Aleco

Kobolds & Catacombs Set Review: Paladin

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Paladin is picking up two of the most powerful and versatile cards in all of Kobolds & Catacombs.

Click here to read my other written set reviews!

My Rating System

Each card is rated on a scale of 1 to 5 on two criteria: Power and Versatility.

The Power rating reflects how much I expect a card to impact the game when played. Cards which immediately represent multiple cards worth of value (Ultimate Infestation) or have a powerful effect on the board for their mana cost (Sunkeeper Tarim) will receive high Power ratings, while cards which have a low impact on the game (Ice Breaker) or cost too much for their effect (Furnacefire Colossus) will receive Power low ratings.

The Versatility rating is intended to communicate how dependent a card is on other cards for its success. Cards can be very powerful without being versatile at all (Clutchmother Zavas), which means that many exciting and powerful cards will end up seeing very little play once the metagame is established. A high Versatility rating means a card relies very little on other cards to be good, and the more comfortable I would feel crafting that card on day one. A lower Versatility rating doesn't necessarily reflect that I expect the card to be bad, but that I wouldn't feel comfortable crafting it until it has proven itself to be a part of a competitive deck.

Drygluch Jailor

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Fits into: Aggressively-slanted Paladin Decks

Power Versatility
4 2

The potential to create four bodies from a single card should have the eyebrows of deck-builders standing up. Drygluch Jailor is a flexible card which helps you fill out your curve, has excellent synergy with Handbuff effects, and should help to fuel several "dudes-matter" cards we'll be looking at later. I think this card is quite strong from a raw power-level perspective, but I'm a bit concerned that it won't fare well in a meta full of Duskbreakers and Spreading Plagues.

Benevolent Djinn

p2.png

Fits into: Control Paladin

Power Versatility
4 3

Control Paladins across the globe are rejoicing at the printing of Benevolent Djinn. This card has a relevant body for three mana and threatens to completely take over the game against aggressive decks if its EOT ability triggers more than once. I full expect this card to be an instant two-of include in slower Paladin decks, and could even be good enough to make Blackguard playable.

Potion of Heroism

p3.png

Fits into: Non-control Paladin

Power Versatility
3 5

I'm instantly intrigued by any card with the words "draw a card" on it; this one is no exception. If Potion of Heroism ever allows one of your minions to survive a trade it'll feel as though you're getting away with highway robbery. Though the obvious dream with this card is to cast it multiple times with Lynessa Sunsorrow or Primalfin Champion, but my firsts instincts aren't to get cute with this card. Most Paladin decks that are looking to play to the board early and often will want a piece of Potion of Heroism, which means that I fully expect this card to see widespread play.

Unidentified Maul

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Fits into: Token/Dude Paladin

Power Versatility
2 1

This card was so close to being playable for me. Three out of the four modes (Blessed, Champion's, and Purifier's) are actually quite passable in a token themed deck, but I'm not particularly interested in giving my 1/1 Silver Hand Recruits Taunt. I don't expect to see Unidentified Maul cropping up outside of Token strategies.

Pearl Spellstone

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Fits into: Midrange and Control Paladin

Power Versatility
3 3

I'd never dream of playing Frostwolf Grunt in a competitive deck, but upgrading this card just once is enough to leave you with a rather impressive Taunt minion for two mana. Pearl Spellstone is best friends with Benevolent Djinn in Control lists, and could even sneak its way into a few Midrange decks with Chillblade Champion and Corpsetaker.

Crystal Lion

p6.png

Fits into: Dude Paladin

Power Versatility
3 1

This card only makes sense in a dedicated Silver Hand Recruit deck (Dude Paladin), and is a pretty sweet deal if it can consistently be played for 3 or less mana. Stand Against Darkness or Lost in the Jungle into this card will costs just 6 mana total, which could potentially lead to some very swingy turns. I don't think Crystal Lion is strong enough to make the Dude deck a thing on its own, but would be a definite inclusion in any Dude decks which do crop up in the K&C meta.

Call to Arms
p7.png

Fits into: Everything?

Power Versatility
5 4

On first glance, this card reads as an incredibly powerful tool in Aggressive and Midrange Paladin decks. On second glance, it also reads as flexible "board wipe in a can" in Control Paladin, so long as the only minions in your deck which cost 2 or less are Doomsayer and Dirty Rat.

Call to Arms costs just 4 mana, plays to the board, and threatens to generate three cards worth of value. I have a hard time imagining a world where this card isn't great.

Level Up!
p8.png

Fits into: Dude Paladin

Power Versatility
3 1

As the only other payoff for Dude Paladin aside from Crystal Lion, I'm not optimistic about this cards chances of making the Dude deck a thing. It comes down a little too late in the curve for the Silver Hand Recruits to do serious damage before the board wipes start coming, and inconveniently does not protect your army of 3/3s from Duskbreaker.

Val'anyr
p9.png

Fits into: Midrange Paladin

Power Versatility
3 2

I love the design of this card, but boy is thing sloooooooooow. Aggro decks don't have time to durdle around with this, and Control decks already have much stronger finishers in Tirion Fordring and The Lich King. This card could still end up finding a home in Midrange decks, but I doubt that it will ever define the meta.

Lynessa Sunsorrow
p10.png

Fits into: Quest Paladin

Power Versatility
3 1

I don't think the majority of "normal" Paladin decks will be able to support this card if Potion of Heroism and Spikeridged Steed are the only targeted spells they run. Perhaps there's a world where a deck Potion of Heroism, Spikeridged Steed, Blessing of Kings, and one other spell make Lynessa playable in a Midrange deck, but Quest Paladin feels like this cards only natural home. Unforutnately, I doubt that Lynessa will do on her enough own to make that deck competitive, as the deck already had a guaranteed and powerful finisher in The Last Kaleidosaur. Though I still expect Quest Paladin to play Lynessa, the missing ingredient for Galvadon probably wasn't a 7 drop.

Thoughts on the Class

Paladin is getting one of the most powerful cards in the entire set in Call to Arms, as well as one of the most versatile cards in Potion of Heroism. Both Midrange and Control Paladins have plenty of reasons to be happy about K&C, but I fear that Dude and Aggro Paladin will suffer in a standard environment with loads of efficient board wipes.

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If Silver Hand Paladin will become a thing paladin got some nice stuff, otherwise there is a lot of rubbish especially the two legends. I mean seriously, how is it possible to make both of a class's legends in a set unplayable/very questionable?

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6 hours ago, Aleco said:

 

Potion of Heroism

p3.png

Fits into: Non-control Paladin

Power Versatility
3 5

I'm instantly intrigued by any card with the words "draw a card" on it; this one is no exception. If Potion of Heroism ever allows one of your minions to survive a trade it'll feel as though you're getting away with highway robbery. Though the obvious dream with this card is to cast it multiple times with Lynessa Sunsorrow or Primalfin Champion, but my firsts instincts aren't to get cute with this card. Most Paladin decks that are looking to play to the board early and often will want a piece of Potion of Heroism, which means that I fully expect this card to see widespread play.

 

I dunno... Aggro Paladin has been a thing for months, they have to fight for the board early and hard; and yet Argent Protector is a barely seen card in constructed. 

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I think the difference is you want the Divine Shield but not a 2/2 for 2 mana, with the Potion you might get your divine shield, go and kill something without losing your minion and drawing a card to follow up with (next turn).

Edited by Caldyrvan

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Idk, as long as Divine Favor lurks in the classic set dudes paladin, or at least aggro paladin will always be a potential threat. The Unidentified Maul has a 3/4 chance of being pretty good, Call to Arms is scary tempo especially on curve and Crystal lion could just be good enough. 

Buff paladin I can only hope doesn't take off, I hate that archtype. Can't bring myself to analise the cards fairly.

One thing is for sure, control paladin and even midrange isn't going anywhere as long as jades and raza are being played, so it's down to the aggro decks to represent paladin for now.

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54 minutes ago, Caldyrvan said:

I think the difference is you want the Divine Shield but not a 2/2 for 2 mana, with the Potion you might get your divine shield, go and kill something without losing your minion and drawing a card to follow up with (next turn).

In the late(r) game, yes. On turn 2-3 , the  moment Aggro decks need to seize the board, a 2/2 body is a lot more useful than a (momentarily) dead card you can't play due to lack of mana.

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