Tutors in The Elder Scrolls Legends – The Basics

If you are new to CCGs and The Elder Scrolls Legends, you will probably ask – “What is a Tutor, anyway?”. You probably have been using them already in some of your games. If you would like to go a little bit deeper into this concept and strengthen your TESL deck building skills and improve your win rates, this article is aimed to discuss the basics of Tutors in The Elder Scrolls Legends?

Tutor – A card that lets you draw particular cards out of your deck (alternate term for a Fetch).

Tutors are an important element when building your decks. They can be an important pillar in some combo decks. However, they are also extremely important in regular decks of any type (Aggro, Midrange, Control). Look at all the decklists of the semi-finalists in the 2018 Master Series. Half of them contain at least one tutor. When you count Pseudo-Tutors, the percentage is even a little bit higher.

Example: Goblin Skulk as a Tutor

Market Archer - Goblin Skulk Goblin Skulk is one the most powerful tutors in The Elder Scrolls Legends
Goblin Skulk

Before we look at the technicalities of Tutors, let’s just look at one specific example. One of the strongest and most prominent Tutors is Goblin Skulk. His tutor-ability becomes effective, when the green 2-cost Goblin 2/2 pilfers. He then draws a random zero-cost card from your deck to your hand. A zero cost card? You might think that cannot be good. But if your deck is designed with this effect in mind, it can become a pretty cool effect.

  • An aggro Hlaalu deck might want to pull the zero cost 1/1 Nord Firebrand and buff him with items.
  • In Goblin Archer , Skulk can draw Murkwater Goblin to benefit from the tribal synergy in a later turn.
  • If you are playing a Swindler’s Market Archer deck, Goblin Skulk can get you a Nord Firebrand. You play him, go face, unsummon him back to hand and play him again. This deals 4 damage to your opponent.

Tutors in The Elder Scrolls Legends – Deck Tech

Tutor Condition

Most tutors usually have a special condition to trigger the tutor-effect. For Goblin Skulk, this is the Pilfer effect. If you play the Skulk and your opponent blocks you with a Guard creature, you cannot pilfer. As a consequence you need to work around that to go face and still get your 0-cost card. Usually, this tutor condition is not too difficult to trigger. On the other hand, the game designers balance the tutor condition to not have it break the game. Hence, tutor effects that are recurring can usually be stopped by Silencing the creature or killing it.

Tutor Effects in The Elder Scrolls Legends

If we follow the definition above, a Tutor draws you a particular card from your deck. Let’s look at this very, very closely to understand why this is so powerful.

Board presence

Oftentimes, the tutor effect already triggers when the creature is summoned. Of course this also gives you board presence. On other occasions, however, you need to wait for the tutor condition to gain the benefits of the tutor effect. You obviously don’t want the creature to be removed, before the tutor effect triggers.

The Fetch

You play the tutor and get to fetch one particular card back to your hand. As you are able to influence what card is being drawn from your deck, this can be a very powerful play. You just need to design your deck with this particular purpose in mind. The card draw itself is also a great way to (re-)gain Card Advantage (see Three Ways to Create Card Advantage in The Elder Scrolls Legends) and will give you more options on the same or another future turn.

Deck Thinning

The draw also removes that particular card from your deck, leaving one card less to draw from. This also leaves you with better chances of drawing any of the other cards from your deck. You might think, this is not so important, but most Nix-Ox combo decks actually use this very systematically to get to the combo pieces quicker.

Since the tutor effect can be pretty powerful, the designers make you “pay” a little price for the tutor. First of all, all Tutors are inferior to many creatures with the same magicka cost. Thus, they are generally at risk of being removed quickly (if they have a recurring tutor effect). Secondly, the Tutor Condition can oftentimes be circumvented by your opponent. Therefore, you should be clear, that you play a tutor at a higher risk at a lower initial value to gain greater future rewards from it.

Types of Tutors in The Elder Scrolls Legends

So far, we have only looked at what I call “Draw-Tutors”, i.e. Tutors, that draw a card from your draw deck to your hand. However, The Elder Scrolls Legends also includes a few other types of Tutors. Here is an overview (the names are my own inventions):

Draw Tutor

A draw tutor draws a particular card from deck to hand.

Summon Tutor

A summon tutor summons a particular creature from deck to board. A much more powerful tutor than a draw tutor, because you can cheat for the magicka cost of the tutored card. It’s a tempo play and helps to gain card advantage. For more information, see Creature Tutors in The Elder Scrolls Legends.

Discard Pile Tutor

A discard pile tutor draws (or summons) a particular card from your discard pile to board. Here, you have no deck thinning effect from the Tutor, as you get to pull back a creature from your discard pile. Strictly speaking you would have to differentiate Discard-Draw-Tutors and Discard-Summon-Tutors. For ease of use, we will summarize them in one category. For an overview of all discard pile tutors, see Discard Pile Creature Tutors in The Elder Scrolls Legends.

Pseudo Tutor

Draws a card “out-of-nowhere”. The Pseudo-Tutor also has no deck thinning effect, and you could also differentiate between a Pseudo-Draw- and a Pseudo-Summon-Tutor.

Random Tutor

While some tutors draw a particular card, others draw “only” a random card from a rather restricted subset of cards. We should call these Tutors “Pseudo-Tutors”. For example, Goblin Skulk draws a random 0-cost card from your deck. Since you usually wouldn’t have too many of those in your deck anyway, you can pretty easily predict the card you actually will draw.

Recurring (Random) Tutors

While most tutors allow you to draw one card, a recurring tutor, would allow you to trigger the Tutor effect multiple times. Currently, probably to keep the power of a recurring tutor under control, there are only recurring tutors in TESL, that allow you to draw from a random subset of your deck.

What’s Next for Tutors?

The aim of this article was to provide new players with a general overview of Tutors in The Elder Scrolls Legends. During the next days, tesl.blog will be looking at greater depth at all the different Tutors in The Elder Scrolls Legends. While we all know Goblin Skulk (Recurring Random Draw Tutor), Daggerfall Mage (Pseudo-Draw-Tutor) and Chanter of Akatosh (Recurring-Summon-Tutor) there are a lot more Tutors in The Elder Scrolls Legends. For a complete reference sheet of all tutors and pseudo tutors in TES Legends, please refer to: Tutors – Deck Building Reference Sheet for The Elder Scrolls Legends.

If you would like to read more about the Tutors in TESL, please come back during the next couple of days. You may want to subscribe to the blog or follow us on Twitter to get notified of new posts immediately.


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