Playing to your Personality

This post is going to come as common sense for most, but I think it needs to be said. I almost failed to play Duelyst this entire month. With other things going on, it just wasn’t cutting it for me. I even remember wondering why I was having so much trouble playing because I like the game.  But for some reason, nothing was working. I’d load up a game, feel all flustered and frustrated, and then close it. Feeling completely paralyzed by my desire to play and not want to play at the same time.
And then it hit me, I simply don’t like bond Argeon – or possibly not Argeon at all. As I’ve mentioned before, I actually was a Reva main. I chose Lyonar for the purpose of the blog because it’s the first faction everyone tries and my blog is for those just starting out and those who want to grow with me along my duelyst journey.

I know this post is far from my usual instructional posts or my usual “discovery” posts, but in a way – it is a discovery. I have a natural inclination to certain playstyles that transfer across all games. I like spells. In RPGs? I play the wizard/sorceress. I HATE warrior types. I was playing a faction that didn’t fit my usual game personality.

What I did to counter that, was try to make a spellyonar deck with the cards I have. I don’t have enough, so it didn’t work out, but it won some games and it was a lot more fun. My natural affinity for spells/stealth (can anyone say songhai?) in video games was finally starting to show itself.
I was having fun again. The deck can and could have worked had I had the right cards, but it didn’t work as well as I wanted.

So, I made the switch the Healyonar, as I have a lot of those cards (missing the rotbb ones which are hugely important) and I’m having much more fun again, and I’m winning games – moreso than my janky spellgeon.  It’s not totally my natural way I like to play games, but it’s much more up my alley than the brute force strength orcs from skyrim style of playing games.
Playing to win is great, but playing to have fun while winning is even better. Ask yourself why you’re playing. For most people it’s to have fun, and for most people winning is fun but not as fun a winning playing how you want. Relying on the meta seems to convince people that they need to play the decks at the very top to have any semblance of a chance of winning.  This is far from the case, especially below S rank.  It’s also self-fulfilling. The more people are enticed to play Tier S decks to win, the less the chance that other decks that can be piloted decently well even if they aren’t super high on the tier list for the meta.

 

In short, everyone has a playstyle. Some people like combat, some people like ranged, some people like spells. For me personally, this translates to nearly every game I play. Elderscrolls? The Magic Guild is the first place I hit up before even completing one side quest. Just because duelyst is a competitive board game, don’t forget your natural style of gaming – or you’re not going to have a good time, winning or not.

After writing this, it seems pretty obvious that everyone should know it. However, I think it’s something that doesn’t hurt to have people reminded of.  Have fun. Play to your style. It’s what makes competitive games unique and multi-faceted instead of a boring grind fest against the same style of play every game.

 

 

Again, a great place to find your style and get good advice from great players is to join our discord!

https://discord.gg/seC2CWF

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Unboxing Reva: Songhai’s Alternate General

Alright, so if you remember where we last left off, I was heavily bashing Songhai’s general Kaleos Xaan for some reasons and that he wasn’t the greatest Songhai general.

I played with Reva today , vs the NPC and had much better results than my attempt with Kaleos.

Reva’s bloodborne spell summons a 1/1 ranged minion called a heartseeeker this is compared to Kaleos’ bloodborne spell which allows you to teleport an allied minion 2 spaces.

As you can see, one is extremely conditional, one just works. For the amount of times you will receive a bloodborne spell in one game, Reva’s just works better with the collection of cards you are given to start out (it remains to be seen if that holds true for the whole collection).
Kaleos’ bloodborne is extremely conditional, that’s why it doesn’t work so well. It doesn’t buff, and it doesn’t do damage. It moves things around. There is a lot of combos that can be pulled off if this is done correctly, but they are too situational to really show much merit when you’re grinding ladder away.

Reva on the other hand, can use her bloodborne spell every time she gets it provided she has the mana to create a ranged 1/1 minion, which either costs a removal card or a dipel before it becomes to much of a nuisance with buffs to get rid of.

 

Unlike Lyonar that relies on provokes and controlling the board until they can get out a high health mana minion that they can divine bond for the kill, Songhai relies on a lot of spell cards, combos, and trying to figure out how you can get lethal even when it may not be so obvious. Their keywords are ranged and backstab.
Ranged, as you can guess means that they can shoot from anywhere on the battle field. They will only be countered by other ranged minions or if they are adjacent/diagonal to the minion they attack.
Backstab, while unique can sometimes fall flat as it can be hard to set up since it’s easy to anticipate. Backstab allows your attacking minion to avoid being counter attacked and do bonus damage, provided they well, attack from the back.

 

note: i’m a little messy and unorganized right now, I’m trying to work on it with just coming back and that’s why there is no pictures or summaries right now, but hopefully that will change sooner rather than later, my apologies.
But now I have to make a summary:

next: Unboxing Vetruvian Imperium

Summary:
Reva Eventide’s Bloodborne Spell spawns a 1/1 heartseeker which is a ranged minion that can be awfully hard to deal with if it becomes buffed.
Reva Eventide’s Bloodborne Spell is much less situational than Kaleos’ and in my experience saw much more play
Faction Specialties: Ranged minions and backstab minions
Ranged can attack from anywhere on the field
Backstab minions cannot be counter attacked when attacking from behind and receive a damage buff on top of their normal stats.

 

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.

 

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.

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!