27 June 2014 - 20:25

Trix Control Paladin Deck

Dot Esports

Well Met, Hearthstone Players reader, Vincent Sarius here with another oddball deck. With the demise of Hunter, we've seen a fresh wave of Meta-shifting innovation coursing throughout Hearthstone. While I took the majority of May off, I've been climbing EU and NA with a variety of new decks.

In particular the Modern Watcher deck on NA, and this, what I am calling 'Trix' Paladin on EU. To explain the name, Trix was an immensely powerful Control-Combo deck in Magic: The Gathering, and one of the decks that truly 'broke the meta' by focusing on massive life-gain until it drew it's Combo. Trix Paladin seeks to mimic this style of play.

So first we have to ask ourselves, why should we play Paladin over any of the other Control choices. Such as Handlock, Ramp Druid, or any of the variant of Control Warrior that regularly roam the ladder. Well, Paladin has some of both the most devastating and abundant removal. Equalityis in my opinion the strongest singular card in Hearthstone, it's one of the few ways to deal with the horrifying Molten Giant+ Molten Giant+ Defender of Argusplay from a Handlock. It also has the tools to deal with turn 4 Mountain Giantwith it's very cheap pseudo-removal in Aldor Peacekeeper.

Later into the game, it has incredibly efficient removal/burst in the form of Avenging Wrathor Truesilver Champion(to deal with those midgame threats).

The other advantage, is that Paladin has immense amounts of Healing. Its Truesilver heals, Holy Lightheals, Guardian of Kingsheals, and of course, Lay on Hands is an immense heal. This means it is actually very hard to put Paladin into the death-range of your combo, they can consistently keep themselves at a high life total in the late game when most of those high-burst combos become a possibility. In essence, between it's great removal options and it's great life manipulation, Paladin is the purest Control-based class in Hearthstone. Coupled with the recent popularity of Divine Favor Aggro, this offers a unique potential for Paladin to surge thru the ranks.

Now, what are some of the problems with Paladin? It's early game cards are absolutely terrible, it has no way of gaining early-board control, but most of it's cards in the early mana points relies on board control. Argent Protector is a very powerful card, but it's very unwieldy in a class without a good 1 mana Class-Exclusive like Flame Imp/Mana Wyrm. This part of Paladin is impossible to overcome in the current card pool without committing to an Aggro style of gameplay.

The other major problem is Paladin's lack of a card-draw engine that is actually usable. Blessing of Wisdom is unusable in Paladin, it's simply too slow and reliant on board control. The only other built-in source of card-draw is the turn consuming Lay on Hands. Lay on Hands is a strong card, but it requires you to have already established some presence on the board before being used, in a sense it solidifies your stabilization, but it does not stabilize on it's own, which is something often desired from high mana cost cards.

Taking into mind these elements of Paladin, I set out to craft a Control deck that I felt could present in itself at least a 60% win-rate, preferably higher. I've been looking over a lot of old decks from across TCGs, and Trix really inspired me to try and recreate the iconic deck in Hearthstone.

While nothing nearly as powerful as the combinations achievable with Donate exist, I feel the seemingly endless stream of healing coupled with a high-damage burst combo comes close enough. Note that much like my previous deck, this is by no means cheap, and unlike Watcher Priest, it really does not have good substitutes in cheaper cards.

Card Choices

Blessing of Might

We start off with a card that may leave a lot of you instantly questioning my sanity. Blessing of Might, is in all honesty, not that bad of a card....when used for a specific purpose. It's essentially a less effective Power Overwhelming or Combo'd Cold Blood, by exactly 1 damage. In a Leeroy-Faceless combo play, this leads to a 2 damage deduction over the Warlock's potential kill range, but this is simply something we have to live with.

Blessing of Might opens up the possibility for a fast-close to a game, something which traditionally Paladin lacks. It can also be used with BGH to push a creature into the kill-zone in match-ups where you are unlikely to need the full 18 burst combo.

Bloodmage Thalnos

Easily one of the best Legendaries in the game. While very unassuming, Thalnos is key to wiping out certain creatures picked precisely because they avoid common Sweeper/AoE breakpoints. While usually an Amani Berserker serves as a pseudo anti-aoe card, with Thalnos in play, this allows for Consecrate to wipe him out along with the rest of the Zoolocks board.

Thalnos can also in a pinch be cycled, or combo'd with Avenging Wrath to hit for just that little bit more damage that may be the difference between a win and a loss. I feel with how good a lot of the Paladin damage spells are, Thalnos should be run in nearly every Control Paladin deck.

Equality

Equality

As I said in my opening, I think Equality is the strongest Sweeper in Hearthstone. The possibility of removing 20+ health off of the opponents board is staggering. Especially when the most common Sweep (Wild Pyromancer+Equality), only costs 4(!!) Mana. This allows for you to later in the game slam down both your Sweeping combo, and a upper-midrange minion like Cairne, Sylvanas, or simply kill them with Leeroy+Blessing of Might. No other class has the potential to do this.

Mana efficiency is the deciding factor in removal for whether the card is played, or is not played. While Assassinate kills the creature, it is not played in most Rogue lists, while it's temporary cousin Sap is. The reason for this is simply because 5 Mana is likely to consume your entire turn, or at least greatly limit your options due to 5 Mana itself being a relatively weak mana point (Excluding of course stuff like Faceless Manipulator->Assassinate). 6 or 4 (If using Equality+Consecrate for an a-symmetric sweep) however, are often chock full of valueful cards.

Wild Pyromancer

This card is great in Paladin and Priest. It serves as a potential combo piece to Equality, or a potential combo piece to Consecrate instead of (or in combination with) Thalnos. It's stats are respectable and in certain match-ups, in particular against very aggressive decks, it might be better to run this guy out as just a vanilla 2-drop instead of holding on to him for a combo. All-in-all, a marvelous card. In a prior version of the deck I ran two Hammer of Wraths, which made him that much better. I think much like Thalnos, every Control Paladin deck should run these guys.

Aldor Peacekeeper

Aldor Peacekeeper

Solid stats, terrifying effect. Aldor Peacekeeper is a 3/3, with a free Humility tacked on. Being able to nullify a large mid or lategame threat with 3 Mana is absolutely huge. While Humility itself is a debatable card to run, when combined with a body, it becomes significantly better. Knowing when it's the right time to run out Aldor and when it's better to hold on to him is very important in learning to play Paladin. However, this card is simply irreplacable for what it does.

Big Game Hunter

This card is a 'Tech' choice for dealing with Handlock and Control Warrior. Many decks have been opting to run two of this overeager dwarf in recent weeks, I feel this is overkill in the case of Paladin simply because the class has such abundant built-in Removal. However, having another 3 Mana card that can deal with a turn 4 Mountain Giant is very important. That is one of the most decisive turns in any game vs. a Handlock player. "Can I deal with this", if the answer is "No", you are likely to lose.

Improving our odds of being able to efficiently dispatch the lumbering monstrosity helps push our overall win rate up against that particular deck. It's also very effective in dealing with the stable of Legendaries run in Control Warrior, in particular it hits an enraged Grommash, Alexstraza, and Baron Geddon.

Earthen Ring Farseer

Earthen Ring Farseer

This is our actual 3 Mana minion. It's very rare that you will play an Aldor on turn 3, and it's I believe almost impossible that you will play a BGH on turn 3. Earthen Ring helps keep our life-total a little higher while also dealing with 1-2 early-drops from an Aggro player.

Later into the game the directed healing can be used to make advantageous trades if you are already holding on to another form of healing like Lay on Hands. Often, a turn 6 Cairne, turn 7 Earthen Ring+Truesilver is enough to stabilize for a turn 8 Lay on Hands for a set of incredibly Mana Efficient turns.

Consecration

This is one of those cards you always see in every Paladin deck, and there's always two of them. Consecration is a very boring card, but it is also very effective. This can destroy the board of a Murloc or Zoo player which are always worth keeping in mind when designing a deck. It's slightly weaker against decks like Token Druid, Tempo Rogue, or Watcher Druid, much less other Control decks, but this is precisely why we run Spell Power for the midrangey decks, and against Control, it can still devastate their early drops, or it can be saved till the later stages and used as a combo with Equality.

It's worth noting, that this can be used in tandem with Thalnos and an on-the-board Wild Pyromancer to kill a turn 5 Prep-Conceal Gadgetzan Auctioneer. Consecration is flexible, and great.

Leeroy Jenkins

Leeroy Jenkins

I think by now every who has ever touched Hearthstone knows what this incredibly annoying card does. Leeroy is Fireball in a world where Spell Power scales along the same line as minion buffs, we do not live in such a world. Leeroy is in our deck to enable closing games out as soon as we are at 10 Mana and our opponent at 18 Health or below. This is something which I do not believe Paladin decks in the past have explored, but taking a look at Handlock, we can see just how effective this particular Burst potential is when run in a dedicated Control deck.

Our particular combo is Leeroy-Blessing of Might-Faceless Manipulator, a very similar set-up to Handlocks Leeroy-Power Overwhelming-Faceless Manipulator.

Sen'jin Shieldmasta

Every deck nowadays needs some source of Taunt. Whether that be via Watcher packages running Sunfury Protector and Defender of Argus, or in Ramp Druid's case, a billion Class Taunts, you generally need some way of slowing down aggression or complicating combo-kills. In our case, since our deck is already very top heavy, I opted against my favored Sunwalkers and instead went with Shieldmastas.

The reason we aren't running the more popular Defender of Argus in this slot instead, is that we are actually very light on creatures we can play before turn 4, which is when ideally we slam down the Shieldmasta if we aren't forced to react to some threat. Shieldmasta is again, a very sturdy and reliable card that doesn't require much investment from our hand to do his job. Which is ideal in a deck so light on card-draw.

Truesilver Champion

Truesilver Champion

Much like Consecration, every Paladin deck in Hearthstone history has ran two of these blades. 8 damage and 4 Health for 4 Mana and X Health is amazing value. In fact, it's probably in the top 5 'value' cards across all classes.

There's just no denying how powerful Truesilver is. It's so powerful that often opposing players may use their Acid Ooze or Harrison Jones on the Truesilver, limiting the chances of your Ashbringer being easily countered. In a dire situation, this can be used on the opponents face to push you just out of a dangerous health range such as 20 vs. Handlock, 16 vs. Rogue, or 12 vs. a Warrior.

Azure Drake

Another somewhat unusual pick, but as I have mentioned, our spells scale fantastically with Spell Power, and Azure Drake is one of the best Spell Power minions in the game. Not only that, but we have card draw problems, Azure Drake is essentially a card-free minion as it cycles itself innately. This allows us to maintain Tempo while also gaining card advantage. Azure Drake is just overall a fantastic card and one of the few good ones in the 5 Mana slot.

Faceless Manipulator

Faceless Manipulator

Faceless is just an amazing card in any Control vs. Control match-up. It's very likely to find a high-value target, in which case it becomes a very Mana Efficient play since you are saving anywhere from 3 to 4 Mana over your opponent for an equivalent amount in value. In our deck, Faceless also serves as a combo-piece to quickly burn down our opponent.

It's such a good card that I opt to run two of it, mainly for the flexibility. When you only have one Faceless and you run a Combo reliant on him, you are far less likely to play the card as a pseudo-removal/counter, however when you have two of them, you can use the card more liberally, knowing that the second one is still in your deck. This also increases the probability that we draw our Combo.

Avenging Wrath

Wrath is all around a solid spell. It can combo with Equality, it can act as a large burst of direct-damage burn to our opponents face, or it can serve as stand-lone clear. It's very expensive however, which is why we only run one of the card. Unfortunately, Avenging Wrath does not scale as well with Spell Power as Consecrate. Whereas one Spell Power increases Consecrates damage to 150%, with Avenging Wrath it merely adds 12.5% damage. Nonetheless, this card is simply so strong that I opt to run two of them.

Cairne Bloodhoof

Cairne Bloodhoof

Great value and a fantastic stabilizer who causes a very complicated board for the opponent. Cairne is another case of a stand-alone card. You plop him down, and he can do his job all by himself. In our deck, he also serves as what I call 'Magnet', a card designed to provoke a particular type of response so that this response is not available for later creatures.

In particular, Silence. Cairne is rather vulnerable to silence, becoming a grossly over-costed Yeti. However, the Paladin Class Legendary, Tirion Fordring is very weak to Silence and nothing else, he's very hard to remove with direct-damage, and even hard-removal such as Assassinate still leads to the Ashbringer coming out. Transformation effects like Polymorph and Hex fall under the same category as Silence, just stronger versions of it.

Sylvanas Windrunner

I honestly prefer Sylvanas to Cairne in most of my decks. She is a colossal pain to deal with in most situations, causing a variety of sub-optimal maneuvers to minimize the havoc her Deathrattle can cause. As yet another removal option attached to a respectable 5/5 body, Sylvanas is in a sense the Aldor Peacekeepers big sister.

Of course, as explained above with Cairne, since she is such a devastating card when her Deathrattle goes off, she is very likely to Magnet out Silence or Transformation effects. If the opponent opts to hold on to them, it makes his life a lot harder immediately.

Guardian of Kings

Guardian of Kings

Another burst of healing and a relatively large body rolled into one. The Guardian is overall a somewhat mediocre card in comparison to what normally roams in the higher mana slots, but he still has a great stat distribution and helps stabilize by both presenting a threat and un-doing perhaps one to two turns of damage to our Hero.

Lay on Hands

THE big daddy of healing. Lay on Hands is immense in what it offers in a single card. It is essentially a card which extends all manners of longevity for the Paladin. It heals a huge chunk of health and it refills your hand, likely drawing you the cards you need to seal the game.

However, this card also requires a certain finesse to use, you absolutely must have a board presence before you can spend essentially an entire turn drawing cards. Thankfully durable cards like Cairne and Guardian of Kings make this a possibility. Try to always get the most value out of this, you should very rarely use it when you aren't healing for the maximum amount.

Tirion Fordring

Arguably the best Class Legendary, Tirion is a colossal pain. He's very difficult to remove with his Divine Shield, he can't be ignored because he has Taunt, and his stats mean he trades 1:1 with every single other high-cost Legendary when factoring in his Divine Shield. On top of all that, he also gives the very powerful Ashbringer upon death, which in itself can usually 3:1. Tirion is basically a card which can regularly 5:1, which is simply colossal value. He also dodges the BGH bullet by being just under the cut-off point.

Tirion is off-set by a very glaring vulernability to silence and transformation effects, which we seek to get rid of with our 6-drop Legendaries due to their own weaknesses to similar effects. All-in-all, a simply marvelous Legendary.

Alexstrasza

Alexstrasza

I didn't use to hold Alexstraza in too high regard, but over time I've come to the conclusion that she is the best Neutral Legendary after Leeroy. She has a very huge immediate impact on the game with her Battlecry, her base body is very respectable at 8/8, and she has flexibility without any random elements.

In Trix she serves a dual function of being both the set-up for our Leeroy Combo, or simply being used as a large dose of healing to avoid death while presenting a huge threat. Of course, she is very expensive and in the current meta is likely to eat a BGH bullet as our deck does not have any other 7-or-higher attack minions, so she should be looked at primarily as a spell pretending to be a minion.

Sideboard

In my previous article, I listed cards which did not make the final cut. This time, I'm going to examine more what cards should be slotted in if expecting particular match-ups or meta-shifts, and of course what you can take out from the deck to slot them in.

Harrison Jones

Harrison Jones

In a meta with a very high percentage of Warriors, Shamans, and Rogues this card should be slotted in. A Faceless Manipulator can instead be slotted out since a lot of Shamans means there is likely to be few Handlocks, which are one of the cases where you really want a huge arsenal of removal. Harrison alone usually causes the meta to shift simply due to how game-winning he is when used on a Gorehowl, Doomhammer, or Assassin's Blade.

Loot Hoarder

In very aggressive metas, these should be inserted into the deck in favor of Azure Drakes. The primary reason being that you can seldom afford to simply summon a Recruit. Loot Hoarder preserves your hand while allowing you to deal with one of their minions. Alternatively, when the aggro is very heavy on Hunter, you can instead opt for Argent Squires since a large amount of what Aggro Hunter runs is 1 health, allowing the Argent Squire easy 2-for-1s.

Sunwalker

Sunwalker

If the meta is very, very heavy on Combo decks. A pair of Sunwalkers should be put in to present very difficult to remove obstacles for the burst. You can remove a BGH and an Azure Drake for them, potentially removing the second Azure Drake for a second Holy Light or Coldlight Oracle to preserve the card draw you get from double Drakes or add a bit more health to ease staying out of the kill-range.

Abomination

Much like Sunwalkers, this can help slow down or even stop the burst of a Combo deck while offering a way of dealing with Aggro decks as well, this is particularly good against decks which are Aggro-Combo, such as Cycle Hunter or Tempo Rogue variants running a Leeroy + Shadowstep combo.

This can be slotted in by cutting one of the Faceless Manipulators along with the Big Game Hunter since these are often dead cards against these particular decks. I prefer Aboms vs. Baron Geddon in Paladin due to the lack of consistent, non-card healing in the class as well as the Aboms acting as a net-gain of 2 health (+4 from Taunt, -2 from the Deathrattle), these cards can also Magnet out Silences since they can be so devastating against particular board states.

The Black Knight

The Black Knight

This can be run to specifically counter Ramp Druid. Due to their immense numbers of taunt minions, TBK is nearly always going to find a target. Likewise, this card is very good when Aggro is dominant as a counter to Midrange/Control decks which are likely to go heavier on their Taunt than usual. I've also been experimenting with using this as a tech choice to help handle Sunshine Hunter. The usual card to drop in favor of TBK is Avenging Wrath or an Azure Drake, possibly Cairne.

Spellbreaker

Good against most decks since some Silence target is nearly always present, I seem to do fine without it since Cairne is easily neutralized with an Aldor Peacekeeper, however if you do feel you need the silence, swap out an Earthen Ring in my opinion.

Hammer of Wrath

I'm a fan of Hammer, it's slightly cost inefficient on it's damage, but being a Cantrip helps us again, keep our hand stocked with potential Answers. I'm not sure what exactly I would cut, but I feel like it would probably be an Avenging Wrath and Alexstraza, overall pushing the curve of the deck down.

It does scale quite well with Spellpower, increasing by 33% per point. This would be quite useful against Sunshine Hunter (hitting Houndmaster for an easy 2:1), or some of the other midrange focused decks as well as allow us to combo out a ghetto Swipe with Wild Pyromancer if need be.

Coldlight Oracle

Coldlight Oracle

This is more of a preference and I go back and forth on this card. Generally I put him in instead of an Azure Drake when the meta is very Control heavy. The reasoning being these match-ups are often decided by Answer Flexibility, in other words, whoever runs out of answers to their opponents threats first loses.

Since Paladin has such a problem with card-draw, Coldlight Oracle is an easy stop-gap fix for this problem. While he does symmetrically draw, our deck has more answers built-in than any other Control deck, potentially dealing with 9 high-value threats if Equality only hits one each. In this sense, so long as our answers are drawn or in our hand, we can't lose due to our superior number of Answers.

General Strategy

As an archetype, this deck is firmly in the Control-Combo sphere. It doesn't seek to overwhelm the opponent with lategame creatures like Ramp Druid or a more traditional Control deck, instead it seeks to keep the game locked down and respond to the opponents threats until turn 9 and 10 where ideally it can Alexstraza and follow it up with a Leeroy-BoM-Faceless for the kill. In that sense it's built heavily on stalling. Whether that be from healing, taunt minions, or simply reactive answers.

Generally you will be preserving cards in the early-game unless heavily pressured to play a minion, as such, turn 2 Recruit, turn 3 Recruit are viable plays in most situations. If you are under pressure, throwing out a Wild Pyromancer for a 1:1 trade and following it up with an Earthen Ring Farseer is definitely superior. You shouldn't shy away from 1 for 1 trades against Midrange or Aggro decks as we can eventually out-tempo and out-pace them with our later minions. Against Control, you should always seek to get the most out of every trade.

On turn 4, there is a major decision to make as to whether Sen'jin or Truesilver is the better option since a lot of the time they accomplish similar tasks, slowing down or abating aggression.

Sen'jin Shieldmasta

In general, Sen'jin should be thrown out against Aggro decks while Truesilver against Midrange and Control due to it's superior 'value' generation, assuming there is a target which you can hit with Truesilver straight away. It's particularly good against Control Warrior since a lot of the time Armorsmith and Frothing Berserker are difficult to get rid of with their uncommon 4 Health. Since they are such low cost minions though, stronger forms of removal are ill-advised. Truesilver deals with a turn 3 Frothing perfectly. It's especially good if you have an Azure Drake in hand since it can allow you to clear your opponents 3/4 drop, and also clear the next one allowing Azure to land on empty board. Yeti can complicate this situation, but outside of the Modern Watcher, few decks seem to run Yeti nowadays.

The mulligan is essentially universal across all classes and decks with the exception of some 4 Mana cards, you want to toss back anything which is over 4 or Holy Light, Blessing of Might, and keep most other cards. With the 4 Mana cards, you want to keep Consecration against Warlocks, Hunters, Paladins, and Mages while against Rogues, Warriors, Shamans, Priests, and Druids I tend to keep Truesilver. Sen'jin should always be kept as well as Wild Pyromancer and Earthen Ring Farseer, Equality is also almost always kept except against slower classes like Druid and Warrior.

Druid of the Claw

Matchups

Ramp Druid: 6/10 (Good)

This match-up comes down heavily to the Druid's draws. If he ramps into his Sunwalkers, Druids of the Claw, and Ancients of War very quickly, you will be in deep trouble if he can consistently throw them down. However, even then, you can deal with Druid of the Claw with a minion and half a Truesilver, Sunwalker is relatively vulnerable to Avenging Wrath (especially if a Recruit breaks it's shield), while Ancient of War is very vulnerable to Aldor Peacekeeper since even if a Keeper of the Grove is used to counter the effect with a silence, this negates the +5 health the Ancient gains with it's battlecry.

The other issue is generally getting an opening in which to unleash the combo, but this can often be facilitated with our abundant sweep. Against Cenarius, it's often better to use just a regular Consecration since with his 5 attack, he doesn't exude a terrible amount of pressure on us.

The main problem is the Druid's Nourish and Ancient of Lore which can consistently refill his hand, you really want to try and make as many of your trades efficient. In particular, the timing on Equality can decide the game, you want to hold off as much as you can before throwing it down unless you identify that your opponent is playing around it heavily.

Mountain Giant

Handlock: 9/10 (Great)

There's not much that a Handlock can really do against us assuming both sides have good draws. While our deck does lack Silence, we can deal with his early Giants with our own Aldor Peacekeeper or BGH while playing around Molten Giants is very easy since we have such a great burst potential. In some games you want to actually heal the Handlock instead of yourself to keep his life total high enough to where the Molten Giants are dead cards before eventually finishing him off.

The most difficult opening to deal with is the coin-Ancient Watcher into Ironbeak Owl, which generally demands an Aldor Peacekeeper response immediately, this is fine since with such an opening, a turn 4 or turn 5 Mountain Giant is impossible, while by turn 6 they are relatively easy to deal with. The main thing to keep in mind is their burst potential, as the game goes into the later stages, whenever you are below 20 Health without a Taunt up, you are possibly dead.

Since Handlock can draw so many of their cards so easily, this is a consistent threat. Try to hide behind Sen'jin or even better, Tirion and keep yourself as close to 30 as possible.

Fiery War Axe

Control Warrior: 9/10 (Great)

As I've mentioned through-out this article, the Paladin has all of the tools necessary to deal with Control Warrior. They are a class which is intrinsically light on removal, having only 5 sources if they run Brawl. Since we do not play many low-drop creatures, the Fiery War Axe drops to being nearly a dead card while our own Truesilvers are perfectly suited to dealing with their threats.

Sen'jin is also well poised to deal with Kor'Krons as he both kills them, but doesn't die himself in a single attack. As with Handlock, their burst is always a threat, however the overall burst potential is lower in Control Warrior, requiring a turn to set-up with Alexstraza, while still not achieving lethal with just the Grommash. This shouldn't be a very hard match-up however if you want to really seal it, run a Harrison off the sideboard and save it for their Gorehowl, this makes the match-up shift to almost a 90% in favor of Trix.

Gadgetzan Auctioneer

Miracle Rogue: 8/10 (Great)

Much like with Ramp Druid, this is heavily dependant on the Miracle Rogue players draws, however, Paladin is one of the few classes who can relatively easily deal with a turn 5 Preparation-Conceal Gadgetzan Auctioneer. Our options are either Wild Pyromancer+Equality, Wild Pyromancer on board+Thalnos+Consecration, or Avenging Wrath and praying. Being able to neutralize the Auctioneer ruins Miracle's entire game-plan.

If you can bait out the Saps prior to Tirion coming down, this should seal the game completely in your favor. Against the Malygos variant, saving an Equality for Malygos himself is very important as is keeping your life total high since you can't rely on Tirion to shut their damage potential down. Another advantage in this match-up is the Hero Powers, Paladins hero power is very good against Rogues, effectively being a Gain 1 Health, Deal 1 Damage, this prevents the slow chip damage of the Miracle Rogue from adding up to an easier lethal.

As with our previous two decks, knowing their damage potential is very important, so I shall break it down by Mana Points. As a note, the most likely one is the 16 or 20 damage combos as the ones higher are much more intensive in card amounts.

4 Mana: 10 Damage Leeroy with Preparation-Cold Blood or 14 with double Preparation-Cold Blood.

5 Mana: Same as 4 but with 1 less card investment in either situation.

6 Mana: 12 Damage with Leeroy-Shadowstep-Leeroy or 16 Damage with Leeroy-Shadowstep-Leeroy-Preparation-Cold Blood, 20 Damage with double Preparation-double Cold Blood

7 Mana: Same as 6 but with 1 less card

8 Mana: 18 damage with Leeroy-Shadowstep-Leeroy-Shadowstep-Leeroy, 22 Damage with a Cold Blood added, 26 damage with double cold Blood, 30 Damage with double Cold Blood-Preparation-Eviscerate or 34 damage with double Preparation-double Eviscerate.

I will say however, that this can still be an un-winnable match-up if Miracle Rogue draws well. We aren't really a deck that can apply early pressure or surge our health into absurd numbers like Control Warrior.

If you really need to beat Miracle, the sideboarding in Sunwalkers and cutting Alexstraza along with an Avenging Wrath should help you out, substituting out Cairne or Sylvanas for Harrison will additionally help the match-up. In the Main Deck I opt not to run these cards right now since as of the time of writing, I've primarily come across the standard range of Aggro and Handlock, with only slight amounts of other decks though Shaman seems to be on the rise.

Voidwalker

Zoo Warlock: 3/10 (Below Average)

This is a tough one if not possibly the toughest one. Zoo is both fast, and durable. It's unlikely you can sweep away their board with a single Consecrate, and our options earlier are not fantastic. You can be very liberal with your use of Equality here, it's always worth noting that Zoo's greatest weakness is in re-establishing board control.

If you can manage to wrest it away before dying, and solidify it over the next turn, you are very favored to win the game so long as you keep your life total above 9 to 13 to avoid a Doomguard-Soulfire, not that this is the easiest thing to pull off seeing as how both cards Discard. Unless you are holding an Equality, use Wild Pyro as a regular 2-drop, if you are holding Equality, it's best to hold-off, since a turn 4 board reset is a very powerful swing in momentum.

Aggro Mage & Aggro Paladin: 6/10 (Good)

Unlike Zoo, these do not generally run very durable minions. So long as you can clear away their board with either an early Wild Pyromancer-Holy Light, or Consecration, you'll be in good shape hiding behind Sen'jin. They do have slightly better reach, sporting Fireballs, Ice Lances, and Avenging Wraths, but so long as you can keep your health total relatively high, you should be in good shape. Against Aggro Paladin in particular you are well poised to clear their board again and again.

Other Decks of Note

Sunshine Hunter, Face Hunter, Bloodlust Shaman, Midrange Shaman, Aggro Warrior, and Priests. I've simply not faced these enough with this deck to form a strong opinion. However, I'm lead to believe that both Aggro Warrior and Sunshine are heavily favored against Trix, fortunately Midrange Hunter is very rare to see. The issue with Aggro Warrior is just how fast they can burn you down, their reach past taunts, and the health totals of their minions generally make Consecration a turn 6 play with Thalnos.

Budget Replacements

As I said in the foreword, this deck simply does not function without the entire array of cards in the main decklist and ideally, it should be able to tap on it's sideboard. With the complete sideboard however, this deck is essentially unstoppable in the current meta so long as you can properly identify trends and switch cards when needed. This is something drastically different from how I played prior Seasons up to Legendary where I generally swapped entire decks, however, with so many good match-ups and it's bad match-ups being so unpopular, this puts Trix in a great position.

Closing

Trix Paladin is a very modern take on Control decks in Hearthstone, approaching the class from a drastically different position. It favors high-card quality and internal synergies in favor of simply burying the opponent in Giants and Legendaries like prior decks. All-in-all it presents in itself an excellent fusion of delibating removal and control, high durability, and a powerful burst combo.

The main reason to play this over something like Handlock or Control Warrior, is precisely because it has some of their core elements, while being stronger against them than many other decks. In particular, this deck has very few random elements, it can essentially be expected to perform roughly the same in every game that you play, something I personally feel is integral.

I hope you enjoyed reading this guide. As always, you can reach me at castlesandpens@gmail.com or @VSarius on Twitter!

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