Dispel is not the only way to soft-remove certain minions. Plenty of factions have other means. Displacement effects, like Repulsor Beast, Hearth Sister, Demonic Lure, and Juxtapostion play a similar role to dispel since it stops Nasty minions from being close to you. Other effects include Stun and Movement restriction.
Mechanics such as Movement restriction and Displacement are also more fun than dispel since it is possible to counter these effects with things such as flying or your own displacement effects. You can even play around displacement based removal with clever positioning. If your large minion gets displaced, ou can move your army closer to it, making it faster for it to rejoin your ranks. Dispel, on the other hand, has no counter. If your opponent wants to dispel your minion, that minion stays dispelled. Absolutely no counterplay exists fo dispel.
Yes, Duelyst has some nasty minions that demand answers the turn they are played, but that answer does not nessesariely need to be as one-sided as dispel.
2 mana, 2/2
Target minion cannot move during their next turn
A movement based early removal. Compare to Ephemeral Shroud and Maw.
2 mana spell
Move all minions in a 2*2 area to their closest corner.
A displacement spell that can both push enemies away and put your ranged minions in good locations. If the opponent plays around this properly, it is a worse Demonic Lure.
4 mana Vanar Minion
Fill a row with 0/2 Glacial Keystones
0 mana Wall token
(no other abilities)
Something like this would allow you to delay by throwing up a wall and hiding behind it while your opponent takes a few turns to break through. You can use this defensively to prevent rush minions and cover your escape or offensively to prevent the opponent from escaping. Plus, walls offer an interesting way of lowering the effectiveness of certain minions.
4 mana 3/5
Opening Gambit: Choose a minion. That minion may not move and attack on the same turn.
Another movement based way to soft-remove something. However, instead of wiping a card blank, this makes your opponent sacrifice movement for attacks or vice versa.
6 mana, 7/7
ALL characters may not move and attack on the same turn.
A universal movement hindering effect.
??? Mana Spell (can’t decide on a cost)
Target 3*3 area. All characters in that area can only interact with other characters and spaces in that area for the next 3 turns.
How this works is you choose a 3*3 area and that area essentially becomes a “mini battlefield” for the next 3 turns. You can trap enemy minions to removal them, throw your own minion in there to protect it, or even use it as semi-dispel in order to negate a provoke or an end of turn effect. Three turns seems long enough for this spell to gain value due to the fast pace of matches.