Mastering the Divine Paladin: Beginner Guide

Take a look at the updated Top 40 Legend Divine Wisdom deck. It incorporates all of the core strengths from previous iterations with a Mech port!

Quick Aside

Hi again everyone! It’s Newton, back today to update you on my Top 40 NA Divine Wisdom deck and the website’s status. A lot has changed since you last heard from me. As some of you may have noticed, HSP is currently revamping its entire site to follow a new organizational structure. All generic guides are now free while in-depth advance and mulligan follow-up guides are premium. Therefore, readers will have a chance to preview the deck and corresponding contents first before deciding whether to make the jump to premium.

In addition, HSP aims to categorize popular meta-decks into either the Deck To Beat (DTB) or Deck To Watch (DTW) section. This HSP service gives readers/players a quick way to identify the top contending decks every new ladder season. Feel free to leave a note at the bottom with any comments and/or suggestions.

Introduction

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

I originally had the idea to build Divine Wisdom during the classic set of Hearthstone upon opening the cards Divine Favor and Blessing of Wisdom from packs. With a very modest collection at the time and being a free-2-play (F2P) player, I wanted to build a viable deck for ladder climb without including any Legendary cards. These two underplayed draw engines served as the backbone of my new brew. The deck had a major breakthrough following the release of the Goblins vs. Gnomes (GvG) expansion. It hit Top 40 in North America and I personally piloted it exclusively to Legend during back-to-back months of December (GvG release) and January.

Taking a hiatus from playing and writing to help edit articles for HSP in the subsequent months, I saw the deck see less play following the Undertaker balance. With summer now here, I thought June would be a perfect time for me to update and once again pilot this deck back to Top 40 NA. Below is a quick history of all the related articles I wrote for this deck. Feel free to glance over them!

Summary

Deck History

Strengths

  • Good against control (anti-control deck)
  • Fast games
  • Late-game scalability
  • Combo potential
  • Consistent
  • Inexpensive to craft (2 Epics, 2240 Dust)
  • Creation does not require unlocking Naxxramas and Blackrock Mountain
  • Utilizes many class cards
  • Sticky minions

Weakness

  • Lack of late-game reach
  • Vulnerability to early rush from other aggro decks
  • Reliant on establishing board control (similar to Zoo)
  • Struggles against combo decks

Match-up Analysis

Favored Against

  • Mid-range Druid
  • Mid-range Paladin
  • Mech Shaman
  • Handlock
  • Mid-range Hunter
  • Control Warrior
  • Ramp Druid
  • Aggro Paladin

Even Against

  • Tempo Mage
  • Oil Rogue
  • Zoo Warlock
  • Hybrid Hunter

Unfavored Against

  • Freeze Mage
  • Patron Warrior
  • Face Hunter

Card Choices

Draw Engines

Divine Favor – Divine Favor is by far the most efficient draw spell in Hearthstone. However, it requires that you build your entire deck around it. In particular, a Divine Favor deck must maintain an overall low converted mana cost for its cards. Under ideal circumstances, your opponent is stranded with many cards in his hand as you quickly deploy your various threats. You can then re-fuel by drawing anywhere from 4-6 cards to match him on cards while having a much stronger board state. By comparison, Arcane Intellect nets only 2 cards for Mage players despite having the same converted mana cost of 3.

Blessing of Wisdom – Blessing of Wisdom acts as the other half of the deck’s namesake cards. One of the fundamental issues of constructing a solid aggro deck is addressing how the deck transitions into the late-game. “Face Hunter” and “Zoo-lock” variants are popular aggro deck choices because their respective hero abilities give them extra reach to deal the final points of damage as the game progresses. Blessing of Wisdom smooths out your draws during the first few turns of the game, which is critical to establishing early board control. Equally important, it often allows you to draw into Divine Favor, which is usually game-ending against control decks. At minimum, Blessing of Wisdom should be able to draw you at least 2 cards in most games. Unlike the aforementioned Arcane Intellect, it only costs 1 mana. Finally, Blessing of Wisdom can straight up run away with games when put on a divine shield minion as some decks won’t be able to keep up with your card advantage engine.

Mech Package

Cogmaster – Without Undertaker, the deck needed another reliable 1-drop minion that could efficiently trade with anti-aggro all-star Zombie Chow. Fortunately with a total of 8 Mechs in this deck, Cogmaster is usually a 3/2. As a result, Cogmaster often efficiently trades up against perplexed opponents. In addition, Cogmaster serves as a pretty quick clock due to its base damage of 3. This luxury is even more important considering the fact that the deck sometimes has trouble generating enough damage throughput.

Previous Slot: Undertaker

Clockwork Gnome – The Spare Part granted by Clockwork Gnome provides an incredible amount of utility. It tends to mess with my opponent’s math and is often crucial for maintaining/establishing board control early in the game. Like Blessing of Wisdom, you can easily “store” an extra card prior to your big Divine Favor plays. Moreover, there is no anti-synergy with Divine Favor because the Spare Part can often be used on odd (i.e. 3, 5, 7, etc.) turns with your excess mana. Note: The spare mana is a byproduct of all the 2-drops in the deck. Finally, he serves as another viable 1-drop minion that increases the Mech density for Cogmaster.

Annoy-o-Tron – This card does as it says in his name: ANNOY! Your board state / card advantage engine can snowball out of control as a result of him protecting your Knife Jugglers and Blessing of Wisdom minions. He’s a significant upgrade over Noble Sacrifice because he stops two attacks as opposed to one, which helps greatly in the aggro mirror match. If un-silenced, he essentially represents your win-condition against ultra aggressive “face” decks. In addition to being a Mech, he also belongs to the Divine Shield Package (below) too. Disclaimer: I apologize in advance if any of your opponents send you hate messages after you draw up your entire deck as a result of Annoy-o-Tron’s attack deflections.

Mechwarper – Even in the GvG iteration of the deck, there was already a total of 6 Mech minions. Therefore, it wasn’t too much of a stretch to add Mechwarper to maximize the Mech potential in the deck. Moreover, Mechwarper also has great synergy with Divine Favor and Knife Juggler. Being able to deploy minions at a faster rate greatly increases the draw power of Divine Favor, which is already arguably the strongest card in the deck. Meanwhile, Mechwarper also allows for more Knife Juggler knives by reducing the mana cost of ~1/4 of the cards in the deck. This is significant for retaining board control during the later stages of the game. In a way, this deck gets to play two 2-mana Emperor Thaurissans.

Previous Slot: Haunted Creeper

Shielded Minibot – Shielded Minibot can viewed as Argent Squire‘s big brother. For double the mana (2), you get double the stats. He will usually be very difficult for your opponents to remove in the early stages of the game and often represents an unavoidable 2-for-1 trade. He’s so good that even Control Paladin decks view him as a must-play staple card. Furthermore, he also has dual citizenship as he belongs to the Divine Shield Package (below) as well.

Divine Shield Package

Argent Squire – Being Shielded Minibot’s little sister, Argent Squire is the primary 1-drop body to carry the Blessing of Wisdom due to its built-in divine shield. Though not very aggressive (only 1 attack), Argent Squire is very resilient against control decks as your opponent will often need two actions in order to deal with her. In addition, she is very good at taking care of opposing x/1 minions from other various aggro and tempo decks such as Face Hunter and Zoo.

Argent Protector – Argent Protector is actually a humble Shielded Minibot in disguise. He does not flaunt the Mech sub-type and generously grants the divine shield to a friendly minion as opposed to keeping it for himself. In most instances, you’re going to want to use Argent Protector’s divine shield grant on Knife Juggler. Therefore, he also serves as Knife Juggler’s best friend forever (yes I went there). This allows you to play Knife Juggler earlier because your opponent may not be able to cleanly deal with its divine shield during the early turns of the game. The divine shield is also very good for keeping your Blessing of Wisdom draw engine alive for a few extra turns. Disclaimer: Similar to Annoy-o-Tron, these lines of play may very well irritate an unsuspecting opponent who’s begun to tilt.

Removal Package

Knife Juggler – As true with most aggressive decks, Knife Juggler is an absolute necessary staple card. Though technically listed as a 2-drop, Knife Juggler is at its best during the mid/late game since you’ll want to get immediate value from playing it. From Muster for Battle to Equality, there are a multitude of game-changing Knife Juggler combos in this deck. Used correctly, you should be able to effectively wipe your opponent’s entire board.

Muster for Battle – Muster for Battle really needs no introduction as it is the primary card responsible for revitalizing the Paladin class upon the release of GvG. It gives the deck a second way in addition to Divine Favor to rebuild quickly from a devastating sweeper. The Light’s Justice that comes along with the 3 Silver Hand Recruits also often clears a weakened minion at 1 health. It can also force your opponent to pre-maturely play his sweeper card as failing to do so can result in a backbreaking Quartermaster coming down the following turn.

Equality – First and foremost, there are definitely going to be games where Equality is somewhat awkward. These games generally occur against Face-type decks that already run a lot of 1-health minions. However, the role it plays in this deck is absolutely critical. Equality is the deck’s only way of dealing with nasty giants (i.e. Molten Giant and Mountain Giant) and other obscene taunters such as Ancient of War. Moreover, the beauty of the card is that it actually plays very well with your minions since most of them have very low health to start with. In general, Equality is a big enabler for some nice one-sided board clears (see Consecration below and the combos section). Playing Equality at the right time is often game-ending as the tempo swing will be insurmountable for your opponent.

Consecration – At worst this card deals two damage, thus giving you some late-game reach against control variants with multiple taunters. At best, this card wins you games against aggro and represents the second half of the devastating Equality/Consecration combo. Though sometimes slow, it helps the deck address its difficult match-up against opposing aggro decks. In addition to your Knife Juggler combos, Consecration represents the deck’s alternative comeback mechanism.

Previous Slot: Loot Hoarder

Truesilver Champion – Most weapons are fantastic in general and Truesilver Champion is no different. In addition to being a 2-for-1 removal weapon (similar to Death’s Bite), the life-gain also helps greatly against face decks such as Face Hunter and Shock-a-din. Furthermore, it often baits out Harrison Jones so the deck can freely play Muster for Battle. As I joked before in the previous article: “Tempo. Check. Card advantage. Check. Life gain. Check. Win. Check.”

Quartermaster – If Muster for Battle needs no introduction, Quartermaster might only need a small prelude at best. In conjunction with Muster for Battle, Quartermaster helped revitalize the Paladin class after the release of GvG. Its role in the deck is pretty cut and dry straight-forward. He punishes opponent’s for ignoring your Silver Hand Recruits and combos very nicely with Muster for Battle as a mini-Bloodlust. Overall, he provides some much needed burst since all minions in the deck have 3 or less power. Last but certainly not least, he also pushes your Silver Hand Recruits out of sweeper range. This allows you to sustain the attack late into the game against control archetypes.

General Strategy

Early Game

In general, try to mulligan aggressively for 1-drops not named Blessing of Wisdom. Keeping Mechwarper and Shielded Minibot is also fine as they are your two best early-game 2-drops. I cannot stress how important establishing early board control is for this deck. Games can be won and lost during the first few turns of the game as a result. Remember, Divine Wisdom is not a face deck at all. In most cases, it’ll be correct to clear your opponent’s board when possible. Some notable exceptions include Haunted Creeper, Acolyte of Pain, and Imp Gang Boss as those cards reward the opposing player for having their minion damaged. Finally, curving out nicely will pay big dividends as you get to set up your Divine Favor plays much earlier.

Mid Game

If you’re ahead on board (presumably against control variants), this is the time to deploy Blessing of Wisdom. Furthermore, if you’re ahead against opposing aggro decks, you’ve pretty much already won as you still have Knife Juggler/Equality combos as well as Consecration still up your sleeve. As long as you don’t over-extend and continue to keep his board clear (potentially while riding a Blessing of Wisdom), you’ll eventually draw into Divine Favor. At that point, feel free to over-extend slightly to try to bait out potential sweepers such as Brawl. Regardless, Divine Favor should be able to close out the game for you as you should have a much superior board state.

Late Game

By now, you’ll hopefully have greatly outpaced your opponent in terms of cards drawn. If your opponent is already low on resources, feel free to suffocate his last few cards by forcing him to respond to your threats. Upon doing this, you should be pushing for lethal pretty soon as well. Quartermaster should give you the boost you need to finish games that go really late as he gives you additional damage throughput while granting virtual card advantage. With this said, remember to carefully play around opposing burst damage if possible. This potentially means playing Annoy-o-Tron in place of a Quartermaster to hedge against Savage Roar and other similar combos.

C-c-c-o-o-o-m-m-m-b-b-b-o-o-o!

One of the main reasons why I enjoy playing Divine Wisdom over another aggro variant such as Zoo-lock is the numerous cool interactions/combos in the deck. The relevant combos are listed below.

Blessing of Wisdom Combos

Blessing of Wisdom + Argent Squire: Though existing since the classic set, playing Blessing of Wisdom on Argent Squire turn 2 still feels very good. Bread and butter, ’nuff said.

Blessing of Wisdom + Shielded Minibot: If you like Blessing of Wisdom on an Argent Squire, having one on Shielded Minibot feels twice as nice (see what I did there?). Control players will have fits dealing with this combo.

Blessing of Wisdom + Argent Protector: This combo is very similar to the two above it. Another minion with divine shield gets to carry a Blessing of Wisdom.

Equality Combos

Equality + Knife Juggler: With lots of mana available and minions in hand, you should be able to completely wipe your opponent’s board with this.

Equality + Consecration: Briefly mentioned above in the Card Choices section, this other board clearing combo has been in almost all variants of Paladin since the game’s inception.

Equality + Muster for Battle: Playing a Muster for Battle alongside an Equality will allow you to immediately remove your opponent’s biggest threat with the Light’s Justice while potentially taking out the rest of his minions the following turn.

Muster for Battle Combos

Knife Juggler + Muster for Battle: Played together, this allows you to deal up to 4 additional damage. Another way to think of this is a free Arcane Missiles with the Spell Damage buff.

Muster for Battle + Quartermaster: For 8 mana (over 1 or 2 turns), you get a minimum of one 2/5, three 3/3s, and a 1/4 weapon. Even excluding the weapon and other Silver Hand Recruits from your Reinforce hero ability, that’s already 25 total points of stats. #value

Mechwarper Combos

Knife Juggler + Mechwarper: This is similar to the Knife Juggler/Muster for Battle combo. Mechwarper allows you to quickly empty your hand full of Mech minions in order to deal tons of damage.

Mechwarper + Divine Favor: Similar to using in conjunction with Knife Juggler, Mechwarper’s cost-reduction ability allows you to empty your hand for huge Divine Favor plays.

Frequently Asked Questions

Listed below are some of the most frequently asked questions from readers and friends regarding the deck:

Q1 Do you ever play Blessing of Wisdom on an enemy minion? If so, when?

A1 The best time to play Blessing of Wisdom on an enemy minion occurs when you want to empty your hand for a big Divine Favor play and have no creature to attack with.

Q2 Do you think King Mukla would be a good inclusion to combo with Divine Favor?

A2 While the combo definitely has the potential to blow the game wide open, King Mukla is generally bad if you’re behind and don’t have Divine Favor to combo it with. Also, King Mukla gives your opponent a better target for their hard removal.

Q3 What is your preferred 1-drop minion of choice?

Q3 In most scenarios, a Cogmaster (with a 2-drop Mech minion in hand) will be your ideal turn 1 play. This increases your damage throughput and possibly allows you to trade up with your opponent’s 2-drop minion.

Q4 How often do you play Quartermaster with only one Silver Hand Recruit in play?

A4 Aside from attrition wars (top-decking), the most common scenarios for playing Quartermaster with only one Silver Hand Recruit in play involve Shaman oppponents. In match-ups where board control is essential to winning, it’s often correct to play for tempo and not worry about [virtual] card advantage. Furthermore, your draw engines reward you for doing so.

Q5 Does running two Quartermasters lead to awkward situations? What would be a good replacement?

Q5 Yes, there will be times where you’ll have two Quartermasters in hand and be unable to play either for much value. However, the primary reason we’re running both copies is to increase the probability of drawing one in the mid/late-game. Loatheb is probably the strongest replacement for the second Quartermaster if you want to avoid these hands.

Hope these answers help! 🙂

Closing

I hope this article has been a quick and enjoyable read for everyone. As always, I look forward to hearing feedback and answering any possible question(s) you may have regarding the deck/game-play. Until next time, good look on your quest to hitting legend with this deck! 🙂

Be sure to check out the remaining two sections of the Divine Wisdom guide.