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.

First Tournament! Newbie Melee Season 1!

A while ago, a representative from counterplay posted this tournament on the
duelyst subreddit:


The tl;dr rules are:

  • Only new players are allowed to play (see below for what qualifies as a new player)
  • Only Basic, Common, and Rare cards allowed (no Epics or Legendaries)
  • Single elimination bracket
  • Matches are best of 3
  • Players have to submit a decklist with a sideboard of up to 10 cards using the website Duelystcards –

All participants are required to join the Discord Server.

I decided that even though this account is less than a week old, I’d like to dive head first into the competitive scene of Duelyst, and take those of you who are interested along for the ride. This is an excellent opportunity for anyone who fits the following:

  1. Has a low amount of cards / spirit
  2. Has never been above Gold
  3. Wants to try a tournament but doesn’t have the greatest cards.

For those of you who are not interested in those things, the tournament may not be for you. Even still – I encourage you to sign up and try it. Everyone who plays 1 round gets a free spirit orb.  Everyone who enters is entered into a lottery to win 1 of 2 packs of 10 duelyst orbs. This is a fantastic way to bolster your collection if you don’t have very many cards.

There’s prizes too!


1st Place: 10 Core Set Spirit Orbs

2nd Place: 7 Core Set Spirit Orbs

3rd and 4th Place: 5 Core Set Spirit Orbs

5th to 8th Place: 3 Core Set Spirit Orbs

So go ahead and register for the tournament, but you better hurry because registration closes This Friday – and the tournament begins on Saturday.

I will still be posting my regular content while practicing and gearing up for this tournament but for those of you who were confused as to what to  do with spirit and core orbs if you didn’t want to embellish your set with expansion orbs (as disenchanting is rather complicated – a topic we weren’t familiar with yet) in my post, what to do with your gold will get an inside look at the crafting and disenchanting process, and what works for us (and what doesn’t, we will make mistakes) as we prepare for the tournament.

You can catch me grinding for gold until the tournament so I can craft some cards on my stream.


  1. I’ve decided to join my first official tournament
  2. Registration ends Friday – Tournament begins Saturday.
  3. The tournament is free to access and open for players who have never been in Diamond and higher (gold and under only)
  4. The cards are restricted to basic, common(gray), rare. No epics or legendaries.
    This is a good opportunity to break into the tournament scene as a free player or a player with a limited collection, or simply a new player.
  5. There are over 50 orbs being given away total.
    Everyone who plays one game wins a prize.
  6. Here are the instructions to register
  7. This gives us an opportunity to look into disenchanting, but my basic content will still continue to be posted regularly.
  8. You can catch me grinding for gold until the tournament so I can craft some cards on my stream.