Overlooked Intelligence Cards in Heroes of Skyrim
My name is VesperTheory and I’ve been an active member of the TES: Legends community for a year now. I’ve achieved legend/rank 1 for every season since November and have been extremely excited for the new cards in the Heroes of Skyrim expansion. I decided to write about some cards in the expansion that were more overlooked during their initial release. These cards are generally not as flashy or controversial as some others in the set but have the potential to become staples in the blue archetype for months to come.
Riften Pockpocket is the first of the three more overlooked cards in the Heroes of Skyrim expansion. On first glance it’s boring or even bad, as both card draw and small bodies are abundant in the Intelligence archetype. However, after playing with the card in control decks, I’ve found its power level lies in the use of its summon ability.
Seeing three of your opponent’s cards is invaluable especially in a meta where everyone is trying out crazy new combos. Given that your opponent will (probably) be playing competitively viable cards, it’s already a better choice than Moment of Clarity which is the card many people compare Riften Pickpocket to. The option to choose your card is especially powerful in slower control decks that play a more reactive game, as sometimes picking up a rapid shot might be more useful than an Odahviing. Furthermore, with the popularity of cards like Praetorian Commander and Echo of Akatosh, that small 2/2 body might turn into something scary later in the game.
Possible Deck archetypes: Control Mage, Merric Battlemage, Midrange Sorcerer
Bringer of Nightmares
On the first day of the Heroes of Skyrim expansion, I saw a lot of conversation about a particular 6 drop Legendary in Intelligence. Now that people are starting to realize Echo of Akatosh is not as game breaking as first thought, people have turned their attention to the other 6 drop blue legendary.
Bringer of Nightmares can best be described as Wabbajack on a stick. Although one might expect its competitive playability to be low due to the inherent RNG component, the skill shows itself in the choice of the creature you choose to change. In a Midrange deck like mage or sorcerer, Bringer of nightmares can be used to change cards like Mantikora into Enraged Mudcrab or your Thief of Dreams into an Iron Atronach. The ability to change the board state that much can make for a strong finisher in these Midrange decks.
Bringer of Nightmares has potential to see play in almost any deck including blue. I have even tested it out in the fast Prophecy variant of Battlemage and it works well as a way of getting rid of guards or making one of your Shrieking Harpies impossibly huge. Although I don’t think it warrants putting 3-of in every deck, there are few if any circumstances where it would be objectively wrong to add bringer of nightmares.
Possible deck archetypes: Midrange Sorcerer, Midrange Mage, Control Mage, Prophecy Battlemage
A long time ago, in a meta far far away, Brilliant Experiment was a staple in late game control decks. The ability to get a fourth or fifth Atromancer, or a second Miraak was all but a game decider and decks had to play around it. Now people have forgotten the possibility of having multiple Odahviings or playing a good combo off of Ayrenn.
With the addition of Dark Rebirth, late game threats can be replayed for only 3 magicka, and targets with last gasp can be triggered without losing board presence. In the first few days of HoS, Dark Rebirth’s play was mostly limited to abuse Echo of Akatosh. Now, more and more decklists are including it in more standard control builds and it has buffed Altar assassin, being able to take advantage of the abundance of both last gasps and summon abilities.
Dark Rebirth also has the ability to undo silence effects. During the release of the madhouse collection when silence was a lot more prevalent, I was so excited to see the release of the unsummon card to undo the silence effects on cards like Daggerfall Mage. Now Dark Rebirth allows for the same effect without losing the tempo of taking one of your creatures off of the board.
Possible deck archetypes: Control Mage, Altar Assassin
Honorable mention: College of Winterhold
Is it strong? Not really. Is it scary? Not really. Is it fun? Hell yeah!
College of Winterhold definitely takes the cake as the best flavour card in the blue colour of the Heroes of Skyrim Expansion. If nothing else, its summon/activate sound is one of the coolest most jaw-dropping sounds in a game with some already memorable voice lines. The ability to draw random actions increasing in cost really mirrors the feel of the college in the original Skyrim game.
Its premium art is top notch and the feeling of getting it up to 10 uses is extremely satisfying. That said, it’s playability is limited at the moment to some of the action/support control mages but I hope that it finds its way into an archetype in the future. In terms of flavour, this is the winner for the intelligence cards in the Heroes of Skyrim expansion.
Heroes of skyrim has brought a collection of fantastic cards to TES: Legends. In terms of flavour and playability, there is something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to smash face with werewolves or fly the freaky skies with dragons, the new Heroes of Skyrim allows something for everybody.
Great article article with some good insights!