end of the battle, ending with a +8 ranged attack and +8 speed.

Here is a link to this battle

Reveling in Bloodlust

As far as Guild Brawls go, the release of cards with the Bloodlust ability has been a game-changer to how players build their lineups. Its unpredictability in battle (there is no guarantee that it will be triggered) attaches a risk to their use that could win or lose the game.

Plus, with Gladiator Cards only released last August, Bloodlust is still a novel ability to use, which gives players something new to play with. And, given the number of Gladiator Cards in circulation, there aren't even enough to upgrade them to max levels, yet, making collecting these cards exciting.

So, do you take the risk and play with a Level 1 Gladiator card, knowing that they will be weaker than most monsters at the start of the battle? Or do you stick to the tried and tested regular cards used in ranked battles?

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My guild has been slacking and just got our brawls open to us. I am ready to get in there and start brawling. But then that leaves us still having to level some buildings. It seems like the guild level grind never stops. Great article by the way keep up the good work.

Thanks! I'm new to brawls, too. I just have a few brawls under my belt. What's great about it is that the Gladiator cards are something that kind of levels things for everyone since they were just released last August (I think) and you can't buy them anywhere. So, you can still catch up when it comes to those. :)

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Thanks for sharing! - @alokkumar121

great post