(Header Image Credit: The Duelyst Team)
Ok, let’s get straight to the point. I started off playing Hearthstone, and fell out of it because it was impossibly hard for me to get a deck built and to consistently win games to reach a high rank. Of course I did eventually get a decent priest deck built, and made it to the rank of 15, not the most amazing achievement, I’m aware, but it was good enough for me at the time. Nowadays I have a budget dragon-priest deck which gets the job done decently enough.
Now onto Duelyst. I have played it for maybe the same amount of time as Hearthstone. I picked it up during the beta actually, after reading a post on Kotaku. Before that I had no idea it even existed, and I am really glad that I know about it now.
First thing: Gameplay is MUCH less luck based compared to Hearthstone. In the latter many cards depend on random effects, in Duelyst it depends much more on positioning and timing. Why? Because it’s played on a grid, whereas Hearthstone is played on a static playing field. Taunt in Hearthstone (Provoke in Duelyst) forces everything to attack that minion before attacking something else. In Duelyst a provoke minion stops adjacent minions from moving, and forces them to attack that minion. It makes placing your minions in specific locations much more important as the grid adds an entirely new level of gameplay to the game.
Keep in mind that Duelyst is much less ‘casual’ than Hearthstone. There is only a ranked mode. Which makes testing out new decks a bit of a pain, but it’s something that you can live with once you get a decent grasp on the game.
Second thing: Duelyst shares many of the same mechanics as Hearthstone, making them seem very similar at first. However, Duelyst ends up playing completely differently to Hearthstone. Positioning makes more of an impact, gameplay is slightly faster paced and (in my opinion) decisions have larger consequences and trade-offs.
Keep in mind that I still enjoy playing Hearthstone, I just prefer Duelyst over it. The only times I really play Hearthstone are on my phone, when I’ve got a bit of free time and am not near my computer. If only Duelyst had a mobile version :c.
Third thing: It’s actually possibly NOT to spend money on Duelyst, and still succeed in some way. I didn’t spend any money on Duelyst for a bit, and managed to create a decent deck that could consistently win matches fairly quickly. Gold rewards are higher and more frequent in Duelyst, and the drop chance for higher rarity cards is also higher. Of course I eventually ended up spending some money on Duelyst to speed things up, but prior to this I managed to make it to rank 10 (Gold League), which isn’t the highest rank but considering that I hadn’t made it to anything nearly as good in Hearthstone, at least without a deck with rarer cards, I was quite chuffed with myself.
Those are the three main points of what I think makes Duelyst better than Hearthstone. Here are a few minor details: Completely , but I think the music and art-style is better in Duelyst. It’s already been mentioned but everything is so much cheaper and slightly faster paced in Duelyst. It makes f2p players have a chance at going head-to-head with people who pay actual money. The chance of getting rare cards is waaaay higher in Duelyst, and you’ll be able to get packs more often. But there are enough cards, and options for heroes and deck strategies that buying more packs will become redundant.
Of course Hearthstone is more accessible to the casual player looking for some random fun. Duelyst’s style of play isn’t for everyone, however I view it as a superior playing experience. Both in terms of general fun, and the time invested vs. reward and progress you get from playing the game. Thanks for reading 🙂