Our Budget Aggro Paladin deck list guide for the Saviors of Uldum expansion will teach you how to play this budget list. This guide includes Mulligans, Gameplay Strategy, Card Substitutions, and Combos/Synergies!
Introduction to Budget Aggro Paladin
Aggro Paladin took a massive hit last rotation, when Blizzard has decided to Hall of Fame Divine Favor. Going all-in and then still ending up with a full hand against slower decks was the deck’s main strength, and with that gone, it sort of disappeared from the meta. However, there’s a chance for it again. Between the buff to Crystology (which makes it probably the most efficient card draw in the entire game) and a bunch of new cards in Saviors of Uldum (Brazen Zealot, Sandwasp Queen and Salhet's Pride), Aggro Paladin is back on the radar.
That said, being completely honest, “back on the radar” is still far from “back in the meta”. Full version of Aggro Paladin is playable, but it still isn’t incredibly powerful. The budget version is obviously even worse, but during my playtesting I was able to snatch a few wins against full meta decks (and even against its biggest nemesis, Control Warrior).
Budget Aggro Paladin Mulligan Guide
Higher Priority (Keep every time)
- Brazen Zealot, Glow-Tron, Argent Squire – When you play Aggro deck, you REALLY want to open with a 1-drop. Zealot is the best one, the card can really snowball early. Glow-tron is the second best, while Squire is the worst of three – but you still keep it if you have nothing else.
- Crystology – Usually keeping card draw in Aggro is a mistake, but Crystology is just so cheap that it’s very easy to fit. You can easily use it to fill your curve while adding more resources to your hand.
- Sandwasp Queen – It’s a great early game minion, because it’s so flexible. You can drop it on T2 and then have two 1 mana curve fillers. You can drop it on T3 and play one of the 2/1’s right away. Same on T4 with both of them. It can fix your curve really well, and even if your opponent removes it, the Battlecry still makes it worth for you most of the time.
Lower Priority (Keep only if certain conditions are met)
- Dire Wolf Alpha – With a 1-drop already in your hand. It’s a nice follow up, but a terrible play on empty board.
- Quicksand Elemental – Against board-oriented decks. It’s AMAZING vs Zoo, vs Murloc Shaman or other similar decks. It just lets you snowball the board in your favor by killing their minions for free. Against slower decks, however, you will often drop it just as a 3/2 body.
- Salhet's Pride – Keep vs slower decks. The card is GREAT in slow matchups, because 3 damage puts a significant amount of pressure, and opponent doesn’t really want to kill it, because it will give you more resources once it dies.
Budget Aggro Paladin Play Strategy
Budget version of Aggro Paladin is your classic board-centered Aggro deck. The basic goal against other fast decks is to keep the early game board control and then swing it around with either Quicksand Elemental or buffs. Elemental in particular works amazingly well. If you’re even or ahead on the board, the card can really win you the game. Use it to your advantage and trade as much as you can. Even if you have a bigger minion on the board and it might be tempting to get in some face damage, when you’re playing against decks like Zoo or Murloc decks, keeping an empty board is most important, because if they have any minions they can snowball. Buffs are also a great way to swing the board – especially the new Pharaoh's Blessing. While it’s a bit slow at 6 mana, since it gives Divine Shield + Taunt, buffing let’s say Glow-Tron create a 5/7 minion with Divine Shield and Taunt that can immediately swing. You kill their biggest minion AND still have a 5/7 Taunt in play, meaning that your smaller minions are protected.
Against Control, the strategy is a bit different. Since you won’t be doing that much minion combat, your main goal is to dish out as much damage as possible while playing around AoEs to a certain extent. This deck is actually good at “playing” around AoEs. Technically, you don’t even play AROUND them , but just simply drop minions that either are somewhat resistant or give you more resources anyway. Your opponent’s AoE is much less powerful if you’re left with some minions on the board after and you have a massive refill ready in your hand. Normally when you have 3-4 minions on board, you don’t really want to drop more because you’ll get wrecked by AoE. But in case of this deck, you can easily drop cards like Argent Squire (depends on AoE), Salhet's Pride (because it draws on death anyway), SN1P-SN4P (because it Deathrattles into more minions), Wasteland Assassin (because it’s hard to kill with Reborn) and so on. That’s why you can easily flood the board without worrying about a single AoE destroying you. Against decks that have “damage” AoEs and not “destroy” AoEs, buffs are also a great way to play around stuff. For example, you can play around Mage’s Blizzard or Flamestrike by buffing minions’ health with Beaming Sidekick, Blessing of Kings and especially Pharaoh's Blessing. A board with a bunch of small minions and one buffed by Pharaoh’s Blessing works very well a lot of time, because your opponent usually has to choose between dealing with small or big minions.
For an Aggro deck, especially a budget one, the deck doesn’t run out of steam quickly. Crystology and Salhet's Pride both draw 2 minions, while Sandwasp Queen adds two 2 mana 2/1’s to your hand (worse than drawing minions from your deck, but still not bad). This build runs seven 1 Attack minions for the sake of Crystology, and eleven 1 Health minions for the sake of Salhet’s Pride (technically ten, because you can’t count the Pride from board). You would have to get pretty unlucky to draw out of things to pull with those cards. Still, don’t try to drag out the game too long – even though you might have some nice refill in the mid game, it gets harder and harder as the game goes by.
Wasteland Assassin might seem like a weird choice, but I really wanted a 5-drop, especially a sticky one. I thought about Stranglethorn Tiger too, but I like Wasteland Assassin for playing around most of removals better and being more annoying in general. But I guess that if you don’t like it, Stranglethorn is also a good option. I like the curve of a 5-drop with Stealth into Pharaoh's Blessing. With Assassin, you create an 8/6 minion with Divine Shield and Taunt – you can get in a lot of damage immediately or kill basically anything you want. And if it dies, then you usually still have 4 more damage.
While not a main focus of the deck, you also have some Mech synergies. Both Glow-Tron and SN1P-SN4P have Magnetize, so you can attach them to each other. Especially SN1P-SN4P can serve as a really powerful play in the mid game, on Turn 6, if you happen to have a Mech on the board. Also, 1/1’s summoned by Microtech Controller are also Mechs, so both of your Magnetic minions can be attached to them. It comes handy sometimes when you need some extra damage immediately, or you want to keep your minions out of AoE range.
Future Card Replacements for Aggro Paladin
In general, Aggro Paladin is not a great deck even if not played on budget, so once you get more cards, you might want to switch into a different archetype, such as Reborn Paladin with Making Mummies (although it will be slightly more expensive). If you, however, want to expand on this deck, there are quite a lot of changes you might want to make:
- 1x EVIL Cable Rat, 1x Quicksand Elemental -> 2x Micro Mummy – The card works really nicely in the deck. You can snatch it with Crystology, it’s sticky, it constantly makes your board stronger. It’s just really solid.
- 2x Microtech Controller -> 2x Magic Carpet – The deck has quite a lot of 1 mana minions, and Sandwasp Queen also produces 1-drops, which means that Carpet can get some serious value. Especially if you combine it with another card change – Glowstone Technician. As an extra note, if you put two Carpets into your deck, you might want to add another 1-drop instead of a 2-drop. I’d switch out either one copy Quicksand Elemental or Dire Wolf Alpha for a Jar Dealer – the card works particularly well with Carpet, since you can Rush it into something and you get another 1-drop which you can also Rush right away.
- 2x Wasteland Assassin -> 2x Glowstone Technician – After the recent buff, Glowstone Technician became an amazing card. While 5 mana 3/4 is weak, you pay the 2 extra mana to give +2/+2 to your entire hand. And with the amount of resource generation you have, you should be able to buff A LOT of things.
- 1x Pharaoh's Blessing -> 1x Leeroy Jenkins – Every Aggro deck needs some sort of finisher, and what’s better than than Leeroy. The deck is bad at closing out games without board, so having something that can deal damage from hand is great. It also gains some extra reach thanks to Glowstone Technician if you also happen to run it.
- 1x Pharaoh's Blessing -> 1x Zilliax – Zilliax is just all-around good card. It has some Magnetic synergy with your other Mechs, it can get handbuffed by Glowstone to a great effect, and it’s just a solid, minion/removal.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a slightly different approach to the deck, you should check out Jambre’s Hand Paladin. The deck has a very unique playstyle, because it’s the first Aggro “Hand” deck.