Our Budget Mech Paladin deck list guide for the Rise of Shadows 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
Paladin has received a powerful and budget-friendly new Secret package which allows it to take an early board advantage. Mech Paladin aims to keep that advantage with mid-late game Mech synergy.
Rise of Shadows Update
In Rise of Shadows, Paladin (finally free of its reliance on Baku the Mooneater) gets two strong new tools in Mysterious Blade and Sunreaver Spy, along with a pretty decent new Secret (Never Surrender!) to activate them. These cards are reminiscent of un-nerfed Fiery War Axe and Totem Golem, two of the most busted aggro cards ever designed.
Budget Mech Paladin Mulligan Guide
Sunreaver Spy is an overstatted minion that will require much from your opponent to remove when played on curve, and Mysterious Blade is a powerful and efficient way to keep your opponent off the board in the early turns. Ideally you would start every game with one or both of these.
Sunreaver Spy and Mysterious Blade are pretty mediocre without a Secret on board, so if you have one or both of those cards already you should keep a Secret to activate them. Loot Hoarder is not nearly as strong as the aforementioned two cards, but it’s certainly better than missing your 2-drop completely, so you can keep it if you don’t have one of the others. Aldor Peacekeeper is best played when there’s a big minion to devalue, but as the deck’s only 3-mana minion it’s good to keep if you already have a strong turn 1 and 2 in hand. Bellringer Sentry is great to play as soon as you have 4 mana and should be kept as long as you already have an ideal early curve or The Coin.
Budget Mech Paladin Play Strategy
Mech Paladin aims to take the board early with its powerful Secret synergy cards and finish the game with big Mech minions. Knowing when to switch from board control to face pressure is important, and usually comes earlier against control than it does against aggro. Think about how efficient it will be for your opponent to trade with your minions on the following turn. If it’s not very efficient, or if your opponent is likely to make the trades you would make on their turn anyway, then you should probably start attacking their Hero.
Desperate Measures is the budget-friendly way to play not-so budget-friendly Secrets like Hidden Wisdom. Something to consider when deciding what order to do things on your turn is that you are much more likely to roll Hidden Wisdom off your Desperate Measures if you already have a few other Secrets up (because a random effect will not give you a Secret you already have in play).
In the early game, Mysterious Blade is for keeping your opponent’s board clear, not for pressuring their life total. Do not be afraid to take damage while doing this, you are much more likely to lose by falling behind on board than you are by taking early damage removing your opponent’s minions.
Consider how your opponent will remove your minions when you decide whether to play a Mech with Magnetic as a minion or a buff. If your opponent is more likely to have single-target removal it’s usually better to play it seperately, and likewise if they’re likely to have a card like Flamestrike it’s better to play it as a buff. Magnetic is a good way to force your opponent to activate Mechanical Whelp and Mechano-Egg. While these minions remain unbuffed your opponent is likely to ignore them (unless they’re about to play a removal spell like Brawl). Annoy-o-Module is especially good on these minions, as your opponent will have get through it before they even have the option to attack your face or your other minions.
If you have something big on board with a Redemption it’s better not to use your Hero Power even if you have surplus mana. This does broadcast which Secret is up, but an experienced player that can afford to will target the smaller minion first anyway to test for it.
Future Card Replacements for Budget Secret Mech Paladin
The meta version of this deck plays several Legendaries, and including them does make it much better. The following are the necessary upgrades in the order they should be crafted:
- Zilliax – If you don’t already have Zilliax in your collection by now you should definitely prioritize it, it is a staple in many top tier decks and will likely continue to be so until it is rotated next year. Zilliax both buffers your health with Lifesteal and protects it with Taunt, all after removing an opposing minion with Rush. That’s a lot to get from a single card in any deck, but in this one you also get to make use of its Magnetic keyword.
- Kangor's Endless Army – This card gives you a lot of end-game value, reviving three Mechs with their Magnetic upgrades intact, and is why you don’t include any low-cost Mechs in the deck. This is the big reason to play Mech Paladin on a serious level, and if you plan on grinding the ladder with Paladin this card is a high priority. Only craft once you already have Zilliax.
- Commander Rhyssa – Rhyssa is a minion with reasonable stats you can feel comfortable tossing out on turn-3 whether or not it gets value from its effect, but depending on what Secrets you have up at that point, she can give you a decent advantage. Considering there aren’t a lot of more appealing options at 3 mana, if you expect to stick with this deck it’s a good investment once you have the above two legendaries.
- Hidden Wisdom – I was initially surprised to see this card played, but it makes sense. The competition amongst Paladin Secrets is pretty weak these days, and if it gets activated when you have Commander Rhyssa out you get a lot of value from it.
Below are options you can consider depending on what you feel the deck needs once you have the upgrades above:
- Leeroy Jenkins – Gives the deck some burst damage that doesn’t rely on Magnetic, and will have uses in other decks as time goes on.
- Tirion Fordring – Tirion gives you a late-game threat and tons of value for the mana. He is also a relatively safe craft, as he is frequently playable depending on how much silence is around.
- Countess Ashmore and Prismatic Lens – With the loss of Divine Favor and Call to Arms comes a card-draw void in Paladin lists, which can be filled by these cards to some degree. Prismatic Lens can be especially interesting, because your deck is filled with so many 1-mana spells. Having a dead 7/8 cost Secret in your hand is a small price to pay for a 1-mana Ashmore or Tirion.
- Harrison Jones – Another card that can help supplement the lack of draw in this deck while also serving as an answer to opposing weapons. Now that all of the Legendary weapons have rotated out of Standard there isn’t anything in dire need of removal (with the possible exception of Wrenchcalibur), but a lot of the top tier decks include weapons and removing them is usually worth it.