The meta has changed! Among the classes, the gap between best and worst has narrowed significantly. Today we'll examine a couple of emerging paladin decks. Their hero power is called Reinforce which generates a 1/1 Silver Hand Recruit. The one we're looking at today is aptly titled The Rock. You'll find out why in a few moments.
Read on for the full deck list!
S3 The Rock
- Loot Hoarder x2
- Nat Pagle
- Wild Pyromancer x2
- Earthen Ring Farseer
- Harvest Golem x2
- Tinkmaster Overspark
- Chillwind Yeti x2
- Faceless Manipulator
- Stampeding Kodo
- Cairne Bloodhoof
- The Black Knight
- Ragnaros the Firelord
- Equality x2
- Aldor Peacekeeper x2
- Consecration x2
- Truesilver Champion x2
- Avenging Wrath x2
- Guardian of Kings
- Lay on Hands
- Tirion Fordring
With no less than seven legendaries, the Rock is up there in terms of dust required to put together.
Which minion gets to be the Rock?
The Rock is a deck archetype which first originated in Magic: the Gathering. It functions as a midrange deck which aims to disrupt the opponent's side of the board and uses removal spells to eliminate any threats. There are elements of health regeneration, board clears, and card drawing acceleration. As the deck approaches the late game, the deck will play a large fattie (a really big and powerful creature) to finish out the game.
Hence, the Rock.
The People's deck.
It can and will layeth the smackethdown on all the candy- well, y'know.
Take your pick.
If your opponent managers to shut down Cairne Bloodhoof then Tirion Fordring can take over. Failing that, you still have Ragnaros the Firelord and Ysera to help anchor your offense. Any of those four minions can help seal the game in a win for you. Tirion is just such a beast and your opponent will have to throw quite a few minions and spells to punch through his shield and his health. Even if he dies, you still get the ability to inflict up to 15 damage with your weapon. Cairne is just downright annoying. He's like that pesky cat who just clings to your leg and no matter how hard you shake you can't get rid of it (unless he's silenced). What about Rag? Rag just throws fireballs all over the place. He'll force your opponent to play lots of cheap creatures and play down the chance of him taking a fireball to the face. For extra fun, drop your Faceless Manipulator and clone Ragnaros next turn then relish as your opponent gradually slinks in their chair while burying their face in their sweaty palms. I'm not even going to talk that much about Ysera. She's a bit of a random crazy one. But what do you expect from a dragon who was stuck in the Emerald Dream for almost forever, right? She may not hit that much but boy can she absorb some serious punishment. She should be able to last a few turns and net you some awesome cards to really close out the game.
As you can imagine, the problem is getting to the late game and being able to deploy them. You won't be able to do much in the first opening turns (1-3). Let's go over some of your key defensive spells and minions.
Equality/Consecration, Equality/Wild Pyromancer, or Equality/Avenging Wrath: Any combination of the two will result in a board wipe for your opponent. Equality and Wild Pyromancer will also clear your side of the board. If you're at the late game stage, you can drop a larger minion after Equality has gone off. Everything else on the board will have 1 health, but that Chillwind Yeti you just played won't be affected while you're busy casting Consecration. If you're going second, you can clear the board with a coin on your third turn. Useful if you're staring down a Murlock deck or some other aggro deck that is heavily minion based. Avenging Wrath will almost always kill anything with 1 health on the board and then send the rest of it to your opponent's face.
Aldor Peacekeeper, Truesilver Champion, Stampeding Kodo, The Black Knight, and Tinkmaster Overspark: The Peacekeepers are there to neutralize a minion's attack by lowering it to 1. Great against any giants or other large heavy hitters. Truesilver Champion can give you some health back and allows your paladin hero to remove two other threats on the board. Stampeding Kodo is an interesting selection but I found it to be quite efficient. You remove a cheap minion from their side of the board in exchange for a slightly larger minion on your side. Knocks out Starving Buzzards, Harvest Golems, Sunfury Protectors, and Defenders of Argus. Keep The Black Knight on reserve and utilize it against any taunted Molten Giants, a Sunwalker, or even an opposing Tirion Fordring in a mirror. Overspark can also turn any minion into a regular squirrel or a larger Devilsaur. Personally, I'd rather engage a Devilsaur over a Cenarius or an Al'Akir (or y'know, giants).
What do we have for utility? You might be thinking to yourself, "C'mon Matt, this deck is pretty vulnerable. There's no taunts to slow down the enemy offense". And you'd be right to think that!
Nat Pagle, Earthen Ring Farseer, Lay on Hands, Guardian of Kings: We need some health up in here! Nat Pagle is a Mana Tide Totem that works half the time. He's an 0/4 and will force your opponent to choose between damaging Nat or working on you instead (which should buy you a turn or two). The one-off Farseer will give you a little extra health back. But really you're holding out for Lay on Hands and Guardian of Kings in the event your health drops way too low. You have to understand the classes and what health you have to reach before they can deal you fatal damage.
For example, a druid deck can instantly overrun you if you have 14 health left due to Savage Roar/Force of Nature (12 damage from the Treants and another 2 damage from the druid itself). A mage deck with 10 mana can pitch a Pyroblast right at you for 10 health.
Can't afford all those legendaries? Not a problem. Like the Build-a-Bear store, you can build-a-Rock of your own with Blessing of Kings. Add an additional Guardian of Kings and an Earthen Ring Farseer. Send in a Frostwolf Warlord instead of the other late game legendaries. Your Reinforce hero power will synergize well with him. Stormpike Commandos can take the role of a Stampeding Kodo and also remove any smaller sized minions that happen to be in play. Clear the way for Stormwind Champions and Lord of the Arenas.
And this is the paladin iteration of The Rock in Hearthstone!