Developer Insight: Paladin and Core Set Changes

Hello everyone, the following is being posted on behalf of Aleco Pors, Lead Designer on the Final Design team:

TITANS is about to go live and you’ve now seen some of the new design space that we’re exploring for Paladin in this expansion and beyond. This is the second class we’ve given a tune-up to this year, after Priest. We wanted to take this time to talk about why those changes were made and what we consider (or don’t consider) when adjusting a class like this.

There are two main considerations when we make these types of changes: 1) player enjoyment of the class (the most important consideration); and 2) how much design space the class has for us to work with.

You’ll note that “power” is not a consideration for these types of changes. We’ve seen some questions and comments about why we adjusted Paladin when the class already seems strong. The short answer is just that power isn’t relevant for class tune-ups: this is about adjusting fundamental issues with a class, not its power level. From a design perspective, power is easier to adjust—we can, and frequently do, shift power by just adjusting numbers on cards. We make those power adjustments in our regular balance updates, not in class tune-ups. If Paladin ends up too strong, too weak, or too unfun in TITANS, we have lots of ways to adjust that after the fact.

Earlier this year, we changed Priest because it was the biggest outlier on the first and most important consideration: player enjoyment of the class. There was a good amount of design space in Priest, but much of it was in space that players don’t want to see.

Paladin also had a bit of this problem: while some players love Paladin, there is a perception that Paladin tends to be too basic to keep player engagement. We see that sentiment reflected in years of Paladin being underplayed for how powerful it is in the meta.

However, Paladin’s bigger problem was actually in the second consideration: the design space within the class. Paladin has consistently been one of the most challenging classes for us to design for. We often found ourselves falling back on the same few class themes: buffs, dudes, pure, then buffs, then dudes again, and then pure… On top of that, we were constrained by the “Paladin has to be fair” restriction. There are only so many ways to do that directly (Equality, Divine Favor), and it basically meant we couldn’t do cool stuff for the class unless their opponent got to do it, too. We’ve been phasing out this type of “has to be fair” restriction for a while now, while looking for other ways make Paladin still feel righteous.

Auras are a great example of this: the heads-up nature of Auras makes them feel more righteous and fairer than the sneaky Secrets they replaced. Auras are also truer to World of Warcraft, where Paladins have Auras as part of their kits.

Auras give us another angle that we can design Paladin towards. We plan to regularly print Auras—maybe about one per expansion—and at some point we might even explore a dedicated “Aura Paladin” deck of some sort.

Resurrect is another mechanic we’re exploring in Paladin this expansion, something they’ve never done before (wink, wink). This is another effect that is very on-brand from World of Warcraft, and leaves room to explore going forward. Will Auras and Resurrect be enough new space for Paladin? Maybe! If not, we’ll keep looking for other space to explore.

That leads me to a third reason why we might do a class tune-up, which is just “we had a sweet idea!” It doesn’t necessarily mean the class was fundamentally struggling; it might just mean that we had an idea we wanted to try and we found the right time to do it. Currently, this is our last scheduled class/Core Set tune-up of the year, but it’s our goal to be more flexible about these things going forward.

For now, we hope you enjoy Paladin and all of TITANS. We’re looking forward to a great launch and we’ll see you in the Tavern!

If you want to join in the fun, this is your last chance to get your TITANS pre-purchase bundle before the expansion goes live tomorrow, August 1!


As a Paladin player I really enjoyed reading this.
Thank you.


why sargeras skin dont have tray? is a bug?

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Never done resurrect, guess rally! doesn’t exist


Gun in my head, if you asked me to guess who in these forums is most likely to be a “Paladin player” i would choose Mountaineer.

Seems my intuition was correct.

Did you never notice my avatar?

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I hope this doesn’t mean we never get future secret support for paladin. I have always liked the secret decks paladin has had throughout the years. They’ve mostly been strong and they work in spaces that are different from the other secret classes.

As much as I dislike playing against Paladin it is a good thing to move away from this stiff and boring playstyle and open the class up for more options.

Honestly now that it’s established that Paladin isn’t likely to get secrets in the near future, I would LOVE to see secrets be introduced to Priest. They fit Priest’s flavor as a class much better than Paladin, especially shadow priest. I would imagine they would be 3 mana like mage secrets, but be much more control and defense-oriented.

the neutral annoy o tron minion?


I wish you all the best design team. I have played since beta and never enjoyed playing paladin and it has nothing to do with power level. I have just never found it much fun (the little dragon with life steal that let’s you grab another dragon probably my favorite but not even sure he fits the class vibe). Good luck making the self-righteous fun. Idea for new legend - “Karen”

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Your avatar has nothing to do with Paladin basically… it is just a neutral Annoy o tron minion image. :smiley: I would rather use Uther avatar again if Blizzard would be so kind and restore it here on this forum too… but I think they won’t…

I really appraciate the idea you wan’t to help on Paladin but since you have ruined it by aggro… I believe it is hard to design anything fair with low mana cost now… Many things you create has too big mana requiment because you don’t want aggro to use it… but like that it is useless for others as well because they can’t survive long enough to do it… While other’s have infinte card generation, AOE destroy, healing, mana cheat… Paladin can’t get such things because of aggro… You should rework the whole aggro, not just Paladin… but the other classes as well… For example… Unworthy Judgment seems good tool against aggro… but it is not… 4 mana is hell a lot in a strong and fast meta like this for 1 dmg aoe mainly… Combined by Equality it is usable… but 6 mana is insane in this meta… Most of time half of our HP is gone until we can use a 6 mana cost AOE destroy and it is even hard to draw it out because you took away holy spell drawing by the rotation of exp. Stoneheart King, 4 mana… too many… I understand that you don’t want aggro to use it… but it should cost 2-3 mana and also should add Earthern golem for 2 mana too to the card library as a common minion. Then it would have some sense to start summon them bigger and bigger. I have played only Paladin, have nearly 6000 wins… but really start to believe I have chosed the wrong class to master. You also need to rework Blood DK and Control Priest… because these two are a big fail… I know you don’t want to weaken them because these can hold back aggro… but this is still not fair as it is now. Not everyone wants to play Aggro or OP Control… Because some ppl still have backbone… These players want fair fight not OP wins or 10 min victories… You should respect and support that.

I just don’t see anything about the Core Set in this long post…

Plus, how hard is it to creat new ideas for a class, or using the fancy word “design space”?

Weird to have such a conversation about “we will use new ideas to help a class because we have new ideas” when it’s so fundamentally self-explanatory .

Nice? Can we now fix the clownfiesta that is Mage surviving until you lose to fatigue?

Ahh yes, and it really shows, thanks for clarifying. One could go crazy thinking this game strived for some kind of balance.


I think since you have ruined Paladin’s other strategies by aggro… you should create an analizing method which is decides what kind of Paladin deck are we build (Or maybe ask the player at the deck creation)… aggro or not… if it is not aggo then it should adjust the mana cost lower for many cards… if it is aggro… then leave it as it is… that way we could build better non aggro decks by using the new cards… for example Judge unworthy is hell a lot for 4 mana in a fast and strong aggro meta like this, if player is not using aggro deck, it should cost 2 mana. Stoneheart King also should cost 2 or 3 mana if the player is not using aggro deck, and also add Earthen Golem as a common 2 cost minion. I think only that way you could ressurrect these tactics which are new and already seems dead because of the aggro…


-20 ch@r@cters