I will preface this by noting that I have not been playing Duelyst too long, so this deck shouldn’t be expected to bring you to S-Rank or anything.
Since I intend this mostly for newer players who are struggling down in the low ranks, I’m going to be going into high detail. If you know the game well, this deck should seem pretty simplistic so no need to read most of the breakdown.
This deck focuses on aggressive tempo and value plays.
What does that mean?
An aggressive deck is one that focuses on trying to kill the opponent as fast as possible, often featuring many low cost cards with the intention of overwhelming the opponent before they can get a foothold in the game.
Tempo is a little more complicated but in it’s simplest definition, tempo refers to whether you are are the aggressor or the defender at any given time. A simple way to tell who “has tempo,” or is the aggressor, in the game is to look and try to determine who has the strongest minions on the board, usually that will mean that the opponent will need to play more defensively, possibly making low value plays in the interest of staying alive or setting up for a future turn.
Now to value, value is also a bit complicated sometimes, but again I will offer a simple definition: value is how much mana and how many cards you are spending versus how much your opponent is spending to counteract each other’s plays. Example: you have played Yun, a 3 mana 5/4. Your opponent has a Putrid Deadflayer, a flying 3 mana 2/4. Your Yun attacks and kills the Putrid Deadflayer. Your Yun has now killed a 3 mana card of your opponents and is still alive to take another card from them like a True Strike, a 1 mana spell that deals 2 damage to a minion. Your Yun, which was 1 card for 3 mana took 2 cards for 4 mana to kill. You have “out-valued” your opponent in that exchange.
Now to the deck list and the breakdown.
x1 Starhorn the Seeker
x2 Greater Fortitude
x3 Razor Skin
x3 Natural Selection
x3 Golden Mantella
x2 Repulsor Beast
x3 Saberspine Tiger
x1 Nature’s Confluence
x2 Plasma Storm
x1 Zurael, the Lifegiver
Before we get into the full break down, I will note that there are some Battle Pets that cannot be put into a deck, but are rather acquired by playing other cards that will give them to you. These special Battle Pets are very powerful and only cost 1 mana each, making them high value, which is what we really want.
First up for the cards, Starhorn. This is an aggressive deck that focuses on getting value and tempo. That means often your cards will take at least one of your opponent’s and fairly often will take two due to their unusually high stats. This means you drawing a card is much more useful than your opponent drawing a card. As well, keep an eye on your opponent’s hand size. If their hand is full (6/6 cards), if you use your Bloodborn Spell, your opponent will not draw a card, instead the card that they would have drawn is discarded.
Next we have Greater Fortitude, +2/+2 to a minion is quite strong for 1 mana and can catch your opponent off guard by letting a minion survive when they otherwise would not have.
Koi, highly underrated in my experience. A 3/1 for 1 that can attack the enemy general without fear is quite threatening and often they will need to overcommit to killing it by using removal spells or throwing a higher cost minion at it.
Razor Skin. A star player for sure. Most of the minions in this deck already favor attack over health, and you will tend to have at least 2 on the board, so giving them +1 attack lets them kill very large minions and give you good value. Then on top of that, you are given a random battle pet. Couldn’t ask for a better 1 mana spell for this deck.
Rex. annoying for sure, not entirely convinced on it’s effectiveness in some matches but when he’s good, he is amazing. Having a 3/1 stat line and rebirth makes him very annoying to deal with since he will likely kill something and then his egg will still have to be killed after him. A reviving 3/1 isn’t a game-winner on it’s own, but forcing your opponent to use at least 2 attacks on him does give him good value.
Amu is solid. A 3/3 for 2 mana is good value, that’s about all. It’s good to note that it can be played turn one no matter which side your on and starting off the game with a 3/3 with something to follow it up the next turn can really help you snowball into a victory.
Gro. Oh Gro how I love thee, shall I count the ways? A threatening Battle Pet if i’ve ever seen one. 4 health is hard to kill off, especially if he is your turn 1 play. More often than not he will grow at least twice if you play him on turn 1. Excellent value every time.
Natural Selection is admittedly a somewhat odd choice to see in an aggressive deck, but since most of the minions here have high attack, or at least tend to have higher base attack than most minions of their mana cost, you will almost always have at least one enemy to target with this.
Sol, not strong on it’s own but the usefulness comes from being able to buff a battle pet, then immediately make it attack. Usually you would have to wait. Note the problem between Sol and Natural Selection however and be careful about what order you play your cards in. Sol will often make Natural Selection a dead card until they die.
Golden Mantella, aggressive stats as a 4/2 and gives you a Battle Pet to play with him. Good value all around even if he gets killed by a 1 mana card or something.
Repulsor Beast is just a good card to have in most aggressive decks. Provoke is very troublesome, so you play a Repulsor Beast and send the provoke minion off to the corner to think about what they’ve done.
Saberspine Tiger, more often than not used either as removal or a finisher on the enemy general. 3/2 isn’t too bad for stats, if he gets buffed, he can be quite a threat.
Yun, a 5/4 for 3 is great tempo and value. it’s rare that a 2 drop has 4 attack so will almost always at least trade evenly and because of it’s 5 attack, it can often kill higher cost minions easily.
Nature’s Confluence, the nail in the coffin most of the time or a way to scramble back into position. getting 4 battle pets for one card is crazy value. There is only one since 5 mana is really heavy for a deck like this, you almost certainly do not want this in your opening hand.
Plasma Storm. Strange that an aggressive deck has a card that could kill most of their own board, but a lot of the cards that are problematic for this deck do have 3 attack or less. In addition, it is a game winner against another aggro deck since you will have better control over your hand due to your Bloodborn Spell.
Rawr, another card that is a nail in the coffin for your opponent. Being a 3/7 makes him hard to kill without hitting him 2 or 3 times. Since he puts the Battle Pets right into play rather than into your hand, that usually means your opponent has a small army on top of them now.
Zurael, the Lifegiver. Honestly, I first put this in because it was my only legendary and I wanted to try it but it has won me a few games. If your opponent clears your board, you just say “that was nifty. mind trying it again? This time i’ll add a 4/7 though.”
The deck is simple, good for new players, doesn’t really take too much to make with just two legendaries and one epic. Not really for climbing too high in the ranks but it’s real good for getting up through bronze and pretty good for silver.