It's Not a Secret Anymore
Secret Mage had a middling start in the new format but recently it has been getting the respect that it deserves. There has been a large uptick in the amount of people playing it across all the ranks, most of all in legend. After making the switch myself, I'm starting to see why. The early game minions are powerful and either gain value or generate mana advantages. This let's you contest the aggressive deck's early game, while still being able to push the board against Quest Rogue and control decks.
Another boon for this deck is the power of Counterspell: one of the few ways to interact with Quest Rogue. Pirate Warrior and some of the Paladin variants are bad matchups but they are also falling off slightly in representation. Other than those, your match-ups across the board are positive, which makes me believe that Secret Mage will be able to stick to the top of the ladder standing for a while. At its core, this is an aggressive midrange deck, you want to fight for board presence until you can turn the corner and start going face.
Key Cards: Medivh's Valet, Kirin Tor Mage, Kabal Crystal Runner
This list is pretty stock but I will be outlining other potential playables. As this list stands, your board control is based around contesting with minions and your Hero Power, instead of the usual kill spells and sweepers from the other Mage decks. This gives you an upper hand in the mirrors as well as the control matchups where you are pressuring instead of sitting back with Flamestrikes, Blizzards and Frost Novas trying to eventually get value.
The Secrets take up a large portion of your midgame plan and your goal is to be able to use them to swing the tempo of the game in your favour. Proper sequencing is key here so you need to get the most out Kirin Tor Mage and Medivh's Valet to gain that tempo, otherwise you are playing some pretty unimpressive minions.
The one card that stands out here is Yogg-Saron but he fits really well into the game plan. Most of your resources are expended quickly to get the advantage on board because your curve is so low. If your opponent makes it to turn 10, they likely have either stabilized or are advantaged so a swinging Yogg is what you need
Always a powerful addition, but this list does not have many cheap spells. If you're looking to add some, however, then Thalnos fits right in.
Pyros looks pretty unassuming, but is quite the powerhouse throughout the game. Having one card that can fill out multiple parts of your curve is great for midrange decks. Play this if you are expecting mirrors and other grindy match-ups.
Good choice against the aggressive decks, not only buying you an extra turn, but allowing your Medivh's Valet to always be active. I am currently considering this over one — or maybe two — of the Mirror Entities.
With all the go-wide strategies on the ladder, this is a solid addition. Most of your minions will survive this, but timing it is key to turning the game. The only awkward part of the smaller sweeper is that Token Druid and Hunter can quickly get out of range.
A very explosive threat and one I love having against removal light decks. If you want to lower your curve and become more of an aggressive deck for the Quest Rogue and Control match-ups.
The big'ol midrange threat. You don't know what you are going to get but it will usually be something of value. Summoner is great in the grindy matchups, specifically against other mage decks.
A powerful late game option instead of Yogg-Saron if you don't like spinning the wheel. Having access to some more cheap spells or Ice Block would be important to add along with Archmage to get the most out of his ability.
I'm not sure how important it is to have access to a big sweeper. Your deck is already great at controlling the early board, that by the time you are able to cast these, they have already been forced to attack your minions to contest the board. That being said, it is always nice to have a catch-all.
Medivh, the Guardian:
Another late game threat option and significantly less all-in than Yogg-Saron or Archmage. You can play Medivh aggressively because it doesn't require any setup, and the value it provides can get you back in grindy games even after he dies.
The most all-in of all the late game options. Great if your gameplan is to just get them dead, but can't get you back into games you are losing. Definitely preferable in a more aggressive shell.
Going forward with this strategy, it's important to see how the Paladin and Mage decks react to the rise of this deck and adapting to that appropriately. They are the decks with the most variety in their lists, and can change the most. As long as all these crabs stick around, and people are still gunning to beat Token Druid, Secret Mage will be well positioned.
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