Hearthstone TCGArena - How do you win with Paladin?

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Arena - How do you win with Paladin?

Post #1 by Stardust » Mon May 11, 2015 9:51 pm

I've been doing pretty well in Arena, averaging a little over 6 wins, and averaging a couple more than that with Druid and Mage. One thing I just can't seem to get the hang of though is Paladin. I have never gone more than 4 wins with him, and have even once only gotten 1 win (when I tried to play aggro). I know you can build good Paladin decks because I lose to them occasionally, so I must be doing something wrong. I just can't seem to indentify what that is. Is there a specific strategy that you need to run? Are there cards I'm likely undervaluing?

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Arena - How do you win with Paladin?

Post #2 by Thrillho » Fri May 15, 2015 4:56 pm

Paladin is one of the best Arena classes.

The good thing about Paladin is that even if you don't get a 2-drop you always have your hero power to put something on board. The other good thing about Paladin is you have the best weapons in the game that aren't Fiery War Axe (Truesilver is almost always the correct pick; Coghammer is great, as is Sword of Justice), the second best AOE in Arena (after Skillstrike), and just some of the highest value class rares or better. Paladin also has the best class-Dragon post-Blackrock Mountain, and has the highest number of Divine Shield cards of any class (essentially turning all minions with it/given it into a reverse Harvest Golem).

Paladin's strength is also a big weakness. While Truesilver and Consecration are two of the main reasons to play Paladin (and to a lesser extent Hammer), they also compete with the Yetis, Dark Iron Dwarf, Hungry Dragon, and Piloted Shredder -- the best non-class commons overall -- for curve considerations. As a result, there may be junctures during the drafting process where you're given the opportunity to pick one of these high-value commons and it is not correct due to curve considerations.

Paladin also benefits from its interaction with already powerful cards. Knife Juggler always has at least one knife-toss each turn with your hero power. Various divine shield generating cards can make already sticky minions even stickier. Blood Knight has a lot more divine shield to power itself up (though this works both ways). Weapons, divine shield, and 1/1s allow you to more effectively manage creatures to power up Consecrate. Dragons -- many already some of the highest picks -- benefit from the cost reduction effect of the class dragon. Your hero power kills off many creatures generated by Hungry Dragon.

Paladin suffers because it is easily weak to Mind Control Tech (and Sylvannas, but that is much less common and is a hazard no matter how stacked your board is). You must constantly manage your board to not get blown out by a timely/lucky MC Tech, or at least respect that your opponent may have it and take your best creature. That is why it's important that, if you suspect an MC Tech, to use your hero power as often as possible to increase the odds that your opponent steals a blank.

In my experience, the two keys to both arena and playing Paladin in arena are effectively managing the early game (it is common knowledge that you don't want to leave a Paladin with any creatures in play at the end of a turn for risk that the board will quickly spiral out of control and become unmanageable), and to prioritize heavy hitting late-game cards (ala Boulderfist, Dragonkin, Stormwind, Force Tank MAX, and to lesser extents War Golem and Hand of Justice) that punish opponents who blew their board controlling capabilities in the early game and have nothing left for your finishers. HOWEVER, you also have the benefit of a hero power that builds your board even if your opponent manages to deal with your 6+ drops, you just also have to worry that their topdecks may be able to deal with both your topdecks and 1/1s (or you're facing mage and cannot effectively win because your 1/1s get pinged).

The best way to achieve this is to draft prioritizing a curve that is punctuated at 2 and 4. This allows you to always have a minion on-board on 2 (with hero power in the worst case), and almost always have a powerful turn 4 (with one of your top tier 4-drops or 2-drop plus hero power/second 2-drop). Shielded Minibot and the 2/2 that gives divine shield (name escapes me now) are great at enabling these powerful early turns. With these kinds of early plays, your opponent (unless they've achieved board control) will usually be scrambling to rein you in, opening them up for powerful follow-ups on turns 5-7 (where you should have a 2-3-drop plus hero power/5-drop, 6-drop/4-drop plus hero power, and 7-drop/5-drop plus hero power -- these are some of the most powerful plays you can make on-curve).

I don't know what you're doing, so these general tips are the best advice I can give without observing you. Hopefully this helps.

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Arena - How do you win with Paladin?

Post #3 by Thrillho » Fri May 15, 2015 5:03 pm

Oh also sometimes you get some bullshit like Blessing of Might on a shielded guy or Blessing of Kings before your opponent has any conceivable way to deal with it and you just win.

Paladin has free wins sometimes irrespective of curve or deck. I had forgotten that Blessing of Kings was a card. Sometimes you go 1-drop, Hero Power/2-drop, coin-Blessing of kings on whichever creature is left, spam Greetings.

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Arena - How do you win with Paladin?

Post #4 by Stardust » Fri May 15, 2015 5:36 pm

That is very helpful. Thanks.

I think my issue was undervaluing Divine Shield. Never really thought of those guys as better Harvest Golems, but that's a fair point and makes them look a lot more attractive. Thinking back now on the times I've lost to Paladins, it was exactly as you describe: Set up a difficult to deal with (but not especially powerful) early game, then spiral out of control. I always was forced to ditch my removal in the early plays, then get overrun. Just wasn't quite sure how to make a Paladin deck that could consistently do that to my opponents, but thinking on it now, I can see Divine Shield as being pretty key.

I almost always draft for 2's and 4's regardless of my class, but it's good to get confirmation anyway.

Thanks again.
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Arena - How do you win with Paladin?

Post #5 by Kaitscralt » Fri May 15, 2015 7:36 pm

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Arena - How do you win with Paladin?

Post #6 by LP, of the Fires » Mon May 18, 2015 4:04 am

Hit legend today. Currently in the 400s, peaked at 85.
You gotta understand, I love the beatdown. I really do. I always have.

Beatdown is hard, though.


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Arena - How do you win with Paladin?

Post #7 by Thrillho » Mon May 18, 2015 7:37 pm

You've been a great help.

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Post #8 by Stardust » Tue May 19, 2015 2:46 pm

LP, of the Fires » Sun May 17, 2015 9:04 pm wrote:Hit legend today. Currently in the 400s, peaked at 85.

I saw that. Good work!

There are no prizes for doing so though, right? Just a small headstart next season?
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Arena - How do you win with Paladin?

Post #9 by Jack » Tue May 19, 2015 9:43 pm

You get a card back when you hit legend for the first time.
If you keep a high rank within legend, you get invites to tournaments.
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Arena - How do you win with Paladin?

Post #10 by Stardust » Tue May 19, 2015 9:59 pm

That's cool. Who runs those tournaments? Blizzard?
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