Secret

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Secret
Hidden until a specific action occurs on your opponent's turn.
A shaman with mage and paladin Secrets.

A Secret is a spell card that is cast normally but has a delayed, hidden effect, which only takes place when a specific event occurs. When a Secret is played, a Secret icon appears in the hero zone on the caster's portrait, but the name and details of the Secret are not revealed to the opponent until the card is activated by its hidden condition.

Secrets can only be activated on the opponent's turn, preventing the player from triggering them themselves. The only exception are Secrets which specifically activate at the start of your turn, such as  Competitive Spirit and  Open the Cages, although these effects can still be interacted with by the opponent.

Secret is also the name of the ability all Secret cards have.

Originally, secret cards were limited to mages, paladins, and hunters. In the Kobolds and Catacombs expansion, rogues became the fourth secret class.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • Secrets triggered by a minion being played will take place after any Battlecry. For example,  Mirror Entity will copy a  Twilight Drake after its additional Health has been applied.
  • 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 revealed when a player plays a Secret from their own class.
  • Each class' Secrets are a different colour: pink for mages, yellow for paladins, green for hunters, gray for rogues. If a player plays a secret belonging to another class, it will retain its original class colour.[1]
  • Secrets created by  Lorewalker Cho are revealed publicly when played, and can be revealed after play by hovering over the Secret icon.[2]
  • In some cases a Secret's triggering event may occur, but the Secret's effect cannot activate. This can happen with  Mirror Entity and  Noble Sacrifice if there is no room remaining on the hero's board, with  Avenge if there are no friendly minions left on the board, and with multiple Secrets when a Secret's specific target is removed by another effect, such as a previous Secret (see below). In such cases, the Secret will simply remain in place without taking effect, revealing itself, or giving any indication that its trigger condition was met.
  • The limited choice of Secrets available to each class allows experienced players to logically determine 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 spells, and will activate all spell-related effects. Likewise, Secrets that deal damage can be improved by Spell Damage.
  • When Secrets and triggered effects are activated from the same trigger, the effects will activate in the order in which they were played.[3]
  • Quest cards are like Secrets in that they take up a Secret slot, but they cannot be affected by Secret-interacting cards like  Eater of Secrets,  Kezan Mystic, or  Flare.
  • If a hero is destroyed by the activation of an enemy Secret, the game will end there, without allowing any triggering actions to complete.[4] Example: Both players are at 2 Health. One player sends a  Stormwind Knight to attack the enemy hero, thus activating the opponent's  Explosive Trap. The Trap deals 2 damage to the first player, defeating them. The game then ends with the Stormwind Knight frozen mid-attack, with the second player still at 2 Health, resulting in a win for the second player. On the other hand, Secrets always resolve before the game can end, allowing Secrets such as  Eye for an Eye to result in a draw, with both heroes destroyed as a result of the same action. For further details, see Advanced rulebook#Secrets.

Multiple Secrets[edit | edit source]

  • Players cannot have more than one copy of the same Secret active at any one time. Players are unable to play Secret cards which match one of their active Secrets.
  • When played directly from the hand, players can have up to 5 different Secrets active at a time. Once this limit is reached, the player will be unable to play further Secret cards.[5]  Kezan Mystic also does not allow the player to exceed 5 Secrets.[6]  Mysterious Challenger will not play more than 5 Secrets from your deck.[7]
  • As of January 2015, a bug[8] allows  Mad Scientist to place additional different Secrets into play through its Deathrattle, even if this causes the number of Secrets to exceed 5.[1][9][10] Secrets beyond the 5 limit will activate and take effect normally, and in the correct order.[11]
  • 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 | edit source]

For Wild format listings, see Secret/Wild format.

This section lists all collectible Secrets in Standard.

Hunter[edit | edit source]

Customize this list


Swipe left or right to see the cards.
TTN 504.png
UPCOMING 105564.png
CORE EX1 610.png
CORE EX1 611.png
JAM 003.png
CORE AV 226.png
CORE GIL 577.png

Mage[edit | edit source]

Customize this list


Swipe left or right to see the cards.
WW 422.png
CORE EX1 287.png
CORE LOOT 101.png
CORE EX1 289.png
DEEP 000.png

Sources of Secrets

For Wild format listings, see Secret/Wild format.

Secret-generating cards

This section lists cards which generate Secrets.



Swipe left or right to see the cards.
TTN 075t3.png
TOY 037.png
TTN 302.png
TTN 302t.png
ETC 028.png
JAM 000t4.png
TOY 520.png
UPCOMING 101939.png
UPCOMING 105260.png
TTN 075.png

Related cards

For Wild format listings, see Secret/Wild format.

The following cards have specific synergy with Secrets, such as providing additional effects when Secrets are cast, or destroying Secrets already in play.

For cards which have synergy with spells in general, but not specifically with Secrets, see Spell-related.

Customize this list


Swipe left or right to see the cards.
JAM 001.png
CORE UNG 020.png
CORE FB Champs LOOT 080.png
UPCOMING 105260.png
TTN 088.png

Format pools[edit | edit source]

Arena[edit | edit source]

The following secrets are dratable in the current Arena rotation.

Note that if the current Arena rotation is using curated card pools, card generation is broadened to include all Wild format cards, which means any Secret can be generated.

Hunter[edit | edit source]



Swipe left or right to see the cards.
TTN 504.png
UPCOMING 105564.png
CORE EX1 610.png
CORE EX1 611.png
JAM 003.png
CORE AV 226.png
CORE GIL 577.png
NX2 013.png

Mage[edit | edit source]



Swipe left or right to see the cards.
CORE EX1 287.png
CORE LOOT 101.png
ULD 239.png
CORE EX1 289.png
DMF 107.png

Paladin[edit | edit source]

There are no Paladin Secrets in the current rotation.

Rogue[edit | edit source]

There are no Rogue Secrets in the current rotation.

Twist

The following secrets are offered in the current Twist format.

Hunter



Swipe left or right to see the cards.
TTN 504.png
AT 060.png
KAR 004.png
LOE 021.png
TSC 929.png
CORE EX1 610.png
EX1 610.png
CORE EX1 611.png
EX1 611.png
CFM 026.png
JAM 003.png
EX1 533.png
MAW 010.png
ULD 152.png
EX1 554.png
EX1 609.png
WON 018.png
NX2 013.png

Mage



Swipe left or right to see the cards.
WW 422.png
EX1 287.png
CORE EX1 287.png
FP1 018.png
AT 002.png
CORE LOOT 101.png
EX1 289.png
CORE EX1 289.png
EX1 295.png
UNG 024.png
EX1 294.png
MAW 006.png
CFM 620.png
DMF 107.png
Tt 010.png
DEEP 000.png
EX1 594.png
REV 516.png

Paladin



Swipe left or right to see the cards.
FP1 020.png
AT 073.png
EX1 132.png
CFM 800.png
EX1 130.png
CS3 016.png
EX1 136.png
EX1 379.png
LOE 027.png

Rogue



Swipe left or right to see the cards.
REV 825.png
REV 828.png
MAW 018.png
REV 827.png

Achievements[edit | edit source]

CategoryNameDescriptionRewards
Achievement Category 2Achievement SubCategory 2 logoGameplay - General - Neutral KeywordsDear Diary…Play 15 Secrets.10 Achievement Point.png
Achievement Category 2Achievement SubCategory 2 logoGameplay - General - Neutral KeywordsDear Diary…Play 50 Secrets.10 Achievement Point.png
Achievement Category 2Achievement SubCategory 2 logoGameplay - General - Neutral KeywordsDear Diary…Play 150 Secrets.10 Achievement Point.png
Achievement Category 2Achievement SubCategory 2 logoGameplay - General - Neutral KeywordsDear Diary…Play 500 Secrets.10 Achievement Point.png
Achievement Category 2Achievement SubCategory 2 logoGameplay - General - Neutral KeywordsDear Diary…Play 1500 Secrets.20 Achievement Point.png
Achievement Category 2Achievement SubCategory 63 logoGameplay - Barrens - PaladinJust Between You and MeTrigger 5 Paladin Secrets in one turn.20 Achievement Point.png
Achievement Category 2Achievement SubCategory 63 logoGameplay - Barrens - NeutralTop Secret SnoopCopy 5 Secrets with a single Horde Operative.20 Achievement Point.png, Golden Horde Operative (Uncraftable Rare)
Achievement Category 2Achievement SubCategory 157 logoGameplay - Alterac Valley - HunterIt's a Trap!Trigger 75 Hunter Secrets.10 Achievement Point.png
Achievement Category 2Achievement SubCategory 157 logoGameplay - Alterac Valley - HunterIt's a Trap!Trigger 150 Hunter Secrets.10 Achievement Point.png
Achievement Category 2Achievement SubCategory 157 logoGameplay - Alterac Valley - HunterIt's a Trap!Trigger 250 Hunter Secrets.20 Achievement Point.png
Achievement Category 2Achievement SubCategory 167 logoGameplay - Castle Nathria - MageMagical Mansion Mystery TourCast 40 Mage Secrets from Orion, Mansion Manager.20 Achievement Point.png
Achievement Category 2Achievement SubCategory 167 logoGameplay - Castle Nathria - RogueThe WHOLE Truth?!Cast 25 Secrets with Perjury.20 Achievement Point.png
Achievement Category 2Achievement SubCategory 167 logoGameplay - Castle Nathria - RogueThe WHOLE Truth?!Cast 50 Secrets with Perjury.20 Achievement Point.png
Achievement Category 2Achievement SubCategory 168 logoGameplay - Core (Hydra) - ClassesMiserable Pile of SecretsPlay 75 0-Cost Hunter Secrets.10 Achievement Point.png
Achievement Category 2Achievement SubCategory 168 logoGameplay - Core (Hydra) - ClassesMiserable Pile of SecretsPlay 150 0-Cost Hunter Secrets.20 Achievement Point.png
Achievement Category 2Achievement SubCategory 178 logoGameplay - Core (Wolf) - ClassesActing SusTrigger 150 Rogue Secrets.10 Achievement Point.png
Achievement Category 2Achievement SubCategory 178 logoGameplay - Core (Wolf) - ClassesActing SusTrigger 300 Rogue Secrets.20 Achievement Point.png
Achievement Category 2Achievement SubCategory 215 logoGameplay - Whizbang - HunterClever GirlRecast 30 Secrets with Product 9.100 Rewards Track - XP.png, 10 Achievement Point.png
Achievement Category 2Achievement SubCategory 215 logoGameplay - Whizbang - HunterClever GirlRecast 60 Secrets with Product 9.200 Rewards Track - XP.png, 20 Achievement Point.png

History[edit | edit source]

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.

Rogues originally had Secrets, but this was moved to Paladins during the game's alpha. The designers were struggling to give the Paladins a class identity while Rogues already had "a ton a sneaky things" with  Backstab, Stealth and Combo effects. The change served to refocus each class' strategic focus, helping to give Paladins "something that was their own thing" and giving Rogues a clearer picture of what the class wanted to do.[13][14] Over 3 years later, Secrets were re-introduced to Rogues in the Kobolds and Catacombs expansion. According to Game Designer Peter Whalen, the developers wanted to capture the fantasy of each specific class in the expansion, with Secrets making a lot of thematical sense for the "sneaky and tricky" Rogues, and "now lots of classes have different stuff going on", allowing for the re-introduction of Rogue Secrets.[14]

The apparent original line-up of Rogues, Hunters and Mages may reflect a connection between Secrets and the Stealth/Camouflage/Invisibility mechanics in World of Warcraft, with these the only classes (except Druids in cat form) capable of employing such mechanics to ambush their opponents, similar to the function of Secrets in Hearthstone. In this respect Secrets are more similar to World of Warcraft Stealth than the Hearthstone Stealth ability itself, allowing the player to genuinely surprise the opponent.

Patch 1.0.0.4944[edit | edit source]

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.[15]

This rule was accepted as standard for all Secrets, until nearly 18 months later when The Grand Tournament added a specific exception, in the form of  Competitive Spirit.

Future of Secrets[edit | edit source]

Adding Secrets to a new class is unlikely to happen again. Secrets require build-around cards to support them, since players rarely play Secrets by themselves.[16] In order to set up an expansion, the class needs at least three Secrets (otherwise the effect isn't really a "Secret") as well as good support cards for them. That leaves very little room for other cards in that class that set.[17] The devs realized this while designing Rogue's Secrets after having explored the concept. Since then, the idea of another Secret class hasn't been seriously considered. Having four Secret classes is already a lot[18], and possibly even too much.[19]

However, if a new class were to get Secrets, it would probably coincide with a new Core set where all Secrets are removed from one or two classes, so that the new class' Secrets can still feel special. Warlock is a good thematic fit for another Secret class.[20]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Having 5 secrets active can partially hide a hero's armor total, if playing on the desktop game client.[21]
  • In Patch 26.0.0.170824 (Festival of Legends), all Paladin Secrets were rotated out of the Core set, introducing the first ever year in Standard where no Paladin Secrets were present at all. Instead, Rogue received Secrets in the Core set to make Mage, Hunter, and Rogue the three main Secret classes.

Patch changes[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRIw0nT0vtM
  2. wowhobbs (2017-04-12). 🍀🎲 Secret Cho & Galvadon ~ Journey to Un'Goro ~ Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft at 2:34
  3. Ben Brode on Twitter (X). (2014-12-08). 
  4. Observed by User:Taohinton, 2014-12-25. Attacking with Stormwind Knight into Explosive Trap, player at 2 Health, opponent at 24 Health.
  5. [1] Tested by User:Taohinton and User:Xinhuan 2015-02-01
  6. Hearthstone Mythbusters Ep.6. (2014-01-30). 
  7. Screenshot - Deck contained 8 different Secrets when Mysterious Challenger was played.
  8. Ben Brode on Twitter (X). (2015-02-01). 
  9. Hearthstone Mythbusters. (2015-02-08). 
  10. [2] Tested by User:Taohinton and User:Xinhuan 2015-02-01
  11. [3] Tested by User:Taohinton and User:Xinhuan 2015-02-01
  12. Gahz'rilla attacking his owner. Retrieved on 2016-12-30.
  13. Senior Game Designer Ben Brode talks Hearthstone. (2014-12-19). 
  14. 14.0 14.1 Kobolds & Catacombs Card Reveal Kick-Off - YouTube. (2017-11-20). Retrieved on 2017-11-21.
  15. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2014-05-29). 
  16. Dean Ayala on Twitter (X). (2021-02-24). 
  17. Dean Ayala on Twitter (X). (2021-02-24). 
  18. Dean Ayala on Twitter (X). (2021-02-24). 
  19. Dean Ayala on Twitter (X). (2021-02-24). 
  20. Dean Ayala on Twitter (X). (2021-02-24). 
  21. Did you know if you have 5 Secrets your armor total also becomes a secret. (August 9, 2019). Retrieved on 2019-08-09.