- Handbuff Paladin
Wild Hearthstone has thousands of cards, and a wide variety of possible decks. This incredible deck diversity is sometimes lost when only looking at the few decks common in the highest ranks. Wildest of Wednesdays is a series aiming to highlight a different off meta deck each week with an in depth guide into its strategy and gameplay. The decks are selected for having interesting synergies and using rarely seen cards.
We just got a new expansion reveal, and the Blademaster Okani Legendary is already in the game. Due to its effect, it's great in decks that can either Stealth it or buff it to where it can survive on the board to counter an opponent minion or spell. It's especially good in Handbuff Paladin, as it is a deck that can dominate the board to protect a handbuffed Okani from being removed by minions so he gets to survive and activate his Counter. In addition, the deck contains Brann Bronzebeard which can combine with Okani to counter both a spell and minion. If you want to play a deck that makes good use of the new Blademaster Okani, give this one a try!
Now, let's get into a guide on playing the deck. It's going to go through major overarching strategies to keep in mind, how to mulligan, gameplay tips on key synergies, and card choices.
You handbuff minions which then use those big stats to dominate the board. You also have Charge minions which when handbuffed allow you to win from hand using Battleground Battlemaster. Blademaster Okani, Loatheb, and Dirty Rats help you disrupt your Control and Combo opponents' minions and spells.
Handbuff - You have a lot of cards that handbuff minions in your hand. Lightforged Cariel even has a hero power to do this. Your minions will have large stats to generally be able to take over the board, while many minions with Rush and Lifesteal benefit extra from being handbuffed.
OTK Potential - Sometimes you can't keep a board due to removals. In this case, you can use Charge minions along with Battleground Battlemaster to give them Windfury to be able to win from hand. You can also use Battlemaster to finish games if you do manage to stick a board.
Disruption - Loatheb disrupts spells to stall combos and protects your board. Dirty Rats disrupt combos by getting rid of combo minions, and can be used with Brann Bronzebeard for more disruption. Blademaster Okani can either protect your board from spells or counter minions that may be part of a combo. He's especially powerful against decks like Questline Hunter that have one key minion, like the quest reward Tavish, Master Marksman. If you counter him, his Battlecry won't trigger and you are likely to win the game. If you use Brann Bronzebeard combined with Okani, you can have both spell and minion counters.
Okani Handbuff Paladin is a Handbuff Paladin deck that uses Blademaster Okani to protect your board from clears and disrupt minion based combos. It can be very strong against Aggro due to Lifesteal minions and large stats, and can win against Control and Combo with disruption and Charge damage from hand.
- Keep Crystologys, Grimestreet Outfitters, and one or two card draw cards among Salhet's Prides and Whelp Bonkers if you have any of those. Keep less card draw if you think you're against an aggressive deck, and more if against a slower deck.
- Keep Blademaster Samuro if against Aggro.
- Keep Dirty Rats and Brann Bronzebeard if you're against Combo. You can also keep Loatheb and Blademaster Okani if it's a combo that has few minions and many spells.
The key to playing this deck well is to balance getting handbuff value with keeping up board tempo.
Below are gameplay tips regarding many of the synergies in this deck and how to use them effectively.
Animated Broomstick is a very powerful card, which you can combo with anything to give immediate board impact. Some extra great cards to use it with are Catacomb Guard for healing and Whelp Bonker for immediate draw.
Keep in mind that Blademaster Okani disrupts battlecries when he counters minions. Use this to your advantage - if you can play a big handbuffed Okani before a Questline Hunter plays their quest reward minion, or any other Questline deck or combo deck that uses minions, you can counter it and prevent the minion from triggering its Battlecry. This is very powerful and can win you games if timed right.
This section is going to go through the main packages of cards in the deck. Each package has cards that help the deck with a specific goal. When playing the deck, it's useful to know what purposes each card serves and what other cards in the deck have synergy with it or help achieve the same purpose. This section might also be useful if you're interested in the reasoning for why each card was included in the deck.
These cards handbuff your minions.
These are great targets to be handbuffed. Due to their effects, they get extra value from it.
These cards help you against aggro. Giving your minions Rush with Animated Broomstick and using Charge and Lifesteal minions in general as well as Blademaster Samuro for a one sided board clear is great to regain control of the board and heal up. Dirty Rat is a good Taunt especially when buffed. Lightforged Cariel is a clear and her weapon makes it a lot harder to burst you down and makes your healing worth more.
Disruption allows you to beat Combo decks that you would otherwise be too slow to burst down. It's also great against Control to disrupt their removals and potentially some key value minions.
Card draw is important to consistently get to your key cards from other packages.
Okani Handbuff Paladin is a deck that makes good use of Blademaster Okani to protect your board from removals and additionally counter minions. If you have a question or comment, or are wondering about a card substitution, post below.
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