Our Murloc Paladin deck list guide for the The Witchwood expansion will teach you how to play this aggressive Paladin list. This guide includes Mulligans, Gameplay Strategy, Card Substitutions, and Combos/Synergies!
While met with a bit of early resistance, Murloc Paladin has become an increasingly popular deck in the Hearthstone metagame. Over the past few expansions, the deck has received an increasing number of tools that makes it a consistently strong deck on the Standard Ladder.
The Year of the Kraken introduced a couple powerful class-specific Murlocs. Vilefin Inquisitor from Whispers of the Old Gods provides a stable body and a synergistic hero power. With Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, Grimscale Chum came to offer another early-game play.
It was with Journey to Un’goro, the first expansion in the Year of the Mammoth, however, that propelled Murloc Paladin into the powerhouse that it is today. Hydrologist is yet another phenomenal Paladin Murloc, but it was really Neutral cards that took the deck over the top. Rockpool Hunter and Gentle Megasaur can be punishing for opponents if Murlocs are on board, fitting the deck’s gameplan of snowballing a board state.
New in Kobolds and Catacombs
With the addition of Kobolds and Catacombs, Murloc Paladin has received Call to Arms. An early standout card from the expansion, Call to Arms fits perfectly with Murloc Paladin and plays into this new build’s more aggressive nature.
Update: Murloc Paladin (The Witchwood – April 2018)
The guide below is not up-to-date yet, however, the deck above is the currently most popular version. We will be updating the deck guide in the very near future, thank you for your patience! Credit to BoarControl for the list!
- Grimscale Chum – Murloc Paladin is largely about snowballing a board presence through minion buffs. Grimscale Chum can help get this started early.
- Righteous Protector – Protecting high-value minions is important to Murloc Paladin. Righteous Protector can frustrate opponents by soaking up two attacks.
- Vilefin Inquisitor – Vilefin Inquistor is an established Patches slayer, making it one of this decks best turn 1 plays.
- Hydrologist – While Hydrologist’s stats aren’t great, the valuable options it presents can be crucial to the outcome of games.
- Divine Favor – Murloc Paladin, especially this more aggressive build, has a plethora of early game minions. As a result, Divine Favor can refill your hand with a fresh set of cards.
- Rallying Blade – While the deck doesn’t run a lot of Divine Shield minions (Protector and possibly Adapt from Megasaur), the 3/2 weapon is still good. It lets you keep the board control in the early game.
- Unidentified Maul – Somewhere between Muster for Battle and Coghammer, this 3-mana weapon can help maintain a solid board state.
- Blessing of Kings – One-of buff, good to deal some damage immediately from the hand or to trade up. For example, if your opponent puts Tar Creeper in your way, you can easily pass it with Kings on a 1/1.
- Call to Arms – You’re telling me I can draw 3 cards and put them directly in play for 4 mana? I’ll take 2 of these in every Paladin deck please.
- Sunkeeper Tarim – Another staple Paladin Legendary minion. Sunkeeper Tarim stacks buffs with Murloc Warleader and Gentle Megasaur making him a potent threat in this deck.
- Murloc Tidecaller – If you’re looking for a fast start, look no further. Murloc Tidecaller can get out of hand very quickly in this deck.
- Knife Juggler – Works very well with Call to Arms and your Hero Power.
- Rockpool Hunter – If you can stick a 1-drop, Rockpool Hunter is far and away your best turn 2 play.
- Coldlight Seer – It’s hard to land buffs on Murlocs when they’re dead. Coldlight Seer helps you keep your Murlocs healthy and ready to trade efficiently. Or just go face.
- Murloc Warleader – Even a nerf couldn’t keep this card from seeing play. It turns out, giving most/all of your minions +2 Attack is still very strong.
- Gentle Megasaur – Landing a Megasaur on a board for of Murlocs can be game ending. Even with only a couple in play, this 4 mana 5/4 can turn the tide of a game.
- Spellbreaker – Silence is a great tool in this meta. Whether you need to stop some ongoing effect, negate a Deathrattle or just get through a big Taunt, Spellbreaker will be there to help.
Murloc Paladin Mulligan Strategy & Guide
The mulligan section into two parts – against fast decks and against slow decks. Fast decks are generally the Aggro decks (e.g. Pirate Warrior) or high tempo Midrange decks (e.g. Midrange Hunter). Slow decks are slower Midrange and Control decks.
Vs Fast Decks
Higher Priority (keep every time):
- Grimscale Chum, Vilefin Inquisitor, Murloc Tidecaller, Righteous Protector – 1-drops are very important in every matchup, but especially against Aggro and especially in this deck. You want to stay ahead on the board because a) you’re playing an Aggro deck and b) your Murlocs heavily benefit from having more of them on the board. That’s why a good 1-drop opening is amazing. Against Aggro, Vilefin Inquisitor and Murloc Tidecaller are best if you have a Rockpool Hunter follow-up, and if you don’t, Righteous Protector is probably your best bet.
- Rockpool Hunter – Landing a buff with Rockpool Hunter on turn 2 can be game-winning. But even if you don’t, it’s still your highest tempo 2-drop.
- Call to Arms – Even f you somehow fall behind in the early game, Call to Arms has a super high chance to get you back into the game. With just a single card, you should be able to create a pretty solid board presence, possibly put a Taunt (Protector) in the way and throw some knives (Juggler). Auto-keep in every situation.
Lower Priority (keep only if certain conditions are met):
- Hydrologist – Only if you have a 1-drop, but don’t have a Turn 2 Rockpool to follow up. While the extra effect of gaining a Secret is great, it’s just a bit too slow in Aggro matchups – 2/2 body for 2 is not that great.
- Rallying Blade – With a 1-drop and 2-drop already. Weapon is great to control the board, but if won’t be enough if you pass Turn 1 and Hero Power on Turn 2, that’s why your small minions have a higher mulligan priority.
Vs Slow Decks
Higher Priority (keep every time):
- Grimscale Chum, Vilefin Inquisitor, Murloc Tidecaller, Righteous Protector – Just like against fast decks, you still want to open with a 1-drop. This time you won’t need it as much to control the board as to simply deal damage – that let’s say 2/1 on Turn 1, if left unanswered, can deal some serious damage over the course of a few turns. In slow matchups, Grimscale Chum and Murloc Tidecaller are the best 1-drops, but you will gladly take any of them, to be honest.
- Rockpool Hunter – Amazing snowball card, your Turn 1 Murloc usually survives, so you can often buff it with Rockpool on curve. That board alone already puts a lot of pressure on your opponent, and it’s the best opening you can have.
- Call to Arms – Against Control decks, it’s usually a refill card, but it’s really necessary. They will usually drop their first AoE around Turn 4 (to play around Megasaur) and that’s where Call to Arms comes into action to refill. Keeping it might make your early game a bit weaker, but it’s still worth it.
Lower Priority (keep only if certain conditions are met):
- Hydrologist – Hydrologist is a much better card against slow decks, but is still less optimal than Rockpool Hunter.
- Murloc Warleader or Coldlight Seer – Keep with Murloc 1-drop and 2-drop. If you play those on the curve with 2 Murlocs on the board, you can make a really solid board state. Generally, Warleader is more aggressive, but banks on them not having an AoE to answer it. Seer is slower, but plays around AoE better. Both are valid option, and both are bad if you don’t have other Murlocs, so don’t keep them unless you have them in your hand already.
- Spellbreaker – It’s a bad keep in most of the matchups, but one – Control Warlock. You can often absolutely destroy them by Silencing their Turn 5 Possessed Lackey, and if they play it with Dark Pact on Turn 6, you can at least Silence the Voidlord that comes out.
Murloc Paladin Win Rates
Murloc Paladin is a deck with a lot of explosive power, but several tools to sustain pressure throughout the game. The flexibility of the archetype lends itself to varying builds. In the past, the deck included high-cost threats in Bonemare and Tirion Fordring to maintain threats into the late game. More recently, the deck has shifted towards aggressive builds that look overwhelm opponents within the first few turns.
Beyond the specifics of the cards in the deck, Discover and Adapt mechanics allow Murloc Paladins to adjust their gameplans on the fly. Identify the opponent’s archetype as quickly as possible and tailor your decisions to it.
All-in-all, Murloc Paladin’s adaptability provides players with a lot of options going into different matchups.
Against aggro, the early game tempo is key. Prioritize control of the board state in all of your decisions and fight hard to establish a stable footing. Trade efficiently, but be aware of your life total at all times. Even at 1 mana, Righteous Protector can put up an irritating roadblock for aggressive decks. Once you’ve stuck some Murlocs in play, your synergistic mechanics should be enough to carry you over the finish line. Coldlight Seer and Gentle Megasaur, especially, can help keep your minions on the table.
When you play versus fast decks, you generally don’t have to worry about overcommiting. The bigger board you have, the better it is. Of course, you might still want to play against some random AoE (like Primordial Glyph vs Tempo Secret Mage), but don’t sweat it – being ahead means that you can dictate the trades and the more minions you have at your disposal, the better you can adjust them.
If you do happen to get behind, Call to Arms can help bring you back onto the board. With 10 Murlocs and 4 non-Murloc minions in the 1-2 mana range, the chances are that you will get at least 2 Murlocs, which makes it a juicy card to combo with Coldlight Seer or Gentle Megasaur too.
Timing of Sunkeeper Tarim is critical. Though you run the risk of buffing opposing minions, it can often take three 3/3’s to take out the 3/7 Taunt. Look for opportunities to make value trades and then rebuff your minions with the 6-mana Legendary. Tarim is also your “desperate play” if you fall behind on the board, but not behind enough to completely lose the game. E.g. playing a small minion or two + Tarim against 2-3 opposing minions can be good enough – even if you buff your opponent’s small stuff, the 3/7 Taunt might still be enough to block them (as long as they don’t have some sort of buff, or direct removal).
When it comes to the Discover picks, prioritize options that lock down the board.
- Hydrologist – Noble Sacrifice is usually a high priority pick, but especially so when facing 2-health minions. With Righteous Protector in play Redemption and Getaway Kodo can be good choices to keep your defenses up. In rare situations, Repentance can punish an opponent trying to sneak a big minion into play.
- Gentle Megasaur – Against aggression, you want to look for tools that keep you on the board. Divine Shield, Deathrattle, and +1/+1 are all obvious choices here, but +3 Health can be effective at maintaining your position as well. If you’re at low health and you need to put a wall between your Hero and opponent’s minions, Taunt is also something to consider – remember that it does not add anything onto the board besides protecting your health total, so do it only if you are really low.
Against Control matchups, you are the beatdown. As such, you need to emphasize applying pressure, especially in the first few turns. Landing a Murloc Tidecaller into Rockpool Hunter and Murloc Warleader can be devastating.
That said, you always need to be aware of potential removal from your opponent. Find a good balance between applying pressure and overextending. After a Vilefin Inquisitor comes down, Hero Power regularly to develop more Murlocs in play. With enough Murlocs in play, Gentle Megasaur can provide either burst or stability for your board state.
If you have reload in the form of Call to Arms or Divine Favor you can extend a little further than normal. Just be sure you always have a contingency plan before going all in. There are still situations in which going all in is the right play – let’s say that you had a pretty poor start and you’re running out of steam with no way to refill the hand. Now, going all in might be a solid play, because it might be your only chance to win. If you take long enough, your opponent will surely find more AoE, Taunts, healing etc. But if you push with everything you have, and he does not currently have a way to counter your play in his hand, you might sneak a victory like that.
Divine Favor is generally an MVP in those matchups. However, remember that it’s still technically a huge tempo loss – using 3 mana to do nothing on the board when you play an Aggro deck is a big commitment. Timing is very important. Best time to play it is when your board is already solid and you don’t want to play more minions, in order to play around AoE. Another good time is when your opponent plays a stall card like Doomsayer (which you can’t deal with) or Frost Nova. Finally, don’t be too greedy with it – try to play as many cards before dropping it, but drawing 3 cards is generally enough. 8 cards Divine Favor is obviously amazing, but if you wait to get that much value, you will often miss your opportunity and draw even less.
Sunkeeper Tarim is an amazingly flexible tool in this matchup. Often, he can provide a little bit of extra, unexpected burst to close out games. Remember that Murloc Warleader attack buffs stack on top of the stat change from Tarim. Other times, Sunkeeper can neutralize massive threats on the other side of the board. A great example of this is Control Warlock with his Voidlord. Using Tarim vs Voidlord is amazing, because not only you can easily deal with the 3/3 Taunt (as opposed to 3/9), all the spawned Voidwalkers are 1/3, so you can trade them easily with the rest of your board. Use this card wisely for whatever the situation dictates.
In Control matchups, you want to find either value generators or aggressions with your Discover cards.
- Hydrologist – Depending on the state of your board, Redemption or Getaway Kodo are the best picks in the slow matchups. Remember that in case of AoE, the FIRST minion on the board (not left-most or anything, but the one that was on the board first) will get revived / bounced back into the hand. Based on that, Redemption is generally better with generic, solid minion (like Murloc Warleader or Righteous Protector), while Getaway Kodo works better with Battlecry minions (Coldlight Seer or Gentle Megasaur, for example). Beyond that, Repentance is good in the late game when your opponent is dropping large minions – especially Taunts. Noble Sacrifice can work sometimes if your opponent has a minion on the board and you want to protect some key card like Warleader, and even Eye for an Eye can be useful sometimes – against opponent with a big minion on the board, when you’re missing just a few points of damage, or against Mage with Ice Block (after getting him down to 1, since Ice Block won’t pop on his turn, he’s dead if he deals any damage to you, unless he heals up first).
- Gentle Megasaur – In slower matchups, defensives tools such as Divine Shield, Deathrattle, and +3 Health are all helpful in protecting against AoE. When you need to turn up the heat, however, +3 Attack and Windfury can apply a lot of pressure. Poisonous is a more situational pick, but it works incredibly well if your opponent drops a big minion on the board (like Voidlord or a big minion summoned by Spiteful Summoner).
Murloc Paladin General Tips
Sunkeeper Tarim can be tricky to use from time to time. Make sure to look for any available value trades before playing this card. For example, if you have a 1/3 and your opponent has a 2/1, there is no point in playing Tarim first – you can trade those minions, still have a 1/1 and then turn it into a 3/3. After trades, you want to play any small minions you can, including Hero Power, before Sunkeeper comes down. Incorrectly sequencing Sunkeeper turns can be punishing.
A handful of Murloc tokens can turn into a deadly weapon in the right scenarios. Sunkeeper Tarim, Murloc Warleader, and Gentle Megasaur all convert adorable Silver Tide Recruits into legitimate threats. Sure, they may start as 1/1s, but they can get out of hand very quickly.
Murloc Paladin Card Substitutions
Sadly, Paladin decks are frequently quite expensive. This Murloc Paladin list is a cheaper Paladin alternative but still has some high rarity cards within it. Below, you can find options for replacing the Epic and Legendary cards in this deck.
Epic Card Replacements
- Call to Arms – Call to Arms is the reason why Paladin is as strong as it is right now, so it would seriously be hard to replace this card without impacting your win rate heavily. If you still want to play with the deck, I’d suggest adding second copies of your other 4 mana cards, or possibly a Vinecleaver if you want to slow down the deck a bit.
Legendary Card Replacements
- Sunkeeper Tarim – Paladin has several powerful Legendary minions, but Tarim may be the best of them. If you don’t have the card, Tar Creeper or Tirion Fordring could be a reasonable substitute.