Hearthstone: Keyo's Murloc Paladin! Anyfin Can Happen
Hey guys! My names Brian “keyo” Venard and welcome to my first article for Gale Force Esports! Today I’ll be discussing a deck that hasn’t been talked about a lot since the release of Whisper of the Old Gods and the Standard format, Anyfin Can Happen Paladin. The combo archetype gained some very powerful cards, such as Forbidden Healing and Ragnaros, Lightlord. Unfortunately, though, it lost one of the main damage dealers from the deck in Old Murk Eye. The beautiful thing about this archetype though is that even without Murk Eye, the deck can still deal up to 32 damage on the 2nd Anyfin. With these changes, matchups that were once favorable have become unwinnable, and matchups once deemed unwinnable have become much better. Anyways, let's get into the details about card choices and matchups!
THE DECKLIST- http://imgur.com/W6DmCkK
Combo Pieces- 2x Bluegill Warrior
2x Murloc Warleader
2x Anyfin Can Happen
These cards are the reason to play the deck, the combination of early and mid game board control with the minions and the late game burst of Anyfin make killing an opponent from an empty board and full health seem like a walk in the park.
Board Clears- 2x Wild Pyromancer
Since the decks main condition can’t be played until turn 10 (and that's if you draw all your murlocs), you need to be able to keep your aggressive opponent’s board in check. The two major sequences you use to clear the board are Wild Pyromancer into Equality or Equality into Consecration. Another scenario that can be viable is Wild Pyromancer into Consecration, while this is not the most optimal use of your AoE, it can still be viable against decks like zoo.
Doomsayer is one of the most flexible cards in the deck, you can play it on turn 2 against a zoo to blank their turn, you can play it in preparation for a powerful turn from your opponent, or you can play it in a position where you are losing board to essentially gain 7 health. While many people have started to realize the versatility of Doomsayer in other archetypes like Midrange Hunter, it truly shines in Murloc Paladin.
Card Draw - 2x Loot Hoarder
1x Lay on Hands
1x Harrison Jones
2x Solemn Vigil
Card draw is an utter necessity to any combo deck, so naturally, there is plenty in this deck. There are a few different outlets for drawing with this deck, all synergizing with different things. Solemn Vigil synergies super well with all of your board clear, usually getting you at most a 2 mana cost draw 2, which is amazing for a deck that wants to be as efficient as this one.
Lay on Hands is obviously a good card, the draw 3 is very relevant as you get to the late game being that Murloc Paladin runs out of cards faster than most combo decks. The heal is nothing to joke about either, because while it is not the main source of heal in the deck, there will be some games where every point matters, making this an auto include in my list. I decided to only run 1 because there are some matchups that go to fatigue most of the time, and in said matchups the 2nd Lay on Hands is just a dead card.
Heal - 2x Forbidden Healing
1x Ragnaros, Lightlord
2x Truesilver Champion
These are the cards that allow you to play into fatigue and actually combo out. Forbidden Healing is one of the most important cards in the deck against aggro for obvious reasons. Ragnaros, Lightlord, on the other hand, can not only heal you for a solid amount, but also push through some damage, which is huge for a deck that has a finite amount of combo damage. Even just one hit for 8 on the face can be the difference between winning and losing control matchups.
There isn’t a lot to be said about Truesilver Champion that hasn’t already been said, it’s an auto include in just about every paladin deck, and it does a solid job of board control with this deck, especially with all the humility effects in the list.
Speaking of humility effects….
2x Aldor Peacekeeper
Aldor Peacekeeper is a staple in control paladins, an on curve body with a huge effect for such a slow deck. Humility, on the other hand, saw some play in the pre-standard Murloc Paladin, but fell off the face of the earth once Standard hit. In my opinion this is one of the strongest non combo cards in the deck. Even though it doesn’t have the body of Aldor Peacekeeper, Humility can be played much easier. Costing 1 mana makes it easy to Lay on Hands and then minimize an opponent's threat, or something like Humility into Forbidden Healing, where if you hit a target with a large attack total, actually gives you a net gain on life compared to just playing the Healing. There is also a synergy with Wild Pyromancer as Humility is a spell, but most of the time you don’t want to be using your Pyromancers without equality.
1x Tirion Fordring
Tirion is basically taking over the slot that was once Old Murk Eye. Yes it is not a combo piece, but the 5/3 Ashbringer is HUGE for this deck. You really want to be going face with the Ashbringer if possible, as 15 damage can be the difference between having to Anyfin twice or once, which can be pretty relevant against fast decks. One thing I find myself doing quite often when my opponent is aggressive is playing Tirion and then playing a Doomsayer behind it. This allows for me to still get my weapon but also make sure my opponent can’t develop anything crazy. If you have one of your Anyfins in hand with a decent amount of dead murlocs, this is a play i highly suggest you consider.
Cards I didn’t include
Stampeding Kodo - For a deck like N’zoth Paladin that just durdles around a lot, this is solid. But Murloc Paladin is totally fine leaving a 0 or 1 attack minion in play if it means it can develop another murloc or a threat like Tirion. It just doesn’t do as much for a combo deck as it does for a control deck.
Acidic Swamp Ooze- I have weapon removal in the deck in the form of Harrison Jones, so having Ooze doesn’t make a lot of sense. The card draw from Harrison Jones is pretty big, as unlike N’zoth Paladin, we don’t always have a full hand and can run out of gas easily. And against non weapon classes, we have enough minions that we can play on turn 2 that its fine waiting for turn 5 to play Harrison.
Acolyte of Pain- Acolyte of Pain is just too slow for this deck, there is for sure more upside to playing it in a perfect world, but most of the time by turn 3 your opponent will have something that can restrain you to one draw. Loot Hoarder is strictly better in this deck because it comes out a turn earlier, which is pretty crucial.
The Good(in no particular order)-
N’zoth Decks- N’zoth Paladin, N’zoth Rogue, N’zoth Priest, it doesn’t matter, the combination of board clears and humility effects in Murloc Paladin gives you enough time to do a full 2 combos on any of these slow, greedy decks. These matchups are some of the main reasons to play Murloc Paladin!
RenoLock- Some of the same reasons Murlocs are good against N’zoth decks apply to Renolock, but another key factor makes this a heavily favored matchup for the Paladin. Life tapping makes it much easier to kill a Warlock without the 2nd Anyfin. And if they do find Reno Jackson, so what! You can always wait for the 2nd Anyfin and kill them from full health!
Patron/ Tempo Warrior - This is not a great matchup, but it is still favorable for you, the fact that they play threats with no immediate impact on the board makes any of your Equality AoEs amazing! It’s ok to be greedy with equality in this matchup, because as the aggressor they will have to play more threats at some point, you can humility their current ones to force the issue if they try to play around equality.
Freeze Mage- This is the most swingy matchup for Murlocs, there are times when you draw nothing but Murlocs and set up for a huge Anyfin turn, there are times where you continuously heal out of range for their burn, but there are also times where they burn you down from 24 and there’s nothing you can really do about that. Both decks have a lot of dead cards against each other, so really it's a matter of who draws their combo first.
Miracle Rogue- This is slightly favorable for Paladin, but your opponent goes Auctioneer, Coin, Prep, Eviscerate, Conceal, there is really no way to come back even if you have an Equality clear. So while this is slightly favored, it is still a very easy matchup to lose if your opponent draws well.
Midrange Hunter- Call of the Wild is NOT a real card. These are words I wish I could hear from Ben Brode. The Late game hunter card BLOWS OUT Murloc Paladin alongside Savannah Highmane and Hunters other sticky minions. It's a very unfortunate matchup and when you queue into this you’re gonna have a bad time.
Zoo- The menace of the current metagame does very well against Murloc Paladin unfortunately. The zoo player can put out enough pressure to force your Equality, then just flood the board again knowing there is no immediate answer. This is one of the best matchups for the Wild Pyromancer + Consecration combo, but it still is usually not enough. The one way you win this matchup is if the Zoo player taps so much that they put themselves into the range of the first Anyfin (12 damage.)
Control Warrior- What was once one of the best matchups for Murloc Paladin, pre-standard, has now become the sole worst matchup for the deck. The loss of Old Murk Eyes major burst damage makes it much easier for the Control Warrior to just Armor up and Tank Up to a safe health total and Brawl away your Anyfins. This is on a level of bad only given to Freeze Mage vs Control Warrior before. You need to draw super well and the Control Warrior just needs to not play anything.
Overall Murloc Paladin is a solid deck with some very good (and also very bad) matchups. It may not be tier 1, but at the moment I strongly believe its a tier 2 with potential to go up if the meta slows down. If you ever need help for calculating the damage output for your Anyfin i suggest going to this website http://numbers1311407.github.io/anyfin/ , it is the slickest calculator and also can be fun to mess around with.
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions on matchups I may have missed feel free to ask me on twitter @GFE_keyo. Also be sure to follow me on twitch as I am trying to stream more often as the summer comes upon us twitch.tv/keyotcg .