Legend: The Quest for the Perfect Paladin continues

I have been on a big crusade trying to make a good and working Paladin list since before GvG came out. We can finally see it coming together!

Introduction

Hello boys and girls, as many of you know I have been on a big crusade trying to make a good and working Paladin list since before GvG came out. And although before GvG we just couldn’t make a working Paladin list, now that we have all these new GvG cards, we can finally see Paladin working!

On this article, I will talk about my journey on building the GvG Control Paladin list, the card choices, possible replacements, sideboard, what to play and what not to play, and try to give you an overall idea on general gameplay on this deck. Now enough with chitchat, let’s get right on it!

The Journey

GvG came out, and everyone went crazy! Decks everywhere and it was very hard knowing what to craft, regardless of that we had some pretty good ideas of what everyone wanted to try out: troggzor-the-earthinator is an obviously strong card, voljin too, and who didn’t want to test malganis? But even though there were tons of new tools for all the classes, there was this one class that was completely unknown to everybody, and that would require the biggest effort in order to work: The Paladin.

The fact Paladin was never played made it so it wasnt obvious how to build a Paladin deck as it was obvious how to build a Warlock deck, a Warrior deck, a Shaman deck, everyone knows what works and what doesn’t about all the 8 other classes in the game, but Paladin was a very complicated case, it only got completed with GvG meaning it was a whole different world.

So I started my GvG Paladin quest by adding the obviously good Paladin cards to the deck: consecration, truesilver-champion, guardian-of-kings, aldor-peacekeeper and so on, then I went to add cards that were obivously good: zombie-chow and shielded-minibot to have good early game defenses, knife-juggler to combo with muster-for-battle and the hero power in general, piloted-shredder which was an obviously OP card released in the set, sludge-belcher because buuuurp, and a lot of other cards. A lot of these cards didn’t make the cut, and let us understand why:

Cards that Didn’t make the Cut

guardian-of-kings: This card was too slow, and with the new tools we got we actually had ways to deal with the early game making it so the Guardian’s effect was not something we wanted in our deck. This card was supposed to help in the late game versus aggro, but we already have a strong enough early game that makes it so if it comes to a point we need this, we probably already lost.

coghammer: That is a really strong card, but the fact it is anti-synergic with Muster for battle (one weapons break the other, and they’re both on the same curve) I had to cut the less obvious, in this case Coghammer had to go.

seal-of-light: A good removal, indeed, but we had much better options that 2-for-1 early game stuff while Seal of Light only 1-for-1s at its best. It’s not a bad card, it’s just that there are better tools.

scarlet-purifier: Deathrattle aggro decks are not a huge part of the metagame as they were before GvG, so the use of this guy has diminished. Yes yes, I tried playing this guy on the same deck with nerubian-egg but the slots they require makes it so you have to cut precious late game cards in order to run this unreliable combo, which made it so I had to cut these guys out. The curve 3 is also very crowded currently, but in case Deathrattle Zoo/Hunter makes a big comeback over the current swarm of Mech Mages, this guy can see play as a 1-of in the deck.

bolvar-fordragon: I always disliked this card, I think its effect is too unreliable and there are just too many ways to shut it down or play around it, even if it somehow works (which is really hard).

wild-pyromancer: Anti-synergic with our biggest new toolbox: Muster for Battle.

The Deck

So we have our cards but we still don’t know how to build the deck, now its up to us to make the choices, every single card has a purpose on the deck and I will try to explain them as we go through:

zombie-chow and shielded-minibot: Both of these cards have the function to stop aggression early in the game, the fact we have 4 cards in our deck that are very strong at doing so makes it so we get consistency which is really important for a Control deck. Currently, I wouldn’t play without either of them, but in a tournament you can consider removing 1 copy of Zombie Chow in case you think you will not be facing aggro at all, but you should never remove the Minibot for they are always good.

equality: Probably the strongest Paladin Tool, and one of the strongest mass removal in the game, can be used to either wipe the enemy board in conjunction with 1/1 Tokens, consecration, or even knife-juggler‘s knifes.

ironbeak-owl: Our only silence option available. Yes yes we could use spellbreaker but the fact the owl only costs 2 makes it so it’s a lot better, because it not only allows us to make more plays later in the game, it also allows us to silence strong Deathrattles as well as kill Undertaker.

knife-juggler: Everyone knows that this guy is strong with Paladin’s Hero power, it always was! But now we even have a very strong new tool that synergizes very well with our Juggler, which makes it so this guy is an automatic addition to the deck!

muster-for-battle: Our strongest GvG tool. This card was so good it gave Paladins new life by itself! Its 2 different effects, none of them big, but the fact we get 3 1/1s and a weapon makes it so we get a very strong board presence with just one card and very early in the game. This card also sinergizes a lot with other good cards as well as win games with quartermaster, which makes it so this deck only exists because of this card.

aldor-peacekeeper and big-game-hunter: Both have the same function: Strong and reliable late-game removal while giving us a decent body in the forms of 3/3s and 4/2. There is no reason not to run these guys in your Paladin deck.

truesilver-champion and consecration: Obviously strong Paladin cards.

defender-of-argus: Another guy that already have good sinergy with Paladin’s hero power, and while I know it’s too good, I still dont know if I should use 2 of this or 2 of the Shredder in the 4-drop curve, I just don’t feel confortable running 2 of each, therefore I am running only 1 Argus since it’s the less situational card.

piloted-shredder: The strongest neutral 4-drop in the entire game and as I said multiple times this guy can be played in any kind of strategy and it just fits right into this deck.

harrison-jones: Everyone was (and still is) running weapon classes more than anything with tons of new weapons, and I dont expect this trend to end any time soon, which makes it so Jones is a must-have in every single midrange/control deck in this game, sometimes even over the all-mighty loatheb.

loatheb: There was a free slot opened in the 5-drop curve, might as well add the best card in the game, right?

sludge-belcher: I can not let go of this guy, its tempo generating ability is everything we need against Aggro and even Control, the fact it is 2-in-1 makes it so it’s a must for Control decks.

quartermaster: Sooo this guy was one of the latest additions to the deck, the fact it can be dead in our hand in so many situations makes it so we don’t really want to run 2 of these in our deck, but since it has the potential of winning games by itself makes it so we really want to run at least 1 of it.

sylvanas-windrunner: The best non-Naxx neutral Legendary in the entire game, if it fits in the deck, might as well play it! Right?

dr-boom: Getting a decent board presence with just one card? Count me in! I was really skeptical about this guy once it was announced and I even thought it was bad, but after talking to some friends they convinced me it was worth trying this guy out, and I did! It ended up replacing troggzor-the-earthinator in my deck because it was less situational and strong by itself.

lay-on-hands: We still need heals and draws, and “LoH” is everything in 1 card. It grants us late-game longevity, which is huge and game turning.

tirion-fordring: Still known as the strongest Class Legend in the entire game.

As you guys might have noticed in the description of many of the cards in the deck, there are a lot of cards that are good by themselves, which makes it so this deck is very consistent and probably one of the strongest choices to ladder with!

Sideboarding Options

Here are the possible changes you can make:

dr-boom vs troggzor-the-earthinator: Boom is less situational than Troggzor, but whenever the meta shifts back to a Spell heavy meta, make sure to have a Troggzor next to you! Troggzor is better against Mages, Priests, Rogues, but worse against the other classes. Also remember it’s generally weak/terrible against Aggro while Boom is decent.

A second copy of quartermaster vs The second copy of zombie-chow: Yap, running 2 Chows is not always must, and whenever you find yourself on a Controled Metagame, such as Tournaments, keep in mind having 2 Quartermasters can be better than having 2 Chows. However I would never run 2 quarters 1 chow in the ladder.

A second copy of quartermaster vs harrison-jones: In case somehow weapon classes vanish from the meta, which is likely to never happen, you can feel free to run a second copy of Quartermaster instead of our Jones. But I strongly recommend you not to.

big-game-hunter vs antique-healbot: Recommended for a hunter heavy metagame. Most of the times the lower ranks can be swarmed with them, which means this change can be valuable.

Budget Replacements

sylvanas-windrunner -> guardian-of-kings.

dr-boom -> guardian-of-kings.

harrison-jones-> acidic-swamp-ooze.

tirion-fordring Can not be replaced.

In case you don’t have Naxx:

sludge-belcherx2 + loathebx1 -> bomb-lobberx2 + defender-of-argusx1.

Gameplay Tips

Here are a few tips you should follow in order to have a smooth learning curve when playing this deck:

  • This is a control deck, therefore you should always aim to get Control of the board, you have just too many tools to do so!
  • Its fine to drop a Knife Juggler to trade 1-for-1 with an opponent’s minion against Aggro, all you need is to not let them snowball.
  • Shielded Minibot is generally a better Turn 2 (1 with coin) play than Juggler, even if you have both in your hand.
  • Juggler is a better turn 2 (1 with coin) play than Shielded Minibot against Priests.
  • Dont feel afraid to Peacekeeper Opposing midrange minions so you have better trades, remember you have a lot of tools to deal with late game minions.
  • If you have no obvious way of dealing with a T4 giant, attacking it with your Truesilver and 4-damage worth of minions is fine enough.
  • Dont feel afraid to take damage against Control, but never get below 12 late-game against warriors and never get below 14 late game against Druids.
  • Always overextend Against Zoo and Druid.
  • Only overextend against Warriors after they casted brawl.
  • Feel free to overextend Against hunters if you are winning, but if your life total is behind, try to count their damage with UTH to see if you’ll die. Keep in mind you don’t even need to count if you have 2 or more taunts on the board.
  • Dont feel afraid to sacrifice your health to kill minions with your 1/4 Weapon from Muster for Battle. Dead minions do no damage!
  • Never Overtextend against priests, they have 2x Auchenai+Circle combos as well as holy nova and Pyromancer shenanigans.
  • You don’t need to wait for a valid steal target to play your Sylvanas, whenever your opponent has a decent board she becomes a good play, but never play her on an empty board.
  • Against Aggro, Turn 4 Piloted Shredder is, most of the times, a better play than Truesilver Champion.
  • Always remember this deck has the potential to play very aggressive!

Conclusion

And this is not the end! The quest continues as we have a lot of different stuff to test, different strategies to play with as well as many other things, and while we had a ton of new decks popping out this first month of GvG, remember there is still much more to come!

I hope you guys enjoyed the trip through this article, and that you have a lot of success with Paladin!

I am currently on the top 50 NA Legend with this deck, but I know it has potential to go beyond.

Love you guys! If you have any questions feel free to throw them @the comments and I will try to reply ASAP!

Cuddles,

Nuba

 /BudaBudie

 @TheNubaHS

 /TheNubaHS