Basic & Classic Cards Only (Evergreen Sets that don’t rotate)
Based largely on the 2014 World Tournament lists and legend Paladin decks like Kolento’s from 2014 though changes have had to be made due to rotations and card nerfs.
1 x (2) Acidic Swamp Ooze
1 x (2) Argent Protector
1 x (2) Bloodmage Thalnos
1 x (3) Acolyte of Pain *Synergy w/ (2) Pyro & (1) Humily & (3) Aldor
1 x (3) Blood Knight
(3) Earthen Ring Farseer
(3) Harvest “Baby Cairne” Golem
1 x (3) Sword of Justice
1 x (4) Blessing of Kings
(4) Sen’jin Shieldmasta
1 x (5) Big Game Hunter
General strategy involves heavy use of your hero power, removal, and healing to control threats and stall the game til your heavy-hitters act as win-conditions and out-value the opponent.
In it’s current form, the list is often reactive and content to develop the board with Silver Hand Recruits for the early-game. Including (3) Harvest “Baby Cairne” Golem, (4) Sen’jin Shieldmasta, and/or (6) Sunwalker is another valid approach to this kind of list if you prefer playing a more proactive type of Control Paladin. Depending on the Standard card pool at the time or the current meta, I expect that approach could be more effective overall.
1 x (1) Humility and 1 x (2) Holy Light are both weak cards, but fit our curve well, can trigger (2) Pyro, and may be slightly better than our other options all things considered given the type of list we’re running (Evergreen Restricted). (1) Humily can cripple large threats/combo with (3) Acolyte or (5) Kodo and (2) Holy Light is a tech against Aggro/Burn that can occasionally enable a trade/keep one of our bigger minions alive. It should be noted at least 1 copy of each was included in every Paladin deck played in the first Hearthstone World Tourny (2014).
1 x (3) Acolyte can be included for its synergy with (2) Pyro — it fits our curve well and is a solid one-of draw engine in a vacuum. where depending on the board state the card can often go two for one. Moreover, if you opt to run a copy of (4) BoK, (3) Acolyte is a terrific buff target.
1 x (3) Sword of Justice can be included since has a few benefits that may outweigh our other options.
- Gives you a way to deal 1 damage turn over turn (More synergy with Equality)
- Gives you the upgraded hero power from the Paladin Death Knight for a few turns
- Improves the quality of our midrange minions
- Good against (9) Frost Lich Jaina since she can’t disable our hero power
- Good against (2) Snipe and (3) Explosive Runes since our card simply won’t die after being hit (because they’re hit then buffed)
Note, (3) Sword of Justice does have notable cons — it is worse with our late game heavy hitters (Tirion/Alex/Ysera), it’s more susceptible to weapon-removal than the average weapon because of its high durability, and it can interfere with our ability to smoothly play Truesilver Champion.
Overall, I’ve been happy trying it out from time-to-time, but a copy of something else on our “Potential Swaps” list can work too.
If you find yourself often overdrawing with (5) Harrison, (2) Acidic Swamp Ooze can be run instead. I sometimes opt to try this because (5) Harrison can interfere with our ability to play out our other draw cards like (3) Acolyte of Pain or (8) Lay on Hands if playing near the hand-limit.
(3) Tinkmaster Overspark is about as good in this list as any since he can work well with your hero power or remove big threats like the Lich King or Savannah Highmane so it isn’t necessarily unreasonable to tech one in. If nothing else, it’s certainly a lot of fun. (1) Humility and (3) Aldor can also mitigate the backfire potential of the card. This card is also nice with our Elven Archer since if we hit it, we lose nothing.
Note, Big Game Hunter can potentially be comboed with Ysera’s Nightmare Dream card or (4) Blessing of Kings if you opt to run a copy.
1 x (4) Blessing of Kings can trigger Pyro in a pinch and can synergize with Faceless Manipulator or act as a great buff for Acolyte of Pain if you opt to run a copy. Worst-case-scenario it’s a 6-mana 5/5 via hero power. Best case, it’s use either for the synergy listed above or as a 4/4 with charge which are both quite strong.
1 x (2) Argent Protector has synergy with (4) Blessing of Kings and (5) Faceless Manipulator if able to play them on the same turn and is simply a generally solid card worth considering given the card pool we’re limited to.
1 x (3) Mind Control Tech can work wonders depending on the meta/the type of deck you’re playing against — however, many skilled players will inadvertently play around (3) MCT because they’re playing around (2) Equality / other common Paly board wipes. In my view, this makes the card less valuable here than, say, in Druid for example where opponents are commonly not playing around wipe-board removal to the same extent. It should be noted the Warrior class runs into a similar problem running (3) MCT — namely, skilled opponents inadvertently play around it because they’re playing around (5) Brawl. Still, the card is worth considering since even if it backfires a 3 Mana 3/3 isn’t too bad given the Evergreen limitation. If you’re opponent is playing around MCTech, then arguably you’re getting value out of the card without even playing it since this may at least slow your opponent down a bit if they hold off on committing to board.
1 x (1) Elven Archer was run by Kolento in his some of his early control Paladin lists. It gives the deck an extra way to deal 1 damage and fits the curve well. Because it’s reactive, you shouldn’t be punished for pressing the button over playing this for tempo. Same goes for cards like (3) MCT on turn 3 for example where since the card is reactive, you aren’t really punished for tapping as cards like that have more value when played later than on curve. (1) Elven Archer is preferred over other cards like (1) Light’s Justice as it can be stacked with your other weapons and doesn’t deal face damage to you. It also has great synergy with (4) Equality.
1 x (1) Elven Archer has double synergy with (4) Equality — 1) is the battlecry of course, but it also is great with Equality when it’s already on the board since it loses no stats and can threaten trading into another minion hit by equality on the next turn.