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!


  • 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:

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!

Divine Bond: 1 + 1 = Infinity, Let’s Talk About Synergy!

Last discussion we introduced the topic we talked about opening gambit and how it immediately impacts the game, and because of the state of the board at the time, the value of a card with opening gambit can vary by a huge margin.
Just one day before, we talked about card draw and it’s importance in the deck. However, our winrate with the 5 mana  5/4 dying wish “draw a card” necroseer had us see a winrate of 30% opposed to our usual 40%.

Unless your goal is to sandbag yourself to the bottom of the division, this is not a good thing. Why did this happen? It’s entirely possible that the removal of Brightmoss Golem broke our deck synergy, a very important part of deckbuilding.

So, in order to rectify this – we need to take necroseer out once more, and put Brightmoss Golem back in and figure out what happened.


dynamic 4 value (4+Value of Card Drawn) vs static 8 value

Not only does Brightmoss Golem have a higher static value than Necroseer, there is a very important thing to notice about the stats of Brightmoss Golem and another card that we have in our deck that will make playing Brightmoss Golem an “answer this minion or lose the game” technique for our opponent.

Take a look at the following sequence of actions and determine what card we have that allows us a huge advantage when played with a card it synergizes with:

If you guessed divine bond, you’re absolutely right.

In this sequence of photos, divine bond won the game by synergizing with Lysian Brawler. It’s important to note that we specifically chose a different example than the most obvious synergy: Brightmoss Golem to demonstrate the importance of not getting hung up on the cards. Look at the numbers and values, not the picture art of the cards. The numbers win you the game, not the specific details of the cards – in most cases a well built deck will have a number of options to win!


Here’s the card divine bond:

In the picture sequence above, we used 7 mana to do the following to Lysian Brawler:

  1. Divine Bond – Lysian Brawler becomes 8/4
  2. Divine Bond – Lysian brawler becomes 12/4
  3. Roar (bloodborne spell) Lysian Brawler becomes 14/4
  4. Lysian Brawler becomes answer or die
  5. Victory

In this situation, step 4 is irrelevant – there was no chance for the opponent to actually answer as this all took place on the same turn, out of hand when Lysian Brawler was already active and able to attack.

Let’s create some mathematical expressions for what happened.

Lysian Brawler is a 4 mana 4/4 with celerity (value of 8 or 4 depending on if it gets to attack twice or once).

V = A + D – C +(celerity)

Divine Bond: 3 cost, add the health to attack of a minion.

V= NewAttack – 3

V = 8 – 3

V = 5

New value of Lysian Brawler

V = A + D – C + (celerity)

V = 8 + 4 – 4 + (8)

V= 16

Second Divine Bond: 3 cost, add health to attack of a minion

V = NewAttack – 3
V = 12 – 3
V = 9

New Value of Lysian Brawler

V= A + D – C + (celerity)
V = 12 + 4 -4 + (12)
V =24

Value of Roar

V = NewAttack – Cost (1)
V = 14 – 1

V = 13

Final Value of Lysian Brawler
V = A + D – C + (celerity)
V = 14 + 4 – 4 + (14)
V = 28

Max general HP: 25

Lysian Brawler becomes answer or die!

Phew, that was a lot of steps. As you can see, the value of Lysian Brawler scaled massively due to synergy with divine bond and celerity. This won us the game!

This is a lot to digest, so we’re going to stop here.  Tomorrow is the Duelyst Newbie Melee, so we’re going to have a weekly recap (Daily Duelyst- Weekend Warrior Edition) and Sunday we will talk Duelyst Newbie Melee!

deckLandscapeLyonar (8)


  • 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!
  • Divine Bond has humungous synergy in our deck currently, and works better with Brightmoss Golem than Necroseer.
  • Divine Bond can be defined as V = NewAttack – Cost
  • Synergy can be defined as S = #Winning

Act Now, Pay Later – Opening Gambit and Shiny Things.

Yesterday we covered provoke and dispel. We are quickly beginning to understand all the fundamentals of the different aspects of the cards but we still have a long way to go. We have yet to talk about the board, different interactions with the board, mana tiles, and more. Yet still, we have managed to get quite a few winning games under our belt.

Screenshot - May 11, 2017 10.53 AM
The board can sometimes be a chaotic and complicated mess that separates Duelyst as a game from other card games.

As we already know, different cards have different effects that can dramatically change the game. Some of those generate value over time, or the value is dynamic – like that of a provoke, as mentioned yesterday. Others still, generate their value by removing value from other cards – as demonstrated by the example featuring the ephemeral shroud.

Opening Gambit is a static, instantaneous value generator. It is usually extremely desirable because it happens immediately. In a way, provoke is an opening gambit as instantly anything on a directly surrounding tile becomes provoked. That’s not correct in the sense of Duelyst’s vocabulary, but it’s a good way to think of it if you are having difficulty.

As briefly mentioned, the value from an opening gambit is instantaneous. Using our method of creating algorithms in order to objectively understand the value of cards, opening gambit can appear to be a simple calculation at first.


V = VoC + VoE

Two different kind of cards with Opening Gambits

Value = Value of Card + Value of Effect.

Fairly simple.
For a healing mystic  (2 mana 2/3 opening gambit: heal anything for 2 hp) the value is:

V = 2 + 3 – 2 + 2

V = 5

However, there are very complicated cards such as Blistering Skorn. Blistering Skorn deals 1 damage to everything, including itself. Blistering Skorn is 4 mana 4/5.

Why is blistering Skorn complicated? It’s complicated abstract an algorithm for the value of Blistering Skorn because its value has two important things that we have to take into consideration at once:
Its inherent reduction of your own value
Its increase of value due to its impact on the opponents value.

Truthfully, like most cards in Duelyst this card is extremely situational, which is something we have not addressed yet because we are trying to objectively define cards and determine their worthiness in our decks on mana cost alone.

That being said, In a situation where you have 5 units including your general on board, and your opponent has 1, the formula is

V = (4+5) – 4 + (1 -6)

V = 0.

That’s correct. When you have 5 units including your general, and your opponent only has their general on board, the value of skorn is 0. Note  that it is 1-6 (1 being the opponent) and not 1-5 (5 being how many units you have on the board) as Blistering Skorn also damages itself. That doesn’t mean that Blistering Skorn is a bad card. Let’s reverse the situation.

Our opponent has 5 units including their general, and you have 1. Now the formula is:

V = (4 +5) – 4 + (6 – 2)

V = 9

Blistering Skorn can either be very useful or completely useless depending on the situation we’re in.

That’s all we’re going to touch upon for calculating opening gambits for now.
By now you have probably unlocked or received a different kind of copy of a card, a card that is purple, pink and green in the background. These cards are called prismatic cards and are rare copies of their regular counterpart. They have no impact on the gameplay and you cannot use prismatics to exceed the 3 copy limit.
There are two types of prismatic cards. Ones you receive for leveling up your faction, and those you receive in opening packs, by chance. These prismatics can be disenchanted into spirit which – with the Newbie Melee in our sites, will be a topic we will be talking about tomorrow along with deck synergy and why I removed necroseer from the deck again in favor of Brightmoss Golem.


deckLandscapeLyonar (8).png



  • The board is an integral part of Duelyst and what separates it from other card games.
  • Opening Gambit is an effect similar to a spell that happens automatically.
  • Sticking to our formulae, the  value of Opening Gambit can be Value = Value of Card + Value of Effect.
  • V = VoC + VoE
  • Due to the situational nature of the game, an Opening Gambit’s value can have a huge range
  • Blistering Skorn, for example can have a value of 9, a value of 0, and that’s not all.
  • Prismatic cards are rarer editions of cards that have no impact on gameplay other than aesthetic.
  • Progression prismatics cannot be disenchanted. Prismatics from card packs can be disenchanted for spirit  – another essential part of Duelyst.

Daily Duelyst: Provoke And Getting Rid of It

As discussed in my previous post, adding necroseer to the deck allowed us to draw more cards and slightly improved my deck score from 3-7 to 4-6, which is an improvement but still not 50% to show that I am winning at least half the time.

deckLandscapeLyonar (5)








yesterday’s deck

The first card we have access to with dispel is ephemeral shroud

Dispel is a function that is used to remove the special status effects of minions and generals. It’s important for us to note that artifacts are not status effects and cannot be dispelled. It’s also important to note that mana tiles & shadow creep can be dispelled, but stun cannot be dispelled!

This is hugely important for us to get rid of those game-losing big threats that required us to immediately answer or we would lose.

Now we have an answer, and it’s only a 2 mana 1/1 minion.

Are we going to create an arbitrary value for this to be consistent with the system we have been developing to evaluate cards?
of course we are.

For dispel minions, let’s say:

V = C – (A+D) + (VoD)

Value =  (Attack + Defence) – Cost + (Value of Dispel)

So, as you can see, the answer will be a variable. So what’s the point of this? Well….it sets up the perfect opportunity for us to make yet another formula for another keyword – one very important to Lyonar – Provoke.

We’re going to kill two birds with one stone here so stay with me.

V = (A+D) – C + (VoP)
Value =(Attack + Defence) – Cost + (Value of Provoke)
Where Value of Provoke is the value of the value of the provoked minions.

For example – Primus Shieldmaster – 4 cost 4/6.


Primus Shieldmaster is provoking Healing Mystic 2/3 and Windblade adept (no zeal!) 2/3

Both have a value of 3.

What does the value of Primus Shieldmaster become in this instance?

The value of Primus Shield Master Is (4+6) – 4 + (3 + 3 ) for a value of 10. is this, objectively speaking, in almost every situation better than the other 4 drop neutral we have access to, Hailstone Golem?

(4+6) – 4 = 6

You freaking bet it is. It is even in situations where it’s only provoking one minion. Primus shieldmaster is still a value of 5 even if it’s not provoking anything yet.

So what happens when you dispel a shieldmaster with a value of 10? You subtract the value of the buff (as the shieldmaster is still alive) from the shieldmaster – the shieldmaster now has a value of 5, but your dispel from ephemeral shroud, originally a 0 value minion has now gained a value of 6! That is fantastic, and precisely why dispel is hugely important in Duelyst.


Here is the finalized deck for this next 10 games. Next, we talk about Opening Gambit and Prismatic Cards.



  • 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.