How to Play Elder Scrolls Legends (Beginner Guide)

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Elder Scrolls Legends is a complex game. There’s no shortage of mechanics, keywords and rules. However, once you understand the basics, the rest comes easy. In this guide I’m going to show you everything that you need to know. You can read, watch the video or (preferably) do both.

Also, don’t forget about the in-game glossary area where you can get all the information that you need too!

Finally, if you have any questions, the comments area either on this page or on the video itself will do just fine. I always answer comments (unless I’m away) so make sure to ask me if there’s anything you don’t quite understand yet.

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When a Game Starts

Each player starts with 3 random cards from their deck. You may choose to re-draw them if you are not happy with what you’ve got. One player goes first and the other one gets a ring of magicka that allows for (one per turn) use to gain one extra point of magicka.

For example, to play a slightly higher cost card if and when needed. This is because the 2nd player is considered to have a slight disadvantage.

On the interface of the board you can see your opponent’s name, avatar, class (hover your mouse over the colored attributes) and a couple of other icons such as ‘discard pile‘ (this is where cards that were played go into).

Decks, Archetypes & Crafting

When you build your decks, you generally want to build around a theme. You want card combos, synergies and things like that. But you can also focus on playing high value cards in general.

There’s many different ways to build your deck. In the beginning, I would suggest that you go with one of the pre-crafted decks that you can buy, at least while you’re learning the ropes and gaining experience.

Deck archetypes (not talking about their class now) can be aggro, combo, mid-range, control etc. I won’t bore you much with explaining all of this, but just know that (generally) decks focus on certain strategies such as trying to win you early, or outlast you in late game etc.

This will all greatly depend on RNG of course. Sometimes no matter how good your deck is, if the RNG is just bad and your opponent’s RNG is good, you will most definitely lose. 🙂

As for crafting cards and decks, you should avoid crafting MOST cards in this game. The currency used for card crafting is called ‘soul gems‘ and it’s very valuable and hard to get.

You usually get it when you deconstruct excess cards that you don’t need (you only need up to 3 copies of a card, unless it’s a ‘unique’ one – then just one will do).

Card Anatomy

There are quite a few different types of cards in TESL. Most common are ‘creatures‘ which is basically any living (or non-living) entity. 🙂

Then there are ‘actions‘. You can think of these such as ‘spells’ or special abilities that do something. Usually you want some of these to complement your deck.

On the opposite end of actions we have ‘items‘. Some of these can be played on their own, most need to be equipped onto a creature.

There are also ‘supports‘ which are cards that when played on the board, unless removed by your opponent – will stay there and continue to provide some kind of a benefit for you (many different ones exist). Some supports disappear on their own after their effect has been ‘claimed’.

Cards cost magicka to play. Each turn you gain one more max magicka, up to 12 in total. If you want more than 12 magicka (for certain decks and playstyles) then you need to play cards that provide such bonuses.

There are also 0 cost magicka cards but they are usually not that useful. Most should be avoided.

In addition to that, each creature has a certain amount of damage (or no damage), health and other special effects we can call ‘mechanics‘ and ‘keywords‘. Some can have (or gain) both!

In the TESL playlist I have in-depth videos about this as well, so make sure you check it out.

Cards are also grouped by their rarities and story themes. These are playable stories that you can go through to unlock certain cards. Absolutely your top priority while learning the game and building your collection!

Cards can be ‘common‘, ‘rare‘, ‘epic‘ and ‘legendary‘. In addition, there are also ‘unique legendaries‘ that have a little gem on top of them. This means that you can only have one of those in your deck(s), but since Legends is the way it is, there’s ways around this. 🙂

Important Tips & Tricks

Never craft cards you don’t really need or can obtain in an easier way.

For example, instead of crafting some card from the ‘Isle of Madness‘ story line, just get the whole story and obtain it that way, including all the rest.

Never assume that just because you’ve got more rares and epics in your deck, that it will perform better. While this ‘can‘ be the case for certain decks, it has nothing to do with the rarity, but rather the card itself and how it ties into the deck’s archetype.

Putting cards in your deck based solely on their rarity is a very bad idea. Don’t use that new shiny legendary in every deck you make, rather see if it’s really useful or not.

Does it have any combos with other cards, does it provide some strong value at a certain point in the game, is it a high value card to begin with? Many cards in TESL are just plain bad, legendaries included.

Also, another good way to learn the game (and get some good rewards) is to use all your event tickets on the PVP arena. Here you (and your opponent) will get a random selection of cards to choose from, and matches are potentially quicker since there’s less cards in play.

The rewards for winning are great too!

What’s Next?

Want to know more about Elder Scrolls Legends? Check out my other TESL Guides & TESL Playlist on Youtube.

Don’t forget to subscribe and turn on the bell icon for more.

About the author

Legendary Mage

Welcome adventurer. My name is Alex and I play MMOs, RPGs and Digital Strategy Card games. I love making new friends. :)

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@LegendaryMage

Welcome adventurer. My name is Alex and I play MMOs, RPGs and Digital Strategy Card games. I love making new friends. :)

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