Hmmm. Let's imagine for a sec how you manage to overkill one minion. Since the 2/2 stats are roughly worth 2 mana, this will become a Fiery War Axe (3/2 weapon) + the 2/2 buff.
If you manage to overkill 2 minions, this will be a 1 mana 3/1 weapon and a Blessing of Kings for a minion in your hand.
Of course, you get extra value when you use the weapon to kill something. So you get the value of the weapon's damage and the hand buff. On paper this looks nice, but I fear that paladins don't want it. Too slow, too clunky and Val'anyr is better.
because this does twice as much buff and has 1 more attack?
But... if you actually want the buff you have to not only kill something, but actually overkill it. So 2 health or less, effictively making this a 5 mana 2/3 weapon that can’t attack face if you want to get that handbuff. Does that sound playable to you?
My wild hand-buff paladin has win rate around 60% it's pretty good deck actually, but 2 weapons in hand at the same time could just ruin the game, so Val'anyr is still better fit the deck than this one especially with Saronite Chain Gang and Doppelgangster deathrattle synergy
Damn, I hate the handbuff mechanic as a whole, reeeeeeally boring to play. Would have loved something ells, but hey here we are with this and I guess the people who do enjoy "play X and do nothing for the rest of the round" get to enjoy this.
Given the mana cost, it's hard to see this coming down early enough to reliably trigger the overkill. That, plus the general consensus that handbuff paladin just doesn't work, means this doesn't make the cut for me.
Why would you play this over Val'anyr, for example?
I want to like this card, I really really do. I adore handbuff paladin and still play it today. But this card...it's so close to good enough but just not quite there.
If you don't overkill anything, it's basically a 3/3 weapon for 5, which is bad. A 3/3 weapon is worth ~3-3.5 mana, so you overpay quite a bit.
If you overkill all 3 minions, it's basically a 2/3 weapon which casts Soul Infusion 3 times. A 2/3 weapon is worth ~2-2.5 mana, and each trigger is worth 1 mana, so all in that's about ~5-5.5 mana. Which is fair I guess but fair is not good enough for constructed.
There are so many tweaks that would have made it good. If it had 1 more attack, or 1 more durability, or cost (1) less, or if it gave +3/+3, or if it gave +2/+2 to all minions in hand than it'd be excellent. But as it is...I don't think it's good enough, which makes me sad.
Hand buff can only work in situations where it provides a significant tempo gain. When Zoo finds a way to weave a 1 mana soul infusion into their turn three and then bombs you with 4/5 chain gangs on 4 that's strong. Playing a sub-par weapon on turn 5 then using it to kill a 2 health minion so you can drop the same 4/5 chain gangs on turn 6 is nowhere near as good. But watch somebody play 2 of these in a control/combo deck with cards like equality and shrink ray and buff a Leeroy to high heavens for an OTK