This week is Gold Paladins. Always an underdog in the polls, I was truly expecting this deck to be one of the last ones I would get to play. Although definitely not the first deck I ever played, it is one of my favourites. I like decks with consistency, that allow you to control and choose rather than leaving things to chance. This version of Gold Paladin does exactly that, allowing you to modify your field at a whim and gain severe advantage from it. Before we go on, here’s how I run Gold Paladin:
4 x Halo Shield, Mark
4 x Knight of Elegant Skills, Gareth
2 x Listener of Truth, Dindrane
2 x Charjgal
2 x Sleygal Dagger
4 x Knight of Superior Skills, Beaumains
3 x Mage of Calamity Tripp
3 x Sacred Guardian Beast, Nemean Lion
1 x Lop Ear Shooter
4 x Great Silver Wolf, Garmore
2 x Incandescent Lion, Blond Ezel
2 x Gigantech Destroyer
For my Grade 0 line-up, I have chosen the Crimson Lion Cub, more for the fact that it can be a huge help in case I miss-ride, while also being a 5k booster. While I could have chosen Spring Breeze for this slot, I feel he doesn’t really fit with this build. I will say that he is definitely one of the strongest starting Vanguards, but since I run Blond Ezel, I feel like it just makes more sense to run Kryph. I run 8 Crit 4 Draw at this time. I would run 12 Crit if it was available to me, but unfortunately it isn’t yet. This deck is a classic example of the type of deck that makes 12 Crit work, as I explained in my articles, An In Depth Review of Triggers Part 1 and An In Depth Review of Triggers Part 2. It allows for that extra offence and extra defence all in one.
While designing my Grade 1 line-up, I had to put alot of thought into it. Due to the release of the Bunny Paladins, this line-up had been shaken up, as it required some very careful balancing to allow for the right mix. In the end, I opted for the staple 4 8k attackers and 4 Halo Shield, Mark, as the deck is in some high need of their respective offensive and defensive power. To support this line-up I also have Sleygal Dagger and Charjgal, as with Sleygal, I can hit 21k rows when it boosts my Gigantech Destroyer and with Charjgal, I can hit the magic 21k and 26k numbers with Garmore. To further support this line-up, as well as support Garmore’s ability, I added in 2 Listener of Truth, Dindrane, as when she is called from the deck I can soulblast 1 to draw 1. As a 6k booster she can be a dead draw, but when she is called from the deck, she can turn into a solid +1. I feel that you should never run her at more than 3 as she is just a vanilla 6k booster if you draw her. I find that with 2 I don’t draw her often and that there is usually 1 available in deck for when I want it.
For my Grade 2 line-up, it took a little more testing to find the right mix. This was due to the introduction of Lop Ear Shooter and the possibilities he brought to the deck. At first I felt like I should always run him at 4, but I learned very quickly that this was not the case as he too could very easily be a dead draw. While 9k, he has no effect unless he is called from the deck and with no way to put him back to deck, he impacts your attacking power just too much. In the end, I decided to run only 1 copy, as I find that he is a very poor choice late game, and early game with only 1 copy, you shouldn’t need to worry about drawing him before you hit Grade 3. I also run 3 Mage of Calamity, Tripp, as one hit from her allows me another use of Garmore or a use of Sleygal Dagger. The 3 Sacred Guardian Beast, Nemean Lion round off the deck. With Nemean Lion, if you have no room for Dindrane, and using Lop Ears effect would be pointless, you can get a solid 10k interceptor onto the field, giving you effectively +10k shield. This can be a huge game changer, especially when against Oracle Think Tank.
For my Grade 3’s, it was pretty much a no-brainer. You should always run Garmore at 4 if you aren’t running Spectral Duke Dragon. I find that 2 Blond Ezel is enough for me to not draw her if I want to superior ride, while keeping her as a backup option need be. Gigantech Destroyer is an excellent card at this time, as he can hit even 11k Vangaurds unboosted, and with a boost from Sleygal Dagger or Gareth, can hit those magic numbers, 21k and 20k.
The point of this deck is to be very aggressive, while remaining in control of the game at all times. The point of Gold Paladin is to hit your opponent with constant attacks, while keeping field and hand advantage over your opponent. You accomplish this by playing Garmore at the correct times and abusing his ability. If you have multiple empty slots with no way to fill them, this is probably the opportune time to get Lop Ear. If you need a booster, and 6k will still let you hit a magic number, get Dindrane. Are you missing that Charjgal behind your Garmore? Get him out there. If you have only the front row open, you should almost always get Nemean Lion, as he is almost never the wrong choice. Now, one thing to remember when you are being aggressive, don’t use Charjgal without thought. You only have limited uses of him and you want to make sure you are doing it at times when your opponent will have difficulty guarding it. If you play smartly and play sparingly, you can keep complete control over a game, and even gain control back very easily.