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Duelyst 2019 Power Rankings


I say most of what I want to say in the intro of the article, but I hope people find this useful and appreciate the effort of everyone involved. Feel free to discuss what you think is wrongly ordered or missed out etc. And please let me know if you spot any errors or have other feedback.

Take care until next time.


Poor Vanar… only a single slot (whereas every other faction gets at least three), the only faction whose Wanderer deck didn’t make the cut, and one of the only two factions who didn’t get in for generic “Aggro”.

(On that note, what on Earth happened to Aggro Ragnora? In the previous Power Rankings (November’s), it came in at position 11 out of 20, and now it’s off the list entirely. My guess is that voters wanted to give more representation to Vetruvian, and maybe some of its votes got cannibalized by Eggs and Burn even though they’re really different archetypes. Still, it’s got to be stronger than Aggro Sajj, as intriguing as that deck looks.)

Honestly, I wish that all of the Wanderer decks would be lumped together into one slot. While I understand that they’re different enough to be listed separately, they do overlap a lot in their neutral core (more so than any other cross-faction archetype), and they all seem to play pretty similarly (as a sort of idealized midrange). Mostly I’d just like to see what people think about other decks kept off the list due to Wanderer’s predominance.

Finally, a minor mistake: Freud’s Aggro Reva list got duplicated into the decklists for Arcanyst Shidai.


Think I’ve fixed the decklists that you mentioned. Thanks for mentioning it.

Essentially for Raggro yeah, got cannibalized back. Even though the deck is still good and all it doesn’t really have the representation of people playing it as far as I’ve seen, and combined with how it’s overlapping heavily with eggs and slightly with decispikes I just felt that it wasn’t right to include it. So it was not voted on at all.

Honestly I’d like to have a more robust process for this kind of thing, but if you split everything up and include every existing variation of mech wanderer, titan, aggro, etc in every faction etc etc nobody is going to want to sort through that to order what’s best. Duelyst has a LOT of decks at this point in it’s life and if I include one thing I should include another. I have to draw a line somewhere, but I don’t always get it right.

The community vote actually put Faie Aggro at #15, which I mentioned in the intro, and I think Aggro Faie & Vetruvian were super close with Faie in at #21. I’d go up to 25, but it was already hard enough to get 20 lists, some of the fringe deck types don’t really have specialists or champions, at least not that I am aware of. I think this will just get harder for me if I do another one next year as over the last month I’ve greatly decreased my playtime, and that may continue. At least for laddering, I still intend to keep up with any tournaments that the community runs, but as people have started taking up banlists it just disconnects a little from the ladder experience that I aim the article for.

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Out of interest, what were the decks from 21-25 that just missed out? I kinda agree to a certain degree with NH3 that Wanderer decks should be lumped together. In that you could just put what the top/best Wanderer deck and mention the variations with other generals/factions, since Wanderer decks take 5 out of the 20 places. Which kinda takes away the diversity or chance to show other decks. But its just a minor thing.


Trash rankings, no meld combos anywhere, author is a hack, must be a wanderer main.


Thanks for the read bud


Personally I feel that multiple Wanderer decks correctly convey their strength and grip on the meta, and that it is worth showing the relative perceived power. I know for sure some people are happy to play their wanderer general, but do not like say a certain green Lizard’s dominance. If you had it as one entry that doesn’t really show very well how Ragnora is King, while Vanar’s is arguably not even their best midrange deck.

Not quite what you asked but these are the community votes, which were used to narrow down what I asked everyone to vote on, culling from the bottom up of course. so 21-26 are the ones missing of the article down to Kaleos.

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So much gosh darn wanderer. My god, I didn’t know it was this bad.

It’s funny how Duelyst has gone full circle since 2 draw. It started out as a Magmar + Vet dominated meta, with minimal Vanar presence, and ends with a Magmar + Vet dominated meta with minimal Vanar presence.


Well what people think is strong doesn’t necessarily translate into what people play. I don’t see that many other wanderers beside Ragnora.


I believe that ranking decks from 1st to 20th doesnt really gives a clear portrait of the meta. Having all lists separated in tier ranking (tier 1, tier 2, etc) with no preference inside the single tier is much better imho


No offense but what is the point of this ?
It is not like anything changed much since the last tierlist

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Playing devil’s avocado here but that’s not how meta’s work m8. It’s entirely possible and has in the past been proven time and time again that decks fall in and out of favor and get worse/better over a period of time despite no cards being added to the cardpool.


I get not much has changed, but a lot of people went to great strides to put this together. It’d be a shame to have it go to waste. :cry:

Besides, the meta just represents what’s played on ladder, not the strength of decks. It can change from time to time.


Did someone discover a new forbidden fruit :avocado: :laughing:?


I’ve been thinking more about this topic and I think this gets to the crux of the issue. Of course the Power Rankings don’t, and shouldn’t, exactly line up with what’s popular on the ladder. Decks with unique mechanics and interactions get played way more often than would be justified based on raw power level (most prominently Trial decks, especially Xor); whereas decks that are perceived as “unfun” are underplayed relative to their power level (I see a decent number of Fault decks, but nowhere near the number you might expect for one of the two Tier 0 decks in the meta). This is natural in this twilight period for Duelyst, and having more deck diversity and a lower overall power level certainly makes the ladder experience more fun.

However, I feel like this separation is especially pronounced when it comes to Wanderer decks. I have no argument with their rankings as measures of abstract power level, but speaking subjectively for a minute (and given that we don’t have access to actual play data), here’s my personal experience on the ladder encountering Wanderer as a regular S-ranker:

  • Lots and lots of Ragnora (easily the most popular individual deck I see)
  • The very occasional Reva or Lillithe (~1 to 3 a month)
  • Other factions/generals, basically not at all: I would estimate I’ve played against <10 total over the whole course of the time I’ve been playing the game

If I had to guess what’s going on, I’m going back to what I said above: due to the large amount of overlap amongst the neutral core of the deck, the Wanderer “experience” can feel pretty similar across factions. Given that, if the deck’s playstyle appeals to you, you’re going to be inclined to play the best version of it, e.g., Ragnora.

So I guess what I’m questioning is how “meta” these non-Ragnora Wanderer decks actually are: they’re definitely strong, but it doesn’t seem to me that they actually see that much play.

(And of course, all of this may just be confirmation bias on my part: Niklaren mentions above that amount of play was taken into consideration in the rankings, and it’s plausible that there are dedicated non-Magmar Wanderer players that I just haven’t been running into.)


Alright, so I think I should answer this first and then expand it a to what @nh3maser was bringing up.

When I finished the last Power Rankings I was already knowing that Duelyst was in it’s ‘twilight period’, the Rankings definitely had no business going monthly, but I didn’t know that the duelyst central site was going to go offline. When that happened I transferred the final Power Rankings to Chuqwerty’s pretty new site, Duelspot. I really liked how it ended up looking actually, I think that site is great, how sweet it would have been earlier in Dooly’s history. Hacker got a job at CPG and one month stopped posting the top 50 lists, myself and big credit to @boronian also, for a few months kept this up, but one month I was away on holiday, then we decided it was not worth the effort to collect lists, then I forgot to take the screenshot. I will try and remember to get it this month. I’m getting off topic. The previous PR was probably not widely known to have been moved across to Duelspot. The Power Rankings was, I feel, always a resource that people could go to if new or returning, or any reason, asking the question ‘hey, what’s good in duelyst right now?’

So firstly, I didn’t feel like people knew or were being directed to it’s new home on Duelspot. Be honest how many people know Duelspot has an article section? Secondly, that ‘right now’ was not being fulfilled, yes very little has changed, but that too is valuable information. Just because that was the result, doesn’t mean it was guaranteed to be so. I personally feel Kaleos & Ciph should have climbed onto the list. Creating a new piece of content for the game to some of you will seem like very little, but I dunno, enough people still play this game for some reason. A little bit of me belongs here too. Guess I still care. For the people still playing checking the article and seeing it’s only a few months old, not a year or two, I hope that means something.

Thirdly, actually, given the ‘Twilight’ nature of the game, and my aforementioned caring, I wanted to leave something I thought this game deserved, the last one in Novemver '18… okay so usually we set a deadline, and if a writeup wasn’t in on time or no one could be found, well no biggie the lead (me) would just fill in. I remember asking a couple of people to write for Obelysks, which inexplicably made it into #20, before just having to do it myself. This game has seen some good players and a diverse cast, I wanted 20 unique authors. People that were experts, that had passion for these decks, maybe that I remembered or associated with them. It’s not like I tried to get in touch with Dragall to writeup Burnhorn, but I at least tried to ask Jay for Mantra, Freud for Arcs/Agg Cass, TM87 for Maehv. I didn’t pester some people as much as others, some people I just don’t know that well. But I did the best I could for my connections and the current playerbase.

At any rate, since I don’t know if and when the next Rankings will come I wanted something that I could honestly say I felt was a good resource that was very worthwhile for people to check out from now until the servers go off.

So that is the point of this, you can call it futile, you may be right. But I really did feel like, maybe not what it’s become, but what this game has been, deserved at least when people ask “what’s good right now”, that they get a good answer.


Given that I hope it answers why, even though I totally agree with you, and really do value your input. I simply feel like the question of “what’s good” is answered best if the Wanderer decks are split. As you say Rag is best, and therefore more popular. In the last MDl Flash, Lance & Rae were banned. next best is reva/lili, titan and still somehow Vetruvian.

The Wanderer decks do objectively have their own power levels, and necessarily their own faction cards. Rag having access to Flash IS a cut above, Vanar with it’s weakest BBS synergy IS the worst for Wanderer. i can’t pretend they’re equal.

BUT you have caught me, from previous Power Rankings I have learned that if it’s a deck that sees no ladder play people will question why it’s there. The Power Rankings have the luxury of not HAVING to just be what’s good in the meta, like you say, it’s hard to disagree with the ‘abstract power of wanderer’, man, every time I play that deck I get taken aback with just how smooth it feels. Like you’re running on easy mode sometimes. Of course the game still has RNG and counters, it’s not like a free win and you definitely see players on ladder hoping to collect free wins, but not getting them. It’s never that easy, even on easy mode, particularly if you’re relying on what F8 coined as ‘training wheels gameplay’.

I guess what it comes down to is I’m probably just biased from playing all Wanderer factions on my smurf. :3 :3 :3


The Rankings (clue’s in the name) was never about this. Even if my some miracle we all agreed on the tiers (unlikely) I think the rankings really force some tough decisions, most people are pretty settled around the top, but in the mid rankings deciding if you really think Ice Age Walls are better than just going generic midrange Vanar is telling. And if most of your peers disagree with you and think midrange is better, that’s pertinent information. I will leave tier lists to individuals.

I certainly deserve no credit of coming up with the Power Rankings. I am just continuing the work of those before me, I would be delighted if someone took up the torch, I would gladly hand over the reins, and lend my support to a successor. But at the risk of beating a dead horse the game’s probably not in a state where that’s to be expected.

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@terrarius There is always a point for new content even if it is just confirming what was known but that isn’t the case here. There are some changes but also a different way in which the votes were collected. But that isn’t even important.

A lot of work went into that one and I for one really appreciate that and I find it also a sign of respect to recognize the work and effort whatever you may think. Especially now our community and the game lives from people going the extra mile and showing there is still stuff happening (e.g. Duelyst World Cup).

So thanks a lot @niklaren and everybody who contributed to it!


That’s totally fair! You’re the one running the project, so editorial decisions are yours to make.

My bias cuts in the opposite direction since I’ve never really played Wanderer besides some minor experimentation when the Trials set first released, but I think all of this discussion has convinced me to try him out again for my ladder climb next season. I guess I’m set with decklists for most factions, but does anyone have a Kara list they’d like to share?

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