Weekly Battle Challenge: Djinn Apprentice (Modern Bronze)
Hello everyone, this time I will be sharing about one of my recent tourney matches played with Djinn Apprentice in the lineup, as this fire monster is our chosen card for the weekly battle.
The beauty of Splinterlands is that you need a different approach at every level, as the monsters have different power levels in different tiers. Like, the meta is different for every league, and you really need to know the field to maximize your win rate.
For starters, let's look at the card at every level:
The whole idea of Djinn Apprentice in Bronze and Silver levels of Modern is his raw power as a 5 mana drop that you can use on any team in a lot of rulesets. There are multiple instances where I just choose him over other monsters in the 4-6 mana range because it provides one of the best attack types in the lower leagues - there're very few counterplays to magic in bronze and silver - and it can do work in the middle (slot #3 or #4) of any lineup.
At bronze (level 2), it has a solid 2 attack and 3 speed, which is helpful in almost every situation. The only main weakness is his 4 HP, which you cannot play in some rulesets like Earthquake.
At silver (level 2), it is an absolute stat engine with 3 attacks as a 5 mana monster. To bring everything into comparison, here's a filtered list from the Splinterstats site:
As we can see there, Djinn Apprentice is the cheapest 3 magic attack among Fire, Dragon, and Neutral cards -- Scratch that! I then opened up all cards in the filter to discover that Djinn Apprentice is the only 3 magic monster at 5 mana in Modern. This means that playing as Fire or Dragon-Fire, you have an absolute unit of a magic attacker at your hand. You pair him up with last week's darling, Magi of Chaos, and Djinn Inferni and you will be throwing down a scary 10 magic damage per turn at 30-40 mana battles.
Overall, I'd say Djinn Apprentice is a very good monster to play at the lower levels. At the lower levels, stats are vital because there are not a lot of abilities in play. This monster is all about stats as it has no ability until level 7 and he is designed perfectly to be a beast down there.
For the game of the post, we have one from the recently done WOO Saturday Slam!
With the Taking Sides ruleset in play, my gameplan is to run a high magic team for the raw damage output while also neutralizing the opposing team's potential approaches with a Thorn tank upfront and also Quix The Devious' ranged reduction.
If my opponent goes high melee, he is expected to take thorn damage.
If my opponent goes high ranged, he is expected to be slowed down by my summoner.
If my opponent goes high magic, I am running a high speed high magic team that should be able to out-speed and out-damage a magic lineup. Many magic creatures have low HP in modern bronze and shouldn't survive two hits from my magic squad.
I cannot read my opponent's mind to know his plan going into this match so this might not be 100% accurate. Looking at his lineup though, I think he is trying to brutalize the backline with high melee attacks coupled with sneak and opportunity while having two durable monsters at the front and the very back end to close the game.
Before I go through the match, I want to call out my positional mistakes.
I should have thought more about sneak attacks and put the 7 HP Ifrit Rising to the back. The downside though, is that recharge can sometimes be too slow in late game skirmishes (especially in this match versus Caladuum with Void) but this is a better setup against lineups that attack from behind.
Another idea is to put Countess Sinash more to the front and just let it tank for the backline. I sometimes don't put ranged monster at the very back if I have some strong magic monsters in the lineup. While ranged monsters are unable to attack when they are at the frontline, sometimes I find having them tanking and for magic monsters to close the game to be better than the alternative. I think it really depends if you have tanky monsters upfront to buy the ranged monsters time or you just accept they cannot win the late game (unless they have Close Range ability) and let them die first. In my scenario here, I think the best chance I have to win is to have my magic monster be at the very back. Countess' job is just to kill low HP monsters in the back for a few turns, and she had done her job.
Either way, let's move on to the actual battle.
There were two good moves from my side in round 1. One, Countess Sinash one-shotted the opponent's Radiated Scorcher and is on track to kill the Serpentine Spy in round 2. This is when my summoner's speed reduction is key. If the Serpentine Spy also has 4 speed, there's a chance he would still go first and do damage before going down. Instead, he has no chance to move in this scenario. Any damage we can prevent is good. It's all about getting small edges here and there whenever we can to eventually carve out a win.
Two, round one's Serpentine Spy's attack was taken by our Scorch Fiend so our main squad was damage-free.
The tanks did their job for both teams. Void Armor is very useful against my lineup while my tank's Thorn is doing its work.
And this is when speed became the greatest factor of the match. My team was able to kill a lot of the opposing monsters before them having the chance to move at all. Thus, my opponent was not doing enough damage in round 2 and the snowball started from here. My team also lucked into the perfect sequence, with Ifrit Rising hitting the big recharged attack to precisely kill the opposing tank and then Djinn Apprentice's attack taking down the other. As they are both 3 speed, a different sequence would have the tank survived the Djinn Apprentice's attack and then the Ifrit Rising's attack killed him but my opponent would keep the other monster.
Caladuum tanked for a round and a half but it was too much to come back from and I won the match.
Djinn Apprentice is a magic mainstay and can be a core monster in a lot of Fire or Dragon teams at the Bronze and Silver level. I think you can use it in either modern or wild format and it will surely do work.
And that's all from me today. I will see you in the next post...or on the battlefield!
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Thanks for sharing! - Underlock#8573