Our Odd Paladin deck list guide for Rastakhan’s Rumble 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.
Despite falling out of favor a bit, Odd Paladin is still one the better aggressive options in the Boomsday Project. The play style hasn’t changed much when compared to Witchwood, because even though the deck has got a light Mech synergy, it has been dropped already in favor of other cards.
Table of Contents
- Deck List
- Mulligan Guide and Strategy
- General Playstyle and Strategy
- Card Replacements
Odd Paladin Deck List
No changes required in the Rastakhan’s Rumble expansion! This is still an extremely powerful deck, and can be piloted to high ranks.
Find more versions of this deck type on our Odd Paladin archetype page!
Mulligan Guide and Strategy
Higher Priority (Keep every time)
- 1-drops – Lost in the Jungle, Fire Fly, Argent Squire, Righteous Protector – 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 two is fine. However, don’t keep more than two, as their value goes down in the mid/late game, and you want to have some other plays too. Keeping a hand full of 1-drops might make you run out of steam too quickly. As an extra note, if you get Fire Fly, you can keep it alone – it can act like two 1-drops after all.
- Acherus Veteran – Unlike the other 1-drops, it’s not a great T1 play, as you don’t get any value from the card’s Battlecry. Ideally, you want to keep it with another 1-drop already present in your hand.
- 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)
- Blood Knight – Play against decks which can run Divine Shield minions in the early game – e.g. in Paladin mirrors or vs Rogue (Argent Squire). Its main job is to counter Giggling Inventor, but you don’t keep it in your opening hand for that.
- Prince Liam – Keep in the slow matchups if you have a good starting hand already. Once you get into the mid/late game, those 1-drops aren’t very useful, but random Legendaries can be much better.
- 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, Level Up! or Fungalmancer are usually just bad when you have no minions (Summoning 2x 1/1 with Maul is an exception, but options like Divine Shield or +Attack benefit heavily from the board). That’s why falling behind often means losing the game.
And that’s also 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 1/2 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 or play Level Up! even only on two minions (or drop Stormwind Champion if it’s later into the game). 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 drawn it yet. 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 1/1 Argent Squire and a 1/2 Fire Fly on the board going into Turn 5. Your opponent drops a 3/3 and a 2/3 minion. 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 3-4, which is a nice swing in your favor. 2 attack might seem low, but it’s enough against lots of aggressive decks, not to mention that it’s a great card to buff with Fungalmancer. Bumping it to 4/7 means that you can trade into nearly anything and it’s hard to kill too. You can also drop it on the same turn as Fungalmancer, so if you have only 1 target to buff ready on the board, you don’t waste the +2/+2.
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 a rush 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!, +1 Attack Unidentified Maul 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. 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 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 really go tall, you always have to go wide. But if you don’t have Void Ripper in your hand, you might sometimes want to play around Plague by not pressing Hero Power or playing less bigger minion instead of more smaller ones.
Prince Liam is an interesting case. It seems like a pretty bad card – 5 mana for a 5/5 isn’t particularly amazing, and random Legendaries don’t seem appealing. But the truth is that it’s a solid win condition in slower matchups. Once you get into the mid/late game, if you haven’t won the game already, your opponent will usually push you back and you have no chance to come back. In that case, top-decking a 1 mana card (and since this deck has 12 of them, the chance is rather high) usually does nothing. But topdecking a random Legendary will nearly always be better. Even if that Legendary is pretty small, or not very mana-efficient, most of the time it will still be better than a 1-drop. Also, you might get lucky and get some really good Legendaries instead.
This build runs a single copy of Divine Favor, which is a very meta-dependent card. If you mostly face Aggro, it’s a dead card most of the time – they will be getting rid of their hand as fast as you do on average, so something like 2 cards Divine Favor is usually as good as you will get (with it being 0-1 card draw most of the time). However, even in the best case scenario, it’s still 3 mana to do nothing immediately, which is a tempo loss. On the other hand, the card is insane vs slow decks. You can consistently draw 3-4 cards for 3 mana, sometimes even more. That kind of refill is very helpful, because normally you can run out of steam quite quickly, especially if you got lots of 1-drops in your starting hand. You should adjust the amount of Divine Favors to the meta you face. You can’t really go wrong with putting only 1, but you might want to put 2nd if you face a lot of slow decks, or remove them completely if you face Aggro.
Odd Paladin is a relatively inexpensive deck, but most of the Epics & Legendaries are difficult to replace. I will go through them and try to list some alternatives.
- Prince Liam – It definitely does increase your win rate in slower matchups, and Odd Paladin struggles against some of them, such as Odd Warrior. But you can definitely replace it – I’d say that another 5-drop (e.g. Giggling Inventor or Cobalt Scalebane) would work best.
- 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.
- Level Up! – While the card is not absolutely necessary to play this build, it’s one of the best ways to capitalize on your upgraded Hero Power and probably your main win condition in slower matchups. 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 Giggling Inventor, Cobalt Scalebane or Leeroy Jenkins (if you have it) instead. Alternatively add a second copy of 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, you probably want some 1-drops or 3-drops instead, because extra Tempo is really important. Dire Mole, Blood Knight or Void Ripper would work best, but you can also try out a Vicious Fledgling.