Card Draw #1: The Basics, the First Draw and the Mulligans

In a series of articles we will be looking at an extremely important topic in The Elder Scrolls Legends: Card Draw. It is an important concept in most card games and the best TESL players understand this while it can be a bit of a struggle for newer players to the game, but even also to good long-time players. So let’s look at when card draw can be important – I am pretty sure the following might be familiar to some of us:

  • Aggro decks: Assume, you are playing an Aggro deck and are about to run out of bodies, because your opponent has “jucier” creatures to control the board? You should probably have played a card providing more draw in the previous turn(s).
  • Mid-range decks: You are on a mid-range strategy and need that weapon for the last little bit of damage to finish-off your opponent? Well, if there only had been a little bit more card draw in the deck…
  • Control decks: For the past seven turns you have successfully removed all your opponents threats, but now he has played that beefy creature to finish you off, but you have nothing to deal with it? Bad luck, maybe some additional card draw could have been helpful…
  • Combo decks: You are controlling the board now for 16 turns but are still missing a piece of your one-turn kill combo? Damn, you are just getting the final swing to your face and see the Defeat animation again… Guess, there wasn’t enough card draw options in your deck…

So let’s make one thing clear:

Card draw is your friend!

…in any and every deck, no matter the strategy.

Here is a great tool that helps to calculate card draw probabilities: Please check it out, it is really useful.

Deck Tech – The Importance of the First Draw and the Mulligan-Challenge

In The Elder Scrolls Legends, each player gets presented three cards just before the game starts. You can keep these three cards or decide to throw any number of these three cards back into your deck. Those will then be randomly shuffled back into your draw deck and replenished with the next card(s) from the top, so that you end up with three cards again. The game will start.

Let’s assume your want to play an Goblin aggro deck, as described in the Goblin Archer In-Depth Guide. In this deck, you want to draw as many Goblins of your Goblin Armada as possible. As you have the ring, let’s assume the opening hand of your dreams would include a Murkwater Butcher or a Goblin Skulk. The Skulk lets you pull more 0-cost Goblins from your deck, and the Butcher is just such great value in an opening hand.

As you are running a 50 card deck, the probability is 32.43% to draw any of these six. Let’s assume you want them really badly, and you will throw back everything, unless you get a Murkwater Butcher or a Goblin Skulk. So you mulligan back all three cards, to get another three cards – and this time your probability is 34.25% that you get either of the six cards. Combined, this provides a 55.58% probability to get a Butcher or a Skulk, if you always mulligan all your cards.  Not bad, I’d say. Your chances will never be as good as now!

The following table shows the probabilities to draw any of six target cards in your opening hand with a 50-card deck and also with a 75-card deck. I don’t know about you, but sometimes, I think: “Ah, it’s not my dream hand, but there is something decent for another turn, and I keep a different card. And so, I mulligan only two cards, but this reduces the probabilities pretty significantly. So probably, I should just be stubborn and keep going for any of the 6 that are in my dream team…

6 Target Cards50-card Deck75-card Deck
Opening Hand32.43%22.41%
Mulligan - 1 card only12.77%8.33%
Mulligan - 2 cards24.14%16.08%
Mulligan - all 3 cards34.26%23.27%

Or, maybe, when constructing my deck, I should have more than 6 cards I would dream of having in my opening hand. Maybe I should have 9 dream cards!? Let’s see what this would do to the probabilities for the opening hand.

9 Target Cards50-card Deck75-card Deck
Opening Hand45.61%32.23%
Mulligan - 1 card only19.15%12.5%
Mulligan - 2 cards34.97%23.59%
Mulligan - all 3 cards47.97%33.42%

Okay, now that looks a lot better… So, let’s see, what are maybe some other zero- to two-cost cards, that I could be including in our deck? Ideally maybe some, that provide additional card draw. And, indeed, these are very important to have.

More details in the next episodes of this article series: Card Draw #2: Card Draw Options in the Neutral Attribute.



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