Lets Talk About Secrets

Posts: 1,096
Counterspell and Spellbender have the same requirements. They both counter a spell once it's cast. Spellbender however has a second requirement the spell must target a minion. As such if both Counterspell and Sepellbender are played Counterspell will resolve before Spellbender and spellbender will not be activated. You need to be very careful how you play those spells.
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Posts: 82
well, Shadowflame didn't "work" exactly the way I expect Spellbender to work. it destroyed summon from Spellbender, but mine (not his) minions got damaged. I think the enemies of Spellbender should be opposite, not mine.
Edited by only on 3/1/2014 11:10 PM PST
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Posts: 1,096
Any time a spell targets a minion whether your own or your enemies the target will become the spellbinder. It's especially potent against classes that buff units. It's also one of the harder secrets to work around which makes it devastating with an Etherial Arcanist. I don't have enough time to play to consider myself an expert but I think you'll start seeing a lot more of this in the next coming weeks.

I don't mean to be rude but let us please not Hijack this thread any further.
Edited by Peripatetic on 3/2/2014 2:15 AM PST
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Posts: 362
What do you people think about the change to secrets?

I mean it is a small nerf in my opinion, looked on its own it kinda sucks but is nothing major. However when you think about it only paladin and mage secrets were weakened by this change which is pretty lame given the state of the hunters in the meta. Not to mention the overall changes passively benefited the aggro playstyle by only nerfing control. Looked from this perspective I think this was a major mistake by Blizzard, it seems they want those fast playstyles to be (very) viable to keep in line with their vision for HS but those playstyles are horribly frustrating to all the rest and may hurt the game very badly in the long run.

Also I am testing out some secrets decks and I will post my results here soon enough, glad to see so many of you are keeping the spirit (and this thread) alive.
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Posts: 82
I'm not sure about heavy deck since Ethereal Arcanist doesn't cut it...
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Posts: 156
Ok, sorry I haven't been back in awhile. Wanted to update you guys on my new version of my secrets deck, and the bottom line up front is this: no more 1 mana spells. Why? My experience is that you just don't get enough bang for the buck. You only get 30 cards to put in and the focus is secrets and control. While I love both Arcane Missiles and Mirror Image (prefer MI), I find that going with just 2 Mana Wyrms and saving those 2-4 cards that you would use for the spells is better spent elsewhere. You give up some early game for a much stronger mid-late game. Without further ado, here's my new list:

(1)
Mana Wyrm x2

(2)
Frost Bolt x2
Sorcerer's Apprentice x2
Faerie Dragon x2

(3)
Counterspell x2
Mirror Entity x1
Spellbender x1
Kirin Tor Mage x2
Arcane Intellect x1

(4)
Fireball x2
Polymorph x2
Gnomish Inventor x2
Defender of Argus x2

(5)
Azure Drake x2

(6)
Blizzard x1

(7)
Flamestrike x2

(9)
Ysera x1

I would like to try replacing Ysera with Antonidas, but I still don't have him. TBH, I may even leave Ysera in and drop one of the Flamestrikes for Antonidas. Some playtesting will be required.
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Posts: 1,096
I don't really see how this is a nerf. I can think of very few cases where losing the ability for our secret to trigger on our turn would be a detriment.
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Posts: 218
It hurt Pallies much more than it hurt us.
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03/17/2014 01:04 AMPosted by HigurashiD
It hurt Pallies much more than it hurt us.

I kind of guessed as much, I'm sure there were plays we could do on our turn, but there was nothing that comes to mind that would be especially useful.
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Posts: 362
03/16/2014 02:38 AMPosted by Peripatetic
I don't really see how this is a nerf. I can think of very few cases where losing the ability for our secret to trigger on our turn would be a detriment.


As I've said in my post, it is a very small nerf to secrets mages, almost insignificant. But what is much more worrying is what this balancing patch conveys in terms of the developers' intentions for this game. All of these changes virtually only hurt control setups, and it is aggro that is getting on everyone's nerves.

Therefore it is not the actual nerf, but the implication it brings that worries me. Worries me about the future of this game, if Blizzard is content to have it be a mindless game of rushing for the face. In fact these changes tell me that Blizzard prefers this to control setups, they want this game to have a quick and dirty gameplay so to speak (emphasis on the quick part but still...).
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Posts: 1,096
In fact these changes tell me that Blizzard prefers this to control setups, they want this game to have a quick and dirty gameplay so to speak.

My thoughts are this. The game has been in the process of settling for eight months now. Whenever a card got nerfed and a play style died Aggro took control and advantage of the power vacuum. Then I think about The Water Elemental, Archmage Antonidas, Secrets in general. Those cards were dead three months ago to the vast majority of Mages. Now look at the community and what they are running. Aggro always fills the void because it's always viable and it's easy to make. Naya decks in MTG are in every single block release. But give it one week maybe two and Bant, Esper, Grixxis, Junk, Kaalia, can come up with an answer or go toe to toe.

Complex decks just take more time to marinate and hone, and the Hearthstones community is relatively new to CCGs. As time passes and they play more they will begin to naturally see the possibilities. The Community will adapt faster to combat Aggro. One card can change everything and I hope that in future expansions they do.

What needs to be kept in mind is they said that secret options were being limited by how they were played. That sounds like a shout out of dedication to future secrets and means that control will continue to evolve. I think we need to stop assuming a card change is a buff or a nerf.
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Posts: 362
In the past, when I was more passionate as a gamer, I might have agreed with you.

But now I want entertainment out of my games, and I want it fast. Aggro decks are not fun to play against (hell I don't know how people playing aggro can stomach it) , they feel cheesy and they permeate the game now more than ever (yet Blizzard nerfed only control paradoxically). The situation is nigh unbearable and then Blizzard goes in completely the wrong direction with their changes.

It doesn't look encouraging and some of us don't have the patience to wait and hope things get better. Not to mention I disagree with your premise mostly. Look at the period before these last changes, up until the very end aggro was very pronounced and in no way did control take over, at best you could say aggro and control were about equally represented near the end. Therefore in no way is Blizzard's move to nerf control and leave aggro untouched (passively buffed even) reasonable.

However, we are getting off topic. Feel free to make a thread about these recent changes and I will follow you there.
Edited by MayhemInc on 3/17/2014 12:12 PM PDT
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Posts: 218
Hmm, question:
Do you guys feel mage secrets are viable in general mage decks, or do they need their own dedicated deck?
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Posts: 72
I've seen them work as part of a stack like

Mirror image, then the secret which summons a copy of the opponents minion, except obviously your minion is protected by a taunter etc

The one which instantly kills any minion you summon can be frustrating to play against too.

I have a mage deck which I love and has no secrets in it.

Hope that answers your question. :-p
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Posts: 1,096
03/24/2014 01:16 AMPosted by HigurashiD
Do you guys feel mage secrets are viable in general mage decks, or do they need their own dedicated deck?
They work fine in a standard deck. Counterspell in my opinion should have two slots in any mage deck. Not to mention secrets can drive your opponent mad.

I run a secret deck because I see secrets as a third tier of control after trade, and removal. I see it as a choice between secrets or freeze. I prefer secrets for their guile and complexity.
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Posts: 362
Okay, so I am done testing out my first (of 3-4) new ideas for a Secrets deck. First the data, here is the deck:

http://www.hearthpwn.com/deckbuilder/mage#4:1;28:1;30:2;44:1;125:2;131:1;177:2;220:1;263:2;274:1;276:1;280:1;309:2;411:2;503:1;522:1;531:1;569:2;589:2;595:1;641:2;

And here is how it did, I used a 30 games sample:

SecretsVer3: 14-3/0111/13-2/0111/12-1/0100/13-3/0100010100/14-3/1011/13-1/1010

Format X-Y/ZZ...Z/X-Y/ZZ...~ X- Rank, Y- Number of stars when I entered rank X and Zs are outcomes of individual matches, 1 being win and 0 being loss.
So overall this deck gravitated towards ranks 13-12 and it won exactly 1/2 of all games played.

Discussion:

The problem of Secrets decks is primarily a lack of room, the Secrets not only take up a lot of space (5-8 Secrets are needed for a proper Secrets deck imo) but kill tempo as well (generally). So you lack space for much removal, for minions and draw power is a problem as well. What I did here is I tried to balance things out, have a little bit of everything. Namely:

One Fireball and one Polymorph to help me keep control, overly long games generally don't go in my favor anyway due to losing steam.

One Gadgetzan is enough for card recycling, so I put in one Azure Drake which gives an instant card (so is a safe turn 5 play where Gadg isn't) and that bit of Spellpower can come in handy.

This deck is prone to getting swamped, so 2x AoE is better than more control or minions. I chose one Blizzard and one Flamestrike because Blizzard is faster against aggro (and generally sufficient as they run weak minions). I am not saying it happens often, and is a bad play but people sometimes think that because Blizzard only softened up their bigger minions that things are safe now and put up a few minions at once to keep up tempo, opening themselves up to a juicy Flamestrike.

Speaking of aggro, it is a problem, mostly warlocks. They are just too fast for this deck to deal with well, I lose more than I win against them I am sure. But this deck is surprisingly good at stalling and stabilizing at 3hp is not so bad if you have an Iceblock up. Hunters are easier to deal with in my experience, as minions of secrets decks are strong but few, however Flare can be nasty if they run it (which only happened to me twice on my mage). So aggro is hard but definitely not impossible.
Other matches are generally in my favor and quite fun, but as Periap said Secrets gameplay is very touchy-feely so I have no simple strategies to share with you all.

To keep this from becoming too long, I will quickly go over the rest of the cards. The cheap spells (Missiles and Mirror Images) are there to feed Antonidas and fuel other synergies of this deck, I find them worthwhile but not imperative so feel free to experiment. Wyrms are awesome as are the Berserkers (3HP and that enrage, awesome). Frostbolt is great removal and can feed Antonidas, it is just a great Mage card, 'nuff said. Then there is Ragnaros, and he is just awesome, helps win games very often and our secrets protect him quite well.
Then there is the usual Secrets mage rabble, Kirin Tors are beyond awesome in this deck, Ethereal Arcanists won me over again recently, after adding Iceblock they became twice as good. As for my picks on secrets, I find 2 Spellbenders and 1 Counterspell better since SB does not trigger on trash spells that people use to draw out CS, so it is better at protecting my minions (which are few but crucial) as well as buffing the Ethereals. I don't find Vaporize worthwhile atm (but I will experiment with it soon enough). Iceblock is great, it is a must for a Secrets deck, but 1 is enough imo. Lastly I run 2xMirror Image and my reasoning is that since I run so few minions stealing theirs while keeping up the Secrets synergy is decent, but this is another place where you can try something else out, it's a personal preference.

The last two cards, I moved around and tried out different things. I ended up settling for 1 Sorcerer's Apprentice and 1 Water Elemental. The idea for the SA was that she helps boost my tempo, and so far that was a great success but I fear I was just lucky since she was rarely removed (and they are so easy to remove). The Water Elemental is just a great minion and was also a great success so far, the idea was to add another midgame minion (the SA was to add another early game minion) and one that does not depend on synergy, as I've said it has worked marvelously so far.
Feel free to move these two cards around as well if you decide to take inspiration from this deck.

That is pretty much it, if you have any questions feel free to ask me. The other decks and their analysis will come soon enough.
Edited by MayhemInc on 3/24/2014 9:18 AM PDT
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Posts: 218
Lots of one ofs I noticed, although if any game makes them work it is this one. Pretty high card turnover rate.
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Posts: 100
Why does nobody state their rank with their current secret decks? no matter the decks cards its about how good it can do, I'm currently rank 8 with mine and rising on a streak still.
http://imgur.com/7JLHWYz - rank
http://imgur.com/54jRzuh - deck
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Posts: 1,096
03/24/2014 08:35 PMPosted by Mike
Why does nobody state their rank with their current secret decks?

I don't know how well it will do yet. I absolutely obliterate people on casual, but I'm living in Thailand right now. My network randomly drops me, freezes me for a couple of turns, and lags me out of final plays for my turn. It's not always like this there are good patches and bad patches but I can't take it seriously if I'm not going to get an accurate appreciation of my decks potential.

03/24/2014 08:35 PMPosted by Mike
I'm currently rank 8 with mine and rising on a streak still.

Wow, I like what I see. No blockers resting fully on threat I like it a lot. I don't like the Ice Barrier especially since you don't have frostbolt in there. Also how do you deal with card draw?

That aside a Ragnaros in place of probably the beast would be a great fit for the eight slot. He's not exactly a pyroblast but he was a good fit after the nerf.
Edited by Peripatetic on 3/24/2014 8:48 PM PDT
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Posts: 100
Ah I see, yeah that gets really aggravating during ranked.
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