Hey everyone, I’ve lurked about here for awhile and I decided today that it was time to finally post. I wanted to give my perspective on the various cards and mechanics that have led to the current meta, in order to help facilitate a later discussion on how to best address these issues.
Disclaimer: I’m neither a professional game designer, nor a pro player. This is my opinion. However, my opinion is informed by both years of playing multiple card games and the perspectives of TES:L pros.
Let’s start with the currently most dominant deck, by a wide margin: Telvanni Conscription. All the other decks that are significantly played at high level either prey on this deck, or prey on the decks that prey on this deck.
The popular decks that rely on a strong matchup against Telvanni Conscription are Telvanni Nix-Ox, Abomination Scout, and Ramp/Rage Warrior. Most of the other decks that see significant play at high level right now are either aggro and aggressive midrange.
Now onto the why. Why is Telvanni Conscription so successful? The main reasons are its late game power, its consistency, and its unusually low number of weak matchups. The card Tullius’ Conscription itself is the bar against which all other late game win conditions are measured right now. The reason why the deck is such a problem isn’t merely the fact that it has a powerhouse late game, it’s the way in which the deck is constructed to achieve it. Conscription allows the deck to run a huge number of powerful, low-cost creatures that severely hamper aggro and midrange decks without sacrificing its late game power. It reaches this late game consistently through the powerful card draw options available to scout, along with efficient blue removal.
The only decks that can overcome Telvanni Conscription’s late game must sacrifice either their early game or their consistency first. Telvanni Nix-Ox is vulnerable to aggressive decks, as is Ramp/Rage Warrior. Abomination Scout fares better against aggro, but can struggle against multiple large threats from midrange opponents. These decks are in many ways more damaging to the player experience than Telvanni Conscription itself, because their ability to defeat it revolves around playing in the least interactive way possible. Nix-Ox and Ramp/Rage aim to OTK the other player from hand, while Abomination tries to create an unstoppable flood of buffed creatures after an early Journey to Sovngarde.
As previously stated, the rest of the meta consists of aggressive decks that seek to exploit the anti-Conscription decks’ weak early game, or more midrange decks that stay afloat with a middling win rate against both Telvanni Conscription and its counters.
TL;DR: Telvanni Conscription is OP because it has an extremely potent late game while making only slight sacrifices to its early game and retaining high consistency. The only decks that can overcome its late game do so by using combos that the opposing player has little ability to hinder or prevent. The widespread dissatisfaction with the state of the game is a result of the overwhelming popularity of Telvanni Conscription at high levels of play, combined with the frustration of losing to combos that can’t be consistently countered.
© Post "Detailed Meta Analysis (Discussion Wanted)" for game The Elder Scrolls.
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