Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery Dueling Guide

Hogwarts Mystery duelling club background image

Duelling in Hogwarts Mystery is a mini-game which pits your character against a fellow classmate or an AI controlled avatar of another player’s character.  Thus far they can only take place during specific campaign missions and Duelling Club events.  There is no penalty for losing duels during the campaign.  However during the Duelling Club you will a limited amount of entry tickets (lives) to win a large number of duels.  Your tickets will slowly or you can choose to instantly buy some with Gems.

Basic Duelling Strategy

Duelling is essentially a game of Rock-Paper-Scissors.  You will begin each round by choosing between Aggressive, Sneaky, and Defensive stances.

Dueling stances in Hogwarts Mystery

Aggressive beats Sneaky, Sneaky beats Defensive, and Defensive beats Aggressive.  If you win, you will choose a spell which corresponds to the stance you selected.  Your goal is to get your opponents stamina to 0 before your own stamina depletes.

Spells can have a couple different effects: direct damage or healing, a chance for damage or healing over time, or a chance for a stun.  This is likely not 100% accurate, but from the duels we’ve done it seems that the damage over time effect happens around 50% of the time.

Screenshot of the Incendio spell in Hogwarts Mystery
Incendio is a spell with a damage over time effect.

Stuns happen less than 50% of the time.. probably closer 25%.  A “small stun” lasts 1 turn and a “medium stun” lasts 2.

Screenshot of defensive duelling spells in Hogwarts Mystery
Petrificus Totalus has a chance for a “medium” or 2 turn stun, while Bombarda has a chance for a “small” or 1 turn stun.

A stunned character will still be able to choose a stance each turn they’re stunned.  If a stuned character wins the turn simply ends, if the stunned character loses then the turn proceeds as normal with the opposing character choosing a spell.

When both characters choose the same stance the round will tie and the character with lower stamina will receive 2 points of stamina.

Spell damage is listed below to the best of our knowledge, your character may receive a damage bonus or penalty based on the discrepancy between your character and the opponents attribute points.  May no longer be the case, I received no damage buff while attacking a character 3 attribute points lower.

Aggressive Spells
Throw Vial – 10 damage
Expelliarmus – 10 damage with a chance for a 1 turn stun
Incendio- 5 damage with a chance to deal 20 damage over 2 turns.
Depulso – 20 damage 17 damage
Confringo – 5 damage with a chance for a 2 turn stun

Sneaky Spells
Throw Vial – 10 damage
Rictusempra – 5 damage, chance for a 1 turn stun
Flipendo – 15 damage
Immobulus – 10 damage, chance of 1 turn stun

Defensive Spells
Throw Vial – 10 damage dealt
Wiggenweld Potion – 3 healing, with an additional 12 healing over 2 turns.
Episkey – Heals for less than Wiggenweld.
Petrificus Totalus – 5 damage, chance of 2 turn stun
Bombarda – 5 initial damage 10 initial damage with a chance to deal an additional 10 damage over the next turn and a chance to also stun the opponent for 1 turn.

Revised Dueling Strategy

The changes made for the third Duelling Club event make it much harder to be successful, there is no strategy that guarantees you will complete the event.  All we can do is pick the stance which has the highest probability to win and hope RNG is in our favor.

Sneaky Stance
Sneaky has the highest win rate out of the 3 stances according to statistics on Reddit, however the small size is too small for it to be completely accurate.  The best strategy is to use an Immobulus and 2 Flipendos.  Your opponent has 40 health and Flipendo does 15 damage, using a third Flipendo will result in 5 damage overkill.  You’re better off using an Immobulus early for 10 damage and a random chance at stun.  It’s a 3 turn kill regardless as the computer will never be able to heal if you’re spamming Sneaky Stance all game.  Diffindo is technically the strongest spell in the game, but it does its damage over 8 turns.  It’s too slow for it to be worth it especially since the computer will almost never give you a tie.

Unfortunately picking Sneaky means you are countered by Aggressive.  This means the computer will be using Incendio and Depulso, two very strong abilities.  Incendio deals 5 initial damage with a 50% chance at another 10, followed by an additional 10 damage the next turn for a total of 25.  Depulso deals 17 damage.  The computer seems to pick these abilites at random.  You should expect to die after losing 3 turns, however RNG can swing either way.  I’ve died in 2 turns to an Incendio proc followed by a Depulso while I’ve also been attacked by 3 straight Incendios that never proc’d for a total of 15 damage.

Defensive Stance
Defensive Stance has access to both healing and dps abilities.  You will be choosing Bombarda every turn for damage unless you want to heal.  Bombard deals 10 initial damage with a 50% chance at an additional 10 damage while also having a small stun chance (probably around 25%).  This means you should be able to kill after winning 3 turns, however RNG can swing either way.  You have the potential for a 2 turn kill with procs or a 4 turn kill with no procs.  This is the downside to Defensive.  You want to consistently kill in 3 turns given how the odds of winning a round are stacked against you, not winning on your third won turn will generally result in a loss.

The biggest downside to picking Defensive is that the computer will always select Flipendo.  This means you’re going to die when you lose 3 turns unless you start healing which is generally not what you want to be doing in duels.  If the AI actually selected Diffindo occasionally this would be the best strategy, however since you’re going to get spammed by Flipendo choosing Sneaky will slightly edge out Defensive.

Aggressive Stance
Aggressive Depulso spam has been the go to strategy for the previous two Duelling Club events, I personally breezed through both of them and even played extra games for energy while losing only twice total.  Unfortunately that has changed.  It’s difficult to say what the best spells to use are as the computer will be selecting Defensive stance and healing on occasion.  If there was no healing I would recommend opening with Expelliarmus followed by 2 Depulsos.  Incendio is also solid for those of you who enjoy RNG, getting an Incendio proc allows for a 2 turn kill when followed up by Depulso (25 + 17 damage).  The downside to that is if Incendio doesn’t proc you’re looking at a 4 turn kill at the minimum.  Ultimately just spamming Depulso will be the safest way to win as you will want the extra consistent damage if the computer decides to cast multiple heals.

The biggest reason Aggressive spam is weaker is the buff to Bombarda.  In the previous two events Bombarda did 5 initial damage with a 50% chance of an additional 10 so the AI never used it, it would just spam heals and throw vial for 10 damage.  Now that Bombarda does 10 initial damage it’s cast much more often.  The computer also seems to counter you harder when selecting Aggressive.  It might just be randomness from only a couple hundred rounds of data, but it could also be overcompensation from Jam City as Aggressive Stance spam has been the meta strategy for the previous two events.

As of the third Duelling Club event spamming Sneaky Stance is probably the best strategy statistically.  It’s a safe 3 turn kill with a small chance at a stun that will almost guarantee the win if it procs.  

Old Duelling Club Strategy

So you got the basics down, but how do you win 9 duels with less than 3 losses?  Well there’s probably some strategy involved in choosing stances based on what the AI is currently favoring, but it seems pretty random for the most part.  Both your character and the AI controlled enemy will start with 40 life.

The safest way to win is fairly simple… choose aggressive every single time, no matter what.  Then choose Depulso every time.  Incendio has a chance to do 5 8 more damage than Depulso, but if it doesn’t proc the damage over time effect it will only do 5 damage.. not worth it (could potentially be worth it with the health nerfs as 1 Incendio and 1 Depulso will result in 42 total damage which is a 2 turn kill, however if Incendio does not proc you will need at least 4 turns to kill whereas Depulso spam is a safe 3 turn kill).  Stuns are also not worth it, they have a relatively low chance to proc and you still have to choose the correct stance to do damage the following turn.

Now the reason you choose aggressive every time is because only defensive can beat you, this restricts your opponent from casting their most damaging spells.  At worst you take 10 damage from a throw vial The AI will often cast Bombarda as it was buffed to deal 10 initial damage, this gives you a chance to take 20 damage in a single turn.

I have used this strategy for around 20 duels and have only lost twice.  One time the AI randomly picked defensive 5 times in a row… I’ve only ever seen it pick the same stance 3 times in a row out of all the other duels I’ve done.  The other loss came because I got nervous after the AI picked defensive 3 times in a row and tried to use Sneaky… he, of course, selected aggressive and Depulso’d me for 20 damage.  Basically if you’re going to use this strategy never stop choosing aggressive no matter how much of a read you think you have on the AI.

This strategy will likely not work indefinitely as Jam City seems to have tweaked the AI slightly between the first two Duelling Club events.  We’ll update after the third event with any changes.
Update: Depulso spam likely remains the best strategy for the Duelling Club, however it is now much less effective with the Bombarda buffs.. expect to lose more often.