Hello and welcome back to “Why You Should Try” with Inked Gaming and Team Rankstar. I’m Lazergician, one of Team Rankstar’s editors, a member of the Elder Scrolls Legends content team, and the host of the Elder Scrolls Master’s Series tournament at Quakecon. Last time, we took a look at Eternal and all the wonderful reasons you should pick it up. This time, The Elder Scrolls Legends (aka TESL) is under the spotlight - is it the game for you? I say yes, and here’s why.
Why you should try The Elder Scrolls Legends:
The Mechanics: TESL boasts a host of mechanics with varying degrees of success, but the game is built on the backs of two in particular: Runes and Prophecies, and the Lane System. Runes are checkpoints for a player’s health, sitting at 25, 20, 15, 10, and 5 health. The first time in a game a player’s health dips below this threshold, that player draws a card. If that card has the Prophecy keyword, that player can play the card immediately for free on the opponent’s turn. These cards can allow the defender a chance to catch up against an aggressor, or can offer the aggressor a last shot at clenching victory after an opponent turns the tables on them, creating tense moments of anticipation throughout a game.
Secondly, TESL’s board has two zones in which a player can place creatures, called Lanes. On the left is the Field Lane, which has no special conditions. On the right is the Shadow Lane, where creatures are given cover for one turn and cannot be attacked by enemy creatures until their cover drops. This offers a rich and complex set of choices and strategy in every game - the placement of every creature could have a drastic impact on the game. From creature combat priority to moving from one lane to the other, lane placement is a core subject of mastering TESL.
The rest of the article will be focused on non-gameplay aspects of TESL merely because the gameplay will speak on its own after playing through the tutorial and a few casual games. I genuinely believe the mechanics, complexities, and feel of playing the game are the best on the market.
The Source Material: The Elder Scrolls series is a titan in the role playing game industry, with 25 years worth of games to draw into card form. Many of the game’s most memorable characters have made their way into the game as cards such as Brynjolf from Skyrim and Razum Dar from Elder Scrolls Online. TESL has had full pack expansions based on Morrowind and Skyrim, two of the most popular single player RPGs in the series, as well as the Dark Brotherhood, a well known assassin’s guild that has popped up many times throughout the series’ history. What’s more, there have been several crossover events between TESL and The Elder Scrolls: Online, offering packs for playing the MMO offering and mounts for playing TESL. So if you’re already entrenched in the Elder Scrolls universe the way I am, TESL is the game for you. And if at any point you’re in a match and find yourself pining for that single player Elder Scrolls experience, you’re in luck! Because…
The Single Player Content: In my opinion, the thing that Elder Scrolls Legends does better than any other game on the market. While single player content is obviously not the focus for card games, you’d be doing yourself a disservice by playing TESL without taking the time to enjoy the offering. First, you can do Solo Arena, a PVE drafting mode similar to Arena of Draft from Hearthstone or Magic. This is a fun way to convert some in game currency into card packs, and is generally regarded as a good way to start playing the game and build a collection. After that, there are as of the time of writing 3 story based expansions as well as the narratively-driven new player tutorial. These are all fully voice acted with the lore, location, and writing that you would expect from an Elder Scrolls game. They have two modes, normal and expert, with the latter offering a substantial amount of gold for completing the more difficult matches. Are these story-based offerings core to the game? No, not really. But, I’d say they’re more than enjoyable enough, and something that I haven’t seen done nearly as well in any other card game currently on the market.
The Content Creators: TESL has a small collective of phenomenal and approachable content creators. From the sarcastic and wonderfully morose Charm3r to the feisty Eolis, all of the creators in the TESLsphere are deeply committed, which is phenomenal. The game at the time of writing is not big enough to have megastar Youtubers - our creators are in it for the love of the game and nothing more. That kind of ambition really shows in the way that our streamers like Ianbits come back day after day, or our Youtubers like DragonTamerBlayde never miss a chance to upload. If you like a game where you know all the top personalities and they know you too, you’ll fit right at home in TESL.
So there we go! My top 4 reasons why The Elder Scrolls Legends should be the next game you pick up. If you need a bit of extra convincing though, feel free to stop by the Team Rankstar Discord server and hop into the TESL channel or the TESL section on Twitch. We’re a close knit game, and there will always be someone waiting to welcome you with open arms.