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Duels logo.png
Duels - Menu screen.png
Duels.png
Duels' representation icon

Duels is a game mode where players face off against other players, attempting to claim 12 victories before they suffer 3 losses, similar to Arena. However, instead of drafting a deck, players are offered a choice between 4 of Hearthstone's 10 classes, then one of three of that class's Hero Powers, followed by one of six of that class's Signature Treasures. Players then must build a 16-card deck, using 15 cards from their collection, and the treasure they selected.

At the end of each round, whether it was a win or a loss, the player gains 5 higher maximum health and chooses three cards to add to their deck from three different choices, similar to Dungeon Run and other single-player missions. Occasionally, the player can also pick a Passive or active treasure to add to their deck.

Getting started

Entry fee

Duels - Casual and Heroic.png
Duels' methods of play
Tavern Ticket.png
Tavern Ticket, previously called Arena Ticket
Duels offers two methods of play with separate matchmaking pools: Casual and Heroic.
  • Casual runs are completely free.
  • A Heroic run costs 150 gold or a Tavern Ticket. However, Heroic runs feature success-based rewards identical to Arena rewards, including gold, arcane dust, cards, golden cards, and card packs from the latest expansion.
    • Since Patch 18.6 Arena Ticket is renamed to Tavern Ticket, which means if the player is sitting on unspent tickets, those tickets can be used in both Arena and Duels.

Selection

After starting a Duels run, the player gets to choose the following:

  • One of four randomly-offered heroes (classes)
  • One of six Signature Treasures of the chosen class
    • Some Signature Treasures can only be unlocked after the player completes their specific goals.
  • One of three Hero Powers of the chosen class
    • Some Hero Powers can only be unlocked after the player completes their specific goals.

Then, the player builds a starter deck, which

  • Includes the chosen Signature Treasures and 15 unique (no duplicates) cards, from their own collection
  • Includes cards available from a certain number of sets, depending on the season
  • Does not include card in the ban list.

For more details about available selections and ban list in the current season, see #Current season.

Duels - Choose a Hero.png
Choosing a Hero or class
Duels - Choose a Signature Treasure.png
Choosing a Signature Treasure
Duels - Choose a Hero Power.png
Choosing a Hero Power

After round

Similar to Dungeon Run and similar modes, regardless of winning or losing, after a round is finished, the player gets the opportunity to add new cards to their current deck, by:

  • Choosing one of three Passive treasures (after rounds 1 and 3).
  • Choosing one of three active treasures (after rounds 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13).
  • Choosing one of three loot buckets, each consisting of three cards or none.

For more details about available treasures in the current season, see #Current season.

Duels - Choose Passive treasures.png
Choosing a Passive treasure
Duels - Choose Active treasures.png
Choosing an active treasure
Duels - Choose loot bucket.png
Choosing a loot bucket

Group Learning

Duels - Group Learning.png
Group Learning bucket, always in the middle
Group Learning (smart bucket, or auto-generated bucket) is a special loot bucket. Unlike most loot buckets which have a predetermined card pool, Group Learning has their card pool generated from gameplay data, and it is always in the middle of offering screen.[1]
Functionality

Group Learning is determined by three factors:

  • How were cards played in each game?. In simple words, if you see two cards were played by players repeatedly, it’s a good indicator that there is some synergy between them.
  • Which stage of the game and what turns were these cards played?. Cards played in close turns and turns far apart usually indicate different things. The previous pair usually shows signs of combo pieces, and the latter shows cards used as earlier tools and late-game powers.
  • What is the end-game impact (win/loss) after the card pair was played?. Win-rate information is embedded in the card pair synergy score. In general, the higher the win-rate, the bigger the score. Afterwards, the score is aggregated for the bucket with some restrictions applied.
    • One of the restrictions is that the cards in the bucket needs to be different. Since each bucket contains 3 cards, {A,B,C}, the aggregation consists of 3 different card pairs: {AB, AC, BC}. Mathematically speaking, a "reversed soft-minimum" function is chosen as an aggregation method. The benefit of this over simple addition or some other aggregation methods is it helps to avoid the scenario that {AB} and {AC} has a large score value, but {BC} has a very small score value.

Playing Duels

Gameplay

Duels - Main screen.png
A Duels run with 0 wins and 0 losses (3 lives remaining)
Duels - Gameplay.png
A Duels round or game
Play in Duels consists of a series of rounds between Arena players, with each player using their specially constructed deck.

During each Duel run, the player can only suffer up to 3 losses, with the number of losses so far displayed as "lost lives" on the "box" screen. Once a player has lost 3 times, or won 12 times, their run will end, along with their deck destroyed and cannot be viewed or played again.

If the player has a Heroic run, rewards befitting their success will be offered.

Players can also choose to retire their deck at any time after a run's first match. However, it should be noted that, in case you are playing a Heroic run, completing all of a deck's rounds cannot reduce the reward on offer, only improve it. Retiring a deck should therefore be a last resort used only when unwilling to play with the deck any longer.

It should also be noted that if either player is disconnected from the server during a match and fails to return through the reconnection feature, that round is counted as a loss for the disconnector.

The player plays in a Duels round like how they play in Constructed or Arena, except the fact that Duels use their own season's format of card sets and unique cards only available in Duels.

Any cards randomly generated during a match is restricted to the initial card sets. This affects cards generated from any effect and ability.

Matchmaking

Similar to Arena, matchmaking for each pairing is determined by the player's win/loss record for the current run, attempting to find a player with as similar a record as possible. Other factors such as class, deck and past Duels performance do not affect matchmaking.

It is possible for a player to be matched twice against the same player over the course of a single Duels run.

Heroic rewards

Main article: Arena#Claiming rewards

Similar to Arena, after a Heroic run ends (gets 12 wins or 3 losses ), they will be given a reward chest, containing up to five prize boxes with gold, dust, cards, and card packs. The range of possible items and values able to be given in each prize box is shown in the a rewards table exactly like what Arena currently has.

Current season

Duels - Wizard Duels.png
Wizard Duels
Currently, Duels is at Mid-Season of Season One with the theme Wizard Duels.

Starter card sets

Classes

This section lists all current heroes, Hero Powers and Signature Treasures of each class. For more information about strategies, see indiviual pages.

For a list of each class' loot buckets, see individual Hero pages. For example: Star Student Stelina (Duels hero).

Demon Hunter

Hero and Hero Powers
Signature Treasures

Druid

Hero and Hero Powers
Signature Treasures

Hunter

Hero and Hero Powers
Signature Treasures

Mage

Hero and Hero Powers
Signature Treasures

Paladin

Hero and Hero Powers
Signature Treasures

Priest

Hero and Hero Powers
Signature Treasures

Rogue

Hero and Hero Powers
Signature Treasures

Shaman

Hero and Hero Powers
Signature Treasures

Warlock

Hero and Hero Powers
Signature Treasures

Warrior

Hero and Hero Powers
Signature Treasures

Passive treasures

Pool 1

This lists all Passive treasures that can be drafted after round 1.

Pool 2

This lists all Passive treasures that can be drafted after round 3.

Pool 2 Ultra Rare

This lists all Passive treasures that can be drafted after round 3, but have only 1% chance to be offered.

Active treasures

Pool 1

This lists all active treasures that can be drafted after rounds 2, 5, 7, 9, 11 and 13.

Pool 2

This lists all active treasures that can be drafted after round 4.

Pool 2 Ultra Rare

This lists all active treasures that can be drafted after round 4, but have only 1% chance to be offered.

Banned cards

Banned from Deckbuilding
Banned from card buckets
Removed treasures

Seasons

The Hearthstone team will also be adding new Hero Powers and treasures in a mid-season update early next year, and plan to reset Duels ratings at that time as well. At the end of each season, new heroes will be added, and some treasures will rotate out to make room for new ones.

Each season also has a theme tied to it. For example, Early Access and Season One's theme is Wizard Duels, which brings several familiar professors and luminaries from Scholomance Academy.

The following table lists all past seasons of Duels in Hearthstone history.

Season Start date End date Theme Patches
Mid-Season Season One January 21, 2021 TBA Wizard Duels
Season One November 17, 2020 January 21, 2021
Early Access October 22, 2020 November 17, 2020 Patch 18.6.0.63160

History

Duels was announced October 22, 2020 during the Hearthstone Fall Reveal Stream and the trailer. Afterwards, Duels was immediately launched into season Early Access as a part of Patch 18.6, available to players who either:

Duels was set officially launch on November 17, with the transition from Early Access to Season One.

Card changes

Main article: Duels/Card changes

Card changes are the alteration of cards from their previous designs. Hearthstone's designers prefer to avoid changing cards, but when the need arises, card changes will be implemented within patches.

Like collectible and Battlegrounds cards, Duels cards have been design-changed intentionally through the patches.

Patch changes

  • Forged in the Barrens logo.png Patch 20.0.0.77662 (2021-03-25):
    • Fixed a Duels bug where the win counter could show -1.
    • Fixed a Duels bug where duplicate card buckets could appear.
    • Fixed a Duels bug where your deck would not appear on the end of run screen.
  • Scholomance Academy logo.png Patch 18.6.0.63160 (2020-10-22): Added.

References

 
  1. Tian, Lead Data Scientist (2020-11-17). Dev Insights: Treasure Pools & Smart Loot Buckets in Duels
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