My first month of Duelyst - thoughts on the game


Hi everyone,

I found Duelyst at the end of last month and was hooked pretty much instantly. In short, by adding a board to the CCG formula, the developers have struck gold. It opens many new strategies, every decision feels like it counts, and RNG is hugely reduced.

This game came at a perfect time for me, in a month where work has been absolutely crazy, and escaping to Duelyst’s world in the evenings and weekends is just what I needed. As you can see from the picture below… I’ve played a lot:

Purchasing model

Coming from Magic and Hearthstone, this game has the most generous amount of gold I’ve ever come across. I bought the one off starter pack with 10 orbs, plus had the humble bundle. Combined with some good luck in getting two Krons and two Zen’ Ruis which I could disenchant after the patch, and I’ve been able to build a fun Magmar Grow deck which feels like it’s not missing anything, and am ready to try a new faction soon.

Only complaint is that any interesting Abyssian deck does seem to require 32434224 legendaries. I’ll save up.

Some of the things I love about the game:

1: You draw cards at the end of your turn. Makes a tonne of sense in a game where you have to wait for your opponent to move - you can spend their whole turn thinking about what to do.

2: The replace every turn. It’s difficult to get across how much this reduces luck and increases skill.

3: Hero powers are actually powerful. Instead of something you use when you’ve got no ideal play, they are a big part of deck strategy and gameplay - and are appropriately restricted because of that.

4: The faction mechanics are wonderful. Backstab, Infiltrate, Zeal, Grow, Rebirth…these all open up so many options for play and counterplay.

5: The fact you deal damage to minions attacking you. Losing the board is bad in any game like this, as your opponent can make favorable trades against your newly summoned minions. But at least they don’t also get to deal unanswered damage to your face.

6: Positioning lets you do great last stands and desperation tactics.


Duelyst seems about as balanced as any CCG I’ve played. Right now Songhai seems to be getting a lot of flak on this forum for being OP, and I think they may be, but it’s subtle - they run out of cards pretty fast and their minions are weak. My only issue is that they have one card which teleports a minion anywhere, and another which swaps two minions. It’s not possible to play around both.


Maybe I’ve been lucky, but everyone who plays this game has been both friendly and encouraging. Very impressed.

So what don’t you like?

Possibly because I live in China at the moment, there can be some pretty bad connection issues. Maybe one in six games I get disconnected and can’t reconnect, or lose games from not connecting in queue. This has made laddering quite hard :frowning:

What next?

A big part of these kind of games for me is coming up with my own decks and playstyles. However, while laddering I played some of the people at the top of S-rank, and was pretty impressed with how far ahead they seemed. I want to watch more of their games and try to understand why they have picked the cards they have, and how they make positioning decisions.

Along similar lines, I want to use this forum to learn more about the game.

Thanks for the great game, and I’m looking forward to becoming part of this community. Feel free to add me in game.


You hit S already? JESUS, How much did you play?


Can’t seem to find the total number of games, but wins is around 170, so I guess 250+ games?

Maybe an hour or two most days and long sessions at the weekends. Paradoxically, now my work is less busy I won’t be playing as much.

In terms of time taken, a lot was just trying the various factions and learning the game. Once I started laddering seriously, I had a very high winrate till Diamond 3/2, where it gets really quite competitive, and my connection problems started seriously setting me back :frowning:


Jeez man, I have been playing for months and I was happy with gold. Congrats on the S Rank, also Vetruvian requires alot of Legendaries too but that is the nature of these things sometimes.


Glad you enjoy the game as much as the rest of us, with all of the whining on this forum it’s a nice change of pace.

@harpsichordknight what faction did you end up laddering to S with?


Magmar I think 15 characters.


Thanks for the comments :slight_smile: Yes, @wraith908 was right, I used Magmar. Mid-ranged tempo/grow style, which slowly changed as I learned the game/adapted to the meta.

Possibly Vetruvian (Saji?) will be next, as I don’t see many people using it. Playing some Gauntlet now to try and build my collection.


Welcome, very nice post, cool to have you with us playing this very cool game :slight_smile:


Welcome to the forums and congratz on s-rank so quickly thats pretty amazing :smiley:


Thanks! Great to see that the developers make posts on the forums :slight_smile:


Decklist or it didn’t happen.

Just kidding.

But seriously.



Haha, I actually posted it in another thread today too:

Still not 100% sure about the Primus Fists, but the rest is pretty solid. I only played one other person on ladder running the Huntress/Kolossus combo, but stand by it, particularly after the recent dispel nerfs.


Nice deck, kinda similar to one of my Magmar decks. I really like the Kolossus-Moloki combo too. usually by that time people have used their dispel on other cards, like Young Silithar and Gro :stuck_out_tongue:


What was your win rate with this deck? Especially in Diamond.


That’s a good question. I don’t have the stats, as I slowly refined it throughout Diamond, but after struggling with another variant, this was the version which took me from Diamond 2 to S-rank. I would guess around 60-80%?

As mentioned before, the relatively frequent disconnects really didn’t help. And also at those ranks you get matched with a lot of S-rank players, and I found I lost virtually every game to anyone in the top-50.

Interestingly, probably the key change was putting in the Saberspine Tigers, which I’d cut before. The extra reach/flexiblity turned out to be really great, especially with Thumping Wave.

@Aeruniel Yes, it feels so good when they just pause for 10 seconds, swap a card, and pause for another 20 seconds, and you realise they have no dispels left :slight_smile:


fyi it is possible to play around both mist dragon seal and juxtaposition, just really really hard. So basically you can do this in two ways one of which is really easy and one of which is pretty hard/basically a pipe dream depending on your faction. The first way is if you are afraid specifically of backstab you can easily just park your ass on the wall and play against juxt so if he mist dragons a backstab unit in its not even that good. If you are afraid of not just backstab but say a chakri avatar to play around EITHER you need two provokes and to be against an edge of the map with the two provokes overlapping and covering all spots. To play around BOTH you need three provokes which is pretty ridiculously hard and probably not happening but hey gogo sky phalanx lol


Welcome to the community, nice to see more friendly players come in even though we’re already pretty full of great members!