Card Draw #7: Card Draw Options in the Endurance Attribute
In the 7th installment of our card drawing series, we will be looking at how to improve card drawing with purple (Endurance) cards. The bad news – Endurance has only few options available, if you want to draw something from your deck. In fact, Endurance is probably the worst attribute for card draw. However, there is some good news too, as Endurance provides a few interesting draw options when it comes to your discard pile, i.e. re-drawing a card that (probably) has seen play before and got killed, can be re-entering play. As these definitely also count as card drawing cards, we will also discuss them in this article.
The common 2-cost item Enchanted Plate allows you to draw a card, via it’s summon attribute. The item also adds stats of+0/+3 to a creature, which increases that creatures stickiness for combat.
The common 3-cost Dark Guardian is a 2/5 Skeleton with Guard and comes with good stats for the early game (Quadrant Theory: Opening). He can help remove (smaller) early-game creatures and can damage bigger creatures in the later game, but not remove them entirely, due to the low power value of 2. The card is available in The Fall of the Dark Brotherhood expansion. The Dark Guardian allows you to keep pace with any prophecies your opponent might draw, when one of their runes has been broken. Thus, as an exception to the rule, you should consider playing the Dark Guardian before going for face to your opponent (if your attack will be breaking a rune) to benefit from this special effect. The card is a little bit similar to Ulfric’s Housecarl (a multi-color card in Crusader), who draws a card whenever a rune is broken. The Dark Guardian’s effect is not as strong as Ulfric’s Housecarl, and also not really very consistent, because the trigger condition is rather difficult to meet, but it can still be “nice goodie”. The creature itself is worth playing though, and it’s included in just under 30% of all eligible decks stored on legends-decks.com.
The 3-cost Indoril Mastermind is a rare 2/1 Dark Elf from the Houses of Morrowind expansion. He is not used in aggro or mid-range decks, but very often used in control and in combo decks to “dig” for a certain card. His summon ability let’s you look at the top two cards of your deck. You can decide which of the two you want to draw, while the second card will be discarded. This can also be helpful if you are running any cards that require certain cards to be part of your discard pile, e.g. Alduin, Falkreath Defiler and many others. The Indoril Mastermind is also a small body and his summon effect can be re-triggered with Ulfric’s Uprising or the Dragon Priest Mask.
The common 3-cost action Soul Tear from the Heroes of Skyrim expansion is a Shout that allows you to draw a creature of your choice from your discard pile. As with other Shouts, the effect of the card will get stronger as you play multiple copies of the card. The second Soul Tear would not only allow you to draw a creature but also add +2/+2 to it’s stats; the third (and any consecutive) Soul Tear would make this a +5/+5 modifier. The card is widely played in decks with a Shout theme and also oftentimes seen in combo decks where it has good synergy with Paarthunax or Giant Bats. Definitely a very good option to consider for such decks.
Disciple of Namira
The epic 5-cost Disciple of Namira is a 3/3 Imperial allows you to draw a card, whenever a creature in the same lane is destroyed. Disciple of Namira is one of the strongest card drawing cards in the game and can be turned into a card draw engine easily. The card is included in about 5% of all eligible decks at legends-decks.com, so we can see her as a niche card drawing card. We will cover her in more detail in a separate article.
Cicero The Betrayer
The 6-cost Cicero The Betrayer is a unique legendary 1/6 Imperial from The Fall of The Dark Brotherhood story expansion. Cicero bears the Lethal keyword and has a Slay ability allowing him to draw two cards, when he slays a creature. He can also attack your own creatures. Cicero can be a very powerful card-draw “mini-engine” but he also easily removed. If combined with the Brotherhood Sanctuary support, he can be used to even draw 4 cards per creature slayed.
The common 6-cost Stonehill Mammoth is a 5/7 creature from the Heroes of Skyrim expansion. When summoned, the Stonehill Mammoth will draw a card, if two other purple (Endurance) creatures are already on the board. As Endurance has several ways of summoning multiple creatures at once (e.g. Rising of Bones, this effect is easily triggered.
The 8-cost Skeletal Dragon is a legendary 5/5 Skeleton and Dragon with the Guard keyword from the Heroes of Skyrim expansion. When summoned, Skeletal Dragon gives all creatures in your discard pile a boost of +2/+2. His Last Gasp ability lets you draw another random creature from the discard pile. Skeletal Dragon has synergies with Journey to Sovnarde, Yagrum Bagarn (and Dwemers) and Ulfric’s Uprising (all three are neutrals), with Necrom Mastermind in Scout or Telvanni, and Dragon Priest Mask in Sorcerer or Telvanni. In addition, in Endurance itself, there is synergy with Gravesinger or Falkreath Defiler.
The epic 10-cost Gravesinger is a 6/6 Imperial from The Fall of the Dark Brotherhood story expansion. On your following turn after he was played, he will summon the highest cost creature from your discard pile and give that creature charge. At the end of the turn, the creature is put on the bottom of your draw deck again. The Gravesinger is a very powerful card in combination with Skeletal Dragon, who provides a boost of +2/+2 to all creatures in the discard pile. Gravesinger is also a draw engine, and provides a lot of reach, as all summoned creatures gain the Charge attribute and can hence attack immediately. If the Gravesinger is not removed promptly by your opponent, you will likely be on good track to winning the game.
With currently only 9 cards in total, the purple Endurance attribute is currently the one with the least card draw options. It would therefore be wise to consider card drawing options from other attributes or from neutral cards to mitigate this. The few cards Endurance has for draw, however, are pretty powerful. Most often, these do however impact the discard pile and not the draw deck, which makes these cards a bit handier for control- or combo-oriented decks. With Disciple of Namira in particular, the Endurance attribute provides one of the best card drawing engines in the game that is used by many successful decks.
This closes the analysis of card drawing options in the purple Endurance attribute. Next up, is a look at the multi-color cards, which also provide Endurance-based classes some additional card draw-options: Card Draw #8: Multi-Color Card Draw Options