Free-To-Play Card Battler Duelyst Is Out Now

Tactics ‘Em Up Duelyst [official site] has left open beta to join the ranks of games that are really-for-real out now, no foolin’. It’s a free-to-play collectible card game with a tactical board on which you position units, whose cool blues and hot pinks initially saw it healthily Kickstarted back in March 2014. There’s a couple of new trailers below to mark the release.

First up, here’s a “gameplay” trailer which shows disappointingly little gameplay.

They also released this intro cinematic if what you really want is some lore, or alternatively you can read Marsh’s look at the game from June last year. He enjoyed it for its tactical options:

I’m intrigued by the direction this is heading – but I’m more easily persuaded by Duelyst on the basis of its snappy, tactical combat, and the fact that the game exists not merely to service an old IP – like so many upcoming CCGs, MOBAs and other me-too genres – but appears to be attempting boldly novel things with its peculiar blend of mechanics. While the megabranded Star Wars and Elder Scrolls CCGs prepare to slug it out, it’s the Duelyst – smaller, sleeker and smarter – that may prove the more deserving victor.

Whether that holds true after six months of open beta tweaks, I’ve no idea. The game has changed a lot since its original conception in any case, switching from an originally planned one-off purchase to a free-to-play model based around the sale of cosmetic items. I know from comments that this is a bugbear for many of you.

In any case, I’m almost convinced to try Duelyst based on this video showing off its pixel art character animations, but what say you, reader – are you or will you be playing Duelyst?


  1. RuySan says:

    I love the art style. Is this the right kind of F2P (e.g. Hearthstone, Card Hunter)?

    • Lanheses says:

      Honestly is pretty much exactly the same as Hearthstone business model wise

      • Kitsunin says:

        Yep, but a lot more generous, and having lots of rare cards from packs seems to be less necessary. Like you can make a kinda decent deck with basic cards where in Hearthstone it’s 100% guaranteed to be utter trash.

        • Lanheses says:

          Yeah forgot that part, I would say you can have alot more done with basic cards then in Hearthstone, also like Lokkji said, it seems to be alot more generous in the “oh look I got some rares and legendarys”

    • Lokkij says:

      It is! I’d say it’s also a lot more generous with the higher rarities than Hearthstone — I don’t remember the exact ratios but it feels like I get at least one epic per three packs. It also has a quest that increases the gold reward every day you don’t play (up to 3), so you don’t feel like you have to play every day to get those quests turned in.

    • HorrifyingClown says:

      It gives you about a pack each day if you do the quests/first win rewards. Packs have a much higher chance to give higher rarities than Hearthstone, according to the reddit about 1/4 packs have legendaries in them.

  2. Kaeoschassis says:

    For whatever reason my brain outright refuses to parse the name as anything other than “Duely-est”. As in, the most duely.

    Nevertheless, might have to try this out.

  3. magogjack says:

    It is a lot of fun !

  4. OneManAndHisDroid says:

    …I was in the original beta (from the back of Scrolls which was amazing)… and I didn’t like the pixel art (really hard to distinguish on-screen characters, all a bit muddy) – but it’s come a long way… and like many I was ready to pay for it, and have frowned at F2P….

    …after revisiting it again recently – it’s DEFINITELY worth a go… (what have you got to lose?!?)

    • wantan says:

      Hey, glad you’re giving it a try. If you’re still struggling with the contrast, one awesome player has been working on a mod that gives all minions black outlines.

      Check out the latest version here: link to

  5. Hobbes says:

    I did take a look at the kickstarter at the time, since I was intrigued, then I saw some of the reward tiers and ran screaming. This one embodied some of the absolute worst practices that Kickstarter projects enabled, thankfully developers are finally moving on from said practices and we’re not in a position where “Kickstart-to-win” is a phrase we’ll ever have to utter.

    In case you wonder what I’m on about, go check the Kickstarter campaign and look at the sixty and seventy dollar tiers respectively. That’s actual content being walled off specifically for KS backer gain, in a PvP environment.

    Been there with Armello, nooooo thank you.


    • Mesquite says:

      Just in case anyone is worried by what Hobbes said:

      NONE of that has come to pass. The kickstarter tiers have…morphed…a bit since the KS and there is NOTHING withheld from any player.

      The only thing KS backers may get that no other player gets is cosmetic changes to their general.

      As it is now, everything in the game is obtainable by everyone, and none of it requires any real money to be spent.