Discussion: Analysis of the Songhai faction and the Bigger Picture


Hello everybody who is reading, thank you for coming to this thread and spending a moment of your time even if you are only reading.

The purpose of this thread is to discuss in detail the overall history of the Songhai faction and what it means for the game Duelyst.

With that purpose in mind I think a few rules should be established to keep this thread as civil as possible and on topic.


  1. No slandering each other. This means you do not recall personal beefs into this forum or debate with someone else using the fact that they play a certain faction as evidence of flaws in their arguments.

  2. Do not comment on this thread just to comment or to diffuse a situation that you think might require it. For example if a particular debate is getting a bit heated, do not attempt to say something along the lines of “Oh, guys can’t we all just be friends and agree with each other? Save the Children.” If you comment, make sure you state an opinion/fact that is relative (do not worry if you think your comment might not be super deep or anything though, just try to stay on topic is all I ask). I should also mention that your post will most likely be considered against this rule if it become necessary for you to include “15characters”

  3. Likes may only be given if you agree with someone. This rule might be a bit iffy for some of you (@isbee and @epicflygon) and I may even remove it later if it does not go over too well, but for this thread only I want to maintain a more research oriented appeal and as such I want to see exactly how many people agree with what side of an argument as well as how many people believe concept x is a a good idea. The idea is to make this thread as presentable to the developers at CPG as possible with the hopes they will consider posts here in a light more serious than usual.

  4. No speculation about the new expansion. I have created an update post
    somewhere in this thread stating the new stipulations about any post regarding the announced expansion in November. You can talk about the expansion, but only if it is relevant to the questions being posed to this thread.

  5. Do not use this thread to vent. I understand many of you have much deserved anger towards Songhai, but I kindly urge you not to use this thread as way to vent especially if does not contribute to the conversation or answer any questions posed.

I think those are all the rules we should need! If, upon observation of this thread in coming days, I feel the need to include additions I will do so. If I do so, it will be included in this post as an edit as well as part of the general feed as an update (after 24 hours have passed since the time of this original post which would be 10-21-17 5:00 PM).

Now to be more specific about the purpose of this thread:

What I want to be addressed in this thread is not purely the faction Songhai, but its overall role in the game itself and its impact. Do you believe that it even belongs in the game since its selling point seems contrary to mechanics of the game itself. In addressing the faction and its history, try to connect your ideas to the game Duelyst and the intention the developers might have had in making this game particularly in what would make it more unique than other CCG’s.

Overall, try to suggest what you think might be the intention of the faction, the game and where you think CPG could improve for example you could say something along the lines of “I think the Songhai faction was meant to be ______, but it should really be more like _______ and the game itself could improve if CPG _______.”

You can also include your own analysis of other factions in the context of how it impacts the game and/or its connection with Songhai either as a faction or a mechanic.


But what if what they said is funny but I don’t agree?


As mentioned in the “Cheap decks for a new player” thread, my first post will be responding to the following and hopefully igniting some conversation along the way (as if the original post hasn’t already done so). Remember to read the rules of this thread first in the original post before you type anything.

I agree with your statement that Songhai has probably been the most heavily nerfed faction. It seems unusual that the same people who release cards will continuously withdraw their designs as if they were not able to realize time and time again that card x is broken to all hell. The only conclusion I can come to is this: they are trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Someone continue my thought and thus the conversation.


Vetruvian was nerfed more iirc.

Literally everything that made them good as a faction was hit.


I would hope that this thread does not contain anything so funny it would require a like since that would be considered a transgression upon the rules stated in the original post. This thread is meant for serious conversation only and as such you will notice the tone I am carrying here that is unlike my usual personality in the meme thread. However in the case you do feel something requires a like that you may not necessarily agree with, follow your heart, but be sure to acknowledge the rules in doing so, likes are a slippery slope.

Also in response to your post about Vetruvian nerfs, I could not say with absolute certainty that the faction has received nerfs beyond what Songhai has received, but for the sake of accuracy and discussion, let’s assume this is not true, especially because they are not a faction relevant to the conversation I am trying to encourage at the moment. As I have said in the original post, though, feel free to share any insights you may have on the faction if it pertains to the original post and stays within the rules.


UPDATE (5:30 PM): Well, I don’t know if you guys heard the news about the new expansion, but if you haven’t, you should go check it out before continuing on with this post.

That being said, CPG has given a sneak peek at the new expansion and it is very interesting indeed. I believe that the conversation here is still relevant regardless of the expansion in case any of you had doubts otherwise, but I am expanding the scope of this conversation to now include comments that might require context from the new expansion to understand fully such as “I think the Songhai faction is trying to be _____ because of the new 3rd general card text” or any other faction. Just remember to keep the rules in the original post in mind when posting and stay on topic rather than just speculate about the expansion, I am sure someone else will create a thread about that topic.


At its core Songhai is a really cool and flavorful faction, I love combos, and backstab is the perfect example of board utilization, but

This is a problem, effects that completely ignore the board and positioning absolutely do not belong in a tactical board game, and neither does swingy RNG.

General Songhai Issues:

Before I start there is a difference between toxic and overpowered, songhai verges on overpowered frequently but less so then the big meta decks, however they are much more toxic. Toxic = a lack of counterplay that involves burst and or ignores the board.

The fact that they repeatedly receive nerfs yet still remain at or near the top shows that there is really an issue with their core. I have never wanted Songhai to get nerfed, I simply don’t want spellhai to exist, and I want the faction to be stronger but to actually have counterplay and actually play duelyst, which is a tactical board based game.

Small things could go a really long way here, instead of jux/mist completely ignoring the board lets make them only teleport two spaces but give an additional small buff to minions they target. Bam the cards are more powerful now in most situations but now have counterplay and are actually cool. They need less burn spells that go face, but do more damage overall, something like making lantern fox give Kage Lightning rather then phoenix fire. Having some burn is fine, but when the faction has enough to be its primary gameplan to kill the opposing general that’s a huge problem.

Zendo is the single most infuriating card in the game and is inherently toxic as not only is there a lack of real counterplay vs him, he actively makes you unable to position or make decisions which is the exact opposite of what this game is about. At the very least he should be seven mana to match the rest of the grandmasters.

I personally don’t like aggro decks, and many people loath control, their tends to be two types of players, those that hate songhai, and those that hate vanar. But both should absolutely exist. Songhai is inherently geared towards aggro and as long as its kept in check and or was reworked to utilize the board rather then ignore it they would be just fine.

Between Zendo and the other board ignoring effects I don’t even like midrange songhai or position focused Kal, but I certainly dont take an active issue with them like I do with spellhai. Regardless of powerlevel; unlimited range, and unconditional effects that can go after the enemy general just shouldent exist. These decks could easily be made more powerful but much more healthy without loosing any of their identity.

Spellhai Problems, the worst of Songhai:

8gates ability to kill someone from at or near full with no board while being completely surround and dead the next turn simply shoulden’t exist. Its actually a fairly common occurrence, and even if it wasn’t the mere possibility is just not ok.

First and foremost by far the largest problem in the game, not because it is more overpowered then the big three decks of the meta, but because it is toxic solitaire completely based on draws and execution and has no counterplay, is 8gates and to a lesser extent mantra. While some tech exists its either really bad or is like magesworn and is great but most decks just cant run it. Then there is also the issue that tech for it is to narrow, unlike AOE, dispel, removal, and healing which is great general purpose stuff effective agaisnt a wide range of things, meaning that even if they introduce good counters it still wont fix the problem.

People like to bash on rush and other high burst combos, but all of those use the board and have good counterplay with positioning and general purpose tech, or are at least fair and linear.

If they just wont strait up change gates/mantra at the very least boulder hurl needs to be minion only, and abjucator needs to reduce one selected card, or one random one per turn and get some stats in return. 8gates is definitely the problem card here, if it didnt exist mantra would probably be fine, but abjucator still pushes mantra into the toxic position of garbage and slow or god hand and you loose and there isnt jack you can do about it.

Now many people like to skew my words, but let me be clear, I am not asking for them to be nerfed, nor have I ever claimed they don’t take skill to master. And I call them Toxic, not overpowered. But the skills the faction teaches are much more akin to a card game then they are duelyst which I think is a problem. And yea duelyst has CCG elements, but what makes it special is the board.

General Meta Thoughts and Fixes

The meta is really healthy and diverse, the big three decks (azure vet, flawless vanar, aggro cass) all need a small nerf to their kit, and gates/mantra needs some addressing. If we got that the game would be incredible. Its still one of the the most balanced and diverse metas we have had in ages. Only eight gates really feels like completely unfair solitaire completely based on the songhais draws and execution and nothing to do with the opposing player.

Id much rather see some small health based adjustments rather then gutting of archtypes so my suggestions are:

*Skywing needs to only discount things summoned next to it to prevent turn 1/2 blow out.

*Phantasm needs to only affect non token minions.

*flawless needs to be reverted to pre change, luminous charge needs to be three walls at 4 damage.

*Mana deathgrip shoulden’t stack.

*Then if ALL the others get hit, and only then, lavalasher could due with a small stat nerf.

I love combo, and as long as there is decent counterplay, there is nothing wrong with it. Other then gates everything has good counterplay. Mechs are easy to tech for, everyone should be teching AOE since its good against both walls and azure, and azure is only a problem when it happens t1/t2 before AOE is available. Rush can be played around with good positioning and versatile tech. Deci/Spikes I am not a fan of but its a linear effect that feeds your opponent cards and if your low on health you just cant do it so its at least fair and is one of the few things that keeps starhorn in the game.

Vanars combos and control shell are really not the issue, its just that every expansion they get a couple of new cards that are to overtuned with some really silly interactions, usually right after the faction gets a small nerf and put in a healthy spot. I really hope they don’t go after ghost seraphim as its really not the issue with vanar, it has existed for ages and barely saw play for a long time, Its a wonderful and perfectly designed combo tool that is super cool, its only a problem now because charge/flawless are bonkers.


eh. all that the new general means is that spellhai and arcanysthai are going to be used by the new general instead of kaleos or reva giving each general something they are specifically best at

kaleos for backstab+movement
reva for ranged+buffs
shidai for arcanysts +spells


Post #1, sub-post #1


Starting with your first point in “General Songhai Issues”, you said:

This is one of the more important ideas that I think deserves lengthy discussion about in this thread and that is what exactly is Duelyst supposed to be anyways? When the developers were creating this game what unique mechanic did they believe their game had that separated it from other CCG’s and what do they think of their game to this day as? It is important to answer this question because it is quite possible that the developers wanted a faction to exist where there would be little to no interactivity with the board. If we agree that this is what the developers wanted then it becomes even more difficult to complain about the faction if it was intended to be the way it was in the first place.

What do you readers think the defining feature of Duelyst is that makes it stand out from other online CCG’s? It can be your personal opinion or an observation.

In my opinion I would have to say the game feels very much board oriented and the developers of the game are not intending for any faction to be immune from the board like Songhai. My problem with this idea however is that if the game is meant to be board oriented, why is it not? For example, I was talking with another user on this forum and asked them about the specific mechanics of another online CCG and most of the mechanics they said were present in this game had to do with the board, such as attack angles, line of sights, effect tiles. Why then, if CPG wants to make Duelyst board oriented, does Duelyst not have any board fields at all? You could argue that tiles for Magmar, Lyonar, Vetruvian and Abyssian are board effects as well as mana tiles, but they are not central enough to be able contribute to board state enough so that the opponent is force to interact as well.

NOTE: I am making my responses individual so that it is easier for a user to read and to comment if they desire to do so on specific points I am making. I encourage you all to do the same.


Deathsadvocate…i would realy like to hear your suggestion about compensation for zendo
Zendo is certainly unhealthy and if you look at him as an individual op… but at the same time he is the one card that even allows midrange songhai to exist…just nerfing him would totaly destroy that archetype…so what healthy mechanic could be added to make midrangesonghai competetiv without zendo?


Post #1, sub-post #2


Starting with your second point in “General Songhai Issues” you said:

I have to disagree with you regarding any change in the text of positional spells in Songhai. First you have to understand what makes Songhai stand out from other factions, its keyword, its mechanics. Many people will obviously think back-stab, but that is subservient to the true mechanic which is positioning. If you interfere with Songhai’s positioning mechanics in any way, it will suffer harshly and most likely become extremely unviable. Imagine, for example, if mist dragon seal was just Kaleo’s blink with a +1/+1 buff, it would become worthless. And if you mess with positional spells you also cripple backstab minions who will become utterly useless since you will have to keep them too close to enemies leaving them to die a quick death by saberspine tiger.

Just to make it clear though, I am not saying that Songhai positioning powers are not toxic either (even though toxic is not the word I am trying to use), I am merely saying that you cannot reasonably expect any nerfs to Songhai’s core mechanic without it completely falling out the game. Thus you are left with a question: how do you balance Songhai if you cannot even touch it? Once again you have to take a look at what niche was Songhai meant to fill in the first place, is there any way to save the faction and still let it fill that niche or is the faction flawed to its very core? And if you do believe that it is flawed to the core, do we simply just remove the faction from the game?


I’ll say this, it’s highly amusing watching people debating whether or not Songhai has a place in a game it is a founding faction in. And keep in mind when pointing at current combo or spell centric playstyles that this isn’t some fundamental shift in design, this is the faction’s gimmick since beta.

That being said, the overall powerlevel of snowball mechanics and late game finishers has rapidly risen to such a degree that i feel there IS a need and a niche for these bursty playstyles to keep all the other degeneracy in check, even if in Hai’s case it went too far in terms off the damage redundancy now on offer.


I wouldn’t seriously consider removing a founding faction from the game at all, I am merely mentioning it so that readers can understand what you would be suggesting when you say you want inflict this seemingly small nerf on a Songhai card. It is important to realize exactly what you would be doing by making x change to card x possibly destroying the entire faction.


Considering they have very little hope to compete with big CCGs but are still at the top of the bunch for the niche online tactical board focused games, from a marketing standpoint, the board is definitely where they should put there focus.

But also from a marketing standpoint making it a CCG hybrid was a good plan as it helps keep the game from getting stale and allows them to pull from both potential markets.

I feel songhais intent was aggro, combo, board manipulation, and some burn. Its also a great faction to help appeal to CCG players as while it can still take time to master its a lot easier for a seasoned CCG player to pick up then other factions, while conversely it may be one of the harder ones to learn for someone without much CCG experience and they do tend to put the more obnoxious spellhai parts behind a big paywall to also keep them from becoming to common. Unfortunately I do believe the spellhai side is fully intended and just like certain RNG effects, despite that the community dislikes them, someone high up with a lot of pull puts them in because they like them.

The game is also intended to be fast paced so there is a lot of strong aggro support, although I seriously doubt boulder hurl and abjucators interactions with the decks were intended. They were probably quite overlooked, after-all it took awhile for even the songhai mains to get some really competitive spellhai lists off the ground.

That being said songhai is notorious for causing balance problems and has received constant nerfs, yet still manages to always remain very competitive, and because the games strongest selling point is the board they frequently have to real the faction back in. I believe the ultimate intent is for them to exist as sort of the weird bridge between CCG and Boardgame, but not have the parts of them that ignore the board be overwhelming.

So I still hold out hope that they can receive some quality of life improvements rather then the constant cycle of nerfs. Even with my proposed changes they would still be appealing to CCG players, heck Id probably play the crap out of them.

Your second reply:

I disagree, I think you underestimate the amount of reach two spaces is with how small this board is. Tiny bit of duelyst history, way back in like alpha/kickstarter stages they actually had ranged units with limited ranges and or splash effects and they quickly realized that there was very little difference between limited and unlimited range so they just ended up making all range infinite and always keeping the stats low. I still dislike that approach but I understand it. But there decision there was ultimately balanced, but keeping things that completely destroy the entire point of positioning, is a whole different thing. They strait up removed some other old powerful position effects like Spectral Blade giving your general flying, and nerfed tracers ability from four to three spaces and it certainly improved the games health.

I think you also miss the part where I said they should be buffed to compensate for their limited range, mist would at least be +2/+2, and I think jux giving +2 to ANY minion it targets is really cool as you can use it to double buff, or tool together a position where the position is worth the draw back. And I always advocate for making their burn more powerful but having less that goes face

The exact numbers would obviously need testing, as would the number of spaces, and it would need to have an eye kept on them, and I could just as easily be making them to weak as I could to strong. But thats the whole point of my argument, I really think songhai can remain and keep most of their identity with small quality of life enhancements where you can make them stronger but with better counterplay. You can make them THE position manipulators instead of the board ignore-rs.

I unfortunately realize Zendo is one of the few things that really pulls the midrange archetype together and its why you just see me grumble about making it match the rest of the grandmasters. There just isnt a small change that could be made to it, it would need a complete rework or at the very least a tiny cost bump. Usually my complaint about him comes after I recommend ways to “Buff” the faction while giving them better counterplay, since with a bit of compensation the one mana bump wouldent set them back to much, and I also mention that it shouldent be touched before the big three meta decks get hit, and 8gates/Mantra get adjusted.


I don’t play it, but spellhai seems in essence to be a OTK type of deck. A OTK type of deck by definition doesn’t allow counterplay of the combo itself, but leaves itself as a timer (generally by mana restriction and required card combos to be in hand). Question becomes short here then: Should OTK decks exist? What makes spellhai different than other OTK decks? (I don’t know of many OTK decks, but I would imagine vetruvian and magmar both have some.)

Doesn’t ignore board, false point. Will get to later about a more serious issue I personally view.

Spectral Revenant, Makantor. I haven’t played zendo, and not saying it’s fine, but that this isn’t the only one. Zendo seems like these cards, can’t seriously counterplay much against them, just more expecting and minimize the impact it will have when you expect them to come.

use the board in the loosest sense personally. This seems bias.

I agree with this, but for me vanarcyst is toxic. My opinion (an archetype that was only nerfed with circulus and still remains top tier despite an entirely additional expansion and no nerfs. Scarzig touched on Blue Conjurer, but there’s plenty I dislike about the archetype).

Mist Dragon Seal & Juxtaposition

THIS is a problem in my view. “Counterplay”. With these 2 cards in existence, there is only 1 surefire counterplay to avoid Songhai’s backstab keyword (and other potential plays), have your general on your back row. Anywhere else and you are at risk of gambling. Do you place a minion behind you? Juxta. Don’t? MDS. You’re playing on pure gamble.

This is with Vanar’s avalanche, glacial fissure and infiltrate. It’s pure guess work on optimal play. This is less of an issue since they are less prevelant, but the concept still holds.

When a faction provides a solution to every scenario, it provides no counterplay for the opponent, but rather guessing at optimizing.

MDS and Juxta shouldn’t both exist imo. MDS could be removed and kaleos could be buffed for 3 spaces or something.


The big difference is that with all OTKs but gates/mantra there are things you can do to stop and or mitigate. Awesome combos are fine as long as there is counterplay, common tech, and its not to overwhelming. Given I will be the first to suggest nerfs to all the problematic ones,

Drogon: Avoid, body block, dispel Vaath.

Flash/Deci/Double Spike: Something I dislike, but the linear effect keeps its balanced, its 1. a specific four card combo that is less frequent then gates/mantra, 2. you simply cant do it at low health, and 3. If you dont strait up kill your opponent with it your probably dead due to self inflicted damage and filling your opponents hand. I cant really defend it, and its fair to hate on it, but I believe gates/mantra are worse by many fold.

Bond: Kill or damage the Slow minions.

DeathWatch/Swarm: Pack aoe.

Even the problem children combos that do need some attention have good counterplay which is why I still take way less issue with them then I do gates/mantra:

Flawless: Pack aoe, keep away from large groups, body block, and force transform positions to also buff your stuff.

Azure: Pack aoe.

Phantasm+rush: Just kill the phantasm.

Zendo, while similar in nature as the factions late game bomb, you cant counter it with good positioning, provoke, mirrage, nightwatcher, and those don’t also ruin the positioning you have done and take away your decisions and carefully planned tacitics, in this tactical position focused game. But again while an offensive card its a much lower priority. You can call it bias if you want, but I have played all the factions competitively, and the only one I take an active issue with is songhai because all of the others I can tech and outskill, when I face spellhai it has nothing to do with me. The fact that simple positioning and active board use can do a lot to mitagte or downright counter all of those makes it a pretty big difference. And a loose sense is at least still some.

I think your using a very differnt use of the word toxic then I am. There is tons of counterplay to Vanar Arcanysts and they dont just burst you down. Overpowered is very different from toxic, and while I think they are fine now after their much deserved nerf this is purely opinion and feels off topic.

Ok, ignoring the board is more spellhais issue then it is jux/mist, but making positioning irrelevant is just as bad. Just removing one sort of solves it, but id much rather both exist with limited ranges. There is also a lot of counterplay vs all of vanars tricks even if they are running all three board position punishers:


Well, guys, you’re really serious and dedicated here. It’s rather hard to follow these walls of text, but I read almost everything.

First, thank you @phoenixtoasches for finally creating the Songhai dedicated thread, even if a more serious one, than cat-lovers Vets and such.

My analysis may be quite superficial, cause I’m not a pro player, but I’m a dedicated Hai admirer and play many different Hai variations.

Chapter 1. Solitaire Decks

I’d like to add my opinion here, and at first I want to diversify the main 3 almost-no-minion decks Hai has: Classical 8gates BurnHai, Artihai and MantraHai. Though very similar in their solitairy nature, they are played in quite different ways.

  1. 8gates Hai is usually not powerful enough to OTK, it has to chip-damage you first. Yeah, it can easily do ~15 dmg, but if you preserve your health and play beefy minions your opponents has to waste phoenix fires on non-face dmg, thus weakening its finisher. It can be played around - and this play includes board.

  2. ArtiHai aka SpearHai aka ControlHai aims for the long game with Celerity and Ranged on General supported with different control and movement mechanisms. With subpar Hai removal, movement is very-very important. You can deny Songhai kiting by cleverly distributing your minions along the board. I repeat, THE BOARD. But most time as I play my favourite “Shoot and Run” Hai opponents team runs after me together while I teleport from one side of the board to another. That’s a stupid play, not lack of counterplay.

  3. MantraHai, well… it’s an abomination, I agree. Previous two archetypes can do nothing if counterplayed in the ways described above, but this thing really doesn’t give a sh*t about a board and can OTK you at 6 mana if lucky. But still, it will always be a meme deck due to it’s inconsistency. There are lots of meme decks, which can do similar things…rarely. I can bear the existance of MantraHai, though I don’t like to play it.

I personally have no problems against the first two variantions of Hai, cause I kinda know how to counter them…cause I know how to counter me when I play them. MantraHai is a completely different story though. I actually believe that Abjudicator’s main offender here, but I personally don’t want him to be reworked, cause we should have at least some spell ramp in the game.

Chapter 2. Board in Hai.

With all due respect (and I really mean it :wink: ) to the main Hai-hater @deathsadvocate, I’d like to state my opinion on Duelyst first. Well, it’s a tactical board game AND a collectible card game. While someone may want more emphasis to be put on the tactical side of this hybrid genre, the truth is that the genre IS hybrid and thus some factions/decks may be more tactically oriented while others are more CCG-oriented. I personally am quite satisfied with the state of the game as it is, cause it allows diversity.

In general, I kinda both agree and disagree that Songhai ignores board with all that burn and teleport spells. Agree, cause yeah, it’s burn and teleport, after all, obviously. Disagree cause the main idea of playing against many of Hai decks is to deny Hai the board ignoring possibilities. Hai playes backstab? Defend the back of your general or most important minions. Juxta. Hai playes Artifacts? Destroy them, dammit. Hai plays kiting game? Spread your minions. Hai plays Rokadoptera? Pray.

When you make Hai play your tactical board game - you win. And it’s quite possible for most decks. Also, you can have 6 teleport spells max. If Hai is kinda lucky, it allows to teleport 6 times in a game. I agree, it’s too much. But in reality you usually get 3 of them. If your “boardplay” can be ruined by 3 teleports, you’re doing smth wrong, IMO. That doesn’t allow Hai to ignore board completely.

So, do you want to play a board game? Play it, then.

I’d also like to mention an obvious point. Songhai uses board cause at least Hai General is on the board. Please utilise the fact to your advantage.

Chapter 3. Few words about Zendo.

I personally hate Zendo being played against me. It’s actually the best counter to ArtiHai :slight_smile:

Actually, I don’t know what to think of him. He’s immensely powerful for 6 mana, I agree. But he is THE ONLY overpowered Hai card as of now, IMO. Most Hai cards are actually underpowered to account for Hai teleport capabilities.

So, I dunno, what to do with him. I personally hate him and rarely use him in my decks. It’s definitily an infuriating, joseki-frustration-type card. But in the world of 24/6 SpecRevs what is the definition of overpowered? :slight_smile:


The biggest problem with songhai is called Phoenix Fire. A 2 mana spell that can deal 3 direct damage shouldnt exist in a game Like duelyst and i think the same of faie bbs/tectonic spikes/void pulse/desolator/decimus. Combine that with 8g8 and geomancer and you have a broken deck


Now, let me state my opinion on this matter (I’m a songhai main after all, might as well)
As alplod has already stated, duelyst is both a tactical board game AND a collectible card game. I think it’s quite clear that the devs want to have very clear elements of card games with card draw and such, and songhai is supposed to be the faction that plays utilizes the collectible card game aspect of duelyst. So on this argument, I think it’s quite clear that the devs want the game to go in this direction. And one of the draws for duelyst (for me personally at least) is that it has elements of a CCG and also has great positioning elements because of the board. It only makes sense that there’d be a faction that leans more to one side.

While it obviously makes sense as to why people don’t like flat out aggro and burst decks, what’d happen if we took them out of the game? I think Jay has already stated this before, but if burst dcks weren’t in the game, thing would be much different. I think control would definitely be a lot more strong, and how many would people want metas where you’d face hard control like cass and ziran continously? It also wouldn’t stay true to one of the game’s advertised selling points “Lightning Fast Games”. So while some may dislike straight burst decks, it becomes a choice of: Would you rather face burn decks or control decks? I’m personally fine with having to face burst decks because my time isn’t wasted where I have to spend forever trying to kill immortal cass’s and ziran’s until one of their lategame drops sticks due to me not having removal. Or cass just plays desolater enough times that you die. Against burn decks I can preserve health and pressure them so they have less resources to kill me with, but with control decks its just a long drag until I can lock them down, which is hard with all the removal and healing (Thinking from the perspective of a deck that ‘plays the board’ so to say.).

And, finally, Zendo. While I definitely think this guy is overpowered, I don’t think he should be nerfed. The devs seem to think all factions should have certain overpowered cards, I don’t agree with this necessarily, but zendo (and pheonix fire) are songhai’s OP cards. Magmar has slasher and makantor, Vanar has aspect of the ravager, seraphim, and chromatic cold, Vet has blood of air, Abyssian has revenants , Lyonar has holy immolation and silverguards. So if we were to nerf the one of the standout cards of songhai, when it’s not necessarily even oppressive as of right now, why would it deserve that treatment over cards like slasher and seraphim? It doesn’t make sense to me to nerf zendo without hitting core cards of other factions. Zendo isn’t even a put-into-every-deck card like immolation, blood of air, chromatic cold, makantor and slasher. Zendo enables archetypes like midrange hai decks to work by giving them a solid finisher. That’s my opinion on zendo, and I don’t see it changing with the game as it is right now tbh.


Honestly this discussion is kinda pointless because half the arguments are based on the false assumption that this is a tactical board game. It’s not. It never was, it never will be. It’s a card game that happens to have a board, that is an entirely different thing. Anyone fixated on tactical board games should go and play Fire Emblem, Chess or Shardbound. Duelyst has very distinct card game properties and imo that’s a good thing. It can be talked about whether or not a certain amount of burst is unhealthy but just going of the notion that duelyst shouldn’t have burst at all because it’s a tactical board game is just entirely out of place.