BATTLE MAGE SECRETS Close Range: Drybone Raider vs Zyriel's Army of Death (and Water?!)

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Ahoy fellow Splinterlands players, welcome to my latest Battle Mage Secrets post.

This week the featured ruleset is Close Range. When this ruleset is active all Ranged attackers can be used in the first position. Which allows you to use way more Ranged attackers than usual as otherwise they can't attack from the first position. Unless they have the ability Close Range and there aren't a lot of Ranged attackers that have that ability. So this ruleset allows for some interesting plays.

You can recognise the ruleset with this icon.

The battle I want to share this week is from the Gauntlet Wild Bronze GF Invitational Tournament. This battle was against the player untamable.

Here is a picture of our initial lineup.


Battle Rules

This battle had a 25 Mana Cap. Almost all the Elements could be used, only the Fire Element was unable to be used here. The battle had 3 rulesets which were:

  • What Doesn’t Kill You: All Monsters have the Enrage ability.
  • Silenced Summoners: Summoners do not give any stat buffs or debuffs or grant/use any abilities.
  • Close Range: Ranged attacks may be used in the first position in battles.

Here is a link to the battle if you want to check it out:

Battle Lineup

Looking at this combo of rulesets of Enrage and Close Range it seems like a quite smart idea to use a Monster that has dual attack of Ranged+Melee. As it'll be able to use that Ranged attack in the first position and when it takes damage its Melee attack will be stronger too.

It's Silenced Summoners so no Divine Shield from Lorna Shine, but I don't have any other Gold Foil 3 Mana summoners for Life or Dragon so she was my best pick for lowest Mana usage.

The Soulbound Reward cards that we currently get has a fantastic one for that being the Drybone Raider. It's a Legendary though, but I have been quite lucky to pull that one as a Gold Foil sometime! It was just 1 bcx so was also partially unlucky but yeah was still happy when I pulled that one a while ago! Ideal to use here then as it's a Gold Foil only Tournament.

The drawback of the Drybone Raider is the 12 Mana Cost, but it makes sense with these stats especially because of the Double Strike ability!

I'm throwing Venari Marksrat in the front so it can give me a Martyr buff to get Drybone Raider's stats up.

Then I of course have Drybone Raider next in my lineup otherwise she can't get the Martyr buffs.

After that I have Venari Crystalsmith for the Tank Heal.

I'm almost out of Mana now, but still have enough for Baby Unicorn. The reason I'm picking this one is that Drybone Raider has 7 Health at level 1. I want to bring her up to 9 Health so she can get healed for 3 Health per turn. The Strengthen ability from Baby Unicorn will bring Drybone Raider to 8 Health and then the Martyr buff will bring it to 9.

Last pick I bring Furious Chicken to tank a potential Sneak or Opportunity hit.

Battle Analysis

My opponent is using one of the new Dual Element Summoners from Rebellion! Zeddica allows you to use cards from the Water and Death Elements (and of course Neutral as well). Apparently this also works under the Silenced Summoner ruleset because it's not a Summoner ability. It's just that the Summoner itself is of 2 Elements so it seems to work in this ruleset.

They're using a lot of Weapons Training which is quite smart.

Up front they have Daigendark Surveyor with Magic Reflect that gets 1 Magic attack from Moxian Rebel.

Moxial Rebel also provides that 1 Magic attack to the 3rd card which is the Ahna-Chei Botanist, another smart pick card as it has Return Fire!

Seems like my opponent has a Gold Foil Zyriel!!! :O Who has 3 Ranged attack at level 1 and this Weapons Training provides it to the cards to her left and right that have no attack by themselves. So yeah that is a strong and smart play here with this ruleset! She also has Life Leech which is a sweet combo with Close Range!

Zyriel provides her 3 Ranged attack to that Ahna-Chei Botanist and also to Riftwing.

Last but not least my opponent brought Crustacean King with the Tank Heal ability. Which can really work well if Zyriel gets her Health up.

Round 1

Ahna-Chei Botanist has the highest speed so it goes first. With that 1 Magic and 3 Ranged it immediately kills my Venari Marksrat. Which gives the Martyr buff to my Drybone Raider.
Drybone Raider now gains +1 to all stats so becomes 2 Ranged and 3 Melee damage.

Quick screenshot of that Martyr buff being applied.


Riftwing is still faster so it attacks now and deals 3 damage to my Drybone Raider's Armor.
Daigendark Surveyor is a Magic attacker so can still go before Drybone Raider and hits her Health, triggering the Enrage.
This brings Drybone Raider to 2 Ranged and 5 Melee attack now. She uses the Ranged and the Melee attacks to kill Daigendark Surveyor.
Then Double Strike triggers, so she uses her Ranged attack to break the Armor on Moxian Rebel and then her Melee attack to kill Moxian Rebel. That's a double kill for my Drybone Raider this round!
Venari Crystalsmith heals Drybone Raider back to full health, which causes her to lose the Enrage status.
Zyriel hits that last Armor on Drybone Raider, and because she hits the Armor instead of the Health she can't Life Leech.
Crustacean King hits Drybone Raider for 1 damage to her Health, triggering Enrage again.

Here is a screenshot of the lineup now that this round is over.


Round 2

Drybone Raider can go first now because Crustacean King ended up triggering Enrage on her again at the end of round 1.
So Drybone Raider uses her Ranged attack and Melee attack to kill the Ahna-Chei Botanist. She did take 1 damage here from the Return Fire.
Then Double Strike goes to allow her another Ranged attack and Melee attack combo to kill Zyriel!
Riftwing now attacks Drybone Raider for 3 damage.
Venari Crystalsmith heals Drybone Raider for 3 Health. She also tries to attack Riftwing but misses.
Crustacean King tries to attack Drybone Raider but also misses.

That's the end of round 2. Here is a picture of how our lineups look now.


Round 3

Drybone Raider misses the first Ranged and Melee attacks on Riftwing just because of the Flying ability that gives 25% chance to miss.
Double Strike triggers and she hits her Ranged attack this time. Which triggers Enrage on the Riftwing making its speed go to 6. Now it's also faster than me so my chance to hit it decreases a bit more. Her Melee attack on this Double Strike does hit as well though! So that's 7 damage to it this round.
For Drybone Raider it's now 10% chance to miss Riftwing because of the Speed difference and another 25% because of the Flying ability.
Riftwing hits Drybone Raider for 3 damage.
Venari Crystalsmith heals Drybone Raider for 3 health, tries to attack Riftwing but misses.
Crustacean King heals Riftwing for 3 health, tries to attack Drybone Raider but misses.

That's the end of that round this is how our lineups look now.


Round 4

This round starts differently as Riftwing now has the higher Speed so it goes first to attack Drybone Raider.
Drybone Raider hits her Ranged attack and her Melee attack from the first set of attacks and that's exactly enough damage to kill the Riftwing!
Which means her Dual Strike still has to trigger and with the Ranged attack from that she destroys Crustacean King's Armor and then her Melee hit kills the Crustacean King!

Was My Strategy Successful?

I loved trying to go for this strategy, it was a great combo of rulesets with Enrage and Close Range that I just had to try out the Drybone Barbarian here! The Martyr buff to make her stronger and then the Baby Unicorn in the back were great decisions to make her stronger and be able to get healed for 3 health per turn.
This worked out really well!
It could've potentially been interesting against the Riftwing if some more misses would've happened it could've been dragged on for a while.


My opponent had a really interesting team there! The Moxian Rebel and Zyriel for Weapons Training were really great! Especially the Zyriel because of the Close Range ruleset was a great play to give that Weapons Training to Riftwing!
It became quite interesting with the Riftwing there because my first hit against it would trigger Enrage making its Speed go higher than mine. Pairing that extra Speed from Enrage with the Flying ability makes it harder to hit it.
Luckily the Speed only went up to 6 and my Drybone Raider had 5 Speed so that difference was only 10%.
It was an interesting battle!

That's it for my Battle Mage Secrets challenge this week. Thank you for reading!

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