Thoughts on the rotation changes


Hiya everyone, Alexicon1 here.

So I’m just going to drop my two cents on what’s going down with the latest change (the addition of set rotations). If you haven’t read the news yet, head on over to and have a read through, what I’m about to say might make more sense then.

Well, down the rabbit hole we go! At first glance, this is a horrible change, cards are being removed from playability on ladder, removed from the Core Set and becoming unable to be pulled from orbs, nerfs to cards. The least controversial part of this is the fact that they are merging Rise of the Bloodborn and Ancient Bonds into Bloodbound Ancients and randomising their orbs so that you can get cards from both sets in the same orb. So that’s where I’m going to start.

Expansion Merger
Now this is a very good idea, it means that those cards in the 39-card expansions will now be fully craftable/disenchantable, allowing newer players to take some staples like Trinity Oath, Punish and Frigid Corona without having to potentially fork out 3900 gold, and can instead use some spirit instead to get them.
By dropping this wall, it means that if any player wants a card, they can go into their collection and craft it, no questions asked. No barrier, nothing in the way between them and the card they want. That is a very good change, and the fact that they are deciding to include it as a 2017 expansion for the purposes of rotation, means we’ll see these cards for a while yet (i.e Rise of the Bloodborn cards get an extra year). That’s all that needs to be said here, so we’ll move along to a bit of a talking point, the introduction of set rotation.

Set Rotation
Arguably the most controversial change by Counterplay since the conversion of 2-draw to 1-draw (at least from a player’s perspective), the introduction of set rotation was greeted with horror very early on. However, upon reflection, however bad this may seem for a few months, this ensures that the game and it’s meta remain fresh for the foreseeable future. Cards have been moved in and out of the core set to ensure that they can still be played, so CPG are futureproofing the viability of some cards.
And even better, these changes will only be reflected in the ranked ladder, meaning that friendlies, Boss Battles and other game modes to be introduced will maintain the entire pool of cards. Sure, you might have a deck that comprises majorly of Shim’Zar cards (playing some dank Pokemaster Starhorn battle pet memes, anyone?), or even some cornerstones of decks and factions (looking at you, Falcius, Sphere of Darkness and Thumping Wave), but in all honesty, this encourages innovation because cards that you would use now need to be replaced. And this does mean that battlepets are no more as of 2018, farewell, you may be missed.

In addition to this, do any of you think that it’s realistic to ask a team at Counterplay to manually review 800 cards when they drop an expansion, and every time they drop an expansion the pool grows larger and larger. What happens when they reach expansion #10 and there are 1500 cards in the game? It would take longer to check all the new cards against the rest of the pool than it would to actually design the cards in the first place.

Sure, it seems lazy to do that (and I’m sure many of you are thinking that they could just balance the game regularly so that doesn’t happen), but do you really want to live with a game that patches every 2-3 days because someone has found two to three cards that mesh so well to be called broken. We know CPG wants to get new players in, so having a world where the game patches regularly would repeatedly sweep the feet out of the newer players who are just trying to stand up and learn the game would be terrible. They are ensuring the health of the game by introducing something that will continuously freshen the meta. Remember, “the green reed which bends in the wind is stronger than than the mighty oak which breaks in a storm”, those who innovate will be better for it. To quote a meme, Improvise. Adapt. Overcome.

Core Set Cleanup
Now this is a change that does freshen up the game. By adding some staples to the core set, and therefore preventing their rotation, CPG has futureproofed some cards. However, by removing some, those cards are now in limbo and will never be pulled from orbs again. Sunstone Templar, Sand Trap, Mark of Solitude and legions of neutrals are being effectively isolated to crafting, including some interesting decisions like Sunsteel Defender and Dioltas which are both very good cards.

The problem is, cards like those can never be played again, any of those cards can never be played again when 2017 ticks over to 2018 Counterplay’s reasoning on this is solid, maintaining the base that newer players can build upon and removing niche cards that can clog the orbs being opened by newer players, with the intention of having at least 3-4 out of the 5 cards drawn being useful in a deck. In all of this, it seems like that veteran players are the ones being cheated, and of course, they’re the voices we hear. This will take getting used to, and it isn’t an easy process. Right, onto the last piece, the actual card changes.

Core Set Card Changes

This is nice, straight up, this is nice. Most problem cards have been addressed (with the exception of Seraphim/Reflection). Aspect, Chromatic Cold and Frostburn (the majority of Vanar’s premier removal) have taken hits, with Aspect/Frostburn costing 1 mana more and CC dealing 1 less damage. In all honesty, this starts to undo the damage that Vanar has with having every answer to anything being played.
Revenant and Saberspine being nerfed is very interesting, there seems to be no reason for it as they weren’t problems, however it may be that Counterplay have cards/mechanics in the works that would make those Rush cards busted (notice Makantor wasn’t touched). This will tank the playrate of those cards, and I’m not surprised if Revenant becomes a 1-of/2-of instead of it’s consistency in Abyssian decks currently.

Saberspine just won’t be played nearly as much, 4 mana is far too much and there are other sources of 3 out of hand damage that come much cheaper. Bloodrage Mask is a solid change, just weakens the early burst potential of Spellhai (not like we’ve seen it though recently). And we know about the Mechaz0r changes, which in all honesty are pretty nice. Warmaster being removed will be the least contentious change of all of this, there’s nothing wrong with it as Warmasters were severely underutilised. As in, never being played underutilised.

Anyway, that’s my thoughts on it all, if you’ve got questions, feel free to message me here or on Discord (Alexicon1 | C67#0939) and I’ll do my best to respond.

Thanks for reading,


Hey, I remember you from T1M! Nice seeing you here!


Hearthstone has been doing the standard deck concept for a while, which has kept standard ladder new with every expansion, though usually with a few constant deck types on display. Hearthstone is woefully expensive now with the changes as they dont have adventures which guarenteed constant sets of cards but instead the poor lottery of poor card pack returns.

Ive spent some money on duelyst, though find the change to diamonds off putting so havent really spent anything on the next expansion. Ive been playing similar decks for much of the year and they have been competative even when the latest expansion came out.

With rotating card sets it will force me to

  1. Play more to keep up with dailies etc
  2. Buy more of the new set - one of the main reasons for the change

My concern is Duelyst is not my first CCG of choice and there is only so much money I can spend around on games in general.

So for hardcore duelyst players this will probably bring more money to the developers to support the game, for the casuals like myself probably means you play the game less over time if you dont treat Duelyst as your main CCG game.

Be keen to see how this plays out. Ive found the recent set looks underwhelming in a way, saved up some gold to buy some packs. If it turns out to be another Hearthstone grind to be competitive on the meta I can see myself dropping this game all together.

They will need decent modes for retired sets otherwise it is just a money grab and nothing else.


Good stuff! Glad to see ya around here again. Doesn’t happen often…


I’m actually King of the Lurkers, I just sit here and read everything, never posting, being forever silent :slight_smile:


Yeah, I know…I meant posting. :wink:


Fantastic! With this change I will finally stop playing Duelyst and put my attention on real life.



Why would you post it here lmao, I’m sure most of us have read it, and it is pretty good


Mostly to get the linked thread effect going, since yours is also well written, and just incase you had not.


Ah all good, I’m happy to have a discussion on it :slight_smile:


I like the Sabrespine Tiger change, ALL the rest is meh (set merging) or AARGH (Sunstone Templar removal!) or NOOOOOO (card rotation) or “extremely skeptical but we’ll see” (new modes where we can play all card (cause ‘Friendly’ ain’t cutting it I have played 2 friendly matches in total, ever)).


Hello? @ThanatosNoa , I don’t know if this’ll reach you, but I’m kind of 1-2 orbs away from sirocco and I only got 215 gold in my pocket. now i’ve been non-stop grinding ancient orbs for the past 1-2 months now and I’d kinda feel bad if I don’t make it in time. Is it okay if you guys keep the 300 option there for 1-2 more weeks? :frowning: That’d be so nice of CPG. please :frowning:


How much spirit do you have? Because they’ll be craftable after today :slight_smile:


literally 0. been grinding ancient bonds nonstop. no dust :frowning:


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