Mech Matters on Meta

So, as discussed in the previous post, I wanted to talk about something we’re going to frequently encounter on the ladder. His name? Frustration, Mechaz0r. Mechaz0r at first seems like a super neat idea, it requires 5 cards to be complete, and then you win the game!

Sound familiar?

 

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Hmm…This isn’t Duelyst is it?

 

No, it’s not Duelyst, but there’s if you recall the discussion about when minions become answer or die, or else you lose the game, there is a very specific minion in the game that is extremely similar to that, except you can see it coming a mile away.

 

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For Mechaz0r to be built, it requires 5 of any combination of the following cards:

1 mana – Helm of Mechaz0r
2 mana – Wings of Mechaz0r
3 mana – Cannon of Mechaz0r
3 mana – Sword of Mechaz0r
4 mana – Chasis of Mechaz0r

With the exception of Helm of Mechazor, they all have innate abilities as well as progressing mechaz0r’s “birth” by 20% each time any one is played. It doesn’t matter if duplicates are played – they still progress to the mechaz0r.

1 mana – Helm of Mechaz0r –
2 mana – Wings of Mechaz0r -Airdrop (can be dropped anwyhere on the field)
3 mana – Cannon of Mechaz0r – Ranged (can reach anywhere on the field with attack without moving)
3 mana – Sword of Mechaz0r Frenzy (adjacent and diagonal tiles can all be targetted at once)
4 mana – Chasis of Mechaz0r(Cannot be targeted by spells)*

*Area of Effect spells not included

So what’s the big deal with this? Oh, well it’s just a card that’s 8 health, 8 attack, and receives all of the innate abilities and is played for 0 mana once mechaz0r reaches 100% completion.

 

MECHAZ0R

the forbidden one

 

So game over, right? The game has an internal clock that just determines that if you don’t win by the time the opponent gets out this card, you just lose, right?

No – that’s not the case, and that’s where the meta comes in. There’s a 3 attack, 3 health minion that costs 3 mana.

It’s value is 3. That’s right, it’s only 3. Using our algorithms, this card falls very very flat on it’s face when you compare the fact that our most basic card Windblade Adept has a value of 4 when zealed – which it should always be.

Crossbones

the main offender

I’m sure you can see where this is going, and that will be continued in the next article. But for now, know that Crossbones is a hard counter to Mechaz0r, and depending on the meta you decide on whether or not to play him.

Correction credits:
Boronian1

remoqaz

Summary:
There is a controversial “1-2-3-4-5” you-win in Duelyst that largely ignores the other elements of the game.

There is a hard counter that fails our algorithm test – Crossbones, that can instantly destroy a Mechaz0r with its Opening Gambit

Including Crossbones (a card that using our previous expressions to calculate value, the card would falsely appear to be useless.) in your deck depends on the meta – which is how many players are deciding to play the game this way (mechaz0r)

PS: If you guys could let me know about the length of each article (too long? too short?) I would greatly appreciate the feedback.

 

More Matters on Meta

I know, I know. These posts have no pictures. How boring is that? Boring or not, still the meta is something we must continue to talk about. Yes, there’s more. I wrapped up the last article  by making a little bit of a strange reference to literature and other works of art to describe the meta in gaming. Does it still hold? Let’s bash some more on Kaleos and see.

A perfect example of this would be an alternate general (Reva Eventide) ending up seeing significantly more play on the ladder than Kaleos Xaan – Songhai’s main general.

Why am I talking about meta? It’s more important to the game than to just bash on Songhai’s main general Kaleos – it’s actually something we need to understand in order to play even semi-competitively against others.
Is this still looking about as clear as mud?

 

Let’s say, for example all of a sudden every single deck you saw had 100% rush minions.

How would you deal with this? How would you counteract it? What would you do automatically different than usual the minute you start a game?

 

The “Everyone has rush on every single card” is the meta and “I’m going to run 3x Nightwatcher and a buttload of provoke minions” is your counter-strategy to the meta.

Night Watcher.png
hey, a picture!

Making sense now?  Good. A term you’re going to hear a lot is viability in the meta. What this means is as new things are discovered, uncovered, or developed, new counter strategies are also discovered, uncovered, and developed while old ones may go to the wayside.

The meta is an important indicator of the health of a certain strategy, but that doesn’t mean that it is the end all be all of everything.

In closing, yes-  we can try to define intrinsic values for cards but sometimes we will add cards to our arsenal that don’t “work out so well” with our formulas we’ve developed thus far – but are an addition to the deck to deal with a situation that has become popular with the players.

These cards are called tech cards and they are designed to specifically hard-counter things in the meta that may be causing lots of difficulty for us in our deck.
next we’ll talk about mechaz0r and more specifically, how to counter that with a otherwise “useless” tech card.

 

Summary:

  • The meta can change and grow, causing players to find out what works and what doesn’t work
  • Tech cards, or “anti-meta” cards may not be viable with our algorithms and formulas we have come up with but can still be a necessity depending on the current state of the meta-game.

Meta Commentary: The Matter on Meta

Last article I concluded with a shocking and upsetting revelation regarding Songhai, the next faction available on the list in Duelyst. As I mentioned previously, I am actually a Songhai main, but when I took it apart and dissected it for purposes of blogging about it, I realized very quickly that there was an inherent problem with Songhai’s beginning deck, general, cards…the whole 9 and a half yards, so to speak.
Needless to say I was pretty taken aback by this. I had a hard time beating the NPC, nevermind beating a real live person. I wanted to continue the discussion on Songhai today with additional “back-breaking investigative research” (playing Video Games) but I happened to Superman Bounce (or double-jump: depending on where you live) my laptop out of my bed and onto the floor.
So for the majority of yesterday and today, I was computerless. For a guy like me, that’s pretty devastating. Needless to say, I don’t have much material in the way of Songhai to sling your way today.

 

However, the topic of meta comes to mind and I want to take the time to discuss that.
I know, I know I said this would be a jargon free, easy to read blog, but meta is such an important piece of jargon for gaming in general that if you don’t already know what it means there is going to be some point in your life (preferably now) where you find out just what exactly it does mean.

 
The meta, as defined by me is the game state and how it’s currently played not by development of the game creators and developers, but by development of the understanding of the game, the strategies that work, and the counters to those strategies as the game matures and develops itself over-time.

 
This might be hard to visualize without an abstraction, so I’ll give you a different example. Ever heard of the “Death of the Author” argument? No? How about this then, ever decide in your head that the real meaning behind a movie or book is different from what the author proposed? That, now that the author has released his or her universe upon the world, the world has free reign to shape and design it how they please and their old intentions and interpretations have died with their release to the public of the content.

 
Does that sound familiar to you? I’m sure it does.

In gaming, meta is like that except a lot less dramatic. It certainly has it’s fair share of people who disagree with what it really is, and even discussing what meta means is going to have it’s fair share of people who don’t agree with how I define it.
 

For our purposes, we needn’t care. In a less flowery, verbose format:

The meta is the state of the game as defined and shaped by the community at that given time, not exactly by the developers.

 

 

this is getting a little lengthy so I’ll continue the rest in a 2nd part released tomorrow.

Summary:

 

  • The meta, as defined by me is the game state and how it’s currently played not by development of the game creators and developers, but by development of the understanding of the game, the strategies that work, and the counters to those strategies as the game matures and develops itself over-time.

 

Oops! We’ve Hit a Snag.

Last article we had just closed up with the Lyonar Faction after deciding on our Win Condition for it and then I had intended to move forward onto the next faction. The thing about being “Daily Duelyst” is that something is supposed to be produced every day – this didn’t happen last night.
Call it investigative journalism or messing around playing a video game, but I was actually pretty at a loss for words last night when I tried out the Songhai faction and various different things. If you’ve played Duelyst for any length of time, you’ve probably felt this once or twice regarding a specific unit or series of combos that feel wrong and game breaking. Playing Songhai with Kaleos Xaan feels wrong and not because it breaks the game – but because it’s just awful to play.
Songhai relies on “surprise” damage. In the duelystverse this is known as burst. Sudden unexpected buffs that can cause the opponent to kiss the cement and call it a game well played with shockingly high amounts of life still remaining.

That, ideally, would be the easiest Songhai win condition but unfortunately, the cards you are given to start off with don’t exactly add up to right.
You have a little bit of ranged, a little bit of backstab – which we’ll talk about in another article, and a whole lot of spells to create synergy with cards you don’t own.

Now, I never intended for this to be a blog about balance or anything to do with the actual design of the game, but it was shocking to me that when I tried to play basic Songhai, I could hardly even beat NPCs. I’ll figure out something on how to get Songhai in  a “Daily Duelyst” (duelyst made simple) format, but as of yesterday and today that task is a little bit harder than originally expected.
At level 11, you unlock an alternate general – Reva Eventide. Her bloodborne spells summons a 1/1 ranged minion. If you make a deck around her, you have a viable Songhai deck – however, getting to level 11 in the first place is a snail-paced, slow crawl that feels like nails on a chalkboard.

Kaleos’ bloodborne spell allows you to teleport a minion up to 2 spaces (or 1 diagonal). This is an incredibly situational bloodborne spell and I often found myself not even having an opportunity to use it.

The backstab mechanic (again – will be explained in a later article) is neat but it’s a little bit difficult to get your enemy to play into it.

In a few words, I mained Reva before I started this blog. Starting a new account and having to level up Songhai after over 100+ wins in Lyonar with a deck that cost maybe 600-800 spirit max, I feel a little bit of sadness, shame, and confusion over just how poorly Songhai is introduced to new players

This isn’t an official post, so I’m not going to make a summary. I’m going back to the drawing board with regards to the discussion about Songhai and we can expect a good, fully-fledged How to (simply) Songhai article soon, but I just wanted to speak about my experience with the matter.

Winning Winning #Winning, Defining Your Win Condition

Last time, we talked about synergy. We noticed that divine bond had immense synergy with some of the cards in our deck – and we mentioned that we are going usually win if we can get it out on the board on top of an active monster and attack the same turn.
That’s in a perfect situation  – it won’t be like that everytime. But when it is, it’s great – we’re more than likely winning that match.

So now that we know the deck works with divine bond, what do we do to build around it to ensure that we last that long, get to play, it, and get to win?

Well, to get there, we’re going to need to stall.

Remember all those provoke minions? They become hugely important to control the opponent until you can get your divine bond and win the game!
This is called a win condition, and your deck type is called an archetype – which is not a word that I will be using very frequently because it’s jargon and we don’t need jargon.

So we have a few options for controlling our opponent and the board with provoking right now. Let’s build a deck and come up with an explanation for every card. If you can’t find an explanation, you don’t need it, or you need to think of a better explanation or run 2 copies because you might need it, but don’t know what to do with it.

 

For now, we’re going to stick with 3 ofs.

deckLandscapeLyonar (1)

The proposed deck has been seen before, and here it is once more. Here’s the explanation behind everything in the deck:

Rock Pulverizer: Provoke
Vale Hunter: (Ranged, can pick off pesky hard to reach objectives)
Windblade Adept: 2 cost 3/3 when zealed (6 – 2 = 4)
Saberspine Tiger: Removes any 3 health or lower units that need to be answered quickly due to its rush ability which allows it to be played the same turn.
Silverguard Knight: Provoke
Lyssian Brawler: Good target for Divine Bond, celerity allows it to damage the general or any minion with less than 3 attack for 8 total if it sticks.
Primus Shieldmaster: Provoke
Brightmoss Golem: Excellent Divine Bond Target
Stormmetal Golem/Dragon Bone Golem: Game tempo

Tempo is playing upon the pace at which the game goes. At 7 mana for example, you’re going to want a 7 cost play.
Keep in mind this is all in a perfect game where all the cards you draw go your way and everything is awesome. You can still win, or lose without having your win condition even showing up in your hand. Think of it more of an ideal win condition rather than the only condition upon which you will win. Be attentive so that you can be adaptable and respond to situations as they arrive! You won’t always get your divine bond out and win, or even get it out at all,  but you can still win – and of course, there will always be losses.

Tomorrow, we take a look at the other factions and their special abilities one at a time starting with Songhai. Once we break in all the factions, we will start discussing the board!

Summary:

  • A win condition is something you create your deck around based on the idea that in a perfect game x y z.
  • Run 3 copies of everything that helps you arrive there, 2 of things that might help.
  • Divine Bonding a big Minion is a perfect example of a “win condition”
  • You can win (or lose) without meeting your win condition
  • Your win condition defines your deck style.

Duelyst Newbie Melee: What I Learned

I started preparing for the Duelyst Newbie Melee on Wednesday.

In between that time and now, I played 105 games in tourney prep on ladder testing decks, getting gold, disenchanting cards, and more.

The first thing I want to say is that was a mistake. As early as this morning I had winrates of 54% on ladder, but yet this afternoon they plummeted to a six game loss streak before winning one more.

After that, I gave myself a time-out. I realized I had burnt myself out. That being said, I still wanted to participate in the tournament and give it my best!
Here is the deck I used in the tournament:
https://i.imgur.com/SJizW7u.png

For those of you who are wondering what a sideboard is, it’s a list of cards that can be swapped out during the second set of the match based on how your previous performance was and if you felt you needed to change anything.
I didn’t use my sideboard. I should have. It’s okay though! I learned a lot about my deck and playstyle.

My games were super close. We were within 1 turn of killing each other every game. My opponent nailed got me on the first game, I got him on the second – and he got me on the third. It was intense!

I had a lot of fun. I did get a bye which is when the tournament has an uneven amount of players and one advances forward to the next round automatically. I would have preferred not getting one if it meant I may have had the opportunity to play more games.

I have a couple ideas where to go to with this deck and we will be coming back to this in the future when the series has caught up to this point.

Next time will be even better! I had fun and can’t wait to join my next tournament.
Congratulations to my opponent  Sizas and congratulations to the winner of the tournament Finley! Enjoy your prize.

Daily Duelyst, Weekend Roar-ior Edition Volume 1.

Some people don’t like reading. Some people like reading, and can’t find the time. Some people just want to get to the bottom of it and don’t appreciate my flowery prose.

Whatever the case may  be, I’m not here to judge you – here’s a complete summary of everything we learned this week (our first week!) It’s a lot, so for those of you who don’t like reading I do apologize but in summary:

  • Duelyst has two types of replace mechanisms in game to decrease the likelihood of probability being the sole cause of determining the winner or loser of games
  • The Mulligan (jargon), here-on referred to as the Pre-Game Replace at the start of the turn is often used to replace your highest mana minions. Duplicates in your deck of the same card can be returned during the Pre-Game Replace
  • The in-turn replace is best used at the start of your turn to increase the likelihood of you developing a better strategy.
  • Replace cards you don’t want to use that turn to maintain mana efficiency.
  • Replacing in-turn can never return the same card.
  • We can add some more functionality and data harvesting helper tools to improve our gameplay. (scripts)
  • After an arbitrary amount of games, decide to review which cards didn’t receive play or could be replaced using your replays.
  • We can create a pegging system to determine which cards are objectively better than others.
  • V = A + H – C (Value = Attack + Health – Cost).
  • Zeal is activated when you keep your general on any adjacent tile to the unit. Zeal is activated when you keep your general on any adjacent tile to the unit. Stay near a +2 1/5 zeal and it becomes 3/5 instead of 1/5. So (3 – 5 – 3 + p = 5 + p ) (where p is provoke)
  • Tempest, for example is 2 mana, deal 2 manage to everything. The formula is 2n-2 scales and scales with it’s potential damage.
  • It is possible to “run out of options” as the game progresses.
  • This is offset by having cards in your deck that allow you to draw cards.
  • This value can be determined by Value = A + D – C  +  VoCD
  • A = Attack, D = Defence, C = Cost, VoCD = Value of Card Drawn
  • All the cards in the range have to be taken into consideration, therefore your answer is a variable.
  • Dispel is an integral part of Duelyst and failing to have it absolutely can cost you the game.
  • Value = (Attack + Defence) – Cost + (Value of Dispel)
  • Value =(Attack + Defence) – Cost + (Value of Provoke)
  • Value of Provoke is the value of the value of the provoked minions.
  • The value of dispel is equal to the value of the dispel card + the amount of value removed from the minions dispelled.
  • Due to the situational nature of the game, an Opening Gambit’s value can have a huge range
  • Prismatic cards are rarer editions of cards that have no impact on gameplay other than aesthetic.
  • Deck synergy can win you the game
  • Synergy can make a minion become answer or die
  • There can be obvious synergy in the deck with card + card, but there can be less obvious synergies that can happen that can win you the game, don’t get stuck on just one card!

    Stay tuned for my write-up of my experience in the Newbie Melee!