My name is Chris, or as you may know me, Lateralus19. I have been playing TES: Legends since the end of July and have been able to achieve Legend rank each season. My card game experience did not start there though. I have been playing Magic the Gathering on and off since my childhood at a competitive level. I played Hearthstone from Goblins vs. Gnomes until One Night in Karazhan (about when I started playing TES: Legends). I’ve dabbled in a few other card games such as Infinity Wars, Pokémon, Duelyst, and Eternal, but nothing on the competitive level there yet. I’m excited to be writing my first TES: Legends article today about my current favorite aggressive deck – Goblins!
Why Play Archer Goblins?
Well, in order to win a game in TES: Legends, we have to get our opponent to zero health, right? Goblins can do that extremely fast. Grinding ladder can be tedious for some. For experienced players, you realize that the deck you have the highest win rate with is not necessarily the best deck to climb ladder with quickly. A deck with a win rate above 50%, usually in the 55-65% range, with a low average turns/win, tend to be the fastest decks to climb. Goblins tend to win fast or lose fast. The average game tends to be 7-8 turns, although the deck has been able to close out games in the later turns better than expected.
The second reason to try the deck out is its cost. Looking for a “budget” deck to climb to legend with? Archer Goblins fills that role. With only two unique legends, the deck costs only 8,850 soul gems! Many tier one decks cost roughly double that.
Lastly, it is consistent! With a relative low curve, it is not often that you get truly bad hands that would cost you the game before it gets started. With all cards aligned to help push damage to the face, you do not always need a specific hard on a specific turn in order to achieve your goal.
Well, how about we start with all of the goblins? Seems obvious enough. I want to just talk about a few of them.
First, Goblin Skulk. This is one of the best two drops in the game, so naturally it would be one of the best goblins. You want to get this card online as quick as possible and should always choose to play this turn 1-2 over your other options. We are running six 0-cost cards and want them out of our deck as quickly as possible. One way to lose is to naturally draw multiples of these cards.
Second, Murkwater Savage. Everyone from early beta remembers this guy right? Well, he is back. While he may not be dominating the meta like he used to at 2-cost, he is still scary here. Following him up with the next card on our list, Murkwater Skirmisher, allows him to swing as a 5/5 on turn 4-5. He might even be bigger if you held or pulled a Murkwater Goblin!
The last goblin I want to mention here is the aforementioned Murkwater Skirmisher. This is the card that will let you dominate a board state and seal a game. He will often immediately add six power and toughness to the board. This allows you to burst down your opponent to where you threaten lethal the following turn or clear a pesky guard.
Some of the Other Guys
The reach: every aggressive deck needs it. In this deck it comes in several forms. We have Skirmisher, Cliff Racer, House Kinsman, Crushing Blow and Tazkad the Packmaster himself to add to our damage output.
As for card draw, we are very limited in options here and ultimately this is the reason we are Archer! Triumphant Jarl is a must and will keep the gas tank full and help us grind out games if we have not closed in the early game.
Ungolim the Listener is here because of his summon ability and his cost. He and his lovely assassins have good synergy with Murkwater Savage, being only 1-cost. Daring Cutpurse is an aggressive staple in agility. Fighters Guild Recruit may seem odd and sometimes I think he should be a Mournhold Traitor. What I like about him is that he can help our snowball cards, well, snowball. Dropping him to protect our early threats is helpful and he is our only defensive prophecy. Nimble Ally just makes sense when 88% of your deck triggers his summon ability.
What You Can Change
You can change whatever you what, duh! No, but in all seriousness, you could get away with making this budget deck even more cheap. While Ungolim and Tazkad are nice to have, you can get away with substituting them. I wouldn’t be mad at you if you substituted Fighters Guild Recruit either. As for what cards would fit in the deck as replacements, you have a few solid options.
My first recommendation would be Dune Smuggler. It has synergy with the three Shadow Shifts we run and can help snowball a Cutpurse or Skulk or maybe even keep an important Shaman alive to start generating value.
I’ve already mentioned Mournhold Traitor. He is very aggressive and if you know how to play around his last gasp, he can do wonders for you. Just be careful that you only have curses to efficiently remove the 2/1s he summons for the opponent without trading, since we are not running Skaven Pyromancers.
Earthbone Spinner is one of the best red cards in the game. We have no silences, so if you are seeing a ton of guards, feel free to tech him in. He won’t hurt your Nimble Ally procs too often (unless your name is YakinikuParty).
Lastly, I would recommend Belligerent Giant to top off with, especially if you are not running Tazkad. He is a great way to help close a game with his versatile summon and big body. (Again, if you’re not YakinikuParty, he won’t hurt your Nimble Ally procs often… Then again, if your name is YakinikuParty, you won’t be hitting on your Nimble Allies anyway, so maybe you want to substitute those.)
Goblins Will Kill…
Here, I will give a quick overview of the decks I played against the most and leave it open for questions or comments if more details are desired.
Item Sorcerer – Favored (75/25)
This deck was a large portion of the ladder meta, which is a main reason I began playing Goblins. Item Sorcerer tends to struggle versus decks that were just too fast to get set up against. Murkwater Shaman and Curse tend to shine in this matchup. I won about 80% of my games versus this deck, although I think that was just a tad high.
Control Mage – Favored (65/35 – 55/45)
The reason I give two percentages here is because there is two types of Mage Control running around. Versus traditional control goblins tend to be too much too fast. If you also hit a Skirmisher before they can cast Ice Storm, they have no way of stabilizing unless they get (and run) a good Immolating Blast. Of course, they can always open up with multiples of Execute, Firebolt and Hive Defender to make your world hell.
Prophecy Mage tends to be tougher. If they hit two or three timely prophecies, this could be hard to win before we get into the late game where they shine. That said, if prophecies are not hit, or are played around well, this tends to be fairly easy.
Ramp Scout – Favored (60/40)
Goblins usually comes out on top here. The way that we don’t is when they ramp while they ramp so they can have some ramp on their ramp into all the shackles and life gain. Other than that, Goblins are too fast for Ramp Scout to get to their late game.
Goblins May Die To…
Midrange Sorcerer – Even (50/50)
This deck tends to be faster than Item Sorcerer and doesn’t need time to setup combos. It usually runs Royal Sages though, and they would be fortunate to proc its ability any time against Goblins due to our damage output. However, when this deck vomits all of its Firebolts and Shrieking Harpies and efficient ward creates that can trade well in the first few turns it can feel impossible to win.
Merric Battlemage – Even (50/50)
This was always a tough match. I thought that it would not be any more difficult than a Control Mage, but with Merric’s ability to close a game quickly along with a nice removal suite, there is no room for error and you need to be able to get off to a quick start.
Prophecy Battlemage – Unfavored (40/60)
This is difficult. They are about the same speed in terms of aggression, but they have about 4-5x the amount of prophecies, making it extremely hard to race. We neither have the tools to control nor any life gain. You have to race and hope you come out on top.
Goblins are great to climb the ladder in a timely matter. I remember I climbed from the bottom of rank 1 to legend in 40 minutes, which is pretty quick. This is a deck that you can use to get to legend and maintain a decent win rate in. However, I do not recommend the deck for high legend play because you can pilot something that can achieve a higher win rate and every win counts at the top. Goblins are also extremely budget friendly and every rare+ card in the list is used in some other high tier deck besides maybe Murkwater Skirmisher.
Well folks, it has been my pleasure to shed some light on Archer Goblins for you all. I hope everyone enjoyed the read. I look forward to bringing you more content in the future!