BATTLE MAGE SECRETS Counterspell: No Magic tricks, just Sneakily Crippling

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Ahoy fellow Splinterlands players, it is time for another Battle Mage Secrets post this week!

During this week's challenge the featured ruleset is Counterspell. With this rule all the Monsters get the Magic Reflect ability.

You can recognise that ruleset with the following icon.

When this ruleset is active it's not a great idea to play Magic Monsters because whenever they deal damage they'll take damage back. Of course in some situations you can still play them, you just have to be mindful of the damage they take. Magic Monsters with the Void ability could be nice as they will take less damage from the Magic Reflect. Sometimes I also like to bring Queen Mycelia just to add the Amplify, usually making sure I have either Thorns or Return Fire somewhere in my lineup too then. In one of my battles with this ability I actually used Kron the Undying despite the Magic Reflect, but that's because he can heal himself.

I was deciding between sharing that battle or one from the "NFTy Arcade Presents: The Harbinger Open" Tournament which was a Gold League level Wild Gladiator Open Tournament. That tournament meant that we could play Gladiators and it was a Ghost card tournament so ALL the cards were available to play at max Gold League level!

I've had a lot of fun in that tournament being able to play some cards that I don't own and also for the ones I do own a lot of the Wild cards could be played at higher levels. So I would like to share a battle from that tournament where I had this featured ruleset. This battle was against aubryd.

Here is a picture of our initial lineup.


Battle Rules

This was a battle that had a 34 Mana Cap where only Life and Death elements were available. The battle had 3 rulesets.

  • Tis but Scratches: All Monsters have the Cripple ability.
  • Counterspell: All Monsters have the Magic Reflect ability.
  • Holy Protection: All Monsters have the Divine Shield ability.

Here is a link to the battle if you would like to check it out

Battle Lineup

As mentioned with this ruleset it's not advised to play Monsters with Magic attack, but of course still doable. That means there is a high chance my opponent would focus more on Melee and/or Ranged attackers.

With this in mind and only 2 available elements there weren't as many choices. I wanted to go with a team where I could deal with possible Ranged attacks and have protection against Melee attacks too. That's why I decided to go with Peakrider as my summoner. Debuffing the enemy team with -1 to all their Ranged attacks and providing my team with +3 Armor.

Then I chose Lord Arianthus as my tank. It has Shield to reduce damage from Melee and Ranged attacks, it has Void and Magic Reflect in case of some Magic attackers and then it also has Thorns to deal damage back to enemy Melee attackers in the front line. Up next I have Chain Golem with also the Shield and Void abilities. This one doesn't have Magic Reflect by itself but gets it from the ruleset. It also has 4 Melee attack and the Piercing ability so I found it a solid 2nd tank in case Lord Arianthus dies.

With the team I had in mind I wanted to focus on fast Sneak attacks, using the Cripple ability from the ruleset and combining that with some Sneak attackers that have the Poison ability too. This could allow the opponents Monsters max health to drop from the Cripple ability and then if they're Poisoned that could help kill them faster. Especially if there would be Monsters with the Shield ability.

My first choice for a Monster with Sneak in this lineup was Stitch Leech. It has Sneak and Life Leech so when it hits against the opponents Monster's health it will Life Leech. That's why I placed it after the Chain Golem as a potential additional tank if it manages to Life Leech a few times.

The second choice was Silvershield Assassin. This Monster has Sneak, Double Strike and Poison. This allows it to attack twice and thus also Crippling the opponents max health twice. With two chances per turn to apply Poison! As third choice I used Uraeus also with the Sneak and Poison abilities, but without Double Strike. This means I now have 3 chances per turn to apply Poison.

My last choice in the team was Feral Spirit. This Monster has the highest Speed in my team and also the Sneak ability. It allows this one to attack first before anything else on my team and get rid of that Divine Shield provided from the Holy Protection ruleset. With its high Speed there is also a decent chance that it can dodge incoming attacks, which makes it pretty alright in the backline. The +3 Armor from Peakrider also gives it some protection in case it doesn't dodge an attack.

Battle Analysis

My opponent decided to use Ilthain to provide Return Fire to all of their monsters so they would all have Return Fire and Magic Reflect. Then they have a Dax Paragon in their team with Magic attack that has Amplify to increased the returned damage. Since only Life and Death were available I did think there was a solid chance to see Ilthain being played so I chose not to bring any Ranged attack Monsters. Seems that was a good idea.

During the first round all my Sneak Monsters attack the Shieldbearer because of its Taunt ability. They reduce the max health but aren't dealing damage yet as they have to go through the Armor first. Silvershield Assassin applies the Poison to it, but this gets cleansed by the Gladiator Sola Ranjell that my opponent brought. That was definitely a great pick from them!

All of my opponents attacks go against Lord Arianthus, who helps take away the Divine Shield on many of them except for the Corsair Bosun because it has Reflection Shield so the Thorns did nothing against him.

In Round 2 my Lord Arianthus dies. All of my Sneak attack Monsters are required to finally take out my opponents Shieldbearer. My Chain Golem is now in the front and already losing some of its max health from Cripple.


During round 3 most of my Sneak Monsters are required to take out the Cave Slug. Once it goes down my Stitch Leech still gets to attack against Sola Ranjell. Throughout this round my Chain Golem manages to tank really well. It gets is max health reduced through Cripple but isn't taking any health damage thanks to the Void ability. The Corsair Bosun's damage is still hitting Chain Golem's Armor.

In Round 4 my Sneak Monsters take out Sola Ranjell and Armorsmith. Dax Paragon attacks my Chain Golem and with the Magic Reflect its health goes down to 3 and then dies when my Stitch Leech attacks it.

At the start of Round 5 my Chain Golem has been crippled so much that its max health is now 1 and its Armor is also gone because of Corsair Bosun's attacks.


It's almost all of my Monsters up against the Corsair Bosun now. Corsair Bosun does attack before my Silvershield Assassin so it does finally take out my Chain Golem right before the battle ends.


Did My Strategy Work?

Yeah my strategy worked quite well! The Poison didn't do much because I hit it against the Taunt unit who was then Cleansed. But the combination of my Sneak attack Monsters with the Cripple worked really well. The -1 Ranged debuff from Peakrider was useless because my opponent didn't bring any Ranged attackers. The +3 Armor he provided was very useful though!

My high expectation of playing against Ilthain was correct so I made a great choice of not using any Ranged Monsters either. The focus on Monsters with Sneak attacks with two very solid tanks was a great pick.


My lineup choices for this battle were really great and I had a good prediction that my opponent might be using Ilthain. There is nothing I would have wanted to do differently in this lineup.

My opponent also had a great lineup! The Shieldbearer with Taunt up front, Armorsmith in the back to repair its Armor and Sola Ranjell with Cleanse was a strong frontline! Cleansing the Poison that I brought. If not for the Cripple ability then that combination would have been much tougher for me to deal with!

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

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