The Elder Scrolls Legends Decks are the bread and butter of the game, and since the release of Heroes of Skyrim on June 29th, they have changed significantly. As an avid fan of Elder Scrolls Legends, having spent well over the amount any sane person would on the game, I’ve decided to do a weekly segment dedicated just to Decks. If you’re a new player to the game or are simply struggling in competitive play, then these guides are for you. This week’s deck is a Mage Deck called Mirror Mage because of the cards from your opponent’s deck that you play.
Elder Scrolls Legends Decks: Mirror Mage
- Deck Colors: Yellow/Blue (Mage)
- Deck Type: Control
- Legendaries: 5
- Epics: 5
- Overall Cost: Med
- Difficulty to Play: Med
The theme of this deck is to “mirror” your opponent by copying or taking cards from his/her deck and using them against him/her. Not only will your opponent be taken by surprise by what you play, but you will have gain more control by seeing the cards that make up their deck and hand. There’s nothing like playing a copy of someone’s card right after they have just played it on you.
The strategy with this deck is to get out Studious Greybeard early so that you can control what cards you get, making sure you are getting the right ones you need. Firebolt will allow you to control against aggressive decks and Bruma Profiteer well help slow them down by providing some much needed health. Follow up with Daggerfall Mage or Grisly Gourmet to slow them down even further and take control of the board.
Next you’ll want to play cards like Thieves Guild Shadowfoot and Riften Pickpocket to help facilitate card draw and gain some insight into your opponent’s deck and strategy, if it isn’t already apparent. Around turn 3 or 4 you’ll need to decide if your opponent is going for an aggro kill or if he/she is playing a control deck and decide whether to break a Rune or try to run them out of cards.
What you play next will be decided by what you have drawn from your opponents deck. You can either play Thief of Dreams to try to get some more cards from your opponent, or if you drew something good, play one of their cards and beat them to death with it. One game I actually played 3 Alduin because I copied it twice in my opponents hand and used Soul Tear for the 3rd play. I wish I had been recording because I’ll probably never see that in a game again.
Chanter of Akatosh and Ayrenn are used when things are well in control to help get you over the hump to finish off your opponent. And, Dark Rebirth is there to gain more cards from your opponent or to activate an ability from one of the creatures you drew from them (if it would be better).
Must Have Cards For This Deck
We’ll start with the most important cards to this deck: Thief of Dreams, Riften Pickpocket and Dark Rebirth.
Thief of Dreams
Since it’s introduction with Heroes of Skyrim, Thief of Dreams is a staple in any control/combo deck that contains blue cards. For 5 Magicka you a 5/5 that gives you the opportunity to see 1 card in your opponents hand and if you’re lucky, acquire a copy of it. Because you begin the game with such few cards in Elder Scrolls Legends, this is much more valuable than let’s say Magic the Gathering. You can use Dark Rebirth on this card to draw a second copy of that card if it happens to be a good one, since it will show you the same card.
Another great control card added with Heroes of Skyrim, allows you to look at 3 cards chosen at random from your opponents deck and copy any one of them. This card is key to this deck as it really gives you a view into your opponent’s strategy and allows you to surprise him/her with a card that might not be suspected. Again, Dark Rebirth works with this card, so you can draw multiple cards with it.
What’s not to love about this card. It’s a tad on the expensive side at 3 Magicka, but has so many uses with this deck that you cannot play it successfully without it. Many of your own cards have Summon abilities that can be copied by using this card on them, but that’s not where the real potential comes from. It comes from cards you draw from your opponents deck, allowing you to not only play their key cards, but then reproduce their abilities. This one card can swing games in your favor when your opponent least expects it.
Important Cards For This Deck
These cards are not as important as the “Must Haves” but they are still vital to the deck. Let’s take a look at the first three, which are: Thieves Guild Shadowfoot, Bruma Profiteer and Daggerfall Mage.
An oldy but a goody, this card allows you to withstand some early burst from aggressive decks looking to kill you quickly. Since most of the cards in our deck are relatively inexpensive, you can make the most of them by getting this guy out turn 1 or 2. This will also force aggressive decks who like to fill one lane to play in your lane or risk not being able to burst you down quickly. Most good decks in ESL have some life gain, and this card is the bare minimum.
This card and Lightning Bolt are probably the two most commonly played cards in any successful blue deck (and we have both). For 3 Magicka you get a 2/2 with ward that gives you an Item that can grants a card. On top of that this guy can be re-warded with Wardcrafter and you might get that Item a second time. This guy is just a pain for anyone who doesn’t have a card with Silence or an Execute of their own, and that’s the idea.
Thieves Guild Shadowfoot
This card has a two purposes in this deck. Number 1 is to steal a card from your opponent, granting you even more access to their deck. You can take valuable cards away from your opponent with this card, and what’s a good Mirror Deck without some card thievery am I right? Secondly it allows you to bypass the Prophecy mechanic when you break a Rune because the top card is replaced with a Counterfeit Trinket. This is huge because it prevents players who rely heavily on this mechanic from staying in the game.
Removal is a huge part of this deck, as with any Mage Deck, and Execute is one of the best of them all because it can cut through any creature with Ward and when facing Scout Decks (Meta), can kill Dark Guardian. You will use this primarily against Sorcerer Decks, other Mage Decks, and aggro decks.
One of the most used and most powerful cards in Blue’s arsenal. The 4 damage alone is worth the 4 Magicka, but the Prophecy makes this card extremely efficient. Use this to take down creatures with powerful effects early/mid game or to stave off the onslaught of an aggro deck.
Hands down the best removal card in Elder Scrolls Legends and one of the reasons to pair our Blue deck with Yellow. As with Lighting Bolt, being able to possibly Prophecy this card makes it much more potent than it would normally be. Save this card for creatures you cannot kill with direct damage, or for ones that pose a substantial threat.
This deck’s one weakness is aggro and it’s easy to lose against an army of creatures if you cannot get enough removal or you get a bad draw. Try to get your Bruma Profiteer out early and get some health gain before it dies when this is the case.
Be smart about the cards you take when you get to choose them from your opponent and get something that will help you now if needed or later if you think you can make it that long. This is the strength of the deck and learning which cards to take and when is hard to do and might not even apply to the next game, so pay attention and try not to make the same mistakes. Learn from them and get better.
If you missed out on a card with Thief of Dreams the first time, if you use it again, be sure to look for the same card you saw last time and pick that one (especially if it was a high cost). You can use Dark Rebirth the same turn or the following and still might get it. Also, pay attention to what card is in your opponent’s hand and use that knowledge to play smart. If you see he/she has an Ice Storm, don’t drop all your creatures on to the board, for example.
Consider adding cards like: Calm, Hive Defender, Cloudrest Illusionist, Dawn’s Wrath, Shrieking Harpy or Bringer of Nightmares to this deck. Calm and Cloudrest Illusionist both can help you Execute creatures you would not otherwise be able to. Hive Defender is one the best Guards in ESL and Shrieking Harpy provides some Prophecy and a Shackle. Dawn’s Wrath is just more removal and Bringer of Nightmares is more control.
All-in-all this might just be the most fun deck I have ever played in Elder Scrolls Legends because each game is unique and you never know what deck you’re going to “Mirror”. Tweak it, have fun with it and pound your opponent into the ground with their own Creatures.
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