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Is The Elder Scrolls: Legends a "Hearthstone Rip-off"?

There is some difference between TES: Legends and other CCGs, and that difference will make you appreciate Legends more.

Since Bethesda first announced The Elder Scrolls: Legends, a lot of people were skeptical about it -- thinking that Bethesda was trying to capitalize on Hearthstone's success and the growing  CCG market.

But I had a different opinion. As a fan of the TES series and collectible card games, I was happy and excited to see a CCG game set in The Elder Scrolls universe!

So what's the difference between the two games? Is Elder Scrolls: Legends really a Hearthstone clone, or is it different enough to be its own CCG? Let's examine.

Lanes

The first difference between the two games is the lanes in Legends. The normal match has two lanes -- the left one "Field lane" that's a normal lane, and the right "Shadow lane" where you play a creature that can't be attacked until your next turn or when it attacks. The point of the different lanes is that creatures can only attack in the lane they are in, so it forces players to think about whether they want to try and protect certain creatures until the right time to strike, or whether they can't risk spreading out their offensive or defensive cards.

Hearthstone doesn't have any sort of mechanic like this -- it's totally unique to Legends

But that's not all. In the Arena and other modes, certain lanes will have crazy effects -- like dropping items or raising the dead as skeletons -- which will make things even more interesting. 

The Story

The next big difference is the story. Unlike Hearthstone, The Elder Scrolls: Legends has a story, and in this story sometimes you have to make decisions. Your choices will not only affect the game, but also give you a new card or gold depending on your choice. So your story choices quite literally change the deck options you have available to you. 

Card upgrading when leveling up.

Each time you level up, you get a free card upgrade for one of your cards, and sometimes you get to choose which upgrade you want. In high levels you get more interesting upgrades for more powerful cards. But any cards you don't receive through upgrades or story choices can be unlocked in packs. 

Prophecy and Runes

Another interesting thing about the game is the prophecy and runes mechanic. It's a new concept and never done in a CCG before. Every player has 5 runes, and upon losing health one rune will be destroyed when reaching 25, 20, 15, 10, and 5 health. Upon losing a rune, you will draw a card.

And there are some cards that have the keyword Prophecy on them. If you draw one of them because one of your runes got destroyed, you get to play that card for free on your opponent's turn -- that way the game ensures that you will have some way of coming back without disturbing the flow of the match. This is a far cry from the snowballing that tends to happen in Hearthstone games. 

Classes in TES: Legends.

The real question is, will the game be fun to play?

And can it get a big community? The answer is yes, and maybe. TES: Legends will fun to play whether it is better than Hearthstone or not, because it is still a new experience in a universe that most of us love -- The Elder Scrolls universe.

Did you get access to the closed Legends beta? If so, tell us about your experience. Does the game feel like a Hearthstone rip-off to you?

Published Jul. 28th 2016

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