Dragon Paladin isn't exactly a new concept in Hearthstone, but it's a deck archetype that has become increasingly competitive over the last 12 months as a more substantial collection of powerful Dragon cards have been gradually added to the game. What this means is that at every stage of a match you'll be able to exploit these synergies and build a strong board presence that - all going well - the opponent will struggle to overcome as you approach a showstopping finish.
The most recent Gadgetzan expansion introduced a few new key cards that have led to increased viability for Dragon Paladin in the current meta. The addition of Smuggler's Run, Grimestreet Outfitter and Grimestreet Enforcer means your scaley friends - and others - receive a handful of very useful boosts.
In the latest edition of our Dragon Paladin guide, we've got a snapshot of one of the most competitive - and fun - versions of the deck that we've enjoyed playing in recent weeks, along with some advice for the Mulligan phase. The strategy section is a little lighter than usual, as you'll find the bulk of the most important advice in our combo section towards the bottom of the page. You'll see what we mean here when you get a look at just how much Dragon synergy has been stuffed into this particular deck!
It still feels as though Dragon Paladin is going through a period of refinement right now, which is no surprise given its relatively recent appearance amongst the roster of truly competitive decks. We'll be keeping a close eye on how things develop in the coming weeks, and we'll be sure to update this guide in time for the next competitive season.
Editor's note - February Update: Dragon Paladin's another one of those lower tier decks that hasn't seen much competitive play lately, and so hasn't been experimented with and refined. Carry on using last month's deck list, then, although you're going to find this a tough way to make meaningful progress up the ladder in Season 35.
BREAKING NEWS! - Don't miss our Journey to Un'Goro guide, which contains everything we know about the next expansion for Hearthstone!
Dragon Paladin (Standard) deck list and strategy - February 2017
Here's Kolento's Dragon Paladin deck list. While it's not the most competitive archetype right now, we think this particular version of the deck is about the best you can take to the ladder.
|2 x Smuggler's Run||1 x Sir Finley Mrrgglton|
|2 x Grimestreet Outfitter||2 x Worgen Infiltrator|
|2 x Aldor Peacekeeper||2 x Faerie Dragon|
|1 x Wickerflame Burnbristle||2 x Netherspite Historian|
|2 x Truesilver Champion||2 x Blackwing Technician|
|2 x Dragon Consort||1 x Defender of Argus|
|2 x Grimestreet Enforcer||1 x Sen'jin Shieldmasta|
|1 x Tirion Fordring||2 x Twilight Guardian|
|1 x Blackwing Corruptor|
|2 x Book Wyrm|
Once you've carefully studied both the deck list above and the combos below, there's not a huge amount to elaborate on when it comes to the general strategy behind playing Dragon Paladin. At each stage of your Mana curve you have some very powerful Dragon synergies to mess around with, and really you're just trying to stay on the board and in charge of the match by making use of these powerful combo plays - you should find it pretty easy to snowball your threat really.
All things considered it's just a very smooth deck to play, and certainly those with any experience of Dragon Priest should find this a very comfortably familiar pair of shoes to slip into. Just be prepared for some long matches here, and don't forget to mess around with some of the other versions of Dragon Paladin in circulation right now as well. It's an archetype that's far from settled in the Gadgetzan metagame, so do experiment and see what works for you.
More great Paladin guides:
Dragon Paladin (Standard) Mulligan guide - February 2017
It's very hard to give specific Mulligan advice with this deck as the presence of a lightweight Dragon will have implications for other, synergistic cards that you might want to keep. In general, then, you should simply look to build a smooth, high-value handful of opening turns where you spend your Mana efficiently each turn. Planning ahead is a core component of playing this deck well, and it begins right here at the Mulligan phase.
Cards you should almost always keep include Faerie Dragon and Smuggler's Run. If you get either of these two in your opening hand, you can then look to build out the next turn (or two, if you have The Coin). Just keep in mind that you might need to hold onto the Faerie Dragon in order to empower another, more expensive Dragon-flavoured card.
Focus on planning out a clean curve and you'll be 90% ahead of the game, whoever your opponent happens to be. Once the Gadgetzan metagame has matured a little more we'll expand on this section of the guide with hero-by-hero recommendations.
Dragon Paladin (Standard) tips, combos and synergies - February 2017
Here are the most important synergies and combos you need to keep at the back of your mind when you're playing Dragon Paladin. Do let us know your own tips in the comments section!
- The Battlecry effects of Blackwing Corruptor, Blackwing Technician, Book Wyrm, Twilight Guardian and Netherspite Historian will only be triggered if you have a Dragon remaining in your hand.
- Dragon Consort reduces the Mana cost of the next Dragon card you play by two. Plan your turn carefully and make sure you factor this bonus discount into your moves.
- Every time he survives your turn, Grimestreet Enforcer will give +1 / +1 stats to every minion class of card remaining in your hand.
- Similarly, Smuggler's Run provides a one-off stat boost to whatever minions you have in your hand at the time it's cast.