OTK Paladin is a Hearthstone deck that attracted a fair bit of attention at the start of the Frozen Throne meta, thanks to its very unique playstyle built around the new hero power provided by the Paladin's Death Knight card, Uther of the Ebon Blade.
When you play this hero card and your transformation is complete, you'll gain access to a new hero power that summons one of four horsemen of the apocalypse onto the board. If you can summon all four of these 2/ 2 minions at the same time then your opponent will be immediately killed, regardless of the amount of Health and Armor they might happen to have at the time.
In the Rastakhan’s Rumble meta, the deck has risen in popularity thanks to a number of new tools that give the deck some extra healing and survivability, giving you more time to reach that complex win condition. No-one should mistake this for a top-tier competitive deck right now while the meta is in such flux, but if you have the cards and are thoroughly bored of playing the usual roster of Paladin decks, this is great fun - just don't expect a zippy or consistent climb up the ladder!
UPDATE - JANUARY 2019
A few changes have been made to improve OTK Paladin, so it's worth brushing up on the basics of this one again. We've got a new deck list and Deck ID for you, and an updated guide to piloting the deck on the ladder this month.
OTK Paladin deck list and strategy
This is the most popular and consistent verison of OTK Paladin that's being played in Rastakhan's Rumble. Make sure you grab the latest Deck Import ID, as this one's gone through quite a few changes in recent days.
|2 x Righteous Protector||1 x Bloodmage Thalnos|
|1 x Crystalsmith Kangor||2 x Loot Hoarder|
|2 x Equality||2 x Wild Pyromancer|
|2 x Flash of Light||1 x Zola the Gorgon|
|1 x Potion of Heroism||2 x Ancient Brewmaster|
|1 x High Priest Thekal|
|1 x Time Out|
|2 x Consecration|
|2 x Truesilver Champion|
|2 x Call to Arms|
|2 x Spikeridged Steed|
|1 x Sunkeeper Tarim|
|1 x Lynessa Sunsorrow|
|1 x Uther of the Ebon Blade|
|1 x Shirvallah, the Tiger|
Select and copy the long ID string below, then create a deck in Hearthstone to export this deck into your game.
Deck Import ID: AAECAZ8FCu0FucEC7dICjtMC4+MCw+oC/fsCvYYDz4YDzocDCroB+wHcA/QFzwb2B4jHAuPLAvjSAuyGAwA=
More great Paladin guides:
- 1. Best Budget Decks - Hearthstone: Best Budget Decks for Ashes of Outland
- 2. Tier List - Hearthstone deck tier list (Ashes of Outland)
- 3. Pure Paladin - Pure Paladin deck list guide (Ashes of Outland)
- 4. Mech Paladin - Mech Paladin deck list guide (Ashes of Outland)
- 5. Murloc Paladin - Murloc Paladin deck list guide (Ashes of Outland)
- 6. Highlander Paladin - Highlander Paladin deck list guide (Ashes of Outland)
- 7. Quest Paladin - Quest Paladin deck list guide (Ashes of Outland)
Beyond controlling the match carefully in the run up to the late-game (and our combo tips section further down the page explains the ins and outs of this), your job is to gather a few crucial cards to ensure you get all four horsemen out at the same time, without your opponent having the chance to clear the board.
With the new cards in the Rastakhan set, getting yourself into a position when you can make this happen should be a lot easier. You can use the multitude of additional healing cards added in the expansion to survive well into the later stages of the match to outlast your opponent. Meanwhile, cards such as Time Out can support this further by giving you additional turns where you are Immune, so as to better prepare getting all four horsemen on the board.
Early game: You can generally play quite slowly in the early game. Your plan is to prevent your opponent from getting too far ahead in the match by contesting the board with your smaller minions if needed, and drawing through your deck. If you can get High Priest Thekal down on curve then you can start building your Health back up with the deck’s healing effects, thus giving you a much larger health pool when combined with your Armor.
Mid game: Maintain a control approach throughout the mid game. If you find the game slipping away from you and your opponent has a pretty substantial board, you can always catch up by using Equality with Consecrate or Wild Pyromancer to clear everything they’ve played. It is very much a simple survive and control approach until you reach the late game.
Late game: Now is where you look to get your OTK plan underway. Once you play Uther of the Ebon Blade your new hero power will come into play and you can start getting the horsemen onto the battlefield. Use your copy and bounce effects from Ancient Brewmaster and Zola the Gorgon to bring them back into your hand to save them from being killed. Once you’ve gathered three into your hand you can play them all and use your hero power to summon the fourth to claim the win.
As you prepare for this, though, there are many ways for you to stay alive. Time Out can make you Immune, and provide you with the extra turns you need in order to assemble the combo. Again, you’ll be relying on a lot of your healing to stay in the game, with the Lifesteal effect from Ebon Blade and others. Remember, Crystalsmith Kangor is an excellent drop at this stage, when you can fit multiple healing effects into a single turn to receive double the Health in return.
Here are some useful tips for dealing with aggro opponents on the ladder:
- 1. Early game minions such as Righteous Protector and Loot Hoarder do an excellent job of contesting the opening creatures from aggro decks.
- 2. This deck has many ways to completely wipe the board, so don’t be afraid of letting your opponent extend onto the board first before taking out everything they’ve played in a single move.
- 3. To that point, the deck also runs a substantial amount of healing, so if you take a little chip damage it’s not too much of a concern as you can restore it all.
- 4. Be careful when playing Sunkeeper Tarim. He’s a decent Taunt minion, but you may inadvertently buff some of the more inferior minions found in aggro decks.
- 5. You can sometimes win a game by simply starving the aggro deck of their resources, forcing them to concede early!
Here’s what to keep in mind when facing a control deck:
- 1. Prepare for long games against other control decks, although your chances are good against them considering the amount of healing and survivability cards in your deck.
- 2. Try to get the most value out of High Priest Thekal as possible. That pool of Armor – combined with all the Health you can restore – will give you a lot of reach in the late game to summon the four horsemen against slower control decks.
- 3. Outside of some special keywords such as Divine Shield, your board clear combinations should be able to wipe even the biggest threats that control decks run from the board.
- 4. Sunkeeper Tarim is also especially powerful for reducing a control deck’s minions down to size.
- 5. Shirvallah, the Tiger can enter play and have an immediate impact on the board to remove a particularly dangerous minion while still sticking around on the board afterwards.
OTK Paladin Mulligan guide
These are the cards you’ll want to search for in your opening hand:
- 1. High Priest Thekal: The sooner you covert your Health into Armor the sooner you can start building up your Health again to a larger maximum using all of the deck’s healing effects.
- 2. Call to Arms: Represents some serious value by bringing out a lot of the deck’s useful minions in one turn.
- 3. Loot Hoarder: Helps you draw through your deck quicker so you can get to the cards you need to pull off the OTK combo.
- 4. Righteous Protector: A solid minion to drop in the early game to give you some protection and contest your opponent’s early drops.
OTK Paladin tips, combos and synergies
We've broken down the core win-condition in the strategy section, but this is a tricky deck to play consistently well. Study the following combos carefully before taking this one to the ladder:
- Wild Pyromancer can be combined with Equality for a big board clear. Another common board clear is Equality followed up by Consecration.
- It seems like a bold move to convert all of your Health into Armor using High Priest Thekal, but considering all the healing options you run in this deck it should be possible to restore it fairly quickly while maintaining a lot of that Armor. Overall, it’ll be a massive increase to your total Health.
- Play Crystalsmith Kangor on the same turn you plan to use a lot of healing effects, so you can restore twice the amount of Health than usual.
- When played, Call to Arms will summon three minions that cost 2 Mana or less. In this deck that includes Bloodmage Thalnos, Crystalsmith Kangor, Loot Hoarder, Wild Pyromancer and Righteous Protector.
- Sunkeeper Tarim sets every minion (friendly or otherwise) to 3 Mana and 3 Health. This can be a great way of equalising a problematic board, or - in extreme circumstances - neutralising a target you're going to have a lot of trouble dealing with by any other means.
- After Uther of the Ebon Blade has been cast you'll gain your new hero power. Getting all four of the new horsemen out onto the board is your big win-condition for this deck.
- The cost of Shirvallah, the Tiger reduces by one for each point of mana you spend on spells. Over the course of a game, you can grant quite a significant discount to the card.
- Lynessa Sunsorrow receives the benefit of all previously played buffs when she's put out into play.
OTK Paladin card choices and substitutions
There are a number of vitally important cards in OTK Paladin that are required to pull off the OTK combo. We’ve listed those integral to the deck and some other key cards for you below:
- Bloodmage Thalnos: The additional Spell Power can be handy, but you’re mainly playing it for the ability to cycle through your deck more quickly.
- Crystalsmith Kangor: As there are so many healing effects built into this deck you can squeeze some serious value out of this card over a single turn to restore a significant portion of your Health.
- High Priest Thekal: Replaces all of your Health except one point with Armor. It can give you a much larger Health pool overall once you’ve healed back up, which means greater survivability and more time to set up the OTK combo by summoning the four horsemen.
- Zola the Gorgon: One of the cards you use to add a copy of the four horsemen to your hand, so it can be played later when you have the other three ready to go.
- Ancient Brewmaster: Used alongside Zola the Gorgon to get three of the four horsemen into your hand. Once you’ve got them all you can play all three out and summon the last using your hero power.
- Call to Arms: Sets up a big tempo play by bringing multiple minions onto the board.
- Sunkeeper Tarim: A good way to buff up some of your minions, or reduce the stats on your opponents.
- Uther of the Ebon Blade: The key piece this deck is built around. Will give you a powerful Lifesteal weapon when played, while also changing your hero power to summon a horseman of the apocalypse. Once all four hit the board you win the game automatically, whether the opponent is on 1 or 30 Health.
- Shirvallah, the Tiger: You’ll be playing multiple spells throughout a match that should discount this Legendary considerably. It can have an immediate impact when played thanks to the Rush keyword, while also offering some healing if needed.