HSrewinded is a series I will be writing that each week showcases a deck and uses actual replays to help players learn the ins and outs of how to play it optimally. Below each replay is a turn by turn analysis explaining how each turn played out and what the correct play was and why.
This week the deck we will be highlighting is a new deck that has yet to exist at a top tier for mage and has finally received enough cards to make it viable. The deck is Secret Mage! Secret Mage has various builds; fast builds that rely on early tempo turns snowballing into the win, slower builds that focus on maintaining board and contain late game such as Mediv or Pyroblast and then there are hybrid builds that are somewhere in the middle.
Personally after playing countless games with the deck I opted for a hybrid version that some games you utilize the early tempo swings to snowball to the win while others you transition to the value game and slow the game down and just out value the opponent over time. Not all replays use the same deck list but just for reference here was my final build of the deck that I used to reach legend.
Vs Murloc Paladin:https://hsreplay.net/replay/GqWY65oQkuXjMUGPS7kq9e
Mulligan: In the mulligan I recommend a hard mulligan for Arcanologist, Wrym or even Kirin since we are on the coin. Sorcerer’s Apprentice is more of a late game card to gain value from or spells and glyphs. Glyph is just not something I would keep in any matchup really we want to be getting on board early. However, in this game the player opted to keep Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Glyph probably thinking of the value he has on Turn 2 but it is not typically what Secret Mage wants to be doing.
T1: Now we see the punish of not looking for one of the 3 cards I mentioned in the mulligan. Sorcerer’s Apprentice being played would get traded up and killed by a 1 drop. Playing a Valet is not a bad play but could also be lost for free if the opponent plays Rockpool Hunter. Passing is a tough thing for many players to do here but we can use the Valets if we pick up a secret from the draw or Glyph to catch back up. This player chose to pass. Ultimately playing the Sorcerer’s Apprentice is the optimal play because if he misses a 2 drop we can swing the tempo and fits our curve best.
T2: Had this player played the Sorcerer’s Apprentice turn 1 then this turn would be much better he would have played the 2nd and then been able to Glyph into a free frostbolt and clear board by trading into the 1/1 with our other Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Going from how the player stands though, coining out Glyph here was wrong for 2 reasons. First off if we miss then it feels really bad and more importantly we want to save coin for turn 3 if we have secret still up to Valet or turn 4 to play a secret and Valet.
T3: Playing the next Sorcerer’s Apprentice and getting our secret out here is fine fits the curve sets us up for double Valet to have our huge tempo swing turn. Trade into the 2/3 so he does not have a murloc on board going into turn 4. This player went with value trade into the 1/1 and could get punished by a consecration going into turn 4.
T4: Double Valet no explanation needed here just get on board and protect our 3/1 and get some face damage in.
T5: Value trade and summon Crystal runner leaves us open to consecration but we got a read that he didn’t have it on turn 4 so it is fine to take our value trades now.
T6: The optimal play here is fireball the 2/6 kill the 2/2 so that if he top decks Spikeridge he has no target for it and the rest go face to keep our Crystal runner at full health so it doesn’t die to Truesilver. Small misplay by saving the fireball but we have a nice lead here and our opponent really needs to draw into consecration now.
T7: This player got punished for trading with the Crystal runner here as Truesilver got played. Luckily he is still well ahead and has plenty of burn he can draw or simply maintaining board and going face he can win from here.
T8: Lethal present good game well played!
Vs Miracle Rogue: https://hsreplay.net/replay/8tJV3MCwwRsb4yGWd5JHjj
Mulligan: To prevent repeating myself from now on unless I see a unique situation we are doing a hard mulligan for Arcanologist or Wrym and add in Kirin if we are on the coin we need to get on board not play reactively with spells to start the game.
T1 & 2: No analysis need
T3: This one is an interesting turn. Kirin + Mirror you expect him to play Patches since he didn’t pull him after playing Swashburgler, so Mirror gets less value here. If you play Mana Bind instead we can expect him not to play any spells or play coin. If no spells are cast you can have a secret for your next turn still out.If he does play coin you can use the coin to play Mirror and coin into Crystal Runner.
T4: Let get the value 4 mana 5/5 out there and just go face no need to worry about his minion he will do the trading for us and there are no cards he can use on turn 4 that really punish us. Rogue cannot handle taking damage early and often with no life gain and a hero power that sacrifices their health for board. This player chose to keep his minions at full health and frostbolt which is not a bad play just does not represent as much of a board for the following turn.
T5: Secret and play our 2 mana 5/5 is perfect value and puts a nice board out there.
T6: Clear the Gadgetzan with Frostbolt + Ping and play out our 5/5 again is the most value play we have. This player went a different route and rolled on book he still got out Crystal runner so we at least got the board presence we are looking for here and cleared the Gadgetzan to prevent the opponent from drawing outs.
T7: Arcanologist first to thin our deck get more on board and then just play Arcanist for more board against rogue who has no board clears. Then kill of the Edwin and we have a good board going forward. This player decide to draw and only play Arcanist and drew a secret he could have pulled with Arcanologist. This players play while clearing board left us with a weaker board, nonetheless we are still ahead by a lot.
T8: Now we are behind and luckily we know we have Pyroblast so we need to clear the Questing to prevent it from growing and presenting lethal against us before turn 10. This player risked our opponent while be it a long shot a chance to grow his Questing and pull this out from behind.
T9-10: Just need 1 damage to opponents face and protect ourselves as best we can and we walk away with a win.
Vs Secret Mage:https://hsreplay.net/replay/iBiGaNsJRtnxgAfsNdh9kY
Mulligan: Nothing new
T1-2: Play out our curve.
T3: Thin out our deck more and passing is fine if we get a Valet our turn 4 feels great and there is no need to ping anything yet. This player informed me he meant to ping the 2/3 and misclicked, which is not terrible but we could have saved the coin for more useful turns.
T4: Book to see what we get and then when its nothing we need to play this turn we play Mirror because unless the opponent has a cheap minion we expect to see a Kirin or a Crystal runner coming up soon and we don’t really need to play Counterspell out to defend a 1/1.
T5: Lets get our 5/5 out with Counterspell for protection.
T6: Play Sorcerer’s Apprentince and value play Kirin and Counterspell to protect from Fireland Portal. This creates a bigger board presence and we don’t need draw yet, we also trade in since this matchup is all about being on board and out valuing the other player. This player drew and only developed the Kirin and chose to go face which just means we are saying that we are going to race them, which is not too bad since out board Is protected by Counterspell but we lose our Kirin with this play.
T7: Fireland Portal when we are ahead and the opponent has no board is awesome and puts more pressure on the opponent. This player decided play Sorcerer’s Apprentice and draw which has occurred in several of my analysis. There is no need to draw here just get a threatening board and push damage our opponent has no board.
T8: Check for Counterspell with Frostbolt then Frostbolt the 2/2 and Portal our opponents face creates a nice board and pushes some face damage leaving our opponent at 5 while we are at 26 it is all but over. This player’s line of play pushed less damage and created less of a board but he is so far ahead at this point this minor misplay should not cost him the game.
T9: Good game well played!
Mulligan: Hard mulligan rule was not followed we don’t need the Sorcerer’s Apprentice early game we can try getting Wrym, Valet etc since we have Arcanologist.
T1-2: No analysis needed
T3: We some board presence Mirror accomplishes that just feels bad is they have a 1 drop to proc it. Sorcerer’s Apprentice which like I have said is not an early game card seems to be the best play the opponent either trades in or we get to play 2 secret next time and maybe start getting a big tempo swing turn built up with Valet off a draw plus discounted 5/5. This player played a secret which sets us up for 5/5 next turn but does not offer as much as playing the Apprentice did.
T4: Not looking good we don’t have any means of swinging the board or killing the Hyena which will likely be our downfall. Best line would be to Kirin + Mirror to get on board and hope we can top deck fireball or Glyph into Fireball.
T5: Hyena needs to die or we lose, not looking good for us at all though.
T6: Hail Mary with Glyph for blizzard…no luck
T7-8: We need to kill the Highmane and eliminate one of the 2/2s to prevent the most damage to our face next turn so Fireball Kirin + Secret is our best play. It all does not matter though the game was too far gone and we take the loss in this one. Key mistake was keeping the Apprentice which provided us no early game tempo or value.
Vs Secret Mage: https://hsreplay.net/replay/9THgk6YgPzHFWHrTGpQ2tW
T1-2: No analysis needed.
T3: Develop our board rather than playing a secret or drawing. The mirror is about board presence so we take this turn to establish a board.
T4: Looks like our opponent has a slow start we can expect Secret + Valet from them next turn otherwise this game is already over if they don’t have some power play next turn. We draw first to see what options we get since we don’t have any minions to play. What follows after was a misplay from me, I should have played Wrym and grew my board even more but the Secret filled my curve and this was one of the first games that I was using the deck (No excuses!!!). After watching this over I thought the secret protected me from spells killing my board but Valet was most likely coming down and another creature on board even if he uses a spell to clear something we have more on board.
T5: Power turn as expected. Luckily he kills our Wrym and we can get tons of value using Wrym from hand and clearing their board with value trade, 2 Frostbolts and a Ping. We are winning the board presence game looking good at the moment.
T6: After thinking about this after watching the replay I still am not 100% sure if we play around Vaporize here. If it isn’t Vaporize we are pushing tons of damage to face and if it is we lose the Wrym and cant use it to trade on board. I ultimately took the risk and lost the Wrym.
T7: Oh look at that Portal on turn 7 to flip the board what else would I want to do on turn 7 .
T8-9: Book first is the correct line I just don’t see any spell that we could get that prevents us from playing the Faceless Summoner to grow our board. Value trade to maintain board and at this point we have card advantage and board should go pretty easy from here on out.
Vs Token Shaman: https://hsreplay.net/replay/xh2PKbDgcRuGjBawMb79dC
T1-3: Playing on curve Mirror is secret of choice since it’s a minion heavy deck and our goal is just run them out of resources by holding board.
T4: Get our Sorcerer’s Apprentice out there and clear the board. Slowly, but surely they will lose the value game and we will win this one.
T5: We aren’t gna waste a fireball to clear a 1/1 here we can just get Counterspell up and ping and trade.
T6: The 1/4 is worth of a fireball to allow further clearing up of the board here and get another Mirror out to help us keep board as well.
T7: Glyph to start us off and easy Arcane intellect to refill our hand with cards we picked rather than RNG with Tome. Continue to make the trades and close this game out as we have a very healthy hero and plenty of card advantage and board.
T8: This game just turned into how to stay on board 101 the opponent is so far behind at this point and our top decks are much better than his and he sees this and concedes once his removal spell is countered leaving our snazzy Legendary still on board.
Vs Miracle Priest: https://hsreplay.net/replay/Bagqv8T7Jatjo47CbyeFnY
T-2: Curving out efficiently and creating a board.
T3: This is a situation where not playing a minion and drawing is ok. Having both Kirin and Valet in hand we want to get the value from them for a tempo swing. Playing Kirin is another line that is perfectly acceptable since we want to get on board against priest and win especially if it is a Silence Priest. I went with the draw since I did not think silence priest ran Shadow Word: Pain. I was rewarded by getting a Wrym so we still developed on board a little.
T4: Here we can play Kirin + Counterspell to protect our board so we can also Glyph first to see what we get and see if it changes our play at all. Pyroblast was a great pick up as a finisher for Priest who can easily gain plenty of life to get out of range. Clear the 2/6 So it does not get value from its Deathrattle.
T5: Best play here was to Valet + Wrym and Ping it created a bigger board and with Counterspell still up we should feel pretty safe. I made the mistake of pushing more damage this turn rather than creating more damage over time.
T6-9: Simply just burn out the Priest and get to the Pyroblast we picked up on T4.
Vs Taunt Warrior: https://hsreplay.net/replay/qdwHB5u3MyRj6FoxM5NBxA
T1: We can coin out the Arcanologist to lower chance we draw a secret and we have a solid turn 2 play now since we drew Kabal Lackey.
T2: We coined out Arcanologist for this reason maybe this can bait the 2nd Weapon charge as well before we play Kirin.
T3: Curve play
T4: Nice Mirror pick up and now we can use Valet and Frostbolt to expand our board minion trade to make our Mirror 2/6 a more threatening 5/6 and we look very threatening now with a good board and 2 Fireballs in hand.
T5-9: Auto pilot to the win initiated.
Vs Elemental Shaman: https://hsreplay.net/replay/gUkNF9Z2q4UZ4aK4zwDquR
T1-2: No need to get Mirror out with Lackey going into turn 2 just save it. Come turn 2 without top deck Wrym we now have a huge tempo swing and this should snowball from here.
T3: Playing Glyph allows us to use the board to clear or we get an answer from Glyph. This is a rare case where we aren’t playing a minion over a spell this early in the game but without a secret to play with Kirin and the value trade we create with Glyph is just stronger for us. We even pick up a spell we can play so Wrym alone kills the 1/4. We are happy to play Potion of Polymorph going into turn 4 turning whatever he plays to a 1/1 is a huge tempo gain for us when we already have board.
T4-5: Protect our board and close out the game with Kirin + Counterspell followed by another Counterspell the following turn to guarantee the win.
Hope you all enjoyed this article. I am hoping to improve upon this article with the next week’s release due to all the help of fellow players who provide me with gameplays to review. The better the content I receive the better the articles can be. I can only play so many games myself every little bit helps from you guys. You can submit your replays to my discord https://discord.gg/XR5CZXd as well as provide any ideas to improve the article for future iterations. Also please vote on what deck I will showcase next week with this link https://strawpoll.com/cw2ya7z (also available at my discord). Happy climbing!