Hello dear Readers!
Today I would like to present a deck that I have been working on for the past few weeks. I am very happy with how it turned out after many revisions. I hope you enjoy this deck guide, I will present the deck and also explain how to play it optimally, discuss shady card choices, cards that can be replaced and with what etc. etc! This will be a guide I will construct over several days, so please feel free to check back to read up on it!
Game: The Elder Scrolls Legends
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: Dire Wolf Digital
Distributor: ZeniMax Media
Tutorial: Spellsword Midrange ft. Nahagliiv
Author of this article: Peekaboo
Time of testing: 02 & 03 – 2017
Reachable ranks: 3, possibly even 2 or 1
Allright, as I put my race to rank 1 to claim those sweet, sweet dollars, I mean monthly cards on hold, let’s dive into this tutorial!
I have played over 100 games with this deck, making adjustments along the way. Man if you could only see the first version of this deck, man oh man how cute it was. I started this deck at rank 5 and got to rank 3 in matter of weeks. I hope I can get to rank 1 in matter of days (5)… Wish me luck…
Anyway, this deck is for beginners and experienced players alike, but mostly aimed at players with an established card collection since it is not shy of legendary cards. That being said, I will try my best to recommend cards that can serve as replacements for these ultra rare cards, I mean legendary cards.
Important note: The 7+ mana cards are NOT necessary in this deck! I will explain below why. But I just felt like this should be mentioned because that means that you only need 1 legendary card (and even that one isn’t necessary BUT it is a huge bonus card!). But all these cards have immense value on their own, so crafting them is wise, not only for this deck, but for all future decks.
I would recommend crafting Odahviing first, since it’s a neutral card. Then Miraak, since it has immense value. Then Nahagliiv, because you get immense trading value from it most of the time (unless your opponent has silence or Leaflurker, still 2 for 1). Finally I would reccomend Blood Magic Lord over Dawn’s Wrath, simply because it’s a creature and can actually help you control the board with the spells you get.
Important note #2: I build this deck using the cards at my disposal, I can’t and don’t even believe the deck will be better with 3 Haafinger’s or 3 Blood Magic Lords. But if you happen to have more than one of those cards in your collection already, why not try it!
Without further ado, let’s dive into the deck!
The different purposes of this deck
Since this is a Midrange deck, the main purpose is to control the board. But not always. Oh boy here we go again (remembering my “Playing Midrange, 3 quick tips” guide).
Imporant note: it’s okay to go face when you have cleared the board. This is not a hard control deck that doesn’t go face. This is a Midrange deck which controls the board and goes face whenever it can! But, if you feel like you might be giving your opponent an edge by giving him a card on a particular turn, then feel free to skip the turn without going face. For example, if you are convinced that your opponent doesn’t have a Javelin in his hand and you just played a Blood Magic Lord or Night Shadow, then it’s okay to hold back on attacking face and prevent potentially giving your opponent the Javelin due to rune loss.
Let’s start with my understanding of the purpose of a Midrange deck in general. Control the board until you have superior minions on the board and/or feel like you can safely go for a lethal set-up without putting your life total or your minions in direct danger.
That being said, it hold true for this deck. Hence the extremely controlly (control-ish?) late game. If you can’t get a hold of the board in the early game because you face one of those extremely annoying Spellsword control decks or any other extremely annoying control decks who executes your Wind Keep Spellsword on turn 2 then you might want to bank on your late game. But don’t lose hope! If your minions get removed simply keep playing minions, because every time your opponent removes a minion he uses a card. And if he uses his spells to remove the early, less important minions, well he will be in for a surprise in the mid-late game!
But don’t get reckless however, because most of the time, you don’t want to play a Haunting Spirit when you can’t give the buff to any other minion. Playing the Haunting Spirit this turn to play a minion next turn and secure the buff that way is fine, playing Haunting Spirit and not playing anything the turn after is not fine! So keep in mind that your minions have different roles. For you experienced players out there, you might want to skip this next section, and you lovely beginners out there, allow me to explain the priorities of the cards (in this deck only)!
Priorities of the cards! (for this deck only)
Priorities of removal
This is the order that Execute, Crushing Blow, Mummify, Silence and Javelin go: Execute first if possible, then Crushing Blow, then Mummify for the big threaths and Javelin for the even bigger threaths! You want to save Silence for the buffed creatures or the creatures that give your opponent an advantage. Man thats a lot of removal, but it’s all necessary. Generally you will be playing Execute and Silence in the early game and save Mummify and Javelin for the big threaths. I will explain below why each removal card should be played and when.
As for the rest of the cards…
Low priority (draw and play, yay!)
These are the fun cards, you can play them right away!
I know, I know, this card has an effect! And while the effect is nice, the 3 health is not so nice. So, however fun it might be to get 6 attack on this minon, it’s less nice to see it get killed by Crushing Blow after! Longer the odds, huh, well I prefer playing this card immediately.
The reason I play this card immediately is because it is extremely good for 2 mana. A 2 mana 2/3 means that the card will be guaranteed to stick on turn 2 (unless your opponent coins out the Crushing Blow).
Wind Keep Spellsword!
Wind Keep Spellsword is an amazing card. Absolutely amazing. I love the ward on it. Until it dies to execute. Why am I playing this card again? WInd Keep Spellsword has the potential to get at least 2 for 1 in the early game.
I would absolutely recommend to coin this card on turn 1. This is no card to savor in your hand until you find the right moment to play it, no! In the words of Abusive Sergeant of Hearthstone, get out there and fight, maggot! No but seriously, this card is an absolute must play in the early game.
This card is a basic damage card. You will generally play this card to damage your opponent, either direcly or by the breakthrough damage by trading with a minion.
I honestly only included this card because I needed something to fill the 4 mana slot but I can’t imagine this deck without this card anymore. The card is just amazing in fulfilling the purpose of this deck, which is damaging your opponent!
This card is an absolute must play on turn 5 or 6. Your opponent will generally have no answer other than hard removal so either way you will get value from this card. Don’t worry about it getting insta removed, it means that your opponent has one less removal for your other late game threats and it also means that your opponent has to commit mana to this card instead of playing a threat of his own.
Mid priority (draw and think, ouch!)
These cards are a little tricky, since they are valuable cards that, if killed immediately, lose their value and make you question every play for the rest of the game. So these cards should be played at the right time. Here is where the skill comes in!
A rule of thumb, hold back on playing these cards until you find an optimal situation to play them or until you risk falling behind on the board.
Who would’ve thought Silence would require actual thinking to play! Well it doesn’t really, but you can’t exactly play this card whenever you draw it right!
Silence is a card that should be held back on until you can silence an item on a minion, or a ward or a buff. For example, Daggerfall Mage, Relentless Raider, Auroran Sentry, sadly not Ahnassi anymore etc. I personally love the 0 mana cost on the Silence because it means that you can play Nahagliiv and also silence that lethal enemy creature in the same lane! I hope they never nerf it to 1 mana, please DireWolf, never nerf Silence!
Anyway Silence is just a must have in the deck, because it can turn many situations around. It’s an extremely flexible card and you will use it to silence even your own minions at times! When that pesky Green color opponent curses your minion you can silence your own minion to avoid it being finished off the following turn! Or you can get by a guard with the silence for lethal! The latter is actually much more common.
Careful use of silence during the game can actually win you the game! Or at least give you a huge advantage.
You generally want to play execute on small minions, since it is extremely unlikely to get the combo with Cloudrest Illusionist off. Besides, if you ignore a Daggerfall Mage in order to get the combo off, that’s not the best practice! So generally you want to use execute on cards that your opponent plays to support his plan, like Daggerfall Mage or Fifth Legion Trainer.
It’s also okay to use execute to remove cards in order to protect your own cards, for example, using execute on a 2/3 to protect your Wind Keep Spellsword is totally acceptable.
Crushing Blow is a great removal card. For 3 mana it means that you can get rid of early game creatures to protect your own creatures or get rid of big threaths that survived a trade or two. Generally you want to play Crushing Blow to either get rid of a threathening minion, no matter the size, or to protect your own minions, no matter the minion. I say no matter the minion because it’s almost always worth it to protect your minions in order to snowball the board control. Crushing Blow is a card that is used to remove minions, so why not play it to remove minions!
Oh with threathening minions I mean minons that participate to your opponents overall deck plan, like Fifth Legion Trainer or Goblin Skulk or Supreme Attromancer.
But there is no reason to hold back on this card to destroy a Supreme Attromancer! It’s perfectly fine to play this card on the smaller creatures mentioned above, because by turn 9 you can play other cards to deal with the Supreme Attromancer.
This is the absolute nr. 1 of this list. Haunting Spirit, when played right, can win games. I said it, it’s that overpowered! Haunting Spirit is a card that you want to play to give the buff to another creature almost 100% of the time. The +3/+3 can absolutely devastate the early game and also the mid and even lategame. The buff means that a 2/2 turns into a sweet 6/6, which can’t be bad!
This card is a bit tricky, you generally want to hold back on playing this card until you break a rune and are able to draw a card. However, if you draw this card before turn 4 and you haven’t got any minion on the board while your opponent does, feel free to play this card. Not playing the card in that situation will only result in falling behind on the board and losing the game.
Yes, this card isn’t a draw and play after all! Generally you want to play Mundus Stone if you don’t need to play anything else. For example, if your board is a bit too weak for your taste, only 1 Wind Keep Spellsword for example, then you want to hold back on playing Mundus Stone if you can play a Loyal Housecarl instead that turn.
Rule of thumb: you want to play Mundus Stone as soon as possible.
Generally you want to play this card for it’s effect. But it’s also a great card for trading or putting pressure on your opponent. If you can’t find an answer for a minion that your opponent put on the board, consider playing this card, even when you can’t benefit of the effect. It’s better to play it and have a body on the board than to not play it at all!
You generally want to play this card to protect your minions. Which means it’s okay to play this card on a 4/4 Young Mammoth to protect your 3/3 Dragontail Savior. Why? Because if your Savior stays alive you force your opponent to deal with it with another method. And you deny your opponent a value trade (the 4/4 for the 3/3).
Rule of thumb: This card is free to play whenever you feel the need to. Holding on to this card too long will only result in you falling behind on board, which isn’t good for this Midrange deck.
This card has an amazing effect and is an absolute showstopper (or party crasher) for your opponent. It has the potential to block a swarm attack and also the potential to finish your opponent with that extra burst damage. I generally hold on to this card until I find an optimal situation for it, which will become very clear when it presents itself. There is not much thinking involved with this card, either play it to absorb some damage or play it to trade or damage your opponent. It is perfectly fine to play this card on it’s own.
Preserver of the Root
Preserver of the Root, you can generally play this card to protect your Health Points. It’s more of a need to play card than anything else. Ofcourse if your opponent has swarmed the board then you can play this card and get some sweet value. But you want to play this card to get the buff. As a 4/4 it’s just not worth it. Besides from turn 1 – 5 you will have other cards to play anyway.
This card is usually reserved to remove supports, and I usually reserve this card for such situations. But sometimes you need to silence some creatures like Daggerfall Mage, in that case it’s perfectly fine to use the silence. Especially when you suspect that your opponent won’t play any supports (i.e. Mage, Battlemage).
Nahagliiv is, just like Loyal Housecarl, a showstopper meant to block any swarm damage. Usually you will get 3 – 4 for 1 value with this card. So you generally don’t want to play this card to counter a 7/7 unless you have to! If you have hard removal in your hand just use the removal and save the Nahagliiv to get value.
Blood Magic Lord
BML is a great card usually played for it’s effect. I usually play it not expecting to get a second card from it, so I usually just play it to get the immediate card and then bait out removal from my opponent. It’s a great test by the way, if your opponent doesn’t remove the Blood Magic Lord, feel free to play any other big threat without fear of your opponent removing it. Added bonus is that the threats snowball into a huge board for you!
But yeah, as a rule of thumb, just play this card when you need the extra spell to get you out of a tricky situation, and/or to force your opponent to trade into it. Which means it’s okay to play this in the Normal lane.
It’s also okay to play this card when you are already ahead on board and just want to snowball into more board control, in that case it’s depending on the state of the board whether you want to play the BML in the Shadow or the Normal lane.
Top priority cards (Warning, don’t play these cards carelessly!)
Makes sense right? You don’t want to waste mummify on a small creature unless it’s a card like Daggerfall Mage and you do not have any silence option in hand. In which case it’s even recommended to mummify that card. Otherwise you want to save mummify for big threaths.
Rule of thumb: Silence small creatures if you can, otherwise use the mummify on them if you need to. This means using Shadowfen Priest (unless you suspect your opponent to play a support any time soon, then it’s okay to mummify if you need to).
This card holds the potential for great, great value. But with 3 health it can be easily removed. So generally you want to play this card when you can break at least one rune with a minion. You also want to play this card in the Shadow lane to keep it safe, this is not a card to bait out removal with or getting a trade! You generally only want to play this card for the items.
Dawn’s Wrath is as premium as a premium removal card can get. The ability to remove up to 4 of your opponent’s creatures should not be taken lightly. It’s okay to sacrifice some of your own smaller creatures to get rid of bigger threaths of your opponent. But before doing so you should always consider the value of trading versus the value of removing every minion with Dawn’s Wrath. For example, it’s okay to use Dawn’s Wrath on a lane where you have a Leaflurker and two Dragontail Savior’s versus 2 or 3 big threaths of your opponent. However, if you can trade the Leaflurker and Dragontail’s in the big threaths and take care of it that way then you definitely should, ofcourse.
Mantikora is generally a card you want to hold on to until you can remove a big threat from your opponent. Just like Odah and Miraak you don’t want to play this card recklessly, because if you can’t remove a minion you cripple the value of the card massively.
That said, you will find yourself removing all sorts of cards, ofcourse in the beginning you might save Mantikora until you can remove that sweet Night Talon Lord or Odahviing (BibleThump, oh it’s your opponents? Never mind, destroy that card!).
But later you will realize that you have 3 Mantikora’s, and it’s okay to play 1 on that 4/4 guard protecting a 2/2 and a 3/3 to gain board control and also make Mantikora potentially trade with those smaller minions.
As a rule of thumb you always want to play Mantikora to gain board advantage and preferably with the intention to trade into a bunch of minions.
Miraak, Dragonborn (obviously, but not so obvious actually!)
Miraak is an amazing card to play. You always want value from it, so this is a card that you don’t play recklessly to bypass that 1/1 guard to get some extra damage in! Miraak is a flexible card that can actually turn the game back around in your favor, but when do you play it? What card do you steal (borrow) from your opponent? Well, that is all situational, and after a while you will get more skilled at recognizing these situations where it is time to play Miraak. Miraak is a card that can steal an Odah from your opponent, or just a 4/4. It’s all a matter of the current situation. But keep this in mind when playing Miraak, you want to take the win condition or a significant advantage away from your opponent, be it a 8/8 Night Talon Lord or a 2/2 Black Marsh Warden or just a 2/2 Orc Clan Captain.
While it might seem like a good idea to play Odah (yeah I call him Odah, it’s so satisfying, it’s like calling a lamborghini, the lamb). Anyway, while it might seem like a good idea to playing him on a not so threathening board, be careful! Because if you opponent has a way to remove Odahviing from the board, you actually lose your most threathening minion.
Odah is an intimidating body on the board that usually ends the game. As such, he should be played in 1 of 2 situations only.
- To end the game: Say your opponent has around 2 or 3 cards in hand and you suspect he doesn’t have hard removal to deal with Odah, then you play Odah if you can damage him enough for lethal the following turn.
- Say your opponent decided to play his entire hand after holding back the entire freaking game just controlling the board and suddenly he decides to play his whole hand, every minion in his hand! Phew sorry, just a situation I hate in the game.
Well if your opponent decides to do that then you can play Odahviing safely because your opponent has no cards in hand and basically put all his cards on the table (literally). Playing Odah in this situation almost guarantees the win (unless your opponent draws a hard removal from topdeck or prophecy loss, jeez……)
Allright guys, I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. I sure enjoyed writing it!