Duelyst patch lets you mix and match

It's a rhyme, you see

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.


  1. jon_hill987 says:

    I never understood why Hearthstone (and this, previously) limit decks by factions/classes. Part of the joy of a CCG is deck building, so why limit those possibilities? In MTG if I want to run Mono Red I can, but if I want to run WUBRG that is also fine, or anything in between.

    • TheDandyGiraffe says:

      It’s a way of avoiding potentially game-breaking synergies (Duelyst is quite synergy-heavy). Also, at least in theory, it gives the game more variety – you can never have all the best toys from all factions, so there will always be natural counters to all playstyles etc.

  2. TheDandyGiraffe says:

    Unfortunately, the new mode requires *a lot* of grind if you want to put together a semi-decent deck. It wouldn’t be such an issue if you only ran into other people with kitchen-sink, meme-y decks, but unfortunately quite often you’ll get matched with people who’ve had obviously far more upgrades and run much more coherent, better decks. (Before someone asks – no, it’s not a cash-grabbing scheme, you can’t really speed things up by paying real money. It’s just a weird design choice, here’s hoping they’ll polish it up after the test phase.)

    But even if the new mode is not everything the community hoped it would be, after the last balance patch Duelyst is a blast. The only other CCG/LCG you can compare it to is Netrunner; it’s leagues better than everything else. And the reddit community is nice and helpful. Honestly, go play it.

    • kwyjibo says:

      Yeah, I’ve played a few rift games, and while it can be fun craziness, the amount of grind needed to get there is too much. With combos you cannot play around, this was never going to be anything other than a causal mode, so I really don’t want to have to “invest” in it.

      Sadly, the standard ranked ladder is not that great. Here is a list of generals selected in the ongoing Duelyst World Championships.

      link to twitter.com

      The meta is not healthy. The two top factions are head and shoulders above everyone else. They both require the latest expansion. This is exactly power creep. And one of those factions, Magmar, is just so mindnumbingly easy to play.

      It’s true you can reach the top ranks without the newest cards, but you will be at a distinct disadvantage.

      I hope this doesn’t put off new players that much, because you needn’t worry about the meta in silver tier, and for you there will be no difference between your constructed and rift decks, so play either.

  3. April March says:

    I can scarcely imagine how dangerous an Abyssian deck would be with a few pumping-up Magmar spells, and a few Vetruvian obelisks feeding into Deathwatch cards.

    I can also scarcely believe how inintelligible the previous post is to anyone who doesn’t play the game.

    • TheDandyGiraffe says:

      Eh, considering Obelysks are actually kinda fragile and die pretty quickly, and Abyss already has enough buffs of its own, idk. On the other hand, having some Songhai spells to use with other factions’ cards, like a Mist Dragon Seal in a Magmar deck (large sticky minions + an ability to teleport them), is delicious. (That’s actually the very first upgrade I got, it was all downhill from there.)

      It’s a pity everyone goes for either Reva or Faie anyway (in Rift they’re far better than any other general).

  4. Neutrino says:

    “I still count Duelyst as the best CCG out there on PC, preferable to both Faeria and Hearthstone”

    So you are saying Faeria and Hearthstone are both better than Magic Duels, and that in fact Magic Duels isn’t even good enough to be worth mentioning in the company of these other games.

    Why you think Magic Duels is so bad?