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Secret

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Secret is an ability where a spell card is played face down and a stated effect triggers upon a specific condition occurring. The playing of a secret is revealed to the other player, but the name and details of the secret are not. Secrets can only be activated on the opposing player's turn, preventing them from being intentionally triggered by the controlling player.

Secret cards are limited to mages, paladins and hunters.

Notes[edit]

  • Secrets can only be triggered on the opponent's turn, preventing the casting player from triggering their own secrets.
  • All secrets available to a class have the same mana cost. This prevents opponents from guessing the secret based upon its cost, which is the only information displayed when a player plays a secret.
  • In some cases a secret may be triggered, but be unable to take effect. This can happen with Mirror Entity and Noble Sacrifice if there is no room remaining on the hero's board, and with multiple secrets if their specific target is removed (see below). In such cases, the secret will not take effect, and will remain in place.
  • The limited choice of secrets available to each class allows experienced players to calculate the identity of unrevealed secrets. Since each secret has a specific trigger, players can intentionally test the secret to attempt to determine its effect, attempt to draw the secret out with weak cards and actions, or simply hedge their bets in order to minimise its negative consequences. For example, a player facing a mage with a single active secret may choose to summon a weaker minion before summoning a stronger one, in case their opponent has Mirror Entity, and then attack with the weaker minion first, in case that secret is a Vaporize.
  • While they have special trigger conditions, secrets are basically spells, and have synergy with all spell-related effects. Likewise, secrets that deal damage can be improved by Spell Damage.

Multiple secrets[edit]

  • You can have up to five secrets at any one time, but you can't have more than one copy of the same secret active at any one time.
  • Multiple secrets can trigger from a single event, for example a minion attacking the hero will activate all Explosive Trap, Misdirection and Freezing Trap secrets active on that hero at the time.
  • Only one secret can take effect at a time, and multiple activated secrets will always take effect in the order in which they were played. For example, a minion attacking a hunter who has played Misdirection followed by Freezing Trap will be Misdirected before then being returned to the controlling player's hand. This can make the order in which secrets are played extremely significant.
  • If a secret removes the specific target for another secret which was already triggered, the second secret will not take effect, since it now lacks a target. For example, if Freezing Trap removes the minion which would have been the target of Misdirection, the Misdirection will not trigger, since it no longer has a target.
  • Note that this rule only applies for secrets which require specific targets; secrets such as Explosive Trap and Snake Trap do not require targets, and will always take effect once triggered, even if the original trigger minion has been removed from play.

Secrets[edit]

Name Name / Desc Rarity Type Subtype Class Cost Atk HP Description
Avenge Avenge {2Common Spell Paladin icon.png Paladin 1 Mana icon.png Secret: When one of your minions dies, give a random friendly minion +3/+2. Several paladins have joined together to deliver justice under the name "Justice Force". Their lawyer talked them out of calling themselves the Justice League.
Secret: When one of your minions dies, give a random friendly minion +3/+2. Several paladins have joined together to deliver justice under the name "Justice Force". Their lawyer talked them out of calling themselves the Justice League.
Duplicate Duplicate {2Common Spell Secret Mage icon.png Mage 3 Mana icon.png Secret: When a friendly minion dies, put 2 copies of it into your hand. The one time when duping cards won't get your account banned!
Secret: When a friendly minion dies, put 2 copies of it into your hand. The one time when duping cards won't get your account banned!
Explosive Trap Explosive Trap {2Common Spell Hunter icon.png Hunter 2 Mana icon.png Secret: When your hero is attacked, deal 2 damage to all enemies. It traps your food AND cooks it for you!
Secret: When your hero is attacked, deal 2 damage to all enemies. It traps your food AND cooks it for you!
Eye for an Eye Eye for an Eye {2Common Spell Paladin icon.png Paladin 1 Mana icon.png Secret: When your hero takes damage, deal that much damage to the enemy hero. Justice sometimes takes the form of a closed fist into a soft cheek.
Secret: When your hero takes damage, deal that much damage to the enemy hero. Justice sometimes takes the form of a closed fist into a soft cheek.
Freezing Trap Freezing Trap {2Common Spell Hunter icon.png Hunter 2 Mana icon.png Secret: When an enemy minion attacks, return it to its owner's hand and it costs (2) more. "Dang, that's cold." - appropriate response to Freezing Trap, or a mean joke.
Secret: When an enemy minion attacks, return it to its owner's hand and it costs (2) more. "Dang, that's cold." - appropriate response to Freezing Trap, or a mean joke.
Ice Barrier Ice Barrier {2Common Spell Mage icon.png Mage 3 Mana icon.png Secret: As soon as your hero is attacked, gain 8 Armor. This is Rank 1. Rank 2 is Chocolate Milk Barrier.
Secret: As soon as your hero is attacked, gain 8 Armor. This is Rank 1. Rank 2 is Chocolate Milk Barrier.
Mirror Entity Mirror Entity {2Common Spell Mage icon.png Mage 3 Mana icon.png Secret: When your opponent plays a minion, summon a copy of it. "You go first." - Krush'gor the Behemoth, to his pet boar.
Secret: When your opponent plays a minion, summon a copy of it. "You go first." - Krush'gor the Behemoth, to his pet boar.
Noble Sacrifice Noble Sacrifice {2Common Spell Paladin icon.png Paladin 1 Mana icon.png Secret: When an enemy attacks, summon a 2/1 Defender as the new target. We will always remember you, "Defender!"
Secret: When an enemy attacks, summon a 2/1 Defender as the new target. We will always remember you, "Defender!"
Redemption Redemption {2Common Spell Paladin icon.png Paladin 1 Mana icon.png Secret: When one of your minions dies, return it to life with 1 Health. I am not sure how you get demptioned the first time. It’s a mystery!
Secret: When one of your minions dies, return it to life with 1 Health. I am not sure how you get demptioned the first time. It’s a mystery!
Repentance Repentance {2Common Spell Paladin icon.png Paladin 1 Mana icon.png Secret: When your opponent plays a minion, reduce its Health to 1. Repentance often comes in the moment before obliteration. Curious.
Secret: When your opponent plays a minion, reduce its Health to 1. Repentance often comes in the moment before obliteration. Curious.
Snipe Snipe {2Common Spell Hunter icon.png Hunter 2 Mana icon.png Secret: When your opponent plays a minion, deal 4 damage to it. A great sniper hits the spot. Just like a delicious flank of boar. Mmmmm.
Secret: When your opponent plays a minion, deal 4 damage to it. A great sniper hits the spot. Just like a delicious flank of boar. Mmmmm.
Counterspell Counterspell {3Rare Spell Mage icon.png Mage 3 Mana icon.png Secret: When your opponent casts a spell, Counter it. What's the difference between a mage playing with Counterspell and a mage who isn't? The mage who isn't is getting Pyroblasted in the face.
Secret: When your opponent casts a spell, Counter it. What's the difference between a mage playing with Counterspell and a mage who isn't? The mage who isn't is getting Pyroblasted in the face.
Misdirection Misdirection {3Rare Spell Hunter icon.png Hunter 2 Mana icon.png Secret: When a character attacks your hero, instead he attacks another random character. Sometimes it's as simple as putting on a fake mustache and pointing at someone else.
Secret: When a character attacks your hero, instead he attacks another random character. Sometimes it's as simple as putting on a fake mustache and pointing at someone else.
Vaporize Vaporize {3Rare Spell Mage icon.png Mage 3 Mana icon.png Secret: When a minion attacks your hero, destroy it. Rumor has it that Deathwing brought about the Cataclysm after losing a game to this card. We may never know the truth.
Secret: When a minion attacks your hero, destroy it. Rumor has it that Deathwing brought about the Cataclysm after losing a game to this card. We may never know the truth.
Ice Block Ice Block {4Epic Spell Mage icon.png Mage 3 Mana icon.png Secret: When your hero takes fatal damage, prevent it and become Immune this turn. Ice is nice, and will suffice!
Secret: When your hero takes fatal damage, prevent it and become Immune this turn. Ice is nice, and will suffice!
Snake Trap Snake Trap {4Epic Spell Hunter icon.png Hunter 2 Mana icon.png Secret: When one of your minions is attacked, summon three 1/1 Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?
Secret: When one of your minions is attacked, summon three 1/1 Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?
Spellbender Spellbender {4Epic Spell Mage icon.png Mage 3 Mana icon.png Secret: When an enemy casts a spell on a minion, summon a 1/3 as the new target. While it's fun to intercept enemy lightning bolts, a spellbender much prefers to intercept opposing Marks of the Wild. It just feels meaner. And blood elves... well, they're a little mean.
Secret: When an enemy casts a spell on a minion, summon a 1/3 as the new target. While it's fun to intercept enemy lightning bolts, a spellbender much prefers to intercept opposing Marks of the Wild. It just feels meaner. And blood elves... well, they're a little mean.


Related cards[edit]

Name Name / Desc Rarity Type Subtype Class Cost Atk HP Description
Mad Scientist Mad Scientist {2Common Minion General Any icon.png Any 2 Mana icon.png 2 Attack icon.png 2 Health icon.png Deathrattle: Put a Secret from your deck into the battlefield. His mother wanted him to be a mage or a warlock, but noooooooo, he had to go and be a scientist like his father.
Deathrattle: Put a Secret from your deck into the battlefield. His mother wanted him to be a mage or a warlock, but noooooooo, he had to go and be a scientist like his father.
Eaglehorn Bow Eaglehorn Bow {3Rare Equipment Hunter icon.png Hunter 3 Mana icon.png 3 Attack icon.png 2 Health icon.png Whenever a friendly Secret is revealed, gain +1 Durability. First Lesson: Put the pointy end in the other guy.
Whenever a friendly Secret is revealed, gain +1 Durability. First Lesson: Put the pointy end in the other guy.
Ethereal Arcanist Ethereal Arcanist {3Rare Minion General Mage icon.png Mage 4 Mana icon.png 3 Attack icon.png 3 Health icon.png If you control a Secret at the end of your turn, gain +2/+2. The ethereals are wrapped in cloth to give form to their non-corporeal bodies. Also because it's nice and soft.
If you control a Secret at the end of your turn, gain +2/+2. The ethereals are wrapped in cloth to give form to their non-corporeal bodies. Also because it's nice and soft.
Flare Flare {3Rare Spell Hunter icon.png Hunter 1 Mana icon.png All minions lose Stealth. Destroy all enemy Secrets. Draw a card. Not only does it reveal your enemies, but its also great for parties!
All minions lose Stealth. Destroy all enemy Secrets. Draw a card. Not only does it reveal your enemies, but its also great for parties!
Kirin Tor Mage Kirin Tor Mage {3Rare Minion General Mage icon.png Mage 3 Mana icon.png 4 Attack icon.png 3 Health icon.png Battlecry: The next Secret you play this turn costs (0). The Kirin Tor reside in the floating city of Dalaran. How do you make a Dalaran float? Two scoops of ice cream, one scoop of Dalaran.
Battlecry: The next Secret you play this turn costs (0). The Kirin Tor reside in the floating city of Dalaran. How do you make a Dalaran float? Two scoops of ice cream, one scoop of Dalaran.
Secretkeeper Secretkeeper {3Rare Minion General Any icon.png Any 1 Mana icon.png 1 Attack icon.png 2 Health icon.png Whenever a Secret is played, gain +1/+1. She promises not to tell anyone about that thing you did last night with that one person.
Whenever a Secret is played, gain +1/+1. She promises not to tell anyone about that thing you did last night with that one person.


Hunter[edit]

Explosive Trap(344).png Freezing Trap(99).png Misdirection(447).png Snipe(553).png Snake Trap(210).png

Mage[edit]

Counterspell(531).png Duplicate.png Ice Barrier(672).png Ice Block(28).png Mirror Entity(569).png Spellbender(309).png Vaporize(160).png

Paladin[edit]

Avenge.png Eye for an Eye(206).png Noble Sacrifice(158).png Redemption(657).png Repentance(642).png

Related cards[edit]

Eaglehorn Bow(363).png Ethereal Arcanist(125).png Flare(630).png Kirin Tor Mage(411).png Mad Scientist.png Secretkeeper(483).png

History[edit]

Secrets likely evolved from the cancelled "Combat Tricks" feature, removed early in the game's development. Similar to secrets, these allowed players with active Combat Tricks who attacked their opponent to play a card on their opponent's turn, disrupting their play. Ultimately it was found that removing Combat Tricks actually made the game more fun, as well as further improving its speed. It seems the idea was not wholly abandoned though, since secrets appear to represent a weaker form of the same mechanic.

Patch 1.0.0.4944[edit]

With Patch 1.0.0.4944, secrets were made to only be triggered on the opponent's turn. Prior to this, players could intentionally trigger their own secrets, allowing them to make use of them as additional spell effects, rather than counter-abilities.

While most secrets were unaffected, some interesting play options were intentionally removed by this change. The developers stated that the ability to trigger your own secrets was preventing them from creating new and powerful secrets, due to being easily triggered by the controlling player prior to this change. While removing certain strategic possibilities, this change was therefore intended to allow for the creation of a diverse range of new secrets. The subsequently announced Curse of Naxxramas mage secret Duplicate was confirmed as an example of a card that the earlier design would have prevented from being implemented.[1]

Patch changes[edit]

  • Patch 1.0.0.4944 (2014-03-11): Secrets can now only activate on your opponent’s turn.

References[edit]

  1. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2014-05-29).