The Dragon Splinter is awesome - it has some of the most powerful cards in the entire Splinterlands Pantheon, but they do tend to be quite expensive, especially the summoners.
Then again, Dragon enables you to use Dragon cards with any Splinter, so I guess the premium price is to be expected, because this mixed-splinter option makes Dragon Splinter cards the most useable after neutral cards.
It follows that having a decent Dragon deck is well worth the investment: despite their initial expense, an investment in Dragon cards is the most cost efficient way of expanding your repertoire (after buying neutrals).
There's the added bonus too that Dragon cards tend to be the most fun ones to play with, IMO.
But which are the most effective Dragon Splinter cards to level up for the money?
Not to give too much away, but....!
It's very easy to figure out the best value cards to buy. We just need to visit @darthgexe's most excellent stats tool to see which cards have a combination of reasonably high play rates and win rates, and the results are as below...
NB - two points to note here for Dragon. The play rates will probably be lower for Dragon because of the combining aspect - you're LESS likely to play any one dragon card than if you were playing a pure deck from any other splinter, because every time you play Dragon you're probably going to play a few cards from the combination Splinter, so I'm going to look at some cards below with fairly low play rates.
It's also worth noting that I took the data before the Fork, so this is a week old!
Ordered by play rate
Ordered by win rate
The results above are just for the Diamond League, which is the league I tend to start the season in, and so most of the plays are going to be with cards levelled to at least their 'peak cost efficiency' if not their absolute max.
Below I'm going to consider just the cost to peak efficiency IMO. For many cards this will mean maxing them!
Cards Analysed in terms of cost to peak efficiency
Above is all cards ordered from cheapest to most expensive to peak efficiency (IMO), below I'm going to give my rough order of cards I'd buy if I didn't already have all of them to peak efficiency!
Manticore to level 5
To think this was a reward card back in the day, I accumulated quite a few for my daily quests and bought enough to take him up to l5 - SO handy for Earthquake and a decent second tank too!
It may be 4 times as expensive as the Manticore, but look, it's played 4 times as much and it has a decent win rate - it is a card you're probably used to seeing on the winning team!
For $15 this is a bargain for a maxed legendary - you have to play him with the right rule set, but trust me that combination of buffs can be MOST effective!
He's expensive, but he's a must have - any no shields rule set, combine him with Screeching Vulture from the Earth Splinter, and it's carnage!
Robo Dragon Knight
I think his low use rate ATM is purely a reflection of him being so new (even with the high mana) - but WHAT A TANK! Combine him with repair and heal, and this is one durable monster!
I wouldn't rule out any of the other cards necessarily - The Vigilator I'm a big fan of and the Fire Spitter is useful too, and good with low levelling, also Gloridax Guardian I think maybe underused and undervalued, as is the Diamond Dragon (especially useful if you make use of Last Stand) but many of the Dragon Splinter cards are too rich for me - The Fiendish Harpy for example, it's just not as valuable as the Gold Dragon, and one has to prioritise if one is on a budget, which most of us are!
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