We can look at some examples. Can I squash Spiderlings with a crackle of Chain Lightning? Chain Lightning vs Spiderlings

When both are at level 1, the electric blast deals 150 damage compared to the 380 health Spiderlings. But if we look closer, we see that Spiderlings have the Vulnerable trait, which leads them to take 2x damage from elemental sources, like Chain Lightning. So we double our 150 damage to 300 and… still come up short.

What if we were playing Jaina? Jaina’s Brilliance Aura increases the level of spells by 3, so we can shift our Chain Lightning up to level 4.Jaina Chain Lightning Spiderlings

Next, we have the Gryphon Rider vs the Pyromancer

Gryphon Rider vs Pyromancer Duel

At first glance, this seems like a terrible matchup. The Pyromancer has a longer range and demolishes the Rider in single blow, dealing exactly the damage needed. But can we make this matchup more interesting?

First, look at the Mighty Throw talent. This allows the Gryphon to engage at the same distance as the Pyromancer. If we just nudge our feathered friend up a single level.

Gryphon Rider vs Pyromancer Duel (Gryphon Rider +1 Level)

Look what happens now. The Gryphon holds on from the first blow, just barely. Because of the higher attack speed, the Gryphon has already dealt 176 damage to the Pyromancer before the Orc even takes a swing. The second swing comes at 2.2 seconds, clobbering her in the face and flipping the matchup over to the flier.

It’s not quite as simple as that. The animation speed and projectile speed might allow the Pyromancer to get off her killing blow before she dies. But we can say at a minimum, the Gryphon can kill the Pyromancer.

Last in the arena, we have the Molten Giant Vs the Angry Chickens!

Molten Giant vs Angry Chickens Duel

We get 9 chickens from each deployment so we can see that at a baseline, the Chickens deal an impressive 360 DPS, compared to the 67 DPS from the Molten Giant. How do they fare in a fight?

We can see that Molten Giants are Armoured, taking 50% less damage from Physical sources. The Angry Chickens lack the Elemental trait, so they’re going to deal half-damage to the Giant.

So we need to slice that damage output by half, resulting in a DPS of 180 for the furious fowl. As each attack from the Giant deals far more than the Chicken’s health, we can estimate that it will take 9 (number of chickens) * 2.7 (attack speed of giant) seconds for the chickens to fall, giving us a total time to kill of 24.3 seconds.

In that time period, an upper bound on the damage the chickens could deal is 180 * 24.3 = 4374, which if my calculations are correct, is larger than the 2900 health of the Giant. But this misses a crucial fact - the Chickens lose damage as the Giant takes them out. After he takes his first swing that damage output drops by 20, as that bird pecks no more.

The more accurate picture requires splitting the calculation up. So we have 9 swings and deal (180 * 2.7) + (180 - 20 * 2.7) + (180 - 20 - 20 * 2.7)… and so on. Summing it all up, we get that the Chickens have dealt 2430 damage to the Giant. So the Giant wins, just barely.

This kind of theorycrafting is important when it comes to the tougher stages of Rumble. Knowing what minis can clear Onyxia’s waves of whelplings allows you to build the right armies for the job, and knowing how small level differences can change matchups is crucial for PvP, where resource management is key. The Duels feature, with a little bit of noggin work, can keep you on the cutting edge.