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Secret Mage deck list guide - Darkmoon Faire - Hearthstone (December 2020)

Our Secret Mage guide has been updated for the Darkmoon Faire meta.

Mage’s Secret package has been challenging to work with in recent metas. However, now, in the year 2020, we’re finally seeing the archetype return in Standard format.

This is in no small part down to the new tools the deck has received in the Darkmoon Faire expansion, including Sayge, Seer of Darkmoon and Rigged Faire Game offering a great deal of card draw for this deck that otherwise found it easy to run out of fuel. It’s a decent deck now! Give it a go if you have the cards.

Secret Mage deck list and strategy

Here is the version of Secret Mage we’re using in the Darkmoon Faire expansion, and the highest win rate version of the deck available. Keep an eye out here for updates and changes!

2 x Ancient Mysteries2 x Inconspicuous Rider
2 x Game Master1 x Jandice Barov
2 x Arcane Flakmage
2 x Apexis Smuggler
2 x Frostbolt
2 x Kirin Tor Mage
2 x Counterspell
2 x Rigged Faire Game
1 x Netherwind Portal
1 x Flame Ward
1 x Mirror Entity
1 x Ice Barrier
2 x Fireball
2 x Occult Conjurer
2 x Cloud Prince
1 x Sayge, Seer of Darkmoon

Select and copy the long ID string below, then create a deck in Hearthstone to export this deck into your game.

Deck Import ID: AAECAf0EBsMB7QS/pAPCuAPZ0QOV4QMMcbsClgXsBb6kA92pA/SrA425A/rdA5DhA5HhA+jhAwA=

More great Mage guides:

General strategy

This version of Secret Mage is different from what we’ve seen previously in the Mage class. The value and constant resource generation is great, with the likes of Game Master offering reduced costs so you can get your Secrets played out, and other cards like Sayge, Seer of Darkmoon and Apexis Smuggler giving you card draw so you don’t run out of resources as easily.

Early Game: You don’t have any 1-drops, so you’ll have to sit there and do nothing for a little bit. However, once you’re able to, the likes of Ancient Mysteries and Game Master can get you nice and on-board, with Netherwind Portal a great option for sneaking a minion on board when you have no right to.

The presence of the Arcane Flakmage is important even if you have no Secrets at all, as your opponent will be wary of playing into it. Against aggro, it can be a great early game play. Cheating out a Secret on turn 3 with Kirin Tor Mage remains one of the best plays in the game, so get this done if you can, and Inconspicuous Rider is a nice way to get a Secret out of your deck and in play.

Mid Game: If you end up with a Secret surviving on board and an Occult Conjurer in hand, play it. 4 mana for 8/8 worth of stats? Now that’s value.

The six different Secrets in this deck: Counterspell, Netherwind Portal, Rigged Faire Game, Ice Barrier, Flame Ward, and Mirror Entity, should keep your opponent guessing. This allows you to activate synergies like Cloud Prince, who offers a huge 6 damage Battlecry if you play him when a Secret is active, reminiscent of Medivh's Valet from the One Night in Karazhan expansion. This can go face or be targeted at minions, so it might be helpful to save this for some easy removal if needed.

Late Game: At this point in the game, you’re in trouble if you’re not close to victory. Keep pushing face damage with your spells and minions, and draw out the last of your cards with Sayge, Seer of Darkmoon who’ll get you an extra draw for every Secret you’ve triggered so far. Aside from that, you’ll want to just keep the pressure up - Jaundice Barov is a solid 5-drop who’ll get you a bunch of board presence, and Fireball and Frostbolt can be used as burn damage to finish your opponent off.

Secret Mage Mulligan Guide

Below is our guide on what to keep in your opening hand when playing Secret Mage.

1. Ancient Mysteries draws a secret from your deck and reduces it to 0 mana, meaning it can be played out immediately or after a while when you can activate synergies more easily.

2. Game Master is solid stats-wise and will give you the opportunity to play Secrets out for cheap.

3. Arcane Flakmage is important to stop your opponent running away with the game, as if you can play it alongside a Secret discounted by Ancient Mysteries or Game Master to clear early aggro threats.

Secret Mage tips, combos and synergies

Below are some tips for how to best play Secret Mage in the Darkmoon Faire meta:

- Use Secrets according to what you think the opponent is planning. If they’re a Mage who clearly wants to use Conjurer's Calling, a Counterspell will swiftly scupper their plans. Trying to go face? Well, Ice Barrier will slow them down a decent amount.

- Mirror Entity is a great counter to the kinds of decks that like to cheat out big minions early. Playing a Mountain Giant into this secret spells bad news for your opponent, as it gives you one too.

- The Saviors of Uldum Secret synergy cards, Cloud Prince and Arcane Flakmage, encourage a more patient, conservative style of play. Often, it’s wise to wait for your opponent to act before reacting, rather than to take the initiative. However, once you get into the mid-game, you’ll want to send your damage to face.

- Sayge, Seer of Darkmoon brings some much-needed card draw to this deck, since you’ll usually be trying to play as many cards as you can as quickly as possible. It might be a good idea to wait until later in the game to maximise Sayge’s benefit.

- You have a great deal of removal at your disposal, so don’t be afraid to use the effect of Arcane Flakmage on early board the opponent tries to build.

- Occult Conjurer is a 4 mana 8/8, so try to save it for when you have a Secret in play.

- Fireball, Frostbolt, and Cloud Prince can all go face, so use them to finish off a low-health enemy Hero.

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About the Author
James Law avatar

James Law

Former Guides Writer

James was part of Rock Paper Shotgun's guides team from 2020-2021, bringing his expert knowledge about FPS games, Hearthstone, Path Of Exile and more from his time at Metabomb. He's also a dab hand at Hitman 3, and making his own jam - things which may or may not be related to one another.