The obvious application of Dragontamer is in Murloc Paladin, helping you tutor Scalelord, but it’s likely that the most common use of the card will be different. A 2 mana 2/3 that draws a card is just good business, and we can easily fit in a few dragons in a Paladin deck (especially if it runs N’Zoth) to make use of this card. Amber Watcher and Circus Amalgam are good candidates.
Day at the Faire
As a card with the corrupt mechanic, we think the playability of Day at the Faire will be determined by how threatening “dude synergy” will be to make its uncorrupted form reasonable. If opponents are constantly forced to clear silver hand recruits or risk losing the game, Day at the Faire’s late-game scaling should be strong enough to push it to playability.
This might be one of the strongest baselines we’ve seen from corrupt mechanic cards. A 5/5 with divine shield for 5 mana is already pretty good, and Gryphon’s corrupted form is very strong. Carousel Gryphon also happens to receive a 6-mana activator in this very set, so the curve is certainly there for things to work out. But it is a very heavy curve and we’re not sure it’s better than currently available options unless we’re aiming for a N’Zoth win condition.
Remember Ivory Knight? That was a fringe playable card years ago. Snack Run is the effect without the stick, and that tends to make things worse, especially when the meta is at a higher power level than it uses to be. We just don’t think this is the kind of effect that Paladin desperately seeks. There are better ways to heal in the class, and the price seems excessive for a discover effect lacking board development.
This card is strong. Does anyone remember Hobgoblin? Carnival Barker is much stronger since it works on any minion summoned, and its condition is easier to meet. Can snowball games out of control in a hyper-aggressive or dude strategy. Such strategies may seem a little questionable now, but Barker is the kind of card that can change that perception very quickly.
This card fits one archetype that looks to make its return: Dude Paladin. Of course, this means that if Dude Paladin fails to make an impact, Balloon Merchant will be sitting in your collection without much action. By itself, it’s not good enough to carry the archetype, as it is weaker than Quartermaster.
Oh My Yogg!
This is basically a 1-mana Counterspell, which seems highly disruptive. Is it good enough for Paladin decks to run it without any other secret synergy? It’s certainly possible considering the upside, but secrets tend to be stronger when they aren’t completely predictable. We just don’t think it fits.
Hammer of the Naaru
A good all-around package of tempo and value. A 3/3 weapon on top of a 6/6 taunt is well worth the 6-mana investment. Hammer of the Naaru is strong both offensively and defensively, and the elemental tag on the taunt also carries some N’Zoth implications in the late game. This is still an expensive card in a class that has quite a bit of competition in its mid-game options, but it could make the cut.
Lothraxion the Redeemed
This is “the” Dude Paladin card, providing the archetype with some serious late-game sustainability and should make things very difficult for the opponent. The problem is whether the deck can still win games when it doesn’t draw this card on turn 5, and whether the payoffs for sticking recruits on the board are there. It also carries some diminishing returns with Balloon Merchant. Lothraxion is a very strong card that may stand on its own alongside Air Raid, but it’s no archetype-defining Baku.
High Exarch Yrel
This card is very strong in a very boring way. It’s a Shirvallah for Pure Paladin, or a mega Zilliax. Will be a staple for any Pure Paladin deck going forward, and that’s about it. Doesn’t leave much room for imagination. Just nutty.
Darkmoon Faire Set Rank: 4th
Overall Power Ranking: 2nd
Paladin is finishing one of its golden ages. The late-blooming Libroom Paladin has proven to be the strongest deck in the format, while Pure Paladin has consistently performed for many players on ladder over the past few months.
Paladin’s current strength is its resilience. It has a very solid Libram shell which provides it with defensive prowess and robust development of the board. Its weakness might be its ability to close games, and its late-game plan can get a little awkward. This weakness is showcased currently by Libroom Paladin dominating ladder with two Pen Flingers just to have that finishing capability.
Darkmoon Faire’s set is quite perfect for Paladin. Even though it didn’t receive the mouth-watering cards you may find in Rogue and Priest, it got some highly effective ones that could help it diversity its late-game plan. The Old Gods offer Paladin that intimidating inevitability, and we think Paladin could utilize some of them very well.
A deck that is very heavy on cycle and defensive tools and is desperate for damage sounds like the perfect candidate for C’Thun. In fact, we think that Libroom Paladin could be the best C’Thun deck out there.
N’Zoth is another Old God that has received significant support within the Paladin class in the form of Carousel Gryphon and Hammer of the Naaru. Running N’Zoth could make it very difficult for the opponent to exhaust Paladin out of threats.
And then we have the “Dude” package, which might be getting written off by some players, but could find its way into Pure Paladin alongside Yrel. Carnival Barker is such a powerful card that we wouldn’t be surprised if it influenced Pure Paladin to shift in its philosophy, from a deck that focuses on big threats and Argent Braggart, to one that produces wide, sticky, and unkillable boards. Lothraxion may not be an Old God, but he can certainly contribute to a late-game strategy that just chokes out the opponent through the production of dudes.
So, Paladin may be a defensive tank that just got some shiny new cannons. Try to stay out of their range.