Lets Talk About Secrets

Posts: 362
Not dirty ones! Secrets Decks, and secrets in general. Feel free to share your deck or just discuss secrets intensive gameplay.

I like this playstyle a lot and I don't much care that it isn't really viable (judging by the lack of any serious talk about it). I am well on my way to making a good secrets deck, and my first version is already in play and doing decently well (and being insanely fun), if a bit rough around the edges.

I'd really love some tips to help me improve this deck, be it by suggesting cards, pointing me in a general direction or best of all, sharing your own secrets deck and sharing experiences.

Here it is: http://www.hearthpwn.com/deckbuilder/mage#30:2;44:1;125:2;131:1;220:1;263:2;276:1;280:1;309:1;396:1;411:2;422:1;483:2;489:2;531:2;569:2;589:2;625:1;641:2;672:1;

I will be adding another Gadgetztan (losing the Drake) or going for another Spellbender (don't know what to remove for it) most likely. I am also considering Ice Block because it will only trigger in the end, which makes it excellent for buffing Ethereals full time.

As I've said the deck is very fun, the enemy is always on their toes and the various fails and misfires they go through are worth all the trouble on your end. If I get a good starting hand that is. This deck is very dependent on a good starting hand, if I get a secrets combo going (Secret Keeper--->Kirin Tor + Secret ----> Ethereal, or similar) it is godly, alternatively a good Mana Wyrm or normal minion + spells set up works well too. But sometimes I get 3+cards only and that is generally a lost game, since the enemy will have 2-3 turns to drop minions on me before I can respond and when I do it doesn't matter much since this deck is terrible when it is on the defensive and dealing with a hostile board.

I'd also love to see and discuss your secrets decks, no need to discuss my deck if you don't like to. I want to talk about all the secrets ;)
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Posts: 2
http://imgur.com/JG7u6Bk
Seriously what the F***is this????? how the hell are you supposed to win against him, other than silance and that s***
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Posts: 1,085
Well I don't play ranked because I'm in Thailand and my connection can be kind of sketch. That said in the casual matches I play it is very rare that I lose this is what I'm running.

Minions
Mana Wyrm – 2X
Kirin Tor Mage – 2X
Ethereal Arcanist – 2X
Water Elemental – 2X
Azure Drake – 2X
Archmage Antonidas – 1X
Ragnaros the Firelord – 1X

Spells
Frostbolt – 2X
Arcane Intellect – 2X
Counterspell – 2X
Ice Block – 1X
Mirror Entity – 1X
Spellbinder 1X
Vaporize – 2X
Fireball – 2X
Polymorph – 2X
Flamestrike – 2X
Pyroblast – 1X
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Posts: 205
Hello fellow secreters, i am trying to play this.

http://www.hearthpwn.com/deckbuilder/mage#26:1;42:1;44:1;56:2;74:1;95:1;125:2;160:1;177:2;220:1;241:1;263:1;280:1;309:1;463:2;479:2;522:2;531:1;569:1;589:2;595:2;672:1;

Don´t have iceblock or kirin tor mage. Now im thinking to add auctioneer, but instead of what? Worgen or argent commander?
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Posts: 205
01/18/2014 07:53 PMPosted by ZILLER
http://imgur.com/JG7u6Bk
Seriously what the F***is this????? how the hell are you supposed to win against him, other than silance and that s***


Well playing legendary against priest, and dont having at hand sheep, silence vaporize, counterspell or spellbender is suicide. error was playing it, now just :

In sheep we trust.
Edited by Archivarius on 1/19/2014 5:44 AM PST
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Posts: 176
I enjoy Mage, but wasn't big into secrets. I just had an Arena playing Mage where my choices ended up beign "not much I'd pick" or "I want all three". I'm sure we've all had those. Well, I ended up with a lot more secrets then I normally play, and one Secret Keeper and one +2/+2 and end-of-turn if you have any secrets. But I had 2 ice armors, 2 vaporizes, 1 counter spell and 1 mirror entity secrets.

It opened my eyes to heavy-secrets, I went 7-3 with a deck on the light-moderate side of direct damage. (Decent control, no pyros, not enough to throw at opponent regularly) and also minion light.

One of the first things I noticed is that secrets really were messing with my opponent's play style. Never noticed it with few secrets, but when they're worried about what the secret is they'll make "optimal" choices to allocate for the unknown that differ from the optimal choices if they knew what secret is. Casing a minion with a battle cry (which M.E. doesn't dup) and holding off on a big minion to the following turn. Attacking with a wimpy minion in case it's a vaporize instead of using it to finish off one of my minions, so they can be sure they I won't vaporize their bigger minion, etc.

I'm going to try one in constructed with additional useful cards like the Auctioneer and Kirin Tor.
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Posts: 44
I want to present my mage deck and describe my thoughts behind my choices. Further I seek counsel and opinions to alternatives. The deck is spell heavy and themed around secrets. I do not want to play the same neutral cards like Ragnaros which I see in every 2nd deck.

But let’s start with the list:
1 Mirror Images (2)
1 Arcane Missiles (2)
1 Mana Wyrm (2)
2 Frost Bolt (2)
3 Counterspell (2)
3 Spellbender (2)
3 Vaporize (2)
3 Kirin Tor Mage (2)
4 Ethereal Arcanist (2)
4 Fireball (2)
4 Polymorph (2)
5 Gadgetzan Auctioneer (2)
5 Azure Drake (2)
6 Blizzard (1)
7 Antonidas (1)
7 Flamestrike (2)

I would like to test the change of Auctioneer and Drakes to (maybe not all of them)
1 Secret Keeper (2)
3 Ice Block (1)
10 Pyroblast (1)
but I haven’t got them and I’m not totally convinced of Pyroblast especially since the raise of its cost. But I would like to give these cards a try and test it although I fear the missing card draw. I appreciate if someone shares his/her experience with these cards.

Let’s get to my choices.
1-3 Mana:
The start is oftentimes good with these cards
1st Mana Wyrm, 2nd Coin+Kirin+Secret (3/3, 4/3 and secret) or 2nd Frost Bolt and 3rd Kirin+Secret
But I want the start to be more reliable and I thought of the Secret Keeper especially to have something to use in the first turn if I don’t draw a Wyrm. I like the synergy with the deck and its increasing toughness.

The spells in this bracket help the start of the game (kill a blood imp, defend a creature, etc.) and to feed the Auctioneer, Wyrm and Antonidas. Lovely: turn 7 sweep - turn 8 Antonidas + Mirror Images.

Some people drop their Frost Bolts but I like them. At the start they kill dangerous minions even if they are secured by taunt and it feeds the Wyrms. In the mid and late game its freeze is useful to ping the minion to death with the hero power.

Secrets: Spellbender and Counterspell are obvious to defend my few minions and they do their job great. Spellbender doesn’t always get a target but I cannot stifle a giggle if I get a blessing of kings with her.
As my life drops fast oftentimes and I win with only ten points left or it is a very close game I’d like to add a Ice Block but I have none.
Vaporize is good at the start if I have an Ethereal Arcanist to feed him. During late game it’s a great card to hinder OTK-decks or other single heavy buffed minions especially since I drop oftentimes to less than ten life.

4 Mana:
The Ethereal Arcanists are amazing in this deck. Even if you kill some minions with it he will „heal“ himself for two points every turn. If the foe hasn’t got enough removal spells left (remember Spellbender and Counterspell) he will surely lose many minions or die fast. I’m happy so few people play minions with silence.

Polymorph and Fireball are not flawless but almost always useful especially without own silences.

5 Mana:
But now come the cards I am the most concerned with in this deck: The Auctioneer is on principal a great card and has won me many games but oftentimes I had him in my hand and couldn’t play him because I had to use my mana in order to gain board control. For example there is a clear board and the enemy plays a Yeti on turn 4 so I can’t use him on turn 5. My increasing feeling is that he is awesome if I’m already winning, can be decent if the game is even and worthless if I’m behind. Especially with the fifth turn I would like a card which has some impact or buys me time to sweep the board later on. Furthermore the card hindered me in some games because I had him in play and board control with lots of spells in my hand but only one card left in my pile and still 30 damage to go while I was around six life left.

The same goes for the Azure Drake. It’s a great card and replaces itself. So it’s almost always a 1-0 trade but I miss the synergy with the theme or the other cards. The increase of spellpower is fine but not necessary. I’d like to change it to something which increases in value with my other cards like the Ethereal Arcanist (maybe Secret Keeper) or to hinder my enemy (Cone of Cold) or to draw me cards (Arcane Intellect). But I’m not convinced if it’ll really be an improvement.

6+ Mana: As a mage has few possibilities to draw cards the aoe-spells help to trade efficiently and to take board control. I chose two Flamestrikes over two Blizzards as six mana is too expensive for two less damage. From my point of view four aoe-spells are too much.

Antonidas is a great card. He will kill the board and the hero very fast if unhandled (at least 13 damage each round without using a single card) and if he is killed it will mostly be a bad trade for the enemy as I already got at least one fireball out of him.

I want you to tell me your thoughts (I want a good deck but it doesn’t matter to me if I won’t hit legendary with it) and why you would take the same or other cards.
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Posts: 362
You know guys, maybe when sharing your deck you can mention what is strong about it and what is weak. Just a thought.

01/19/2014 01:01 AMPosted by Peripatetic
Well I don't play ranked because I'm in Thailand and my connection can be kind of sketch. That said in the casual matches I play it is very rare that I lose this is what I'm running.

Minions
Mana Wyrm – 2X
Kirin Tor Mage – 2X
Ethereal Arcanist – 2X
Water Elemental – 2X
Azure Drake – 2X
Archmage Antonidas – 1X
Ragnaros the Firelord – 1X

Spells
Frostbolt – 2X
Arcane Intellect – 2X
Counterspell – 2X
Ice Block – 1X
Mirror Entity – 1X
Spellbinder 1X
Vaporize – 2X
Fireball – 2X
Polymorph – 2X
Flamestrike – 2X
Pyroblast – 1X


I lack some of the cards to test out this deck (Raggy being the big issue), but don't you have trouble in the early game? You don't have many minions, your control is okay-ish and you lack taunters or one more mirror entity to turn the game around... it all looks like trouble in the early game with a tough recovery later (my deck has the same problem, so I'm not judging here).

Also isn't your Vaporize so-so when the enemy can fill their board in the early game (hence has cheap fodder)? How is Vaporize serving you in general? I am a bit suspicious of its usefulness so I'm really curious.

01/19/2014 05:32 AMPosted by Archivarius
Hello fellow secreters, i am trying to play this.

http://www.hearthpwn.com/deckbuilder/mage#26:1;42:1;44:1;56:2;74:1;95:1;125:2;160:1;177:2;220:1;241:1;263:1;280:1;309:1;463:2;479:2;522:2;531:1;569:1;589:2;595:2;672:1;

Don´t have iceblock or kirin tor mage. Now im thinking to add auctioneer, but instead of what? Worgen or argent commander?


Well for one, your deck is a bit thin on the secrets, my deck has 7 and it is not that rare that my Ethereals go hungry, how often does this happen to you?

I also see you have 1 silence minion and 1 wep destroy minion, how is that serving you? In my experience 2 is the minimum number to be able to rely on having those effects when you need them, so I'm wondering if you only have them situationally, in which case streamlining your deck might be better (or dropping wep destroy for 2x silence so you can have at least one of those reliably).

Cone of Cold... is crap imo. In your deck it can be comboed with Kobolds or Arcane Explosion to deal 2dmg and clear the weak minions. Or Malygos for great pwnge :P. But I wonder how often this works out that way, and maybe one more secret or one more minion would do better (mirror image to combo with Anto also).

You asked what to replace for a Gadgetztan, I say the Drake unless you have crappy draw in which case go for a Commander. Given that CS and SB give us the best minion security in the game it might be smart to lose the Worgen since the late game cards are more likely to be saved by secrets than the Worgen is.

That is all I can say really, given that you haven't told us how the deck works in the field.

I'll get to the other two persons later.
Edited by MayhemInc on 1/24/2014 5:17 PM PST
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Posts: 201
I'm glad this is a topic on mage forums as I am a huge fan of secrets play. Like it was mentioned it's not always the strongest, because of problems with early games, but hopefully more people will mess around and maybe come up with one that works well. This is the deck I've tried before with moderate success.

Arcane Missiles x 2 (1)
Mirror Image x 2 (1)
Secretkeeper x 2 (1)
Doomsayer x 2 (2)
Faerie Dragon x 2 (2)
Frostbolt x2 (2)
Acolyte of Pain x 2 (3)
Counterspell x 2 (3)
Frost Nova x 2 (3)
Ice Barrier x 1 (3)
Ice Block x 2 (3)
Mirror Entity x2 (3)
Spell Bender x 2 (3)
Kirin Tor Mage x 2 (3)
Ethereal Arcanist x 2 (4)
Archmage Antonidas x 1 (7)

There's a few things that work great in this deck and a few other weak points.

Strong Points:
Just like in a giant's deck the doomsayers with a frost nova almost always guarantee you a board wipe when you need it most. I used to have abominations in place of the doomsayers, and that might work better against cheap aggro decks, since it will free up 2 extra cards for later game threats.
Archmage (if you can protect him) is an awesome way to win a match. I've come back from some pretty low hit points with just him.

Weak Points:
As stated above, the weakness is some late game threats. If you can set up the board so that you have a spellbender or counterspell out to protect your archmage it's pretty much gg, but if he gets eliminated you don't have much to go on. Adding some giants or Ysera (for more card draw) might help a little with that, or if you can be lucky enough to steal someone else's minion with mirror entity. The Ethereals can be a good late game threat if you're lucky though. Could also add Alexstrasza for late game threat / heal after ice block as well.
The last weakness is card draw, which I think is just a general weakness for mages since we don't have cards that help control & draw a card at the same time like every other class besides shaman.

I've mostly dropped this deck and I run just the spellbenders right now, for some heavier minions, but I would love to return to the secret deck.
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Posts: 42
This is the secret deck I've been using:

http://www.hearthpwn.com/decks/27736-secret

The idea is, secrets help sustain me until 10 mana. This deck is best later in the game, but a bad draw the first few hands will really screw you. :/

Once I get to 10 mana, I'll play Antonidas+a spell (if I have a 1-mana card, sitting around, I can get him out sooner than 10 mana, but usually its Antonidas+a secret). I just won with this deck against a warrior who was at 26 Heath +11 Armor, when I was at 4 health.

I'd say my win rate with this deck is 50-50. I'm sure there are things I can tweak to make it a bit stronger, but atm I'm only playing casual matches (I'm only rank 25 in ranked), so it works well enough for me.

Also, in general, I hate Priest decks. :3
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Posts: 205
Hi mayhemic I thought thread was dead and i missed your reaction at my deck at that time. Sadly i have to tell that i abbandoned secret deck as reaction to hunter and warrior aggro of this meta. And arcanists seemed to slow for current meta. Still I am around rank 15-14 so not big change,

About my deck at that time.

Cone of cold, this was a little tweak becouse at that time i encountered lots of shammys and i felt i need draw extra aoe possibility to have at least a chance.

Oooze. i Find ooze great , now i have two (thx to warriors) . I felt at that time having at least one is (was) good thing against pallies buff weapon, rogues poisoned weapon and also jaraxxus warlocks. having instead 3rd silence (owl) i felt it was too much silence in deck. And having some 2 mana drop

As i told i now im running some hybrid with antonidas ysera , spellblock, spellbender , mirror entity and counterspell, water elementals harvests golems and sadly with some taunts against those damn warriors and hunters. (before i had a really antihunter deck with 64 percent win ratio against them )

How Are you going with secret deck during current meta?
Edited by Archivarius on 2/12/2014 3:37 AM PST
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Posts: 362
02/12/2014 03:35 AMPosted by Archivarius
Hi mayhemic I thought thread was dead and i missed your reaction at my deck at that time. Sadly i have to tell that i abbandoned secret deck as reaction to hunter and warrior aggro of this meta. And arcanists seemed to slow for current meta. Still I am around rank 15-14 so not big change,

About my deck at that time.

Cone of cold, this was a little tweak becouse at that time i encountered lots of shammys and i felt i need draw extra aoe possibility to have at least a chance.

Oooze. i Find ooze great , now i have two (thx to warriors) . I felt at that time having at least one is (was) good thing against pallies buff weapon, rogues poisoned weapon and also jaraxxus warlocks. having instead 3rd silence (owl) i felt it was too much silence in deck. And having some 2 mana drop

As i told i now im running some hybrid with antonidas ysera , spellblock, spellbender , mirror entity and counterspell, water elementals harvests golems and sadly with some taunts against those damn warriors and hunters. (before i had a really antihunter deck with 64 percent win ratio against them )

How Are you going with secret deck during current meta?


I see, thanks for the explanations.

I did fairly well with my secrets deck, in fact I've just finished a 20 games in a row test run of my deck to see how it works. This took me from rank 20 (when I started counting) to rank 16 and I had won 13/20 games. So not overly effective but quite fun, I've not noticed any significant increase in difficulty as I went down the ranks, the main issue of this deck is not what the enemy has but what cards you get (especially in the starting hand).

Here is the deck:

http://www.hearthpwn.com/deckbuilder/mage#30:2;125:2;131:2;177:2;220:1;263:2;276:1;309:2;326:1;396:1;411:2;483:2;522:1;531:2;569:2;589:2;641:2;672:1;

It has been slightly tweaked since the OP, it now has one more Spellbender, less minions and more spells (to feed Anto and 2xGadgetztan). Honestly I'd love some advice on how I could possibly slim it even further to squeeze in 1-3 more spells (Fireballs and Poly) and 1 more AoE... I just don't know what to cut anymore (without sacrificing cheap spells synergy with Anto and Gadgetz).

I could improve the deck big time if I cut back on my fascination with synergy, but atm I am not looking into that and I am happy with the aesthetics of a heavily themed deck. However I saw this interesting secrets deck that completely cut all 2< mana minions except 2xDoomsayer, presumably to clear the board of the enemy's own 2< minions. This allows for much much more room for secrets AND spells AND AoE AND big minions. That might be something worth checking out, here is the deck in question:

http://www.hearthpwn.com/deckbuilder/mage#672:2;489:2;531:2;411:2;569:2;309:2;125:2;220:1;44:2;467:2;368:2;326:2;450:2;251:1;39:1;203:1;33:1;503:1;
Edited by MayhemInc on 2/12/2014 5:08 PM PST
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Posts: 1,085
01/24/2014 05:14 PMPosted by MayhemInc
I lack some of the cards to test out this deck (Raggy being the big issue), but don't you have trouble in the early game? You don't have many minions, your control is okay-ish and you lack taunters or one more mirror entity to turn the game around... it all looks like trouble in the early game with a tough recovery later (my deck has the same problem, so I'm not judging here).

Also isn't your Vaporize so-so when the enemy can fill their board in the early game (hence has cheap fodder)? How is Vaporize serving you in general? I am a bit suspicious of its usefulness so I'm really curious.

First of all I’ve made one change. I’ve taken the Azure Drake out and replaced him with Sorcerer’s Apprentice. I don’t run enough damage spells to make him worth while.

I can understand fully that my deck looks sketch as hell. I will also say that no one is more astounded than myself that after forty odd games it's only lost twice.

So how do I win and survive the early game. Specifics are hard because this has more to do with play than it does cards. I’m a poker player and I’m a very good one at that. When I constructed this I though like a poker player. Some people think poker is a game of luck, poker is about playing your opponents hand as much as your own. This deck follows that principle.

I suppose the easiest way to put it is, threat is the lifeblood of this deck, it’s just that simple. Okay look at the minions I’ve picked: Mana Wyrm, Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Kirin Tor Mage, Etherial Arcanist, Water Elemental. What they have in common is they are complex and if you leave any one of them alone they will wreak absolute mayhem on you. How do I deal with the early game, I don’t, I force my opponent to deal with mine.

Think like an opposing player for just a minute and think about these scenarios.

Turn one I drop a Mana Wyrm. “Oh crap turn two he could, Ice Lance, Forstbolt, Arcane Missle, and then attack for me for two or three. I need to deal with this.” What early game removal can take out three life as an even trade?

Turn two I drop a Sorcerer’s Apprentice. “Oh crap Fireball and Polymorph are only three mana now. I need to deal with this before next turn.” At turn two how many creatures can deal with 3/2 and survive? Do you have the right removal on hand?

Turn three or two I drop a Kirin Tor Mage. “Oh crap he has a secret on the board. Can I cast a minion without giving him one? Can I cast a spell to remove the Kirin Tor or is that a spellbender or counterspell? If I do nothing he’ll attack me next turn with a 4/3!” Do you always guess right, and make the right play?

Turn four I drop an Etherial Arcanist. “Oh crap he has a secret on the field and that’s going to be a 5/5 next turn. I’ve got to use the big gun!” Do you always have the big gun?

With every turn I force my opponent to deal with what I’m threatening them with. It’s like defending a vulnerable piece in chess with another. You force a trade or you stall your opponent. Stalling them is preferable but both are favorable. Every turn I stop my opponent I can develop my field and my hand.

To many people think of secrets as save me cards. Everyone needs to stop thinking like that and realize secrets are designed to disarm your opponents decks, not protect you from it. I don’t run taunts because I want them to attack me. I want to vaporize their units. I want to counterspell and spellbend their removal cards. I want to steal their units and turn them against them. I want them to rack their brain trying to figure out why there is still a secret on the field. Have you ever mixed an Arcanist with a spellbender?

Before too long I’ve got the tools to keep my units alive. I have the big guns, fireball, flamestrike, polymorph to keep my opponents board clear. How do you stop a unit when you can’t cast at them. How do you kill them when you’re a sheep, a pile of ashes, or your minion get’s killed by a mirror entity that has the benefit of not having summoning sickness.

I look at my deck and see seven different win conditions. I can turn on a dime if one of them doesn't pan out or gets dismantled. Regardless that win condition will get me a part of the way there. Everyone seems to have burn on the brain, when we have all the tools to take away our opponents weapons. So summing up I let them beat themselves because of their lack of patience.
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Posts: 156
Great topic, and I like Peripatetic's take above. Here's a post I just made in another topic that belongs here as well. When I mention OP here, I was referring to the other poster from the original string....

My deck sacrifices some minions at the 4 drop for the Faerie Dragons at 2 and at the 5 in the form of VCM and Azure Drake. I only run 1 copy of Spellbender in favor of mixing it up a bit and using 2 Counterspells, but I feel like you could really do any combination. Plus, I find that most opponents assume you're playing Mirror Entity and they'll play around it in that manner. When they figure out it isn't ME, they usually make the incorrect assumption that its Ice Block or Barrier. This leads to exceptional value when the Swipe or Holy Nova drops on turn 5.

1 Mana
2x Mana Wyrm
2x Mirror Image

2 Mana
2x Sorcerer’s Apprentice
2x Faerie Dragon
2x Frostbolt

3 Mana
2x Kirin Tor Mage
2x Counterspell
2x Arcane Intellect
1x Spellbender
1x Mirror Entity

4 Mana
2x Fireball
2x Polymorph

5 Mana
2x Azure Drake
2x Venture Co. Mercenary

6 Mana
2x Blizzard

7+ Mana
1x Ysera (9)
1x Pyroblast (10)

This deck is even cheaper than OP's, with just 1 legendary (Ysera) and 2 epics (Spellbender and Pyro). I would consider throwing in Nat Pagle if I had him instead of one of the Faerie Dragons. I could also see BMT being useful here as well, but since I have neither I can't say. That being said, the only thing I don't like about your deck, OP, is the lack of 2 cost minions. I find that Mana Wyrm is obviously the best 1 drop, but Faerie Dragon is such a great minion at 2 in this deck, especially when complemented with a Mirror Image. My early game is so strong in this deck as I always have a solid play with one of the three minions (MW, Sorc Ap, or FD) in combo with Frostbolt and Mirror Image.

The other part of my deck that most people will find notable is the use of Venture Co Mercs. While a very solid Arena card, you don't see these sellswords in the constructed venue frequently due to the meta favoring heavy minion decks. In my deck I'm only playing with 13 minions, and 8 of those are 1-3 mana cost, so the mana penalty on them is not prohibitive, plus I can usually go multiple turns after 5 mana without dropping a single minion. Here's whats great about VCM though, they scare your opponent big time and must be dealt with immediately. If you still have your counterspell or spellbender in place from turn 3-4, you're in a great spot. The only way to outright destroy VCM is a high cost removal spell or a big minion. They'll play one or the other or suffer the consequences of 7 damage. Drop a Siphon Soul? Counterspell or Spellbender just got huge value (potentially a 0 cost card for 6). Drop a big taunt to stall? Polymorph/Fireball it next turn and/or enjoy your free Earth Elemental courtesy of Mirror Entity.

Even without the secret in place, VCM is going to draw a premium removal like assassinate/hex/tinkmaster/etc. Great, that's exactly what we want. The goal is to get your opponent tapped out of removal and clear the way for the Emerald Dream.

If Ysera comes out on turn 9 or 10 and does not die in the first round or two, you'll find that her Dream cards will quickly tilt the board in your favor. Dream (0 cost Sap) - goodbye opponent taunt/legendary (careful with using on legends with strong battlecries); Emerald Drake ='s huge minion for next to nothing mana, Laughing Sister='s upgraded Faerie Dragon, Nightmare='s Kamikaze Ysera or other minion for finisher. What I like about Ysera over a card like Antonidas in this deck is that she is GUARANTEED to help you win. While Antonidas can certainly be a game winner, most of the time you'll find that you don't want to play him on turn 7 or 8 in favor of being able to play him and play a spell on the same turn to guarantee a free fireball. Problem is, he's more susceptible to removal than Ysera (Shadow Word: Death, a spell powered fireball, Starfire+Wrath, etc, you get the point) and often cannot give you that same guarantee that Ysera can. I would argue that Antonidas is the higher risk/reward legend and Ysera is the safer/more consistent play. Yes, if AA survives to your next turn its likely game over and you win. But if he doesn't, that's it. And if you didn't get at least one fireball out of him, that hurts big time.

Another point I like to discuss is the use of Blizzard vs Flamestrike. I used to use 1 of each, but I switched to 2 Blizzards because although the dmg is half that of FS, the AoE freeze is more valuable to me strategically. I can't sub out any 3 drops for frost nova, so I need these to freeze the board and give me time to set up. And that 1 mana cost makes a huge difference. Against a rush deck (think Murloc Warlock), I need to be able to cast the board clear ASAP. 1 turn could be the difference. I can cast Blizzard on turn 5 with a Sorc Apprentice on the board. That's huge.

Finally, having a Pyroblast in the deck is still a great finisher. Its not nearly as good at 10 as it was at 8 mana, but there are just too many games with this type of control style deck where you get your opponent down to 10 hp or less and both of you are top-decking with clear boards. Your opponent is living in fear of that end turn button and Jaina emoting "Well Played". Despite its inefficiency of 1:1 mana/dmg ratio, 1 copy of pyroblast is mandatory.
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Posts: 1,085
I like your list Blackhawk. I don't see why you wouldn't run Arcanists but each his own. What I would question is the Azure Drake, I understand spell power is wonderful but you don't have a plethora of spells that benefit from it. Just my thoughts, use what works for you.
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Posts: 156
I used to love Arcanists but the problem with them is that you need the combo to pull it off. Unless you're playing with Ice Block (if I had it I probably would run 1 copy of it) you can't guarantee that the secret will be in place when you go to play them. And that's assuming you get him in your hand with a secret at the same time. Its just too situational for me. The other problem is that if he gets his buff he becomes 5/5, which makes him subject to SW:D, which sucks.

With Azure Drake I just like the card draw. Is the +1 spell power useful? Occasionally, but not usually. I've tried using Gadgetzan Auctioneer in his place, but it's often times very difficult to get even 1 card draw off of him. The problem with GA is you can't really play him turn 5 unless you somehow held onto the coin that entire time. So at best he's a turn 6 play with a Mirror Image or Arcane Missile in hand, but usually even that is not likely. No doubt he can be much better than AD given the right scenario, but I feel AD is the more consistent card.
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Posts: 190
02/14/2014 11:54 PMPosted by Peripatetic
I like your list Blackhawk. I don't see why you wouldn't run Arcanists but each his own. What I would question is the Azure Drake, I understand spell power is wonderful but you don't have a plethora of spells that benefit from it. Just my thoughts, use what works for you.


Azure Drake is one of the best neutral card out there, probably second only to Argus. It's a 5 4/4 meaning it can't be SW'd, the stats are reasonable for a 5 mana and it gives you a card draw, the +1 spell's just the icing on the cake. It's pretty much a 4/4 thalnos and you can bring 2 :)

About Arcanists, but I find they're too slow for me. I do however have a similar opinion/experience regarding Antonidas, if you managed to keep him alive for the next turn or so and have a spell on hand + one fireball, it's pretty much game over for the opponent.

02/13/2014 09:43 AMPosted by BlackhawkMN
My deck sacrifices some minions at the 4 drop for the Faerie Dragons at 2 and at the 5 in the form of VCM and Azure Drake. I only run 1 copy of Spellbender in favor of mixing it up a bit and using 2 Counterspells, but I feel like you could really do any combination. Plus, I find that most opponents assume you're playing Mirror Entity and they'll play around it in that manner. When they figure out it isn't ME, they usually make the incorrect assumption that its Ice Block or Barrier. This leads to exceptional value when the Swipe or Holy Nova drops on turn 5.

These are great tips. +1
Edited by nix on 2/17/2014 11:32 AM PST
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Posts: 1,085
02/17/2014 11:23 AMPosted by nix
Azure Drake is one of the best neutral card out there, probably second only to Argus. It's a 5 4/4 meaning it can't be SW'd, the stats are reasonable for a 5 mana and it gives you a card draw, the +1 spell's just the icing on the cake. It's pretty much a 4/4 thalnos and you can bring 2 :)

Oh I'm not arguing the merits of the Azure Drake. As you’ve pointed out he has many admirable traits. I just question it’s value in a secret deck. My secrets tend to exclude cards of numerical damage. As I said above when I ran it in my deck It rarely factored. Granted he was great spell bate, but I prefer my threats to be genuine rather than a ruse.

Unless you're playing with Ice Block (if I had it I probably would run 1 copy of it) you can't guarantee that the secret will be in place when you go to play them. And that's assuming you get him in your hand with a secret at the same time.

I suppose having a complete Mage library I don't appreciate how expensive epics tend to be. Ice Block is of course an amazing secret to pair with the Arcanist, but Spellbender was made for that card. Your opponent will rarely want to fight the Arcanist through minions because it's likely to be a bad trade, which means they will jump to removal. If the spellbender is up you've baited one hard removal card. If you're lucky that might be the only relevant removal in their hand. Even if it isn't you've usually bought yourself one attack, and five damage is nothing to sneer at.
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Posts: 1,085
I figured since people in this thread are already familiar with my insane deck I might as well ask this question here. I'm considering running Ysera instead of Ragnaros in this deck. No I will not drop Pyroblast, I like having one, and I win more games with Antonidas than I do Ragnaros. I'm asking partially for that reason. Since Ragnaros rarely wins me any games would it be better to have the utility Ysera brings to the table?
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Posts: 4
Hi,
I'm also trying my best to make a Mage secrets deck work, This got me to rank 12 so far.
Considering the deck cost is a very reasonable 2960 I think it's good.

* Using two Gadgetzan Auctioneer instead of the Azure Drake, I changed to the drake today and I'm hoping to get even further
** Obviously if I had the dust I would change the two Loot hoarders into Nat Pagle and Bloodmage Thalnos, which I think could take the deck to another level
+ Not as certain about this change but I would swap these for a The Black Knight and Cairne Bloodhoof

Mana Wyrm × 2
Mirror Image × 2
Frostbolt × 2
** Loot Hoarder × 2
Mana Addict × 2
Counterspell × 2
Ice Block × 1
Kirin Tor Mage × 2
Spellbender × 2
Ethereal Arcanist × 2
Fireball × 2
Water Elemental × 2
* Azure Drake × 2
+ Venture Co. Mercenary × 2
Flamestrike × 2
Pyroblast × 1

CURRENT DECK:
http://www.hearthpwn.com/deckbuilder/mage#28:1;30:2;44:2;67:2;125:2;177:2;263:2;274:2;280:2;309:2;395:2;411:2;496:1;509:2;522:2;531:2;

IDEAL DECK:
http://www.hearthpwn.com/deckbuilder/mage#19:1;28:1;30:2;44:2;67:2;125:2;177:2;263:2;274:2;280:2;309:2;396:1;411:2;496:1;498:1;522:2;525:1;531:2;
Edited by Highrock on 2/19/2014 1:00 AM PST
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