The glorious 'gimmick' decks


Even though there will always be decks referred to as “meta” just because it’s very strong. When it isn’t it’s usually called “gimmick”.

Though in my experience with duelyst, the gimmick decks always tend to be the more fun ones! For many reasons like diversity, combo’s and great looking cards. I realize that it’s also nice feeling unique with your deck but if the balance would switch then the previous meta cards will become unique. That’s not what I’m trying to discuss for now :slight_smile:

I haven’t played Duelyst religiously so I don’t have a whole lot of knowledge about older patches. Just tell me where I’m wrong :slight_smile:


  • Astral Crusader: Awesome looking card, one of the more unique themes and the ability suits him well. Has been strong in some Vetruvian decks with card draw (before the 1-card-draw-per-turn change).
  • Black Locust: Just a really, really awesome card. Think of the possibilities! HP buffing, songhai copy, old Vindicator with rush… I think this was strong in one or two patches but other than that it has been garbage.
  • Decimator: Exciting effect, cool card but pretty gimmick unless you’re running Starhorn with some Blaze Hounds etc. but even then it’s bound to be mediocre at best.
  • Night Watcher: Didn’t try to play much with this card but damn does it look great. I haven’t seen anyone play it in gold/diamond since it was released. Maybe it’s stronger in tournaments because you anticipate a specific deck?
  • All the old 7 mana neutral legendaries. Way back then they were played pretty often, Paddo got some hype, Pandora was played in Vanar and a Zureal was found here and there in Abyssian. When is the last time I saw these? A loooooong time ago…
  • TheScientist: Now, TheScientist has disappeared from Earth but I believe he is a bit of a legendary, iconic figure/spokesman/poster boy for Duelyst. I’ve never, ever seen this card in any deck so I think it needs some love.

I could go on for a long time but all I’m saying is that the “meta” cards are way more often really boring and straightforward. Ephemeral Shroud, Bloodtear Alchemist, Dancing Blades, Primus Shieldmaster, Emerald Rejuvenator, Saberspine Tiger, Healing Mystic, Makantor, Ironcliffe Guardian, Chromatic Cold…

It could be that I have too little knowledge about how Digital TCG their development process works, how balance works or their view of a happy customer. But I do know my friends and I all feel the same way about how boring a meta is destined to be.


The Scientist is a very straightforward card IMO, and some meta cards like Falcius have very unique effects. Plus, simple effects don’t stop things from being fun. IMO, it is good that cheap and simple cards like Dancing Blades, Skorn and Healing Mystic are considered good, because they make life easier for new players, while most or your gimmicky cards are legendary.

Other cases, like Nightwatcher in particular, aren’t meant to be widely used. It is a tech card by design, meant as a guardian of sanity if the meta is ever dominated by Rushmar or Dervet.

The Scientist on the other hand is quite interesting, and I think he could find a place in Lyonar or minion-heavy Songhai lists.

Ps: Emerald Rejuvenator is only run by slower Zir’an decks and hyper-slow Vaath decks. It is far from meta.


Regarding the Emerald Rejuvenator, I meant a previous balance, remember the nerf of the card because it was ran for ages in every single deck?


I’ve been here for 4 months. I can’t think of a single card that has been buffed in all of that time. Some have been changed “sideways”, most have been nerfed, none have been buffed.

1/2 to 3/4 of the cards in the game, some with cool abilities and amazing art, sit unplayed because they are underpowered or have some flaw. I assume this is a deliberate design decision but I can’t make any sense out of putting so much development and art work into something that isn’t used.


Gimmick decks are fun because of the novelty. They are many times one-trick ponies. Whenever a gimmick deck becomes ‘meta’, they are usually the most abusive.

Ideally the meta is composed of a group of decks that can adapt well. The fun comes from playing the decks and not from choosing which deck you are playing.

This way, playing undepowered gimmick decks is fun because of the challenge of making them work.


There were some buffs. But to boring cards like Primus Shieldmaster >_>


I have tried The Scientist in Lyonar as most of their spells can target friendly minions, but it just doesn’t compare to other card draw engines. Solarius does the same thing practically for 1 mana cheaper and usually draws you more cards. Even in cheesy Arcanyst Decks Solarius preformed better, and The Scientist is even an Arcanyst

The problem with Black Locust(I think) is that it is too slow. Silithar elder is similar as it will win you the game 9/10 times if you can stall long enough to generate value but you will often lose the game from the tempo loss if they rush you down or if they happen to have an answer to it(plasma storm :cry: )

I love trying out odd cards and trying to get them to work but even with that attitude there are a lot of cards that just are not going to be any good. There are still a ton of good/decent cards that are flying under the radar though


Actually, I do play these cards on occasion. The scientist was best in Songhai, because their buffs are extremely cheap, and they already have two good arcanysts that can benefit from these spells.

Night watcher is a tech card for matchups that are otherwise not in your favor. I play two of 'em in a lyonar deck of mine. Giving it +2 attack makes this a really obnoxious minion, and actually, at its base stats, it is already a very powerful card. It kills any obelysk strategy without effort, especially now that vetruvian needs to get close to it to deal with it. Against magmar it nullifies up to 9 minions in their deck. It does just enough and even without this benefit, it is still a forcefield minion.

Speaking of 7 drop legendaries: I currently run into a lot of nonsense that takes a long while to kill me, so I run two copies of dark nemesis in a lyonar deck, because I can enchant it with an aegis to block opponents from using removal. This works really well in a deck that is known for its survivability.

Black locust: This is secretly a songhai card. You play it with inner focus, and maybe that fox that will boost it every time it moves around. It is unfortunately painfully slow, but when it works, it is glorious.


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