The result is a surprisngly aggressive deck that pressures the enemy life total with direct damage. It's proved a good fit in the relatively slow meta of the moment. And, as a bonus, there's a functional budget version, too.
- 2 x Kabal Lackey
- 2 x Mana Wyrm
- 2 x Arcanologist
- 2 x Frostbolt
- 2 x Medivh's Valet
- 2 x Primordial Glyph
- 2 x Sorceror's Apprentice
- 1 x Arcane Intellect
- 2 x Counterspell
- 2 x Explosive Runes
- 1 x Ice Block
- 1 x Kirin Tor Mage
- 1 x Potion of Polymorph
- 2 x Fireball
- 1 x Aluneth
- 2 x Kabal Crystal Runner
- 1 x Firelands Portal
- 1 x Pyroblast
If you're looking to make savings, you can replace both the Epic cards and the Legendary and still have a solid deck.
Card draw is pretty critical, because there are four minions that let you play free secrets. That means you can run short quite quickly. So if you don't have Aluneth, slip in another Arcane Intellect.
Indeed a second copy of that card should be your first choice if you lack anything in the deck. Otherwise, you can swap Ice Block for Mirror Entity or perhaps Ice Barrier and Pryoblast for another Firelands Portal.
Most of the other cards in the deck should be within reach of most players. Should you need other swaps, try small minions like Cult Sorcerer or Raven Familiar instead.
No matter what you're playing against, your number one keeps are Mana Wyrm and Arcanologist. The former is probably the best small minion in the game, and can snowball into a huge threat very fast. The latter gets you a minion and one of the secrets that powers the deck.
If you have drawn Arcanologist, or a secret, you should also keep both it and Kabal Lackey or Kirin Tor Mage. Both let you play free secrets for a big early tempo swing.
Frostbolt is also a decent keep in most situations, especially versus slower decks. It can remove early minions, or stop bigger ones in their tracks.
If you think you're playing a slower deck, card draw is critical, so you can also consider keeping Arcane Intellect or Aluneth. If you start with a secret or Arcanologist, Kabal Crystal Runner is a also a good play in slow matches.
Secret Mage is also known as Tempo Mage for a good reason. The deck is all about outpacing your opponent in terms of cards and stats, then riding that curve to the win.
In the early turns your ideal position is to get out a minion or two, then use your hero power and early spells to destroy enemy plays and keep board control.
This isn't just about direct damage. Explosive Runes can be devastating in this game plan, because it will destroy most early minions and hit their health total at the same time. Potion of Polymorph can help, too, although it's better saved against bigger plays later on.
Your ideal early curve is Mana Wyrm, followed by Arcanologist, followed by Kirin Tor Mage for a free secret, then the Crystal Runner. Only the most aggressive decks can come back against that.
Whatever you get, your early focus has to be board control. Keep other decks, especially fast ones, off their curve by wiping out minions and making good trades. Watch for combos with Sorceror's Apprentice and Medivh's Valet which can get you a minion down with removing an enemy one.
As you enter the mid to late game, it's time to change tactics. By this point, the opposing deck can put down bodies it's harder for you to take out. So switch to focussing on the face instead. Most of your high end spells can put out massive direct damage. Get out the fire effects and let them feel the burn.
This deck has almost no defence beyond Ice Block, but it does have a trick up its sleeve in the form of Primordial Glyph.
In most cases you can use it to acquire cards that add to your spell and secret arsenal. But it's in the deck because it is incredibly flexible. It offers the chance to get a card to deal with any situation you find yourself in.
Secret Mage is very powerful against slow decks, but it struggles against lots of little minions. Should you find yourself fighting that sort of deck, prioritise area of effect spells from Primordial Glyph. Any kind of board wipe will tilt things back in your favour.
Even Flamestrike becomes an affordable 5 mana when gained from the Glyph. That means you can play it the turn before the earliest win conditions for speedier decks, then hopefully build back into the game.