In this series I’ll attempt to teach you new Duelyst players all you need to know about this game. In this first installment I’ll introduce myself, cover setting up your account, getting started with the game and I’ll throw in a bunch of useful information.
Who am I?
Hi there, I’m Hugo, but better known by my in-game pseudonym of “Rhaios” and I’ve been playing Duelyst for almost two years now with my current rank being diamond 4. I mainly play Abyssian with some Vetruvian and Vanar on the side. Because I like helping newer players and saw a lot of them requesting help on the subreddit I decided to try and create my own series of guides, but without further ado, let’s get into the guide.
Downloading the game
Before you start playing Duelyst I’ll inform you of the three different clients on which you can play this game. There aren’t any important functional differences between them, but it’s good to know these options exist.
- First, there is the browser client. To play from there you need to go to https://play.duelyst.com.
- Second, you can choose to play on the downloadable client, which can be downloaded from here.
- And last, you can download it on Steam here. This is the only client that actually differs from the other two, as it allows you to use your Steam’s friend list as well.
After you download and install your client (unless you play on the browser client) you’ll have to create a Bandai Namco account which will function as your Duelyst account. If you already have a Bandai Namco account this will of course not be necessary.
Unlocking the factions
After you have created a Bandai Namco account and have logged in with it you’ll be asked to select a username, this’ll be the name of your Duelyst account.
After this, the game will give you three tutorials to teach you the absolute basics of the game, I advise you to play through them as they will only take about 5 minutes in total and are actually quite useful. When you have completed the three tutorials, you will unlock the first Lyonar faction general and some Lyonar faction cards to play with.
The game will then introduce the quest system to you by giving you the introduction quest “Win 1 practice game”. After clicking out of the quest window you’ll be left on the main menu which will look like this:
Now you’ll want to head over to “PLAY” in the top-left and then select practice. This will bring up two sets of the six factions, on the left will be your selected basic Lyonar deck and on the right a list of the different AI opponents you can play a game against. If you win a game against one of these factions you’ll unlock them and a couple of their basic cards much like how you unlocked the Lyonar faction. You’ll want to do this before playing ANY ranked/unranked games, I’ll explain why in a bit.
As you play games with factions you’ll earn experience and level up with them. Leveling up factions gives you access to more of their cards up to level 11, after which leveling up will give you prismatic (pretty-looking) copies of the cards you got from leveling up the faction.
Once you’ve unlocked every faction you might’ve got some feel for what they play like and whether you enjoy playing them or not, but in case you feel lost, here’s a short summary of every faction:
- Lyonar play decks that mostly revolve around playing minions and buffing/healing them to get large value out of them over time. They also have mechanics that reward you for keeping your minions and your general stuck together in tight formations. Thematically they are similar to Paladins from fantasy games.
- Songhai might be called the polar opposite of that as they rely heavily on their spells to dish out large bursts of damage to their opponents. Minion-based Songhai decks do exist, but even they benefit greatly from Songhai’s ability to deal burst and play powerful effects out of hand. Thematically they are a faction of Asian-inspired assassins.
- Vetruvian as a faction attempts to overwhelm their opponents by swarming them with their various types of desert-themed minions. Besides this they can use their arsenal of artifacts to do huge damage to their opponent and they have a couple ways to take control of their opponent’s minions. Thematically they are desert-themed cyborgs.
- Abyssian are a death-centered faction. Most of their cards either have effects that trigger when they die, when something else dies or have effects that give you a benefit for killing one of your own minions. On top of this they also enjoy a wide variety of very powerful late-game monsters. Thematically they are a faction of demons and warlocks.
- Magmar tend to lean towards decks revolving around having huge, lizard-themed minions to beat up their opponent, but don’t be fooled as these seemingly slow reptilians can deal a deceptively high amount of burst. Besides high burst and large minions they also have large amounts of healing that they use to keep their generals healthy. Thematically they are a tribe of large, sentient dinosaurs.
- Vanar like to accelerate their mana and then use that to summon a large amount of walls (minions that usually can’t move but can still deal damage) to limit their opponent’s options and eventually beat them down. They also have a lot of cards that gain benefits from being on the opponent’s starting side of the board. Be careful where you stand against Vanar as one wrong step can mean your demise. Thematically they are an ice/cold-themed faction.
Now that you’ve played a practice game with every faction, a message will appear, telling you that you’ve completed the achievement: World Explorer, which will award you one legendary card from a faction, I suggest you don’t disenchant that card yet since I’ll be covering this later on in the guide. Duelyst has many of these hidden achievements that will grant you rewards upon completion, a full list of them can be found here.
By now you’ll have received the introduction quest “Win a ranked game” and if you’re a good boy (or girl) you’ll have listened to me and not played a PvP game yet. I told you to wait because there is a thing in Duelyst called the “Referral Program.” If you go to “FRIENDS” in the bottom-right you’ll be presented with a large blue button saying “Referral Program.” Underneath this button it says “claim a friend’s referral code,” click on this sentence. If you do this before you’ve played a PvP game you get to enter a referral code, this code is the username of whoever you want to say you’ve been referred by in all lower case. This doesn’t have to be anyone specific, any account name will do so fill in the account name of a friend or perhaps of your favorite Duelyst streamer. Once you’ve done this you’ll receive 100 gold for free and your friend will receive rewards when you reach silver and gold ranking.
Now you are ready to hop into ranked and play your first ranked game, do not worry about losing as the game automatically starts you off at the lowest rank. Once you manage to win a ranked game you’ll receive you two final introductory quests: “get a faction to level 10” and “complete 3 solo challenges.” At this point the game will guide you to the solo challenges. These are a couple of short puzzles that will teach you some basic mechanics and award you a bit of easy gold upon completion. I advise you to complete all of these at some point since they are worth quite a bit of gold if you do them all. And getting a faction to level 10 happens once you play enough with that faction. Once you’ve completed these last two introduction quests you’ll gain access to the regular daily quests.
The Main Menu
If you have completed all the tutorial stuff, your main menu will have a couple options added to it and it will now look like this:
In the top you can see:
- Play is where you can play games of Duelyst in one of 5 different ways.
- Watch has two parts:
- Live Streams redirects you to Duelyst streamers who are currently live.
- Replays let you watch some recent replays from different divisions.
- Mystery Crates are things you can get at random after games that can then be opened to receive cosmetics.
- Codex is where this game holds the chapters of its lore.
On the bottom you can see:
- Quests is where you can review your quests and see your progress on them.
- You get one free common rarity card each day
- You get a 20 gold quest to play 4 online games as a certain faction.
- You get a 50 gold quest that takes slightly longer to complete
- If you ever miss a quest you’ll get a “Welcome Back!” quest the next day that will reward you 5 gold for each previous quest you missed (up to a max of 25).
- Occasionally there might be a monthly quest, which will award you with something special.
- Profile is where you can edit your profile picture and see your ranked stats, faction levels and your match history.
- Settings should be obvious.
- As should the Friends tab.
- Finally, each week, there is an AI boss battle that will reward you with an Orb and a cosmetic crate upon defeat.
You probably noticed that I left out Collection, Spirit Orbs and Shop. That is because, lastly, I’m going to go over them in more depth
To start things off, I’ll talk a bit about this game’s three resources: Diamonds, Gold and Spirit.
Diamonds are the premium resource of this game, they are only obtainable by buying them from the the Shop. The game will ask you if you want to buy more diamonds if you try to purchase something that you don’t own enough diamonds for or you can go to the payment screen immediately by clicking on your diamond balance. These diamonds can be used to purchase orbs, bundles or cosmetics.
Gold is the currency you earn by playing the game and can be used to buy orbs at a rate of 1 orb for 100 gold. You can earn gold from:
- Completing Daily Quests (20 + 50)
- Getting your first win of the day (20)
- You also get 15 for every 3 wins, these do not need to be in a row and it has no cap.
- As a reward from Gauntlet.
Spirit can be used to craft cards and cosmetics and is obtained by disenchanting cards or by getting it as a Gauntlet reward.
The first thing you are probably wondering now is, “With all these different orbs, which ones do I purchase?” The general answer to this question is Core Orbs (do note that it’s not necessarily wrong to buy expansion orbs, you’re just better off buying Core Orbs as a new player and then crafting the expansion cards), this is for three different reasons:
- Core Orbs have a higher legendary drop rate of 1/4 orbs as opposed to Expansion Orbs, which have a 1/5 rate.
- Expansions rotate out of standard after 2 years, this means that 2 years after the release of an expansion, it can no longer be used on the ranked ladder. The Core Set, on the other hand, remains in standard forever and thus gold spent on this set will not decrease in value as the years pass.
- Most decks have a lot of their strong base cards from the Core Set, which means that your best way to access generally strong cards from different factions is to get Core Orbs, where certain expansions might’ve had nearly no good cards for certain factions.
Now that you’ve bought some Orbs, you can open them in the Spirit Orbs section in the bottom-left of the main menu.
Finally, we’ve arrived at The Collection. This is where you’ll be spending the bulk of your time not spent in battle. Allow me to explain what’s going on over here:
The majority of the screen is taken up by your collection of cards, you can scroll through it using the circular arrow buttons on the bottom or by clicking on the faction tags at the top. You’ll see that this includes 3 generals for each faction, regular and prismatic cards and alternate skins for cards.
On the right you can see your list of decks (or my decks in this case). When you create a new deck you first have to select what general you’d like to use and then get to select from all the cards you own for that faction and for the neutrals. You can also name your decks, select card back if you own any and tag them with a color. A deck has to include 40 cards, including a general, and you can put up to three copies of a card into the same deck.
There is the search bar at the top that you can use to search for card names, card text, minion tribal tags (Golem, Mech, Arcanyst, etc) and other things such as “unit” to view all minions and generals, common/rare/epic/legendary to view all cards of that rarity and “prismatic” to view all prismatic cards. You can also type in a number to view all cards of that cost.
The Crafting button takes you to the crafting area where you can disenchant any cards you don’t want and craft ones you do for spirit, there will also be a button here that disenchants any extra cards (decks can only contain up to 3 copies of a card). Generals and Mythron-rarity cards cannot be disenchanted unless they are prismatic.
And the last, but perhaps the more complicated part: the collection settings.
- Dismiss New removes all the “new card” notifications at once.
- Prismatics changes whether you can see the prismatic cards in your collection
- Prismatic Crafting changes whether you can see prismatic version of cards in the crafting menu. I’d advise to turn this off unless you want to craft a specific prismatic card as turning it on doubles the amount of cards you have to scroll through.
- Card Skins changes whether you can see the card skins you own.
- Lore Notifications changes whether you get the lore notifications of new cards because some cards in this game have little stories attached to them.
Next up are the card set settings
- With “All Cards” enabled you can see all cards that you own.
- With “Standard Cards” enabled you can see all the cards that you own, that are in the current standard format.
- Below these is a list of card sets, select these if you want to see all the cards you own from a certain card set.
Naturally, you will see all the cards in the category if you go to the crafting menu with these settings on.
- You receive rewards at the end of each month based on your highest achieved rank.
- Rank 20, Silver: a random epic + spirit & gold
- Rank 10, Gold: a random epic & legendary + spirit & gold
- Rank 5, Diamond: a random rare, epic & legendary + spirit & gold
- Rank 0, S-Rank: a random common, rare, epic & legendary + spirit & gold
- In addition to this, once you reach one of these benchmark ranks you can no longer drop below it.
- If you want to know the most efficient way of earning gold it’s without a doubt Gauntlet. You can buy a ticket for 150 gold and
- for 3+ wins you break even getting an orb (100 gold) and 50+ gold in value.
- for 7+ wins you get a free Gauntlet ticket, making your run effectively free.
- If you link your Bandai Namco and Twitch accounts you get free stuff for watching Duelyst streams, more explanation here.
- Here you can find a list of scripts made by t2k5 that can enhance your experience. Things such as a deck-tracker and more statistics.
- This is a deckbuilder that can also export/import deck codes to/from Duelyst’s own deckbuilder.
- A member of the community made a deckbuilder for mobile devices, it’s called Decklyst on both Android and iOS.
- Sometimes a contest is held on the Duelyst Forums, the winner usually receives orbs for their effort. These contests can be anything from fan art, to MS paint fan art, to naming a new card.
- Two times a month, there is a sale. On the last weekend of each month there is a diamond sale and on the second weekend of each month there is a sale for some things in the armory, either cosmetics or orbs.
I hope this article was useful to you. This is the first part of what will be a series of guides so look forward to the next one, which will most likely be quite a lot shorter.