Our Secret Hunter deck list guide features the best Rise of Shadows deck list for Hearthstone (April 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 has varied in popularity ever since. 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 the deck you can play in Rise of Shadows right now as it tries to establish itself in the new meta. 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 bound 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!
Secret Hunter deck list and strategy
This is the strongest version of Secret Hunter that we're aware of for the current meta. We'll continue updating this over time though, so check back regularly for updates.
|2 x Rapid Fire||1 x Subject 9|
|2 x Tracking|
|2 x Explosive Trap|
|2 x Freezing Trap|
|2 x Hunter's Mark|
|1 x Rat Trap|
|1 x Snipe|
|2 x Animal Companion|
|2 x Deadly Shot|
|2 x Kill Command|
|2 x Unleash the Hounds|
|2 x Marked Shot|
|1 x Wing Blast|
|2 x Baited Arrow|
|2 x Unleash the Beast|
|1 x Vereesa Windrunner|
|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: AAECAR8Grgbc7gKY8AKnggObhQP7lgMMjQGoArUDhwTJBJcIxQjbCaKKA+aWA+yWA/mWAwA=
- 1. Tier List - Hearthstone: Tier List (Rise of Shadows)
- 2. Spell Hunter - Spell Hunter deck list guide (Rise of Shadows)
- 3. Mech Hunter - Mech Hunter deck list guide (Rise of Shadows)
- 4. Beast Hunter - Beast Hunter deck list guide (Rise of Shadows)
- 5. Midrange Hunter - Midrange Hunter deck list guide (Rise of Shadows)
- 6. Best Decks - Best Rise of Shadows decks
- 7. Budget Decks - Budget Rise of Shadows decks
Secret Hunter is a deck chock full of, er, Secrets, which allow you to keep control over your opponent in the early game. All of these Secrets work to damage and disrupt your opponent’s game plan, either directly through their effects or indirectly by forcing them to make nonoptimal plays in order to play around them.
The deck recently got a big bump in power with Subject 9 from the Boomsday expansion. This not only gives you a more consistent way to get to your Secrets, but also provides you with a lot of value by thinning out your deck. Meanwhile, Rastakhan’s Rumble added new hero card Zul'jin. This powerful card 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. Snipe is a safe choice either way, but you’ll want to prioritise Explosive Trap or Rat 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.
Mid game: Some of your most impactful cards can come down in the mid game. Subject 9 can draw up to five different Secrets from your deck, and considering how many you run here this is bound to get some good value.
You also have many very strong removal tools for this stage of the game. Anything your opponent drops can be swiftly batted away by Marked Shot, Wing Blast and Baited Arrow. Try to do what you can to trigger the Overkill effect on the latter for the tempo advantage.
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. Vereesa Windrunner is an interesting new legendary that equips you with Thori'dal, the Stars' Fury when played. This weapon’s damage – and bonus Spell Damage it provides – can be a big boost to your burst finishers like Kill Command.
If that doesn’t work 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 cards like Unleash the Beast or Animal Companion, giving you a significant board for your opponent to try and deal with once again.
Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re up against aggro opponents:
- 1. Secrets such as Explosive Trap and Rat Trap are perfect for slowing down their early aggression.
- 2. If they’re sneaking out into the lead just wait for the right time to play Unleash the Hounds and you can wipe out a wide board fairly quickly.
- 3. Kill Command is best saved for burst damage to finish them off, although it can be used to clear minions in a pinch.
- 4. Wing Blast is the better minion removal tool though, especially if you’ve manage to discount its cost to one and set yourself up for a big tempo play.
- 5 If the match is going even later, Unleash the Beast is another perfect catch up card as the Rush mechanic will allow you to trade away one of your opponent’s minions immediately.
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 Snipe can kill or take a chunk of health off bigger creatures.
- 2. The deck runs two copies of Hunter's Mark which are perfect from bringing some of the control deck’s biggest threats down to size.
- 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 Zul'jin to finish out the game against control, so prepare a big pool of spells ready to be recast as well.
Secret Hunter Mulligan guide
Be on the hunt for these cards during the Mulligan stage:
- 1. Animal Companion: Gets you onto the board with a decent minion two times out of three and an OK one every one time.
- 2. Snipe: Kills most other minions around this level and can put the momentum of the match in your favour.
- 3. Rat Trap: A better hold against aggro as they’re likely to play this many cards in one turn so early.
- 4. Subject 9: As it’s such a powerful card in the deck keeping this midgame drop isn’t too silly, plus it’ll fill your hand with Secrets to play.
Secret Hunter tips combos and synergies
If you want to learn the ways of Secret Hunter then you’ll want to be well aware of these important combos and synergies in the deck.
- Hunter's Mark reduces the Health of a target to one, which is easily dealt with by a quick Rapid Fire spell, for example.
- Think about when your opponent might be at a point where they can play three cards in a turn to activate Rat Trap. Aggro decks will be able to do this much earlier, whereas that’s less likely against Control.
- Any time a friendly Beast dies, however small the victim, your Scavenging Hyena will gain +2 / +1 stats. That makes it a wonderful pairing with Unleash the Hounds.
- Try to use Wing Blast after another minion has died on the same turn. Having its cost reduced to one is a huge bonus that also give you room for a strong tempo play on the same turn.
- If you've any Beasts on the board, then your Kill Command damage value increases from three points to five.
- In order to trigger the Overkill effect on Baited Arrow, the minion you target the spell with needs to have two or fewer Health.
- 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.
- 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 drastic changes following the latest set rotation and Rise of Shadows launch. Here are the important cards you need to know about right now:
- 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.
- Snipe: Can usually kill off an early drop without issue though some players will be clever enough to avoid it.
- Marked Shot: Four mana for four damage is about as baseline as you can get, but the extra spell it generates can also be hugely valuable and it pairs well with Zul'jin.
- 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.
- Unleash the Beast: A good spell that you’ll want to see activated again with Zul'jin.
- Vereesa Windrunner: Hard to call this a vital part of the deck, especially in terms of raw stats, but the weapon she provides does bring a substantial Spell Damage bonus that can help you see off a game. Perhaps you can consider a Savannah Highmane in her place if needed.
- 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.