Baku Odd Paladin Deck List Guide – The Witchwood – April 2018

Class: Paladin - Format: Raven - Type: Midrange - Style: Meta Deck - Meta Deck: Odd Paladin

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Deck Import

Our Baku Odd Paladin deck list guide for The Witchwood expansion features one of the top lists for this archetype. This Baku Odd Paladin guide includes Mulligan Strategy, Gameplay Tips, Card Substitutions, and Combos/Synergies!

Introduction to Baku Odd Paladin

Paladin as a class was dominating the meta for the most of the previous Standard year (Year of the Mammoth). It was most apparent last expansion, when Murloc Paladin and Dude Paladin took turns on the top of tier lists. A lot of players thought that the situation might stabilize in The Witchwood, as Paladins didn’t really get many impressive tools.

However, it turned out that both Genn Greymane and Baku the Mooneater – Even & Odd Legendaries – work surprisingly well in this class, to the extent that most of the Odd builds don’t even run any of The Witchwood cards. Funnily enough, Odd Paladin builds tend to use some cards that you would never think you’ll see in a competitive deck – e.g. Raid Leader or Stormwind Champion are some common choices in this deck.

And so, Paladin is once again dominating the early meta. We’ll have to wait and see how everything develops, but for now Odd Paladin is the deck to beat (next to Cube Lock).

Baku Odd Paladin Mulligan Guide and Strategy

Mulligan with the deck is very similar no matter what deck you face.

Higher Priority (Keep every time)

  • 1-drops – in the order of highest to lowest priority – Lost in the JungleRighteous ProtectorFire FlyArgent Squire – You absolutely want to open each game with a 1-drop, that’s why you keep so many of them. You will most likely play Hero Power on Turn 2, then either a 3-drop or a Hero Power + another 1-drop on Turn 3 (the second option is more likely) – that’s why keeping more than one is fine.
  • Unidentified Maul – Your deck is heavily based around the board flooding, so basically 3 out of 4 effects of Unidentified Maul are good, and given that you should have up to 3 bodies going into your Turn 3, +1 Attack or Divine Shield options are very juicy even so early in the game. Taunt is the only mediocre option, but it’s still useful vs some decks like Face Hunter.
  • Corridor Creeper – Who would have thought that the card will still be good after the nerfs. It’s so easy to get it down to 0 mana with this deck, and a 0 mana 2/5 is still a great tempo play.

Lower Priority (Keep only if certain conditions are met)

  • Acherus Veteran – Keep only if you have another 1-drop to play on T1 – Acherus is not great to drop on T1, because you’re mussing a Battlecry. If that’s your only play, you still do it, but you prefer to play e.g. Righteous Protector on 1 and then Acherus + Hero Power on T3.
  • Level Up! – It might not seem like a great keep, but I like doing it in slower matchups. It’s so easy to stack 3-4 or more Recruits on the board, and then Level Up is a massive swing in your favor. Don’t keep it in faster matchups, because it tends to be too slow. It’s great if you can play it, but your opponent will most likely trade blows with you all the time, clearing your Recruits every turn.

Baku Odd Paladin General Playstyle and Strategy

Vs Aggro

When you face fast decks, the most important thing you need to do all the time is keeping the board control. Your deck relies heavily on being ahead on the board. If you aren’t – cards like Acherus VeteranUnidentified MaulRaid LeaderFungalmancer etc. are all much better if you’re ahead.

That’s why the #1 rule against Aggro is trading. I can’t stress enough how important it is to NOT hit your opponent’s Hero while you can do some on-board trading. When you’re the one doing trades, you can dictate how they go. With so many 1/1’s on your side, you can easily make the best trades possible as long as you’re ahead.

Then, in order to stay ahead, you want to play for the tempo. Once you get ahead, you can start dropping some slower cards (like e.g. Stonehill Defender), but during the early turns, you want to go all-in on the tempo. A good example would be – it’s Turn 2 and you play in the mirror matchup. Do you press Hero Power of play Fire Fly + the token? It might seem that Hero Power is a better idea, after all, you’re only gaining +1 health on both minions and losing a card you can use later. But it would most likely be wrong – your opponent is very likely to play either Hero Power or drop some 1/1’s like Protector or Argent Squire. In that context, +1 health on your minions matters A LOT – you can get trades without your minions being killed, which means that you get ahead on the board. If you get ahead enough, you will get back your value – you will be able to buff your stuff efficiently while your opponent will struggle to get onto the board.

That’s why in Aggro matchups, don’t Hero Power that much – try to play faster and drop the actual minions instead. Hero Power only once you get ahead or when it’s the best play anyway.

Another thing is that against Aggro there is a much higher chance that you can go all-in on the board, as they rarely run board clears. If you face a deck that MIGHT run a board clear – e.g. Face Hunter with Unleash the Hounds – then you might consider playing around it to a certain extent (e.g. Stonehill Defender plays around it quite nicely, as it stops four 1/1’s).

Most of the Aggro matchups are decided by a single big swing turn. Let’s say that you both have some kind of board – 4x 1/1 to make it simple. Now, if one of you drops a Stormwind Champion or Level Up! and clears the other player’s 1/1’s while still having his own, the other player will have almost no way to come back into that game. That’s another reason why staying ahead is important – if you’re on play, because you’ve been playing proactively for the entire game, making the good tempo plays, then a swing like that should be game over.

Generally, weapons are one of the best ways to gain the tempo advantage over your opponent, but not necessarily in this case. Unidentified Maul is best when you’re already ahead (only summoning 2x 1/1 is still good when you’re behind), and Vinecleaver, while great, is often too slow. The best tempo swing in faster matchup is provided by the Corridor Creeper. Given that your opponent tends to have lots of small minions on the board, the fact that it only has 2 Attack doesn’t matter that much, and getting it out for 0 (or close to 0) mana is big. That’s why keep Corridor Creeper in your mulligan, even two if you can.

One more thing is that when playing vs Aggro, you shouldn’t worry about killing them as quickly as possible. Once you get the board control, you will win the game anyway. It’s often better to stay safe and kill everything they play, while slowly chipping them away. If you’re REALLY ahead, Aggro decks have no way to comeback anyway – ignoring their board might give them a way out (like Odd Paladin might get a random Sunkeeper Tarim out of the Stonehill Defender) and you don’t want to do that.

Vs Control

Even though Odd Paladin might seem like an Aggro deck, it’s actually not THAT fast – you tend to Hero Power often, and even though 2x 1/1 for 2 mana is good for a Hero Power, it’s still a low tempo play (compared to Lost in the Jungle it costs +1 mana every time you do it). That’s why you can often afford to go for a longer game. Unlike the games vs Aggro decks, you don’t need to drop everything and play for the tempo. In this case, a slower deck can really punish you if you overcommit onto the board.

When playing vs slow decks, your Hero Power is very important. Try to take advantage of the fact that you can flood the board time and time again without using any cards. Most of the slow decks have a limited number of AoE board clears, so forcing them to waste it on just a few 1/1’s is a great way to win the game. On the other hand, if they don’t do it, you can easily punish them with e.g. Level Up!Raid Leader and such for lots of burst damage.

Another difference between fast and slow matchups is that in the slow matchups, you’re the beatdown deck – you want to kill your opponent before it’s too late. Which means that in this case, face damage is much more important. Against Aggro, you want to clear everything – against Control, you want to clear only the highest priority targets (OR make trades in order to protect an important minion on your side). Let’s say that you have an average board with Corridor Creeper and some small guys – nothing worth protecting. Your opponent drops some 5/5 minion. Yes, you could trade your entire board into it… or you could just ignore it and go face. In the first example, you’d probably need to sacrifice most of your minions. In the second example – your opponent needs to trade off your minions one by one, meaning that you get lots of free damage in the meantime. The only exception is that when you think that he might be setting up a board clear (that’s not mirrored) – e.g. if you play against a Mage who might Flamestrike your board, because you’re approaching Turn 7, then it might be worth to do some trades in order to not fall behind completely.

Talking about the board clears, meta knowledge is very important when playing a deck like that. Your whole game plan revolves around your board, so you absolutely need to know what kinds of board clears your opponent might or might not have, what do you need to play around. For example, against Cube Warlock you absolutely need to play around Defile and Hellfire, but you also need to keep in mind that they might have Lord Godfrey and Twisting Nether. Cube or Control Warlock are kind of the worst case scenario, but let’s say that you face a Spiteful Priest. The only board clear they might have is Duskbreaker – it’s powerful, yes, but you know that it deals 3 damage so you can plan everything around it. While it will obviously clear all of your small guys, you can, for example, try to keep your higher health minions like Corridor Creeper and Stormwind Champion out of the range, as well as utilize Fungalmancer buff to get other stuff out of range – e.g. you could buff that Fire Fly to 4 health so he would survive the Duskbreaker’s AoE, instead of buffing your Recruit to 3 health, which would be in the range.

This build runs only a single copy of Divine Favor. The reason is that it doesn’t run out of steam as quickly as some of the Kobolds & Catacombs Paladin builds (it’s actually leaning towards Midrange more than Aggro), and that the card is not great in faster matchups. Vs Control, however, you can really and I mean really take advantage of it. You don’t have to play it as soon as you get an opportunity – developing board is often more important than drawing cards. The best timing to play Divine Favor is when you’re running out of cards and you don’t have many plays, when you’re looking for something specific (e.g. if you draw Ironbeak Owl, you get through the Taunt and win the game) or when you don’t want to develop the board. The last part is quite common. E.g. if you already have a pretty big board and you’re almost sure that your opponent is holding an AoE to clear it, instead of playing even more into it, you can just Divine Favor (of course, first you might drop your small minions that you’d prefer to cycle anyway). Another good turn to use Divine Favor is Doomsayer turn from your opponent – if you can’t deal with it, you can potentially drop some small minions you don’t need or just draw cards right away – you’re losing tempo anyway so you can as well use your dead turn to draw a few cards.

And finally, Stonehill Defender is an important card in slow matchups. The best thing about it is that you CAN discover Even cards – which means that Stonehill is a way for you to get Sunkeeper Tarim or at least Tirion Fordring. The chance to get one is actually quite high, since the number of Taunts went down after the rotation.

Baku Odd Paladin Card Replacements

Baku Odd Paladin is a relatively inexpensive deck. However, I’ll still go through a whole list of Epics & Legendaries, trying to list potential replacements.

  • Level Up! – While the card is not necessary, it’s one of the best ways to capitalize on your upgraded Hero Power. Your 5 mana slot will be empty once you get rid of it, so you want to run another 5 mana card instead. I’d probably run Cobalt Scalebane, or maybe even a Frostwolf Warlord if you want to make the deck look completely like a Classic F2P list.
  • Corridor Creeper – Another very important card. I know that lots of you have disenchanted it when it was nerfed, but I’d say that it’s a key card in this deck. If you absolutely don’t want to craft it again, I’d say that you can try some other high tempo cards – maybe more 1-drops (e.g. Dire Mole or Glacial Shard, maybe Marsh Drake, maybe a weapon like Light's Justice – it’s going to help you against Aggro decks.
  • Baku the Mooneater – Yep, there are generic Aggro Paladins that don’t play with only Odd or Even cards, but this is not one of them. This whole list is built around Baku, so you need it or build a completely different deck.

Stonekeep

A Hearthstone player and writer from Poland, Stonekeep has been in a love-hate relationship with Hearthstone since Closed Beta. Over four years of playing and three years of writing about the game, he has achieved infinite Arena and multiple top 100 Legend climbs.

Check out Stonekeep on Twitter!

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26 Comments

Discuss This Deck
  1. Kosia
    April 19, 2018 at 11:56 pm

    Any idea which decks win against this? or at least have a slight advantage?

    Reply
    • -Bandit-
      April 20, 2018 at 5:06 am

      All warlocks archetypes, control priest, big spell mage and warrior(not the aggro variant – or odd quest, because it is lacking whirlwind removals).

      And you could name a few others.

      Reply
  2. Unknown
    April 19, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    Anyone think about having 2x IronBeak owl?

    I swapped out Blessing of Might for another IronBeak owl since Druid have huge taunts and such

    Reply
  3. SmooveAsButta2
    April 19, 2018 at 10:19 am

    Have you considered adding Skelemancer to the deck? Seems like the perfect fit and I’ve had good success with it as it punishes the opponent for clearing the board making tough decisions for your opponent. Let me know your thoughts

    Reply
  4. Lordbiron
    April 19, 2018 at 8:08 am

    Huuuge deck, super fast.

    Reply
  5. Cisterna
    April 19, 2018 at 7:13 am

    From rank 20 to 9 in 3 days with this deck, problems with some druids and sometimes with cubelock (if i haven’t owl) but, high % of wining rate, Thank you for share.

    Reply
  6. RickC136
    April 19, 2018 at 6:19 am

    Sword of champions works wonders in this deck.

    Reply
  7. IT SUCKS
    April 19, 2018 at 5:54 am

    This freaking deck sucks ass

    Reply
    • DoT
      April 19, 2018 at 8:48 am

      Dude, this deck is Tier 1. If you can’t win with it, you are special.

      Reply
    • Cruxkid
      April 19, 2018 at 7:21 pm

      Stop trading so much. Literally the only mistake you can make

      Reply
  8. TBor
    April 18, 2018 at 5:29 am

    Why exactly is this deck in the “top standard meta decks” column? I have every single card except the two crawlers and I have yet to win a single game with it. So you can pump out a ton of cheap cards. Big deal. The opponent takes a couple points damage, drops a board clear, then drops a large creature(s) that are impossible to overcome. This deck should not be RANKED, let alone in the “top.”

    Reply
    • Sagarys
      April 18, 2018 at 10:59 am

      You’re doing it wrong. This deck is a powerhouse.

      Reply
    • MrMayhem
      April 18, 2018 at 1:55 pm

      you are doing it wrong. Went from rank19 to rank 10 with like 80% winrate so far.

      Reply
  9. Fabuloso
    April 17, 2018 at 6:58 am

    I’m trying to understand the point of having 2x Vinecleaver’s in this deck. This weapon is extremely slow, and the thought of having to use a second one would happen only by turn 10 or 11 at the earliest. Isn’t there another card that can be used instead which would have more use? Don’t get me wrong, I have 2 of them in my collection, I just don’t understand why you would need 2 in this deck…

    Reply
    • Sagarys
      April 17, 2018 at 3:55 pm

      Having both in your hand isn’t the best, but making sure you draw one consistently is important. It’s incredibly powerful in this deck. I’ve used both before when I had it on, dropped unidentified maul for the buff, then out the cleaver back on. If you don’t like it, run Leeroy in that slot. Him + Blessing of Might is a nasty reach finisher.

      Reply
    • Charles
      April 18, 2018 at 1:20 am

      You need two in the deck to double the chance of ever getting to play one.

      Sometimes I do play them both, but it’s rare.

      Reply
    • MrMeme
      April 18, 2018 at 3:13 am

      I recommend Gallon’s version of odd paladin much more consistent and really fun with witch’s cauldron

      Reply
    • Elzein
      April 18, 2018 at 5:30 am

      I like Marsh Drake. Very valuable play on curve and you always have something on the board to trade for the drake slayer

      Reply
  10. Dudewazzap
    April 16, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    This deck is the reason I play Wild. Over there I don’t get my ass handed to me on turn 5 by Level Up! or Quartermaster because you lack the minions to use it on. Now a prayer for Mysterious Challenger in all his greatness.

    Reply
    • GlosuuLang
      April 17, 2018 at 1:46 am

      Well I just got my ass beat by Odd Paladin several times in Wild now. They have Muster for battle and many other buff Silver Hand Recruit cards that totally overwhelm you. My Wild Secret Tempo Mage appears to be obsolete after the release of Baku…

      Reply
  11. Nimander
    April 16, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    I had some luck putting in Prince Liam in a version of this deck (The account got him as free legendary), and I didn’t feel like crafting nerfed Corridor Creepers on the account. Replacing the 1 drops with legendaries on turn 5 helps against the usual taunt heavy counters of the deck. I don’t think I would suggest crafting him to put him in the deck though. The effect isn’t consistent enough for suggesting that.

    Reply
  12. topdeck
    April 16, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    How many recruits should you have on board before you play “Level Up!”? It seems like 2 is not enough, 3 is mediocre, and 4 is great?

    What would you replace in the deck for an extra owl? Acherus vetern?

    Reply
    • -Bandit-
      April 17, 2018 at 6:08 am

      I removed war leader, but i use slightly diffrent deck.

      Reply
    • Dot
      April 19, 2018 at 8:52 am

      War leader is pretty safe to replace. Also it’s more like 4 is good and 6 is great. Not that hard to do, since you have Level up! + hero power on turn seven, or most of the time Vinecleaver + hero power + Level up! in the late game.

      Reply
  13. Elzein
    April 15, 2018 at 7:23 pm

    This deck is very effective. Got me through many ranks straight. I though it would have a hard time versus odd quest warrior for all the taunts and “tank up”, but it actually dominated that slow deck. Couldn’t get past taunt druid, however. I’m playing with 2x Ironbeak owl, but it was not enough. Any suggestions/tips on how to overcome the witchwood grizzly + witching hour combo? or is that a perfect counter for this deck?

    Reply
    • Stonekeep - Author
      April 16, 2018 at 1:00 am

      Yes, it seems like this Druid is a great counter to this deck. You need to play fast (try to play minions over Hero Powering, you don’t aim at a long game, because in the long game you lose), and hope that they don’t draw the right cards. You can’t really do much more.

      Reply

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