New Keywords & Faction Idea


Heyo all, yesterday I had thought about the idea of bring a new keyword to Duelyst and I wanted to share it to you and developers about it.

Update: Thanks to @shatteredskys input, I came up with an additional keyword that could possibly connect a theme of a mystical/ritual type of tribe. The 1st keyword LINK and all its content is still provided below, but I am putting the 2nd keyword above as it is newer content.

Keyword: Spirit - Upon death, leave a soul that may be obtained by an ally for a +1 Health bonus. Enemies may deny this by placing their own bodies on these tiles.

Idea: Much like Link, this keyword would promote board interaction through fighting to obtain or deny the other of these soul bonuses.

Keyword: SPIRIT

This would assist in General trading and provide a benefit if immediately followed up by a minion on board or to summon.


Took a long time to come up with, but suits the theme, 1 health (sacrifice just waiting to die :slight_smile:).

Any evaluation is appreciated on this one.

I really like this one, trades a bit of initial stats for high mobility possibilities, creating the possibility of getting those back row ranged/blast minions. By placing it directly on a spirit would allow it to start at 4/4 too.

A Godzilla of sorts. Doesn’t have the immediate presence of Makantor, but better suited on taking out larger individual units. Please note that the absorption only takes effect when Soul Stealer attacks


With an theme around mystical/ritualistic, I enjoy the idea of bringing in some “ethereal” aspects. I like the potential elusivity that this provides. +1 Attack per soul provides some benefit for 3 mana, but not enough to warrant a require addressing from the opponent.

They don’t stop coming! Yea, but they’re easy to kill. The +1 Health souls come to life, similar to the previous artifact in a different approach; not too bad for awhile, leaving it alone for too long will cause a headache. (Like most 3 mana cards)


Some potential value and incentive to use. Simple.

Note they aren’t immediately active when casting on souls (no Rush).

Again, not much to say.

Assists in minion durability and potential to spread our some souls for utility or more health.

Idea branched from Vet’s psychic conduit but Health, which suits thematically too.

[details=Keyword: LINK]

The keyword would be LINK: Every minion who shares the LINK keyword would gain +1 Attack, +1 Health.

I was cautious about the idea of an overpowered keyword, but I think this fits in fairly.

From here, I actually went ahead and spent an hour or two running with this, went to create some custom cards, so here they are (with explanations where I felt warranted). Please check through the card ideas AND explanations BEFORE commenting.

To best display and explain the ideology, I want to start with what I would pose its base minion would be:

Explanation: Imagine 1st turn playing from right side of field. If you played 2 of these (because of extra mana), you would get 2 3/3’s. HOWEVER, if the enemy killed one, the remaining LINK minion would no longer have his ally, and being alone, gets no benefit, reducing back down to 2/2.

This provides an average of 2.5 on the numbers, which is equivalent to almost every other faction’s 2 mana minion (ahem except Obelysks).

Edit: Thinking about the likes of Windblade Adept’s 2/3 Zeal, Kaido Assasin 2/3 Backstab, and Magmar’s Phalanxar 6/1, I think the 2 mana LINK minion would be more suited for 3/2, as 2 would provide 4/3, equivalent to Windblade Adept nearby their general. 2/2, 3/2, either way, it’s all theory.

The rest of the deck

Again, this was all done in about a couple of hours, but this is how I scurried things together off the idea.


Edited: Removed a previous general from this list.

^Personally, this seems 100% fair and suited to the game.

^Provides a 1 turn buff for the general and allies. Again, I think this would be fair and thematic to the other cards I provide below.[/details]


Already mentioned.

Lower base stats than other faction 3’s, but compensated to be roughly equivalent due to LINK. A proper need for enemies to not let LINK minions and this one get out of hand (easy enough). Perhaps 1/3 is better, since the player would likely get one attack in immediately.

The meatshield of the deck. I really like this idea.

I thinks this deck would be psynergize nicely with the Forcefield keyword. Can expect this minion to be at least 4/4, and 3/3 forcefield is still decent (but clearly not getting it’s value in this case, which you shouldn’t :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:)

The idea here is that the minion has the attack of the sum of all other LINKed minions (+base 2). Originally had the health included in the text, but realized a dispel would completely shatter it’s value. 2/5 has SOME value if dispelled. This could be weak, or very strong, all depending on play. With that variance, I think it’s fair for a 7 mana.[/details]

I only have one at the moment that I came up with :cry:

Should say Gain +1 Attack. The idea here is the theme of uniformity among troops, rallying others alongside (and across the entire LINK keyword). This should probably cost more mana, but conceptually I like a lot. (Probably 4 mana)[/details]


I’m uncertain on the mana cost and “draw a card” addition since you ARE having to sacrifice a body to make one stronger.

I don’t know the title, text, AND mana cost on this one. The idea would be taking a small chunk out of all teammates to summon a greater one. So, having 3 minions out on the field, 1 damage from each to summon a 3/3, 5 minions take damage to summon a 5/5, etc.

NOTE: THIS minion shouldn’t have LINK if it’s 1 damage, as all LINK ones would just regain it. To combat this, the spell would require at least 2 damage, which might be more fair? I don’t know, again, it’s all theory. Maybe 2 mana if it’d be like this?

Simple idea. 4 or 5 mana, as this can be a very strong buff when neutral minions come into the mix.

I REALLY like this one, and because it only involves mobility, 2 mana seems very fair. I think some interesting fights and combos could be utilized with this. (If needed to state, they would all move in the same direction, hitting and enemy minion or wall would of course stop the motion for that minion.)

Not sure if Reserves or Reinforcement is better titled. Very apt name if the general is losing, as it’d summon (in essence) a 4/4, 3/3 and 2/2. If ahead, this would raise ally LINK minions with +3 Attack and +3 Health. As I’m typing, I think this’d be a 7 mana card, but I still think it’d fair.[/details][/details]

I hope people like the idea and at least inspires some additional fun for everyone. Please comment and provide input and your own supportive ideas/cards into the mix.

Thanks for looking through! :smiley:

How Would you Design this 'Scholar Faction?'

I think itd make more sense if it was more like zeal or infiltrate, in the sense that it would be **Link:**insert effect here and that effect would activate when near another link minion. But other than that very interesting idea :smile:

Although the current iteration is interesting it’s also a little plain :slight_smile:


Super interesting, would love to see some more keywords or mechanics other than battlepet in the new future. This would add a ton of depth to the gameplay through all the positioning and counter positioning.


I personally was not associating it with Zeal, nor thought it to be activated when nearby another minion. I was looking at it where the player aims to amass an army, while the enemy aims to keep the number of minions down.

Restricting it to just nearby would reduce some interesting ideas of introducing Ranged, Blast, or Rush with Link.

On the flip side, I need to make a note to disregard the first general BBS, dropping a neutral ranged minion and giving it link could be a HUGE and OP thing. :sweat_smile:


Appreciated. As I was typing this, a post from long ago got brought up on the side about a tile gimmick similar to shadow creep (think it was “sanctuary” tiles or something); that might fit in well as this faction/keyword’s gimmick.


I think it would make a lot of sense if the link buff was for nearby minions, creating a literal link between them. You would be rewarded for being able to maintain your line, likewise opponents would be rewarded for breaking it. It adds a lot of interaction to the mechanic, and opens up a lot of strategy. You could also add additional ways to assist the mechanic, like having a spell that links all minions for the turn no matter their position or having the tiles that act as a link (which would also give the minions the buff).

Your 7 mana is fine, there’s way stronger 7 drops out there. Could perhaps change it to gaining attack of all LINKED minions instead so that the wording is the same as Protector.

Soulmates is a bit strong. Yes you have to sacrifice a creature, but it’s the burst potential that gives it most of its power. Essentially gives any minion rush for 1 mana as long as you have another minion that can damage the enemy general. Making it 2 mana would probably be better; keeping the card draw promotes using it for its intended purpose instead of just saving it as a finisher, so I like the idea of keeping it.

Unify is also probably a little strong. I would increase it to 2 mana. Alternatively, I would make it like 3-4 mana and give the summoned minion LINK.

I really like your idea, it’s neat and it’s clear you put a lot of thought and work into it. I encourage you to take it further; make the faction that goes to this keyword. Who are they? What is their aesthetic? Their culture and history? You should also add more depth to the class cards, maybe creating another keyword or mechanic that is unrelated but can possibly synergize with LINK. Keep up the good work.


I replied to a previous comment about this idea :smile: I personally dislike the restrictiveness of it and the similarity it would have with Zeal. As things stand, it’s all theoretical and the idea of Link activating nearby or not is all preference haha.

Sounds much better haha. Thanks.

I think 2 damage, Attack & Health = # of minions damaged, with Link, 2 mana (since some of your minions are likely dying).

In addition to this, if there was a spell to heal all friendly minions for one health as a 1 mana card would allow a potential combo. Spitballin’

I have no real clue. The theme rings similar towards Lyonar to me, but I’m not one on visual and story design :sweat_smile: If you or anyone wanted to chip in their own ideas here, it’s more than welcome :slight_smile:

Thank you for your input!


Hey! :slight_smile: Nice work so far.

Anyway here’s my opinion. Personally, I think the Link keyword is a bit too snowbally to be a thing. From what I see it can either fall flat on its face or completely run out of control. It’s based on understatted minions buffing each other, this means if you build a board you’re going to run over your opponent with sheer stats, since they all buff one another, once you get on board it’s be incredibly hard to come back(Outside of Vanar, strong AOE is scarce.). At the same time if you fall behind with Link it’s very difficult to retake the board because you’re running undercosted minion, if they can’t get the Link bonus then you’re going to be very behind. Considering minions in Duelyst tend to last two to three turn, Link minions might not have the chance to set up and snowball.

Also I don’t think it’s a good idea to center an entire faction on one Keyword, you would need to create an absurd amount of Link cards to make a deck like this function since Link wants to work with itself.

If you want to make lore you could make them a Native American type of faction that gains strength through their spiritual connection with another? Just my two cents.

Here are my thoughts on individual cards:

7 2/5:
This is probably REALLY bad. 7 Mana is a very hard mana core to make work because it’s so late into the game. Vanilla’s simply don’t cut it, cards like Slithar Elder and Ancient Grove who have some kind instant or threatening effect don’t see play often because they’re too slow. Also it’s a win more card. If you had a board that could buff this card enough you are probably already winning really hard.

Probably bad, it’s a lot of mana for something your minions should already have. If you’re playing a Link deck you should ideally run few to no non Link creatures and you don’t want to invest that much mana into the few non-Link minions you are running.


You state a lot of overlapping ideas, but I think you are right; a risk of link would be snowballing or being snowballed. I think the best way to counteract this risk is by proper count management.

I didn’t create a 1 mana Link minion card for this specific reason.

I tried to utilize both generals BBS to assist their Link minions if they find they are too shy of them. Thereby, aiming to have not too many Link minions to overwhelm, but not too few that even one or two should be relevant.

What I like about Link is that it causes a back and forth mentality between aggressiveness and withdrawal on both sides of play. The opponent would be expected to continue their aggression if they knocked the Link player down, and vice versa. As you mentioned, this COULD lead to snowballing (again, the generals should help to mitigate that), but that’s also not unusual in Duelyst haha.

I like your idea spiritual connection thought to run with. I agree about the amount of Link cards. I wouldn’t look to have any additional Link minions, but would probably look to incorporate a 2nd general that could still fit the spiritual/soul theme. I have taken note that each faction generally has 2 core archetypes and would have to consider how to mold it in with another concept (whether terrain/tile focused or keyword focused)

100% right, thank you for addressing this one. I’ll have to reconsider. It may be tough since as you said, Link works on the idea that if you’re winning, you’re winning more; if you’re not, this won’t be much. Thanks a lot again for this one.


I have similar idea, but you write it first


I was gonna write a long comment but all keep it short, if your not running a link deck both generals are useless no other faction can say this. also both generals have keywords in their spells i’m pretty sure no other faction can say that either.


If you’re referencing the “both” part, it’s just 2 ideas, more of an “either or”. For keywords though,
Songhai 1/1 Ranged Minion
Abyssian 1 dmg, Shadow Creep if dies

This is true, but I don’t think it’d be too much of an issue? To see a faction NOT use their faction cards would be extremely odd. Again, maybe you’re going with the “both” fact and I just misunderstood.


I kinda saw them as white robots with blue lighting. Kinda like z0r, but more humanoid. And now that I think about it, they’re not actually individuals but more like one big supercomputer, acting in complete unity because they share the same consciousness. This would make sense with the link mechanic as supercomputers get stronger the more things are hooked up to it.


This brought an alternative idea in mind.

Program: Select a keyword upon being summoned (non-rush)

Spells could be something like-

-Crash: upon death, stuns nearby enemies
-Debug: Restore a minion to it’s original state
-AI: Copy a program minion to that of a nearby minion

The thematic idea that this supercomputer has adapted and learned from the other factions sounds neat.

Keyword Brainstorming: Design Discussion

I like the program ability, adds a lot of flexibility to cards, although balancing stats for all of the keywords would be horrible.


Good, point, but may be possible. May also be done by providing stat changes for each keyword chosen (displayed for them upon selecting).

It’d be like a “cost” to equip the keyword.

Alternatively, using (probably 3 mana) “optimizing” cards that cause exhaustion offer both the player to attempt to implement what they’d like, but also gives the opponent the opportunity to address the change.


So they’re cards that’re multiple cards? That might be broken as you can save a LOT of deckspace, and there’d almost never be a bad time to play them. I’d maybe balance it by making some battle pets, and others late game cards.


It’d save deckspace, but it’d slow your tempo on board since the condition for the card would be on non-exhausted program minions. And with a 3 mana cost, the player would have to really look to commit to the change.

I feel re-exhaustion is a fair trade towards this much adaptability. As it makes benefits players who choose proper keyword and punishes the player for misjudging the situation and opponent.


Or maybe: “At the cost of -1 Health, you may change this unit’s keyword at the start of each turn.”


My worry is that allowing immediate use of a keyword like Blast, Frenzy, Rebirth or Flying, the opposing player would feel that it’s completely unfair, as they simply cannot prepare for every possibility.