Core Set and Rotation Changes


The number of cards in your collection is getting big!

Hey Duelyst fans! We have a rather large announcement we want to make. With the inclusion of Immortal Vanguard, we're now over 800 cards! As exciting as that milestone is, we have a little maintenance we would like to do to polish the overall Duelyst experience. We have a lot to cover, so find a comfy spot to sit and get ready for all the updates coming soon!

Merging Small Expansions

In the following patch, we are merging the two existing small expansions (Rise of the Bloodbound and Ancient Bonds) into one larger, craftable expansion named Bloodbound Ancients. Cards from these sets will now be craftable/disenchantable, and can be obtained from Ancient Orbs - randomized Spirit Orbs that contain cards from both of these sets. 

Any cards you already own that were previously in the “small set” format will be converted automatically into the new Bloodbound Ancients version of that card (or a Core Set card if moved to the Core Set, more on this further below!) and become craftable/disenchantable. Any Spirit Orbs from either of the small sets that you happen to have in your inventory will be refunded for 300 gold each.

Introducing Set Rotation

Starting in 2018, we are going to introduce expansion rotations into Duelyst’s standard ranked ladder play mode. This means that Core Set cards and the most recent expansion sets at any given time will be playable in this game mode. This does not mean the cards you have collected from older expansions are no longer valid - your full collection of cards will always be playable in other game modes including Friendly Matches, Boss Battles, and other game modes we will be introducing in the future (more news on that coming soon!).

There are a number of reasons we are introducing set rotation to Duelyst’s standard ranked ladder format. As we continue to create new exciting cards for everyone to experiment with, the total number of cards continues to grow.
For competitive players it can be impossible to know what to play around. Meanwhile, for newer players it is a daunting task to try to learn the basics of the game while also trying to keep track of an overwhelming number of cards.
By limiting the card pool and periodically changing which cards are available, our aim is to ensure that matches in this format continue to remain fresh, interesting, and varied, while also keeping it accessible to everyone - new, old, and returning players.

The following is some clarifications on how set rotations will work in Duelyst:

  • The Core Set will always remain in the format, and Core Set cards will always be legal to play on the standard ranked ladder.
  • Rotations will occur once a year, coinciding with the first expansion release of that year.
  • When a rotation occurs, cards from expansions released two years prior will rotate out of the standard ranked ladder format.
    For example, when the first expansion in 2019 is released, all expansions released in 2017 will rotate out of the format
  • The combined Bloodbound Ancients expansion will be considered to have been released in 2017 and will rotate in 2019 along with the other 2017 expansions.
  • The first rotation will occur when the first expansion of 2018 is released. At that time, Denizens of Shim'Zar will rotate out (since it was released in 2016), as well as any cards that are being removed from the Core Set (see Core Set Cleanup below for more details).

As a reminder note, rotations only occur once a year and will occur at the same time the first expansion of the year is released. This means that all cards currently in Duelyst will remain legal to play on the standard ranked ladder until the first expansion in 2018 is released.

Core Set Cleanup

Given that the Core Set will not rotate out of the standard ranked ladder format, we are making some tweaks to clean up the Core Set. We have the full list of cards added, removed and changed further below.

So why are we making these changes? We want to establish the Core Set as the proper foundation and introduction to Duelyst for new players, as well as the base set upon which all expansions are built. We've added in some of the iconic class cards that help define the identities of factions and some of Duelyst's core archetypes. We're also removing some of the niche cards in the Core Set - while they're still great cards, they aren't fundamental foundation cards and should not belong in our Core. Finally, we've changed a few existing cards with an eye to the future, knowing that the Core Set should remain relatively stable going forward.

A couple of quick notes on the Core Set changes:

  • Starting with this upcoming patch
    • Cards being removed from the Core Set will no longer come out of Core Set spirit orbs. They remain (and will continue to remain) craftable and disenchantable though.
    • Cards moving into the Core Set from another expansion will no longer appear in their respective expansion orbs.
    • ALL cards remain playable in standard ranked ladder matches.
  • Starting with the next standard ranked ladder rotation (when the first expansion of 2018 is released)
    • Cards removed from the Core Set will no longer be playable in standard ranked ladder matches.

Here is the full list of cards being added to and removed from the Core Set:


  • Added - Excelsious, Sunforge Lancer
  • Removed - Sunstone Templar


  • Added - Grandmaster Zendo


  • Added - Grandmaster Nosh-Rak, Blood of Air
  • Removed - Sand Trap


  • Added - Grandmaster Variax


  • Added - Grandmaster Kraigon


  • Added - Grandmaster Embla, Frostburn
  • Removed - Mark of Solitude


  • Removed Commons - Arrow Whistler, Blistering Skorn, Day Watcher, Sand Burrower, The High Hand
  • Removed Rares - Chakkram, Prophet of the White Palm, Sunsteel Defender, Tethermancer, Wind Runner
  • Removed Epics - Captain Hank Hart, Dioltas, Lux Ignis, Mogwai, Night Watcher, Syvrel the Exile, The Scientist
  • Removed Legendaries - Alter Rexx, Astral Crusader, Eclipse, Envybaer, E'Xun, Rook, Ruby Rifter, Zen'Rui the Blightspawned

Cards that are removed from the Core Set listed above will no longer appear in any Spirit Orbs, but can still be crafted and disenchanted from the collection screen.

Core Set Card Changes

We are also making changes to some Core Set cards. These changes are not being made specifically to change the current metagame, but rather to adjust the Core Set moving forward as a base set for Duelyst, as well as shaping it to be the set which future expansions are built upon.

  • Bloodrage Mask - Mana Cost increased from 1 to 2 Mana
  • Spectral Revenant - Mana Cost increased from 7 to 8 Mana
  • Aspect of the Ravager - Mana Cost increased from 1 to 2 Mana
  • Chromatic Cold - Damage reduced from 2 to 1
  • Frostburn - Mana Cost increased from 5 to 6 Mana
  • Saberspine Tiger - Mana Cost increased from 3 to 4 Mana
  • Chassis of MECHAZ0R - Stats changed from 5/4 to 2/4
    Loses "Cannot be targeted by ANY spells"
    Gains "Forcefield"
  • MECHAZ0R - Stats changed from 8/8 to 6/6
    Mana Cost changed from 7 to 4 Mana
    Loses "Cannot be targeted by ANY spells"
    Gains "Forcefield"

For roughly one week after these changes, Spectral Revenant, Frostburn, and Chassis of MECHAZ0R will be disenchantable for full spirit value.

Other Core Set Changes

Building MECHAZ0R: You can now build multiple MECHAZ0RS in the same game. After your MECHAZ0R build progress reaches 100%, subsequent cards that build MECHAZ0R will contribute to the progress of another MECHAZ0R.

Warmasters: We are removing the Warmaster tribe from the game. Minions that previously had the Warmaster tag will now be regular minions.

Grandmaster Zendo: As Grandmaster Zendo has now become part of the Core Set, we are changing its card text to be more clear for new players. Zendo's ability will now read "The enemy General moves and attacks automatically." The card will function exactly the same, but it will no longer reference Battle Pets in its text.

We are excited to announce these changes after releasing so many sets. We're eagerly looking forward to the great things this will provide for Duelyst such as rich expansions and refreshing new gameplay every year. We look forward to what the future has in store and continuing to build the best game we can with our players!


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Trials of Mythron - Hate furnace

Vanar got neutered wow. Chromatic, frostburn, Tiger and Aspect
and personally not feeling the rotations and changes



Please tell me there is a non rotation format… Or I might just quit.


When will the balance changes start?Gonna miss tiger.



Edit: removed from core set phew’


Mostly good things, hooray! I’m very impressed with this bold move. I might sour later, but for now I’m just impressed by this ballsy move. And a lot of great nerfs and changes!



gotta disenchant my recently crafted Revs :sob:

Good thing I am Ragnora main atm…

Frostburns fall might lead to a rise of Enfeeble again…


Can’t say rotations are a bad thing; they help a game age.
But I do also hope you take a leaf out of Hearthstone’s book and create a ‘Wild’ format, with the exact same rewards as playing standard, where you can play every single card you own, including the ones rotated out.
Other than that, I can’t pinpoint anything I find wrong with this expansion, except…

…Will the cards removed from the core orb only be available through crafting?



Not sure why they didn’t announce this with this news.
Literally the entire playerbase will leave if you render half their cards useles


I can’t really comment on all the details now, but I was expecting this. The intents are noble and I believe these changes will greatly benefit Duelyst on the long run. Very interested to see all the upcoming changes


well I would do what sv will be doing and give the non set rotation format a F&L list


Making Grandmasters Core set however is very good decision. Variax, Kraigon and Embla in particular are very easy top decks that shouldn’t have been denied to new players. I very much enjoy this change

Edit: No Zir but Embla instead.


Can’t say I know at all what any of those acronyms mean. :sweat_smile:


f&l stands for forbidden and limited


And its after the Immortal Vanguard Pre Order. sniffs in BNEA


Zir is in the picture but not in the list… Excelsious is!


I dunno, even then; I’d love to be able to play all the cards in one glorious pile.


I agree with that, it just means that degenerate decks would be kept at bay without having to play test too much.


Hopefully, there will be a non-rotating free-for-all format where I am free to pursue my memes. Overall, I see this as an opportunity to retire to a more casual ladder.


Hope remains everyone!

Someone else already said it but if nothing else, this was pretty ballsy. I don’t really understand the nerfs to certain cards though such as saberspine tiger.