Strategy of Faction Generals in Consideration of Decks Used


The following is me attempting to explain 2 ways to approach using your General in the battlefield. This may be more tactics than strategy. As you read, be the devil’s advocate or find a way to support my ideas… I just want to open a discussion as a new player for new players :slight_smile:

I have two important questions:

  1. What decks are made for generals to trade with minions?
  2. What decks are made for Generals to attack face?

1 Explanation:

Generals have the power to trade with minions in an entire game. This results in higher board tempo, higher card advantage, and less life resource. Is this always true? You tell me!

Also, for Generals to trade, they’re not always in the vicinity of the General - making them less susceptible to provoke (maybe?) and other spells (e.g. Holy Immolation). So because Generals are trading with minions that make them a higher threat. Well of course they are a threat, but even more so because they reduce your tempo. Unless you are playing a deck that doesn’t care about tempo (i.e. rush). What do you think?

2 Explanation:

Generals that attack face are not reducing enemy tempo, increasing card advantage (probably more than a minion attacking General), and increasing (by a low margin) their life resource.

Based on this, these Generals are meant for aggro decks only, right? Minions are always summoned right next to the enemy.

So, again, very loosely based observations and I would like some confirmations of my theory.

This idea came to me when I was misplaying Swarm Abyssian. I constantly kept her near the enemy General and playing minions that required to be far (Shadow Dance, Reaper) close to him (maybe Bloodmoon Priestess also). This was based on the guidelines that a lot of experienced players were telling me: “Play the game on curve and hit low health minions with your generals and make trades all the time”

So I realized I had to stay away and let the minions do the work for me. So I suppose Swarm is a control deck? … But which matchups am I supposed to do a bit of trading/face damage? And how does this apply to other decks with remarkable wincons?

I see the manarank here: and it’s a bit difficult to see what each General should do in each matchup - such as Spellhai vs Midrange Vaath or Control Cassyva vs Aggro Magmar

Quite the long post but whatever you have to say put it down! Again, I’m a new player and I’m just trying to understand the game :slight_smile:


IMX, you can safely define decks in Duelyst by how they use the general:

  • If your General’s best purpose is punching face all game long, you’re playing Aggro.

  • If your General is best off whacking enemy minions, you’re playing Tempo.

  • If your General is best off not attacking and instead conserving HP, you’re playing Control.

Naturally, there are turn-by-turn exceptions in game, but in the broad strokes, this logic seems to apply basically everywhere. :slight_smile:


Thanks. These guidelines fall into what I’ve been thinking.

I suppose I’m thinking also how to counter the three. How would you answer aggro? With faster aggro? Or control?

I feel like there’s articles out there but the theory is not really in any Duelyst related source AFAIK

Edit: vaath is a good example of using his BBS to be aggro or tempo. And this is decided by using a high or low minion curve?


In general (no pun intended), Aggro beats Tempo beats Control beats Aggro.

If your opponent is coming after you fast, putting everything down, ignoring your board and going face, you can use small utility creatures to trade into his board and slow down the life hemmorage, run the hell away with your general, and rely on mid-game sustain and late-game whallop once he’s run out of aggro to put down.

If your opponent is intent on keeping your board clear and establishing dominance, out-of-hand damage and minions with instant effects (primarily on his life pool) will render his dominance irrelevant, and his use of his general’s HP to keep your board down plays straight into your hands.

If your opponent is trying to stay out of the way and play the long game, putting down hard-to-remove minions and countering his small utility minions with little to no detriment to your own board (i.e. Suntide Maiden or Makantor Warbeast) will leave him cornered and unable to stabilize in time to establish a safe space for his game-ending whallopers.

Midrange decks, naturally, win or lose based more on the vagaries of their draw and your ability to adapt to their gameplan than to any hard-set strategic concerns. :slight_smile:

P.S. Kara decks suck primarily because they break the pattern: they’re tempo decks that effectively turn into control decks as the game progresses, making it really hard to beat them with anything other than aggro so hard it kills them before they reach the tipping point.


Well said and thanks for the insight! This is one of the posts I’ve been needing to read in my time of playing strategy games.

And Kara does break the pattern… ! Hopefully they change something about it.


Personally I have found that the secret to beating Kara consistently, which is something like 55% of the time, is to out tempo them into the mid game. Since she tends to run smaller minions you need to force her to use resources to try to maintain board control. So if you have her low on cards by turn 6 you can usually outlast her and finish her by turn 8 or 9.

It is really a weird combination of play it safe then hit the gas.