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Duelyst Logo.png
Developer(s)Counterplay Games
Publisher(s)Bandai Namco Entertainment
Producer(s)Keith Lee
Designer(s)Eric Lang[1]
  • Emil Anticevic
  • Collin Hover
  • Marwan Hilmi
  • Michael Kanter
  • Robert Cook
  • Glauber Kotaki
  • Anton Fadeev
  • Ben MacDougall
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows, MacOs
ReleaseApril 27, 2016
Genre(s)Collectible card game, Turn-based Strategy
single-player Edit this on Wikidata

Duelyst was a free-to-play digital collectible card game and turn-based strategy hybrid developed by Counterplay Games, who initially self-published the title but was later published by Bandai Namco. It had been released in an open beta period in 2015, and the full game was released on April 27, 2016,[2][3] Due to declining player counts, servers for Duelyst were shut down on February 27, 2020.


Games are played on a 5 × 9 grid. Here, a general's movement range is highlighted.

In Duelyst, two players battle across a tactical battlefield, taking turns in which they play and position minions and spells, represented by cards drawn from a custom built deck, until one of the players eliminates the enemy general. There are six factions in Duelyst, each with its own unique characteristics that affect strategy and gameplay of the decks the player builds.[4]

The game offers a practice mode, puzzle-like challenges, a ranked season ladder and a draft-style tournament mode.[5]


Duelyst development was led by Keith Lee, a former lead producer at Blizzard Entertainment, who co-founded Counterplay Games. Lee cites the Fire Emblem and Front Mission series as inspirations for the game. Duelyst was designed to accommodate short play sessions, a game lasting around ten minutes on average.[1]

The game was part funded through a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, raising $137,707 in April 2014.[6][7] Originally intended to follow an up-front pricing model, the game switched to a free-to-play model in 2015. The developers believed that a free-to-play model would allow for ongoing updates to the game rather than relying on less regular expansion packs.[8] The game entered open beta testing in October 2015, and was released in April 2016 , 2016 on both Microsoft Windows and OS X platforms.[9][10] The iOS version, however, was subsequently removed, and the game exists only for Windows. The first major expansion "Denizens of Shim'zar" was released in August 2016.[11] A second expansion, "Rise of the Bloodborn" was released in December 2016.[12] A third, "Ancient Bonds" followed in March 2017.[13] The fourth, "Unearthed Prophecy" was released in July 2017.[14] The fifth, "Immortal Vanguard" was released in November 2017.[15] The sixth and latest expansion, "Trial of Mythron" was released in November 2018.[16]

Originally self-published, it was announced in July 2017 that the game would henceforth be published by Bandai Namco Entertainment, who would take on responsibilities for marketing and customer support.[17][18]

Counterplay announced in January 2020 that due to declining player counts, the online servers for Duelyst will be shut down on February 27, 2020 at 3PM PST, and the game will become unplayable after that.[19]


Aggregate score

The game was well received and holds a rating of 82/100 on reviews aggregation website Metacritic, based on 14 reviews.[20] Tom Marks, writing in PC Gamer, described Duelyst as his favourite card game after Hearthstone and awarded the game 84% in his review.[4][21] Matt Cox, in his review for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, praised Duelyst in comparison to its competitors, adding that the game "does so much more by slapping on a whole other game to the tried and tested CCG formula".[22]


  1. ^ a b Colin Campbell (2015-03-02). "Duelyst takes Hearthstone and adds a little Final Fantasy Tactics". Polygon. Retrieved 2016-09-03.
  2. ^ "Gorgeous competitive tactics game 'Duelyst' is out today".
  3. ^ "Duelyst is the best (and prettiest) alternative to Hearthstone".
  4. ^ a b Tom Marks (2015-11-06). "Duelyst is my favorite new card game since Hearthstone". PC Gamer. Retrieved 2016-08-06.
  5. ^ Janine Hawkins (2016-06-01). "Duelyst Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2016-08-06.
  6. ^ Nathan Grayson (2014-03-10). "Revealed: Duelyst, Turn-Based Strategy From Diablo Devs". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved 2016-08-06.
  7. ^ Counterplay Games (2014-03-09). "DUELYST". Kickstarter. Retrieved 2016-08-06.
  8. ^ Steven Messner (2016-06-23). "Why Duelyst's Developers Think Going Free-To-Play Was The Right Move". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved 2016-08-06.
  9. ^ Mike Futter (2015-10-21). "Tactical Card Game Duelyst Enters Open Beta Today". Game Informer. Retrieved 2016-09-03.
  10. ^ Tom Marks (2016-04-05). "Duelyst leaving open beta later this month". PC Gamer. Retrieved 2016-09-03.
  11. ^ Tom Marks (2016-08-15). "Duelyst's first major expansion launches later this month, here are 8 new cards". PC Gamer. Retrieved 2016-09-03.
  12. ^ Tom Marks (2016-12-12). "Duelyst's next expansion is out this week, take a look at six new cards". PC Gamer. Retrieved 2016-12-16.
  13. ^ Tom Marks (2017-03-09). "Duelyst is getting its third expansion next week, here's a first look at six new cards". PC Gamer. Retrieved 2017-03-18.
  14. ^ Tom Marks (2017-07-07). "Duelyst's fourth expansion is out next week, take a look at 9 cards with a brand new keyword". PC Gamer. Retrieved 2017-07-13.
  15. ^ Brendan Caldwell (2017-11-16). "Duelyst adds 100 cards in Immortal Vanguard expansion". Rock Paper Shotgun. Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  16. ^ Alice O'Connor (2018-03-20). "Duelyst's Trial Of Mythron expansion out next week". Rock Paper Shotgun. Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  17. ^ Counterplay Games (2017-07-07). "BANDAI NAMCO Publisher Announcement". Archived from the original on 2017-08-04. Retrieved 2017-07-13.
  18. ^ Jessica Conditt (2017-07-14). "How Bandai Namco is (and isn't) changing 'Duelyst'". Engadget. Retrieved 2017-07-14.
  19. ^ Bolding, Jonathan (January 25, 2020). "Duelyst to shut down servers forever". PC Gamer. Retrieved January 25, 2020.
  20. ^ a b "Duelyst for PC Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2020-03-01.
  21. ^ Tom Marks (2016-05-03). "Duelyst review". PC Gamer. Retrieved 2016-08-06.
  22. ^ Cox, Matt (2016-09-21). "Wot I Think: Duelyst". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved 2016-09-29.

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