The Elder Scrolls

bones’ word wall – bones sekrit strats

TheElderScrolls3 - bones' word wall - bones sekrit strats


ever had moments like
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? witnessed something completely awe inspiring and loved it enough to try and take your own spin on it? i know i did, many a times, with varying results. as a deckbuilder at heart, I really like just looking at a card or two and figuring out what's a great home for it. so here, I'll go over some of the ideas i had, from least to most successful for me, so that maybe someone looks at this and goes "wait this is actually insane lemme build something with that"

let's start off with

1 – Midrange Slay

i think this has crapton of untapped potential, but for the most part it's all completely outshined by ramp warrior, still – it's absolutely worth mentioning. practically every slaying Agility card is a strong thing for midrange, capable both offensively and defensively. Considering the density of slay creatures in one's deck there's practically a guarantee that something survives, and because of Brotherhood Sanctuary's low cost, you can plop two of them down and gain plenty of value off your singular trade. In Archer, considering the amount of pings via especially items, you can even play Voice of Balance. Scout is just… ehhh. You'll get hella outvalued by any ramp variants.

Some starting point for Archer: SPAGbklngDqqekrkAEqHlUmyflAMcukKcvkLgsdynwrvnMaNqadb

2 – Ancient Lookout tokens

arguably the dumbest of my ideas, uses plenty of quirky and underplayed synergies in there, but ultimately really boils down to some luck to get stuff going… but man is it fun! you have practically endless options when it comes to shuffling with galyn and practically every turn you get to surprise your opponent because half of the cards in this deck is something they've likely never seen before. And for the sake of it, there's possibility of forsworn champion + automaton, because at this point we might as well lol

Starting point for Sorcerer:

3 – Midrange/Midgro Odirniran

So the potential these things have is practically infinite. Targeted discard toolbox is disgustingly good when pulled off well and in my opinion the faster the deck, the healthier deck built around Odirniran is. And so, a midrange deck with Odirnirans and either Corsair Ships or Divine Fervors can pull out cycling, shackle, guards, card generation, reach, board presence, etc. practically on demand. On top of that, while before Isle we did have Galyn to shuffle more bigger Odirnirans into the deck, Spellsword got a small buff to this strategy in Haskill and Baliwog Tidecrawler, while Sorcerer got a GIGANTIC buff in Luzrah. Her, Ship and Odirniran is means to revive Emeric and Ancano without any problems. Prior to Isle, there was this awkward feeling of playing 5 power things because they were simply insanely good, but the issue has been made a tiny bit more streamlined. It may appear that Spellsword was quite shafted from Odirniran's point of view, but never fret – neutral creatures are just as good for recursion with on-demand reach with guarding in Dynamo or even shackle in Sphere. You can even revive your revive card in Yagrum!

All the decks I have are vastly different, despite sharing the main idea. Sorcerer abuses the toolbox part of Necromancer, Dwemers are more aggressive with potential to not die instantly late-game, while midrange Spellsword focuses more on… just being a midrange with tons of prophecies (which trigger Haskill if his demanded cost matches the prophecy cost, btw) and having potential to re-use clockwork apostle, which is really strong. On top of that I asked jele for the list Frogger gave her, so here's your bonus and validation – the thing can work very well high up.


4 – Neutral Package (Mudcrab Merchant, Steam Constructor and other gray bois)

The best part of Neutrals is that they can literally land into every single deck in the game, there are NO restrictions! They are incredibly fun to deckbuild with. I talked about them for about 8 months now at this point and I'm still feeling like tinkering with my decks, trying to find new way of playing these in different classes and with different flavors. Granted, all of them end up being around Tokens range of speed, but practically each of them does so in a different way. For example, in Endurance decks Steam Constructor becomes a wonderful Catapult enabler for more decks than Sorcerer – Scout, Warrior and Spellsword all can enable it well enough as is, but Constructor opens up tons of new options, which can be further expanded.

Here are a few neutral cards that end up in my deck, starting from most to least often added.

  • Dwarven Dynamo, 2-of – Very high tempo play that helps up decks like Scout path up its very convoluted 4 magicka slot. Like sure, normally you could still play Bleakcoast Troll, but Dynamo doubles as reach and whatever it buffs becomes a threat on the board.

  • Dwarven Sphere, 2- or 3-of – Shackle is strong. Really, really strong. It's so strong that Sanctuary Pet, a card usually thought of as a control card, landed in EndoZoa's Tempo Assassin. While Sphere doesn't have Lethal, it has the extra health and can be played in any deck.

  • Barbas, Good Boy – 90% of the time he's your little bit of reach that also happens to go well with the rest of your deck, but other options, such as card generation in fetching a Daedra and +1/+1 Guard are not to be underestimated. Very versatile and the best card in the game Sparky don't you ever rotate Skyrim out without reprinting Barbas

  • Ghost Fanatic, 2-of – if your deck seeks to be faster, this is the card to toss in. You can do some efficient trades and, as a reward, play these bad boys for 1 or 0 magicka each. 2-of because you don't want to play it on curve.

  • Haskill, Loyal 1-of – Haskill rolls its demanded number from 0 to your max magicka. At later stage of the game he's less useful, but early on? Potentially able to draw you even 2 cards. No reason to not toss him in some of the decks, like Scout.

  • Gearwork Spider, 3-of… duh – Prophecy? 1 drop useful late… kinda? Neutral? Fills lanes? Sign me in!

  • Wabbajack, ?-of – Call me crazy, but in the only deck I use it, Spellsword, this was a godsend so many times. Think of Wabbajack as an instant singular Heretic Conjurer roll that can act as a "mummify" a few times.

  • Wilds Incarnate, 1-of – Only really here to support very aggressive lists, and even there I'm way too scared to run more than one. Refilling is really important.

There is one more card that I didn't talk about… yet. And there's a good reason for it, which you'll see soon. For the time being…


So… have you noticed that any class with Strength is absent in the last section? Here's why.

5 –

(and also tribal splash)

I love this card so much. It's the best card out of Return to Clockwork City for me. You can do… everything…

I'll primarily focus on what I was doing with it, for the most part, which is Orc package. You see, back a year ago, Aggro Warrior was really revolutionary. Before Aggro Warrior no one ran Wood Orc in a list that didn't have practically every orc in it, to around 50% density. Traitor-Joe's list changed everything… i mean, my mindset flipped upside down thanks to this list. Initially, I experimented with mostly on-color orcs.

. But it felt wrong. Like, you know how all the cards with an Orc tag die to Firebolt? Sometime during the Spring of last year, SirChoate and I were exchanging ideas when he posted a Battlemage list with only a few neutrals in it. It also had Underworld Vigilante and a shaky 2-drop, I recall. That was the moment that changed my TESL life the second time. I suggested Wood Orc and Automaton.

So where are we now? Still kickin'. Crusader, Battlemage and Archer are all viable with an Orc package. I've been playing these on-and-off since last August and they are the main reason I'm still playing TESL. The way separate packages blend together so incredibly well continues to inspire me. I suggest y'all to try out some of these decks yourself. It's… no clue, something I just can't feasibly put in words.


And with that, I shared everything I used to ponder about, more or less, for the last year or so. If you're looking for a good aggressive list that deals with aggro just fine, most of the list from part 4 and 5 should keep ya entertained. By all means, experiment by your lonesome too. Share your results of experimenting with friends and strangers in TESL community alike. Comment on your own ideas maybe?

Lastly, thank you Direwolf for making this game. Thank you for making Reflective Automaton. I'm sure that this fella will keep me busy for months to come.

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