Duelyst review:GAME TYPE
Free to play Card Collecting Game / Arena Strategy
Web Browser, Mac and PC
Duelyst is an exciting free to play browser MMO with a mix of chess like arena battles using various minions, spell card and powerful artifacts that are collected in the form of cards and are part of a player deck similar to a TCG. The game has a variety of game modes as well as six different factions to play as and an extensive amount of customization for players to create armies that best suit their own playstyle.
- Six unique factions
- Build your own deck
- Dozens of cards to collect
- Tactical grid based combat
- Earn gold to buy Soul Orb booster packs
- 4 Game Modes
- Free to play
- Browser based MMO
The game is primarily a card collecting game, very traditional in that players earn in game Gold currency to purchase Soul Orbs that they can open to acquire five cards, either neutral or a card that can only be used by one of the six factions. By acquiring cards players build up their deck based on their preferred type of strategy with the various factions being predisposed to particular tactics and styles of play.
Taking the deck into battle players start by randomly drawing three cards into their hand and will continue to add cards each turn throughout the duration of the game; these cards can be played by spending mana from the players own mana pool; each card has a different cost but players’ mana will fill back up after each round as well as increase by one, allowing more cards to be played in a turn in later rounds or the chance to play more expensive cards.
The cards themselves fall into three types; Artifacts, Spells and Minions. Artifiacts are cards that can only be applied to Generals to make their abilities stronger, Spells can be case upon a players own units to help them or against the enemy Minions and Generals to damage or hinder them. Minions come in all shapes and sizes, with an attack score and a number of hitpoints, some minions even have unique traits that allow them to perform different actions.
The primary difference with the game is the board; unlike TCGs once cards are played they aren’t simply placed down but instead the Minion cards are placed on a gridded arena board and take the form of individual pieces, like a game of chess. The player can move their units around each turn attempting to out play and destroy their opponents Minions, as well as their General who also takes the form of their own piece. Generals have large hitpools and can take a lot of damage, but once defeated then they forfeit the game.
There are six factions that can be played, players are not limited to only playing one faction, and each has an extremely different playstyle based off their unique cards:
- Lyonar Kingdom – Relying mostly on their Minions’ Zeal and Provoke abilities, Zeal benefits a Minion when they are adjacent to the General unit giving them additional stats for the duration, whereas Provoke forces enemy units within range to attack that unit before attack any others
- Songhai – Many of the Songhal units rely on the Backstab ability, gaining additional damage when attacking an enemy from behind, the faction also has a lot of positioning spells to allow their units to get into Backstab range much more easily
- Abyssian – Focusing on littering the battlefield with weak minions the main damage comes in the form of the Death Watch power that lets them sacrifice these minions to instantly destroy an enemy minion, even one that is extremely powerful
- Vetruvian – Masters of board control they can attack entire rows of enemies with their powerful Blast ability, they also have unique spells and minions that can interact with the Generals’ artifacts to keep their General supplied and powerful
- Magmar – Utilizing their Grow feature the unique Magmar units become more powerful over time, the longer they are in the fight the more dangerous they become, but others are equipped with a Rebirth ability that when they die they plant an egg that, if not destroyed, will bring them back
- Vanar – Many spells allow the Vanar to generate icy frozen walls to block enemies and funnel them to where they wish them to go, using their Infiltrate ability some Vanar units gain more attack power by fighting on the enemy side of the board promoting an aggressive playstyle
Players can experience tutorials in the Training Hall and complete Single Turn Challenges where they must defeat the enemy in one turn with the units and cards provided, alternatively they can train on their own in the Sandbox arena and control two teams to practice their strategy. The game has a Ranked mode where players use the matchmaking facility to duel each other for position, and the Gauntlet mode lets players spend Gold to try and fight and win nine matches before losing three of them, acquiring greater rewards depending on how many wins they get.
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