Mastering the Divine Paladin: Advanced Guide

Did you enjoy reading about the best kept secret, Divine Wisdom, in Hearthstone? If so, check out my advanced guide with tech and budget replacements!

This advanced guide is the second part of the 3-part Legend Mech Divine Wisdom extensive deck guide. The deck is an HSP-original deck creation.

Spare Parts

I want to reiterate and stress once again that optimal/efficient spending of your mana (especially during the first few turns of the game) will snowball narrow leads into very lopsided victories. As a result, some of the more difficult lines of play when piloting this deck is knowing when/how to deploy your Spare Parts given by Clockwork Gnome. With that said, let’s take a closer look at each individual Spare Part below.

The Entire Repertoire

Armor Plating – Being a combat trick, there isn’t too much to say about how to play Armor Plating. It helps you keep priority minions such as Knife Juggler, Mechwarper, and any minion with Blessing of Wisdom alive longer.

Emergency Coolant – Generally regarded as one of the best Spare Parts around, Emergency Coolant provides another solution, albeit temporary, for large obscene minions such as giants. Early in the game, you can also use it to freeze annoying opposing minions such as Piloted Shredder[card] and [card]Imp Gang Boss. Similar to Armor Plating, you can also use it to buy yourself another turn [of unused mana] with Knife Juggler and company.

Finicky Cloakfield – Out of all 7 Spare Parts, Finicky Cloakfield is my personal favorite. For those of you reading who have stolen otherwise unwinnable games due to a stealth Archmage Antonidas, you’ll know where I’m coming from. The primary targets to grant Stealth to are obviously Knife Juggler and any minion with Blessing of Wisdom. However, Mechwarper and occasionally Quartermaster are good as well depending on the match-up.

Reversing Switch – Of all the Spare Parts currently available in Hearthstone, Reversing Switch probably has the highest variance. It can swing the game in your favor or occasionally sit dead in your hand. As far as friendly minions are concerned, the most interesting swap you can make is swapping Quartermaster’s attack/health in order to generate additional burst damage. In most instances however, you’ll generally just use it to trade more favorably or protect a weakened friendly minion. Finally, there are the blowout swaps on enemy Doomsayers and Deathlords. “Well played.”

Rusty Horn – In games against “face” decks, it is very important to trade Clockwork Gnome early in order to try to get a Rusty Horn. Playing the horn on a divine shield minion such as Shielded Minibot is essentially game-over for your opponent unless he has a silence effect right on the spot. Rusty Horn can also protect your Knife Juggler and Blessing of Wisdom as well. Seeing a pattern?

Time Rewinder – It is often a nuisance/setback to get a Time Rewinder from Clockwork Gnome since Time Rewinder makes playing Divine Favor for maximum value much harder. With that said, you can completely blow out your opponent by replaying Quartermaster a second time. Though Silver Hand Recruits will rarely grow larger than 5/5, I have been fortunate enough to experience the power of a 7/7 Silver Hand Recruit. Bonus points for anyone able to get a 9/9 Silver Hand Recruit!

Whirling Blades – Whirling Blades provides the opposite effect of Armor Plating as it increases a friendly minion’s attack as oppose to health. Generally speaking, it’ll be correct to play this on a vanilla minion to hedge against silence effects (assuming the minion survives). An interesting line of play against Priest opponents is boosting Knife Juggler into the safe 4-attack range.

Timing

Now that we’ve discussed how to effectively use our Spare Parts, let’s go over when to use them. As a general rule of thumb, Spare Parts should be used to steal tempo from your opponent. If you can use a 1-mana Spare Part to clear your opponent’s lone minion and follow up with your own minion on the same turn, you’re probably doing something right. In addition, early odd turns (i.e. 1, 3, 5) can be a little awkward with regards to spending mana. As a result, try to use Spare Parts to smooth out your curve as well. Finally, don’t be afraid to play your Spare Parts for little/no value if you can follow it up with a game-breaking Divine Favor. This line of play cannot be understated as Divine Favor is still the strongest card in most of your match-ups.

Combating Problematic Cards

Because the third part of this guide will cover specific match-ups, we’ll be going over how to handle neutral minions that can be problematic here. They have been categorized into “Hate Cards” and “Cards to Beware” respectively. The former describes a minion that is designated to attacking a specific meta-game (i.e. Weapons, Taunts, Secrets, etc.). The latter describes a minion that is still generally good in a more varied meta-game.

Hate Cards

Blood Knight – Blood Knight is probably the strongest possible hate card against this deck as it hits a total of 8 cards (27%) from your deck. Moreover, because of the increased stats of Blood Knight, the only real efficient way of combating him is with Equality. Unfortunately, Equality is generally not a card desirable card to keep when resolving mulligans. Therefore, an early successful Blood Knight puts you pretty far behind. On the bright side, this card is hardly seen on ladder (personally only faced 1 this entire season).

Harrison Jones – Having your 1/3 Light’s Justice (assuming one charge use) from Muster for Battle destroyed can be pretty back-breaking. To prevent this from happening, Truesilver Champion can ironically generally bait out Harrison Jones in the mid/late game against decks playing the weapon destroyer. This fact further reiterates the fact that Muster for Battle should be considered a late-game card against most control decks. Interestingly enough, Divine Favor offsets some of the card advantage resulting from Harrison Jones. In these situations, you may be too far ahead of your opponent for his additional cards to matter.

Mind Control Tech – Because this deck often likes to flood the board with many sticky minions, Mind Control Tech can be very effective for your opponent. Personally, I usually don’t play around Mind Control Tech since it is not really that popular. You’ll most likely run into him while battling a Druid player trying to shore up his aggro match-up. As many of you may already know, Swipe can be very ineffective against many aggro and tempo decks. Due to the various possible board states prompting your opponent to deploy Mind Control Tech and MCT’s inherent random number generation attribute, his actual impact can vary wildly from game-winning to inconsequential.

Other Cards to Beware

Zombie Chow – Most aggro decks absolutely hate seeing a turn 1 Zombie Chow on the opposite side of the board. Divine Wisdom is no different as Zombie Chow greatly interferes with your early-game set-up (establishing board control). As a result, it is important to remove Zombie Chow as soon as possible while playing in manner that minimizes his damage throughput. For example, this may require passing on your turn 1 without playing Cogmaster right into his Zombie Chow. Then on turn 2, playing Cogmaster in conjunction with a 2 mana Mech minion off The Coin makes it more difficult for your opponent to get maximum value out of Zombie Chow.

Wild Pyromancer – In general, Whirlwind-style effects are very potent against Divine Wisdom since they efficiently crack all of our divine shields while undoing our Muster for Battle plays. Wild Pyromancer acts as a possible recurring Whirlwind. Therefore in regards to priority opposing minions to remove, Wild Pyromancer ranks #1 among all early-game minions. Yes, this includes enemy Knife Jugglers. Fortunately, this should be a fairly trivial task as most of your minions (those that survived the initial Whirlwind) should trade favorable with him. However, the more important question to ask becomes whether the damage done is already too great.

Dr. Boom – In regards to power level (18 total points of stats with 2-8 additional Deathrattle damage) to mana cost (7) ratio, Dr. Boom is widely considered to be strongest minion in the entire game of Hearthstone. Any deck ranging from face aggro to hard control will at least consider him just for the sheer value of his stats. His sidekick Boom Bots even double as an additional pseudo sweeper effect. With all this said however, you should generally be able to trade in a way to minimize his impact. For example, don’t be afraid to use your Equality + Consecration combo if need be. In addition, Muster for Battle and the Reinforce Hero Power also really help hedge against the random number generation effect of his Boom Bots. Finally if all else fails, you can sometimes completely ignore Dr. Boom (clearing only his Boom Bots) and attempt to race.

Tech/Budget Choices

One of the really cool things about Divine Wisdom is its crafting cost. It will only cost you 2,240 dust and does not even require unlocking the Curse of Naxxramas and Blackrock Mountain expansions. Moreover, the only expensive card in the deck is Quartermaster and it is still just an Epic card. My personal recommendation is to save up for at least one Quartermaster as it is one of the few burst damage options in this deck. However, if you really need two temporary budget replacements, the next two options are fantastic!

Strong Replacement Options

Loatheb – Loatheb needs no introduction as many Hearthstone players believed Loatheb was the best card in the game prior to the release of GvG. Even now, Loatheb is a staple card in all decks ranging from Face Hunter to Control Warrior. As with most other aggressive strategies, Loatheb protects you from sweeper effects while providing you with an additional way to combat combo burst damage (i.e. Savage Roar, Fireball) from the enemy player. Not only is he versatile (rarely bad to play), he also won’t cost you any dust if you’ve already unlocked Curse of Naxxramas.

Emperor Thaurissan – Like Loatheb above, Emperor Thaurissan needs no introduction as he is played in just about every non-aggro deck. Therefore, you might be scratching your head wondering why Emperor Thaurissan would ever be in a deck that curves out at 5 mana. Two words: Divine Favor. This deck essentially already plays 2 copies of him in the form of Mechwarper. By reducing the mana cost of all cards in your hand, you’ll be able to dump your hand for an asymmetric game-breaking Divine Favor. Similar analogous Knife Juggler combos can be pulled off too. Finally like Loatheb above, Emperor Thaurissan won’t cost you any dust if you’ve already unlocked Blackrock Mountain.

Medium Replacement Options

Defender of Argus – For readers out there who haven’t unlocked both Curse of Naxxramas and Blackrock Mountain, Defender of Argus is a solid replacement card for Quartermaster. Like Quartermaster, it increases the attack and health of friendly minions, potentially putting them out of the range of damage-based sweepers. Additionally, it has the added benefit of improving your aggro match-ups due to the increased deck density of Taunt minions. In a pinch, he also protects your Blessing of Wisdom combo in similar fashion to Annoy-o-Tron.

Ironbeak Owl – First off, I listed Ironbeak Owl instead of Spellbreaker because he only requires a 2-mana investment and has more synergy with the rest of the deck (see Divine Favor and Equality). Although playing a reactive card such as Ironbeak Owl in a proactive aggro deck can sometimes lead to awkward situations, having access to Silence in the deck can be beneficial. In general, the deck will not have to rely as heavily on Equality in order to clear large Taunt minions such as Ancient of War. Moreover, the deck does not really have an efficient way of dealing with minions with powerful abilities (i.e. Voidcaller). Old reliable Ironbeak Owl addresses that deficiency/need as well. Long story short, you can do a lot worse than Ironbeak Owl.

Fringe Replacement Options

Kezan Mystic – In my opinion, meta-game-specific hate cards are a liability in aggro decks. At the end of the day, this deck is still an aggressive deck despite its mid-range tendencies to fight for board control. However, if I were ever to incorporate a meta-game hate card in the deck, it would definitely be Kezan Mystic. This inclusion would vastly improve the deck’s chances against Freeze Mage and the various Face Hunter builds as stealing an Ice Block or Explosive Trap is a win condition in itself.

Harrison Jones and Acidic Swamp Ooze – I personally would stay away from these cards as I value consistency over cards with extremely high variance. Once again with that said, sometimes the meta-game climate can be toxic enough to dictate such a drastic change. Continuing this point, I listed Patron Warrior and Face Hunter in part 1 of the guide as 2 of the 3 very unfavorable match-ups for this deck. Therefore, I wanted to provide options in case you are struggling in a meta-game flooded with Grim Patrons and Arcane Golems. Note: My Legend climb was infested with said cards and I still did fine. Play carefully and you will be as well. 🙂

Tirion Fordring

Tirion Fordring – Despite primarily being a F2P deck, there is still one obvious Legendary card worth considering. If you’re even remotely familiar with the Paladin class, you’ll know that Tirion Fordring is an auto-include in any non-aggro Paladin deck. Many players even consider him the best class Legendary card in the game. Although he slightly interferes with your Divine Favor curve due to the high mana cost of 8, he offers tremendous value. Even when destroyed, Tirion Fordring gives the deck additional reach in the form of Ashbringer. That’s potentially an additional 15 damage over 3 turns. The Taunt effect also helps the deck greatly against aggressive face decks. Putting the cherry on top, he still dodges Big Game Hunter like the rest of your deck!

Closing

This concludes part 2 of my Divine Wisdom extensive deck guide.

Be sure to check out part 3 of my Divine Wisdom guide as it’ll go over specific strategies for each meta-game deck. Also make sure to review part 1 of my Divine Wisdom guide if you haven’t already. Both parts 1 and 3 of the extensive guide offer additional insight into playing the deck properly. Lastly, don’t get frustrated if you don’t have success immediately as the deck is incredibly difficult to play optimally. You’ll eventually get it with practice! 🙂