For Honor's best 1v1 Duel classes are fairly straightforward. However, there are deeper nuances to each character and potential skill caps.
Nobushi — Nobushi may seem relatively straightforward. Keep to range and poke the enemy to death. But it's not going to be that simple. Nobushi requires a lot of focus on footwork as well as on your guard. Your enemy will constantly be looking for ways to close the distance. Side step any charges and back step any leaps.
Valkyrie — Many players are complaining that Ubisoft Montreal nerfed the Valkyrie too hard from beta to release. They didn't destroy her; they just forced a little more skill to be required to soar with her. She has so many options to adapt to her opponent, but I imagine it'll take some time for players to remember every part of her moveset.
Peacekeeper — Her mobility is the key to success. You should be abusing it. Peacekeepers are okay when not mastered, but can utterly destroy when they are. Aside from dashing in and out of engagements, she can apply Bleed to her target. Free damage is always going to be a good thing.
Warden — If there was a class that was almost completely dependent on personal skill, it would be the Warden. He has guaranteed attacks after Guard Break, Stuns on his shoulder charge, and a fairly strong zone attack. Warden is great at the mix-ups, but fails to hit the mark when moves are too telegraphed.
Berserker — Hyper-aggression at its finest with the Dance of the Paired Blades — the ability makes your attacks uninterruptible. What's more, the leaping attack locks on to the target even when they side step. The counter to it would be the opponent backstepping or parrying, but parries in this game are iffy due to the peer-to-peer connection.
Shugoki — Uninterruptible attacks every few seconds and they hit like a truck. In addition, he has an attack that will launch you straight back a few meters -- either into fire or off the map itself. His attacks aren't too terribly slow either, as I initially suspected, but after a couple rounds your usual combos will be read.
Orochi — My favorite class and the most played during the beta. The Orochi class has only three real openers. Two of them will be overheads and the last will come from the right. Playing aggressively as an Orochi is easily countered, but he has many options when you play defensively. The thing is... you won't always be perfect on the deflects.
Warlord — Warlord plays fairly well in 1v1 fights due to the nature of the character. Every enemy attack is an opportunity for you, similar to the Orochi, except you have a stun at your disposal. Get the block, score a hit or two, and repeat. The thing is: one of his only openers is the Headsplitter leap. Talk about telegraphed.
Lawbringer — Always keep your range and try to work in Judge, Jury, and Executioner whenever possible. Your opponent will try to counter you by dashing into your space or spamming light attacks -- be ready to parry and counter with your own flurry. Lastly, his charging attack seems to be a little magnetic at the moment.
Kensei — A solid character overall. However, the heavy attack chain-enders always come from the top. It's very predictable and quite easy to mitigate the majority of your damage.
Raider — The Raider is great against bad players. Every 1v1 Duel map will have areas for you to abuse the environment. However, once you hit a certain skill level he just won't cut it. He lacks further depth.
Conqueror — He's beefy, but doesn't really pump out the damage. I see Conquerors win most often through environmental usage as they're able to direct their throw. If your defense is on point, the character could reach into higher A-Tier, but by then there are better options.
Playing 1v1 Duel in For Honor is exhilarating yet stressful. Your ability to Dodge and Parry successfully is going to be the key to winning Duels.
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