The problem with duelyst. im sure many of us have went through the same frustration on how some mechanics, cards or factions are broken and dominate the ladder. We celebrate when the issue is finally addressed and the “broken” or “hated” cards have been nerfed.
But then, new cards are introduced and we go back to the same issue, once again. Why is duelyst never “perfect” or “balanced” we might ask. Well it’s true that nothing is perfect and we can only try to make it be, but duelyst seems to be driving further and further away from what we remembered and wanted it to be, a card game that utilizes a board and requires skill, thought, positioning, strategy and effort to distinguish yourself as a better player.
However, things seem to be getting worse right after shimzar when we expected it to recover from this perpetual cycle of reaching “balanced-ness” and falling back down to complete imbalanced-ness like the notorious card game many of us know, Hearthstone.
The fundamental issue lies within the fact that, duelyst, unlike hearthstone, has a board. In other words, it is telling us that positioning matters, which requires more skill than just dumping your hand with strong minions. Hearthstone is disliked because of this, because the fault in the “imbalanced-ness” lies within the effects of the cards. And the effects of the cardssolely determines how healthy the game is. But as we can see, such power that lies within the effects of the cards itself is unhealthy because if an ability, effect is left unchecked, the whole game will be unhealthily affected.
In duelyst, we get the option to position our units, minions so it doesnt die that quickly and have more space for skill and strategy to kick in, because of the existence of the board itself. But why is it still so “imbalanced” you might ask.
I will try to explain this through the dominating faction atm, the ever notorious, songhai. Why are songhais so good , relatively consistent and frustrating to deal with? It is because of the existence of cards that are designed to “ignore the board”. For instance, if a songhai player drops a four winds magi, and with the built in spell synergy, it will deal indeterminable amount of damage even on the turn that it was summoned. One might say: “why not dispel it?” or “you can use removals”. Which highlights the second issue with the game, when such units require an immediate answer and will probably win the game by itself if left unchecked for long enough, we determine it as an instant threat. And the issue here is this “answer or die” situation a lot of people have been complaining about. When you dont draw your answers, and you cannot effectively trade with it because of how the opponent positioned their minions in the far end of a corner or somewhere out of reach, you’re punished solely on the fact that you did not draw your answer.
The same situation applies to ranged units. ranged units are able to completely ignore the board state if summoned elsewhere, able to trade with normal non-ranged minions without taking any damage back. And if the opponent drops something else down, it will just die with supposed buffs like “killing edge”. In other words, they can deal damage to you, remove your board and stay alive to build their own board simultaneously.
With the expansion, we all got our hopes up that some cards or new mechanics can be introduced to help the game become perfectly fun, interacting and balanced (or at least close to it). However, we can agree that what we received are very “questionable" cards and decisions that makes you go “what? This is printed?” Cards that have ridiculous value or provide a hugee tempo (eg. Kron, Mirror Meld). With so many “answer or die” cards, dispels become more of a must and an option you may have. The saddest part is, they never seem to be enough with the amount of cards that are “immediate threats” and the minimal amount of control cards in the game. With the inherent flaws of the game, which is the existence of cards that can deal consistent damage without dying and ignoring the board (eg. Ranged units, four winds). The game will never be balanced. A game with a board that requires positioning should NEVER HAVE CARDS THAT CAN IGNORE IT.
This also highlights another issue, vanar. Vanar is considered to be a very strong faction because of the amount of removals they posess, from hailstone to chromatic cold and cryogenesis. And also because of the amount of win-conditions and power hosue cards they have. An example will be how inevitable the out of hand dagame and synergy they have. Often times I find myself winning a vanar (Faie this time) on board with a Kron and a random two drop. All of a sudden she slams down a glacial elemental and places the vespyr walls card and poof, my board is cleared. Now the issue arises, again. Cards that ignores the board and the “answer or die” situation. The glacial elemental is out of my general’s reach and I don’t have a dispel in hand. But I cant put any of my other cards down because she can just start summoning minions again to kill mine off. This is the same issue with ranged units, they ignore the board yet their very presence is defining it. And another one of their broken combos, Jax truesight. It is a card that if unanswered, wins the game single handedly. Just like Vanar’s walls. It’s either draw skorn or die. Due to the existence of razor back, Jax can just end you or anything you drop on the turn after. While you cannot reach out to his board ignoring mini jaxes that are at four different corners at the same time. And for vanar’s walls, if you lack an aoe, you’re gonna die to winter’s wake. As a vetruvian players, it’s almost impossible to clear out her walls in a late game scenario when I have issues catching up on board the whole game with her huge tempo swings and Faie’s annoying “deal 2 dmg every 2 turns”. I believe it would be worse if it’s kara’s bbs with a vespyr deck.
All in all, the game is becoming more and more uninteractive because of cards that ignores the board. And also inevitable out of hand damage. Topped off with the fact that generals have only 25 health, giving aggro decks an easier time. I didn’t mention everything and all possible scenarios here because it is already lengthy as it is. I hope that this post makes sense because I feel like it’s all over the place as it is my first time making a post like this. I do not wish to “hate” on anyone but I do admit that it is very frustrating playing against cards I have mentioned above. Especially as a vetruvian player even before shimzar, liking the faction because of its theme and card design. I only wish to have some sort of feedback, discussions maybe and most importantly a way to make the game move forward.
I do not want to hate on anyone, I typed this when i was super frustrated. So please, forgive me if the language seemed rude as I was really tilted at the time of writing the above post. I apologize again if anyone is pissed about it. I really do not wish to create any hate/ toxicity.