What are the best heroes for Hearthstone Duels?
Let’s talk about Hearthstone Duels! Are you struggling in this game mode, where the pool of Treasures that are offered to you can pretty much dictate if you’re going to have a good or a bad run? Well, learning which Treasures are good or bad goes a long way towards improving your skill in Duels, but sometimes picking the best possible Hero can be even more helpful.
The truth is that the ten classes are not very well balanced at the moment, so chances are that if you pick the stronger ones, you are more likely to succeed. So read on to find out what are the current power rankings for Hearthstone Duels, so that you can make your selections accordingly.
Bottom tier: Warlock, Rogue
Warlock has always had weaker class cards than most other classes in Hearthstone, because its regular Hero Power, Life Tap, is so strong. Well, that doesn’t translate itself so well to Duels: Warlock cards are still subpar for the most part. This could, in theory, be compensated if the Warlock Hero Power in Duels was above average — but that is just not the case for Dark Arts, which has you discard one of four cards in your hand in order to draw one. That Hero Power has already been buffed, going from costing 2 mana to 1, but the truth is that Duels Warlock is still very reliant on the Discard mechanic, which has been wonky, historically.
Rogue has also gotten the same buff, of having its Hero Power cost 1, rather than 2 — but it’s still lackluster when compared to nearly every other Hero Power in Duels right now. While the Rogue class has some strong cards in general, those cards don’t interact all that well with this Hero Power, which makes the class end up lacking in synergy, and not seeing the same exponential growth in power that classes like Mage and Shaman end up seeing.
For now, avoid if you can: Paladin, Druid
Paladin’s Hero Power can very easily backfire on you. In theory, you want to keep bringing back a powerful minion you’ve played — but that strategy has the very obvious downside of requiring you to not play many weak minions, which in turn ensures that you usually suffer at the start of the game. When Paladin gets rolling, it gets rolling — but it’s a very top-oriented class, where you want almost nothing but strong minions. Surviving long enough to be able to actually implement your strategy is not the easiest task, especially since Duels games tend to be short at first, due to the smaller health pools.
Druid is a very similar story. Being a “ramp” class — that is, a class that tries to cheat its mana curve in order to play stronger cards earlier than usual — the most powerful Druid cards are usually the most costly ones. To play Druid successfully, you usually need to get to some specific higher-end combo — something that is much harder to do in the faster-paced Duels environment.
Mostly good picks, but need some work: Hunter, Warrior
Hunter has been very successful so far with one specific strategy: Deathrattle. Which sort of places it right in the middle of the pack: if the RNG gods are with you, you will be offered all the Treasures and buckets that feed into your Deathrattle synergy, and you’ll get the ball rolling on your Hunter deck. If you aren’t, well… hopefully you can go super-aggro mode and beat your opponents fast, before they can get to the later stages of the game, and simply outclass you. Hunter tends to run out of gas, and in Duels, it shows.
Warrior has some good removal tools, some good aggressive options, some interesting options with weapons. Basically, it’s an “honest” class — in a world where Demon Hunter exists. Demon Hunter simply outclasses Warrior in nearly everything that it tries to do at the moment. You can certainly have success with Warrior, especially if you’re able to get a Rattlegore rolling and use your Treasures to bolster it. But as it stands, Warrior is playing a game against a specific competitor that has the odds rigged in its favor.
Strong classes: Priest, Mage
When discussing Druid and Paladin, I mentioned that they need to get to the end of the game to shine, but they struggle to survive until them. Well… meet Priest, which is also a class that will benefit greatly from the strongest minions and Treasures out there, but is far more well-equipped to actually get there. Priest has plenty of healing effects, as well as other defensive cards, and the ability to turn its opponent’s threats against themselves for some breathing room. When picking Priest, you are in a much more comfortable position to be greedy, since odds are higher that your gamble will end up paying off.
Mage’s Hero Power allows it to “ping” enemy minions and constantly create Mana Wyrms from it. The Mage class has plethora of low-cost spells to pick, and ways to keep generating more and more spells, allowing them to easily control the board and feed their Mana Wyrms. In addition to that, there are several Treasures that boost this playstyle of playing many spells, by making your spells cost less, or giving you permanent increased Spell Power. The Duels environment simply meshes very well with what the Mage class has at the moment, assuring that it remains near the top.
Top tier: Shaman, Demon Hunter
Shaman was so strong at first that it has already been nerfed, before the game mode is even “officially” out. Getting two totems out in the same turn (as long as you’re Overloaded) is too good for Shaman, since it has plenty of Evolve effects, buff cards that make their minions stick to the battlefield, and a little spell called Bloodlust. Well, the Hero Power has been nerfed, but it still offers a lot of synergy. Shaman can win the game in multiple ways: through Evolving minions and using AoE spells to control the board; through damage spells, applied either to opposing minions or directly to their opponents’ faces; or, through powerful weapons, combined with plenty of self-healing. Add to all of that the draw mechanics from cards like Far Sight and your Mana Tide Totem (which can be generated from your Hero Power), and Shaman is a very strong contender. That said, the recent nerf has diminished its power somewhat.
In Constructed Hearthstone, the Demon Hunter class has already been nerfed… I actually lost count of how many times, but it was at least five. The class simply had very powerful cards for an aggressive playstyle. Duels, with its shorter, fast-paced games, can be all about aggression; and if you decide to go that way with Demon Hunter as your class of choice, you will find many, many ways to keep dealing damage to your opponent while destroying their minions, drawing cards, and healing yourself. Demon Hunters just thrive in the Duels environment, arguably like no other. And once you collect a few wins, and games are no longer as aggressive and fast… Demon Hunter can still shine through the use of its Soul Fragment synergy cards, as well as its bigger demons, which are also very powerful. “Star Student” indeed!
So there you have it! This is a very basic “tier list” of sorts, but hopefully it will give you some insight into the current state of the metagame for Duels. Make sure to make good choices, and good luck!
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