Warriors7 today revealed Green Pact Ambusher, the fifth card of the Frostspark Collection, the new promo expansion for The Elder Scrolls Legends. Green Pact Ambusher is a 2-cost 4/1 Wood Elf with Prophecy and Guard from the red Strength attribute. She has a very special ability which introduces a new mechanic to TESL: “At the end of your opponent’s turn, if they have a full lane and Green Pact Ambusher is in your hand, summon her to that lane.”
The card art is amazing – Green Pact Ambusher is a fierce Bosmer warrior hunting from the tree-top. It will be exciting to see the Premium art version of the card. Her kinsman from the Core Set is Green Pact Stalker (green Agility).
How good is the new card? Let’s approach this card’s value by using Quadrant Theory.
During the opening phase of the game, a 2-cost body with a power of 4 and a health of 1 and Guard is not really as great as the 4 power initially suggest: it can be traded in pretty quickly by a low-value creature, a cheap removal action, or a card with a ping-effect. With Guard and only 1 health, she can be traded in for a 1/1 token like Nord Firebrand very favourably and you cannot even hide her in the Shadow lane to prevent this from happening. During Opening, the 2-cost Prophecy 4/1 Graystone Ravager is probably a better choice in Strength, as he can be protected with a Guard creature or in the Shadows from charge or token removal.
When equipped with Ward it could be traded in with 2 low-value creatures. Already better, but Green Pact Ambusher would be really strong in Opening if there was an item equipped that boosted the Ambusher’s health, ideally by 3, in which case she could trade 2:1 or even better.
As funny as it might sound – I think, Green Pact Ambusher is potentially a little bit “overpowered” and “under-healthed” for this phase of the game, and keeping it on hand until turn 4-5 to trade in against a bigger creature or to proc the special effect might be worth considering depending on the cards in your hand. Even at 4 magicka, in an aggro mirror, losing the Ambusher against a 4-power Breakthrough creature will cause you damage, but at least you will get a better trade.
During Parity, with a lot of creatures on board, but distributed in diagonally opposing lanes (your opponent dominating one, you the other), Green Pact Ambusher as a top-deck or as a Prophecy can be a game-changer. As your opponent races you for face (ignoring your creatures in the other lane), her Prophecy ability would allow you to play her to board to avoid yet another swing. Alternatively, you could take her to hand to get her played for free if your opponent’s lane is full at the end of their turn. Be careful of 0-cost Cruel Fireblooms, that your opponent might play to remove one creature to avoid her being played.
As you get control over the board and get into a winning position, the utility of Green Pact Ambusher is relatively low. She can help to protect some of your more powerful creatures for one more turn, but without any further boost to her health, she will very likely get removed during the next turn.
When Losing, as with any other Prophecy card, Green Pact Ambusher will be a reasonable option that might get pulled for free from your deck. It is pretty likely, that the 4 power will eliminate a bigger threat of your opponent on his current or your next turn, depending on his attack sequence. Hence, the card has a good one-time use here. Her special ability would allow you to
- play her immediately after your opponent destroys a rune to defend against another swing from a different creature, or to
- take her to hand: if that swing is just another smaller hit, you might want to take that little bit extra damage and then get her played for free to the full lane from your hand at the end of your opponent’s turn.
Green Pact Ambusher can also be a reasonable counter to your opponent’s Aggro Warrior, that tries to dominate the game through play in one lane with Siege Catapults, Bleakcoast Trolls, Haunting Spirits and Sowers of Revenge. In this scenario, I believe she can be protecting you from a final swing and her 4 power will be useful then.
So, after we have gained a basic understanding of the uses of the card, we should be looking at some additional synergies for Green Pact Ambusher.
Items with +x/+3 to boost her health
The irony behind Green Pact Ambusher is that you get to play it for free into a lane with 4 of your opponent creatures in it. Let’s say your opponent plays Imperial Reinforcements – you now get to play this 4/1 Guard to defend, however, its weak health will only require one token to trade with it. So, to compliment the free-to-play effect, I think it will be good to put some items with a higher health into your deck.
In Warrior, the Ambusher might even be better in the opening phase of the game, than in classes that don’t offer items with a huge health gain. In combination with an Enchanted Plate the card would be great – for a cost of 4, you would then get a 4/4 Guard, plus a card draw which is good to keep card advantage. Additionally, one might consider Hackwing Feather (for Regenerate) or Imperial Armor – both for a cost of 3-magicka, to support her. In Archer, the 4 power will be working well with Snake Tooth Necklace for a Drain of 5 but this is also more of a one-off as the Ambusher could still be easily removed.
Night Mother and other card-summoning targets
Night Mother and also other Morag Tong or Naryu Virian (that summon targets in your opponent’s lane) can help to fill a lane to eventually trigger her special ability when Green Pact Ambusher is in your hand. She will definitely be happy to trade into one of your opponent’s bigger threats.
In Control decks, Wrothgar Forge can be a good RNG effect to equip her with a random item to get a better health-statistic. Certainly great value to get a prophecy creature or creature played from hand for free, plus an additional item equipped to it. However, Wrothgar Forge itself is not the best cards (7-cost is huge).
Item with Breakthrough and Unstoppable Rage
In combination with Improvised Weapon or Dagoth Dagger, the Ambusher could be easily equipped with Breakthrough and buffed to a power of 5 or 6. With a full opponent’s lane, and Unstoppable Rage and the Ambusher in hand, this might be an extremely satisfying way to answer all the threats in your opponent’s lane with just one Rage-swing for 8 magicka…
Also, a 5 power breakthrough swing would be accessible for 2+8 magicka by playing Ambusher and Improvised Weapon from hand. Any rage deck with Breakthrough items (Improvised Weapon is zero cost and can be pulled from deck using Goblin Skulk) just got really even scarier to me.
Conscription decks just got a lot less scary – with Rage + Ambusher + Improvised Weapon I have still 4 magicka left to play another item onto the Ambusher…
I believe I will include Piercing Twilight into my non-Rage decks to be prepared for this…
Galyn the Shelterer
The idea to combine Green Pact Ambusher with Galyn is to shuffle even more copies of the Ambusher into your deck. With two copies of her in hand, you might perhaps get both copies summoned opposing to your opponent’s full lane.
To summarize: the fifth card of the Frostspark Collectoin adds another nice swing to The Elder Scrolls Legends and an interesting mechanic. The card feels playable in several deck archetypes and can help to slow down dominate beatdown decks – assuming, I have understood the new mechanism correctly. It also provides a nice answer to the current meta, where Conscription decks are pretty frequently played.