The highly anticipated DC Dual Force digital card game has revealed its official card database and gameplay. I delved through the cards, getting to understand all their abilities and how the keywords work. To explore all the DC Dual Force cards, here is the official card database and the overview article.
I’ll also go through every faction's leaders and share my thoughts on every single one. Let’s get started!
DEPLOY: When this card enters the battlefield, activate this ability.
Batgirl is a synergetic Leader who is as strong as the Recruits that are on the board. Her ability costs 3 charges and gives you +3 Attack. Additionally, her ability activates the DEPLOY of a Recruit. This means she’ll play a key role in generating more value out of the Recruits' DEPLOY.
There are a lot of Recruits with the DEPLOY keyword, so it doesn't seem like she'll be stuck pairing with only one faction. However, the Energy faction might be the best pair for Batgirl, as there are many Recruits with powerful DEPLOY abilities you'll want to reactivate.
Batman's 2-charge ability gives him +3 attack and seek one of two Gadgets. In the card database, there are four Gadgets Upgraded Tear Gas, Upgraded Grapnel Gun, Upgraded Batarang, and Upgraded Bandage. I'm guessing if you activate Batman's ability, you'll be given the option to pick between two of those four Gadgets. This means there is a chance you might not find what you're looking for.
Each Gadget has a different ability that can come in handy depending on the scenario. You can use Batman's Gadgets either offensively or defensively, making him a versatile Leader that can adapt to the game state and the opponent you're up against.
Cyborg has a high cost ability of 4 charges with a requirement of card draw. Basically, you'll want to run him in decks capable of drawing a lot to take full advantage of his ability.
As the game progresses, Cyborg should be able to deal a lot of ping damage, as all those card draws you've accumulated throughout the game will come to use. So eventually you want to use it on a Leader and try to KO them.
Green Arrow feels like a difficult Leader to pilot; his low cost ability of 2 charges can seek a Trick Arrow. Each Trick Arrow has a different ability and can be either Bronze, Silver, or Gold. This fits perfectly in a control type of deck, where you want games to go to the late game while keeping the opponent's board under check in the early and mid-game.
Green Arrow allows you to choose whether you need a Bronze, Silver, or Gold Trick Arrow. This is highly beneficial, as it lowers the randomness when seeking and lets you pick the suitable Trick Arrow depending on your resources.
Within the card database, a total of 15 Trick Arrows are available, distributed evenly between Bronze, Silver, and Gold.
Doomsday boasts 24 health, the highest in the game! His ability gives +10 attack this turn. This is a powerful ability that comes at a significant cost of 4 charge. This is quite expensive, and it will take you a couple of turns to set it up. Additionally, Doomsday will charge twice if an enemy leader is KO’d, further accelerating your ability to gain the +10 attack.
Ideally, you'll want to strike a leader with that +10 attack and KO them, letting you set up for the second swing in an earlier turn.
The high health makes sense on Doomsday, as you'll be operating on a slow early game plan until you gain enough charge to activate his ability.
ADRENALINE: While your hand is empty, this ability is active.
The discard and draw mechanics on Harley Quinn remind me of Jinx from Runeterra, requiring you to empty your hand to activate her ability. The ADRENALINE keyword means Harley Quinn will thrive in specific decks that use the discard package and runs a lot free/bronze cards.
The additional card she'll draw ensures that you maintain value and can set up for future plays.
I love The Joker's ability, and it feels like it'll be a strong ping damage in the game. It costs 3 charge, but if you have an Arkham Inmate, it technically costs only 2. Keep in mind that the four shots he fires will be at random. This means a couple of those shots could hit Leaders, which isn’t what you’re looking for in the early stages of the game. You’d rather those shots target enemy Recruits, and potentially KO them.
This ability could pave the way for you to damage and later KO opponent's Recruits using your own attackers.
FLURRY: Can attack twice each turn.
The Flash has a low-cost ability of 2 charges, which allows him to strike twice. This could be used in an aggressive game plan, striking a Recruit for 4 damage or even killing two low-health Recruits with Flash's ability.
Zatanna might be one of the strongest Leaders in the game! Her 2 charge ability allows you to seek a Magical Spell. I couldn't find a source that explains what Seek actually means in Dual Force, but I’m assuming it generates a couple of Magical Spells for you to choose from; most likely, you'll have to choose between three different options. Basically, a similar mechanic to the manifest ability in Legends of Runeterra or Discover in Hearthstone.
Zatanna sets up adaptive gameplay, allowing you to choose spells depending on what you’re facing and the scenario of the game. She enables a lot of skill impression and decision making, skills that are essential in card games.
Hal Jordan is a resource generator as he’ll create Green Lantern in your hand. There are a total of 9 Green Lanterns, 1 free, 4 Bronze, 3 Silver, and 1 Gold. It’s an amazing resource generation that allows you to be more creative with deck building, opting to add more action cards that further enhance those Green Lanterns.
Hail Jordan’s 3 charge ability gives him +3 attack and generates Bronze, which is basically a ramp tool to set up more powerful plays. It gives you the ability to further develop on that specific turn, allowing you to dominate the board presence.
Shazam! is a powerful leader with an astounding 22 health, so it’ll be a challenge to KO him. His ability costs 3 charges, granting him +5 attack and creating five Lightning Bolts in your deck. You’ll want to later start drawing those Lightning Bolts.
The Lightning Bolt is a free card that deals 2 damage and draws you a card. This means that you could potentially draw more Lightning Bolts if you’ve shuffled a lot of them during the course of the game.
Shazam! is not the only card that creates Lightning Bolts in the deck; cards like The Power of Hope, Eugene Choi, and Imbued with Lightning can accelerate your game plan by shuffling more Lightning Bolts into the deck.
Shazam! feels extremely powerful, especially if the game takes a long time to end. Those Lightning Bolts can be devastating if you draw multiple of them.
Aquaman is a leader designed to excel in the later stages of the game, when his mighty Sea Creatures reign supreme. His ability provides value on the board, summoning a Sea Creature and buffing friendly Sea Creatures everywhere by +1|+1. This means they don’t technically have to be on the board to receive the buff.
This is a strong ability; as the game progresses, your Sea Creatures will become annoying for the opponent to deal with as they gain more stats.
INVINCIBLE: Can’t be damaged or KO’d.
Embodying the epitome of strength, Superman represents a leader with a straightforward and powerful ability. His 3-cost charge gives him an insanely high +7 attack and INVINCIBLE for the turn, meaning he can’t take any damage or get KO’d. Superman feels like a one-man army, creating a threat by himself without needing to work with any of the Recruits.
A low-cost 2 charge ability that gives you +4 attack and provides your Recruits with +1 health, giving them an additional protection layer, which technically protects the Leaders as well.
While Wonder Woman lacks flashy mechanics, she's a strong Leader, capable of pushing a lot of damage while also empowering her allies' defenses.
PARTING-SHOT: When this character is KO’d, activate this ability.
Lex Luthor has a 4 charge ability that can either be played on an opponent or an ally Recruit. You’re able to either KO the opponent’s Recruit or sacrifice your own Recruit for card draw and 2 charge back. This ability comes in handy to refill your hand and synchronize with other cards that benefit from the card draw, such as Cyborg.
Additionally, there are target ally Recruits that you want to KO, gaining something out of their PARTING-SHOT. However, there aren’t many sacrificial units that you can take advantage of, so I'm not sure how creative players can be with the sacrifice archetype.
Finally, Lex Luthor does not gain any attack! So his main job is to generate value or KO Recruits, paving the way for your Recruits to reach the opponent's Leader.
Poison Ivy summons a Savage Vines with 3|2 stats for 2 charges. She doesn't gain any attack. Her objective is to remain in the back and continue summoning more Savage Vines.
The Savage Vines have a passive ability where on every card drawn the opponent’s Leaders will lose 1 health. This synergizes with cards that force draws, allowing you to get more value out of Savage Vines. Your opponent will be forced to KO the Savage Vines before their Leaders end up in danger.
Black Adam needs to be in an archetype that incorporates a lot of 5 or more attack Recruits. Those Recruits will charge Black Adam, helping you achieve his extremely expensive 10 charge ability. The 10+ attack he gains is pretty straightforward and should be used to KO. Ideally, you want to hit a Leader with that 10+ attack but it can be a challenge to strike a Leader.
It's important to note that Black Adam's attack effect does not say "this turn". This means that Black Adam gets to keep that +10 attack for future turns!
He fits into very specific archetypes that can accelerate his 10 charge ability. We probably won't see many different decks running him.
Exploring the card base, my excitement for the game continues to surge. The Leaders' mechanics all feel interesting and enjoyable to try out. As the game's release draws near, I'm eager to start pairing different Leaders together and try finding what works best.