This deck has been featured on episodes #35 and #40 of the Happy Hearthstone in a deck battle. You can hear the podcast and see videos of the deck in action here:
- Episode #35: http://gamediplomat.com/hearthstone-the-survival-paladin-deck/
- Episode #40: http://gamediplomat.com/hearthstone-the-last-standin-paladin-deck/
(Note the card list on the right has been updated, but the list below does not currently match. I'll try to catch up the list below soon.)
2x Argent Squire -- He may be small, but is a good trump to aggro decks and a good target for Blessing of Wisdom -- especially early in the game. He also wears Blessing of Kings well if he’s still got his shield. He’s a great turn 1 drop, but also surprisingly relevant later in the game, whether it’s feeding a Blood Knight, getting taunt from Sunfury Protector, or getting a late-game blessing, or just acting as a persistent source of small damage.
2x Argent Protector -- More divine shield! Good for protecting minions with Blessings, shoring up your taunt minions, or protecting your attackers so they can survive a suicide attack. Generally you don’t want to cast him without a target, but if you need board presence, it’s not the end of the world.
1x Haunted Creeper -- True to this deck's concept, this guy is great for keeping more minions on the board. He also works exceptionally well with Redemption. While he and his summoned minions are all small, in total they add up to 3/4 for 2 mana, which is a better deal than even Harvest Golem.
2x Sunfury Protector --Having good divine shield and deathrattle effects on your creatures only helps so much if your opponent is walking right past them. Aggro decks are especially worrisome, since they’ll be spending their turns killing you, and you’ll be spending your turns killing their minions. And in the later game when you’re low on HP, they can just kill you with charge minions. This card is the answer! It’s more likely in this deck than most to have good targets -- you’re more likely to have at least 2 minions, and creatures with divine shield must be hit at least twice each! One of my favorite plays is putting this between two Argent Squires or Scarlet Crusaders
2x Aldor Peacekeeper -- Good insurance against bigger control creatures. But don’t be afraid to play early in the game if you can target something with at least 3 attack. Like Argent Protector, it’s ideal to hold off on casting this until you have a good target. But if your mana would go unused otherwise and he’d likely live to attack next turn, you should probably just go ahead and play him. This is a very strong card and should be in nearly any Paladin deck you play.
1x Blood Knight -- Totally worth pulling divine shield off your own guys for. It’s awesome to get a 6/6 or 9/9 for 3 mana. Generally worth holding until it can hit something. While he’s a lot of fun and can swing the game in your favor, I’m only running 1 because the second will often have less impact, but running 2 is probably fine. Like Aldor Peacekeeper, you can cast him as a 3/3 for 3 in a pinch, but he’s at his best when eating at least one shield. Also remember, he eats opposing shields, and the ideal time to drop him is if your opponent has a shield in play.
2x Scarlet Crusader -- Takes 2 hits to die, and does decent damage. Also, comes back good as new from Redemption. A great target for Sunfury Protector, or for a refresher on his shield from Argent Protector.
1x Shade of Naxxramas -- This is a good card with many uses. It's generally good to let it grow for a turn or two before bringing it into the foray. It's especially useful to throw a shield on it, as the more health it has, the more likely it is to gain even more health and attack. It also works reasonably well with Redemption, as it comes back stealthed and with only 1 health less than its original state.
1x Sludge Belcher -- Great against aggro, as he can usually trade 2-1, and sometimes 3-1. If he triggers Redemption, you not only get him back as a taunt creature, but you also get an extra 1/2 taunt minion from his Deathrattle effect.
1x Cairne Bloodhoof -- What’s better than a Chillwind Yeti? 2 Chillwind Yetis! This guy is ideal for triggering your Redemption if you can arrange it, as you get an <i>extra</i> 4/5 out of the deal, on top of all the other perks.
1x Sylvanas Windrunner -- This is a very efficient card even under normal circumstances, as it trades only 1 stat point (or 1/2 mana) for an amazing ability that can turn an entire game around. It's possible for a savvy opponent to play around her ability and make it whiff, but even then, the change to your opponent's strategy may itself have been worth half a mana. But in this deck, this card shines even more. If you can combo her with Redemption or Kel'Thuzad, for example, you can get some serious extra mileage.
1x Tirion Fordring -- Speaks for himself. He’s amazing… if you get to turn 8. He is capable of saving games that you would have otherwise lost. Tirion is also a fantastic target for Redemption, and that combo works pretty often thanks to Tirion’s built-in taunt.
1x Kel'Thuzad -- Hoo boy, this guy is amazing. He's good in nearly any minion-heavy deck, but he's especially good in decks with lots of deathrattle effects (like this one). He often dominates games when he's played, and one of the biggest issues is that the board often fills up if he's able to live a turn or two. That's a nice project to have though, as it means you're likely to win very soon. Note: When you have KT on a full board, learn to kill off your big things before your small things, as the things that died first will come back first. That's important when you don't have room to re-summon everyone that died that turn.
1x Avenge -- While not the strongest card in this deck, it works fairly well. It's a highly efficient card given its mana cost, and with lots of divine shield and taunt, this deck is better positioned than most to capitalize on the resulting stat boost.
2x Blessing of Wisdom -- A decent card under any circumstances, it’s especially good here given all the divine shield. Remember -- don’t play this card until you’re about to attack with that minion! While it depends on circumstance a bit, I often throw this on my weakest creature to force them to decide if they want to kill my stronger creature threats, or if they want to keep me from drawing more cards. My favorite target for this is on an Argent Squire that still has his shield, particularly on Turn 2. Lastly, remember that in a pinch, you can put this on your opponent’s meanest creature to keep it from attacking, or reward you a bit if it does.
2x Redemption -- The thematic core of the deck; most minions in the deck benefit from Redemption more than usual. Keep in mind this isn’t a very good card normally, but this deck was built to have cards that work well with it. Unfortunately, one huge drawback is that the 1/1 minions created by your hero ability are never something you want to trigger this card. So be careful with that.
2x Blessing of KingsThis thing makes anyone huge. It can help you win combat against the unexpected hunk of beef your opponent dropped, or can add to a huge amount of damage to your opponent’s life total. It’s especially effective when added to a minion that has divine shield. In those cases, I like to go straight for the opponent’s face if I can, and make them kill off their team dealing with the guy.
2x Consecration -- A useful card against anyone, but especially deadly against aggro decks. The 2 damage it does to your opponent directly is a nice bonus folks often overlook. Even against control decks, this card is good as it can often weaken a group of creatures enough that you can hit them with one attack of your own.
2x Truesilver Champion -- A strong and versatile card that can be used to either hurt your opponent badly, or help maintain board control. Plus, it gives you some ambient healing that can often make a big difference.
Given that this is a pretty heavily-themed deck that relies on certain synergies to really stand out (Divine Shield + Redemption, Blood Knight, Blessings, etc.), you want to keep that in mind when considering what cards to substitute in.
Abusive Sergeant -- Great for a quick damage burst, especially to trade up on an attacking minion w/ divine shield. I’ve started using this guy in a lot of decks. You generally don’t want to drop him on turn 1, but there are cases where that can make sense.
Loot Hoarder -- The deathrattle effect helps draw into the more important cards in your deck, and for that reason is a good substitution if you don’t have all the cards in the core deck. Also, 2/1 for 2 is pretty good considering you get the extra card out of the deal. And it also works well with Redemption. All things considered, this is one of the better substitutions.
Earthen Ring Farseer -- He helps survive aggro assaults, or can heal some of your bigger minions in an attrition war. Not a great substitution, but you could certainly do worse.
Harvest Golem -- A strongly efficient card in most decks, but suits this deck particularly well. It works well with Redemption, and is a good target for Sunfury Protector. It’s especially good against aggro decks where many creatures have only 2 power. His deathrattle functions as it’s own kind of divine shield. (Note: I recently removed one of these to put a Haunted Creeper in its place.)
Jungle Panther -- Jungle Panther is a little out of step for this deck, but helps apply some great burst damage where needed. He wears shields exceptionally well from Argent Protector, he comes back stealthed from Redemption, he trades up cost-efficiently, he survives most AoE while stealthed, and he can stay alive longer than usual in this deck thanks to all the taunt. Lastly, another often-overlooked quality about this guy is that he is a straight trump to an entire class of utility creatures that he can take out in one hit while staying alive: Demolisher, Imp Master, Shieldbearer, Armorsmith, Silverback Patriarch, Voidwalker, Summoning Portal, Mana Wyrm, Master Swordsmith, Acolyte of Pain, and tons more. You’ll be surprised how often he makes efficient trades.
Sen'jin Shieldmasta -- Great against aggro, as he can usually trade 2-1, and sometimes 3-1. Also keeps taunt if he comes back from Redemption. This guy really helps shore up the deck against agro. (Note: I recently replaced this with Sledge Belcher)
Silvermoon Guardian -- Like Scarlet Crusader, but with a couple extra health for 1 more mana. Overall, I like this less than Scarlet Crusader in this deck, but it’s still fine. I recently switched one of these out for a Jungle Panther.
Ironfur Grizzly -- Another option to help survive aggro assaults. I find him preferable to the Earthen Ring Farseer thanks to his taunt. In a similar vein, you may also want to consider a second Sen’jin Shieldmasta as well -- I think that’s slightly more efficient than the Ironfur Grizzly even.
Frostwolf Warlord -- Since you’re usually going to have a ton of guys sitting around, you might as well use them to make a big Warlord! I used this card for a while, and it was a good fit. I pulled it from the my own version because it doesn’t work very well with Redemption and is fairly expensive, but it could be a great substitution for the legendaries in the deck if you don’t have them.
Sunwalker -- A decent substitution for the legendaries if you don’t have one or both. It protects your smaller guys in the late game so they can get some extra hits, and it works really well with Redemption (comes back as a 4/1 w/ taunt and divine shield!). It’s a bit expensive, but fine to add if you don’t have one of the other expensive cards the deck prefers.
Lay on Hands -- Useful when game goes long. It gives a huge burst of healing, plus 3 more cards to play. The key is to stay alive until at least turn 8, and then this will swing the game strongly in your favor.