Splinterlands: Demoralize + Shield + Thorns = deadly combination (Share your battle weekly challenge)


This week's theme of the Share your battle challenge is Lava Spider. However, I took the liberty to focus on other monster(s), since the Lava Spider is in my opinion rarely useful in lower leagues (which is also my case).



It is a ranged attack monster belonging to the fire splinter, in which the biggest advantage is the +1 melee attack bonus provided by the Malric Inferno and Tarsa summoners. At its basic level, it has 1 ranged damage and the Snipe ability. However, in this case I think that the Snipe ability is actually a disadvantage. It is so, because a typical fire splinter deck is usually focused on melee attack monsters, which attack either the first (tank) monster, or have Sneak / Opportunity abilities. As such, if Lava Spider would be used in such a deck, the damage would be wide spread over several opponent's monsters, which is not the best practice. To avoid this, one would have to put more range attack monsters with Snipe, which would in turn decimate the total applied damage if one of the two above mentioned summoners were to be used.

Indeed, the Lava Spider might become a great damage dealer when used together with the golden Yodin Zaku summoner who provides +1 range damage boost and also the Blast ability. Monsters with Snipe are ideal in this case, because the blast will hit monsters on both sides of the target. But at the current price of Yodin Zaku of over $600 at level 1, this summoner remains unreachable for me and likely also to the majority of other players.

Instead of the Lava Spider, I have thus focused on the use of a deadly combination of the Demoralize, Shield and Thorns abilities. In the below described use case, the only card which is not in the starter pack and has to be invested in is the Mylor Crowling earth summoner, which currently costs about $29 for a level 1 card.

The strategy described here works well if you are almost sure that your opponent will deploy mostly melee attack monsters. This is often enforced by the given ruleset, or you can conclude so from the last battles of your opponent, which are visible just before the fight.

The key here is the combination of three abilities:


The Demoralize ability is provided by the Desintegrator even at its lowest level. This card is currently included in the starter pack and it is neutral, i.e. everybody can use it with any summoner.


Then we need a monster which would have both Shield and Thorns abilities. I'm not sure if some monsters have both at higher levels as I'm playing a lower league with mostly level 1 cards. In any case, this can be achieved by using Mycelic Infantry which has Shield, together with the Mylor Crowling earth summoner who actually gives the Thorns ability to all monsters in the deck.


With these three cards combined, Mycelic Infantry being the tank, the melee attack of the opponent is decimated. It is reduced by 1 thanks to Demoralize and when Mycelic Infantry is attacked, it is reduced again by half. As such, all opponent's monsters with 2 or less melee attack would deal ZERO damage when attacking our tank, while still receiving 2 melee damage from the Thorns every time they attack. They just die without dealing any damage. Opponent's monsters with very high damage might hurt a bit, but their damage is also greatly reduced. This should allow our tank to last long enough to win the battle. Possible Sneak / Opportunity attacks are usually also quickly neutralized since monsters with such abilities typically have a rather low health and ALL our monsters now have Thorns.

So that was the theory. But this is supposed to be a Battle Challenge entry, so let us now analyze some battles.

The first one is a typical example of a battle, in which the above described strategy works wonders. The ruleset and our decks were as follows:



According to the ruleset, only monsters with melee attack could be used and there was high enough mana cap to use both Mycelic Infantry and Desintegrator. It was thus the obvious choice, together with Mylor. I also managed to squeeze another 1-mana card at the front to absorb a bit of possible damage in a case there would be some high damage cards involved. As you can see, the opponent followed similar strategy and also chose a monster with Thorns (Venari Knifer) but without the Shield as a tank, plus the Desintegrator. Finally, the opponent included also Venari Scout with Opportunity.

The fight went as expected. After the Demoralize has been applied, all opponent's monsters had a melee attack of 1, which made my Mycelic Infantry invulnerable thanks to the Shield. The Venari Scout died in the 2nd round due to Thorns as I mentioned above.


The Venari Knifer died immediately after. Then I just had to wait until the opponent's Desintegrator dies as well, without dealing a single damage to my Mycelic Infantry.


The whole battle can be observed after clicking this link.

To underline the robustness of this strategy, I'm including two more battles in which it has been successfully used.

In this second battle, the opponent was quite stronger than me, i.e. had higher level cards. He/she also chose the Tarsa fire summoner, who is very strong in melee battles. However, also here the Thorns killed all opponent's back-row monsters quite easily despite the equalizer ruleset and my Mycelic Infantry managed to tank all attack almost until the end of the battle thanks to the Shield, which brought me to the victory.

(clicking the image will take you to the whole battle)

Finally, in the third and last battle which I'd like to share, I was facing much stronger opponent with level 4 summoner and level 3 - 5 monsters (mine were all at level 1). On my side, the only modification to the above described strategy was the added healing of the tank by Wood Nymph. In this case it made a huge difference, I wouldn't win without it. Otherwise everything went as in the previous battles - back-row monsters were decimated by Thorns (plus partially by sneak attacks) and then the tank fell easily.

(clicking the image will take you to the whole battle)

I hope that this deadly melee strategy will help you win some more battles in the future :) Just remember: Demoralize + Shield + Thorns!

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