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Duels are one of the foundations of Wizard101. They are how players may earn rewards, complete quests, and enjoy the game.
To engage in a duel with a Creature, you only need to walk up to it. In earlier zones, sidewalks are where Wizards will trek if they wish to avoid Duels with Creatures, in later Worlds, there may not be a "sidewalk", and safe areas will be judged by the Wizards. Once you get in a Duel, a Dueling circle will appear and you will be assigned to the first position, assuming you enter the duel first. In most locations in Wizard City, there will be as many Creatures in the fight as there are players.
Once you reach the locations Crab Alley or Colossus Boulevard in Wizard City, the normal number of Creatures in a fight will be equal to the number of Wizards plus one, up to a maximum of 4, and will work like this throughout these areas and on. However, there are special locations, such as Sunken City, where the number of Creatures allowed in a Duel will always be 3 or 4. Summoned Minions do not count as players and will not affect the number of Creatures.
If you win a Duel against a Creature(s), you will earn Experience based on the Spells you cast and possibly other rewards, such as equipment for your Wizard, Housing items, Reagents, or Snacks. If you are overcome by a Creature and are defeated, you will be sent back to the Commons area of the particular World you are in (Common Areas are The Commons, The Oasis, Regent Square, Jade Palace, The Basilica, Celestia Base Camp, Baobab Crossroads, Caliburn, The Zocalo, Bastion, Walruskberg, Caravan, Aerial Shores, Northguard, Pigswick Academy, and Garden of Hesperides). If you aren't the only one in a Duel and are defeated, the other Wizard(s) have the chance to heal you before the Duel is over. If the other Wizard(s) are defeated or the enemies are defeated before you are revived, you will be sent to the Commons area of the World you are in.
When you enter a duel, you are given a selection of seven cards drawn randomly from those you loaded in your deck. Beginning players start with a deck that holds 14 cards. Higher level decks provide more card slots, as your Wizard learns more Spells.
After a card is played or discarded, it will be replaced on the next round with a random draw from your deck. You can right-click on a card to discard it, if you're sure you won't need it beacuse you will not recieve it again in the current duel. If you wish, you can replace a discarded Spell with a random Treasure Card from your deck's sideboard by clicking the Draw button. You must load some Treasure Cards into your deck's sideboard before the Duel to use this function. Note that Treasure Cards are one-time-use spells. Unless it fizzles, it's gone for good. Save them for the tough fights.
At higher levels, a Spell to Reshuffle your deck is available. It can be useful if you are using a small deck, or are drawing many ineffective cards. Once all your cards have been played or discarded, your Wizard will be left helpless, unless a Reshuffle is performed. Note that each Reshuffle in your deck can only be used once per Duel.
Duels are turn based as opposed to real-time, meaning every player (or NPC) chooses a spell to cast from their available cards, and then chooses the target of that spell. When all players have chosen, or when the time frame of 30 seconds runs out, the turn begins.
The game randomly decides which side will go first. This order will stay the same for the rest of the fight. Play begins with the player/creature furthest to their team's right on the starting side, then continues clockwise. I.e., if the opposing side goes first, all of them will have an opportunity to cast before your side does.
The Duel will continue in this fashion: starting at the same side each round and moving clockwise. If a player is defeated (or flees) or a creature is killed, that space is skipped.
When it's your Wizard's turn, he/she will attempt to cast the Spell you have chosen. If it's successful, it will do its thing: damage, healing, buff or debuff, etc. If it fizzles, the card is returned to your deck and can be drawn again.
It is important to keep the order of the duel in mind. For example, if you're the first player to cast, you may consider casting a debuff on an opponent so subsequent players can take advantage of it. E.g., cast a +25% Fire Trap on a Creature, so the next player can cast a Fire Spell for extra damage. Another example, if your health is low and the other side goes first each Round, remember that each of the 'bad guys' will have a chance to do damage to you before you have a chance to heal yourself. So heal early.
Hint: you can toggle the 2D dueling display to view an enemy’s exact health by pushing Ctrl-I. Spells can be more accurately cast on friends and enemies by clicking on their nameplate that is shown in the 2D dueling display format.
If you join a duel in progress, you have to wait for the round to end (i.e., for all players and NPCs to cast) before you get your chance to cast.