How I decide what cards I should rent/buy
First step: do I upgrade my strongest splinter?
My strongest cards in the Splinterlands crypto game are from the Earth Splinter, so should I even bother upgrade it further? I've decided the answer is yes, because once I reach a certain rating where I compete with other players who own or have rented level 6 summoners, I cannot rely on my other splinters for a victory.
Although a streak of bad luck might come into play when I get a load of matches where the Earth Splinter isn't available, I can use it most of the time. That means I only need a good luck streak to make the best of my strongest Monsters. Good luck streaks are more important than the bad ones, because win streaks ramp up earned SPS by a ton. Still, if I don't have good enough Monsters ready, I cannot seize this lucky opportunity.
Which Monsters should I buy/rent?
How can I decide what Monsters I should continuously rent? My research comes from guild brawls. While I'm helping my guild fight the good fight, I rent at least 500 credits worth of higher level cards so I stand a chance at winning my brawls - which have been very hard lately, since we, Guardians of Glory, upgraded our Arena to level 5. From my ranked and brawl history, I can point out Monsters I don't own that made an impact.
Of course, I'll buy them if I can, but high value Legendary Monsters and cards from older editions are out of my budget. Setting up a rental bid for older cards and slowly purchase the best cards from the current expansions are my goals. Let's analyze Tree Elemental a bit together so you can see how I differentiate the good cards from the bad ones.
Earth Elemental example
First up, a match where I use Earth Elemental. It's a huge part of my team since it's a 13 Mana match. If you watch it until the end, you'll think it was somewhat useless. However, if my opponent's tank was higher level, I wouldn't have gotten past it quickly enough.
So, it's useful at my current rating, but is it actually a good card? The real problem with Earth Elemental is its slow speed and the fact it targets the enemy's frontliner. Good opponents want me to target it, so why would I want a card that cannot bypass their tank? By looking at this other match, we can see the problem I'm talking about. Earth Elemental cannot hit Pelacor Conjurer. I don't get any damage done, so I lose.
Altough Earth Elemental is strong in the Heavy Hitters rule where slow Monsters go first, this isn't something I'd pick often, specially when I already own 3 Mana Monsters that do a much better job at tanking and dealing meaningful damage: Venari Scout and Djinn Biljka. So I'm not going to rent Earth Elemental.
I'll do this process for a bunch of different cards until I find the top three Monsters of immediate importance I want in my roster. Found this useful? It's a lengthy, but successful process.
images' source: https://splinterlands.com?ref=felipejoys