How to counter Journey to Sovngarde?!
When you play on The Elder Scrolls Legends ranked “ladder”, these days, the current “meta” contains many decks making use of Journey to Sovngarde. This article tells you how to play around it!
Let’s look at the card first!
Journey to Sovngarde is a unique action that reads: “Shuffle all creatures from your discard pile into your deck, and give them +5/ +5.” Basically that means – the bigger your discard pile, the better. Even very small creatures will turn into huge threats, as they get +5/ +5 on their statistics.
There is one direct counter strategy. Let’s look at this first.
A good direct counter-strategy is the use of Memory Wraith, an epic Spirit from the Return to Clockwork City story expansion. Not only does the 5/5 body present a decent creature for the cost of 5 magicka but it also has a very neat summon-effect.
Memory Wraith banishes (=removes) your opponent’s discard pile. In effect, Journey to Sovngarde is useless, when your opponent has no cards in their discard pile.
“Male Intuition” – or how to “smell a Journey” is coming up…
So Memory Wraiths is a good idea to have in your deck. But what to do if you don’t run the blue Intelligence attribute in your deck? Can you somehow notice a Journey to Sovngarde is coming, even before it is played? Well, there are some potential indications. So let’s try to understand how players use Journey to Sovngarde as a win condition in their decks.
The Card Draw Engine
Usually, players relying on Journey to Sovngarde have a card draw engine to cycle through their deck very, very quickly. The fastest “Journey”-cycle-deck I have seen so far is Petamax Abomination (the link shows a version from Warrior7, Petamax’ original deck is here). This deck manages to cycle it’s cards if all goes well by turn #10; the idea is to then play Journey and have all cards return as bigger threats. The engine relies on Disciple of Namira and Thieves Guild Fence in combination with many, many cheap cards that draw more cards. It is one of the most unique decks in all of Elder Scrolls Legends. You can see the deck in action on Warrior7’s YouTube channel:
Stopping the Card Draw Engine
A counter strategy to a card draw engine is to use hard removal or to use Silence effects, i.e. cards that immediately destroy the card draw engine from functioning.
Depending on your attribute, class or house it is good to include some of the follwing cards in your deck (and play them on Disciple of Namira):
- Strength (red): Bone Bow, Hlaalu Sharpshooter, a Quicksilver Crossbow (on a lethal creature), Stone Throw (if you have a bigger body in play), Earthbone Spinner, Burn and Pillage (if you have 3 runes destroyed), etc.
- Intelligence (blue) : 2 Firebolts, Reverberating Strike, Dres Tormentor and a Shackle Effect, Lightning Bolt, Ice Storm, etc.
- Willpower (yellow) : “Cloudrest Illusionist & Execute-“Combo, “Cloudrest Illusionist & Sweetroll”-Combo, Devour, Javelin, Cast Into Time (this is the best one, as it also banishes all copies of the card from the opponent’s deck)
- Agility (green): A ping with Finish Off or Leaflurker,
- Endurance (purple): Mummify, Shadowfen Deathpriest
- Neutral (grey): Crushing Blow
- Classes and Houses Cards (multi-color): Sorcerer’s Negation, Edict of Azura, Allena Benoch, Red Bramman.
Since Journey to Sovngarde can only be played with 7 magicka, an Aggro deck that wins before turn 7 is a certainly a good counter-strategy, too.
With the inclusion of a Whitered-Hand Cultist (epic Strength card), who increases the cost of all actions by two magicka, will also your be one of your best friends against Journey-based decks.