Greetings everyone, and welcome to what is probably going to be one of the last Duels meta reports before the launch of Hearthstone's new expansion, Forged in the Barrens, which will be live on March 30th!
Together with the new cards, we'll also receive Duels updates - devs hinted that new heroes will be added to the game mode, but we don't know anything about them yet. Therefore, for now, let's just focus on what we currently have and try to get the best out of it.
Here below you'll find a varied selection of Duels starting archetypes to build around during your run - all of them were brought all the way to 12 wins by their respective creators, so you know for sure that they have some potential - have fun!
Chrome575's Token Demon Hunter
Illidari Strike is great at both getting rid of the opponent's threat with a chance of having a 1/1 survive and at making your synergy cards worth their slot in your starting deck - Wrathscale Naga, Blood Herald and Nethrandamus all benefit from having multiple minions die, which is also part of your game plan.
As for Passive Treasures, you should try to pick Recycling from the first pool (excellent for survivability with all these tokens laying around) and Cannibalism from the second one (excellent for delivering damage when you're consistently able to swarm your board with two or more minions per turn).
Nothing's pretty much changed here - Harvest Time! is very good and makes Token Druid the best archetype in the format. We can hope that the next patch will bring us some news, but for now, this is the top dog. Nothing much to add other than I highly recommend it.
Thoughfluff's Deathrattle Hunter
Another staple Duels archetype since the dawn of the game mode: even though Death Games lost some of its power due to its nerf (it's not able to target minions anymore), it can still cause massive swings in the early and late game. Moreover, Deathstrider is a board filling/damage dealing effect that becomes better and better as your run progresses.
All in all, there are better strategies in the format right now, but Deathrattle Hunter is still worth a shot.
SheikVII's C'thun Mage
Now that Frost Shards cost 2 mana, Wyrm Bolt has returned to be a valid choice when choosing your Hero Power at the beginning of the run. The deck features the usual Mage cards, good by themselves and with lots of Spell Damage-card draw/generation synergy, which will let you set up your C'Thun, the Shattered lethal.
Dsorrow's Spell Damage Mage
Unlike the Mage list above, the one you're going to look at lacks a literal OTK win-condition like C'Thun, the Shattered, but it showcases a more burn oriented shell as well as double Yogg, so that you'll ensure that fate will be by your side when the circumstances will ask for a decisive answer.
Paradox's Dude Paladin
4 mana Men at Arms was good a week ago, it is good now and it is probably going to be even better when Team 5 will print even more Silver Hand Recruit support - sure, Lothraxion the Redeemed could rotate out of the card pool together will all the Madness at the Darkmoon Faire set, but there's no way that the next Core set won't be part of the mode - therefore, we'll be able to put our hands on Stand Against Darkness, Warhorse Trainer and Pursuit of Justice. The archetype is in a really good spot.
Try to pick Recycling or Rocket Backpacks from the first Passive pools and Cannibalism, Double Time or Emerald Goggles from the second one!
虎牙丶夜帆's Dragon Priest
A nice Control deck with a sprinkle of Dragon synergy, including the recently released Herald of the Scaled Ones, together with a good Hero Power like Shadow Mend will help you to stabilize the game and run out your opponents of resources while you slowly build up your C'Thun, the Shattered. While it suffers against slower decks like Warlock, it has good matchups against most aggressive builds.
As for Passive Treasures, try getting Dragon Affinity or Rocket Backpacks from the first pool and Scepter of Summoning or Elixir of Vigor from the second one.
Thoughfluff's Overload Shaman
Pretty much the same reasoning behind Men At Arms - Stormcatcher is going to become better and better with time, especially since the devs stated that Shaman will receive more Overload support in the future.
Null_poke's Menagerie Warrior
We're going to showcase two different approaches at the same archetype. The first one tries to capitalize on Ringmaster Whatley's effect as hard as possible, including minions from just the Pirate, Dragon and Mech tribes and choosing Collector's Ire as starting Treasure - this way, you'll cycle through your deck with more ease and will be able to drop your bing units on curve or, sometimes, even before.
虎牙丶夜帆's Menagerie Warrior
Differently from the first list, this one showcases Auto-Armaments as signature Treasure (great synergy with Bruising) and runs a "big" package with Grommash Hellscream (surprise burst damage) and Rattlegore (it's annoying on ladder, even more here in Duels).
Just like the other deck, you want to close games with N'Zoth, God of the Deep - make sure to beef it up as better as you can!
As for Passive Treasures, try getting Rocket Backpacks or Dragon Affinity from the first pool and Scepter of Summoning or Disks of Legend from the second one.
Do you like Duels? What are you playing over there right now? Let us know in the comments!