Note: The variant of the deck before this one didn't have Golakka Crawlers but used 1x Pyromancer and 2nd Equality instead. I have changed it to tech against "micro" meta I have been playing in on ranks 2-Legend, it was filled with Face Warriors, Quest/Miracle Rogues and Aggro/Token Druids (that ran 1/2 pirate + Patches). If you see that you face more of some other decks just throw Crawlers out and tech in something else or choose some decent all-rounder cards!
This is the 1st season I had the motivation to play after The Great Depression of MSG and bots being able to hit Legend in a week while clicking face, which defeated the purpose both of climbing the ladder and playing at all for me - well, until now! So I climbed up with various decks but ended up hitting Legend from the end of the Rank 5 (4 stars if I remember) with this Paladin.
Posting here my variation of now already popular Control/Midrange/Murloc deck - it has curve and elements of many midrange decks yet it has also some control sh*t and bunch of murlocs, so it's hard to clearly define it's archetype but it's just called Midrange on various meta reports. The list was different at the beginning but ended up kicking Finja out thanks to the advice of my pro friend Theo, and I ended up kicking Wild Pyromancer and 1 Equality for 2x Golakka Crawlers cos last couple of days Aggro/Token Druids, Pirate Warriors and Rogues reached level 9000 on the ladder.
Anyways, here is the latest, in my opinion the most optimized list that I used from Rank 2 to Legend while from R5 to R2 I used previous variations that evolved to this very list. I didn't take screenshots when I hit Legend so I just have "proof" that I made it to Legend - you can only believe I didn't play Face Warrior:
I know dumpster doesn't really count in the eyes of many, but maybe I end up higher, at least the deck works to Legend for sure. As for the tracker, I didn't use it last couple of matches cos Track-o-Bot just didn't start for some reason last time, but I will upload when I reset PC from R5-R2, it was 56-57% win rate with most matchups being favored except Druid, Rogue and Mage (Freeze was the only Mage I faced and Rogue matchup improved a lot last couple of games with the included Crawlers).
EDIT: Forgot about the tracker completely, here you go guys humble but enough 56.2% (right click open in new tab to zoom in):
Even tho rated as midrange deck on meta reports (and it is in a way) in later stages in the game it's pretty much pure control, you are heavily controlling the board, playing greedy high cost cards and curve is not really pure midrange. In early stages of the game you mulligan almost exclusively for the murlocs and crabs, and play tempo/mid game and might even go for aggro/tempo plays to face forcing your opponent to spend valuable resources to clear, yet completely out-value almost any control with your own control cards in later stages of the game. It's important not to be too greedy neither vs control nor vs aggro, cos you win vs control often by rushing them down and vs aggro you often wanna drop literally anything just to survive, so for example don't wait for a murloc to be on board to buff it with Rockpool - just drop it ASAP for future trade or you will be dead much sooner than that value buff would happen. So play safe and don't be too greedy, value comes automatically in later stages of the game.
- Why to use at all/why only one Equality? - I used 2 at 1st but ended up never using any. I just left one in case, it can sometimes be good vs Quest Rogue, but one single deck doesn't justify keeping a pair of them, also with Pyromancer kicked out for the same reason it makes even less sense to keep 2x Equality.
- Why to use Ivory Knight? - I haven't seen many people run this one but I found it's value to be just too good + it's often auto win vs Freeze Mage that is one of the few negative matchups cos it heals for 8 almost always (or even more if you discover Lay on Hands which is not that rare).
- Why not Finja, the Flying Star? - It doesn't do all that much really without Bluegill Warriors, and it also just pull murlocs whose effect you actually wanna use and even that is rarely guaranteed since not every matchup has 2 hp thing waiting for you to remove with Finja. Also since you keep all murlocs in mulligan and if Finja draws another 2, there is very high chance there won't be a murloc to be drawn by Curator. I kept it at 1st but it didn't show good and I just listened to friend's advice and kicked it out.
- Why do you use Golakka Crawler? It's usually bad to tech cards for ladder. It may be smart to do on tournaments, for example tech in Ooze and ban non-weapon class (stupid example but just to show the point), but on ladder you usually want to go for good all rounder cards. However, on high ranks right before the Legend I started to see some Aggro/Token Druids that kept Patches and 1/2 pirate, a lot of Rogues, both Miracle and Quest and Pirate Warriors, over 50% of all matches and crab is also a better statted 2 drop (2/3 is better than 3/2 like say Ooze) and has so beneficial effect that it's often auto win vs those decks yet it has some synergy with Curator since it's a beast. Of course you may want to kick this out depending on what you face so consider it a flexible spot, tho I would keep it in 1-3 mana range for sure or you would miss early game.
- Pirate Warrior - This matchup can be very favorable or pretty unfavorable depending on your tech choices. Very good matchup if you run 2 crabs and anything but good if you don't. Play this one very defensively, clear everything you can and don't seek any form of value but purely try to defend and survive and you will outvalue him by default at some point if you survive 1st 5-7 turns. Choose the cheapest possible taunt you can with 1/4 discover and don't pick Tirion and such!
- Taunt Warrior - If you don't have early murlocs for rush play this greedy, seek most possible value, try to get bunch of murlocs on board before Adapt (unlike say Face Warrior where you might just drop 5/4 without any murloc on field so you can trade it the turn after) and try to play around brawl, for example if you have Tirion and Rag on board don't do hero power at all! Also save Vilefin Inquisitor if possible for post-Sulfuras game cos it will refresh your hero power to create another 1/1 which is counter to his hero power.
- Quest/Miracle Rogue - To me Rogue as a class was unfavorable in total but when I placed in crabs matchups just improved, probably can be over 50% which is huge difference from previous ~40%. Play very defensively also and clear everything cos you don't want him to go quest on you with full board, smart usage of Equality and Sunkeeper are the key factors here if it's Quest Rogue while Miracle match plays somehow itself and you will be forced to play certain cards due to his tempo. Always save 1 charge of Truesilver for Auctioneer, you must have way to remove it asap or you can just concede.
- Freeze Mage - Save Stampeding Kodo for either Doomsayer or Acolyte of Pain, play around AoEs when possible - for example better trade 1/1 into his Loot Hoarder and lose that 1/1 then to trade 1/3 and have 2x 1/1s on board, 1x 1/3 is worth more than 2x 1/1 in this instance cos of Blizzard and his ping). Ragnaros, Lightord and 6 mana 4/4 are the cards that will win you this game unless you get godlike curve with murlocs in early game. Don't be afraid to ruin your whole board with Sunkeeper Tarim if it will mean that you won't have damaged minion for Rag to heal it (cos you want it to heal your face). Even use Equality sometimes for this if it will mean guaranteed heal on face. Always discover highest possible cost card with 6 mana 4/4 for most heal and if possible discover Dirty Rat or Wickerflame Burnbristle with Stonehills - to lure out his Alexstrasza or 2/3 draw or to heal with Wicker.
- Mid/Zoo Hunter - This was one of the easier matchups since you have enough early game with murlocs and weapon to defend and late game you just crush them with bunch of board control, value, heal etc. No special advice here really, just follow curve and the match will play itself.
I barely saw any Shamans and I was 4-0 vs them, they were usually mix of jades and elementals, simply too slow to rush you down and you just have more value later, it's very, very easy and no special advice here except that you should be slightly more greedy to make sure you outvalue them later. As for the Priests it was also favorable but really low sample to comment on them, I saw like 4 different decks so no clue what advice to give there, one was Dragon Priest (in 2017 LUL) one was some wierd midrange-ish deck, one was silence that was auto-win and one was that streamer Jackiechan with some OTK that killed me with 36/36 Priest of the Feast.
- Vilefin Inquisitor - Keep always
- Golakka Crawler - Keep always vs Warrior, Druid, Rogue, and can keep if you have turn 1 already (just to be played on curve it's still a decent 2/3 body)
- Hydrologist - Keep always
- Rockpool Hunter - Can keep always except vs Warrior, Druid, Rogue where you want either Vilefin or Golakka Crawler (or both)
- Murloc Warleader - Keep only if you have Vilefin and Rockpool/Hydro
- Stonehill Defender - Keep only if you have turn 1 or/and 2
- Vilefin Inquisitor - Keep always
- Golakka Crawler - Can keep always but must keep vs Warrior, Druid, Rogue
- Hydrologist - Keep always
- Rockpool Hunter - Keep always
- Murloc Warleader - Can keep if you have 1 or 2 mana cost murloc (or both even better)
- Stonehill Defender - Keep if you have turn 1-2, can keep vs Warrior if you know it's a taunt, if it's Face just mulligan it away
- Gentle Megasaur - Keep if you have Vilefin and another murloc
- Truesilver Champion - Can keep if you have good turn 1,2 and hopefully 3
- Tirion Fordring - No clue, will need to think and possibly try a couple of cards, it's just too good and it's hard to find the replacement. I would probably go for 2nd Primordial Drake and if not Lay on Hands, however if you miss Rag too, don't go for 2 Lays for sure!
- Ragnaros, Lightlord - Similar to Tirion, but you could use Lay on Hands for heal which is the thing you use Rag for - especially good vs Freeze Mage after Alex!
- Sunkeeper Tarim - Need to think about this one as well, since it's very unique and does what you need it to do, but it's often used for clearing the board which you could use 2nd Equality for as well as a budget replacement, but just like Tirion it should be priority for crafting.
- Epic Murlocs (Warleaders, Inquisitors and Gentlemans) - I would suggest to search FenoHS (Fenomeno) or Savjz Control Paladin lists - pretty similar except they don't run any murlocs except Hydrologists and the deck works.