This is Part 3 of the Mastering the Midrange Paladin extensive deck guide series. It is split into 3 main guides:
- Part 1: Beginner Guide
- Part 2: Advanced Strategies, Alternate Cards and Tech Choices
- Part 3: Matchups and Mulligans
This section will serve to discuss the Midrange Paladin match-ups against the other popular decks in the metagame right now.
The Mech Shaman matchup should not be all too difficult. Your early card games such as Zombie Chow and Shielded Minibot will provide bodies that will fend off their early mechwarper, then their ability to put out cheap mechs will severely dampen. The other cards that they have should be easily dealt with by your Truesilver Champion. Threats spider-tank should not be too much of a problem for the Midrange Paladin player.
Besides that, the fel-reaver that is bound to come out should be easily answerable by one of your three drops. Either Big Game Hunter or Aldor Peacekeeper should be able to handle it. Since the Mech Shaman does not run lightning-storm, there is very few ways for the deck to regain board control once it has been lost. Midrange Paladin prides itself on gaining small advantages and snowballing this towards winning the game.
The last way that Mech Shaman can win the game is threw some sort of burst with doomhammer. However, the Midrange Paladin will even have an answer to that with Harrison. There should be very few ways that the Mech Shaman can possibly win the game.
Without Coin: Since you do not have coin, it is essential to get Zombie Chow. The 2/3 body of Zombie Chow will effectively contest a possible early Cogmaster that may come out in their first turn. Outside of that I would look for Shielded Minibot and Muster for Battle. These two cards will provide the ability for the Paladin to be able to take out the Mechwarper before the Mech Shaman gets too much value.
With Coin: Ideally you will aim for having two 2 drops. It does not really matter which of them that you eventually get. The two 2 drops will effectively contest the board on anything that they will happen to have. Ideally you will get two Shielded Minibots but getting Knife Jugglers are not too bad either, just susceptible to their early removal. However, if they use their Crackle and Rockbiter on you minions, then they will often not be playing anything on the same turn.
Grim Patron Warrior
This is of course a difficult matchup for the Midrange Paladin. If the Grim Patron Warrior can get the warsong-commander and grim-patron combination together against a board with any token, then the Midrange Paladin will face a very uphill battle. The newly spawned Grim Patrons will be swarming the board and the Paladin class as a whole has very little that it can do to clear the board.
The key to beating the Grim Patron Warrior is to simply push aggressively in the beginning of the game. Using minions like Knife Juggler and Shielded Minibot are the best ways to accomplish this. The early game for the Midrange Paladin player is much better than that of the Grim Patron Warrior. There is a limited clock for your win condition, and you should try to reach it before they reach theirs.
Without Coin: Again, would try to mulligan for Zombie Chow because you do not have any other turn 1 plays. However, if given either Consecration or Truesilver Champion, I would also keep these in my hand because they effectively deal with the eventual Patron flooding that will come later in the game.
With Coin: Same mulligan strategy as not having the coin except with less emphasis on trying to get Zombie Chow. The one difference is that I would keep Muster for Battle if I were to go first in the matchup but not if I go second. That is one extra turn that you get to kill off your tokens that you otherwise would not get. It is important to have a board with strong minions because at any given time, they can explode on your weaker minions with Grim Patron.
The Tempo Mage matchup is fairly not difficult. The key is to get your early drops out to counteract their Mana Wyrm and Sorcerer’s Apprentice. If you can effectively take them out, you can pretty much win the game from the early turns.
The one nightmare scenario is to not be able to answer any of their early drops and they start to snowball the game in their favor. The answer to this problem is to set up either a huge Consecration or to equip the Truesilver Champion to take out their threats. The one thing to worry about is the randomness of the Unstable Portals. They are completely unpredictable in nature. There is no real way to play around them, so you have to simply hope that they do not get something too ridiculous from them.
Without Coin: You will need to get Zombie Chow and Shielded Minibot to be able to deal with their early Mana Wyrm and Sorcerer’s Apprentice. I would also keep Truesilver Champion to be able to deal with their eventual Flamewaker.
With Coin: In this case I would also keep Knife Juggler in addition to your other early drops. Knife Juggler is not nearly as weak when you have the coin because you can get him out turn 1. Also the coin provides 2 extra damage for the Flamewaker, which is usually crucial in determining whether the Knife Juggler would stay alive during these early turns. Consecration should be a keep too because you will get one extra card, and having this extra be Consecration can help to stabilize the game from turn 4 and onwards.
This is simply one of the best matchups for the Midrange Paladin player. From the start, the Paladin player has the advantage. Similar to all the other matchups above, all it really takes is for the Midrange Paladin player to draw their early drops to counteract the aggression by the Demon Zoo player. The early Flame Imps and Knife Jugglers will just die to Shielded Minibot.
Demon Zoo does have a significantly more menacing late game than most other decks do. However, since the threats are not as plentiful as other decks, the Midrange Paladin player can handle them with tools such as Aldor Peacekeeper and the lone Big Game Hunter in the deck.
Without Coin: It seems a trend doesn’t it for me to recommend Zombie Chow. Against other decks with 1 drops, the best counterplay is to play your own 1 drop. Would also aggressively mulligan for Shielded Minibot and Consecration
With Coin: Going for the double 2 drop is usually the best mulligan. AKA turn 1 2 drop into turn 2 2 drop. In this case, there is less emphasis in having to keep the Zombie Chow and more emphasis placed into getting Truesilver Champion. Again Shielded Minibot and Consecration are the real important cards in this matchup.
Midrange Paladin is one of the only archetypes that can beat Midrange Druid after their turn 2 Wild Growth opener. The reason is that the Paladin class as a whole has great comeback mechanics. The Druid player at most can play one real threat per turn. The Midrange Paladin has a great number of options in order to target these individual threats. The one thing that makes the Midrange Druid matchup manageable is that their minions are not necessarily too threatening when they come on board.
Things such as Ancient of Lore and Druid of the Claw have bulky bodies, but a simple Aldor Peacekeeper or equipping Truesilver Champion plus trading in a minion can usually take out these bodies. Also anything above 7 attack such as Dr. Boom will get taken out by Big Game Hunter. The Midrange Paladin deck also runs several taunts which can prevent it from dying to the typical Force of Nature + Savage Roar shenanigans. This is all after accounting that the Midrange Druid player does in fact get Wild Growth in their opening hand.
If the Midrange Druid does not have a ridiculous hand, and instead has one of their clunkier hands, then the game is essentially won. All Druid decks are reliant on mana manipulation and if they do not get it, then your early threats such as Knife Juggler and Shielded Minibot will oftentimes set up such an advantage that they can simply not come back from. It is key to bait out Swipe so that you can get Muster for Battle value later on in the game. The one potential problem is that they will oftentimes have large taunts of their own such as Ancient of War. You do not necessarily want to waste you silence on it because of Sylvanas. Therefore if their deck is somehow taunt heavy, the Midrange Paladin player will most likely have to rely on some form of removal utilizing Equality or to just face tank the damage with minions and weapons.
Without and With Coin: Outside of the above decks, there is few reason to why there should be a difference in the mulligan strategy while facing Midrange Druid. You want to be able to counteract their early threats. Therefore, the cards of utmost importance are Aldor Peacekeeper, Truesilver Champion and to a certain extent Shielded Minibot and Blessing of Kings.
I am quite ambivalent in my sentiments against this matchup. Unlike some classes, the Midrange Paladin is not necessarily entirely screwed in this matchup. However, the Midrange Paladin is certainly not favored by any means. What makes this matchup tolerable is that there are a substantial amount of heals available in the deck. Cards like Antique Healbot, Lay on Hands and Truesilver Champion will oftentimes provide the needed heal late in the game to sustain past the enormous amount of burn.
The one and obvious problem that the deck has is that it does not provide nearly enough pressure on the Freeze Mage. Oftentimes it will take a great amount of effort to pop the Ice Block. Thinking about it, if the Freeze Mage gets all their defensive things out, the Midrange Paladin player will most likely have to go through a minimum of 46 health points for the Mage hero. In what scenario is it easy for Paladin out of all classes to deal 46 damage to one target through the game.
The minions are just too weak. So essentially the Freeze Mage cannot kill you but you cannot kill them either. This matchup is a large fight of attrition for both sides. The key is to be able to account for every single of their burn cards so you can play around with your health total. It is okay to face tank some damage early in the game because the even Alexstraza will take you to 15 anyways, Just do not get too low where the Freeze Mage can burn you.
Without and With Coin: Again, in this type of matchup, there is virtually no difference to who goes first so the mulligan strategy should not be too different. Just try to get all the possible heals and silences in your deck in your hand so you can answer anything that they will choose to play. Therefore Truesilver Champion, Antique Healbot and Ironbeak Owl are the important things to try to get from the beginning. Other cards have less impact in the matchup. If you do indeed decide to tech Kezan Mystic, then that is the card that you should be aggressively looking for. If that is not the case, then just follow the aforementioned advice.
This might just simply be the worst matchup in the game for the Paladin. The Oil Rogue does not care about board control. They have a multitude of ways to eliminate your board. The key to beating most Oil Rogue decks is to put enough pressure on them to the point where they have to waste their removal on some of your early drops. So here the key is to get cards such as Shielded Minibot and Zombie Chow to immediately start the clock on them.
The problem is that they do not have too much trouble usually dealing with your early aggression. Cards like Backstab and SI:7 Agent can establish the board for them while also killing off your own weak threats. This is usually what happens during the early stages of the game. However, going into midgame and late game, the Midrange Paladin is usually put in an even worse situation. The Oil Rogue now has the ability to both destroy your board and do massive amounts of damage to your face!
This is about as bad as it gets for Midrange Paladin. The one saving grace is that sometimes they just won’t draw their early outs and you can put a clock on them. More than not though, the Oil Rogue will have some form of way to deal with your aggression and you will end up both down on the board and in card advantage. Right now there are not too many Oil Rogues in the meta so this matchup can mostly be avoided for the most part.
In this mulligan just hope that you get coin so that they do not get it. I would prioritize just going for a standard curve so being able to play something for every turn that you have. Outside of that, maybe tech in a Harrison Jones, that would significantly help the matchup. There is nothing in particular that the Midrange Paladin should be looking for because nothing really helps. Just have to hope that they mulligan poorly leading to a free win for you.
Be sure to check out the other 2 sections of the Midrange Paladin guide:
- Part 1: Beginner Guide
- Part 2: Advanced Strategies, Alternate Cards and Tech Choices
- Part 3: Matchups and Mulligans
Co-authored by Anthony – June 21st.