The reason Spellhai is unbearable: Bloodrage Mask and Spelljammer (personal opinion)


#1

Anyone who plays the game extensively and is not blinded by the easy wins spellhai gives knows that, in its current state, Reva is far above the rest of the factions. With superior damage and reach, cycling power due to cantrips, strongest BBS, and the innate “pinging” power to make any and all artifacts virtually useless makes Reva the undisputed queen of the ladder. In my opinion, these 2 cards are the big offenders that make Reva unbearable to play againtst.

Bloodrage Mask:
Requiring only a single mana investment, Bloodrage Mask lets the songhai player deal absurd amounts of damage while maintaining board control with spells and/or further augment the damage the enemy receives when going face. This one mana artifact single handedly forces the opposing general to stay close and attack the songhai player or use a substantial amount of resources that cost way above 1 mana to clear the artifact or simply lose the game. If the songhai general manages to equip multiple Bloodrage Mask, which is incredibly easy due to songhais draw power and the cost of the artifact, you can say goodbye to 5-10hp every turn until you manage to remove it. Good luck winning the game after that.
Possible solution for this problem would be to increasing the cost of the artifact to 2.

Spelljammer:
This is a problem card not only in spellhai but in every single aggro deck. Spelljammer makes sure that the aggro player never runs out of cards unless removed, and even if it gets removed the next turn, the aggro player will always be ahead in card advantage (and lets not forget, card draw is way more valuable to the aggro player than the midrange/control player). The fact that it is a 2/4 also makes it hard to remove in the early turns. No matter what you do, you will always lose to Spelljammer.
Possible solution: make it a 2/2 so the aggro player will be forced to play her defensively or change her effect to “both player draws a card at the end of your turn”

This is a personal opinion so feel free to disagree with me in the comments.


#2

@mombamambo
Spellhai gains its power from its ability to remove threats while simultaneously dishing out damage. In other words, it tends to have the easiest time retaining tempo.
With that being said, I can agree that raising the cost of a select few cards (Bloodrage Mask and Inner Focus imo) would force Spellhai players to choose between damage or removal. Out of curiosity, what would you think if Mana Vortex costed 1 mana, and reduced the cost of the next spell by 2 instead? I personally feel like it would require a little more finesse, and would be slightly less spammable.
With regards to Spelljammer, although it’s disliked by many in this heavily-aggressive meta, I feel it’s a necessary card for the game. I think that without Spelljammer, all games of Duelyst would be dependent on who has the higher-value minions, and I’m sure there would be one faction that would proclaim its title as Ruler of the Ranked The alternate effect is interesting, yet I feel that the effect, combined with those stats, would actually help the opponent more than the player using the minion. I personally don’t mind Spelljammer overall.
Those are my thoughts on the situation. I know I don’t share all of your ideas, but I suppose it’s because we have different views that gives Duelyst any form of diversity.


#3

I completely agree OP. I continuously cringe as people suggest nerfs to crucial Songhai cards that have nothing to do with Spellhai’s dominance, but shrugs. Meanwhile, Bloodrage Mask flies right under the radar…


#4

I think Bloodrage Mask is strong, but only really on Reva. Kaleos plays less defensively than Reva does so it is usually easier to destroy it.

Card draw in general is what makes them so strong, Spelljammer is one of the tools they use, but they also have several cards that re-draw at the end of their turn. It makes me a little bit angry when they dump their whole hand and draw 4 cards again and have more cards then I do.


#5

I agree with this 100%


#6

Personally i think that Jux and Focus are bigger issues than Jammer but i absolutely agree with bloodrage mask. 2 Masks in turn 1 from songhai and most of the time you can just concede right there as the opponent.


#7

Although I do like the idea of raising the cost of blood rage mask, would an easier solution be to just remove mana vortex out of the game? As a Songhai main I can tell you it does feel a bit cheap to use. How one card can cost nothing, potentially allow you to play another spell for nothing, and draw a card meanwhile damaging your opponent (mask, four winds) and also potentially strengthening a card like chakri is a little ridiculous. A 0 cost card shouldn’t be able to do all that.


#8

Spell Jammer is “old duelyst” that card will never be touched or should never be imo.

Blood rage mask is blight on the game(imo) in combination with stuff.Does it need to be changed? I would rather see a artifact hate card like Harrison Jones.Something is needed because the stupid burst comes from when two blood rage mask or blood rage and 4 winds are combo together.


#9

The issue with spellhai has nothing to do with wether they are top of the ladder or not. You can build to counter Reva by teching healing and provoke and actively boxing her in. And yes while any faction can get a god hand, Spellhai tends to get it a lot more and it is so frustrating because it can’t be countered.

Because of Mask, Fourwinds, and inner focus they do not use the grid at all causing them to hide in the corner and use uninteractive out of hand burst.

Inner focus+Reva BBs or fox is just insane. Fox and her BBs would be just fine with out it. Chakri is super cool but again broken by inner focus. If inner focus did not exist chakri amoung many other things could even get buffed.

The unlimited range teleports also go a bit agaisnt the fundamentals of the game. I would much prefer them to be short range teleports but also provide better buffs and or cycles. This makes them actually stronger but makes positioning and gameplay actually matter.

Their burn spells are fine as its a tough choice using them for either face or control, but thanks to the cards mentioned, as you pointed out, they have the ability to simply do both and in a way that can’t be countered.

I don’t want them to get nerfed, but they desperately need to have their out of hand burst and uninteractive cards shifted towrds their actual identity of a high offensive, lots of cycling, spell synergy, combo enabling, position manipulating backstab playstyle. I want them to be just as strong or maybe even stronger , but I want their to be better counter play by making them use the grid, and or requiring set up.


#10

And if inner focus was not in the game, all of Songhai would require a redesign. IF is a fundamental part of Songhai’s identity and what makes most of Songhai good. When you take a look at other factions, they have independently strong cards (Spectral, makantor, windblade, etc) but Songhai doesn’t have this luxury for the most part (Hamon and Zendo are probably the two exceptions, but they’re not even ran in Spellhai lists). Combos like Fox+IF+PF are not as insane when you consider that other factions have plenty of strong plays at the same mana point for less cards.

I think that what Songhai is, right now, is what it should be. Songhai’s playstyle is burst. This playstyle is very unique vs. every other deck in Duelyst. The problem is that Bloodrage lets the Reva player get away with things they shouldn’t be able to. It lets Spellhai truly ignore the board and win in ways they shouldn’t be able to. It greatly aids in getting the opposing player down to lethal range, and most of the time there’s nothing you can even do about it. If there were some changes to this, I think it’d make playing against Spellhai much more bearable.


#11

Mask AND fourwinds.

You make a decent point for inner focus. It’s really only a problem with Revas BBs the rest of the time it eats your hand really hard.

But you say inner focus should stay because Songhai is designed around it. I say that’s the issue. It severely hampers and limits making new cards because you always have to check it agaisnt inner focus. It single handedly is what keeps a lot of their cards weaker then they need to be, and prevents the design of more cool stuff like chakri. For the factions future health I think a sweeping change to inner focus would be good.

But yea they are well beyond making large changes, you are right that their identity is pretty invested in it, which I feel will hold them back, but it is what it is. If inner focus is going to stay then Revas BBs needs to be examined, or they are going to have to nerf their other buff cards.

Speaking of buff nerfs. No one has an issue with Songhais buffs, I think they are just as core to their identity as inner focus is, and they are a much healthier aspect. But the baby step with saberspine is a step in the right direction if that is the path they are taking.

Hitting spell jammer, and either Revas BBs or their buffs would do the same thing as changing inner focus. I just think changeing inner focus and giving them compensation would be better.

I think a small redesign making them stronger but more interactive is much better then bandaid fixes and nerfs. They were not afraid to hit Vetruvians siphon for the sake of their future identity, they should not be afraid to hit inner focus.


Tldr your right, hitting jammer and mask will do the trick to tone them down. But I would prefer changes for the health of the faction rather then nerfs.


#12

I agree that a redesign to Songhai cards would be better than nerfs. It’s pretty frustrating to lose to Reva cheese, so I get the sentiment. I think that’s more of a question of what the developers want Songhai to be, though. If they feel like IF is limiting their designs, they should probably look into changing it. If not, they will probably keep it as is. It’s important not to project expectations here, as they might see IF as a perfectly acceptable card design-wise and may want to continue designing cards that interact meaningfully with it.

I still think Bloodrage mask is the biggest problem, taking into consideration that the only Songhai deck that is considered absolutely over the top is Spellhai, it says something about that particular archetype. I think 4WM is much less of a problem given it’s four mana cost and the fact that it can be disabled by dispels/removal, but that’s another conversation.


#13

In my opinion, the problem with mana vertex is that even if it did not give a one mana discount on the next spell, it would still be an auto-include.

As long as you are literally not topdecking, mana vertex basically allows the songhai player to play with a 36 card deck at zero cost. It is far stronger when the songhai player has cards since they can kind of use it as a free “replace” i.e. replace a dead card and cycle mana vertex.

If mana vertex was changed to having “overload” 1(mana is reduced by one for the next turn but back to normal after the next turn) in conjunction of its current card text, then the decision making of it would be more interesting. I.e. do I use mana vertex this turn so that I can cycle heaven’s eclipse but deny myself a potential combo from the cards drawn for next turn?

This will also make dumb plays like the following: turn 1, as player two. lantern fox on mana tile, inner focus, attack face, mana vertex phoenix fire(on face).
Instead of just having a card disadvantage from wasting the phoenix fire, there is now a tempo disadvantage from using mana vertex to not affect the board i.e. to enable board clears/swing turns.

On inner focus, I think it would cost either 1-2 but having it cost zero when cast on backstab minions since those are interesting positioning wise.

Honestly bloodrage mask would be fine if it did its damage as one “burst” at the end of the songhai player’s turn. So that it does not remove artifacts for basically for free. Same could be said of four winds magi but maybe have the healing still be at 1 health point procts?


#14

Well I think spell jammer is a different discussion. I have much less issue with it then I do fourwinds.

But yea If we accept that this is what Songhai is, mask followed by fourwinds and Revas bbs combos are the biggest offenders.

If mask and jammer get hit Revas BBs will be in a better spot. Besides wanting to hit the inconsistent but very anoying meldhai combo, the baby step with saberspine is a step in the right direction to keeping Revas BBs combos in check. It is usualy better to make small changes rather then large ones as they don’t want to over do it. Currently it was not enough.

I just hate nerf crying. The intro of herald was also a good step on their part to help counter spellhai. I also really don’t like how completly meta warping Spellhai is. Yes the same can be said about any deck that happens to be at the top of the ladder, but I think spellhai is one of the worst offenders I have ever seen.


#15

I wouldn’t call Spellhai unbearable, but it can be very annoying to play against for the points mentioned above. Backstab decks like the one I play might be able to cause a lot of damage in a short time if they work well, but they can be countered by good positioning and are more interactive than Spellhai (at least in my opinion). For example, always keeping a minion behind your general can do a lot to reduce the burst potential of a backstab deck, especially if you have another minion nearby to counterattack.


#16

Back stab is great. Flavorful, interactive, big part of their identity.

This is about Reva Spellhai specificaly.


#17

Imo both of those cards are fine, they are auto includes yes, but we do not want Songhai to suffer the same fate Vet does ever since their bbs nerf. Giving chagre to all 3 or lower attack minion and the cheaper spell + cycle is as much as songhais identity as Revenant to Abyssian.

I don’t see a problem with Bloodrage Mask countering artifacts, my problem with it is that it does way too much burst for 1 mana and that it can be comboed.

Four Winds Magi is tricky though, For one, as an abyss main I am a little mad at songhai players for getting it 1 mana less when building a board is usually way more hard for Shadowdancer to be effective than chaincasting spells, but on the other hand I am completely fine with its ability, songhai is the spell faction, they should get rewarded for casting as much as they can. If 4WM would cost 5 like Shadowdancer I wouldn’t have any problem with it.


#18

So do we all agree mask needs a cost increase?


#19

Bloodrage Mask would be my primary nerf choice too, which I mentioned in other topic(s). Its damage output is just crazy in both aggro and more controllish decks. And to counter that 1 mana card you need 3 damage sources or artifact removal while Reva doesn’t care and runs away. Just compare it to e.g. Dark Seed that at most does 6 for 4 mana, is no threat you need to remove and you can’t really influence its power (only with Blaze Hounds). It should at least go back to 2 mana.

As for Spelljammer, it’s definitely a card that carries aggro decks, hard to disagree. And while I’m not the biggest fan of pure aggro, I wouldn’t change it as long as it’s the only reliable aggro draw for some factions.


#20

I don’t run Mana Vortex in my deck - I need other cards, and Mana Vortex only cantrips at the end of your turn, which means you are sacrificing options while it is in your hand.