Kaalgrontiid – Uses and Synergies
Kaalgroontiid is a new powerful dragon in The Elder Scrolls Legends – Moons of Elsweyr. His name Kaal-gron-tiid means: Champion – Bind – Time.
Kaalgrontiid and the ESO Lore
When Abnur Tharn was attempting to decipher the two halves of the Wrathstone, he was looking for the location of a secret Demon weapon. He was hoping to find a weapon that would allow him to end the Alliance War and the blood shed in Tamriel. The key to deciphering the Wrathstone was a Khajiit called Dagaril-dro who knew the location of the three moon-singers, Azargo Long-Tale, Mizbina and Satarri who could each still recite the secrets of Khunzar-ri.
Khunzar-ri was a Khajiit hero, who defeated the demon Kaalgrontiid in the time before time by assembling a Kra’Jun, a company of heroes. The party of the Kra’Jun trapped Kaalgrontiid in an ancient place of power forgotten and long abandoned: the Halls of Colossus. They leveraged a connection between Nirn and Jode, the Big Moon God, to weaken Kaalgrontiid and his followers in that ancient place. What Abnur did not know was that the demon weapon he was looking for– Kaalgrontiid– was indeed a group of Dragons, as you can see in this ESO cinematic trailer.
Kaalgrontiid in The Elder Scrolls Legends
In The Elder Scrolls Legends – Moons of Elsweyr, Kaalgrontiid is a unique legendary dragon in the Willpower attribute that costs 12 magicka. Gifted with the Guard keyword, a power of 8 and a health of 9, the century-long imprisonment has worn on the dragon. However, his special ability makes up for it: when summoned, you put the Halls of Colossus in play, a 12-cost support card. Halls of Colossus can be activated 3 times (once across three turns) to summon a non-unique dragon from your deck to a lane of your choice. Note that Halls of the Colossus in itself is not a collectible card and cannot be included into your deck.
With Kaalgrontiid we are getting another 12-cost dragon that can work as a late-game finisher and provide a lot of versatility depending on your match-up. In the first part of this article, we will be evaluating the card using Quadrant Theory and look at uses and further synergies of both Kaalgrontiid and the Halls of Colossus during the second part of the article.
Kaalgrontiid during Opening
With a cost of 12, Kaalgrontiid is not really playable during opening. Instead, he is designed to be used during the late game, which makes him a great choice for control decks. When played in Spellsword, Monk or any tri-color combination involving these classes (e.g. Empire, Redoran, etc.), you can use magicka ramp to get to higher levels of magicka earlier, but since Kaalgrontiid is a unique legendary, you will have trouble finding him in your deck.
Kaalgrontiid at Parity
When you draw Kaalgrontiid at parity as your top-deck, you will be getting not only an 8/9 guard, but also an additional dragon that turn, plus an additional one or two across your following turns. Is Kaalgrontiid good at parity? No: he is amazing…assuming you have made it to 12 magicka. Otherwise, you are at risk of having a powerful but dead card in hand.
Kaalgrontiid when Winning
When you put your opponent on a two turn clock at 12 magicka, Kaalgrontiid will be the nail in their coffin, unless they have Red Year and support removal in their hand. He is particularly strong since you can summon another non-unique dragon of your choice to board on the same turn by using the Halls. But Halls of Colossus also allows you to improve your board position even further on consecutive turns.
Kaalgrontiid as a Turnaround
An 8/9 guard can already be very powerful to block your opponent’s assault in one lane. With another dragon getting summoned by the Halls of Colossus, you have an additional chance to look for answers to your opponent’s board state. This is even more true if you are running a wider range of dragons in your deck. For more details please refer to the next section.
Unfortunately, Kaalgrontiid is easily silenced, allowing your opponent to continue to go face, if they have lethal (or are close to it). Therefore, you should be careful not to rely on Kaalgrontiid’s guard keyword too heavily.
Halls of Colossus as a Dragon Tutor
Hallos of Colossus is an amazing card to tutor for dragons. You define the exact point in time when you want to summon a dragon, you define the lane and you can pick exactly the one you need. As a reasonable restriction, you are limited to look for non-unique dragons in your deck only. But still, there are pretty good non-unique dragons at your disposal when building your deck. We can assume that Moons of Elsweyr will add additional dragons, but even the ones from previous expansions offer a great toolkit. In order to increase the versatility of your deck you can include as many one-offs or two-offs as you like. Halls of Colossus allows you to tutor them reliably, although it is not simple to find Kaalgrontiid in your 50- or 75-card deck. Nonetheless, let’s look at the dragons available to us.
- Tiny Dragon deals 1 damage to all creatures. Combined with Leaflurker, Finish Off, or Curses, he can help to remove a lane for House Hlaalu decks. When combined with Doomcrag Vampire in House Redoran, he can instantly clear a lane.
- Blood Dragon is a very powerful dragon with stats of 5/7 who can go face in spite of any guards put in his way. He can also attack creatures in the other lane which makes him a good option when you are building a winning board.
- Skyborn Dragon battles an enemy creature when he is summoned. His power of 7 will likely allow you to remove a bigger threat. His health of 3, though, will likely get him killed in the process. If you get him to survive his attack, you will have a threat on board that your opponent will have to deal with.
- Wildfire Dragon deals 1 damage to all other creatures (including your own), and has a slay +1/+1 effect. This allows you to buff him up beyond his already decent stats of 6/6.
- Swiftwing Dragon is a 5/5 dragon with charge who can easily remove an opponent’s creature or go face directly.
- Mystic Dragon is a 4/4 dragon that can be used to increase the density of prophecy cards in your deck. Otherwise, he provides no immediate utility.
- Echo of Akatosh is a 5/5 dragon that gives a random keyword to a creature that you draw to hand.
- Icewing Dragon allows you to shackle an enemy creature when he is summoned: a good option for dealing with a drain creature hidden in the shadow lane.
- Revered Guardian is a 4/4 dragon with guard.
- Karthspire Scourge gives all enemy creatures in a lane -1/-0. (Merry’s editor’s note: and is the most annoying card in the entire game).
- Undying Dragon is a 5/5 dragon with drain. With Ebonheart Oracle he can double up and even become a 10/10 when your health is above 30. He is definitely a great consideration as well.
- Serpentine Stalker is a 4/4 dragon who can move to attack a creature in another lane. When he slays, he gains +2/+0.
- Shearpoint Dragon has been used in many control decks for his ability to remove a smaller creature or to wound and finish off larger creatures. Therefore, a curse package with Murkwater Savage or Murkwater Scourge, Leaflurker, Finish Off and even Debilitate are very powerful control tools that combo nicely with Shearpoint Dragon.
- Dovah of the Voice is a 6/4 dragon with a last gasp ability that puts a random shout into your hand.
- Spine of Eldersblood is a 6/6 dragon that gains one max magicka. He might be considered as a ramp card.
- Ironscale Dragon is a 7/7 dragon with Regenerate. He is a big body that can fight for board or go face, but has no additional special abilities.
- Skeletal Dragon is a 5/5 dragon with Guard. When summoned, he gives all creatures in your discard pile +2/+2. His last gasp ability allows you to draw another random creature from your discard pile, allowing you to cycle back a random card.
Battlemage and Neutral
- Frostscale Dragon has stats of 6/6 and deals 4 damage to an enemy creature and 1 damage to all other enemy creatures. He is a potential option for Guildsworn decks.
- Reflective Automaton might be considered for Factotum decks.
- Clockwork Dragon allows you to guard the shadow lane or put a drain creature into field.
Again, we don’t know the full Moons of Elsweyr set yet, but based on existing cards, Control Monk, Control Crusader or Control Spellsword (or related tri-color attributes) might consider Kaalgrontiid and a carefully selected set of dragons in their deck.
Mage, unfortunately, appears to drop off a little, as the blue dragons are not as strong as their counter-parts in other attributes. Historically, however, Mage has probably been the class to build the best support decks, therefore getting synergy from a different angle.
Card Evaluation Summary
To put some numbers behind this – here is our card evaluation by quadrant squeezed into a 5-point scale.
Rating Scale: 1 – Very Weak. 2- Weak. 3- OK. 4- Strong. 5- Very Strong.
Synergies for Kaalgrontiid and Halls of Colossus
Re-triggering Kaalgrontiid’s Summon Effect
Cards like A Night to Remember, Dark Rebirth, Winterhold Illusionist, Abnur Tharn or Ulfric’s Uprising can re-trigger Kaalgrontiid’s summon effect. Doppelganger can be used to duplicate Kaalgrontiid as well. With the blue action Brilliant Experiment you can also spawn an additional copy of Kaalgrontiid to your hand.
All of these options will effectively summon an additional copy of Halls of Colossus, allowing you to tutor two non-unique dragons per turn from your deck. Sounds like a pretty irresistible win condition. Definitely for some meme decks, maybe even for a more viable ladder deck.
Each attribute has one Lookout that benefits from dragons being summoned. In Strength, Blades Lookout allows you to draw a card. Ghost Sea Lookout gets a Ward in Intelligence and Willpower has Cliffside Lookout who gains a buff of +1/+1 whenever a dragon is summoned. In Agility, Woodland Lookout gains 4 health per dragon summoned, and Ancient Lookout, who summons a 1/1 Draugr Sentry with guard can be included in classes running the Endurance attribute.
Dragon Tribal Synergies
Kaalgrontiid will also work in your Dragon tribal deck. In addition to the Lookouts, there are several cards that promote tribal synergy. For example, Training Grounds buffs each dragon by +1/+1 and Ring of Lordship can reduce the cost of your dragons by 1. Potentially, this will drive synergies a little bit too far, but at least the possibility of reducing the cost of Kaalgrontiid with Ring of Lordship, Transitus Shrine or Thieves Guild Fence is an additional option for classes that do not have access to magicka ramp.
Kaalgrontiid in Support Decks
With Tower Alchemist, Cauldron Keeper, and the recent Alchemy, your support control deck has multiple options to synergize with Halls of Colossus and get additional activations. If you are willing to include some non-unique dragons into your Support Mage, or Support Crusader decks, you might get even more value out of Kaalgrontiid and his rage of dragons.
Low-creature decks and Dragon Mound
In a 50-card Mage deck (or a 75 card Guildsworn deck), Kaalgrontiid can be combined with the 7-cost action Transmogrify from Isle of Madness. Transmogrify played on curve can summon Kaalgrontiid and give you a lot of value early on. Ideally, you’d want to re-trigger his effect and convert your entire deck into dragons. Enter Dragon Mound. With the 6-cost support in hand, you will likely get a good shot at getting the dragon you desire to beat down your opponent from here on. Definitely a fun, cool, and memey way to win a few games (and lose a few more).
With Kaalgronttid we are getting a card that is right on spot of the Elder Scrolls lore and another great 12-cost finisher. He is a good choice for control decks that would like to take a more proactive approach and add a small rage of dragons to control the board during mid-game and finish off their opponent during late-game. Potentially, Kaalgrontiid and his rage can find a home in Control Monk, a deck that benefits from synergy with Shearpoint Dragon, Undying Dragon and potentially also Woodland Lookout. Kaalgrontiid should also be tried in Hlaalu decks, where you get to pull a 5/5 dragon with charge for reach.
With more dragons getting released in Moons of Elsweyr, we will update the article once we know the full set, as it is rather likely that additional dragons with additional effects get added to Legends. Bright moons light your path!