Secret Mage Deck
This build of Secret Mage is one of the more usual builds of the deck. It follows the mantra of putting as much Attack on the board as possible, and then clearing the way for that to do repeat damage. Pyros and Babbling Book are included as a nod to the fact that some versions of the deck can run out of cards rapidly. This deck is very strong, and is capable of reaching any rank.
This deck costs 3,360 and it is made up of the following cards.
|Mage Cards||Neutral Cards|
The first three turns with this deck are often complicated, and are usually where the game is won or lost. During these turns you will be looking to make as many plays as possible that lead to your cards being discounted. This means that Kirin Tor Mage, and Kabal Crystal Runner are valuable cards at this stage of the game. This will, however, require you to have a Secret or an Arcanologist in hand for the reduced costs to apply. You can also get good starts with strong minion curves.
This means that there are no trivial rules for the mulligan decision. Paradoxically, Secrets in your hand are generally a bad thing, and ideally you will have an Arcanologist in your opening hand so that you can throw away any Secrets. If you do not have an Arcanologist, and you have a Secret and a card that synergises with Secrets, then you will usually have to keep that Secret as an activator.
Mana Wyrm is a very powerful card in the early game, and will almost always be kept in the opening hand. You will usually mulligan away Pyros, Primordial Glyph, Medivh's Valet, and any card that costs 4 or more Mana. The exception to this is Kabal Crystal Runner which should be considered as a prime 4-drop, and if you are going to have a Secret in play going into Turn 4, you will want to keep this in your opening hand. A great opening hand is Mana Wyrm, Arcanologist, and Crystal Runner, as the Arcanologist will fill in the gap in the curve.
At the start of the game, you will be trying to make the biggest board that you can. You should not be afraid to use your spells to defend your board. If your board is removed too early on in the game, you will often not have enough burn damage to finish off your opponent in the later stages. Similarly, you should not be afraid to defend your more dangerous minions by trading off your smaller ones. The big minions in this deck do not need to connect with the opponent many times to put the opponent in range of being burned out, but if they do not, you will find it difficult to accumulate the required damage to win the game.
Even though you will often be able to play a Secret for free, you should always consider whether that is correct. Sometimes, paying 3 Mana for a Secret later will still be better than paying nothing immediately.
Although it is tempting, and sometimes correct, to save Mirror Entity for an opposing Tirion Fordring or Alexstrasza, it is usually played as soon as it can be played for a reduced cost. Even a small extra minion can be crucial in keeping control of the board, and pushing through much-needed damage. If you are not playing this in the first three turns, then you should begin to consider which turns your opponent might play something important. An example of this is that you will probably not play Mirror Entity going into an opposing Hunter's 5 Mana turn, when you can try to copy a Savannah Highmane by waiting one turn extra.
The inclusion of Counterspell in this deck is largely to protect your board. Your minions are usually reasonably easy to remove, but if you can Counterspell even one removal spell, you not only stop your minion from dying, but also get rid of three of your opponent's Mana, which early in the game is often their entire turn. Be aware of playing this when your opponent still has The Coin in their hand, The Coin is a spell, and you will normally gain very little from countering it.
If you are in the position where you need to choose between playing Counterspell or Mirror Entity early in the game, try to consider not just which of the cards is going to have the most impact now, but also which one will have the most impact if you save it for an important moment later in the game. You should also bear in mind that although you know what your Secret is, your opponent does not. Sometimes you can use this to your advantage by tricking them into making a mistake.
As the game progresses, there will often be a time when you realise that you are going to have to put an excessive amount of resources into keeping control of the board. At that point you will need to try to work out how much of your burn will need to go face, and how much can be used to buy your minions one more turn of attacking. Firelands Portal is often very good at keeping you ahead on the board, but sometimes in the later game, even this becomes a spell to throw directly at your opponent. Identifying when the board is a lost cause, and when it is correct to keep it alive is often the difference between winning and losing, and the more you know about how the decks in the current meta work, the better you will be able to choose what to do with your burn.
Individual Card Strategies
Whenever you get the chance to play Arcanologist, you should try to do so. Drawing a Secret is often a poor draw in the deck, and so removing them as early as possible is very important.
Kabal Crystal Runner
If you have a Kabal Crystal Runner and a Secret in your opening hand, then you will usually play this as a 4-Mana 5/5 on Turn 4. Although this might not seem like the best value you can get from the card, the deck contains limited damage, and having this minion connect twice for a total of 10 damage is usually preferable to getting Mana efficiency from it. When you have both Runners in your hand, however, you can often set up a situation where you play them together for 2 Mana each, or even less, on Turn 5 or 6 which can provide a huge tempo swing.
Using Primordial Glyph involves thinking on your feet. Although you will often be looking for extra burn or Secrets, you will not always have the luxury of these being offered. Be sure to consider carefully all of the options available and be creative with what you take. For instance, you might be able to take a Frost Nova that can buy you an extra round of attacks with your minions later in the game. It is worth noting that Cabalist's Tome is often very powerful from Glyph as you will often run out of cards late in the game.
- 02 Jun. 2017: Deck added. This is the main version of Secret Mage.
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