The Elder Scrolls: Legends

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The Elder Scrolls: Legends

Postby Alan » Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:40 pm

I've been playing this for several months and have never posted about it. When I was in HS I played some Magic but back then I was too self-conscious to be seen playing it at school, and I could never get past the art style of Hearthstone, but I guess TESL made me realize that I like CCGs. It's nice to be able to play a game that you can pick up and put down within 10-20 minutes.

TESL has a two-lane system, a "field lane" and a "shadow lane." The field lane is basically the same as where you play creatures into in HS. When you play creatures in the Shadow Lane they gain cover for one turn and can't be attacked by opposing creatures (but can be targeted by actions and summon effects). It's a pretty cool mechanic that leads to some more tactical flexibility in how you play various decks.

Overall it's fairly well balanced, I think. I've been playing Control Rage Crusader (Yellow/Red) mostly, which isn't really one of the top decks but I generally feel like when I lose it's because of bad play on my part rather than my deck itself.

Until yesterday Ramp Scout (Green/Purple) was the top deck, with Control Rage Archer (Green/Red) and Aggro Crusader (Red/Yellow) not far behind, but they just nerfed several key cards for Ramp Scout, as well as Unstoppable Rage, which obviously hurts all Rage decks. Not sure how much it'll change the meta though.
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Re: The Elder Scrolls: Legends

Postby Jonathan » Sat Dec 16, 2017 12:58 am

What's the card economy /rarity situation?
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Re: The Elder Scrolls: Legends

Postby Alan » Sat Dec 16, 2017 5:51 am

It’s fairly generous. The four tiers of rarity are common, rare, epic, and legendary. Some legendary cards are uniques, which you can only have 1 copy of in a deck. You can have 3 copies of any non-unique. The minimum deck size is 50, max is 70. It’s not recommended to play more than the minimum deck size.

If you play through the story mode you earn enough gold to buy one of the pre-made packs, which includes at least one legendary card. Otherwise, from what I’ve heard is that you should get a legendary on average every 10 to 15 card packs, which cost 100 gold or $1 each. You can scrap cards for soul gems, which can be used to craft any card. There is one card set expansion (Skyrim) and two story expansions. The card set expansion functions essentially the same as the core set where you need to open packs or craft cards. The story expansions reward you all their expansion cards by completing the story. There are a couple “starter deals” that you are eligible to buy once that give you more value for your money than you typically would get for buying card packs; some are pre-made packs and some just give you more packs than you would normally get. You can buy the story expansions for $20 or 3000 gold each.

If you have a computer tuned to a TESL twitch channel at all times you’ll be randomly awarded loot in game. Until recently the rewards were probably too generous; every few days you could get rewards 3 times a day, with rewards as nice as 1500 soul gems (legendary cards cost 1200), a legendary card, or 600 gold. Now the rewards are twice a day, and I haven’t gotten those really premium rewards in a while.

It took me about a month of playing (and spending around $30) to be able to start making meta decks. Up until then I could play at the lower ranks with budget decks (these can fare pretty well actually depending on what archetype you pick - Aggro and token decks tend to work better on a budget than do control decks) or in Arena (the draft mode). I started playing in July, have spent around $60, and have a good enough collection that I can play any of the top meta decks except mage, Assassin, and sorcerer - my blue collection is relatively sparse, but I have close to 8000 soul gems banked so I could probably craft at least one meta deck in those classes.
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Re: The Elder Scrolls: Legends

Postby Alan » Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:54 pm

In ranked play, there are 13 ranks, from 12 down to 1, after you climb through rank 1 you reach Legend. The ladder is reset each month, though if you're Legend through rank 4 you reset to rank 5, if you're rank 5-8 you reset to rank 9. There is a monthly reward card, you get 1 copy for reaching rank 9, 2 copies for reaching rank 5, and 3 copies for reaching rank 1.

My ladder goal each month is just to go from rank 5 to rank 4 so that I don't have to climb far to get 2 copies of the reward card. Sometimes it takes a few weeks, this month I went on a win-streak and reached rank 4 using a mid-range Battlemage (Red/Blue) deck by the second day, so I've made my first foray into building my own decks to play on the ladder. I tried making a few action Mage decks that failed pretty horribly, then tried making some Market decks. Swindler's Market is a green support card that deals 1 damage and heals you for 1 health each time you play a 0-cost card. Market Archer is the most popular variant, since there is a 0-cost 1/1 red card (Nord Firebrand) with charge that you can summon, and a neutral 0-cost card (Close Call) that unsummons a creature. Red also has several cards that boost the attack of other cards, so if you have several Nords and a couple Close Calls in hand, Market on the board, and 1-2 attack boosting cards (a support called Northwind Outpost, and a creature called Orc Clan Captain) you can burst for 20+ damage in one round. Theoretically it's possible to do something like 80 damage in a round with the ideal set-up (each player starts with 30 health). I started out trying to make a Market Archer deck but it's a popular enough archetype that anything I came up with was just strictly weaker than what's already being played, so I tried a Market Hexmage Assassin. Lillandril Hexmage is a 5-cost card that does 2 damage for each action you play (I tried to use this heavily with the action Mage decks I was creating earlier), and in my market Hexmage Assassin deck I included 0-cost cards that are actions, as well as other cards that can generate 0-cost actions. Early on in testing my problem was that the early-game was too weak; against aggro decks I died before I could do the combo, and against control decks I couldn't bring the opponent low enough in health to be susceptible to the combo (unlike Market Archer, the burst turn from my deck was more like 10-15 damage). I think I have something that works now; my early game mimics one of the meta decks (an aggro-ish Assassin deck), which allows me to bring the opponent down to 15 or lower health during the early to mid-game while generating 0-cost cards and playing cards that include additional card-draw, with the hope that by turn 8 I can play Hexmage with Market. With four 0-cost cards that's 12 damage from hand. Unlike with an Archer deck, opponents don't play around that possibility as much since Market Assassin is not often played and I try to disguise the true nature of my deck until my burst turn. Alternatively, on turn 9 play Hexmage with Lightning Bolt (a 4 cost 4 damage action that can target the player directly), which is 6 damage, and if I have any 0-cost cards in hand each one allows me to do an additional 2 damage. Against decks without support removal, I can play Market earlier on; the dream is having multiple Markets on the board when I play Hexmage and my 0-cost actions. Theoretically I could have 3 Hexmages on the board, 3 Markets, with each 0-cost action dealing 9 damage and healing me for 3 health. That's not really something that could ever happen though.
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Re: The Elder Scrolls: Legends

Postby Alan » Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:49 pm

The Market Hexmage deck got me 8 wins in a row to reach rank 3 (a rank I'd only reached once before), but in rank 3 I was stuck with a 50% win-rate, leaving me still at the bottom of the ladder. Since I still had so much time left in the season, I decided to switch to a meta deck to see how high I could get. I tried token mage (in contention this month as the best deck) which got me to rank 2, but tokens are kind of boring to play and I didn't want the grind to feel so grind-y. So I switched back to the mid-range Battlemage deck (Merric Battlemage) that had got me to rank 4 so quickly.

Merric Battlemage is a mid-range deck that is also a combo deck. I don't play the same list as CVH, but it's pretty close. It's considered a tier 2 deck, but of the meta decks I think it's easily the most fun to play. Merric At-Aswala is a 7-cost 2-2 unique legendary that equips a random item on every one of your creatures in a lane. With Raiding Party (3 cost action that generates two Firebrands), and Markarth Bannerman (5 cost 4-4 creature that generates two Firebrands whenever it attacks), the Merric combo is to have one creature in lane, play two Firebrands, then Merric on turn 7+. On average each item adds around 2 damage, so it produces a pretty nice burst. The second combo in Merric Battlemage is through Supreme Atromancer (10 cost 3-3 with two special properties: 1) deals 2 damage for every creature summoned and 2) summons two 5-3 Flame Atronachs). When you summon it, it deals 4 damage, and then every Firebrand you have in hand is an additional 3 damage. When you can pull off one of the combos, you can deal massive burst damage.

But Merric BM's primary strength is that it is a very strong tempo deck. If you can play on-curve you roll out threat after threat that is hard for the opponent to respond to. Its removal options tend to also develop your board (or otherwise generate value), so it's much more capable of switching from control to aggressive than pure control decks.

I ended up going 18-4 from rank 2 with Merric, and reached Legend for the first time ever yesterday.
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Re: The Elder Scrolls: Legends

Postby Alan » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:47 pm

Still playing this. I more or less have a full collection; I spend soul gems when I feel like playing a new deck archetype but I can play pretty much any of the meta decks at this point. My favorite deck archetype is (unfortunately in the current meta only tier 3-4) Self-mill Doomcrag, where you use Doomcrag Vampire for removal, Disciple of Namira, Namira's Shrine, and Aundae Clan Sorcerer to draw multiple cards every turn, and Necromancer's Amulet for life gain. The rest of the deck is full of cheap creatures that you suicide into your opponent's creatures in order to activate all your other key cards, and then once you've cycled through your whole deck you play Journey to Sovngarde to put all your cheap creatures back in your deck with +5/+5 stats. When it's working well, you can play like 5 cards in a turn and still be able to fully replenish your hand. It works best against other control decks, if you get to the point where you can play Journey without dying in the next turn you've won. It can counter pure agro decently but has trouble against midrange decks.

The last expansion "Houses of Morrowind" added tri-color decks, and a month ago Bethesda announced it was switching developers from Dire Wolf Digital to Sparkypants. Reading between the lines, it seems that Bethesda basically thought DWD did a nice job with the card design and creation of the mechanics of the game, but were not happy with the quality of the actual programming work. They were particularly unhappy with how slowly DWD was patching bugs, how frequently they introduced new bugs with each patch, and how long it was taking them to implement new features.
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Re: The Elder Scrolls: Legends

Postby Alan » Wed Sep 26, 2018 5:49 pm

The new client came out yesterday and it is BAD.

Like really, really bad. There was no beta test of any sort, but some of the bugs that are present shouldn't have needed a beta test to catch. It probably should not have been released for another 3-4 months. But it is now the live client and people are PISSED. Also, due to the switch in developers and the new client, there has not been any new content for months and the meta has become really stale. I've played the same mid-range battlemage list when I want to win for like 2 months now. The decks on the ladder are all pretty much optimized and anything you experiment with is just strictly worse.

I downloaded Eternal, which is DWD's own card game, with mechanics more similar to MtG than Hearthstone. I will probably give TESL another 2 weeks or so to get its shit together before moving on. It is looking more like I will be trying Artifact when that comes out.
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