Patch 19.4.1 recently hit the game and brought us lots of Duels goodies: we received some balance changes (nerfs but buffs too), new treasures, and new hero powers! Since the new meta isn't completely figured out yet, we think this is one of the best times to jump into the mode, build a 15 cards deck and have a run or two!
However, if you don't know what to play, worry not: we have what you're looking for! Check out 虎牙丶夜帆's (one of China's best Duels players) deck recommendations for all the 10 classes! Have fun!
Outcast Demon Hunter (Power score: 4/5)
Despite the change to Outlander, which now costs mana and makes early game swing turns way clunkier and therefore less frequent, the deck hasn't changed at all; You still run a very low-curve list with many Outcast cards and burn staples such as Pen Flinger and Stiltstepper. Long story short, your goal is still beating your opponent to death and you'll still be able to do it, but it will take you a turn or two more now.
The new Illidari Studies is a powerful inclusion: both a potential trigger for Outlander and a discounted Outcast card of your choice in the right-most place in your hand.
Treant Druid (Power score: 5/5)
Harvest Time! has been a very well-received addition to the Duels mode: many players have been experimenting with it and it has already proven to be quite the good hero power. The list we showcase runs cheap units like Wisp, Desk Imp and Tour Guide to get an immediate Hero Power trigger and Haunted Creeper and Nerubian Egg for some extra early game snowballing potential.
Pro tip: if you don't own Greybough and, despite the achievement hanging around in your journal, you don't want to craft it, 虎牙丶夜帆 suggests replacing it with a copy of Swipe.
Spell Druid (Power score: 4,5/5)
A pretty regular archetype that has been around since November: you stabilize the game with removals and armor gaining effect and then when your opponent is out of gas, you take the win. Since the list is spell-heavy, Yogg-Saron, Master of Fate and Yogg-Saron, Hope's End are mandatory, but if you want to have a more consistent win condition, 虎牙丶夜帆 suggests replacing them with Groundskeeper (you already run a lot of high-cost spells, so this unit is a natural fit) and C'Thun, the Shattered.
Deathrattle Hunter (Power score: 4/5)
Death Games got axed: while the early game snowball can still happen, it is way less consistent in the mid-late game, since you won't be able to control more than one Deathrattle minion at a time if you want to trigger a specific unit. On the other hand, Deathstrider has proven to be a very powerful inclusion: in its base form it is basically a Death Games on a stick, but its scaling effect during the run can lead to remarkable board swings.
We've received some feedback about the fact that Deathstrider usually crashes the game when played: while the issues are yet to be acknowledged by Team 5, we just wanted to point it out for those who will decide to meddle with Deathrattle shenanigans!
Elemental Mage (Power score: 5/5)
I personally played a very similar version of this deck (I chose Yogg-tastic Tasties as my treasure and had slightly less Elemental synergy) and went 12-0 with it, so I can guarantee that Elemental Mage is good. Very good. In particular, Frost Shards' Ice Shards can shut down so many strategies, especially if you're lucky enough to combine them with Rocket Backpacks.
Overall, a really solid deck with lots of flexibility, that you can easily improve with many bundles you get to choose from along the way.
Big Paladin (Power score: 4/5)
Royal Greatsword is one of the winners from the last Duels balance change: 5 mana 6/3 is good by itself, even moreso if you have a specific Woecleaver effect on it. Duels hasn't been very kind to Paladin so far, but this buff together with the inclusion of a great control tool like Modest Aspirations may help Turalyon a lot. Being able to shrink your opponent's threats or buff your Argent Squire and Nerubian Egg for early game survival is very essential if you want to make it to mid-game to close things out.
On a side note, I am very happy Ragnaros, Lightlord is seeing solid play in a game mode: I've always liked the card, but it's rarely seen much use in terms in competitive play.
Dude Paladin (Power score: 4/5)
Not a broken archetype, but still solid enough to see competitive play. High Abbess Alura is shining in Standard right now, and her role in this deck is quite similar: even though you run more spells than just Tip the Scales, if you're lucky skilled enough to high roll Men at Arms from her Spellburst trigger, then your opponent will have quite the hard time dealing with your massive Silver Hand Recruits turn after turn after turn, especially if combined with Lothraxion the Redeemed's bubbles.
Buff Priest (Power score: 4/5)
Voidfiends may seem harmless 0/1s, but slam a bunch of them on the board and you'll notice how wrong you were. While this deck doesn't despise direct damage through raw stats (Inner Fire is still a dangerous card if some conditions are met), "stealing" your opponent's life is quite useful in both early matches, when the life total isn't particularly high, and late matches, when slowly chipping down your opponent may be the key to success.
Pro tip: Shadow Word: Void can target your minions too - if you have a high health unit laying around, you can hit your opponent's face and then destroy it for up to 7 more damage!
Weapon Rogue (Power score: 5/5)
It's been two weeks since Darkmoon Races hit and we're already sick of Nitroboost Poison: the card is so good it's not even funny. Combine it with Deadly Weapons 101 for huge weapons in a game mode that is usually free of Acidic Swamp Ooze and Harrison Jones.
Moreover, if you need one more turn to close the game, Cloak of Shadows will help you more than you can imagine: in fact, it will also protect you from Ice Shard's Freezing effect, which is quite the problem since Mage is good and very popular in the game mode.
Overload Shaman (Power score: 4,5/5)
Stormcatcher is definitely one of the best Duels Hero Power period. Having no Overload on cards that are balanced around having a drawback is insanely good, especially if you think about all the tempo you're able to generate. Flamewreathed Faceless and Earth Elemental are just big walls, but the biggest offender is probably Lightning Bloom - pre-nerf Innervate for Overload-less Shaman is not something you would want to pass, trust us.
Soul Warlock (Power score: 4/5)
A new interesting take on Duels Warlock. Since the Soul Fragment mechanic has been very strong and popular so far, seeing a specific Hero Power in Duels really makes me wanna try it. Soulcial Studies' gameplan is completely different from Dark Arts' one: you still try to take control of the board and deal chip damage to your opponent, but with soul Warlock, you give up a powerful win condition like C'Thun, the Shattered for more stats and more healing. Moreover, you're not forced to run Killmox, the Banished One, so you can experiment with other interesting units like Demonizer and Joras Thuldoom.
Discard Warlock (Power score: 4,5/5)
This deck doesn't need any form of presentation: it's been popular since Duels day 1, and it keeps delivering great results thanks to Dark Arts's ability to dig through your deck and get Discard synergy at the same time - an insane tempo that many people have asked to be nerfed, but nothing's changed yet. This archetype is experimenting with the new Envoy Rustwix as an alternate win condition to C'Thun, the Shattered or just a simple value card in the control mirrors. In the end, an archetype that is likely to give you good results and fun.
Bomb Warrior (Power score: 4/5)
Great, now we have to endure Bomb Warrior in Duels too. Bomb Warrior finally made it to Duels! While Scrapmetal Demolitionist is just a solid card overall, Magnetic Mines is the real deal: being able to shuffle 5 damage into your opponent's deck as long as you have at least one Armor is very good - even more if you consider that your opponent is forced to prioritize face damage rather than dealing with the board if they want to avoid a potential snowball.
The new Armor Vendor, Spiked Wheel and Ironclad are natural inclusion in a deck with such gameplan, but you also have various control tools to help you survive until it's too late for your opponent.
Do you like Duels? What are you playing over there right now? Let us know in the comments!