Isle of Madness Run-through #5 – The Descent

This article provides an Isle of Madness run-through for Episode 5: The Descent. Maybe you have completed the episode already on normal difficulty? Maybe you are struggling a little with a particular mission on master difficulty? This guide provides a proven collection of decks that can help you do the trick. Some of them are suitable for players on a budget, i.e. these decklists do not run any (or very, very few) epic or legendary cards to allow players with a smaller collection to continue to play Legends as a Free-to-Play game.

With this Isle of Madness tutorial, it should be pretty straightforward to complete the fourth Isle of Madness episode, The Betrayal. The article also provides a few YouTube videos of CHARM3R who showcases his decks in action. Please like them and support him by subscribing to his channel (most of you will already be subscribed, but just make sure you double-check).

New Sheoth Palace

Talym wants revenge

The one that claims to be a completely normal game, but isn’t.
Talym is returning to New Sheoth Palace to confront Sheogorath about his son being dead. However, before he can speak to The Mad, he needs to fight his way through his guards. The first one is Golden Saint, an AI opponent running a Spellsword deck that runs all the “Golden Guard”, i.e. Golden Saint, Golden Initiate and Shining Saint, as well as some Penitus Oculus Agents who are keen to leverage your own keywords. So be careful…

While the mission claims to be a normal one, you will easily get cards you hadn’t accounted for in your deck. A Vvardvark Experiment turns up, and later a few surprise RNG- cards that reduce the consistency and synergy of your original deck. Obviously, we are losing our minds…

New Sheoth Palace Decklists

But, a few decklists can help you out:

  • New Sheoth Palace – IoM Master Run-Through is a Telvanni Unite the Houses deck by Since you will anyway get lots of RNG cards you can easily make this theme the winning factor in your game plan. With our Telvanni Unite you can fight for the board using removal like Cruel Firebloom, Pointy Wall of Spikes, Black Hand Messenger, Fighters Guild Recruit. Get a Murkwater Shaman to Shadow Lane to spawn Curses. Use Black Hand Messenger and Odirniran Necromancer to gain life. Use Conscription to thin your deck and gain board control. Sun-in-Shadows can be used fetch Conscription or Unite. Equally Telvanni Oathman can help to fetch these actions. Once the board is stabilised and the AI is top-decking, you can start to look for your Unite pieces. You get random cards anyway, so this definitely helps. Otherwise, Bringer of Nightmares and Bazilar’s Tinkering will help to fetch a red and a yellow. You will need a few attempts with this deck, but it’s fun to win this mission with Unite….Deck code: SPADpPqomOADbOmcqgAWdKepbwbBbDgsmioeovpTdyhlqeqfrhrqlfnolIctehqT
  • Mania Crusader, a Blood Warriors Guild Weekly deck by Midstorm that works particularly well with this mission. As an extra, you get a chance to turn a lane of your choice into Mania which will help towards gaining the title “Duke of Mania”.

New Sheoth Palace Videos

Charm3r has a great video guide on his YouTube channel. Please check out the video and his deck:


After completing the mission at New Sheoth Palace, Talym turns completely mad. You can choose to continue with either Flooded Camp or Darkened Grove.

Flooded Camp – Isle of Madness Run-through

Flooded Camp

Flooded Camp is the one where you fight with a pre-built red/ blue/ yellow deck against the Mudcrab Merchant playing a Mono Strength (red) deck. By virtue of the Catch of the Day support card you get presented with two cards from Mudcrab Merchant (instead of drawing a card). You need to pick wisely, as the other card will be given to your opponent, who beats you down pretty quickly.

Your opponent’s deck relies on their Spawning Pool support card summoning a 1/1 Foraging Mudcrab at the start of their turn. They also have what seems to be a never-ending supply of Mudcrab Anklesnappers that deal 1 damage to you when summoned. A few tips to succeed in this match-up:

  • Ideally, you are able to remove their support during the game opening,
  • Remove as many of their creatures as often as you possibly can,
  • Play on curve as often as you possibly can,
  • Attempt to gain life, a Bruma Profiteer can be great to stabilize,
  • Find guards, ideally Dark Seducer,
  • If you get Ice Storm or Frostscale Dragon or both you are lucky and happy (like me)…
Isle of Madness Run-through

Darkened Grove –
Isle of Madness Run-through

Isle of Madness Run-through

Darkened Grove, the one where a tree talks and the costs of your cards randomly change each turn. This one is totally fun. It’s best to play this until you get a turn 2 Iron Atronach. Here are a few really greedy decklists.

  • Darkened Grove – IoM Master Walkthrough is a Lich’s Ascension Sorcerer deck by The deck even works outside of Darkened Grove, give it a try. In the Grove, however, your game plan is to high-roll one of your power creatures. Use Wake the Dead to pull Wispmother and use Lich’s Ascension to control the cost of your cards easily. So much for RNG in Isle of Madness – I can contrrrrollll it…. Deck code: SPAFigaAeAlHaoADakgMdoANoepelqdnedkZaKbYhNgWjFrVja

Circus of Sheerful Slaughter –
Isle of Madness Run-through

Isle of Madness Run-through

Next up is Circus of Sheerful Slaughter, the one where creatures pilfer to turn into a creature that costs 1 more. Here, you fight against the AI opponent Grummite Savage who is running an Archer deck. The mission comes with a special lane condition, the Madness Lane. Here, creatures have: “Pilfer. Transform into a creature that costs 1 more.”

  • Circus of Sheerful Slaughter – Isle of Madness Run-through on Master is a Ping Archer deck by The game plan of this deck is to leverage the Madness Lane’s special lane condition to transform most (if not all) your creatures into more powerful ones and use these to control the board. It’s pretty simple – play a creature, Pilfer with it and trade the more powerful one. Ideally, you get your randomly generated creatures to survive a trade – this will allow you to transform them once again. Deck code: SPABqcACqkdhAPlDnVdHbHhbhBmymCrlalcMdjmEqGkj

At the end of the mission, Grummite Savage starts to hum a sequence of the song from Notehollow and Talym starts to recognise Luzrah Gro-Shar who has returned to help him. She is startled about Talym fighting crabs and trees and wants to help him.

The Trance

She does so by playing a song of great power that will send Talym into a trance to fear his darkest fears

The darkest fear of any player in TESL is certainly to play in a mirror match-up. So The Trance is the episode where you need to fight a mirror match against your own deck. Your AI opponent Worm Cult,
first starts off with a Monk deck. His deck is not particularly exciting to beat, but when you finally get him 0 health, the opponent changes into Talym, gains life back to a full 30 points, and summons the exact same creatures to board that you currently have in play.

Ideally, you want not all your creatures to have finished their attack when this happens. Maybe pass another turn and finish off Worm Cult with the first swing such that the remaining creatures in your field lane can still deal with those just being summoned.

  • The Trance – IoM Master Walkthrough is a Token Crusader deck by The game plan of this deck is to control the board starting from the field lane and beating down the AI. You will need to have one or two Divine Fervors in play by the time you put your opponent to zero health, allowing you to continue to trade favorably. Deck code: SPACejqYADpriKraAOkknBcxdfgplLmodLfxmemYdrimeD

At the end of the mission, Talym seems somewhat recovered, thanks to
Luzrah Gro-Shar who kept playing her melody. To find leverage against Sheogorath, Luzrah points out that the Mad God keeps a powerful warrior in the caves of Knifepoint Hollow. Apparently, Sheogorath fears him. Thus, Knifepoint Hollow is our next mission…

Knifepoint Hollow

Ancient Prison - Isle of Madness Run-through

Knifepoint Hollow is up next. It is the one where we need to leverage the Regenerate keyword. In this mission, Mazken Turnkey (the AI opponent playing a Mono Endurance/purple deck) comes prepared with the support card Ancient Prison. Ancient Prison basically shackles your opponent’s creatures when summoned and gives them a +2/+2 buff. The buff is kind of mean, but since the creature is shackled, you have all the time in the world (= one turn) to remove it. If only your own creature would survive… Enter the Regenerate keyword…

  • Knifepoint Hollow – Isle of Madness Run-through on Master is a ramp Scout deck by The AI opponent has beefy creatures that enter the game with a buff of +2/+2 but being shackled. The Regenerate keyword is the perfect way to deal with these beasts. In early game, use lethal creatures and Felldew to control your health. With Tree Minder and Hist Mage you get nice first ramp. Spine of Eldersblood can ramp and deal with two bodies himself. Play the Regenerate creatures to finish one threat at a time. Frost Troll even has life gain to stabilise. Blackwood Distiller in the Shadow Lane is a great tool to get him out early by pilfering for 3 magicka. Note: The deck also works on the next mission, episode 6, chapter 1; Obelisk of Order.

Onto the next episode…

Dyus - Jyggalag's Librarian
Dyus – Jyggalag’s Librarian

Voila, during the finishing sequence of episode 5, Dyus tells us about how Sheogorath walked the earth as Jyggalag, the Daedric Prince of Order. Dyus was the Jyggalag’s librarian. He continues to report that the other Daedric Princes were afraid of Jyggalag’s power and transformed him into the essence of chaos, i.e. Sheogorath. Furthermore Sheogorath has supressed his memories of Jyggalag and destroyed all trace of him, save for two: Dyus and Jyggalag’s Sword. Dyus tasks us to find that sword and to give it to Sheogorath to get his attention. However, whether the Mad God might thank or kill Talym for this deed remains to be seen in the final episode of Isle of Madnes…

Jyggalag – The Daedric Prince of Order

We hope you find this guide helpful. Please leave a comment with feedback or your own deck that you used to complete the mission.

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