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Harry Potter™ Hogwarts™ Battle: Defence Against the Dark Arts Strategy and Tips – Designer Diary

In Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle Defence Against the Dark Arts, you choose their favorite house and practice dueling in a competitive deck building game for 2 players. As, you are students at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, you will need to effectively cast, Spells, gather Items, and align with Allies to beat opponent. Each game is played over several rounds until one student has stunned their opponent three times.

We asked designer Kami Mandell to help new and season students with some tips that will prepare them for the duel. Get ready, class!

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What tips would you recommend for players starting out?

People who have played Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle will be instantly familiar with the look of the cards, but Defence Against the Dark Arts plays differently in several ways starting with choosing your house during setup. Many of the Items and Spells will have a bonus action that you can only use if you are a member of a specific house.

It’s okay if, like me, you identify with two different houses. Specific Allies are tagged with a house crest and by adding those Allies from another house (or two) to your deck, you will have access to the bonus effect on those cards also. Allies are special, in that they stay out in front of you for the duration of the round. This gives you not only another action to take, but also eliminates the need to get a lucky shuffle in order to get your cards to synergize.

Do not to worry though if your opponent has an early advantage. Things get a little interesting with the addition of Hex cards. Simply cast a Spell that puts a Hex in your opponent’s hand causing them to eventually draw a dud card that puts limitations on what they can do on their turn, including forcing them to discard one of their Allies they have in play.

In what ways would you encourage players to change up the game for more replayability?

Each game of Defence Against the Dark Arts is unique because you never know which cards are going to come up in the Classroom. But even beyond the standard game variations try these ideas to keep the game feeling fresh.

  • Play to the best 4 out of 7 games. This will give your decks time to get even more powerful.
  • Pick your starting Allies one at a time. The player who picked first can have the advantage of going first.
  • At the start of each successive round when the cards are shuffled, the loser of the previous round can choose to swap out their starting Ally if they want.
  • Have each player starts the game in the same house with the same Ally. This puts greater pressure on choosing the right cards from the classroom to acquire.

The Op Youtube Channel has a series from Kami with more gameplay tips and tricks for Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle Defence Against the Dark Arts. Take a deeper look at strategies and card choices to find the advantage in this dueling club game.

Find out more about Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle: Defence Against the Dark Arts and more tabletop games from the wizarding world on The Op Games website. Be sure to share your magical adventures by tagging us on @TheOpGames on Twitter and logging play on BoardGameGeek!