Faction Concept: The Koralith Depths


nerf flying forcefield plz that’s a legendary spell i see there
fUkIn sElKiE cOrE a.k.a. fUkIn vArIaX


I actually just did.


big oof


you nerfed it the wrong way wtf
as i said, variax
nerf the nymph part of this


What do you mean?


flying/forcefield is VERY powerful in a fishing deck, I can just put sojourners and aethermasters and this rolls like 5-turn mantra


It only buffs Selkies.


I like every bit of this. Very interesting and different.


The faction’s removal is not good now, don’t you think?

I propose some removal spells:

? mana
Destroy a friendly sunken kingdom tile to kill an enemy minion.

? mana
Fading light
Explore(Z) : Kill an enemy minion of cost Z. Z random friendly lit lighthouses become unlit.


Thanks! :mysticup:

I actually made a really overpowered removal, but then I decided that it should be an epic. Nice ideas though, thanks!


Looking forward to see it then :slight_smile:

WARNING: HUGE WALL OF WELL MEANING CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM INSIDE! --- TL;DR: I like your concept. I think it could be better. The core mechanics are holding you back.

Good work so far fleshing out your faction’s mechanical intricacies and interactions. The underwater/island/ocean motif is definitely one of the richer themes that the existing factions have yet to tap into. I also appreciate your effort to remain board-focused, playing to the most powerful draw of Duelyst’s mechanical design. However, I do think you’ve gone overboard (pardon the pun) on the interconnectedness of your mechanics. Sure, having clear interactions between the cards is a good thing, but every one of the mechanics you’ve detailed here is overly reliant on one other.

Let’s start with Seafare(X). Picture a 2 mana 2/3 minion with Seafare(2). If you don’t have a lighthouse, either because you can’t cast one yet (BBS takes a turn to turn on) or they’ve all been destroyed, what does this minion do? Nothing. It’s a vanilla 2 mana 2/3. But then picture the case where you DO have a lighthouse, and light it with Seafare for two turns. Then… its still a vanilla 2 mana 2/3. The only way you’ve affected the board is in adding a little light, which IN TURN doesn’t do anything until you’ve got both an Explore(X) minion and a certain amount of other lighthouses lit, which need to stay on for a long enough time without dying. Then, and only then, do you get… (reads Clearwater Cleric) more lighthouses. The payoff for lighthouses is more lighthouses. For such a complex sequence of easily disrupted plays, you’d think you get something a little bit better than that.

So lighthouses/Seafare/Explore is underwhelming. Let’s try Submerge/Emerge (which, aside from flavor reasons, are almost the same thing). This is a solid positioning based mechanic that really plays to Duelyst’s strengths as a board/card game. Only problem is you need to put down the tiles too. Well, what ways do you have of turning spaces into Sunken Kingdom? Oh, just a BBS, a 4 mana creature that requires you play Nymph synergies, a 6 mana (common?) board wipe and a 2 Mana Rare Spell that requires you have minions with Emerge already on the battlefield? That’s cool. I’ll just never play any of these Submerge/Emerge cards for their effects then. Or Capsized Vessel, or Heavy Rainstorm, or any other spell that specifically requires you have Sunken Kingdoms in play.

Nymphs/Selkies is the closest you have to a decent mechanic, as shown by the example of Vespyr tribal decks, but even here there are problems. For instance, the fact that many cards refer specifically to Selkies instead of more broadly to Nymphs! You’ve limited Nymph decks to relying on Selkies to do anything, and you can’t win the game with Selkies because you designed them that way! Not to mention, any deck running Nymphs is pretty much out of luck if they need removal of any sort, since all the Koralith’s removal relies on having Sunken Kingdoms in play! You need general spells before you can support tribal decks like Nymphs. This archetype flops like the rest.

As I see it, there are three major issues with the designs you’ve presented thus far that can be easily remedied.

  1. Not enough non-archetype cards. No matter which deck they’re running, Vanar wants Chromatic Cold. There’s nothing about Vespyrs or Walls or Arcanysts that makes those decks want to run it. It’s just a good card that helps define the faction’s strengths and gives them something to do in just about any matchup. You need more general cards like Falcius and Ragebinder, things that don’t rely on quirky interactions but are just strong on their own (with small but helpful upsides in certain decks).
  2. Archetypes are too narrow. Here you can broaden the requirements for certain spells. When designing your tribal payoffs you should start with a decent spell, then add something to make it even better in a certain deck. Even if you don’t run all Vespyrs, Frostfire still gives +3 Attack, allowing it to be used as a gap-filler in other Vanar decks. For a more relevant example, “Saltwater Symphony: Give all friendly minions +1 Attack. Every time a Selkie you control attacks this turn, add a random Nymph to your action bar.” Now the spell is still very heavily weighted towards Selkie decks (I would NOT call this a finished design) but it has some utility in non-Selkie decks too.
  3. Too much payoff, not enough enablers. The Shim’Zar concepts @limango posted are a good start for designing more enablers to make these mechanics work. Cantrips that make Sunken Kingdoms or light Lighthouses are key pieces to making sure those decks get any sort of payoff at all.
    But I think there’s a fourth, more insidious problem with your faction that would make it unappealing to most players: none of the mechanics are anything more than card interactions. Lyonar has Zeal, which rewards staying close to your General. Vanar has Infiltrate, which rewards aggressively pushing into your opponent’s territory. The cards with these mechanics can do anything with those specific abilities, whether its gaining Celerity or +2 Attack or Forcefield or drawing you cards at end of turn. A minion with Seafare(X) can light a lighthouse, and that’s all it can do. It’s honestly not worth keywording, and I hope you see why. When you’re designing, instead of thinking about which three or four cards would combine to make the coolest board state, think about which singular, simple decision would lead to a more interesting gameplay experience (should I move my General up here to kill that MiniJax or stay next to my knight to keep the zeal on?). If we wanted to play every deck as a tribal combo deck, we’d play Yu-Gi-Oh!

For additional resources as you pursue faction/card design, I recommend anything relating to Magic: the Gathering. It is the grand-grand-grandfather of every trading card game in existence, and its design philosophy is extensively documented. If you’re interested, read some of Mark Rosewater’s design articles and learn from Magic’s failures and successes. Here’s the article I referred to while constructing my critique on your faction concept:


Thanks for the feedback! I see what you mean. I’ll see what I can do.


Nice analyses man!
Also @halcyon98 theres also not enough boring or less interesting cards, as weird as it is to say. Of course, since this is not actually designed by an entire dev team to have a balanced faction among the others.

Basically, if you pack one factions commons and basics and every rarity type with interesting abilities, the other factions will be outshone and it makes it harder to watch the power level of the faction overall.

Also it defeats the rarity purpose, or it will at least undermine it. Although I personally would love if every card could be packed with design, but its pretty hard to maintain in a full on ccg id imagine.

Other than that, great job so far!


Makes sense; thanks for the feedback! I personally would rather make my cards be interesting instead of balanced, but I’ll try to tone down the complexity a little when I rework some of the cards. :sweat_smile:


Thanks for the link; it has been a very entertaining read so far. I doubt I can do design so professionally, but I can try.


No its fine, and I completely understand!
Its just an aspect of design i felt like pointing out, but it doesnt apply to fanmade content that much.


Thanks for the feedback, everyone! I’m working on new cards, but I think I’ll need to rework some cards first. Here are the cards I reworked:

  • Luminous Jellyfish
  • Clearwater Cleric
  • Uncharted Depths
  • Enchanted Compass
  • Silent Angler
  • Deepsea Strategist
  • Echolocation
  • Crystal Lagoon


Ah, I was about to start typing out my essay for improvements to this faction like I did to another’s but I think thefirstgokun probably has this one covered. Good luck.


Hey, good on you for working on your enablers! I think Luminous Jellyfish is definitely one of your most important designs for making this faction work, so good job on that one. Keep at it and this faction will certainly take shape beautifully!
Next, you should heed @loliconartist’s advice. He knows what he’s talking about.