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Secret Hunter deck list guide - Rastakhan - Hearthstone (January 2019)

How to play the revitalised Secret Hunter in the Rastakhan expansion.

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About John Bedford

John is Metabomb's Editor in Chief, and is responsible for all of the Hearthstone news, features and guides content on the site.

Our Secret Hunter deck list guide features the best Rastakhan deck list for Season 58 of Hearthstone (January 2019). Our Secret Hunter guide also contains Mulligan advice, card combos and strategy tips.

Secret Hunter is a Hearthstone deck archetype that stormed its way into the metagame following the release of the Karazhan Adventure way back when, and is now making a big comeback in the early days of Rastakhan’s Rumble. While Hunters have always relied heavily on their collection of Secrets to climb the ladder consistently, this particular deck is absolutely stuffed to the brim with these sorts of spells.

In our Secret Hunter guide we've got the most powerful version of Secret Hunter you can play in Rastakhan right now. We've also got an overview of the strategy involved, a look at navigating the Mulligan phase correctly, and a breakdown of every combo that exists in the deck.

If the deck continues to scamper up the tier list we'll keep updating the deck list, and will also expand on all areas of the guide, so that you have the only resource you need for playing it right here!

UPDATE - JANUARY 2019

Secret Hunter was optimised remarkably quickly at the start of the Rastakhan meta, and nothing has changed at all for the archetype over the Christmas break. We'll have another update for you later on in the month, but for now this is a very powerful deck that should provide a solid ladder climb in the New Year.

Secret Hunter deck list and strategy

This is the strongest version of Secret Hunter that we're aware of for the current meta and comes courtesy of Trump. We'll continue updating this over time though, so check back regularly for updates.

HunterNeutral
2 x Candleshot2 x Secretkeeper
1 x Explosive Trap2 x Masked Contender
2 x Freezing Trap1 x Subject 9
1 x Rat Trap
1 x Snake Trap
1 x Snipe
1 x Venomstrike Trap
2 x Wandering Monster
2 x Animal Companion
2 x Bloodscalp Strategist
2 x Eaglehorn Bow
2 x Kill Command
2 x Flanking Strike
2 x Lesser Emerald Spellstone
1 x Deathstalker Rexxar
1 x Zul'jin

Select and copy the long ID string below, then create a deck in Hearthstone to export this deck into your game.

Deck Import ID: AAECAR8IyQSY8ALHA64GncwCp4IDhtMCm4UDC+HjAp4BhwTf0gK1A6eKA/4MqAL1iQPd0gLj0gIA

More great Hunter guides:

General strategy

Secret Hunter is a deck chock full of, er, Secrets, which allow you to keep control over your opponent in the early game, while building up additional charges on Eaglehorn Bow for some substantial damage. All of these Secrets work especially well with Lesser Emerald Spellstone, which you can improve rapidly and play on Turn 5 to summon four 3/3 wolves – something your opponent may struggle to deal with easily.

The deck has also got a big bump in power over the last two expansions. In Boomsday, it received the Legendary minion Subject 9, which draws five Secrets from your deck. This not only makes it more consistent for you to empower Lesser Emerald Spellstone, but also provides you with a lot of value by thinning out your deck.

Meanwhile, Rastakhan’s Rumble has added Masked Contender and the hero card Zul’jin. The former can play a Secret from your deck if you already have another one under your control, while the latter repeats all spells you’ve played during the game – including all those Secrets once again!

Early game: Use your Secrets to control the early game, choosing which ones to play depending on the type of deck you’re up against. Wandering Monster is a safe choice either way, but you’ll want to prioritise Explosive Trap against aggro and Freezing Trap if you’re facing control. Ultimately, though, whatever you can do to disrupt their early turns is considered a success. Look to build up charges on Eaglehorn Bow too, as this can be the source of so much damage throughout the game.

Mid game: Some of your most impactful cards can come down in the mid game. Masked Contender can offer some excellent value by drawing and playing another Secret from your deck, so your opponent has even more to worry about. Also, Subject 9 can draw up to five different Secrets from your deck, and considering how many you run this is bound to get some good value.

Lastly, Lesser Emerald Spellstone should be improved twice by this point of the game too. Summoning four 3/3 wolves right on Turn 5 is a big swing play that demands an answer from your opponent. If they don’t have one, you’ll be well in control of the game from here on out.

Late game: With such a strong mid game you may have already won by this point. Just continue pushing through damage with whichever cards from above you haven’t played yet, as well as Eaglehorn Bow. If you are looking for that little extra something to secure the win, then Deathstalker Rexxar is perfect for the job – whether it’s finishing off your opponent’s board for good, or generating more minions with the Build-A-Beast hero power.

You can force your opponent to deal with all of your Secrets again by playing Zul’jin, which gives the deck even more late game reach. It’ll also replay any copies of Lesser Emerald Spellstone or Animal Companion, giving you a significant board for your opponent to try and deal with once again.

Aggro opponents

Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re up against aggro opponents:

  • 1. Secrets such as Explosive Trap and Wandering Monster are perfect for slowing down their early aggression.
  • 2. Considering how cheap a lot of their cards are, you should find it very easy for them to trigger Rat Trap. A 6/6 is especially difficult for them to remove too.
  • 3. You have some late game catch up thanks to the Battlecry effect of Deathstalker Rexxar, which should wipe out - or at least sufficiently weaken - their minions.
  • 4. Kill Command is best saved for burst damage to finish them off, although it can be used to clear minions in a pinch.
  • 5. If you’re able to build up a powerful Secretkeeper, they might struggle to remove it or will need to commit a lot of resources to dealing with the threat.

Control opponents

These tips will help you overcome control decks on ladder:

  • 1. As with aggro, disrupt their early turns with Secrets. Freezing Trap is particularly good at forcing a single powerful minion back into their hand, while Venomstrike Trap and Snipe can kill or take a chunk of health off bigger creatures.
  • 2. Try even harder to get the full value out of Lesser Emerald Spellstone here, although expect them to have a way of dealing with the first batch of wolves you deliver at least.
  • 3. Try to save Kill Command for some surprise burst damage, as if you just use it freely there’s a good chance they’ll be able to heal or Armor up to negate the effect.
  • 4. There’s a greater chance you’ll need Deathstalker Rexxar and Zul’jin to finish out the game against control, so prepare to make good use of the Build-A-Beast hero power, and create a big pool of spells to recast.
  • 5 Bloodscalp Strategist is a good way to find spells that Secret Hunter doesn’t usually run, so you can grab yourself a Hunter’s Mark or a Deadly Shot to remove the big threats of Control decks.

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Secret Hunter Mulligan guide

Be on the hunt for these cards during the Mulligan stage:

  • 1. Secretkeeper: A powerful starting minion which can quickly snowball if you can feed her a Secret or two.
  • 2. Candleshot: A decent early game weapon to help clear off weaker minions.
  • 3. Lesser Emerald Spellstone: With all the Secrets in this deck you should be able to power this up very quickly to play on curve.
  • 4. Wandering Monster: A good Secret that will contest many early game minions with ease.
  • 5. Eaglehorn Bow: The sooner you can get this equipped and start increasing its Durability with Secrets, the better.

Secret Hunter tips combos and synergies

If you fancy messing around with Spell Hunter you'll want to first of all familiarise yourself with all of the most important card synergies you have at your disposal.

Here's a quick look at some of the biggest combos that you always need to be thinking about as every match plays out.

- Each time a Secret of yours is triggered by your opponent, Eaglehorn Bow - if it's actually being wielded by you at the time - will gain an extra point of Durability, allowing you to push over the finishing line even faster (or clear a bothersome minion out of the way).

- Whenever a Secret is played by either player, Secretkeeper gains an extra +1 / +1 of stats.

- As you’re almost guaranteed to have Candleshot or Eaglehorn Bow equipped throughout the game, Bloodscalp Strategist will consistently be able to Discover a spell for you.

- If you've any Beasts on the board, then your Kill Command damage value increases from three points to five.

- In the early game, Wandering Monster will quite often produce a minion that survives the assault that spawned it.

- Lesser Emerald Spellstone costs five Mana and summons two 3 / 3 Wolves in its vanilla form. If you play a Secret then this increases to three Wolves. Play another Secret and you'll get four of these creatures!

- If Rat Trap is active, your opponent will spawn you a 6 / 6 minion if they play three or more cards in a single turn.

- Subject 9 is great for pulling any remaining spells out of your deck and putting them into your hand. This then allows you to keep your Secret train rolling on.

- Save playing Masked Contender until you have at least one Secret active. Gaining his Battlecry effect is extremely valuable in order to thin out your deck and gain a tempo advantage over your opponent.

- Zul’jin will recast every spell you’ve played throughout the game when he enters the battlefield, so make sure you have enough space for all the Secrets and minions that will hit the board.

Card choices and substitutions

The Secret Hunter list has seen some impactful changes with the launch of Rastakhan’s Rumble. Here are some of the key cards for the archetype.

  • Secretkeeper: With all the Secrets you’re running in this deck it’s very easy to increase her strength rapidly to create a seriously tough minion for your opponent to fend off.
  • Explosive Trap: Perfect for dealing with early game aggression: your opponent will be forced to find a way around it, or sacrifice the small minions they already have on board.
  • Freezing Trap: Some more early game delay. If this triggers on the right minion you can seriously disrupt an opponent’s game plan.
  • Rat Trap: More effective against aggro decks that are more likely to be able to afford playing three cards in a single turn.
  • Wandering Monster: Surprise, surprise – yet another Secret. This is particularly good at trading with early minions, and could even survive against some attacks.
  • Eaglehorn Bow: With all the Secrets in the deck you should have many opportunities to gain a lot of extra attack charges that can be used to clear minions or go directly for an opponent’s life total.
  • Masked Contender: Represents some excellent value, as you should have a Secret under your control at most stages throughout the match. This will often play another from your deck without any extra preparation.
  • Lesser Emerald Spellstone: Can be a huge swing turn when you drop four 3/3 wolves onto the board. You have so many Secrets that you’re better off waiting until it’s fully powered up to play.
  • Subject 9: Another card that synergises so well with all the Secrets in the deck. You should get a lot of value from the draw effect, but watch your hand size when you play it.
  • Deathstalker Rexxar: Gives the deck a back-up win condition as well as some extra reach if a game drags on when facing control opponents.
  • Zul’jin: The new Rastakhan legendary hero card fits elegantly into Secret Hunter as a way to replay all of the Secrets and other spells you’ve cast throughout a match, for a slightly crazy but hugely valuable turn ten play.

Comment on this article

  • Soxaldinho #1 18 days ago
    I've taken out the two Bloodscalps and added The Marsh Queen (hunter quest) and Halazzi.

    Mulligan the quest (and Halazzi if necessary) into the deck and then save them once drawb. If you're approaching fatigue, empty your hand, drop the quest and and follow with Halazzi. You have 7 1-cost minions and can play them off, follow up with Carnassa and boom, 15 more cards in your deck (and an 8/8 on the board).

    Gives awesome late game value.
    Sign in to reply
  • Bedders #2 A year ago
    Hi guys, this deck list is now fully updated for the Frozen Throne launch. All comments above this one related to an early version of the deck.
    Sign in to reply
  • Bedders #3 A year ago
    @Redhawk511 Whoops you are correct, editing in now.
    Sign in to reply
  • Redhawk511 #4 A year ago
    In the deck list, you list Explosive Shot (a 5 cost card) in the second position when I believe you intended to include the 2 cost Explosive Trap.
    Sign in to reply
  • Bedders #5 2 years ago
    @assassin977 Squire! Sorry about that it's fixed now.
    Sign in to reply
  • assassin977 #6 2 years ago
  • assassin977 #7 2 years ago
    @assassin977 Do you mean Horserider?
    Sign in to reply
  • assassin977 #8 2 years ago
    Argent Hunter?
    Sign in to reply
  • Arexor #9 2 years ago
    To be honest, this deck looks more and more like a concede hunter deck. Unless you draw you essential parts - especially against aggro - you have a lot of dead turns. The drawing part goes for a lot of decks, but especially in this, if you don't have bow, the secrets you need (explosive against aggro) or any Huntresses, you're pretty much dead by turn 6-8. That's my experience at least. Maybe I've drawn like an idiot, but I don't feel like my win is slipping by this easily in other decks.
    That being said, if you draw like a god, you will win pretty easily, but again, that goes for all decks.
    1,8/5.
    Sign in to reply
  • Allendroth #10 2 years ago
    @Lokojet yea Im with you on the CoW nerf... Hunter is now back to not having an 8 drop. Rag has been it for so long but hes neutral. I really hope they bring another 8 cost spell to the class in the next release. As for tracking? Such a scary card cause you lose those other two cards. In an aggro or midtempo deck it works early game cause you might not have drawn those other cards anyway but late game? I dunno. Tough one there...
    Sign in to reply
  • Allendroth #11 2 years ago
    @Bedders haha nah, semantics. This whole article was great. In terms of current meta? This build is definately new.
    Sign in to reply
  • Lokojet #12 2 years ago
    @Bedders@Allendroth Thanks for your messages.
    What I don't like about the recent CoW nerf is that you can't play almost anything in addition of CoW because the 9 mana cost (I mean no traps, no quick shot, etc, even no hero power). So Tracking could become an essential card in hunter decks to choose your next turn card after CoW.
    Sign in to reply
  • Bedders #13 2 years ago
    @Lokojet Oh and in terms of the nerfs I've just seen these and will cover on the site now.

    I won't rush to make any changes to the guides though, and will instead let better players than me work this one out first!
    Sign in to reply
  • Bedders #14 2 years ago
    @Lokojet I think Tracking you look for what you need to make your hand work. If it's a straight Turn 1 play though I would take Cloaked Huntress over just about anything else, but I think there are too many variables to go much deeper than that.
    @Allendroth Poor choice of words on my part I think. I tend to refer to things in terms of the generally accepted state of the current metagame. I know it's been growing in popularity in deck rankings for a few weeks now, so I suppose I mean it's a relatively new thing to be aware of/play competitively. Thanks for outlining some alternative deck choices too!
    Sign in to reply
  • Allendroth #15 2 years ago
    Theres no way to say this without sounding snoody BUT "Secret" hunter is not new. Far from it. The Trap Hunter archetype has been staring the meta game in the face since blackrock. I have been getting rank 4 or better with minimal effort for well over a year. Players look at hunter as a damage every turn kind of class but it is in fact an incredible control class. The hero power is so effective in this build because even on turns spent setting up control you can deal two damage. This build listed above however is a bit generic in its approach. The Secretkeeper and the Cloaked Huntress are not needed. (I know, sounds crazy right???) and Snipe isnt reliable even if you know the meta. Barnes works great with the Highmanes but to get the most value from him you need to have ONLY the best, NON-battlecry drops in the deck to pull like Ragnaros and Shaarj, Rage Unbound. So I would drop The Curator; why chance pulling a 1/1 taunt with Barnes? Hat Trick works fine as a tech card if Freeze Mage is clogging the ladder but overall its not a great trap for control. Unleash the hounds is a must here and consider snake trap as an early game set up for Misha. More often than not, youll have Loekk to thank for some serious snake and hound damage. Lastly, the Azure Drake doesnt play well here either. The 5 mana slot is heavy, you need those turns for selective removal spells. Drop the Tracking and put in an Explosive Shot for board clear. Trust that Call of the Wild, Ragnaros and Highmanes are enough to finish your opponent.

    But thank you for covering this topic! Im obviously far too passionate about it LOL! Im gonna go get a life now.
    Sign in to reply
  • Lokojet #16 2 years ago
    Looks really nice!
    What would you suggest for Tracking? I mean priority order?
    In addition, is the best decision play Tracking in first turns?
    One more, with the recent nerf, still 2 x Call of the Wild?
    Sign in to reply

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