Welcome to Duelyst! This thread is supposed to be a list of staples for different factions and decks. Intended to help out new players, hopefully this will give you a feel for which cards are almost always included in certain decks, and why.
I will not be detailing why each card is on this list, so if you have a question as to why a card is on this list, feel free to ask! Myself or other veterans of Doolist would be happy to help you.
Veterans! Please let us know what staples you think deserve to be included on this list, or even removed. I’m lacking quite a bit of experience with Songhai, and Vanar’s staples aren’t quite set in stone yet.
Let’s get started!
What is a staple card?
A staple card is a card that is used in nearly every deck of a certain type, simply because it is that good and that versatile.
For example, Makantor Warbeast (6 mana, 4/4 with Frenzy and Rush) is probably the biggest staple of all time in Magmar decks, as it allows you to get out of sticky situations, punish enemy positioning, remove threats indirectly or even push lethal. This versatility and strength of the card is why it is often an auto-include in any Magmar deck.
- = Non-craftable (Obtained from the Rise of the Bloodborn or Ancient Bonds packs).
Faction Staples: Spectral Revenant, Kelaino, Sphere of Darkness, Daemonic Lure.
Swarm Staples: Furosa*, Bloodmoon Priestess, Deathfire Crescendo. Often Zyx, Cryptographer*, Soulshatter Grimwar, Shadowdancer.
Creep Staples: Abyssal Crawler, Sphere of Darkness, Ooz, Punish*, Daemonic Lure, Abyssal Juggernaut, Obliterate.
Arcanyst Staples: Prismatic Illusionist, Death Knell*.
The only Neutral cards on this list are Prismatic Illusionist, Cryptographer* and Zyx.
Abyssian, in my opinion, has more diverse deck archetypes than any other faction, making it sometimes difficult to pin something as a staple. Spectral Revenant is the only true staple, so strong and useful for closing out games that really every Abyssian deck should have it. While Sphere and Kelaino aren’t for every deck, they are so good in today’s meta decks that they make this list with ease.
Faction Staples: Makantor Warbeast, Lavaslasher*, Thumping Wave, Natural Selection, Plasma Storm, Young Silithar, Earth Sphere.
BurnMar Staples: Makantor Warbeast, Entropic Gaze*, Elucidator, Thumping Wave, Rancour*, Saberspine Tiger, Greater Fortitude. Often Flameblood Warlock, Bloodtear Alchemist, Egg Morph. Often Drogon*, sometimes combined with Cryptographer*.
Decimus Draw Deck Staples: Decimus (uh durr), Entropic Gaze*, Tectonic Spikes*.
The neutrals on these lists are Saberspine Tiger, Flameblood Warlock, Bloodtear Alchemist, Cryptographer* and Decimus.
Makantor is quite possibly the biggest staple in game right now.
Faction Staples: Azurite Lion, Windblade Adept, Silverguard Knight, Sunbloom, Holy Immolation, Trinity Oath*.
Argeon Staples: Azurite Lion, Silverguard Knight, Saberspine Tiger.
Healyonar Staples: Scintilla*, Sunforge Lancer, Sunriser, Holy Immolation.
The one and only neutral on this list is Saberspine Tiger.
Rest in peace Ironcliffe Guardian, the biggest name on this list until Punish* and Enfeeble*. I pray to one day add Excelscious*’ name to this list.
Holy Immolation is one of the biggest staples in game without a doubt. The Argeon list could be extended to include tempo, aggro etc. Arguments could easily be made for Divine Bond and Dioltas, but Argeon decks can be surprisingly diverse. Tempest doesn’t make the cut due to alternatives in Skorn and Sunbreaker*. Slo sucks now.
Faction Staples: Scion’s First Wish, Pax, Rasha’s Curse, Falcius, Aymara Healer.
Obelysk/Dervish Staples: Etheral Obelysk, Fireblaze Obelysk, Star’s Fury, Dunecaster, Whisper of the Sands. Allomancer, Nimbus and Scion’s Second Wish are also strong, depending on how ‘Obelysk’ you want your deck to be.
Artifact Sajj Staples: Falcius, Time Maelstrom, Wildfire Ankh, Spinecleaver, Autarch’s Gifts.
There are no neutrals on this list.
…Siphon Energy. (Did you cry?)
These lists can be debated. Grandmaster Nosh-Rak* may be on this list sometime.
Starfire Scarab, Hexblade, Dominate Will and Entropic Decay are worth mentioning, but don’t make the list. Hopefully Portal Guardian will be up here someday, in all his glory.
Faction Staples: Chromatic Cold, Circulus*, Snow Chaser, Frigid Corona.
Faie Staples: Crystal Cloaker, Frigid Corona*, Hearth-Sister, Enfeeble* (almost always combined with Skorn or at least Bloodtear Alchemist, or replaced with Frostburn).
Kara Staples: Razorback.
Skorn and Bloodtear Alchemist are neutrals, although technically not on the list.
Strong arguments can be made for Aspect of the Fox and Frostburn. Vanar players, let me know if you think they should be added. Alcuin Loremaster is quite often combined with Concealing Shroud*, and many Faie decks use Meltdown* as a finisher.
Faction Staples: Inner Focus, Katara, Mist Dragon Seal, Chakri Avatar, Phoenix Fire, Lantern Fox, Killing Edge, Four Winds Magi. Often Ki Beholder.
SpellHai Staples: Phoenix Fire, Juxtaposition, Heaven’s Eclipse, Spiral Technique,
Backstab Staples: Juxtaposition, Mist Dragon Seal, Katara, Inner Focus, Kaido Assassin, Obscuring Blow*.
No neutrals minions make this list.
Songhai decks can be very diverse with it’s card choices, but I believe Onyx Bear Seal deserves an honorable mention. Phoenix Fire can be interchangeable with Lantern Fox, the Phoenix Fire card itself is what’s important here.
Turn One Staples: Bloodtear Alchemist, Healing Mystic, Primus Fist. While not a staple for every deck, definitely cards that every deck looks to when they’re trying to fill that 2 drop spot.
Card Draw Staples: Sojourner, Spelljammer. Blaze Hound is also quite good, although often only used in faster or cheaper decks, as it is otherwise outclassed.
Zoo Deck Staples: Zyx, Shiro Puppydragon. These are cards often used in decks that try to swarm the opponent with minions.
Arcanyst Deck Staples: Owlbeast Sage. Occasionally Prismatic Illusionist. These are cards that benefit from spells, and can be used as a win condition. Trinity Wing* is now great too, and the expansion has allowed for cards such as Manaforger to see play.
Spell Reliant Staples: Abjudicator, Alcuin Loremaster. While not always used together or in Arcanyst decks, these are common in spell heavy decks, especially to reuse or ramp out a spell.
Dispell Staples: Ephemeral Shroud, Lightbender. While there are others, these are almost undoubtedly the strongest. EMP* can be crazy strong as well.
Healing Staples: Healing Mystic, Azure Herald. The go-to for decks that need healing.
Win Condition Staples: Meltdown*. This is the only true staple when looking for a neutral late game win condition, as it is effective and works with any general or deck.
Serpenti is the only true meme staple, but be on the lookout for Prismatic Prism Barrier, especially when cast on a Prismatic Illusion created by a Prismatic Prismatic Illusionist.
Please leave your comments and questions below! This post will always be a work in progress, and hopefully be updated as the meta shifts (and I get more experience with the other factions).
Please feel free to direct message me any spelling or grammatical errors!