Is the problem creep or ourselves?


I’ve been playing duelyst for more than a year, since a bit more than a month before it went from alpha to beta. One thing has remained constant in that time: people complaining that shadow creep is broken.

The principle behind shadow creep has been roughly the same:
-it’s generated at a mana disadvantage early-game
-it acts as both a comeback mechanism and a finisher in lategame

It’s kind of like mechaz0r, except slower and requiring more deck investment. Like mechaz0r, it is weak to some hardcounters (lightbender, and now prophet of the white palm too) which have become ubiquitous whenever it was too popular, and it is vulnerable to being rushed early since it needs to sacrifice deck slots/mana to creep generation (kind of like how you need to summon mechs to get mechaz0r).

Also like mechaz0r, if you don’t run a fast deck or any counters you stand a very good chance of losing in a way where you don’t really feel you could have done anything about it, especially if your opponent draws well.

Fact is, that’s just the nature of decks that rely on alternate win conditions like creep or mechaz0r. If they can’t get their wincon off, they probably lose. If they succeed at getting their wincon off and it doesn’t win them the game, they probably lose (particularly with obliterate). So, in most matchups their wincon needs to be achievable and stand a very good chance of winning or the decktype won’t be viable.

This leads to me not really understanding the complaints regarding the new creep. First, obliterate is 8 mana. For a many past seasons that alone would have rendered it a bad strategy, and I don’t doubt there will be seasons where that causes it to be a difficult deck to play in s, or that it will face difficulties in tournaments since argeon, faie, and songhai can all burn it before then most games. Second, at one damage a tile, creep generation no longer does much, so azalea, juggernaut, and obliterate are the true damage cards, of which only azalea is really something we havent seen before (and might need tweaking-- idk how i feel about it…).

Anywho… those who dont like creep (particualrly obliterate) why? And how would change it, keeping in mind that if it can’t win games, it won’t be played? Or would you just remove it and mechaz0r in the name of board interactions being more ‘interactive’?

Shadow Creep nerf - Old player wants it gone

I started a thread on my experience but I can share here too. My main complaint is that obliterate hits generals as well. With a turn one Abyssal crawler, possibly two if you’re going second you have 2 creep turn 1. If they both survive you’re at 4 and maybe play an ooz turn 2 for a potential 5. With Shadow Nova being a 4 drop and now Klaxon at 6 drop for 6 creep you could be looking at a consistent 12 - 15 by turn 6 or 7 assuming your opponent isn’t dispelling it. Unless you have no pressure/incidental creep damage the whole game you could still board wipe and deal half your opponents life in one obliterate. Juggernaut and ooz give creep some decent bodies to throw down for cheap, with Juggernaut potentially being an 8/8 for 4 (assuming 5 creep by turn 2 or 3 which I think wouldn’t be too hard). With Night Fiend you can also use creep to aoe without killing the creep and get a 3/3 for 5. With cass’s BBS and now Sphere of Darkness you pretty much can’t run anything with 1 health or it’ll just make more creep / get removed immediately for cheap.

This might go away in higher level play / meta, I’m currently rank 12 and haven’t gotten out of Silver Division before mostly because I didn’t play all that much. I don’t mind obliterate, if they set up creep and drop 8 mana on something they should get some solid value. I do, however, think it should be changed either

  • Cap damage at X creep or so (only remove X creep so if you had another you could cast it again) This would stop stupid wins where an opponent has 15 to 17 creep by the time they can cast obliterate. Getting your whole board almost guaranteed wiped is bad, but getting burned for double digits that you can’t avoid is just frustrating.

-Deals creep / 2; Same idea but would mean that if you set up well enough it can still really hurt.

  • Hit’s enemy general for half, or doesn’t hit them at all; Again, my main issue was getting blasted in the face for 17 just because I didn’t bring dispel.

You can see the game I’m salty about here:

Obliterate just currently swings the game, and if you don’t have 3x Lightbender or Sun Bloom as Lyonar you’re kinda SoL as far as I can tell. Also White Palm will stop it, but personally I don’t like the idea of stacking a deck with niche tech on the odd chance I run into a cass creep deck.


I don’t really see this happening that much on ladder (I’m currently on Diamond). Cass Creep deck is very vulnerable early game and she can get rushed down pretty quickly, even if she Obliterate turn 8 and didn’t kill the enemy general, her whole win con is pretty much gone. Building creeps again from zero is quite a pain for her once most of her creep generators are gone and late game minions can’t be easily ping off by her BBS. The reason why her old control creep deck was so strong’s because she had a perfect mix of early game control and late game finisher. In her current state the former seems to be quite lacking since she’s so dedicated in building a late game massive finisher.
I think people are just not used to dealing with creeps early before it explodes. I saw a thread about a guy who claimed he was winning the game then got obliterated to oblivion, all I have to say is that was quite a biased opinion. He was not winning if the opponent Cassy has 17 creeps on board. Obviously a non-minion focused deck will have less on-board minion advantage, compared to that of a minion-focused deck. Cassy’s win con is cheesy and unorthodox, but not uncounter-able.


There’s more than enough early game support for creep now, at least from what I’ve seen. Juggernauts are beastly, and are value even with 2 or 3 creep. With Ghost Azalea, ooz, and Juggernauts you can do some serious damage before throwing out an obliterate for lethal/huge swing.

That was my game. Obviously you’re welcome to the opinion that I wasn’t winning, but having your opponent at 2 health with no board state other than creeps while I had well over 6 minions in striking range feels like winning to me. Especially since the most damage that could be done outside of creep/obliterate would probably be well below the 14 health I had.

I guess I’m just of the opinion that I shouldn’t straight up lose games because I didn’t have an instance of X. X being dispel in this case, and you’d pretty much need 2 - 3 lightbenders or to just remove anything that could make creep before it could drop any.


I feel like you’re kinda helping me proving my point. My point is that technically Cassy is not op, but people really hate losing to her. From what I’ve seen, it’s not because they get stomped by Cass. Most games that people hate losing are the games that seems to be close but didn’t turn out the way they expected it to. After the most recent patch, creep became a new mechanic, which should come as no surprise that it caught many people off guard. I really agree with Thanatos and I think that Cass is not broken or overpowered(Strong, def strong but not OP). I think people will learn to deal with it better once they are familiar with the mechanics.


I guess my point is more towards disliking anything that would let someone swing a game so hard in a single turn with no chance of response. In Mtg you can use instants on your opponents turn to interact with the board outside of your turn. In duelyst you just have to sit there and watch yourself get wrecked if your opponent draws well or something. It’s the same problem I have with divine bond (which is a bit worse in my opinion), I can do everything in my power to asses the board state and try to play around it, but when someone divine bonds a lysian brawler twice or something stupid I just have to take it to the face.

It doesn’t feel like there’s a whole lot of downside to creep now. There’s a great curve in Abyssal Crawler -> Darkspine/ooz -> Juggernaut/Azalea/Nova -> Klaxon -> Obliterate. Fiend might fit in there too. The idea that cass is defenseless in the early game just isn’t the case, and I’ve seen games end before obliterate because a juggernaut or two got buffed up to 10/10s. Creep is strong to begin with, and with obliterate they have an 8 mana game ender barring straight counter tech like lightbender and White Palm. I know there are ways to deal with it but in ladder that means stacking lightbender, white palm, or shroud on the chance you run into a lot of cass. They’re still useful against other decks but not to the same degree.

Is there another card / set up that you think is of equivalent power to current creep? I’m not saying I’m right I just think they should make obliterate less cheesy because creep is already strong.


My problem with this incarnation of creep is that it doesn’t have to do anything over the course of the game to kill you at 8 mana. It could literally just be pretty graphics with no in-game effect, because the cards that generate it are just barely good enough that with skilled play, they will consistently generate enough creep by turn 9+ to kill you. The creep itself is ltierally just decoration. Or, if you look at it another way, a countdown.

The only interactivity you have with Creep is 1) kill CassyNova real fast, or 2) play Lightbender (or be Lyonar.) That’s really lame. If Creep dealt 3 damage per tile, but dealing damage removed the tile – that would be a sweet, highly interactive mechanic that I could get behind. But as it is, it’s literally just “if meta is slow, creep is strong, haha.”



I agree with you on this. Creep doesn’t exactly needs more support, it needs more cards that interacts with it. Creep right now is pretty much a joke without Obliterate. It’s either you draw Obliterate, or you lose. Some people say that Juggenaut is a threat and while indeed it is, any deck from second tier & up can easily deals with a single big minion (or 3x of the card). Juggenaut doesn’t even have anything else that immediately affect the board(Taunt, useful abilities, etc) aside from its potential stats.


I feel like we agree on what’s happening, only I see it as fair and fun and you are rather chuffed about it :confused:

“If meta is slow, creep is strong” is something I have no issue with, same with needing to either kill Cass fast or bring counters–actually, I see those facts as what makes creep interesting. That being said, slow decks can compete too.

Slow decks have to pack solid control and (generally) some kind of heal anyway, in which x3 lightbenders falls just fine. Back in the day, control lyonar and control Vet and control magmar were all decent competition for creep, without needing to rush face. Of course then tempest/twilight sorcerer, time maelstrom, and plasmastorn/mana burn were nerfed to the ground and there haven’t been real control decks outside of Creep since (maybe Zir’an will change that this season but idk). I think that makes Creep feel worse than it should since going fast is the only solid option at the moment.

Regardless, without a way to turn creep into an effective comeback mechanism or finisher, there’s no reason for it to exist. So ‘fixes’ like ‘deal 3 damage per tile, then vanish’ would end the mechanic-- better to just get rid of creep than to make it useless and trash a bunch of fun cards.

Azalea is an issue imo. I wouldn’t look it over. But continuing on obliterate–
The comparison to Mtg is odd because without sideboards in tourneys you’d face the same problem-- you’d be defenseless against certain combo decks that can kill you without letting you react. Only the ability to tech in hard-counters keeps Mtg ‘safe’ from linear mechanics that require a counter to defend against. Moreover, said linear mechanics are something some have found quite fun in the past.

You may be right that Cass’ curve works too well right now. Ooz in particular is super harsh to deal with :cry: (I’ve been playing Sajj since the expansion release). White palm is a great tech in general right now with all these songhai running around, so I’ve been pretty safe from obliterate, but the rest of cass’ deck has been difficult to deal with anyway. I think only time will tell if the bad feels against cass are just a lack of familiarity or an issue with the new creep generation cards. But even if those get nerfed, the fact that successfully growing 10+ creep can arbitrarily win you the game by ~9 mana regardless of board state will remain true with Obliterate around, and imo that’s what makes creep an interesting mechanic.


My comparison with magic was more about how having a counter spell would let you, potentially, react to and stop any counter / play that you might not be able to handle otherwise or that could combo out. Besides, I feel like magic has a wider variety of ways to deal with things. Counters can stop any spell, a lot of removal can target multiple things with hard or soft removal. Creep is specifically a dispel removal issue, which can work on some stuff but it leaves big bodies around so it’s not always gonna do what you want.

Personally I’ve never had a lot of fun playing with the type of Magic player that combos out on some stupid Palinchron/Navigator anything else combo or something. It’s cool once or twice, but it gets old as a consistent part of the meta. Then the meta devolves from interesting, new decks to everyone running the same anti-combo decks.

That’s just my opinion though.


Crawler->Darkspine->Nova is an incredibly weak curve that basically losses you the game on the spot against any tempo matchup.

Wait until people stop experimenting with ghetto decks and start running tight meta builds and you’ll see a quick turnaround in results. Also songhai is like 100% win against that build of creep cassyva.


I disagree, creep will always be around if there are slightly slower decks- but I agree it would be at a manageable level


Actually, the strange part about it is that I’m not at all upset about the effect Creep has on the game in general – the only part I don’t like is that it feels like Cass is playing an entirely different game than I am. It’s like old Fox Combhai, only instead of being a bomb attached to a 3d6 that explodes on a 2/3/4, it’s a timebomb that counts down 3d6 seconds per second. Still RNG, still almost completely noninteractive, just a slightly different flavor of noninteraction.

Meta-wise, Creep and Kara both act as a “you must be this fast to ride” bar to all other decks, and I actually kind of like that as a feature of the meta. I just like feeling like I lost due to being outplayed, not due to “did I draw my Lightbender in time,” which is what Cass turns every midrange and control game into.


"our fault, dear brutus, is not in our creep but in ourselves"
thread title reminded me of this


Call me crazy, but I actually much prefer playing against Cassy now compared to before. I feel like I’m racing the clock, as I watch the creep spread and spread like a plague on the board. Do I play the lightbender to buy me some time, or slam down an 8/8 golem and start punching the hurt on their general?

I find it forces me to play a different type of game with my decks, which I find kinda unique and fun at the moment. I hated the old creep because it would literally kill you from nowhere, but now obliterate means that you can see your doom long before it will hit you. And yes it scales up fast, but for me, I find it almost adrenaline rushing. I’d rather lose to the new Cassy over a divine bond lionar or a (anything) kara any day of the week.


I’ve been playing Duelyst for a couple weeks now and have only tasted the previous and current incarnations of Creep.

The previous creep was powerful yet weak. The only time that it threatened me was when they would cast shadow nova ontop of my minions/general and had a fair amount down already then end their turn, I would be hit for 10 damage or something and all my minions would fall over.

The current creep is in the same boat, it’s powerful yet weak but for different reasons. Stepping on it isn’t nearly as bad as before, which is nice, but players can get a lot more down due to the changes, and when it comes to Ghost Azalea and Obliterate it goes straight back to being way too powerful. I had a game where they laid out 12 creep, used two Ghost Azalea’s, and instant killed me. Sure it takes prep work to pull off, but with Shadow Nova being 4 mana it isn’t that hard to do. In this case if she had used Obliterate I would’ve actually won, but I’ve had games where that wasn’t the case and they annihilated all my minions, took half my health, and proceeded to stomp my face in.

My crazy idea to fix this would be simple, double the amount of creep needed for Ghost Azalea to gain attack (so with 12 creep you’d get 6 attack), Make Obliterate only damage Minions (It’s a clear the board sort of move, why let it also destroy the enemies general at the same time?.. a bit broken in my opinion), and make creep give +1 attack to allies standing on it. This would give you an advantage to standing on your own creep, your own territory, would make opponents have to weigh the option of wading through it to going around it, and would make the broken burst from Obliterate and Ghost Azalea more tame and allow for reactions rather than instant-kills.

But again, I’ve only played for two or so weeks, I don’t know what I’m talking about, right?


As a cass main I can assure you that if you simply ‘allow’ a cass to place a few novas, you were either already losing or not sure how to deal with a cass. A cass under pressure almost never gets the chance to play a nova, it’s just too much of a tempo loss. If however the cass has managed to get in some early game board presence that you weren’t able to deal with in time, then it’s going to be near impossible to come back against, just like any other deck.

The only difference between cass and many other decks is that instead of focusing on getting minions on the board they focus on getting creep on the board. People tend to think of board presence as lots of minions, but for creep decks board presence becomes completely different. Thus in much the same way as you’d never allow another deck to build up board presence, you should never allow a cass to build up creep presence, only difference here being instead of trading minions you have to dispel.


I still don’t feel the meta has sufficiently settled down to properly evaluate creep but my main issue with it is a “filter perception”. Depending on her opening Cass doesn’t actually get that much creep down sometimes. Without killing anything with her BBS, spheres and Oozes will only make 4-5 Tiles which mean nothing in some matchups as ghost azalea is just an adamantine claws and obliterate won’t be killing anything fat.

However, it just feels unpleasant to play against Cassy. Here I am playing my “skilled” deck while she just runs away and plops down Ooz’s, Creepers, Juggernauts, and Kelainos with no regard for placement then top decks a rite at the perfect time. Whenever I see Cass on the other side the game is no longer relaxing but instead I feel like I’m suddenly on a timer and have to consider my moves very carefully. I rarely feel like I get outplayed by creep but instead got cheesed very slowly.