Hand Buff Paladin (also known as Grimy Goons Paladin, or just Goons Paladin) is a Paladin deck type. It is a variant of Midrange Paladin that carries a focus on Grimy Goons "hand buff" cards from the Mean Streets of Gadgetzan expansion. The archetype was originally created with the release of Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, but saw little success due to the inherently slow nature of hand buff cards in an aggressive meta. With the release of Journey to Un'Goro and the Elemental tribe being fleshed out, Hand Buff Paladin gained some new life, with Elementals such as Fire Fly having excellent synergy with hand buffs. Knights of the Frozen Throne reinvigorated Hand Buff Paladin, introducing a huge swing card in Prince Keleseth as well as a few minions with good hand buff synergy such as Chillblade Champion and Righteous Protector.
In the United in Stormwind expansion, Handbuff Paladin made a return. Using the Prismatic Jewel Kit weapon, Alliance Bannerman, and Highlord Fordragon, this deck aims for strong tempo turns by flooding the board with cheap high-power minions like those off First Day of School, and activating certain effects like those of Catacomb Guard and First Blade of Wrynn.
Hand Buff Paladin decks make heavy use of "Give all minions in your hand +1/+1" effects to "hand buff" their minions before playing them, allowing minions in hand to be overvalued. For example, Argent Horserider normally costs 3 mana with 2/1, and its stats alone are worth 1 mana. When buffed twice, it turns into a 4/3, having stats well worth its cost on top of having Charge and Divine Shield. Unlike similar Hunter and Warrior cards, Paladin's hand buffing cards target all minions in hand, which not only makes it very efficient for decks with many minions, but puts it at a much lower risk of bad RNG, a core issue with Hunter and Warrior hand buff decks.
The deck's key strength is the ability to create a huge tempo swing by playing several low-cost minions with much higher stats, making them much harder to remove with AoE and forcing opponents to use single-target removal in a much less efficient way. The deck is not limited to hand buffs and also uses active buffs like Spikeridged Steed and Bonemare to secure and close out the game.
The following cards are usually in the deck.
The following cards are played in most or all versions of the deck:
The following cards are played more than occasionally, but not always:
|Common deck types|