How to Build Your Card Collection in The Elder Scrolls Legends
Have you recently started playing The Elder Scrolls Legends? Have you finished the tutorial and now want to know how best to build your card collection? Do you want to know which story expansions to buy in which order, or if you should play solo or versus arena? Where to spend your gold? Let us answer all of these questions and more.
1. The Forgotten Hero Tutorial
All players start with The Forgotten Hero story tutorial. The whole story is told in 20 missions divided into three acts. You learn the basic mechanics of the game and earn your first few cards. You also level up your hero. I recommend you read about Level Rewards to get the most out of your first few hours of gameplay. Once you finish the tutorial, you will have a decent number of cards from the Core Set and a few premade starter decks.
2. Grow Your Card Collection: The Options
After you finish the tutorial, you will have multiple paths available to you. The basic options are:
- Daily Login Rewards: Log in once a day to get increasingly better rewards every day of each month. The daily reset is at 2:00 am EST, or 6:00 am UTC.
- Solo Arena: Win up to 9 single-player matches against different AI opponents to win increasingly better rewards, with your maximum reward at 9 wins. You need event tickets or gold to enter solo arena. Acquire one event ticket during the tutorial and earn additional ones as daily login rewards. You have a random chance of winning event tickets when you watch any Legends player on Twitch. With no tickets left, you can play arena at the cost of 150 gold. Check out the solo arena guide on the r/elderscrollslegends subreddit.
- Versus Arena: This is the same as solo arena, but you play against human opponents. Since versus arena is more difficult than solo arena, you only need 7 wins for the best rewards in this mode. It’s the best way to earn rewards, but it can be challenging depending on the opponents you are matched against.
- Ranked Play: Every three wins, you will be rewarded with 15 gold and a random card. By climbing to rank 9, 5, or 1, you will earn one to three copies of the monthly reward card. (Note: you may also earn rewards for every three wins in Casual Play. Ranked play is usually easier for new players at lower ranks).
- Practice Games: Challenging the practice AI rewards you with soul gems. Save your soul gems for old monthly reward cards and check out our Monthly Reward Cards – Crafting Guide. You will need some, but not most of them.
- Story Expansions: These extensive story expansions reward you with cards that you can only acquire in these missions (playing through each story mode on Master Mode will award you with soul gems and titles). You can buy story missions with gold or cash: every story has 3 chapters, each of which costs 1000 gold.
- Promo Expansions: These are smaller sets of cards that can only be acquired through the promo offer for 1,500 gold.
- Premade Theme Decks: These theme decks cost 500 to 1,000 gold each. They give you the opportunity to learn new mechanics and experience the unique features of the different classes. You get a legendary and several epics with each deck and should get these before you craft any legendary or epic cards. These decks are relatively low-value per gold, however, so it’s common not to buy any of these.
3. Grow Your Card Collection: Recommendations
Which of these routes you take depends on what type of deck you want to build next. You will need very different cards depending on if you want a budget ladder deck, a deck for practice mode grinding, or the last number one deck on Legends Decks, and this next deck should guide your efforts.
Here are a few tips and tricks to help you grow your card collection efficiently:
- Login daily to earn the daily login reward.
- Connect your Bethesda account to your Twitch account, and watch a lot of TESLegends on Twitch to receive twitch drops. Please follow the guide posted here for more details.
- Complete your Daily Quests (aim for 60+ gold whenever you can, replacing low value quests or quests you can’t complete).
- Consider disenchanting premium cards, but check out our article on Premium Art Cards in Legends first. Do NOT dust other cards.
- Look for budget decks that have high viability on the ladder (see Budget Decks). Hit rank 4 on the ladder every month if you can to guarantee you two copies of the monthly reward card and a reset back to rank 5 rather than rank 9 at the end of each season.
- Play Solo Arena and Versus Arena (once you are more comfortable) and spend tickets, but not gold there (unless you have completed #7).
- Save gold for the story expansions and promo sets (see details below). You should get them all before you start crafting cards.
- With the stories and promo sets completed, use your gold to buy the premade theme decks or to play in arena.
- Save your soul gems to craft monthly reward cards first, as these are cards you can only get as rewards for ranked play. You will have to use soul gems to craft the rewards for months you missed. Here is the Monthly Reward Crafting Guide.
- Use extra soul gems to craft legendary cards only, as you will eventually get all epics in the game through regular gameplay and pack openings.
- If you have all the legendaries, start crafting the epics you do not have yet. The Core Set is the hardest to complete, but completing it should only be your goal once you have collected all the legendaries.
3. Adding Cards from Story Expansions & Promo Sets to Your Card Collection
Story expansions are part of Legends’ single-player experience. Similarly to the tutorial, story expansions take you from battle to battle and sharpen your deck building skill. The fights you win will expand your card collection and provide additional soul gems when played on Master Mode. Story expansions cost 3000 gold in total, 1000 for each chapter. Promo collections are small expansions that give you special cards for 1500 gold.
This one has outlined his thoughts on which order you should buy story expansions and promo sets below…
5.1 Recommendations for Aggro
If you prefer to play aggro decks, aggro sorcerer and red aggro crusader can take you to rank 5 on the ladder as budget decks. Please check out our article on budget decks for even more decklists and detailed deck descriptions. Once you have decided on a deck to build, you should lay out a strategy for how you will acquire the cards you need. red aggro crusader is very close in composition to the Band of Survivors deck, so your collection already has a great starting point.
The following subsections contain an overview of the order in which you should acquire the story and promo expansions as an aggro player. This path is not tailored towards any particular aggro deck, but is based on the general value and playability of the aggro cards in the expansions.
5.1.1 Fall of the Dark Brotherhood
For 3,000 gold, Fall of the Dark Brotherhood has a lot of competitively viable aggro cards. Marked Man, Penitus Oculatus Agent and The Black Dragon are all staples in yellow token decks and in aggro Hlaalu and Empire. Aggressive red decks like to run Underworld Vigilante for reach. Garnag is an extremely important tech card against control decks, limiting their high-value plays. Protector of the Innocent is oftentimes found in prophecy battlemage. Brotherhood Slayer can expand your magicka by acquiring 0-cost contracts and is often played in aggressive Archer or Hlaalu lists.
5.1.2 Isle of Madness Story
Isle of Madness has a good amount of aggressive cards. Shining Saint, for example, is a versatile card that allows you to trade favorably in both field and shadow lane. Doomfang Ally is a powerful card that sees play in aggressive to midrange Dagoth, battlemage, or assassin lists, but most prominently in aggro sorcerer. Similarly, Gnarl Rootbender is an option for blue-green or blue-yellow midrange decks as a value engine, drawing a card whenever targeted by an action. Unstable Madman can easily snowball out of control, and is a good inclusion for red aggro decks. Syl, Duchess of Dementia also sees a lot of play as a versatile finisher. Finally, Manic Jack/Manic Mutation is an essential inclusion in almost all aggressive blue decks, including aggro sorcerer and mid-mage. Check out our Isle of Madness Walkthrough if you ever get stuck somewhere.
5.1.3 Forgotten Hero Collection
The Forgotten Hero Collection is available for 1500 gold and contains Bleakcost Troll, one of the best cards in any aggressive Endurance deck. Cradlecrush Giant is a high power tool used in mid-battlemage and battlemage variant decks.
5.1.4 FrostSpark Collection
Getting the FrostSpark Collection gives you access to Sword of the Inferno, a versatile weapon seen in both midrange and control decks, and to Wilds Incarnate, a high quality resource extension tool for control and high burst potential aggro decks. Green Pact Ambusher is a guard that you can sometimes sneak out in the aggro mirror when players fight in opposing lanes, and Karthspire Scout can function as a cheap enabler for Wood Orc Head Hunter in orc tribal warrior decks.
5.1.5 Clockwork City Story
The Clockwork City story expansion provides only a few cards for aggressive strategies. If you like to play decks with a high percentage of neutral cards, Hulking Fabricant and Kagouti Fabricant are two powerful cards for you. However, you will need Dwemer cards, such as Steam Constructor (an expensive monthly reward card), Dwarven Sphere (a common from Core Set), Yagrum Bagarn (a legendary from Houses of Morrowind) and Dwarven Dynamo (a rare in Heroes of Skyrim) to make them work consistently.
5.1.6 Madhouse Collection
The last expansion you should get is the Madhouse Collection, which provides Stoneshard Orc for orc-tribal warrior decks and Gardener of Swords for item battlemage and item Daggerfall decks.
5.2 Recommendations for Control
5.2.1 Clockwork City Story
If you prefer to play control decks, you should get Clockwork City first. You will get a lot of staple control cards like Barrow Stalker, Galyn the Shelterer, Reverberating Strike, Hallowed Deathpriest, Memory Wraith, Laaneth, and for meme decks, Dwarven Colossus.
All of these can be used in both Tribunal and Telvanni control lists.
5.2.2 Fall of the Dark Brotherhood Story
Next, you should get Fall of the Dark Brotherhood. Once you have completed all three acts, you will have Astrid, Brotherhood Slayer, Quicksilver Crossbow, Sanctuary Pet, Falkreath Defiler, Fell the Mighty, Eclipse Baroness and Unstoppable Rage.
This will allow you to build lethal ping control decks in archer, Ebonheart, and Hlaalu. You can also play Unstoppable Rage decks. Unstoppable Rage is amazing on a drain creature for healing and stabilizing, and on a high attack breakthrough creature as a finisher combo.
5.2.3 Forgotten Hero Collection
Once you have enough gold again, get the Forgotten Hero Collection. Here, you will get Tullius’ Conscription, Namira’s Shrine, Ulfric’s Uprising and Sly Marshblade.
Conscription decks are a popular and powerful archetype. They work best in Telvanni, Empire, Hlaalu, and to some degree in Redoran as well. Cradlecrush Giant is a powerful body with great utility to clear a lane. Ulfric’s Uprising is a value card for more proactive control decks that rely on creatures with strong summon effects. Sly Marshblade can be used proactively during your openings against aggro and can later on extend your resources. Finally, Namira’s Shrine is the quintessential value engine, drawing you a card at the end of each of your turns after you’ve played four cards.
5.2.4 Isle of Madness Story
Next, you should get the Isle of Madness to acquire Pointy Wall of Spikes, Icy Shambles, Skinned Hound, Luzrah Gro-Shar, Squish the Wimpy, Golden Initiate, Drive Mad, The Gatekeeper and Thadon, Duke of Mania.
Pointy wall is a decent blocker, and shambles and hound help you to slow slow down aggro. Luzrah goes well with Odirniran Necromancer (Galyn as well) for some powerful discard pile recursions. Squish can be used with drain creatures to heal, as a stabilizing tool when paired with Night Talon Lord, or as a finisher on a high attack breakthrough creature. Initiate provides excellent healing at a low cost, Drive Mad can be removal and The Gatekeeper can effectively shut-down an entire lane. Thadon is a powerful card to extend your resources across multiple turns.
5.2.5 FrostSpark Collection
Next, get the FrostSpark Collection to get Sword of the Inferno, Piercing Twilight and Apex Wolf. The sword is a high quality slay activator, Twilight banishes things for you and Apex Wolf is decent when you need to heal, although you might prefer to use him in mid-range decks.
5.2.6 Madhouse Collection
Finally, get the Madhouse Collection. You’ll get Merchant’s Camel, the premium draw card that digs you deeper through your deck. Altar of Despair is primarily a card for control Telvanni that can help you to outvalue your opponent even in long games.
Summary – How to Grow Your Card Collection
The most important thing to remember when building your collection is to have fun. Give every game mode a shot and see what works best for you as an individual. You should revisit each game mode every now and then to see if your preferences might have changed. All the game modes are unique in their own way. The story expansions will train your deck building skills, the arena modes allow you to play cards you don’t own, and practice is good when you want to relax in a low pressure environment. Don’t be afraid! Oftentimes, losing against a good opponent in versus arena or in ranked play can teach you more about how to play than yet another game against the AI. Good luck in building your collection and see you on the ladder!