Hearthstone is becoming one of my favorite games at the moment, since I’m stuck with free-to-play games until I get back on my feet. Unlike World of Warcraft, where I favored a Rogue and Shaman, in Hearthstone, I’ve been rolling Priest and Paladin. Here’s one of my current Pally deck builds.
Costing only one gem (thus able to play on the first hand), Blessing of Wisdom draws a card every time the selected minion attacks. The minion doesn’t have to be on your side, either. I keep two of these in my decks at all times, as they turn out to be quite useful. No matter how early an opponent plays a card I can’t beat, I can always bless them and bulk up my hand a bit. Blessing of Wisdom is a game-changing card that can quickly turn the tide of any match.
A secret, Eye for an Eye ensures whenever your hero takes damage, the enemy hero takes equal damage. While this card is never wasted, it’s always nice when you can slip it into a crucial moment to make your opponent kill themselves on accident. Either way, a selection of secrets gives your Pally a variety of attack positions. Try to keep a minion, weapon, and secret on the board as often as possible to keep your opponent off-balance.
In some deck builds, I keep two Noble Sacrifice cards on hand, as I find them very useful. It reroutes the next incoming attack to a 2/1 Defender. Hearthstone‘s programming tends to distribute decks evenly, but a well-placed Noble Sacrifice (especially a second one) can really throw off your opponent’s game. I love pairing this card with Redemption to keep the Defender on the board, again throwing the enemy off their game plan and gaining control of the table.
Redemption can rez any minion that dies while the Secret is active. The minion only gets 1 health, but it can be useful in throwing off a plan of attack, especially when used in conjunction with a high-damage minion or with Noble Sacrifice, as described above. Silver Hand Recruits seem to be unaffected by the Secret at this time, as are minions that die from your attack.
It takes some time to master when to play Repentance. It changes the health of a minion your opponent summons to 1, which is very useful against high-health minions, especially during end-game. Repentance should be used when you have a feeling your opponent is about to play something big. The minion will be reduced to a state even a lowly Silverhand Recruit can handle.
One of my favorite starter cards is Clockwork Gnome. From the Gnomes and Goblins expansion, this 1/1 Mech minion adds a random one-cost spell to your hand. The spells tend to complement your opponent’s deck more than your own, although I do find them useful. In addition, Clockwork Gnome aggros Silence, which is great to have in a 1/1 card, weakening your opponent’s hand for later strong minions.
A Secretkeeper is a must-have for any Paladin deck build, as it only costs 1 gem and can be easily upgraded to be deadly. It’s prone to silence, so be careful stacking spells on a Secretkeeper before it’s ready to attack, as you’ll likely find yourself pouring too many resources into a doomed minion (think of it as investing in penny stocks).
Some will argue you can’t have too many healing spells with a Paladin, but I disagree. I only keep one Holy Light on me at any given time. Any hardcore Blizzard fan knows DPS is a science – healing is an art, and I’m a minimalist artist. Having a quick +6 health in your hand gives you confidence to take some hits with your hero and get him into the battlefield.
Taunt and Divine Shield make Annoy-o-Tron a favorite tank of mine. In a Pally Deck, it can easily be upgraded to become deadly if not handled properly. Pallies excel at tanking and healing in WoW raids – keep this in mind when building your Paladin Hearthstone deck. A variety of spells can be juggled to keep Annoy-o-Tron on the board beyond multiple strong attacks, so don’t be afraid to put some energy into protecting this tiny tank.
This 2/2 minion grants a friendly minion Divine Shield. It’s a fun card to play after your opponent breaks your tank’s Divine Shield to keep it on the table longer. The downside to this minion is a bad shuffle could find you in a position where it’s your only minion to play for the first three hands, but hold out until at least a Silverhand Recruit is available. An Argent Protector can also change the tide of an end-game battle.
My strategy with a Paladin is to always keep minions, weapons, and Secrets on the board. From the Naxxramas story quests, Haunted Creeper has a Deathrattle that summons two 1/1 spiders, which (sucks for Hunters, but Pallies don’t care) aren’t beasts. Any time I have more than two minions on the table, I throw down either a Haunted Creeper or Nerubian Egg to insure myself against AOE attacks.
My strategy with a Paladin is to always keep minions, weapons, and Secrets on the board. From the Naxxramas story quests, Nerubian Egg has a Deathrattle that summons a 4/4 minion. Any time I have more than two minions on the table, I throw down either a Haunted Creeper or Nerubian Egg to insure myself against AOE attacks. This card tends to last long on the table.
An Epic card, Sword of Justice is a 1/5 weapon that grants +1/+1 to any friendly summoned minion at a cost of 1 Durability. Your Hero Power now plays a 2/2 Silverhand Recruit. I often find myself lucky to have this in my hand with Muster for Battle, which I’ll play when I have only 3 Durability left. Each summoned Silverhand Recruit will drain the Sword of Justice prior to arming you with a Light’s Justice weapon.
A Rare card, Divine Favor draws cards until you have as many in your hand as your opponent. I blow through cards with this Pally build, so I’m always looking to empty my hand and fill up to match my opponent with Divine Favor. Experienced players are savvy to this trick and try to undercut my card count, which is when Blessing of Wisdom comes in handy. Either way they choose to play, I can exaggerate it to take control.
A handy card to have, Muster for Battle summons three 1/1 Silverhand Recruits and grants your hero a 1/3 weapon. This has a similar effect to a Hunter’s Summon the Hounds card, although your minions won’t have Charge. When paired with Sword of Justice, this card can truly overwhelm an opponent early game.
The Aldor Peacekeeper is a Paladin-specific card that changes the attack of any enemy minion you select to 1. I find this card indispensable in matches against a variety of classes, as they prep their end-game minions with double-digit and/or one-shot attack capability. Aldor Peacekeeper is best saved for end-game, so I discard it from my initial hand when possible.
A simple, but deadly, classic, the Rare Demolisher deals 2 damage to a random enemy at the start of every turn. Most often than not, I use this card to draw aggro away from a more valuable minion (i.e. a 1/1 Secretkeeper with 2-3 Secrets in hand). If left on the board, the DPS of this card keeps your opponent busy while you plan a bigger attack.
A great Pally healing option is Illuminator, which restores 4 health to your hero at the end of every turn in which you control a Secret. I don’t often get Illuminator and Secretkeeper close enough together to play them together, but they are a great combo when I do. Keeping a tank on the board maximizes the effectiveness of the Illuminator.
I find Scarlet Purifier to be a great utility card. When my opponent has a Deathrattle-heavy hand, I’ll use it to clear his side of the board. Otherwise, It’s useful for activating my spiders against opponents taking advantage of their low (and non-existent) attack power. Scarlet Purifier saved my butt on more than one occasion, so I equip the card often.
My favorite Pally weapon is the Truesilver Champion, which heals your hero for +2, then deals 4 damage to whomever he attacks. This order is important, so try not to attack when you already have full health, unless you really need the +4 attack power. I keep two Truesilver Champions in my deck to ensure I can always heal and deal respectable damage in a pinch.
Anytime a minion is left on the board after turn three (or two, with a Mana Crystal), it’s a contender to receive +4/+4 from Blessing of Kings. Be careful when blessing a minion, as it will draw instant aggro, and several heroes will one-shot the minion. Whenever possible, bless an active minion.
Consecration is another Paladin card I never approach the Hearthstone table without. An area-of-effect attack that deals 2 damage to all enemies (including the enemy hero), Consecration can clear the other side’s army of low-health minions, making mid-range ones accessible to your low-level minions. Just like in WoW, never duel without hitting Consecration, especially against Rogues.
Deal three damage and draw a card. Although not quite as useful as a minion of the same effect, I find the Hammer of Wrath useful in keeping me in the game, regardless of whether I’m ahead or behind. This spell becomes especially useful (like Consecration) when paired with a minion that increases spell damage, although I didn’t include one in this deck.
After turn 4, Defender of Argus can grant +1/+1 and Taunt to the minions on either side of it. This can strengthen your line or pull at least one (if not more) minion out of range of your opponent’s DPS capability. DoA is also useful when protecting a healing minion or reinvigorating a silenced Tank. At 4 attack, Defender of Argus is also great against Priests, who can one-shot anything above 5 or below 3.
The Legendary Captain Greenskin is a necessity for any weapons-heavy deck (i.e Pally, Rogue, and Warrior builds). In addition to being a 5/4 minion, he also adds +1/+1 to your weapon. The effect doesn’t increase the Truesilver Champion’s healing, but it’s still useful when used on any weapon, although I avoid using it on Light’s Justice whenever possible.
An epic card with an epic power, the Faceless Manipulator can become any card on the table, complete with all powers, Deathrattle, etc. It doesn’t trigger Battlecry, however the effects can be confusing for your opponent sometimes. For example, if I give an opposing minion Blessing of Wisdom, then mimic it with Faceless Manipulator, both cards generate card draws for me, not the corresponding “opposing player.”
Another great option to both heal your hero and add a deadly minion to your side of the Hearthstone table, Guardian of Kings is a decent end-game Pally minion. At 5/6, it can quickly be upgraded if not destroyed by the initial aggro it pulls. The Guardian of Kings can be replaced with a second healing spell, but there aren’t many free healing minions available to the Pally that can beat it.
The Legendary Tirion Fordring is everything you want a Pally minion to be – it has Taunt and Divine Shield, a Deathrattle that equips your hero with a 5/3 weapon, and is 6/6 to boot. If not immediately silenced or destroyed, it can be a good idea to use a Faceless Manipulator on Tirion if your opponent’s deck only contains low-cost minions.