The Elder Scrolls

A case for singleton

TheElderScrolls5 - A case for singleton

For those who are thinking of stepping away from the game because of the state of the meta, are stuck advancing past a certain point, or are just not having as much fun anymore, I have an humble suggestion: singleton. I used to think it was just a meme, but once I went singleton there was no looking back because I realized there are several positive aspects to playing singleton, even if it's not entirely for everyone:

-It trains you to be a better player overall.

Since singleton has just one copy in the deck, you have to play much more conservatively with your actions since you will only get to use it once. This makes you a better player since often with more consistent decks you can rationalize, say an early negation with 'I have two more' then suffer when you fail to draw another later at a critical juncture. This more conservative playstyle leads to more valuable trades and trains you to recognize the situations where value can be maximized. This then translates to better choices when going back to 2-3 of decks.

-Your strategy is less predictable

If you're playing archer and they drop a blades lookout, I know a tiny dragon is in the works. A defiler unopposed in the shadow lane? Squish or crossbow is up next. With singleton, knowing you only get one shot means defiler is instead a turn 6 or 7 surprise so you can guarantee value, as opposed to turn 4 removal bait. Overall, this becomes a better long-term play instead of spamming multiple copies hoping one sticks.

-It increases your familiarity with card interactions and encourages experimentation.

Since you have to use a wider variety of cards, you have to be more familar with all the ways those cards can be used together. This helps not only when building your deck, but when you see an opponent using the same cards, you have a better idea of how they could be using it and change your strategy accordingly. It forces you to use 'analogous' cards you might not have thought of using, which then shapes your strategy about each: if I have a bolt, fell, and drive mad in my hand, which ones do I use first? for what purpose? While all very similar, the different nuances in using each card gives you a better understanding of their strengths, weaknesses, and applications.'


-It feels more 'personal' and 'unique.'

With 50-75+ different cards it's almost impossible to come up with the same combo as everyone else. Not everyone has the same cards, so you have to work with what you got. This again opens you to experimenting with cards and synergies you might not have considered otherwise. And since it's 'just one card' it's easy to throw a card in and see how it does without crippling your entire deck.

-It's just more 'fun' to play.

I know this is subjective, but I love that singleton requires and entirely different playstyle and deck building strategy. You can go several matches without seeing a certain card, so how it opens and sustains in mid and late game can vary drastically from game to game, making the gameplay less 'robotic' over decks with a narrower card list. If you're already at the point where the gameplay isn't fun anymore, then making the most consistent meta-exploitive deck isn't going to solve that problem. What's the point in winning if it's not fun to win? Singleton is both fun to play and fun to win with. While not as consistent, you can do decent enough on the ladder, and winning with a singleton against tribunal control just…thats what does it for me anyway.

If you're looking for something new and haven't tried singleton, it's a nice change of pace I strongly recommend to liven things up. At the very least it's a good way to work on and test different game mechanics and also work on reducing misplays.


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