If you’re not completely familiar with Elder Scrolls Legends, you find similarities with Bethesda’s other groundbreaking games, such as Morrowind, Oblivion, DOOM, and Skyrim which have grossed sales of around 30,000,000 copies worldwide and across multiple platforms. In fact, Skyrim was so huge that people started making jokes about what Skyrim will come out on next and this was Bethesdas response:

Something Special About This Game

The Elder Scrolls Legends is a unique card game in concept. Even though it shares a lot of common design elements with other games, like Hearthstone, it introduces new ideas to the table. Getting into Legends, whether experienced with card games or an absolute beginner, can be a bit daunting at first. In this Elder Scrolls Legends Beginners’ Guide & Best Decks, we will introduce you to the best way to start off learning the game and how to build your collection, as well as a couple of the best beginner decks to kick off your Ranked ladder climbs.

But first…

Why This Game?

The main reason is that it’s set in the Elder Scrolls Universe! What could be better than that!?

Via: Bethesda

If you’ve spent hours Fus Ro Dah’ing enemies of mountains as I have, or placing buckets onto unsuspecting onlookers and robbing them blind, or simply saved the game before slaughtering an entire village with devastating magic spells but never got the chance to do it to other people — here’s your chance!

Secondly, you get to see beautiful artworks from dedicated Bethesda staffs played out in front of you! The game basically got a moving portfolio of beautifully rendered designs.

And thirdly, the gameplay, though similar to others, it’s widely different, and here’s why:

The game board is divided into two lanes. You can only attack that of which is on the same lane or the opposing player directly. Each player first starts with three cards, when it is your turn, you will gain an additional card and one Magica (other games that do this are Hearthstone and Magic! The Gathering).

Additionally, some lanes have special conditions that can drastically alter the battle. If you or the opposition is damaged enough, you will lose one of the runes around your player. Each time this happens, you will summon a card from the deck which could completely alter the game! Also, at the start of your turn, somewhat similar to Hearthstone, you’ll be randomly given either a ring that gives you a boost in Magica (by 1) or you’ll be given the first turn.

Don’t Be Overwhelmed!

The Elder Scrolls Legends has a lot of modes which can make the game a bit overwhelming to beginner players. We’re going to briefly outline the key game modes in this section and give you an overview of their benefits.

Story and Expansions

Via: MrSmartDonkeyLP @youtube

This is where you should start your journey of learning the game and building up your card collection. The story mode in The Elder Scrolls Legends is pretty solid when compared to other card game story modes, too. It’s an overall worthwhile choice for all of these reasons but more importantly, it will help you learn the game and its mechanics. You’ll earn free cards, including some legendaries, as well as some pre-constructed theme decks.

Via: imore

Versus Arena

For those familiar with other card games, like Hearthstone, Versus Arena is your standard run-of-the-mill draft mode. The rules are quite simple: You pick a class and then draft a deck out of random cards based on your chosen class’s colors. Every run ends by either getting 7 wins or 3 losses, whichever comes first. For players inexperienced with card games, this may not be a good choice for starting out. The rewards, however, can be quite generous!


Solo Arena

The same concept as Versus Arena but against AI opponents. Even though the difficulty of this mode spikes considerably after a few runs, it’s still a nice option to help you build up your collection.

Via: The Justin Larson

Gauntlets and the Grand Melee

Via: CVH @ youtube

These are tournament-style runs where you pre-construct a deck and use it for the duration of the run. There are several types of Gauntlets, such as Pauper where only common cards are used, and each will give you a few rewards. The most important one that occurs every 2 months is the Grand Melee. It costs 6 event tickets or 1,000 gold to enter, but you could potentially earn about from 10-75 packs depending on how many wins you manage.

Building Your Collection

It wouldn’t be an Elder Scrolls beginners guide without explaining how to collect cards! Now that we’ve looked at the game’s modes, let’s check out the best way to build your card collection without spending money.

Via: Gamepressure
  • Daily Login: Get free gold, card packs and event tickets just for logging in!
  • Twitch Drops: Connect your Bethesda account to your Twitch account and earn packs and event tickets by watching Drop Enabled The Elder Scrolls Legends streams.
  • Solo Arena: The more you win, the better your rewards! You can enter Solo Arena via event tickets or 150 gold per run. Use your free tickets as much as possible here when starting out.
  • Versus Arena: The same concept as Solo but against real players. It can get pretty challenging, so enter once you’re more experienced with drafting and playing the game.
  • Ranked Play: Every three wins will reward you with 15 gold and a random card. You’ll also receive 1-3 copies of the Monthly Reward Card by climbing up to ranks 9, 5 and 1.
  • Casual Play: You can receive 15 gold for every three wins here, too, but matchmaking isn’t rank-based so you may run into much stronger players here more often.
  • Premade Theme Decks: These cost 500 to 1,000 gold and give you a full deck of cards that can also be used right out of the box in any mode. They’re worth saving for once you’ve cleared all the story expansions.
  • Practice: This mode will reward you with Soul Gems that can later be used to craft old Monthly Reward cards.

Before you go off on your adventure, you are given an avatar option, much like Elder Scroll games before it. Each avatar has its own unique attributes, for instance, “As a Wood Elf, you will more quickly collect cards that prey on weakened foes.”

Like most card games, you start with around 50 or fewer cards. However, Bethesda has made it so you can have 70, although they recommend 50 for competitive play in order to draw your favorable cards more often.

Via: MrSmartDonkeyLP @youtube

We highly recommend playing the story campaign first, this will guarantee more cards, and most likely better ones for you to be able to flush out your shiny new deck. Alternatively, you can also spend real money and pay to win, but it’s not always likely you’ll get the card you wanted.

Know Your Stats

Before we move on to the beginner deck, let’s talk about the different attributes that each card comes with: Agility, Endurance, Intelligence, Strength, and Willpower. These can all be seen by looking at the top left-hand corner of your cards. Each symbol will give you a sense of playstyle and something to consider when going against your opponent.

Agility – As you can imagine, you’re not going to find the powerhouses of the game here but you will find the most resourceful. If a card has “Lethal” for instance, if attacked, it will kill the opposing card no matter its health or attack status.

Via: Bethesda

Endurance – Like most games, endurance is centered around being the tank, the healer, the sustainability in a team fight.

Via: bethesda

Intelligence – The magic wielders, high-damage casters, tricksters, and the sacrificers. For instance, “sacrifice a creature and deal damage to the enemy”, which is perfect if you’ve got low 1-2 creatures you’re happy to dispose of.

Via: bethesda

Strength – The power-hungry warlords who deal massive amounts of damage but usually wield low defense capabilities. Expect some glass cannons in here.

Via: bethesda

Willpower – This is the deck that brings it all together (and in the darkness bind… sorry, wrong movie!), the deck that keeps your cards in high spirits with the ability to fill lanes with imperial grunts, gain health when you place more cards, and cards that buff your men based on how many cards you’ve got in a lane.

Via: bethesda

If you mix and match cards, depending on the attributes, you essentially create classes:

Archer = Agility (Green) + Strength (Red)

Assassin = Agility (Green) + Intelligence (Blue)

Battlemage = Intelligence (Blue) + Strength (Red)

Crusader = Strength (Red) + Willpower (Yellow)

Mage = Intelligence (Blue) + Willpower (Yellow)

Monk = Agility (Green) + Willpower (Yellow)

Scout = Agility (Green) + Endurance (Purple)

Sorcerer = Endurance (Purple) + Intelligence (Blue)

Spellsword = Endurance (Purple) + Willpower (Yellow)

Warrior = Endurance (Purple) + Strength (Red)

Via: The Elder Scrolls: Legends

Picking a class determines which cards will be available as you move forward with building your deck. Creating an Archer deck means you won’t be able to include any Intelligence cards, but you can fill it up with Agility cards, Endurance cards, and Neutral cards (which can be included with any combination of attributes). In addition to Agility-specific cards or Endurance-specific cards, there are certain cards that fit under two attributes. For example, the Falinesti Reaver is both a Strength card and an Agility card, and can only be added to an Archer deck.” – Elder Scrolls Legends

Via: MrSmartDonkeyLP @youtube

Assuming you’ve completed the campaigns, let’s move on to building decks for ranked and casual games.

Best Decks for Beginners

Premade theme decks are fine when just dipping your toes into online play but you’ll want to eventually graduate to a constructed deck. If you’re familiar with card games at all, often beginner decks are just the standard, out-of-the-box decks. Luckily, there are ways around it and all decks are customizable.

Elder Scrolls Legends
Via: TES Legends Pro

When you’re still building up your collection in The Elder Scrolls Legends, you’ll probably not have most of the Epic and Legendary cards yet. For this reason, you’ll want to run a budget deck and since you’re only starting out, it will need to be an easy deck to pilot. As with most card games, aggro decks are great to help you start out because they can give you easy wins and teach you about setting up winning conditions. Our usual go-to game plan is to always use the cards that require the least amount of Magica, gems, gold, etc.

Here are a couple of example builds courtesy of Teslegends and the community. We’re going to break down why these builds are useful for beginner players or those on a budget.

Mage Deck

Via: TES Legends Pro

This particular mage build focuses heavily on dealing as much damage as possible to your opposing player whilst also giving yourself a plethora of cards at any given moment. Typically, these types of builds are strongest when you have maximum Magica to yield devastating magic abilities that whittle the player’s health down to dust. Also, the added support bonus of Ravaging Exliver attacking your opponent directly for 1 health per 3 turns crucial perhaps for early game dominance or a last-minute lifesaver.

Archer Deck

Via: TES Legends Pro

The agro archer build focuses on dismantling troublesome units that may be posing a threat to your strategy, to make them a threat no longer! With this build, you are able to silence foes by breaking down their defenses, whilst simultaneously buffing your own cards ready for your next attack. This build is perfect for those who despise dealing with heavy healers and guards. Additionally, this build allows for multiple summoning so you’ll always have cards on your side.

Assassin Deck

Via: TES Legends Pro

The goblin build is somewhat similar to the murky build in Hearthstone, where the aim of the game is to throw as many goblins out as possible whilst you debuff the opposing player and buff yourself. For instance, if you have a creature of the same card, you’ll draw more cards, or +2/+2 your attack and defenses. However, they are situational, so be wary! Although similar to the Agro Archer build, summoning is a key factor in your gameplay, which will allow you to turn the tide of battle at a moment’s notice.

Warrior Deck

Via: TES Legends Pro

This warrior build focuses on defense and supplying yourself with constant equipment to buff your lead cards. Guard and restoration abilities, as well as summoning armor and weapons into your hand, put you at a constant advantage. This build is perfect for steady playing and mid-game comebacks.

There’s Never Only One Deck

Via: MrSmartDonkeyLP @youtube

Elder Scrolls Legends is an excellent card game, with complicated mechanics and opportunities to create endless possibilities of builds that suit your playstyle. Though we may have shown you these builds, we recommend that you explore and experiment with your own to truly give you a sense and feel of the game.

This will make you a better player since you’ll know what cards do what, and when you should be using them. We could use the best deck in the game and still lose to a beginner deck if the opposing player has more experience than we do because, he’ll know what to expect whilst we would be placing them almost at random.

If you find that the app itself is somewhat a little tedious to use when building decks, you can use TES Legends Pro. The example images above were accessible through them and the community that they have forged. If you feel like you have made a build that other players simply must try, then join up to TES Legends Pro and be part of a family!

We’ll leave you with two particular builds that we enjoy, as something to consider either following, adjusting, or not. It’s all up to you!

Prophecy Battlemage Deck

Via: TES Legends Pro

Deck code: SPADnHiZnYABnhAPgedecPdMljahjSmthwkNcInVoejHdI

Going face is the order of the day with this deck. As such, you’ll want to avoid trading if possible. When you need to trade minions, ensure it’s done as efficiently as possible. It’s quite powerful against other aggressive decks but loses to control. Ensure you save cards like Intimidate and Shield Breaker to deal with Guard and Drain type cards.

Token Monk Deck

Via: TES Legends Pro

Deck code: SPAFkQaAiKcxwGAJmeiNhofxgThFoejHdfAJgpmYeDmonBdrimrCwc

This deck is great if you enjoy having a lot of small minions to overwhelm your opponent with. Once you have a wide board and cards like Fifth Legion Trainer and Divine Fervor, you can finish off your opponent by buffing your little army and smashing it into their faces. Cards like Gavel of the Ordinator will help you with making favorable trades if needed. The base of your existence will be Ice Storm once your opponent has 6 Magica so save some buffing or avoid over-extending to play around it.

Ready to Go Big?

So how do you feel? Are you ready to boogie with the big boys and climb your way up the highest ranks? Then you might want to check out our The Elder Scrolls Legends Best Decks guide!