Duelyst Forums

Let's talk resource management

After letting the dust settle from when ROTBB first landed, I’ve had one question that I’ve been hoping to have answered: does resource management matter anymore?

The reason I ask this is because of all of the various card draw mechanics in the game. I’ll go down the list. (Some are more popular than others, and I suppose some are cycling cards rather than pure card draw)

Sun Wisp, Lionheart’s Blessing, Trinity Oath, Solarius, Entropic Gaze, Tectonic Spikes, Xho, Lanturn Fox, Heaven’s Eclipse, Scion’s First Wish, Whisper of the Sands, Divine Spark, Rite of the Undervault, Vespyric Call, Cryogenesis, Blaze Hound, Sojourner, Spelljammer, Ruby Rifter, and I guess if you use Starhorn, you have built-in card draw in your BBS. (Let me know if I missed any)

With alll of these tools used to refill your action bar, it seems like players never run out of options anymore. Maybe I’m just saying this because I’m a player who likes to win by milking my opponent for all of the resources they have until there are no cards left to play, and it hasn’t been working as well as it used to. Anyway, before I ramble too much, do you think that resource management is a thing of the past, or do you still believe it’s an important, and relevant, component of the game?

Hmm, good question. I think it still is relevant enough. If you do not include cycling cards or draw in your decks. But most, if not all, competitive decks have draw engines. So I guess it’s somehow dying? The replace mechanic by itself also makes ressource management much easier too, so, yeah. Semi-dead. And it would make sense for it to be so, the games are supposed to fast, so if you don’t run out of cards, you can act more, which leads to faster games.

Warning: Word wall. TL;DR at the end.

It depends on what faction you’re playing (and playing against) really. Pre-expansion I would say resource management was much more prominent due to the fact that most factions did not really have great “refill your hand” cards. The fact that the new draw cards come so much earlier in the curve also really makes card advantage more irrelevant in the current meta.

Probably the most heinous offender right now I would say is Trinity Oath. Typically, even with draw cards like this card advantage is still important because casting a draw spell is usually going to be tempo-negative and possibly downright fatal depending on the board state.

But Trinity Oath is only four mana and was ironically given to the faction that can abuse it the most. The mana cost allows for Tempo Lyonar’s overstated minions to also come down the same turn you play it. Slo being zero mana means Trinity Oath is a decent play even on curve with no board. Compare it to something like Heaven’s Eclipse: HE comes out one mana later in the game, the only card that can be played with it on curve is Juxtaposition (which is typically useless with no board), and even on six or seven mana you can be left with nothing to do at times. Also, all of that doesn’t even cover the healing aspect of Trinity Oath.

Then you’ve of course got the faction that laughs at card advantage, Magmar. I don’t even bother worrying about managing my resources when playing against Starhorn now. Pre-patch Starhorn’s BBS let you use your cards more superfluously but now you might as well try to play as many cards as possible vs. him. In this kind of matchup, resource management is pretty much completely pointless.

Every other faction I’d say it’s an important aspect. Vanar, even though they were given a cantrip, still has no good in-faction way to refill their hands. Playing something like L’Kian is a huge tempo loss most of the time. Spelljammers, Sojourners, etc. can actually be denied unlike a lot of the new draw cards. Vetruvian is largely unchanged here as well, as Divine Spark really doesn’t see much play.

Songhai has to worry even more about resource management now as they got even more burn spells (the “top-tier” Reva list runs nine different cards for draw and still runs out of cards sometimes). Abyssian still has Rite, I guess, but thanks to the bump in mana cost to six awhile ago it’s basically skipping a turn unless you play it on 8+ mana at which the most impactful card you can play alongside it is Daemonic Lure.

tl;dr: Even though these big draw cards exist, most of them are fine. Resource management is still important even if you do run these cards as 1. There’s no guarantee that you’ll draw them and 2. Most of them are tempo negative, so forcing your opponent to use them can be advantageous to you. Is it less important than before? I think so, but it’s only significantly noticeable in the Lyonar and Magmar match ups.

Conventional board wipe doesn’t really exist in this game, so there isn’t a lot of ways to punish hyper-aggro. The closest being Magmar I think. And with all the massive draw cards that you mentioned, the tools are just there to make it happen. I imagine that the developers are thinking of ways to combat this trend as we speak, or at least tone back the most serious offenders.

I think resource management in duelyst has always been important and still is important after the rotb expansion! Personally I’m very glad we have all these draw card spells and that draw isn’t solely dependent upon 3 mana minions.

The closest comparison I have is back in beta when we drew 2 cards at the end of the turn, both players would draw through nearly half of their decks if not more and cards weren’t always used in a superfluous manner, rather resource management was massively important because you knew your opponent would draw into all of their important tools and you had to take that into account while using your own tools.

While the game clearly isn’t the same as it was in beta I like that players have access to more of their decks with draw spells, it encourages more thoughtful play and knowing when to hold certain tools, knowing when to use draw/not use and how to set up lethal while playing around your opponents tools. Unfortunately it’s not as perfect as I’d like it to be and I’m sure there will be a balance patch to come next month but overall I feel that resource management is still incredibly important to being successful in duelyst!

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Same here, I love playing aggro and stalling the game out till the point they are just dropping a 2 drop without being able to utilize the opening gambit. For me, healing is extremely important if you plan on playing the late game. Alcuin Loremaster can add extra heals to your deck, and Emerald Rejuv restoring 4HP to your opponent doesn’t matter either if he only at 1 card in hand compared to your 4.

I have a stalling Vaath Control, and several Arcanyst(Prismatic Illusionist/Owlbeast Sage win condition) that all rely on massive healing to stall the game out until they run out of answers. Both are extremely value oriented decks that win almost unconditionally if the first 8 or so turns are survived. If there is interest, I can post the decklists

What about having options for draw makes resource management irrelevant? Does that not mean that it is relevant because of the fact that it exists and is utilized?

Additionally, a lot of those cards on your list are there to pad it out; Sun Wisp, Cryo, Rifter, First Wish, Solarius, and Lionheart Blessing all are either not played or cycle. Cycling is not the same as drawing. (Although you did mention both of these things, kudos)

Resources involves more than cards, anyway; every single numeric value available for you to manipulate is a resource. The whole game is fundamentally resource management; I’d say the answer to your key question is: absolutely.

Resource management becomes irrelevant if there is an overabundance of that resource making it trivial. If one would add card draw to every card, card draw would still exist and be utilised while simultaneously being completely irrelevant under a management aspect.

Okay, that’s fair, and answers one part of my question in a neat conceptual way.

However, in the context of our game, you still have to trade one resource for another in a way that impacts the course of the game in a non-negligible way from the immediate circumstances after drawing cards to the long-term ramifications of having more cards.

When you talk about trading different kind of resources into each other the problem of having one overabundant resource propagates into the whole resource economy. It also trivialises the decision making about how to trade to a certain extend since one would always try to trade away the overabundant resource. For example, in the current Magmar decks Flash Reincarnation is essentially free mana because the card cost is almost negligible due to their insane card draw mechanics. One of my favourite plays is Flash Reincarnation -> Decimus -> Tectonic Spike which for 5 mana does a lot of work while effectively costing zero cards.

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But there the offender is Tectonic Spikes. Even as a Magmar main, I have to say that the card is broken and should be nerfed. Other than that, I think the drawing options are fine in their current state.

Again, conceptually, that’s fair.

Practically, though, your example is a fringe case seeing as there are few if any other cards that can be enabled in such a way due to more draw. No low-cost card wants to just be thrown out besides cards that would be doing that anyways, like Zyx and Sun Wisp. Even throwing out a Slo just because you can is a poor move until 6+ mana because of the loss of the instant immo.

Just my opinion, but I believe you’re conflating resource management being plentiful with it not mattering. These aren’t quite the same thing, and resource management is still quite important for low curve decks.

However, what we’re also seeing with Rise of the Bloodborn is fewer mid-late game decks, and a lower curve, leading to… lots and lots of draw power being used.

Because of this, we’re seeing hand expenditure penalized less, even though for a moderate deck the few cards being ran are enough, and often even overkill. I’ve actually taken to running aggro Songhai without a single draw card, because I run a moderate curve, and games are finished before this becomes an issue. That’s just my own experience though, and if I chose to run a more competitive build, this likely wouldn’t be the case.

So while I can agree with you that hand management is far more plentiful now, I can’t quite agree that this means it doesn’t matter. The increase in card draw in the game is largely a side-effect of the more aggressive, and lower-curve meta.


The issue isn’t even tectonic spikes, it’s decimus. Without decimus, almost all of these draw cards would just be fuel for swarm decks. At the very least, spikes hurts both generals, whereas gaze hurts only the enemy.

I’m not sure. If you pick Decimus in a vacuum, it’s a pretty meh card. It only becomes threatening when paired with a powerful draw engine for the opponent. Conversely, Tectonic Spikes does damage and replenishes the hand. It thus fixes the biggest issue of aggro decks: running out of steam. The card is definitely strong on its own.

@tsevech @jon678910

I don’t think this is the thread to discuss Decimus and Tectonic Spikes in detail. This is more of a broad thread to talk about the concept of managing cards and how the number of card draw tools affects this.

I’d be happy to talk about those cards in another thread though. :slight_smile:

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You have a holy trinity. Mana -> Cards -> Board
Mana lets you play cards, cards lets you control the board, the board lets you win. You need to balance these three things (better than your opponent) or you will lose. Resource management is relevant, as maelrawn said- the whole game is resource management.

Card draw isn’t free, Trinity Oath cost 4 mana for a 2 card profit, a 4 mana card get you better minions than a 4/6 golem. You sacrifice board control to get more cards instead, if you can keep your hand full without spending resources to draw then that would be more efficient. Extra Card Draw is pure inefficiency, you are being inefficient to make up for your lack of cards.

If you are playing Starcraft or Age of Empires and you start building a lot more houses/pylons so you can get more units, you are spending resources to do that, resources that might be better spent on getting more soldiers or workers. There is a benefit and a cost, that needs managing.

Right now there are some decks that have a lot of draw, if you are playing against draw magmar then you shouldn’t waste your own resources on draw, they are giving you an abundance of 1 resource so focus on your other resources. Remember, every card you don’t spend is wasted.

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Cards are resources. Mana is a resource. Spending mana to gain cards converts one resource into another. Abundant card draw pushes the value of cards down and the value of mana up but the amount of resource management stays the same unless the conversion rate has been improperly calibrated.

If you played during two card draw, you know card resources are still far scarcer than before. But there’s still a lot of draw lacking in some places, ie early game Abyssian, any time Faie.

Imo I think trying to win by letting your opponent run out of cards is just a terrible strategy, if you want to play control there are far more fun and effective ways to do it. I think card draw is fine, your strategy is bad.

Important Resources:

  • Cards: Managing cards is much more intricate than it seems. Since this game limits you to six cards, you cannot hold only many of the answers you need to control all the things that your opponent plays. Cards also allow you to develop your own board. Since it is much harder to punish one big thing than many small things in Duelyst, it might be worthwhile holding onto your “win condition” type minions until you need them, but it is safe to throw down small minions with relative impunity. Draw spells are plentiful in this game, so it is hard to grind your opponent down to one or two cards to out value them.

  • Mana: Managing Mana is heavily tired with managing cards. The most effective use of mana is to develop many small threats while using cheap removal to destroy your opponent’s threats. However, doing so leaves you low on cards. It is always good to spend as much mana as possible each turn, and small minions accomplish this easier. The downside, of course, is that this play style requires a lot of cards. In the lategame, mana does not matter as much as cards, and infinite effects or expensive card draw become far more valuable.

  • Health: I’m surprised that no one has mentioned this yet. In Duelyst, Health can be traded for tempo on the board. If you can destroy your opponent’s minion with your general alone, you essentially paid no cards/mana to get rid of their card. The downside, of course, is that this leaves you closer to dying. Some decks like to keep their health high while others are willing to sacrifice a lot of it either to gain tempo or lower their opponent’s health. This is a very hard resource to restore, unless you are playing Abyssian or Lyonar. The Value of Health differs from matchup to matchup. Against decks like Spellhai and Aggro Magmar, health is extremely valuable, since your opponent is trying to lower it as fast as possible, while other matches encourage you to take the board as soon as possible, even if it means loosing health, like Abyssian and Vetruvian.

  • Salt: As much as we like to joke about “saltiness,” player focus and mind state are important aspects of this game. If you are on a loosing streak, or have been playing the game continuously for a while, your decisions will differ than if you have just started playing the game or are hot off a win streak. Maybe you are overly cautious and pessimistic after a loose streak, or more willing to take risks due to frustration. It is a good idea to take a break every now and then. Maybe switch decks to refresh or go do something else. I find that the first few matches using new decks (even really bad ones, like 39 legends) are often really successful purely because of the freshness engaging my brain more. This is why I don’t understand how players with 15+ ribbons in one faction and none in the others stay sane. Salt is the hardest resource to manage in this game, with even well known streamers (I won’t name anyone, but I will give you a -2 cost artifact…) struggling with it.