Skill involved in Duelyst


Based on “random sampling” on the forums, it seems some users are arguing that Duelyst is becoming less skill-based over time due to the latest patches. This is a delicate yet interesting topic, which I believe is worth discussing.

I think that Duelyst is still one of the popular CCGs with the highest skill cap, if not the highest. I lose a lot, but I still have the feeling that most losses are fair and I constantly find misplays in my games which make me want to improve.

However, I do think some worrying signals are in the air. The meta is super aggressive right now and more RNG cards are being included in the game. This likely means less meaningful decisions and shorter games on average. These are the reasons why I left Hearthstone. (To clarify, Duelyst meta is still miles away from the HS aggro fest…)

It would be cool to know what the community and CPG think about this point. Legitimate questions are:

  • is the amount of skill involved in Duelyst decreasing?

  • is it good to embrace a more casual approach?

Let’s start from this and discuss!


I will be honest. Songhai players are not necessarily low skilled players, but players with high experience and knowledge on how the faction works. The best way to test this is to try out those decks for yourself to see how easy it really is to play those decks.I don’t think the skill cap is decreasing; if anything, I think it is promoting skill to understand how to counter certain metas, as well as a better understanding on manipulating and influencing the board, which I think is harder for people to adjust to and understand, leading to demands of nerfs. But that’s just my theory.


Hi, akurane!

It’s good to have honest opinions, at least on the forums :slight_smile: I do agree with you. I main Magmar, but I like most factions, including Songhai. I don’t think Songhai decks do not require skill, though I understand some of them do not feel very interactive.

It’s not a faction war I mentioned though, but rather a general consideration on the direction the game is taking. I feel excited at finding alternative cards to fight against aggro decks. I’m not totally sure, however, that the game is giving control players effective tools to fight against aggro metas.

What do you think?


A casual approach would mean faster games and more “interesting” ,which always leads to OP cards to be introduced into the game. The prime example for this would be Hearthstone. I think more skill and thought has to be added and considered to ensure that the quality of the game does nt deteriorate.

With shimzar, I do agree that the tactical thought and skill required to play the game is decreasing. Although one might argue that positioning and game plans along with optimal decklists have to be there, I agree; however, it is becoming more and more like hearthstone where by the early turns decide the outcome of your game. Hence, why people are saying the meta now is super fast. And you’re punished solely for not drawing, curving out properly or having proper answers to “answer or die” minions.

What i think? Control decks need more tools to deal with aggro decks. Better removals (not just some random dispel), healing options, ways to prevent ridiculous out of hand burst. Aggro decks (mainly Reva) has to be tuned down slightly (but not unplayable as the existence of aggro is essential to any card games). Also effects that ignore range and board positioning are very unhealthy for the game, part of why Reva is so hated right now. I do hope some of the issues will be addressed as I love this game a lot after experiencing the notorious Hearthstone, I jsut hope things change for the better and not the worse.


Imo, there just needs to be better recovery tools late game. Look at hearthstone naxxramas expansion, where two cards (sludge belcher and antique healbot) pretty much single handedly stopped aggro


Sorry about the initial post, it was early in my time zone and the reactions I saw then really did not help my mood. I think that there are improvements towards dealing with aggro decks, such as the monthly cards that they have with September’s seasonal cards, yet more options should be in place to punish aggro decks (ex: a card that punishes enemy draws). There are strong cards that can swing the game out of pure RNG (best example I can give is Reaper of the Nine Moons and Nature’s Confluence), but I think that the board in general adds a tactical element that allows the skill cap to be raised to a higher level due to mind games that can be played in conjunction with such a board.


I don’t think game developers understand the point of rng. Its not supposed to be “roll the dice, win hard or loose hard” it should be “get random opportunity, requires flexibility and cunning to get full value”.

Its pretty difficult to separate the two, but if done correctly it increases skill cap instead of degrading/muddying players winrates with rng. The issue is the potential outcome from the rng needs to be niche enough that the roll forces you to be creative, while not too niche where options are useless 90% of the time but instant win the other 10% of the time.

I think an example explaining this would be jaxi vs kron. jaxi at best(opposite corner) is going to require one or more cards to answer it/stop it from getting value, at worst it spawns within range of the general or a minion, but it still does 1 dmg and forces them to alter their positioning. With kron, forcefield likely required at least a card on top of the action of the general or two minions, but the others only required the action of a minion or general. The range of value from possible outcomes is much greater on kron than jaxi.


songhai is actually the last faction which scales with the players skill a lot, you have much micro decisions every turn, just because there are so much options, thats really funny to play
the problem is that songhai is just sooo damn goo atm that even bad players can manage to steamroll you just because its songhai

but overall duelyst becomes more and more like HS, playing on a curve is what matters the most, … it wasnt always like this …


Hi, my feeling is also that curving out perfectly it’s more important now than ever. It’s not a tragedy, one can always adapt his deck and strategy, and insert more low cost minions to curve properly. I really think one of the main problems Magmar has at the moment is the lack of good 3-4 drops, due to the nerf of Veteran Silithar, which makes building a good curve harder for the faction.

That said, Duelyst is still way better than HS in this respect, thanks to card draw and the replace mechanic. Starting with 5 cards, as opposed to the 3/4 cards of HS, and having the possibility of replacing one card per turn really makes a huge difference. It’s easier to find answers and it’s great this is built in the design of the game itself.

My hope however is that the next expansion is going to provide control decks with better tools to deal against the currently super-efficient aggro decks. Positioning is relevant, but it’s still hard to fight against a good curve and may become impossible if the recent trend will be pursued also in the future.