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How Franchise Flavor Seeps Into The Elder Scrolls: Legends

by Daniel Tack on Aug 05, 2016 at 11:00 AM

While the Elder Scrolls: Legends is much different than a traditional role-playing game, iconic elements from the franchise manifest themselves in Bethesda’s digital card game (playable now in a no-plans-for-wipe open beta). If you are sneaking a sly Khajiit behind enemy lines as part of a pilfering plan, conjuring up terrible Daedric power, or cobbling together a Dwemer army from spare parts, many deck-building options available draw upon the rich history of the Elder Scrolls universe.

The most obvious examples of the heavy hitters from the Elder Scrolls universe are exemplified with Legendary cards. Here you find things like the massive Odahving, who bakes the opponent’s side of the board when he swoops onto the table, the eccentric Wabbajack that randomly transforms creatures, or even a dragon priest that lets you play your next card for free. Legendary cards are the clearest examples of flavor ripped right from the games, and in many cases can also carry the “unique” designation, meaning a player can only use one of each specific unique in a standard 50-card deck. 

Plenty of flavor exists outside of the big names as well. Each race from the Elder Scrolls universe is represented with cards that generally spill over a few of the game’s attributes, of which any deck can contain up to two strength, intelligence, willpower, agility, and endurance. The Khajiit, for instance, are often rewarded for their stealth and thievery, and get all kinds of benefits from picking the opponent’s pocket (thematically) with their set of pilfer mechanics. Some Khajiit don’t even need to touch the opponent, and instead focus on stealing equipment or even abilities when they come into play.

Dark Elves and their obsession with mastery of death often come with “last gasp” abilities that let them provide additional benefits from their own demise. Cards like Deshaan Avenger give you two cards for the price of one, and others convey random benefits upon their passing, such as the Telvanni Arcanist. If you find yourself getting frustrated by opponents constantly crushing your forces, try some Dark Elves and chortle as you benefit from each fallen soul.

The Dark Elves and Khajiit are just two of the flavorful races; you find warding Bretons, aggressive goblins and orcs, burly Nords, lethal Argonians, and more. You can also go “attributeless” with Dwemer constructs that conjure up all the flavor of tinkering with spare wheels and whimsical gadgetry from a lost ruin. These machinations are good at defending and guarding, and often bring more constructs into play. They can also break through enemy fortifications with a punch.

The Elder Scrolls: Legends won’t have you screaming “Fus-ro-dah” at the top of your lungs after busting through an enemy’s guards (okay, well, it might), but it does some neat things translating concepts from the popular role-playing series into a collectible card game. You can try The Elder Scrolls: Legends now in open beta. Check out our Test Chamber from the beta here.