Our Secret Paladin deck list guide goes through the ins-and-outs of this Warrior deck that has been the best way to play the class in Forged in the Barrens! This guide will teach you how to mulligan, pilot, and substitute cards for this archetype!
Introduction to Secret Paladin
The Forged in the Barrens expansion brought to us an old familiar face, with a different look; Secret Paladin. Paladin Secrets were usually either a meme (most of the time) or very powerful (who am I?), we rarely had in-between situations. The deck uses Sword of the Fallen (despite it already getting nerfed once) to “pull” the secrets from the deck and cast them, all at once, while focusing on developing the board as fast as possible, moving aggressively to pressure the opponent. Despite the deck’s focus, it still includes a couple of mid-game threats to prolong the game. Some of the most popular choices include Ogremancer, Kazakus, Golem Shaper and Hammer of the Naaru, even using the new Alexstrasza the Life-Binder as an 8-damage burst finisher.
Secret Paladin Deck List
Key Cards for Secret Paladin
- First Day of School: Although this is a deceptively simple card, it’s your most important one during the mulligan and the entirety of the first couple of turns. Being able to get two 1-cost minions for 0(!) mana is a godsend and let’s you mulligan more aggressively for your other cards, since you don’t need to hold on to 1-cost minions with this in your hand.
- Oh My Yogg!: One of the deck’s secrets and probably its most powerful one (and most frustrating to play against). With a deck like No Minion Mage in the meta, a well-timed Oh My Yogg! can just obliterate their chances of winning the game, or at least deny them tempo/removal.
- Crabrider: Once again, Crabrider is a key card in a meta deck. The inclusion of Rush, Windfury and 4 HP on a 2-cost minion is just too good to not try and abuse, especially in a deck that includes a good amount of early game buffing.
- Sword of the Fallen: One of the cornerstones of the deck, since it allows you to draw and play random secrets from your deck, while also doing a small amount of damage with your hero. It’s a must keep in any situation.
- Mankrik: Just an all-around-good 3-drop, that is giving you a 3/10 with pseudo-Charge in the deck, that is also played for free when drawn. Really essential to a lot of decks for the foreseeable future.
- Kazakus, Golem Shaper: The deck does not really want to run any 4-drops, so Kazakus, Golem Shaper is a good inclusion, while also opening up spots in your deck for some late-game threats.
- Ogremancer: Although this is mainly included as a tech choice against Mage, it’s just a good 5-drop that delays your opponent’s spell-focused turns or mitigates their use of removal spells.
- Taelan Fordring: Although not very aggressively statted at 3/3, this 5-drop has Divine Shield and Taunt, protecting the rest of your board, while its Deathrattle draws you the biggest minion still in your deck (usually your finisher Alexstrasza the Life-Binder).
- Hammer of the Naaru: The deck’s second weapon and it’s main mid-game threat. A 3/3 weapon can be a hassle to deal with, while the 6/6 body with Taunt that it summons can protect your other minions.
- Alexstrasza the Life-Binder: Although she is meant mainly as a finisher, Alexstrasza the Life-Binder can also be used as removal for late-game taunt minions, so you can keep pressuring your opponent. On extreme cases, she can also be used to heal 8 damage to a friendly minion or your own hero, buying you a turn to ultimately win the game.
Secret Paladin Mulligan Guide
Your top priority is getting on the board as soon as the game starts and snowballing from there.
- First Day of School: This is your top priority. If you have this in your opening hand, you can be super aggressive about the rest of your mulligan and toss any other 1-drops to get more important cards.
- Sword of the Fallen: Must be played on turn 2. The sooner you attack with it, the better, since you drastically reduce the chances that you draw one of your secrets, while also gaining a lot of tempo with directly playing one from your deck, essentially for free.
- Crabrider: The minion you are looking for the most. If you have this in your hand, consider mulliganing for Hand of A'dal/Argent Protector.
- Knight of Anointment: If all else fails, you can keep this card and at least get your board going early.
- Hand of A'dal: Consider keeping this if you already have Crabrider and you are on The Coin.
Secret Paladin Playstyle & Tips
Secret Paladin is primarily an aggressive and board-focused deck. Always look to play the most amount of stats on any given turn, starting with turn 1. Getting a good 1-drop out (usually through First Day of School) is essential, but the deck does not rely too much on RNG (with Oh My Yogg! being the other source). Instead, a good curve can usually guarantee a good amount of damage to the enemy hero, while you draw into cards like Kazakus, Golem Shaper, Hammer of the Naaru and Alexstrasza the Life-Binder, that can help you keep pressuring the opponent during the mid-to-late-game stages.
You want to trade, especially during the first couple of turns, but do so as efficiently as possible; be careful not to waste too much damage on controlling the board. Also, remember to factor in your secrets when thinking about your move for the next couple of turns and don’t be afraid to bait your opponent if you have a secret on the board. Argent Protector‘s top targets are Crabrider and Venomous Scorpid, but tempo is your top priority, so don’t hold on to him (or any buffs in your hand) for more than a turn (or two at most).
After the early game, you should be in control of the board. Be wary of your opponent’s answers and know when to flip the switch to full-on attack mode. Pressuring the opponent to less than 10-15 health can be crucial, as Alexstrasza the Life-Binder can be used to bypass anything (except armor and immunity) and deal 8 damage to them. Always keep minions to refuel the board after an AoE (for example Hysteria or Twisting Nether).
One crucial thing is learning all the different variations of Golems that Kazakus, Golem Shaper can create can be really helpful and can increase your winrate by quite a bit. Knowing when to go for each different cost of Golem and what effects to look for in each scenario can be the difference between winning and losing in a lot of matchups.
This is a change aimed at making the deck a lot more aggressive and fast-paced, although it will lose most of it’s mid and late-game capabilities. If you want to be even more aggressive you can follow up with this:
Even though the deck loses all its late game with those changes, you still pack a lot of damage if you don’t overcommit your hand into removals, but you will fall off quickly after a couple of AoE spells.