Control Paladin has been in a rough spot for a long time and has virtually disappeared from the ladder. The Giants decks that were created by players like Koyuki just don’t have enough good match-ups in the current meta to compete but recently Kolento used a very slow Paladin deck to reach rank 1 legend and has started a small Pally resurgence.

In this article I will take a look at the deck and discuss the place each card has in it, as well as how to play the deck and why it works. It is not a fast deck by any means and is not one I would recommend for climbing the early ranks of the ladder but once you reach rank 5 a deck like this can be very consistent. From rank 5 to legend it is important to value each game as there are no more win streak bonus stars. Aggro decks are great for playing a lot of games quickly but can have volatile win and loss streaks which makes it hard to break through once the games all count the same.

Even if you do not plan to play a deck like this it is educational to understand why a deck can be piloted to the top of the ladder and Kolento has proven to be able to do so with a variety of archetypes. Let’s break down the cards and discuss the reasons each one is included.

The Deck

Full Decklist

Humility - this card can be used to neutralize threats but also allows you to activate Wild Pyromancers and also allows for removal of any card in combination with the Stampeding Kodo.

Equality x2 - one of the most powerful class cards for the Paladin. Equality allows tokens to trade with anything and with Consecration and Wild Pyromancers can wipe any board regardless of the health totals.

Holy Light - this deck is built to outlast the opponent and this card efficiently heals for 6 and, of course, activates Wild Pyromancers, as well.

Aldor Peacekeeper x2 - another way to neutralize threats that also puts a 3/3 on board. If you were to examine the cost of this card compared to Humility you see that for 2 extra mana you get a 3/3 body which is a fantastic deal and makes this card very well costed.

Truesilver Champion x2 - this is one of the best weapons in the game and can be used to remove minions but also as another way to heal your hero up. In the current meta you can equip this on a turn you do not plan to use it as Swamp Oozes and Harrison Jones are not popular.

Consecration x2 - this card is just really good and belongs in every Paladin deck but is a great way to clear concealed Auctioneers. You can play equality/consecration on turn 6 which is the common turn to see the concealed Auctioneer play.

Hammer of Wrath - only run one of these since it is not a very efficient card but does have value. Compared to Frostbolt it is expensive but often times late in the game mana is no longer a concern and this card cycles and removes a lot of the small threats that are prevalent in modern aggro decks.

Guardian of Kings - a big body and a heal for 6. For 5 mana above a Holy Light you get a 5/6 body which is a fine deal. This is one of the cards that allows this deck to outlast other control decks as well as turn the tide against aggro.

Lay on Hands - this type of deck can actually utilize Lay on Hands as late game you will often have big threats on board and time to actually spend a full turn refueling. Try not to play this until you really have to as keeping up with tempo is very important to this deck.

Tirion Fordring - the mini-game of this deck is when you can slam Tirion onto the board. You need to bait out all of the removal you can before using Tirion but if you can get Tirion to stick for just one turn you will often win the game easily. Be wary of Faceless Manipulators since you do not have silence in this deck.

Elven Archer - a lot of times this deck needs one more damage to finish off a creature so the Elven Archer does a very effective job of dealing that damage. It can also be used with Equality to remove big threats at any time as well as a way to draw a card with your Acolyte of Pain.

Knife Juggler x2 - with the ability to knock opposing minions to 1 health this card can be amazing. Of course sometime RNG works against you but this is one more way to deal with concealed auctioneers.

Wild Pyromancer x2 - one of the skills you will need to pilot this deck is effectively using the Pyromancers to add damage. You can also play Acolyte of Pain before using a spell to draw a card as well. We already discussed the Pyromancer/Equality combo but it deserves a second mention. It’s that good.

Acolyte of Pain - there is not a lot of card draw in this deck so it is important to get value from the Acolyte. You can use Pyromancers and Elven Archer for this as well as Humility and Aldor Peacekeepers.

Harvest Golem x2 - this is just a sticky creature that helps deal with aggro and is also the only real 3 drop in the deck. Keep these in your opening hand and go ahead and throw them down early to start baiting the removal from your opponent.

Sen'jin Shieldmasta x2 - rather than playing a Chillwind Yeti this deck relies on forcing the opponent to get through taunt after taunt. This card is the first line of defense you can put up and can often stop aggro dead in it’s tracks.

Azure Drake x2 - this card is just too good to not include and is another great way to bait out removal before Tirion and the Sunwalkers. Allowing 3 damage Consecrations is a nice byproduct as well.

Stampeding Kodo - with Humility or Aldor Peacekeepers the Kodo can eat anything. Since you also leave behind a 3/5 body this card can swing games in a huge way and lead the way to victory.

Sunwalker x2 - this card is one of the toughest cards to remove in the game since it has the magical 4 attack and of course the Divine Shield. This is also the Black Knight bait before you play your Tirion.

The Black Knight - since the deck runs a lot of taunts itself and people do play Faceless Manipulator this card is sort of a fail safe. It also allows the match-up to be favorable against ramp Druids, Zoo and Handlock and of course, the mirror match.

Playing the deck

Often time you will be popping out tokens the first few turns but once the game gets past turn 4 you will have many powerful turns and chances to swing the game. Your life total doesn’t matter early as well because you have so many ways to heal back up. Clear the board and trade until you have exhausted your opponents hand and then you can start chipping away at their health. There is no big burst combo in the deck but it keeps your life total out of range of the opposing combo until you can finish them off.

It is important to understand the removal that your opponent can play and avoid giving them your Sunwalker and Tirion early. Use the Sen'jin Shieldmastas, Harvest Golems and Azure Drakes to force the removal then the big threats will be impenetrable walls and can get you 2 for 1 trades or even 3 for 1 trades in some situations. Against Miracle Rogue you know that the Gadgetzan Auctioneer plus Conceal play is coming so hold your Equality until then. Against Zoo and Handlock you can Equality once you will get at least 3 cards with it but you still need to get value to turn the game in your favor. The Druid match-up is actually a pretty good one for you and you can stay out of range of the combo but be aware that the double combo (Force of Nature + Innervate + double Savage Roar) is possible so keep that health as high as you can.

I don’t think I’ve played to fatigue with any other deck as often as I have with this one but most of the time I won the fatigue games. It can be a painfully slow deck but the win rate can be very high against many other popular decks which makes it a fair choice for the last push to legend or to raise your rank once there. I could post some video of me playing but I think a link to the Kolento push to rank 1 is a better representation so here you go!

Kolento's push to Legend Rank 1

We also discussed this deck on episode #38 of The Angry Chicken Podcast so if you want to hear myself and Garrett talk about it and how it's played check that out. Please leave comments below on how the deck has worked for you or questions if there is anything I did not cover. Next week we'll be discussing some Priest decks that actually work on the ladder since the poor Priest is still at the bottom of the meta.

Until then, Job's done!