Power Creep? Pay to Win? Highest rank - budget deck?


I’m silver and have only been playing since October (fairly casually). I see a trend oftentimes where I get beat out by epic and legendary cards that my lack of cards simply don’t feel like can compete with. With the addition of the latest expansion, I feel like my chance in winning, or even playing a game where it feels competitive, has diminished. This feeling was further supported when I watched 2 diamond players who had cards/decks that were simply way out of my available card selection and spirit budget.

The questions I have are (1) if power creep is prevalent in Duelyst (since the latest expansion) and (2) if this has led to a pay to win type situation with the game?

I am not asking against CP and Duelyst, and I am ok with this if these are the case; business is business. I just want to ask others if they feel that it is happening, or if it all just my imagination.

For anyone who says power creep isn’t prevalent, since the latest expansion, can I ask how far you have climbed in rank with a low budget deck, and how low was that budget? (I only want personal experience here please as anyone can spout theory and hypotheticals.)


S with Lyonar Trinity Zoo with ZERO legendaries. Super cheap to build.


It’s a new expansion that MEANS new cards. Of course you have to buy or work for them cp is a business not your parents.

On if you can compete that’s all on you and you r lack of skill. The cards/deck you have hasn’t changed learn to use ur deck better make what you can… If you’re a baddie a S tier deck ain’t gonna stop you from losing.

It does make it harder fir newer players I will admit that but they are new we were all there at one time. If you like the game it will reward to u for playing.

Please stop using the buzz word “pay to win” it’s over used and widely misunderstood.


In my opinion the expansion didn’t bring much power creep. Most of the cards that came out in the new expansion are support for underplayed archetypes so it’s not really power creep. The exception is the Burnmar support which was tad overtuned.

As for pay to win, not really. Their are some really cheap decks that you could potentially make S-rank with. Tempo/Aggro Argeon is the main one, it’s incredibly cheap, it runs mostly on commons and rares. You do need Holy Immolation and you need Archlyte Regalia to optimize it but you can cut the Regalias in a budget deck. Some other cheap options are Aggro Faie, Aggromar/Burnmar, and Mech decks. As for how far I’ve gotten with budget decks, the most I’ve climbed with a budgety Lynor list is Diamond I then played Midrange Zirix to S-rank. Once you’ve got a comfortable understanding of the games mechanics you should be able to climb past Gold with nearly any archetype.


Obelysk Vetruvian is quite cheap in it’s own right (aside the 3 Aymara anyway lol) but aside those it pretty much runs on commons and rares and possibly a couple of rare (optional anyway). The Aymara are very important but may not be absolutely vital depending on your rank. If you intend on competing in Diamond with it, you will need the Aymara.


Started play 2 weeks ago, reached rank 16 last season and now rank 17 . Playing for fun and for quests, using mostly magmar basic deck, because it’s easier and faster for me to complete quests with it. Most of time i loose for my mistakes, very few moments where i had no chance at all.


You clearly didn’t even read my post. I am trying to be polite and on topic; your attitude and post was almost completely unnecessary. If you don’t take anything away from my reply, than this’ll make two unnecessary posts.


Hey, can I see the decklist? I’d like to try it out, as I recently blew all my spirit on a Songhai deck.


Thank you.

Could you enlighten me with the deck?

Pun intended. :slight_smile:


The statement on my rank and play time is merely to reflect my lack of knowledge and expertise on all of this. The questions/topics stem more from observations than desire to climb.

Thank you for your insight though.


Power Creep seems to mean different things to different people, so let’s be more specific.

Your decks have more potential when you can choose from all the cards rather than a small portion of cards. That’s not just because there are more great cards available, but also because you have more potential to build synergy (ex. more heal cards). Each time they release an expansion, we get more great cards to choose from AND more synergy potential. A player should be able to build stronger decks if they have bloodborn, rather than if they don’t.

Therefore, each release increases the power of decks in general, and (since it also offers you more cards, good and bad) the expectations for competitive cards keeps getting higher.

But are new cards/sets are as a whole getting stronger and stronger to stay relevant? That’s a lot more nuanced, I think it is partially true. Most Bloodborn cards have some potential in the right deck, the expansion before that had cards like Ace which don’t get played, while the base set has a massive amount of unplayable cards that act like filler. I think the expansions do get a bit stronger, but it’s complicated, many new cards also make old cards more playable.


Is there power creep in the latest expansion? Yes, indubitably, but the whole expansion is $20 or 3900 Gold, which is very pauper. I only started saving Gold since start of the month and I was able to unlock the entire expansion F2P before the end of the month, and I only completed about 75% of the quests for the month.

I ran pauper Sajj for I think the last 16 games to S on my less developed F2P (I have on average about 4x core set Rare per faction here), no Aymara, no Spinecleaver, or other expensive faction crafts. Was 11-5 for the final stretch IIRC, had to beat a top 50 and a top 100 on the way. Message me your IGN and I’ll add you on that account if you want to watch some games of the deck in action for the final climb. My other F2P was substantially more developed and ran less budget decks to S, so probably not as interesting. =S

Version of “Pauperbot 78” I used from Diamond 2 to S:


To start I want try to be mean but trying to nip certain thoughts and the use of a “OVERUSED” word. You may feel that I was being mean but getting good is LITERALLY something you have to do in this game no amount of rares Legends will help you on that.

Your thread header says "power creep pay to win"
Don’t back track from your header it’s what everyone will see in the forums. If you wanted to ask people who don’t use a lot of Legends how they fair on the ladder you could have made a much better thread header but you didn’t.

To me you clearly wanted a echo chamber something I was going to mention in the first comment but out of respect deleted it.

The question your asking is for newer players so of course the odds of them doing bad is extremely high. They are new thus don’t know the game and it’s rules. Don’t have any cards epic rare or legendary thus matches are harder if u can’t remove or deal with threats. Odds re to u not gonna do so great in ladder… And this goes for middle of the road people as well. Though they should have a clear goal on what cards you want what decks you want to try by then.

For newer players it shouldn’t be about coming into a game and doing equal or beating people who have been playing since the Vetruvian ages. You come I to duelyst now you’re coming in a ton of basics and 2 expansions behind same with any card game out.



Closer to topic, but my focus wasn’t on my skill level (I know I’m bad), but on card progression. Due to the recent expansion, I felt that the topic of power creep was more encompassing. “Pay to win” is for sure more of a personal question, but one that I find still relevant to the discussion.

Again, my purpose of my questions wasn’t for uproar or echo chamber, but more of a personal recalibration of my views from insight of higher skilled and more knowledgeable players (both in terms of Duelyst and card games in general).


That’s the 2nd time I’ve seen Holy Immolation brought up.

Is this card (and any faction equivalents) just seen and assumed to be core if one seeks to climb/win among the community? Additionally, was Holy Immolation part of the base set, 1st, or latest expansion?


I want directly talking about your skill but from my experience when a new expansion comes out those that can’t keep up with acquiring new cards have a harder time. Some cards you have to get use too or hope there is a nerf… Holy Imm imo is one of them

Sadly holy immolation is too good a card not to have its damage in a aoe that can heal a ally. It’s cheap enough to use and with Lynors big hp minions finds value in most decks. Plus a the greater of cheese a slo plus holy Imm can clear monsters and leave a monster on the field.


Yes, it is absolutely core and too good not to have, it’s a Lyonar Epic from the base set


It’s been around forever and yes, it’s an extremely powerful and important card for Lyonar.


Aye, this is indeed my circumstance. I’m okay with it; as I said, business is business. League of Legends has/had a habit of doing the same thing to incentivize sales of new champions and skins.

Thanks though to you and all on the input.