Splinterlands Ruleset Strategy Series - #19 - Broken Arrows

in #splinterlands2 months ago

I hope everyone had a good holiday break of some sort, and that you're all staying cozy and safe while the real world metaphorically crumbles around us. On the bright side, we've got the heat of Splinterlands battle to keep us warm! Let's talk strategy with another Ruleset Guide.

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Today's guide should be an easy one! To be perfectly clear, I mean easy for me, not necessarily for you to follow, especially if you have a collection that's heavy on Range attackers. Most players do; there are a lot of Range attackers in the game.

Broken Arrows

Yep. You can forget about those heavy-hitting Range whoppers in these battles, which simply won't allow you to use them. As I've said before, I've always enjoyed rulesets that eliminate cards from your collection for a given battle. Unlike Even Stevens and Odd Ones Out, this ruleset removes from consideration every monster that attacks with Range.

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I will give some tips on how to build a collection that is ready for this ruleset, but mostly I will attempt to tackle how to deal with Broken Arrows using only the collection that you have, whatever that may look like. Because Range attackers are plentiful and tend to be cheaper on the market than both Melee and Magic, a lot of new players have stacked their collections with them.

(Can someone explain to me why there are no "Broken Arrow" memes on the whole friggin' internet?!)

No, it's not a John Travolta film from the nineties and it's not a code for a missing nuclear weapon (thank God) in this case, but it can cripple your chances of tournament success or cause you to fall short of your desired league at a crucial moment. These are a couple reasons that you should always be prepared for Broken Arrows, where not only the arrows are broken, but the spears, guns, lightning blasts, throwing axes and knives, etc.

Advice 1 - Do not Hesitate

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This may seem like the opposite of what you need in a restrictive ruleset like Broken Arrows, but allow me to explain. You have probably noticed that Splinterlands battles are quick. They are so quick that it's easy to fall into patterns, and patterns of any type are a bad habit in Splinterlands. There are so many variables that it borders on impossible that you'll see the same battle twice in your lifetime. This means that you always must stay versatile and go with the flow. This is why rulesets are so important. Absorb the variables as quickly as you can, then make an appropriate team from your collection. That's the game.

Contrary to what you may think, fewer cards than you're used to choosing from can often make the team-building process much more difficult. Do not succumb to this. I cannot tell you how many times I have run out of time (or nearly run out) in a restrictive battle like Broken Arrows, just because I don't have the comfortable patterns I'm used to seeing.

So regardless of if you think you are making the right choices, you must make choices. Chances are that your instincts are correct, especially on which monsters to play. Once you have them on the roster, you can always take the last 10-15 seconds to rearrange them into the most destructive order, but remember that without Range attackers in play, order should take less consideration than deciding which monsters to use.

Go with your instincts, and don't waste time looking for monsters that you're not allowed to use. They'll be there waiting for you next time. For now, you must win a battle with Broken Arrows. You'll also tend to underestimate your own teams in this ruleset, but remember that the opponent is doing the exact same thing and having the same doubts as you. I'll bet that most victors in the Broken Arrows ruleset actually expected to lose and are surprised when they find a victory. It's brutal, and that's why I like it!

Advice 2 - Do Not Over-Magic

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This is important mainly because of the Magic Reflect ability, which is quite common. If you rely too heavily on Magic attacks in the Broken Arrows ruleset, you'll be putting all your eggs in one basket, and even though that may be a magical egg basket, you're still probably going to get slaughtered.

There is a time to use a ton of Magic attackers, and that time is during a Back to Basics battle, but in Broken Arrows, never underestimate the power of Melee attacks. I have always found that your enemy will probably assume that you will use a lot of Magic, so they will be stacked with Magic defenders. What they will not expect from you are the following:

Opportunity - The Opportunity ability is like Sneak on steroids. It will attack the weakest monsters on the enemy's team, and is useful in almost any ruleset. In Broken Arrows, if I can I like to use not one, but two Opportunity monsters. This will make sure that at least one of the enemy's well-guarded Magic attackers is taken out in the first round, and often before they get a single shot off. If you can use Opportunity to cripple the back row, they will be left with only a tank, and while that tank may be relatively unharmed, they will never have a chance against your whole team. Unless they're using Kron the Undying. I hate that guy, and if you see him standing alone against your team, you'll probably just lose.

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Sneak - You should always have at least one Sneak attacker on your team, well-guarded somewhere it will be able to attack at least 3 times before it dies. I also recommend picking a Sneaker (if possible) with Armor (or the Protect ability activated). This is so that you're Sneak attack can withstand Thorns, the Sneak killer, or Retaliate, the other Sneak killer. When Range attackers are not in play, you will be severely limited on your selection of Snipers, so I would not bother focusing on that ability in these battles.

Trample - It's hard to find an instance where Trample is not useful, but I think it works even better in the Broken Arrow ruleset. If you're up against a powerful Magic attacker that's just waiting in the second position, all you have to do is inflict a deathblow with your trampling tank, then you're most likely going to take them both out in a blaze of glory.

Advice 3 - Health Over Armor

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This should be a rule of thumb for Broken Arrows battles. Favor monsters that have higher Health instead of ones that have a lot of Armor. Even though I have advised you to not use as much Magic, your opponent probably will have at least two Magic attacks, and Armor can be easily wasted on them, especially when it comes to your tank.

You should also fortify your team with some Magic defenses such as Void and Magic Reflect, but high Health will probably be your greatest defense in this Ruleset. Remember that it's simply a matter of how many hits you can take that makes the difference between victory and loss. A Shielded monster with great Health can take a lot of hits, and if that buys you enough time for your Sneakers and Opportunists to kill the enemy's back row, you're a winner.

Armor is always an effective defense against Range Attacks, but remember that it does nothing against Magic. It's actually less than nothing, because you will have wasted valuable Mana and one of your slots on a monster that was not maximized to fit the situation. Splinterlands is all about making every ability and situation work in your favor to give you every possible slight advantage over your enemy.

Some Cards I Like to Play

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These are some cards that I might play from various Splinters in the Broken Arrows ruleset. The fact that I'm listing them here doesn't really mean anything other than I like them. As I always say, there are a million right answers and a million wrong answers, and they all depend on a million variables. What works for me might not work for you. You should always experiment with different cards in a given ruleset and determine through trial and error what works best for you.


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Let's start this off with a Summoner. Bortus has an awesome debuff, especially in the Broken Arrows ruleset, and extra especially if you're playing at lower leagues. If your opponent is relying heavily on Magic attacks (as I expect them to do in this ruleset), then Bortus will cripple their attack power. On top of that, if you use Monsters with Void, you'll see a lot of 0-damage hits coming into your team. That's a satisfying sight, and one that almost always assures your victory.

Serpentine Spy

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When you play with Fire, your enemy can easily get burned, especially if you give the Serpentine Spy a chance to do his dirty work. He's a quick Opportunity monster that comes in swinging hard for 2 damage at level 1, and if you pair him with Malric Inferno, that becomes a 3. I wouldn't reach for him in Reverse Speed though, or you'll be sorry as you miss every attack. Also notice that his Health is extremely low, so you'll want to prepare your team's order accordingly to protect him. As long as he gets off two attacks before going down, you'll be fine.

Mushroom Seer

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When playing with Green in Broken Arrows, you can't go wrong with the Mushroom Seer. Its Silence ability offers the same debuff as Bortus above, which is minus 1 to the enemy's Magic attacks. Make sure to keep the Seer alive for as long as possible to prolong the effects of the debuff. It also comes with a powerful Magic attack of its own... Don't breathe in the spores though.

Silvershield Assassin

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She's a dark secret of the Order of the Silvershield. She's also a tough card to use well, but Broken Arrows presents a great opportunity to see the Assassin shine with all her deadly glory. I'd highly recommend playing with her at level 5 or higher, at which point she gains the Poison ability. Poison is one of my favorite abilities, and it's always a good idea to throw in, especially when you're looking at a monster that attacks twice like the Assassin.

Death Elemental

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This card just keeps getting better for the Broken Arrows ruleset as you level it up. If you ever play at max level (Diamond or Champion) it's a no-brainer. It will almost always be taken out early in the battle, but it will get you off to a great start before it goes down. A Magic sniper is a valuable tool, especially when Range attackers are forbidden.

Red Dragon

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I can't help myself. I have to include the Red Dragon, even though 99% of you have no hope of ever playing with this super rare card. There are less than 800 in circulation, but it is the ideal monster for the Broken Arrows ruleset. Two attacks every time in two different forms, which means that this beast will attack four times each round. It's often enough to win the entire battle on its own, especially when all three of its abilities are in play. Personally I think Healing on top of everything else is a little excessive, but there you go! The cheapest Red Dragon on the market is currently $8 - not bad for the scarcity and value!

Goblin Mech

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It's a hard-hitting mechanical beast loaded to bursting with Goblins, and it's perhaps the quintessential Splinterlands tank. Try it in the Broken Arrows ruleset and see what happens. The Mech is especially good at low levels, where it begins with an attack power of 4 (and Piercing).

Well, I can't go on forever. I hope these tips and recommendations have been enough for you to feel more confident in the Broken Arrows ruleset. Remember to relieve yourself of patterns that hold you down, to avoid excessive Magic, and think high Health. You can do it!

Thanks for reading this strategy guide - Until next time!

List of Rulesets

Previous Editions of the RuleSet Strategy Series

  1. Back to Basics
  2. Healed Out
  3. Heavy Hitters
  4. Silenced Summoners
  5. Aim True
  6. Super Sneak
  7. Melee Mayhem
  8. Keep Your Distance
  9. Weak Magic
  10. Up Close and Personal
  11. Lost magic
  12. Unprotected
  13. Target Practice
  14. Fog of War
  15. Armored Up
  16. Earthquake
  17. Reverse Speed
  18. Close Range

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