Duelyst Forums

Replace Mechanic - The Necessary Evil?


One mechanic I been questioning about ever since the start of Duelyst is the replace mechanic. I did want to talk about this a long time ago, but with the recent expansion, this topic did brought more of my attention than before. I assume us Duelyst players have gotten used to the replace mechanic and the great wonders it gives us. However, with such a great gift comes a potential bad design. I understand that what makes Duelyst different from other related card games is this mechanic and it does fundamental change on how we play the game and build our decks. However, has anyone ever question on why too many decks seem to be too consistent than it should be? The following I am going to list the problems of this mechanics that keeps coming up time to time again.
Combo decks just simply thrive with this mechanic a little bit too much. Don’t get me wrong, I do love combo decks, and individuals should be rewarded if they manage their resources well and making great builds. Right now, it seems incredibly strong if the opponent can get their combo pieces very consistently which is what the replace mechanic does. Good example would be Ragnora with BBS, hatch egg, and use some buff spells. I lost to the same person twice with the same combo. I hated how there is literally no counter to this combo except finishing your opponent fast which can be hard to do at times. But this post isn’t about how people feel about scenarios that are not counterable. The short answer to this is to basically make them lose a little bit of consistency and to work harder to fulfill these win cons.
Mythrons. After many debates I had on the forums, I really needed to know whether if Mythrons are really the main cause of problems currently happening in the game. A somewhat rather nice individual show me what quest cards are in Hearthstone. I’m not too much familiar with Hearthstone, but played it rather brief enough to understand how to play the game and how it functions. The way I interpret quest cards is way different from Duelyst even though it may serve as a similar outcome. The reason why is different is the simple fact that Hearthstone does not have the replace mechanic. Sure, there is a mulligan, but going back to the Combo Decks section, it’s technically not as consistent to get the combo pieces (not saying it isn’t consistent at all). Also, I learned that many decks in the Hearthstone meta don’t even used quest cards. There’s a lot of decks in the meta for Duelyst that doesn’t use Mythron cards as well. Also, one good reason why Wander seems to be dominating is the fact that the opponent tends to have appropriate removal at the right time.
Top Decking isn’t the worst thing in the world at least for this game. Historically, when I played against Lynonar players; when they top deck, I seen a lot of cases where they get Trinity Oath. It’s not necessarily a broken card, but it makes it too convenient to get out of a problematic game state. With the replace mechanic, individuals usually get a second chance to fix their hand.
Not Enough Anti-Replace Cards. This isn’t referring to replace decks, but if Duelyst gets more anti-replace cards, it will be hurting these kinds of deck. Sphynx was going in the right direction in terms of providing to be an anti-replace card; however, it became to awkward for it to be a viable counter for this mechanic. I would love to see more anti- replace. Maybe some cards could have effects like: Neither player can replace cards or Opening Gambit: For the next three turns, neither player can replace cards. I feel having more of these cards could help resolve some of the issues.
Just Simply Finding Lethal A Lot Faster- This may be a weak argument since Duelyst concept is lightning fast games. Some people might prefer slower games. However, it might be nice to get some breathing room from time to time.
Overall, the main idea is that the replace mechanic is one of the main reasons of consistency in Duelyst and could make decks a little too consistent than it should be. Do you think Hearthstone or any related card game should have this mechanic? Short answer: no and it should never have it. So, I have to ask everyone: Is this a necessary or unnecessary evil of a mechanic?


I mean, the mechanic is not good or bad; it’s just there. Replace simply makes decks more consistent. Like if? Great! Don’t like it? No problem, there are a lot more card games without this consistency.

Personally, I think it encourages experimentation with situational cards, and adds another layer of skill for better players to utilize.


I refute the idea that replacing is a bad mechanic or that in any way indicates a poor design. I think it’s an interesting mechanic that Duelyst is able to offer due to the electronic medium of the game.

Each of your points, while somewhat valid, downplays the fact that BOTH players have access to this mechanic in each of their turns. For each threat your opponent replaces to find, you have an opportunity to replace to find an answer or threat of your own.

Also, as you said, Duelyst was intended to be a fast-paced game, and the replace mechanic offers a strategic option while also heightening the pace of the game and smoothing out the curves of decks.

That being said, I think Anti-Replace mechanics are an excellent and interesting idea that could be explored. Sphinx was neat, but he doesn’t have any buddies, a deck based around denying your opponent that advantage while simultaneously increasing your own sounds really interesting.


The replace mechanic makes Duelyst what it is, decks are built around it and games are won off of it.


Barring the actual part that people seem to forget (duelyst is a card game with a BOARD) and the part that makes it really hard to mobile port id assume, replace is just a part of duelyst. A mechanic to give an added layer of consistency. It is equal to both players, and all it really means is “guess I have another chance to get my t1” or “maybe I can topdeck” combo decks like it. But so does control to get answers to aggro. But so does aggro to get the tools to pressure combo. And mix and match and throw em together, thats duelyst.


Completely random draw and hands can decide who wins and who loses regardless of how each player performs. The replace function removes inherent RNG, which is always a good thing.

Combo decks are not overpowered, nor does the replace mechanic make them insanely better than they would be without it.


play provokes or increase your general’s Atk.

myself and I’m sure many other like the added consistency and skill testing of the replace mechanic. Honestly I don’t see what problem you are trying to solve, both players get this advantage, if your non-trial deck is less consistent than a trial deck that’s not the replace system’s fault in my view.


I personally enjoy the dynamic the Replace function adds; with a hand of cards, I must decide whether I want to keep them all to face the next threat, or perhaps replace one of them to find a more apt solution; but which to choose and replace?

The very fact I have access to this decision process I find a good thing about Duelyst.


I enjoy the replace mechanic very much. it adds another layer of strategy, as when to replace and when to not often determines the outcome of the game. The fact that the UI notifies you that the opponent replaced, but does not tell you what cards were replaced and drawn, also surmounts to some pretty entertaining psychological tension. Also, the replace mechanic also makes interesting cards such as White Widow and Kron possible, which are always nice. Besides, the more consistent games are, the less it relies on RNG, and thus is more skill-reliant.


no general should have a phoenix fire as bbs by default, and especially not a phoenix fire that can be comboed into a 10 damage machine for 1 additional mana.

That i aside, the effect of not having replace is this introducing what replace eliminates: these cases
A)25% chance you have good draw and opponent does not
B)25% chance you both have good draw
C)25% chance you both have bad draw
D)25% chance you have bad draw and opponent has good draw.

A is a win by rng. B is the default duelyst experience. C is unknown territory to duelyst. D sucks for everyone.
so removing replace is basically introducing at least 50% of sure-suck games and 25% of uncharted territory to duelyst.
if you want to call it a necessary evil, then so be it. duelyst needs replace
would we need to reorder globes? do we need to refine the starting mana values? do we change the grid size? that’s a lot of things that would need adjusting just to accommodate a slower paced duelyst.

on the other hand, the problem you present isn’t so bad.
Combo decks are so easy to fix look:


This is one of the most disappointing topics I have seen in a long time. This how I wanted to respond to it " You don’t like replace get the f@#% out of Duelyst" but that is not nice. Replace is one of the best features to be put in a card game every digital game should add it in because it add level consistency that help combat one these games natural issue with is card draw rng.

Flawed examples

-Ragnora with BBS, hatch egg, and use some buff spells. This can’t be stopped? You can buff your attack with artifacts or so other means and Ripper will only be able to attack.You can also play provokes as well

-The reason why is different is the simple fact that Hearthstone does not have the replace mechanic that is wrong as a person who plays and watches a ton of HS still Quest in work when they are good prime example being rouge which work so good it got nerf twice. And Raza Reno Priest which is highlander was the best deck in the game for many months.

Also, one good reason why Wander seems to be dominating is the fact that the opponent tends to have appropriate removal at the right time. No the reason wanderer is dominating because Wanderer are real duelyst decks meaning the carry 9 2 drops, 6 4 drops and proper curve. Not only that they carry enough almost enough removal mean Magmar would carry 3 natural selection but Wanderer decks carry Natural Selection, Deep Impact and Lava lance then you combine minion removal into so Shroud, maw and blood tear. Wanderer is dominating is because it is fundamentally sound Duelyst tempo deck.

Too much consistency is the stupid thing to say a skill based game. It was stupid when the devs use it as an excuse to change the game from two to one draw. It is a stupid reason to want change or dislike replace. I play 3 rebuke, 3 skorn, 3 krater and lost a game against a hyper swarm abyss because I didn’t draw one of many answers. How is less consistency better? I designed a deck to do one thing well and because of card rng it didn’t do it. Too much Consistency is never bad because it is a two-way street and every strategy you can put in a counter for them


After playing Duelyst a long time I went back and tried a little hearthstone. Every turn I instinctively kept trying to replace a card in my hand and getting nowhere. The mechanic is so good I wish I could do it in every card game. In fact, I wish I could replace in real life whenever I happen to be drawing some number of distinct objects blindly from a preset pool.

Seriously though, the replace mechanic encourages us to think ahead and adapt our entire game plan. Every turn.

Love it.


It is a good mechanic that provides a mostly interesting decision every turn. That said, a problem I find with duelyst is that decks are a little too consistent, which means that we have very little diversity between games, especially towards the middle turns. This is also why a deck like Alabaster titan can exist. The odds are in favor of finding the titan by turn 7 to the degree that it feels like they were really unlucky if they did not find it by that turn.


If I want to play a CCG without the replace mechanic, I’ll play Shadowverse, and remind myself why I love the mechanic while I get beaten by the expensive wallet decks in unranked just because I can’t draw that one card I need to beat the threat…

Look, consistency in a deck is a vital skill to have if you want to win or have fun in all CCG and TCGs. If you are complaining about how everyone’s using the same deck or able to draw the right counters to respond to your threats, then blame the fact that there’s quite a few people who love winning and will take all steps and use all means necessary to get to that point. I meant, look back to the Yugioh anime and count the number of times Pot of Greed, Monster Reborn, or Graceful Charity was played. It is natural that people who play to both have fun and win will optimize their decks as so.

However, that does not mean that there’s no room for creativity. I tend throw in a couple of meme, signature, or trick cards just to mess with the opponent or to trip him up just because I can. And there’s nothing stopping you from doing the same.


I am complaining about the lack of variety of how a deck plays out between games compared to other games. Duelyst has a decksize of 38-39 cards, and allows for three copies of a singular card. This will produce less variance between games than say magic the gathering with decks of 60+ cards and 4 copies of a card per deck at a maximum. That on its own will again have less variance than Legend of the five rings, in which you have 2 decks of 40-45 cards each and a starting set of 6-7 cards you can customize based upon your own deckbuilding decision.

It is all about how much variance a game will allow due to its inherent rule system. Duelyst allows for very little variance because of the size of the deck, the number of copies you can run and the replacement rule. This is one of the major detractors for me towards this game. It can be very samey, especially when there is a large group that just netdecks to make things worse.

Note that deck consistency is a goal for any deck that has a game plan. The issue in duelyst is that your decks will frequently produce the same result looking from game to game. The decks are, at least to me, too consistent.


Hey, I think you might have misunderstood the OP’s point. I think he does have a point, though I’m a big fan of the replace mechanic and I think it does more good than bad.

I guess the “problem” is that the replace mechanic may give already consistent mindless aggro decks yet another tool to push their consistency. It makes it easier to top-deck out of hand damage or that minion you needed to complete the trial.

I think there is a sweet spot between “no replace” and “full replace”. Games like HS without replace feel frustrating, because your starting hand might really decide the fate of the match too often. Duelyst is occasionally frustrating due to that top-decked Accumulunimbus granted by the replace mechanic. Replace is best when the meta is highly skill-dependent and less good when auto-pilot decks are everywhere.


So basically you’re complaining that your deck does what it is supposed to do ?

I personnally like the fact that you can reduce the RNG factor by replacing cards you don’t need for the moment. I feel like my hand management has a real impact on the game and the win depend of the decision i make each turn regarding the board state.
This is, imo, way more satisfying than being dependent of my luck.


How many decks do you need a game they are 18 generals in the game. If every general has 2 consistent working decks that 36 unique decks and quite frankly with the ability to put some variation with different cards that are way more decks and gameplay than you can put a good number on it.

Are these the same decks? Or these different decks?

People get mad at Magmar all the time but when you coreset of what do works you the variation of what you can do is vast. Now I purposely keep the same core thing but if I was doing this for real I could fine tune it out more way more different. Then match up in the meta will dictate changes I am trying to beat Ziran or Cass my decks will look way different. I find the deck variety complaints always to be little iffy but if all the generals had just one good working deck the variety in the game would be ridiculous so you are somewhat right about the variety of decks and playstyle in duelyst games.

No i didn’t misunderstand you guys are blaming wrong thing, If combo decks are too strong then it is the lack of tools in the game, not the game mechanics. In Hearthstone there is card call Loatheb, duelyst has variation call Keshrai Fanblade. If Duelyst had a good neutral version of that card no combo deck would be too strong. Also in Hearthstone they are cards that increase the cost of a card think of something like this

Duelyst is missing a ton of cards that counter many popular decks styles. Consistency is a two way street, If you can consistently find a good answer/counter then person certain things aren’t a problem because you consistently have your answer. I played two draw Duelyst which was more consistent this than version of duelyst and that is how it was a person could pull off jaxi trusight razorback almost every game but you could find your counter every game.


It’s a matter of what you are looking for. If you don’t want luck in your game, then I see why you think all the items I complained about to be a plus. I prefer playing games where every game isn’t like every other game that I play with my deck. A bit more random chance makes for a more interesting game.

It’s a matter of degrees of course, but in duelyst, I often feel that my games don’t provide me with interesting decisions. I feel that in large part this is because we are playing with very small decks that are very consistent, and you get the replace rule to even increase that consistency so that you get to execute your plan in many of your games. This leads to a game where you could just auto-pilot a deck because it will consistently produce the same result over and over.


I’m not saying that a deck having consistency is bad for the game. After reading, maybe I should clarify on something. Hopefully you agree that the term clutch refers to an desirable RNG situation. People mention all you need to do is to nerf certain cards. That’s not the case with the whole Trinity Oath argument I made. I don’t think that card is broken in nature nor it should ever be nerf. Replace essentially gives you a second chance to fix your hand and drawing it would give so much value especially if the opponent is running out of resources. Still not expecting a nerf on cards that conveniently does this. You could say the person kept the card in the hand, but I referring to situations that the cards are still in the deck. Replace still has levels of RNG, but it’s not like RNG would ever be fix. It is after all a complex game. Devs have to be careful on what new mechanics to add or else the replace mechanic for example would all of a sudden become a lot better than it should be. I’m talking about Mythrons in another of my arguments. And yes it can be fixed. Keep asking for a rework. Going back to the Ragnora discussion, technically it is true that provoke and buffing general could stop this combo, but what about decks that can’t do this. Do I have to run buff artifacts in every single Vet list I play? Do I have to play Primus Shieldmaster every deck? Of course not, that be ridiculous. It be simply bad luck to go against your counter deck. And I feel it be pretty hard to fix and I don’t see it being practical to try to fix. All I could think about is the replace mechanic. Do I actually want to get rid of Replace? Not necessarily, but as I say having more anti-replace cards would be a step in the right direction.