There's been an association between paladins and the amphibious critters since the launch of the game. But it took until the Journey to Un'Goro expansion to get all the pieces to field a whole deck of them.
At that point the deck became so popular and powerful that one of the cards, Murloc Warleader, got nerfed. It's remained viable, however.
And the good news is that while it's got a lot of expensive Epic cards, Murlocs synergise so well that budget players have plenty of alternatives.
The core of the deck is, unsurprisingly, a ton of Murlocs. Here are the ones every player should be able to afford.
- 2 x Grimscale Chum
- 2 x Righteous Protector
- 2 x Hydrologist
- 2 x Divine Favour
- 2 x Rallying Blade
- 2 x Blessing of Kings
- 2 x Murloc Tidecaller
- 2 x Bluegill Warrior
- 2 x Rockpool Hunter
- 2 x Coldlight Seer
- 1 x Spellbreaker
- 2 x Vilefin Inquisitor
- 2 x Call to Arms
- 1 x Sunkeeper Tarim
- 2 x Murloc Warleader
- 2 x Gentle Megasaur
Ideally, you'll have access to at least some of these cards. Gentle Megasaur and Murlock Warleader are particularly important. Indeed the latter is worth crafting if you don't have it since, as a classic card, it'll never go out of rotation.
The full set is not essential to run this deck. There are plenty of cheap Murloc cards you can use to fill gaps. Many of them have Battlecry effects so you need be wary of using too many alongside one or both Call to Arms cards. Minions summoned via Call to Arms don't activate their Battlecries.
Grimscale Oracle doesn't have a Battlecry, and is a great choice, especially in place of the Warleader. Other options include Murloc Tidehunter, Bilefin Tidehunter and Primalfin Lookout.
This deck runs out of cards very fast, so Coldlight Oracle is even an option, especially since it can also work against the popular control Warlock archetype.
There are plenty of non-Murloc cards that fit, too, but don't use too many. Options include Tar Creeper, Bittertide Hydra and Cobalt Scalebane.
The top card you want to see in your initial draw is Vilefin Inquisitor. Not only does he have fantastic stats for a 1-mana card, but his power lets you get the Murloc synergies rolling early.
Other keepers are Murloc Tidecaller and Rockpool Hunter. The former can snowball into a huge early threat and will often draw a removal spell from your opponent. The latter represents great stat value.
Beyond that, what you keep depends on what you think you're facing. Against aggressive decks, Righteous Protector is a fine opening card. It might not be a Murloc, but it'll keep you safe for a turn or two while you get Murlocs on the board.
Providing you've got a Murloc in your hand, Grimscale Chum is preferable against slower decks. He'll slap on his buff and hopefully stick around to cause some damage.
If you're unlucky enough to miss all these options, there are other cards worth considering keeping. Hydrologist and Call to Arms can both be good early game plays.
Murloc Paladin looks like quite an aggressive deck, and that's how to start out. Spam the board with cheap Murloc cards and hit your opponent's face.
Make value trades where you can. This is especially important against other aggressive decks, where it's critical to keep board control.
Against more defensive decks, explode as fast as you can, flooding out your Murlocs and hitting hard. Although there are cards that can provide late-game pressure, long games aren't your strength. You want to kill the game off as hard and as fast as you can.
There's a couple of effects in this deck which present you with extra in-play options. From Hydrologist, the top choice is Getaway Kodo because it allows you to bounce your powerful Battlecry cards. Eye for an Eye is a good early game pick, whereas Repentance is better later on.
Your choices for Gentle Megasaur are a lot more situational -watch the board state closely. +3 Attack and Windfury can win often win you the game if you do the maths.
+3 Health and Divine Shield can ensure you keep minions on the board, ready to close out the game next turn. Taunt offers an instant defensive wall.
One of the fun things about playing this deck is that timing your plays is far more critical than a lot of aggressive builds.
Your biggest weakness is cheap board clear spells like the Warlock's Hellfire. Be very wary against classes and builds that run such spells.
You still need to get a few minions on the board, but keep something in reserve and use your hero power a lot. Watch for buffs that increase the health values of your minions beyond 3, where they'll be safe.
Gentle Megasaur is a tricky card to time. Opponents know your deck relies on Murloc synergies, and they'll target your minions to try and keep your board clear.
It's unlikely, then, that you'll be fortunate enough to drop it on a full board. It's a similar story with the buffs supplied by Unidentified Maul.
Instead, it's fine to play these cards with only one or two other Murlocs on the board and use the power for the element of surprise. Imagine you're facing down a minion you need to kill, fast, like a Cobalt Scalebane, but you've not got the attack power to take it out.
Using Adapt for +3 attack, poisonous or even +1/+1 could save the situation. Same goes for many other Adapt effects -use them to save your bacon in an awkward spot.
The other card you need to time carefully is Sunkeeper Tarim. At first glance this it looks an easy card to use. It buffs your weak minions into 3/3, so you want to play it on a full board. But it affects your opponent's minions too, which means it can be a surprisingly defensive play.
So if you've only got a feeble 1/1 Murloc on your board but your opponent has an 8/8 giant, Tarim offers a massive swing in your favour.
Check out Matt's guide from last week, about the Cubelock deck, by clicking right here