Hi, everyone. My name is Michael Danielson, aka Arananthi, and I’m a longtime armchair game developer, tactics aficionado, and CCG player. That’s all you need to know about me. Let’s get started playing some Duelyst!
New Player Experience: Solid…Mostly.
As of right now, in the Open Beta, the new player experience in Duelyst is pretty damn amazing. This game is more generous than most others in many ways, and you will spend your week or two just getting rained on, with new cards and free packs seemingly everywhere. There are, however, a couple of ‘traps’ that new players should be aware of and need to watch for.
- First, while you cannot lose Rank until you get to rank 20, be fully prepared to sit at rank 20 for a week or so. Because Rank 20 is the first rank you can lose, there are a lot of experienced, good-deck-having, but simply bad players at Rank 20. And because they have good decks, they will get lucky and suddenly whomp your butt out of nowhere, turning around games using cards and combos you couldn’t possibly have played around. Especially because you will reach Rank 20 before you level all of your factions up to Level 11 (thus obtaining all of the basic cards), this will probably frustrate you a little. Bear with it. It sucks, but it’s a short period in your Duelyst career.
- Second, there are some factions that simply don’t play well using only basic cards. Vetruvian is the worst of these, but to a lesser degree Songhai and Vanar aren’t great, either. Don’t expect to be able to put together a deck that feels like a well-oiled machine with these three factions until you can get some key commons (I’ll talk about that later.)
OK, let’s begin:
Before you start actually playing Duelyst ‘for reals,’ take the time to complete as many of the optional Tutorial Challenges as you can. They’ll teach you a lot about how to think when playing the game, because it’s a unique hybrid of TBS tactics arena and CCG. Equally importantly, they’ll get you some gold to spend on
packs Spirit Orbs. Go for it; there’s no real point to playing Gauntlet at this point, and if you nail a not-entirely-amazing Legendary, you can Disenchant it to get the commons you need for one of those off-kilter factions I mentioned.
After you’ve completed all of the tutorials, go to the Ranked Ladder, and choose a starter deck. Don’t custom-make your own decks yet, and here’s why: the starter decks are only 28 cards big, and they add more cards to the deck as you unlock more cards for your faction. If you try to build a legit deck using only the Basic cards you get a level 0, you’re going to end up with a lot of filler. So commit now to playing with the starter decks until you get to level 11 in each faction. (Also, the starter decks are fairly well-made, so it’s not that likely you could do better on your own just yet.)
Making Gold as you Level Up
Each day, look at your Quests. There are, I believe, 8 quests total: six “Play 4 games with this faction” quests, plus a quest to kill 5 minions in a single game, and a quest to deal 40 damage in a single game. At this point, just exchange all of the faction quests in an attempt to get the other two; they pay out more gold and it’s not that difficult to accomplish. If you have a faction quest or two you can’t exchange, just do them and get the gold.
You’ll also get Gold for your first win every day, plus an additional 5 gold per two wins all day long, plus an additional 10 gold per two wins for the first 10 wins each day. That’s a total of 100g for winning 10 times each day — that’s a Spirit Orb, without even doing any quests!
Other ‘Secret’ Achievements: Makyng It Rayn!
You’ll get free Spirit Orbs for
- Getting to level 11 with a faction (one for each faction!)
- Playing a Challenge/Friendly game
- Getting to Rank 20
You’ll get free Gold for
- Losing 3 games (100g)
- Losing 15 games (100g)
- Completing 100 quests (300g)
You’ll get free cards for
- Completing 5 quests (Epic)
- Completing 13 quests (Legendary)
- Collecting all common cards (2x Rare, 1x Epic
And a couple of others
- Disenchant a card (90 Spirit)
- Play 20 Ranked games (Gauntlet ticket)
That’s all for now — play the starter decks, get some cards, and have fun! I’ll be back in a couple of days to talk about pauper (350 spirit or less) decks for each class that can get you up to rank 20 or higher, and about the various disenchanting strategies you can use to aim for higher-tier decks.
‘Till then, keep duelying!