Top 20 Legend New Meta Deck – Secret Paladin!

You’ll always be able to find my latest Paladin deck-list here. ๐Ÿ™‚ Well Met! I hope all of you are having fun trying out all of the new cards from The Grand Tournament (TGT)! With the release of 132 new cards, I wanted to improve on my signature Top 40 NA Divine Wisdom Deck. Even […]

Deck Update Link

You’ll always be able to find my latest Paladin deck-list here. ๐Ÿ™‚

Introduction

Well Met! I hope all of you are having fun trying out all of the new cards from The Grand Tournament (TGT)! With the release of 132 new cards, I wanted to improve on my signature Top 40 NA Divine Wisdom Deck. Even though I’ve had great success with it (including hitting Legend this August), I always knew it would have a chance to get better some day.

While other Mech-theme decks had synergistic cards such as Goblin Blastmage and Powermace, my Paladin deck only utilized Shielded Minibot as Cobalt Guardian wasn’t good enough. Don’t get me wrong, Shielded Minibot is arguably the best 2-drop in the entire game of Hearthstone. However, it didn’t really reward me for running Mech minions as the only benefit it got was the mana reduction from Mechwarper. The Mech minions only served as a early-game stopgap before I drew into my class-specific mid-range cards.

However, TGT released a new Paladin Secret in the form of Competitive Spirit. Let me stress that this is a 1-mana Power of the Wild that can be fetched via Mad Scientist. However, it has the drawback of forcing you to wait a full turn before you can benefit from it. Don’t get me wrong, this is a very relevant drawback that can be crushing. Yet, the reason why I was excited for the card was primarily due to the fact that I now saw 6 viable Secrets to play alongside Secretkeeper.

Anyone who remembers the pre-nerf Undertaker days will know that a turn 1 minion with growing health is a nightmare to deal with. Moreover, I saw this as a golden opportunity to speed up my deck while many players were slowing theirs down due to the new Inspire mechanic. The results were better than I could have ever imagined as I went 20-1 (including 17 in a row) in my first 21 games (propelling me from Legend 1800+ to 25). After a few additional games, I finally hit Top 20 NA Legend.

Summary

Deck History

Strengths

  • Good against control (anti-control deck)
  • Fast games
  • Late-game scalability
  • Combo potential
  • Consistent
  • Inexpensive to craft (2 Epics, 2380 Dust)
  • Utilizes many class cards (22 total!)
  • Sticky minions

Weakness

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

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.

Secretkeeper Package

Secretkeeper – I don’t say this lightly but I believe Secretkeeper (in this deck) is the best one-drop in the entire game. Yes, this includes Zombie Chow and Mana Wyrm. If you played during the pre-nerf Undertaker days, you’ll remember that a turn one minion that continues to grow in attack AND health quickly snowballs the game out of control. In this deck, Secretkeeper does an excellent imitation of the Undertaker of old as the 1-mana Secrets propel him into mid-range stats territory. I’ve even had games where she ventures into Big Game Hunter territory. Finally, opponents will frequently forget that she gets boosted from opposing Secrets as well!

Avenge – From a pure efficiency standpoint, Avenge is amazing as it grants you 5 points of stats (3 attack + 2 health) for 1 mana. Using the vanilla criterion, this is well above the curve. Aside from obviously boosting Secretkeeper, Avenge also combines nicely with your Divine Shield package (see below) as it effectively doubles the health of the minion. However, make sure to beware of Silence effects.

Competitive Spirit – The addition of Competitive Spirit is what made this deck viable. Most of what needs to be said about Competitive Spirit has already been said above. Before the release of TGT, players had to choose between Redemption and Repentance (Eye for an Eye doesn’t count) if they wanted to run Secretkeeper. Redemption, while potentially good if built around, does not play well with Noble Sacrifice, Muster for Battle, and your hero power. Meanwhile, relying on Repentance to hit a big creature means relying on RNG. In general, these cards aren’t good unless the upside is large enough to make up for it.

Noble Sacrifice – With the removal of the neutral Mech minions, the absence of Annoy-o-Tron would have been very obvious if not for Noble Sacrifice. Remember before the release of the Goblins vs. Gnomes expansion, I had Noble Sacrifice in all of my prior builds. I even stated in my articles that I removed Noble Sacrifice only because Annoy-o-Tron filled the same role while being more durable. Therefore, with the new emphasis on Secrets, Noble Sacrifice has once again swapped places with its distant cousin.

Mad Scientist – There are many players who believe Mad Scientist is the strongest creature in the game. I am part of that camp. Granted, this is more so in the context of Mage and Hunter. However, he is more than capable in a Paladin Secret-based deck as well. Because the deck already runs 6 Secrets, there’s no reason not to run him. With that said, Mad Scientist is Secretkeeper’s sidekick in this deck. He generates card advantage and effectively grants you a free The Coin. However, the difference between Mad Scientist in this deck and others is that he grants a Innervate for Hunter pilots and a Preparation for Mage pilots.

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.

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.

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 Noble Sacrifice, 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.

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-drop minions. Keeping Mad Scientist 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 Noble Sacrifice 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

Muster for Battle + Competitive Spirit: This is similar to the Muster for Battle/Quartermaster combo above. Competitive Spirit rewards you for filling the board up with minions. Fortunately, Muster for Battle is one of the best cards in the game for filling up an empty board. If left unchecked, you get a minimum of three 2/2 minions and a Light’s Justice for 4 mana.

Closing

I want to remind all of you that this is still only the beginning. Top 20 NA from Legend 1800+ is no easy feat in one day. I hope you all enjoyed this article. Take the deck out for a spin and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. Also, I’m very good about replying to comments so leave a message if you have any general questions or suggestions. Until next time, well met! ๐Ÿ™‚