Hello everybody! My name is Jonathan “Bloody” Kaplan, the main shoutcaster and an up and coming streamer for Vicious Syndicate! Nowadays in the meta I feel like we haven’t been seeing quite enough face…that is, until Shaman suddenly became a deck again. However, today I’m bringing you all a deck that yields some crazy results against many different angles in the meta! I am, of course, talking about good ol’ fashion Eboladin. Aggrodin. Ragequitadin. The deck that used to be a thing before everyone put secrets in it and a crown on its head. Well I have news for you all: it’s back, and pulling wins out of places you never even imagined existed. Using this deck, I was able to achieve a crazy win streak all the way from 11 to 4, only hitting 3 losses in the process. That’s over an 80% win rate! From there onwards I almost exclusively played this deck with about a 65% win rate straight to legend. Aggro Paladin is a relatively easy deck to pick up, and also not too hard to master. So without further ado, let’s get started!
Here I will give a card by card explanation so you can truly understand the use/value of each piece of the deck.
Blessing of Might: This card is crazy good in this deck to throw off just about anyone and everyone. This card alone makes it worth playing any divine shield you may have in the deck. Argent squire turn one just a 1/1? More like a 4/1 with divine shield turn two! In addition, this makes for some crazy extra burst late game, to combo with Arcane Golem or Leeroy for lethal.
Abusive Sergeant: This card is generally included in most aggressive decks. A great 2/1 body for 1 mana, and provides an extra two damage. Throw it on a divine shield to help trade off a taunt, or just drop it off on a recruit for two extra damage, either way this card delivers. The real question is: do you play him on turn one if you have nothing else to play and no coin? The answer will almost always be yes, because if someone in their right mind would like to coin hero power to defeat your 2/1, you’ve probably already won the game.
Argent Squire: This card is quite the mvp of the deck. Innocent on the surface, but becomes a 4/1 or 5/5 divine shield in a blink of an eye. Excellent buff target, for most just ignore the squire as they assume this is some form of secret pally that WON’T put Blessing of Might up on turn two or anything…who would ever do that…?
Leper Gnome: A must-have for every aggro deck! Not much to explain, great 2/1 body and provides two extra damage…remind you of a certain aforementioned card? Great for an early game start, or even some late game extra damage!
Southsea Deckhand: This is an interesting card to include. If played turn one, your opponent is surely questioning your sanity and deck building skills…which is good! The worse he thinks you are, the better his reaction when we flip his world upside down with turn 5 lethal. The more practical time to use this card, however, is for some extra burst when you have any one of your three weapons equipped. Don’t be afraid to play him like you play Abusive Sergeant! Of course he is convenient to use the way he is meant to be, but if no other option and no coin then playing him turn one is acceptable!
Argent Protector: An awesome addition to this deck, Argent Protector easily sets up buff targets. I’m a fan of throwing the divine shield on my Knife Juggler, but sometimes he can be even more useful. Got a buffed target that needs some protecting? This card is the card for you. Even throw it on a recruit you just buffed with Blessing of Might, and you’ve got yourself some solid damage output!
Ironbeak Owl: I can’t tell you how many times someone throws down a sludge belcher and tosses a “Well Played” my way. Ironbeak Owl is meant to punish those schmucks. By turn 5, your opponent is usually worn down to a decently low health pool, and already has quite an idea of just how aggressive a deck you are. If there is a taunt in hand, you can promise yourself it can and will be used against you. Try to save your owl for those moments.
Knife Juggler: One gnome. One legend. Three knives on turn three. Knife Juggler is a crazy good card to throw down the turn before Muster for Battle! And even if not followed by that, there are enough low mana minions in this deck to give Knife Juggler value and then some! Especially if you are up against aggro it definitely pays to throw a divine shield on your juggler, will really throw them off.
Shielded Minibot: Wow. This card is really one of the reasons Paladin is one of the best classes in the game currently. Found in almost every Paladin deck out there, Shielded Minibot is amazing value for two mana. Probably your best buff target in the game, even when stripped of divine shield, this minion does not die easily to hero powers. Turn this into a 5/2 or 6/6 as much as your heart desires, and hear the cry of your enemies in the distance! Turn two minibot then turn three coin Blessing of Kings is one of the best combos in this deck, extremely capable of securing the win against nearly any class.
Coghammer: Coghammer is an excellent addition to this deck, especially against aggro. Nothing is better than having a minibot just stripped of divine shield, then buffing it back up turn three! Again, this is great to throw on anything worth protecting, be it a Knife Juggler or a buffed minion. Also decent for trading…but let’s be honest, you will be hitting face at almost every moment possible.
Divine Favor: Truly a card sent down from the heavens, no other card has made control decks concede faster than Divine Favor has. Empty your hand, go ahead! It doesn’t matter when you can just fill it right back up with Divine Favor. Always keep in mind the best opportunities to Divine Favor, because sometimes 2-3 cards will be all that you can draw that game, especially against a mutually aggressive deck that has yet to dump their hand.
Muster for Battle: The pinnacle of “flood” in this deck is surely Muster for Battle. Almost always you will have one of your recruits survive at least one turn, enabling an almost guaranteed Blessing of Kings target. Also a wonderful distraction. Sometimes people will go “quartermaster crazy” and start wasting their turns killing your 1/1s, when in reality the real action is happening elsewhere on the board. Don’t forget the weapon should always be swung, for there are too many weapons in this deck to miss out on even one point of damage.
Arcane Golem: An awesome amount of damage for the mana, Arcane Golem is really quite an efficient way to help kill your opponent. Of course, there are negative repercussions to playing Arcane Golem. This is an action that must be thought out very carefully. Sure, Arcane Golem is a no-brainer when it comes to lethal, but what about turn three? Is it worth playing for that extra damage? You must think about what kind of threats your opponent can pump out with that extra mana, and if those threats can do anything to save their life. Against renolock? Don’t. Against mid-range druid? Don’t. But against hunter, does it really matter? It is always situational, and despite typically not being an early game play, keep in mind that extra four damage can sometimes go uncontested, and even become an easy eight damage for three mana.
Truesilver Champion: Truesilver Champion is truly a champion in its own right. Providing eight damage for only four mana is great, and an extra four health is often times what puts you ahead of face hunter in the great face race. Like your other weapons, be sure to swing (typically at face) every turn, because sometimes you might be stuck with more than one weapon in hand. Have no fear! Truesilver is instant and efficient damage, in addition to whatever else you are cooking up on board.
Blessing of Kings: One of the most essential combo pieces in this deck. Blessing of Kings successfully gives four burst damage, a strong board presence, and the chance at turning that four damage into eight or even twelve before your opponent knows it. Very great paired with any divine shield and charge in this deck, but even serves a great purpose on anyone else. Don’t be afraid to Kings your 1/1 recruit! Don’t you think he will be a bit more capable when he is a 5/5?
Consecration: This card is great for two reasons. If your opponent is aggro, and completely ignores your board in exchange for some of your health, no other punish exists as cruel as Consecration. On the flip side, surprisingly enough, Consecration has gotten me perfect lethal a bit more times than I’d like to admit. Despite only two damage, two damage is two damage no matter what stands in your way, and sometimes that is all you need.
Hammer of Wrath: A solid card to have one of in this deck. Great for pushing a little bit of face damage and cycling to get another card. Again, like Consecration, it may be low but being able to get lethal through a big taunt is more valuable than one would imagine. In addition, unlike the rest of the cards, Hammer of Wrath is quite ideal to use for trading.
Leeroy Jenkins: Last but certainly not least is my main man Leeroy Jenkins! No one expects him, and I never can figure out why. He is aggro! He is damage! Pairing Leeroy with Blessing of Kings, Arcane Golem, two Abusive Sergeants, Blessing of Might, or even a Southsea Deckhand is usually either just enough, or more than enough damage to deliver a fatal blow to your opponent! Who says Paladin doesn’t have burst? A simple Leeroy, Arcane Golem, double Abusive Sergeant is 14 damage for just 8 mana…seems like some nice burst to me.
Now that you know the cards, let’s look at the mulligan. This deck has a relatively simple policy for mulligan.
- Argent Squire
- Leper Gnome
- Knife Juggler
- Shielded Minibot
- Blessing of Might (if you have Argent Squire)
- Muster for Battle (if you start with coin)
- Southsea Deckhand (if you don’t have any other 1 drop minions)
- Abusive Sergeant (if you don’t have any other 1 drop minions)
Okay. You’ve learned the cards and the mulligan, so what’s left? The play style! This deck is an aggro deck if you couldn’t tell by now (whaaaat?), and should be played like one. STOP. DON’T TRADE THAT THERE. YOU SEE A FACE? HIT IT! I know it sounds a tad mindless, but there is quite some thought that goes into it. This deck relies on inexpensive minions that are possibly buffed to burn your opponent down so he is easily killable by two turns of a Truesilver Champion, or a nice Leeroy combo, or even a weapon Southsea Deckhand + buff combo. You will often times win by the skin of your teeth, however that is the point! This deck is not built to last too long. Sure you can survive an antique healbot, but if you start trading away your damage you won’t be able to. YOU WILL ALMOST NEVER BE OUT FACED. Obviously there are just a few exceptions. Darnassus Aspirant (remember the chat about what can a druid do with one more mana? A lot), Knife Juggler, DOOMSAYER, things like that. Following that logic, swing weapons to face! Don’t be afraid, seriously, the more damage to face the better.
Finally, now that you know what’s in the deck, how to mulligan, and how to play, all that’s left to know is a few popular specific matchups you’ll face on the ladder!
Control Warrior – 50/50: OK. How on earth does an aggro paladin sit down and beat control warrior half the time? I’ll tell you how. Divine shield. Warriors have quite a tough time dealing with minibots and squires that have been buffed. If they use cards to deal with our threats, they don’t armor up. And if they armor up, they’re not dealing with our threats! Either way, you will find that often times it won’t be too tough a matchup, especially if you can get a decently buffed divine shield rolling, the rest will be cake.
Mid-Range Paladin – 40/60: Although it is a winnable game, mid-range paladin is a tough matchup. With Sludge Belcher, Coghammer, Truesilver Champion, Antique Healbot, AND Lay on Hands to top it off, this deck has way too many heals for you to think you will be able to easily run it over. However, the fact that it plays Sludge Belchers may sometimes give you the advantage. Like I stated earlier, sometimes your opponent will play a certain way assuming they can block 7 damage with a belcher, and your owl often times takes advantage of this and secures the win.
Secret Paladin – 60/40: With a lot of small minions to trade into Noble Sacrifice, and usually being a turn away from lethal by turn 6, aggro paladin usually doesn’t have too much trouble beating secret paladin. Of course, secret paladin does have a relatively low curving deck, so if they get the right draws, or a good Consecration, it could spell a loss for eboladin.
Mid-Range Druid – 60/40: Unlike mid-range paladin, druid does not have such a large abundance of heals sitting around. Usually the only damage prevention a druid can put out before dying to eboladin is a 4/6 taunt or a belcher, both being easily handled and plowed through using a simple low cost silence. Typically not fast enough to counter this deck.
RenoLock – 60/40: Okay, now you guys must be screaming at me. “HOW IN THE WORLD DOES AGGRO DO WELL AGAINST RENO?” I’ll tell you how. This deck is actually 100% dependent on if they draw Reno Jackson or not, obviously. However, often times, renolock is so slow that they die before it is even turn 6! A card like hellfire is sometimes just enough damage to be able to kill them off with a buffed charge anyway! By turn 6, if they didn’t draw reno, they 90% of the time lose! In an absolutely stunning and shocking situation, I’ve actually won a single game against RenoLock after Reno Jackson was played simply because of how powerful this deck can be with the right combos. Don’t lose faith friends, RenoLock is not undefeatable with aggro.
Freeze Mage – 50/50: Freeze mage typically does not have enough early game board clear to handle eboladin properly. Mainly in part to not knowing just how aggressive this deck is, most freeze mages will bide their time and not clear board until at least turn 5. Throwing down an owl against a Doomsayer is great, but it is also often times very worth silencing the Mad Scientist. That way you can avoid Ice Block and Ice Barrier. Often times you’ll find yourself faced with at least one of the two secrets, and it is usually not a problem. When you pop Ice Block, it will almost always be much earlier than turn 9, so Alexstrasza won’t be a possibility, resulting in the death of the mage the next turn. A last second Ice Barrier will usually not save them either, for you either will have enough physical damage to break through, or just enough spell damage to kill them off.
Aggro Shaman – 40/60: Okay, I admit, I did play this before aggro shaman was a thing. However, playing it now, aggro shaman doesn’t seem to be too much trouble. Sure Feral Spirit slows you down, and you are forced to trade into tunnel trogg a bit more than you might want to, but ultimately, despite being an unfavorable matchup, this isn’t an auto-loss, for eboladin has more than enough power to out-race an aggro shaman. Especially in those moments where they overload too much, that’s when you hit them where it hurts and take the game.
Aggro Druid – 70/30: HA. They think they can beat us? WE ARE THE ULTIMATE AGGRO. EVERYONE ELSE GO HOME. Aggro druid typically also thinks of face and not much else, which is great because they often times find it not ‘worth it’ enough to trade into our developing threats, and you will almost always win the race against them. Then they can shapeshift into fish and swim in their own tears when your unanswered minibot becomes a 6/6 and wins the game for you.
Well, that’s about everything! In conclusion, aggro paladin, or eboladin, is an awesome, fast paced, and really fun deck that can easily be used to break the meta. One of its biggest strengths is not only its awesome damage and aggression, but the sweet element of surprise. One moment your enemy is staring at an innocent Knife Juggler, and the next moment it’s a 5/2 with divine shield!!! I hope you all have as much fun with this deck as I do, and I really do hope that eboladin will have the privilege to once again plague the meta in Hearthstone. Good luck!