Elixir of Potency – Uses & Synergies
Elixir of Potency is a new support card in the latest expansion Jaws of Oblivion. For 2 magicka, this elixir grants a random keyword to a creature of your choice and has three uses. GicaForta revealed the card yesterday on his YouTube channel.
Since this is a card with a random effect, let’s look at the possible outcomes:
- Breakthrough: Your creatures that deal enough damage to destroy a creature will deal any excess damage to your opponent. This is ideal for your pilfer creatures. It is generally more useful in aggressive decks.
- Charge: Your creature can immediately attack. This is best on creature with high power and breakthrough if you want to deal damage to your opponent. If you’re going to trade, it’s best to give charge to a creature with ward or lethal. It also works well on a creature with rally.
- Drain: When that creature deals damage on your turn, you also gain that much health. This is best when given to a creature in shadow lane. It also works very well when given to creatures with lethal or ward.
- Guard: Your creature now blocks attacks from your opponent. If guard is given to warded or lethal creatures, your opponent might take some unfavorable trades or have to use their hard removal to deal with it.
- Lethal: Your low-cost or high health creature can now trade into a more significant threat and kill it. Lethal is best when given to a small warded or guarded creature.
- Rally: Buffs creatures in your hand when it attacks. Not your most preferred option as it improves something that’s not even in play yet.
- Regenerate: This creature now heals at the start of your turn. This is best given to high-health creatures. It can work well when given to guards and high-health lethal creatures.
- Ward: The first time this creature would take damage, it takes none. A ward given to a guard or lethal creature will let you trade with that creature multiple times.
Keyword-generating cards work well with creatures that already have ward, guard, or lethal as their keyword and have high power or health. Sorcerer and Assassin are probably the dual-color classes that appreciate keyword synergy the most. Before we look at synergies, though, let’s evaluate the card using quadrant theory.
Elixir of Potency during Opening
During opening, the potion is an investment in your future. When playing the elixir on curve, you want to already have a creature on board to leverage the additional keyword immediately. However, most often you’ll want to give keywords to sizable threats or creatures with dedicated synergy. Using one use on curve is probably waste, because your early game creature is probably easier to remove. Therefore, elixir will not have an immediate impact on the board during the first part of the game.
Elixir of Potency at Parity
At parity, when both players are relying on their top deck, the tincture is a lousy draw. First of all, it lacks immediate board impact, puts you at a disadvantage during this phase of the game. However, it’s even worse if you have no creatures currently on board. A dead draw during this phase of the game can be fatal. However, if you still have creatures on board, you might try your luck facilitating favorable trades by giving ward, guard, lethal, or regenerate to a big creature. Alternatively, drain can give you some life back. Overall, there’s a 5 out of 8 chance to get something of value. Still, a Vigilant Giant is a better draw.
Elixir of Potency when Winning
When you are winning the game, the Elixir of Potency doesn’t put any additional fighting power on board, but it can help you in several ways. Breakthrough can help you to find those last two or three points of damage you might need to close out the game.
Lethal might let you remove an opponent’s guard with a smaller creature, allowing your bigger threats to go face. If you roll charge on a newly played creature, you might finish your opponent a turn early.
Guard or ward will help you more favorably trade to secure your board state and continue with steam. The elixir can have some positive effects, but you are dependent on getting lucky with the appropriate keyword. At least 5 to 6 out of 8 keywords could potentially be useful during this phase of the game.
Elixir of Potency as a Turnaround
With creatures on board, you can use the Elixir of Potency to help you trade your creatures or to gain some life. During this phase, keywords like drain, guard, ward, lethal, and charge can help you to stabilize. However, with no creatures on board, the number of decent options is reduced to two, namely the charge and guard keywords.
Card Evaluation Summary
To summarize: Elixir of Potency gives random keywords to your creatures on board. These can do work for board-based, proactive decks during almost all phases of the game. The condition of having creatures on board is more difficult to meet at parity or when you are losing the game. Therefore, our ratings, as shown in the following table, indicate a weaker rating for those quadrants.
Rating Scale: 1 – Very Weak. 2- Weak. 3- OK. 4- Strong. 5- Very Strong.
Creatures with Keywords
The Elixir of Potency synergizes with creatures that are already equipped with a few keywords, as these reduce the number of possible outcomes. For example, you cannot get breakthrough, drain, or ward on Hand of Dagoth. He leaves you with four in five keywords that you actually might want to get in addition to these (i.e., lethal, guard, regenerate, charge). When constructing your deck, look for creatures with multiple keywords as well as cards that give wards. By doing so, you can better control the variance of the keywords that Elixir of Potency can randomly add.
Across various sets, The Elder Scrolls Legends has known a small number of creatures that love keywords: Manic Jack from Isle of Madness gets a +1/+1 buff for each keyword applied; when Dremora Adept gains a keyword, she invades, which upgrades your existing Oblivion Gate or summons a new one to shadow lane; Nereid Sisters share their keywords when in hand, in play or still in your deck; and Battlereeve of Dusk gives +1/+1 to each creature for each keyword they have.
If you manage to play Demora Adept with a level 4 Oblivion Gate in play, she will automatically receive a keyword from the gate and invade. By using Elixir of Potency, you can even add more keywords and upgrade your portal even further.
Other Keyword Generators
There are quite a few cards that already give your creatures keywords. Sixth House Amulet and Wardcrafter give ward. Moreover, numerous items also give keywords (e.g., Improvised Weapon, Daedric Dagger, etc.). Arcane Enchanter can even add random keywords to all items that you draw. Plus, carrds like Mundus Stone, Royal Sage, or Wisdom of Ancients also exist that give random keywords to your creatures on board. Last but not least, Baron of Tear and Queen Barenziah give guard to other creatures as well.
With Mentor’s Ring, you can distribute keywords from one creature to all your creatures on board. With charge, ward, lethal and (or) guard, this can frequently win you the game because your opponent cannot contest your board effectively anymore. Therefore, keyword soup decks usually like to include a few copies of this item, and it can be tutored reliably with Crucible Blacksmith.
The Elixir of Potency is a card that promotes the existing “keyword soup” archetype. Fully dedicated keyword-soup decks have neither seen play on the ladder nor in tournaments for a long time. However, individual cards like Manic Jack and the Nereid Sisters have seen competitive play together with dedicated keyword-giving cards.
Since Oblivion Gates will also be giving keywords to your Daedra, we might see an attempt at revitalizing these mechanics. Due to the random nature of the effect, many players shy away from using it. However, there are ways to control the variance of the generated keywords, in particular for sorcerer, assassin, Dagoth, and Telvanni decks. The combo with Dremora Adept and the Oblivion Gates will be explored once the new expansion launches.
But the potion might also find a place in existing archetypes, such as Support Mage or an aggressive Forward Camp Mage.