Posted by: Grumpy | November 15, 2013

Hearthstone Paladin 101

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The Paladin deck in Hearthstone is one of the most forgiving, easy to learn and play decks in the game. I usually recommend it to new players for their first deck. That doesn’t mean it’s a pushover later in the game. It’s assortment of healing, secrets, weapons, buffing, and powerful minions makes it a difficult deck to defeat. The following is a strategy that can be used to successfully play the paladin deck. It is written for the beginning of game play when you don’t have many epic or legendary cards. However, many of the ideas presented should carry over into the later stages of your gaming experience. I’ve also listed some epic and legendary cards that will help out so you can be on the look out for them.

Overall Strategy

The paladin hero has many strong tools to damage the opponent and other abilities to limit the opponent’s use of his own tools.

Tactics

Tactics are the things you do to achieve the overall strategy. These are probably not the only tactics out there. But they work for me.

Harass, Heal, Extend:

This is pretty self explanatory. Heal yourself so that you survive until the end game. Use your hero power and healing minions. Along the way take out the opponents taunters and other minions. Do damage to the opponent’s hero if you can. Don’t let the opponent get too many minions or you’ll be overrun.

Tanks Are Our Friends:

Tanks protect the adventurers in World of Warcraft by keeping the boss attacking themselves instead of the party members. In Hearthstone that function is provided by taunt minions. As long as you have taunt minions on the board you are relatively safe from attack. There are some exceptions to this of course. Some spells and minions can bypass taunt minions. A good rule of thumb is to keep a taunt minion up as much as possible.

Send Them On A Wild Goose Chase:

This tactic baits the opponent into spending precious resources on something that isn’t important to your plan. Play a card that looks dangerous that your opponent will want to remove from the board.

Dropping a Core Hound is a good example. At 9/5 your opponent can’t afford to leave that on the table or they will take 9 damage somewhere during the next turn. They pretty much have to remove it and in doing so will spend resources that they could have been using to kill your hero.

Preventing Card Starvation:

Card Starvation happens when you play all of the cards in your hand and the only cards you have left to play are those you are dealt at the beginning of your turn. It’s also called playing off the top of the deck. This is a bad thing because your options are limited by whatever the next card is. It would be better to have a selection of cards in your hand to pick from.

To prevent this problem we put cards in our deck that cause us to draw more cards. Loot Hoarder and Divine Favor are good examples of these kind of cards.

Shields Up!:

We can’t quite Bubble – Hearth like in Wow, but the Paladin can bubble his minions. The Argent Protector, for instance, can bubble a friendly minion while Hand of Protection is a spell that does the same thing.

Big Heals:

The paladin has a couple of methods to keep his health up there.  Holy Light costs 2 mana crystals and restores 6 health. Guardian of Kings gives you a 5/6 minion and heals your hero for 6 health. Lay on Hands heals you for 8 and costs 8 mana.

Weapons:

Paladins are one of the few classes that gets to use weapons in Hearthstone. Light’s Justice is cheap and does 1 damage with 4 durability. That means it can be used 4 times before it becomes destroyed. The Truesilver Champion does 4 damage and it heals you for 2 heath, but only has a 2 durability. The Sword of Justice doesn’t hit for much but it has the ability to add +1/+1 to each summoned minion. Every minion reduces it’s durability by 1.

Finally, the Ashbringer isn’t a usual weapon. You gain it’s use when the legendary card Tirion Fordring dies.

Shrinkage Problems:

This tactic allows you to lower a stat on your opponent’s minion. For instanceEquality takes all minions health to 1 hp. The Aldor Peacekeeper and Humilityreduce the Attack Power of your opponents minion to 1.

Nasty Little Secrets:

Paladins get to play secrets. Secrets are actions that are hidden from your opponent which only trigger under certain conditions. For instance, when you are attacked Noble Sacrifice summons an new target for the attack. When you are damaged Eye For An Eye reflects that damage on your opponent.

Board Clear:

Equality changes ALL minions health (Yours included) to 1 hp. Follow that up withConsecration for a total board wipe. Obviously this is only good at certain times. You wouldn’t want to play this when you have a lot of minions on the board.

Legendary:

Who wouldn’t want Tirion Fordring in their deck just for the chance to wield theAshbringer (5/3)!

Deck Building Advice

  • Get a wide variety of taunt minions.
  • And neutral minions to fill in where the paladin deck is weak.
  • If your minions do more than one thing that’s even better.
  • Fill the rest of the deck with cards needed for the tactics you want to concentrate on.
  • Think mana curve when building your deck – not only ramping up, but what you can cast together with 5-10 mana.
  • Take your time. Having two copies isn’t always the best solution, if they don’t fit.
  • You probably now have way more than the 30 cards allowed in the Hearthstone deck.
  • Pare down the cards that are needed the least until you get to 30. Then play test and adjust from there.

Have a tactic that I missed? Have more deck building advice? Please share it with us in the comment section below.

DISCLAIMER: The game is in early beta and many of the cards and tactics mentioned above may change before the game goes live.

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