Control And Aggro Issue


I think that Duelyst is an amazing game. I had a lot of fun playing this game. But there is one issue i cant overcome.

The meta in Duelyst is very fast. There is no denoying in that. Some decks are capable of consisltenly closing game on turn 8 or 9. Most decks dont even have minions that cost more than 5 mana. The main win condition of decks these days is destroying your general as fast as possible. Some songhai decks are capable of winning while investing all available recources in damaging opponent’s general. But why there are no control decks that just outheal damage taken and slowly remove threats? Because cards that deal damage are far more effective than those that heal or handle little threats.

Let me illustrate my point. Take a look at these 2 cards: Exelsious and Spectral revenant.
While Exelsious deos not heal your general, i consider provoke as damage mitigation for this comparrison.
Exelsious is a 8-mana minion that provides on average 8/8 stats with provoke and ability to win on your next turn if unanswered but has no immediate impact ( by immediate i mean that it does nothing if removed).

And here we have spectral revenant , the aggressive counterpart of Exelsious. At first Revenant costs 1 less mana, which is crusial when you dont often live to turn with 8 mana.
Also it is a form of removal so it practicly mitigates the damage of a minion with 6 or less health. And it deals 4 damage tp your opponent and never dies after an attack into a minion. So you have mitigated 3-4 damage and left a threat that forces your opponent to use spell removal instead of minion combat.
And there is Exelsious who does not achive even part of qualities that Revenant does for 1 less mana. So if you would have an opportunity, you would run Revenant over Exelsious even i Healyonar because you usually mitigate more damage.

And that was an example of a card that sometimes cannot be played because you die before you have enough mana to play it or you are low enough to be killed by spells or Revenant. And Exelsious costs 8 mana, which means that is is one of the strongest cards in control arsenal in the whole game. Minions that rely on you having an established minion dont benefit control decks, as control relys on reactive cards instead of proactive. So control decks lose in the early game having a disadvantage to overcome in the late game.

The cards that support control early game are just good cards that are mostly seen in aggressive or tempo decks.
For example makantor warbeast or holy immolation.

Cards like Sunseer exist but lets be real, it does not mitigate the damage of agressive twilligh fox (while spells that fox gives you can be used to clear instead of going face) or other agressive minions.

Control decks have a lesser chance of capturing early tiles because they have more reactive spells and heavy minions.

And strong removal exists. Punish is good even against aggro decks and absolutly crushes control decks.

But its not like this game is not meant to support control decks. Cards like Rook or Grandmaster Zir exist, they are just not supported by slow early game minions.

My favourite playstyle is control. I dont enjoy plaing aggro, but im not against it being in the game. But due to the nature of duelyst i cant enjoy this game. So i and other control players sooner or later will just quit the game, which results in the loss of popularity of the game.

Also control players are those who invest the most money in the game as they unlike the aggro players build the decks that contain a lot of slow legendaries. Also as control decks take more time per match, control players are ready to spend more time on game.

I dont want to force CPG to slow down the meta or make control decks top tier. I just want to have them on the same powerlevel as aggro. And if the game is ment to be this fast i would like to be sure in that.

And what are your views on this topic? Do you think that Duelyst is supposed to be this fast? Will it always be this way?


I have no problem with speed of the game. A dozen ish turns of meaningful, skill-intensive decisions are fine with me. Ladder is a grind by nature and I go to S every month so I definitely wouldn’t want to play 100+ games at 15+ minutes a pop.


Healyonar does this. Heals provide more value per mana than straight raw damage (pheonix fire to sundrop elixir. 2 M for 3 dmg compared to 1 M for 5 health. 1.5dmg/M vs 2.5hp/M)


I like the speed of the meta right now. There are aggro decks to close game out asap, but there are still control-like decks (Healyonar, Creep, Meltdown Faie) that revolve around outlasting your opponent and playing endgame cards to finish.

I’d certainly rather have this than have hyper control decks with no finishers that just drag the game out to 10+ turns every time. And with the way CPG is taking this game, I think that’s how the Developers feel as well, especially with the printing of more aggro cards like Entropic and infinite or huge value endgame cards like Variax and Meltdown.


I feel like the major problem is how binary the game was forced to become after the latest expansion. Look at the top Generals. Vaath, Argeon, Faie, Cass. What do they all have in common? The ability to be both aggressive and to keep themselves healthy at the same time.


I want to add more of a correction to my statement. Primarily, for me, I don’t see issues with the state of things. I got to gold because of a control deck. But that’s the thing, my experiences only reach gold. If you’re talking higher than that, then my point may be (and likely is) obsolete.

Outhealing damage though; yea, we got an entire general dedicated towards the concept :slight_smile:


A deck with enough healing power to outheal songhai/magmar burn decks would probably be op as hell.

The control style problem in duelyst imo is that there is no real advantage in slowing the game (sure there’s variax, but the “normal” abyssian deck version seems to be better…), and even if auto boosting cards exists (grow) they can’t give them the right tools to become a good control deck as the others archetype could abuse them better.

That said, can control deck be fast? I would say yes, control doesn’t mean 20 min for game, control should be the “answer” archtype that tries to fatigue the opponent by constantly swiping the board and/or make them discard cards or mill or stun their minion or whatever.

The faction that more looks like a control faction is probably abyssian, more so if you play variax as you need to “contain” your enemy before the advent of variax.

Have fun :slight_smile:


Maybe consider amending your deck? My version does pretty damn well against aggressive decks, and while its admittedly a very aggressive heal deck it does rack up those wonderful ‘big turns’ where I heal for 13 in a single turn.

Agreed on Excelsious of course, and I’d like to see non-immediate big cards become more worthwhile too. It does look like Variax is about as slow as we’re going to get.


I agree with the OP also I don’t really like playing aggro over and over again as everone above me seem to enjoy. For me the pure pleasure is to outlasting the opponent showing him, he cannot do anything because I will just remove everything he plays and then when true dispair kicks in and they go full retard with burst and I’m just sitting there watching them slowely dying in tears…
Yeah something like that.
Aggro is a big part of every card game but shouldn’t be the only one. Control should be like second top tier options for players.


Aggro decks don’t need specific threats to be intimidating. They just need threats, whatever they may be.
Control decks need specific answers to those threats unless they want to be inefficient. Also, while any deck requires proper piloting to do well, I think that the decision-making control players have to make is more challenging. Control players tend to think longer-term than aggro players just by the nature of their decks, and making any mistake whether it be playing the wrong card, or replacing something that should’ve been preserved, pays a heftier price than an aggro deck which only varies by which threat is played. The precision of each play is more crucial to a control player than an aggro player imo.
Aggro also just has more support in general, but I think you already mentioned that.


Let me preface this by saying that I recently came back to the game after a long break. The last time I played, the meta was indeed filled with slower decks, mostly mid-range decks utilizing high value cards as well as dedicated late game decks.

Back then, you saw Emerald Rejuvenators in basically every deck. Same for Healing Mystics. Spelljammer eventually got reworked to provide a neutral draw engine, but that aside, running out of steam was a very real threat for aggressive decks. Some hyper aggro, in the form of Songhai (if memory serves me right) was present but the tournament winning decks were more along the lines of Control Magmar and Lyonar Midrange.

The game feels a lot faster now than it did back then and I, for one, definitely like it. I’ve never been a huge fan of the passive / reactive way slow decks play and while many people claim control decks to be harder to play, it always boils down to a “see X, do Y” kind of decision making that feels very formulaic. Might be that it just came more naturally to me, but it never felt more difficult than playing an aggressive deck. Granted, the overall power levels of the decks, back then, might have affected that impression as well.

I’d also like to touch upon the topic of spirit costs of decks. Back then, top decks like Drezbo’s Control Magmar totalled up to 15,000 Spirit or something. That might have been an incentive for some players to pay a little more cash, but I think it did more harm than good as it also turned new players away and furthered P2W-claims. From a selfish point of view, grinding towards such a high cost deck didn’t feel that great, either.

I’ll also say that cards like Keeper of the Vale not being the top cards anymore helps my enjoyment more than any of the points above, but still. There are some slower decks around with Healyonar and some of the Vanar decks and, I suppose, Creep Abyss to offset the aggressive decks. All in all, I’d say that, at a glance, the meta looks a lot better than it used to.


You are right in that regard but let me ilustrate my point.
You kill Dioltas with your Phoenix fire. You effectivly healed your general for 5 damage. Or potentially 10 or more if Dioltas would stick another turn. Also you can go face with your Phoenix fire and kill ranged minions. The only thing sundrop does is giving you some time while you opponents develops threats or just hits you in the face.

So that is why i consider healing cards underpowerd - because now you can remove remove minions that in long term would deal more damage than your healing.


They mostly rely on tempo beatdown. Oftentimes these decks run very agressive minions or try to hit face as much as they can, not relying on living long enough to play their threats.

The point i am making is that these decks play more like a tempo, less aggro version instead of control.


It is insanely inefficient to put just healing cards in the deck. Healing is only good against burn. Good healing cards would not destroy songhai and magmar but would make their style shift from insanely agressive to tempo and value oriented. When this happenes heal decks disappear and cycle starts ones again.

The game now is about bursting your opponent before they burst you. Aggro decks dont run out of cards so they dont have much weakness. Agroo decks will always exist no matter how slow the game will become so there are no worries on this front. The thing that botheres me is that this game will soon have only aggro.


Variax is my personal most hated card in the regard to the topic. It wasnt like Abbysian needed more late game threats. What happened is that Variax was added to not-so-fast Abbysian lists and autowon late game forcing people to play aggro to counter Variax.

So Variax just made control outside Abbyssian unplayable and sped up the meta which was the last thing i wanted from a control card.


Normally, healing cards are pretty inefficient, as you’ve said, which is why I think the best heal comes from minions like azure herald and healing mystic - early game cards that provide a solid body on board and heal you up later in the game. I was disappointed when they changed emerald rejuvenator, because it devalued another great minion heal - and while yes, healing like sundrop elixir may be inefficient, minion heal like scintilla is still effective.

And variax didn’t make all other control unplayable, you know. At least not in my opinion. I run a control magmar in high diamond that uses silithar elders as its variax, and the elder is actually more snowbally than variax.

Just my thoughts- I don’t think the game will ever go all aggro; it might be more aggro right now, but have faith, my friend. The devs are listening.


I hear what you are saying but control deck is infinitly harder to build for the following reasons:

  1. You dont have so much 2 drops to contest mana tiles.
    2.You have cards that cost more than you have while aggro cards mostly cost 4 or lower allowing you to play them at any time.
  2. Playing big cards can be easily countered by playing removal which is easily acessible. If this happens, you are insanely set back (keep in mind that you might have alredy been behind because you had this slow card in your hand instead of the card you could play).
  3. Removal you put in might be good against one card but not against every card. Its not that hard to play more 3 health minions to avoid tempest or play sunsteel defender in order to be safe against damage removal. Bloodmoon priestess is “invulnerable” to adjaisent tile removal and so on.[quote=“luminis, post:11, topic:7873”]
    I’d also like to touch upon the topic of spirit costs of decks.

I agree with you, but CounterPlay needs money in order to develop this game. If everyone hops on to play agressive 1 minute games, they rarely spend money on this game. If every player doesnt buy anything and plays for free, this game will just disapper as there is no budget to support servers or pay salaries.


What i like about elder that it can be removed once and for all giving control deck a chance to dispell it or something else.But Variax is different. You cant remove its effect. It is always there:10/10 minion every turn, that absoulites other contol threats.

About the elder: this card is very strong and that’s the reason why it sees competitive play but other 6+ drops are not so lucky in that regard.
Thanks for your support, mate. I appreciate it.


Could I ask you to try magmar?

Not the draw/burn/aggro version, a control version. You have access to cards like young silithar, which is good at contesting earlygame with its solid body and rebirth, plasma storm for the multiple minions they try to swarm you with, makantor warbeast which is insanely effective against low mana cards, silithar elder for the late game, even earth sphere (8hp in one card) for massive stabilization of you need it;

I suggest throwing in:

Primus shieldmaster: effective against many low drops, with enough attack and 6 hp

Bone reaper: 9 health provoke on top of small AOE

Fractal replication: the reason this deck can beat variax. Fractal replication can help you tip the game before the 5/5s get to you, and on an elder is essentially an auto win

Elicidator: combo this with fractal replication and flash reincarnation against variax. Replace it vs aggro, also acts as reach when you can’t natural selection something

I hope you can see that there are still alternatives out there. While this deck may not be the best, it’s about even in high diamond so it can’t be that bad, right?

I know that it is pretty frustrating having to deal with decks that just shoot damage at you until you die, and the game seems too fast. But I’m fairly sure that the meta isn’t TOO aggro.

As far as other 6+ drops go, it’s true you don’t see many out there, but I feel that’s by design. Your late game is supposed to be like your ultimate move; it wouldn’t make much sense to have many, right? So people only run one or two. In this way, only the best options are run, because the late game spot is so competitive for space.


Think Duelyst overall is suppose to have quick games (in terms of time), but that doesn’t mean that its all aggro or going be all aggro. Control decks can work and have for a long time. But with the introduction of the bloodborn expansion faster decks seem to have raised up. However, I don’t think its a time to be worried and I’ll go ahead and risk saying this, but the reason I don’t think its time to worry about over use of aggro or control is because of limited net decking in Duelyst. People share decks and ideas on these forums, reddit etc, but even then I often find a good amount of diversity whenever I play ranked. Which shows that people are willing to use they own ideas/decks or non-meta stuff. Of course we still get at least one general or deck that is played more than the rest but that seems to happen in most CCG’s. If there is every a time where one deck truly dominates the game and the vast majority of people then play it. Think that is when we all should worry about the issue.