Our Odd Paladin deck list guide for The Boomsday Project expansion features one of the top lists for this archetype. This Paladin guide includes Mulligan Strategy, Gameplay Tips, Card Substitutions, and Combos/Synergies!
Odd Paladin deck was first created in The Witchwood, where Even (Genn) and Odd (Baku) decks have been one of the main themes. It was quickly overtaken in power by its brother – Even Paladin – but after Call to Arms nerf, it was back as the #1 Paladin deck, and one of the best lists in the entire meta.
Odd Paladin’s main power is the upgraded Hero Power activated by Baku the Mooneater. The deck is built around flooding the board all the time – with 2x 1/1 Hero Power and a bunch of other ways to summon multiple small minions, the deck takes advantage of all kinds of AoE buffs, even cards that were only used in Basic decks before, such as Raid Leader or Stormwind Champion.
Players have predicted that Odd and Even decks will get even more traction throughout the rest of this Standard year. Since they are forced to run some sub-optimal cards (as they’re limited to only Odd or Even choices), every new good card that its into the deck is like a blessing. This time around, players have been experimenting with Mechs – Glow-Tron took the place of Dire Mole. Without more Mechs to combo with, Glow-Tron would be basically the same as Mole, but it gets a significant boost if you can utilize his Magnetize effect. Other than Glow-Tron, however, players haven’t agreed with Mechs work best in the list yet.
Boomsday Odd Paladin Deck List
Since it’s very early into the expansion, the new deck lists haven’t been refined yet. We took a popular list with a high win rate (credits to Janetzky) – it’s one of the best options right now, but it might change later into the expansion.
Find more versions of this deck type on our Odd Paladin archetype page!
Odd Paladin Mulligan Guide and Strategy
Higher Priority (Keep every time)
- 1-drops – in the order of highest to lowest priority – Lost in the Jungle, Glow-Tron, Mecharoo, Righteous Protector, Fire Fly – 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. However, don’t keep too many, as their value goes down in the mid/late game, and you want to have some other plays too.
- 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 aggressive decks.
- 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)
- Void Ripper – This tech card works really well in the current meta. Keep it against any deck running Doomsayer (it’s a great answer), as well as against Shamans – flipping the Totems (especially good ones like Flametongue Totem or Mana Tide Totem can be game-winning).
- Level Up! – It might not seem like the best keep in aggressive deck, but this card can absolutely win some matchups, that’s why it’s a solid keep. But I’d keep it only with a 1-drop in your hand already – having on-curve Level Up is great, but you probably won’t be able to use it if you will fall behind in the early game, meaning that 1-drops are a priority.
General Playstyle and Strategy
When you face faster decks, the most important rule is to play the board control game. Lots of your cards rely on having some sort of board. Cards like Unidentified Maul, Raid Leader or Fungalmancer are usually just bad when you have no minions (Summoning 2x 1/1 with Maul is an exception). Your Mech cards are similar – Magnetize is a very powerful mechanic, but it works well only if you can stick a Mech to the board and be able to attack with it. +5/+5 buff for 5 is not good if you give your opponent an entire turn to react – he might e.g. Silence it or clear it on his terms. That’s why falling behind often means losing the game.
What’s why, and I can’t stress it enough, it is very important to NOT hit your opponent’s Hero if you can do some efficient 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. Your opponent being at 30 or 20 health does not matter at all, Odd Paladin is not a face deck, it doesn’t pack lots of burn to finish the games. It relies on minions to deal damage.
But you can’t really dictate the trades if you aren’t ahead, and you can’t stay ahead if your plays aren’t high tempo. Once you get ahead, you can start playing slower, using your Hero Power more, 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 Mecharoo. 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 (or your only) 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. Zoo Warlock with Despicable Dreadlord – then you might consider playing around it to a certain extent. In the Dreadlord example, you want to put as many minions that will survive the 1 AoE damage as possible, so playing your Hero Power is not a good idea. You might want to buff something with Fungalmancer, maybe Magnetize a Wargear onto a smaller Mech or something like that. But if playing around it would put you behind, you might consider ignoring it, as not every Zoo list runs it, not to mention that he might not have it on the curve. Meta knowledge plays an important role here – you need to know common builds of your opponent’s deck and whether they play AoEs or not. If not – go all in. If yes – it really depends on the situation you’re in.
Most of the Aggro matchups are decided by a single big swing turn. Let’s say that you have a 1/3 Glow-Tron and a 1/2 Fire Fly on the board going into Turn 5. Your opponent drops a 3/3 and a 2/3 minion on the board. Normally, those would trade really well against what you have on the board. However, if you now drop a Fungalmancer, you get two free trades, and get massively ahead on the board. 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. Your opponent will rarely have a way to comeback, because no matter what he plays, you will now always be one step ahead.
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, might come too late. Probably the best early game tempo swing in faster matchups 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. In the best case scenario, you can drop those for 0-2 mana on Turn 4, and they’re a great buff target for Fungalmancer too.
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 – however, ignoring their board and going face might give them a way out (like Odd Paladin might get a random Sunkeeper Tarim out of the Stonehill Defender, or your opponent somehow having a perfect burst hand and killing you) and you don’t want to do that.
Even though Odd Paladin might seem like a very aggressive 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 (which isn’t mirrored like Hellfire – because in that example, Hellfire would also clear his minions) – 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 slow Warlock builds you absolutely need to play around Defile and Hellfire, but you also need to keep in mind that some of the builds 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 an Even Shaman. The only board clears they might have are Hagatha the Witch and Kalimos, Primal Lord (technically, new builds also run Arcane Dynamo, which can give them Volcano, but if they drop Dynamo you just play accordingly). You know that they will be able to deal 3 AoE damage at one point, so you can plan ahead 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 Wargear out of the range, as well as utilize Fungalmancer buff and Magnetize to get other stuff out of range – e.g. you could buff that Fire Fly to 4 health so he would survive the 3 damage AoE, instead of buffing your Recruit to 3 health, which would be in the range.
What’s worth mentioning is that Druid is a very popular class right now, and most of the Druid builds run Spreading Plague. This card is basically your worst nightmare. That’s the reason why this deck runs 2x Void Ripper – normally if Druid Plagues a board full of 1/1’s, you just lose the game. But with Ripper, you can flip everything. However, you don’t always draw it, so you still need to know how to play around it. Against Druid, you want to go wide (flood the board) in the early game, but try to go tall (have less minions, but with better stats) in the mid game. Odd Paladin is a deck that can’t go truly tall, but Magnetic minions actually do help with that. Other than Naturalize, Druids might have a hard time answering Glow-Tron + Wargear (6/8), so if you don’t have Void Ripper and want to play around Plague, you might try to Magnetize stuff onto each other instead.
This build does not run a single copy of Divine Favor, mostly because of how popular Zoo Warlock is right now. Divine Favor is a very polarized card when it comes to how useful it is in what matchups. On the one hand, it’s a godsend against slow, Control builds where you can use it to draw 5+ cards. On the other hand, it’s a completely dead card and a reason you might lose against an Aggro deck. In faster matchups, you will be lucky to draw more than 1 card, and lots of the time it will be “spend 3 mana, do nothing” kind of card. Divine Favor is heavily a meta call – keep track of your matchups and see how many fast vs slow decks you face. If you face significantly more Aggro decks, then it should stay that way. If you face little more slow builds, adding 1 copy should be good. But if you mostly play against Control decks, then you can even go for 2 copies.
Odd Paladin is a relatively inexpensive deck. The Epics & Legendaries in this deck are also very hard to replace. However, I will still go through them and try to offer potential solutions.
- Void Ripper – It’s a tech card, but a tech card that’s really powerful in the current meta. Not only it’s your best way to counter Spreading Plague, but it works really well against all kinds of Shaman too. It can also be used as a general tech just to get some better trades by flipping stats – e.g. trading a Glow-Tron into a 3/3 minion. The card is not necessary, but I would recommend getting it. If you don’t have it, you can sub it with Nightmare Amalgam (also an Epic, but you might have it), Stonehill Defender or more 1-drops, such as 2nd Fire Fly, Faithful Lumi or Dire Mole.
- Level Up! – While the card is not necessary to play this build, 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, alternatively add a Stormwind Champion – while it doesn’t have the same impact Level Up does, the buff still allows you to trade up, survive some board clears etc.
- 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, use some of the replacements I’ve offered above (especially 1-drops and 3-drops).
- 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.