Question for Deckbuilding


Last month was the first time I hit S-rank, but even then I felt like I wasn’t fully optimizing my decks to their fullest potential. I have somewhat of a concept of when cards aren’t performing well/at all when testing out decks, but So I wanted to ask the community everything there is to deckbuilding in Duelyst, mainly (but not limited to):

  • How much removal to run and what kind (dispel, hard vs soft, AoE)
  • How many win conditions a deck should have
  • Consistency and the amount of x1, x2, and x3s in a deck
  • How to know what your deck should and should not contain
  • Spell-to-Minion-to-Artifact Ratios
  • Deck Staples and when said Staples don’t fit
  • Amount of Healing to run
  • Tech choices/Flex spots and Faction necessities/playstyles

EDIT: What should certain Factions consider when building decks in regards to my above question. Mainly in regards to Songhai, Vetruvian, and Magmar (my favorite/most played factions atm), but I want to learn all I can about deck building, including when creating decks for the other 3 factions.
Any advice or guides pertaining to this would be much appreciated :relaxed:

Deck Building Help

This is a little open ended, you kinda have to tell us what kind of deck it is, there’s no golden ratio that works for every deck :smile:

That said my main suggestion would be to simply take out what doesn’t perform well, and replace it with things that fill a need within your deck. Like if you find yourself losing to large minions or ranged value generators, add more removal, or if you get bursted a lot either make your deck more aggressive or add more healing. :smile:


This really really REALLY depends on your type of deck.
I will give it a try.

  1. Some Dispel is never bad, at least 2 hard removal (for high priority, especially backline minions i.e. Kelaino). AoE, depends on deck aggressiveness, lax and slow deck will run at least 2, rather aggressive deck may not run any at all.

  2. How many? Ehh, 1 (whether it be 1, 2 or 3 copies) if it’s reliable, i.e. Spiral Technique, Meldhai combo, OTK combos, etc.
    2 or more, if its susceptible to removal/dispel, i.e. Nosh-rak, Excelsious, etc.

  3. 1x : Something you want to see rarely and is mostly for a specific matchup, i.e. 1x Sunbreaker, 1x Crossbones
    2x : A card that you’re fine with drawing in most matches, but don’t want clogging your hand, i.e. expensive cards, (win conditions, game enders, spells or minions, i.e. Obliterate, Nosh-rak, Silithar Elder, Circle of Life)
    3x : Important card, you want to draw it frequently and multiple times a match if possible, i.e. Aymara, Makantor, Pax, Windblade Adept, Lantern Fox, Holy Immolation

  4. Depends on deck type, your objective is to reach your win condition while disrupting theirs. Add cards that support this. (Control decks tend to be more disruptive because their win conditions have some level of inevitability due to them being big minions, Aggro/Combo on the other hand, want to instead reach their win condition faster while running the right support cards to make sure it doesn’t get disrupted too easily)

  5. Depends on Faction, Deck type, General etc. Most of the time, 0-3 Artifacts (i.e. 3x Ankh, 3x Arclyte, 3x SpecBlade). Possibly more in cases of artifact heavy decks, i.e. CrankyHai, OTK Sajj, One-man Vaath etc. In general, Songhai decks (especially Reva) tend to have a heavier spell count, Spellhai having nearly 70-75% of it’s deck weight in spells. While something like Midrange Kaleos might have ~25% Spell density.

  6. Staples? Important cards, ones you will be able to and probably should include in 98%+ of decks. They are called staples for a reason, it’s not likely that it won’t fit. i.e. Aymara, Makantor, Holy Immo, 4WM etc.

  7. Depends, (read 4.) disruptive decks want to reach their win condition over time and not die on the way, hence, more healing (i.e. 2x or even 3x Earth Sphere, 3x Sundrop Elixir, etc.) Aggressive decks want to reach their wincon ASAP, so very little if any healing and instead more aggressive cards to help reach that wincon ever more quickly (i.e. Aggro Reva not running healing, most ObelyVet running maybe x3 Mystic and x3 Aymara max)

  8. Tech choices is ABSOLUTELY dependent on meta. Lots of Swarm? run more AoE. Creep Cassy going up? run more burst damage. Aggro Reva on the rise? more delay and healing tactics. Flex spots are very dependent on deck, some have very little to none, while others can feasibly change a third of their card count and still be functional. Faction Necessities (read 6.), playstyle depends on Faction/Decktype/General. SimCity Vet? quick, take control of board, chunk your opponent down and attempt to blow them out with a Stars Fury. OTK Sajj? Delay, deal chip damage until you’ve collected the necessary cards and then execute your opponent. Control Healyonar? Use heal triggers and Zir’an + SForgeLancer buffs to control board before wearing down your opponent and smashing their face in with Sunriser + Immolation heal triggers or beat them to death with an Excelsious using the healing capabilities of the deck to outlast your opponent’s damage.

Hope that was a decent write-up :smiley:
I assure you, this didn’t come close to covering everything because your question is as open-ended as the confusion over the Siphon nerf (RIP Vetruvian). If you want details, feel free to ask!

 -  Phayze Starstrider, Captain of the Guard to the House of Starstrider


This depends heavily upon your goal, the overall speed of your deck, and how your minions can deal with threats themselves. That said, your removal should come after your minions to patch up any holes in the ability to deal with threats that the other parts of your deck might have.

I think that a “win condition” as is generally thought of in deckbuilding around here can be sort of narrow - as opposed to cards, you want to think strategies. The cards help further those strategies. Want to win with Variax? That doesn’t mean you want to win with Variax - that means you want to play for the long, grindy game, and should equip yourself as such.

This varies from player to player. Mara M83 just put up an article on 9moons that goes over all of Solafid’s decklists from last month, and he plays 3x of every single card he chooses to play. Other people like some more options, and might play some 2-ofs. However, for 1-ofs, I’d probably say to never have more than 1, and at that, it should always be some sort of finisher. unless you’re in gauntlet and only got offered one crossbones :smile:

This is sort of funky - I think it’s related to what was said above, about having a goal in mind. You have to think about what each card wants. If I’m playing a Shadowdancer, then the cards that support it would be swarm cards; I can’t play Shadowdancer in a Lilithe deck that wants to stall with lifegain, because there’s just not enough room to fit the stuff in. I think the easiest way to explain this is that certain cards support one another - Wraithling Swarm supports Shadowdancer, for example. You could break cards down further than this, but I’m not going to here.

That just depends on what you want to do, like gabriek said.

Staples are staples because they usually do fit. It goes back, again, to looking at your overall strategy - are you playing swarm lyonar with Skywind Glaives? Then you might not want Ironcliffes. That sort of thing.

This depends a lot on how aggressive you want to be. If you want to play a shorter game, then healing is probably not too important to you - you’re going to be spending your health as a resource more often, in order to gain board. If you want to play a longer game, then you probably want more healing, just so burn cards can’t kill you over the course of a game, and so you can still use your health as a resource without killing yourself in the higher number of instances you’d maybe want to do so.

Flex spots are any cards that you deem useful, but not necessary to the overall gameplan of your deck - most two-drops are this, as well as 3 drops, and value-4 drops like Sunsteel Defender. Tech cards above 4 mana are both rare and sort of difficult to use - do you want more of them, but are they useless when they’re not countering that specific thing, e.g. Hallowed Grovekeeper?


I think all these questions deserve very different answers, depending on your deck, faction and play style. I think a lot of testing is the best answer to refactor the deck…


Sorry for the broadness of my question, I just really wanted to learn as much as I can in regards to deck building, and so far I am really grateful for all the feedback that I’ve gotten ^^. I guess to try and make it more narrow, what should each faction take into consideration when building a deck? (of course, their will be contingencies due to the variability of decks, but I want to just have a quick overview of what each faction should take into account of in terms of availability and limitations of options).


I’m mainly playing the shiny knights of righteousness, so I’ll be answering your questions from the bespoken point of righteousness.

Don’t run any single-target removal because single-target removal is for cowards. In thy kingdom of glory we worship bravery and bravery alone. Running from danger and removing minions with spells is for women and old folks. The exception being Tempest. No shame in punishing those who have to resort to sheer numbers to beat you.

Forty. Because when you play forty win conditions you are guaranteed to draw at least one of them in every game! All kidding aside, every single card you play should bring you closer to victory. Luckily, if you’re Lyonar, all your cards are made up of raw power and manliness so no matter what you do, you’ll always have lots of win conditions.

Rule of thumb: play 3 copies of your good cards, 2 copies of your situational cards and 1 copy of your “finishers”. But because we’re Lyonar, we have no traditional finishers, so it’s only 2- and 3-ofs for us. Typical 2-ofs are Tempest, Sun Bloom and Divine Bond, or in other words: “spells”. Or in other words: cowards’ weapons. Don’t play too many of them. Leave that to the weak-bodied factions like Songhai or Vanar. They need to make up for their lack of backbone by resorting to that kind of trickery.

This one is very simple. Your deck should contain cards that kill your opponent and should not contain cards that do not kill your opponent. Foolproof. Works every time.

I already answered this questions in parts, but I’ll reiterate: play minions, because the road to redemption is through your opponent’s skull. Preferably with a fist. They say that those who live by the sword die by the sword, but that’s rubbish. Those who live be the sword use it to make others die by the sword. So put as many minions into your deck as possible. Only play those spells that offer you something that no minion can offer you. An easy ratio looks like this:

All of the minions : all of the Holy Immolations you have : all of the Arclyte Regalias you have

If you fancy yourself a master stratego, you can also play Tempests and Sun Blooms, but know that no honour lies in wait for those to use trickery and cunning. Nothing says “strategic mastermind” like a huge sword.

Sun Bloom
Windblade Adept
Silverguard Knight
Arclyte Regalia
Holy Immolation
Spelljammers or Trinity Oath

The rest is more situational and depends on what you want to achieve (other than supreme victory of course).

None. Healing is for those who fear death. You don’t fear death. You’re a LION!

No tech cards. Lyonar is not the place for tech cards. Except if you’re Zir’an. Then your whole existence is like a tech card.

General play style is easy: play manly dudes, attack the opposing general with your manly dudes and let your opponent do all the thinking. After all, you’re Lyonar. You didn’t enlist to think.

Hope this helps you, OP. Even if you have yet to discover the path of righteousness. It’s never too late. Not even for Songhais.


The very broad answer to all your questions is, depends on what kind of deck you’re using or wanting to make.

I’ve find a good first step to go about deck building in general, is to think how is the deck going to win. Is it by going aggressive to the face, controlling your opponent, reaching a late game goal, outvaluing your opponent’s minions etc.

But more importantly is to build a deck, rebuild it and rebuild it again. Don’t just make one version of the deck, make several versions over the course of a day or two and compare what you have done between them all. To use an expression “can’t see the forest for the trees”. Sometimes making several decks helps your mind to see which cards are important as you’ll consistently have those cards in the each deck, what is more flexible by not appearing in every deck and what is probably not needed or more of a tech card. Playing decks also does the same process but building multiple decks allows you to think to over what you’ve made, what looks more useful etc without having the need to go into games (if you don’t want to risk ranking on a test deck).

Also being able to practise against people you know can also help a lot since both sides are able to talk about the match, what happened, did bad draws affected the match, what could have gone better, what cards could have been better replacements etc etc.


This part is where i died.[quote=“nickDigger, post:7, topic:7516”]
Except if you’re Zir’an. Then your whole existence is like a tech card.

Lmao wtf.

Anyway let me try to answer your questions @akurane

How much removal to run and what kind

Every deck needs at bare minimum 3 soft removal or hard removal cards, soft removals such as dispel cards or thumping wave are always useful in decks because no matter how good your deck is you need someway to spoil your opponent’s fun or otherwise a good comeback mechanic Never run too much removal though, because unlike other card games duelyst only allows for six card to be in a hand at a time. I would say in a mid-range deck 5 removal is a sweet spot.

[details=How many win conditions a deck should have]
I think a deck should have 1 win condition; reasoning for this is that if your deck is trying to achieve too many things without a clear purpose then your gonna have a hard time finishing your opponent or even maintaining a decent board presence. If your a Sajj artifact swarm dervish deck then your gonna feel bad cause your gonna be trying to build up obelysk while also trying to develop artifacts to finish your opponent. All this while trying to react to your opponent’s plays. This would require a deck full of obelysk, artifacts, card draw, removal and despair. However though i think that all top tier decks require a backup plan so that if something happens and their game plan becomes impossible to be able to grind out the opponent.[/details]

Consistency and the amount of x1 x2 x3 in a deck

I dont think any deck should have one copy of a card unless the card is like obliterate that mostly does nothing after the first one is used or geomancer that literally does nothing after use. Even with these kind of cards i would run 2 copies to increase the chances of drawing them, but never ever run 3 of these kinds of card because 2 is already a stretch sometimes. A card that would be run as a 2 of would be those that are more so of tech cards or finishers such as Nosh-Rak, Elucidator, Zephyr, Lightbender or healing cards like Earth Sphere and trinity oath. Basically cards that you will not play as soon as you draw them but are good for keeping you alive or reacting to your opponent. If a mana spot in your deck is highly populated then a x2 of a card in that slot will have to be considered if you wont take it out. Like if i had a Magmar deck with Gro, Young silithar and Rancour i would put only x2 Rancour because the card does little compared to the other two from my experience. Then finally a card that would be run x3 is a core card that you basically see in every deck from that faction and will always be good no matter the situation like pax, gro, silverguard Knight, Aymara Healer, Holy Immolation and Makantor Warbeast. On the other hand you should always run at least x3 of a specific 2 drop in your deck to better the chances of drawing one on your first turn. Most cards in your deck should be x3 unless they meet the statements i made in the previous explanation of x1 and x2.

How to know what your deck should and should not contain

Your deck should contain the cards that support your win condition, some overall efficient minions for when your game plan diverts and the removal discussed in the first question

[details=Spell-to-Minion-to-Artifact ratios]
This depends on your faction and archetype. Mostly though it is always better to run more minions than spells because having a hand full of spells is how you lose a game in Duelyst. For artifact the most you should run are 3 copies of a high quality one such as Regalia, Adamantite Claws or White Asp. Reason i didn’t place any vetruvian ones here is because in an artifact Sajj deck your gonna run like 6 artifacts at least. At the end of the day always run like 25 minions, 10 spells and the rest in artifacts if your deck contains all three.[/details]

Deck Staples and when said Staples dont fit

For this one your gonna have to do research on various competitive decklist in order to see what cards seem to somehow always make it into those decks because they are powerful. In order to know if a staple doesnt fit your archetype and feels forced then your gonna have to test them yourself also.

Amount of Healing to run

If you are running a control deck then run atleast 6 efficient healing cards. This category depends on how fast the meta is and the meta will always have brainless aggro decks so you should run x3 of a healing card unless your in a faction with no healing card like songhai. But even in this class you can run Four Winds for heals. Basically the slower your deck the more healing cards you are going to need to run. To know the pace of your deck analyse the mana curve of it.

Tech choices/Flex spots and Faction necessities/ playstyles

This depends on how prevalent a specific deck is. If cassyva’s creep deck is everywhere in the meta then lightbender will become a staple deck card or if Mechazor decks become popular then Crossbones will become powerful

What should Factions consider when building decs

If you play Vetruvian then you need to full your deck nerf threads

Hope this helped you out and remember this is all my opinion and im not a super good player but i know how to make my decks consistent enough.


papa bless this


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