Welcome to the Deck Spotlight Series, where we are going to break down top-tier lists or explore strange new brews. We will be continuing off last week’s theme, with a new addition to an old classic. Today we have Orc Tribal, and it will feature the new Dushnikh Yal Archer. This card continues to intrigue me as I still think it’s very powerful, but I haven’t found a perfect home for it yet. My hopes for this article is that a good ol’ Tribal deck will give Dushnikh Yal Archer its home.
Glory to the Orsimer
Warrior-based Orc Tribal decks is one of the oldest aggressive decks in TES:L. The main reason behind that is the archtype has been supported with Orc-matters cards like Bangkorai Butcher and Wrothgar Kingpin since day one. The archtype really started gaining traction with the Madhouse Collection and the release of Stoneshard Orc. Heroes of Skyrim gave us two very strong Orcs in Steelheart Vanquisher and Stronghold Partol. Stronghold Patrol is an incredibly powerful card, and gives this deck a lot of gas to continue going. As for non-Orcs, HoS also blessed this deck with Circle Initiate and Underworld Vigilante. These cards are great for aggressive Strength strategies, and get to be honorary Orcs in my eyes. The final cards are both Monthly Reward cards, Sower of Temptation and Dushnikh Yal Archer. Sower is simply an all-around great card in Warrior, and seldom comes with situations where you wouldn’t want to include all three copies.
Dushnikh Yal Archer is an interesting card for Orc Tribal. It is an Orc, yes, but does it fit into the strategy? At 4 Magicka, a 3/3 body isn’t very exciting, the Guard keyword definitely helps in aggressive mirrors but seem’s like a downside as you can’t hide it in the Shadow Lane. The Summon ability of one damage again isn’t very much, and most supports this deck doesn’t care about as the majority of half-decent supports are late-game tools that you want to go under. So the question is, is this card just innately powerful enough to overcome this? I would say yes. Probably not all three copies yes, but two copies minimum.
What Didn’t Make the Cut
I’ll start off with talking about Steelheart Vanquisher, as it is an Orc that helps other Orcs. I don’t think this card is bad by any means, I just don’t think it makes the cut. It falls in the same space as Morkul Gatekeeper for me. It’s good, just not good enough. There are too many downsides and bad situations I can forsee before I can find spots where these cards can really shine. I like both of these cards in super-powered hyper aggro versions of Orc where the most important thing is pushing damage 24/7, but that’s not where my deck rests. One more small knock against Steelheart Vanquisher is that it is Endurence and not Strength. This is the primary reason why Wrothgar Kingpin isn’t included in my list either, both being Endurance two drops with snowball potential but very little immediate impact.
Triumphant Jarl was a card that was included in my initial lists, but was inevitably cut. Jarl is extraordinarily powerful in decks like these, but then it hit me. I don’t want to draw cards in the mid/late game, I want to end the game by then. I don’t want to hit turn 8 and draw a couple cards to continue pressuring my opponent, I want to SMOrc them until they are defeated.
Reive, Blademaster is the final card I haven’t included. Again, he was a part of my original list but was eventually cut. If Reive attacks but one time, and he attacks face, you can think of him as a 4 Magicka 5/5. So, the big question for me is; how many times will Reive get to attack? In a realistic world, I would say two. He is a magnet for removal spells, and Orcs doesn’t have good board control to help protect him. With that in mind, I have included but two copies of Gladiator Arena. Where Reive can do 9 damage, Arena can do around 6 in my testing, but it is much harder to remove. Supports are simply harder to kill than creatures, so Arena gets to run wild. Plus, Arena isn’t the only Support, so it puts the opponent in a bind as to which Support they find more threatening. Gladiator Arena is very much a personal preference of mine, and if you like any of these cards more feel free to include them instead.
The question presented at the start was does Orcs provide a good home for Dushnikh Yal Archer? After this, I would say sort of. Archer seems very much like a midrange/control-ish card rather than an aggro card, and given the fact that it is an Orc allows it to be included but not highlighted. Zooming out to look at Orcs as a whole, I feel like it is at the/has hit the boiling point Goblins hit when Heroes of Skyrim dropped. One more great Orc card and this deck could really light the world on fire, but as it stand this deck is medium to above average. It is just not good enough in the Tokens matchup because they control the board far, far better than you do, and Control Mage beats Orcs into a pulp. If Clockwork City brings about the return of Midrange, I could see Orcs making a stand.
Speaking of Clockwork City, these cards have me very excited. Nothing has come across as super good yet outside of Laaneth and maybe Nix-Hound Fabricant but I am interested to see where this is going. My personal interest lies with what cards fit in with Dwemer stuff, and both Kagouti Fabricant and Nix-Hound Fabricant jump out at me (Although Monk Dwemer seems a bit too strange). So for the next couple weeks, I’ll be scanning the spoilers with bated breath. Until I get that magical card that makes everything right in the world, I would like to thank everyone for reading, I’ll see you all next time.