Why are certain generals Bad?


#1

Duelyst has a few generals that see little to no play ever since they were released. I would like to share my thoughts on what makes certain ones bad.

Zir’an

Her BBS heals a minion of your choice by 3. This is a powerful ability if you have a large, high health minion that gets damaged easily or healing synergies. However, it is very difficult to find a healing target for Ziran since most large minions can be easily removed using rather cheap spells. Furthermore, high health minions usually do better with Argeon as their leader since the extra attack complements their already high health.

Proposed change: Deal 1 damage to a minion. Then restore 3 health to it

Things that could support her:

  • more healing synergy
  • minions that are good at sticking on the board

Kaleos

Kaleos also suffers from the fact that he requires minions to gain value from his spell. He can teleport a friendly minion 2 spaces in any direction, giving him a position advantage. However, this BBS requires something that wants to be teleported to be on the field. This could potentially help keep ranged minions safe and position threats better. However, Reva does the ranged thing far better than Kaleos and, with a few exceptions, Songhai threats are too small to benefit much from Kaleos’ BBS

Proposed change: target friendly minion is moved 3 spaces (Activates Black Locust and Mogwai)

Things that could support him:

  • more movement synergy
  • position effects

Sajj

Sajj’s spell is an interesting one. It can be extremely powerful in certain situations yet is subpar most of the time. The main problem with this spell is that it sacrifices Health for board control. Vetruvian does not have any reliable healing so other decks can easily rush Sajj down if she tries to control using he BBS.

Proposed change: keep her BBS the same and give her more support

Things that could support her:

  • More healing/ damage negation
  • Artifacts that stack well

Starhorn

Starhorn’s BBS is unique in that it is the only one that, in a vacuum, puts you at a disadvantage. For 1 mana, you draw a card and give your opponent a free card. Compare this to Blaze Hound and Spelljammer, which both gives both players cards but also gives you a body. While this might be decent against high curve decks, those do not exist so this spell is worthless. Nearly all decks that currently exist have some way of exploiting this BBS to their own benefit.

Proposed change: No idea. Maybe: Draw a card. Choose one: give your opponent a card or take 2 damage.

Things that could support him:

  • I honestly have no ideas since everything Starhorn can do, Vaath with Spelljammer can also do.
  • more combo support to Magmar.

#2

For Starhorn I find that cards like Mandrake that “punish” opponents for playing their extra cards work best. I feel I’m able to reliably play multiple Mandrakes in a single turn for free relatively early on because of this. If there were ways to gain an advantage when the other player uses non minion cards, I feel Starhorn would benefit more than Vaath from it.


#3

I think that the simple fact of the matter is that the repeated replenishment of BBS throughout matches means that situational BBS are simply at a substantial intrinsic disadvantage to spammable BBS.

I imagine that CPG is well aware of this, which is why I think that the upcoming expansion may address this imbalance by several different general means, since this is a fundamentally a shared design flaw of several BBS: Benefits for skipped BBS usage, per-instance BBS transmogrification (say, your next BBS usage does something spammable instead of situational), etc. You know, instead of narrow “per-BBS” synergy, we may be looking at whole classes of cards addressing the fundamental design flaw of having put situational effects where they don’t naturally belong (as spells with many instances of availability in matches) without a lot of heavy-handed narrow synergy bandaid attempts like Decimus, Falcius, Grove Lion, etc.


#4

Ziran

Not the best idea. Would make it harder to heal minions after a trade since it could kill your own minion. Like you can’t use bbs on a Healing Mystic that attacked an enemy general.
It would also be used to kill enemy minions like Cass, which sort of deviates from heal theme.

Kaleos
Not really a bad BBS. It isn’t too hard to get a minion on board. Kaleos BBS is good to keep things like Chakri Avatar safe and efficiently attack next turn. It is just that Spellhai is popular/better so there are few minions, therefore Reva becomes the automatic better choice for deck.


#5

I have a few suggestions:

Kaleos - move a minion 2 spaces.

Starhorn - both players draw a card. If the card you draw is a spell, it costs 1 less.
or - both players draw a card. If the card you draw is a minion, give it +1/+1.

I believe Zir’an’s and Sajj’s BBS are ok. They just need more cards that synergize with them.


#6

I believe Kaleos’ BBS is already quite solid. The only reason he does not see much play is because currently, there is little point at all in using him instead of Reva on Songhai’s most powerful archetypes.


#7

Kaleos doesn’t just not see much play. His win rate is also abysmally low according to duelysthub. He’s not considered bad just because Reva is good, the statistics speak for why he’s regarded as weak.


#8

Or is it because backstabhai and other archetypes associated with Kaleos are weak, yet his BBS is ok? Has anyone tried to run spellhai with Kaleos to see how worse is it? Maybe the problem is deeper than just the general.


#9

It is worth noting the usefulness of duelysthub is questionable at best; there is no filter for rank, and the only place misplays become less than common is in high diamond and up.

You might be able to argue it is less than likely someone who is not as invested in the game as a highly-ranked player would find out about the site to sign up and thus the statistics are more reliable, but I believe that to be quite the leap.


#10

It’s the same for S-rank. I don’t have a link, but Kaleos’ win rate there was a sad 40-42% (This was last month). All of the results from the S-rank statistics corresponded well with duelysthub statistics as well.


#11

I think the problem with Zi’ran is that her combos aren’t swingy enough to make up for how awkward they are.

People have proven that she can work at s rank. But poeple have also proven that healing-Argeon is just as effective.

Until she is allowed to heal herself I don’t see that changing.


#12

Starhorn has been proven to be good when it comes to playing flood and aggro decks. And before the siphon and zenrui nerf, I’m fairly sure how sajj control was considered one of the better decks even if it was for a short while. Kaleos isn’t bad it’s simply how at the moment meta supports faster archetypes and reva fits in there better. And ziran simply lacks good support cards.

My point being, generals aren’t really bad on their own, it’s often the meta that determines their popularity. But other than that it’s just lack of support that is the most noticeable with ziran and starhorn, even though starhorn managed to pull out regardless.

I don’t think anymore changes to the generals are necessary. Everything from this point on can be fixed and adjusted by implementing the proper support cards. Proper being the keyword here, so not shit like visionar but more stuff like sunforge lancer.


#13

Starhorn is a bad general because his BBS is situational and he warps the entire Magmar faction around it.
Magmar has no innate synergy with card-draw, all the synergy was added after Starhorn was added. This bruteforce approach to making the faction with the BBS instead of having the BBS fit the faction is leading to more and more ‘Starhorn’ Magmar cards being added which serve no purpose for Vaath and vice versa. It’s splitting the Magmar faction up into two halves that have no use for the other’s minions and spells. If that’s something CP wants to do they should just make Starhorn a seperate faction and let Magmar be Magmar.

In short Starhorn is bad for the game because he needs a very specific deck built around him to make his BBS work whereas other generals can use a normal deck and still use theirs for some measure of succes. His BBS is also the only one that benefits the opponent more. His presence is warping the Magmar faction and splitting it in two and warping the game in general because they keep trying to give him tech cards, in essence making a lot of the expansions and new cards about trying to make Starhorn work instead of changing the BBS to suit the faction.


#14

But almost every general has faction specific cards which only they want to run, along with the core ones which is good for both generals. Same applies to starhorn, it’s just how his support cards are garbage and rather than relying on them, starhorn decks have a low curve in which scenario it’s BBS actually helps them more than the enemy. I don’t see how you came to the conclusion how magmar is splitting into two factions because of starhorn.

Both magmar generals are proven to work and they are definitely different but they’re not that far apart to make statements like that.


#15

But almost every general has faction specific cards which only they want
to run, along with the core set which is good for both generals.

All right, let’s test that statement:
For Songhai, name me cards that only Reva runs and Kaleos doesn’t or vice versa. I can think of none.
For Vetruvian, name me cards that only Zirix runs that Sajj doesn’t or vice versa. I can think of none again.
For Vanar, name me cards that only Kara runs that Faie doesn’t or vice versa. I can think of none again.
For Abyssian this statement is sort of correct, though I’ve seen Lilithe running Ooz, Obliterate and Klaxon as well. They’re still playable for the other half. The synergy from Shadowcreep or Wraithlings/Deathwatch is still accesible to the other part of the faction due to minions and spell playing off of it.
For Lyonar, Zir’an heals as her BBS but Lyonar has many spells and minions that heal, making her BBS synergize with the faction as a whole while not making them useless to Argeon.

Magmar has NO synergy with card-draw. The only thing that even came close is Dance of Dreams and that’s just an alternative way to draw cards and very, very niche. Vaath would never run Vindicator, Vaath would never run Visionar because they’re just terrible without Starhorn and even then nobody runs them. If they do not rework Starhorn they will eventually include a lot of cards only runnable by Starhorn that Vaath can’t use at all. This will split up the faction in two halves, the Starhorn half that works off of card-draw which the other part has no use for and the ‘regular’ Magmar that Vaath uses. Sure Starhorn can dip into Vaath’s pool so far, but Vaath can’t dip into Starhorn’s pool without gimping himself hard. If they want to make Starhorn viable instead of a joke-choice, they will have to give Magmar more card-draw synergy which is not something the faction is designed around.

There are two choices for Magmar advancement:
Either they force Starhorn synergy, giving Vaath less options or they ignore Starhorn and try and work with Magmar’s existing archetypes (Self-harm, Rebirth, Grow, Rush) and leave him a niche pick. Look at Shim’Zar to see what an amazing mess trying to do both gets you, over 75% of the Shim’Zar faction cards aren’t being run by Magmar.

This is why I think he’s bad for the game and the Magmar faction and allows me to make a claim like that.


#16

Panddo, Hamon, Onyx Jaguar, Zendo, Gore Horn, Kaido are some of the cards Kaleos runs that Revas often don’t.

Sajj is better at running slower decks with few artifacts while zirix is better when it comes to simcity. You don’t zirixes running hexblades and spinecleavers that often just as you don’t really see simcity sajj.

Since the kara BBS change, wall cards are obviously better for her and so are the cards that support the archetype.

If you see synergy only in a form of a card directly working together in unison with something else, then you’re not looking at the bigger picture. I already explained how floodhorn is confirmed to be a quality deck and how starhorns BBS works there despite not having obvious card synergies. I also did say how starhorn lacks good support cards to make decks other than floodhorn work.

Adding cards that support one general doesn’t mean the other general is being ignored. The game already has plenty of cards that are factually better in one general than the other and you don’t see people complaining about it. If all cards were equally good for both generals in each factions then there’s no point to generals existing in the first place.

The time where everyone complains how starhorn will never be good are over because it is good. Sure, it’s only one, arguably two archetypes if you count aggro but still. Now, you can complain how starhorn will never be good outside fast decks and I can probably agree with that. But then again, it doesn’t have to.


#17

Just looking at the top decks in Managlow here:
Zendo in Reva

I was unable to find any Kaleos decks in the Managlow Manaranks. So assuming we only look at top-tier decks, nobody runs the other cards so your point is moot.

The only top-tier deck for Sajj doesn’t run any artefacts either.

You’re also missing the point with Kara and Faie (and all the other cards you mentioned), the point is not that they don’t run them, the point is more that they can all run these cards without a drawback. The gain they get from their BBS synergy is gravy. The reason those particular cards are not being run is because there are better options that do what they do (Katara is a better Kaido, Ghost lightning is run over battle pando, Hamon isn’t really used due to repulsor beast fucking you over, I’ve seen Onyx Jaguar being run in S-rank quite a few times too in GrincherZ’s stream).

Visionar and Vindicator ONLY work with Starhorn, they require Starhorn to work to be viable at all. You’re not going to tell me Reva cannot make Gorehorn or Kaido work (juxtaposition, Mis Dragon seal, etc.) This is not the same for both of the above, or any of the cards that would synergize with Starhorn. They would be useless to Vaath due to the nature of Starhorn’s BBS. The top manaranks decks with Starhorn don’t even run them.

So yes there are cards that are better for some generals, but they are not unuseable. Starhorn cards with Vaath are completely unuseable. Starhorn also pulls cards from the exact same pool as Vaath but Vaath cannot use cards from Starhorn’s pool without massively gimping himself in contrast to all of the things you mentioned.

So no, I completely disagree with all the things you said in regards to Starhorn not splitting the faction and having no inherent synergy with Magmar cards.

You’re also completely ignoring the rest of my argument.


#18

I meant Onyx Jaguar, my bad. We’re not discussing the viability of the decks here. That changes depending on the meta. It’s about what cards fit in the which general deck’s better.

Why does it matter how exactly usable the card is for the second general if it’s obviously better in the first one and will be generally run there? For example, Klaxon is obviously better in cassy and you don’t see it being run in lilithe despite it not being as awful there as for example visionar is in vaath, but why does that difference of usability matters if it’s not going to be run there anyway? It’s not relevant.

Problem with visionar is how it’s simply a bad card. And even if it was any good, it’s not necessarily awful in vaath either because there are more ways to force people to draw cards than just using starhorn’s BBS. Just like klaxon isn’t absolutely awful in lilithe because it’s still a 6 mana 6/6 with provoke. But again, since those generals don’t plan on running those anyway, it’s irrelevant. By the way you’re looking at things, it’s too late as factions are obviously being split up which each general getting cards only them ever want to use.


#20

I apologize. I edited that part of my reply. I hope we can continue this discussion in civil manner. Now would you mind please addressing the points I’ve made when there’s no that single sentence you can use as an excuse to disregard everything I’ve said. I did put effort into my post after all. Thanks.


#21

I have to agree that some generals lack the card support at the moment, making them less viable. To say that the generals themselves are bad is something I think we can determine when they have more cards to synergize with their Bloodborn spells.