Looking for a reliable aggro option to win more Ranked games? I recently competed in Dreamhack Austin and want to share some of what I learned. While I didn’t win the main event, I did win the side event. How? By sweeping most of my opponents with Murloc Paladin!
I think this deck is amazingly strong, and want to share my list and analysis so more players can benefit. Murloc Pally has an incredible early game with powerful endgame tools to finish your opponent. Its strength comes from early game synergies that make it very hard for the opponent to remove all of your minions. Any kind of mass removal is a Murloc’s weakness, since you won’t be able to use cards like Gentle Megasaur or Murloc Warleader to full value. With that said, let’s take a look at the list!
Decklist & Game Plan
Murloc Paladin is a dedicated curve deck. As a result, you’ll want to mulligan very aggressively for 1- and 2-drops. Vilefin Inquisitor and Murloc Tidecaller are your best 1-drops; Grimscale Chum is weaker but still a solid keep. This deck wins a lot on turn 4 with a perfect Murloc curve into Gentle Megasaur. The playstyle is reminiscent of Zoolock in the sense where you want to trade the board almost every turn while going face with the extra attackers.
This list includes just four cards that cost more than four mana. This helps to keep consistent early game pressure. Stonehill Defender might be surprising, but it works wonders as a wall to protect your Murlocs while granting potential access to extra copies of Tirion Fordring and Sunkeeper Tarim. Since the deck naturally wants to keep the enemy board clear, these two cards are great ways to finish the game. You might notice that I didn’t include any draw cards in the deck. This is because The Curator and Stonehill Defender give plenty of card advantage without sacrificing board development.
As an aggressive deck, Murloc Paladin plays a generally similar game plan against most lists. This makes it a great choice for newer players as it’s not the most difficult deck to pilot. That said, there are a few cases deserving of special consideration. Any deck packing board clears has a decent matchup against you, and cards like Doomsayer and Dragonfire Potion can cripple or defeat you outright. Play around these options if possible, but sometimes you’ll need to take risks to win! In these cases, play as if they don’t have the specific answer and if they do then accept the loss. Finding the right amount of pressure to apply varies from game to game. This is definitely one of the hardest things to master with any aggro deck.
Murloc Paladin Matchup Advice
Let’s talk about a few of the most common matchups you’ll face!
In the mirror match against other Murloc Paladin decks, you’ll notice that whoever has a better curve is usually favored to win. You want to mulligan for your 1-drops and try to keep board control the entire game.
Mage & Druid
The Mage matchup has a few quirks: you want to Discover Eye for an Eye off Hydrologist so they are unable to win even with Ice Block if you get them to 1 Health. Still be careful of Alexstrasza, they can reset to 15 and stop that play! Aggro Druid is very tough because they can get a bunch of early game minions before you thanks to Innervate. I actually keep Consecration in the matchup just to have a board clear; this is where the midrange elements of the decklist shine!
Quest & Miracle Rogue
In the Quest and Miracle Rogue matchups, you want to be super aggressive. You should try to end the game before your opponent can get off any broken combos. These matchups are overall pretty favorable.
Pirate & Quest Warrior
Pirate Warrior is a tough matchup. They have lots of weapons to clear your board and keep pressure on your face. Stonehill Defender is MVP in these games, presenting two Taunts to stop the Pirate onslaught. In the Quest Warrior matchup you’re forced to apply pressure, but be careful not to get blown out by Brawl! Knowing how many minions you’ll need is tough, but generally you want about three to present a strong board. Sometimes I’ll skip out on using Hero Power just to make the Brawl odds a bit better in my favor!
Priest & Hunter
Any kind of Priest deck is going to be tough because Dragonfire Potion is an incredibly strong board clear. In this matchup you’ll just have to curve out and hope they don’t have the answers. Hunters, on the other hand, are generally pretty easy to beat because your curve is just stronger. The only way they can consistently win is if they are teching in Hungry Crab, which is pretty brutal on our end. I haven’t played against too many Shamans, but it’s generally a matchup with lots of board clears so protect your Murlocs via Gentle Megasaur Divine Shields or +3 Health Adaptations to get out of range of ‘Storms and Volcanoes.
Warlocks don’t really exist at the moment, but if they’re running an aggressive strategy your curve and Consecrations should be plenty to consistently beat them!
Card Tech Choices
Finally, I want to talk about some of the specific cards I included. I like Blessing of Kings over Spikeridged Steed because it comes down two turns quicker, hits harder, and fits better with the aggressive strategy we’re going for. Spellbreaker might look odd, but I’ve been liking it! Sometimes it will sit in your hand for quite a while, but when it’s good it’s really good. Silencing something like a Doomsayer or Tirion can be – and often is – game-winning. Every deck has at least one target, and its base stats are pretty decent for the mana cost.
I’ve also included both copies of Consecration to help against Aggro Druid. Living Mana usually straight up beats you on turn five, but answering with a Consecration usually turns that matchup! There are two copies of Rallying Blade and just one Truesilver Champion to have an earlier weapon to control the board (and since the 4-drop slot was already packed). Rallying also helps a ton in the mirror and against the aggressive Druid decks!
If you’re looking for a strong aggro deck with decent mid- and lategame, go ahead and try out Murloc Paladin! I’ve definitely had great success with it recently. I can wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone trying to climb the ladder or prepare for tournaments big or small. There are so many different options that you can play in the current metagame… If you want to smash your opponent with a “mrrrgly” blow, give this deck a shot!