These days, when you play on The Elder Scrolls Legends ranked “ladder”, the current “meta” contains many decks making use of Tullius’ Conscription. This article has advice on how to counter this powerful card.
Since there were many decks played at the 2018 Master Series Tournament Finale, I believe the meta will see even more of these decks being tried by players who want to try these great decks (see my other blog post with all the decklists).
But let’s look at the card first!
Tullius’ Conscription is an epic action from the Forgotten Hero Collection that reads:
“Summon one of each creature from your deck that costs 2 or less.”
For a cost of 11 magicka, this card is usually part of control-type decks that use this card as a potential win condition. The idea of the card is basically to flood the board with loads of (cheap) creatures. Ideally ones with charge or ward. Assuming this summons 8 creatures with a power of 2 each, you get a lot of value from this card (16 power for 11 magicka distributed to many bodies). If this weren’t enough, the Conscription combined with Jarl Barlgruuf on the next turn can easily win your opponent the game, if you can’t counter it effectively.
There is one direct counter strategy for this card that I want to explain in detail in this article:
Direct Counter-Strategy – Lane Removal
A good direct counter-strategy is the use of lane removal cards. These cards basically remove all or a at least a high number of creatures in one or even multiple lanes. Most lane removal cards are designed to clear one lane. Pretty good, however, Tullius’ Conscription fills two lanes. Dang, this means you are likely to get at least one turn of damage from the creatures in both lanes (unless you have guards in place) and very likely another turn of damage from your opponent’s creatures in the second lane. If things go well for your opponent, this can likely mean 16 damage on the first turn and 8 damage on the second turn. 24 damage is a lot and you will likely not be able to counter it, if you cannot clear at least one lane or gain massive amounts of health.
One of the best cards to remove a lot of creatures on both lanes is clearly Immolating Blast, a 6 magicka action in (yellow) Willpower, that destroys all but one creature on both sides of each lane (including your own creatures). Bam! This removes all but two creatures from the Conscription, but also all but two of your own creatures.
So, if your opponent is at 11 magicka, you will likely be at 11 magicka as well and you might want to combine Immolating Blast with another 5 cost creature:
- A good (the best) card is Memory Wraith, as described in this article: How to counter Journey to Sovngarde?!, as your opponent may just be waiting to get his discard pile filled quickly and have a Journey to Sovngarde in hand as well.
- Alternatively, or if your deck doesn’t provide access to blue Intelligence cards, you might want to have a 5-cost guard in hand (e.g. Lydia – a 3/8 creature – being the best, as she guards both lanes!) or a
- 6-cost Golden Saint (an action that summons a guard in one lane, and a copy in the other lane, if you have more health than your opponent)
A good alternative in blue Intelligence is Traitor’s Flames: it deals 2 damage to all enemy creatures and has the Betray keyword, which allows you to sacrifice a creature on the board to play the same card to the other lane, effectively dealing 2 damage to all enemy creatures. This might not kill all creatures, but in combination with other cards that deal a bit of damage to many cards (e.g. Skaven Pyromancer or Fire Storm) it may just what you need to survive the Conscription.
Depending on your attribute, class or house it is good to include some of the follwing cards in your deck (and play them after Tullius’ Conscription is played – if you still can):
- Strength (red):Burn and Pillage (in an aggressive deck that has 3 or more runes destroyed prior to turn 11 => this clears one lane only).
- Unrelenting Force (if you managed to get the Shout to level 3 – unsummons all creatures in one lane, i.e. throwing back all cards to the opponent’s hand instead of discarding them – they will likely return! But maybe he holds a few more still in hand, so that any excess ing 10 will be discarded).
- Cradlecrush Giant (deals two damage to all other creatures in one lane , so not the most effective against ward creatures).
- A Wildfire Dragon for 7 magicka in combination with A Night to Remember will most likely remove a lot of the opponent’s creatures and boost the dragon as well
- Unstoppable Rage (played on a large creature, ideally with breakthrough – in this case, you want to play the large creature with breakthrough the turn before your opponent’s magicka reaches 11 or use a 4-cost creature like Bog Lurcher, with Breakthrough if you have the 12 magicka).
- Intelligence (blue):Ice Storm to deal three damage to all creatures on board (doesn’t kill warded or more powerful creatures).
- Experimental Scroll: a 1-in-3-chance random effect that’s possibly dealing 2 damage to each creature. Not recommended, really.
- Fire Storm: a Prophecy (!!) that deals 2 damage to all creatures in a lane. Oh my god, if your opponent hits the prophecy upon breaking a rune, after playing the Conscription, then please leave a comment and send me a screenshot.
- Indoril Archmage: A guard with a last gasp effect, that deals 6 damage to all enemy (only) creatures in his one lane. Since it can be silenced or played around in the other lane, it might not be too helpful, as any other guard-based strategy against Conscription-decks.
- Traitor’s Flames: Perhaps equally effective as Immolating blast. see above
- Willpower (yellow):
- Immolating Blast (see above).
- Dawn’s Wrath to clear both sides of one lane (including your own).
- A Land Devided: is an action that fills the right lane with 2/2 guards called
- Colovian Troopers. This doesn’t remove your opponent creatures, so it might be a little bit risky. The nice option with this card, is it’s offensive effect, which helps, when the card is played to the left lane. In this case, it fills the left lane with 3/1 creatures with Breakthrough. So it might be a really good option.
- Lydia, as already mentioned, is a 3/8 guard creature that protects both lanes that doesn’t remove a complete lane per se, but can also eat the good part of at least one lane after Tullius’ Conscription was played.
- Agility (green): Agility has no effective lane removal in itself. You need to rely on cards from other attributes in your deck, or combos that can help. Agility is not without defenses, however, they are not as strong as those of other attributes.
- Endurance (purple): Endurance, like Agility, has little effective lane removal tools. Guards will likely be your best hope, as well as cards from other attributes.
- Prophet of Bones: The monthly reward card from June 2018 will at least be able to summon 3 smal guard creatures that can help to slow your opponent down. Still not really super effective, but maybe better than nothing. Maybe in combination with cards that deal damage to all enemy creatures, it might be considered.
- Nahaglliv: Not a lane removal card, but these are very scarce in endurance. Hence a big dragon guard that can’t be removed by actions at least can be another possible option to slow down your opponent in one lane
- Doomcrag Vampire in combination with a second creature that deals a little bit of damage to all enemy creatures in a lane, e.g. Skaven Pyromancer.
- Neutral (grey):
- Queen Barenziah – if you have a full lane of (ideally lethal) creatures, the Queen will turn them into guards, which will destroy attacking creatures unless they have ward.
- Red Bramman to silence and shackle all creatures in one lane (with A Night to Remember it is really sweet, although it only slows your opponent down).
- Sorcerer lane removal-combos:
- Tribunal Temple
- Power of the Almsivi: This action will set health and power of all creatures to 1. In combo with Fire Storm it might be pretty neat to also convert ward creatures into very small threats. A theoretical side-note: There is an interesting option, if you have a Silent Pilgrim in your deck and the only multicolor card you are running is the Power of the Almsivi, it’s a safe draw after a Conscription. Having more Spellsword class cards, like Edict of Azura, Emperor’s Blade and General Tullius in the deck, might actually be giving you additional options to survive Tullius’ Conscription.
A new card introduced with the Frostspark Collection is Piercing Twilight. This 4/4 creature will allow you to banish Tullius’ Conscription from your opponent’s discard pile and deck, if it is at least once in your opponent’s discard pile. Basically, Piercing Twilight can remove the first Tullius’ Conscription your opponent has played once from the discard pile and every other copy still in your opponent’s draw deck. Note, this does not remove any other copies, your opponent might have in hand, but it’s still an effective removal effect, after lane removal has made you survive the first play of Conscription.
To summarize, Willpower and Intelligence (and hence Mage and Tribunal Temple) contain the best cards to counter a Tullius’ Conscription. Spellsword definitely gives you a few good options. As your opponent is likely running 3 Conscriptions, I strongly recommend to include a few copies of various lane removal cards, in particular during the current meta, if you are playing a mid-range or control deck. Hope this will help to counter Conscription decks effectively.
If you like this article or have any other ideas or thoughts, I would really like to learn about them in the comment section below.