The idea of a Secret Paladin was toyed around with near the end of the this set rotation, but never came to be anything fantastic. However, in Rise of Shadows, Secret Paladin’s return could leave it at a power level of the old Mysterious Challenger Secret Paladin.
Sunreaver Spy and Mysterious Blade
Sunreaver Spy and Mysterious Blade are the two new cards that just have amazing value. The Spy becomes a two mana 3/4 with a Secret in play, while the Blade becomes a two mana 3/2 with a Secret in play.
Sunreaver Spy’s stat line when the battlecry goes off is the same as the old Totem Golem. The difference now being that there is no overload on the Spy. No decks are doing anything crazy on turn one. So simply playing a Secret on your first turn will let this minion be more powerful than what an opponent will have on turn two.
Sunreaver Spy will also go excellently with Autodefense Matrix. If you manage to play Matrix on one into Spy on two, the opponent won’t really be able to kill the Spy through Divine Shield. If they do happen to trade, they’ll be short a minion and you will still have an annoying three attack minion in play.
Mysterious Blade has the stat line of un-nerfed Fiery War Axe when its Battlecry triggers. If you whiff on drawing the Sunreaver Spy, playing this on two will allow you to easily protect your board in the early stages of the game.
Commander Rhyssa and Desperate Measures
One of the primary weaknesses of Secret Paladin is that the Paladin Secrets don’t carry enough value at one mana in order to carry a game. Commander Rhyssa and Desperate Measures definitely increase the amount of value you can get out of those Secrets.
Rhyssa allows your secrets to trigger twice. One big value generator can be with Redemption. Bringing a minion back with one health twice can generate greater control of the board. Another good secret for this effect is Never Surrender, giving your minions plus four health is quite a lot.
Desperate Measures also helps keep Secret synergies active, and increase the number of Secrets in the deck. It’s effectively two secrets for one card, and allows you to have more copies of Secrets than can be in your deck. It’s essentially a replacement for Hydrologist, as he will rotate out in the new year.
Rounding Out the Deck
With Divine Favor being sent to the Hall of Fame, Secret Paladin needs to be aggressive and make every card count. If somehow a deck manages to survive and keep up with the early game of Secret Paladin, the Paladin needs a way to land the killing blow.
Cards like Bellringer Sentry keep the secrets going and Blessing of Kings makes big minions. If the opponent finds themselves trading with a minion that has Blessing of Kings on it and procs Autodefense Matrix, that minion could get the job done.
Leeroy Jenkins is a good piece in any aggro deck, as six damage is a lot. Hench-Clan Thug is another minion that might get added to the deck, since you play a weapon on turn two, and will also probably add Truesilver Champion for turn four.
Because of the secrets Autodefense Matrix and Noble Sacrifice, it will probably hardly make sense to trade. Secret Paladin could be a face race deck, which might be good in the new meta. A lot of the new cards try to make late-game value popular, and aggressive game plans make that hard to accomplish.
Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment via their official website.