Will current Starnhorn BBS be ever "okay"?


This is just moment of though about Starhorn BBS. (sorry if this was discussed before)

Maybe it is just me but I feels like the newest set was meant to support Starhorn and interact with his BBS but I see that people found that even Vaath is stronger with decimus+drawmania.

And if you think about it…how good and fun can actually this BBS can be ?

Dump and draw leads to super fast deck which is not really fun.
I dont think there could be minions combo-ed with current BBS because it will be just to powerfull or garbage(visonar?)

The only way I see it that there could be set of magmar cards that will consist of freeze , stun, heal with draw mechanic to somehow make super combo late game but this mechanics contradicts with Magmar as a fraction(heal-lyonar, stun/freeze-vanar ) and it will be again just one type of deck.

If you compare his BBS with other this is the only one not interacting with minions(general on borad is kind of a minion presence) or board .

What you think?


I think this meta has proven that Starhorn’s bbs needs a design change. Because, I agree- Vaath is still better and Vaath also gets to use “Starhorn’s” cards- Gaze and Tectonic and even Decimus. Not to mention Starhorn lists still don’t commonly use vindicator or visionar. I’m not saying Starhorn is bad. I’m saying his bbs does not fit well with duelyst, and trying to make it work is warping the game by making Vaath S-tier for the cost of making Starhorn tier 1.

The concept of replacing Warlock’s ‘deal 2 to your face’ with ‘draw your opponent a card’ relied on the Duelyst meta having slow decks be common.
This business of making synergy around drawing your opponent cards to take the bite off of how horrible it is against opponents who can dump their hand is duct tape around a design flaw, considering the overall direction of the game has been revealed to heavily favor shorter games. I had hope Starhorn would work with this expansion, but I think Vaath’s continued popularity over Starhorn with Starhorn’s own new shiny tools shows there’s no hope remaining for the future.

The writing was on the wall from starhorn’s creation though. Since Duelyst doesn’t draw at the start of the turn like HS, any cards created to synergize with Starhorn’s bbs were fated to be cards you needed to combo out of hand with or risk losing value if you play them, your opponent counters next turn and so they never proc. Combine that with bbs’ not being available every turn and you have a nightmere of dead cards in-hand with Starhorn-reliant decks. A meta where every deck needs to have a turn 1 play was never going to make Starhorn’s bbs good, and Duelyst has shown no signs of moving away from requiring a turn 1 play in a full year of card releases.


Personal opinion. I will try to state directly what I think, hoping none is offended by this.

I think the devs should realize that Starhorn’s BBS is inherently bad. Look at its strengths and weaknesses carefully:

  • you draw a card in exchange of 1 mana
  • you get to play this card before your opponent
  • your opponent gets a card for free!

The weakness is so obvious and severe that the devs are pushing a lot of anti-synergy on the opponent for drawing cards. This forces the design of cards which are widely considered weak or just unfun to play against, like Tectonic Spikes, Decimus, Vindicator and Visionar. These cards are so awkward that a plainly broken card (Tectonic Spikes) was put in the pool, hoping that a single card could make both bad cards and a bad BBS see play. However, a bunch of bad stuff does not make their combination good: if the broken card was nerfed, Starhorn would be bottom tier again. The reason is that his BBS is bad in isolation. Some BBSs are more situational than others, but none of them gives an advantage to the opponent, with the exception of Starhorn’s one!

I would be happier if the devs decided to rework Starhorn’s BBS to make it stronger. Without changing it significantly, spending 1 mana to draw a card would not be broken at all (in my opinion). The BBS is not available every turn in Duelyst and we already have strong cards like Sphere of Darkness which draw a card for 1 mana (plus an effect). If this simple change was implemented, all the aforementioned boring and/or weak cards could be reworked to ship more interesting effects and the game would be funnier for everyone. Also a completely different BBS would be fine, let’s just try to give Starhorn something which does not give an advantage to the opponent.


I’ve long said, and still say, that Starseeker has a bottom three BBS in the entire game. It’s mediocre at best and often bad.


The faction cards MORE than make up for the mediocre BBS.


That was true before RoTB, after the inclusion of magmar card draw in the form of tectonic spikes and the mini spiral tech starhorn’s bbs is proven to be pretty redundant/unecessary. Perhaps if one were using an old build his BBS would be viable. Anyhow, who am I to say? I’m just a sandy vet main


As am I, @mmf I’ve been Vetruvian since I started playing.

I do see more ability for Starhorn’s BBS to be useful within the card kit than some others.


EDIT:Sorry forgot to put @readerusmc
I can say that at times starhorn does have it’s uses seeing as no matter what the meta is, card draw will always be a valuable asset to any deck, but what starhorn is now is a general who’s use is tied to the number of card draw that magmar has available to them (faction specific or otherwise). If magmar keeps on receiving decent and/or good card draw mechanics then the BBS will continues to be called bad or unplayable by players seeking to work around a damage centric meta. Vaath’s BBS was meant to be more of a late game threat while risking card deficiencies, but if CP enables out of hand card draw +damage in one burst then the weakness in vaath is thus nullified. Starhorn will always be playable though his design prevents him from being too competitive (aka ladder approved).

of course that doesn’t mean that he won’t get supported in the future. I mean look at sajj. Zephyr basically made her more flexible and stuff!


I’ll repost a link to my previous discussion on Starhorn here

I’ll try and respond in a more coherent manner later. Need to wake up properly first. :stuck_out_tongue:


I think drawing when the hand is full should do damage to the general, not stackable.

only to his BBS spell.

Something like
"you and the enemy draw 1 card, if the enemy action bar is full is full, deal 4 damage instead"

since it has a pretty stern condition to do damage, it shold be higher than Warbird IMO.
Then you can start thinking about filling the enemy hand to do adittional damage.
OFC there is the non interactivity issue, but since you know starhorn can do that, you might choose to empty your hand and play sloppy to avoid damage, or stick to your guns and risk taking it.

This way, from my design standpoint, Starhorn would be a general to force the enemy to make mistakes in decision, but when used poorly can help the enemy if you really need that sweet draw.


Thank you for responses ,

In related with @misanthropovore discussion I see I am not the only one who see issue there and it would be nice if we get reply from Devs if they are aware or do not see problem at all.


I’ve thought since reading the codex that it would make far more sense for Starhorn to have a movement increasing BBS- similar in function to Elyx or Incinera- as reference to his old title “Starhorn the Swift”. We get that he’s an old Mag waiting to expire before his next incarnation (if Zirix doesn’t find a way to separate him from the Dance of Dreams to get revenge for apparently stealing something important)- but “swiftness” in the sense of a turnbased game can be represented by the number of squares one can move. It also makes Starhorn trickier to position against, and supports ATK based artifacts.


But wouldn’t that kind of ruin the feel that his BBS is supposed to have? It’s a card draw bloodborn spell, and I really like the concept, so I’d prefer a buff that stays true to it’s nature instead of a rework.


There’s no way to really safely buff it without literally turning Starhorn into Gul’Dan from HS. A 1 mana, card free +1 would simply break the game in Starhorn’s favor- so a life cost would have to be added, and that would both make Starhorn easier to SMorc and easier to get SMorc’d by- which is why Starhorn’s BBS is similar to Temple Bell


Sorry for being a noob, but what is SMorc-ing?


lol- Smorcing is best defined here.

It’s a sortof euphemism for playing a card game using reductive “go face” logic.


Ah yes, that makes sense. Thanks!


that’s the point though. his bbs is so horrible that they have to print obviously overpowered cards to compensate for it. they have a similar problem in hearthstone with the shaman class. this makes it so the class/faction is either garbage or the most broken thing in the game depending on what cards are avaliable


Starhorn draw was a problem, IS a problem. (see my thread above as to why). Not only because it didn’t suit the faction much nor provided all that much tangible benefit. With draw being so valuable, providing your opponent with a free card was a very, very bad downside. Furthermore, Magmar was not the faction that wanted to spam minions, rather they wanted single tough minions. They had no benefit to spamming tiny minions unless you went with out-of-faction cards. Shim’Zar partially solved this by maknig battlepets…but 2 minions are not enough to bridge that gap.

CP has chosen to solve the problem of Starhorn’s BBS’ downside by focusing this expansion on him. Or rather on card-draw. If every faction has reliable card-draw cards then drawing cards for the opponent isn’t that much of an issue. This still does not solve Starhorn’s issue, since they gave Magmar reliable card-draw as well. So why would you run Starhorn if Vaath can draw just as well? You don’t as is being proven.

Magmar still lacks the spammability needed to make this extra card-draw work properly, with only Rancour and a sub-par 3-drop being added for the early game to the faction that loves the 4-slot. There is no reason to run Starhorn for his extra card when Vaath’s is valuable all through the game and he can get cards as well.

That being said, Card-draw does seem to have found a niche in the Magmar faction: It is part of the self-harm archetype. Tectonic Spikes shows this, you hurt yourself to draw cards and those effects activate other mininos and effects (Twin Fang and rancour). Mark my words, we’ll see more cards for Magmar that function with harming your general that will function with a similar effect.

Unfortunately most of these cards only have card-draw as a peripheral effect in function of self-harm. If you play Tectonic Spikes to get Rancour or Twing Fang bigger, you don’t really care about the card-draw. The cards that do care about the card-draw directly: Visionar and Vindicator also only care about the card-draw in a peripheral way. They’re just a way to boost their stats. These mininos don’t utilize the extra cards you draw. Their growth could just as easily be activated by any other effect (such as for example, gaining stats whenever your general is hurt. Speculation on my end).

Magmar still has no real reason to have a general that focusses on card-draw. Their faction still has no reason to use card-draw as an effect besides it being just a medium to get certain effects that have nothing to do with card-draw. That they have been given Card-draw, which was one of their primary weaknesses is also very frustrating for the opponent. And where Sajj was given minions that support HER bbs with Starhorn it’s the other way around: Minions are given artificial card-draw scaling that can function decently without Starhorn’s BBS. This is both good and bad, good because this means that Starhorn and Vaath can use the same minions… Bad because why would you use Starhorn over Vaath if you can use Vaath whose BBS has no downside.

Those are some quick lunch-break thoughts.


This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.