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Secrets Anti-Aggro Paladin Midrange Wild Deck

Last updated on Oct 27, 2015 at 11:09 by Sottle 96 comments

Table of Contents

This guide outlines how to play a Midrange build of the explosive Paladin Secret deck. Although Paladin Secrets are weak individually, the potential to play 4 of them for free with Mysterious Challenger is too powerful to overlook. This deck play a stable curve of minions, and plays in a Tempo focused style. For a more aggressive list, you can see our Aggro Secrets build instead.

This version of the deck reduces the potential power of the turn 6 Challenger by cutting some Secrets. This in turn increases the overall consistency of the deck and allows you to play higher quality minions on each turn. Due to the nature of the minions that come into the deck, you also significantly increase your winrate against other Aggro decks.

1. About the Author

This deck is presented to you by Sottle, a professional Hearthstone player who plays for compLexity Gaming. Sottle regularly streams on Twitch and explains all of his moves. Watching him is a good opportunity to see how this and other decks play out in practice, and how decisions are made in real time.

2. Secrets Anti-Aggro Paladin Midrange Wild Deck

Our deck costs 7,280 Arcane Dust and it is made up of the following cards.

Paladin Cards Neutral Cards

2.1. Mana Curve


3. Strategy

This deck is one of several builds that are designed to take advantage of the explosive power of Mysterious Challenger. Although this deck can be played extremely aggressively, this guide focuses on a more midrange build, that aims to curve out smoothly and maintain consistent board presence with sticky minions.

In the early-game, your games will play out very similarly to standard Midrange Paladin, with you trying to seize the board with efficient cards like Zombie Chow, Shielded Minibot, and Muster for Battle. The latter cards have opened up so many options for Paladin since their introduction in the Goblins vs Gnomes set because they stabilise your early game so effectively, allowing you a platform to build any sort of strategy you prefer.

Part of the skill of this deck is learning how to use Secrets effectively when you draw them. Ideally, you would never draw a Secret until you play your Mysterious Challenger on turn 6, but this scenario is not reliable. You will have to learn how to get some value out of what are essentially bad cards that you have put into your deck because of the insane advantage that they represent when they are all summoned for free.

Noble Sacrifice is a reasonable card that can be used similarly to an early Taunt against aggressive decks like Face Hunter, or used to protect an early minion like Knife Juggler from removal. Avenge is a card you can play reasonably freely whenever you have the Mana available, as it will likely gain some value for you at some point in the game, especially if you can follow up quickly with Muster for Battle. Redemption is a very awkward card to use, as a lot of the time you will have small minions on the board which can be targetted to reduce the value of the card. Try to engineer situations where you only have 1 minion on board of high value, like a Piloted Shredder, and play Redemption in these scenarios only. Repentance should be held for a key turn where you expect your opponent to play a crucial minion. For example, on turn 7 to block a potential Dr. Boom, turn 5 to weaken a Sludge Belcher, or when you expect a Grim Patron play from a Warrior.

Aside from the concerns of the Secrets, this deck just plays out as a standard midrange deck. The correct play on most turns is simply the one that advances your board presence the most, you will look to play for Tempo in most situations, with value and card advantage being secondary concerns. It is important, however, to play around opponents' key AoE removal turns. On key turns where the opponent can use AoE, such as a Paladin's turn 4, or a Mage's turn 7, you should hold back minions in your hand unless you can generate a board that is suitably resistant to their AoE options.

With the addition of extra stability cards like Zombie Chow, Aldor Peacekeeper, and Sludge Belcher to the deck, this deck curves out even more consistently than previous Secret Paladin builds. The theory behind the deck moves away from one big power turn on turn 6, and instead focuses on playing a high quality card on each turn. It can be argued that this deck plays the best possible minion on every Mana cost from 1 through to 8, so if you are able to hit a decent amount of these options on curve, your advantage will quickly pile up. These extra defensive options also significantly increase your matchups vs Tempo Mages, Face Hunters, and other Secret Paladins, which make up a huge chunk of the meta.

Curving out into your key midrange minions should allow you to maintain a decent level of control of the game. This deck plays most of the quality mid-game options such as Piloted Shredder and Loatheb, which even if you are not ahead, should be able to function well enough to keep the game close. This is important, since your goal with this deck is simply to maintain a level of balance in the game. Although you are primarily a Tempo-focused deck, and the perception is that your strength comes in the early- and mid-game, the real power in your deck comes at the 6, 7 and 8 points on the Mana curve. Due to this, you do not have to get incredible starts to win games, since if you maintain a level of parity going into these power turns, you will swing the game your way with the quality of your late-game options. This is not to say that this is your only win condition, since you are more than capable of winning games simply by curving out well, but instead if you are slightly behind going into turns 5-6, do not be concerned.

The majority of the minions you play in the deck have Deathrattle effects that generate more minions, or Divine Shields that make them difficult to remove, which is important since it allows you to somewhat reliably get value out of the Secrets in the deck. By increasing the difficulty your opponent will have removing your board entirely, you gain more value from cards like Avenge, while Redemption has more quality targets due to the amount of Deathrattles.

Mysterious Challenger is the focal point of the deck, and if you are able to drop it on turn 6, the power in brings onto the board is incredible. In puts your opponent in a position that is almost impossible to navigate favourably, by combining the effects of several lackluster cards, to create one immense effect. If you summon all 4 Secrets into play at once, the chain of events is as follows; their first attack will trigger Noble Sacrifice, which will then die, causing another minion to receive an Avenge buff. The 2/1 Defender will then be revived using Redemption. This means that often, any attack your opponent can make against a Challenger turn will end up leaving more power on your board than you started with.

In case your Mysterious Challenger turn was not enough to seal the game, or in case you do not draw it, the deck also plays two other fantastic late-game options in Dr. Boom and Tirion Fordring. Tirion in particular can be incredible in this deck, since it allows you to get immense value out of Redemption, one of the more awkward cards to use in this deck.

3.1. Synergies & Combinations

Knife Juggler + Muster for Battle is an excellent combination that can be potentially game-winning as a Tempo play in the early game.

The various secrets in the deck all combine to become much more powerful than they are individually, especially when all summoned at once through Mysterious Challenger.

3.2. Mulligans & Matchup Specific Strategies

Secrets should almost never be kept by choice in this deck, since the goal is to never draw them whenever possible. You should keep Muster for Battle in every situation, and look for other early-game plays like Shielded Minibot and Haunted Creeper. Knife Juggler is a decent keep if you have either Haunted Creeper or Muster for Battle to combo with it.

Against decks that you are certain are extremely aggressive, you can keep Noble Sacrifice. There is also potential to keep Secrets in combination with a strong card that combines with them, such as Knife Juggler + Redemption.

Although Mysterious Challenger is the key card in the deck, you should not be keeping it in your opening hand, as tempting as it might seem. This will generally cause you to fall too far behind for the explosive turn 6 to catch you up.

3.3. Card Swaps

The Secrets package in the deck is entirely flexible, and you can experiment with whichever combinations you prefer. However, 4-5 is the right number of Secrets, and you should stick to those numbers.

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