Hand Buff Paladin has been largely overlooked as it's predominantly too slow for today's meta, struggling to stay alive long enough to take advantage of stacking stat values. To make things worse, it also doesn't do well against the popular Jade Golem decks which benefit from an ever growing, everlasting source of large minions. It's simply outclassed at the moment just like Paladin is as a whole.
For each week's Fun Card Friday, we'll be selecting one underutilized card and create a fun and interesting deck with it. We make no promises that it'll actually take you to Legend though.
We highly encourage you to make your own decks based off of each week's cards and submit them in the comments section. We'll be sure to take a look at them and who knows, maybe they'll get mentioned next time!
This Week's Card Is: Grimestreet Protector
Grimestreet Protector has been calling out to us since its release.
Earlier this month Brian Kibler toyed around with a Standard version of Hand Buff Paladin and we think that list is certainly one of the strongest possible right now in that game mode.
As we normally do, however, we considered what Wild cards could potentially add power to this deck. If we were going for pure synergy Echoing Ooze, Stoneskin Gargoyle, and Arcane Nullifier X-21 all seemed like great fits for the deck. And so we tried them and most didn't end up making the cut.
The deck really does require a lot of card draw since you can't afford to just plop minions onto the board lackadaisically. Cycle is incredibly important and while it would be cool to have a large minion that constantly heals itself or one with Taunt that has to be dealt with physically or indirectly, Arcane Nullifier ended up being the only of the trio to make the cut. While Ooze does have an incredible amount of value for only two mana, it doesn't typically offer enough survivability.
Every other card in this deck helps us accomplish one of the following: survivability, healing, hand buff, or card draw.
Grimestreet Protector - The star of our show. Large Taunt and can give you incredible value with the Divine Shields he grants.
Acidic Swamp Ooze - With the proliferation of weapons, it's important that we have some method of removal. Plus it's a cheap minion to buff.
Dirty Rat - Already has good stats that only get better when buffed. Will frequently be better than whatever it pulls out of your opponent's hand.
Second-Rate Bruiser - Important against more aggressive decks like Pirate Warrior.
Ragnaros, Lightlord - Our lord and savior. The light purges!
Mistress of Mixtures - Good for buffs and gives you something to do early on if you don't draw hand buff cards.
Antique Healbot - Easily the most obvious flex spot in the deck. Lots of aggro around and we needed just a little more healing.
Smuggler's Run - A good Turn 1 spell if you have at least two minions in hand.
Grimestreet Outfitter - Best played on Turn 2.
Grimestreet Enforcer - A bit weak, but can be a problem if you get buffs onto it.
Loot Hoarder - Can be played early, but can also be a good body later in the game.
Acolyte of Pain - One of the best minions to buff. Draw more minions to buff at once!
We've recorded some gameplay for you below to check out as well.