After getting a chance to start playing DC Dual Force this weekend, I was able to realize that a lot of the comments about certain Leaders were true. Batman certainly stands in a place far above the rest. However, I think that after several games and building my decks, I can forge my own opinions that differ slightly from what I have been able to read or hear.
At first, I had the idea of working on a tier list on specific decks, however, I think we are in a preliminary moment where we are still discovering all the possible options and combinations. That is why today, I have decided to work on a tier list focused directly on the leaders. In our previous work on this topic, my teammate SafetyBlade let us know his thoughts. In many cases I agree with him, as well as with other content creators who have expressed their points of view on the matter, but as I mentioned before, playing and experimenting on my own led me to work on this article that I hope will be valuable to all of you.
Without a doubt, in the Open Beta, we can already be talking directly about the best decks in the game, thanks to the fact that we can now access Dual Force 24/7, and day after day incredible combinations are glimpsed. In the meantime, I will do my best to give you a clear idea of how strong the leaders themselves can be so that, with this information, you can gradually discover for yourselves the most fun and powerful combinations that allow you to enjoy the game in your way.
This does not mean that you will not find decks in this article, on the contrary! I'll present decks that I think are optimal ways to play each Leader. I hope you find them fun and functional.
Note: A list of cards that may undergo a balance change in the Open Beta has been announced in advance, and some cards are mentioned in this article. After looking at the card list in detail, it seems to me that this Tier List is going to remain very similar despite the changes, at least in the upper part of it. We will be watching closely and adjusting the Tier List as the metagame progresses.
In this list we will take into account:
- How good the leader is per se.
- How flexible the leader can be and its ability to combine appropriately with other leaders.
- The value they give us during the game.
- How much support the leader has in terms of cards from the faction specifically dedicated to his play style or ability.
- How frequently with which we face them in games, that is their popularity.
When placing the Leaders into the Tiers the following is was the guideline considered:
- S+: Undoubtedly the best in the game. A highly valued ability, capable of being played in combination with almost any other leader, and with many cards within the faction that support his play style.
- S: Very good overall. With an ability that gives us considerable value during the game. Can be combined in various ways with other leaders. Has some support cards and/or plays generally well with his faction's cards even without being specific to their use.
- A: Good enough to still make up a significant percentage of our matchups. Have a valuable ability but one that requires a somewhat more specific deck building. Therefore, combining it with other specific leaders gives better results. Have some solid cards that support the general strategy when playing with them.
- B: Not bad. Have a decent ability but are not strong enough to be our first choice when playing a specific faction. Building a deck considering in the equation the leader that accompanies them and the 40 total cards can give good results.
- C: Pales in comparison to higher tiers. Have an ability that is overly specific and/or with a charge time that is bad compared to the rest. Demanding building around it as a condition to success. There are much better options when playing a particular faction or play style.
- D: Need support ASAP: more cards that enable specific play styles, a change in their ability, or hit points. A buff in any sense could be necessary.
Note: Leaders in every tier appear in Faction + alphabetical order.
Dual Force Meta Tier List: Open Beta Launch
If one thing has been clear since the game's Closed Beta launch (and it's certainly true to this day) it's that Batman is head and shoulders above all the competition. Some leaders have an ability that requires only two charges, but compared to the rest, it not only allows us to attack and start to have control over the board but also gives us a card that although it may have modest effects, does not require us to spend any resources to play them.
In this sense (and the reason why I put him higher than many might think), Green Arrow is close to having a similar effect, and although his arrows are more powerful than the gadgets and we can play them repeatedly, the first time it would cost us a resource, and Green Arrow doesn't gain any power. The other leaders who can do damage with only two charges have some upsides but don't give us cards.
With this in mind, Batman is undoubtedly an all-rounder, capable of controlling the field, giving us resources when we need them and that can help us in different board estates. And as if that were not enough, many cards from the Tactics faction can improve the gadgets or get benefits when we play them. Good examples of this are lucius-fox , batwing , batmobile , or batman .
Finally, as we are well established in the criteria for this tier list, while Batman shines if we focus the strategy on gadgets, he is good enough that even if we don't, his ability and life points alone make him the best leader in the game.
One of the main suspects in the list of "The best leader after Batman" is Aquaman. And there's no doubt about it. Although his ability requires an additional charge to do the same damage when attacking and we can't choose the Sea Creature that will arrive on the board, they are all good enough that no matter which one appears, Aquaman's ability has been relevant.
In other words, unlike Batman, in exchange for an additional charge we can do the same damage and put an immediate body on the board, which is quite strong in the transition from early to mid-game, taking into consideration that in addition to this, after summoning a Sea Creature, Aquaman will grant +1/+1 to all Sea Creatures wherever they are, including the one that is just summoned.
Although there are only two cards that support this strategy (throne-of-atlantis ) and aquaman ), they are enough to maximize this leader without taking many slots from our deck list. The combination of these factors makes it a strong option in itself and one that does not require too much support.
The two aforementioned cards max it out, but its ability is good enough that even if we can max it out playing these cards, it doesn't force us to play around it giving us the option to play any Might card freely. No matter how we assemble the deck, Aquaman will always attack when he has 3 charges and will put the relevant body on the board. Without a doubt a strong leader.
In much the same way as Batman or Aquaman, Wonder Woman is good in any way you look at it. She is extremely flexible. Regardless of what cards you team her up with, her ability is going to be relevant early in the game, and it will be so all the time because it can be activated with just two charges.
She does one more damage than Batman for the same amount of energy, and although she doesn't give us cards or an additional body like Aquaman (that needs one more turn), she also gives us an extra benefit in the form of an additional point of toughness for our recruits.
It's a slight change in perspective and I think deciding between Wonder Woman and other high-tier leaders will be a matter of how the meta develops. By this, I mean that, if at some point 4 defense recruits start to be relevant, Wonder Woman may become a better option even over Batman or Aquaman.
If not, it's certainly a still formidable option, as it allows us to spin our strategy around the idea of high defense recruits but without being a liming factor when building a deck with her.
Without a doubt, the best Wonder Woman (and Green Arrow) deck I've been able to try is the one created by Willow, a content creator who has been doing a great job! I did some adaptation to make this archetype works as I prefer and here is the result (it should have double speedy and double felicity-smoak but there are still small fixes to work on in our deck builder.
I think the main reason people tend to see Green Arrow as a weaker leader is to think about playing him over Batman. In this sense, while it's true that he is not better, it seems to me that of all the leaders that we can choose as secondary leaders, Green Arrow is probably the best option.
By this I mean that is good enough at any point in the game, and it doesn't require specific builds, so thinking about using it to complement our main plan, whatever it is, is always a good idea.
The advantage of his ability is that it does not decay with the game. We can choose a bronze arrow in the early game, a silver arrow in the mid-game, and a gold arrow (or the one that best suits the resources we have available) in the late game. This makes it tremendously effective in long games. Just imagine playing one of these five arrows every three turns starting on turn 5: titanium-repeating-arrow-created , titanium-radar-arrow-created , titanium-explosive-arrow-created , titanium-boxing-glove-arrow-created , or titanium-electric-arrow-created .
Sound strong, right? All arrows have more modest versions during the early or the mid-game, but the value these resources give us during all the stages of the game makes me think that in attrition matches, Green Arrow could be without a doubt one of the best leaders.
It does not require specific builds and gives us similar liberties to the already-mentioned leaders. In my opinion, Green Arrow is quote underrated since he pales in the shadow of Batman, but if we see him as a leader who can improve any deck that wants resources throughout the game without requiring a specific building process, I don't think there's currently any better leader than Green Arrow for this job.
Cyborg seems like a great leader to me if we want to play archetypes that want to reach the long game. His ability scales over time in such a way that it becomes truly unstoppable.
The only problem with this is that it requires four charges, which forces us to build decks that carry this leader through the early game. It's not truly a problem if we combine Cyborg with certain leaders or cards that let us reach a moment where activating his ability for the third time may already be enough to even finish off an enemy leader.
As the game evolves I do not doubt that Cyborg can start to stand out a little more every day.
Harley's big advantage and what keeps her at the top of the table is that while playing a deck focused on discarding our cards and triggering various adrenaline effects, it can also be built by focusing on other synergies as Arkham Inmates recruits and result also a powerful archetype.
The fact that a leader has more than one focus will undoubtedly make that leader stand out from those who have to be much more focused when building a deck. In addition, Harley can also jump to action with just two charges and hit just as hard as Batman, which is certainly remarkable.
Her adrenaline ability that is activated throughout the game without the need for charges makes Harley quite good in different scenarios. Even if we do not seek to actively discard our cards in hand, in attrition games where we have to use our resources actively we can do it freely and know that we will never have a hand without options since whenever we finish a turn without cards we are going to draw a card thanks to the adrenaline effect.
Without a doubt, her most popular and effective deck at the moment is the Arkham Inmates theme deck in combination with Lex Luthor.
I find The Joker one of the most interesting leaders to work with. Although his ability has an implicit rng effect that doesn't allow us to choose where the 3 damage will go, it's something we can maximize if we opt for a build focused on Firepower, an ability that will make The Joker do much more damage turn after turn activating his ability.
In my budget decks article, I shared an easy deck to build around this strategy. However, building a deck very similar to Harley Queen + Lex Luthor based on Arkham Inmates recruits is without a doubt a very good option too, because by activating The Joker's ability we will gain a charge if we have an Arkham Inmmate on the board.
That being said, The Joker can also deal damage attacking when activating his ability. Even if it requires an additional charge and cannot attack for 3 damage like Harley Queen or Batman would, dealing 5 damage (although 3 of them are random) is quite relevant.
Flash holds his own in Tier A thanks to being one of the best ways to play aggro decks in Dual Force. He has a serious problem, and that is that he only has 17 life points, the lowest amount in the game (only tied with batgirl-leader ), However, he can attack twice each time his ability is activated and that only requires two charges, making him keeps it apart between Tier A and Tier B.
Another reason that keeps The Flash in tier A is that he also has some flexibility when it comes to deck building. There are interesting combinations with Batman and other leaders that are solid in the early stages of the game, but the one that amuses me the most at the moment is in combination with harley-quinn-leader (reverse-flash is part of Tyranny faction for a reason). If we are looking to maximize the effects of the cards that let us do damage directly to our opponents (even if we have to discard a card), the combination with the double attacks of The Flash and other recruits with Flurry lets us put a lot of pressure on the enemy leaders quickly in the game.
Superman is a solid leader sadistically speaking. The amount of damage he can do when attacking is quite relevant. Even requiring 3 charges I find that 7 damage is enough to solve almost any problem.
However, the application is pretty linear and even if Superman gets Invincible, it doesn't give us another body on the field or card advantage directly. That being said, it's also necessary to emphasize that one of the cards that best supports him is lois-lane , and while I think it's a good card, it cuts us off from flexibility by having to choose almost no alternatives to play Might's cards that have Shield.
In our budget deck article, I made a proposal for Superman in combination with Batman. The next deck would be an upgrade considering rarer cards as options.
Batgirl's situation is very curious. If she could activate her ability for one less charge she would probably be one of the best leaders in the game.
It's true that she give us flexibility since all factions have recruits with interesting Deploy effects to activate a second time, but the above mentioned in combination with her 17 life points place it below other options in this tier list. Either way, the possibility of putting together an interesting and competitive deck with Batgirl is not impossible.
It's a matter of time until we find the best possible combination. However, there are cards in the Tactics faction like commissioner-gordon and anyone that enables Batman gadgets which makes a mono Tactics deck a great option to play with.
Lex Luthor invites us to play decks in the pure sacrifice style in order to obtain the greatest possible advantage when using his ability. The truth is that, even if we didn't use his ability sacrificing our recruits, it gives us a tool that we can use as a removal directly against our opponents recruits, even if it's slower.
This opens up two main approaches. Using Lex in pure control decks were his effect is used primarily as a removal tool, or use him in decks where we have have this options plut a lot of disposable recruits that allow us to generate card advantage by sacrificing them.
Of these two options, without a doubt the one that has seen the most play and is the most powerful is the one that we have already shown a little above in this article. Paring Lex with harley-quinn-leader or the-joker-leader in a deck focused on Arkham Inmates recruits.
This may be another controversial opinion. I think Poison Ivy is a leader that, while she may be limited to slow or control decks, her ability gives us a presence on the field, which is tremendously valuable.
The problem here is that she is not Aquaman. Savage Vienes aren't bad, but they're the only option, and while they can wear and tear, we need to enable them with more card draws to make them that much more relevant.
It may be a very risky opinion, but I think that the moment when the best Poison Ivy deck is discovered is certainly going to be something to fear. It's true that it has very little direct support, but with what we currently have, a build focused on hard and pure control with cyborg-leader seems to me the best option.
I think Doomsday is a difficult leader to position in the tier. Due to the effect of his ability, it marks a clear strategy but at the same time, it retains some flexibility. The idea should be to eliminate an enemy leader and in a maximum of two turns finish the game eliminating the other one.
This flexibility is something ambiguous. He asks for something very specific but that can be done in different ways. I've seen very few people building decks around Doomsday. However, my reason for not positioning him lower in the tier is that he ultimately seems a bit more flexible to me than any of the leaders below him.
He is a leader who has a focus that seeks to have a strong presence in the transition to the mid-game and with the right scenario, ending the game shortly after his first ability activation. It seems to me that it has an interesting synergy with Bazooka and with a deck like the one I'm going to mention now, eliminating the two enemy leaders in the same turn or one turn apart was not a problem, even letting Doomsday take damage for 2-3 turns. His 24 life points make him take the hits and stay in Tier B.
The main problem with all of the Tier C and Tier D leaders is that they require very specific builds to make them work. While this does not imply that the synergies that can be achieved with them are bad per se, the reality is that they are very limited to having to use the cards that support their strategy to be relatively functional.
In the case of Hal Jordan, the vast majority of Green Lantern cards ask us to pay a bronze resource to be functional, which makes Hal to be forced as the leader to take advantage of them.
Hal has a good amount of life points and can attack with 3 power when he activates his ability, which keeps him relatively afloat in a deck dedicated to taking advantage of his ability.
Many of the Magical Spells that Zatanna or other cards in the game can generate are quite strong. The small (big) inconvenience is that twenty different Magical Spell cards can be generated, which makes having the best option at the right time somewhat tricky.
Nevertheless, many other cards in two different factions generate Magical Spell cards and some of them are good on their own. This makes a fairly solid and entertaining deck but it depends somewhat on having good pulls when you generate spells. If you've ever played Hearthstone it reminds me of Casino Mage, that was certainly a good deck but something the best players avoid because relaying on rng is something most of us don't like.
Zatanna only requires two charges to activate her ability, but when she can't attack or generate field presence like other leaders, and her card generation has so many options (unlike batman-leader who only has 4), it makes for the most part that at this moment I cannot think of positioning her above Tier C.
With Shazam! something similar to what we've been mentioning happens with leaders in Tier C and Tier D. When we create two Lightning Bolt in our deck, we want to play cards that maximize those bolts when we draw them, which limits us in flexibility.
It does not mean that they are bad card since them does not require us to spend resources to play them and it also replaces themselves selfs making us draw a card as a part of the effect. Also, although it requires three charges, of all the leaders that attack with 2 or 3 charges, Shazam! does so with 5 power, which is quite relevant.
This leaves us with a couple of acceptable options to consider. Play Shazam! in combination with any Anarchy leader and maximize our Firepower (as I suggested in our budget deck guide) or combine him with cyborg-leader who will get a benefit thanks to how we are going to draw multiple cards by cycling Lightning Bolt.
He doesn't look like a bad leader at all. Let's hope that little by little we can find better options and its flexibility increases which could undoubtedly move it up a step in this tier list.
The huge problem with Black Adam is that to do the same as Doomsday (+10 attack) he requires 6 more charges...
They both gain additional charges by different methods, but even being able to charge Black Adam once a turn by dropping a power 5 recruit each turn may not be fast enough for being relevant.
The combination presented above seems the best Black Adam deck to me. jessica-cruz and kilowog can enable the rest of our lanterns as recruits that will be useful for the Black Adam effect. Other routes could also be tried such as playing him in combination with Might faction and mera but I think that is far from being as functional as the idea of combining him with Hal Jordan, at least for now.
Wow! It has been fun and rewarding working on this Tier List. Even though, as we mentioned at the beginning, they just suddenly announced the move to Open Beta, and that is going to arrive with some balance adjustments, I think that this work will be quite relevant since many of the cards that we have mentioned will not be touched, and the ones that do are probably to give them a buff (although Batarang will surely be a nerf, haha). Is a good sign that, in what leaders matter they are just going to touch two Tier C leaders, hal-jordan-leader and shazam-leader .
By this, I mean that the top of the table will surely stay as it is right now for a while, but making adjustments due to the less favored cards and leaders and the decks around them is something exciting and I look forward to working on it soon! I have faith in it.
Thank you for reaching this part of the article. Let us know your opinions in our community Discord and on my Twitter so I will know where to direct our work regarding Dual Force and thus provide you with the best possible content. See you soon in the next article, and as always, don't forget to smile, it certainly makes a difference.