Recently, the new OTK Holy Wrath Paladin has been taking both the competitive and ladder meta by storm, notably through several high level success stories as seen in the Hearthstone Grandmaster. Many players were eager to take the deck onto ladder; however, for one deck that requires intricate decision making and multiple decision points, it is understandable that people make misplays, sometimes so costly that they force them to concede by Turn 5 or 6. Therefore, this series of articles will summarize the basic and advanced knowledge required to use OTK Shirvallah Paladin effectively.

What is Holy Wrath Paladin?

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Holy Wrath Paladin is the deck that utilizes Shirvallah the Tiger, a beast minion with a cost of 25 mana which can be lowered based on the amount of mana used for spell casting (reduced to 0). In combination with Holy Wrath – a 5 mana spell that draw a card and deal damage equal to the cost of the card just drawn, Shirvallah can inflict up to 50 damage to a chosen target.

The easiest way to safely perform the combo is drawing your whole deck, summoning Shirvallah at a cost of 0, use Baleful Banker on Shirvallah to shuffle it back to the deck, then use Holy Wrath to deal 25 damage to the opponent’s face. Sometimes, you can also use a Time Out! on top of it to make it a 10-mana turn total.

Theoretically, that should finish off your opponent. But Hearthstone is never that black and white.

So the advice here is if you can keep Time Out!, please try to keep to the end, because when you deal 25 damage the second time, your opponent is very likely to try and counter it with Counterspell or Eye for an Eye for example.

The most important thing when playing this deck is to try to survive at all costs, especially in the first 5 turns because starting for turn 6, this deck has a multitude of board clears and great survival support.

A typical Holy Wrath deck

There are many variations of decks created to suit specific situations and pocket metas. However, you cannot play the deck without these cards:

– 1x Shirvallah the Tiger
– 2x Holy Wrath
– 2x Baleful Banker

Other than that, there are relatively important cards that should be included in any variation (most of these are strong survival tools against aggro):

– 1x Crystalsmith Kangor
– 2x Truesilver Champion
– 2x Flash of Light
– 2x Wild Pyromancer
– 2x Time Out!
– 2x Consecration

– 2x Prismatic Lens
1x or 2x Equality
– 2x Shrink Ray

The remaining slots are for draw cards like Crystology and Novice Engineer.

My personal advice is you should use both Equality and Shrink Ray in the deck, because some variations only use 2 Shrink Rays, which leads to only being able to clear the board from Turn 7 onwards, or having to use Shrink Ray on 5. This is not ideal in many situations; consider this: even when the Mountain Giants from the Conjurer Mage is transformed to a 1/1, they can still easily cast Conjurer’s Calling on it to turn it into full-statted minions.

Here are some basic combos:

  • Wild Pyromancer + Equality for 6 mana
  • Equality + Wild Pyromancer + Crystology for 7 mana
  • Equality + Consecration for 8 mana
  • Shrink Ray + Consecration for 9 mana
  • Wild Pyromancer + Shrink Ray for 7 mana

Sometimes it’s better to keep the Wild Pyromancer alive on board at 1 HP, so your opponent needs to spend their resources to deal with the minion and deny their comfort to be able to spend his full mana crystals as they wish on their turn.

In the next article, I will be going through some of the most popular matchups on ladder and the general guide against them. And for all articles after that, we will be looking into popular scenarios in specific matchups, so that we have the general idea of what to do in hard situations.

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