With the start of the Year of the Gryphon, most of Mage's important cards like Kirin Tor Mage, Flame Ward and Cloud Prince have rotated to Wild, making Highlander Mage less prominent in Standard and more of a Wild archetype. For more information, see Game format.
Secret Mage is a Mage deck type that is derived from Tempo Mage. It is characterized by utilizing Mage's various efficient Secret cards as well as synergistic cards like Kabal Crystal Runner to disrupt and out-tempo the opponent. Secret Mage is an archetype that players have been trying to build for a long time due to the variety of Secret synergy cards that Mage has had and received in the game's history. It wasn't until the release of Kabal Crystal Runner in Mean Streets of Gadgetzan and Arcanologist in Journey to Un'Goro that Secret Mage finally had the pieces it needed to be formed into a viable and competitive archetype. These cards solidified the explosive start the deck always needed, allowing it to utilize its Secret package to the fullest right from the start of the game.
The deck utilizes cards like Kabal Lackey and Kirin Tor Mage to cheat secrets into play for 0 mana, then uses Medivh's Valet and Cloud Prince to deal bursts of damage, with Kabal Crystal Runner to add board presence and Aluneth to draw out cards needed to win the game.
The rotation of Kabal Crystal Runner and Kabal Lackey to Wild has made this deck a Wild-Exclusive deck. While more new Secret-based cards have been released since then, they've failed to make an impact on the Standard meta, but made Secret Mage in Wild an even more brutal force.
With the release of Madness at the Darkmoon Faire, there has been enough Secret-related cards added to make Secret Mage present in Standard, thanks to Sayge, Seer of Darkmoon and Rigged Faire Game, along with other tempo-based cards.
The following cards are usually in the deck.
The following cards are played in most or all versions of the deck:
The following cards are played more than occasionally, but not always:
|Common deck types|