Glossary of Terms

The following glossary attempts to explain the most widely used terms on this blog, as far as relate to Collectible Card Gamers in general, and specifically to The Elder Scrolls Legends.

Aggro: A deck archetype that seeks to win the game early by doing as much damage as possible and as quickly as possible; often through the use of inexpensive creatures and direct-damage actions. More about this deck archetype can be found in Being Aggro – Beatdown Decks in Detail.

Alpha Strike: To attack with all of your creatures, usually for Lethal.

Board: The playing field that is divided into Lanes in The Elder Scrolls Legends.

Board State: Describes static elements such as creatures and supports currently (visibly) in play. Provides a snap-shot of who is currently in control of the game. In a very simple scenario, a player with a single large creature out against an opponent with none is said to have a favorable board state.

Board Wipe / Sweeper / Board Removal: Destroying all creatures in both lanes of the Board at once through an action or ability.

Card Advantage: Card Advantage can simply be defined as generating more cards than the opponent, either through drawing, 2-for-1’s, and other methods. More details in Three Ways to Create Card Advantage in The Elder Scrolls Legends.

CCG: Collectible Card Game

Control: A deck archetype that seeks to win the game by controlling the game board with removal, permission, and card advantage. Wants the game to go late to play overwhelming spells and creatures. Quality is better than Quantity.

Evasion: A creature that can either break through the opponents defenses or are particularly hard to remove.

Face / SMOrc: To “go face” is to attack the player rather than his creatures. This reduces the player’s health.

Going Infinite: When a combo can potentially continue indefinitely.

Hatebears: A Hatebear taxes players to spend additional magicka above and beyond the normal cost of a card. Example: Whitered Hand Cultist let’s all actions cost 2 more and Wrath of Sithis let’s your opponent’s cards cost 1 more next turn.

Jank: A word generally used to describe something that’s perceived as being poor in quality, whether it’s a particular card or an entire deck. Usually used desparigingly or, in some amusing cases, bitterly.

Lane Wipe / Lane Removal: Destroying all creatures in one lane of the Board at once through an action or ability.

Lethal: When you have enough virtual damage through a combination of actions, abiltiies, and creature power to kill your opponent in a given turn.

Meta Game: The game that is played before you play Elder Scrolls Legends. It’s when you choose a particular piece of tech, or decide what deck to play based on your perception of the format. You are “playing the meta game” when you decide to put in Healing Potion because you expect a lot of aggressive decks. Often erroneously used to describe the state of the game.

Midrange: A deck archetype that can shift gears from control to aggro based on the match-up. It usually favors powerful, efficient, creatures and actions in the 4-6 magicka slots.

Mulligan: Originated in golf. Basically a do-over. In CCG’s, it refers to the act of drawing a new hand. In TESL in particular, you can choose to discard certain cards rather than the entire hand.

Netdecking: Copying popular decks without alteration.

OTK: One-turn-kill. A combo or Board State that can go Lethal in only one turn, to avoid the card draw and/or Prophecy effects of runes breaking.

Playset: When you have the maximum amount of a card that you can put into a deck. A playset in TESL is 3. Note: For Unique cards, only one copy of the card can be included in the deck.

Ramp: Accelerating your resources so you can play more / expensive cards sooner than you would otherwise be able to. In TESL, this is mostly done through an increase in magicka or maximum magicka.

Rogue Deck: A deck that does not conform to the meta or has hitherto been unseen. Rogue decks are often tailored to disrupt the preceived state of the format by using unexpected cards or strategies that other decks are not prepared for.

Scoop: To concede.

Slow Play / Slow Roll: The art of carefully playing in such a manner as to either lure your opponent into a trap or hang on to game ending cards while baiting out removal. Can also be applied to using as little cards as possible to harm your opponent, such as maintaining a superior board state but not overextending resources, to avoid Lane Removal.

Stack: Your draw deck.

Staples: Highly desirable cards that generally find a way into multiple decks, or are hallmarks of a particular attribute. (e.g. “House Kinsman is an Agility staple.”)

Stax: Stax cards symmetrically deny resources. As a deck strategy, Stax mostly relies on resource denial, but also often includes Heatbears (see above), disruption to potentially lock down opponents and make it difficult to play creatures or actions or have any kind of reliable board state. The goal is to build a system of denial as fast and efficiently as possible, thus allowing you to set up your win conditions unopposed. 

Swing: To attack with your creatures.

Tech: A card particularly chosen for its usefulness against a particular deck. Secret Tech is a card that was thought useless that disrupts the outcome of a match.

Tempo: An obscure concept that can be oversimplified to describing it as the person who is making plays rather than reacting to them is said to dictate the tempo of the match. 

Tier 1: The highest echelon of deck rankings. Decks that are considered Tier 1 dominate the format and shape the way it is played.

Tier 2: Outlaying decks that can win games, but may have poor matchups against some of the more popular decks in the game. Often these decks are just waiting for a card or two to elevate them to Tier 1.

Top Deck: When a player utilizes a card he just drew to swing the game his way. (e.g. “I top-decked a Dawn’s Wrath and was able to stabalize before I died the next turn.”) When a player is reduced to no hand size and relies on what he draws he is known to be in “Top-Deck Mode”.

Trade: Effectively exchanging creatures with your opponent in the most effecient way possible in the hope of gaining incremental advantage.

Tutor / Fetch: An effect that allows you to seek out a specific card from your deck. See more details in Tutors in TESL – The Basics.

Vanilla: A creature with no special rules or keywords.

Win Condition: A specific card or combo that you expect to use to finish your game. These are often large creatures that are difficult to get rid of, or game ending combos (e.g. Going Infinite).

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