Our budget Libram Paladin deck list & guide for the Darkmoon Faire expansion will teach you how to play this budget list. This guide includes Mulligans, Gameplay Strategy, Card Substitutions, and Combos/Synergies!
Introduction to Budget Libram Paladin
Librams! Ever since Ashes of Outland, they’ve been real saviors of Paladin, the class that previously had no real direction and was all over the place for a long time (with an exception of Pure cards from Descent of Dragons). They’ve also been a real life saver for budget players, since the whole Libram package is rather cheap, mostly consisting of Commons & Rares, with a single Epic (Libram of Hope). And given that the deck is built around Librams, that’s the Epic we’ve decided to add – it’s really hard to play Paladin without any Epics right now, sadly.
While last expansion we’ve decided to go for Pure Paladin (and frankly the deck still holds up – you can check it out here – just throw in Yriel if you unpacked her and you’re set), this time we went in a slightly different direction. While both decks share the Libram package, Pure Paladin is more limiting, since you can only use class cards, limiting the already limited budget build even more. In case of Libram (also called Broom) Paladin, the entire core is rather cheap. While the deck misses a few Legendaries, I’ve decided to sub them with a small Dragon package. Missing Lady Liadrin in particular is a big hit to the late game staying power, but I think that the deck still holds up for a budget version.
Budget Libram Paladin Mulligan Guide
Higher Priority (Keep every time)
- First Day of School – Great keep, akin to the oldschool Fire Fly – you can play one 1-drop on curve and then still have another in hand to either drop on T2 alongside something else or save it for later.
- Aldor Attendant – The best card you can keep in mulligan, 1 mana 1/3 that makes a significant chunk of your deck (all of which are quite key cards in certain matchups) cheaper. Always keep it.
- Redscale Dragontamer – 2 mana 2/3 that draws you card – of course you keep it!
Lower Priority (Keep only if certain conditions are met)
- Libram of Wisdom – Keep with Aldor Attendant – even discounting it by 1 already makes it good enough. Recurring +1/+1 can let you get some board advantage with good trades and even start doing some Pen Flinger combos.
- Hand of A'dal – Keep with either Aldor Attendant or First Day of School, it’s great if you have something to play it on, but it’s a dead card in case you don’t.
- Salhet's Pride – Keep vs Control, since it’s a great card draw. Against Aggro, keep only if you already have a T1/T2 covered, otherwise it might be too slow.
Budget Libram Paladin Play Strategy
The deck plays very similarly to the full build. If you have never played it, it might seem a bit tricky at times, mostly when you encounter a rather complex Pen Flinger turn, but you will get used to it. Let’s start with the early game – you basically want to do two things – survive against Aggro and keep putting pressure on the board while drawing cards vs Control. In both cases, you really want to get on the board. Against Aggro, it will let you keep the board control – if your opponent takes it away from you, coming back might be pretty difficult. Against Control, you will start dealing damage – it’s important, because ultimately you’re the aggressive side and you want to kill your opponent as quickly as possible. You CAN deal a bunch of extra damage from hand in the late game, but if you don’t do enough minion damage earlier then it’s all for nothing. Also, against Control you want to start dropping your card draw minions like Loot Hoarder, Redscale Dragontamer or Salhet's Pride. Those are perfect, because you throw something on the board AND if they die (which they will), you also get value back. Those cards are also great if you already have enough on the board – instead of playing another bigger threat, throwing some of those small minions alongside a Hero Power will increase the overall attack without impacting your hand size (since if your opponent AoEs everything, they will draw you cards anyway).
However, the “real” game starts around mid game, when two things happen – you discount your Libram of Wisdom to 0 and you draw your Pen Flinger. That’s the most basic combo of the deck and the main reason why you might not want to go for Pure build. See, Pen Flinger is 1 damage ping for 1 mana, but it gets back to hand whenever you cast a spell. Since Libram of Wisdom is a 0 mana spell that you can keep casting, you can play him up to 10 times per turn. Of course, you rarely are able to do it so much, but honestly you would if you could. Against faster decks, it helps you with board control A LOT by clearing the minions. And against Control, it’s your main late game source of damage. If you get them low enough, you should be then able to ping them for at least 4-6 damage each turn with two Flingers. If they clear your board, you get your Librams back and repeat. If they don’t clear the board – well, that’s even better, because you can deal damage that way. Pen Flinger also has some more niche uses – for example, you can use it to finish off minions after you Libram of Justice them (Wild Pyromancer is usually better at this job, but you don’t always have it), or it can be used to ping your own Loot Hoarder / Salhet's Pride to draw more cards if you need to do it immediately (but in this case you usually prefer to play Broom and run them into something). Just keep in mind that Pen Flinger is one of the most important cards in your deck, so DO NOT leave it on the board after your turn is over. Always end your turn with a spell and bounce it back to your hand. There are some niche scenarios where you REALLY need that ping and you have no way to get it back, then you can “sacrifice” it, but it’s never optimal.
Animated Broomstick is a life saver card in so many cases. Don’t be afraid to use it – keeping it around for too long will do more harm then good. In general, you want to use Broom to swing the tempo in your favor – here are some examples. On the early game board, you can drop your vulnerable minions like Loot Hoarder or Salhet's Pride and run them into opponent’s minions immediately while drawing more cards. Against Aggro Demon Hunter, for example, if you dropped them without rushing, then they would just get killed with Hero Power. Another great use for Broom is Libram of Hope + Broom as a big single target removal. You can get rid of whatever minion opponent has on the board (up to 8 health) at the cost of Divine Shield. It’s usually very effective, because normally your opponent would try to get rid of the Shield with a ping / cheap spell / smallest minion. With Bromo you take the initiative. You can also use Broom alongside a few minions and Libram of Wisdom as a massive board clear. E.g. play 3-4 minions, then 2x buff a minion, run it into something, 2x buff another minion, run it into something again and so on. And well, tempo gain is fine, really. Let’s say that you odrop Amber Watcher on Turn 6 and have 1 mana left – if there’s a good target you can run it into immediately, just drop Broom and do it. In the worst case scenario, you can also use Broom as 1 damage ping. E.g. your opponent got a good trade and has a 5/1 on the board – you can just Broom to kill it.
Those are probably the most important things you need to know. You already know the early and mid game – then against Aggro you want to simply stabilize and heal up (you have quite a lot of healing with 2x Amber Watcher and 2x Libram of Hope), and against Control you want to constantly keep putting pressure while throwing Pen Flingers. More about how your game plan differs in a full deck in the last section.
Future Card Replacements for Libram Paladin
While the Libram package itself is quite cheap, there are some “support” cards that you really want to run.
There are actually two versions of Libram Paladin which are rather popular right now – a regular version and a N’Zoth version. It’s honestly hard to say which works better, but each of them requires some more Epics / Legendaries.
In case of the regular version, you mostly want 2x Devout Pupil and Lady Liadrin. Those are key – Pupils are so easy to make 0 mana with Librams, and they make for amazing defensive tools / it has good combo with Broom. And Lady Liadrin is a late game powerhouse. You will usually get a hand full of Libram of Hopes – if you think that having +2/+2 every turn is strong, wait until you can put +8/+8 on your minions without any effort. Additionally, she will often give you an extra Libram of Hope or Hand of A'dal, which are also nice. There are other Legendaries you can add, such as Murgur Murgurgle (also amazing Broom synergy with Prime version), Lord Barov or High Abbess Alura, but frankly they aren’t nearly as important. Here’s an example full deck you can work towards (but like I’ve said, the last 3 Legendaries are good, but not key):
And here’s the N’Zoth build I was talking about. It plays a bit differently by adding some cards from different tribes. It’s not a full-blown N’Zoth deck, the N’Zoth package is rather small. Two most important cards you can revive are Carousel Gryphon (Corrupted version) and Holy Elemental from Hammer of the Naaru. You get three big bodies, two of which have Taunt, making it a great play in all kinds of matchups (if the game goes that long). Additionally, you can also revive a 4/6 (Amber Watcher), as well as two cards that possibly draw you more cards if the board gets AoE’d – Redscale Dragontamer and Salhet's Pride. If you want to go for this version (at this point it’s hard to say which is better), here’s an example build you can work towards: