Duelyst Forums

Counterplay, is this RNG-style design a permanent fixture?


So, let’s sum up. Duelyst now has:

  • Random card draw
  • Cards which draw random cards
  • Minions which spawn in random places on the battlefield
  • Cards which spawn other random minions or minions in random places
  • Minions with random abilities
  • Minions which move and attack randomly

It’s no wonder that well over half my games these days are decided, not through tactics and strategy, but through some sort of random effect.
Now personally I started playing this game a year and a half ago because it was fun but also because it was a much more tactical gaming experience than something like Hearthstone.
Unfortunately I can no longer say with confidence that this is still the case. Now, I have personally never spent any money on the game at any point but I can imagine people that have must be somewhat dismayed by the direction this game has gone in in recent months because it is completely different from what it promised to be when it was first released or even when it was officially released on Steam.
Though there had been a slow increase in RNG effects leading up to it, cards like Khymera were always more of a fun casual option and not something that was used much competitively.
Shim’Zar on the other hand includes a large amount of cards that not only contain a heavy amount of RNG but are also competitively viable leading to a meta that, at least right now, feels more like a slot machine than a game of tactics and skill.

I’d like to hear from the developers if this is the direction they plan on continuing in for future expansions as well because if so, I’m sad to say I will have to find myself a different game to play. I do however understand Shim’Zar still needs a lot of balancing so if the excess of RNG-heavy metagame cards is removed from competitive play I would happily stick around as well.
Either way, some clarity on Counterplay’s intended design direction for the game would be extremely welcome.


This is a blatant lie and you know it.

The game only has a single strong, badly designed RNG card that can swing games and that’s 9moons. Everything else is just there to either add a bit more flavor to the game, to make cards require less text, or to enable certain cards to exist in the first place which otherwise wouldn’t if it wasn’t for some RNG (Pax for example).

Now, I’m not saying how state of things is perfect, but the RNG is very far from the stage where it decides games. Also unfortunately for you, they already confirmed there will always be more RNG cards. They said it during the time when Grincher was released. That card caused an uproar and I was one of those people but in the meantime I learned how it wasn’t justified.


this video should give you the answer you’re looking for (it’s pre-shimzar but the points are valid)
Also reaper isn’t a “huge” (let’s say decent instead) problem because duelyst favour an aggro meta this usually means that there aren’t many high cost minions running around in the game, making R9M less likely to summon something good. It will happen but if it doesn’t happen every time it’s fine.


Many of the new rng cards also have very low variance, since most of them draw from the Token Battle Pet pool. I mean after all that’s the only thing that makes Mantella slightly better than Void Hunter, bc you know what you are getting (and its instant). Grincher one of the more swingy cards also has proven to be no issue. Same for Khymera. And even Reaper is kinda uncommon right now.
The RNG involved in Battle pets attacks is more or less a balancing factor, if they would act more reasonably, i’d prolly even agree that Pax is broken lol.

Also, are you really listing elkowl as a problem?


It’s actually not a lie, I’ve been tracking it.
It does however include RNG elements which were already present before the expansion such as low-percentage topdecks, a dervish spawning in one particular position instead of another allowing a Saberspine to be deployed and burst down the general etc.

There’s also no need for this sort of hostile or defensive reaction as I’m neither complaining nor claiming anything to be a ‘problem’. It’s up to the devs what direction they want to take their game in and aside from time, I have nothing invested in it.
As clearly stated in the original post I merely want to know if this is the direction the devs are going to continue with or if this expansion was a one of. The video MEgix posted helps with that so thanks :slight_smile:
It also does however clearly state that most of the time, the more skilled player should win. At the moment I personally believe the large amount of various RNG elements currently make it impossible to determine whether or not that actually happens and as the video is slightly dated, a dev update on their perspective on the current state of the game would still be welcome :slight_smile:


It’s impossible to track something as vague as that. There is way too many variables. Not to mention you’re naturally biased.

I already said how they confirmed they won’t stop adding RNG cards. So if that’s all you care about why are you continuing the discussion? PM one of the mods to close the thread since your question was answered.


Well, you can’t see an entire match through the lense of that one event leading to lethal. You should have brought yourself in a position where none of the spawn locations mattered. Sure, thats not always possible, but often enough one can play around RNG Results in a sufficient way. As far as top-decks concerned, that’s just a cardgame thing. Also not everything that seems like a topdeck is one. I often replace the turn i have lethal, just because its a habit (or i am searching for overkill lol).


We’re not hostile here, but i’m going to tell you that you losing over half of your games to RNG and “not through tactics and strategy” is a giant pile of BS. I’m sorry man I don’t mean disrespect nor offense nor anything, it’s just how it is. It’s absurd for you to say something like that in a game like Duelyst.

How about you upload your replays?

Whenever I lose I look back at the replay later on, and realize my mistakes, what I could have done differently, learn from it and move on to attempt to become a better player. Blaming RNG for nearly every loss you get (even if there was important RNG in the match) is just unhealthy dude, and as someone who has been 15 times S-Rank I can say that the majority of my losses are either because my deck is not good enough (bad matchup is also a thing, but people forget to criticize their own builds and identify a lists weaknesses) or because I made some key misplays (some of these misplays aren’t obvious at first).

Yes, there is RNG in Duelyst, its a card game, and wether you like it or not you know it will always have A LOT less RNG than Hearthstone, but that doesn’t mean it’s trying to become the next Chess. I love battle pets, I love the fact that the game has RNG, it adds excitement and I feel its very well moderated (except for cards like Reaper of the Nine Moons imo).

If you want people to take your statement seriously, don’t start off by saying over half of your losses are due to bad luck, and not because you played bad. Just my 2 cents.


Stompsaur (Duelyst dev) had a long post on reddit about CP stand on Randomness.It happened after all moaning about Grincher.I really want to find it and quote it here but I am lazy right now.The basic theme was

Yes RNG will be a always part of game,It won’t be OP rng.Deal with it


I don’t appreciate your constant hostile responses to people on this forum. Pretty much every day I open a thread in this forum and find a rude, nasty comment from you. While you do offer plenty of helpful advice, you single-handedly have made this a less pleasant place to participate.

A lie is something someone says on purpose, knowing it is wrong. Not only do you have absolutely no way of ascertaining that this claim was deliberately made while the author knew it to be false, the general gist of the complaint has some validity. I don’t agree with the claim as stated – it’s too specific, and I think overplays the role of randomness – but a lot of games ARE decided on that basis. Not necessarily specific cards, but all the other factors that are involved in a card game. Whether this is good or bad is a matter of opinion, but it is definitely not a “lie” to say that RNG has a huge impact on the outcome of any particular game.

That does not mean skill is unimportant. But pretending that randomness has a small influence on gameplay is IMO mistaken.

It’s an entirely valid position to say that one hopes that RNG effects will not be increased in the future. The fact that there’s a lot of randomness now is NOT a valid argument for making even more randomness going forward, but in fact the opposite. We already have inherent RNG factors – random opponents, random draws from our hands, etc. – and we don’t need that compounded with ever-increasing numbers of cards that themselves have random effects.

I describe this game as a cross between Hearthstone and chess. It’s perfectly reasonable for people to want to see more emphasis on the chess and less on the Hearthstone.


If someone says how they’re losing half of their games due to RNG and they know it for sure because they’re “tracking” it, then the only natural response is to call them out in their bullcrap. I’m not even the only person in the thread who sees how absolutely nuts that is. If you find my response to be hostile then your standards are impossibly high. Either way, if you dislike my behavior feel free to PM me or the mods rather than cluttering the thread with something that has nothing to do with the topic. Thanks.


Firstly, why are people automatically assuming I’m only talking about my game losses?
I’m not ‘blaming RNG for nearly every loss I get’ at all, in fact games I WON due to RNG are included in that number.

I do understand any game is decided through a combination of both decisions and RNG elements throughout the game so let me clarify what I’ve been doing.

Basically, after the expansion I made Diamond on day 1 and then found myself unable to advance, primarily due to not having access to expansion cards. So I decided to use the time on Diamond for an experiment by:

  • Removing any RNG effects from my own decks (except of course card draw). For the most part that resulted in me playing Kara Control and Magmar Golems which, though not particularly strong in the current meta, are enough to maintain a roughly 50% win rate (I gained a total of 2 chevrons over the course of the experiment thusfar).

  • Analyzing replays of games for major mistakes on either end wherever possible. Any game which had a clear and obvious play mistake from either side was immediately tagged as a game not decided by RNG.

  • Realizing that the vast majority of games at Diamond+ are NOT decided by major errors from either side as far as can be determined through replays. This isn’t surprising. You’d expect people at this level to be quite good at the game and skill levels to be reasonably close.

  • This leaves a lot of games’ outcomes to be determined either by small differences in skill or by RNG effects.
    This is where the analytical problems begin.
    You see, even when there is no large and obvious RNG effect determining the game’s outcome on the final turn or any turn before that, I found there are often enough smaller influential random effects during the game to make it extremely hard to tell whether a game is won through RNG or through small differences in skill.
    When someone uses Kron and spawns a minion with Forcefield instead of say Frenzy, it often has a huge impact on the game.
    Off course whether or not the player then makes optimal use of their new Forcefield minion is ALSO very important but that simple piece of RNG opens up a whole number of potential plays that would not even be possible had the RNG worked out differently. And there are a great deal of such seemingly small rng effects in the metagame now.
    So yes, to a degree the statement of ‘well over half my games are decided by RNG’ is arbitrary. It is however analyzed and reasoned through as far as the game allows me to and it is most certainly NOT me blaming half my losses on RNG. As stated before, games ending with me topdecking say, a second Makantor at a crucial moment, were included in the equation.

How much RNG is Too Much, Inspired by Priestly

The initial comment was clearly an opinion. You called it a “lie” BEFORE he said anything about tracking. Even after he said that, it STILL wouldn’t qualify as a “lie”. Do you even know what the word means?

It doesn’t even matter if he’s right or wrong. What matters is that people feel comfortable posting viewpoints here, even ones that some disagree with, and not have someone accuse them of being a liar or otherwise attack them.

And yet you, as usual, were the only one who managed to post in a disrespectful and hostile manner.

My standards are the posting rules for this forum, which call for people to treat others with respect. Not call them names or accuse them of deliberately lying because you disagree with what they said.

You are the one who “clutters” endless threads with your toxic postings. If you don’t like my objection to that, then feel free to take your own advice.


I think you should stop. First of all, to call Raqyee ‘toxic’ is rather rude, and as much as you seem to want everyone to be super nice, this is the Internet, and raqyee is providing useful feedback, though the feedback may be disrespectful.

More importantly, your ‘calling out’ shouldn’t be in this thread. Seriously, I came here to read about counterplay’ stance on RNG in Duelyst, so when I see you take it off topic, I don’t appreciate it :frowning2:

More on topic:

I think the RNG isn’t that big, with the ‘random draw’ cards. The pets are easily exploited, by predicting their attacks and movements, which actually added a strategic element Into the game, for me at least.


if you haven’t spent any money on the game you haven’t had the experience that I would imagine the majority of players have- and that is NOT a game full of RNG. the statement–
"“It’s no wonder that well over half my games these days are decided, not through tactics and strategy, but through some sort of random effect.”" is clearly false. There is some RNG but to say HALF of your games are decided by it when far less than half of the cards in the game have an RNG element cannot be true. Also, RNG is one of the things that makes the digital space GREAT for this kind of game. Lets look at the points you use to sum up RNG in Duelyst

  1. Card draw literally HAS to be random, it’s a card game- that’s just how it works
  2. I’m going to assume this means “cards which PUT random cards in your hand”, such as sworn sister. It is RNG, but there are examples of cards that put specific cards in your hand as well, like Lantern Fox
  3. Yes, RNG- but if a minion like Sarlac spawned predictably it would either too strong or too easy to deal with.
  4. Yep, straight RNG. But I don’t think you could possibly make a fair argument that ALL RNG is bad- because it’s not. Also, what minion spawns minions in random places, outside of “near” to them?
  5. Minions with random abilities are spawned from minions that make minions- part of above. It’s part of the fun!
  6. This is clearly aimed at battle pets- they do no move or attack randomly- this is a false statement. it is a clear and simple pattern.


I’m sorry, but I have to say this: I am sick of people expecting certain behaviors from others. Raqyee is not flaming, does not post off topic and does not reduce the discussion to senseless drivel. He is not actually doing anything detrimental to the forums or the users.

All people are different and you can’t expect everybody to act as you would like them to. It’s part of the freaking freedom of speech, everybody is free to express themselves as they wish. Just learn to live with it.

As for the topic of the discussion - as a bad, but experienced CCG player, I can say that almost all of the Duelyst RNG is well-balanced and can be played around. Simply try to analyze your games better and you will see how you could’ve avoided certain random effects. You always know what your opponent might have and can make assumptions based on that. You can take calculated risks and decide whether you want to push your luck or play safely.

CCGs are inherently based on randomness and knowing how to control that randomness - by building your deck properly, knowing the card library, anticipating your opponent’s possible answers - is the key skill of a good player. If you do not like this aspect or do not understand it - this type of games is simply not for you.


I honestly don’t think RNG is a problem yet, but I do hope most of their future cards have a decidedly deterministic character. I like some RNG, I really do, but I’ll be one of the people ringing the bell if that aspect of the game continues to grow. I do recognize the frustration of games’ outcomes being strongly dependent on a series of coin flips.

[details=Off-topic stuff]
@atd09 &

I recommend you both read the community guidelines again, because this is clearly not the case on this forum. I’ll agree with anyone saying that it’s the moderators’ job to intervene wherever the guidelines are being violated, and we should try to limit ourselves to flagging posts where we feel that’s the case, but saying we should just learn to live with user consistently violating these guidelines is unambiguously incorrect.

If anyone wants to dedicate a thread to this topic specifically I’m all for it by the way.[/details]


Thread has derailed. Locking it.

closed #19