Whoops, I missed this when it happened last week. Duelyst [official site], the collectible card game full of dumb possibilities, has been updated to allow for even more dumb possibilities. Wonderful! Usually, you can only build your decks of minions and monsters from a single faction (and some “neutral” cards if you like). But a new “Rift” mode is letting player draft cards from all factions into bulbous, weird decks, then fight it out with each other.
It works like this: you pick a general out of four randomly selected ones. You get their basic starter cards, similar to the deck with which every new player starts the game. But from that point on you earn XP for each match you play in the Rift mode. With each level earned you can swap out a card in your deck for one of six randomly arrayed cards. The important distinction: you’ll get a spread of cards from any faction. So it’s sadly not a case of being able to build a mad deck willy-nilly, with all the most bizarre combinations right away. You have to slowly build it up, using both time and luck.
It’s only in a testing phase for this month. The developers have put their usual alternative game mode, the Gauntlet, on hold while they have everyone taste their new fizzypop. I just played a bit of the new mode to see how it fares and, hey, it’s not bad.
There’s a lot of weird combos you could invent if you invest the time and get lucky. For instance, I chose Cassyva as my general, the wee girl who likes to make spikes appear everywhere because she’s, like, a total goth. One of her cards lets you raise these spikes in a 2×2 area. But during one level up sequence, I got a card from a totally different faction that stuns any minions in a 2×2 area. You can see where that overlap might be handy. Spikes + zap = immobilised and hurting enemies. A move you couldn’t normally pull off in an everyday fight. The downside is that you have to buy into it, much like the previous Gauntlet mode, with 150 gold or £1.99 real cash. That amount of gold isn’t much to scrape up, however, and the benefit here is that you can’t get “knocked out” once you’re in
Apart from that, not too much is changing for this patch. The weekly boss battles and free daily cards are continuing. Having dipped back in for that brief trio of fights I still count Duelyst as the best CCG out there on PC, preferable to both Faeria and Hearthstone. But that’s just the opinion of a horrible person who floods the board with tiny, annoying monsters.