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 called Soul Reaper.
Elder Scrolls Legends Decks: Soul Reaper
- Deck Colors: Green/Purple (Scout)
- Deck Type: Control
- Legendaries: 8
- Epics: 12
- Overall Cost: High
- Difficulty to Play: Easy/Med
The Soul Reaper deck’s theme is a combination of a couple of mechanics that were added in Heroes of Skyrim. The first of those is Slay, whereby you gain a benefit when a creature of yours “Slays” an enemy creature and the second is the ability to retrieve creatures from your graveyard via cards like Soul Tear, Falkreath Defiler, Skeletal Dragon and on occasion Blood Magic Lord. What makes this combination so deadly is that creatures with Slay force your opponent to attack them or face the consequences, which allows you to control the board. Then when the time is right you can retrieve them from your Discard pile, making your opponent face the same predicament all over again.
The strategy with this deck is to get out Brotherhood Sanctuary early or surprise an opponent with it when he/she least expects it, “reaping” more rewards. Use your Scout’s Report and Thieves Guild Recruit to churn through your deck and make sure you are getting the cards you want. Thieves Guild Recruit can often reduce one of the 6 most expensive cards in this deck, so play it as soon as possible before you draw them and it loses value. Use Fighters Guild Recruit, Dark Guardian and Brotherhood Slayer to gain a foothold until you can drop some lethal creatures. If you control the board when you get to 4 Magicka you will generally be in good shape.
The second part of this deck is pulling back creatures from your Discard pile when you need them. Against aggressive decks you will often need to pull a guard back, and Preserver of the Root is a great choice in this case, especially mid game when he is buffed. Late game you will be deploying powerful creatures, some of which are sure to meet their demise. Keep pulling them back and making your opponent have to deal with them over and over again. You will find that often people will simply concede late game against this deck from demoralization and apathy.
Must Have Cards For This Deck
The most important card for this deck is quite obvious: Brotherhood Sanctuary.
For all intents and purposes this is the card that takes your deck from being annoying to being downright scary. For 1 Magicka you get a card that doubles the effectiveness of 13 cards in your deck and potentially all of them if you have Lucien Lachance in play. With 2 or more Brotherhood Sanctuary in play you could potentially bring 3 creatures back from your graveyard, draw 3 cards, draw 6 cards, or with Lucien Lachance gain +6/+6 on the creature that Slays. Just pulling off any one of those 1 time could win you the game! Needless to say never mulligan this card and play it turn 1 if you can.
The next “must have” is Lucien Lachance. He gives ALL your creatures the ability to gain +2/+2 when slaying for 4 Magicka and is also a 1/5 with Lethal. Whether you’re playing the Soul Reaper deck or not this guy has HUGE value. I like to hold this guy until I know I’m going to attack and kill something and then buff 1 or more creatures by doing so. Consider using Soul Tear to bring this guy back if he dies early game.
This might be one of the most versatile cards in all of Elder Scrolls Legends, as it fits in EVERY single Purple deck nicely. Purple has some of the most powerful creatures in the game and being able to selectively bring them back gives you a huge edge. Your opponent might be able to remove your godly creature once, but odds are he won’t be able to a second (or even third) time.
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: Dark Guardian, Archein Venomtongue, Falkreath Defiler.
Dark Guardian at first glance doesn’t seem that great in this deck. It doesn’t have Slay, it’s ability isn’t particularly useful in a Control deck. However, look through any color in Elder Scrolls Legends and you will be hard pressed to find a better defender for 3 Magicka, and you do make use of its ability from time to time. Having defenders early is important, so that you can survive until your higher cost creatures can hit the board.
Archein Venomtongue is a natural fit for this deck. With it’s Slay ability that grants Max Magicka, you can shoot way ahead of your opponent very quickly. With Brotherhood Sanctuary in play I’ve managed to get well over 20 Magicka, and this creature played a large role in that.
Falkreath Defiler is an important part of this deck for board control, but at first glance 4 Magicka for a 3/3 doesn’t seem like much of a value. Realistically this guy won’t survive long enough for you to use his Slay ability, but he will force your opponent to focus on him, and thus not on you. This will buy you valuable time to land your more powerful creatures and should help to thin your opponents removal cards, help ensuring those creatures live. If for some reason he does get the chance to Slay, he can change the game.
The last batch of Important cards are: Preserver of the Root, Pahmar-raht Renegade and Thorn Histmage.
Preserver of the Root is probably one of the best cards in all of ESL for it’s cost. You need defenders in this deck and this guy fits the bill. Soul Tear can pull this guy back for 2 Magicka and you can drop him back into play for 4 making for one of the best uses of Soul Tear in the deck. If he happens to be buffed by Soul Tear and/or Skeletal Dragon then you’ll get even more bang for your buck.
Phamar-raht Renegade is great for adding card draw to this deck, since it’s not devoid of it, but it’s a little weak. For 5 Magicka this guy is almost guaranteed to survive until your next turn and net you at least 1 card, but hopefully more.
Thorn Histmage is not the best defender in the deck, but because it grants 1 Max Magicka it’s worth the higher cost. You need both defenders and to climb up the Magicka ladder quickly in order for the deck to succeed so it’s a natural fit. Remember that this guy gains power when you gain Max Magicka so play him and then play things that increase it, not the other way around.
This is a control deck so you want to play the Soul Reaper deck reactively. This means that you are playing in response to your opponent’s play, and aren’t playing aggressively. Sometimes you can get great draws that will put you in a position to play this way, but be warned, you won’t be able to keep up. Most of the cards in this deck are not powerful in an aggressive way. Most have abilities that make them important and unique, but they won’t win you any races. Your main goal is to control the board and wait to attack until there is no chance of you losing.
This deck shouldn’t have too much trouble against aggressive decks, however, if you find that you are, consider adding some more defenders or cards with Prophecy since the deck only has 9.
The most trouble you’ll probably have is against other control decks as they have lots of removal and your cards need to attack in order to be useful. You’ll have to play smart and practice against some of these decks before you will win more than you lose. Climbing higher in Magicka will give you an edge so be sure to use it and Hist Grove will give you a fighting chance against them, so make sure to use them.
Consider adding cards like Astrid, Sanctuary Pet, Eclipse Baroness, Dragon Cult Ghost, Stalking Shadowscale, Stalwart Ally or Young Mammoth to your deck. They all have a place and most are well worth their cost. Dragon Cult Ghost for example could be a 18/18 creature and might even able to finish your opponent in one blow, preventing him from getting Prophecy cards.
The Elder Scrolls Legends released on Android and iOS mobile platforms this week making it the perfect time to brush up on your deck building. Have fun!
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