This article was contributed to by Legend Player Denny “IBMYOU” Park.
If you’re new to Hearthstone the Paladin hero is one of the best heroes to learn the game with. Armed with both powerful weapons and minions, playing Paladin will help you gain a better understanding of many of the fundamental mechanics that are the difference between winning and losing matches.
In this article we will discuss the Paladin hero power and some of the most powerful cards the class has to offer as well as the types of decks you will typically see Paladins find success with.
The Paladin hero power is one of the more unique powers in the game, spawning a 1/1 minion called a Silver Hand Recruit. With the hero power providing the class with a constant way to maintain a presence on the board, it is a vital component to the way Paladin’s like to play. Furthermore Paladin possesses certain cards that apply buffs specifically to these minions, forcing your opponent to deal with them before they can gain additional value.
The Paladin class is loaded with strong minions, weapons and buffs for their Silver Hand Recruits. The following few cards are ones to be weary of when playing against a Paladin, or some of the strongest cards you will want to include in your own Paladin decks.
If you ever lose board control as Paladin this card is able to swing things back in your favor, providing you an easy way to damage to every single minion the opposing hero has played as well as the hero themselves. This is perfect for situations where your opponent floods the board with minions of their own to counter your minion onslaught, or when you get poor card draws early on and find yourself finding behind.
One of the best one drops in the game at the moment, Righteous Protector is a perfect example of the kind of minion Paladin’s get access to. Due to having both Taunt and Divine Shield, it gives you incredible advantage and control over how the first few trades of the game will occur. Using this card can often help you establish board control right from the very first turn, playing perfectly into the Paladin strategy.
This weapon provides Paladin with an excellent way to deal with later game minions that have higher defensive stats while continuing to flood the board with minions, playing into Paladin’s win conditions. As a result this is one of the most versatile and useful cards Paladin’s have access to, giving them high damage output for a few turns while simultaneously increasing their ability to flood the board. This is definitely a card you will want to include in almost any Paladin deck.
Paladin is perhaps the class that is best suited for Mid-Range decks, which you can see our guide on how to use here. The main goal with these kind of decks is to establish early board control and force your opponent to play defensively the rest of the match. Board control should be fully established between turns 4-8 or the game likely won’t go the Paladin’s way. Paladin’s find their success is fueled by the strength of their minions, weapons and hero power.
Using the hero power to consistently summon Silver Hand Recruits forces your opponent to consistently trade into them for fear they receive buffs through other cards in your deck. Furthermore, having your hero power summon a minion allows you to not a play a card from your hand on some turns, or play one fewer, resulting in more cards in your hand in the middle and late stages of play. This provides what is referred to as card advantage, and can be very advantageous in close matches.
While summoning these silver hand recruits you can also play some incredibly powerful weapons to help keep the board clear. Weapons such as Unidentified Maul, Sword of Justice, Vinecleaver and Val’anyr can make significant differences in the state of the early and mid games while the spell Consecration provides board clear should your opponent flood their side with minions of their own.
Keeping the board clear with relative ease leaves you free to flood your side with minions of your own to join your Silver Hand Recruits. Righteous Protector is a great first turn card, while cards such as Lightfused Stegadon, Chillblade Champion, The Glass Knight and Sunkeeper Tarim provide you with strong minions for the majority of the game.
The key with Mid-Range decks is intelligent trading with the opponent in order to maintain board control. As a result of this, the Paladin is an excellent beginner class as learning the fundamentals to make smart and efficient trades is one of the main ways to improve your skill and win rate within the game. Furthermore the quick start and strong minions often put you in the driver seat early in the match, instead of forcing you to play from behind while you are still trying to learn the basics.
While Paladin does have some spells to buff minions, none are strong enough to allow a true Combo deck to work, and you often won’t see Paladins playing late game control decks. The strength of this class is in the early and mid game meaning that if you want to play quick games of Hearthstone this may just be the class for you.