Splinterlands Journal: The Allure Of The Spineback Wolf
I'll be honest, I wouldn't exactly say that the use of the Spineback Wolf has actually helped my game competitiveness perse.
That said, I still regularly find myself adding him to most teams regardless because of the various positive attributes I usually wish to take advantage of.
The high speed of 6 allows for SW to serve as a fast-attacking, relatively high-damaging melee monster who almost perfectly serves as an attacking 2nd position monster. It goes without saying Reach is an essential characteristic for this position. Likewise, the thorns provides an excellent wear and tear capacity for more vulnerable melee opponents.
I think the one area in which I often find SW struggling in is in its susceptibility to magic attacks and blast attacks.
Unfortunately these are becoming far more frequently used with the addition of several new monsters. Because magic blast damage can cut below the armor, it doesn't take much to eat away at SW.
For 5 mana, SW honestly isn't a bad monster to use - just one that situational at best.