Duelyst, a strategy card game that fans love, is being reintroduced to the market.

Counterplay Games raised $137 707 on Kickstarter in 2014 for Duelyst. The project promised a card game with “Squad-Based Tactical Combat and Ranked Competitive Play.” Diablo III and Rogue Legacy veterans created this game. Counterplay signed a publishing agreement with Bandai Namco after the beta launched. Duelyst’s complex pixel art, turn-based strategy, and the blend of cards attracted lots of attention. Unfortunately, the good times did not last, and Duelyst’s servers were closed three years later. Counterplay’s next release was looter-slasher Godfall.

However, this is not the end for Duelyst. Counterplay, who still has the rights to Duelyst and most of the source codes, gave Dream Sloth a license. They are currently working on Duelyst 2. This version is based on the Duelyst beta, not the launch version. Players will draw two cards at each turn, with other changes.

The two-card draw was a popular feature of Duelyst beta. It allowed for combo-driven play and made it easy to balance. When you could use two cards of equal value, you could play both mid-price cards each turn without depleting your deck. Cards that were expensive in mana were not worth the effort. It was also easier to get two cards at once. This was made worse by a rule that allowed you to swap cards in your hand for a draw out of the deck once per round.

Duelyst 2’s return to the original style will undoubtedly win over some hardcore Duelyst players. The decision to switch to a traditional one-card per-turn format was controversial. Duelyst 2 doesn’t have Bloodbound Spells. These were an addition to version 1.63 and gave each player’s general (the hero unit representing them on the battlefield) a unique ability they could use every turn.

Duelyst 2 is free to play. A Discord participant, Dream Sloth, explained how the game would be monetized by saying that cards and cosmetic items would be sold. However, Duelyst will have cards more readily available without spending money. To supplement the generous f2p model, we plan to make more cosmetics available and allow players to support the game with in-game purchases.

Duelyst 2 has begun network tests. The next test will be announced shortly. They can be signed up at alpha.duelyst2.com. You can also see the updated core set of cards Duelyst2.com will launch with. For those who want to continue playing Duelyst in its original form, version 1.96 (the last patch before the servers were shut down) will be available. All cards are unlocked, and all cards will be free. In the fall of 2018, a beta version will be available.

Another fan revival is also in process, but it’s not licensed. Duelyst.gg aims to continue where Counterplay left off. It will build on and rebalance version 1.96 without the source code. This project is funded by Patreon and is the work of Hellgin, a single fan. Although all the cards are available, you can still play Duelyst.gg right from your browser. There’s also a Discord channel with information about the differences between Duelyst.gg and the original Duelyst.

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