Episode #5 of our Card Draw series – this time we will be looking at the yellow cards. When DireWolfDigital and Bethesda designed the game, and they distributed the majority of card drawing cards, the yellow Willpower guys were probably on a vacation. Well to some degree at least, as there is only 11 options (not counting multi-color yellow cards). When compared to other attributes, Willpower runs relatively few card drawing cards, however, some of them are really powerful tools, that last multiple turns, or let you draw up to three cards in certain conditions and most of these 11 help you to keep up tempo. So let’s see the details…
The epic 1-cost action Blackmail draws a copy of a random creature from your opponent’s deck. Pretty easily, you will pick something that’s more valuable than the average one cost card, however, the card is not strictly speaking drawing something from your deck. The effect itself is fun, but really very random. How likely is it for your opponent to have a card with synergy to yours? Even drawing a “big creature” wouldn’t necessarily be awesome if you are on an aggro strategy. Hence, the card does not see a lot of play in constructed decks.
Blood Pact Messenger
The 2-cost Blood Pact Messenger is a rare Khajiit with 2/2. If he pilfers, he will draw you two cards and then disappear at the end of the turn. Silencing him yourself could potentially be an option to keep the body on the board, but you really include him to “hit-and-run”. Two cards is an excellent card draw for Willpower, as card draw options are so scarce in general in this attribute. The Willpower attribute does however offer plenty of additional cards that summon a lot of “tokens” (= small creatures with low stats, but a lot of them). Since these are strictly speaking not cards that draw cards from your deck, we are excluding them from this discussion.
Priest of the Eight
The common 2-cost Imperial Priest of the Eight has not so very impressive stats (only 2/1), but he draws a card if you have 2 yellow creatures in play. This again works pretty well in token decks, where Willpower will usually be the dominating color in your deck. Quadrant theory: the card is good in the opening quadrant and can help you regain control over the second lane if you are not yet present there. With the stats of 2/1 he is a typical trade-in that helps you gaining or keeping board control.
The 2-cost action Stand Watch from Houses of Morrowing (HoW) has the Prophecy keyword and gives one of your creatures Guard. On top of that, you get to draw a card as well. The card can be used to control the Shadow Lane. The idea here is to play Stand Watch on your opponent’s creature, that is hidden in the shadows. By giving it Guard your on-board creature can then attack the guard and remove it. It’s a pretty surprising move that can gain you tempo. The card sees little play only, and is probably a little bit underrated in my personal view.
The 3-cost Eastmarch Crusader is a rare 4/2 Nord, who will draw you one card, when summoned, if an enemy rune has been broken before. He is the “prince of card draw” in Willpower, and is very frequently played in many deck archetypes. Willpower has little issue in breaking one rune and the 3 cost 4/2 body can be used very flexibly to push face damage or to trade.
The 3-cost Hlaalu Oathman is a 2/2 Dark Elf (from HoW) who draws a card if you have a red Strength card in play (and on top, gains you 3 magicka, if you have a green card in play). He is the King of Card Draw in any Hlaalu deck, as the 3 magicka will likely also allow you to play the card you have just drawn. Hence, he is one of the most powerful card draw cards in the game.
The 3-cost Rajhini Highwayman is a common 2/2 Khajiit who draws you a card, each time he pilfers. If you can keep him alive and rocking uhm… pilfering (which your opponent will definitely want to avoid) he can pull you loads of cards.
The 3-cost Ruin Archaeologist is a common 2/5 High Elf, that treasure-hunts for a random support card to draw from your deck. This is one of the very few cards that helps in actively pulling support cards to hand, by playing Treasure Map on top of it. Thus, it can be a very good addition on decks that rely on support cards being available as soon as possible. The 2/5 stats also give him some stickiness on the board, as he is not so easily removed by single removal actions.
Morag Tong Nightblade
The Dark Elf Morag Tong Nightblade -is a 3/4 creature that can be played for the cost of 4 magicka. When summoned, the Morag Tong Nightblade summons a 0/1 target with Guard for your opponent. Whenever the Nightblade slays, you will be drawing a card – if that card is an action, it’s cost are reduced to 0. In good company with Night Mother and in action-heavy decks. Particularly great synergy with Brootherhood Sanctuary in House Hlaalu or Monk decks.
The 5-cost Dagi-Raht Mystic is a 4/5 Khajiit who draws a random support card from your deck, whenever he pilfers. Can be a pretty strong addition to a deck that relies heavily on one or more supports, particularly in Support Mage decks. Whenever you play him, your opponent will likely immediately try to remove him with a Javelin, as they usually fear some Support combo is going to be started.
When summoned, the 6-cost Bandit Ringleader (a 3/5 Khajiit), all friendly creatures in the same lane as him, gain “Pilfer: Draw a card” this turn. Ideally, this can give you 3 pilfers for three additional cards. If combined with the action Ulfric’s Uprising or the item Dragon’s Priest Mask, you can get the same effect on another turn, but your opponent will definitely be trying to stop your undertaking. However, if you get three tokens to Pilfer, this is a great way to refill your hand with options to play next turn(s).
Despite the relatively low number of card drawing options provided in Willpower, almost each such individual card provides a rather powerful card draw effect. Whether you make an entire lane pilfer and draw you three card, or whether you need card draw in a Slay-deck, or whether you want to gain boardcontrol while keeping up tempo, Willpower has the answer for you!
You can also combine these with the neutral card drawing cards or with multi-color options, particularly the Crusader ones (red and yellow color) are some of the strongest (if not the strongest) individual card drawing cards in the game so far.
This ends the review of the Willpower attribute. Next up in the series is Agility. If you enjoy the series or a particular article I’d appreciate a comment or any feedback is always welcome.