WoW taught us that Paladins are exceptionally good at one thing: surviving to see another day. Whether it’s by bubble-hearthing back to mama or healing themselves 10 times in a single fight, Paladins will frustrate anyone trying to kill them. And that’s the goal of the Survival Paladin deck in Hearthstone that uses Divine Shield, Taunt, and repeating minions to keep your board full at all times, no matter what.
Find out more about this deck and watch it in action in the latest episode of Happy Hearthstone!
Update 12/1/14: Here is the updated card list for Scott’s Survival Paladin deck!
Note from Josh: The rest of this article was written by Scott Lantz. Thanks, Scott!
Here are the notes for each card I used in my challenge against Redbeard’s Barbarian Warrior deck. You can find a completely plain deck list on the podcast episode. Here, I’ll provide additional commentary where I feel it’s helpful or necessary.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 aggro.
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.
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 extra 4/5 out of the deal, on top of all the other perks.
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.
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.
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.
This 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.
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.
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.
1x 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This is a fun deck that holds up really well and lower middle ranks. Plus, as Josh mentioned in a previous episode, it can make your opponent ragequit in frustration! While Josh was (somewhat) joking, I’ve absolutely had enemies concede early when they see that Scarlet Crusader come back from redemption, for example.
Be sure to listen to our last episode of the podcast, where we talk about the deck at length. If you try it out, tell us what you thought of it, and what cards you swapped in to have the most success.