The Functional Card Text Project (Alpha) - Feedback Needed!


The Functional Card Text Project
by @TheMatsjo


Like many of you, I really dislike the way Duelyst handles in-game information. A lot of key information is missing, vague or down-right ambiguous to the point that it’s really started to bug me. Others will disagree but I’d prefer card texts to be consistent, precise and as informative as is possible within the architecture of the game and seeing as CPG has shown no initiative in clearing up the myriad of issues Duelyst has been suffering since release I finally decided to just improvise a community alternative that I call The Functional Card Text Project. I’ve been working up an early alpha version that I now want to showcase to you in order to hopefully crowd-source improvements and corrections to what I’m trying to do. I’m going to exercise creative control over the edits you advocate for but I’m fairly sure most disagreements will be minimal. I hope this is something you will find useful.

An example: Pandora


At the end of your turn, summon a 3/3 Spirit Wolf with a random ability into a nearby space.


At your turn end, summon an Envy, Fear, Rage, Serenity or Wrath Token nearby.

The wonderful @t2k5 has agreed to host my adaptation of the script they made for an April Fool’s prank on their site where I hope they’ll end up publishing it alongside the other scripts once it’s in a sufficiently complete state. For now, I come to you asking for advice and input intended to make the project the best it can be. I’ve gone over every single card that’s currently out (so no Immortal Vanguard of course) so we should have a solid base to work with.

Disclaimer: This is an alpha version so expect dumb mistakes and inconsistencies!

Goals for the Project

  • Consistent phrasing on all applicable cards.
  • Function over form
  • As much relevant information as possible on every card
  • An increased reliance on (custom) Keywords
  • Future integration with the Collection search function
  • Future custom tooltips
  • Including detailed descriptions of how in-game mechanisms actually work, including sequencing

Bagoum Integration

Like many of you I rely on to get the information I can’t get from inside the game, including most Tokens and what each Sentinel does. I’ve set this project up to (for now) be used alongside an open Bagoum tab while you play so you can reference information that’s not in the game. Summoned Tokens cannot be searched in-game so I’ve added their names to cards so you can reference them in Bagoum. Eventually I hope Bagoum will also be so kind as to host an overview of all the new keywords and operative phrases I’m suggesting we use. Speaking of…

New Keywords

For clarity and brevity I’ve thought up a slew of new keywords that relate to common triggers/conditions that appear on cards in the game. Lightchaser, Sunforge Lancer and Sunriser all trigger in the same way, why don’t they have a keyword? Tons of stuff triggers from casting spells, where’s the keyword? I’ve listed everything I’ve come up with so far below, please leave your thoughts and suggestions regarding their names, phrasing and whether or not they’re even good things to keyword as well as your own suggestions. All of these keywords are strong on cards.

  • Assemble Mechaz0r X: Progress construction of Mechaz0r (5 stages)
  • Deadly: Whenever this deals damage to a Minion, that Minion is destroyed.
  • Escalate: Whenever the enemy summons a Minion…
  • Fleeting: This Minion disappears at your turn end.
  • Immune (to X): This doesn’t take damage from…
  • Injury: Whenever this deals damage…
  • Kindred: Whenever you summon a Minion from the same tribe as this Minion…
  • Manaburst X: Get X Mana. The change is permanent by default.
  • Payback: Whenever this Minion takes damage…
  • Premature X: This Minion has Cost -X but takes X damage when summoned.
  • Purity: Whenever anything is restored…
  • Spell Power X: Modify damage from your Spells by X.
  • Spellbound: Whenever you cast a Spell…
  • Spelldrain: Whenever the enemy casts a Spell…
  • Spellshield: This cannot be targeted by enemy Spells.
  • Spellward: This cannot be targeted by Spells.
  • Token: This cannot be returned to play after being destroyed.
  • Vengeance: Whenever your General takes damage…

Operative Phrases

Operative phrases are all the common verbs used in Duelyst that have game-specific meanings that players need to understand. One of the classics is “stun” but I decided to try and catalogue the existing ones and introduce new ones where they make sense. So we have the classic “transform” and “teleport”, but now you also get “capture”, “swap” and “play”. This list is mostly complete but I’m pretty sure I’ve missed several. All of these operative phrases are emphasized on cards.

  • (Counter)Attack: Engage in combat. Attack during your turn, counterattack during the enemy turn.
  • Bounce: Return this/target to its owner’s action bar.
  • Capture: Remove from play.
  • Conjure: Put a card in your action bar from outside your deck.
  • Dispel: Remove all Abilities from target.
  • Draw: Put a card in your action bar from your deck.
  • Hatch: An Egg Token changes into its non-Egg form.
  • Play: Summoning a Minion from your action bar.
  • Release: Return Minion affected by ‘Capture’ to play.
  • Restore X: Return X amount of Health to this.
  • Steal: The target loses something, your General gains it.
  • Swap: Switch two positions or traits.
  • Stun: Target loses its next action.
  • Teleport: Place target on an empty space. There is no limit by default.
  • Transform: Remove target from play and summon something else.

Design Questions

We’ll work back-and-forth for most issues but there are three issues that I ran into that I specifically want to ask your input on. First: there are a ton of cards that spawn random Battle Pets, does anyone have an overview of the spawn pools for each of those? I don’t know them and I haven’t been able to find them.

Second: ‘Restore’ is a new standardized operative phrase, should there also be one for “deal # damage?” For example the phrase could be “harm #” or “burst #” instead.

Third: there are tons of cards that have random effects and there are tons of cards that have targeted effects. How should I denote those effects? I can assume every effect is random by default (unless the card mentions a target), I can assume every effect is targeted by default (unless the card mentions randomness) or I can specify both randomness and targeted effects.

To illustrate:
Option A

Summon 1 Heartseeker on target nearby space.
Summon 1 Iron Dervish Token nearby.

Option B

Summon 1 Heartseeker.
Randomly summon 1 Iron Dervish Token nearby.

Option C

Summon 1 Heartseeker on target nearby space.
Randomly summon 1 Iron Dervish Token nearby.

C has the most information but is also the wordiest. Most effects are random in this game so Option A is the shortest when averaged out amongst all existing cards. Option B gives us a nice, flowing sentence for both.

Which is best?

  • Option A
  • Option B
  • Option C
  • Don’t know/No Answer
  • Other, namely…

0 voters

Known Issues

  • Not all information is in-game
  • No Collection search support
  • No new tooltips
  • Alpha

Get the Script

Follow @t2k5’s instructions on their site to install the script, you can copy and paste the following command at the very bottom of your duelyst.js file:

$.getScript(‘’, function(){});

The script is automatically updated but you need to reinstall it every time your Duelyst client is updated to a new version. When you load up the game the script might need a moment to show up.

Reported Issues

  • Heartseeker is not a Token
  • 4 Winds Magi emphasis error
  • Artifact Defiler misspelling of ‘enemy’
  • Godhammer syntax error
  • Rancour capitalisation error
  • Lucent Beam Purity candidate
  • Neutral cards that spawn Battle Pets only generate Token Battle Pets
  • Faction cards that spawn Battle Pets generate Faction and Token Battle Pets
  • "/ --> " edit across the board
  • Replace instances of ‘deal x damage’ with ‘damage x’?
  • Replace single instances quantities of ‘1’ with ‘a(n)’

[Structured Rant] Forget Balance; Duelyst Needs a Text Update
We're still waiting for

This is an ambitious project!
I love it.
If (and hopefully when) these changes are implemented, it would make playing the game much less difficult for new players.
I will be around still trying to get the F.A.Q.
finished :sweat_smile:
and I will help as best I can.


the one thing im curious about is the kindred keyword as there are no existing cards that have that effect
black solus is close, but thats wraithlings and have nothing to do with tribes

Oh wait. Glacial elemental. Nevermind


Here’s hoping! And thank you for the vote of support :blush:

And Borean Bear! It’s more of a future-proofing keyword right now but I thought it made sense as a variant on Bond.


It’s an excellent project, thanks!

My main concern is not overdoing it. For instance, “whenever this deals damage” is perfectly clear and it doesn’t need a keyword. I would focus on factual errors and omissions to make it more effective


And the aptly named Kindred Hunter…
(edit, wait, no, nvm)

Anyhow, I L O V E it!

But… you name Sunriser as an example “Why doesn’t this have a keyword?”, and then… I don’t see a heal keyword. :stuck_out_tongue:

Devs could use this as a good example! :ok_hand:

(One caveat, do not make too many keywords, especially where the text to explain is short anyway or there are but rather few cards who have it)


(I called it Purity :kissing_heart: )


I dislike the suggested change in wording to Pandora. The original text explains that you get a creature token with a random keyword and the size of the token summoned. They problem is that it doesn’t tell you what keywords you get. As a result you have to go to Reddit or the official forums to ask what it does or figure it out over time. No one should have to go to another website to find out what a card does. The problem that the proposed updated text does not fix this issue. Now the text simply tells the players the names of the tokens. To find out what these tokens do or how big the creature token is you would have to Reddit or the official forums and ask. That change doesn’t address the problem.

“At the end of your turn summon a 3/3 wolf token with Flying, Ranged, Celerity, Frenzy, or Provoke at random on a (random) nearby space”

There shouldn’t be any confusion here as to what the card does. The only problem is that there may be a character limit for card text.

Also, just because you can add keywords doesn’t mean you should. Many of the suggested keywords show up so infrequently that I’m not sure it’s worth asking players - especially new players - to learn a bunch of new keywords for what is ultimately aesthetics.

I agree certain keywords could be introduced without problems but not all initially suggested. Assemble Mechazor X, Premature, and Payback are more complicated as keywords than they are as just text. Purity could work but there are a couple of problems.

I could think of seven heal trigger effects. Most of the cards could be templated as “Purity: Do this effect” much like Deathwatch. However two of the cards can’t be templated like that.

Lucent Beam would be written as “Deal 2 damage. Purity: Deal 4 damage instead”. This doesn’t work well and probably doesn’t work at all. The current card text states that somethings has to have been healed this turn. The keyword modified texted is mildly ambiguous. It seems suggest that the spell deals four damage as long something was healed while it was in your hand. You could write Lucent Beam as “Deal 2 damage. Purity: Deal 4 damage if something was healed this turn” in order clarify. But if you do than you have the original card text with the Purity keyword added for no benefit.

Excelcious has a similar problem. His effect applies when he is in your deck or in your hand. Applying the Purity keyword would imply that his effect would only apply while he was on the field. Of course you could add extra text in addition to the keyword but the entire point of the keyword was to eliminate unnecessary card text so…why bother with any of it?

Lucent Beam and Excelcious could be written off as exceptions but if all of the healing triggers cannot neatly be tied together with a single keyword than I don’t think it should be done at all.

I want to reiterate. I’m not apposed to adding more keywords if it uniformly makes things easier to comprehend. I just think keywords should be added thoughtfully.

I’d like to suggest another way to word BBS summons and other summon/token effects.

“Summon a 1/1 Heartseeker on target nearby space”
“Summon a 2/2 Iron Dervish token on a random nearby space”
“Summon two 1/1 Wraithling tokens on random nearby spaces”

  1. I think the size of the minion/token being put into play should be listed
  2. I prefer the texts to start with a relevant verb. It provides uniform template and helps provide a shortcut for players so that they don’t need to read every single word
  3. I don’t see a reason to write one (1). When only a single token is being summoned I feel an indefinite article should suffice
  4. Summons effects should be clearly labeled as selectable or random


Adding new terminology, bad idea. Improving old terminology, good idea.

An ambitious project like this needs to start simple. Random effects should say they are random. Key offenders should be fixed.

IF POSSIBLE, hovering over the card should show which cards it references (example: Grandmaster Variax would have a copy of each Awesome BBS)


Well, that was a clarifying example why wording is so important :p.

First, I was scanning for the word ‘heal’, and didn’t see it.

Second, ‘restored’ to me means fully healed, so the explanation of Purity wasn’t clear to me (because partial heals imo would not trigger, while they do) (heck, one might even think it means un-dispelled, if Duelyst ever got such a thing).


Sadly, that’s already the boat we’re in, hence my explanation that my system requires an external website (Bagoum is great for this, check it out!). The original card tells you more about the Tokens but not the pool of Abilities.

Your proposed solution is fine for Pandora specifically but I can’t fit the same format onto other cards so consistency suffers for it. Don’t you have a reference handy already in case you go up against Sentinels?

All keywords are for aesthetics. Zeal could be replaced by “Whenever this Minion is nearby your General”, Deathwatch by “Whenever anything is destroyed” etc. The goal should be to create consistent and easily understandable concepts that allow you to save on text and increase transparency. I agree that Premature might be overdoing it but I think the others are fruitful directions to go in.

For Lucent Beam, how about: “Deal 2 damage to target enemy. Purity: Deal 4 damage this turn instead.” Currently I haven’t used Purity for Lucent Beam and Excelsious and I don’t think I can force it to fit for the latter.

Why not? Some Vespyrs have Infiltrate, but not all of them do and they tie together just fine imo.

I agree and I’m probably overenthusiastic with them so I appreciate moderating input on this front.

You make a great point on this, consistent sentence structure really helps intelligibility so I’ll take your suggestion on board.

I’ve actually been agonizing over how to express quantities and the script is currently inconsistent on this. I agree that for single summons “a(n)” tends to read more comfortably without costing significant space.

That’d be the dream! t2k5 isn’t able to look into anything like that for the time being and I can’t script so unless someone else steps in that feature will have to remain on the wishlist for now.

For those cases I wrote ‘fully restore’. I actually have your association with ‘healing’ where something is either ‘healed’ or not. Several cards already use ‘restore’ and ‘heal’ interchangeably and we don’t typically apply the term ‘heal’ to non-organic entities (like Golems) so restore seemed like the more neutral term to me.


I see, but here of course the terminology of the game should take precedent as the players will have adopted that lingo in this context.


I’d like to chip in a bit for Shimzar’s confusing battlepets text. As I see it, there are 3 definitions of “Random battle pet”

  • token battle pet
  • token or factional battle pet
  • non-legendary battle pet


Then I should stick with restore :thumbsup:. Cards currently use ‘restore’ unless they have Purity effects, in which case they use ‘heal’.

Sounds about right, it makes it really difficult to know what to put on cards. I’d probably differentiate between Faction, Neutral and Token Battle Pets. If anyone knows the spawn pools, please let me know!


Blizzard, hire this man please!

Wrong game again god damn it Valve!


I’m a simple man

When I see Valve

I beg and cry for Half Life 3


I’m confused. Do you mean that other ambiguous card texts cannot be formatted consistently for what you’re trying to do or that you’re not sure how it should be implemented? I’m willing to help rewrite some card texts if needed.

I never found the need for a reference for Sentinels or Secrets. Do you use the reference for what the cards actually are or for the flip procs? If you use it to remember flip conditions than I think a hover over tip for Sentinels explaining what the flip conditions would be helpful. Current there are three uniform triggers. A hoverover reminder text shouldn’t be too intrusive.

I was thinking about this for a bit. There may be some solutions.

Accept the possibility that Lucent Beam written as “Deal 2 damage. Purity: Deal 4 instead” may not be recognized as an “until end of turn” effect.

Change the hover over reminder text of Purity to indicate that spells function differently. “Purity: Triggers whenever something is healed. For spells, triggers whenever something is healed this turn”.

The Excelcious problem can be solved by giving it a similar keyword ability. Magic: the Gathering does this on occasion. For example they have Kicker & Multi-Kicker and and Morph & Megamorph. They two abilities are different but share similar nomenclature to convey similarities in mechanics.

Perhaps give Excelcious something like “Purity Plus: +1/+1”. Have the hover over reminder text explain that Purity Plus trigger even while on the field, deck, or action bar. This sub-keyword should alert players that it works similarly to Purity but has more going on and piggybacks of the parsing shortcuts that Purity set up.

Effects that add Battle Pets to your hand work slighltly differently depending on whether the card that produces Battle Pets is faction card or a neutral card.

Neutral cards only produce token Battle Pets. Golden Mantella functionally says “Add a random token Battle Pet to you hand”.

Faction cards produce either token Battle Pets or faction specific Battle Pets. Astral Flood functionally says “Add three random faction Battle Pets or token Battle Pets to your hand”. Astral Flood can produce Rae or Pax but cannot produce other factions’ Battle Pets such as Icy or Gro.

The token Battle Pets are: Fog, Sai, Rok, Dex, Ubo, an Oni.


On the one hand, this seems like a lot of wasted energy… and… frankly… an exercise in ego (come on, just renaming stuff because in some cases… and the only reason I could think is because you want your name for it instead of the one the devs picked). On the other hand, there are some extremely vague card interactions and mechanics that need this. I would say, scale back the scope of the project a bit (reinventing the wheel just to make sure everything has a keyword was tried by M:TG and they realized it was asinine). Start on the things that really need this much attention and then… if it really is necessary, okay… expand it out.

For instance, Opening Gambit and duplication or re-summon etc. It was recently explained to me by the devs that Opening Gambit only happens when you summon it from your action bar. There is no other condition (including resummoning etc) that will cause this to happen again. To me, upon just reading the cards, I would think conditions that summon copies or resummon previously destroyed minions would both be among examples of instances where an opening gambit effect might be duplicated.

Bond, on the other hand is not picky at all. It will proc on any form of summon, duplication, etc.

Dispelling a space or …anything… not removing artifacts. Once you understand the distinction and the extremely specific targeted nature of the wording, it does not work on permanent status changes or artifacts. So if you take control of something… that isn’t a spell effect that is dispelled. In the same way, the explicit wording of an opening gambit or dying wish or similar, is explicitly not blocked from targeting minions that are protected from targeting by spells.
These things are of course obvious if you understand the logic behind them or the explicit distinctions, but for people learning the game, having these differences delineated would be a better use of energy and documentation than trying to figure out a clever new way of saying “heals a minion or general for 3”.

Permanent status like stat changes, control changes, etc might need documentation separately.

Terms like “steal” might need to be dealt with. Steal a card, steal health, etc.

The breadth of what dispel works on really needs to be spelled out. Not only what it doesn’t work on, but also the effects it does work on (for instance, using dispel to restore action to a stunned minion).

Anyway, it’s a lot of work… and I guess if you have to pick a hobby, it’s better than dealing meth… so have fun :slight_smile:


I have a lot to read through, but I have been thinking of something similar. Concerning the poll:

Summon a Heartseeker on target nearby space.
Summon an Iron Dervish Token on random nearby space.


My issue is that a card like Spriggin doesn’t have the room to follow the same format. I want to end up having tool tips for all this information but until then I think we’re forced to rely on external resource some of s for our information already. I’m glad you memorised the Sentinel effects but I haven’t, and it’s reasonable to suspect (at this point) that CPG will come up with more of these effects that rely on memory. How would you handle cards like Inquisitor Kron and Spriggin?

So if I understand correctly there are nó cards that randomly generate Koi, Yun, Ambu, Sol, Z0r, Ion and Rawr, correct?