LeajaWijac: Paladin Humiliation Control Deck
With the current meta focused on Miracle Rogue, Warlock’s Zoo and Handlock, as well as Armor Warrior, Paladin is very much neglected. Paladin has the potential for a solid control deck, beating rush, mid range or other control decks.
Quote by LeajaWijac:
“This is a Control deck that utilizes all of the strong sweepers and shrinking mechanics that Paladin has to offer. I feel like the only thing that Paladin Control decks really lack these days, is card draw. Even the Paladin Giant Control deck doesn’t actually run any real card draw. Certain classes like Warlock, Priest, and Shaman have extremely powerful and consistent internal class specific card draw mechanics (via Life Tap, Northshire Cleric, and Mana Tide Totem). Other classes, like Mage and Warrior, have to rely heavily on cards like Acolyte of Pain and Azure Drake. Well, to be as direct as possible, Paladin falls under the same category. The crazy part is, most of the top Pali decks that I have seen, don’t even run Acolyte of Pain, so I decided to give it a try. I’m not going to lie, at first I understood why, he pretty much dies immediately and we don’t have a way to damage our own Minions within the Paladin class set to get that extra card draw value. However, what we do have is way to make Acolyte get some value by shrinking down the enemies minions (via Humility and Aldor Peacekeeper).”
LeajaWijac : Paladin Humiliation Control Deck
- Equality x 2
- Holy Light x 2
- Aldor Peacekeeper x 2
- Consecration x 2
- Hammer of Wrath
- Truesilver Champion x 2
- Avenging Wrath
- Guardian of Kings
- Lay on Hands
- Tirion Fordring
- Ironbeak Owl
- Wild Pyromancer x 2
- Acolyte of Pain x 2
- Big Game Hunter
- Earthen Ring Farseer x 2
- Sen’jin Shieldmasta x 2
- Stampeding Kodo
- Cairne Bloodhoof
- Sylvanas Windrunner
- The Black Knight
Strong Synergies in the Deck
- Aldor Peacekeeper or Humility + Stampeding Kodo = Destroy minion
- Aldor Peacekeeper or Humility + Acolyte of Pain = Card Draw
- Wild Pyromancer + Equality = Board Sweeper
- Equality + Consecration = One-sided Board Sweeper + Damage
- Equality + Avenging Wrath = One-sided Board Sweeper + Damage
- Wild Pyromancer + Hammer of Wrath = pseudo-Swipe + Card Draw
- Acolyte of Pain + Wild Pyromancer + any Spell = Card Draw + Damage
Cards in the Deck
- Humility: This card makes the turn 1 Flame Imp play much more manageable. I can see plenty of people complaining about this card and if you don’t like it, throw in an Argent Squire, Redemption, or some other form of early protection, but I can promise you, this thing comes in real handy against 8/8’s and 3/2’s alike. It is only a 1-of in the deck because we already have 2 on 3/3 bodies (Aldor Peacekeeper) and 3 of a specific action is enough to depend on drawing at least one per game (3/30 = 1/10, so 1 out of every 10 cards, not too little and not too many).
- Equality x2: Self-explanatory. Absolutely crucial to the Paladin deck right now. It combo’s with Wild Pyromancer, Consecration, and Avenging Wrath far too well to go down to only a 1-of. There are of course other cards that it can be used nicely with in the deck, like our Reinforce Hero Power, but this card needs to be reserved primarily for your sweepers.
- Holy Light x2: This used to be for the last Noble Sacrifice spot that I was running, but against all these super fast decks, Holy Light has been far more effective and reliable. This also combo’s quite well with Wild Pyromancer and Equality on turn 6 to wipe their board completely, giving you 6 health, and leave you with a 3/1 on the board for them to deal with next turn. Very similar to Earthen Ring Farseer, this card also has great utility with being able to heal up your Sen’jin Shieldmasta, Cairne Bloodhoof, or Tirion Fordring in times of need. As of recently, I have even gone up to 2 of these.
- Aldor Peacekeeper x2: Self-explanatory. Humility on a 3/3 body. Combo’s with Stampeding Kodo and is just an awesome presence on the board against rush and can shrink any large threat to something reasonable. No doubt a 2-of in probably any Paladin deck.
- Consecration x2: Self-explanatory. A must have against any deck really, it keeps you in the game against rush decks and combos with Equality is arguably the best one sided board sweeper in the game (while doming your opponent for an additional 2 to the face). Needless to say, against rush decks, you want to keep this in your opening hand or mulligan to it.
- Hammer of Wrath: Not all Paladin’s will agree with this choice, but it can be removal, it will draw a card, and it can win you the game if your opponent is low enough. Believe it or not, this is the best 1 card answer that Paladin has right now against an Acolyte of Pain (without blowing a Silence). Again, this card is dealing direct damage and is drawing you a card in the process, it has been absolutely great for me, so give it a chance. This card has been brought down to a 1-of, added some “soft” removal via Ironbeak Owl.
- Truesilver Champion x2: Self-explanatory. Probably one of the top 3 best Weapons in the game. Truesilver Champion is a 4 mana, potential 12 point health swing over 2 turns or a double removal (with 4 points of life healed all together). The only point at which you get more value in any weapon by itself is with ones of Epic level like Doomhammer and Gorehowl. Bear in mind that neither of these can heal and neither of these are going down on turn 3 to save you from rush decks when you are on the draw. One last thing I want to mention is that this card and Dread Corsair are probably more or less soul-mates. I really wish I could have fit him in this version of the deck.
- Avenging Wrath: Probably the most evil and spiteful of all Paladin cards. I’ve used this card to wipe the board with or without Equality and finish off my opponent. Use this card wisely though, some people go a bit yolo with it and ended up regretting it. I prefer it as a 1-of in the deck because of the fact that 2 of them too early against a rush deck means you probably aren’t even going to be making it to that point of the game to even use them.
- Guardian of Kings: This guy is a complete beast. Guardian of Kings is a 7 mana, 5/6 body, and Holy Light. This could easily be a 2-of in the deck if you are missing a big Legendary. If you don’t have Sylnanas Windrunner, Tirion Fordring, or Cairne Bloodhoof, then make it a 2-of for sure. This guy has great value and utility. And then matching him up with a Taunt giver later in the game? Very powerful.
- Lay on Hands: Self-explanatory. I’m pretty sure this is a definite 1-of in every Paladin deck outside of blitz. When Season 3 came around, I actually ran 2 of these in my midrange Healadin deck because of how fast the environment was. Draw 3 cards and gain 8 life, its pretty costly at 8 mana, but it sure does get you out of some deep holes.
- Tirion Fordring: Tirion Fordring fits in this deck quite well. With a 6/6 body, Divine Shield, Taunt, and Deathrattle: equip a 5/3 Ashbringer Weapon, Tirion Fordring has just about all the tools that any Paladin deck needs. Tirion Fordring has some weaknesses against things like Polymorph and Hex but outside of that, he is pretty sturdy and will still retain value upon destruction or silence (Destroy effects give you a 5/3 weapon and Silence leaves you with a 6/6 body).
- Ironbeak Owl: One of the newest additions to the deck, ultimately replacing Spellbreaker. Through rigorous play testing and theorizing, Ironbeak Owl became a very obvious decision to add to the deck in place of the breaker. In times of great need, you can actually combo this card with Lay on Hands on turn 10 to Silence something like Ysera. This also comes in very handy when you are trying to cycle to it with Lay on Hands. Lastly, Spellbreaker was taking up another 4-drop slot, which is always the heaviest spot filled in just about any Paladin deck (ie Truesilver Champion, Hammer of Wrath, Consecration, and Sen’jin Shieldmasta).
- Wild Pyromancer x2: This is probably the most skill-intensive card in the entire deck. Everyone knows nowadays what all it combo’s with the best, but there are times where you have to go turn 2 Pyromancer + The Coin + Noble Sacrifice or something similar just to stay in the game. So please always be considering every potential spell combination in your hand/deck while using this card against whatever matchup. One more example, even if you have the Equality + Wild Pyromancer combo in your hand, sometimes its better to just Hammer of Wrath someone’s minion and the extra 1 damage from the Pyromancer all around just turned HoW into a pseudo-Swipe + Draw a card. PLAY SMART!
- Acolyte of Pain x2: Okay, so here he is. I can’t even begin to understand why more Paladin decks are not running this card. Against blitz decks he is a 1/3 body that draws cards and soaks up damage, and then against midrange and control decks he is usually seen as an absolute threat that must be answered immediately (and they are absolutely correct). The latter example is the most intriguing, because they put down something with 3+ Attack and expect you not to get but a single activation out of your Acolyte of Pain, then you drop Aldor Peacekeeper the next turn, and they realize that they not only just lost their threat, but you also just got at least 2 cards out of your Acolyte of Pain (which is exactly what they were afraid of). Don’t worry if you only get 1 use out of Acolyte of Pain or better yet they Silence it, because that means your Cairne Bloodhoof, Tirion Fordring, and Sylvanas Windrunner are going to be that much harder to deal with later in the game.
- Big Game Hunter: This card has warmed up to me quite a bit lately. Versus the Control matchup, you hold on to him for Ragnaros the Firelord, and against the Blitz matchups, you just throw him down as a 4/2 on turn 3. While that may not sound very exciting, it does force them to trade with him (soaking up damage), or he will be able to start knocking down taunts next turn for your Truesilver Champion or Consecration. This has been a very strong addition to the deck.
- Earthen Ring Farseer x2: Strong 3/3 body that heals for 3. I originally only had this listed as a “potential alternative card” but one thing the deck has been having some trouble with lately has been Warlock rush/zoo decks. I’m not having much trouble answering/dealing with everything they bring out, but that extra card draw from Life Tap allows them to squeak by that extra little bit of damage they need to win the game. This guy + Truesilver Champion helps me get to my big heals later in the game.
- Sen’jin Shieldmasta x2: This guy has been showing up all over the place lately and I totally understand why. While Chillwind Yeti and Defender of Argus are just incredible 4-drops and may technically have more value, the Yeti doesn’t have Taunt and Defender of Argus doesn’t have the greatest targets early in the game when it matters most against blitz. That is where this guy shines. I had to go up to 2 of this guy, he is too strong in the current meta to pass up right now.
- Stampeding Kodo: This is another 5 drop that I picked, it combos very well with Humility on turn 6, Aldor Peacekeeper on turn 8, and its just a solid 3/5 body on the board afterward. If you don’t like one or the other, just go up 2 of the 5 drop you want, they are both full of value in the deck.
- Cairne Bloodhoof: With the mega-nerf to Tinkmaster Overspark, this card is pretty much the king of all 6 drops. Against certain decks it can be slow, but if you can manage to get this card up and going against pretty much any matchup, it’s a Chillwind Yeti with reincarnate. So in other words, this guy will take you to value town.
- Sylvanas Windrunner: I’m giving Sylvanas Windrunner a run for now. I used her to great success when climbing to Legend using the Koyuki/Zilea build. I don’t know if she is an auto-include just yet, but she does allow for some pretty high-level play with Hammer of Wrath and Wild Pyromancer. If you haven’t given her a chance in the deck yet, by all means go ahead and give her a whirl.
- The Black Knight: This guy has gone way up in value since the emergence of the Druid deck that just recently won Dreamhack (Gaara’s deck). In general, this guy is pretty strong against most decks, and extremely powerful against most druids. Unfortunately, Paladin doesn’t have a way to give Enemy Minion’s Taunt like Shaman and Druid do, but against the decks that you know aren’t running any Taunts, throw him down as a 6 mana 4/5.
What to Mulligan
I’m going to break this into three main groups and then an overall great starting hand.
- If you are going against a Hunter, Warlock, or any deck that you suspect may be going very aggressive. You should prioritize Consecration, Aldor Peacekeeper, Truesilver Champion, or even Acolyte of Pain. The main goal of this matchup is to fill up the board quickly (but not against Hunter) and have a sweeper handy right on turn 4 or turn 3 with The Coin.
- If you are going against a Warrior, Shaman, Mage, or any deck that you think is going to be more on the side of Control (as in not punching your face in within the first three turns), you are going to want all your super cost efficient cards or card draw/cycle cards. This includes Acolyte of Pain, Hammer of Wrath (mainly to answer their Acolyte), Truesilver Champion, and probably an Aldor Peacekeeper for their first real annoyance or big threat. Against the more controlling decks, we are able to actually control the tempo pretty well with our Hero Power from turns 2-3 and save cards all in the process.
- If you are going against a deck that you genuinely don’t have a clue what it is, then you should just assume that its potentially rush or midrange. In that case, you want a sweeper, some card draw, and a shrinker like Aldor Peacekeeper or Humility.
Overall, my favorite starting hand is along the lines of Aldor Peacekeeper, Consecration, and Acolyte of Pain (add Truesilver Champion if I’m on the Draw). I go for this against almost everything. For example, if they are going to put down something huge early I can shrink it, if they are going to fill up the board I can sweep it, and if they are going to go for late game I’m going to try and draw some cards. Always take your opponent into consideration when choosing your starting hand.
Potential Alternative Cards
Very briefly, I just want to mention that Big Game Hunter, Cairne Bloodhoof, Guardian of Kings, and Tirion Fordring, are more or less utility spots in the deck. If you are going against more control and midrange decks you may need to add additional big drops. But if you are going against mainly rush decks (which would not surprise me), you may want to throw them out for more heals, taunts, or whatever:
- Elven Archer – Great for taking out early Leper Gnomes, popping off Divine Shields, or synergizing with Equality.
- Acidic Swamp Ooze – This is the poor man’s version of Harrison Jones. It’s a great card all-in-all, and realistically there are a few weapons that you would probably rather have this Minion over Harrison Jones (ie Blood Fury and Doomhammer).
- Argent Protector – This card is really nice at “regenerating” used up Divine Shields on creatures like Tirion Fordring and Sunwalker or turning Cairne Bloodhoof into a Yeti with Divine Shield and reincarnate.
- Sunfury Protector – Most often times was a 2/3 body for 2 mana in the early game. Personally, I feel that this card was just not doing it in the main board the way that I have it. However, you can definitely get some great use out of this card if you add some Chillwind Yeti and Harvest Golem.
- Youthful Brewmaster – It seems like just a cute play on paper, but it can actually give your key minions some serious extra value. For example, minions like Sunfury Protector, Aldor Peacekeeper, Ironbeak Owl, Stampeding Kodo, and Guardian of Kings have great Battlecry abilities. Then it can also reset a silenced or used up Acolyte of Pain, Cairne Bloodhoof, or Tirion Fordring.
- Blood Knight – One of the hardest matchups for the deck has been the super popular Warlock Zoo deck going around lately. Which some variations actually run their own Blood Knight. Basically, this card can come in hot on turn 2 with the coin or on turn 3 to combat the early Argent Squire and Scarlet Crusader. This card is very similar to Big Game Hunter, even against decks that you know don’t run any Divine Shield minions, it is still a 3/3 body for 3. I used to run this card main board, but I haven’t seen many Divine Shield minions running around much lately.
- Harvest Golem – Essentially a 4/4 for 3 mana, spread across 2 bodies. A very high value/cost-efficient card that I really wanted in the original build, can replace an Earthen Ring Farseer for full value, and any Legendary that you don’t have it can replace to make the deck a bit stronger against blitz and midrange.
- Mind Control Tech – I have seen players like Koyuki use this card in their Paladin deck. It is goes very well against decks that fill up the board quickly and can really change the tempo of a game around in your favor quickly. The main matchups where this card gets the most use is versus Warlock Zoo and Shaman board control. Every now and then it will pop up as usable against other decks as well, but its just a solid meta card in general that doubles over as a 3 mana 3/3.
- Defender of Argus – Great card, the big brother of Sunfury Protector, and it buffs +1/+1. However, this card is a good bit slower than Sunfury, and with such limited primary targets in this deck (and so many other 4-drops), he was only decent as a 1-of in the original deck before being completely replaced by Sen’jin Shieldmasta.
- Chillwind Yeti – An extremely cost efficient creature. Can’t ask for much more than a 4/5 body for only 4 mana.
- Spellbreaker – I took out a Hammer of Wrath to add this guy in the original deck. However, he was replaced by Ironbeak Owl. As much as I like this guy more than the Owl, the deck is extremely heavy on 4-drops and the Owl can be somewhat combo better with things like Lay on Hands on turn 10. And can be dropped early against Knife Juggler, Young Priestess, Acolyte of Pain, Frothing Berserker, etc..
- Abomination- Tsaf(josh) gave this card a nice run through and liked it quite a bit. I can’t blame him, 5 mana, 4/4 body, taunt, and global Explosive Trap as a Deathrattle effect is just nice right now. A definite potential main deck possibility.
- Azure Drake – It is always important to make whatever deck you have at least have some kind of curve that it can follow (especially while going against mid-range or control decks to put on equal or more pressure). The drake has a strong 4/4 body, draws a card when it comes into play, and it buffs our aggressive 6-drop (Avenging Wrath) next turn if we had to go on the offense. Another thing to keep in mind, If you find yourself going against more control decks, I would probably sub this guy out for Faceless Manipulator, unless you just really enjoy or have had great success with Azure Drake.
- Faceless Manipulator – Just a straight up great candidate for the original deck (and it was in the original deck as a matter of fact). Ultimately, he is just stronger against a more control heavy environment.
- Harrison Jones – I use to run this mainboard, but a lot of deck have been straying away from Weapons. I’m sure this will change soon, as it does change from month to month, but as of right now he’s on the backburner.
- Sunwalker – Great value card, I use to use this card all the time, especially before I had Tirion Fordring. I think the only reason that I took him out was because of running into countless The Black K’night. Come to think of it, I haven’t seen many The Black Knight around lately, so he may be worth running again. Regardless, this is a great card and can stop blitz decks and even some midrange decks dead in their tracks.
- Ragnaros the Firelord – Great game ender, board cleaner, and all around monster of a card. I think most people say that this is the first Legendary card you should craft. It can be a finisher in blitz, midrange, and control decks. It doesn’t get hurt badly if its Silenced because its an 8/8 and now Tinkmaster Overspark is only going to be able to actually for sure hit this thing if they are alone on the Battlefield. Had to take him out of the mainboard though unfortunately. He’s just a dead card against blitz 9 times out of 10.
- Baron Geddon – Originally, I had him in over Guardian of Kings, but I started noticing that Paladin had enough sweepers as it was and a heal around turn 7 was usually pretty desirable. Still a fine card, and I think he could easily be main deck if you want to add maybe a Holylight and an additional Earthen Ring Farseer.
- Alexstrasza – This card has insane utility (potential 14 point life heal or 15 points of damage), but it just hasn’t been cutting it lately against all these blitz decks. As is the story with most of the big cards in this deck (and now a majority of the decks “Potential” slots), if the environment ever slows down or if you plan on using this deck in a tournament setting where you know it will be more heavy on control decks, these guys are going to be on the bench.
- Ysera – This is basically a card that I would put in if the meta game ever shifts to a more control heavy format. Other than that, she can replace any Legendary that you don’t have yet, or just throw her in if you like her better than __”Fill in the blank”__.
I’m sure there are plenty of others you could add, but these were the first and top ones that popped into my head. I will more than likely add to this list later on if need be, but this at least gives some ideas of replacements for whatever personal reason you may have to switch out something in the deck you don’t like.