Elf Racial Skills

Discussion in 'Deck Building' started by Jade303, Mar 2, 2014.


What card(s) must be on your Elf skill? (MAX 3)

  1. Elvish Insight

  2. Elvish Mobility

  3. Slippery

  4. Pathfinding

  5. Flanking Move

  6. Quick Run

  7. Dodge

  8. Escaping Run

  9. Jump Back

  10. Energizing Move

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Jade303

    Jade303 Thaumaturge

    So let's take a look into various Racial skills and see what are the best ones available...

    For the poll, please select 1-3 cards that appear on a racial skill you use exclusively/most often, or the card(s) that appear on multiple Elf skills you like/use often.

    I'd like to split this into a few sections: Pathfinding Skills, Tokenless Skills, Slippery/Elvish Insight/Elvish Mobility, Movement skills.

    First off, let's look at Pathfinding.

    It discards Encumber effects, specifically, but then it allows you to search through your ENTIRE deck until it finds two Move cards, hybrids like Nimble Strike/Dodge/Dynamic Armor included.
    So by playing Pathfinding intelligently, you are almost guaranteed to gain two new cards. The problem is, most boots are going to have at least one Move card on them, and on top of that EVERY elf skill has a move card on it, so your chances of getting what you want are thinned out a little bit.
    So what skills can you choose from?

    Novice Insight Uncommon 8 ()
    1 Pathfinding 1 Cautious Sneak 1 Cowardly

    Frightened Scouting Uncommon 12 (minortoken)
    1 Pathfinding 1 Elvish Mobility 1 Cowardly

    Trained Insight Uncommon 15 (minortoken)
    1 Pathfinding 1 Dash 1 Cautious Sneak

    Perfect Insight Epic 18 (majortoken)
    1 Pathfinding 1 Dodge 1 Dangerous Maneuver

    Practiced Scouting Rare 18 (majortoken)
    1 Pathfinding 1 Escaping Run 1 Run

    Novice Insight and Frightened Scouting come with Cowardly. Cowardly can hurt you by discarding 0-2 attack cards, so it may not be the best skill to give to a wizard or warrior. It's not always bad though, the trait draw should be worthwhile unless you are abusing draw effects and run into Cowardly when your hand is larger. If you take Cautious Sneak the skill is tokenless, but if you take Elvish Mobility, you have a "mini Team Run" for an all-Elf team for one token.
    There is no denying that Pathfinding is one, good card. The problem is that it is one good card on a skill among one or two other not so good cards.

    The other three skills all have two move cards and 0 traits. Again, you don't really want to waste Pathfinding on drawing these cards if you can help it(and draw Nimble Strike or Team Run instead!), but it's not necessarily a bad thing, and you won't ever discard attacks from Cowardly. It's up to you whether you want to spend a minor token, or if you want to go major and get Dodge or Escaping Run.

    Now let us quickly go over the other notable cards:
    This is probably the best Trait in the game currently, hands-down. I mean, it is up there right next to Immovable and Talented Healer. For three turns, you get to move anywhere within 3 squares, essentially negating damaging Terrain effects and functioning as a sort of Scamper+ Quick Run fusion that ignores encumbrance. Sadly, you can't get more than one per deck.


    Here we have two good cards. Naturally, there is a disadvantage playing either of these cards against an enemy with Elves of their own. However, the benefits of playing these cards for your own team always apply. Mobility functions as a mini-team run, you may not move far but you are guaranteed to move at least.
    Insight always allows you to draw a brand new card, and also try and peek into your opponent's hand. Or their soul, or mind, or something.
    Anyways, Insight can trigger your opponent's block cards, but if they fail/don't have any, you can potentially see every card your opponent has available to play that turn. On one hand you can tear apart your opponent's strategy and outplay them for the whole turn; otherwise they may simply have the upper hand and they will use their superior cards to outplay you. It can be a lot of fun, certainly...

    So moving on...
    Token-less Skills

    Apprentice Evasion Uncommon 7
    1 Elvish Mobility 1 Dash 1 Loner
    Here is a decent tokenless skill. The Loner can be painful for elves in particular, and could certainly hasten your death, but it isn't too bad. Dash is here too. It's a question of whether saving the token for Mobility is worthwhile or not.

    Untrained Evasion Common 7
    1 Slippery 1 Walk 1 Superstitious
    This is probably one of the better tokenless skills available. You get two traits, Slippery and Superstitious, along with Walk for no token cost. Slippery is fantastic while Superstitious can be frustrating at times. Forcing you to discard your hand is bad, while making you change your strategy to avoid discarding your hand could be worse.

    Untrained Insight Rare 7
    1 Dodge 1 Walk 1 Cowardly
    A decent skill here, probably best for a Priest that isn't running very many attack cards because of Cowardly. Is tokenless dodge worth it? On an elf skill, Dodge is quite costly you know...

    Untrained Footwork Epic 7
    1 Escaping Run 1 Dangerous Maneuver 1 Walk
    All-around, this skill is much better than having 3X Walk, however not by much.

    Perilous Agility Legendary 6
    2 Flanking Move 1 Dangerous Maneuver
    Most people would agree that this is a great tokenless skill. Having 2X Flanking Move added to your deck token-free is usually a pretty great thing.

    Unique Elf Skills

    Superb Evasion Rare 15
    2 Elvish Mobility 1 Flanking Move
    This is a pretty great skill for an all-elf team. Solid all-around in terms of versatility and movement. This item is well balanced, comparable to the human skill Perfect Command.

    Advanced Evasion Common 16
    1 Slippery 1 Elvish Mobility 1 Walk
    For this skill, compared to Superb Evasion you lose Flanking Move but you gain Slippery. Slippery is probably worth it though.

    Escapist Common 16
    1 Slippery 1 Elvish Insight 1 Walk
    This is another good all-around elf skill. Walk is kind of painful, but Slippery and Elvish Insight are both great/good cards.

    Superb Insight Rare 17
    1 Elvish Insight 1 Dodge 1 Cautious Sneak
    And here we have Elvish Insight combined with a Dodge. Those two cards are solid, if costly. Thanks to Cautious Sneak this item only costs a minor instead of a major token.

    Insight Common 13
    2 Elvish Insight 1 Walk
    The best spy skill. Walk is pretty mrech here, just like everywhere else, but just having 2 Elvish Insight is pretty good.

    These next two Level 9 skills suffer from the same problem....
    Agility Epic 9
    1 Elvish Insight 1 Flanking Move 1 Dangerous Maneuver
    So if for some reason you want to combine Elvish Insight with Flanking Move, here you go. Generally I believe people would prefer Escapist or Insight, however. Now if this skill had Wild Run or Cautious Sneak instead of Dangerous Maneuver, pushing it down to level 8 tokenless- that would be a nice skill. Same goes for having two Flanking Move or Flanking Move + Escaping Run, etc...any of those things would make this a better (minortoken) item.

    Novice Evasion Epic 9
    1 Slippery 2 Dangerous Maneuver
    So here is an interesting skill. I mean, Elves are lousy with movement already, but this skill gives you two Dangerous Maneuver and Slippery for a token. Again, if this was somehow... better (add a Flanking Move, Dodge, anything...) or lower level and token-less, I could see this being a nice skill.
    However, just having Slippery on this skill might be enough to consider using it.

    Here we leave the Unique Elf skill area and head into Generic Movement. Elves have access to extra Quick Run/Escaping Run/Flanking Move/Jump Back/Dodge, and certainly these move cards are useful at times... right?

    Apprentice Insight Epic 11
    1 Dodge 1 Cautious Sneak 1 Dangerous Maneuver
    Advanced Insight Legendary 15
    1 Dodge 1 Energizing Move 1 Dangerous Maneuver
    Very rare skills, but if you like Dodge these are some of your options... however, why not use Superb Insight?

    Evasion Legendary 9
    3 Flanking Move
    I think that most people would be happier with Perilous Agility, but if you must have maximum Flanking Move, this is the way to get it.

    Trained Evasion Legendary 12
    1 Energizing Move 2 Flanking Move
    Energizing Move is interesting... I mean think of all the times when you wish that you could Dash 5 spaces... yeah no. I'm pretty sure Perilous Agility and Evasion are better.

    Superb Footwork Common 17
    2 Quick Run 1 Shuffle
    This skill is pretty great for certain combo builds (usually using Mighty/Obliterating Bludgeons and/or All Out Attack), but it is heavily reliant on drawing the right cards.
    Thankfully this skill only costs a minor token thanks to Shuffle.

    Apprentice Footwork Common 10
    1 Quick Run 1 Dash 1 Obvious Maneuver
    Not a bad skill here, Obvious Maneuver is a pretty low-risk "drawback" trait, and having Quick Run is nice...
    But imagine this skill with Cautious Sneak instead of Dash... now it is tokenless. Too bad.

    Footwork Rare 12
    1 Quick Run 1 Escaping Run 1 Cowardly
    Cowardly isn't so bad on a Priest, and maybe the Escaping Run would be worthwhile?

    Advanced Footwork Epic 16
    2 Escaping Run 1 Dash
    OK so the goal here is to run away (or not) and draw cards (or not). It's a pretty flexible skill, but compared to some other skills, it may not be worthwhile.

    Novice Footwork Rare 9
    1 Escaping Run 1 Jump Back 1 Vulnerable
    Now this is a neat skill. Vulnerable's drawback is worth the trait draw, and then you get Escaping Run AND Jump Back? Pretty cool all around.
    Would have been cooler if it was tokenless somehow...

    Trained Footwork Uncommon 13
    2 Jump Back 1 Walk
    So this is the way to get maximum Jump Back. In theory, this is a pretty good skill for an Elf Wizard or Priest or something...

    Perfect Evasion Common 18
    1 Slippery 1 Elvish Mobility 1 Run
    Now this skill is nice and all if for some reason you have a Major token to spare, but you should almost NEVER use this skill if you have Advanced Evasion. Chances are you have another item slot that could benefit from the Minor>Major token upgrade more than this skill's Run over Advanced Evasion's Walk. Come on.

    Perfect Footwork Legendary 18
    2 Escaping Run 1 Scuttle }'_'{
    What the.... OMG Scuttle!! This skill right here is simply OP. 'Nuff said.

    *Jump Back*
    In theory, this is a pretty good card. Personally, I haven't used it at all outside of the campaign, and even there it was questionable. Anyone have an opinion on this card?

    The thing about elf skills
    It seems like Elf skills in particular like to capitalize on one or two very powerful cards like Slippery, Pathfinding, Elvish Insight and Elvish Mobility. They also insist quite stubbornly on having many move cards. Sometimes, this is great because it is the only way to max out some of the best Special Move cards. Some of the best skills are common/uncommon/rare.

    My problems with elf skills:

    No good tokenless skills. I mean, non-legendary or epic skills aside, they all come with nasty drawbacks like Cowardly/Superstitious/Loner, whilst Dwarf skills abound with things like Stout Charger/Novice Ferocity/Untrained Ferocity, which all have useful things like Flimsy Block, Charge, etc. Human skills similarly have Novice Command and Untrained Command, which come with some lovely Team Moves. I think that this problem stems from the next point, since Dwarf/Human skills have access to "good" low quality non-move cards and drawback traits like Vulnerable and Blind Rage, and they can usually benefit from an extra move card like Walk, Charge or Cautious Sneak.

    All skills have a Move card on them.
    I mean, it's just not necessary for elves. Some skills have good things like Flanking Move, but almost every single skill has at least one lackluster move card. I mean, Elves don't really benefit much from basic move cards like Shuffle/Walk/Run/Cautious Sneak/Dangerous Move, but one of those cards appears on almost EVERY SINGLE SKILL. Seriously. It's just a bit too much for the current game.

    Now I can't wait to start talking about the worst Dwarf and Human Racial skills, along with the best ones. But for now let's focus on Elves OK?

    (Dodge/Jump Back/Escaping Run/Quick Run/Flanking Move/Energizing Move)

    So what's everybody's favorite Elf Skill? How about favorite special move card?
  2. It's cool of you to do this exhaustive analysis of racial skills. As a stubborn player of elves, I have played around with a few of their skills. My warrior currently plays Escapist for the Slippery and Elvish Insight (sadly I get a Walk with those). Slippery is obviously great, and in conjunction with cards like War Cry that let you steal initiative it can let you be up in your opponent's face ready to attack (or escape before he kills you). Elvish Insight can help you avoid nasty attacks and work around blocks, etc., but I feel like most of the time you can get an idea of what your opponent has by reading into what he does or doesn't do, as well as identifying what equipment he has and what he may have drawn. It's much better knowing for certain, though, and getting the free card is the real reason to play it. Also, not a lot of elves around in top play, so you almost always get full reveals.

    I used to play Pathfinding on Perfect Insight and was a little too enamored of the neat trick that is drawing two Nimble Strikes (tight deck with VP & Lochaber and very few other moves). My issue with that card is that while it does net you two cards, you must spend a turn to do it, whereas a trait immediately gives you one. Also, the odds of you being in a situation where you have Pathfinding in hand and are frozen are slim. Holding the card just waiting to be frozen means you are delaying drawing those two Nimble Strikes. Also a deal-breaker is the fact that Perfect Insight clutters your deck with two extra move cards. In an environment where mobility is not a needed add-on (if you can, you already play as many Nimble Strikes as you can fit), the Elvish skills all suffer. Too many hands with no attacks and Dangerous Move and Dodge will make you cry into your keyboard and curse your elf.

    It's really sad that Elves have no good tokenless traits while Dwarves have Raging Battler and Apprentice Ferocity. Even a lot of the blue and yellow trait skills come with mediocre cards. Heck, even Duck looks good next to some of the junk elves have (I couldn't help it! Don't hate me!).
    CT5 and Flaxative like this.
  3. Flaxative

    Flaxative Party Leader Staff Member

    Still holding my breath for Superb Mobility to make it into the game.
  4. CT5

    CT5 Guild Leader

    I've used Escapist and Advanced Evasion. Escapist is definitely the Elf skill to use at the moment, imo. Elvish Mobility is a cute mini-Scuttle, Team!, and it's been useful for me in the past, but I don't think it's a "really good card." It's definitely not as good as Elvish Insight. Cycle a card while getting (practically) complete information of your opponent's cards? Awesome. It helps me get maximum value out of my cards, because I can play around blocks/Toughness and therefore not waste my precious attacks. I don't have HP - I run two elves!

    Rounds with consecutive Elvish Insights are simply amazing though. :D
  5. Jade303

    Jade303 Thaumaturge

    I am amazed at the total lack of love for Flanking Move. If I had Perilous Agility you would see me running around with an Elf Wizard for sure.
    I suppose that it's just too rare on items for people to consider it? I mean if there was a (majortoken) Escapist upgrade with Slippery/Elvish Insight/Flanking Move I think a lot of people would play that. But as it stands, Flanking Move only shows up on a few choice (Elf Skill) items and three Legendaries, and I guess other cards have priority...

    PS: Anyone know why Superb Insight doesn't show up on the wiki's Item Search function?
  6. Kalin

    Kalin Begat G'zok

    It's not officially in the game yet. Oh wait, I thought you were talking about something else.

    It's showing up for me (Elf Skill, at least 1 (minortoken), any rarity, any level). How were you searching for it?
  7. Jade303

    Jade303 Thaumaturge

    That's weird. I swear that when I searched with just (Elf Skill) I got 30 results the first time... it was a fluke when half-way through this article I even remembered "that skill with Dodge and Insight".

    Anyone have any fun with Jump Back ever? It feels like it should be a pretty good card (possibly better than Dodge) but IDK...
  8. Kalin

    Kalin Begat G'zok

    That function won't return more than 30 results at a time. It'd be nice if they had a "next 30 results" link on the bottom.
  9. It's worse than Dodge. I equipped it and found it to be frustrating and infrequently helpful. For starters, you don't choose where you hop or if you hop (sometimes I forgo the Dodge if I have a Parry). It's always straight back, and if you are backed up to a wall or figure, you will just sit there and get smacked. Also frustrating is that it pushes you back two, when warriors cannot strike back from that range. Nimble Strike and other step attacks might help with that, but I just found Dodge to work better for me. Being to hop around a corner to duck wizard attacks/polearm attacks is clutch.

    I might see Jump Back being a bit more effective on an Elf Wizard, but even I'm not crazy enough to play a 17 HP suicider.
  10. WedgeAntilles

    WedgeAntilles Kobold

    *necros thread*
    How 'bout them AotA elf skills? I've been using Superb Mobility (18 Common, Elf Maneuver/Elvish Insight/Slippery) because it seems to me that the two traits + draw combined with their excellent effects gets me a lot of bang for my minor->major token.
    Flaxative likes this.
  11. Flaxative

    Flaxative Party Leader Staff Member

    Yeah that one is really good. Risky Trickery is another fantastic addition to the elf family.
  12. Scarponi

    Scarponi Moderator

    Because its not optional, someone who knows what they're doing can really use it against you, its surprising how much you can mess someone up if you know you can force them to move to a specific spot.
    Sir Veza likes this.
  13. Jade303

    Jade303 Thaumaturge

    Although they are still plagued with thematic move cards, elf racial skills have gotten a big boost from AotA.
    Cautious Mobility has to be the most key skill, as it is both tokenless and comes with 2 good traits, which are either simply useful or a keystone of the decks they are in. It functions as Apprentice Ferocity would (for cycling), in elf fashion.
    Cautious Trickery, Risky Trickery and Pacifist Trickery give access to a very potent new (move) card - Elven Trickery.
    Healthy Trickery is also a useful item, and the most desirable elf skill now is probably Superb Trickery. **
    Superb Mobility tops the list as a highly playable (majortoken) skill that cycles 2 great traits AND a copy of Elvish Insight. While this skill won't prevent any damage directly, it's on par with Solid Rock in terms of card cycling.

    And then there 8 more elf skills which will go mostly unnoticed. Does anyone care about Elvish Scamper? Nope. Didn't think so.
    What really makes me mad is Wild Trickery. What an awful skill for an elf. Unless they make a league with a really big map. And even still.

    **EDIT** Yes, I meant Superb not Perfect Trickery. FWIW, it would be a level 21 item.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2014
  14. UiA

    UiA Ogre

    Yeah this was one of the first AotA legendaries I got from a chest, at first I thought it was a pretty good pull, until I checked the wiki and saw Superb Trickery existed, then I realized I got the bad one.
    I did use it a bit on wicked waterways though, came in handy grabbing the vp/chasing down wizzies with my war having Wings Of Faith attached.
  15. Squidy

    Squidy Hydra

    Reminds me the second AotA Legend I had.
    Free league rewarded a new AotA epic chest and I opened it. then I see orange, yes L! Picture loads: elf skill! I move the mouse over it and see level 15! Woohoo I am so lucky it's the double trickery item. Well that's what I thought till I saw the cards. Wtf? Brutal Agility :(
  16. Kalin

    Kalin Begat G'zok

  17. What is all this Perfect Trickery and Focused Trickery shenanigans? You all must be elves trying to trick me because there are no such skills. I was like, "Aw, man, I thought I had the best one but there is another, prolly with 3x Elven Trickery." Now I think you meant the elf skill I was very fortunate to get two copies of: Superb Trickery. I am testing it out currently. I tested Risky Trickery a few weeks back, and the one time I drew the single Elven Trickery in maybe 10 games, it was devastating to my opponent. However, I did not draw it ever again. One copy of a really amazing card per character is just a fluke that may make an appearance and does not make for a good build. Now, trying two elves each with 2x Elven Trickery is more promising...

    Elven Maneuvers is really good and Cautions Mobility is a much-needed boon to the elves as it is a truly great tokenless skill. Put this in a build with lots of step attacks and a Slipper Shield and you will get some nice cards with your suffering

    Superb Mobility is really good, but its yellow token cost is very steep. Still, 3 cards that replace themselves (assuming the Elven Insight is not blocked by all opponents' characters) and all have excellent effects is probably worth it if you can fit it into your build.

    I am curious about this, but not curious enough to play it. I have this skill and also have a couple of pairs of Boots Of Etzicatl. If Nimble Stike is the best card in the game at 4 move and 6 attack, shouldn't 5 move and 10 attack (unblockable) be the nut high? Short answer is 'not exactly,' since it has to be a straight line, might not be 5 spaces and so less than 10 attack, and requires you to set it up (Escaping Run facilitates this). Still, I'm not sure that Brutal Charge is not worth playing. It was obviously one of the best cards in Astral Tourney and Monkey Madness (upgraded to Brachiation).
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2014
  18. Squidy

    Squidy Hydra

    I have tried the boots of Etzicatl on my dwarf warrior during a deathmarch league. I thought it would have been good caus you can only go in straight line I didn't really like it. But maybe it was because as there is one way it's often encumbered (with terrains and your own guys).
  19. CT5

    CT5 Guild Leader

    Funnily enough, there's a really good AotA elf skill at each rarity level:
    Legendary - Superb Trickery
    Epic - Risky Trickery
    Rare - Healthy Trickery (mainly for vampires)
    Uncommon - Cautious Mobility
    Common - Superb Mobility

    I'm a huge fan of Risky Trickery - it's tokenless, has a mostly negligible trait, and the other two cards are excellent. The tokenless part is really big, as elves had no good tokenless racials before AotA. Now we can choose between Risky Trickery and Cautious Mobility! :D
  20. Accent

    Accent Hydra

    I'm surprised there's no elf racial skill with Acrobatic Flip on it. It's right there in the flavor text!

    Especially given how weak the elf racials are in the basic set, and how we had new cards for the elf racials in the expansion, that's one card that didn't need to be invented. Was it tried in the beta and found to be too strong, or?
    Alcibiade_2nd, UiA and Squidy like this.

Share This Page