Pure Paladin Deck List & Guide – Darkmoon Faire – December 2020

Pure Paladin Deck List & Guide – Darkmoon Faire – December 2020

Our Pure Paladin deck list guide goes through the ins-and-outs of this powerful Paladin build for Madness at the Darkmoon Faire expansion! This guide will teach you how to mulligan, pilot, and substitute cards for this archetype!

Introduction to Pure Paladin

With Descent of Dragons, Team 5 started to support an archetype called Pure Paladin, a deck that oozes with class fantasy by only running Paladin class cards. Unfortunately, 2019’s Paladin core wasn’t beefy enough to fully develop a strong meta deck, and even with the addition of Librams and their synergy cards in Ashes of Outland, Pure Paladin stood out as a very unique but still niche decklist.

Pure Paladin finally became mainstream in Scholomance Academy, and it has now risen to become the strongest Paladin deck in the early days of Madness at the Darkmoon Faire. The archetype has gained a couple of great new pieces in every expansion for more than a year, with the most recent contributions being High Exarch Yrel and Hammer of the Naaru.

The main pure synergy cards, Lightforged Zealot and Lightforged Crusader, are rotating out of Standard in April 2021 with the next expansion, so it is uncertain whether Pure Paladin will remain in the meta after that. However, the vast majority of cards used in it can also be used in a non-pure Libram Paladin, so the overall concept of playing strong minions and buffing them up is likely to stay even beyond the next Standard rotation.

In Madness at the Darkmoon Faire, Pure Paladin is in the sweet position of having enough threats to beat down Warriors while also having enough defensive tools to withstand the constant barrage from Demon Hunters, unless they manage to gather enough resources for a one-turn-kill. Overall, the deck is a great option for climbing right now.

Pure Paladin Deck List

Deck Import

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

Pure Paladin Mulligan Strategy & Guide

Vs Aggro Decks

Higher Priority (keep every time)

  • Aldor Attendant – If Hearthstone has taught us anything, keeping one-cost 1/3 minions against aggro opponents is definitely one of the most reliable ways to win the game, and Pure Paladin is not an exception in this case. Putting three health on the board as early as possible enables several 2-for-1 trade options.
  • First Day of School – A smooth curve filled with minion options is imperative to keep board dominance against aggro, and First Day of School helps a ton with that.

Lower Priority (keep only if certain conditions are met)

Vs Control Decks

Higher Priority (keep every time)

  • Aldor Attendant – Keeping this against control is not so much about board control and more about early damage – so get it in while you can!
  • First Day of School – Random one-cost minions can cause quite a headache for control opponents and bait out early board removal.
  • Murgur Murgurgle – Early Divine Shield minions are the bane of most control decks, and this Murloc is no exception to that – especially if you have buffs cards to beef it up.
  • Shotbot – Similar to Divine Shield, minions with Reborn are harder to remove and thus can do more much-needed early damage.

Lower Priority (keep only if certain conditions are met)

General Strategy

In theory, Pure Paladin’s game plan looks fairly simple: Establish board dominance, buff up, and destroy. However, there is more to it than that, especially when it comes to the Libram package.

With Aldor Attendants and Aldor Truthseekers, this list can decrease the cost of Librams by a total of six mana. You won’t hit the total discount in most games, but just a two-mana discount is enough to smoothen out your curve and, crucially, make Libram of Wisdom free.

Libram of Wisdom provides the biggest amount of value of all Libram cards. Try to use the card as often as possible, especially when it’s discounted to zero mana, which should happen in almost every game. All minions are designed with their base stats in mind, and buffing them up even by a mere +1/+1 can change everything. If you have a wide board of small minions against bigger opponents, you can buff each one of them before trading to give your overall board a lot more power.

Next in line is Libram of Justice, also known as Equality on a literal stick! It is actually far better than Equality because it does not reduce the Health of your own minions, so it is not easy for the opponent to answer your board after you have cleared theirs with Libram of Justice and Consecration, or even with the 1/4 weapon that you get from the spell.

The third and last Libram is Libram of Hope. The pure strength of this spell when discounted is unmatched, and while you surely should try and get the most out of its heal effect to either increase your survivability or enable value trades, the fact that it produces an 8/8 with Divine Shield in the mid-game more often than in the late-game makes this a great tempo swing card to play on curve.

The next featured group of cards lines up perfectly with the advantages of Paladin Librams. Pure Paladin’s Divine Shield package contains Murgur MurgurgleGoody Two-Shields and High Exarch Yrel. Goody Two-Shields, for example, can turn into a menacing mid-game threat, not least thanks to its Spellburst effect. Early face damage is vital to Pure Paladin’s game plan against control opponents, and going face with your Divine Shield minions often rewards you with both damage done and enemy minions and spells being used to trade.

Talking about bolstering your minions, the buff package is another important group of cards in Pure Paladin’s toolkit.

Ashes of Outland’s Hand of A'dal, which is actually named after a famous player title in World of Warcraft, is just a really good card on its own, and as we already know, only gets better when used on Divine Shield minions – not least because of the much-needed card draw.

Blessing of Authority may be one of the most interesting Paladin cards in terms of design. For just one more mana, it doubles the buff effect compared to Blessing of Kings, with the only restriction of not being able to go face. While the restriction sometimes hurts, Blessing of Authority is great for setting up value trades and almost always results in a huge minion staying on the board and asking the opponent whether they have the means to remove it.

Next in line are the two “Pure” minions that gave Pure Paladin its name in the first place. Lightforged Zealot has to be one of the strongest value four-cost cards that ever existed in Hearthstone, and despite the fact that we have tons of weapon utility in this list already thanks to Libram of Justice, it should always find its way in a Pure Paladin deck.

Lightforged Crusader serves as the main card generation engine for our list. It can produce a ton of additional buff, removal, and survivability cards, as well as discounted Librams. Pure Paladin has limited amounts of card draw, so adding some card generation to the mix helps it maintain pressure against slow decks.

Another important minion in the card generation department is Lady Liadrin. Remember when we said to use Libram of Wisdom as often as possible? This blood elf is the main reason for it. It copies each individual spell cast on friendly characters, which almost always results in a hand full of Librams. Quite often will you find yourself in a situation where Lady Liadrin will reward you with enough buffs to reach lethal levels of damage, and you should always treat her not only as a hand refill minion but also as a late-game finisher!

The dual-class legendary High Abbess Alura brings incredible tempo potential: its Spellburst effect can be activated with Libram of Wisdom or First Day of School for as low as zero mana, and the deck is full of spells that you’re happy to cast directly from your deck for free. Turn four can quickly become your opponent’s nightmare.

All in all, Pure Paladin just happens to rise up in the right place at the right time. It serves as a perfect example of an archetype that received ongoing development support which eventually paid off big time, and its ridiculously high base power level combined with multiple strong tech opportunities turns the archetype into one of the best choices in the early Madness at the Darkmoon Faire meta.

Vs Aggro Decks

To survive the early game, First Day of School should always be your highest priority card – not only because it provides actual board presence, but also because it can provide phenomenal tools against strong aggro openers, for example in the form of a Risky Skipper.

Most of the time, you are the control deck in aggro matchups, trying to shut down their threats and survive long enough to get a major swing from Libram of Hope or High Exarch Yrel.

How well you are able to survive depends not only on your own play but also on the opponent’s deck: transformation, silence, and bounce effects such as Blackjack StunnerRevolve, and Devolving Missiles are major problems for a deck that relies on Taunt minions and buffs. If you expect your opponent to have such effects available, try to spread out your buffs to play around most of them.

Sometimes, you are also able to take on the beatdown role if you can get some good buffs going. In such cases, you need to consider how likely it is that the opponent has transformation, silence, or bounce effects because those can stop your assault and turn the tide against you.

Vs Control Decks

Against control opponents, Pure Paladin’s patience is key. Balancing out the urge to deal early damage and to not overplay the board certainly turns out to be much more complicated compared to aggro matchups, but it is where Pure Paladin’s design really shines.

Good players will focus on building up threats based on their opponents – may it be a board of two or three big minions against Warrior, a wide board against a Rogue, or just a straight-out ridiculously buffed individual minion against Druid. Don’t hesitate to get greedy once you’ve identified the strength of your opponent’s hand in terms of board removal.

When properly rationed, you have threats for days, and can just grind most control decks down over time.

Pure Paladin Card Substitutions

Because Pure Paladin is limited to using Paladin class cards only, there are limited ways to build the deck. Furthermore, many of the potential replacements are Epic cards themselves, so budget replacements can be difficult to find. That said, there are several things you can do to build a Pure Paladin deck a little cheaper.

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

Check out Old Guardian on Twitter or on their Website!

Leave a Reply


  1. Lacto
    October 10, 2020 at 5:03 am

    Is there anyway to get shotbot outside of doing 4 chapters of Galakronds awekening?
    Still annoying that you can’t craft adventure cards.

  2. RoNiN2X
    August 20, 2020 at 5:36 pm

    Personally I can’t leave collection manager without at least 1 Call to Adventure. Love me some good old mid-range paladin.

    • Tharid
      August 21, 2020 at 12:24 pm

      RIGHT? Un’Goro Mid-Range Paladin is calling … That’s why I gave the card more than one chance to stay in the deck 🙂

      • RoNiN2X
        August 21, 2020 at 2:06 pm

        Just wish it had more of a shot at the highest skill levels. GM is a sorry sight if you’re a paladin/shaman lover. My 2 most played classes =\

        • Tharid
          August 23, 2020 at 8:50 am

          Agreed! I do think though that Shaman will see more and more play as Priest rises up as the big bully in GM – we’ll see soon enough!

  3. Noelle
    August 20, 2020 at 12:35 pm

    Shotbot’s not even in this list, nor is it mentioned in replacements, but it’s still mentioned in mulligans.

    • Tharid
      August 20, 2020 at 1:03 pm

      It shows that I played about 15 different cards with this list outside of its core – thanks for the hint, I listed Shotbot in the card replacements!

      • Noelle
        August 20, 2020 at 1:10 pm

        Thanks! I’ve been using 2 copies in my pure paladin and it does really well against aggro.

        • PitLord
          August 21, 2020 at 12:56 am

          Me Too I play 2 shotbot, I replace the murloc (it’s a more weak turn 2) and one authority