Jackker’s Top Legend Secret Paladin
Hello guys, my name is Jackker (Twitter: ONE_Jackker | Twitch: JackkerTV) some of you might remember me from my Top 4 EU Legend in depth Secret Paladin Guide a couple of months ago. Here I am again bringing you my newest creation: a secret paladin deck so strong it makes the old gods shiver. I used this deck at Dreamhack Summer 2016 and although I didn’t get through the swiss it performed really good in both the main event and the side event. With a total scoreline of: 11-2.
Secret Paladin used to be very strong before WoTOG and a few weeks after the expansion was released I was wondering why it wasn’t played anymore. I’ve always loved playing this archetype of paladin because I believe Mysterious Challenger is still one of the strongest cards in the game. It’s also my favourite card because of the simple reason that people instantly concede after a perfectly timed ‘Well Met!’.
Before Standard came out the deck was so strong because it basically ran ‘The Doctor’ for every mana cost. Meaning that it had the strongest card every possible turn apart from turn 1. (Shielded Minibot, Muster for Battle, Piloted Shredder, Loatheb, Mysterious Challenger, Dr. Boom and of course Tirion Fordring) Although this is not the case anymore the deck still has some tricks up its sleeve.
So what did standard change?
With the addition of Steward of Darkshire to the paladin collection some new synergies were created. Noble Sacrifice and Redemption are buffed because having a Steward on the board when secrets get procced will trigger the divine shield effect! Making the board more resilient to AoE effects and making Competitive Spirit stronger.
- 1Competitive Spirit1
- 1Noble Sacrifice2
- 1Selfless Hero2
- 2Argent Protector1
- 3Rallying Blade2
- 3Divine Favor2
- 3Steward of Darkshire2
- 4Blessing of Kings2
- 4Keeper of Uldaman2
- 6Mysterious Challenger2
- 8Tirion Fordring1
- 1Abusive Sergeant2
- 1Argent Squire2
- 2Bilefin Tidehunter2
- 3Argent Horserider2
In the early game you just want to control the board by making value trades. For example: using Abusive Sergeant on Argent Squire or killing their minions with your Rallying Blade.
Bilefin Tidehunter might look like a good 2-drop but you should prevent using it and go for a Hero Power instead. The card is just too good when you can immediately give it a divine shield with Steward of Darkshire. The key to winning with this deck is:
If you are able to keep the board until turn 6 and you play Mysterious Challenger on curve you will almost never lose. This because you filtered the ‘bad cards’ out of your deck and put them directly in play, resulting in an insane tempo advantage.
By aggro we mean decks that have a really strong early game, this being mostly zoo and shaman.
Secret Paladin might look like it has a good chance but this is not the case. The single copy of consecration and the fairly weak early game minions have problems competing with cards like Tunnel Trogg, Totem Golem and Imp Gang Boss.
You need to try to make favourable trades and keep their board as small as possible until you can play all your mid-game cards. Don’t try to play too much on value but play full on tempo, don’t be afraid to just equip a Rallying Blade even without any minions on your side of the board if that means you can kill one of his minions. Or even drop a Steward of Darkshire on turn 3 if that’s the only way to keep your opponent’s board under control.
By “Midrange” we mean decks that fight for the board as heavily as we do and don’t care that much about face damage but more about value. These decks are really strong in the mid game just like ours.
What you want to do in these kind of matchups is to get more value out of your cards than they get out of theirs while not completely giving up tempo. A Blessing of Kings on a divine shielded minion to make a trade into one of their minions is very powerful. You now only lost a divine shield while they lose a minion. With silence-cards being so sparse, buffed minions can’t really be answered that easily anymore. In the later stages of the game your aim should be to play your low value cards, like Bilefin Tidehunter and Selfless Hero together with Steward of Darkshire to make a board that’s incredibly hard to deal with.
And while they’re struggling with these small, sticky minions you just drop threats like Mysterious Challenger and Tirion Fordring If they decide they want to make a powerplay with a big minion instead of dealing with your board you can punish them really hard by turning their threat into a 3/3 with Keeper of Uldaman. Try to fight for the board as long as possible but don’t hesitate too much to push damage at a point in the game where you don’t think they have the resources to deal with your board.
By control we mean decks that are really slow and perform best in the later stages of the game because they are greedy enough to out value any other deck. These kind of matchups are where this new secret paladin deck shines a lot.
Control decks give you a lot of time because they don’t really have pressure-plays. They have lots of answers but apply next to no pressure. This gives us the opportunity to make plays that are really hard to answer. Use your hero power as much as possible in the early stages of the game. By turn 4/5 you want to make a powerplay like using Blessing of Kings on your divine-shielded minion to trade away one of their big threats or a huge value play like using [Steward of Darkness] with a card that gets buffed. The turn 6 play should be really obvious, followed up 2 turns later with our big boy Tirion Fordring. At this stage of the game your hand should be empty so you can play a nice Divine Favor for at least 4 cards. Now that your hand is full again you try to make as much tempo as possible and try to push face damage to finish the game.
Against control also try to be greedy on your Keeper of Uldaman, it is very often better to ‘shrink’ one of their big boys than make a 3/3 out of your 1/1. Unless this can result in a very good trade of course.
- Consider keeping Keeper of Uldaman and Blessing of Kings
- Against ramp druid you want to try setting up a divine shielded minion to take advantage of it the following turn by using Blessing of Kings on it to trade away one of their big threats.
- Ramp Druids also have a hard time dealing with big boards with many minions so try to make a full divine shielded board with steward of darkshire and they will be having a hard time clearing all of these minions
- When making a big board try to always play around swipe, this is the only druid spell you have to keep in mind
- Rogue does not run a lot of healing and is quite vulnerable when getting rushed down. Play as an aggressor but keep Fan of Knives in mind.
- Against Hunter you keep Abusive Sergeant because it contests their 2 mana minions like [King’s Elekk] and Huge Toad
- Don’t play too much around [Unleash The Hounds] because people only run 1 or 0 copies of the card
- Try to fight for the board in the early game, but when entering the mid-Game you want to start applying pressure
- Against Zoo it’s the same as against Shaman you can’t play the value game because they will pressure you to hard.
- You can keep Bilefin Tidehunter and Abusive Sergeant in order to keep up with their tempo
- Controlling the board is key in this matchup, try to make every favourable trade you can
- Always keep Divine Favor when you are 100% sure it’s renolock
- Try to apply as much pressure as you can
- Always play around Hellfire
- Keep Twisting Nether in mind so don’t over commit if you don’t have to
- The reason why Secret Paladin performs so well against N’Zoth paladin is because they give you a lot of time to get your Steward of Darkshire combo
- Try to play around Equality + Consecration by making a board with divine shielded minion because Equality + Consecration doesn’t kill divine shielded minions.
- Focus on board control first, face when you are ahead
- When playing minions try to play your most valuable minion first. This is important in a scenario where your board get’s cleared by AoE, as Redemption will be proc on the minion that was sequenced first.
- Blessing of Kings on divine shielded minions allow for some crazy trades
- Play Repentance when your opponent is about to drop something big
- Sometimes just Steward of Darkshire with a Noble Sacrifice can be a good turn
- When you can choose between a Argent Squire or a [Silver Hand Recruit] to trade in choose the recruit because the Argent Squire will be useful with redemption later in the game
- Try to combine Argent Protector with Blessing of Kings