Keywords are a big part of how cards in TESL function. In the last guide we went through card mechanics, but here we will focus on keywords. Keywords can also be granted via other cards. They can be stolen or removed etc. You should not confuse keywords with mechanics even though they function similarly and a card can have both (and multiple) of those active at any given moment.
As you will see below, different keywords can counter other ones as well.
When a creature has breakthrough, it will deal excess damage to your opponent’s avatar. So if you have a creature with 5 damage and breakthrough and it attacks another creature with 4 health (and no other keywords like Ward), then you will destroy that creature and deal 1 damage to your opponent as well.
This keyword allows a creature to attack right away on that same turn you played it. There are high damage creatures with this keyword that can be very tough to deal with when you’re going up against an aggro deck. Usually they cost more to play.
This keyword allows a creature to heal you as long as it does damage to anything it’s attacking. If a creature (or opponent’s avatar) has another keyword to prevent damage being dealt to them, then you will not get healed. So if a creature with drain has 5 damage, it will heal your avatar for 5 health when it tags something successfully.
Guards always have to be attacked unless bypassed in another way. They also never gain cover in the shadow lane. If you want to bypass a guard, then you usually need to either use silence or steal the keyword(s). They can be very annoying to deal with if you’ve got your opponent in trouble but now can’t finish him off due to guards being constantly thrown at you.
This can be found usually on Argonians and Bosmers and it simply means that whenever a creature with lethal successfully damages something that doesn’t have another keyword to protect it, it dies. So even 1 damage from a lethal creature kills anything it touches if there are no other factors in play. But it has to actually do damage to its target.
Creatures with this keyword will regenerate their lost health on your next turn. This can be useful if your opponent isn’t able to remove them from the board, or has no lethal creatures himself. You can keep getting value from a high health creature with regenerate and keep using it to remove your opponent’s threats. It’s not a super useful keyword but it can be powerful in the right situation.
On its own, rally is not really that useful. It simply provides 1/1 extra stats to a random creature in your hand when a creature with this keyword attacks anything. This becomes progressively more powerful when played in decks that focus on rally and stat boosting. It can get out of hand pretty quickly.
A very useful keyword that counters lethal, drain and breakthrough. However, any time a creature takes any damage whatsoever, no matter how great or small, it is lost. It can be regained and it can also be placed on avatars. It basically functions as a one time shield. The good thing is that it prevents any amount of damage being done.
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