Card Draw #2: Card Draw Options in the Neutral Attribute
In a series of articles we will be looking at an extremely important topic in The Elder Scrolls Legends: Card Draw. After having had a look at the basics, the first draw and the mulligan, we are now looking at a few options on how to improve the card draw in our deck. We will look at the options by Attribute, to have a good reference point for deckbuilding. We will also be looking at Card Draw Engines, which will help you to consistently cycle through the cards of your deck. But let’s start with individual Neutral (Grey) cards, first.
The epic 1-cost Mudcrab Merchant is a 1/2 animal (Mudcrab) from the Houses of Morrowind expansion, that provides a very unique, random card draw effect: When summoned, the Mudcrab Merchant shows you two random cards – you can pick one and put it into your hand, while the second one is put into your opponent’s hand. While the 1/2 mudcrab may not be the strongest fighter, the card draw effect can be substantially more valuable: depending on the progress of the game at which you trigger the summon effect, you might be presented with a rather high-value card. For the cost of 1 magicka, this can be a very powerful effect. It is, however, a random effect, so it’s not providing a reliable draw, but can still be a good draw. The random effect, might be desirable in Unite-the-Houses decks, so in this archetype, the Mudcrab Merchant is certainly a good card to consider, when building your deck.
Dwemer Puzzle Box
The 2-cost Dwemer Puzzle Box is a rare support card from the Houses of Morrowind (HoM) expansion, that let’s you discard the top card of the deck and draws a card as a Last Gasp ability. The card has currently not really seen a lot of use, as it simply discards a card (unseen) and draws a card after three times. It can also be useful in combination with Falkreath Defiler who summons a creature from your discard pile. Plus, there might be some synergy with Galyn The Shelterer played on Yagrum Bagarn (a unique legendary from HoM).
The 2-cost, epic Forsworn Looter from the Heroes of Skyrim (HoS) expansion is a 1/1 creature with an interesting Pilfer ability. The Reachman’s ability will draw a random item from your deck, with cost, equal to Forsworn Looter’s power. This little fellow is perhaps one of the most underrated draw cards. When it Pilfers, it draws me an item from the deck, that I can equip onto the Looter and next time he Pilfers, I get a more powerful item. Super-interesting. Also a great card in combination with Thieves’ Den which gives creatures +1/+1 if they Pilfer. Ideally, you’d put Thieves’ Den in turn 4, and play the Looter at 5 (or 7) magicka, followed by a Quicksilver Crossbow from hand (pinging your opponent’s face). By using the Quicksilver Crossbow, the Reachman will circumvent any guard creatures and draw a 2-cost item from your deck (or a 3-cost item with Thieves’ Den in play – maybe you’d like a Treasure Map?). If you have a Haafingar Marauder in game, and break a rune with him, the Reachman evens equips another item. Nice idea for a Hlaalu deck, maybe…
The 2-cost Spider Worker is a 0/1 Dwemer card from the Core Set with Prophecy, that is a possible inclusion in Dwemer decks. It draws a card, when summoned. It is a cheap draw card and in combination with one or two Thieves Guild Fence the Spider Worker is part of a full deck card cycle package, which we will discuss in a separate article.
The 3-cost Silent Pilgrim from HoW is a 1/1 rare Dark Elf who draws you a random multi-attribute card from your deck. Assume you had only a particular copy that you needed for a combo, you could use the Pilgrim to increase the probabilities of drawing them. Alternatively, include “allrounder” multi-color cards for a specific purpose, e.g. removal, and the Pilgrim might just help you draw that removal tool you needed…
The 3-cost Treasure Map item can be equipped to a creature, where it provides +1/+1 and draws a card. If, however, the wielder has Treasure Hunt, then, the wielder draws something they are hunting for instead. Assume you had only one thing of something you needed desperately in your deck. Here might be a way to fish it out. Could be used with synergy on a Ruin Archaeologist, a Ratway Prospector, a Relic Hunter, Aldora the Daring, or a Ruthless Freebooter, for example. Of course, any other card with Treasure Hunt, too.
The 3-cost Yagrum Bagarn is a 2/4 Dwemer that draws a Dwemer from your Discard pile and gives it +2/+2. A nice option for dwemer decks and certain combo decks. Particularly amazing, if you get to play Galyn the Shelterer to shuffle a few more Yagrum’s into your deck, which can create a few big dwemer monstrosities. Best combined with Halls of the Dwemer and other neutral Dwemer cards.
The 4-cost Greybeard Mentor is a 2/2 Nord with a summon effect, that let’s you draw a random Shout from your deck. This card is part of the so called Shout package, which includes a Word Wall, a (set of) Shouts, a Night to Remember and sometimes Paarthunax. Note, there is some synergy to Ulfric Stormcloak as well. Ulfric draws a Nord, when a shout is played, and why not the Greybeard, who will then draw another shout? Nice…
Knife to the Throat
The 4-cost action Knife to the Throat silences a creature and draws a card. It does not see a lot of play, although it might be useful as an additional card draw option in self-silencing decks.
The 4-cost Merchant’s Camel is a 1/4 Beast from the Madhouse Collection that let’s you pick one of the top three cards of your deck to be put into your hand, while the other 2 cards you have been looking at will be discarded. The Camel is a great tool when you are looking for a particular card to help you out. It also helps cycling through the deck and is oftentimes included into decks with Journey of Sovngarde or combo decks, to search for a particular piece of the combo.
The 4-cost support Namira’s Shrine works as a card draw engine. Whenever you have played three cards on your turn, it draws you a card. We will look at the shrine in more depth when we look at Card Draw Engines.
The 5-cost Gristlehide Dreugh is a 3/5 Dreugh that draws a card when it takes damage. Can be considered as a card draw mini-engine in self-ping decks if equipped with items that boost the health of Gristlehide Dreugh. Does not see a lot of play on the ladder though.
The epic 6-cost Brass Arquebus is a 3/3 Dwemer (from RtCC) who draws three different random 1-cost creatures from your deck with his last gasp ability. The card comes at a relatively high cost, but could be considered in Dwemer decks and works a little bit as a micro-Tullius’ Conscription. If combined into a Last Gasp-deck with Necrom Mastermind, or the Altar of Despair, there might be nice synergies to Brutal Ashlander, Fireport Spider, or Shadowmere.
The epic 7-cost Dwarven Centurion is a 6/8 Dwemer with Breakthrough from the Core Set. When Dwarven Centurion is dealt damage, you get to draw a 0/3 Dwarven Spider with Guard that helps to stabilize your board position, if you have the Halls of Dwemer in play, for example.
The 11-cost action Tullius’ Conscription is usually part of a control-type deck that uses this card as a potential win condition. It can also be used in aggro decks that are sometimes in danger of running out of steam against mid-range decks. The idea of the card is basically to flood the board with loads of (cheap) creatures. Ideally a few have charge or ward for some reach or to enable favorable trades. Assuming Tullius’ Conscription 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 you the game, if your opponent can’t counter it effectively.
In the next part of this series, we will be looking at card draw options for the red Strength Attribute: Card Draw #3: Card Draw Options in the Strength Attribute