Arcane Keysmith is a 4 Mana Cost Epic Mage Minion card from the The Witchwood set!
Battlecry: Discover a Secret and put it into the battlefield.
Flavor TextShe sells all manner of keys: from A flat to G sharp.
Arcane Keysmith Card Review
Looks like a powerful card on the first glance, but let’s analyze it a bit further. It’s a bit like playing Arcanologist + the Secret you drew right away. But even better, because it costs 1 less mana.
The chances to discover a specific Secret don’t look amazing – it’s only about 37.5% after Ice Block and Potion of Polymorph leave Standard (assuming no new Mage Secret – if something new gets printed the chance goes down by a few percent). On the other hand, you don’t have to put Secrets into your deck and you can still play them, which means that you can play it in a minion-based deck. Generally, Mage Secrets are pretty good. They aren’t all super powerful, but the chances are that you will see at least a single good option depending on the deck you’re running it in.
The problem is that Mage Secrets were rarely played by themselves, without other synergies. Tempo Secret Mage was a thing thanks to the cards like Medivh's Valet or Kabal Crystal Runner. Most of the Secret synergies are rotating out. Ice Block is probably the only one that was good enough to put into your deck (slower build) even if you had no synergy whatsoever, and it’s rotating out.
There’s also a fact that a 2/2 body on Turn 4 is very lackluster. If you don’t get a powerful Secret, or your opponent plays around the one you get well, you can actually lose the tempo. Not to mention that one of the advantages of putting Secrets into your deck with Arcanologist was that you cycled through your deck faster + could put only one or two specific Secrets into you deck and always get one of them.
So, as you can see, the card has its obvious upsides and downsides. I don’t think it’s as powerful as some people are saying, especially since Ice Block is rotating out, but it’s good. It should fit well into a minion-based Mage build, maybe even Big Spell Mage, since the deck doesn’t have lots of good options in the 1-4 mana slots. Or Spiteful Summoner Mage if that will be a thing, since you could technically run Secrets without flooding your deck with low cost spells.
Card rating: 7/10
Rip ice Block
pls nerf cleavage
Hmm. Would the secret being put into the battlefield count as being cast? In other words would Counterspell cancel it, Mana Wyrm benefit from it? Probably not, since it’s not actually being played, right? Anyone?
Overall decent, though the more I look at that cost… 3 mana would have been broken, yeah, but there are cards far more broken that that, and it *is* an epic…
3 mana would make this card playable. I don’t even think it’s playable as is–definitely not in tempo mage at least, just way too slow/unreliable. The main reason is the answer to your question because it’s a “discovery”, and not a “play”, so while it can’t be countered, it doesn’t do anything to buff either Mana Wyrm or Secret Keeper, so basically has zero synergies with anything at all and wastes a 4 slot.
I’m currently laddering with a Secret Keeper Tempo Mage deck that originally had it in, but I changed it out for an extra mosquito. The deck is very good without it, and it seems every other deck I’ve tried it in does better without it as well. Card is just unplayable currently, imo. It also does absolutely nothing positive for Big Spell mages who run it against me, but maybe it helps them somehow against other classes/archetypes.
I’ve tried very hard to like this card, but I haven’t found a way.
OK I love this card. Many of Mage’s secrets aren’t bad, but they’re just too situational (e.g: Vaporize), so you always run the same old Secrets. With this, though, those secrets will see play, and your opponent has to be ready for anything! There’s a reason why Hydrologist upped the Secret play for Paladin. Also, this allows Mages to have secrets even if they’re playing Even Mage or minion-heavy, spell-less archetype that Blizzard is trying to implement. Also the mana cost of this minion is fair. This is why I’m giving this 4.5/5 stars.
I agree that it’s great, however, the secret archetype for mage lost a ton of resources this rotation, so I think we can safely assume that this card won’t see play unless more secret synergy is printed for the next expansion.
I believe this card fits into any Mage archetype except for Odd Mage. You don’t need Secret synergies in order to discover a Secret that can be useful to very useful in the situation of the game. I’m pretty sure it will see play, I don’t know if as much as Arcanologist, but keep an eye on the card!
Might alo work with a minion heavy elemental deck. Allow you to play a ecret without having it in your deck
Especially a new spiteful or general big spell deck.
Disgusting furry art
LuL, of course someone would comment about furries
As if secret mage needed any more bombs!
Lots of value with the secret generation and discover is very versatile.
Also a good Potion of Polymorph chump for mirror matches.
Secret mage will continue to dominate against the control meta (sadly)
I doubt this does anything significant for Secret Mage, mostly because Secret Mage loses valuable tools like Mediv’s Valet, Firelands Portal and Ice Block with this rotation. This card is definately not a “bomb” most of the time and it’s not significant enough to keep an archetype from dieing. But if Secret Mage is a thing (not thanks to this card) then Arcane Keysmith will probably find a place in there.
Look, this guy does provide value. 2/2 is 2-drop stats and a secret is worth 3 mana so that would mean this guy is a minion + a mage secret for a discount of 1 mana. The fact the secret is RNG-generated is a problem, but Mage Secrets are above average. It can be an amazing tempo play or a decent turn 4 play.
2/2 is not 2 drop stats, its the stats of most 1 drops with no text (like druids raven). [[mana wyrm]] is 1/3 with a good text for 1 mana, so no, 2/2 is not 2 mana
Not really, they’re vanilla 2-drop stats mate. Those 2/2 1-drops like Druid’s Raven are considered overstated for a 1-Drop.
You could argue 2/3 or 3/2 are actually 2-Drop stats, so I could see 2/2 being 1.5-Drop stats but no, 2/2 are definately not 1-Drop stats.
Vanilla 2 drop stats are 5, not four (typical 2/3 or 3/2, sometimes 1/4 or 4/1). 4 stats is considered premium 1 drop stats but it is not a 2 drop.
The body is worth 1 Mana, the secret somewhat slightly below 3 Mana. But the fact that u bundle both into one acts as a pseudo card draw, and makes up for it. It’s just good for 4 Mana.
Good point. I guess I shouldn’t have said “2-drop stats”. Maybe low 2-drop stats would be more appropriate. I still think it provides value as a 4 drop, even if you take it as “premium 1-drop stats”
Waiting for the game in a mirror match, where players keep picking frozen clone from this effect. Good card tgough, decent for minion mage.
Won’t see play in Standard, unless they release some powerful control oriented secret to replace Ice Block.
4 mana 2/2 + semi-random secret is “fair”, but you don’t get far in constructed by playing fair cards.
Stats too weak for tempo/midrange mages, and irrelevant for control mages (again, unless a new secret makes it worthwhile).
This will be a really irritating card to play against…
I love the artwork and It’s good card, Just not sure if it’s good enough. If it’s an aggro meta I think this is too slow, especially with ice block gone, However should it be a slower set, this could see a lot of play.
Same story in wild for me too, looks like it could be good, but again the aggro decks are too fast and the variance is probably too great.
I’ll still put it in my wild Reno deck and see how I get on, but won’t be surprised if it gets cut.
compared to arcanologist it might be a little bit worse
+it creates a secret instead of drawing it, meaning you’re less likely to fatigue (but at that point if your opponent isn’t dead yet as mage, you’re not doing so well)
+it’s worth around 4,5 mana (2/2 body = around 1,5 mana, ofc secret is worth 3 mana (although it’s random so there’s an argument to be made on if a random secret is worth 3 mana))
+you get to choose from 3 secrets instead of drawing 1 in your deck without control over which one (although you can just limit the secrets in your deck to good ones)
-arcanologist can be played on 2 with a better body, and allows for a turn 3 play
-arcanologist thins out your deck by 1 card, secrets are quite cheap and you wouldn’t want to draw it later in the game
-while arcane keysmith grants you 3 random options, arcanologist draws you 1 at random, but from your deck, which usually are good secrets.
overall, I think arcanologist is still much better, but that card was busted, so there’s potential for this card.
It doesn’t only draw the random secret, but also put it into the play. A mage secret is always worth 3 Mana and it can be a blessing in disguise if you don’t draw it from your deck, because all top meta deck are usually the same and gives people the chance to play around certain secrets. This one on the other hand gives a little bit surprise (imagine the French pronunciation).
Coming back to how the card is statted:
As said, a Mage secret is worth 3 Mana, while the body of a 2/2 is roughly 2 Mana and the draw effect (which is very specific) at least 0.75 Mana. Now even if you put all of these costs together you can see that this card is very competitively costed, but what’s best about it is that all these effects come in a bundle, and as we’ve learned from the past – bundling different effects into one card can be a very powerful thing.
Thus, I’d rate this card at least 4/5.
“body of a 2/2 is roughly 2 Mana” – I don’t think so..
at turn 4 it “worth” less than 1 mana.
a (playable) 2 mana minion is something good like arcanologist or Apprentice, not a plain 2/2.
while it does add some randomness to the equation, 3 things can happen at that point:
1. you get the perfect secret for the situation
2. you get a mediocre secret, which does help, but you’d rather have had a secret which is guaranteed to be good from your deck
3. all options are bad, none of the secrets complement your current situation. life feels bad
of course, 1 is perfect, you want to play the card for those situations, but they’re unlikely and what’s much more likely to happen is situation 2. a mediocre secret while good enough, isn’t worth 3 mana at all, I’d guess around 2 mana, maybe 2,5. 3 is the worst case which is quite unlikely, but can ruin a 4 mana play.
arcanologist doesn’t ruin mana, because a 2 mana 2/3 draw a secret is amazing, and you don’t even have to play the secret right away. you can wait for the perfect moment to play it and will at least require your opponent to play around it, which is usually worth it.
and as guyopt said, 2/2 is not worth 2 mana
also, you’re not drawing any card, you have to see this card as a battlecry minion that activates its battlecry later in the game. drawing is much better as it thins out your deck, which usually increases the chance to draw big spells or minions.
all in all, on average I see this minion being worth exactly 4 mana, sometimes a bit more, sometimes a bit less.
I truly believe it’s worth 3/5 stars
Pretty much the reason why this card won’t see play (unless lots of new great secrets are released)
We’ll see about that and I’ll be the first to laugh when this card is gonna be played in every secret mage deck 😉
I’ll repeat again, you’re too fixated on the 2/2 body and randomness of mage secrets. mage secrets in general are way better than for example paladin secrets, especially since Explosive Runes were added, so most of the time, you’ll get a pretty good secret, be it Counter Spell, aforementioned Explosive Runes or Mirror Entity, all of them can bring a big tempo swing on turn 4 or even later into the game.
You’ve mentioned Arcanologist before, but to me personally it happened so many times before that I’ve drawn all my secrets and Arcanologist didn’t draw anything or just a secret that I already had in play/in hand, so I’d much rather chose from different options I get and have one more spot in my deck to not spend on any secret, because putting actual secret cards in your deck lessens the overall quality of it.
Sick of secrets. And the only one neutral counter is going to wild. Perfect
1 mana 2/2 attached to a secret tutored from your deck. If secret mage is viable then it’s fine. Depends on the rotating cards.
It’s not even from your deck.
Now, show us the new paly and mage secrets!
Just npt bad since ice block is gone
Gone in the Wild land of pink fluffy unicorns.
Elemental Mage confirmed:
This card rates alongside – Shimmering Tempest, Ghastly Conjurer, Archmage Antonidas, and Steam Surger. Cards that give off spells, and with this card, any secret discovered can find it’s way on the board. Much like Toki, Time-Tinker, this will give one the means to play any secret, both standard and wild. Not a bad card. A definite 5 stars in my book.
Toki’s very unique in that her card specifies a legendary minion from the past. I doubt very highly that Arcane Keysmith will be able to pull secrets from wild in standard. That being said, a 2/2 body alongside discovering and playing a secret isn’t bad at all. In fact I expect it to be a key component in these new minion heavy mage decks.
Oh nice, wild has 4 ice blocks now.
If they keep it going with all the random spell generation Mages are immune on any turn.
In wild, there will be twelve mage secrets. Playing this will only result in getting Ice Block less than 30% of the time. Plus, if they’ve already played their Ice Block, this cannot give Ice Block as an option since you can never double up on the same individual secret.
The odds of rolling an Ice Block option from a Discover pool of twelve cards would be (1/12)+(1/11)+(1/10), which sums to .274 or 27.4%, since you pull options out of the pool three times. You would get about a 10% chance of seeing any particular Mage secret in the Discover Options if there were twenty-six different Mage secrets.
It’s the same reason why either Getaway Kodo or Noble Sacrifice rarely aren’t options when you play Hydologist, but in that case seeing any individual secret happens 78.% of the time.
the probability of getting a particular secret in a pool of 12 is: 1 – ( 11/12 x 10/11 x 9/10).
The chance to get ice block is 25%.
The chance to get ice block = 1 – the chance not to get ice block = 1 – the chance not to get ice block on the first, the second and the third secret = 1 – (11/12)*(10/11)*(9/10) = 1 – 9/12 = 3/12 = 1/4 = 25%.
Another way to see it is that if you add the chance to get ice block with the chance to get ice barrier with the chance to get etc… each secret, the result must be 3, because you are shown 3 secrets. And so 12*x=3 => x=3/12=25%.
Here is how to do the “1/12+1/11+1/10” properly:
the chance that the first is ice block
the chance that (the first isn’t ice block and the second is ice block)
the chance that (the first isn’t ice block and the second isn’t ice block and the third is ice block)
the chance that the first is iceblock
the chance that the first isn’t ice block * the chance that the second is ice block given that the first was not ice block
the chance that the first isn’t ice block * the chance that the second isn’t ice block given that the first was not ice block * the chance that the third is ice block given that the first and second were not ice block
1/12 + (11/12)*(1/11) + (11/12)*(10/11)*(1/10) = 1/12+1/12+1/12 = 3/12 = 25%
You can also simply skip the calculations using conditional probabilities.
We can skip it because we know that ice block is exactly as likely to appear on the first, the second and the third card, and we know that for the first card it’s 1/12, which implies that for the other cards it’s 1/12 too. So there is a simple partition, it’s 1/12+1/12+1/12.
We could also skip it because “the first isn’t ice block and the second is ice block” is equivalent to “the second is ice block”, because the event “the second is ice block” implies the event “the first isn’t ice block”.
But you’re also not in a hurry to play Ice Block. You can prioritize an Ice Block discovered by the Keysmith over one played from your hand. Only (possible) anti-synergy would be Mad Scientist.
Not sure if anyone mentioned it, but can be any class secret.
What would happen if you discover and pick a secret you have on the board already?
normally discover locks you into the class you are playing unless stated otherwise, hence why DK rexxar will never discover a beast from another class -which is a shame considering the options it could get now
Nothing will happen. Absolutely~
Hopefully secrets you currently have don’t take up discover options.
I’m 99% sure that it can only discover Mage Secrets. After all, Discover only pulls card from your class + Neutrals, and there are obviously no Neutral Secrets.
As for the second point, there are two options. You might simply not be able to Discover a Secret that’s already in play, or picking it will have no effect whatsoever.
Another minion that you can put in a “boring requirement deck” replacing essential cards,and it does a good work being a 1 2/2 drop and let you choose your secret,4/5 star card!
It’s good synergy with the minion-based deck that Book of Specters is pushing. The less spells you play in that deck the better and this is a spell embedded in a minion. Similar to the way Spell Hunter embeds it’s minions in spells, this does it the other way around 😀
But WHY DOES IT HAVE TO BE EVEN-COSTED
Well,anyway the new minion-mage archetype would have so much important cards that are even costed to put in,so make sense it be even costed too…at turn 10 you would been guaranteed 5 damage with hero power,considering anyway,would have left 1 mana in turns 1,3,5,7 and 9,and still playing strong minions it seemed very op!!
because why not? why do everyone seems to want odd/even to actually be playable when they just cut out so much and are not worth the sacrifice?
No one should want a new mechanic to fail utterly in any card game. People would like odd/even deck to work because it adds further variety to deck building through an interesting question: is it worth cutting out half of what I can play to have an improved Hero power from the very start of the game?
This is this set’s version of Reno and the three Princes, but unlike those cards, the benefits of playing Genn or Baku will always be had.
But they can’t design the whole expansion around that effect.
Not to mention that a card that doesn’t go into an Odd deck naturally goes into an Even deck. So this way both types get support.
In the end, the Odd/Even will probably turn out to be “fun” or “meme” decks, unless they would go all in on those mechanics, and that would feel really, and I mean really forced.
A interesting thing about that,is the fact any card released would usefull in one of both deck archetypes,with Genn greymane or with Baku,so actually,any card release here is designed around that xD and i guess sincerely greymane is stronger than Baku,1 costed hero power that you can guarantee 5 uses at turn 10,considering ALWAYS will have left 1 mana at turns 1,3,5,7 and 9,to warlock for example it means -10 health but will always left only 12 or less cards in your deck at turn ten,it means you can draw heals and win conditions(guldan or rin)… rexxar can guarantee 10 DAMAGE ON FACE at turn 10 dude(it remember me a pyroblast,but you spend nothing to do that xD),and the warrior can make 10 armor just using hero power…(these are the 3 classes I guess would most strong using greymane)
I largely agree, but given how there’s only Baku, Genn, and the other four support cards, they did not design the entire expansion around it. However, that is the norm for these sorts of deck building questions. Reno was the only no duplicates card in League of Explorers, the Priest, Mage, and Warlock Legendary minions and Kazakus were the only ones in Mean Streets, and the princes were the only cards that revived the “No x cost cards” clause.
Un’Goro did have a lot of support for each of the quests in one way or another, but where as these cards asked, “Is the restriction worth the reward,” the quests asked, “Are all of these lesser cards worth playing towards to the reward?”
Odd/Even decks will probably be lesser preforming decks if some of the initial theory crafting with Odd Taunt Warrior, Even Paladin, Odd Cube Warlock, and Odd Elemental Mage aren’t very successful. However, they do have a greater chance of working in a Standard environment with more cards in it just by virtue of having more good odd/even cards in it.
Before they rotate, there will be at least on notable Odd/Even deck that’ll work out well enough to be competitive.
Minion Mage is becoming more and more real
This is a very well stated minion for the cost and ability. While Secret mage will be leaving standard with the loss of much of what makes that deck as aggressive as it is as well as Ice Block, this will likely see play at some point. Unless there is another secret in this set there will be eight mage secrets in standard of which three, Counterspell, Explosive Runes, and Mirror Entity, are always going to be good, three more, Mana Bind, Frozen Clone, and Spellbender, can definitely be good in the right circumstance, and the last two will usually be bad.
As far as the math goes, you will have just over a 40% chance of seeing any particular secret, so you will usually see at least one of the three always good secrets. This will be mage’s equivalent to Hydrologist and will see play outside of secret based decks. It may be more expensive than Hydrologist, but Mage secrets are worth more than Paladin secrets and this places it straight onto the board.
Great addition to Mage.
I know it sort of draws you a card but I feel like Kirin Tor Mage is just better. It trades a card for +2/+1 worth of stats and 1 mana less.
It’s good in the same why Hydrologist is good. Plus there is a 1 mana discount on the body and the secret you choose.
And unlike Korin Tor Mage, you don’t need to play a handful of secrets to make the card more than a 4/3 and it doesn’t take two cards out of your hand.
As a result, this is more of a midrange card than Korin Tor and typically better in those sorts of decks. Granted, you probably wouldn’t play this over Korin Tor in a tempo deck if you can only choose one or the other.
Those are good points. I didn’t really consider it in a more midrange deck before. 🙂
True but in some cases, pretty common, to where you have secret minions to cheat out spells, you might not have a secret in hand. Ive played the tempo deck before and ive gotten hands that were either all secrets and minions to cheat it out or the otherway around. in a way this one GURANTEES a secret to be placed along with a minion
I suppose so, but the whole point of playing a ton of secrets in Secret Mage is to best ensure the use of the synergies. When you do have a secret in hand, which in the begining of the game will happen more often than not, Korin Tor is better than this.
Mage secret or any secret?
Discover cards discover either a Neutral card or your specific class.
Unless they specify otherwise. (read: Arch-Thief Rafaam, Drakonid Operative)
Discover always picks something from your class (or neutral). This will get you a mage secret, unless you , say, steal this as a rogue (then you will pick a rogue secret). If you are a priest (or any other class without secrets) and steal this card, you will still discover a mage secret.
You sure about that? The text of this card doesnt specify the secret being from mage class, as some cards do. If you use primordial Glyph as a priest for example, you discover a priest spell.
Edit: Hydrologist wiki reads: If a non-Paladin from a class with secrets plays this card they will discover a class secret as normal. Non-Paladins from classes without secrets will discover a Paladin secret.
So you were right after all. But for rogue this card wil discover a rogue secret.
Ok good. This seems decent like that 3/3 rogue dude.
Keep in mind this is Discover a secret, not just play a random or something. The stats aren’t great, but the flexibility can be powerful.
This card is trash but probably not in areana
Great in tempo mage I think, even though it is a 4 2/2.
One mana for 2/2 body attached no more no less. Not very impressive for 4 mana i prefer to use My scecrets on t3
It also kind of draws you a card though, and the discovery gives you some flexibility.
Seems pretty powerful, though I know that I’l hate to play against this.
Not sure about this card
Very good minion, fits right into this new minion mage archetype. A much better hydrologist since mage secrets are more expensive and it puts it right into the field.
There is some merit to being able to play the Secret when you want, after seeing what it is. See: OTK Paladin. I do think this is a good card in a minion based Mage deck (not aggro), but this card would be considerably better as a 1 mana 2/2 Battlecry: Discover a Secret. I give the battlecry a 2.5 mana value, not the full 3 it would cost to play a Secret from hand.