2x Shielded Minibot
2x Muster for Battle
Acolyte of Pain
2x Aldor Peacekeeper
Big Game Hunter
Mind Control Tech
2x Truesilver Champion
2x Piloted Shredder
2x Antique Healbot
2x Piloted Sky Golem
2x Lay on Hands
Salutations, my name is Hotform and I will be taking you through the tactics and thought process involved in playing a late game Healing Control Paladin. I personally used this deck to great success on the North American ladder and achieved Legend #2 using this deck. This is a very complicated deck to use and I would not recommend it for a beginner Hearthstone player. If you think you're up to the challenge, let's take a look at general strategies, important cards, and tactics for each matches.
This deck specializes at using healing to buy time until bulky minions can win the game through board control. There are two major things you should think about while looking through this guide that separate the best players from the rest: knowing when to attack and when to be patient.
When to go Face
Many people confuse playing a late game deck with the idea that they will never need to be aggressive. You need to be able to identify when you can kill the opponent in -- for example -- three turns if you start attacking now. Don’t make that trade with the lone 3/3 minion the enemy has, as long as you are not going to die, you should be attacking. Even though this is a Control Paladin, you can add to your win percentage once you recognize how to maximize your aggression. With not much damage in the deck, damage to face is a premium resource.
When to be Patient
This is something Paladin players should already have some experience with. You have great removal as a Paladin but misusing any single card can be the difference between a win and a loss. There are two sides to this idea. In one case it is obvious: you will want to use your healing to buy time until you play a board clear. The other spot to be patient occurs when you play a Sky Golem first so that Tirion will be a safer play. You also need to be able to recognize when you cannot be patient. I have won many matches because I realized that I was dead if the game continued at this pace; so I took a chance, and played the Tirion.
First lets identify the two cards that give the deck some flex slots: Acolyte of Pain and Harrison Jones
These two cards are the most malleable cards in the deck. Another iteration I enjoy features double Azure Drake. I have also seen one Quarter Master used: especially in tournament settings. Acolyte of Pain and Harrison Jones are the most likely to be swapped out because their function is to round the deck out for specific matchups and provide card draw.
Equality: This is tempo and a board clear all rolled into one place. In certain matchups, this plays a much more important role than others. With the one Pyromancer in the deck, Equality can even be quite useful against aggro. Despite the importance of this card, it is rare you would ever want to keep this in your mulligan.
Shielded Minibot: This is hands down one of the best two mana minions in the game. Its role is in direct combat and quite often it will kill two minions or eat both charges of a war axe on its own. This is useful in every match so you should always keep it in your mulligan.
Muster for Battle: This card is what made Paladin what it is today. It single handedly allows the deck to run all its late game minions and survive. The weapon you gain from Muster for Battle is one of the primary reasons this card is effective. Summoning three 1/1’s would normally cost you six mana, but for half that much mana, you now get a weapon as well. This card is good on its own, you do not need synergy with it to make it useful. Make sure you always attack something until your weapon has two durability left to play around Harrison.
Aldor Peacekeeper: This minion is one of the most skill testing cards in the deck. Each match has different specific minions you should Peacekeeper, but the beauty of a Paladin is you will always have a little extra removal. There is no other class that can reduce the attack of things permanently so do not take this card for granted.
Mind Control Tech: The prominence of Dr Boom makes this card a mandatory inclusion. It has the potential to work in every matchup. That said, its primary function is to help the early game curve. There are plenty of times it is best to play this as a 3/3 minion.
Consecration: Don’t waste this! This is a card that should be used only when there is no other choice. Plan ahead, will you be using Consecrate in two turns? What should you do now to make it the best it can be?
Antique Healbot: This is a large part of the decks identity, with Healbot we can be sure to get some healing every game. The 3/3 stat minion is also quite reasonable as a Paladin.
Piloted Shredder/Piloted Sky Golem: A common question is can I switch this for X? Yes you can change these cards to other minions of equal power. The Shredders are a staple of this deck for two reasons. First of all, they are a combat unit that can be unpredictable and hard to play around. There are many occasions where my opponent has killed a Shredder prepared to do three damage and I ended up with a four Health minion: thus letting me maintain a board presence. Secondly, these minions have fantastic stats and a Deathrattle. The Deathrattle enables synergy with Kel’thuzad as well as the overall theme of the deck which is slow board control.
A pair of Shredders makes for a very sticky board.
Doctor Boom: A great card with very little downside. Boom may be the only BGH target but it doesn’t matter, his combat ability is far too great to pass up.
Lay on Hands: Lay on Hands is essentially Nourish and Healing Touch combined. Lay on Hands is mandatory. Playing two allows you to draw one every game and you will need a Lay on Hands every game. There are a large number of situations where you will use both Lay on Hands in one game. This is the bulk of the card draw in the deck, don’t be scared to draw more cards than your opponent since sometimes you need every card to win.
Kel’Thuzad: Second in command of the deck. He helps immensely in control matches. Don’t wait around. If you can get anything back, play him.
Tirion: Commander of the deck. Your entire game plan is to get the Ashbringer so you can kill the opponent. Take your time, play this only when you can guarantee it will succeed.
Mulligan for – Four to six mana minions, Truesilver, Peacekeeper, Equality.
Druids have a very difficult time regaining board control once they lose it. Unfortunately, a Druid will generally curve out better and have board control heading in to turn eight or ten. Your goal in this match is to stall the game until ten mana when you can clear and play a minion on the same turn and push from there.
If a Druid is losing board control to you in the mid game, make sure you go for a kill. They can certainly out late game you with bulky minions if you give them too much time to recover.
Kel’thuzad is the star of the show in this match. If you can get Kel’thuzad on the board, a Druid will need to actually deal eight damage to kill it. Once Kel'Thuzad has been resurrecting for a turn or two it will be , it will be impossible for a Druid to recover.
Druids can Force Roar combo for fourteen damage plus two for every minion on the board. Do the math and don’t die to a combo. Druids with larger minions are less likely to play combo.
Mulligan for – Minibot, Muster, Owl, Peacekeeper, Mind Control Tech, Consecrate, Truesilver.
You cannot afford to misuse even a single point of damage in the early game. Traps are tough, so good luck soldier. Peacekeeper is a star in this match and is a great answer to both Animal Companion and Savannah Highmane.
Mind Control Tech is also very effective in this matchup to the point that you can allow additional minions to attack just to use it. Changing the flow of battle once is often enough for victory.
Heal at every possible opportunity.
There are several versions of Mage at the moment, I will look at some strategies for Mech Mage and Fatigue Mage. Freeze Mage is a very easy match where you just have to prioritize healing to win.
Mulligan for – Peacekeeper, Equality, two to four mana minions, Truesilver.
This match is fairly even. Mech Mages can have outrageous openings, but if you have an equally outrageous hand, you can crush even the best openings possible. Mech Mages main weakness is the lack of card draw. Pay attention to how many Spare Parts and how many real cards are in their hand. When they have two or less actual cards it should get very easy.
The main goal in this match is to survive until turn eight. If you reach turn eight, any eight drop -- or using Lay on Hands to draw into a board clear -- will be enough to give you the win. If you have gotten past turn eight your only fear should be an Archmage Antonidas.
Don’t be afraid to use Equality to make an early game trade. For example, Coin-Muster-Equality on turn four is a fine play. As long as you can shut down the Mage early, and stay safe until the late game, you will win.
Cheap ways to interact on the board are the key to aggro matchups.
Mulligan: You should always mulligan assuming it is a Mech Mage. If you know it is fatigue you would want four to six mana minions.
Fatigue Mage is a very difficult match because as a Paladin since we do not have much burst damage and play slow minions. The way to win in this match is by using your weapons. You should attack the Mage's face with your weapons at every opportunity.
On the board you should play very aggressively since you will certainly lose this match on fatigue. Punish the Mage for not having all of his cards yet. They will have Polymorph in their deck, so be cautious with Tirion. If you have a turn eight Tirion it is worth the risk to see if they have drawn a Polymorph. If they haven't, it will be very easy to win.
Mulligan for – Dr Boom, Kel’thuzad, Tirion.
There are two ways to win this match: you can remove all of the Priest's minions since they will have a lower amount of minions than other control decks. The other path to victory is based on the fact that a Priest will draw more cards than you. If you wait and remove their minions in big groups, you can fatigue them out.
The biggest issue with facing a Priest is that you cannot get value from your big minions later in the game because of Mind Control. If you curve a Sky Golem into Dr Boom into Tirion, however, a Priest will simply fall over. Another big issue in this match is Thoughtsteal. Virtually every card in our deck is better than the Priest's cards. This is an another reason why we want to mulligan for our biggest minions.
Many times as a Paladin we will be stuck allowing the Priest to draw from a Northshire Cleric. It is infinitely worse for us, however, to waste a board clear to prevent the card draw. It can be very difficult to get anything going once this has happened because the Priest will have so many cards and can make perfect plays. Just remember, you struggle for a reason. The Priest actually has to kill you and all you need to do is defend.
Mulligan for -- two to four mana minions, Consecrate, Mind Control Tech.
This Paladin deck has a good win rate against the Chow-Juggler-Quartermaster Paladin decks.
Essentially, in this match we have every single advantage going for us. Our card value is all around higher, we have more healing, we have more card draw, and we have more removal. You should play your fat minions as soon as you can. This will be a long game so invest in your board and heal only when you absolutely need to.
There are only two things that a Chow-Juggler-Quartermaster Paladin deck can do to win: have a strong opening or a strong Quartermaster.
Maximize your early game. In most cases a four drop or a Consecrate will be enough. Some openings, however, can be overwhelming. Minibot is a huge draw in this match because it always prevents the early game from running away.
This is really only threatening when it is played on curve. If the other player used Muster, and we were not able to clear it before turn five; or they make a turn eight Muster-Quartermaster combo, we may be in trouble. After these two breaking points, the value in our deck will overcome Quartermaster combos.
If they do get a Quartermaster played on curve, it can be an instant loss. As a Paladin, we can only do two damage with Consecrate so a Quartermaster play requires a Equality clear. This sets us back on cards and tempo significantly.
Mulligan for – Consecrate, Owl, Minibot, Muster, four mana minions, Mind Control Tech.
This is a rare matchup but it is a good deal in our favor. The main goal here is to run the Shaman out of cards in hand. You will not fatigue a Shaman, but you can certainly force them to play every card they have drawn.
There are a large number of tempo swings for both sides of this match; but as a Paladin, our minions are bigger and slower. Play as many minions as you can. Hold only Tirion in reserve.
Tirion is a big deal in this match, a Shaman will need a Hex or Earth Shock. Since Shamans do not take damage well, the Ashbringer will certainly end them.
You should only use the Peacekeepers on Fire Elementals since there are no other good ways to remove Fire Elementals. If you have board control coming in to turn five, do what is necessary to keep it. A Shaman loses an enormous amount of card value when they do not have minions down. If you do not have board control coming up to turn five, play to survive. You can wait to clear the board once it’s completely full.
Mulligan for – Four to five mana minions, Truesilver, Dr Boom.
This is one of the hardest matchups and there is only one strategy: run the Rogue to fatigue. There are times when the game will slow down and you can kill the Rogue with damage, but this is dependent on the Rogue’s hand and not ours. Rogues will fatigue much faster than other classes and they have few actual minions.
The goal of this match for us is to force the Rogue to use his damage on our minions and not our face. We have many more minions than the Rogue can possibly kill, but it might be that we simply can’t get them down with enough tempo to matter.
Drawing cards is very important since there is no way we will fatigue against a Rogue. We want to move through our deck as fast as possible to keep up.
Dr Boom is the star of this match because he is the only minion that is both strong and does something even when the Rogue has perfect removal.
Playing Harrison on a fresh 1/2 weapon is worth it for the card draw and body. If you wait and try to get a buffed weapon it is often too late.
Mulligan for – Always mulligan as if the Warlock is aggressive. Minibot, Muster, Consecrate, Truesilver, Peacekeeper, Mind Control Tech, Owl.
Handlock is our best of all matchups. All of a Paladin’s removal is at its peak when it is used against a Giant. You should attack the Warlock’s face every turn. As long as you have enough to slow down a single giant you can push the Warlock below 15 Health. This is what our deck is designed to crush.
Aggro Warlock requires a lot of thinking on your feet. It is a good matchup for us but it can be difficult. This is a match where patience and planning is your primary advantage. You know roughly what an Aggro Warlock is going to do every turn so plan ahead and identify what your next several turns will be and how you can maximize your value.
Aggro Warlock is a match where you can know exactly how much damage the Warlock is capable of doing and you should only heal at the last possible second.
Mulligan for – four to eight mana minions
This is quite an even fight, but it is the most skill intensive match of them all. Similar to a Priest battle, you can win by either fatiguing the Warrior or by curving out the early game with very big minions. In this match there are a gigantic number of possible outcomes and yet so often a match will come down to me having exactly one minion left once we reach the end.
It is possible to kill every minion in the Warrior's deck. Make sure you use Big Game on Ragnaros if you can save it since Ragnaros is the only card we cannot use Peacekeeper. You should only Peacekeeper minions with five attack or more.
Over half the games you win will be because you've killed the Warrior before fatigue. Since we have such bulky minions a Warrior will sacrifice their face to get better value trades. This often gives us an opportunity to kill.
There is a pretty significant threat of a Warrior bursting us. You must have a heal and Peacekeeper/BGH/Equality on reserve so that you do not die to Alexstraza. This can only happens once so be ready for it.
Our minions are all around better than the minions a Warrior will play and the Deathrattle effects are very difficult for Warriors to remove. This gives us the ability to run them out of cards if they do not get the absolute maximum value on their trades. Silencing or killing Acolytes is a great way to run a Warrior out of steam.
Hero Power-pass is actually a reasonable turn in this matchup. Once you’ve moved past the opening curve, don’t rush it. Your Hero Power is the most powerful thing you have access to in this matchup.
This Paladin deck is very strong in other control matches. With different strategies to win in long games and more utility than you can shake a stick at, I am interested to see this deck and Paladins evolve as a class. I hope that you can learn about the value of Healing Control Paladin personally during your time playing Hearthstone because of the information here. Thank you very much for reading my Paladin Guide.