There is nothing more satisfying than encountering the Splinterlands equivalent of a the Great Wall of China... with a buffed tank and heaps of healing power... and using the monster ability (and sometimes battle condition) Sneak to take the long way around and burn the enemy line from the squishy back-end. Of course, it is definitely the thing that is most fun to inflict on someone else... a bit less fun when it is being done to you!
Every splinter has a Sneak monster... most of them are like the Opprtunity monsters, fast and low in mana count but weak in Health (the exception being the Life Splintershield Assassin). However, my all time favourite Sneak monster lies in the Water Splinter.
The Epic Coral Wraith is my favourite Sneak monster in the whole deck (at the moment...)! Even at just Level 1, she already has some advantages over the other sneak monsters... firstly, she gets a boost to her Magic Damage from the Water Splinter Summoner... plus, it is magic damage, so you don't run the risk of missing, or getting thorns in the face... or retribution! Poeple rarely put magic reflection in the back. Plus, you also bypass any armour as well! So... boosted takedowns that never miss that also hit right where it hurts in the Health bar!
The slight downside is that she costs a little bit more (4 mana) than most of the other sneak monsters.... and she is on the slow side of things as well! Still, I do think that the advantages do far outweigh the disadvantages!
A Sneak Battle
In this featured battle, we have the Battle Condition of Equaliser and Taking Sides. This means that there will be no pesky Lord Arianthus to reflect magic back at my team... making the Water Splinter a pretty good pick! Plus, the Equaliser battle condition allows me to make some liberal use of some low mana monsters to serve as chunky meat shields for my heavy hitters.
My line up starts off with the two meat shields (Albatross and Ice Pixie), low mana monsters that I would never otherwise play... but in this case, get buffed up to a whopping 12 HP and 2 armour! It doesn't really matter that the Albatross doesn't do any damage... it only needs to soak it up long enough for my other monsters to bust through the doors! The Ice Pixie does a bit of a damage... but that is more of a bonus!
Next up, are my heavy hitters... the Sea Genie buffing up the HP in addition to providing some heavy firepower and one of my favourite cards, the Ruler of the Seas, providing SERIOUS firepower with Splash damage, speed boost AND a debuff to Magic for the enemy team!
Next is the Coral Wraith, my insurance in case I can't bust through the front door... I will need to whittle away at the back. Like I mentioned before, it does have a pretty nasty magic attack that will catch the back end unawares and often without defence. However, the Equaliser battle condition in this case is double edged sword... it really boosts the Coral Wraith's health... but it also means that the rear end of the enemy team isn't going to be as squishy.
Finally, the healer and armour buffer in the Crustacean King. This guy will provide some extra survivability to the meat shields at the front... but I have placed him completely in the rear as I am hoping that the damage dealing monsters in the middle are more important than the healing from this guy!
At first glance, I'm not sure if I can win this... the enemy team looks pretty decent in terms of levels... but I do have the advantage of heavier damage ability, even with the Magic debuff from the other team. It will all hinge upon the two meat shields at the front and how long they can last!
The enemy Flesh Golem with the Void ability and the triple heal (self and from the Wood Nymph and Khmer Princess) is going to be a tough nut to crack... it is clear that this is going to be a race between the Coral Wraith and the enemy Dragonling Bowman to try and crack the last position. However, I have made the right decision to NOT have the sneak monster in the back line. As soon as the Dragonling Bowman goes down, I will be safe in the rear... and that is a race that I will definitely win, as the Magic attack will take down the enemy faster than breaking my Crustacean King's armour first.
Surprisingly, I finished the round with the Albatross in barely worse condition than the enemy Flesh Golem! That was unexpected... so, roughly equal in the front... and definitely going to win in the rear. More importantly, the splash damage from the Ruler of the Seas is also hurting the second position Mushroom Seer!
At the end of this round, it is clear that it is going to be a race between the attacks on the front from the enemy versus the attacks on the back (and splash damage) from me. The enemy Flesh Golem is impossible to knock over, and my meat shields are losing health fast. However, the second position enemy Mushroom Seer and rear position Dragonling Bowman as taking enough damage to hopefully take them out of the fight before I lose both meat shields.
The end of this round brings the loss of my first meat shield... at this point, I'm doubting whether or not I will have enough firepower to bring down the enemy Flesh Golem... it is still some distance that I have to cover before I can take out the enemy Wood Nymph and the Khmer Princess healers... although, if the Mushroom Seer goes down, then I will regain my Magic buff and the tide might turn quickly from there!
Okay... I think I can last two more rounds, at which I will have destroyed the Dragonling Bowman AND the Mushroom Seer. That will mean that I will start attacking the enemy healers which "should" put a dent in the absolute invulnerability of that Flesh Golem!
This should be the turning point... the Mushroom Seer (and Dragonling Bowman) goes down and I'm firing Magic at full potential! Now, I am causing some serious damage... plus taking out 4 damage from the enemy team doesn't hurt either!
Round 7 onwards
Yes... that last round did prove to be the tipping point of the battle. The enemy healers are now being targeted and will soon succumb leaving me with a crazy amount of Magic firepower to focus solely on the Flesh Golem. Even with the Void and self healing... it won't be enough! Plus, it helps that the Sea Genie gets an occasional dodge in as well... plus, I still have my Tank Healer!
This battle was definitely a nail biter... it all hinged on the Coral Wraith being able to chip away at the enemy formation from the rear (as well as the splash damage from the Ruler of the Seas...). The enemy front line tank was IMPOSSIBLE to take down without the support healers being removed first... and the only way to do that was to go around the back!
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