Our Murloc Paladin deck list guide for The Boomsday Project expansion will teach you how to play this aggressive Paladin list. This guide includes Mulligans, Gameplay Strategy, Card Substitutions, and Combos/Synergies!
Introduction to Murloc Paladin
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.
It was Journey to Un’goro, the first expansion in the Year of the Mammoth, that propelled the deck 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.
Year of the Raven has started and a lot of players have doubted whether this deck would still be viable. With two powerful 1-drops rotating out (Vilefin Inquisitor and Grimscale Chum), the deck’s early game has suffered greatly, and it didn’t really get a lot of tools to fill that gap. However, Paladin’s powerful early/mid game aggressive shell is still enough to keep this deck working.
The balanace changes hit the deck pretty hard, changing the mana cost of Call to Arms from 4 to 5. The deck’s big swing turn happening a turn later hurts, but both Call to Arms and Murloc Paladin in general are still viable. The deck list itself didn’t change at all.
Boomsday Project Murloc Paladin Deck List
This is a potential Boomsday version of the deck. It has yet to be fully refined, but if you are looking to try Murloc Paladin in the new expansion this might be the way to go! We will be refining our lists and guides as soon as we can!
- Lost in the Jungle – Aggressive deck such as this really needs 1-drops, and since two of them have rotated out, players had to fill the gap somehow. Lost in the Jungle is just a solid card – good early game play and has a solid synergy with Tarim later.
- Righteous Protector – Protecting high-value minions is important to in this deck. Righteous Protector can frustrate opponents by soaking up two attacks.
- Hydrologist – While Hydrologist’s stats aren’t great, the valuable options it presents can be crucial to the outcome of games.
- Divine Favor – This is a 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.
- 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 – The card is no longer as powerful as it was at 4 mana, but drawing & playing three 1-2 mana minions for 5 mana is still worth it, especially since there is a solid chance to get a bunch of Murlocs and follow it up with Warleader or Megasaur.
- 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.
- Vinecleaver – Late game weapon that you can use to protect your board or just to finish the game. Aggressive Paladins are low on reach, and you can’t underestimate 12 damage over 3 turns.
- 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 Murloc, Rockpool Hunter is far and away your best early game 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.
- Nightmare Amalgam – There was no dedicated Murloc card in the latest set, however, Nightmare Amalgam fills that gap somehow. It’s just a vanilla 3/4 Murloc in this case, but it synergizes nicely with all the Murloc buffs.
- 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.
- Fungalmancer – Since the deck wants to fight for the board control, buffing your minions lets you trade more efficiently. Keeping your Murlocs alive also means that you can stack more before dropping another board-wide Murloc buff.
Murloc Paladin Mulligan Strategy & Guide
The mulligan section is divided into two parts – against fast decks and against slow decks. Fast decks are generally the Aggro decks (e.g. Odd Face Hunter) or high tempo Midrange decks (e.g. Odd Paladin). Slow decks are slower Midrange and Control decks.
Vs Fast Decks
Higher Priority (keep every time):
- Lost in the Jungle, 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. Generally, Murloc Tidecaller is the best 1-drop to keep if you also have a Rockpool Hunter. If you don’t, Lost in the Jungle and Righteous Protector will probably be slightly better.
- 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 if 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). Great keep even after the nerfs.
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.
- Unidentified Maul – 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):
- Lost in the Jungle, 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 – let’s say 2x 1/1 on Turn 1, if left unanswered, can deal some serious damage over the course of a few turns. In slow matchups, Murloc Tidecaller is your best 1-drop, but you will gladly take any of them, to be honest.
- Rockpool Hunter – Amazing snowball card, your Turn 1 Murloc Tidecaller 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 4-5 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.
This is a deck with a lot of explosive power, but also 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. In the last expansions, 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 us to adjust our gameplans on the fly. Identify the opponent’s archetype as quickly as possible and tailor your decisions to it.
All-in-all, the deck’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 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. Knife Juggler has a rather curious interaction with the card. Depending on the order of cards pulled, it can either throw knives or not. If you get Juggler first, and then two more minions, he throws 2 knives. But if you get it last – he throws none. However, there is still quite a high chance to get Juggler from Call to Arms, so if you play it later in the game, ALWAYS open with it before playing more minions, so you won’t waste potential damage. E.g. Call to Arms + Lost in the Jungle can be a really amazing Turn 6 play if you pull the Juggler (even better if you pull two!). There is also a high chance to get at least 2 Murlocs from your Call to Arms, which makes it a juicy card to combo with Murloc synergies.
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). Make sure to look for any available value trades before playing this card. For example, if you have a 2/3 minion on the board, and your opponent has a 2/1, there is no point in playing Tarim first – you can trade those minions, still have a 2/1 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. If you have Vinecleaver equipped, remember to swing with it FIRST, before playing Tarim (unless you can get lethal with the “wrong” order). Incorrectly sequencing Sunkeeper turns can be punishing – even a single extra 3/3 minion on the board can change the course of the entire game, and I’ve seen people losing out on 2 or 3 of them quite often.
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 can be a good choice 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. The thing is, your resources are limited, and AoE will nearly always be a huge value win for your opponent. If you play too much into it, you might run out of resources before your opponent runs out of removals – and you don’t want that situation to happen.
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 Blizzard. 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.
Remember that Nightmare Amalgam doesn’t count only as a Murloc – no matter when you drop it, it always has ALL of the tribes attached. Since hate cards are not that common right now, it’s not a big deal, but it’s something to keep in mind if, for example, players start running Dragonslayer or Golakka Crawler – those cards would be able to hit your Amalgam, making it a much worse option. It’s already not AMAZING in this deck, so in case people start teching things like that, I’d recommend replacing it with something else.
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 – It really depends on the matchup and the board state, but I’d say that generally Redemption should be the best pick in the early/mid game, and then Repentance later in the match (against decks that can drop big minions, especially big Taunts). Redemption, while not amazing, is always some extra tempo. Reviving a Righteous Protector or Murloc Warleader will often be optimal, but even just getting some random Murloc back can be good – you can immediately buff it with something next turn. Since your opponent will usually drop AoEs on the turn he can do that, he will rarely have any extra mana to finish the minion you revive off, meaning that you should usually start with some sort of board. Noble Sacrifice can be okay if you need to stall a minion that’s on the board – e.g. your opponent drops a Mountain Giant or Twilight Drake and you’re ahead in tempo – instead of trying to deal with it, you can basically stall it for one more turn and worry about it later. Hidden Wisdom is a new Secret, and it can be good in certain situations. You can pick it when your opponent is on the Coin (he might play three cards in a turn, since Coin counts as a card), or when it’s pretty late into the game and you need a refill, especially against a deck playing multiple cards per turn. Even if he decides to play around it, it’s always a small win for you. Then, Eye for an Eye can be sometimes good against decks that can’t easily deal 1 damage (e.g. with their Hero Power). For example, if you face a Cube Warlock, the Secret will often deal at least 3 damage to your opponent, which might sometimes be important.
- 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).
Sadly, Paladin decks are frequently quite expensive. This 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
- Murloc Warleader & Gentle Megasaur – Those cards are core in the Murloc list and can’t be replaced. If you don’t have them, you should probably run a non-Murloc version of the deck instead (just a regular Aggro Paladin).
- Nightmare Amalgam – It’s good to have something you can drop on Turn 3 without a board (Murloc Warleader and Coldlight Seer are much better IF you have a board, but they aren’t that great when you have nothing to buff), but this card is not necessary. You can, for example, run more small minions instead, such as Argent Squire or Dire Wolf Alpha. Alternatively, you can go for a 4 mana weapon – Truesilver Champion.
- Call to Arms – Even after the nerf, Call to Arms is still one of the most powerful cards in the deck. Which means that it’s still 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 Coldlight Seer, Blessing of Kings, Fungalmancer or Vinecleaver.