Budget Handbuff Paladin Deck List Guide (Kobolds and Catacombs)

Class: Paladin - Format: mammoth - Type: midrange - Style: budget - Meta Deck: Midrange Paladin

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Deck Import

Our Budget Handbuff Paladin deck list guide for the Kobolds and Catacombs expansion will teach you how to play this Midrange Paladin list. This Budget Handbuff Paladin guide includes Mulligans, Gameplay Strategy, Card Substitutions, and Combos/Synergies!

Introduction to Budget Handbuff Paladin

From the release of Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, Handbuff Paladin has been on the fringe of the meta. The deck came close to competitive play thanks to synergy with the Elemental tribe in Journey to Un’Goro. Deeper into the Year of the Mammoth, Handbuff Paladin gained some useful new minions that improve the deck’s consistency and competitive potential.

In particular, Saronite Chain Gang and Righteous Protector both provide quality targets for handbuffs. The Taunt each of these minions provide helps stave off aggression and protect Grimestreet Enforcer for multiple rounds of buffs. Cobalt Scalebane provides a beefy body that continues improving the stats of minions in play. More so, Bonemare provides massive swing turns with its immediate effect on the board.

In Kobolds and Catacombs, Handbuff Paladin shored up two of its biggest weaknesses. Drygulch Jailor makes it possible to quickly refill an empty hand with minions to receive buffs. Meanwhile, Lone Champion can flip the board in situations where you get behind in the early turns.

This budget version of Handbuff Paladin still has more than enough powerful tools to be a viable option on the standard Ladder. As your collection grows, adding some of the cards from the recommended replacements will strengthen the deck even further.

Budget Handbuff Paladin Mulligan Guide

High Priority Keeps

  • Smuggler's Run – Not always a good turn 1 play, but Smuggler’s Run is an important part of this deck’s game plan. Keep it and try to get buffs on as many high-value minions as possible.
  • Grimestreet Outfitter – Outfitter usually wants to be played on turn 2 with a handful of minions to get the buffs rolling early.
  • Righteous Protector – Righteous Protector curves well into Rallying Blade, but has much more value later in the game with buffs. The card is still a quality keep but may be worth holding off on playing in some matches.
  • Fire Fly – Fire Fly is your best turn 1 play because of its ability to replace itself in your hand.
  • Rallying Blade – Even without Divine Shield minions in play, Rallying Blade is critical for fending off early game minions while you seek turns to take advantage of your buffed minions.

Low Priority Keeps

  • Drygulch Jailor  – Without minions in hand, many of the cards in this deck do very little. Drygulch Jailor offers incredible (and very welcome) hand refill in a deck that very much needs it.
  • Golakka Crawler – Given the prevalence of Pirates in the current metagame, Golakka Crawler can help swing the board in your favor.
  • Lone Champion – One of Handbuff Paladin’s biggest weaknesses is not gaining control of the board early. Should this be the case, Lone Champion can help you regain a stable position.
  • Stonehill Defender – Like Fire Fly, Stonehill replaces itself in hand and offers several high-value options in Paladin.

Budget Handbuff Paladin Play Strategy

Handbuff Paladin is a deck that revolves around a fairly slow build on board into huge power swings by dumping a pile of stats into play. Typically, in the early turns your want to get the buffs rolling. This makes both Smuggler's Run and Grimestreet Outfitter dramatically more valuable in the early game when your hand is likely full of minions.

In later turns, protecting a Grimestreet Enforcer on board for multiple rounds of buffs can be game-wining. This can, however, be a value trap. Maintaining board presence is still priority number one for this deck.

Handbuff Paladin relies heavily on the timing of thebuffs, so maximizing their impact is crucial. Fortunately, several of the minions in this deck replace themselves in hand and, compared to past iterations of the archetype, it’s not terribly difficult to get buff value.

Budget Handbuff Paladin Future Card Replacements

  • 2x Lone Champion > 2x Corridor Creeper – While Lone Champion can help you if you get behind on board, he’s not great when you’re already ahead. Corridor Creeper is a strict upgrade in either situation and receives buffs very well.
  • 1x Stonehill Defender > 1x Wickerflame Burnbristle – Wickerflame is a premium target for hand buffs because of how well Lifesteal scales. The deck functions without him, but he is one of the biggest losses when running a budget version.
  • 1x Stonehill Defender > 1x Tirion Fordring – If you had to pick the best card in the game, Tirion would be up there. Like Wickerflame, he can be Discovered from Stonehill Defender but having one in your deck is always preferred.
  • 1x Cobalt Scalebane > 1x Val'anyr – This Legendary Paladin weapon fits nicely in the Handbuff gameplan. Not only does it buff up minions, the Deathrattle recycles the weapon and offers a lot of staying power.
  • 1x Cobalt Scalebane > 1x Leeroy Jenkins – Charge minions scale extraordinarily well with the handbuff mechanic. Few charge minions can close out the game like Leeroy. If you have him, he would be a welcome addition as a burst finisher.

Budget Handbuff Paladin General Replacements

Here’s a list of cards you can add to this deck if you happen to be missing anything in the list.

  • Tar Creeper – An efficient taunt minion, Tar Creeper can protect your Grimestreet Enforcer, which is often critical to this deck’s win condition.
  • Corpsetaker – If you have Wickerflame included in your deck, Corpsetaker can provide an immense amount of value with a few buffs.
  • Hydrologist – A solid two-drop minion that can be considered for inclusion in just about any Paladin deck.

About the Author

A card game veteran, Roffle has been infatuated with Hearthstone since closed beta. These days, he spends most of his time tinkering with decks on ladder or earning gold in Arena (f2p btw). In particular, Roffle has a wealth of experience in competitive Wild Hearthstone, including a top 16 finish in the inaugural Wild Open Tournament and numerous high end of season finishes since the format’s inception. Follow him on Twitter or check out some of his articles on Roffle.net.

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43 Comments

Discuss This Deck
  1. Hourliche
    March 22, 2018 at 7:12 am

    Hey can anyone please explain this deck’s strategy to me ? I got it and I tried to make it work, I only lose with it. From what I understand I need to keep a good hand so I can buff it, but it just always comes short and even if I manage to get a good board the opponent just wipes it anyway.. I’m new and rank 20 btw. Thanks, I’m getting really frustrated haha

  2. Kanse
    February 4, 2018 at 9:37 am

    Hello i tried this deck and i really like it, but i got no legendary. I managed to find a Zola the gorgon in a pack and was wandering if it could be a viable card since it provides a golden copy of any friendly card on the board, plus it’s golden!

    • Roffle - Author
      February 5, 2018 at 4:08 pm

      Congrats on the golden Zola! This deck doesn’t require any Legendaries and I’m not sure she fits with the build, but you could try subbing her in for a copy of Lone Champion and see how it works out.

  3. ezmiyake
    January 29, 2018 at 4:22 pm

    Should Bonemare be replaced after the upcoming 10.2 update hits?

    • Roffle - Author
      January 30, 2018 at 7:26 am

      It’s hard to predict whether Bonemare will still be good after the nerf. Coming out a turn later is pretty significant and may warrant a replacement. We’ll keep an eye on things once the patch goes live and adjust accordingly.

      • ezmiyake
        February 22, 2018 at 3:20 pm

        Just an update here in case anybody cares (nobody cares):

        Replaced Golakka Crawler for Hydrologist. I used Acidic Swamp Ooze for a minute but it often sat in hand waiting for a weapon to appear. Hydrologist is just better tempo and value in most matches.

        Replaced Rallying Blade with Acolyte of Pain. It’s a minion and it’s common (forty dust each). It looks for handbuff cards on curve if you haven’t drawn them and is good for trading/looking for things later on.

        Replaced one Bonemare for one Argent Commander. Budget Leeroy.

        It’s the end of the month so take this with a huge grain of salt, but I climbed from rank eighteen to rank fifteen with a 70% win rate. Also, it’s hard to find reliable resources for budget players so thanks to Roffle for these budget decklists/guides.

  4. Clover Lee
    January 18, 2018 at 7:29 am

    Is it me or this deck is cursed xD
    Just finished making the deck and I got 5 disconnect wins straight.
    This deck Rocks BTW. Tks for the deck

  5. NasattoJulio
    January 4, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    Hello! I tried this deck in a friend’s account (he has more cards than me) and really loved it! I currently have 600 dust and normally can get rank 12 each month with Aggro Druid and Face hunter. Is it worth crafting this deck to try to get rank 5?

    • Roffle - Author
      January 5, 2018 at 4:57 pm

      Aggro Druid and Face Hunter are probably more competitively viable decks at the moment for reaching Rank 5. This deck can probably get there, but will have a harder time than those two. That said, if you enjoy it and/or need to get some Paladin daily quests done, this is a great deck for the cost.

    • Eik
      January 10, 2018 at 12:26 pm

      I think it’s a little cheap, i think you should at least put Val’anyr in it, but if you’re really good you might be able to

  6. Xdarksoulzx
    December 31, 2017 at 11:51 pm

    what can replace the aldor peacekeeper?

    • Roffle - Author
      January 1, 2018 at 9:10 pm

      Tar Creeper or Hydrologist would be a good option.

  7. XXXacolyteofpain
    October 14, 2017 at 10:45 am

    Which legendary is the best to craft ?-?

  8. Drawaka
    October 7, 2017 at 11:10 am

    Hey,
    i dont have the rallying swords, there for i swaped one of them with a sword of justice do u think that will work as replacement?

    • Roffle - Author
      October 9, 2017 at 8:23 am

      Truesilver Champion is a little better in the weapon slots than Sword of Justice. I’d recommend using it for the time being.

  9. MasaomiX
    September 19, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    So, I have this whole deck built minus the legendaries. But I currently have 2200 dust. Of the 3 legendaries, which one should I craft?

  10. ReaderAlex
    September 15, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    I always had faith in this deck concept, but could never get the balance of my deck right.

    Your deck recipe rules! Been having lots of victory streaks and close calls that have gotten me up to level 15, hoping to keep climbing.

    I don’t have all the needed cards (and I’m saving up dust for some epic or legendary crafts) so I’ve made my own adjustments that I thought I’d share…

    1 Argent Squire for a Servant of Kalimnos (honestly, the picking for elementals in Paladin is solid given how frequent you pull the Lightlord)

    1 Saronite for Divine Favor (having more draw helps with a deck like this in my opinion)

    1 Dopplegangster for Tirion (because he was my first craft and the value!!)

    1 Grimestreet Enforcer for Elise (I only had the one Enforcer, and Elise has such great value)

    1 Howling Commander for Hydrologist (Value for Hydrologist I feel is too good to not have at least one, even though I love pulling Tirion or Argent Commanders in a pinch)

    1 Righteous Protector for Aldor Peacekeeper (Sadly, i only have one Righteous Protector, and I really wanted Aldor in here as he’s got great value and saves me from big threats I can’t deal with)

  11. Bagool
    August 26, 2017 at 1:02 am

    since most people have him, bc u know he is just so good, i put tirion in and put hydrologist and chill blade champion should be here too

    • Roffle - Author
      August 26, 2017 at 7:24 pm

      Yeah, Chillblade Champion was a card I slept on early on, but he seems really good in this deck. Charge and Lifesteal both scale well with handbuffs and he can help get Corpsetakers full activated if you have them as well.

  12. Mehmet Cakir
    August 25, 2017 at 11:57 pm

    Hi firstly i think this is a great deck i have a question though is it possible to replace grimestreet outfitter with prince keleseth also u need to remove argent protector for that version. Maybe add lich king and don cho as replacement.

    • Roffle - Author
      August 26, 2017 at 7:23 pm

      Kibler has been having a lot of success with the Prince Keleseth version of this deck and building things around him may be worthwhile in a non-budget version.

  13. LRayK
    August 22, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    Hello,
    i dont have the the two Howling Commanders. So what are good replaysments for those two Cards. I thaught the Hydrologist can be the right decisson? I also have Uther DK and Bolvir, Fireblood. Its possible to include these two cards in the Deck and wich cards had to cut out?
    PS: sorry about my english…

    Thanks for answers…

    • LRayK
      August 23, 2017 at 5:36 am

      Hello again…
      i did replace the Hydrologists and the Fireflys with two Wild Pyromancers an to Equality, i think an solid AOE would be needed…like in the Disussion below.
      The question is now, is Uther DK and Bolvir, Fireblood a good inclusion in this Deck….

      • Roffle - Author
        August 26, 2017 at 7:26 pm

        I think Bolvar might be good in this deck, but I haven’t seen him included nor have I tested it myself. While I haven’t tested Uther yet, other people have been reporting success with him in this list so you might give it a try.

  14. Myqj
    August 19, 2017 at 10:06 am

    I didn’t have the Bolvar, Fireblood but I did have the Wickerflame Burnbristle and the Tirion Fordring so I decided to still get rid of both Doppelgangster’s and keep the second Argent Protector.

    • Roffle - Author
      August 19, 2017 at 11:19 am

      Those are good replacements. I’ve been finding Doppelgangsters a bit clunky and probably some of the first cards to cut from the deck. Both cards you added receive buffs very well and do a good job of protecting your Grimestreet Enforcers.

  15. Squirrel
    August 16, 2017 at 5:52 am

    I think you want more smorc and less gangster in this deck. All of the death knights are going to out value you. Finja will outvalue a buffed gangster. Also, Evolve shaman can gangster better too. It’s best to just roll faces and focus on player removal.

    • Roffle - Author
      August 19, 2017 at 11:20 am

      I think you’re right. I’m going to try Chillblade Champion in that spot and see how it goes. Both Charge and Lifesteal as insanely valuable when buffed.

  16. PnutButtrSandwich
    August 15, 2017 at 3:02 am

    So far so good! Thank you!

    • Roffle - Author
      August 15, 2017 at 7:19 am

      You’re welcome! I’m continuing to do well with this deck myself.

  17. kopmis
    August 14, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    Great deck, although I switched out 2x Argent protector and 2x fire fly for 2x equality 2x wild pyromancer in order to deal with all the taunts in the meta right now.

    • Roffle - Author
      August 14, 2017 at 4:07 pm

      Having a reset button like that is definitely helpful since this deck really requires you to have and maintain control of the board. Wild Pyromancer + Smuggler’s Run also synergizes with an Acolyte of Pain on the board.

  18. floyd olsen
    August 14, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    This deck was awesome tho! 10 streak now.

  19. Shivz
    August 13, 2017 at 3:14 am

    I was lucky enough to get Uther in a pack, can I just throw him into this deck? Also could I swap a commander with leeroy

    • Roffle - Author
      August 13, 2017 at 8:12 am

      I got Uther in one of my packs as well!

      He might fit here but probably does best in decks with a general midrange or control game plan. Kibler did have him included in one of his early Handbuff decks.
      http://www.hearthstonetopdecks.com/decks/brian-kiblers-kft-handbuff-midrange-paladin/

      The weapon does have an immediate impact on the board and can help protect your Grimestreet Enforcers. You can try tossing him in place of one of the Doppelgansters or Howling Commanders and see how it works.

      Personally, I prefer the Argent Commanders because they can be drawn with the Howling Commanders, but Leeroy provides a bigger finisher and isn’t a bad replacement/inclusion.

    • Shivz
      August 13, 2017 at 11:41 am

      Ok I’m back, I’ve had great success with this (I think I’m on like a 15 winstreak) I even got a win from the horsemen lol, Uther is definitely good and leeroy works well enough although I don’t know how much more effective this is than ardent commander

      • Roffle - Author
        August 13, 2017 at 8:53 pm

        Thanks for the update and congrats on the success! I’m impressed you got the Horsemen win to work out. I suspect, like most Paladin Legendaries, Uther may just be good enough to jam into nearly any deck and do well.

        • Shivz
          August 16, 2017 at 1:08 am

          Hi I’ve created a video on my version of the deck
          https://youtu.be/SaV4VKLBnvY
          I’ve linked your deck list as well.
          Hopefully more people can find this awesome deck ?

  20. knightenight
    August 12, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    I was wondering if since its also a buff deck if don han’cho whould be a good card to add

    • Roffle - Author
      August 12, 2017 at 8:42 pm

      Don Han’cho is great when you get him on a premium target, but can be a little slow. In this deck, Bonemare serves essentially the same purpose but the buffed minion has attack initiative which is huge.

    • floyd olsen
      August 14, 2017 at 2:38 pm

      What card did u switch with uther??