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Paladin Secrets

Last updated on Jul 05, 2016 at 08:04 by Vlad 19 comments

Table of Contents

Secrets are spells that, when played, place a buff on the casting hero. This buff remains active until a specific action occurs, at which point the Secret is triggered, causing its effect, and being consumed.

While your opponent can see when you play a Secret (the question mark icon that appears next to your hero's portrait will be visible to them as well as to you), they cannot see which Secret has been played. All Secrets have the same mana cost within each class, meaning that the amount of mana you used on the Secret cannot indicate to your opponent what Secret has been played.

While multiple Secrets can be active on a hero at the same time, only one instance of each Secret can be active at once.

It is important to note that Secrets can only be triggered during your opponent's turn.

This article will present the Secrets, their mechanics, as well as how to counter them and how to play them most efficiently.

1. Paladin Secrets and Their Mechanics

Paladins have access to 5 Secrets. All Paladin Secrets have the same cost of 1 Mana Crystal. We will list the Secrets before going into more details below.

1.1. Secret Triggering Order

As a preliminary mention, it is important to keep in mind that the order in which Secrets were played affects the order in which they trigger. Specifically, whenever two or more Secrets which can be triggered by the same action are active at the same time, the Secret that was played first will trigger first.

1.2. Avenge

Avenge is triggered when one of the Paladin's minions dies. This causes another random friendly minion to receive +3/2. If no other friendly minions exist, the Secret is not triggered.

1.3. Eye for an Eye

Eye for an Eye is triggered when the Paladin takes damage, and it deals the same damage to the opponent's hero. Any damage, regardless of its source or type will trigger Eye for an Eye (minion or hero attacks, Battlecries, spells, Hero Powers, and so on).

It is possible to kill the opponent with the damage they take from Eye for an Eye.

1.4. Noble Sacrifice

Noble Sacrifice is triggered when an enemy minion or hero makes an attack against the Paladin's hero or minion, and it summons a 2/1 minion (called Defender) as the new target of that attack. Noble Sacrifice is only triggered by attacks, and not by Battlecries, spells, or Hero Powers. The minion or hero who attacks the Defender will take 2 damage from that minion, just as you would expect.

Since the Defender has only 1 health, and since he only appears during the opponent's turn (thus preventing you from buffing its health), he will usually die. That said, there are ways to make him survive, such as by having a Stormwind Champion on the board, or having a Sword of Justice equipped, both of which will increase the Defender's health to 2.

1.5. Redemption

Redemption is triggered when one of the Paladin's minions dies, and it returns that minion to the board with 1 health. Firstly, it should be made clear that the effect is triggered regardless of what kills the minion. Secondly, it is important to note what properties the minion retains from before their death. It is already established that their health is set to 1, no matter what it was before that. The minion will come back to life exactly in its original form (that is to say, as it is on the minion card). Any buffs gained by the minion after it was played are not retained when Redemption is triggered. Likewise, a minion that was Silenced will come back to life without a Silence effect.

So, for example, if a Chillwind Yeti dies, it will come back to life as a 4/1 minion. If a 12/6 Gruul dies, it will come back as an 7/1 minion. If a Gruul dies as a Silenced 7/3, it will come back as an 7/1 un-Silenced minion. If a Tirion Fordring dies, it will come back with Taunt and Divine Shield, and its Deathrattle will trigger again on his second death as well.

1.6. Repentance

Repentance is triggered when the Paladin's opponent plays a minion, and it reduces that minion's health to 1.

The wording here is important. Repentance will only be triggered when the opponent plays a minion, meaning that if the minion is summoned as part of some effect other than being played from the hand as a minion card, Repentance will not trigger. For example, Repentance does not trigger its effect when a minion is summoned as a result of a spell or Hero Power (such as Shaman Totemic Call or Paladin Reinforce).

The health-change occurs even if the minion is protected by Divine Shield, or in Stealth.

1.7. Sacred Trial

Sacred Trial is triggered when the Paladin's opponent plays a minion while already having at least 3 other minions on the board. When this happens, the newly-played minion is destroyed.

It is worth mentioning an important interaction with Dr. Boom, a very popular card. The two bots summoned by Dr. Boom reach the board before he himself does, meaning that Dr. Boom will be killed by Sacred Trial if there was as little as one other minion on the player's board before Dr. Boom was played.

1.8. Competitive Spirit

Competitive Spirit is triggered at the start of the Paladin's next turn, regardless of any actions taken by the opponent (unless, of course, they remove it using Flare or they use Kezan Mystic). When it is triggered, Competitive Spirit buffs all the Paladin's minions with +1/+1.

2. Countering/Detecting Paladin Secrets

Whether you are playing against a Paladin, or you are playing as a Paladin, it is very important to learn how to counter and play around the Paladin Secrets. We will approach this section as though your opponent was playing the Secret, but you can of course use the information if you yourself are the Paladin, in order to understand how your Secrets may be countered.

Whenever a Paladin plays a Secret, you will immediately need to make it a priority to find out what that Secret is, and to remove it at the smallest possible cost.

As soon as a Secret is played, you will have to do the following actions in an order that suits your current situation:

  • make an attack with an expendable minion or with a low-damaging weapon on the Paladin to test for Eye for an Eye and Noble Sacrifice;
  • play a low-health or otherwise simply an expendable minion to test for Repentance and Sacred Trial (if you have more than 2 minions in play, in the case of the latter);
  • kill one of the Paladin's weakest minions to test for Redemption. You will have to keep in mind that the minion you kill might trigger Avenge, which would cause one of the remaining minions to receive a +3/2 buff, so you may want to instead kill the minion that you least wish would receive this buff (instead of simply the weakest minion).

If none of these actions trigger a Secret, then it means the Secret is Competitive Spirit.

Let us look at each Secret in a bit more detail. Remember that these actions do not need to be performed in a specific order, since they depend greatly on what your options are (whether or not you have weak minions on the board or in your hand, etc.).

2.1. Eye for an Eye and Noble Sacrifice

In order to check for Eye for an Eye, you will need to deal damage to the Paladin's hero. Naturally, since the damage will also be dealt to your hero if the Secret is Eye for an Eye, you should use a very weak spell. For instance, do not use Pyroblast to test for Eye for an Eye, but instead attack him with a very weak minion.

If you are testing for Eye for an Eye using a minion attack (or a weapon attack from your hero), you will also inadvertently test for Noble Sacrifice. This is perfectly fine, and as long as you are not using a powerful spell, or attacking with a powerful minion, all will be well (since if the Secret is Noble Sacrifice, your damage is going to be wasted).

2.2. Repentance and Sacred Trial

If you wish to test for Repentance, you should play a minion that will not be adversely affected by the effect of Repentance. For instance, if you play a 1-health minion, such as a Worgen Infiltrator, Repentance will be entirely wasted.

You should avoid playing minions for which the health is an essential trait, such as Taunt minions, or minions like the Lightspawn.

Likewise, in case you have 2 or more minions on the board, you should be careful about the Secret being Sacred Trial. The same process as for Repentance works: play a weak minion that you do not really need to survive. Ideal examples would be small minions with Deathrattles (like Mad Scientist or Leper Gnome), since this will also instantly give you the effect of the Deathrattle.

If you have no weak minion to play and you are afraid of Sacred Trial, then you should reduce the size of your board to less than 3 minions, so that Sacred Trial cannot be triggered. This will allow you to save a very important minion, but it does also mean that Sacred Trial remains in play and you will have to deal with it eventually.

2.3. Redemption and Avenge

To test for Redemption, just make sure that the first Paladin minion you kill is not powerful or otherwise relevant to the Paladin's strategy. Sometimes, you may not have a choice, since the Paladin may only have a single strong minion on the board, in which case you do not really have any options other than killing it or ignoring it until you can kill another minion.

Keep in mind that Silencing a minion will not prevent it from being brought back to life through Redemption. Also keep in mind that the minion will revert to its original state (except for its health being brought to 1) when it comes back to life.

For example, let's say your opponent has two minions on the board: a Silenced Tirion Fordring whose attack has been reduced to 1 by an Aldor Peacekeeper, and a 4/5 Chillwind Yeti. In this case, you should kill the Chillwind Yeti, even though it is apparently a greater threat than the Silenced 1/6 Tirion. The reason for this is that if you kill Tirion, a minion which is not posing any threat at all in its current state, it will come back fully restored, and it will be much more problematic to you.

If you suspect that the Secret could be not only Redemption, but possibly also Avenge, you will need to consider on which minion the Avenge buff (+3/2) could go. If there is a particularly strong minion that might receive this buff (such as a minion with Divine Shield, or a Spectral Knight), you may want to kill that minion instead, in order to ensure that they do not receive the buff from Avenge.

Whether you need to guard more against Redemption or against Avenge is something you will have to determine for yourself on a case-by-case basis.

2.4. Competitive Spirit

There is nothing you can really do to prevent Competitive Spirit from being triggered. However, if you suspect that the Secret is Competitive Spirit, you should try to minimise its effect by removing as many minions from the Paladin's board as possible before the end of the turn.

3. Using Paladin Secrets Efficiently

How to best use your Secrets as a Paladin depends greatly on the situation in which you find yourself.

We will go through each of the Secrets and give you the best uses for them, but again, remember that you are always going to take some risks when playing a Secret, since you never know for sure what actions your opponent will take. Experience with the game and knowledge of your opponent's mechanics will go a long way to ensure that you get more benefit from your Secrets.

3.1. Avenge

Avenge is ideally used when one of your existing minions would benefit greatly from the buff, such as when the minion already possesses a beneficial effect like Divine Shield.

Realistically, though, playing this Secret will always be beneficial, since it cannot ever be wasted. If you only have one minion on the board and it dies, the Secret will not trigger and it will be saved for later.

3.2. Eye for an Eye

Eye for an Eye is best used later on in the game, when you anticipate that your opponent will deal a high amount of damage to you. Alternatively, it is well used if the opponent is low on health, and attacking you will cause them to die.

Using Eye for an Eye when the opponent has many options open to them for how to damage your hero is generally a bad idea, since they are likely to use the least damaging means first.

3.3. Noble Sacrifice

Noble Sacrifice is best used if you manage to prevent a strong attack or spell with it. So, using it when your opponent has only very weak minions on the board is ill-advised, and it is better to use it later on in the game.

3.4. Repentance

Obviously, Repentance is best used if it triggers on a minion with high health.

Unfortunately, good players will try to waste the effect of Repentance using 1-health minions, so it is best to use this spell later on in the game, when it is more likely that the strong minions will be played.

3.5. Sacred Trial

As with Repentance, Sacred Trial is best used if it triggers on a strong minion that is important to the opponent. Unfortunately, it is generally very easy for the opponent to play around Sacred Trial or to avoid triggering it altogether.

The best use for Sacred Trial is to try to block a power turn from your opponent. For example, it is good to play it when you anticipate your opponent will play Dr. Boom or Loatheb (in preparation for which they will already have established a board position).

3.6. Redemption

Unlike other Secrets, you have quite a bit of control over how to use Redemption. If you are in a situation where you are not in immediate danger of dying to spell damage from the opponent, you can play a single strong minion together with Redemption. This will cause your opponent to either kill that minion, wasting their resources only to have it come back to life, or to ignore it while you deal damage to them. In any case, unless you cannot help it, you should make sure that you do not have any Silver Hand Recruits up when you use Redemption, since those minions make for an excellent way to have your Redemption go to waste.

3.7. Competitive Spirit

Competitive Spirit is best played in the early turns of the game, in conjunction with having several minions on the board. This will turn a board full of cheap minions into a much stronger board that your opponent will have a hard time dealing with in the early game. This Secret is also an excellent follow-up to Muster for Battle.

4. ChangeLog

  • 05 Jul. 2016: Clarified the order in which Secrets are triggered.
  • 10 Dec. 2015: Added Sacred Trial to the list of Secrets.
  • 26 Aug. 2014: Added a mention that Secrets can only be triggered on the opponent's turn, and added Avenge to the guide.
  • 18 Feb. 2014: Fixed a small issue where we were incorrectly referring to Redemption as Repentance (the content of the paragraph was still correct, meaning that we did not mix up the mechanics, though).
  • 18 Dec. 2013: Removed a mention that stated that the Defender created by Noble Sacrifice always dies. In fact, there are a few situations where he may survive.
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