Duelyst gets 100 card expansion in mid-November

Cardwards and onwards

I’ll always remember Duelyst for its spectacularly dumb monster fights. Following a recent takeover from Bandai Namco, the collectible card game is continuing on, eggs-a-poppin’ and minions-a-marching. Next month there’ll be an expansion of 100 cards, including six new generals with which to lead your beasts into battle,  one new leader for each faction. One of them is called “Ragnora the Relentless” which is a perfect name for any small pet.

The expansion is called Immortal Vanguard and is due in “mid-November”. There’ll be new mechanics too, say the developers at Counterplay Games, but they haven’t yet explained what those might be. They have revealed the new generals, however, and will be unveiling more cards through various streamer channels in the run-up to release. I don’t have the patience for drip-fed information, but if you do the list of streamers is at the bottom of that page.

There’s a ticklish spot in my brain for the monster chess of Duelyst. It’s the best of the many Hearthstone-killers, even if it does partake in all the grubby rando-loot practices that have plagued card games since time immemorial. It was disappointing to see that the game recently began shutting out players from some countries. This was “to ensure compliance with U.S. and international laws and regulations,” said Bamco Namdai. This is likely a reference to trade embargoes, sanctions and such. Reddit-person TheBhawb has made a list of countries that might be a problem when it comes to creating an account, buying items in the shop, or simply playing the game.


  1. napoleonic says:

    “This was “to ensure compliance with U.S. and international laws and regulations,”

    Hopefully Trump will ruin the US so much that in future it’ll be the US that gets blocked, and the rest of the world that gets to play games freely.

    • kwyjibo says:

      According to the reddit link above, Macau is embargoed (it isn’t), and there are sanctions against Croatia, an EU member state (there aren’t).

      So it won’t be international trade restrictions but Bandai Namco business decisions and local laws.

  2. Hunchback says:

    Is this worth investing time in?

    • Boronian says:

      If you ever wanted to play a game which combines the tactical board with all its depth from games like Fire Emblem, Final Fantasy Tactics and the deckbuilding and card playing aspects from something like Magic the Gathering or Hearthstone, then you should give it a try! It is worth your time for sure! The meta is great with a lot of variety right now and this new expansion will add even more of that.
      There are also a lot of guides and stuff out there to help. People on Reddit and the forums are very helpful, the community in general is pretty good.

      If you google for “Duelyst new player guides” you’ll find a great collection of guides to start with.

      If you use “Boronian” as referral code you will get 100g for free too.

  3. Vandelay says:

    I almost redownload this, but then read about the numerous issues, both with some of the actions taken to the game and around it. I cancelled the download. Sounds as if they have added a bunch of overpowered cards and it has made it go a bit stale.

    Still, I agree that it is the best of the Hearthstone-alikes. Infinity War was probably a close second. But, as I say on pretty much every digital card game discussion, I just wish someone would come along and make something that isn’t just Magic with a digital twist. Besides Gwent, all of them have the same objective of hit your opponent’s hero/base until the health hits zero. They also have very simplistic resource management, with it just ticking up each turn. Where are the games that looking towards Netrunner, Game of Thrones, Doomtown or the new Legend of the Five Rings for inspiration? Sure, those games are more complex and harder to design, but they are far more rewarding for it.

    The other thing those have in common is not being random pack CCGs and using the much more consumer friendly expandable card game format. Another thing that digital card games would be good to take inspiration from.

    • Hunchback says:

      There’s always HEX, but you kinda have to pay for it…

      • Vandelay says:

        I’ve only played a little of Hex. As you say, very much have to invest money into it. I wouldn’t mind doing that, but I’m not overly interested in having to spend money and not knowing what I’m going to get. As I say in the original post, a ECG model would be much more appealing to me and I’m sure others. They can still do loot crates for cosmetic items such as different boards, card backs or alternate artwork. Alas, I can’t see any doing that for a long time and they are going to have to at least give me enough free ways to play to get me interested enough to start spending money (Infinity War managed to do it, but I ended up finding that there just wasn’t that much variety in the cards.)

        Hex is pretty much the epitome of just doing digital Magic though. It is great digital Magic and it is probably the one I could see myself playing the most, but it is still not paying much attention to what has happened in the physical space since the 90s.

        I’m quite interested to see what Valve are up to with the DOTA card game. I know it was the popular thing to mock it, but if they manage to translate some of the game mechanics successfully to a card game that could be very interesting.

        • Captain Narol says:

          If you’re into ECG, do you know that a digital version of “Race for the Galaxy” is now on Steam ?

          link to store.steampowered.com

          It’s probably one of the most interesting and original card game that I played in the last 10 years, and it got plethora of prizes…

    • Boronian says:

      CPG made a lot of mistakes but the meta right now is everything else than stale. It is in the best spot since a long time, Unearthed Prophecy added a lot of viability to many archetypes and generals without “adding a bunch of overpowered cards”. Very curious what the new expansion will bring besides the new generals.

      • Vandelay says:

        Ok, that is good to hear, if true. I probably shouldn’t take info from the Steam forums for it, but the general opinion does seem to be the opposite of this though. This obviously could be highly influenced by the other decision that the company of made, but those do make me wary of playing and certainly of investing money into it.

        • Boronian says:

          I don’t think the Steam forums are a really good place to get information like that. The community is either on Reddit or on the game’s forums themselves. If you want critical opinions go to the Reddit, best place for it.

    • Captain Narol says:

      I have to disagree.

      In my opinion, Eternal and Shardbound are the best games in the category currently. Would be great if RPS could review them !

    • kwyjibo says:

      The most recent expansion (so the current meta) is excellent.

    • April March says:

      Other than the grandmasters, I haven’t seen any truly outrageous cards.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Aerothorn says:

    Whatever their reason for shutting out players from certain countries, the question that I never saw answered was the obvious “did they refund them all the money they spent on the game?” That seems like the ethical bare minimum.

    Duelyst is a lot of fun, but very hard to keep up with if you dabble rather than play every day – the expansions just come too fast.

    • Premium User Badge

      Helianthus says:

      A refund? If only. I payed since release. It’s a great game, but Bandai Namko are a dreadful corporation.

      In the game forums their community manager publicly wrote:
      “If anyone is in a blocked region and cannot play the game longer, and wants a refund, they can make a support ticket and we’ll do our best to help them.”

      My support request for a refund or an access to the game was made on the 1st of August. I’ve received a meaningful reply (No Refund for you, No Access for you) on the 25th of August, three weeks later. And that was not just me relaxed and waiting. I had to ask for an update of my request several times after periods of silence from the support, who to the end continued to speak with me with corporate soullessness.

      Some quotes from the support:
      Aug 2: “…our support staff and community teams aren’t able to comment on the nature of the company’s legal obligations applicable to any particular title…”
      Aug 7: “…Currently we’ve been discussing the region ban with the community and development teams. So for now they stated that Russian players with older Duelyst accounts will be allowed into the game but future purchases would be disabled…”
      Aug 8: “Our apologies. It would seem that since your last response we’ve learned that we would only allow Russian players who already made a BNEA account into the game but all new account registrations from Russian users would be disabled. We are very sorry for this but it does mean we’ll have to process you for a refund and cannot assist you into the game as there aren’t any ways for us to get around the system.
      Again, we do apologize and will make sure to prioritize your refund.”
      Aug 25: “We have received word from the finance team and unfortunately based on your last purchase-date, you do not fall under the users eligible for a refund. We do apologize for this news but we will not be offering you a refund.”

      I can’t even write on the official game forum, because to log in there we need to have a Bandai Namco account, and they don’t give Russians a right to create one.
      This is great for business: as little public unrest as possible.
      No victims speaking up = no publicity problems.

      BNamco may publicly speak that they care, but their deeds don’t match with their words.

      Their long-term goal is money. Their short-term goal is damage control.
      Understandable goals. Bad means.
      This is a big and clunky business trying to make itself look better than it is instead of becoming better.
      They could choose a higher course. They could do the hard work: settle their inner legal issues, make the game accessible, provide good user support. And they would be more prosperous for it.
      But they prefer to solve this problem by the means of obfuscation and segregation.

      So, to the people still playing: demand better service.

      This is not normal. Look at other companies. If they can be outgoing with their policies, if they can provide service to different countries, if they can plan ahead their resonant changes – what real excuses do BNamco have for their actions?

      I’m sad that RPS continues to promote Duelyst. But I know that the crew just loves a great game. I do, too. But I can’t play it anymore.

      • Boronian says:

        I don’t understand what happened behind the scenes with the Namco merger but them banning countries sucked a lot and was communicated extremly badly.

        There was another Russian guy they let back in. Maybe he is one of these with already existing BNEA accounts.

        And I heard VPNs are forbidden in Russia too so that is probably not a solution either. Not that you should be put into a position in the first place to have a VPN as your last option.