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Best Duels Decks in Hearthstone: How to Build & Strats

Hearthstone Duels is a game mode that (while fun) is a bit more luck dependent than others. In this guide, we will discuss a few of the strongest and best Hearthstone Duels decks. However, what makes a deck strong depends not only on the starting deck you build, but the hero power you pick, signature card you choose, and treasures drafted along the way.

Best Strategies for Hearthstone Duels Decks

Before I dive into the specifics for our recommended decks for Duels, I want to go over the best strategies that make for a good deck in Duels. There are two primary strategies to go for that will give you the best results – aggro and value generation.

Aggro in Duels

Sanguine Depths
Image: Blizzard via HGG / Joel Stadler

You’re probably already familiar with aggro – the strategy of hitting your opponent hard and fast to quickly kill them before they can mount a defense. In Hearthstone Duels, aggro has an even bigger advantage than it usually does in other formats.

Since players start out at only 15 life with a 16-card deck in Duels, aggro decks are even more consistent and have an easier time securing a win. With the aggro approach, you have a very good chance of winning the first few games, which is immensely appreciated given that you can only afford three losses in this mode.

However, there is one big weakness that aggro decks have in Hearthstone Duels mode. With each match played, you’ll add more cards to your deck and gain more starting life. This is also true for your opponents.

Due to that, your aggro strategy will steadily become weaker, as your deck becomes less consistent and your opponents gain higher life totals. But luckily, you can acquire very powerful treasures as you progress that more than compensate for any downsides that aggro has.

Value Generation in Duels

Hematurge
Image: Blizzard via HGG / Joel Stadler

Value generation in Duels is essentially the inverse strategy of aggro. Rather than capitalize on hitting hard and hitting fast, you take advantage of having access to more resources than your opponent. The basic plan here is to run cards, hero powers, and treasures that generate you more cards or minions.

This strategy is great during later rounds of your Duels run where you can afford to play a slower game. The bonus life you gain at the end of each match helps tremendously with this.

The big downside here is that value generation decks are usually slower, and as a result, weaker in the first few rounds. This means you are likely to lose game one, or games one and two before you really start to get going, putting you in a rough spot.  

Best Duel Deck #1: Paladin Divine Shield Deck

Righteous Protector - Best Duel Decks in Hearthstone
Image: Blizzard via HGG / Joel Stadler

One of the best Duels decks in Hearthstone is the divine shield paladin deck, so it’ll be the first one we cover here.

Hero and Hero Power

The hero you are playing as for this build is Turalyon, the Tenured (the paladin hero). The hero power you want to choose is From Golden Light. This hero power costs three-mana and resummons one of your dead minions with one health.

Signature Card

There are a couple of ways to build this deck, but I’m going to go with a list that uses the signature card Su Leadfoot. Su is a three-cost 2/6 that gives minions you summon divine shield and rush.

Best Starting Deck List

Sanguine Soldier - Best Duel Decks in Hearthstone
Image: Blizzard via HGG / Joel Stadler
  • Deck Code: AAEBAervAw/1BeoPytEDjfgDyaAE1qAEsLIE4bUE3rkEgZYFg5YFysQFuscF0tAF2PYFAAAA

The deck list is as follows:

  • Argent Squire
  • Click-Clocker
  • Righteous Protector
  • Sanguine Soldier
  • Annoy-o-tron
  • Noble Mount
  • Shielded Minibot
  • Azsharan Mooncatcher
  • Funkfin
  • Goody Two-Shields
  • Seal of Blood
  • Candleraiser
  • Jitterbug
  • Zilliax
  • The Leviathan

Strategy

The basic strategy is simple – play minions with divine shield and pressure your opponent. This build is aggressive, definitely, but it does have a great defensive tool as well. Specifically Righteous Protector and Annoy-o-tron, both of which have taunt and divine shield.

This makes them annoying to remove (hence where Annoy-o-tron got its name). However, these cards become really strong when you factor in the hero power From Golden Light. Any divine shield minions summoned this way keep divine shield.

Also due to the way Hearthstone rules work, each time a minion dies, it is treated as another copy of that minion in your graveyard. What this means is that the more Righteous Protector and Annoy-o-tron die, the more likely you are to get them as the resurrected minion with From Golden Light. This can make for an incredibly sturdy defensive wall.

Passive Treasures

Pool 1

After the first game in Duels you are offered one of three passive treasure from pool one. For this build, Righteous Reserves is the best option to take. When you play your first divine shield minion on your turn, you give another random friendly minion divine shield. As you can see, this works well with our basic strategy but will also combo very nicely with the top pick for pool two treasures.

Rocket Backpacks is also nice, as it gives the first minion we play each turn rush. Since almost all of our minions will have divine shield, rush is a phenomenal bonus.

Recycling is another good one. It gives us one armor each time a friendly minion dies. Since we are resurrecting our minions a lot with our hero power, this will trigger often, giving us some added defense.

Crystal Gem is not specific to our strategy, but it gives us an extra mana on turns one and two, which is very nice.

Similarly, Small Backpacks draws us two cards at the start of the game. Having more card draw is always useful, especially later in the run.

Pool 2

Once you pass round three you will be offered one of three passive treasures from pool two, and these treasures are much stronger.

Avenging Armaments is by far the best pick for us here. It gives our minions +2/+1 whenever they lose divine shield. I hope I don’t have to explain why that’s strong in this deck.

Cloak of Emerald Dreams and Runic Helm are another pair of treasures that are nice picks. The cloak gives us a random dream card at the end of your turn, and the helm does the same but for Lich King cards. This gives us some value generation which can be very helpful in later rounds.

Emerald Goggles makes our leftmost card cost two less but not less than one. This is just generally good for any build.

Hagatha’s Embrace is another treasure that is just generally good. It gives two random minions in our hand +1/+1 at the start of our turn.

Legendary Loot starts you off with a legendary weapon each game, and Captured Flag gives all your minions +1/+1. However, these are ultra rare treasures, so it’s very unlikely you will get them.

Active Treasures

Pool 1

For active treasures I suggest Sow the Seeds, which is a one-mana spell that gives all minions in our deck +1/+1.

Mindpocalypse is a zero-cost spell that has both players gain a mana crystal and draw two cards. It’s symmetrical, but I still think it is quite strong. Alternatively, Looming Presence is a three-cost spell that draws you two cards and gives you four armor if you want an option that doesn’t help your opponent.

Pool 2

From pool two, I really like Bag of Stuffing. It’s a four-mana spell that draws you cards until your hand is full. Card draw is always good for us, especially one that fills your hand.

Archmage’s Staff is another good card. It is a one-mana 0/3 weapon that gives us a random mage spell each turn.

All of the pool two ultra rares are good, but Wax Rager is the best for us. It’s a 5/1 minion for three-mana that comes back when it dies. It can combo very well with our treasure options and our hero power.

Best Duel Deck #2: Druid Mill Deck

Dew Process
Image: Blizzard via HGG / Joel Stadler

This is a very interesting deck that leans towards the value generation spectrum. It is a druid deck that basically does what it says on the tin.

Hero and Hero Power

The hero for this deck is the druid/priest hybrid hero Elise Starseeker, and you’ll want to take Druidic Teachings as your hero power. This two-mana hero power heals a target for two and draws you a card if the target is then at full health.

Signature Card

The signature card in this deck is Addarah, an eight-mana 3/6 minion with a battlecry that shuffles all enemy minions into your deck.

Best Starting Deck List

Awaken the Makers - Best Duel Decks in Hearthstone
Image: Blizzard via HGG / Joel Stadler
  • Deck Code: AAEBAa+aBQ+WxAKp4gL55gKm4QOh6AO17APoiwSFowS4tgT6vQSE7wSlkQWxmAW8mAXFpQUAAAA=

The deck list is as follows:

  • Awaken the Makers
  • Bottomfeeders
  • Lingering Zombie
  • Dew Process
  • Greedy Sprite
  • Shadowed Spirit
  • Twilight’s Call
  • Bonecaller
  • Selfish Shellfish
  • Thickhide Codo
  • Greybough
  • Rivendare Warrider
  • Undying Disciple
  • Underking
  • Xella, the Devout

Strategy

This is a mill deck, so you’ll want to stall your opponent out and forcibly make them run out of cards to draw. As such, the most important card in this deck is Dew Process, which is a two-mana spell that causes both players to draw an extra card each turn.

The other key card in this deck is Awaken the Makers. It is a quest card (a legendary spell you always start with in your opening hand that costs one mana). Once played, you’ll be tasked with summoning seven deathrattle minions.

Successfully doing so will reward you with Amara, Warden of Hope, a five-mana 8/8 minion with taunt and a battlecry that sets your health to 40. While you do have to build in a substantial deathrattle theme into your deck (almost half your starting deck), the benefit is so huge that you don’t want to pass on it.

The key with Amara, Warden of Hope, is that once you get her in hand, you want to wait until the last possible moment to play her. The idea is that you wait until both you and your opponent are at low health from fatigue and then play her to fully heal and outlast your opponent.

The rest of the deck is a deathrattle control build centered around stalling your opponent out. Greybough is a really nice card here, because it keeps coming back. Beyond that, I would say the other remaining cards are less fundamental to the deck.

Best Passive Treasures

Pool 1

Forgotten Depths is not bad as a pool one treasure pick. It puts two colossal minions on the bottom of your deck and makes them cost two less. We like a big deck in a mill game.

Recycling is also nice for us as it gives us extra armor (one whenever one of our minions dies), and Crystal Gem gives us an extra mana on turns one and two. These are the main standouts from pool one.

Pool 2

Totem of the Dead is far and away the best treasure for us from pool two. It makes our deathrattles trigger twice. However, it is an ultra-rare treasure, so you will most likely have to console yourself with its less talented brother by the name of Mummy Magic. Mummy Magic gives our first deathrattle minion we play each turn reborn.

Endurance Training is another nice pick. It makes our taunt minions cost two less but not less than two, which is great since we’ll be running a lot of them.

Best Active Treasures

Pool 1

Mindpocalypse is probably one of our best pool one treasures, as it draws both players two cards and gives them a mana crystal for zero-mana. This just adds to our mill strategy.   

We also want defensive options. Looming Presence gives us two cards and four armor for three-mana, and Mage Armor gives us ten armor for three-mana.

Necrotic Poison is a two-mana spell that just destroys a minion. Surly Mob is a three mana spell that destroys a random minion but also upgrades and shuffles it back into your deck. Finally, Vampiric Fangs is a three-mana spell that destroys a minion and restores its health to your hero.

Pool 2

Archmage’s Staff is a nice choice in pool two. It is a 0/3 weapon for one-mana that gives us a random mage spell each turn.

Black Soulstone is another good source of value. It is a six-mana spell that gives us a Diablo signature treasure and then shuffles itself back into our deck.

For defensive options, Staff of Scales is a five-mana spell that gives us three poisonous snakes with rush and reborn. Wand of Disintegration is a five-mana spell that silences then destroys all enemy minions. Finally, Book of the Dead is a fourteen-mana spell that deals seven damage to all enemies and costs one less for each minion that has died this game.

Best Duel Deck #3: Death Knight Blood Deck

Vampiric Blood - Best Duel Decks in Hearthstone
Image: Blizzard via HGG / Joel Stadler

The final Hearthstone Duels deck I want to look at is a death knight blood deck. This is a prime example of the value generation strategy in action.

Hero and Hero Power

The hero for this deck is Scarlet Leafdancer. Her hero power is Scourging, which costs two-mana and adds a random undead to our hand. This is incredible value generation.

Signature Card

Iron Bloodletter is our signature card. It’s a 3/2 weapon for three-mana that, once played, heals us two health for every corpse we spend.

Best Starting Deck List

Asphyxiate - Best Duel Decks in Hearthstone
Image: Blizzard via HGG / Joel Stadler
  • Deck Code: AAEBAfHhBA+hoQP04wT94wSJ5ASU5ASJ5gS05gSP7QSz9wS+9wS2+gSrgAXipAXY9gXVngYAAAA=

The deck list is as follows:

  • Astalor Bloodsworn
  • Hematurge
  • Vampiric Blood
  • Asphyxiate
  • Death Strike
  • Blood Boil
  • Corpse Explosion
  • Deathbringer Saurfang
  • Rotten Applebaum
  • Zilliax
  • Gnome Muncher
  • Khartut Defender
  • Patchwerk
  • Boneguard Commander
  • Soulstealer

Strategy

This is a value generating control deck that seeks to outlast our opponents. We go full blood for our rune choice here, so we can have the best control and healing options. You’ll play this as a classic control deck that often relies on its hero power to win games once the enemy is worn down.

Best Passive Treasures

Pool 1

From pool one, Blood Shields and Cadaver Collector are our top picks. Blood Shields gives us one health the first time we spend a corpse each turn, and Cadaver Collector gives us an extra corpse the first time we gain one each turn.

Pool 2

From pool two, I would say Heavy Armor is the best pick. It sets your health to ten, but makes it so you can only take one damage at a time. Pair this with our good healing options and Vampiric Blood, which gives us bonus health (so we can go above the ten), and we become very hard to kill.

Cloak of Emerald Dreams and Runic Helm are also solid choices as they add to our value generating strategy, giving us an extra dream card and Lich King card respectively each turn.

Best Active Treasures

Pool 1

From pool one, we like the same treasures that the druid mill deck does – those being Necrotic Poison, Surly Mob, and Vampiric Fangs. More options to kill minions is always appreciated.

Pool 2

Our pool two treasure selection will look the same as well – those being Archmage’s Staff, Staff of Scales, Wand of Disintegration, Black Soulstone, and Book of the Dead.

Join the High Ground

While each hero in Duels has strong options for decks, this article is long enough as it is without listing every single one. These are just the top three strongest decks in Hearthstone Duels. We hope you enjoy using them and find both success and fun in Duels.   

Happy top decking!

 

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