7/30/17 - It's been 6 months and now we have a new expansion! Most of the Dragon Paladin cards have moved to Wild. I am excited to play this arch type once the new expansion drops. Please check out my theory for Dragon Paladin in Wild once KofFT drops: http://www.hearthpwn.com/decks/870551-dragon-paladin-theory-kotft
Let me know your thoughts and comments! -Cheers, Seksi
1/16/17 - Great to see the continued support and interest in the deck! The guide is updated and mulligans revised. I'm glad you guys are having fun with it and thank you for your comments, input and suggestions. It is a tough Meta out there with all those pirates but we are competitive and the list continues to improve. There has been numerous revisions recently; see the Revision History for the full list of changes. D R A G O N P A L A D I N
1/16.2 New Update:
Further improvements against aggro. The difference between Farseer and Technician is only 2 hit points. Farseer is better against aggro and comparable against control (the healing adds utility to all match ups). I took out 1 Ivory Knight to lower the curve a bit, the second Peacekeeper helps in all match ups, even if it is only on a 3 or 4 attack minion.
I've been working on this Dragon Paladin list since the beginning of MSOG. It has gone through numerous iterations before coming to this. Although Paladin is seemingly the weak class right now, this deck is actually competitive in today's Meta and a lot of fun to play. There are many cool combos within this deck and different ways to play it.
An example curve: The Coin + Grimestreet Outfitter-> Netherspite Historian (2/4 + Discover a Dragon for 2 mana) -> Blackwing Technician (4/6 for 3 mana) -> Twilight Guardian -> (4/7 taunt for 4 mana).
A general rule of thumb with this deck is to play aggressive. You shouldn't make many trades unless they are obvious. This may seem different to how you would normally play the turns but your strength is in the mid game and you have powerful tools to secure the advantage. You have high-health, overstatted minions that are difficult to deal with. If you let aggro live too long, you will lose. If you let Jade decks or Rogue live too long, you will lose. Let them react to your board, and you have multiple finishers late game and/or against control decks (Tirion, Rag, Deathwing + any big dragons you pull).
Why Dragon Paladin?
Dragon Paladin is a lot of fun to play with Grimestreet Outfitter and this list is actually competitive. It isn't a brain dead deck to pilot and does pretty well against the current Meta. Plus, Paladin is all but dead so it feels good to play an underrepresented class and try to compete with it. You also will not find a more fearsome trio than Tirion Fordring, Ragnaros the Firelord and Deathwing. Dragon minions are already heavy statted, so outfitter can help create formidable boards and a dominant mid ranged presence. The Paladin class cards are all very good and compliment the rest of the arch type.
Deathwing was added later in the process to add another board clear and answer against control. It has now won me numerous games in an awesome fashion! You will expend your hand against control decks so often times you are only discarding 1 or 2 cards. Between 1 copy of Equality and Consecration and Deathwing, you have ways to come back in case you fall behind. There are a number of big threats in this deck so often times DW cannot be answered.
Why Defender of Argus?
Defender of Argus was a great addition that compliments this deck's mid ranged philosophy well. It helps create even more imbalanced trades and can also protects your face when needed. It has good synergy with Brann as well. Originally I had 2 copies - it's down to 1 - which has been more effective to ensure value.
This was the most recent change. BWT is only better by 2 hit points but wasn't as effective against aggro (especially since the second DOA was cut). Farseer is more versatile and surely better against aggro.
What should I be discovering with Netherspite Historian?
It varies of course on the match up and current situation in the game. Against Reno Decks, I almost always pull a late-game dragon. Against Aggro, Twilight Guardian or Dragon Consort if not. Twilight Drake is a good pull also, especially if you can play it on turn 4 as a 4/6 or better. If you have a decision between Twilight Drake and a big Dragon against Control, only take Twilight Drake if it will fill your curve perfectly on Turn 4.
How should I use Brann Bronzebeard?
Against Aggro, some times it is best to play him on curve. If it is later in the game, I would save him to combo with Earthen Ring Farseer, Ivory Knight, or Defender of Argus.
Against Control, make sure you save him to get value from either Azure Drake, Netherspite Historian, Ivory Knight, Defender of Argus, or Blackwing Corruptor. Against very slow decks, you can refill your hand with a Turn 10 Brann + Netherspite Historian + Azure Drake.
(Please post any other questions you have and I'll try to answer them/include in F.A.Q.)
Matchups / Mulligans (1/16):
Druid is pretty slow currently. Your main priority is to throw out as many overstatted minions as possible. Aside from obvious trades, you should be the aggressor in this match up and going face. Most of your minions have higher health counts that Swipe doesn't deal with well. If the game goes late, you have an Equality + Consecration to deal with a board of golems. Try to save Aldor Peacekeeper for 5 attack or higher minions, but it can be used for Tempo on an Azure Drake if you are controlling the board. Early Faerie Dragon is really tough for them to stop.
Hunter is also slow right now. Be the aggressor in this match up as well. Save Aldor Peacekeeper for Savannah Highmane usually, but it's good as a Tempo play early against a 4/4 or 4/2. You can play around his traps well because of the number of minions you play and their various health.
The number of mid game threats that we have (while not flooding the board completely) with high health counts is tough for them to deal with. In addition to that, you have healing mechanics and extra reach for lethal (Consecration after he Freezes your board in Ice Block). Be the aggressor in this match up 100% to the face. Try to play around Blizzard and Flamestrike and keep extra burst damage for after Ice Block (Blackwing Corruptor, Truesilver Champion, Consecration). Try to bait hard removal on overstatted mid ranged minions to preserve Tirion and/or Ragnaros.
Truesilver is especially good in this match up to deal with Flamewaker. This match up is a little bit trickier but not too difficult. Sometimes he can burn you down and you can't do anything about it, but otherwise you will be fine. You'll want to prioritize clearing the board of most of his minions (Azure Drake, Flamewaker, Sorcerer's Apprentice).
This match up is pretty straight forward, be the aggressor and force him to make trades. His early game will be slow so you should be able to snowball the board before his buff cards' efficiency is worth it.
Rarely you will find a super aggro Murloc that can run us over without a strong opening. More commonly you'll find Anyfin Paladins. The game plan here is to race to the finish, be super aggressive and rarely trade unless its completely obvious. The addition of Equality and Deathwing helps come back in the late game, but ideally you'll want threaten lethal before turn 10.
Keep a Book Wyrm in your mulligan as it is the MVP of this match (especially if you can buff it to 4/7). The key is (against Reno or Dragon) is to throw out as many 4 attack minions as possible. Think about this when playing Grimestreet Outfitter as it makes most of our minions 4 attack. You may want to not play Twilight Guardian if you can wait for Outfitter to buff it first. Book Wyrm is amazing against opposing Twilight Guardians or Book Wyrms, and their Dragonfire Potion is not as effective against us. The only tough card to deal with is Drakonid Operative, but save your Aldor Peacekeeper for that and/or Equality. Pick Big Dragons with Netherspite Historian. It's usually not the best play to throw down a Faerie Dragon on turn 2, because if he responds with the 2/4 Taunt you lose a lot of tempo. The Priest will likely use a Shadow Word: Death on a 5/5 or 6/6 mid ranged threat which protects your bigger and badder late game threats.
Rogue: Slightly Unfavored. Grimestreet Outfitter, Netherspite Historian, Faerie Dragon, Earthen Ring Farseer, Twilight Guardian. Keep Truesilver Champion with The Coin if you have a good hand already. You can keep Second-Rate Bruiser also if you have a decent hand.
Rogue can be tough whether its Miracle, Piracle, or Aggro. You'll want to curve out as best as possible, but don't play defensively. You should be able to stabilize early, but it's important to apply the pressure before they get to turns with Gadgetzan. Sometimes Equality + Consecration will save you against a concealed board. You need a good starting hand to combat the early pirates. Since adding 2x Earthen Ring Farseer and 1x Second-Rate Bruiser my win % has gone up against Rogue. Heal yourself and Taunt up - but don't trade his minions except with Truesilver, especially against Tomb Pillager or Auctioneer.
Don't play Faerie Dragon on turn 2 as he can easily counter it with Jade Claws. If it is Aggro Shaman, it's a straight forward defensive match. Clear his board, heal and taunt up. It's okay to use Aldor Peacekeeper on Totem Golem.
This match up is pretty close. I haven't played many games since the Farseer change. Save a Book Wyrm, Truesilver Charge, or Blackwing Corruptor to deal with Flametongue or Mana Tide totems. It's okay to use Aldor Peacekeeper on Totem Golem. Keep in mind how many AoE spells he has used so far when building your board. Clear Spell Damage minions!
Reno Lock is a great deck, but we have a decent match up against it. It is the hardest match up to play correctly. When playing against Reno Lock, I recommend opening up a standard list and thinking about which cards he could possibly respond with to play around. If you play into one of his easy removals Reno Lock can snowball from there. Generally speaking, your mid ranged threats can be too much for him as Warlock only has 1 or 2 single target hard removals. Think long term - pick all big dragons with Netherspite and try to keep a Truesilver ready in case he plays Brann as a tempo play (which is a big mistake on their part). Brann + Kazakus is crazy good and if they get that with decent tempo you will probably lose. If you eat up a hard removal before playing Rag, it can swing the game in your favor. Be aggressive in this match up and try to force an early Reno (sometimes he won't have it and you will win on turn 5-7). Be wary of a turn a 8 Twisting Nether and try to build difficult boards for him to clear.
Our worst matchup, although it has improved since adding Earthen Ring Farseer. Their opening is too explosive and even if we get the perfect counter opening, we can still lose to their face damage. Your best hope is that they don't get the perfect hand and you get an early Taunt + Heals. If you can stabilize the board without taking too much damage in the first four turns you can win. I wouldn't really trade in this match up much because your often trading a 3/5 into a 2/1 where you will still die eventually to his weapons. The amount of Pirate Warriors has gone down a little bit.. hopefully more so as people play hard counters. Sometimes a Truesilver Champion is very good to deal with a turn 3 Frothing Berserker.
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Regardless I'll be happy to respond to your comments, questions, suggestions, etc.
D R A G O N P A L A D I N