The Elder Scrolls

The power levels of colours based on combinations

TheElderScrolls1 - The power levels of colours based on combinations

I recently got to thinking about the power levels of the different attributes in the game. We often talk about the strength of colours, but it's a fun thought experiment to consider them in a different light.

In my mind you can judge a colour in three different ways. How strong it is alone, how strong it is in dual colours, and how strong it is in tri-colours. What i found surprising when i judged the colours in this way is that between single/dual to tri, there were massive shifts in how well i judged the individual colours.

So for single colour my ratings would look like this:

  1. Intelligence

  2. Strength

  3. Agility

  4. Willpower

  5. Endurance

In my mind intelligence, agility and strength stay relatively consistent even when restricted to their own cards (for the sake of this i will not be mentioning colorless cards as they muddy the waters a fair bit) They have relatively straight forward strategies even just within their own base of cards. Strength has strong aggro and midrange options, Green has strong tempo tools but lacks good 4 drops, and intelligence has good board removal and decently powerful creatures. Willpower suffers a lot from not having access to choice creatures from other colours, and while a token strategy is fine as it will almost always be majority yellow, it still doesnt quite reach. Endurance is by far the worst, most of it's strongest cards require some sort of support from other colours to be effective (catapult or corrupted shade being the best examples of that) and while it can in theory do decent midgro-wise, it has a glaring lack of finishers for such a game plan, and also a lack of burst.

When we switch into dual colours it remains much the same. You could make an argument for switching around the positions of Agility and Willpower here though, as Willpower can finally make use of it's strong removal in control oriented strategies where it's lack of finishers can be augmented by other cards. Strength and Intelligence still remains the top dogs in my mind, as their weaknesses become even less prevalent (Giving intelligence access to stuff like Fell the Mighty, Dushnik Yal Archer, or Belligerent giant instantly makes it super good as it now has support removal, and in turn you can now give Strength which was previously good at pressuring the opponent access to non-board based burst such as Lightning Bolt or Ancano)


In tri-colour however we see a huge mixup. In fact I need to make a whole new list.

  1. Intelligence

  2. Endurance

  3. Willpower

  4. Agility

  5. Strength

When endurance gets augmented by even more colours it becomes a true powerhouse. It's otherwise situational creatures suddenly become some of the most versatile ones in the game, and it's strong basic creatures can be supported with both strong removal and combat tricks from other colours (Think of the difference between Warrior and Redoran, or Warrior and Ebonheart. When Endurances strengths are allowed to be prevalent they can become almost oppressive)

Intelligence remains at the top as it now has basically no weakness. Healing? Got that now. Support removal? Plenty of it mate. Single target non-damaging removal? LOADS OF IT!

Willpower now has room to expand as well. Finishers are aplenty from other colours and it can use it's strong removal in tandem with other colours to get a really strong control shell. In truth it's token strategies dont become much stronger besides being augmented with other strong early creatures (an example would be hlaalu vs crusader. Being able to run Mournholde traitor, Morag Tong Aspirant and other similar creatures proves a big boon, but doesn't change the token gameplan or shell in a big way)

Agility and strength suffers for many of the same reasons. Their previous strengths can be covered by other colours now. Support removal is applenty in Endurance, as is silence. Strengths conditional removal pales in comparison to the superb removal in Willpower. Agility's still fairly competitive due to it's sticky creatures and (especially) it's synergy with endurance which is a top dog now.

I'd love to hear how you guys would judge the colours, even if you don't use or appreciate my method. I think judging the colours within different parameters is an interesting exercise, and can be an interesting way to explore the current state of the game!

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