[Matyrdom] Should it go back to 2cost?



I never understood the reasoning behind old patch that buffed Divine Bond to 2cost and nerfed Matyrdom to 3cost. After the last balance patch, both cards are now 3cost. I find Control Lyonar very difficult to play due to the faction’s subpar removal and the current Meta seems to favour mid-range and aggro decks (although the same may be said for most other factions).

Examination of Lyonar Removal Options

Lyonar’s current in-faction options are:

  1. Lasting Judgement: Strictly only useful in the early-game
  2. Lucent Beam: Healyonar is a bit slow right now, Lucent beam is resultatnly a bit too slow to set up.
  3. Matyrdom: 3cost makes it awkward, healing an enemy general makes this card awful.
  4. Sky Burial: Very conditional, rarely sees play. Common consensus seems to make this out to be terrible.
  5. Decimate: Very very conditional. Rarely sees play in this meta. A conditional board clear at significant tempo loss due to it’s costliness.
  6. Circle of Life: Tends to be a ‘win more’ card. This card will always be a significant tempo loss if played with a less developed board.
    Although this is quite a long list, a lot of these Lyonar control options are very inefficient.

Of course, it may be argued that inefficient control is balanced for Lyonar since: the faction has (i) Sunbloom, (ii) efficiently stated minions and (iii) Divine bond.

Adressing the arguments:

(i) Ever since the 1-draw change, cheap cards in Lyonar that are played with a negative card advantage tend to be non-viable. While I am not saying Sunbloom is no longer viable, it is a much weaker card. Although potent as dispel, Sunbloom does not generate board presence nor reduce the opponent’s board presence, leading to a slight tempo loss and slightly more significant card advantage loss. This is why many aggro decks run Ephemereal Shroud (2/2 body that can be buffed to 4/2 with Argeon’s BBS) or fewer midrange decks run Lightbender (3/3 body that can dispel up 8 spaces and potentially dispel targets positioned against Sunbloom).

(ii) Although Lyonar has efficiently stated minions (in particular: Windblade Adept, Silverguard Knight, Ironcliffe Golem), those efficiently stated minions are frequently removed by other factions even more efficiently. Although I admit this is a weaker argument, since other factions have strong, 2cost and versatile removal, it allows an opponent to easily generate a board advantage against Lyonar by removing a minion and placing one of their own.

To name a few of the more efficient removal options:
Windblade Adept: Natural Selection, Phoenix Fire, Daemonic Lure, Spectral Blade, Maw/Bloodtear + General,
Silverguard Knight: Natural Selection, Spectral Blade + Ping, Cryogenesis + Ping, Phoenix Fire + General.
Ironcliffe Golem: Natural Selection, Hailstone Prison, Aspect of the Wolf, Repulsor Beast, Egg Morph, Plasma Storm.

(iii) Divine Bond has been talked to death almost everywhere. The general consensus seems to be that DB is one of the cards that traps Lyonar’s faction design. The existence of DB may be why factions may be entitlted to stronger removal options than Lyonar, since DB becomes a bursty, swingy OTK card once Lyonar develops a significant board presence. Personally, since 1-drop, I find DB to be a very inconsistent card that is a dead-draw when there I have no board-presence and infuriating to try top-deck as a win-con.

Conclusion: The best removal in the game

The following removal options in Duelyst are 2cost, versatile and can target any minion on the board (provided it is not spell-immune, with the exception of chromatic cold which can even target spell-immune minions) . These cards are reasonably effective in almost every stage of the game.

  1. Abyss: Daemonic Lure
  2. Magmar: Natural Selection
  3. Vanar: Hailstone Prison & Chromatic Cold
    Matyrdom is 3cost and heals the opponent general. Matyrdom is indeed versatile in it’s ability to target any minion and to remove any minion unconditionally. But is the 3cost of Matyrdom really warranted when the removal effect is weighted against the healing factor? I woud argue no, but I’ll leave that open to more experienced players than I to discuss. What do you guys think?


Healing an enemy general doesn’t make martyrdom worthless, by a long shot. It just means the game can potentially draw out for longer.

If you look at MtG, a similar spell is widely regarded as some of the best removal ever printed, because even though you lose out on damage from your opponent, you trade that for a better board state, which is infinitely more important in any card game.

Obviously, the difference is in the cost; Martyrdom probably shouldn’t be 3 mana to be a high-tier removal spell. I don’t know how it would perform at 2 mana because I wasn’t around for it, just making the point that it is not worthless for its drawback.


The card you have listed as an example is a 1tap card, so I don’t think it’s much of a tempo loss (correct me if I’m wrong I only played a bit of MtG up to 5th).

Again, correct me if I’m wrong, but removing a card from play (i.e not having it in the discard pile at all) is also quite a potent effect. In Duelyst, we only have one card which is capable of removing a minion without destroying it per se, and that is egg morph. We know egg morph does this because if a minion gets morphed and the egg is destroyed, it can’t be brought back with Keeper of the Vale.

EDIT: I’m not trying to say Matyrdom is worthless, I just find it a bit pricey for it’s effect at 3cost.


I don’t like Martyrdom’s design. While its effect is interesting, it’s also problematic to balance. The issue is that it has no condition like Natural Selection, just a negative effect which can be completely or almost completely neglected in the early and mid game, thus huge (often OP) tempo swings were possible when it was 2 mana. And it’s not really a card you want to play late game, unless you plan to OTK, which Lyonar can currently only do with DB, you completely dominate the board or you want to finish off a low HP minion. Therefore the higher cost makes it worse since it’s optimal for the first few turns.

I definitely wouldn’t lower its cost back to 2, but perhaps changing it to recover only half of minion’s HP (ceiled) would make it more viable. Or making it transform the minion into a 1/1 Provoke whatever that recovers previous minion’s health to the general when it dies or anything alike.

Also, if anything should be buffed, I think it’s Sky Burial - the worst removal card in the game. 1 mana cheaper Decimate which is single target… This could be either 2 mana or able to target minions not close to their own general.


I’m a Healyonar player running two copies of Martyrdom, and I like the card well enough. I do agree it’s far more limited, but that’s mostly because the meta continues to be very quick; the more it slows down the more powerful Martyrdom becomes. My opinion is that Martyrdom is right where it should be, it’s not under the power curve, just against the meta.

If we’re talking about Lyonar removal I’d rather see a kind of inverse Martyrdom that destroys an enemy minion, and then deals damage equal to the target’s remaining Health to your General. Strong in aggro, weak in control (or that’s the idea anyway).

Lyonar Spell
3 Mana
Destroy an enemy minion and deal damage equal to its Health to your General.


I am sorry if i am missing something, don’t have the time to read your thread closely but: why on earth are you listing Natural selection as the second best removal in the game? Most Magmar Lists don’t even run it, because Plasma Storm is really good right now, Meta is also slgithly better again, and Selection is just conditional af.

In fact, NS got nerfed even further, (even though the faster egg hatching helps) due to the increased number of minions.


Yeah make it 2 mana, 3 mana feels over priced :cry:


Being able to play a 2 drop on turn 1 together with marty is already enough for it to be extremely strong considering how Lyonar is the faction that benefits the most from having board control due to cards like DB and arguably Holy Immo.

And lets not forget how healing enemy general isn’t that big of a deal anyway, as your goal isn’t to poke at the enemy, dealing one point of damage at the time but instead establishing enough board control in order to finish them off with DB. When you’re dealing 10+ damage like that, having enemy general healed for a bit isn’t really that big of a deal considering using the spell help you reach that board state.

Marty isn’t great, but it’s good enough. On 2 mana however, it would be really damn strong. And having a faction that relies on having board so much also having a really strong removal probably isn’t a good balance decision.

PS: Lure, Hailstone and Chroma aren’t removals.


Lyonar is at a really good point in balance right now. With all their new cards they can play a variety of styles. I don’t really think they need a bump at the moment.


Martyrdom would probably be too good at 2. It’s a “destroy that thing” at any range, with no general vicinity clause. Most of the awkwardness with Martyrdom just comes from Argeon decks not being built to last, and giving your opponent life (a resource), slows aggressive Argeon decks down significantly.

I think Sky Burial and Martyrdom are great where they are.


Before the expansion, if they were to nerf Divine Bond’s mana cost, I would have agreed that Martyrdom could be reverted back to 2 mana; after the expansion, with the advent of SLO, Sun Wisp, Afterblaze, and Solarius enabling Argeon to emulate Kara’s “low-mana midrange” strategy, I would have to say HELL NO to a 2-mana Martyrdom. =S