The Empower mechanic is introduced with the Alliance War expansion.
Empower is the mechanic predominantly used by the Aldmeri Dominion (Intelligence, Willpower and Agility – blue, yellow, green). Next to the Dominion, Empower will also be accessible for Assassin, Mage and Monk decks. Here is the definition of Empower:
When your opponent takes damage, actions with Empower increase in effect for the turn.Empower
The Empower mechanic allows actions to increase their effectiveness multiple times per turn. In other words, each time you damage your opponent in a turn, the Empower effect improves your actions in hand bearing the Empower keyword. Channeled Storm, for example, deals 3 damage to a creature. This increases to 5 damage, if you manage to deal damage to your opponent twice, before you play the action on the same turn to remove a 5-health creature.
You might ask yourself, isn’t this the same as Pilfer? Well, in principal it is. You might think of it as Pilfer for Actions. Empower incentivizes players to hit their opponent’s face. It works best if this damage is dealt all in the same turn and preferably spread across as many incidents as possible.
Let’s look at some of the tools you can use to Empower your Actions.
Empower in Token Decks
The Aldmeri Dominion has access to the Tokens of the Willpower attribute. If you are unfamiliar, Token decks flood the board with a lot of small creatures to swarm and overwhelm their opponent. A popular Willpower Token package consists of Token Generators such as Scouting Patrol, Marked Man, Crassius’ Favor, or Imperial Reinforcements as well as buffs like Fifth Legion Trainer, Resolute Ally or Divine Fervor. Token decks usually can “go wide”, thus allowing their small creatures to attack from both lanes.
With good draw, a Token deck can typically damage your opponent twice on turn 2 and three times on turn 3. At this point, your opponent usually attempts to challenge your Tokens on the board. An empowered Channeled Storm can remove most 3-drops in the game to keep your assault running. With Imperial Reinforcements hitting the board on turn 4, you want a 5-cost action with Empower to supplement your attack. Maybe Spoils of War – reduced to a 1-cost, can help you by drawing two cards to find another buff and finish the game next turn?
Empower in Burn Decks
The Dominion has access to the powerful School of Destruction magic in Intelligence. Spells like Lightning Bolt or Ice Spike empower your Actions by damaging your opponent directly from hand. Combine this with the dark assassination rituals of the Dark Brotherhood using Blood Sacrament, Thievery or the Last Gasp ability of House Kinsman to arrive at an explosive brew of a Hit Hard Beatdown deck.
With classic Lillandril Hexmage and FrostSpark’s Destruction Tutor and a few additional new cards from Alliance War, like Altmer Flameslinger, the toolbox for burn decks is growing fast and Empower synergises very well with it.
The Empower Mechanic combined with Pilfer and Charge
Another option to empower your actions is by leveraging Pilfer effects and/or Charge creatures. Master of Thieves will grant your creatures with Pilfer an extra attack per turn, which naturally boosts Empower. Thieves’ Den combined with Altmer Flameslinger,Camlorn Hero, can get both your creatures and your Empower actions buffed.
The Empower Mechanic, Conjuration Magic and the Dark Rift
Empower Actions can also benefit from Dark Rift and potentially boost midrange or Control Atronach decks. Dark Rift and Conjuration Tutor haved almost vanished from the meta, but they do make for a good midrange combo. Depending on the Empower cards we are yet to see, Supreme Atromancer might be a nice finisher for this type of deck as he damages your opponent whenever a creature is summoned.
These are just a few ideas, but there might certainly be more. If you are excited about another idea for Empower, that we haven’t discussed, please leave us a comment below. To get notified as we publish articles about the upcoming mechanics, please subscribe to the blog or follow us on Twitter.