When you are playing in the digital card game world of Hearthstone, there are several different game modes available to you, one of which is the duel. The duel allows you to engage with real time players without any ranking system, in many ways this makes it a friendly combat situation. What many players wonder is how this is different from the “friendly” setting under the Play mode.
The Play mode is the game mode in which you can choose between friendly matches or ranked matches with live players. This is different from the Practice mode in which you are only pitted against a computer driven character. You are free to invite anyone to a match in the Play mode, which makes it sound suspiciously like the Duel mode. This has left a lot of gamers wondering what the difference is between the two types of play in the game.
Difference Between Friendly Play and Duel
While in both Play and Duel mode you can challenge live players, in Duel mode there is no option for ranked combat. You do have that option in Play mode. The difference between unranked Play, or friendly Play, and Duel mode go beyond this. In the Duel mode, the card deck is unlimited, much as it is in the Arena and in the unranked Play mode you are still under the limitations of the ranked card deck. In a restricted deck, you cannot have more than 3 duplicated cards. In the Arena, you can construct a fully customized deck of 30 digital cards with as many duplicates as you want.
Using the Duel to Prepare for the Arena
The advantages to the Duel mode is it lets you prepare for combat in the Arena. The Duel mode won’t cause you to lose rank or cards, so you can test out different deck constructions to see what the advantages and disadvantages of each are. Since many people use Duel with friends, it isn’t uncommon for the construction of the decks for each to be discussed. One good way to think about this is to think about the practice of sparring in boxing. In a sparring round, the boxers are not “fighting but holding back,” one boxer is assigned the role of being defensive while the other is doing offensive techniques. If you approach constructing decks this way with your friend in the Duel mode you can get in effective practice for the Arena.
Using Friendly Play to Prepare for Ranked Combat
In the same way you can use the Play mode to prepare for ranked combat. Learning how to work within the restrictions of the deck can be to your advantage when you are in ranked play. In the friendly game, like in the duel, you won’t pay the penalties for trying out different tactics, which can be the best way to hone your fighting skills for when it will really count.