Which of these cards are in the greatest need of a buff/rework? (October)

  • Truestrike
  • Auryn Nexus
  • Aerial Rift
  • Ace
  • Storm Kage
  • Artifact Defiler
  • Oserix
  • Night Fiend
  • Shadow Nova
  • Echoing Shriek
  • Lava Lance
  • Phalanxar
  • Starhorn (The General)
  • Winterblade
  • Mesmerize
  • Crystal Wisp
  • Astral Crusader
  • Hydrax
  • Mogwai

0 voters

Just as with the monthly nerf/rework thread, the goal of this thread is to give feedback to Counterplay Games about which cards are the weakest of the bunch. The cards in this list are intended to be cards with no hope at all regardless of how the game changes in the future. That is, while Shadow Waltz is an awful card, future expansions might add more backstab minions, which might improve its value in decks over time. Buffing Shadow Waltz could necessitate a nerf in the future. Hydrax, on the other hand, is played on the board after all of your battle pets have attacked and died for the turn - he has massive antisynergy with his deck archetype on top of being under-statted. Similarly, while Bastion sees no play right now, future minions could benefit from +1 health per turn enough that Bastion becomes a staple in a new deck archetype. Dance of Memes, while it sees no competitive play at all, enables a new deck archetype that many enjoy, and it should not change for this reason.

There are a lot of bad/unplayable cards in Duelyst. However, the goal here was to find the sweet spot of cards that are not playable, could be interesting, and that players would like to see play in some form. Mesmerize, for example, would be an amazing card in many Faie decks if it drew a card when you used it. This small change would take a completely useless card and turn it into a beloved and enjoyable staple for a faction.

If you feel that there are worse cards than the ones I listed here…that’s okay. This was not an easy list to make - there was a lot of competition. The list is 3 cards for each faction, with “Neutral” being a its own faction. This is largely because the Duelyst forum poll mechanic is limited to 21 options. Feel free to voice your opinion for discussion and future polls, however! :slight_smile: As with Kara in the nerf/rework thread, I have included Starhorn here because I think his Bloodborn Spell is fundamentally bad, and Counterplay Games will have to continue to add awkward or overpowered cards like Visionar and Mandrake (respectively) in an attempt to make him viable. Starhorn was once one of two generals in Duelyst that did not directly affect the board. With Kara’s change, he is now the only general that does not directly affect the board - he is out of place and deserves a rework.


A lot of those are reasonable entrants into the list, but I have to ask: why Storm Kage? I don’t even think it fits squarely into your criteria for selection.


Some of these are fine as they are. We don’t need Phalanxer becoming 7/1. Nova and Wisp see some play and True Strike does in gauntlet.

Which of these cards is in the greatest need of a buff/rework? (November)

I think that expensive legendary cards ought to be faction-defining cards that have a huge impact on the game. Storm Kage almost never has this effect. Today I played 15 matches with a deck entirely designed to make Storm Kage work…and he was redundant. I replaced Storm Kage with Bloodrage Mask, and the deck was better in every way. He offers absolutely nothing to Songhai because:

  1. He is a 7-mana minion. This just is not something Songhai does. Even Grandmaster Zendo, a card that would be played heavily in any other faction, is rarely used in Songhai. The faction aims to use high utility minions combined with spells to control the board. A big bulky cannon doesn’t fit the faction.

  2. Kage Lightning is largely pointless in a large number of matchups. Songhai does not need more nukes to kill minions - it doesn’t win by clearing the board. It wins by clearing the enemy general (har har).

  3. Kage Lightning’s animation needs a rework. :stuck_out_tongue:

Storm Kage is my favorite card in Duelyst - thematically. I love value minions, and I love burn. If a Storm Kage deck were viable, it would be the only thing I ever played in this game. To make Storm Kage viable, I think he should be reworked to something like:
5 mana.
Whenever a spell you cast deals damage, add a Kage Lightning to your hand.

Kage Lightning:
2 mana
Deal 1 damage to any enemy.

So it’s mana-inefficient, but massive value.

Alternatively, Storm Kage could add a Kage Lightning to your hand at the end of every turn.

My other votes:
I voted for Ace because he is objectively one of the worst cards in the game. In an entire expansion based on Battle Pets, it’s flat-out anger-inducing that Songhai doesn’t even have two good pets. Xho is already questionable in value, but Ace is just horrendous. They could simply make Ace immobile (he’s a turtle…moves slow!) and it would be an improvement to a card. Is there any other card that you can legitimately say that? Removing movement as an option is a buff? I would love to get a viable Ace. If he can’t be ranged, then make him melee - just make him usable.

This card is almost amazing. Make it amazing so Faie has something more than Hearth Sister to combo with in-faction.

If I had a fourth vote, I would vote Starhorn - he is a special kind of terrible, and as a general, that deserves special attention. He can only be viable by Counterplay Games shoehorning him in through cards designed solely to benefit from him drawing excess cards, and it will never go well.

If I had a fifth vote, it would be Mogwai, just because I really want him to draw cards from spells that move him. He would be a great boon to Backstabhai and what some are calling Movehai. He’s almost a great card, and even as a great card he wouldn’t be too good. He would just be another card draw option, and this game really does need more of those. :slight_smile:


As for my votes, I think Starhorn and Ace are somewhat self-explanatory. Astral Crusader is a different story. Everyone knows he’s bad; it’s because that minion does not want to be played.

I think he could maybe be reworked to be a replace-deck Mandrake of sorts. “Whenever you replace this card, lower the cost of all cards named Astral Crusader by 1.” Or something in the same vein, as a 6/6 for 10, maybe. I’d love love love for him to be usable.

On an unrelated note, at the top of your post you mentioned it; I’d love to post in a thread about how cards’ rarities are settled on, or what appears to be the reasoning behind them.


Astral Crusader needs to be something more than just a ball of stats when he comes out. He needs to be a threat for all the times you had to replace him. Maybe something like “When replaced, reduce cost by 1 and gain a random Keyword”

Keywords include: Rush, Blast, Range, Frenzy, Celerity, Rebirth, Provoke.

This means the more you replace him, the more effects you can accumulate on him. You can live the dream of having a Rush + Range + Celerity minion.

I also voted for Oserix and Shadow Nova. Oserix just comes out too late for any Artifact deck. He’d be pretty fine as a 5/6 for 6 with the same card text.

Shadow Nova is just too much of a tempo loss. 4 mana just for 4 Shadow Creeps can throw a game by itself. I’d make it something like “Doubles the number of friendly Shadow Creep”. This means that it’s a slight nerf on tempo (Unless you manage to get out an ungodly amount of creep early) but is a huge buff late. 4 tiles becomes 8. 5 becomes 10. 8 becomes ‘Game Over’.


Mesmerize I voted for since it’s an extremely interesting effect that I would love to actually have a reason to run. Ace because Songhai was given a card that could contribute hugely to making battle pets a viable deck (crimson coil), but then one of their 2 battlepets is hardly a card at all. Mogwai since I wish for there to be more viable draw options among the neutral cards.


I voted Crusader for reasons already stated in this thread. I agree with narasimha on his rework. He needs more presence when he enters the board.

I chose Echoing Shriek because it is basically useless in the current meta. It hits nothing important and it’s effect is a minor stat reduction. The best use I could see from it is as a tech card against Songhai (Chakri Avatar, Heartseeker, etc.). I’d rather see some dying wish theme support.

You see some Starhorn in ladder, but he is rarely a better pick than Vaath. His BBS needs a complete replacement.


Of the available options, Starhorn is the clear choice, as the need for a rework on the General level represents an entirely different system of scale. Here’s a collection of possible reworkings I threw together about a month ago in a different topic:

Collection of Starhorn Reworks

(1) Shift focus from drawing to replacing.

  • You may replace 2 additional cards this turn.
  • Pro’s: maintains “Seeker” theme, adds new replace synergy component (possibly even saving Astral Crusader from Exile-tier)
  • Con’s: not terribly flashy, would require Magmar-specific replace synergies (otherwise it may feel too neutral), relatively weak and non-interactive.

(2) Some variation of life-tap (probably the most suggested).

  • Deal ‘X’ (2, 3?) damage to your General, draw a card.
  • Draw a card and Stun your General.
  • Pro’s: would be actually playable, perhaps very strong, maintains both “Seeker” theme and Draw synergy themes, opens up possibility for more Zoo (not a fan) and Control (yes please) archetypes.
  • Con’s: very difficult to balance around a faction with excellent midrange options; also uninspired (not necessarily bad) and further enables Zoo.

(3) Stalling/Control-oriented abilities.

  • Give your General +2 Armor.
  • Mechanically, this would be identical to HS’s warrior hero power.
  • Pro’s: warrior is my most played class and their hero power is my favorite (:sweat_smile:), tangentially maintains “Seeker” theme (e.g. buying time to seek), also fits thematically with the fact that Magmar are giant lizard warriors with assumedly tough scales/plating, opens up huge potential for control/fatigue playstyle (which is largely underserved).
  • Con’s: uninspired (not necessarily bad), would require new cards to synergize (so as to not feel faction-disconnected [how awesome would shield slam be in Magmar!]).
  • I now fully realize just how badly I want a Warrior/Control-Stall playstyle in Duelyst :confounded:.
  • Give an enemy minion -2 Attack.
  • Pro’s: tangentially maintains “Seeker” theme, synergizes with Natural Selection.
  • Con’s: would require many new cards to synergize, may be too weak.
  • Stun ANY minion with the lowest Attack or tied for the lowest Attack.

(4) ‘Looting’ Ability.

  • Draw a card, then discard a card.
  • Pro’s: maintains both “Seeker” and Draw synergy themes, enables discard mechanics/synergies.
  • Con’s: relatively uninspired, underpowered.

(5) Keep BBS as it is, but modify the costs of drawn cards.

  • Both players draw a card. Your card costs 1 less.
  • Pro’s: effectively negates the mana disadvantage, more potential for tempo.
  • Con’s: your opponent is still drawing a card (…), colossally dependent on new draw-synergy cards.
  • Both players draw a card. Your card costs 1 less and your opponent’s card costs 1 more.
  • Pro’s: more interesting, reduces reward for opponent, maintains both “Seeker” and draw-synergy themes.
  • Con’s: same as simpler variation.

(6) “Mindwarper” or “Mind Steal” Ability.

  • Gain a copy of a random card from your opponent’s action bar.
  • Steal a random card from your opponent’s deck and put it into your action bar.
  • Steal 2 random cards from your opponent’s deck and put them into your deck.

(7) Grow Synergies.

  • Give a friendly minion Grow +1/+1.
  • All friendly minions grow at the end of your turn.

In regards to the other cards on the list, I’d argue that some of them don’t deserve a spot given the present criteria. Storm Kage, Oserix, Crystal Wisp, Lava Lance, and Truestrike all present the possibility of future playability given further support. I’d also argue that Mogwai and Winterblade are fringe.

Now, I also think the list is missing some other “0-play” cards (though this is only after a quick glance, so I may miss or over-emphasize some):

  • Lyonar
  • Sunstone Templar
  • Sky Burial
  • Songhai
  • Mistwalking
  • Mask of Shadows
  • Saberspine Seal
  • Keshrai Fanblade
  • Jade Monk
  • Pandomonium
  • Vetruvian
  • Rae
  • Fountain of Youth
  • Orb Weaver
  • Portal Guardian
  • Time Maelstrom
  • Sand Sister Saon
  • Corpse Combustion
  • Abyssian
  • Nightsorrow Assassin
  • Dark Seed
  • Magmar
  • Tremor
  • Mind Steal
  • Flaming Stampede
  • Wild Inceptor
  • Vanar
  • Lightning Blitz
  • Huldra
  • Wind Sister Maia
  • Polarity
  • Neutral
  • Prophet of the White Palm
  • Sand Burrower
  • Sphynx
  • Calculator


I voted Nova, Fiend, and Crusader.
I would’ve voted Shriek, but i disenchanted three of them, so i don’t want it to be good :smile:.

Astral Crusader: It looks really cool, but it just isn’t good. It would be nice to see a buff on Crusader to make it playable in Replace decks making it a 2 cost reduction on all Crusaders in your deck, and +1/+1 for the one you replaced could be good.

Night Fiend: It’s just kind of naff. It costs 1 more than Breath (Which is rarely played) for a more situational effect, and it leaves behind a terrible body. I would make it a 3/3 “explode” a creep tile and deal 3-4 damage to enemies around it. Such fun with grasp of agony for a 6 Mana area clear.

Shadow Nova: Once this was a much powerful card, now it’s just plain bad. To rectify this problem we shall make it a 9 Mana "Shadow Creep Works like the old way it worked)


Why not just let Starhorn draw a card? Even then he would be worse than Vaath. I’d rather kill 2 drops and only take 3 from thumping than get a card. It’s not like Magmar suffers from draw.


I think some cards in my list are definitely arguable. I did the best I could. Almost every card you listed as “missing” was on a list for consideration, and I asked the Discord and chose my list based on limited feedback. However, I’ll disagree on a few cards:

Sky Burial - I had it played against me in S-Rank today. I think it’s a decent card with all of the Reva running around to “bury” Four Winds Magi.

Pandomonium - a 1-off staple in Crankyhai.

Corpse Combustion - I think this has potential, and no one has really tried it sincerely that I’ve seen.

Sand Sister Saon - I think she’s good, but overshadowed by the ridiculous Falcius.

Mind Steal - I was trying not to include cards that are flat-out poorly designed. Anyone who hates RNG (like me) will think this needs a change, but not because it’s bad.

Tremor - Drezburger specifically told me not to include this as he uses it sometimes and thinks it is situationally good. Blame him. :stuck_out_tongue:

Wild Inceptor - isn’t this more about Eggmar being bad as an archetype right now?

Flaming Stampede - Ditto.

Polarity - crucial card in Arcanyst Vanar.

Prophet of the White Palm - used in Dance of Dreams, at least. :stuck_out_tongue: I don’t think it’s any worse than the other 1-drops that don’t see much play.

  • Sky Burial - I don’t think having the card played against you once in S-Rank (aka Experimentation-Rank) is a valid rebuttal :sweat_smile:…As it stands now, there is very little-to-no reason to run it above Martyrdom (same cost, zero-conditionality) or Decimate (1-mana more, exponentially more potent effect).
  • Pandomonium - Yes it’s run as a 1-of in Crankyhai, but that’s it. Outside of the terribly situational Crescent Spear + this + Ghost Lightning, it will simply see no play, and I think that’s a shame.
  • Corpse Combustion - Similar to Hydrax; add all the Dying Wish minions you want, and the situationality and cost will still keep this from ever seeing play. Conceivably, if a “Pax-level” 3-drop and 4-drop were made, then this may barely stand a chance. Ergo, rework it.
  • Sand Sister Saon - That’s the point, there’s no reason to run her due to her cost/stats. She’s the weakest of the Sisters (at least Vanar has stats).
  • Mind Steal - I was thinking more of the ‘rework’ route of considering a new effect entirely, or perhaps altering the cost and/or the immediacy of the effect (e.g. Steal 3 random cards from your opponent’s deck and put them into your deck.).
  • Tremor - I cannot fathom Drezburger having success; and certainly 1 person using it is in no way a valid rebuttal to its inclusion. This card is infinitely more deserving of a spot than Lava Lance or Phalanxar.
  • Wild Inceptor - Again, similar to Corpse Combustion: even with the support, it couldn’t see play due to the conditionality, cost, and stats. It’s not realistic to expect CPG to produce S-tier cards to solely support Eggmar. Ergo, rework or buff.
  • Polarity - Does that archetype even exist? Even so, there could be many more interesting/playable ways to buff or rework it.
  • Prophet of the White Palm - It’s worse in the sense of its stats in relation to the extreme conditionality of its effect. There would be absolutely zero harm in buffing its stats or ability.


I voted for Oserix, Mesmerize, and Winterblade. Following are my suggested reworks (tweak numbers as needed):

9 mana 6/3
Costs (1) less per attack point of your General. DW: Equip two random Artifacts from your deck.

Costs less than the original in most cases, can be used in tempo artifact lists and OTK. Fun synergy with Tears, Saon, and Falc.

1 mana
Treat your starting side of the board as the opponent’s starting side of the board and vice versa for this turn. Draw a card at the start of your next turn.

More flavorful, infiltrate activation and Avalanche shenanigans. Also opens up design space for more infiltrate/“starting side” cards. Card cycle included because weak effect on its own.

6 mana
Your General gains +2 attack and Infiltrate: restore 5 health to your General at the end of your turn.

New flavor (think winter survivalist), introduces healing to Vanar. Fun synergy with (new and old) Mesmerize and Tracer.

Very close to voting for Astral Crusader. Here’s a rework for him that’s more fun that just a bunch of stats:

Astral Crusader
6 mana 5/7 Arcanyst Flying
Whenever you replace this card, restore 3 health to your General.


Hmm. I think Sky Burial is nice because the Lyonar player can choose to keep their own minions out of range (I’ve played Lyonar players who make good use of Sworn Avenger for example, or maybe Sun Sister Sterope) without nuking them with Decimate. Sky Burial would be crazy good as a 2-mana card, don’t you think? It’s not clear how else it could be improved.

Pandomonium - A card that sees consistent play in even one archetype isn’t at the top of the list for inclusion, though. :slight_smile: I think there are cards that are intentionally designed in that way, and they’re healthy. I can’t think of how Pandomonium could be changed without it being too good - do you have a suggestion?

Corpse Combustion - I wish I had Vetruvian cards, because I actually have an idea for a Vetruvian deck that stacks Aymara + Corpse Combustion + Keeper of the Vale to keep re-summoning Aymara to attrition your opponent down. Until I get to try that deck, I won’t rule this out! :stuck_out_tongue:

Saon is fine - Falcius needs the nerf.

Fair on Mind Steal.

I agree with you on Tremor, but I try to take community opinions into consideration when making the poll. If something scores particularly low in the polls (like Lava Lance) I’ll flip it into Tremor for sure.

Wild Inceptor is also giving that minion rush - I think it has potential in the future.

Yes, Arcanyst Vanar does exist as an archetype. It’s not popular, but I’ve faced it a few times and it had a dedicated Reddit thread.

How would its ability be buffed? I agree it could be a 2/1 and be fine. I suppose it could also protect minions from minion damage abilities.