Our Budget Secret Mage deck list guide for the Kobolds and Catacombs expansion will teach you how to play this Tempo Mage list. This Budget Secret Mage guide includes Mulligans, Gameplay Strategy, Card Substitutions, and Combos/Synergies!
Introduction to Budget Secret Mage
At certain points in the Journey to Un’Goro meta, Secret Mage was a top tier deck. The addition of Arcanologist made it possible to consistently get Secrets in play and take advantage of the numerous Secret synergy cards.
In Kobolds and Catacombs, Secret Mage gained some new tools, including Explosive Runes, which has become a mainstay in Mage’s tempo-oriented Secret package.
This budget version of the deck does lose out on some of the tempo swings enabled by Medivh's Valet and Corridor Creeper, as well as value generator Primordial Glyph, but can hold its own on the Standard ladder with some cheaper alternatives.
Budget Secret Mage Mulligan Guide
High Priority Keeps
- Mana Wyrm – With the rotation of Tunnel Trogg into Wild, Mana Wyrm is hands down the best one cost minion in Standard. Keep this card.
- Arcanologist – Somewhat reminiscent of Mad Scientist, Arcanologist pulls a Secret from your deck. Arcanologist is almost always your best turn two play.
- Kirin Tor Mage – The finally piece of the 1-2-3 dream curve, Kirin Tor Mage cheats one of your secrets into play, generating a huge tempo swing in your favor.
Low Priority Keeps
- Frostbolt – Frostbolt is great in some matchups, but is probably kept too often. Just because you can cast it on turn two doesn’t mean you always want to.
- Sorcerer's Apprentice – Apprentice is great in that it can be played on turn 2, but is usually an inferior on-curve play to Arcanologist.
- Kabal Lackey – Very few Secrets get good value being cheated out turn one, but Lackey can help pump an early Mana Wyrm to threaten your opponent.
Budget Secret Mage Play Strategy
Secret Mage relies heavily on generating pressure in the early game with minions. As such, landing a Mana Wyrm into Arcanologist and Kirin Tor Mage is the dream. Early board presence can leave a clear path for your Kabal Crystal Runners to the opponent’s face.
With enough consistent pressure applied at the start of the game, the deck has a formidable amount of late-game burst in the form of both spells and minion buffs. On top of Fireballs, Bonemares and Firelands Portals can contribute to a finishing blow.
Budget Secret Mage Future Card Replacements
- 2x Cobalt Scalebane > 2x Corridor Creeper – In many situations, Corridor Creeper offers a second 0 mana 5/5 in a tempo-based deck. This can be much more consistent than landing a buff with Scalebane
- 2x Sorcerer's Apprentice > 2x Medivh's Valet – Valet is one of the most critical cards missing form this deck. If/when you have access to the final wing of One Night in Karazhan, add this card to your deck.
- 2x Kabal Lackey > 2x Primordial Glyph – Like every Mage deck, Secret Mage really wants Primordial Glyph included.
- 1x Mirror Entity > 1x Aluneth – If you received this Legendary weapon, it would be a welcome addition to this deck. The extra card draw gives Secret Mage the extra gas it needs to close out games.
Budget Secret Mage General Replacements
Here’s a list of cards you can add to this deck if you happen to be missing anything in the list.
- Raven Familiar – While this deck only runs a few heavy spells, Firelands Portal may be enough to warrant this 2-mana conditional draw minion.
- Loot Hoarder – Loot Hoarder provides decent early game cycle to make up for your lack of Primordial Glyph and Babbling Book.
- Spellbender – Strictly worse than Counterspell in most matches, but has potential in a Secret package when running into a lot of Paladins during your climb.
- Ice Block – While the extra turn isn’t typically relevant, ensuring that you have a Secret in play can guarantee value from Medivh’s Valet.
- Medivh, the Guardian – Occasionally, the card draw from Aluneth can get a little out of control. In the rare situation where fatigue becomes relevant, Medivh can save the day while offering synergy with Firelands Portal.
- Volcanic Potion – One of Secret Mage’s biggest weaknesses is getting overrun by a wide board. Volcanic Potion can wipe a weak board and leave you with enough mana to develop minions.
- Ethereal Arcanist – Four Secrets is probably too few to get consistent value off of this card, but it even pumping Arcanist once gets good value from your four mana.
- Arcane Giant – EZ BIG EZ MAGE was a real thing for a while in the Un’Goro Meta, and for good reason. With the number of spells you’re pumping out in this deck, Arcane Giants may be a reasonable inclusion if you have Karazhan.
About the Author
A card game veteran, Roffle has been infatuated with Hearthstone since closed beta. These days, he spends most of his time tinkering with decks on ladder or earning gold in Arena (f2p btw). In particular, Roffle has a wealth of experience in competitive Wild Hearthstone, including a top 16 finish in the inaugural Wild Open Tournament and numerous high end of season finishes since the format’s inception. Follow him on Twitter or check out some of his articles on Roffle.net.