The Light and...

The Light and How to Swing It: Paladin Class Card 101

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reinforceAs an analyst for League of Legends and generally just a massive geek who plays too many video games, I often find myself comparing X to Y in video games to find out what is the strongest tactic or method in a game in order to play it at a decent level. Finding myself addicted to Hearthstone lately, I decided to use my knowledge of how to analyze things from other games such as LoL or numerous fighting games to try and break down this CCG as best I can. Please remember before you read through my ratings are by no means set in stone. They are meant to be a set of discussion points for advanced players to think about and introductory knowledge to newer players, not a dictionary definition of each card.

Grading Scale

  • 0 : Seriously, don’t put this card in your deck. It’s bad and I will probably explain why it is bad on a card by card basis.
  • 1: Unless you are running a strategy that heavily centers around needing this card or a strategy that buffs this card to overwhelming value, skip it.
  • 2: A card that is usually worth considering at least. Weigh your options, and be sure that there are no alternatives that do the same thing for your deck but do it slightly better. (Think Argent Protector vs Hand of Protection for Paladins)
  • 3: Now we’re getting to the good stuff. These cards are good, but they lack the utility of 4 and 5 scoring cards. Often good at doing one thing and doing it well, they are perfect if you need them to do that one thing. It can slice, but don’t expect it to dice.
  • 4: Strong cards. You can almost expect to encounter this card once, maybe twice per encounter against this class and you should probably have at least one of these in every deck you make for said class.
  • 5: These are the true class defining cards. Fitting in either an aggressive or control deck, these cards are the staples of the class and you can expect to see two in nearly every situation (Or more if you’re in arena).

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Light’s Justice

A really weak, high durability weapon that often will wind up causing more harm than good for the Paladin. Can become a 3 damage 4 durability weapon with the help of an enraged Spiteful Smith, which makes it a double durability Firey War Axe. However, the conditions needed to meet this are too high to make it worth using in Arena ever and makes it difficult to justify in Constructed as well. You may be able to bait a Swamp Ooze out of a more inexperienced player as well, but depending on an opponent’s mistake in order to succeed is not a very strong strategy in competitive play. Overall, one of the weakest cards in the Paladin class specific set if not the entire game.

Arena: 0/5  |  Constructed: 1/5

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Blessing of Might

Situationally good at best, +3 damage to a minion can allow for some good trades (such as a Silver Hand Recruit tackling into a 4 HP card such as Dark Iron Dwarf). However, this is not a 1 drop that can help a game be turned around I feel. Compare it to a card like Rockbiter Weapon that lets you self cast it as well, and you’ll see what I mean. Needing a minion target is a crippling weakness for this card in games that have gone sour. Not a horrible 1 drop, but definitely not one of the better Paladin Class Cards either.

Arena: 1/5  |  Constructed: 2/5

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Blessing of Wisdom

A cheap card draw mechanic with the interesting option of putting it on an enemy minion, which allows you to draw off THEIR attacks. Besides that one gimmick of possibly making your opponent hesitant to attack, BoW is a decidedly average card. Not that great, not that terrible, and can add some cheap draw to a deck that is lacking.

Arena: 2/5  |  Constructed: 2/5

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Eye for an Eye

Oh what could be with this card and the current mage dominated meta. Eye for Eyeing a Pyroblast is a pretty satisfying feeling, but it will never happen against anyone who has had it happen to them before (As a Pyroblast counter, it would simply delay it a turn or two until they could Fire Blast you first, or whack you with a minion if they have one). Easy enough to clear with low damage, the most consistent use of Eye for an Eye is to go smack something with a Truesilver Champion and force your opponent to feel the recoil damage. Relying on your opponent to make a mistake, again, is not a very strong tactic in a competitive situation.

Arena: 0/5  |  Constructed: 1/5

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Hand of Protection

Not a bad card by any means, however in the 30 card limit decks that currently exist, there is very little reason to take this card over the insanely good 2 drop Argent Protector, which provides this spell and a minion. Good for strategies centered around Blood Knights and aggressive trading however, it can find it’s place in some Divine Shield centric decks.

Arena: 1/5  |  Constructed: 2/5

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Humility

Humility has the same problem that Hand of Protection does: It’s a decent spell at low cost but it is attached to a different card as a battlecry that also provides you with a cost efficient minion (3/3 for 3 in this case). Unlike HoP though, it doesn’t really have a place outside of being the Aldor Peacekeeper battlecry. Might see some use in a heavy late game meta, but that prospect is unlikely at best.

Arena: 1/5  |  Constructed: 1/5

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Noble Sacrifice

GET DOWN!! Probably the most consistently played Paladin secret. Noble Sacrifce trades well with a lot of 2 drops early and protects important targets such as Knife Juggler if you wish to go early game aggression. He even summons a knife when he spawns! Noble Sacrifice’s only weakness is that it’s so predictable people can bait it out, much like Vaporize from Mages. Fun side note, it can get buffed to a 3/2 with Sword of Justice, possibly leaving you with a 3/1 minion on the field in some situations.

Arena: 2/5  |  Constructed: 3/5

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Redemption

This secret is a lot stronger if you have a specific strategy involved with it instead of just throwing it in your deck for funsies. Being able to bring a minion back with 1 HP can be nice some situations, but it’s hard to justify it being in your deck with Paladin having so many incredibly good class cards already. Has good synergy with Divine Shield minions as they respawn with their Shields, Sylvanas Windrunner (this card is just too stupid), and minions with Charge (Respawning an Argent Commander gives both the Divine Shield and Charge!). Requiring heavy set up though, Redemption is a card that needs one or two specific buddies in your deck to be useful and is very difficult to use it’s own. Nothing feels worse than having it proc on a Silver Hand Recruit when you had it planned for something else.

Arena: 1/5  |  Constructed: 2/5

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Repentance

A secret that would have been much more powerful as a spell unfortunately (Hunter’s Mark). 1 mana cost to drop an enemy’s minion to 1 HP is a strong card, but by having it as a secret you can’t control what minion it goes on. By not getting this spell on the proper target, it loses out on a lot of it’s potential value. Would be better a spell, and there is a much better alternative in Equality.

Arena: 0/5  |  Constructed: 0/5

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Equality

Easily one of the best spell cards in the game, Equality in combination with a myriad of cards such as Abomination, Wild Pyromancer, Consecration or even Avenging Wrath can instantly wipe a board of the most tenacious creatures. The one caveat to the spell is that it also brings all of your own minions to 1 Health, so be sure to keep that in mind while employing this spell. Besides that drawback, you will be hard pressed to find any Paladin decks that do not run at least 1 Equality.

Arena: 4/5  |  Constructed: 5/5

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Holy Light

This is a card of debate for some people: 6 health for 2 mana can be helpful in slow, lategame oriented Paladin decks that many people run. Effectively negating the damage of a Fireball or two turns of a Flame Imp hitting you in the face while your slow deck gets into gear, Holy Light lets you also be a little more reckless with your Truesilver Champions. Fits well into slow decks, skip it for aggressive rushing decks.

Arena: 1/5  |  Constructed: 3/5 

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Argent Protector

Not on his watch. 2/2 for 2 with Hand of Protection as a Battlecry allows this card to be useful in almost any deck, either allowing aggressive trades all game long or protecting valuable early game minions like a Master Swordsmith or Young Priestess, this card’s battlecry can almost be treated as a removal spell equal to the damage of the creature you shield. Great value card, maybe a top 3 two mana cost minion in the entire game.

Arena: 5/5Constructed: 5/5

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Sword of Justice

A really weird weapon that shouldn’t be treated as such. A 1 damage 5 durability weapon, Sword of Justice’s real selling point is it’s ability of giving every unit you summon with the weapon equipped +1/+1. Remember when people ran Shattered Sun Cleric in every deck before the nerf? It’s battlecry, +1/+1, was so insanely good for early board control that it was almost mandatory in most decks. Here, you get the effect 5 times per weapon. Combining it with Silver Hand Recruit for a 2/2 for 2 mana and NO CARD cost is an effective trading device, but the +1/+1 can also be useful late game of course. Additionally, don’t forget that this thing is a weapon still and swinging it can sometimes nip problems in the bud if the target would die from it.

Arena: 4/5  |  Constructed: 4/5

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Divine Favor

An amazingly strong draw engine (I think I am using that term properly, maybe not), Divine Favor instantly negates any hand advantage your opponent has accumulated over you for only 3 mana. Allowing you to throw down more cards early and then pull a hand of equal size to your opponent, Divine Favor is a great equalizer in many games. Be sure that your opponent gets max “value” out of cards such as Cult Master or Acolyte of Pain before you play your Divine Favor and turn the tables. However, in slower decks, Divine Favor may be overkill if you run two Hammer of Wrath and a Lay on Hands, so take that into consideration when you are debating Divine Favor in your deck. Stronger in early game decks, but by no means a weak card in any Paladin decks.

Arena: 3/5  |  Constructed: 4/5

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Aldor Peacekeeper

Rule breakers beware! Aldor Peacekeeper comes to town on his Elekk (it’s some kind of space elephant ok) as a 3/3 for 3 with the powerful battlecry of reducing a minion’s attack to 1 HP, aka Humility. Great against annoying cards like Chillwind Yeti, Enraged Amani Berserkers or Frothing Berserkers, Aldor Peacekeeper is a great card for neutralizing high threat minions or taking the bite out of heavy taunters like Ironbark Protector or Sunwalker.

Arena: 4/5  |  Constructed: 5/5

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Truesilver Champion

This card is insanely good. Essentially a 4 damage weapon with 2 armor, it makes hitting things such as Chillwind Yeti in the face a lot less painful and helps Paladins to clear the board after their weak 1-2-3 drop turns. (Not that their cards are bad, but they definitely don’t have a Defias Ringleader, Northshire Cleric or Flame Imp equivalent drop to snatch up board control early). Just be sure to remember that the healing occurs before you swing, so you won’t be healed at 30 HP. Literally the only gripe I can find with this card is it gets countered by the dreaded Acidic Swamp Ooze or much less seen Harrison Jones. 2 in every deck, draft 99% of the time you see it in Arena.

Arena: 5/5  |  Constructed: 5/5

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Blessing of Kings

+4/+4 on a minion is a decently strong card, especially since you can consider it a 4/4 with charge that you drop on another minion for a big hit. Allowing some good trades that otherwise wouldn’t exist, Blessing of Kings is not a weak card, but Paladins already have so many absurdly good 4 drops it’s hard to fit it in. Especially when you consider there are even amazing neutral 4 drops such as Defender of Argus or Dark Iron Dwarf that can help you achieve the same effect of winning or causing an even trade that otherwise wouldn’t exist, except you additionally get a minion on the board.

Arena: 2/5  |  Constructed: 3/5

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Consecration

2 damage to all minions and 2 damage to the enemy hero for 4 mana. Pretty straight forward AoE, but sometimes being straight forward is the strength of a card. No weird conditions on Consecration such as hitting everyone like Hellfire, no Overload like Lightning Storm. Consecration is a card that is made better by existing in Paladin decks as well due to Equality. For 6 mana and 2 cards, Equality/Consecration clears the entire board of anything that doesn’t have a respawn Deathrattle or a Divine Shield on it. Much like Truesilver Champion, there is very little reason to not have 2 in every deck for Constructed and to draft it 99% of the time in Arena.

Arena: 5/5  |  Constructed: 5/5

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Hammer of Wrath

Hammer of Wrath is a 3 damage direct removal spell handy for crushing those pesky Northshire Clerics, Mana Wyrms and any obnoxious target that has 3 HP. Additionally, you get to draw a card for throwing the hammer, so there’s no drawback in your hand advantage by playing a direct damage spell. By giving good board control and cycling a new card into your hand, Hammer of Wrath is a solid card that has a place in almost every Paladin deck, be it an aggro deck to help break heavy early taunts, or a control deck to neutralize key threats early.

Arena: 4/5  |  Constructed: 5/5

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Blessed Champion

This card is gamebreaker in some situations. While useless on it’s own, if you have a strategy with this card, you can surprise 10+ damage someone with a single card, often winning you the game with an unexpected burst damage. If you don’t have a specific plan with this card though, it become a resoundingly mediocre card that looks very scary on paper. Don’t be afraid to craft up a gimmick like Blessed Champion and Leeroy Jenkins though, it definitely can make some big plays.

Arena: 1/5Constructed: 3/5

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Holy Wrath

Joke card. More expensive, RNG version of Hammer of Wrath. Good for laughs though. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oihy9lcryxM for example.

Arena: 0/5  |  Constructed: 1/5  |  Humor: 20/5

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Avenging Wrath

Arcane Missiles has an older brother and it’s name is Avenging Wrath. 8 damage spread against all current targets has plenty of uses. From clearing weakened boards, to wiping with Equality + Avenging Wrath or even just punching someone right in the portrait for 8 damage. From a finisher in aggressive decks to a great control mechanism in slow late game decks, it’s hard to justify not having at least one of these in every deck.

Arena: 5/5  |  Constructed: 5/5

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Guardian of Kings

A 5/6 for 7 is a decidedly weak card when you compare it to something like War Golem (another weak card even) in terms of raw power. However, by literally building a Holy Light into the card, you essentially have a card that is 2 cards for 1 as long as you need the healing. If you think of the card as playing a 5/6  for 5 and a Holy Light on yourself at the same time, you actually get a decently valued +1/+1 Chillwind Yeti. Great in slow decks and as a safety net against burn decks. Weaker in Arena due to the minion simply not being a powerful 7 drop, but a strong card in constructed.

Arena: 2/5  |  Constructed: 4/5

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Lay on Hands

Apparently this was a card called Sphinx’s Revelation in Magic the Gathering, or at least is very close to it as the first time I played it against my TCG experienced friend he exclaimed something along the lines of “WHY DO PALADINS NEED SPHINX’S REVELATION ON TOP OF ALL THEIR OTHER ****ING HEALING”. A great late game card that can cause a momentum shift, Lay on Hands is especially powerful against Mages, almost fully negating the damage of 1 Pyroblast. Oh, and you get to draw 3 cards. For late game constructed decks, 1 is a must have, 2 is little overkill though, you might not have anything worth drawing if you find a second time to cast Lay on Hands. Decidedly weaker in Arena however, simply due to the differences in Arena and Constructed meta games.

Arena: 2/5  |  Constructed: 4/5

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Tirion Fordring

ヽ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ノ PUT YOUR FAITH IN THE LIGHTヽ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ノ

Besides Lord Jaraxxus, Tirion Fordring is probably the only other class legendary that is fairly commonly seen in high level constructed play. A Sunwalker that hit the gym, Tirion is a strong late game wall that requires a silence or removal to handle without throwing probably 3 minions at him. If they don’t use a silence on him, he leaves a weapon that is equivalent in an Arcanite Reaper for you, except it has 1 extra durability. By the way, Arcanite Reaper is a 5 mana card, and Sunwalker is a 6 mana card with slightly lesser stats. Much like Guardian of Kings, if you think of this card as pulling double duty and being two separate cards Frankensteined together into one super card, Tirion shows us what it means to be considered one of the best legendaries in the game. With his only weaknesses being silences and direct removals if you were counting on him to clear some minions, there is very little reason to not have Tirion in almost every Paladin deck. Besides, if you’re afraid of weaknesses like silences and hard removals, you might as well not play anything.

Arena: 5/5  |  Constructed: 5/5

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TOP 5 OVERALL PALADIN CLASS CARDS FOR ALL DECK TYPES

  1. Truesilver Champion
  2. Consecration
  3. Hammer of Wrath
  4. Equality
  5. Avenging Wrath

 

Overall, Paladin class cards are very strong. You will see a lot of PALADIN cards in a PALADIN deck, which sadly an uncommon thing in this very neutral minion heavy meta. A well themed deck with strong class cards, I think Paladin may have the strongest set of class cards once you have access to their Epics and class Legendary.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Please make this a complete series with “Frost Shock and You” “The Arcanist’s Cookbook” and the rest!
    I liked the format, I’d like to see more like this…

  2. That’s the plan ! The next guide will likely be Priests as they are the class I am the next most experienced with, although I have been playing way too much Hunter/Shaman lately as well

  3. Nice, thank you!
     
    I think the value of some cards change drasticly depending on wether you play your Paladin ‘Aggro’ or ‘controle’. In a controle Version I wouldn’t rate the Argent Protector a 5/5 and I would downgrade Divine Favor quite a bit. In the pure aggressive Version ( minion based, fast pase) I think some of the 6+ Cost cards loose a lot of value. Not sure if I agree with your Opinion on Blessed Champion either, most of the time it seems to be a card wich helps me to “win more” not to actually win, or it builds up a 2 for 1 Trade in Villians Favour.
     
    really looking forward to the Priest Version. :)

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