Need suggestions on how to make this faster

Preface this - Please don’t suggest to OPs for replacements. I already know I can put all these troops behind three of my OPs who are fully traited and then have them do most of the damage which sorta defeats the purpose of what i am trying to do.

I want to work within the event options and see how I can make this team faster or smoother

Doing the Elf thing/Zhul; LOVE THIS (Wish we had 5 slots for team then I know exactly what I would do)
However we only have 4 slots and I love how brutal this team gets when it works.

The Silvermaiden (Fully traited 20th level)
Reaver (Fully traited 20th level)
Dark Maiden (Fully traited 20th level)
ShadowBlade (First trait / 19th level)

Bonuses on team
Elf General +1 Attack / + 1 Magic
Duke of Spiders +4 Life / + 1 Magic
Using Horned Banner to help Dark Maiden

While I adore Silvermaiden I need to replace her because of her mana cost to get up and all it does is HOLD (I don’t cast until I really need to if at all) but nothing I have in my elf world has either 80+ points between shield/life and has 40% off skull damage. I have looked over almost all the elves,and troops from Zhul - Tried Giant Spider but skull damage for the level I am playing at now is just horrific. I can’t avoid PVP since I need to get trophies for guild reqs, and most teams now have one Skull maker who can wipe out my team if I don’t have a huge brick in front

Reaver is my primary if I cant get Shadowblade up with mana and 13 purple on the boards (which I am successful about 40% of the time)

If I go outside the elf/zhul I looked into the following fully traited 20th
Griffon Knight (since he can make yellow and that would be a bonus for Dark Maiden)

I have played with Gorgon, Desert Mantis, Golem (all using colors that I am not using except red)