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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 Journey to Un'GoroFire Fly having excellent synergy with hand buffs. Knights of the Frozen Throne reinvigorated Hand Buff Paladin, introducing a huge swing card in Knights of the Frozen ThronePrince Keleseth as well as a few minions with good hand buff synergy such as Knights of the Frozen ThroneChillblade Champion and Knights of the Frozen ThroneRighteous Protector.

In the United in Stormwind expansion, Handbuff Paladin made a return. Using the United in StormwindPrismatic Jewel Kit weapon, United in StormwindAlliance Bannerman, and United in StormwindHighlord Fordragon, this deck aims for strong tempo turns by flooding the board with cheap high-power minions like those off Scholomance AcademyFirst Day of School, and activating certain effects like those of United in StormwindCatacomb Guard and United in StormwindFirst Blade of Wrynn.

Overview[]

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, The Grand TournamentArgent 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 Journey to Un'GoroSpikeridged Steed and Knights of the Frozen ThroneBonemare to secure and close out the game.

Common cards[]

Wild icon.pngThis section concerns content exclusive to Wild format.

The following cards are usually in the deck.

Core cards[]

The following cards are played in most or all versions of the deck:

Conviction (Rank 1)
Glow-Tron
Knight of Anointment
Righteous Protector
Smuggler's Run
Shielded Minibot
Grimestreet Outfitter
Argent Horserider
Divine Favor
Flying Machine
Chillblade Champion
Glowstone Technician

Optional cards[]

The following cards are played more than occasionally, but not always:

Argent Squire
Avenge
Fire Fly
Meanstreet Marshal
Argent Protector
Annoy-o-Tron
Crabrider
Echoing Ooze
Drygulch Jailor
Hydrologist
Acolyte of Pain
Aldor Peacekeeper
Coghammer
Igneous Elemental
Wickerflame Burnbristle
Blessing of Kings
Call to Arms
Saronite Chain Gang
Doppelgangster
Grimestreet Enforcer
Wargear
Val'anyr
Don Han'Cho
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