Interactivity, and its place in the meta


How high can mantra burst without 8gates and vice versa?


Well lets take my example above, which is 28 damage and a fairly good hand, all things considered.

Now lets remove Gates and sub in say, another Boulder, for arguments sake. Suddenly instead of 28 you’re looking at 23 if my math adds up, which is still a lot of damage, but does not meet the 25 damage breakpoint.

However with Abjudicator into the mix the math gets a little addled and I believe you should be able to get lethal without Gates depending on which spells were discounted.

So yes, you can do 25 with or without Mantra or Gates but not without both, assuming no prior equipped artifacts.


They’ve have so many ways to do it. 3x of: Hurl, Fire, Fox, Geomancer, Heavens Eclipse, and a single Gates a 5 card combo that you need any combination of like 16 cards by 8 mana or often earlier with boulders or Abjucator. And the rest of the deck has plenty of other ways to do chip damage, control, and maintain your hand. Its actually statistically unlikely not to have what you need by the Eight mana turn to do 15-25 damage. And that’s before we even talk about adding spear or mantra to the mix which are not even needed.

As for the most ideal: Rock, Rock/Goatsu, Spear/twinstrike, Gate/bolder x2/fire x2 for 20 damage at six mana while likely having answered everything your opponent put down, and providing zero counterplay at all, faster then just about any aggro deck could kill you. Change out those Rocks with foxs, geomancer, or other similar things for almost as good of a hand, and the fact that getting that five damage in before that point is super super easy, making this sceniro quite quite common, one that I have lost to multiple times, and every turn past that six mana point makes it even more inevitable.

The fact that they have have trouble stabilizing when they don’t have a good hand and getting to that combo point while conserving cards is the only thing keeping it even remotely balanced, but again this isn’t about balance it’s about the fact that it’s toxic. With a good hand, you loose period. With a bad hand they can still put up a really good fight and then win out of nowhere and there still isnt anything you can do about it if the game drags on for a little bit which the deck excels at making happen.

It’s quite different from “timer decks” both the ones you mentioned are slower, have considerably less burst, are board focused strategies with counterplay, and common tech like AOE and Dispel, that you should have anyways, works against them.


I hate to tell people but Duelyst is board game AND card game.The thought process that everything has to interact with board YOUR decided preference not devs ideal for game.Every time some brings up random cards or board interactive is bad they are pushing their personal choices and not what they game is intended to be.


Try it yourself and you will see it’s far from easy to play, every card played has to be weighted carefully. I’ve spent hours studying it, and a few playing it and my conclusion is it’s far from easy toxic mode (compared for instance to Aggro Abyss, chaining Phantasms, or cancer Wallnar/Reflection).

Hard to pilot, but highly rewarding when succesful, I doubt we can call this “toxic”. If it was, half of the ladder would be playing it.


He doesn’t play toxic decks, oh but he fully combo’s out Azure on turn 2, that’s fine and interactive tho, it uses “the board”.


Yeah, that’s the point. I believe @deathsadvocate’s definition of toxic is close to any deck with out of hand damage as main means of dealing damage at all. Burn decks.

He never said that Spell/Control Hai is powerful, or easy to play. He just doesn’t like it. It’s just one person’s opinion, however. Respected and well liked person, but still, just one.

Well, I don’t like any RushMar and Aggro Abyss. We can argue they utilise board much. Doesn’t matter, I don’t like them.

With great respect to both parties, guys, please stop this. This discussion is nonconstructive.


I won’t comment on this as I was the target of this Azure Summoning turn 2 :slight_smile:

I really like both of you guys, each for your skill at deckbuilding/playing for specific faction(s). I won’t pick a side :stuck_out_tongue:


You mean like Antidraw Starhorn ? :slight_smile:


Spear + gate + 2 fire + 2 boulder is 20 damage, yes, but for 7 mana if it’s supposed to be out of hand and we are talking about a freaking 6 card combo combo here. How are they supposed to constantly maintain a hand like this for 3-4 turns while handling the board? The only way i could imagine this happening is when they clean the board at 4 mana, play HE on 5 and then get exactly the 3 cards they need for this hand. I really can’t imagine that his, or even comparable things like that, happen all that often. That’s probably just as rare as turn 1 azure combo.


I have repeatedly mentioned that the turn one/two Azure is a problem. Past that it’s fine as AOE is common. But yes, even on turn 1, it uses the board and has counters.

Overpowered and toxic are very different things. We are in complete agreement about what’s overpowered right now. I will sometimes play overpowered stuff as long as it’s not aggro, especially since I have a fondness for combos.

@alpod toxic=lack of interactivity and counterplay. While out of hand damage can certainly be an issue, other then burn, it can be played around, and as long as burn is in small chips it can be sustained through. @nwardezir I regularly mention my dislike for deci/spike but between it’s fair liniear effect where simply doing damage can prevent it from happening and the fact that it’s one of the few things that keeps starhorn in the game I don’t take issue with it like I do spellhai.


(It’s 6 mana if spear was added the turn before, and my example also showed how it both maintained its hand and answered the field while doing so.)

I was asked to craft an ideal one so I did. It’s also way more common then the 5% t1 Azure due to the many ways to pull off a slightly smaller or more expensive variation and that with every passing turn it becomes much more likely.

As for how to maintain? There are so many card advantage generators available to the deck its no problem at all.

But again the difficulty to execute and sometimes being slow to go off are what keep it in check. But that kind of sheer, uncounterable burst, is a problem, even if it was weaker or did not have as many generators or options. Azure does less, and even on turn one is at least somewhat counterable, and at any point past turn two is fair.


Hey guys try and seperate the discussion here, Deathsadvocate is giving an opinion on something he thinks is toxic. Try and deal with his opinion instead of going after him on a personal level.

Considering something toxic does not preclude playing it, you can personally believe something is bad for the health of the game and still use it because you have no other choice or you want to try the deck etc…

That he uses or creates decks that include toxic elements shouldn’t be a reason to dismiss his concerns now. While ‘Let he who is without sins cast the first stone’ is a pretty cool one-liner but in practice none of us are without sin and nothing would ever get changed if we waited for a pure virgin to come down from heaven to show us what is and isn’t bad for the game.

It’s perfectly fine to say something is toxic and then use it yourself in a competitive environment if that is what it takes to compete. It is also perfectly fine to theorycraft decks and play them to try out concepts even if you think the particular combo is bad for the game.

Attack the opinion or the statement someone made, not the person behind it, not the statement he didn’t make or you think they omitted etc…


Doom is the perfect example. It IS noninteractive, out of hand one card kill. The only way of counterplay is to kill the opponent before it triggers. Is it toxic?


Technically falls under my toxic definition, but being possibly the slowest kill in the entire game its fine, and even then it gives you three turns to react, unlike the gutwrenching feeling of you may suddenly loose at any moment vs Spellhai and its a complete gamble of whether to be aggressive or passive.


Hm… I think I see your point. You don’t like mentioned Hai variants cause the surprise factor. You’re alive - and then you’re dead suddenly.

And I see, why I’m not so angry about it. Being a worse player, most of the time I die suddenly, cause I just can’t calculate what’s going to happen next turn. Or, to be more precise, I rarely try to calculate it. So spellhai is no different for me than any other deck :slight_smile:


Thanks man, I whole heartldly agree and wish I could get more constructive discussion on it, although to be fair I have been

a lot lately.


This here seems like a majorly flawed statement for spellhai.

A necessary evil issue I’ve had with this game is the lack of enemy deck prediction due to the pace of the game (and for those that exist, early mana staples). Pax tells nothing certain about the enemy Vet’s deck, as it is good enough purely for its own value. You can speculate that the rest of their deck is intended to develop tempo, maybe obelysks? But it’s all speculation off of 1 generic card.

The earlier the staples, the harder it is to gauge an enemy deck and to utilize that developed game knowledge for your play. I really dislike Vanar’s options now because it’s literally a crapshoot or risk as an opposing player for board position. Do they have infiltrate type cards? Probably, so I’ll push out. But now I’m close to middle, do I go mid or to their side? Well it’s 4 dmg and stun or 8 dmg if I’m wrong and their deck doesn’t tell me much since it’s always the same cards I see against EVERY Vanar player.

Now spellhai comes in, the one certain thing about this deck: you know it’s spellhai and you know their gameplan. You’ll likely know by their turn 1, and will likely solidify the thought by turn 2.

Due to the burn and combo style of spellhai, I feel confident in saying that compared to MANY other decks, it is one of an extreme few where they reveal their decks, allowing for more confidence in how to play (grenerally pretty aggressively to beat their combo timer)


While I can understand and agree with your post, although I am not sure what your talking about is necessary or not, but I think you missed what I meant.

Knowing exactly what to expect from spellhai does not change that there is very little you can do about it besides the basic tactics that you always do against most decks(pressure, and maybe have teched healing), the problem is your on a clock, but unlike those other decks you have no idea the length of said clock, you can either go face really hard with your general in the hopes that you kill them before they combo you, but it at the same time makes you more vulnerable to the combo, so its a complete crap shoot based entirely on what they draw and nothing to do with you, on whether or not you want to go face or conserve your health.

I was not referring to the figuring out gameplan and playing around said thing. But the ones you mentioned there are good ways to play around unlike spellhai.

Pax is run much less lately due to thunderhorn so if you see it, its a pretty good tell its either dervish or swarm focused, and in general digging for aoe is good vs all of vets archtypes so there is a clear tell, counterplay, and common tech. Pax and oblysks dont usualy mix other than fireblaze, and oblysk decks are also really obvious really quick and again aoe and or dispel are your clear counters.

Via vanar sure they have a way to punish all three board choices now but its still pretty easy to play around even all three. To fight vanar you always hug close to the middle usually one space on your side from the middle, this keeps you safe from both avalanche and fissure while keeping you in movement distance to dodge infiltrate. Both avalanche and Fissure are rarely played, but when they are, considering they are hurt both players there are usually some pretty clear tells when your opponent suddenly clears out of middle/their side. And as long as you were following the orginal proposed tactic you retain the choice of the board side, you stick safe right up untill the point that avalanche is less of a threat then spirit of the wild or a mass of infilitrate.

Wall/Flawless vanar also becomes pretty obvious really quick, and while said decks are a little to strong right now, they at least have very clear counterplay and tech choices with AOE and mass dispel. Both things you should be teching anyways on top of the deck being slower giving you time to react and out pace and being board focused.

Yea I realize these are some pretty advanced tactics and meta knowledge, but they at least exist unlike spellhai which despite requiring a skilled pilot and a decent hand, makes my skill and deck building near irrelevant. As a skilled player I would much rather outskill/tech for an overpowered deck then loose to a lower tiered deck that makes my playing pointless.

Discussion: Analysis of the Songhai faction and the Bigger Picture
Nerf Faie and CC

Well, what is there to “constructively discuss” about?

You hate Spellhai builds because of your two unfortunate losses in those tours, totaly understandable. You also never liked Songhai in the first place because of their combo nature, also understandable. You say yourself that their powerlevel isn’t a problem, so we can all agree on that. You think any kind of uninteractive burst damage is toxic. That’s your opinion and i think we can all accept that, even though probably not everyone agrees with it, at least i don’t.

My personal opinion is that your blowing this whole 8 gates thing totally out of proportion.


Yep, but mostly just due to spellhais nature. I actualy love combos, just not spellhais. Yep I am blowing it out proportion and I will be the first to admit it as I did earlier

And I even admitted that I have been doing it a bit more then I should lately. There is just some extreme salt and rage from both ladder and tournament play, plus I firmly believe it is toxic and bad for the game. And I frequently get provoked into saying more then I need to by personal attacks. But yea fair enough perhaps we should finally bring this to a close.