Exodia (OTK) Paladin Deck List Guide (Post Nerf) – Kobolds – March 2018

Class: Paladin - Format: Mammoth - Type: Control - Style: Meta Deck - Meta Deck: Exodia Paladin

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Deck Import

Our Exodia (OTK) Paladin deck list guide for the Kobolds and Catacombs expansion, will teach you the ins-and-outs of this deck! This Exodia Paladin guide includes Overall Strategy, Tech Cards/Replacements, and a Matchup and Mulligan guide!

Introduction to Exodia Paladin

The Hearthstone community always has a special place in its heart for one-turn-kill decks. And while most of them got terribly denied by several game mechanics like Taunt minions or armor cards, Blizzard decided to push different archetypes that don’t kill through ridiculous minion damage. Quest Mage, or as Yu-Gi-Oh!-experts may call it, Exodia Mage, was the first candidate on the list of OTK decks that can kill you no matter what (in fact, boatloads of armor or Eye for an Eye can help).

Another archetype that can inevitably kill you if you don’t kill it in time is OTK Paladin. The power to guaranteed kill your opponent in one turn combined with Paladin’s classic control toolkit makes this list a true meta-breaker in the current competitive game.

Overall Strategy

First and foremost, you cannot underestimate the depth and complexity of this archetype. Without a doubt, the decks ultimate win condition looks rather simple: Play Uther of the Ebon Blade, the Paladin’s Death Knight card, which alters its Hero Power to “Summon one of four 2/2 Horsemen”;  and if you are able to summon all four of the Lich King’s Horsemen on the board, your opponent’s hero will be instantly destroyed.

Well, that shouldn’t be too hard, right?!

In fact, it really is very hard to pull off the actual one-turn-kill. For comparison, in over 50 games, only four times I was able to summon all four Horsemen. This particularly means two things: First off, it looks like the rest of the list actually plays very well into most current meta-decks, especially after the latest nerf patch, catapulting Patches the Pirate, Corridor Creeper and Highlander Priest as an archetype out of the game. Secondly, those numbers still mean that you always have to play towards that particular win condition, just because you might be able to actually summon all four Horsemen eventually.

And this is where things get hairy: After you played Uther of the Ebon Blade, you are still only summoning one of your four 2/2 tokens per turn. But wait, there is a card that can change this, and it is none other than Auctionmaster Beardo!

The 3 mana 3/4 that resets your Hero Power every time you play a spell was printed just to serve its purpose in Exodia Paladin. The last puzzle piece to killing your opponent on the spot is Burgly Bully. This epic rarity minion creates 0 mana coins in your hand, making the guaranteed Beardo one-turn-kill a possible scenario in the later stages of the game.

This is where math gets more important than anything: To kill your opponent with your altered Hero Power and with no Horsemen token on the board, Beardo needs either exactly 3 coins or 2 coins and a 1-mana spell on turn 10.

In times of powerful late-game minions like Voidlord that love to trade over multiple turns, Burgly Bully will not always yield that many coins. The inclusion of Blessing of Wisdom, one of the most iconic Paladin spells, serves as a back-up plan in case we don’t have enough coins in hand. It also provides additional card draw, the single-most important support mechanic in this deck.

Why is card draw so important? First of all, cycling through the deck to get those juicy combo pieces as early as possible is mandatory. Additionally, drawing swing cards like Equality and Consecration or Sunkeeper Tarim buys additional time if combo cards are still stuck in the deck and not in our hand.

Other than that, the list features a lot of versatile tools to deal with several meta archetypes, and especially one card takes the crown: Call to Arms.

Against aggressive opponents, getting out multiple anti-aggro minions in the form of Dirty Rat and Righteous Protector is key to not only survive but also apply board pressure over multiple turns; Wild Pyromancer can also be a great addition to your board if you hold cheap spells. In control matchups, high-rolling into multiple Loot Hoarders can get you just enough card draw to reach your end-game win condition.

Last but not least, the power level of the lists end-game package seems unmatched: Spikeridged Steed and Sunkeeper Tarim can create immense swing turns, while Lynessa Sunsorrow serves as a backup policy against silence effects and can be a card draw machine.

All in all, you can win a decent amount of games on your way to your win condition already. Don’t be afraid to take bad trades in the early game, because eventually you will have enough tools to deal with most threats after you have reached late-game. And most importantly, don’t forget that you will need five free board slots to pull off your deadly Horsemen combo!

OTK Paladin Tech Cards and Replacements/Substitutions

Spellbreaker: While this card fills the definition of a “tech choice inclusion”, the current meta forces most mid-range and control decks to include at least one Spellbreaker. Due to the recent nerfs, most games tend to be a lot slower, so including even two copies won’t be punished as hard, and highly improves the matchups of Exodia Paladin, Control Warlock.

Uther of the Ebon Blade, Auctionmaster Beardo and Burgly Bully: Both of these cards are absolutely mandatory for the archetype, so you cannot replace these cards at all unfortunately.

Lynessa Sunsorrow: As already said, this card provides insane flexibility in the later stages of the game with even more card draw and survivability. Decent replacements could be beefy high-impact late-game minions like Tirion Fordring or Sunwalker.

Dirty Rat: Especially when looking at the Warlock matchups, this one can be a dead card if not pulled out by Call to Arms. It can however definitely be a life-save against aggro decks even when played from the hand, so replacements should provide similar survivability and the ability to get pulled out by Call to Arms, for example Plated Beetle or Doomsayer (the latter destroys the purpose of Call to Arms in some scenarios).

N'Zoth, The Corruptor: A lot of Exodia Paladin variations run our very special Old God. However, this list in particular would need substantial replacements, for example Tirion Fordring and Plated Beetle, two cards that don’t bring you closer to your win condition. Nevertheless,  streamers like Silvername made a more defensive list including N’Zoth.

Exodia Paladin Matchup and Mulligan Guides

vs Aggro/Murloc/Dude Paladin: Slightly Favored

In theory, all Control Paladin variations should outshine their aggro class counters. Cheap and multiple board clears like Consecration and Wild Pyromancer combos can keep several board refills at bay; the x factor in this aggro matchup trio was, is and always will be Murloc Paladin due to its insane nut draw potential.

Mulligan: Cards to keep are Righteous Protector, Wild Pyromancer, Consecration, Hydrologist and Rallying Blade.

vs Spell Hunter: Highly Favored

Spell Hunter may be the new star on the stage of Kobolds and Catacombs, but it certainly will not match well against Exodia Paladin on the long run. Spell Hunter gives us enough time to draw our combo, and it doesn’t do enough damage until then. If there’s nothing to control but Loot Hoarders and Dirty Rats that will never draw out minions, Spel Hunter pretty much only plays Animal Companions that get cleared over and over again.

Mulligan: Cards to keep are Righteous Protector, Call to Arms and Burgly Bully (guess who’s getting a lot of coins?!).

vs Spiteful Priest: Highly Unfavorable

One thing Control Paladin archetypes have never been good against are multiple early high-impact threats. Yes, you can trade perfectly well if you have Equality and a minion on board early, but what then? Spiteful Priest can highroll you out of the game before it even started. The amount of pressure can only be matched by great board clear combo draws, and sadly we won’t have those every game.

Mulligan: Cards to keep are Righteous Protector, Hydrologist and Call to Arms.

vs Big Spell Mage/Big Priest: Slightly Favored

Similar to Spell Hunter, both of these “Big” archetypes are all about that control meta. Exodia Paladin however can’t be controlled if it isn’t pressured early. Another x factor in that equation will always be everybody’s favorite Barnes.

Mulligan: Cards to keep are Call to Arms, Loot Hoarder, Righteous Protector and Hydrologist.

vs Secret Mage: Even

This matchup certainly is a special one. On first sight, a Control Paladin archetype without any healing but a 9-mana card should get absolutely obliterated by current Secret Mage lists. However, the matchup plays out very differently in the actual game. Yes, healing is scarce, but Exodia Paladin has more than enough tools to handle early pressure, especially when it comes to secrets. It is still absolutely mandatory to think over every turn with care, just because evaluating secrets correctly can bring you the win more than once.

Mulligan: Cards to keep are Hydrologist to get secrets against Counterspell, Righteous Protector and Loot Hoarder. Keeping Uther of the Ebon Blade makes sense, but can be too slow sometimes. If you hit two or three other really good cards in the mulligan, you should absolutely keep it.

vs Control/Cube Warlock: Slightly Unfavorable

In the history of competitive Hearthstone, the control matchup between Paladin and Warlock may be the most complex there ever was. That doesn’t really change with this particular matchup; sadly, the burst potential of Cubelock can put the matchup balance to a real test, and not for the good in the case of Exodia Paladin. Again, smart thinking is required to calculate when to play your powerful board clears, just because both Control and Cube Warlock have so many ways to refill the board with high-impact threats. Silencing the correct minions with Spellbreaker can buy you enough time to draw your win condition; killing Voidlords to spawn harmless Voidwalkers that can’t kill you is also a common technique to avoid inevitable death.

All in all, I would still call this matchup heavily skill-based if not played in higher ranks, just because both lists are exceptionally hard to play on a high level.

Mulligan: Cards to keep are Righteous Protector, Hydrologist, Loot Hoarder, Call to Arms and Spellbreaker.

vs Miracle Rogue: Unfavorable

Similar to Secret Mage, Miracle Rogue has a lot of burn damage available early in the game. The ability to outdraw Exodia Paladin certainly showcases the main reason why it has a favored matchup. The lack of Taunt minions doesn’t help Exodia Paladin as well.

Mulligan: Cards to keep are Call to ArmsRighteous Protector, Hydrologist and Loot Hoarder.

vs Kingsbane Rogue: Highly Unfavorable

Well, what could be the best matchup for a mill archetype? Maybe a deck that heavily relies on two or three key cards to win the whole game? Exactly, and that is why Exodia Paladin hates to play against Mill Rogue and any mill deck in general. Try to keep as few cards as possible, even if it means to play coins that you will need in the later stages.

Mulligan: Cards to keep are basically all cards that are cheap so you can play your hand at any time if you have to, and Dirty Rat to pull out Coldlight Oracles if possible.

vs Combo Dragon Priest: Even

There’s not much to say about the matchup. Spellbreakers increase the win rate of course, but even without them Exodia Paladin should peform well if played correctly.

Mulligan: Cards to keep are Righteous Protector, Hydrologist, Loot Hoarder, Call to Arms and Rallying Blade. Dirty Rat helps as well, especially against a lot of high-impact battlecry minions.

I have an eye on the card called Eye for an Eye, and I’m not sure if N’Zoth, the Old God himself, is actually called N'Zoth, The Corruptor or Y'Shaarj, Rage Unbound, who is actually not really Rage Unbound!


Julian "Tharid" Bischoff, a dinosaur in the fast-changing world of esports and self-proclaimed Warcraft expert, already created Hearthstone-related content for Red Bull, ESL and Hearthhead.

Check out Tharid on Twitter!

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Discuss This Deck
  1. Choo
    March 6, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    Nice to see Lyn finally getting the recognition she deserves as a control tempo card rather than a quest card.

    • Tharid - Author
      March 13, 2018 at 6:50 am

      I like your wording of “control tempo card”. Not many cardy behave like that, but Lynessa certainly fits that description!

    March 5, 2018 at 11:19 pm

    Fun deck but i made some changes and it works really well, sitting at rank 4 now i played 10 games so far and 10-0 and i played against warlock cube and control kinsbane rogue combo priest big priest even spitful i managed to win once and the rest was druid and mage.
    I removed hydro and the 2 spellbreakers i added 2 stonehill wich is really good to get some protection against some decks ( it worked really well for me against the warlock ! ) and i added one blessing of wisdom to get that extra draw or even to keep one to form the finish at the end with 1 coin and beardo ( if you already have one horseman on the board) or 2 coin beardo if you dont already have a a horseman on board

    Really cool deck sometimes its also good to not just focus on getting the combo at the end because its also possible to pressure opponents it them hard and force them to concede

    Have fun !

    • Tharid - Author
      March 6, 2018 at 12:49 pm

      That last one is very important: This deck can win games without getting to its ultimate win condition!

      Thanks for the feedback, great to see other lists working out as well 🙂

      • kENPACHI
        March 6, 2018 at 5:44 pm

        All good 🙂

        I after playing 30 games with the deck im on 60% win rate which is pretty good i reckon.

        The only real difficulty is as you said against spitfull even tho I managed to beat it a few times. You really need to sit down and think ! of Course starting with coin or not could also be a factor that can change the game against them because for example if you get to late game and manage to get 1/2 horseman on board protected from 1/2 taunt ( which i did a few times and that why i really enjoy the 2 stonehill as well) then you can finish them off with beardo coin wisdom. Of course that depends also if he gets those anoying mind control at the end.

        To be fair better hit them hard as much as possible and not just try to get that ultimate win condition as they dont have secrets except on very late game.

        Last 2 points and i think those are important ones :
        The match up against secret mage can be really tricky, finding the balance between cleaning their board so they dont hit us more plus playing around their secret is a pain in the a**. HOWEVER manageable with the condition of gettin uther real quick turn 9 or even 7/8 using coins because no need to actually try the combo against them i always won against them without it( fatigue with their Aluneth or they just concede).

        Also another fact and it is actually being different from what you said, I had 3 games againt spell hunter and it didnt go well at all as they managed to hit me hard real quick so i found my self trapped ! I reckon I had bad mulligan the 3 times i didnt missplay they were just to quick setting the secret and getting all their beasts on board with spells.
        Any feeback on your experience against them would be more than welcome even tho I dont see a lot of them.

        Cheers Have fun

        • kENPACHI
          March 6, 2018 at 5:47 pm

          Correction about the spitful i wanted to say ” they dont have SPELLS” and NOT “secrets” ahah

  3. Ramon
    February 21, 2018 at 8:27 am

    I love this deck its so fun.
    I won every game against dragon priest but lost every game against spiteful priest.
    I would say that if you don’t tech against secret mage by eg 2 hydros and forbidden healing or ivory knight etc, then its unfavora

  4. Naru
    February 20, 2018 at 11:46 pm

    you must chose Otk or Exodia, a deck is not both, OTK its from an attack, and Exodia is meeting some requirements to a win

    • Derpaboopa
      February 22, 2018 at 7:48 am

      no, Otk is One-Turn-Kill, doesent matter if its in one turn, its an OTK, doesent have to be an attack. Its also Exodia because you need auctionmaster beardo and a bunch of coins in your hand to trigger it

    • Wrenus
      April 6, 2018 at 9:59 pm

      Exodia is an OTK, but you dont have to be an Exodia to be an OTK deck

  5. David
    February 19, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    Some variations run a Zola for instances where they lack a one cost spell. It would require an extra turn to copy a horseman to your hand.
    Other variations include some healing cards to help in situations where secret mages or face hunters are about to burst you down.
    I don’t like running into spiteful priest with this deck because they don’t use spells, meaning I don’t get coins. Against many other decks you can force your opponent into using spells with pure defensiveness but not that one.
    Regarding kingsbane rogue, it is tricky but if you play it smart it’s possible to win against it.

  6. -Bandit-
    February 19, 2018 at 10:18 am

    Thank you for this post been searching out for guide for quite some time.

    Nice work, I hope I will be able to take this deck higher than before.

    P.S; Could you add Exodi Paladin to Deck Archetypes/Best Meta Decks(bellow, with other mentions) 🙂


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