The New Starter Guide for The Elder Scrolls Legends is a key go-to-point for new players of the game. It helps you with your first steps and allows you to learn more about the various aspects of the game in a very short time. You will learn how to build your card collection and find guides, tips and tricks to play the game successfully.
1 The Basics for New Starters
The Elder Scrolls Legends is a strategy card game that is very friendly to new players. Just by playing it frequently, you can earn all sorts of rewards and expand your card collection. This new starter guide covers all important aspects. But before we go into all those details, let’s first look at some of the basic concepts in the game: Cards, Attributes, Classes and Houses define which cards you can include in your deck.
You can use four different card types in the game: creatures, actions, items and support cards.
Creatures can be summoned into the lanes of the game board. Each creature has a power and health value. Most creatures also provide additional effects, as specified by the text on the card. Creatures can attack the opponent directly to deal damage to the health (this is sometimes called “Hitting or Going Face”). Creatures can also attack other creatures. In this case, they deal damage equal to their current power value and receive damage equal to the power value of the defending creature. If a creature’s health is reduced to zero, they are sent to the discard pile.
Races, Tribes or Creature Types are the different folk from the Elder Scrolls Legends universe, you might already be familiar with from the classic single-player or online-RPG games from Bethesda. These include Nord, Khajiit, Imperials, Elves (Wood Elves, Dark Elves, High Elves), Argonians, Goblins, Orcs, Trolls, Dragons, and many many more. A brief overview shows how these races are distributed across the various attributes: Attributes & Races – A Reference Sheet for Elder Scrolls Legends and can form the basis for building some so-called “Tribal” decks.
Actions are played to perform a one-time effect that can target the opponent directly or one or multiple creatures, or even entire lanes.
Items are weapon cards that are played on a creature on the board to boost the power and/or health values of that creature. Some items also provide keywords or additional other effects. If the creature bearing an item is destroyed, both the item and the creature are put into the discard pile. Similarly, if a creature is silenced, any equipped item is put into the discard pile. You can play an item with the Mobilize keyword to an empty lane. When you do, you automatically summon a 1/1 Recruit and equip the item to it.
Supports are cards that provide beneficial effects, or hinder your opponent usually affecting more than one creature. They are therefore not played onto a creature, but into the support area of the game board, where a maximum of four support cards can be played. While some supports provide an ongoing effect that lasts until they are removed, other support cards be activated at will, once per turn.
The Attributes are represented by the different card colors within The Elder Scrolls Legends. They are a game mechanic to limit the card pool you can use to build your decks. You can build a deck out of a single attribute (so called Mono Decks), a class (dual attribute decks) or a House/ Faction (Decks with three attributes).
The following set of articles looks at one attribute each in more detail and explains the different strategies and the available card pool on a high level (Please note: an in-depth article for Endurance (purple) and the Neutral (gray) color is still being worked on).
“Infinitely more versatile than a simple blade of steel, a good mage has a wide array of spells at her disposal. More than that, sheContinue reading ...
Willpower – The attribute of charismatic leaders and cunning illusionists, of mighty warrior-poets and mad sorcerers, of stalwart soldiers and sworn protectors. Willpower is theContinue reading ...
In Elder Scrolls Legends, Classes are a combination of two Attributes that combine the strengths of the two attributes. Each class has it’s own strengths and weaknesses as it provides access to some cards, but not to others.
The available Classes are explained on this page. You will find a few guides in each menu category. I will highlight some of them for easier navigation:
In Elder Scrolls Legends, Houses (or Factions) are a combination of three Attributes that combine the strength of these attributes. Each house will have wider access to a larger card pool than any Class or Attribute. However, decks with three attributes require a minimum of 75 cards, so there is less consistency in card draw (compared to 50-card decks) and decks usually include a card draw engine.
These are the Houses (introduced with Houses of Morrowind) and the Factions (introduced with the Alliance War card pack expansion).
- Tribunal Temple
- Aldmeri Dominion
- Daggerfall Covenant
- Ebonheart Pact
- Empire of Cyrodiil
- The Guildsworn
2 Building Your Card Collection
2.1 Playing the Game as a Free-to-Play (F2P) Game
The Elder Scrolls Legends is a game that can be played as a Free-to-Play (F2P) game. It is very possible to even play the game competitively as a F2P game, although some spending wouldn’t hurt. A more comprehensive guide and a lot more tips and tricks to play TESLegends as a free game can be found in the following article.
2.2 Rewards for Leveling-up Your Hero
The Elder Scrolls Legends game is great if you want to take a “free-to-play”approach: in the first few weeks, you will be able to earn new cards by leveling up your hero to level 50. By simply playing the game you will collect soul gems and gold to extend your card pool. Each level gives you some reward, that can be used to extend your card pool. It’s important to know some details on this, so please do read the Leveling Rewards article for further details.
2.3 Buying Regular Card-Pack Expansions
In general, you can buy card packs with in-game gold or real money. Packs are available for the Core Set and several expansion sets as described here. Things will be faster when you spend gold or money, but if you play consistently a few matches every day over a few weeks, you will gradually be able to build a good card pool to build your decks. There is an important thing to know about in-game gold: you can spend it on regular core or expansion packs, but at the beginning the by far preferred option should be to spend your in-game gold on Story Expansions.
Story Expansions are one of the most effective ways to extend your card pool. You pay about 1,000 or 1,500 gold for the stories to get a lot of single-player fun, real good training on the game mechanics, extra gold and soul gems (to spend on more cards) as well as really good cards you can only get in these expansions. Gold is relatively easy to get by winning games and progressing your hero. Have a look at this general article about Story Expansions for a general overview of what’s available.
All stories can be played on Normal difficulty but also on Master level which is actually pretty challenging and it might take you multiple attempts to complete such a mission successfully. TESL.BLOG has created “Master Guides” to help you in completing the difficult Master levels of the story expansions. The master level provides even more soul gems, additional gold, as well as sometimes a premium card. Our guides showcase both decklists from the community, as well as YouTube videos created by other content creators. So most credit goes to them, but we wanted to create a nice reference point. The following Guides should be a good go-to point if you are struggling to complete a mission or two, please see them here:
Promo Card Sets are a collection of a few new cards, that are usually pretty strong and provide interesting game mechanics. These promo sets can usually be purchased for 1,500 in-game gold or a reasonable amount of money. Some of the promotional cards are rather strong, so new starters to the game should very seriously consider to acquire the cards. Some cards are also forming new deck archetypes and have influenced the meta very heavily and still provide very viable cards. The following promo sets are available (click on the links to get a more detailed review):
2.6 Monthly Reward Cards
Monthly Reward Cards are frequently granted at the end of a month to players having good success in ranked competitive play with constructed decks. These cards are among the most difficult to obtain for newer players, as they can only be earned during that particular month and not purchased by other means. It is therefore recommended to play in ranked games and achieve level 9 to earn one copy of the card, or level 5 to earn two copies of the card and ideally level 1 to receive three copies of the card. To obtain cards from month you have already missed, you have to use your soul gems. It is highly recommended to keep all your soul gems strictly for acquiring these monthly reward cards. The top Monthly Reward Cards you need to craft are explained in the Monthly Reward Cards – Crafting Guide.
2.7 Premium Cards
The Elder Scrolls Legends has some great premium cards with enhanced animated artwork. They offer no additional value, other than the enhanced card art, so they are more for collectors and avid fans of the game. Some cards look stunningly amazing for sure. Hence, it is highly recommended to take a decision early on in your game progression (maybe after your hero has reached level 50), to see if you want to invest a little or a little more or a lot into these cards. More details can be found in Premium Art Cards in The Elder Scrolls Legends.
2.8 Card Crafting Guides
After you have made your decision on premiums, let’s assume you prefer to ignore them totally, and you have now worked very hard to get another 400 or 1,600 soul gems and want to spend them on some additional epic or legendary cards. The game calls this Soul Summoning. But which ones to soul summon first? And which ones can you maybe totally ignore? For each attribute, here are some crafting guides:
- Neutral Cards
- Monthly Reward Cards – Crafting Guide: This guide is focused on some of the most difficult cards to acquire – the Monthly Reward Cards.
As new cards are being released, these crafting guides usually require a bit of an update. Until these get updated, you can evaluate new cards easily by a method called “Quadrant Theory” – a more comprehensive guide can be found in Quadrant Theory in Elder Scrolls Legends Deck Building.
3 New Starter Guide – From New Starter to Master
We are still expanding this section on the site, but there is already some great content around. Check out the Gameplay section and the Tools and Guides for Deckbuilding in The Elder Scrolls Legends. A few selected articles:
- Budget Decks for The Elder Scrolls Legends – Six decklists that can get you started in Ranked Play on “the ladder”
- Strategic Lane Choice in The Elder Scrolls Legends: How to leverage the lane system to win more consistently.
- A Look Into the Deckbuilding Process: How to build and test great decks yourself.
- Attributes & Races – A Reference Sheet for Elder Scrolls Legends: Trying to build a deck with a specific Race? Which attributes to use best? This reference sheet has the answer for you.
- Being Aggro – Beatdown Decks in Detail: Explains the general types of aggro decks.
- Three Ways to Create Card Advantage in The Elder Scrolls Legends: A longer series of articles about card advantage and card draw. More resources in hand, give you better chances of winning.
- Tutors – Deck Building Reference Sheet for The Elder Scrolls Legends: Need a specific card more consistently? Tutors can help you fetch what you need. This Reference Sheet provides a comprehensive.