Interactivity, and its place in the meta


I don’t think the devs see Duelyst as a tactical board game, more as a card game with a board. Songhai was designed to give a shit about the board from the very beginning. I can totally understand why you don’t like them, i am not a fan of their “out of hand” focused builds either and rather play board oriented stuff like Midrange Kaleos or Arcanyst Reva because of that, but i don’t think their combo heavy nature will ever go away. Like it or not, that’s how the devs want them to be.


Oh man, now your bringing up my deepest fears. I truly dread that the game will go more card then board game and its the other reason I am so quick to make a huge fuss about things like spellhai, because if no one says anything that direction is more likely to happen.

I love combo decks and cool strategies which is why I am right there defending most of them. I take no issue with midrange or arcanyst songhai, those are pretty cool and fairly board focused. (Although my hate for the frustrating Zendo almost parallels my hate for spellhai, especially when they are run in tandem. Wish he was 7 or more like the rest of the GMs, id have less issue then.)

If it utilizes the board and or has good counterplay I love combos. If we had more stuff like Spellsworn and it was easier to tech, like a cheaper lower statted binder/sworn this wouldn’t be such an issue. Its why I was really excited when magesworn came out as it gives me hope that they wont push the game in that direction, but they also released mantra and boulder hurl for gates which made me nervous, so I am just trying to do my part, however small, to help nudge the game more towards boardgame and less towards card game.


I’ve been thinking on Duelyst’s slow regression to a card game rather than a board game and I kinda agree with you that it is happening. BUT, if one of the reasons why you don’t like spellhai is because it is pushing duelyst towards a format similar to card games then I have to say to you that it is a bigger problem than just Songhai. Not gonna go too in depth about it just yet because I still need to think more on it, but to me it feels like CPG is not really doing anything to put more focus on the board and even intentionally doing so. At the same time however because they are doing so they are creeping more slowly into a TCG. I dunno what they can do to the game to put more focus on the board without using minions (bc that would have the opposite effect) or without drastically changing the game, but that’s just my two cents. If you want to talk more about it, open a new thread @deathsadvocate.


“Doesn’t use the board”

Funny that despite my finisher being a combo, that my control list that needs to clear with Twin Strike, keep threats under control with OBS, push damage and clear board with conditional removal like Cobra Strike and has to carefully pick what minions I can remove, when I can afford to draw and not remove a threat and carefully preserve my life with good body blocks or positioning isn’t being “interactive”.

This is the absolute worst case of confirmation bias and coming from a player who refuses to even play or entertain the faction he waves his arms about and makes bold statements as to their playstyles and interaction level.

What’s so interactive playing double lasher Makantor and Drogon on curve that gives you the authority on what is and is not, interactivity.


Are we talking about the “Rokadoptera until you can Mantra”-combo ?

(or the 8g one ?)


Never have I said they were a low skill cap, nor have I currently been complaining about them being overpowered. I have played enough of them to have a decent opinion, mostly do so to help out friends who I can’t convert out of the faction, or for quest day.

But they play a completely different game then the rest of them. The argument you just made is why I never had much issue with disruption Vanar since that’s what they did with some cool, board focused, end game finishers. But they were board focused. Yet Vanar still gets more hate then spellhai, given it’s somewhat warranted since they are overturned, but this isn’t about power levels.

As for the difference between lasher/makantor/drogon and spellhai. The former uses the board and can be countered with good positioning and common tech, and is a fraction of the damage potential, where as the latter can’t. It’s a pretty distinct difference.

I don’t hate Songhai as a whole, I love their flavor and combo focus, but man spellhai is just a different story. I have played every faction quite a bit, I have been at this for awhile. But playing against or as Spellhai feels disgusting. I am still salty about Reva dominance, and I loath aggro in general, which are the two things said faction excels at so it’s certainly my least played. More power to those midrange players, and positioned focused Kal users, that stuff is awesome (other then zendo).

@nwardezir Gates into Boulder. Mantra is considerably less offensive, but still not a good thing.


Asking because on my last 2 matches versus @eurasianjay he tried to violently Mantra my ass.


Oh shite, was it in prison with Kron the warden after you dropped the spectral revenant just when Songhai was right behind you?

Please don’t flag this post, it was just a prank…brah.


The reason why I do not mind the eight gates decks is because they need too many moving parts. They need a pretty specific hand to pull off their win. I often find that I can just bully them to the point where they can’t sculpt their perfect hand because they need to commit cards to the board.

Rush… While I believe that Spectral revenant is the most egregious offender of the bunch, it is a mechanic that has issues when there is too much of it available. The abyssian deck is one good rush minion away from being too dominant. This is something anyone can tell you that played at the time of the 4/1 rush assassin.

My problem with that strategy stems from this being a very linear and easy deck to play. There is not a lot of thought or hand management involved compared to eight gates. Getting to win because you lucked into drawing enough burn before the board disadvantage becomes too much isn’t something to be proud of.


The whole topic has been entertaining to watch. Merely wanting to pose the question, what makes spellhai that much different from an aggro deck? From aggro/burn cass?


While I am not overly fond of Aggro in general that’s simply personal preference. And while aggro cass is actually more of a problem then spellhai, there is still a pretty big difference.

Positioning and pressure goes a long way towards mitigating damage vs aggro as most of it is still minion based, and comes in small chips giving you time to react. As long as you make sure your deck is teched with phantasm answers, dispel/transform for Desolator, and either healing or a fast paced plan, all of which are things you should be doing anyways, it usually comes down to skill of both players rather then did Gates draw the right cards at the right time and execute them properly. One is both players, the other is solitaire.

That being said yea aggro cass is a bit overturned, and it’s mostly phantasm and tigers fault. Phantasm is a bit problematic and could use some sort of small adjustment, but you would have to hit Azure and walls at the same time.


I think a better way to nerf the aggro cass side is shift more damage towards healing. Deso heals 3 deals 1, Pulse 4/1, phantasm only triggers on non token minions. Faction retains its lategame power for its other decks, but slows down the aggro cass clock, and no longer punishes wind dervishes, wraithlings, and walls.

Skywing should only reduce minions summoned nearby to prevent early globe abuse but retain its combo power later for when AOE is available.

Luminous charge should make three walls but they do 4 damage each. Flawless should be reverted to pre change.

Eightgates…either shouldent exist or there needs to be less spells that go face, damaging minions is perfectly fine. Make boulder hurl minion only, make fox give kage lightning, reduce cost and make spear and mask only have the first spell do extra damage, and make zendo cost at least seven like the rest of the grandmasters.

This keeps everything at fairly close to the same power level but slows them down slightly or allows for better counterplay which should lead to a more interactive and healthy meta.

Nerf Faie and CC

I haven’t played ladder for a long time but how effective are cards like Keshrai Fanblade, Archon Spellbinder, and Magesworn? In theory and practice.

I imagine Archon Spellbinder would help if it were on a lower costed minion or that Magesworn would be more effective is it spells that costed 3 or less to avoid OBS.

Are there effects that can slow down Eightgates enough? If not than I agree that access to the number of burns spells that go face should be decreased.


I have never seen Fanblade used, its really not good. Spellbinder is just to costly to come down in time to slow them down, and Magesworn is wonderful but you kind of have to build your deck around it. And there just is not much else, I mean there is prophet and sanguinar, but they are about as bad as fanblade. On top of they are all fairly narrow unlike healing, dispel, and aoe which are great tech vs a ton of match ups.

I am much more a fan of less face spells but more power overall.


So what’s the strongest and most ideal hand they could get/arrive at? You’ve said being nuked at 23 hp before?

Additionally, for the opposite side of comparison, what makes spellhai any different than a timer deck? Control faie (especially with crypts)? obliterate cass?


Mantra can kill from 25 tbh


How for both? Mantra and 8gates? Can both be done without the other and how?


This is a rather redundant question in the sense that it CAN do it, but often won’t because built optimally you do actually work for some of the damage beforehand and not just hope you luck out and perfectdraw them.

But since you asked…

I’m about to start my turn on 9 mana, notice that even without the seeker attacking, i still have +3 over lethal.

And there are different variations of hands that can achieve similar effects, though again, rarely. Both decks average around the 16 HP mark.


Thanks! Still have this question though.


I don’t understand the question, as in both lists, or without 8Gates itself?