Core Set and Rotation Changes


I just wanted to state a point of clarification real quick to everyone:

  • These card changes will occur tomorrow with the release of the new expansion.


  • No cards will be taken out of the set until 2018, meaning that shimzar will be available at least until January in ranked. That probably means we won’t see a “wild/casual” mode implemented until January-ish


Aggro Vanar? Hmmm Arcanyst Kara? Faice (will 1000% be bottom tier with 1 damage cromatic cold. how many games is that CC 2 face damage won me? literally cannot count)?

idk dont ask me. I couldnt even imagine an Aggro Vanar. I dont think Ive seen anything out side of a Faice List. maybe swarm Arcanyst?


Copied from the subreddit. Some thoughtful discussion and breakdown:



Last week I spent a fair amount of time thinking of mobile. I realized that it’s impossible to try and hook players into the game with all these cards. Options I saw: CPG is insane and will try it anyway. CPG will reboot the game entirely upon mobile release. Or the most logical one, introduce set rotations.

Edit: Oh yeah. There’s one thing about rotations that is inexcusable: There is no “Wild” format that will be supported by Ranked Mode. “Wild? Sure, you can play it with friends! Or in Boss Battles which nobody really cares about and aren’t a competitive format!” If you are going to rotate cards out, in a digital cardgame, then you have the obligation to let us play with them in a matchmade mode. Either that, or refund us for them.

This game doesn’t even have casual format, and no Casual Wild format seems to be forthcoming. That’s… not ok. That’s not ok at all.

Ancient Orbs:

Good change, publicity wise. Even though it’s much better for players’ pockets to actually buy the small expansions in the current model, players kept complaining about the cards being uncraftable. I do recommend anyone planning to pick the game up soon to get those orbs.

However, I’m not so pleased with us not getting the chance to retroactively DE cards that were nerfed from these sets for full value. It’d be a nice way to show appreciation to those who purchased those sets and then had cards heavily nerfed before now (say, Meltdown).

Core Set Changes:

  1. So Frostburn is in. This means “Having good AoE (see caveat later on under “Balance changes”)” is now part of their identity, or, “Full suite of removal.”

  2. Sunforge Lancer staying is great. This is the true Healyonar enabler. Excelsious… not so great. Whatever.

  3. Sand Trap is gone! 1 useless Vetruvian spell down, quite a few more to go! (Fountain of Youth is a glaring example).

  4. Neutral cards is a mixture of shitty cards that nobody wanted, which would improve players’ orbs, and cards that have actually been core to many older players’ experience with the game. I’m sad to see Dioltas and Sunsteel Defender leave. They force us to play with Thunderhorn and all the power-creeped 4 drops currently in the game. Then again, they’re now hiding how bad Alter Rexx is compared to the new mech cards by taking it out, as well as most classic Kickstarter Supporter cards. Somewhat of a split with the game’s history in some ways.

Oh yeah, one less card to screw Dervet over.

  1. Healyonar got a nice addition to Core Set, so it could keep working after Shim’Zar rotates. Seems someone forgot about Cassyva, as all of the actual Creep pay-off is going to rotate out, alongside most ways to actually generate creep. Oops?

Balance Changes.

So, this is the big one. Let’s go one by one.

Bloodrage Mask - Mana Cost increased from 1 to 2 Mana

This is the change that should’ve happened a year ago. Instead they nerfed a bunch of other cards. This nerf is good and bad. Because BRM was Songhai’s only truly “broken” card. Its Makantor, its Holy Immolation, and after all the other nerfs, it was far from ubiquitous. Will they revert the other cards? Nope. Songhai is now full of synergy-reliant cards that do very little for too much mana without the synergy. They need the synergy to do what other factions just do.

But still, this is the exact change I proposed over a year ago, so ignoring the larger context, good job.

BTW, Songhai is losing its next best-card early 2018, Ki Beholder :frowning:

Spectral Revenant - Mana Cost increased from 7 to 8 Mana

“But how can you nerf Revenant without nerfing Makantor and Holy Immolation?!” - Give me a break. This sort of deflection plaguing the Duelyst community was such a disgrace. If one card needs to change, deflecting to, “But Y needs to change too!” is not an answer.

Neither is, “But the faction isn’t broken right now!” Taygete used to be the strongest card in the game. That Magmar wasn’t broken even with her in it didn’t make it any better. And it made games far too swingy and reliant on whether the Magmar drew Taygete on curve, and how many of it it drew.

I’ll also repeat what I said of Kelaino before. Revenant is a crutch. It’s holding the faction up. You need to nerf it (and needed to nerf Kelaino) for them to be able to rebuild the faction without its warping influence. Here’s to hoping Songhai gets the same treatment after BRM, MV, and IF nerfs…

Oh yeah, do I think this is the correct Revenant change? No idea, actually. But it needed to be hit somehow.

Aspect of the Ravager - Mana Cost increased from 1 to 2 Mana

Long time overdue. The flexibility of this card and how cheap it was for a “transform” effect were over the line for way too long. Hidden away because of how much removal Vanar has.

Chromatic Cold - Damage reduced from 2 to 1

Should it deal damage at all? This feels like halfway of the Siphon and Shroud nerf. Focus on what the card is supposed to do, and have it do that. Why tack on effects? It’s the right direction though, making it more of a control tool and slightly less “Even more burst for Faie to kill you with. Oh, and still removal when she needs it.”

Frostburn - Mana Cost increased from 5 to 6 Mana

The caveat from above. This is now a fairly priced card. I don’t really have too much to complain about it now. Just get rid of MDG so it’d actually cost 6 mana and we’ll be good :stuck_out_tongue:

Saberspine Tiger - Mana Cost increased from 3 to 4 Mana

Last and certainly not least. I don’t like this change. This is the Chrysalis Burst nerf to 6 mana. This is the triple-nerf to Meltdown (unlike the Variax nerf+buff). This is CPG not actually dealing with problematic cards’ design, or problematic mechanics, and just trying to… remove them. Now, they didn’t delete Saberspine Tiger entirely, so there’s that, but they almost did. Rush is a problem that leads to more problems later. So… let’s just encourage players to not play with it, until they open another can of worms.

Overall, big changes. But more for the future than immediately. Most cards getting removed were… well, shit. And the rest that were good? Many of them were power-crept anyway. I can see problems to some factions that didn’t get to enjoy the recent glut of 4/5 minions for 4 mana and such (say, Songhai), but it would increase diversity. It’d also make it slightly harder for newer players, who couldn’t rely on some of those mainstay neutral rares and epics (again, Sunsteel Defender and Dioltas in particular).

Most changes were in the right direction. A couple were well meant but missed the mark a bit. And a couple were not to my liking. But hey, a positive trajectory. Then again, Duelyst has often maintained a positive trajectory with its balance changes while going awfully in the wrong direction when it comes to new cards they release… one could hope the game would go in the right direction during design of new cards, rather than try to course-correct after the fact. But still, positives. Take them when they happen.


So Shimzar is being rotated out first:

Rex, Lava Lance, Wild Inceptor, Morin-Khur, Dreadnought, Flaming Stampede
Eggs being declared dead before they was playable.

Gro, Moloki Huntress
Not that Grow ever was a thing, but didn’t you just release an expansion that gave us tiles that tried to make us grow? Wasn’t Moloki the only card that was letting the meme live?

So you will do a smart turn with rotating out one expansion you kill two others at the same time.

OMG - I’m really pissed for now.


Don’t count me out yet Fam, I’ll whip up something regardless.


I didn’t! I’m curious tho if you can make storm sister work.


IMO the most important part of set rotation is that it makes it easier for new players to decide which packs to buy (core set and the most recent expansion). I’d like to see falcius moved into core but I’m not too worried about it. I’d also like to see the core set split into a smaller core set plus a pseudo-expansion (core 2: the core-onation). For 2 reasons: 1, fewer cards that are always legal, and 2, the larger the expansion is, the harder it is to get any specific card. Splitting the core set makes it easier to get specific cards.


I don’t think you understand how rotations work. Cause it sounds as if you expect the cards in the rotated set to return the year after. Correct me if im wrong?


Storm Sister is not a bad card. Sahiki used to play it back in the day. I played it in a Meltdown list back in December or so…

She’s got a worse rap than she deserves.


from closed beta ive been dreaming of tiger to be 4 mana. Finally the day of balance is here. We made it!!!


I run her a few times. A l don’t think she’s bad but I do feel she’s slow, especially in decks that want the damage

as a minion in minion based lists I like her and the extra damage is more of a happy birthday. in control Mantra, idk


Well from what they said in the announcement here, yes, I do expect cards in the rotated set to return to a playable status in ranked games after their year of non-playablity has expired.


So the real meaning is exclusion/elimination. Calling it “rotation” is a total misnomer if the cards never return. They should call it elimination instead.


It means that the current oldest set/sets will not be usable in ranked mode ever again.


It’s called rotation because we are seeing some themes and ideas coming back, but in a more appropriate and balanced format for the meta. For instance, new support for creeps is going to be added for sure


That is fine, but it is not what the word rotation means. It is as if they are afraid to call a spade a spade.


They do come back or do they only rotate out? @ThanatosNoa


Welp…I hope it’s not that…Hopefully it’s an actually “Rotation” and not an Elimination as Trulster put it.


Wow this is a lot. I’m kind of excited and kinda disappointed.


I’ll wait for Thanatos to confirm cause right now I’m just going off of what Hearthstone did with their rotation.