Our Aggro Paladin deck list guide for the Kobolds and Catacombs expansion features the most popular list for the archetype. This guide includes Mulligans, Gameplay Strategy, Card Substitutions, and Combos/Synergies!
Aggro Paladin is actually a relatively old archetype that has been mostly driven by the power of Divine Favor. The card is exceptional against slower decks because you can risk dumping your entire hand and end up getting a full one back for a cheap cost. Back in the days when cards like Shielded Minibot and Muster for Battle were in Standard the deck saw a fair amount of play, but it would eventually be outclassed by decks that were faster and could buff entire boards rather than just single minions.
New to Kobolds and Catacombs
KAC has brought a few new interesting options to Aggro Paladin. Call to Arms is one of the early standout cards of the set and has been fit into many Paladin decks in Standard and Wild. Works great for aggro with all the cheap minions, but also works with cards like Doomsayer and Dirty Rat for control decks. Val'anyr has started to see play in aggressive lists, but it’s a bit too early to tell how necessary it is. Games are usually pretty short when you are playing this deck, and Val’anyr takes a couple of turns to really get going. The final big addition currently is Corridor Creeper. The card is likely a mainstay to any early game decks that are using cheap or token minions. It can reduce in cost FAST, especially if you start with it in your hand.
Update: Aggro Paladin (February 2018)
Not much to change, you’ll see some lists running Cobalt Scalebane instead of Val’anyr which is a fine option. Like I discuss below, Val’anyr isn’t required in the deck and can be pretty slow and awkward at times. If you have it I would probably run it, but if not I wouldn’t waste the dust on the craft.
With the nerf to Patches the Pirate and Corridor Creeper this deck might see a dramatic drop off in play. However, Paladin still has access to Call to Arms which is an extremely powerful card.
Is Val’anyr Required?
I have always kind of been on the fence about the new legendary weapon being in this deck. It can be very slow and at times you won’t even be able to land it on a minion because your hand will typically be empty late in the game. It’s powerful when you can pull it off but games with this deck on average end at turn 7. However, it can work really well with Leeroy Jenkins as a finisher. Leeroy will likely be one of the last minions in your hand so it is a likely target for the deathrattle and gives you very strong burst potential late in the game. If you have Val'anyr then I would play it in the deck, but if you are missing the card and are low on dust then I would just add Cobalt Scalebane instead!
Aggro Paladin Mulligan Guide and Strategy
We are looking for a fast start so Argent Squire, Righteous Protector, and Lost in the Jungle are the best 1-drop keeps. If you have a 1-drop you can also keep Acherus Veteran, Knife Juggler, and Dire Wolf Alpha. If you have a 1 and a 2-drop then you can start considering keeping Rallying Blade (especially with a Divine Shield minion or two), and if you are looking at a good curve Call to Arms is a very strong new tool that can just win you games early on.
You can absolutely consider keeping Corridor Creeper in your mulligan. This is especially the case if you have Lost in the Jungle and Southsea Deckhand because you’ll likely get the Creeper down to 3-mana in the first few turns (if 2 Recruits, Deckhand, and Patches are destroyed).
Aggro Paladin Win Rates
This is a very aggressive deck so look to be pushing the board quickly. You won’t always be in a position to have the ideal start, so while it’s great to be able to have a weapon and get the charge from Southsea Deckhand it’s always better to just play something on turn 1 and also get Patches out of your deck as soon as possible. If you’re on the coin, I like to coin out a Knife Juggler and if I have it follow it up with Lost in the Jungle or a couple of 1-drops to get the extra damage.
Don’t just throw your minions on the board, you have to consider positioning with this deck. You are running Dire Wolf Alpha so always place your bigger minions to the left because your Silver Hand Recruits will always spawn on the right. When possible you’ll want to use these to trade as much as possible.
You should be expecting AOE from any type of Control deck in the mid-game so playing one minion and hero powering is a good way to preserve some of your cards. If you are expecting AOE it’s usually best to play a Divine Shield minion into it so it has a chance to survive and make it to your turn. If you are facing an AOE turn and you are going to make a trade, it’s sometimes better to just pitch in your 1/1s rather than lose a minion that could survive the trade but then die to the AOE. This is also a good strategy if you have Corridor Creeper in your hand.
Don’t put all of your buffs onto one minion. It’s generally best to spread them around unless you are trying to save a particular minion from AOE or a damage spell. I’d rather buff a 1/1 than Knife Juggler because my opponent is going to have to decide whether or not they want to leave the buffed minion up or take out the Juggler. This leaves me with one of the stronger minions rather than them just taking out my Juggler/buff all at once.
Be pretty aggressive with your weapons and taking them to the face, this is especially the case if you have another weapon in your hand.
It’s very early in the refinement process of this deck so don’t feel like you need any of the Epics or Legendaries just yet. In the early meta you can get away with a lot of variation in your aggro decks.
- Val'anyr – I’m still on the fence about if this card is even necessary for this deck. A lot of the times you aren’t even going to reach turn 6 to make this card actually useful, and even if you do you’ll have to swing it twice to get value out of it.
- Corridor Creeper – A card that is being thrown into every aggressive/midrange deck right now. Can be ridiculous if you are facing another aggro deck because the cost of this card will go down very quickly. This seems like it could be one of the stronger cards to come out of the set, but you can afford to wait a bit longer before crafting.
- Leeroy Jenkins – Very strong finisher that has seen play in multiple decks throughout the history of Hearthstone. If you like aggressive decks then he’s a pretty safe craft.
- Sunkeeper Tarim – Speaking of safe crafts, Tarim is in just about every Paladin deck in Standard and isn’t rotating out until 2019. Great card if you want to play Aggro or Midrange Paladin decks.
- Call to Arms – One of the more hyped cards coming into the release of Kobolds and Catacombs. It has been living up to it currently, so this could be a safe early craft as long as Paladin continues to have a mid-tier deck.
- Truesilver Champion – A bit of a slower weapon that is starting to show its age, but is still very good at taking out minions and dealing damage.
- Drygulch Jailor – This appears in some versions of this deck. It’s a bit slow but is good for giving you more minions to play and pairs well with Knife Juggler.
- Fire Fly – Good early game cards that replaces itself.
- Small-Time Recruits – You have a lot of 1-drops so this card can help you replenish your hand if your board has been cleared.
- Wolfrider – If you are really in need of budget options then Wolfrider can help push damage and even get sneaky lethals.
Combos and Synergies
Unidentified Maul has some pretty great options for this deck. Champion's Maul and Blessed Maul are the best, and Purifier's Maul can also be good. Sacred Maul, however, is probably the weakest but in certain situations can be helpful.
You should be thinking a turn ahead, which is especially the case with aggro decks. If you think you’ll be playing Rallying Blade the following turn then it’s usually best to play your Divine Shield minions this turn. This type of thinking also works with Sunkeeper Tarim. If you think he’s your next play, then you should focus on building your board during this turn.
Your big comeback mechanic in this deck is Divine Favor. If you have it in your hand early you can play a lot riskier into AOE because you know you’ll be able to draw back a hand against a control deck.
Unidentified Maul has a lot of good bonus effects for this deck: Purifier's Maul which gives you divine shield on all of your minions, Sacred Maul is the weakest for the most part and gives your minions taunt, Champion's Maul adds two 1/1 Silver Hand Recruits to the board, and Blessed Maul which is likely the best (as long as you have a board) gives your minions +1 Attack.
The new Legendary weapon Val'anyr gives you a weapon you can readily attack your opponent with each turn. If you know you are going to use the last charge try to manage your hand in a way that will cast the buff on the minion you want it to land on. Play the minions you don’t want buffed, and then go for the attack. Be careful against Priest because they not only run silence cards, but they have the new Psychic Scream which will make you lose the weapon. If you expect they are going to play this in the next turn, it might be worth it to wait so you don’t completely lose it.
Here’s a few cards that you may be wondering why they haven’t made the list.
Selfless Hero – Actually not a bad card and could easily find its way into a deck like this. It would also make for some awkward turns for your opponent once you pulled it out with Call to Arms. The problem is that it basically shares the same spot as Acherus Veteran and Veteran is just a slightly better card. Selfless can also be pretty easily played around in the early game, while Veteran gives you better options.
Blessing of Might – This card is a bit too all-in for this deck. It has found spots in aggressive Paladin decks in the past, but with only Divine Favor as a way to draw cards this would just be too costly to run and if you didn’t get multiple turns out of it would generally always mean either giving up a 2-for-1 or breaking even.
Wickerflame Burnbristle – Seems like kind of an obvious inclusion, but the stats are too weak and you really aren’t too worried about your health total. It also doesn’t synergize with Call to Arms which is a pretty big deal. Righteous Protector does just as good of a job protecting your weak minions and works with Call to Arms.
Steward of Darkshire – Very slow and doesn’t come out of the deck with Call to Arms. You don’t want a lot of minions that you can’t actively play on-curve, and this is one you can basically never play on-curve. Giving minions Divine Shields actually makes more sense in a deck that AOE buffs the board, which is why you’ll see this card in Silver Hand Recruit Paladin.
Small-Time Recruits – This card has a bit of potential, but isn’t as good as Call to Arms. This isn’t a proactive card and would force you to burn a turn doing nothing. It also could put Patches in your hand which you don’t want.