The Elder Scrolls: Legends – Beginner’s Guide to Ranked Play

Hi there, as a closed beta player, with the launch on steam i thought new players might need a guide to jump in ranked play. Here i will try to explain basic deckbuilding and tips to compete in ranked play.

After the Story

By time time you finish the story, you will have some of the basic cards you can use throughout the game, however most of them will be “novice”. As you level up, these cards will upgrade and will be more useful versions of themselves.

  • 2 Valenwood Trapper becomes Valenwood Huntsman 
  • 3 Whiterun Recruit becomes Whiterun Trooper 
  • 4 Hive Worker becomes Hive Defender or Hive Warrior 
  • 5 Snapping Dreugh becomes either Dreugh Shell Armor or Vicious Dreugh 
  • 6 Guild Recruit becomes either Thieves Guild Recruit or Fighters Guild Recruit 
  • 7 Camlorn Adventurer becomes either Camlorn Hero or Camlorn Sentinel 
  • 8 Archein Guerrilla becomes either Archein Venomtongue or Archein Elite 
  • 9 Divine Conviction becomes Divine Fervor 
  • 10 Quin’rawl Skulker becomes Quin’rawl Burgler 
  • 11 Rihad Nomad becomes either Rihad Battlemage or Rihad Horseman 
  • 12 Orc Clansman becomes either Orc Clan Shaman or Orc Clan Captain 
  • 13 Rotting Draugr becomes either Deadly Draugr or Deathless Draugr 
  • 14 Northpoint Lieutenant becomes Northpoint Captain 
  • 15 Stalking Crocodile becomes either Lurking Crocodile or Ravenous Crocodile 
  • 16 Dres Guard becomes Dres Renegade or Dres Tormentor 
  • 17 Deshaan Sneak becomes Deshaan Avenger 
  • 19 Alik’r Bandit becomes Alik’r Survivalist 
  • 20 Reclusive Giant becomes Vigilant Giant 
  • 21 Dune Rogue becomes either Dune Smalker or Dune Smuggler 
  • 22 Detain becomes Imprison 
  • 23 Night Patrol becomes Night Predator or Night Shadow 
  • 26 Twilight Werebat becomes Moonlight Werebat 
  • 28 Slaughterfish becomes Slaughterfish Spawning 
  • 30 Rising Legate becomes Renowned Legate 
  • 32 Fate’s Witness becomes Fate Weaver 
  • 34 Student of Arms becomes Master of Arms 
  • 36 Wild Spriggan becomes Wild Beastcaller 
  • 40 Expert Atromancer becomes Supreme Atromancer 
  • 42 Winter’s Touch becomes Winter’s Grasp 
  • 44 Stronghold Prototype becomes Stronghold Eradicator or Stronghold Incubator 
  • 46 Cave Grahl becomes Angry Grahl 
  • 48 Starved Hunger becomes Ravenous Hunger 
  • 50 Volkihar Lord becomes Blood Magic Lord or Night Talon Lord.

As in story, occasionally you will have the option to choose which card you want, even though both cards are useful, if you want to jump in ranked as quickly as possible, it is better to choose cards that are more guarenteed, like fighter guilds recruit, night shadow, but generally you should choose according to which cards you got from the early packs.

Also, at levels 24 and 32, you will receive a legendary card depending on your chosen avatar, so you should change your avatars before reaching those levels for a chance to get what you want.

  • Argonian Black Marsh Warden, Red Bramman
  • Breton Daggerfall Mage, High King Emeric, Supreme Atromancer
  • Dark Elf Queen Barenziah, Necrom Mastermind, Indoril Archmage, Divayth Fyr
  • High Elf Ayrenn, Mentor’s Ring
  • Khajitt Descendant of Alkosh, Ahnassi, Quin’rawl Burglar, Thieves’ Den
  • Imperial Lucien Lachance, General Tullius, Renowned Legate
  • Nord Relentless Raider, Tyr, Haafingar Marauder, Miraak, Dragonborn
  • Redguard Merric-at-Aswala
  • Orc Wood Orc Headhunter, Gortwog gro-Nagorm
  • Wood Elf Ungolim the Listener,Allena Benoch 

There is still some randomness, but its better to know your choices. Gortwog, Merric, Indoril, Haafingar, Miraak and Ayrenn is good choices, but many players might disagree due to playstyles.

Building your collection for ranked play is going to cost some grinding or real money. Even if you buy packs, i think it is better to play solo arena for a while before wasting you gold in versus arena. After you finish each arena(win all the matches) you will rank up, Ai will be stronger(sometimes itn an unfair way) and you will get better opponents in versus arena. If you decide to play versus arena, you usually will end up in 1-2 wins and get 1 pack, while in solo you can get 4-5 wins at least with better rewards,so best way to quickly understand the game mechanics AND build collection is doing solo arenas. Next, we will discuss some basic tactics and deckbuilding.

Basic Deckbuilding / Tactics

With your basic cards in place, you need to decide what kind of gameplay suits you. Legends has some limitations against face/aggro with the rune/prophecy mechanic, but that doesnt mean you can’t be aggressive. Control decks mainly use blue,green while aggresive decks use red/purple. But you can use each color with another and build a deck that can suits your playstyle. As your collection grows you will see that every color has some cards to fill up their weaknesses. You will notice i didn’t mention yellow, because in my opinion it is the most stable and useful color in most difficult scenerios. My opinion only.

Anyway, most important thing you should be aware of is board control. With many items and decks, in Legends any creature that stays on board is a threat. Apart from that, occasionally you will face some red player with heavy hitters right off the start. You should have some mass actions like ice and fire storm, burn & pillage and fireball or single clears like piercing javelin and lightning bolt. Never use a deck that doesnt have at least one or two “STOP” cards, because when your opponents play a “high threat” card like quinrawl burgler, flesh atronarch or even a bog lurcher with 9 attack and 1 hp to the shadow lane or and you can’t put a guard against or destroy it, it will soon eat your hp. So even a 1 cost firebolt can save your life. If you can control the board until turn 6-7, you will have the opportunity to make your plays. You might get some damage early, but unless you go below 15 limit before mid-range you can easily have a comeback. If you get rushed early and have single removals you are saving for big guns, sometimes it is better to just kill an annoying 3-4 cost heavy hitter to wait for 3 turns and getting hit for 10+ damage.

That being said, lets speak about face hitting. As you noticed, in Legends we have the rune/prophecy mechanic. At 25-20-15-10-5 health, you opponent will draw a card, and if that card is a prophecy they can play it on YOUR turn with no cost. So if you don’t have enough control, don’t have enough cards in your hand to keep up the tempo, that card will be a piercing javelin and your beloved, buffed creature will be dust while you are thinking about your life choices. so NEVER go face hitting unless you have the cards to keep the hitting. Most of the control players will have a mass removal in their hand by the turn 5 or 6 and by the time 7-10 they will have their big guns out, so if you start, dont stop and keep hitting. One good side is, your opponent can only have 10 cards in their hand, so if you start with a good draw and keep hitting from the start they will have their cards burned and wont have time to play their combos. Have some items and basic spells to keep your creatures alive and you might see their life at 0 by the turn 5 – 6.

More Advanced Tactics & Ranked Play

Now that we have the basics, it is time to jump in ranked play.

You will start at rank 12 and try to go higher to rank 1 and legend. Until Rank 10, lost matches will not cost you stars. Each month, according to your milestone rank(9-5-1) you will respectively get 1-2-3 copies of a montly reward card, some gold and dust. These cards change each month and sometimes are very sweet (like sower of revenge). Each constellation has different number of stars and keeps getting harder. You will notice when you hit lowest star and lose, you go up to a different ladder called the serpent and you will stay there unless you win 2 times in a row. Good thing is you can’t actually fall further, so don’t worry about losing too much.

Up until rank 8-9, you opponents won’t be using many legendaries or unusual combos. What you should do at this ranks is to try to kill early buffers like legion trainer, brauma armorer or you will have lots of low cost cards buffed and your 3-4 cost cards will die easily. There are some constant supports like divine fervor and thieves den that are very, VERY annoying and elixirs that buff creatures for a limited times, so if your opponent manages to gain board control, it usually results in a loss. So keep at least one vicious dreugh or another support killer in your deck as a precaution.

Depending on your playstyle, another thing you should consider is buffing creatures with spells or items. You might use your buffs on a low cost creature to annoy your opponents and make them use a removal before your big guns or you might try to stack some buffs on your hand to one-shot the opponent. The latter happens more often than you think, you can lower your opponents hp to 10-15 limit, play a 6-7 dmg creature and easily buff it to just kill of your opponent. This is a guarenteed way to play, since your opponent wont be able to draw runes. Instead of giving your creature 2 buffs in different turns, it is usually better to play a creature in shadow lane and do that buffs in next turn for a hard hit.

For board control, i mentioned mass removals and i will do that again because that is very important. Especially for blue players, you need ice storm, couple of firebolts(you can use cunning ally to get them too, although some rng involved) and winter’s grasp. For some more spice, if you have a dres tormentor(4 cost, 3/4, deals 3 dmg to any creature shackled), you can turn your winter’s grasp in an ice storm with shackle. Also useful when played with other shackle cards, so it is one of the most useful cards in the game. For green, wound mechanics is very important. Cards like finish off and leaflurker can kill any creature wounded regardsless of their hp, when played together with ” deal 1 dmg ” cards in red you can control the board easily. Yellow has single removals like javelin and sanctuary raid that are very straightforward and imprison, which kills any creature if you have 4 yellow creatures on board. Red and purple doesn’t have straightforward removals. Purple has lots of lethal cards so it is usually not a problem. Red creatures already hit hard enough to kill any creatures. But it has one trick up its sleeves and it is named “Unstoppable Rage”. It deals a minion’s dmg to all creatures in a lane including yours, so it can clear a lane easily. Try it on a minion with breakthrough or drain and behold how broken it is. It is probably(hopefully) will be nerfed though.

Written by Velorien.

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