Hearthstone Preview: Paladin Spells and Abilitiesby Zenstyle
July 23, 2013 Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
Ahh, Paladins. They’re like warriors, but a lot cooler. They bring the Light, heal their allies and protect the virtuous. The designers behind Hearthstone have done a great job representing the melee class with a number of spells and minions that reflect their tenacity, curative powers and massive, stunning hammers. Today we’ll look over the slew of spells available to the Paladins, championed by none other than Uther the Lightbringer.
In the last few weeks, we’ve had the pleasure of looking over hero powers that deal direct damage. Paladins function differently. For two energy, Uther can use the Reinforce ability to summon a 1/1 Silver Hand Recruit. While it might not seem all that strong on paper, there are methods to properly make use of this ability. What’s more, in a game that centers so heavily around board control, the ability to create minions can be somewhat irritating to deal with.
The Paladin deck features, at present, four available secret spells, activated upon meeting certain conditions. All of them cost one energy, making them easy to use. That said, because they’re all of one energy, don’t expect the world from them. They definitely all fit into the Paladin theme, but I’m not sold that most of them should be run.
Eye for an Eye could be interesting, depending on what turn you drop it on. The problem is that, using it early means it will probably not return all that much damage. Moreover, clever individuals will likely attack with a smaller minion first in order to ensure that this secret does not do them much harm. I’d pass on Eye for an Eye.
I don’t mind Noble Sacrifice for one energy. It summons a 2/1 minion to take a hit at what could be an inconvenient time for your opponent. Yes, that minion will most likely die, but it could either destroy an opposing minion, or save you or another, more important minion from dying.
Redemption‘s iffy. It depends on what minion dies first when this secret is activated. Even then, since it won’t activate battlecry abilities, unless your minion has a particularly savage deathrattle, you probably won’t accomplish much here. Divine Shield could make it interesting for sure, but I’m not sold on this card just yet.
There’s definitely a case to be made about playing Repentance, especially later on in the game when you expect someone drop their ‘win the game’ minion. Early on, it’ll probably just take a one or two toughness and .. bring it to one toughness. I like this card though, and definitely think it has potential. Paladin features a lot of cards that will need to be used at the right time to be effective, and these secrets are no exception.
Healing and Buff Spells
It wouldn’t be a Paladin deck without the ability to cast the standard Paladin raid buffs. Blessing of Wisdom, Blessing of Kings and Blessing of Might are all available, and all three are really good for their respective energy costs. Sadly, it’s not practical to run all of them because you need other spells and minions. My pick would be Blessing of Wisdom on something reasonably tough. Have it constantly swinging and benefit from the card generation. That said, either of the other two would also be reasonable.
Divine Favor can either be really good, really bad, or okay, depending on the size of your opponent’s hand. It’s worth running because card draw’s such an important factor, but there’s always the chance you get shoehorned by some jerk who has no hand.
Blessed Champion is a good card, but I’m not sold on how expensive it is. The five energy cost feels somewhat arbitrary, unless the Hearthstone dev team feels that a player should not be able to combo a large creature and a substantial boost to its attack power. Uther’s quite capable of buffing his allies to be crazy strong, and if you want to make that a deck strategy, this is a good pickup.
Nothing all that crazy about Holy Light . Two energy for six health is very nice, and more importantly, a legit option in the early game if you find yourself being run over by an aggressive deck. Great in the late game too, if it gets to the fatigue stage. With the Paladin deck, there’s a legitimate chance of that, but we’ll discuss that more on Thursday.
If Holy Light‘s not quite enough, Lay on Hands is like it’s way better sibling. While the energy cost is nowhere near as friendly at eight energy, this spell awards Uther eight health and three cards, and that right there is a game changer. Where this card shines is that part of the game where both players are just kind of topdecking, praying for some kind of game winning card.
The hurt comes in a number of different forms for the Paladin. While it lacks a straight up ‘GET OUT OF HERE, YOU’RE DEAD’ card, it has some compelling options that will leave your foes ripe for the slaying.
Humility won’t harm your opponent when it comes to their health, but it will destroy their ability to mount much of an offensive. If you run it, and you should, you’ll have to make some tough calls on when to make use of it. If there’s a lot of pressure early in the game and you have to use it, that’s fine, but if you know your opponent runs something bigger in the end game and you can avoid using it, consider holding on to it in order to shut a real threat down.
Unlike Humility, Equality will mess up minion health, yours and your foes. The two energy spell sets the health of all minions on the board to one, and seems destined to be followed up by the four energy spell, Consecration. It deals two damage to all enemy minions, effectively clearing the board. That’s a six energy combo, and can really be problematic if you’ve got a lot on the board, but that’s the price the Paladin pays in order to wrestle board control from an opponent.
Hammer of Wrath is core and free to obtain. Four energy, three damage and a drawn card. It’s one of the few, reliable sources of direct damage the Paladin has access to, and we’ve discussed in prior previews how valuable that is.
Holy Wrath is a lot less certain. Drawing anything less than a three energy card makes this spell feel a bit inefficient at five energy. All the same, if you build a deck that has a lot of expensive cards, you can feel fairly confident that Holy Wrath will so a productive amount of damage. The flip side is that, according to the card, the damage can be awarded to any target and you get a card out of it.
Avenging Wrath is another gamble of a card. Yes, all damage to your enemy is good damage, but if you’re looking to get rid of a specific minion, expect some erratic results from this eight energy spell. If this was in a deck with more direct damage options that did not feature Holy Wrath, I don’t think I’d run it simply because of how expensive and unpredictable it is. However, because it’s the Paladin deck, I feel like it’s worth having around. The other thing that’s intriguing about this card is its ability to ping Divine Protection off of minions. Is that always useful? No, probably not, but it’s a cool benefit if you’re going against certain decks.
Uther’s got a lot of tools at his disposal. Are his allies up to the task of sweeping evil from the land? Find out on Thursday!
Miss some of BlizzPro’s earlier previews? Take a look at those and other Hearthstone articles here. Have a question about Hearthstone or just want to talk deck ideas? Drop me a line at @RobertAWing on Twitter, or at ZenStyle@BlizzPro.com.