The Elder Scrolls

Combo, Timing and Conditions.

TheElderScrolls12 - Combo, Timing and Conditions.

As long as there have been card games, so long has there been the potential for a combination of cards to co-operate and cause significant swings from hand. My own introduction to this was Oil Rogue in Hearthstone, man, did I have a lot of fun playing that list, but when Tinker's Sharpsword Oil was changed, I couldn't say I was very surprised. TESLegends is no stranger to this phenomenon either, and in recent times two new combo decks have popped up that are somewhat controversial. The controversy stems from the speed at which these decks can assemble their pieces and the consistency with which they do so.

Generally in TESL, it is considered that somewhere around turn 8/9/10 is where a "healthy" combo deck goes off. There are several reasons for this timeframe.
– It gives Control decks time to prepare and anticipate the incoming damage, disrupt the game plan or go aggressive.
– It gives Aggro the time it needs to get rolling and cripple the combo deck by forcing it to include and use defensive resources in order to survive the onslaught.
– It forces the Combo player to build a "regular" deck that can compete with the rest of the meta for long enough to utilize it's strong wincondition.

The timeliness of the combo going off, the consistency of drawing it and the strength at which it does all play into how the deck needs to be build. This is where some of the recent discussions find their basis. It is being debated that the Abomination Empire and Burn Assassin combo's can go off too early in the game with too high consistency. Both of these decks can kill the opponent from hand (or deal very severe damage) as early as turn 4 with Ring, but more likely around 6.


Back in the days, Nix Ox Telvanni was considered by some to be a problematic combo deck. It had the ability to OTK the opponent from hand when a few specific conditions were met. The big difference between Nix Ox OTK and the aforementioned modern decks is that Nix Ox activates a lot later, and thereby there was a significant commitment in the deck towards playing a standard Control game. The deck ended up often playing like Control Telvanni, but allocated ~10 cards to the possibility of the Nix Ox Combo. This combo usually didn't trigger before turn 10~ish.

TLDR: Abom Empire and Burn Assassin decks are combo-decks that can activate their wincondition too early in the game. This leads to uninteractive gameplay and combo-decks that are not forced to run sufficient defensive tools to reduce their consistency, and that hardcounter control decks before those decks have a chance to shift gears.

Just to clarify the types of lists I am talking about, please find them here!

Abomination Empire
Exemplary List:
np2mo9 - Combo, Timing and Conditions.Plzdonhakme's version of Ianbits' Abomination Empire
Code: SPACrgcxACuzfRAXuueysAqxpZeYkHnMjknAfsgUqynPnIkkoZojiqdykvfMum

Burn Assassin
Exemplary List:
Thuldir's Burn Assassin
Code: SPAFnZjHrRbOoZAGdKhkkWpTspuzALgytgjEjJdQlXnMqynPpZum

Nix-Ox Telvanni
Exemplary List: Petamax' Nix-Ox Telvanni
Code: SPAPpPnMbDovgOqfbWmxkunNqtuGaAjteBADdKsHiyASgynAgsoeoMqybOefncnwqNkvqkqBlIgWrblC

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