Duelyst just nerfed one of its most oppressive cards

Duelyst just pushed live a surprise balance patch that makes a number of changes the community been calling for, and some that were less expected. Since the game's first major expansion, Denizens of Shimzar was released in August, the legendary minion Inquisitor Kron has been a hot topic among players. And unlike Blizzard's slow approach to balance changes in Hearthstone, developer Counterplay Games decided to swing the nerf hammer relatively fast. 

Inquistor Kron was a 5 mana 4/6 minion that would summon a free 2/2 with a random ability every time you replaced a card—a Duelyst mechanic that let's you mulligan one card from your hand per turn. According to Counterplay's patch notes, Kron provided so much value that he was simply too oppressive in comparison to other 5 mana cards: "We want players to feel like they have more options in the 5 cost slot." As a result, his health has been lowered from 6 to 4, making him significantly more fragile. 

Kron wasn't the only card toned down; four others have been nerfed, along with one of the general's unique Bloodborn Spells. Kara, the Vanar general in question, has also been a much-discussed candidate for nerfs, so reworking her Bloodborn Spell has been a longer time coming than the relatively quick Kron change. Kara's +1/+1 effect for minions in her hand now only applies to minions played on the turn it's used, meaning you can no longer rely on the strategy of stacking it on Rush minions to deal burst damage from hand.

Two other nerfs targeted the game's Dispel effect, which is like Duelyst's version of Hearthstone's Silence. Ephemeral Shroud—which I recommended should be in all your beginner decks way back in beta—went from being a 2/2 to a 1/1, but will probably still see play thanks to being a cheap, neutral Dispel option. Meanwhile, the Vetruvian card Siphon Energy can no longer target any minion on the board, only those near your general, and many people are already saying that might be enough to severely limit its use.

When I interviewed Counterplay Games at PAX West this year, they told me the game had seen an influx of players since launching on Steam in August. Counterplay has always been more liberal with balance changes than many other CCGs, and Kron's demise is just a continuation of that trend. But the change to Kara's Bloodborn Spell means my Mei general mod could be more relevant than ever as wall decks go on the rise. 

You can read the full patch notes here

Tom Marks
Tom is PC Gamer’s Associate Editor. He enjoys platformers, puzzles and puzzle-platformers. He also enjoys talking about PC games, which he now no longer does alone. Tune in every Wednesday at 1pm Pacific on Twitch.tv/pcgamer to see Tom host The PC Gamer Show.