Our upcoming Direct Challenge game mode offers a whole new world of opportunities for veterans and new players alike. 


The new Direct Challenge mode introduces the ability to duel friends and foes in exciting 1v1s and, for those who are willing to get creative, it can be quite versatile. 

From hosting your own tournaments to navigating that complicated matchup, there are multiple ways to play – so we’ve put together a few ideas to help you get the most out of this exciting new feature from day one.

#1 Host your own tournaments

For those among us with a competitive streak, this is exactly the sort of news that grabs your attention. It’s not just about 1v1 bragging rights and settling individual scores (… although that’s a big part of it) it opens the door to something so much bigger: community tournaments.

With this mode, each and every player can live out their esports dreams, be it from the perspective of a tournament organizer or competitor. Hosting your own bracket is pretty straightforward nowadays thanks to third-party apps like Challonge or Battlefy, and the ability to organize individual games at your own leisure makes it infinitely easier to host your own private competition. If you’re keen to get something set up, why not jump in the Gods Unchained Discord and get things rolling?

#2 Test decks and matchups

There’s more to Direct Challenge mode than just the thrill of competition. Sometimes you really need some dedicated playtime to figure out the ins and outs of a tricky matchup. In some cases, it can go radically different depending on how the deals shake out and you can save a lot of heartache and rating points if you take the time to figure out the specifics a bit further away from the battlefield. 

Sure, Ranked grinding will inevitably get you there,  but having the ability to test specific decks against one another in back-to-back games, without the added pressure of losing ranks during the learning process represents an invaluable training tool.   

Simply grab a friend, check the decks and hop on a call – not only is this the same sort of practice regimen the best card game players utilize across a wide variety of games, it’s also a heck of a lot of fun when done right.

#3 Introduce new players to the game

Sometimes it isn’t even about the performance of the decks. The ladder experience as a whole can be quite daunting for newcomers who haven’t got a handle on the basics . “What am I doing?” can quickly turn into “Why am I losing?” resulting in a speedy click of the uninstall button before they even get a chance to engage with what makes Gods Unchained so great. 

While our in-game onboarding is still being refined, Direct Challenge gives newcomers a more friendly introduction thanks to the option to play 1v1 with friends, at their own pace, and with no pressure to win.

For those who are new to the game, going in with another new player can be a fun way to troubleshoot things. Making dumb and funny mistakes goes from aggravating to entertaining with a friendly face around. Alternatively, you can also head into the community Discord and see if any of the more experienced mortals would be keen to show you the ropes!

For those who are veterans and want to bring in friends to play with, 1v1 is another way to nudge your mates towards playing Gods Unchained with you. First, teach them the ropes in a kind and generous fashion because you are patient and giving… then pull out the stops and school them with your superior deck, of course.

#4 Play by your own rules

A big part of Gods Unchained is its relation to non-digital games. The focus on digital ownership is one form of this – owning cards as you would with physical card – and this new mode is another. Direct Challenge lets you play by your own house rules, smoothing the transition from tabletop to digital by letting you to take the reins. 

While the launcher doesn’t offer a way to enforce custom rules, there’s nothing stopping you from setting up a custom game based on modes of your own creation – you’d just need to ensure that the mortal you’re pairing with is on the same wavelength. Whether you want to simulate a format from another game, such as using decks with only one copy of each card, or create your own zany/brilliant modes is up to you! Mustached card art only? Only odd-cost spells allowed? Rarity limits? Anything is possible.

#5 Try best-of-three or best-of-five games

The Gods Unchained ladder experience currently revolves around individual games between competitors as you progress your way up to Mythic. However it’s always good to learn how to play different formats, as some TCG competitions and hardcore aficionados play with sideboards or even multi-deck lineups complete with a banning phase. The ability to set up your own 1v1 matches also allows you to experiment with this kind of gameplay too, which dovetails nicely into the question of tournaments. 

That said, even without anything on the line, best-of-three and best-of-five series also serve as a way to study an opponent and hone your skills, regardless of your experience or competitive instincts. This kind of flexibility can spice up your Gods Unchained playstyle in more ways than one – the sky (and your creativity) is the limit.

#6 Brew some decks in peace

It isn’t all about big-brain matchups. There’s now an opportunity to finalize your own creation in a safe environment – either with a friend or hooking up a second account. Figuring out those final three cards in your homebrew deck with a bit of playtesting (and without the risk of getting pummeled by the big units in Ranked) could be the difference between a winning and losing deck. Iteration is key and often the most important element in finding that elusive meta-breaker.

So there you have it – six exciting ways to take advantage of Gods Unchained’s new 1v1 mode! This is in no way an exhaustive list, but soon this mode will be in your hands and we can’t wait to see what the community comes up with when Direct Challenge hits the Arena.

Happy dueling, mortals.


~ Credit: Luci Kelemen

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