Holy Wrath Paladin GuidePosted by Hearthstone 28 June 2019 in
Joske here! Some might say you have to be crazy to play this deck in a bomb warrior meta. Maybe I am. But the matchup spread of Holy Wrath Paladin is really convincing at the moment. You even stand a chance against Bomb Warrior if you know the right tips and tricks. Don’t worry, I’ll reveal those to you later.
Aside from the strength it already has, Blizzard recently buffed Crystology, which makes a big difference to the deck. It’s a combo deck, so it’s harder to play than your average curve deck. You have to be flexible and not tunnel vision on the combo.
- 2Crystalsmith Kangor1
- 2Flash of Light2
- 3Time Out!2
- 4Hammer of Wrath1
- 4Prismatic Lens2
- 4Truesilver Champion2
- 5Holy Wrath2
- 5Shrink Ray2
- 25Shirvallah, the Tiger1
- 2Belligerent Gnome1
- 2Bloodmage Thalnos1
- 2Baleful Banker2
- 2Novice Engineer2
- 2Wild Pyromancer2
- 3Acolyte of Pain1
The general combo idea:
Your goal is to empty your deck and bring the cost of Shirvallah, the Tiger to 0, shuffle Shirvalla in your deck with Baleful Banker and deal 25 damage with Holy Wrath in the same turn. If 25 damage isn’t enough, you can do the same combo the turn after for 50 total damage.
Deck list explanation and flex spots:
The core of the deck is very straight forward and can’t be changed. The combo pieces, draw cards, and some stall/board control cards are mandatory.
Cards you can replace include:
Some cards you can add to help matchups:
- Alexstrasza (=15 extra damage if you encounter a lot of control warriors)
- Harrison Jones/Acidic Swamp Ooze/Bloodsail Corsair (to counter Wrenchcalibur/Doomhammer)
- An extra Equality (if you see a lot of Giant Mage)
- Elven Archer (techcard to kill giants with Equality)
- Spellbreaker (against mechs).
Crystology is the MVP of Holy Wrath Paladin. Drawing 2 cards for 1 mana is insane, and the cards you draw with it will enable you to draw even more cards. It’s one of the fastest cycling combo decks I’ve seen in the meta, provided you get Crystology on turn 1. You always keep this in your mulligan. You can keep Novice Engineer or Bloodmage Thalnos if you don’t have Crystology because it’s important to start cycling cards as fast as possible. Against slow decks, you can keep Prismatic Lens or Acolyte of Pain to continue cycling. Against midrange decks Truesilver Champion is a very good card. Against token decks like Token Druid or Zoo, Consecration and Wild Pyromancer are important.
Game plan and alternative win conditions:
The game plan for Holy Wrath Paladin is pretty straightforward: if you’re healthy and not in danger, draw as many cards as possible. If you’re dying: try to deal with the board. Early game you want to keep the board in check with your little minions and Truesilver Champion. If the board becomes unmanageable, you can sweep it with Wild Pyromancer – Equality/Shrink Ray – Consecration. Don’t be greedy with board sweeps if you have a lot of them in hand. Using them a turn earlier gives you time later to play your draw cards. If you only have one board clear in hand, be as greedy as possible with it. You can always stall a turn with Time Out! and try to lure the opponent into overextending. Try to put your opponent at 25 health as soon as possible so Holy Wrath is always a lethal threat.
If you know that 25 damage will be enough and you only need one Holy Wrath to finish your opponent, you can use the other Holy Wrath as removal or extra cycle. You can also play Shirvallah, the Tiger mid-game and add a copy to your deck to deal with board pressure.
Most decks in the meta play Zilliax. If your opponent is at 22 to 25 health, and you have no need to play minions, keep them from healing by refusing to use your hero power.
Against aggro decks like Zoo or Shaman, you don’t always need to play the combo to win. Just playing a 0 mana 7/5 with rush is incredibly powerful and potentially game-winning.
Keep your eyes on your hand size. You often have 10 cards in hand, so make sure you don’t overdraw important combo pieces. Find a balance, however, since overdrawing helps you cycle faster. If, for example, you have a 1 in 10 chance to overdraw something important, but you have less chance to win the game without playing your Prismatic Lens or Novice Engineer, just go for it.
According to HSreplay the win rate of Paladin is 27%. Bomb Warrior puts bombs in your deck -> you draw your whole deck and the bombs -> you die. In theory. But I found the deck to be a much closer matchup if you play it right.
The goal is to avoid minion damage. Bomb Warrior has 30 bomb damage without Augmented Elekk (2 Clockwork Goblins and 2 Wrenchcalibur). If you limit minion damage and heal with Zilliax, Truesilver Champion, Crystalsmith Kangor and Flash of Light, you have a fighting chance. If you’re positive you’re playing against Bomb Warrior, keep Truesilver Champion in your mulligan to deal with Augmented Elekk and other early annoying minions. A good player will try to keep his bomb shuffle cards until late game and shuffle them all with Augmented Elekk, trying to hit you for 20 damage. This is harder to counter but low-rank players will mindlessly spam their bombs throughout the game, giving you time to heal.
If you have all your combo pieces in hand, avoid bomb damage by keeping your hand at 10 cards. Each bomb drawn is an overdraw, doing no damage. If there are a lot of bombs in your deck and you’re nearing the bottom, you have the option to play Time Out! and draw cards like Novice Engineer, Flash of Light, and Prismatic Lens so the bombs do no damage.
Bomb Warrior might also try to out-armour your combo. Remember you have 50 possible damage. They don’t often out-heal that amount but try to hit them with Truesilver Champion and Hammer of Wrath for extra damage. Another option is to play a Wild Pyromancer on turn 2 to start eating armour away.
Against Mage, you want to keep Equality in your mulligan. They mostly play one threat, which snowballs hard, but if you manage to clear it, you often have some peace until they can play their next giant.
Giant Mage has no burst from hand, so you can always estimate their damage output by observing the board. If they play a giant turn 4 and you have Shrink Ray in hand, you know you can wait a turn to play it. Even if they hit you once or twice for 8, you know they have no burst damage. That way you can try to bait their Conjurer's Calling and then play Shrink Ray.
Unfortunately, Mage has an irritating trick up their sleeve. They can play random secrets created with Mana Cyclone. When you’re about to play your combo, it’s possible for them to counter it with Counterspell. Often they’re just bluffing, so if you have no way to play around Counterspell just go for the combo. It’s not a bad idea to keep a cheap spell, just in case.
I think Holy Wrath Paladin is very fun to play and one of the only authentic OTK combo decks remaining in the game. You will quickly master the basics but there’s still a lot to learn from each individual game. When to use board clears, when to go face, when to be greedy, when to play Time Out!, when to just put Shirvallah, the Tiger on the board. There are so many details to perfecting its use, but that’s what makes it fun and keeps the deck interesting!
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