Our Budget Dude Paladin deck list guide for the Rastakhan’s Rumble expansion will go through the ins-and-outs of this deck. This guide includes Mulligans, Gameplay Strategy, and Card Substitutions!
Introduction to Budget Mech Paladin
Odd Paladin has been a popular list following the nerf to Call to Arms. It leverages its excellent hero power to get value until it can play its powerful 5-mana cards. Budget Mech Paladin keeps most of the 5-mana power cards from Odd Paladin, and makes up for not having the Odd-only hero power with efficient Even-cost minions!
Aggressive Paladin decks didn’t gain a lot from Rastakhan’s Rumble, one of the most notable changes since last expansion was actually the nerf to Giggling Inventor. It did get a new toy in Sharkfin Fan, who helps make up for not having the turn-after-turn value of Baku the Mooneater‘s Hero Power. Sharkfin Fan makes a 1/1 every time your Hero attacks, and Paladin has several budget-friendly weapons to utilize!
Budget Mech Paladin Mulligan Guide
Lost in the Jungle, Righteous Protector, Mecharoo, and Glow-Tron are your main targets for your mulligan. You have a lot of 1-drops in your deck, so it’s going to be common to see these. Upgradeable Framebot can be kept if you have something to play on your first turn. Dire Wolf Alpha can be kept with either a couple of 1-drops or Lost in the Jungle, which has good synergy with it. Knife Juggler can be kept if you have a couple of 1-drops, but it’s better with the coin because you’d like to get at least one knife throw before it dies. Light's Justice and Sharkfin Fan should be kept if you have both of them. Light’s Justice can also be kept if you’re likely up against a deck like Odd Paladin that will have several 1-health minions to remove.
Budget Mech Paladin Play Strategy
How you play this deck really depends on your hand. If you are sitting on a Divine Favor and you are against a slower deck, then you should be flooding the board as much as possible and punishing them for holding a lot of cards or being unable to clear your board. If you don’t have Divine Favor, you will have to play a bit more conservatively because this deck doesn’t have anything else in the way of draw. Try to bait out AOE by adding just enough to the board to pose a threat, but not so much that you’ll have no plays. Use that Hero Power button as much as possible when you already have a threatening board so that you have cards in your hand to refill it when it’s cleared.
Unidentified Maul can be very big in this deck, you have three options you are very happy to get: two recruits, +1 attack to the board, or your board gets divine shield. The fourth option (give your board taunt), is usually the weakest but can still be good in the right situation. If you do get this, consider whether or not you might want a minion you play to actually GET Taunt. A minion like Knife Juggler is usually better off without taunt, so you might want to hold it back until after you play the maul.
Positioning is important in this deck due to Dire Wolf Alpha and Fungalmancer. A good rule of thumb is to put your larger minions on the left, while your minions from your hero power and/or spells will always be added on the right. You want to be able to potentially trade your cheap minions one after the other at times and this type of positioning allows for that.
Watch out against slower Warlock opponents as they will be playing Defile. This deck is especially vulnerable to Defile, and you can make it harder for your opponent often just by not using your Hero Power when the board is missing a 1-health minion.
To play a Magnetic minion as a buff, play it to the left of a Mech on the board. Magnetic minions don’t have to be played as buffs, sometimes it’s better to play them for their stats. If you have already invested a Magnetic or two into one minion, adding more could make your board very vulnerable to Silence effects.
Sharkfin Fan is best played when you already have a weapon on the board. If you attack with your weapon the turn you play him he’s already 3/3 stats for 2 mana, which is pretty good value. He also synergizes well with Knife Juggler, playing Sharkfin can be two knife triggers if you have a weapon to attack with. Sharkfin Fan and Knife Juggler both high value minions and thus have big targets on their faces, so it’s good to play them behind a Taunt if it can be done without losing a lot of tempo.
Future Card Replacements for Budget Mech Paladin
This deck is designed to build into an Odd Paladin list. If you would like to go that route, then obviously your first craft has to be Baku the Mooneater. Once you craft Baku all the even cost cards have to go, but it’s easy to replace them with commons like Argent Squire and Blessing of Might. This alone will make the deck that much stronger, but this deck does benefit from the inclusion of a few epics.
Level Up! is another strong 5-mana card, and one of the deck’s best. This should easily be your second priority after Baku. Level Up! turns every measly Silver Hand Recruit into a force to be reckoned with, and your opponents will be going out of their way to remove them before this happens. Void Ripper is another useful Epic, allowing you to flip the stats on the board if that’s to your advantage. It’s a lot easier to trade into Sleepy Dragon if it’s a 12/4. Corridor Creeper can help refill the board after your opponent clears it. While not as menacing as it once was, a 2/5 body for no mana is still exceptional, and this deck will reliably reduce its mana to that point.
Odd Paladin isn’t the only option for this deck. You can keep the even cards in and instead craft Sunkeeper Tarim, Zilliax and Kangor's Endless Army to go in extra deep on the Mech theme if you’re enjoying that aspect of the deck. You can also include Corpsetaker since there are a lot of minions in the deck already that activate it, and Zilliax alone makes a pretty good Corpsetaker. This version of aggro Paladin is more expensive and less viable than Odd Paladin (still strong, just not comparable to Odd Paladin) so you should only go this route if you really like Mechs, already have some pieces of it, or are too bored of having played Odd Paladin since The Witchwood.
Something to consider with Sharkfin Fan in the deck is a pirate package. Southsea Captain buffs Sharkfin Fan along with all its tokens, and there are plenty of weapons in the deck to give Southsea Deckhand charge. Bloodsail Raider and Dread Corsair also benefit from your weapons, but if you’re adding in that many Pirates you might start to weaken your Mech package. Southsea Captain and Deckhand make good additions to your budget Paladin deck, but if you are looking to have a top tier competitive deck then you should save all your dust for Odd Paladin.