Gauntlet Fear -- if you have it, how do you deal with it?


Some of you are experts at Gauntlet. Some of you aren’t experts but don’t get too worked up over not doing very well.

I am happy for both of these groups. I wish I were in one of them. But I am not.

I am instead one of those people who wants to do Gauntlet, but is very initimdated by it. In ladder, I don’t really care all that much if I lose a pile of games, because my rank isn’t very important to me. If I screw up, fine, I just play something else.

But in Gauntlet the “three strikes and you’re out” thing unnerves me. I feel very pressured to play well and get more upset when I lose than other games. I even stopped doing Gauntlet entirely for about two months because of it.

I’ve watched videos. I’ve read guides. I even got some coaching. I feel like my knowledge has improved a lot, but the psychological impediments (which I am sure some of you will find silly) mostly remain.

I have been told to just keep trying it and I’ll get better. Maybe that’s true. I just did a draft, I haven’t tried any games yet as I am too tired right now, and maybe I just need to keep diving in until I “get used to the water”. But maybe some of you have some other ideas.

I am thinking I’ll try it maybe 10 more times. If it doesn’t get any better, maybe it’s just not for me.

Thanks for “listening”. :slight_smile:


Well if u do the math, getting two wins for fifteen gold + the two wins gauntlet reward is very close to breaking even on 150 gold

Just think about getting two wins, then next time think about getting three


When in doubt, grab Reva and all the inner focus and killing edges you can get.

That’s what I do when I just want easy gauntlet wins.


That is sadly far too true, and its pathetic


I make up for it by almost never playing gauntlet and absolutely never playing songhai otherwise. I mostly do it to remind me to never fall for the people on the forums arguing that “songhai isn’t OP, it takes skill to use.”


You directly equate the usefulness of a deck in limited with the same measure in constructed? I hate to break it to you, oranos, but that’s a terribly flawed way to look at things. The only thing limited and constructed have in common is that they’re a part of the same game, just about.


Ladder anxiety is common among new gamers playing on the ladder for the first time and by veteran players who feel pressured to do well on ladder after losing streaks. Feeling anxious while playing in gauntlet is no different.

Don’t compare yourself to others. Very few people can average 10+ wins in gauntlet and you shouldn’t measure your success to theirs. You also need to know that gauntlet is far more skill intensive than people give it credit for.

If you want to improve you’re going to have to do so gradually. Start by setting a goal. A popular goal is get seven wins for a gauntlet ticket, but you’re goal can be anything you want. The first thing you’ll want to do is play three gauntlets and assess the success of those runs. If in those three games you went 0-3. 3-3, and 1-3 then you should readjust you’re rather than give up. Change you goal to “I want three runs were I go 3-3 or better”. Once that’s achieve change you’re goal to a 5+ win gauntlet run and then 7+ wins.

It’s a slow and arduous process to be sure but it’s worth in the long run. I’m sure you’ve read a lot about gauntlet by now but understand that knowledge of a subject is not a replacement for experience. Just keep playing.

If you want to look at more resources to improve you’re gauntlet success I suggest looking into sealed and draft theory from Magic: the Gathering. In particular I suggest you read about Quadrant Theory and how to use it analyze if a card is good in a limited environment (gauntlet, draft, sealed, etc.) and the Limited Resources podcast. Neither of these resources will translate to Duelyst directly but all of the fundamental ideas can still be applied.


I’m good for 4 or 5 wins in gauntlet on average, which I have found to be just fine for me. I don’t play it that much, but I do turn to it when I feel the ladder has grown stale for me in any particular play session. I dig the variance it provides (usually :wink:) and love to hate on it when I get really shit drafts. My 2 cents would be to, as stated above, set small incremental goals. Maybe just try a gauntlet run once a week, or twice a month.


So treat is as as ladder then. If you lose, whatever. Those 3 allowed loses only represent the point where you need to change the deck you’re playing so when you reach it just build a new one and try again. Considering how easy it is to break even it shouldn’t be that hard to get into the mentality.


Thanks for the replies, especially yours, whale. <3


I decided to dive in and try my first game. I won, but at the end my hands were shaking.

Geez, Qeltar, it’s just a game.

Boy do I get myself worked up over nothing sometimes.


I really sympathize. I only have this a little, but it is there. Changing your mindset about it is the only solution I think. Conquering fears is worth it though, approach it with unconditional love for yourself, so total that forgiveness is instantaneous. Because if it works somewhat similar to mine it’s fear of losing which is ultimately fear of not being good enough myself combined with harsh criticism towards myself, which is silly and washed away in that unconditional love and acceptance.


Yeah, you’re right, the mindset requires you to be able to rage at the RNG and the draws and at balance and then calm down and shake your head while smiling because deep down, you know it was you that misplayed. You forgive yourself, try to remember it for next time and play another.


Just don’t fret over it. As stated above, it’s really easy to break even for the 150 gold you invest.


Nailed it on all fronts.

On top of it, seeing in my mind the screenshots of great prizes from people who go 12-0, and all the people saying “just” win 7 games and you can “go infinite”. Makes it sound so easy, right? :slight_smile:


I’ve only gone 7 wins once, was pretty proud of myself


Hi qeltar! :slight_smile:

first of all, i think its common to feel that way, specially when you are new, towards gauntlet. I know it because i felt it myself at first.
But gauntlet takes lots practice. Thats pretty much because cards dont have the same value as in constructed.

Personally, when i started i sucked really hard, but then i just got better, and believe me. its worth it.
The “mind set” i started using to play it was to think it as a fun mode . Its like a zombie apocalypse! You do all your best without having everything at your disposal! :joy:

  • Like some said earlier, just focus on little victories, dont aim for the 12 wins, not even the 7, aim for 3, and once you did that, aim for 5, and so on.

  • Dont get greedy: in gauntlet you dont always get what you want, like strong combo pieces, or “complicated” generals are hard to pull off. Go for basic but confident options. Golem are a good example: they do a lot in gauntlet, since their stats can pretty much deal with any other stuff.

  • Remember removal is hard to get here, so use it wisely, and make your opponent waste his/her.

  • At first, it might look like gauntlet demands a lot of luck, but thats not the case, just takes practice!

Add me if you want, we could do a gauntlet together one day! not Hsuku, but i can do my best :blush:


Believe it or not, I can relate well to this post. When I started playing Hearthstone, I had huge ladder anxiety. I would stop playing because of the fear of losing ranks and the emotional impact I knew it would have on me whenever I dropped a rank. This led me to play until I climbed a rank or two, and then quit or take a break. Climbing from 5 to Legend took much longer than it should have because of this.

However, in Hearthstone Arena, I never experienced this anxiety - I think because you don’t “lose progress”, you just get a strike, and then your run ends and you still get rewards.

I also never got anxiety in Duelyst Gauntlet, and I think the reasons are similar… you always make progress and even if you 0-3, you get rewards and you get to “move forward” and build a new deck. You never “lose progress” (i.e. go backward) and I think this was a big reason for me.

But here’s another thing that might help. Everybody - and I mean everybody - has bad Gauntlet runs. I average 8 or 9 wins, but I still have the occasional 2 or 3 win run. The same is true of the pros in Hearthstone. I just watched Hafu play a few days ago, and she went 12 wins and then immediately followed with a 2 win run. Hsuku also had a 2 or 3 win run recently. Everybody has bad runs. They’re just a fact of life.

Sometimes you have a bad run because you get raped in the draft. Sometimes you get a good deck and run into multiple opponents with perfect answers. Sometimes you draw like complete garbage. Whatever the reason, plan to have variance in your runs. Even when you get good and have back-to-back 12-win runs, try not to be upset when you then go 2 wins.

If you expect the bad runs then the best thing you can do is try to understand why they went bad. If it was something you couldn’t control, then no worries - it’s just variance. And if you find yourself making mistakes, try to learn from them so you won’t make the same types of mistakes in the future. Eventually, the frequency of your mistakes will drop. You may never reach absolute 0 mistakes, but the goal should be to reduce your mistakes, not to be perfect.


Thanks so much for the thoughtful replies. They mean a lot.

Honestly part of me wants to just say “forget about Gauntlet, it’s not my thing”. But this feels like quitting, like not growing, not learning. And that’s not me. I do love being on the ladder with silly decks and getting better at placement, but really, ladder is a dull affair, and I know it will get more dull for me in the future. Gauntlet is the only real variety in this game. And it’s also the place to get the best rewards, and I need more cards. So I don’t want to write it off.

I really am trying to change my mindset, to view it as a fun challenge. I also know my basic gameplay is getting better, which makes it easier to not lose games I should have won. For example, my second Gauntlet ever was Vaath and I got 3 makantors in the draft. I went 2-3 and 2 of those losses I was off lethal by 1. At the time I wrote this off as “bad luck”. I know now that I probably should have won those games but made bad decisions that caused me to be short of lethal before I died.

I think it will be easier to accept bad runs if I ever get good runs. :slight_smile: The best I’ve ever done by myself is 4-3 and frankly the rewards were underwhelming. But I need to view this still as more something educational than worry about the rewards. Again I am sitting on over 6,000 gold, I can afford to do this a few times, so I just need to “get over it”. :slight_smile:

polinchi, your offer is very kind. Maybe sometime you could guest on my stream, it’s still very small but we have a good group of regulars and this way more people would benefit from your experience.

Love this community. <3


In my opinion unless you hate drafting, Gauntlet makes you a better Duelyst player faster than playing constructed.

In constructed, you build (or netdeck) a deck, maybe you refine it - but you play the heck out of it, and learn & memorize all the interactions for how it plays against the different factions. Things like, “Okay this Vet list typically runs 3x Nimbus and 3x Amayra Healer, so I need to save X card and Y card for those.” You memorize those interactions, and you beat opponents because you position well and you know how to play the matchups.

In Gauntlet, you can’t guarantee they’ll have any cards at all, but you can predict they’ll have strong common cards more often than rares, more often than epics, etc… But the most important thing that Gauntlet does for players, is put them into wacky dynamic scenarios that never appear in constructed play.

Who plays Young Flamewing or Azure Horn Shaman in constructed? How about Wind Runner or Crimson Occulus? These are all played heavily in Gauntlet and learning how to play against so many different cards in so many different scenarios really boosts your skill quickly.

Consider this – let’s say they were to dump 500 new cards into the game. Who do you think will adapt quicker to these cards, a pro constructed player, or a pro Gauntlet player? In truth, there might not be much difference, but the Gauntlet player likely has a bit more dynamic experience playing against cards that have similar-ish effects.