Hearthstone homebrews: Board control buffadin
After debuting with Cultofneurosis' Druid mill deck, our Homebrew corner returns today for another edition, this time with a Paladin build.
After debuting with Cultofneurosis' Druid mill deck, our Homebrew corner returns today for another edition, this time with a Paladin build.
The deck you will see below is created by reddit user Belthazzar and is his iteration on Reynad's Warlock Zoo. Belthazzar uses the core board control philosophy and playstyle of the Zoo and mixes it with the buff spells and board sweeping combos the Paladin has to extract maximum value of every card.
As it'll always be the case with the homebrew decks, they might not necessarily carry you to the peaks of the Legend rank. The idea of this feature is, first and foremost, to provide out-of-the-box content and building ideas and take you away from the netdecking and playing the same thing over and over again.
Will you find more success running the refined Druid of StrifeCro or the perfected Savjz Shaman? Most likely yes but if you have some spare dust or enjoy a nice Paladin collection, why not diversify and see what Belthazzar offers you.
You might like it.
- Radoslav "Nydra" Kolev
Editor in Chief
Written by: Belthazzar
Sword of Justice was always my favorite card. The simple ability to spawn 2/2 minions from the Paladin hero power made me drool all over my keyboard. Suddenly, every card in my hand had great stats and was winning most of the trades with the opponent and that got me really excited about the class.
I could never find a place in it, though. It was too slow for standard Paladin aggro, midrange Paladin never felt strong enough and it was borderline useless in Giants control. So I gave up on my dreams of spreading Justice on the fields of Azeroth and went to the internet to tell me what to play.
But then Shieldbearer happened. Reynad introduced it to us with his Warlock Zoo that was shamelessly named „The Best Deck“. And Shieldbearer is a big reason why. Insane base stats/cost ratio combined with taunt. His only downside is that, worst case scenario, it's just prevention of 4 damage and nothing more. But this worst case scenario is too common for any deck that doesn't constantly vomit cheap creatures paired with great draw power engine and some minion buffs. Basicly bad in anything that is not warlock. Or is he? What if it's included in a deck known for having this specific combination of attributes? What class would favor such strategy? The time for Justice finally came.
The goal of the deck is to start with some good quality early drops and start buffing and snowballing your minions into some very effective numbers and follow up with a good Divine Favor. The minions by themselves aren't the most effective cards in the entire card pool, but it's the synergy between cards that makes this deck rolling.
Consider this example: Opening hand of Argent Squire and Blessing of Might. Neither of those cards are very impressive on their own. But what happens? If T1 Argent Squire gets no answer from your opponent, T2 Blessing of Might gives you basically an Argent Commander on turn 2. Not too bad.
Yet this is not a rush deck. It can get very aggressive and finish quickly if allowed by the enemy, but it still aims to get control over the board and keep it. Argent Protector is a little god of value. Equality + Consecration is still in my opinion the most powerful combo in the game. And with minions getting over the curve, you eventually get into position, or try to get into position, where all the trades are more and more favorable to you.
This is also not a very expensive deck and really doesn't need any legendaries. I wouldn't even trade Argent Commander for Leeroy Jenkins as more often than not the Divine Shield will be more useful as it allows to safely get rid of a minion (maybe King Mukla is an option as it synergizes will with Divine Favor). Two Sword of Justice and one Avenging Wrath are absolutely mandatory as the deck depends on them and I wouldn't feel very confident building it without them.
The biggest problem of the deck is its consistency. It is more or less a tempo deck with the mulligan problems of a control. You will lose games to awful hands and awful draws. As this deck is dependent on synergies between cards rather than their independent power level, you can get screwed if you draw in the wrong order. Unlike the Warlock counterpart which can use Life Tap to refill the hand constantly and which uses a large number of 1 and 2 drops, the Buffadin can collapse by itself if the deck is stacked poorly.
The good news is that your hand is basically your hardest counter. It doesn't have a seriously bad matchup. Even control warriors or heavy taunt decks are not as effective as they are against other similar decks.
There are adjustments, of course, which can bring up the consistency but some sacrifices will be required. For example, taking the route of an aggro Paladin by drop out Equality and subbing it with minions like Abusive Sergeant or Dark Iron Dwarf will bring more firepower to the deck. With this, most games will become easier but the hard match-ups will become even harder. Against control decks, the Equality/Consecration combo is absolutely essential to ensure for a cost efficient removal of their big threats and if the Sergeants and DIDs don't deliver a quick victory, things can go bad as they won't be of big help against the fat taunters.
Another important feature of this deck is learning how to play your buffs. My approach is to treat them as a burst spell, i.e. Blessing of Might is the same as Lightning Bolt, for example, but with the potential to repeat itself.
With the latter in mind, where the buff must be applied is of crucial importance and it's not always wise to invest in an already big minion. A good example would be board of one Silver Hand Recruit and a 3/4 Defender of Argus with Taunt. In theory, it seems like using Blessing of Might on Defender is the better option, but if your opponent has troubles getting through the taunt (or in case of Priest, dealing with the 4 attack ), you can place it on the small dude instead and increase the chance for a re-use (if the minion hits twice, Blessing of Might has essentially dealt 6 damage for 1 mana).
You can also use buffs to „bring attention“ to a minion and make the opponent go for trades that would otherwise be considered questionable. Rewind back to the scenario from above: if an opponent has a Shadow Bolt, buffing the 3/4 minion to 6/4 becomes a no-brainer decision for where the removal must land. However, if the blessing lands on a 1/1 minion, Bolting the 3/4 Defender doesn't completely remove the threat as it leaves a 4/1 minion on the board.
By precise planning of your buffs you can lead your opponent's actions and you can play around their removals (like overbuffing one minion on turn 7 so it won't die to Flamestrike and forces Polymorph instead, giving you another turn of attacks with your smaller stuff). It is very rewarding playstyle once you see your opponent struggle every turn to do efficient plays.
|This is very awkward match-up. It depends on one main thing: Is he innervating Yeti and can you deal with it? Other than that, the deck has a slight advantage. It can easily go outside Swipe range, can trade well with Divine Shields and can punish Ancient of Lore with Divine Favor. Basically, once it gets rolling, Druid has troubles dealing with it, while Paladin still has his comeback machine: Equality/Consecration if the game goes in wrong direction.|
I feel like this deck has some serious edge over Hunter. It can play the whole game on 3 or even 2 minions, can punish Starving Buzzard with Divine Favor and doesn't have a lot of troubles clearing Hunter minions. It is still not easy match up because of explosiveness of Hunter, but as long as you don't overuse the Hero Power, I find that Hunter is at disadvantage in this match up.
|Polymorphs and Flamestrikes are annoying, but as long as you can play around them, Mage doesn't put out serious fight most of the time.|
Aggro version is like Hunter but without crazy Unleash the Hound. Good Consecration does the job here. In control match up, it all comes down to Equality/Consecration. If you manage to take down several big drops in one swing while still keeping the board. Or you can start extremely aggressive and burn him down, but I feel like Control deck has very slight edge.
Hehehehe. Let's go further.
Editor's note: If we're to include a few words for this match-up, we can safely say Priest have troubles dealing with aggressive starts. Blessing of Might on an Argent Squire is a nightmare as it sits with Divine Shield outside Shadow Word range. Minions like Shattered Sun Cleric and Knife Juggler can be put on 4 power with Sword of Justice and Argent Commander is just a pain for every Priest. In short: dodge the Holy Novas and apply constant pressure and he will collapse
I hate Rogues. I feel like every Rogue I play against has hand of both Backstabs and both SI agents and Sap has anti-buffadin written as a flavor text. Rogues are great at eliminating early threats which means you can't snowball on them and so it's easy for them to set-up the OTK. If there's a seriously bad match-up for the buffadin, it's definitely Rogue.
|This is almost the same match up as Druid but without the fear of Innervate. I never feel very nervous versus Shaman. Thanks to Overload mechanic once they get behind, they stay behind. They still got Earth Shocks and Hexes going on for them, but outside of those cards, their arsenal comes a little short.
Equality/Consecration is insanely important in this matchup, regardless of the build the Warlock is playing and a well-placed combo will often result in victory. I feel like Zoo is easiest of the three decks as it's similar to the Buffadin in playstyle but the latter has board clears to its advantage.
Against murlocs you'll always need Equality due to Coldlight Seer. Against Handlock, it's important to manage Divine Shields and prepare for Hellfires/Shadowflames and keep Equality for their Giant vomit action. With that in mind, you should be fine.
Control Warrior has quite a bit of problems with big-health minions, so focusing on that is the key to success. Aggro version can get out of hand easily if not taken under control early, but it's more or less the same as aggro Paladin and aggro Hunter.
GosuGamers likes to thank Team DKMR and Alchemixt for providing insights to this article! Make sure to follow them at their channels:
Hello Belthazzar! You have a very cool deck here and I am sure that you are quite experienced in playing it. I read your guide and tried out the deck for myself and I believe that I have some possible improvements to it or at the very least some good suggestions worth trying out.
Before I get into some of the changes, I do think that your guide is pretty much spot on as far as the matchups and how to play the deck goes. I also agree with you that when you use your buffs and where you place them is a huge part of playing this deck correctly and where many people will have the most trouble. Here is a list of the cards I elected to remove from the deck and my reasons why.
-2x Shieldbearer - I know they are quite popular right now, especially in Reynad's Zoo deck like you have mentioned. In my opinion, however, you really do not need them in this deck. I understand they can protect your buffed creatures but most of them already have divine shield to do that. I think that the strength of this deck is the ability to spread out the threats by making lesser creatures into something that your opponent cannot ignore. That said, I still think Shieldbearer can be strong against the aggressive decks but I would really hate to have it in a slower matchup.
-1x Young Priestess - Again, I prefer this card more in the Warlock deck because of Voidwalker and lack of other options. I think that this card is still fine but I believe I replaced it with a more consistent card which I will get to in the next section.
-2x Shattered Sun Cleric - This one may surprise you but I have never really been a fan of this card since they made it into a 3/2. It just dies too easily now and even though you can get a buff out of it I think that there are better options. Also, it seems the role of this card is basically already filled by Sword of Justice.
-1x Consecration - I only removed one of these because I do understand it is an important part in some matchups and obviously combines well with Equality. However, your 4 cost slot is getting pretty full and in this deck you shouldn't have to rely on Consecration as much. I say that because in the aggressive matchups you should be able to out-trade your opponent with all of your divine shield effects and weapons.
Alright now that I have decided what cards I personally didn't feel belonged in the decks lets talk about the replacements that I chose.
+1x Elven Archer - I chose this card to replace Young Priestess for two reasons. On its own I think it is better in the aggressive matchups but it is also another card that combines well with Equality. I wanted another card that was cheaper and combinable with Equality because of the -1x Consecration. This card lowers your mana curve while still providing some utility.
+2x Dire Wolf Alpha - I suppose you could say that these take the place of Shatter Sun Cleric. It's another card which lowers your curve while still providing good buffs to your creatures. I especially like using it with charge creatures like your Argent Commander because you essentially get 3 buffs out of the wolf. Furthermore, it provides a great distraction to your opponent in choosing which creature to kill.
+2x Harvest Golem - This was the first card I noticed that wasn't in the deck. Not only is it insane on its own and already used in many other decks but it fits exceptionally well in this deck. Buffing a Harvest Golem is the best thing you can do in my opinion. Giving the golem divine shield is annoying for your opponent and almost impossible to deal with. Sword of Justice can potentially buff both halves of it. resulting in a 3/4 and a 3/2. Giving a Harvest Golem Blessing of Might makes your opponent have to kill a creature that leaves behind another creature. Lets also not forget to mention that he combines nicely with Knife Juggler because the damaged golem triggers another knife. All in all Harvest olem is just too good to not be included.
+1x Leeroy Jenkins - I read that you were not a big fan of Leeroy and I really don't like suggesting legendaries but Leeroy can definitely work well in this deck. The amount of burst damage you can get from Leeroy is quite good because of Blessing of Might and Blessing of Kings. He is just an insane finisher and I think this deck could use him.
Those are the changes that I made to the deck but I also thought of a few other cards that you may want to consider trying out. Hogger is a cool combination with Sword of Justice and if you have one laying around it might be worth a shot. Southsea Deckhand is a fragile card but you do play weapons and getting the Sword of Justice buff could be pretty cool.
Lastly, you already mentioned him but King Mukla could be pretty good especially since you play two Divine Favors.
I hope that you find these changes to be improvements and my comments to be helpful. At the very least I hope that I could give you some ideas to work with and cards to try out. You wrote a great guide and seem to know alot about the deck and I see no reason why this can't be a competitive deck used to get far in the ladder.