OTK DK (Exodia) Paladin Deck List Guide – Rastakhan’s Rumble – February 2019

OTK DK (Exodia) Paladin Deck List Guide – Rastakhan’s Rumble – February 2019

Our OTK DK Paladin deck list guide goes through the ins-and-outs of this newly popular Paladin build for the Rastakhan’s Rumble expansion! This guide will teach you how to mulligan, pilot, and substitute cards for this archetype!

Introduction to OTK DK Paladin

Paladin’s Death Knight Hero card, Uther of the Ebon Blade, was added to the game in Knights of the Frozen Throne in 2017. Players immediately began to look for ways to use the game-winning ability of its Hero Power: whenever you have all four Horsemen on the board, you win the game. This is an immensely powerful effect, as it destroys the opponent regardless of their health and armor and even through any immunity effects.

Alas, it is not a simple combo to assemble. Using the Hero Power summons a random Horseman: Deathlord Nazgrim, Darion Mograine, Inquisitor Whitemane, or Thoras Trollbane. It cannot summon anyone who is already on the board, it will always summon a new one. The combo only triggers when all four different Horsemen are on the board: if you have two copies of Thoras Trollbane, for example, among your four Horsemen, the ability will not trigger. This makes it more difficult to bounce or copy Horsemen to your hand or deck in order to complete the combo: copying a Thoras Trollbane and replaying it while you have the original and two other Horsemen on the board does nothing, you have to get all four different names on the board at the same time.

The original version of OTK DK Paladin aka Exodia Paladin accomplished this task with the help of Auctionmaster Beardo and Burgly Bully: they generated enough coins to refresh the Hero Power with Beardo so that they could use the Hero Power four times in a single turn. In the April 2018 rotation, Beardo and Burgly Bully left the Standard format, and OTK DK Paladin was left with less consistent ways to complete the combo and destroy people. Consequently, the deck fell out of favor and all but disappeared from the ladder.

Rastakhan’s Rumble has brought the archetype back to the spotlight. The key card is Time Out!, which makes the Paladin immune for one turn, and therefore gives it more time to complete the combo. This little bit of additional time is exactly what the archetype needed. Other new cards also see play in various versions of the deck, especially Shirvallah, the TigerFlash of Light, and High Priest Thekal – cards that further improve the survivability of the Paladin.

OTK DK Paladin Deck List

Deck Import

Check out alternative versions of this deck on our Exodia Paladin archetype page!

OTK DK Paladin Mulligan Strategy & Guide

VS Fast Decks

Higher Priority (Keep every time)

  • Call to Arms – Draw three cards and swing the board. Your most important tool for both card draw and board control.
  • Loot Hoarder – Early minion to contest the board and draw a card.
  • High Priest Thekal – If you play a version with Thekal, you always want to keep him to enable armor and healing.

Lower Priority (Keep only if certain conditions are met)

  • Truesilver Champion – Keep in matchups where you expect four damage early to be relevant: Rogue and Hunter.
  • Wild Pyromancer – Keep against expected tokens: Paladin, Shaman, and Warlock.
  • Consecration – Keep against expected one- or two-health minions: Paladin and Shaman.
  • Potion of Heroism – Keep with an early-game minion, such as Loot Hoarder or Wild Pyromancer.

VS Slow Decks

Higher Priority (Keep every time)

  • Call to Arms – Draw three cards and swing the board. Your most important tool for both card draw and board control.
  • Loot Hoarder – Early minion to contest the board and draw a card.
  • High Priest Thekal – If you play a version with Thekal, you always want to keep him to enable armor and healing.
  • Potion of Heroism – Early card draw.
  • Uther of the Ebon Blade – Your main win condition. After playing this, you can start to threaten the Horsemen kill. Even though it’s not a great keep, you can’t afford to have it on the bottom of your deck, that’s why you keep it.

Lower Priority (Keep only if certain conditions are met)

  • Equality – Keep against decks that might drop big minions quite early, such as Even or Cube Warlock.

OTK DK Paladin Play Strategy

VS Aggro Decks

You are usually not looking to beat aggro decks with the one-turn-kill combo. Instead, your goal is simply to survive their assault. At the start of the game, try to draw as many cards as possible to find your key removal combos, such as:

You also have several nice healing combos with Crystalsmith Kangor that doubles your healing:

Making good use of combos such as the ones mentioned above is the key to defeating aggressive decks.

In aggro matchups, the ideal buff targets are generally Crystalsmith Kangor (Lifesteal), Wild Pyromancer (Sticky removal), and Righteous Protector (Cheap target, enabling Spikeridged Steed for seven mana on an empty board).

You can use your bounce combo pieces – Zola the Gorgon and Ancient Brewmaster – liberally in Aggro matchups. Crystalsmith Kangor is a great target for Zola the Gorgon, and if you make it to the later stages of the game, Shirvallah, the Tiger can be a great card to bounce and copy. You can also refresh the Divine Shield of your Righteous Protector with a quick bounce to the hand and replay. Remember not to bounce any of your buffed minions though, or the buff will be lost.

Time Out! is an interesting card against Aggro. You often want to use it when your board is empty, so that the opponent essentially has to wait a turn without doing much of anything. However, it can also be a great card to use when you have a weapon equipped: swinging with a weapon after casting Time Out! means that you take no damage from the target, which can allow you to remove a minion almost for free.

Be patient with your board clears. Especially Equality is a valuable card that needs to be used carefully. Boards with Divine Shield minions or Deathrattles are the greatest challenge, and you may need to come up with a multi-turn plan on how to clear them, as a simple Equality will not do. Use your health as a resource: sacrifice health when you will still have enough left to not be at risk, if you can get your opponent to commit more resources into a board clear by doing so.

There are Aggro decks, and then there is Hunter. Deathstalker Rexxar means that Hunters simply will not run out of steam, even in the late game. However, once Rexxar is played, there is a momentary loss of tempo for the Hunter and their Hero Power stops applying direct pressure. You can use this opportunity to strike back on the board, and it is sometimes possible to pull off the Horsemen kill on a Hunter too, even if you have already spent some or even all of your bounce cards. Hiding Horsemen behind Taunt minions or buffing them up can help them survive multiple turns, given that Hunters don’t always have ways to deal with them.

VS Control Decks

Against control decks, the OTK combo becomes your main win condition, but do not underestimate your ability to surprise them with Sunkeeper Tarim and buffs: you can also win by reducing your opponent’s health total to zero.

The combo requires you to get all four Horsemen – Deathlord Nazgrim, Darion Mograine, Inquisitor Whitemane, and Thoras Trollbane – on the board at the same time. Therefore, it all begins with Uther of the Ebon Blade, without which you cannot summon any Horsemen.

The most basic version of the combo is to bounce or copy Horsemen into your hand one at a time with Zola the Gorgon and your two Ancient Brewmasters. Just be careful not to bounce any duplicates, all names have to be unique! Once you have three different Horsemen in hand, you can play them on the board and then use your Hero Power – it will never duplicate a Horseman that is already on the board, so you are guaranteed to get the fourth one. Boom, that’s a win.

In actual games, things rarely go quite that smoothly. Most of the time, you will try to get some of your Horsemen to survive a turn by hiding them behind Taunt minions or by buffing them with your buff cards or with Sunkeeper Tarim, so that you do not need to have three in hand. This can put a lot of pressure on the opponent, who will want to clear your Horsemen to deny the combo – and sometimes this opens up a way to defeat them on the board without using the combo at all!

Some versions of the deck use Blackwald Pixie to make the combo easier to pull off. Blackwald Pixie allows you to summon two Horsemen with your Hero Power in a single turn for a total of seven mana. Therefore, if you have one Horseman on the board and one in hand, Pixie can enable the combo for nine mana. Unfortunately, to do the combo fully from hand with the Pixie requires you to have two Horsemen in hand and 11 mana available, so you need to have started with the Coin and held on to that the entire game to pull that one off.

Time Out! has a different role to play in slow matchups. You can use it to buy an extra turn against most control and combo decks – any that are not based on Uther of the Ebon Blade or Mecha'thun (as those don’t really care about your immunity) – and either assemble your own combo during that time or build a game-winning board. You can often use it to put the opponent into zugzwang: force them to either use their damage combo to clear the board or perish, and if they clear the board, they may lack the means to finish you off in the following turns.

As an interesting tidbit, when you swing at a minion with a weapon while you are immune from Time Out!, any Lifesteal effect the minion may have does not activate, as you are taking no damage. This may allow you to push through a Lifesteal minion for lethal.

Another important note is that Lynessa Sunsorrow is obviously played because you run 2x Spikeridged Steed, but those are not the only things she copies. She will also copy Potion of Heroism, drawing you cards AND Flash of Light if you’ve played it on a minion and not on yourself. In the best case scenario, Lynessa can draw four cards – but it might be a double-edged sword, since you need to care about your hand size (you don’t want to burn your combo pieces) and about fatigue if you’re that late into the game.

The role of Equality is interesting in control matchups. Sometimes you use it as a board clear just like in aggro matchups, but often you also try to save it for lethal: EqualityConsecration clears the opponent’s board and leaves yours alive at one health so that they can hit face. If dealing damage looks like a viable win condition, you often try to hold on to Equality and Consecration for that key turn and use other means to push earlier, even if that means dealing less damage: control decks can usually deal with a board full of one-health minions, so you do not want to make your side vulnerable without a plan.

OTK DK Paladin Card Substitutions

Like all Control Paladin decks, OTK DK Paladin includes several Legendary cards that are difficult to replace. The combo pieces are mandatory, and the others improve the survivability of the deck to a large degree.

Old Guardian

Ville "Old Guardian" Kilkku is a writer and video creator focused on analytic, educational Hearthstone, and building innovative Standard format decks. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/OldGuardian Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/old_guardian

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Leave a Reply


  1. JoyDivision
    January 9, 2019 at 1:43 am

    Long gone are the days of Wallet Warrior – hail Wallet Paladin!

  2. DrNoOne
    January 8, 2019 at 10:32 am

    This is but one version of the deck (not counting the much worse Holy Wrath OTK).

    Another list with the Four Horsemen as a win condition (and, in my experience, much better win rates) does away with Call to Arms replacing it with Crystology and Hammer of Wrath as draw mechanisms. The list also includes 2 Stonehill Defenders (that are tutored by Crystology), meaning you are never without a taunt to stall an opponent out.

    But the main, overwhelming benefit is the replacement of Ancient Brewmasters for Youthful Brewmasters. With that change, after you have played your DK, you progress your win condition for a mere 4 mana per turn, rather than 6, allowing you to respond to whatever the opponent throws at you during that time (you can Equality+Consecrate, Spikeridge Steed etc, while Ancient Brewmaster+Hero Power only allowed for, at best, Pyro+Equality)

  3. TardisGreen
    January 8, 2019 at 5:45 am

    I’ll bite. How in God’s name does High Priest Thekal help against Aggro? They are hitting you in the face. You don’t need to play him to be able to gain life with healing.

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      January 8, 2019 at 3:40 pm

      They don’t always hit you hard enough that you can’t outheal it. Remember that they might be trading into your early minions, you might have stopped a lot of damage with Righteous Protector, that you’re actively clearing their board too, and that not all Aggro decks are face rush decks. A lot of the time mid game Kangor shenanigans (and with 2x CtA, you get it very consistently) lead to you overhealing without Thekal.

      Plus, it’s a 3/4 body on Turn 3 – there’s nothing better you can do on that turn, so that part obviously helps too.

  4. Luca Brivio
    January 8, 2019 at 3:53 am

    `why u suggest blackward? u need to bounce 2 anyway but for combo u need 2 + 2 +2 + 3 +2, and don’t say to me u can have the coin, delete that stupid suggestion pls,

  5. Suup
    December 27, 2018 at 11:06 am

    Super bad deck, don’t bother. Cryptology is inferior to Call to Arms in every single way, theKal has no use in the current meta, lacking Pixie meaning that you would lose to every single mirror match.

    • someguy011348
      January 9, 2019 at 8:02 am

      Are you talking about OTK paladin in general or a specific deck list? Because not a lot of deck lists run Cryptology or pixie. However, I would say that thekal is definitely a consideration: the extra heal from flash of light and kangor is very nice.

  6. Mythos
    December 12, 2018 at 4:46 am

    How does the combo work ? Due to the fact that u dont have the coins available any more, how do u make sure to be able to get all 4 horsemen ? I dont get it…
    Time Out protects your hero, not your board…

    • Old Guardian - Author
      December 12, 2018 at 8:36 am

      The most basic version of the combo is to bounce or copy Horsemen into your hand one at a time with Zola the Gorgon and your two Ancient Brewmasters. Just be careful not to bounce any duplicates, all names have to be unique! Once you have three different Horsemen in hand, you can play them on the board and then use your Hero Power – it will never duplicate a Horseman that is already on the board, so you are guaranteed to get the fourth one.

  7. Zesraksutsez
    December 11, 2018 at 10:59 am

    Currently stuck at rank 3 with a similar, somewhat budget version. I’m missing thalnos , sunkeeper,and Lynessa, but I run thekal for heals. Feels very strong. If you’re like me and wanting to know who to craft first, it’s Thalnos. 3 damage consecration and the extra loot hoarder body makes your #1 winrate card (call to arms) just that much better.

    • Zesraksutsez
      December 11, 2018 at 11:05 am

      Also, I feel like a very valid point to running Thekal was ignored. Malygos Druid is a terror for this deck, same as shudderwock. But, if you manage to thekal early and heal up, it’s not unheard of to have 50+ health by the time their combos comes up. This extra health buys you time in the shudderwock matchup, and in the malygos match you usually just win. Double swipe+double moonfire= 40 damage, get out of that range before their ‘flower power’ turn and you’re gucci.

      • Old Guardian - Author
        December 11, 2018 at 11:18 am

        True, Malygos Druid is the main reason to run a Thekal list. Currently, Malygos Druid is only somewhat popular in Legend and is almost completely absent on the way there. This may of course change over time.