Shhh.. It’s a Secret
Welcome to the Legend of the Innkeeper. We’re glad you could join us for our Fifty Second episode.
This week we are talking about…
What did you do this week?
Update on Ariannwyn’s Eyes
- Surgery was completed without any complications
- Seeing the doctor on Tuesday to evaluate results
Top 3 of the week – Top 3 Card Backs
Vastidious – Lunar New Year, Molten Core, Heroes of the Storm
Ariannwyn – Heroes of the storm, Black Temple, Icecrown
Nightfall – 3rd Maraad, 2nd Gnomes 1st Heroes of the Storm
- Possible expansion announcement on July 22? http://blizzardwatch.com/2015/07/02/possible-new-hearthstone-expansion-july-22/
Last week – Banana Brawl
In the Banana Brawl, anytime a minion died, that player who had the minion had a banana card put into their hand. There were 4 different banana cards; +1/+1 to a minion, +2/+2 to a minion, swap a minions attack and health and 2 damage to a minion.
This week – Webspinner
This week’s brawl was similar to the Hunter challenge back with Naxxramas. Back then they had the hunter’s deck filled with nothing but Webspinners. In this version, you could choose any class to play and all the minions were Webspinners. There were class specific spells included in each deck. It made for quite the interesting results.
Testing for Secrets
When playing against certain classes, one of the obstacles you have to better understand is secrets. Only Mages, Paladins and Hunters have secrets at this time. When your opponent plays a secret, it’s a good idea to try and figure out what that secret is so that you don’t trigger it at the most inopportune time.
We should take a moment and describe what a secret is and what they are. A secret is a spell that when played, sets up an action that will be triggered based on certain actions by your opponent. For example, the Mage has a secret called Mirror Entity. The card text says, When your opponent plays a minion, make a copy of it on your board. What this does is when your opponent plays a minion to the board, the secret will activate (or what we call pop) and duplicate that minion on your side of the board that you now control. Secrets can really ruin your day if you don’t have a good understanding of how they work and how you can play around them.
We should note here that if you are using Hearthstone Deck Tracker, it will display on the screen all the possible Secrets that could be in play by your opponent in a section on the screen. This helps you think about what could be in play. You can hover over each of these secrets and get pop up windows showing what the effects of the secrets are. Incredibly useful. Also if you’ve already seen two of a particular secret it will be greyed out so that you know it can’t be that secret.
Let’s break this down a little more by looking at each classes secrets and how to ‘test’ for each of them.
The Mage has 7 different secrets that they can play.
One thing you need to keep aware of with the Mage is that they have a few Mage specific minions that can benefit from having a secret in play on the board. One of those is the Ethereal Arcanist. If you control a secret at the end of your turn, this minion gains +2/+2. If a Mage plays this, you want to remove or silence it fairly quickly, especially if he has a secret in play. Another minion that can benefit from secrets is the Kirin Tor Mage. His card text reads,
Both of these minions can cause many problems to the opponent if not dealt with quickly.
So when facing a Mage and they play a secret, there are a few things you can do to ‘test’ for what kind of secret they have played. It’s in your best interest to figure it out so that you can play around the secret, or to have it trigger on something that is in your favor.
- The first step is to attack the mage with a minion that isn’t important to your long term strategy. Something that is cheap and you are willing to sacrifice. This will eliminate Vaporize and Ice Barrier as the possible secret.
- The next step is to play a minion with very low attack. This will test for Mirror Entity and if it is the secret you only give your opponent a weak minion.
- Third, cast a weak spell on a minion which will trigger either Counterspell or Spellbender.
- And finally, the last test would be to kill a weak minion to see if the secret is Duplicate. You want to do your best to give your opponent 2 copies of the worse possible minion you can. Try to kill off something bad before killing off something like Ragnaros the Firelord.
- If none of those trigger anything then the only possible secret left would be Ice Block, which won’t be activated until the opponent hero’s health drops below 1.
Now I do want to state that if you are watching what is happening in the current meta, you will have a good idea which secrets are being played most often. For example, you will hardly ever see Vaporize or Spellbender being played in the current meta. But that doesn’t mean you won’t ever see it. A Mage’s Secrets deck will likely have them in the deck. But I would say that 99% of the time it won’t be one of those spells. Over time you will get a feel for what is the most common secrets being played currently be each class and that will sometimes help you narrow down your options more quickly.
The Hunter class is a little different in that in the current meta, you will see fewer of their secrets being played regularly. There are two you will see all the time but the others, not so much.
The Hunter only has one card that takes advantage of having a Secret in play, but that card is played very frequently. It’s the Eaglehorn Bow, which reads “Whenever a friendly Secret is revealed, gain 1 durability.” This extends the usefulness of the bow for the hunter. Another card that is frequently used in combination of secrets as a Hunter is the Knife Juggler. Since Snake Trap will cause 3 snakes to be summoned to the board, this combo’s well with the Knife Juggler.
So let’s look at how to test for Hunter secrets.
- The first step is to test for Explosive Trap. Keep in mind that when you trigger Explosive Trap you will have 2 damage done to all the minions on your side of the board. So before you test for it, by attacking the Hero, use those low health minions to take out your opponent’s minions or to at least do some damage before losing them. Get as much value as you can before they die.
- Second, you will automatically test for two other traps when you attack a minion. By attacking a minion you will test for both Freezing Trap and Snake Trap. However, keep in mind that if it is Snake Trap, you will end up with 3 more 1/1 minions on the board. So save any Area of Effect removal you have to clean it up if you can.
- Third you should play a minion that is either cheap and not valuable long term or has a lot of health that will trigger Snipe. So if it does get hit it doesn’t impact your strategy. Another idea is to play a minion that has a Deathrattle and then if it dies it leaves something behind, like a Harvest Golem.
- The last one to test for is Misdirection. You test for this by attacking the opponent’s Hero with a minion that is low value. Keep in mind that it could attack a minion on your side of the board or even your Hero. So you don’t want to use a minion with a large attack.
In the current Hunter meta, you will find that most are only playing Explosive Trap and Freezing Trap. You will occasionally see the others, but primarily it’s the first two that are playing most frequently.
The Paladin has recently seen a shift to where you are seeing more and more of it in the current meta along with many of their Secrets. So being aware of what they have the ability to play and how to test for each can be very important.
The Paladin doesn’t have any class specific cards that take advantage of their secrets. But their secrets are powerful on their own and can disrupt your plans.
- The first step is to attack either a minion or the hero with a minion that you don’t care about or with your weapon. This should trigger either Noble Sacrifice or Eye for an Eye.
- The second step is to play a minion with very low health, ideally 1 health, to trigger Repentance which changes the health of that minion to 1.
- Thirdly, you need to kill off a minion on his side of the board to either trigger Avenge or Redemption. Keep in mind that if it’s Avenge, it’s going to boost the health and attack of another minion on the board so you have to be ready to deal with that boosted minion.
What I’ve seen with the current meta, is a mixture of all of these secrets. The one you see least would be Eye for an Eye. But the others are quite common.
Other Secret Minions
Since we are on the topic of Secrets, let’s also mention a few other minions that can take advantage of having a Secret in play.
The most common of these you will see is the Mad Scientist. If your opponent plays a Mad Scientist, then they are going to be playing Secrets. It’s a given. You will rarely see the Secretkeeper and Illuminator. I like playing the Illuminator in my Mage Secret deck. As for the Kezan Mystic, it’s seen a rise in popularity recently and there is a chance you could see it when a lot of secret decks are being played in the current meta. It’s one of those cards that gets added to decks when people are seeing lots of secrets.
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The hosts do an excellent job of covering both the serious and silly sides of Hearthstone, with discussions of recent announcements and releases alongside strategies and tips for maximizing the fun you can have while playing. They always deliver on their Fun Guaranteed promise! The show also has an extremely friendly community, which I highly recommend to players who are new to Hearthstone and are looking for others to play and discuss the game with. Congratulations on your recent 50th episode; I look forward at (at least) 50 more!
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