Most MTG fans have a special relationship with Chandra Nalaar, a fire mage whose passionate inner world often leads to an impulsive behaviour that no authority can ever hope to reign in. Her stereotypical portrayal in the MTG novel War of the Sparks led to significant outrage within the community, as well as an official apology from the author. Fortunately, Netmarble’s development team stay true to her nature in Magic: ManaStrike.
In this guide, we’d like to focus on how you can use Chandra to become a successful player in ManaStrike. If you find Ajani’s playstyle to be more to your liking or you want to switch things up and experiment with the melee offensive, you can go ahead and jump to our guide to the cat warrior. He, too, can be extremely fun to play, although not as scorching as the human mage.
One of the best things about this game is that it allows you to switch Planeswalkers at your leisure, without fear of losing your rank straight away. The individual mastery system guarantees that, for the first several games with a hero you’ve never played before, your losses won’t count as much towards your rank. Naturally, if you win a lot, you’ll skip over the Beginner and Challenger decorations quite fast. Pro tip: we’ve been using this mechanic to ensure we don’t lose too many points when getting close to Rank 5.
On an individual level, Chandra is considered to be a fairly strong deck leader in ManaStrike. Let’s look at some of her strengths and weaknesses.
- Deadly 6-meter range attack that dispenses with weak units before they get to her.
- Awesome line-skill that can damage endless enemies if placed appropriately. The width of her Fire Phoenix is big enough for it no to be an extreme skill-shot, but small enough to count if you miss even one enemy.
- Strong active skill in the form of Chandra’s Fury. She’ll jump to a nearby location, inflict no less than 369 damage and push everyone back. Very useful when defending.
- At an attack speed of 1.4 seconds, she can feel lacklustre in an emergency situation.
- With a total HP of just 1,143, she’s squishier than most other Planeswalkers.
Like Jace, Ajani, Liliana, and Nissa, Chandra is specialized in one type of magic only (red). Although this does fit in with the character from a role-play perspective, it will limit your choice of cards quite a bit. As such, you’ll want to level up a few strong neutral summons and/or spells to complement your elemental deck.
Ideal Deck Line-Up
Speaking of your deck, you’ll want to ensure that your active line-up of cards plays to Chandra’s strengths while addressing her weaknesses as much as possible. What does this mean? Well, you should include:
- Strong front-line units that can take a beating and allow her to stay away from the battle.
- Durable defenders that prevent monsters from crossing easily on your side of the arena.
Although we haven’t played much with the dancing fire-mage, we’ve managed to win or tie every single game since we switched to her.
Here are the line-ups we’ve been using:
- Shivan Dragon, Howling Golem, Ashcloud Phoenix, Swashbuckler, Haunted Guardian, Electrostatic Pummeler, and Clockwork Beetle. Since we’re not Rank 5 just yet, we’re missing Star of Extinction and Inferno Giant. The latter is a must-have once you ding, so don’t forget to include him.
- Alternatively, you can switch out the Pummeler for a Vent Sentinel, which is an exceptional defence option that will aggro structure-only mobs.
The Dragon (lucky drop) might be an overkill with the Howling Golem in the same party, so you can easily switch the latter with the Sentinel once you get it. We’d keep the Phoenix and Beetles/Swashbuckler, though, as they provide excellent air control with very little mana. As usual, the Haunted Guardian does the heavy lifting when a bit of brawn is needed.
We’ve been flirting with the Furyblade Vampire quite a bit, but to no avail. You might have more success with the Hellrider and Hedron Scouts, if they’re upgraded. If you do have the Shivan beauty, make sure to spawn him as far back as possible to maximize the attack gain from his Static Ability.
Naturally, other Chandras will not be easy to overcome, as they will use your very own weapons against you. Without the Pummeler or Sentinel, you’ll lack AoE damage, which will make you susceptible to swarms of summons. If our games are any indication, the current meta seems to be driving towards amassing as many units as possible before crossing into enemy territory.
The strategy does make sense as it often enables your stronger monsters to survive for longer by giving some cannon fodder to the enemy towers and guardians. You’ll want to pay special attention to any Jace opponents, though. Control-based decks built around Wavecrash Triton and Icefall Dragon often lead to a slow and painful death.
Because of her summoning potential, you want to make sure that you hit as many opponents as possible when you put her down. This will require some timing on your part, but, if done correctly, you can do an upwards of 1,000 damage and put in another good hit on a tower. Don’t be afraid to use those Phoenixes in the back line. With a bit of support, you can easily amass a little army of 3 flying birds, to the despair of your opponent.
Rise from the Ashes with BlueStacks
Although the devs from Netmarble made it possible to switch in-between Planewalkers without much difficulty, we advise you pick one, maybe two and stick with them. The more experience you get while playing with a certain hero, the more adept you become at identifying winning strategies and pressure situations within a match.
Lastly, don’t forget to play Magic: ManaStrike on BlueStacks. In a game where every second of your arena encounter can turn the tide of the battle, you can’t afford to experience lag or an intermittent Internet connection. The emulator’s performance will guarantee a smooth gameplay every single time.
With these tips, you are now ready to dominate the leaderboards with your Chandra. Even if we’re fond of Ajani, we can’t help but queue with the fire mage from time to time. If nothing else, she’s amazing at disrupting other peoples’ battle plans.