Duelyst Forums

DeathsAdvocate's Potential Community Run Ban List


Regarding suggested bans.

  • Grimes is a meme, no reason to ban.
  • I don’t see Crescent Spear as a problematic card. It’s strong, sure, but not toxic. To replace it I would have to craft 8G8ts (2.7k spirit, BTW), which calls for a different type of spell burn, and most likely I’ll end up playing Mantra, which is toxic, but not on the ban list.
  • Kha is not a problem, Ex. Sand is.
  • If you consider Abju to be a problem, you should ban most of ramp/discount (MDG, Wisps, Manaforger, Mana Vortex, etc).
  • Ban Rebuke (and probably Pony), Lava Lance and all Mag buildings.

I support banning Wanderer, Decimus, Vitriol, Lucent Beam.


Hi, I’m new to this forums but I’ll try to explain my concerns about this topic.

Many people already commented on how hard implementing this to the day by day ladder would be, but I think it’s not been emphasized enough. I’m not saying this is impossible, but I’m definetly sure that the focus of the discussion is not on the right thing.

I’m completely convinced that DeathsAdvocate (and everyone who did it here) should have not mixed the 2 things you exposed:
1.- The fact that you want to implement an user-based “ban” system.
2.- The discussion about the specific nerfs.

For me, people wanting a community driven ban system is completely fine, I’m not saying I completely agree with it but it’s perfectly legitimate. The thing is that you cannot expose that you’re willing to implement it and then proceeding to say what you want to be nerfed. It’s fine if we open a discussion about nerfs, but that should be another topic.

What I mean by this is that a community-based banning system is gonna be super hard to implement. If you want to do it, focus on it, focus on how are you going to do it with a realistic approach, how EVERYONE is gonna be part of it. Why are we having a discussion on possible nerfs here? Aren’t we discussing how should we implement a system as complicated as a homemade ban system? Commenting about what you want to see banned just makes you look like the “I don’t like this, let’s ban this” kind of player. I know you’re a top player in this game and you’ve lived through everything on it and I didn’t, but we all play the same game, and you being a top player doesn’t account you to be better at balancing a game. What players feel about a game is always right, but what people proposes to balance a game is usually not.

I know you explained how you plan for everyone to vote on the nerfs is in your head, but by doing that you’re already presupposing things, as, for example, that people want things banned. What if I don’t want anything banned? Do I not vote for anything so my opinion doesn’t matter at all?

Why should anyone not be an “honorable player” for playing things that some others decided to ban? As an example, I am quite new to the game, I’ve been playing for 4 months and I got to S-Rank (65) by the end of last season by playing mainly Maelstorm OTK Sajj. It’s just the only deck I builded myself, since I only played raw aggro with the most basic and generic cards ever. In my Sajj deck, I run Abjudicators. Is THAT DECK unfair? Maybe, in the future, I want get to top 50 or I want to try and step in on a tournament. So, if Abjudicator gets banned by the white hand, won’t I be able to play that deck anymore on ladder? Beause if I do that I’ll never be listed on a top 50 list (if I’d ever get there) and I’ll simply not be able to try and sing up for a tournament, right?

I really enjoy the social aspect of the game, and I’ve met fantastic players all along the ladder and outside of it, and even tho meta shifts are always a cool thing to play upon, I’m just unable to do it right now. I don’t have the cards! Should I be deemed “dishonorable” for not respecting a ban system made by players? Or should I throw my deck to the trash can because of it and get back to Basic decks I’ve lost my interest for? The system feels really exclusive to non-veteran players, and I don’t know, I think It would feel just terrible for newer players trying to learn and have fun while aiming for a higher ladder experience.

The experiments that worked that I’d take from other games that had similar problems with stale metas are pro-player pugs. Classifying as a “pro-player” in Duelyst, for example, people in top 50. They play within them with extra rules to see how’d those fit in a tournament environment or in a ladder one. The thing about this pugs is that those are a one or two times thing. They are custom games (they would be friendly matches in the case of Duelyst). They are made by relevant people in the community for tournament organizers to see it or for developers to think about what they are experimenting with. In Duelyst we don’t think we’ll get any patch from now on, but you cannot pretend this pugs to last forever. For me, this pugs can actually be implemented in Tournaments. With rules and such so people can test different things against different types of opponents, but not in ladder, as you’re imposing (punishing people in a social way for not following your guidelines is still imposing) something to the small and shifting playerbase who is just playing for fun and trying to get a high ladder finish. Because, let’s remember, there’s no other constructed or ranked gamemode than Ranked Ladder in this game.

I think that the best you can do if you want to stop seing certain cards in ladder is getting the players you get along with that you play the most against and establishing a list of cards you swear you’ll not play. This way you may get some more variety but you won’t be affecting all other players while doing so.

Sorry, this got very long, but I think I’ve covered what I wanted to cover. My main concern about this discussion starts by the fact that I think we should not discuss about bans before defining how will the community-driven ban system would be implemented and who would be fine to join this “ban-based” ladder players, as I think that imposing the system to everyone would be fatal.


mmm what’s going on in here :sweat:


Oh this is never gonna happen lol. Bois, many of whom are top/ex-top players, at DO had a laugh over this thread last night (and rightfully so imo). It’s just fun to talk nerfs and possible tournament restrictions for those who want to organize. Congrats on S, comrade. I think you nicked me last season, so kudos.


Here’s my personal suggested ban list:

  • Flash Reincarnation
  • Greater Fortitude
  • Rae
  • Abjudicator
  • Sunrise Cleric

Here’s some reasoning.

Flash: For the history of the game, this card has enabled stupid things. Playing something 2 mana ahead of curve for no real downside is broken. End of story. Many things people deem problems (Wanderer and Decimus Spikes) are not problems by themselves – they are slow and predictable, with counterplay. But the combination with Flash leads to games that can’t be won.

Greater Fortitude: Personally I think rippers are a mistake for two reasons. They provide too much value and over-centralize the meta towards pings, and also the ripper+hatch+fortitude combo is a little bit pushed. With only bans to work with, banning Fortitude will take away half of what makes ripppers so broken, and put Ragnora back in line with other generals. Rippers will no longer represent 10 damage each and force an immediate answer, and the aggressive combo kill will be less prevalent. Eggs will slow down to the value-oriented deck I think it was intended to be.

Rae: While I personally find Fault to be the least egregious of the top tier decks, in the interest of balance, we should also slow down Fault slightly. Rae is a terribly designed card, who’s only interesting feature is that it costs 0 mana. Slowing Fault+spawns down to 7 mana with Bloodtear Alchemist will make the into a fair deck again.

Abjudicator: Similar to Flash, Abjudicator is an enabler. It is only used to enable OTKs and other combos. It lends itself to uninteractive decks such as Wake, Mantra, and Baconator, which lead to frustration. While I don’t think Abjudicator decks are top tier at the moment, I think banning the card will make the game more fair.

Cleric: What Zir’an does is cool. But Cleric is the real culprit. Cleric is the single card that pushes Zir’an over the edge, the most broken 1 drop in the game. It basically gives her free heal procs on demand. Without Cleric, Zir’an will have to work for her heal procs as she did before, or use other considerably slower/weaker means of getting heal tiles. Without Cleric, the other heal cards people complain about such as Vitriol will be a lot more manageable.

And here’s some cards I don’t think should be banned.

Wanderer: Wanderer is a very strong deck. But it is a fair deck. It is a midrange deck that plays predictably, and can be countered and played around. You can go over it or you can go under it. It doesn’t cripple deck variety like some S tier decks in the past (cough aggro reva). Banning Flash should ban the root of the problem.

Darkfire Sacrifice: I’m on the fence about this one, since it does the same thing as Flash at a higher cost. However, Abyssian doesn’t need bans, and removing DFS would cripple X’or, Arcanysts, and Wanderer Abyssian. None of these decks are particularly offensive, so I lean towards keeping DFS in.

Kanuum Kha: Kha is a powerful card. There is no denying it. It allows a Fault deck with a resolved Fault to win against all other lategame minion based decks. However, I think its cool, and introduces an interesting dynamic to the metagame. Resolving a Fault will be slower without Rae, leaving a larger window to operate and cover the centre tiles, allowing counterplay to Fault+Kha. Preventing Vaath from gaining attack isn’t cool, but he’ll live.

Decimus, Juxtaposition, Crescent Spear, Mantra, Sandswirl Reader, Dreamshaper, Titan, Makantor, Malicious Wisp, etc: These are all incredibly powerful cards. However, I believe that (with the enabler banned) they are all at an acceptable and balanced power level and have counterplay. The game needs strong cards to define decks. If we ban all the strong cards, then the game will change a lot. Nobody wants a bunch of decks that look the same, because every card that does something powerful and different was banned. Nobody wants to be slapping each other with vanilla minions. Of course, if the meta stales and one deck is considered OP, the ban list could easily change.


Yes! I recognised the budget Ragnora list you sent me to a post of yours in the forum I saw! I didn’t know you by the name you have now, I’ve seen the actual one many times on important thingies in the past :x

And about the topic, it’s true that I don’t really know the relationship within you, the top players, and DeathsAdvocate, so I don’t really know how many of you would really “agree to stop playing X things”.

Still, in my honest opinion, the majority of the cards people claim as “toxic” are cards that are not really abused at high ranks. And still, whenever I was matched against top players with decks that use those cards, if I wasn’t just doing my off-class quests (sorry you had to see that shitshow xD), the games weren’t less fun, less interactive or less fair by any means. Or at least that’s how I felt.

To the day, I think that my favourite Duelyst game that I played was against Norrinator’s Fault ^^


I would be fine playing against either Jux or MDS, but having to play around both you just end up trying to play around one and hope that your opponent don’t have the other. I would also suggest (if songhai players don’t think an even bigger nerf) banning MDS instead as having access to both is what makes juxta really disgusting.

Also having access to 6 teleport spells encourages people to play EVERY minion as a backline threat instead of correctly position their minions trying to save a teleport spell.

in terms of counterplay, Jux makes easier to songhai to remove minions but has more counterplay when you want to defend your general, against MDS you can only stick you back to the wall to not get backstabbed but against Jux you can also position your minions in front of your general or even play them far away to not let your opponent hit your general.

Also Juxtaposition is way more cooler than MDS, it allows better plays in terms of positioning and also serves as a removal but has the restriction of not allowing you to teleport minions wherever you want.

I would go for banning MDS first (and Sparrowhawk if necessary), and if that ends up not being enough, well, then go for Juxta instead.


As a sidenote, i don’t really like Xor’xul decks, they are kind of RNG heavy, relying just on drawing enough sacrifice cards on time (and DFS to ramp Xor’xul) before your opponent kills you and not really having counterplay other than be playing a fast deck.


I could take Grimes out as yea he is mostly a meme. But its a strong enough card that it occasionally shows up in the tournament scene with Dying Wish Abyss, or Magmar and swings games.

I whole hardheartedly would love to ban 8gs or Mantra on principal but they are not really problems right now nor they overpowered (Just extremely toxic). Where as most folks agree Spear and Jux are absolute powerhouses that push things over the edge.

Ramp in general is not a problem, but Abjucator has been a part of almost every degenerate uninteractive deck in the games history. Hitting it will bring Mantra/Gates down to a reasonable level, and will prevent many other abuses and ridiculous highrolls both now and in the future.

Yea if sand is addressed Kha can stay. But sand is actually cool and has counterplay where as Kha does not. But I would be happy as long as one or the other got addressed.

I am generally against banning reactive cards or faction staples. Rebuke is not causing any problems, people just like to hate on it. And with Hatches and Decimus gone we should have already removed the problematic parts of magmar, no need to kick them while their down and go after their core kit. But it could be added to the voting page if folks felt strongly about.


Well there was not much to talk about when it comes to the implementation. I think it should happen, most people are very unhappy with the state of the game. So I threw this out to try and gain some traction and gather a committee.

The rest of it is gathering a list of cards from the community and discussing said cards so that if this takes off and I get a committee put together we can then get to the voting. The whole community is getting involved in putting together the list of cards which I have been adding as they come. Meanwhile the most experienced, respected, and notable players would form the committee, as they would actually have the experience to make educated decisions about the list the community put together.

This is specifically why the community gets input by forming the list, but only the experienced committee actually votes. And while stuff like adjudicator might get used in harmless decks, it has been part of almost every single degenerate deck in duelyst history. And again this won’t really effect the causal player regardless.

Obviously I want my two cents heard, and its only fair I get things started, obviously not everyone would aggree with me, and there is a chance that I might get this whole thing to happen and nothing I wanted changed would actually get voted on. But without content, patches, or Dev support, I firmly believe we need to do something.

The whole point is to try and affect the competitive scene of the game in a positive way, and switch up the both imbalanced and stagnated meta-game, and hopefully it will also gain traction with the casual players. But just like any game people can choose to ignore the competitive rules and play casually, this would not effect those people at all. If you want to be competitive you should cooperate with the community, and participate in actually trying to achieve a balanced game.

You say imposing this would be fatal, I say doing nothing would be more fatal. Maybe this is a fools errand and a hopeless effort, but I have been top of the ladder for many years now, and I have nearly quit completely at this point as have many others. My love for the game is why I am trying to do something.


Ouch man. I am trying to make a difference and help revitalize/save the game. Obviously I am going to argue for my ideas and put them forth, but this is primarily about trying to start a movement, and creating a democratic committee that may very well completely disagree with me and that’s fine. It takes a lot of different perspectives to make such a thing happen, it really can not just be from one person.

Its pretty demoralizing having people just talk the idea down, and I am quickly running out of morale, but hey at least I tried to make a difference.


Obviously we have some pretty drastically different opinions on what needs to go here. And while I agree removing Wanderers most disgusting highrolls would go a long way to making it balanced. But wether it is balanced or not, I maintain the stance that it has choked the meta for a long time and for the game to breathe it needs to go, and it is still one of the most hated cards around despite the small camp of people that do not mind it. If it stayed a big part of the meta myself and many others would likely give up on the game, many already have.

That being said if it was at least taken down a peg it would certainly help. It is important to have our different views here. I will go ahead and add the Flash/Darkfire, for wanderer specifically, to the list in the event Wanderer its self did not get banned outright.


I wouldn’t take it personally. It’s just how it is. That said, there’s no reason you couldn’t try to organize a tournament. Fun restrictions are sure to pull quite few players out of the woodwork.


Tournaments won’t help the game its self though, they will only help stave off the bleeding.

And I find organizing tournaments that are drastically different from the ladder to be a depressing act, as they are hard to test for and do not reflect your actual ability to ladder which is what I prefer doing.

BUT if this could be a universally recognized list for most tournaments that would help. I know its ambitious to accomplish, and its reaching dangerously high to try and effect the game its self. But I think its worth trying.

Having something standardized and recognized means you could at least reliably prepare for the and know you will enjoy the tournament meta.



Frankly, among all the factions, Abyssian is one of the least in need of ban, but I still felt like mentioning those cards as I believe they are enough problematic to be worth consideration.
To answer I’ll quote somebody who expressed my same thoughts already on Necrotic Sphere:

In a possible final take on voting for a ban I might change my mind on this one, but right now my feelings lean towards that direction.

My opinion on Xor is not so adamant, and in fact I already mentioned that in a scenario (let’s say alternative) where Xor wouldn’t be banned, I would then vote for a ban on Aphotic Drain.
Why? Because I consider it the greatest offender in that archetype, as it allows the general to have way too much resilience in situations where the greed of its turbo-functioning would and should be otherwise punishable.
Consider that Aphotic comes usually in package with Alcuin v.1 and v.2, and in late game most often with Shadow Dancer…


If a deck has 2/1 copies of a card you have mathematically less chances of getting it compared to having 3 copies. I really believe this can objectively help if we want to limit the chances of seeing a certain card in game.

The limit list can function along or instead of a ban list, particularly for those cards where the over power is recognized but don’t justify a total ban.


I would actually prefer a ban on xor over aphotic drain. Aphotic has interesting uses outside of xor, especially with arcanysts and DFC.


It’s important to understand that if you were ever going to get players to abide by conditions on which we can agree, it wouldn’t be a one-time rule change. A meta will form under any circumstances, community- driven or otherwise. In other words, it’s a lot of maintenance and upkeep to help the game stay fresh, constantly changing rules.

Certain decks will always lead the pack, just like any other meta. Tier 1 brokenness may be dealt with, but we just move down to Tier 2, which becomes the new focus of complaints. True complacency with the game is met when everything is equally balanced, playable, and most importantly, fun, and with so many views on what these mean, reaching a universal consensus on a “good” meta is virtually impossible.

And with no limited/unlimited split on ladder, I could end up facing people who “don’t play by the rules”, and maybe my shot at top 50 is thwarted by that. Is that fair to me? And how can I be top 50 in “limited” mode when I might face people who use whatever they want?

I’m sure you have the best intentions for this game. You’re putting a lot of effort into revitalizing this game, and I commend that. But look at what it’s come to: “honor- code” bans, monitoring replays for “illegal” cards, which especially for new players creates an unwelcoming environment. Does any of this sound like fun?

I think your heart’s in the right place. :heart:
The ban list proposal just seems like more effort than it’s worth, especially considering it’s no more than a game. I’d rather spend my spare time playing the game than managing it.

Managing a game sounds like work. A job even. And you want us to do it for FREE?! Slavery confirmed!


Xor and aphotic dont deserve a ban;)
The deck is not even tier 2 according to power rankings because if you dont draw well it just fall flat. And even then you can beat it by playing aggressively and forcing it to not develop a board (=very weak Xor). I can understand why the deck looks oppressive but as said it requires such a specific gameplan to go off that simply makes it inconsistent.


Xor deserves its ban in this context for the same reason old pre nerf Variax did. Not because the deck was “oppressive”, hell outside of Kolos pushing it the deck saw very little top flight play (and was rather rubbish). What it was however was extremely unfun to play against and encouraged the sort of nongames being played out in lower divisions that really choked the fun out of a lot of players.

For a more recent comparison Xor is the abyss take on Songhai’s Mantra combo deck as far as the interactivity angle goes, except unlike Mantra, Xor is magnitudes more popular of a deck.


You know, it fits Vet theme well with KhaKa and all those poop dervishes around…


I dont agree. Xor is not even close to 7 mana variax that just required a single dfs to potentially be summoned on turn two. Also it is true that xorxull is pretty popular in silver-gold but very few are actually the good version of the deck (the one with the alcuins). People just like the design of the card and put it in their decks even if the chances of summon it (and winning with it) are very low in a non optimized build.
Also comparing Xor with Mantra is plain wrong imho. Mantra builds the combo directly in the hand, it doesnt require a specific set up (bar abjudicator) and once the combo comes out the opponent is dead while Xor require minions than you have to sacrifice multiple times, minions that can be answered with dispell/trasformation and even when Xor is out the opponent can still win if it can kill you with his board/spells.
On top of that abyss is one of the weakest faction right now, do you really want to cripple one of the few decent archetypes that allow the faction to survive?


Some context, I don’t WANT to ban anything, I have no skin in this game, I personally think this topic is not only pointless (other than being fun theorycrafting) but impossible to implement anyway.

But Variax is a example I bring up both because it’s in the same faction and because it was entirely banned for reasons that had nothing to do with performance but based on the reception it received amongst those same lower division players. So based on previous data, Xor meets allot of those same points that led to Variax being nerfed in the first place.

I won’t get into Mantra as much since I merely used it as a example of a decktype that is seen as universally uninteractive. I will say though that Abjudicator not being reworked back in 2016 ranks high up there with Flash never being looked at in good faith, and a lot of future problems could have been avoided if these mana cheating options had been dealt with when the game was still in development.

Allas, I guess this is your life now.


I will add though that on my last climb to S, I did so with a Midrange Abyss list with Lady Locke and Revenant and ended up somehwere in the top 20 range, neither highly played cards and with Rev being considered “weak” insofar as high previous highs are concerned so this notion that deleting a tier two list (at best) in one of the most unexplored factions there is somehow cripples said factions viability doesn’t sit right with me.

Gun to my head I’d exclusively play Abyssian over Songhai if given the choice atm, and this is me we’re talking about. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Unfortunately easily countered by Circle of Jerking.