About this deck
This deck was one of the ones that Thijs used to climb to legend in wild a while ago. I decided to post a short guide for it here. Midrange paladin is my favorite deck, and this takes the archetype to a level which is actually competitive and useful for climbing the ladder.
The general strategy of this deck is similar to secret paladin, in that you aim to curve out and let your better cards beat their worse cards. Usually you can two-for-one with them, if not better, and your cards are almost all really sticky letting you dictate trades and out-value your opponent.
The deck is actually not a strictly worse secret paladin either, you don't have the big power spikes they have with a turn 6 challenger, and the overwhelming perfect curve but you also don't nearly as many dead draws in the early game, and if secret paladin misses their turn 6 challenger, they usually are a lot worse off than this deck is. The big thing is that you're trading power spikes for greater consistency.
How to play this deck
This deck is sometimes curvestone incarnate, you're trying to play on curve every turn from 1 to 10, and simply have the better minions. However That is not to say that you always want to play the most expensive card in your hand every turn. What you want to do is gauge how fast or slow your opponent's deck is and react accordingly. Against fast aggressive decks you will want to play your cards as fast as possible, however against slow control decks you will want to play the value game. The amount of value in this deck is actually pretty crazy, and you can out value the likes of control warrior and even control priest if you can deal with their n'zoth.
The major characteristics of this deck:
Flexibility: This deck has a lot of flexible minions and cards that can be used against all sorts of opponents. You can think of this deck as sort of the Mario of Hearthstone, it's pretty good at everything, but the absolute best at nothing, however you can use this to your advantage and play into the weaknesses of whatever you're playing against. Examples of flexible minions: Aldor peacekeeper - strong against aggro by turning 3 attack minions into 1 attack minions and then trading against them. Strong against control by making monstrously huge minions into non-threats. Keeper of uldaman - strong against aggro by letting you buff tokens into 3/3s that can trade, strong against control by letting you kill extremely high health minions.
Reliability: This deck will often curve really well. Much better than you're expecting even. Your hero power adds a lot of flexibility for when you need to have something on board, and stall your opponent. Many times you can get them to attack into your recruits to avoid you using them to trade up, and then your hero power has not only healed you, but dealt damage to a minion.
Strong board control: You fight for board with the viciousness of zoolock. Your minions are sticky, and your weapons are super efficient. With a solid early game curve it is really hard to keep you from holding the board by turn 5 or so.
Lack of card draw: There is no card draw in this deck except for a loot hoarder. That means that when you're looking for solutions, you're likely not going to be able to dig through your deck to get that equality, keeper, or peacekeeper you want. You will mostly be reliant on your hand. This deck is usually fine with that though because it typically has enough flexibility in its cards to handle whatever is thrown at it.
Lack of burst: This deck is a grinding deck. You don't have a winning combo, and you don't expect to kill opponents at full health.
Your main win condition of this deck is to grind out your opponent and kill them after they've run out of steam, it is entirely possible to win in the mid game against aggressive decks with this strategy, but it is far more likely that your games will be finished around turn 8 or so.
N'zoth is not your main win condition, n'zoth is a back up plan against control or other midrange decks that are out valuing you. N'zoth usually will give you a belcher, a shredder, and a few small death rattles, a really good n'zoth will give you sylvanas or tirion, but you're not expecting or relying upon it to do so. Your major strategy here is to win with the rest of your deck before you get to n'zoth, but in case you don't, or in case your opponent has a really scary board staring you down, and you have no way back, n'zoth can sometimes tip the scales in your favor.
General: Always keep Zombie Chow regardless of the matchup. The card is best played on turn 1, and loses value every turn after, however playing it in the mid to late game isn't as complete a disaster as you might think. Beyond that any two drop is worth keeping. If you have a solid one or two drop keeping 3s is often okay. You can keep a 3 drop as the only card you keep if you're going on the coin, otherwise if you aren't keeping anything toss it back going first, getting earlier plays is a priority. Rarely you'll sometimes keep a 4 drop if your hand is a perfect curve
If I ever mention keeping a non one or two drop I mean that it's fine to keep if you have no other cards you're keeping
Warrior: Assume patron warrior since that's much worse of a matchup. I actually toss back Muster for Battle against warriors. They run that scary ghoul, and it's easily countered with whirlwind effects of all kinds. If I have a good one and two drop I might keep a 4, especially Barnes. Against control warrior you're favored, against patron warrior you're unfavored.
Shaman: Shaman is a strange proposition. Usually when you see them they'll be running a bunch of standard cards, and sometimes no wild cards at all. Their gameplay is similar to yours, I usually keep consecration against them as a totem stomper. I'm also much more likely to keep peacekeeper because of their 4 mana 7/7. Depending on the deck you'll either be favored or even.
Rogue: Deathrattle rogue is a good matchup, miracle rogue can be a lot worse. Against both I keep Truesilver Champion to deal with their Tomb Pillager, as well as just being effective board control in general.
Paladin: Pretty much everyone except you plays the ever popular secret paladin. I keep Aldor Peacekeeper just to deal with their massive huge minions. Usually this will come down to who curves out better, and you actually have the advantage in that since you don't run eight 1-drops, so unless they draw the nuts on turn 4 and 5 you'll more likely have board control to deal with challenger. Usually this deck can't deal with the dream secret paladin curve, but they usually won't be able to deal with yours either. I'd rate this a roughly an even matchup.
Hunter: Mulligan harder for early game. If they don't run over you, you can win. Call of the Wild is no longer scary, since on turn 9 you'll usually have them close to lethal rage. Prior to the nerfs you were unfavored, now I believe you're favored in this matchup.
Druid: You're either going to face a really aggressive beast druid, or some really slow ramp druid, or some standard concoction that runs malygos. I haven't fought enough druid to really know how the matchup goes, but I typically like to keep aldor because they'll usually be running either a lot of ramp to get to big minions, or specifically Fel Reaver which will need an immediate answer or you lose.
Warlock: Against zoo you are about even, and maybe a bit favored. They usually curve better than you do simply because they curve lower, but your cards are in general a lot stronger than theirs, and you have weapons and AOE that they don't. I keep consecration against them. Against renolock you're pretty favored, they typically don't have the minion pressure to kill you, and you have the counter to their big threats. Their main win condition will be if they can jaraxxus with board control or if they can play a big enough n'zoth to stop you, your main job to win the matchup is hold onto the board hard enough so they can't do that, but don't flood so much that their AOEs can out value you. Find the balance between pressuring them and over extending and you'll be good to go.
Mage: Against freeze mage you're unfavored, against tempo mage I'd say it's somewhere between unfavored or even. I like keeping truesilver against mages to kill their early game big threats, and threaten flamewaker.
Priest: I always keep Equality and Keeper of Uldaman against priest. They play lots of cards with lots of health, especially Deathlord and health buffs for it. You need board control to win, and deathlord can eat your minions all day without something to stop it. I think you're unfavored in this matchup due to the power of all the priest board clears.