Card advantage in The Elder Scrolls Legends? Why should you care? Is this just another one of those card game theory articles? A card game like The Elder Scrolls Legends is about fun. Isn’t it enough to play the game? Do you have to read about the theory? Yes, sure, all very valid questions. And if card game theory is like sleeping pills for you, just open the Legends client and play some games. But if you are interested in a little bit of theory background, some knowledge in this space can make you smarter in the game and a better problem-solver – ultimately making you a better Legends player and thus improving your fun with the game as well.
Card Advantage – Definition
Still here? Okay, then let’s look at Card Advantage in The Elder Scrolls Legends.
Card Advantage basically means that you have more cards to choose from, than your opponent.
Why is it important? Well, imagine you are playing against someone playing the exact same deck as you, only they get to take two cards per turn while you only get to draw one. Who is more likely to win? Obviously: your opponent. This is due to an increased number of choices of cards to play from hand. Now, imagine, your opponent did not have a full card draw extra each turn, but one or two additional cards every one to three turns? This would still make a huge difference and provide a considerable edge, as The Elder Scrolls Legends is a battle of resources, as much it is a battle of individual creatures on the board.
So how to create card advantage?
Card Advantage #1: Draw More
The first option to create card advantage is obvious: simply draw more cards than your opponent. You need to consider this in your decklist by including cards that help with card draw. The more the merrier, but be careful not to overdraw your hand limit of 10 cards, maximum. The following articles provide more details on which cards are available in The Elder Scroll Legends to help you stay ahead of your opponent:
- Card Draw #1: The Basics, the First Draw and the Mulligans
- #2: Card Draw Options in the Neutral Attribute
- #3: Card Draw Options in the Strength Attribute
- #4: Card Draw Options in the Intelligence Attribute
- #5: Card Draw Options in the Willpower Attribute
- #6: Card Draw Options in the Agility Attribute
- #7: Card Draw Options in the Endurance Attribute
- #8: Multi-Color Card Draw Options
- #9: Card Draw-Engines
The Elder Scrolls Legends knows a few types of card draw. The easiest one is simply to draw an extra card from the top of your draw deck. The game also allows you to draw cards from your discard pile. This will re-draw you a card that you have already used before. Finally, Double Cards allow you to draw a card that splits into two separate pieces when taken to hand. The exact mechanics of Double Cards is outlined in:
Tutors are cards that allow you to draw a very specific card from your draw deck (or discard pile). The Elder Scrolls Legends offers a lot of options for Tutors depending on the type of card you are looking to fetch:
- Tutors #1: The Basics: Explanation of the different types of tutors and why they are important.
- Tutors: Deck Building Reference Sheet: A comprehensive searchable and filterable list of all tutors in The Elder Scrolls Legends.
- #2: Item Tutors: An in-depth look at tutors that draw an item for you.
- #3: Action Tutors: An in-depth look at tutors that draw an action.
- #4: Support Tutors: An in-depth look at tutors that draw a support card.
- #5a: Creature Tutors: An in-depth look at tutors that draw or summon a creature.
- #5b: Discard Pile Creature Tutors: An in-depth look at creature tutors that draw it from discard pile.
- #5c: Creature Pseudo-Tutors (coming soon): An in-depth look at creature tutors that tutor a creature out-of-nowhere.
- #6: General Card Tutors (coming soon): An in-depth look at tutors that draw any card of card.
Card Advantage #2: Remove Cards from Opponent’s Hand
The second option to create card advantage is to remove cards from your opponent’s hands. This can currently only be done by stealing or trading them. Other collectible card games, such as Magic: The Gathering, also allow you to force your opponent to discard from their hand, but such cards have not yet been widely introduced to The Elder Scrolls Legends. However, in some situations Gentleman Jim Stacey or Barter can be powerful tools to gain card advantage. Particularly, in the later stages of the game when your opponent is holding onto one or two bigger threats in his hand. Stealing those, and trading them against one of your low-value cards is certainly a lot of fun. However, it should be noted, that they currently see little play in competitive play.
Card Advantage #3: Force Opponent to Spend More Cards Than You Do
The third idea is to be using your cards more efficiently than your opponent, for example by
- trading one of your (more powerful) cards against two or more (less powerful) of theirs,
- playing one of your cards to create two or more creatures on the board to trade into the creatures of your opponent,
- drawing a Prophecy card when one of your runes gets broken by your opponent.
Over time, this will help you to have more cards in hand than your opponent, as they will need to play more cards to develop threats or trade-off their creatures against yours.
A good example for this is Midnight Sweep. This 4-cost action meets the first bullet point from above, as it uses one card play to summon a 2/2 Guard creature in each lane that your opponent has to deal with. The card’s Prophecy keyword also meets the third bullet point very nicely, as you basically get to play the two 2/2 Guard creatures “for free”, when your opponent hits a rune.
Another good example for a card that forces your opponent to spend more cards than you do is Reverberating Strike. This card deals three damage to a creature and every opponent’s creature with the same name. Assume your opponent has just spent 4 magicka to play Midnight Sweep… By killing off both creatures with one Reverberating Strike, this will let you regain your opponent’s card advantage from his Midnight Sweep.