The Elder Scrolls: Legends – War of the Alliances – Review

I played The Elder Scrolls: Legends since the beta, several months before the official launch two years ago, continuing to play for a long time even after the release, coming to collect cards from the first two expansions. Then I had to give up despite myself, mainly for reasons of time, also because I admit that I have some problems regulating myself when I am faced with card games (digital and otherwise). That’s the main reason why I quit Hearthstone before it could become a drug, and why I deliberately decided to ignore the Magic Arena when the closed beta ended: I’m aware of my weaknesses, and I know that once you fall into the tunnel it’s really hard to succeed to get out of it.

On the other hand, this is exactly what happened in the case of The Elder Scrolls: Legends: it took me a while to break away, but I don’t know how I managed to detox. It is a pity that our dear Mario Baccigalupi proposed me to review Alliance War, the latest expansion of the Bethesda and Sparkypants card game (a software house that took over from Dire Wolf Digital in the development of the game), and failed to say no. A little out of curiosity, to understand the direction taken by the new study, and a little because in me a small flame for TES Legends still burns.


The main dynamics that govern each game has remained completely unchanged, which is why I refer you to the review of the base game that we published a couple of years ago right on our virtual pages. You just need to know that, unlike what happens in most digital card games, in The Elder Scrolls: Legends the bridge is divided into two completely independent parts, inside which the creatures fight as if they were locked up in watertight compartments; while every five damage is taken (on a total of thirty life points) a card is drawn, with the possibility of triggering a Prophecy and immediately playing the drawn card without paying the Magicka cost (the equivalent of mana in the world of The Elder Scrolls).

That said, Alliance War does not make any changes to the very simple basic rules, but only introduces a hundred new cards, as well as a series of additional mechanics that manage to fit quite well into the game. In this regard, you need only know that, although I skipped a couple of expansions, my old decks are back immediately competitive after making some targeted changes in order to take advantage of some of the new dynamics created by Sparkypants. In particular, my deck focused entirely on equipment was able to count on the new Mobilita mechanics, which allows you to play objects even if there are no friendly creatures on the battlefield, going to create a 1/1 Recruit to equip the card with that ability. Then there are the creatures with Veteran, who gain additional skills after attacking for the first time, to which the pole cards with Specialty, which are improved every time actions are played, supports or objects. Finally, we have Upgrade, which improves cards with that ability when you attack your opponent during your turn.


However, it has not ended here since the War of the Alliances takes up a concept already experimented in the House of Morrowind expansion, going to fetch the tricolor cards. You must know that initially the decks of The Elder Scrolls: Legends could count on a maximum of two colors among the five total (more obviously the colorless cards, playable everywhere). Casate di Morrowind broke this limitation for the first time by introducing “tricolor” cards, even if only of five of the ten possible combinations. Now it happens that War of the Covenants it fills this void by offering cards belonging to all the remaining combinations of attributes, thus giving form to as many factions, that is precisely those alliances cited in the name of the expansion.

Needless to say, this move opens the door to a universe of possibilities, offering players a variety of truly indifferent options. As for me, I’ve always been a lover of “Ramp” type decks, that is those aimed at accumulating as much magicka as possible in the early rounds to evoke the most powerful spells before the opponent, so I couldn’t resist the call of the Cyrodiil Empire, which thanks to that mix of Will, Agility and Resistance allowed me to set up a really bad deck using a combination of old and new cards, making me immediately competitive again. It must be said that I ran into a series of balancing problems that will have to be corrected as soon as possible by the developers, but this is, unfortunately, an inevitable aspect when a card game expansion is being processed. Anyhow, I was positively impressed by the work done by Sparkypants, and I will certainly continue to hang out on The Elder Scrolls: Legends’ servers in the future.