Splinterlands: Yodin Zaku is a BLAST to play

I've been playing *a lot* Fire lately -- all because of the newest Untamed summoner.

Yodin Zaku adds one to ranged attacks and health, just like Prince Rennyn. But, instead of increasing speed by one, he gives your entire team blast. Unless a Rennyn team optimizes for speed, they will lose to Yodin. Valdamor is a similar case -- though he is a lot better off always hitting and ignoring armor (but with more obvious counters than Rennyn). Blast is more than enough to put Yodin in a three-way tie with them as the best summoner.

Just think about that - Your 3-mana Fire Beetle does 8 points of damage per round. Your 5-mana Ferexia General Inspires, Shatters and does 11 points of damage per round. Yeah, the 5-mana Exploding Dwarf can often do the same 11 points (once). But, just as often, it ends up being totally useless when the other team is faster or it misses a front-position Cocatrice. For example, check out how a little bad luck with the Dwarf utterly destroyed me in my last post. The only places I tend to place the dwarf now is in Equalizer matches (since thorny monsters can always shut him down otherwise).

Because of his high 7-point mana cost, most people only think to play Yodin in high mana games. But he can also be equally devastating in some low mana matches. I've chosen two because they are so atypical of the Yodin matches that most people play.

First up is a Reverse Speed/Keep Your Distance 24-Mana match against jacekw.

Other than it's measly 24 mana limit, I've chosen this game for 3 reasons:

  1. I really hate the line-up that starts with Lord Arianthus then Gold Dragon and includes Mermaid Healer and Crustacean King. It can be defeated by Prince Rennyn and the Snipe team -- but only if there is enough mana to deploy it. Worse, it's a match-up that I frequently lose and don't play well myself. (Maybe someone could please write a blast article about the Gold Dragon in this lineup and point out what I'm missing.)
  2. Most people overlook the awesome power that is the Gelatinous Cube.
  3. Any win against jacekw is to be savored ;-)

Yodin is obviously going to shine because of his bonus to ranged attacks -- but costs four more mana than Selenia and meant that I could only field five monsters to jacekw's six. In addition to the awesome cube, I fielded two lost-cost snipers and two 2-mana ranged attackers (all four with +1 damage and blast). Fortunately, the blast from the pumped imp and alchemist combined with the snipe of the pumped beetle and centaur were able to kill the dragon before its own blast decimated my back row.

This next match was crazy -- a Back to Basics/Earthquake match with only 17 mana. Normally, I just go with Prince Rennyn or Valnamor in these cases, but both earth and water splinters were unavailable. Having just seen this week's topic, I figured "what the heck".

In this type of match, as mentioned above, Yodin really suffers against earth because of lower health (and slower speed). He suffers similarly against water because of armor and misses (and slower speed). Against any other splinter, the +1 ranged attack, blast and +1 health are overwhelming -- even if I only have 10 mana to then spend on six monsters. So, I went with the lowest cost ranged attackers and still had to fill out with the obvious ooze and chicken. Of course, I did make sure that my sixth place creature had some serious earthquake protection (2 shield + 6 toughness).

In this case, my opponent inexplicably went with two very expensive monsters -- one of which who couldn't even attack from the front row. The "explanation" that fewer monsters means less total earthquake damage overlooks the fact that you often have a lot less damaging capability. His line-up was capable of dealing 5 damage (+ 12 eathquake = 17), mine could do 17 without earthquake. Further, there was simply no way that my opponent could have won. Even if he always hit, he wouldn't have reached my last creature before round 5. As long as my monsters did at least 4 damage total over the first four rounds, I was good to go. As it was, the loss came at the beginning of the second round with the first earthquake.

I certainly enjoy the "standard" Yodin matches with a ton of mana. Unfortunately, a fast water can burn out Yodin before he gets started and the mirror match is always a coin flip. So try Yodin in some of your low mana matches. The results are likely to be surprisingly good.

Until next time -- may you always hit, retaliate and poison when you need to – and may your opponent not be so lucky.


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Nice post. I enjoyed reading your thoughts on the things. Very well stated.

Also...remember to include your referral link (or any link to Splinterlands.com) in case someone sees this and decides they wanna play too. 🥰 @carrieallen

Zaku is awesome card..