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Introducing this meta's broken Songhai combo decks, by AlphaCentury

Hey everyone, its yer boi Alpha, and I broke Songhai.

This is the first of two decks I want to show you guys, I call it “Rokhai”. It’s an OTK combo deck. The gameplan is simple: first, you remove all two drops from your deck using Q’orrhlma’a. Then you play a Rokadoptera and put a Rok in your hand. Then you play Hiogi -> Rok -> Meditate -> Meditate -> Rok -> Meditate -> Rok -> Meditate -> -> -> etc until they are dead.

Your early game consists of the power package of Boar, Maw, BTA, and Primus which should allow you to take control of the board over the first few turns. I also run Aethermaster to find Q’orrhlma’a easier, Replicant for hand sustain, Shroud to dispel stuff, and Celebrant to help ramp into Q’orrhlma’a a turn earlier, and Araras which I will discuss later. Your other two drops are quite flexible, and should be flexed depending what you face on ladder. I like Herald to get to 7 mana vs aggro, Ghost Lynx if the meta fills up with big stuff like slashers, and Jaxi if you face a lot of Jax or need to generally win the early game more.

If you draw a Rokadoptera, you should try to play it before you hit 6 mana for Q’orrhlma’a, as this can potentially speed up your combo by a turn since you don’t have to take a turn to play it later. If you draw Hiogi, try to keep it as it ensures you will have it in hand after playing Q’orrhlma’a. Otherwise there is a chance you will get cucked and not draw Hiogi soon enough.

Now comes the interesting part, which is when it is safe to combo without bricking. Since there are 3 bricks in the deck (one extra Rok and two Q’orrhlma’a), you need 5 non-2-drop cards in hand to combo properly. One of these is Hiogi, and three of these will eventually cycle into your bricks (unless you get quite lucky), leaving you one hand spot to cycle infinitely. Obviously, if you manage to some of your bricks before comboing, you will need less non-2-drop cards to combo.

How do you get enough combo cards in hand after dropping Q’orrhlma’a? Replacing your 2-drops into them doesn’t work, as then you are simply adding more bricks to your deck. The easy way is to start with some of them when you play Q’orrhlma’a. On top of this you draw one at the end of your turn. Playing a Rokadoptera the turn after you play Q’orrhlma’a will give you one. And finally, after you play Hiogi you can use your BBS to draw up to two more cards, if you have 7 or 8 mana.

What does this mean in practice? Let Q(2) be shorthand for playing Q’orrhlma’a with 2 combo cards in hand. Then these are the most common ways the combo plays out:

Q(0) on 6, Rokadoptera on 7, combo on 8.
Q(1) on 5, Rokadoptera on 6, combo on 7.
Rokadoptera before, Q(1) on 6, combo on 8.
Rokadoptera before, Q(3) on 6, combo on 7.
Rokadoptera before, Q(1) on 9 and put spellsword in hand, combo turn later.
I’m sure you can do the math in your own scenarios to work out how many turns it will take you to combo based on when you play Q’orrhlma’a. Evidently, in the majority of scenarios you will have to take an interim turn before comboing, and in some cases you must take two. In these turns you can and should freely cast any two drops left in your hand, play Rokadopteras, or even extra Q’orrhlma’a if you have them. So the end result is that so long as you draw Q’orrhlma’a, this combo will consistently kill on 8 mana, with some kills on 7 mana.

There is one factor we have not considered thus far: shuffling plumes into your deck using Araras. Plumes allow you to draw two cards with Hiogi, allowing you to combo with fewer than the necessary number of combo cards in hand. This means that if you have a Rok in your deck, you can combo the turn immediately after playing Q’orrhlma’a ON ANY MANA. However, the combo is a lot harder to control. You have to draw your plumes and get up to the appropriate hand size before drawing all your bricks. Obviously the replace function helps here. Additionally, you run the risk of being forced to meditate your plumes instead of your roks. If this happens, your deck can fill with plumes, and while you will get infinite healing you will not be able to amass enough damage to kill them before you rope. For this reason, I try to only but ~2 plumes into the deck using Araras.

You are now almost able to dominate ladder with this consistent 7-8 mana combo kill, where the only combo card you need to draw is Q’orrhlma’a on 6 mana. However, there is a final thing I must tell you. In the 90 second turn timer, it is very difficult to play enough cards to kill them from 25 using only roks, especially if you have to nuke down an Indominus/Zir/Dank Owl first. Until I discovered this trick, I thought the deck was not consistent enough to be good, since it takes too much time for the animations to complete and the cards to appear in your hand. The trick is as follows. Once you have used all the cards in your hand and are waiting for them to reappear, click on a brick in your hand and then click the battlefield, as if you are trying to play it (you won’t have the mana to actually play it). When this happens, the game does some shit I don’t understand and recalculates stuff, and all the cards you are waiting on to appear in your hand APPEAR INSTANTLY. Thats all there is to it. Now you are ready to crush all the Brome on ladder because they are usually too slow to kill you before 8 mana.

But that’s not all. Don’t tell the devs about this next one, seriously.

This is the second deck I want to show you guys, a variation of the first. It is called “DDOS-Hai”. Go ahead, look at the deck and see if you can find a win con. It looks like the same combo, but without the Roks. So how does it work?

The idea is, if you play spells in your turn, the opponent has to watch the animations. If you play enough, the animations go into their turn. They cannot act while watching the animations. If you play 200+ meditate in a single turn, then the animations will run over THEIR ENTIRE TURN and they will be forced to skip their turn. After a single turn of this, the server will think they are AFK and their turn will be shortened to 20 seconds, making it far easier and less time consuming to rope subsequent turns.

Your opponent is now effectively rope-locked, and won’t be able to act at all on their turn. The next turn, you will continue to spam meditates for 20-30 seconds, but then you have the rest of your turn and 9 mana to work with. Play the second Q’orrhlma’a. Next turn, hit them with it, and beat them down with Q’orrhlma’a hits as they are helpless and forced to watch. In the unlikely event that they have boxed you in or perfect protected with provoke, then you will have to rely on your secondary win condition: keeping them rope-locked for ~30 turns until they die to fatigue. Once they realize what is happening, any sane opponent should concede.

How does this compare to Rokhai? The obvious upside is that you now no longer need to find and cast a Rokadoptera. Additionally, there are now only 2 bricks (the two Q’orrhlma’a), so you only need 4 cards to combo. However, there is a considerable downside. You can now no longer use your BBS at all, as when you cast the first meditate, it will copy your BBS and add five more bricks to your deck. This makes it so that the only way to get more combo cards in your hand after you cast Q’orrhlma’a is to wait and draw at the end of turn. You must wait 4-n turns, where n is the number of combo cards in hand when you cast Q’orrhlma’a. So is the combo more consistent after all? Maybe, maybe not. However, if you manage to shuffle some plumes into your deck, you can still combo immediately after playing Q’orrhlma’a. You can even use your BBS on combo turn so long as you cast a plume before a meditate.

In general, I think DDOS-Hai is slightly more powerful than Rokhai, although the two decks play out rather differently. Rokhai depends on drawing Rokadoptera early to spike in power, while DDOS-Hai depends on getting Araras a lot more. Both are dependant on drawing Q’orrhlma’a. I would feel safer bringing Rokhai to a tournament since it isn’t skirting the rules in any way, and you know, has a real win condition.

How do they shape up to the meta? I think these decks take the current #3 or #4 spot, behind Quest Brome and Hatefurnace Ragnora, and potentially Faie. The combo is terrifyingly consistent once you get used to it, is entirely uninteractible, and comes out on 7-8 mana (6 if you highroll, 9 if you get unlucky with drawing Q’orrhlma’a). It also boasts some of the best early game of any deck. It only loses to decks which kill it before 7-8 mana, through your early game board control. This is easily the best Songhai deck in the current meta.


“But Alpha, I already thought of this deck and why don’t you just run BRM!?”

Well young net-decker, the BRM version is actually a lot worse. You once again need 5 combo cards to combo (Hiogi, BRM, two bricks, one card to cycle). Its speed is hard capped at 8 mana. Additionally, you cannot use your BBS at all, unless you draw a plume. Even if you do draw a plume, you cannot use your BBS to draw cards on the combo turn unless you have 9 mana. So unless you get lucky with plumes, you will both have to wait until 8 mana and have trouble getting enough combo cards in hand to go off properly. Entirely inferior.

“But Alpha, I saw this deck on Grinch’s/Freud’s/Streamer’s stream”

I mean its a pretty obvious concept and its been floating around the ladder for a while, but I will take all the credit for optimizing this, using Rok instead of BRM, and figuring out the trick to combo faster. Haha. And while I’m at it, shoutouts for the whole Bagoum crew for helping me out with this crazy idea. Especially shoutouts to T2K5 and NoWayItsJ for doing a lot of the testing.

“Can I rope-lock people with Rokhai?”

You bet! If you haven’t had time to cast Rokadoptera but are able to combo with 4 bricks, you can absolutely combo by spamming Meditate with the Rok deck. Then you can play your Rokadopteras the turn after and win with Roks then.

“If I’m being rope-locked, can’t I just reload the client to cancel the animations?”

I had someone try to do this to me once. The trick is, you can tell when they relog by watching the green “connected” dot turn into a red “disconnected” dot. At this point, just end your turn immediately. Assuming they don’t try this the very first turn of rope-lock, their turns will be shortened to 20 seconds. You better hope that they have a fast machine and are able to reopen the game, reconnect to the match, watch whatever animations they have to, and kill you, all in 20 seconds. I know my opponent was not able to. Eggsdee.

“So you literally win by using a glitch to make your opponent unable to take their turn? Isn’t that immoral/against the game rules/a dick move?”

I’m simply the one who found this combo out, you are the one who is going to take it onto the ladder and try it out.

Thanks for reading all this rambling and enjoy!


Post reserved. Xxx

Also something something Songhai salt something anti Duelyst discussion I suppose.

This is metagame on an entirely new level.

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I demand replays

I had a fre counters with this deck.

This is cancer itself.
I actually set there kara with a full board of unchallenged vespyr mofos and shidai start spaming this shit with 5 hp.

This was one of the only times i actually got mad, wanna turn off the lights in the dudes eyes and take his face off.

This should get nerfed before it gets crazier


Faced this twice and beat it twice. Perhaps not a totally optimised version, can only hope this is not as good as is claimed.

Oh god Jay…

I want to flag this thread on principle.

Nobody should know of this deck’s existance.


Idk, both mine, t2k and alphas experience differs from the other players who’ve dabbled with it. This isn’t Mantra where you can pick up and go, learning replace sequencing takes time and is incredibly intricate, if anything the only games I’ve lost have been those I didn’t draw any Q’s by 7 mana, but it’s incredibly consistent otherwise due to your actually good early game.

Actually, in some ways, I think it’s better if the deck is known. This way the devs find it faster if they care to remove it. And in my opinion, if this is to be a legitimate strategy, there’s no reason why it should remain hidden.

I agree that I never want to play against this deck though.


This seems more like something the devs should address. Any thoughts @ThanatosNoa, @Ryvirath, @stormshade?


There is no semblance of balance or game pacing intended by the devs, as is clear from their addition of almost every theme in this expansion. They intend for the game to be broken in many ways, this is just another one on the list, really. They have repeatedly made it clear that anything that happens after 7 mana is acceptable, OTKs, silly out-of-hand damage, board wipes, if it comes on or later than 7 mana, the team is fine with it.

I mean, they continuously churned out infinite combo enabler cards for Songhai over expansions, should anyone be surprised that one is now finally here?

Just another way to disable your opponent from playing, achieved from cards like Scroll Bandit, Saurian Finality, Shimzar-Horn, Malicious Wisp etc

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Impressive, in a rollback-causing kind of way.


What OTKs are there in Duelyst? I can’t think of any.

Worldcore Furnace


I can’t think that the devs would agree with this being okay. Crazy out-of-hand damage, Shimzar-Horn and Zendo are one thing, but straight up exploiting animations to ensure your opponent cannot physically take their turn is another thing entirely.

Granted post 7-mana is a circus but this feels less like a circus and more like a casino where the game is Blackjack and you are only ever dealt one card. You just can’t win.


Have fun using all those means available to you to win! It’s in the spirit of competition, after all :wink:

There’s actually a little “patch” of sorts by t2k5 that speeds up animations as fast as possible that I use, so I won’t have to worry about it.

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Keep mind that turn skipping shenanigans aside, they can just opt to use the infinite rok version to outright rope or kill you in a single turn depending if you restart or not.

The times we live in, I know.

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Wait you run shroud, nevermind.


I thought would have been right to share with you what the Duelyst Support Team answered me when I made an official report after facing a very similar deck and having the same issue with the animation:
“The apparent bug you encountered is actually the normal gameplay; it can happen that a player uses a long succession of spells and/or summons a lot of minions. However, the game cannot hurry the cards’ animations, so it might seem as they surpassed their allotted time, but that’s just a visual hiccup, as they still have to cast spells and summon minions in the same time frame.”