Well met! I am tholwmenos, 23 year old Professional Hearthstone player from Greece, playing for Panathinaikos AC eSports. Few hours ago I hit Rank 1 Legend EU with this Aggressive/Midrange Murloc Paladin deck.
End of April Update: This list is still working great. I used it in my last day push in EU ladder and achieved an easy Top 100 Legend Finish.
End of May Update: Meta is getting too fast in high legend ranks at the moment, but this may vary if you are playing in another rank. If you think that you face too many aggro druids and pirate warriors, you can try removing cards like Kodo and Divine Favour. Stonehill defender/Golakka Crawlers would be nice replacements.
This is the first and original Aggressive Murloc Paladin. Since I made it public, it got insane popularity and by the time I update this post, you can possibly see some variations running around in Ladder. This list shook up the meta and caused a lot of people to tech against it. Still, I think its power level is really high and ensures high win ratios when played optimally.
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Screenshot of hitting Rank #1 EU
I used ONLY this deck to climb from ~4000 Legend rank to the very highest rank #1, meaning I had an insane win ratio.
Don't be afraid to play your minions, just for their stats without getting any value. You may need to play a Coldlight Seer on turn 3 as a 2/3 or a Megasaur on turn 4 as a 5/4. It's a big mistake to play nothing because you feel like losing value. Tempo is really important in a lot of matchups.
Don't hit face like crazy. We dont have the insane damage reach pirate warrior has. Create boards that your opponent cannot deal with. In later turns, if you lose board and cant keep up anymore, try to calculate your good outcomes to close out a game.
Don't be afraid to take risks. For example: Playing around Brawl is correct most of the time. But you have to realise those situations where you cannot. If you back down , and overthink around every possible devastating card your opponent has in his hand, you will lower your win ratio.
Coldlight Seer is played before Warleader most of the time. Get the health, create a board hard to remove then play Warleader for more damage. Warleader damage is like charge, the more the best. Warleaders helps dominating the board, and pushing a lot of damage to the enemy hero. Sometimes you should be patient to get the maximum value out of him. Each situation differs.
Short Mulligan and Matchup Guide
You have to search for 1drops, so you can trade efficiently with their weak stuff in the early game. Don't hard mulligan though, you should keep 2drops as well (expect Bluegill). If you find a curve (like 1-2-3, or 1-2, Truesilver, consider keeping it). You can keep 2x 2drops and 1x 3drop if you are going second, you setup a curve that way. As long as you are able to trade nicely in the early game, cards like Blessing of Kings, Consecration, Truesilver Champion and buffs will help you easily secure your win in the mid game. Don't be afraid to hit a 6/6 buffed minion into a 2/2 rat. Its ok to trade if a possible houndmaster threatens to destroy you.
Warrior can be a bit tricky because of the 2 different archetypes in ladder (pirate and taunt). Try to mulligan around what you face more is one thing to consider. Otherwise, mulligan for pirate warrior because it is a more difficult match where you may need very specific cards to win (compared to taunt warrior where you can win with weaker hands). If you face to many pirates, Golakka Crawler is not a bad tech choice. It will make the matchup favourable. Best cards to exclude from the deck for Golakka are Divine favour (if you face an aggro meta) and Stampeding Kodo.
Aggro druid is definitely the hardest matchup. If you are playing first, you need 1drop more than any matchup. Rockpool hunter is good to have, as a vanilla 2/3 may require some attention, whereas Hydrologist is not much trouble as a 2/2 to deal with. Try to drop your minions, trade as much as you can, and stabilize. If you are in a decent spot early, our midgame is by far stronger.
A favourable matchup. You are free to be greedier in your mulligans vs rogues. Warleader is a keep even if you go first, considering you have an 1drop. If second, 1drops,2drops and warleader are keeps. Consider keeping Megasaur if you have a really good curve. You have to trade a lot in the early game, protecting every single of your minions. Rogue has a hard time clearing big boards, you dont care if you lose few face damage if you setup a big board to win later.
Whoever curves out better wins, if both players are playing correctly. Keep 1 drops/rockpool hunter as first. Keep Warleader if second with 1 drop. Trade everything because if you let your opponent get value out of Health/warleader/adapt buffs you will be in trouble. Be careful how you trade, around stuff like Consecration.
An easy matchup if played correctly. General rules apply here, keep 1-drops/2drops. Keep warleader if you have 1drop or 2 drop. If you miss turn 1 its fine vs Priest. You can always come back because they have a hard time dealing with minions. 4attack your minions if possible (finja with steed is game). Play the value game, cards like Truesilver Champion/Finja/Divine favour/Megasaur help a lot for this. Choose good adaptations, to create AOE resistant boards if possible. I win this matchup by presenting more threats than they can deal with in the long game. Silence priest is a bit harder, if they find the nuts and trade efficiently with everything we play, but it is unlikely. Poison adaptation or Sunkeeper tarim close out games and deal efficiently with their big health stuff.
Warlock in 2k17 lul
2 types of Mage around at the moment. Freeze and Control with Medivh. Same approach goes for both matchups. Control mage is favourable for us, they cannot deal with all the threats we present and a lot of times divine favour destroys them. Freeze mage is harder but not so bad as people think. Try to curve out early, mulligan for 1drops/2drops/warleader if you got any 1-2 curve. Always keep Stampending Kodo in your starting hand. There are possibilities you curve out so well that they cannot deal with your board and secure a quick win. If thats not the case, play smartly around AOE spells. Be cautious of the damage you SMOrc to the face, popping block on time is crucial. 90% of the time pick Eye for an Eye from Hydrologist. This secret is nuts in this matchup and locks out any burn OTK potential they have. You have to pop them at 1 for this to work though.
Shaman is pretty bad at the moment, but you should be careful. Mulligan for 1/2drops , try to take out totems and small stuff early. Play around Jade claws if you can, prefering to play your 1/3 instead of tidecaller if the situation needs it. Play correctly around portals and storms if possible, its the only way for them to comeback. Their minions are not fearsome and we can get really valuable trades with help buffs and adaptations. Do not hit face too much, you may be punished. Dominate the board and win in the mid/late game.
Few comments about some common misbeliefs I saw in the comment section:
About taunt warrior: It is NOT a bad matchup. It is one of the best matchups actually. Less experienced players are really likely to misplay in this one though! Be careful how you approach it. Play smartly around removals, do not overextened into brawls if you already got enough minions. Do not overbuff a minion and make it an excellent execute target. Play smartly around removals, trade correctly. Our deck has enough early pressure and cards like Sunkeeper Tarim, Tirion and Divine favour are MORE than enough to close out games vs taunt warrior.
About Hunter: This is ALSO a really good matchup. You have to trade too much though! All the early turns are about trading anything, even 1/1s! Do not let yourself lose to adaptations and houndmasters, just to push 2 or 3 early face damage. It is totally irrelevant and it is really likely you will get punished. If you lose to Hunters I suppose this should be the most common misplay done.
About Mage/Priest: Same goes here. Those classes have some removal and possibly some early tempo that can punish you if you play wrong. These matchups are really favourable, but I have a feeling that most guys in the comment section underestimate the decision making they have to make when playing aggro Paladin, and prefer to rush in the comment section to complain instead. You have to know what to expect from your opponent. What kind of removal is he about to play and how you can make it awkward for him to do it. How to maximize damage, without forgetting to trade (if there are punishments for not doing so), how to adapt correctly, which minion to buff and when, which secret to get. I cannot write a full guide for this, each game, each matchup and each situation is different! Consider the reasons you lost a game, even experienced players do this after each loss , there is always something to improve! Definitely better than complaining about luck/the deck. I would not lie to you if a matchup was bad.
Aggro: Yeah, this deck has bad stats vs the 2 aggressive decks, pirate warrior and aggro druid. Adapting to the meta-game though is your own responsibility. If you find TOO much of them and cannot afford losing most of these games, it is your responsibility to tech in Golakka Crawler, or even play something else for that time being!
Sample sizes, win ratios: Some people complain about going into a eg. 0-5 win streak. Yeah, this is supposed to happen in Hearthstone. It is a game which involves variance, and it is pretty much natural to draw badly in 5-10 or even 15 games in a row! Why not? What makes a deck good is its consistency over a larger sample of games. If you are playing correctly, I can guarantee you that you will be rewarded.
I hope this helps. Hearthstone is a really complex game to fit everything in a few lines.
Consider booking me for a lesson so we can talk in depth about every situation.
Contact me: Skype "tholwmenos" or PM me here
THANKS FOR THE FEEDBACK GUYS!! MUCH APPRECIATED!!