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N'Zoth Control Paladin Karazhan Standard Deck

Last updated on Aug 18, 2016 at 17:44 by Sottle 22 comments

Table of Contents

This deck is a late-game focused Paladin that aims to Control the flow of the opponent's development throughout the mid-game and then take over the game with high value minions in the late-game. It is well-rounded, in that it can survive the distance against aggressive decks but also packs enough of a late-game punch to compete with Control decks.

The Karazhan Adventure introduces Ivory Knight to the deck which adds even more sustainability and allows you to react to the state of the game by picking up key spells.

1. About the Author

This deck is presented to you by Sottle, a professional Hearthstone player who plays for compLexity Gaming. Sottle regularly streams on Twitch and explains all of his moves. Watching him is a good opportunity to see how this and other decks play out in practice, and how decisions are made in real time.

2. N'Zoth Control Paladin Karazhan Standard Deck

Our deck costs 11,580 Arcane Dust and it is made up of the following cards.

Paladin Cards Neutral Cards

2.1. Mana Curve


3. Strategy

N'Zoth Paladin is a deck that aims to stall and Control the board in the early game and then win the game in one fell swoop through the overall value of N'Zoth, the Corruptor. As with most decks built to synergise with an Old God, it is important not to overload your deck trying to synergise with it and miss out on playing other important utility cards as well as generally strong class cards. This deck plays only three powerful Deathrattle minions in the form of Sylvanas Windrunner, Tirion Fordring, and Cairne Bloodhoof, and summoning even one of them from N'Zoth's Battlecry represents incredible value.

The deck's early game package is primarily built around stalling the game and buying you extra turns. You have no real proactive plays to make on the board on turn 1 or 2, as your minions are all reserved for better purposes later in the game. If you are not playing against a Weapon class, you are free to play out Acidic Swamp Ooze, or if you already have the security of an additional Equality activator, then you can also decide to play out Wild Pyromancer. In most cases, however, you will find yourself simply pressing Hero Power on turn 2. This is fine as the deck is fully equipped to play from behind in the later turns.

The alternate play that you can make on turn 2 is to drop a Doomsayer on the board. This is powerful in a number of situations, firstly to deal with an early minion that you cannot otherwise remove, and secondly to set up a turn 3 play such as Acolyte of Pain on an empty board. Playing out Doomsayer to set up this kind of play is usually correct if you draw it in the early game since you have no way in the deck to set it up in later turns like Mages do with Frost Nova. Later on in the game you will need to be more tactical with Doomsayer, such as playing it on a turn before you are about to drop a powerful minion in order to prevent your opponent developing minions to be able to contest it.

Moving into the mid-game your deck starts to become much more efficient with removal. Truesilver Champion, Consecration, and Aldor Peacekeeper are all incredibly efficient board control tools that can help you to limit your opponent's development. If you do not have the perfect answer available to you, the deck also features excellent stalling options like Humility. It is worth holding on to at least one of these effects, though, especially if your opponent is playing high value single target threats since they can be used to combo with Stampeding Kodo as an excellent removal option.

If the board does snowball outside of your control, the deck plays two copies of Equality as well as 4 activators in the form of Consecration and Wild Pyromancer. These are your ultimate answers to your opponent's board and should be held onto for the most dire of situations, or for when your opponent is extremely low on resources in hand to be able to refill. Solemn Vigil is also included in the deck in order to draw cards for potentially zero Mana if used in the same turn as a big board clear.

To round out the survivability of the deck, you also have a huge amount of healing at your disposal. Between Ragnaros, Lightlord, Forbidden Healing, and Ivory Knight you have an excellent ability to bounce back and buy yourself a lot more time in the game. This is important due to how often you will be forced to play from behind. Without having access to a large amount of healing, even after you have managed to gain control of the board you may be too vulnerable to direct damage to be able to start to develop your late-game threats. Forbidden Healing is a very difficult card to use correctly. It may be tempting to try and hold onto it to try and gain maximum 20 Health value, but against most decks you will never find a good turn to do this. The key is understanding when you have the most efficient use of free Mana. For example, you may have one turn where you were able to heal for 8-10, but after passing it up are forced to use all your Mana every turn to react to your opponent's plays. Try and pinpoint the turn where you have the maximum breathing room and use Forbidden Healing accordingly.

Ivory Knight adds an additional dimension to the deck. Not only does it serve as additional healing to help you to stabilise against more aggressive decks, but it also allows you to react to the current game state and take a Spell that serves your current needs effectively. It is not always simply correct to take the highest cost card available, as often an Equality or Consecration will serve you better in the long run if you do not already have a board clear in hand. The key is to correctly evaluate the state of the game and decide whether a high value heal from a card that you may not use effectively is more important than a more effective cheaper card. This will rarely be the case, but there will be situations where healing for 8-10 will be your number 1 priority.

Barnes is a phenomenal addition in this deck due to the fact that you play all the highest value Deathrattle minions in the game as well as two of the strongest minions with persistent on-board effects in the form of the two Ragnaros'. If you are able to hit one of those minions with Barnes then the game may very well be over on the spot, especially since if you hit a Deathrattle minion it puts it into your N'Zoth Graveyard as an additional copy. Even if you do just receive a standard minion as a 1/1, it still represents a reasonable stat distribution that can be quite beneficial against Aggro.

Your eventual late-game goal with this deck is to develop one or more of your powerful Deathrattle minions onto the board and then follow it up on a later turn with N'Zoth, the Corruptor. As mentioned it is important not to get too greedy with N'Zoth as even summoning 1 or 2 of the powerful Deathrattles with N'Zoth's Battlecry is still incredible value. It is often correct to wait to play Tirion Fordring before N'Zoth though, as the overall value that Tirion provides combined with its defensive properties are the perfect combination for this deck's slow strategy.

In order to facilitate this late-game strategy the deck does play a large amount of card draw to be able to get to your high value threats in a timely manner. Acolyte of Pain can be hard to use effectively, but it can be combined with Aldor Peacekeeper and Humility in order to draw extra cards in situations you normally would not be able to. On top of this, timely use of Solemn Vigil should ensure that you are not waiting too long to draw your win conditions.

3.1. Synergies & Combinations

Acolyte of Pain can be used in combination with Humility or Aldor Peacekeeper in order to draw extra cards. Similarly Wild Pyromancer can be used to activate an Acolyte.

Humility and Aldor Peacekeeper also combine fantastically with Stampeding Kodo to remove a target minion from the board if it is alone.

Equality plus Consecration or Wild Pyromancer is your primary source of board clear. Solemn Vigil also synergises well in these situations to draw cards extremely cheaply.

3.2. Mulligans & Matchup Specific Strategies

In most matchups, you are looking for Doomsayer and Acolyte of Pain in your opening hand.

Against Aggro decks you can look for Equality and Wild Pyromancer in your opening hand, as you are likely to need a board clear effect early in the game. Against Aggro Shaman in particular, keeping an Aldor Peacekeeper is also excellent as it can deal with their powerful 3/4 and 7/7 minions that come out very early.

Against Warrior you can keep Acidic Swamp Ooze in order to shut down the threat of Fiery War Axe. However, many Control Warrior decks are playing Gorehowl which is a much higher priority target.

Your overall strategy will differ massively depending on what matchup you are facing. Against most other Control decks you can simply afford to play the game as slow as possible, as over time your Hero Power and the massive amount of late-game and sustainability in your deck will outvalue them. Against Aggro, however, the matchup is very different as you will constantly be fighting for survival and then looking to stabilise with cards like Ragnaros, Lightlord, Forbidden Healing, and Tirion Fordring in the later turns.

Against very specific matchups you can keep individual cards that may seem counter-intuitive. Against Freeze Mage, keep Ragnaros the Firelord. This is your only card that can generate sufficient pressure on them and you must draw it. Against Control Priest or Control Warrior, keep Justicar Trueheart. This card can single handedly win these matchups without you needing to play cards. In fact, against Priest specifically, it is often better not to play your Deathrattle minions once you have Justicar active, since you can isolate their Entomb in their hand this way.

3.3. Card Swaps

Forbidden Healing can be cut in favour of another Deathrattle minion if you are not facing a large amount of Aggro.

The card draw in the deck can be reduced in favour of more tech cards such as Spellbreaker, Big Game Hunter, Eadric the Pure or Harrison Jones if you are facing predominantly Control.

4. ChangeLog

  • 19 Aug. 2016: -1 Justicar Trueheart, +1 Barnes
  • 12 Aug. 2016: Deck added.
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