The Elder Scrolls Legends Beta is in full swing and I have been playing it almost non-stop. Although there is no time-played stat in the UI of ESL (and thank god, I’d be embarrassed), I’d estimate I have played nearly 40-50 hours since the Beta started, losing about 2-3 hours of sleep a night on average. It’s been a long time since a game has hooked me so thoroughly! What this has afforded me, besides my previously non-existent early morning coffee habit, is some insight into one of the best decks I have seen or built. For those interested in theory building through the beta, I’ve put this article together to take an in depth look at my present effective deck. Before we get started, if you need a primer on what the game is all about, check out our preview as well as our deck building article.
In all the hours I have played, I haven’t seen another deck out there quite like this one. If you’re tired of the constant Blue/Green or Red/Yellow decks leaving you in tears and crave sweet revenge, this might be the deck you’re looking for. I call it Purple Prophecy. The name itself is a bit misleading, although the deck has a decent amount of prophecy cards in it, it isn’t the focus of the deck. Let me explain.
The deck focuses on drawing and playing 3-6 Magicka Creatures that get more and more powerful as the game goes on, constantly putting pressure on your opponent to deal with them or pay the iron price. Purple Prophecy is primarily a Purple deck (thus the name!), and by keeping the deck primarily 1 color we are able to take advantage of 2 cards that become considerably more powerful, justifying their cost and paying dividends. The first of these Creatures is Stalwart Ally. 3 Magicka for a 3/3 creature is decent to begin with, enough so that I see this card in most every deck that contains Purple, on the chance it might get it’s buff. In this case we almost guarantee it because we only have 9 Yellow cards. That’s roughly an 80% chance for it to work and it almost never fails. I don’t know a player out there that wouldn’t take a 3/5 Guard for 3 Magicka. This card will often buy a turn or two to start putting pressure on your opponent since few creatures are going to be able to breakthrough that creature by turn 3, provided you went second.
The second of these 2 cards, and one I rarely see in opponent decks, is Gloom Wraith. Why is this card almost never played? Most Purple decks are mixed with Yellow or Blue which are heavy on creatures of those respective colors, making this card easy to passover. In our case it works out extremely well because we generally have 3 or 4 Purple creatures out by the time we’re ready to play this. We accomplish that by using the first of our Prophecy cards, Midnight Sweep and by using the card Northpoint Captain. Both of these cards will drop 2 Purple creatures onto the board, and the second of these two is quite hard to kill as it comes with a 0/4 Guard. Well, what happens if I’m playing against a Creature Denial deck? Doesn’t this card become useless? I’m glad you asked!
Let me introduce you to another seldom played card called Flesh Atronach. At first glance it looks terrible: 6 Magicka for a 1/1 that will be a 5/5 at best when I get to 6 Magcika. Before you question my choice of intoxicant, here me out. This card is your insurance policy. Your game should flow well, howerver if things are looking bad this guy can land on the board as your savior. All your creatures have been wiped out, your opponent has around 15 health and you have around 20 and he/she’s got 2 or 3 small creatures left. Then comes the boom. You drop this card for an average of 8/8 in your shadow lane and now your opponent has to scramble to adjust to the new entrant. Meanwhile, you can clear the board or directly damage your opponent for a huge hit at least once, which buys you more time. On one occasion, I had both out at the same time. They were the only 2 creatures on my board. One was 7/7 and the other was 10/10. It was a beautiful sight, minus the card graphic.
The longer the game goes the more likely it is that you will win. Ironically, most games I have played with this deck are quite short because my opponents get down to 15 health and see that there is almost no chance of winning and concede. Faster wins, mean faster coins and that means more cards. If you can get out Volkihar Lord or one of the other Lord cards you will most likely win the game, and if not, Iron Atronach is sure to do it for you. Cards like Hist Speaker help accelerate this process, and even though they are more useful early game, they still help tremendously if you can get them out around turn 4 or 5. At this point your opponent will be too focused on your larger creatures and will likely leave it alone, allowing you to creep up to 9 Magicka before they even realize it.
You will notice that this deck has very little card draw compared to most decks. Enchanted Plate is really the only card draw in the whole deck. If you are worried about running out of cards, you don’t play any cards the first turn and you will almost never need to play more than one card per turn. You will draw Enchanted Plate often enough to get one about 1 every game. You simply don’t need card draw for this deck to be effective.
We’ll close with a few general tips about this deck. You want to stay ahead of your opponent in health if you can. Healing Potion will help you ensure this early game, but don’t use it until you absolutely need to as you want your opponent to break your runes so you draw more cards. Don’t give them a free 5 health cushion where you can be attacked without drawing anything. Use Gloom Wraith and Stampeding Mammoth to kill your opponent’s creatures while still dealing damage to your opponent. This will keep your opponent at lower health which will nullify any cards that reward having more health and allowing you to use yours if necessary. It will keep the pressure on your opponent to deal with your creatures, which will often be a losing battle. Save Shadowfen Priest until you need to silence something. Don’t just drop him out there to get a creature out, use him wisely. Use Daedric Dagger to take out anything you really need to kill or that your larger creatures can’t. And finally, if you are constantly playing against overwhelm decks, or decks with a lot of small creatures, consider adding Immolating Blast to your deck as a powerful palette cleanser.
Enjoy the deck. It’s a bit different from the standard meta decks that are out there, and it’s always a pleasure to demoralize a Green/Blue deck with more than 20 health left. Thoughts on the deck? Have you got your own carefully crafted deck to share? Leave your feedback in the comments!
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