Today, I want to bring you my original GvG deck creation – the Cogwatch Paladin!
As the name suggests, the deck is built around the coghammer and ancient-watcher combination a.k.a. DIY sunwalker.
It is primarily a late-game control deck, but it has a number of early game defensive measures that can help it survive and gain board control.
Since it’s so early in the GvG life cycle, it’s hard to evaluate just how good this deck is.
However, it’s been super solid in my testing so far and it even has built-in flex slots which allow it to adapt to whatever metagame you’re competing in.
So what is this deck and how is it played?
Since Coghammer was first revealed, I’ve set my sights on creating a killer Paladin deck around it.
Its Battlecry is powerful and it’s a natural aggro counter as an early-game weapon. It just needs the right targets and the right build for it to really flourish.
As a result, I’ve built the deck to interact smartly with Coghammer from top to bottom, and given the deck enough draw and survival to outlast other control decks.
The key combination for surviving in the early game is ancient-watcher followed by Coghammer. Opponents very rarely remove the Watcher when it’s in play and inactive; this makes it the perfect target for Coghammer’s effect.
A 4/5 taunt with Divine Shield on turn 3 stops aggro dead in its tracks and can often force a 3 for 1 which will set you well on your way to victory.
Coghammer also interacts well with the late game minions in the deck, giving sylvanas-windrunner Divine Shield and Taunt is a huge pain for your opponent,
Another key feature of the deck is large number of heals it has. seal-of-light is an excellent addition to this deck because it can act as early game removal, as a late game heal, and as a boost to your weapon.
With the help of Seal, truesilver-champion can kill a 6 health minion and Coghammer a 4 health one which can throw off opponent calculations.
The guardian-of-kings is also additional heal in case you get low and as a bonus, it’s a fantastic target for recombobulator.
Late game, I love value cards and you can’t beat the sheet value of sneeds-old-shredder. It’s also good to run more than one high priority silence targets, because your opponent WILL run out of ways to deal with your late game bombs.
This last legendary slot alongside tirion-fordring is pretty flexible though, so ragnaros-the-firelord, ysera or Sneeds are all great choices. I’m going with Sneeds here for the fun-factor and stickiness.
Let’s go through it card by card though and why I chose to have the deck built this way.
Card by Card
- x2 equality – This card is one of the reasons you’d choose to play Paladin. It’s incredibly powerful and its effect allows you to swing an entire board around instantly. This deck does not run Wild Pyromancer so you may need to be more creative with when you choose to use it. Save it to use in combination with consecration whenever possible. Also, keep very close track too of how many you’ve used because an enemy Ysera will be almost impossible to deal with if you don’t have this on hand.
- x1 seal-of-light – Seal is extremely versatile in this deck, and because you have five weapons (including Ashbringer from Tirion) it can be a really nice boost to their attack, enabling them to take out bigger threats than otherwise possible. It’s also a great card to deal with early Flame Imps and in the late game if you just desperately need 4 health. I’ve really tried to fit two in this deck, but since it runs such a tight ship, it’s hard to find the room. It might be valid though to add another one in a flex slot.
- x2 ancient-watcher – Watchers do the most work in the entire deck. 4/5 stats for 2 mana is really fantastic, and with x2 Coghammer, Owl and Defender of Argus, you have plenty of ways to activate it. The best option is Coghammer if possible since you’ll want to save at least one Owl for your opponents’ large threats.
- x2 ironbeak-owl – I toyed with playing only one of these, but after my first five games with the deck, I realized they’re indispensable. There are a lot of extremely powerful cards out there with devastating card text that need to be shut down, and Owl is the most efficient card for the job. Having two is great because you can use one on your Watcher to get board initiative and still know there’s one more in there in case your opponent decides to drop something game breaking.
- x2 shielded-minibot – This card is a lean, mean, early-game machine. He trades extremely effectively with most early game two and one drops, and he’s sticky and annoying to deal with even in the late game. He’s also a good target to buff with Defender of Argus so he can deal 3 dmg and stay alive as a 3/3.
- x1 recombobulator – There are few cards more fun than Recombobulator in Hearthstone. This deck is also one of the best ones for it to showcase its ability since it runs a number of understatted minions for their cost like Guardian of Kings and Defender of Argus. I would love to put two in, but one is a great balance and he very rarely fails me.
- x2 coghammer – This card is what the deck is built around. It has a really strong Battlecry that synergizes well with Ancient Watcher and other big sticky minions in the deck prone to being ignored (Sylvanas and Cairne). Its attack is often a little underwhelming, but it can get a boost from Seal of Light and it acts as a nice little ping for Paladins transitioning from mid-late game. Be careful when you play it to maximize your chances of it landing on your desired minion. It’s actually not too tough, you just need to always be watching for it (pun intended).
- x1 acolyte-of-pain – An extremely important minion for card draw, and you should look for it in your opening hand in control matchups. It’s great to coin this out, and then Peacekeeper follow up to get two draws out of it. The meta is a little too fast right now to justify two, but if it slows down, I’d definitely look to put another one in.
- x2 aldor-peacekeeper – The best 3 drop in the game and an auto-include in any competitive Paladin deck. He can shut down large minions single-handedly, and allows you to build a board much more safely. I usually keep one in my opening hand against aggro, but you can toss it back if you know you’ll be safe in the early turns.
- x2 truesilver-champion – The undisputed best Paladin weapon. This card is still immensely important to Paladin and it is at the perfect power level to be coined out on turn 3 or used to secure the board in the later turns. The heal from it is subtle but can be relevant towards the end game. It’s a keeper if you have the coin in most matchups.
- x2 consecration – Paladins’ AOE and a must-run. It can often bail you out if coined out on turn 4 or fully sweep your opponents’ board in combination with Equality. Try to save it as much as possible and make sure you’re getting at least a 2 for 1 but preferably a 3 for 1 off it.
- x2 defender-of-argus – An extremely important card in this deck. It provides additional Taunt defense, gives Ancient Watcher and Shielded Minibot much more oomph and even synergizes with the recruits you can keep generating. As a bonus, it also makes an amazing target for Recombobulator since it often survives the turn behind the taunts.
- x1 gnomish-inventor – I put this card in because I like how it keeps my deck moving. Often, I’d find myself passing turn 4 or just hero powering. This gives me something to play on 4 and additional draw, which is this deck’s main weakness. I consider it a flex slot though, so I may swap it out for another Seal of Light or another late-game tech card like Harrison Jones as the meta dictates.
- x2 sludge-belcher – This deck loves Taunts, and this is the most efficient one in the game. It’s great to just plop this down to soak up damage, and it’s good against both aggro and control. A fantastic card overall, and a keeper for the foreseeable future.
- x1 cairne-bloodhoof – The big minions start here with Cairne. I love Cairne for its sheer value, and I also love how opponents often give up on trying to deal with it when it first comes down. Coghammer loves Cairne and giving it Divine Shield to hit something followed by Taunt is amazing value. It’s also great as bait for your other threats. If it eats a Silence or hard removal, that’s one fewer they have to deal with your next threats. I think its potential value is unmatched, but it can be replaced by Piloted Sky Golem or Boulderfist Ogre when on a budget.
- x1 sylvanas-windrunner – The queen of control. She’s a huge pain to deal with, and can swing games around pretty quickly if your opponent makes a mistake. The great thing about Sylvanas, is that, like Cairne, your opponent frequently prefers to ignore her rather than deal with her right away. That gives you Coghammer value, and that’s what this deck is all about.
- x1 guardian-of-kings – I wanted another big heal in the deck, and this card was perfect. It doesn’t heal as much as Antique Healbot, but it fits the curve nicer and its body is large enough that it usually survives the turn. This is fantastic because you can usually take out one more minion and then get your Recombobulator on the job. Almost all 7 drops have beefier stats than Kings, and getting a 7/7 from Recombobulating your 5/1 Kings is one of the most fun things that you can do with this deck.
- x1 tirion-fordring – The best value legendary card in the game. It’s an absolute terror if your opponent can’t deal with it immediately. Try your absolute utmost to tempt out removal on lesser threats so this can come down unopposed. Priests are the scariest to play, because the threat of Mind Control is so huge. Playing it on turn 8 against Priest is usually the best thing to do to avoid Sylvanas + Death as well as Mind Control. If this gets value, the Ashbringer will most likely swing board momentum your way and it shouldn’t be too hard to close out the game from there.
- x1 lay-on-hands – This card is vital to control Paladin. It gives the deck card draw and longevity all in one. I’ve even considered running two, but one is usually adequate since it can be a liability in control matchups that go to fatigue. Never keep it in your opening hand, but you really want to see this pop up in your hand once turn 8 comes around.
- x1 sneeds-old-shredder – This is the last legendary slot in the deck. I chose Sneeds for a few reasons. First, it’s Big Game Hunter proof. There are a large number of BGHs running around on ladder and this card evades it unlike Ragnaros. Second, it has Deathrattle which makes it sticky and difficult to deal with. Again, opponents avoid it if they can’t deal with it since it’ll likely spawn a bigger better body on death. This means Coghammer can get incredible value off of it.
This deck I feel is very close to being as optimized as Paladin decks go. You have to understand though when you tackle it, that it’s a control deck and not a mid-range one.
Not that many decks in the game are truly control, and this is the purest form of it. It aims to win in the very late game and doesn’t have any burst damage.
Instead, it aims to grind your opponent down with value from your weapons and Taunts as well as your legion of Deathrattle legendary minions.
I’m going to go over some alternatives though at each mana cost to show you how the deck isn’t entirely rigid and can add tech cards to adapt to any meta yet still stay relevant.
I’d consider all of these alternatives valid depending on the metagame.
- 1-2 mana: zombie-chow, sunfury-protector, nerubian-egg – These cards are all excellent additions to the deck depending on the meta. The extra Taunts from Sunfury are good if you choose not to run Coghammer or Argus for some reason. Zombie Chow is fantastic as an additional early game defense against Hunter decks in particular, and Nerubian Egg can be a great card to play in conjunction with Scarlet Purifier and the Taunt givers.
- 3 mana: scarlet-purifier, lil-exorcist, big-game-hunter – The Purifier has fantastic synergy with Nerubian Egg, but in the current meta, early game Deathrattle isn’t prevalent enough to warrant its inclusion. The Exorcist is similarly a tech card to deal with a ton of early game Deathrattles, but it isn’t quite consistent enough, and the Big Game Hunter is the best tech card for Control heavy metas and can single-handedly change the Handlock matchup.
- 4 mana: kezan-mystic. piloted-shredder, senjin-shieldmasta – If secret heavy decks start overrunning the ladder, Kezan Mystic is the perfect tech card to deal with it, Piloted Shredder meanwhile is another sticky 4 drop if you want to smooth the curve out even more and Senjins give the deck defensive resolve if the meta becomes unbearably aggressive.
- 5 mana: harrison-jones, loatheb, bolvar-fordragon – I’ve found Mage and Warlock to be two of the most popular classes now so weapons aren’t quite as pervasive as they could be. If they are though, Harrison Jones is an excellent tech. I’d think of replacing Gnomish in the main list, and honestly, I’ve been swinging back and forth between them, but for now, I’m happy with where Gnomish fits in the curve and the meta. Loatheb is also a fabulous card, but it’s tough to find a slot for it, especially when you’re looking for minions that will bait out removal and later game threats. Don’t laugh! I mean it when I say Bolvar. I’ve really thought about including him because he’s excellent bait for Silence and hard removal while potentially gaining game winning attack.
- 6 mana: piloted-sky-golem, boulderfist-ogre – Two great 6 drops. I’ve honestly really thought about adding Boulderfist Ogre to this deck even though I have Cairne. I like that it has 6 atk which can take out most 5 drops and it has great Synergy with Coghammer. The Sky Golem as well is great for this reason, but his 4 health is a bit weaker, and his Deathrattle is random and can give you something terrible like Defender of Argus. I admittedly haven’t tested the Sky Golem because I don’t have it in my collection yet, but from my experience in arena, it’ll yield less consistent results than Cairne.
- 7 mana+: ysera, ragnaros-the-firelord, troggzor-the-earthinator, dr-boom – These four are some of the most popular go-to legendaries, and they are excellent. Ysera I feel has lost a bit of its luster because of the increased removal options of each class and its lack of Deathrattle. However if left uncontested, it will win you the game without question, and that’s valuable. Ragnaros is still as amazing as ever, but doesn’t gel that well with this deck since it doesn’t have any real way to burst and Rag is at its best as a finisher. The other two I don’t have much experience with. Troggzor really appeals as a 7 mana spell deterrent, but since this deck is frequently behind, it’s not as consistent as Guardian of Kings a lot of the time. Dr. Boom meanwhile has such a unique effect that it’s gonna take some testing to figure out just how effective he is.
If you haven’t already done so, go out and try this deck out! It’s a ton of fun, it uses some awesome late game cards and some of the combinations in this deck can create some amazing Hearthstone highlights.
I will be continuing the guide including match ups, mulligans and some in-depth deck specific advice in the next part of the guide.
Hope it was a fun read! As always, I’m open to comments, suggestions and deck advice.
Put your faith in the light!