Secret Paladin is a midrange paladin deck centred around Secrets. While individually most paladin Secrets are very weak, the deck relies on stacking multiple Secrets at once to confuse the opponent and protect their minions while leveraging Secret-related synergy effects.
Secret Paladin first made its debut in The Grand Tournament, using Mysterious Challenger to carry the deck with an extremely powerful turn 6 play, with Avenge and Muster for Battle to create huge turn swings. Secret Paladin became a Wild only deck after Year of the Mammoth, until Rise of Shadows added Secret-based cards for Paladins. This version of Secret Paladin often hybridizes with Mech Paladin, covering its weakness of early game.
Note: This write-up largely reflects the Mysterious Challenger Secret Paladin deck.
The core Secret Paladin engine revolves quite simply around Mysterious Challenger and the deck's Secrets. Secret Paladin often includes only 1 of each Secret, with a single Mysterious Challenger play in mind; the second Challenger is primarily included to ensure the card is drawn before too late in the game.
Ideally Mysterious Challenger is drawn in the starting hand or on or before turn 6, allowing for a highly powerful play. Playing Mysterious Challenger produces a bewildering puzzle of Secrets, which the opponent will have to dismantle in order to clear the paladin's board. In theory this single play either thwarts the opponent's efforts entirely, or exhausts so many of their resources that the paladin is left in a dominant position.
The early game for Secret Paladin varies depending on deck build, but usually follows the pattern of any midrange paladin deck. The mulligan aims to provide strong options from the start, especially in the deck's more aggressive variants.
Ideally Secrets would appear only through Mysterious Challenger, and players should usually mulligan them away. However, in practice they can and do get drawn prior to the Challenger, in which case the player should make use of them to delay the opponent until the Challenger can be implemented. In a worst case scenario all Secrets will be drawn before the Challenger, but usually enough will remain undrawn to make the Challenger a powerful if not game-winning play. Secretkeeper is an optional inclusion, providing an alternative threat and reducing the negative impact of drawing Secrets early on.
A key element of defeating Secret Paladin is understanding their Secrets, and learning to dismantle the tangled web produced by Mysterious Challenger. A thorough knowledge of their options (as well as the currently popular choices) will allow the player to minimise their impact on the board, and remove the resulting mess without expending all their resources.
Ideally, make sure you have minions in place prior to turn 6 (5 if you are going first) to ensure you have a way to pick apart the paladin's Secrets when the Challenger is played. Of course, beware of removal like Consecration that may be used to clear the way before summoning the Challenger.
With a range of variations, and substantial changes to the deck over time, it is not viable to accurately or extensively list the cards used in Secret Paladin decks. However, the following are some of the cards most commonly seen in Secret Paladin decks.
Mech hybrid variant
The following cards do not have strong synergy with Secret Paladin specifically, but as strong cards are nonetheless commonly included.
Wild cards that fit well into this deck type:
- Metabomb - Secret Paladin (Standard) deck list and guide (October 2016)
- Icy Veins - Secrets Paladin Midrange Wild Deck (June 2016)
|Common deck types|