The Art of Hidden Rush: Pilot's Guide

FakeMews, the most notorious Hidden Rush player in GU, teaches you all of his tricks.

[8M] FakeMews
Infinite Mana Pro Player
October 17, 2022

Deck code:



Buy Deck:

AQUA - Gods Unchained - Deck codes

Use AQUA for a quick way to purchase the deck in this guide! (With a wallet connected) AQUA will provide a list of cards needed to complete the list as well as the total cost and the optimized currencies to purchase each card in to get the most value out of purchasing decisions.

Deck Description:

The heart and soul of a Hidden Rush player is raw speed. While there are situations where playing defensively to buy time before setting up the big burst turn is optimal, the general spirit and direction of this list is to be aggressive towards your opponent's face. Hidden rush will burst with Assassin's Aim and Dark Knives, following up with the Orfeo’s Distraction God Power to protect minions prior to pushing lethal. Hidden Rush is generally a top tier meta-aggro list with little to do in the late game. Knocking out opponents as quickly as possible is generally the best way to maximize your win rate.

Godpower selection:

Hidden Rush always takes Orfeo’s Distraction regardless of the matchup. This God power serves three primary functions:

  1. Use it to hide minions to protect them from opposition attacks/spells.
  2. Use this to hide your opponent's frontline minions in order to push damage to the face.
  3. Can be used as removal to finish off your opponent's 1 health minions.

Card Role Descriptions:

Dark Knives This is one of your “burst cards”. Typically it is optimal to apply this to a minion that hit your opponent's face while keep hidden afterward (in certain matchups, Shadow of Lethenon is a good target). Dark Knives is a great companion card to Assassin’s Aim as well. The primary goal with Dark Knives is to find a way to achieve 2 attacks after applying the buff. While it's difficult to achieve this consistently, if this is achieved then great value has been obtained from the card and the opposition is likely near defeat.

Makeshift Shiv The only relic in the deck. This helps clean up the board state and also goes face to push some chip damage and acquire favor to obtain an early sanctum advantage.

Shadow of Lethenon A classic card for hidden rush but it's debatable on whether or not it should be included. The classic cat with knife combo typically wrecks Death and Deception matchups, however modern-day Control/Relic War, Magic, Nature and even Light with the recent addition of Eucos in Eclipse to the meta can often deal with the shadow cat in a way that can set the Hidden rush player back from a value perspective. Early cats can push damage and quickly farm favor even without a Dark Knives to buff it; the early game presence generally gives great value if it can survive.

Stoneskin Poison
The only removal spell in the entire list. The main function of the card is the “Order 3”, which can be used to bypass frontlines the opposition has (allowing 2 attacks to their face). This is a great counter to an opponent's Guild Enforcer/big frontline which generally puts Hidden Rush in an awkward spot: You either have to commit 2 mana/turn (using Orfeo’s Distraction) to get through it, like a toll bridge, or commit a large quantity of your board to remove to remove it.

Switch Duelist Early game minion to fight for board control or push damage. This card is key against Magic and the Magic domain is typically minion-light and struggles with the Duelist + Dark Knives line. This line alone can win you that matchup (For the Magic matchup Switch Duelist is a much better target for Dark Knives than Shadow of Lethenon).

Armor Lurker The best 2-mana card in Gods Unchained currently. This minion is flexible; it gets value early game often and can get 2-for-1 value for only 2 mana. Immune to soft AOE’s from War/Magic (ex: Tracking Bolt/Bar Fight). The only true piloting error I see with this card is players go out of their way to protect it. It’s never optimal to play armor lurker turn one then follow up on turn with two attack face then hide it. This is a terrible line but a very common misplay you will see novice Hidden Rush pilots make on ladder. There is nothing wrong with pushing 3 damage face and making the opponent spend a card to kill it. At this point pushing 3 damage and trading one for one generally achieved positive value out of the Armor Lurker in even mediocre situations.

Pyramid Warden A super-flexible minion, a true Swiss-army knife with many roles in this list. Not only is the “lad” a monster to deal with in early game, this list can use it as a finisher later in the game. The 6 health makes it the best target in the entire list for Assassin’s Aim and is also a great target for Dark Knives as well. In face race situations the frontline can slow down opposition. Out of all lists that use the Pyramid Warden, I believe Hidden Rush lists maximize its value more than anything.

Assassin's Aim One of the true “burst” cards. Do not apply on Armor Lurker or Switch Duelist. Typically this will be played as a finisher with beefier 4 drops though can be played as early as T2 or T3 on Pyramid Warden in certain situations. Prime targets include: Lady Marcella, Ludia’s Dedicant, Arms Dealer, Avatar of Deception, Lokian Disciple, Shade Walker, Sneaky Bruiser and Pyramid Warden.

Lady Marcella As Hidden Rush always chooses Orfeo’s Distraction and plays many hidden minions, the 1/1 deadly minions opponents acquire from Marcella's Afterlife are not as impactful. One thing to note is this can be coupled with Surprise Delivery in some situations to gatekeep opponents board from having useful minions. The going-wide nature of this card can swing games against Nature unless they are holding Wildfire. Given that this is a bad matchup, it's often worth the gamble to hope they just don’t have it.

Ludia’s Dedicant Hidden Rush loves farming the Orfeo's Distraction God Power, especially around 4-5 mana. Ludia's Dedicant gives us way to generate value while doing so. The blessed effect of the card is also underrated, as being able to play this early can swing a losing favor race into a winning one (which can be game saving if there is a Valka’s Discovery in the sanctum). I believe this card is getting slept on by a lot of GU players as it generates quite a bit of value for only 3 mana. Although, Ludia's Dedicant can be a little slow which goes against the spirit of Hidden Rush as an archetype at times.

Merrick, Keeper of the Many A very annoying card for opponents. It's worth noting it is rarely optimal to attack with this minion prior to “burst bonuses''. This minion is also hidden until you attack with it, which is commonly misplayed as some novice players attack with this minion without burst. In that scenario, it's just an under-statted minion with little upside. Typically optimal play is to buff large minions to maximize the strength-copying damage push (EX: Shade Walker). A sample line is a 5/3 Shade Walker gets a Dark Knives and an Assassin’s Aim making it a 11/2, combined with a Merrick on board, this pushes 22 damage. Having Merrick in the list adds an OTK burst element to a deck that is already quite fast.

Surprise Delivery I think a lot of people are “surprised” when they see this in the deck list, however the more I play this card in Hidden Rush the more and more I become pleasantly surprised. This card flat out wrecks Anubians and Zombies (assuming good timing). It can also be impactful in Aggro vs. Aggro as this temporarily paralyzes your opposition and how wide they can develop their board. Even against Control, a 3-mana card that pushes 6 damage is not terrible. Generally speaking, this card ranges from solid to game-changing and is rarely a "dead" card.

Arms Dealer For some reason I feel like I’m the only person who likes this card. This is a great post-board clear, second-wave burst play. Due to the mana-lock nature of the card, it's generally a later wave (for example, other 4/5 drops should usually get first priority).

Avatar of Deception A classic card in Hidden Rush. Solid statline with the hidden tag and also has a defensive ability. Good target for burst plays later in the game (Assassin’s Aim/Dark Knives).

Lokian Disciple Similar role to Avatar of Deception, except the sleep portion of the card wrecks relic-based war decks, especially since Orfeo’s Distraction can keep it hidden, effectively putting their god to perma sleep (really a single card that forces them to use Carnage Sweep). The Sleep effect can also be used to pop God-ward off of Magic, which can be useful for later game sanctum plays.

Pietro, Merry Bandit I have a love/hate relationship with this card. I got enraged after losing some games due to randomly generated Lupine Fanatic which wipes your own minions sometimes. On the bright side, if the opposition doesn’t have board clears, this card is a game changer. For 4 mana, being able to hide your minions and go wide combos nicely having Arms Dealer on board (note: this is a rare occasion when leading with Arms dealer on 4 is optimal if Pietro is in hand).

Shade Walker Pro: It grows every turn making this the hardest-hitting 4 drop in our list. Con: Shaped Blast wrecks it. Outside of the Magic matchup, this is another one of our bursty cards which can finish an opponent if coupled with a well-timed Assassin’s Aim.

Sneaky Bruiser I debate internally on whether or not this deck should curve at 4 or 5. I’m currently keeping Sneaky Bruiser at the top-end (surviving and getting one attack againt a Shaped Blast is a major pro). There can be a case to exclude this for being too bulky, however the 6 attack makes it so that a buff isn’t necessary to wreck the opposition and push lethal. Sneaky Bruiser + Orfeo’s Distraction is often a quick clock.

Mulligan Strategies by Matchup:

General, one-size-fits-all Mulligan strategy:

Top tier list priority: Shadow of Lethenon, Pyramid Warden, Switch Duelist, Armor Lurker, Makeshift Shiv.

Mid-tier mulligans would be: Lady Marcella, Ludia’s Dedicant, Dark Knives, (Assassin’s Aim if Pyramid Warden is in hand otherwise Assassin’s Aim is bottom tier).

Bottom tier: Everything else.

Magic Mulligan strategy:

Switch Duelist is the most important card in this matchup. Keeping Dark Knives in the mulligan is great because when coupled with Switch Duelist, it is the ultimate headache for Magic. Pyramid Warden and Armor Lurkers are still going to be kept in all situations. Shadow of Lethenon is a lot less impactful in this matchup. I still would keep it in (most) mulligans but I would downgrade it to mid-tier and suggest exercising caution before going “all-in” with Dark Knives on the cat (Switch Duelist is much better target in this matchup).

Usually the cats will be casualties to the opponent's most convenient board clear. With that being said, they are a solid turn 1 play as long as you don’t give play other weak minions that get eaten by Tracking Bolt. The Assassin's Aim/Pyramid Warden line (while not bad) is less impactful in this matchup. If it's the only minion, it gets delayed by Safeguard Incantation in a lot of spots then when your opponent hits 5 mana, Shaped Blast bails your opponents out. Pietro, Merry Bandit is weaker in this matchup than most. Magic board clears typically curve out perfectly into Pietro turns.

Nature Mulligan strategy:

This is the worst matchup for Hidden Rush Deception. The key is to look at which God Power they select. If they take Selena’s Mark then Shadow of Lethenon immediately becomes a bottom-tier keep in the mulligan. Luckily that’s the only card in the list that gets eaten by Selena's Mark. Turn 1 Pyramid Warden is the best line in this matchup. Switch Duelist is a true gamblers card. It can be an early game swing by trading with a pesky Black Jaguar, but if the opposition has Underbrush Boar then we're already in a lost position within the game.

Within this matchup there is typically one moment where Hidden Rush gets to push all of the chips into the pot and go all-in. The key is to try to bait a Lightning Strike or Canopy Barrage right before going for it. Savvy nature players wait for you to burst first but most players will throw out their removal the moment they draw them, so it is not that uncommon to go all-in and have a minion stick which can be all that is needed to steal a win in a bad matchup. With that being said if they have it after you go all in then it’s generally just over for you.

Deception Mulligan strategy:

While one might think mulligan strategy might differ between Control Deception and Aggro Deception, it actually has minimal impact. The #1 priority card in either matchup is Shadow of Lethenon. A cat with a knife in the mirror is generally a win. A Control opponent has no answer until they get to 6 mana (which is too slow, they will be dead before then).

The main card in question in the early game is Switch Duelist. If looking up the opponent’s deck is an option and cards like Lethargy Mage and Beguiling Blade appear, then Switch Duelist immediately goes to the bottom tier. If they don't run strength reduction (like we don't in our build) then Switch Duelist is still a high-priority keep. In situations where the decklist is unknown, it's a gamble either way but definitely a “proceed with caution” type of situation. Ideally it's best to not just throw Switch Duelist out there naked on turn 1 as that’s how you get wrecked by a Beguiling Blade.

War Mulligan strategy:

This is probably the only matchup I suggest to keep a 4 drop in the mulligan phase and this goes to Lokian Disciple. Whether we're against Aggro Vikings or Relic War, your opponent will be looking to swing relics at our face, but Lokian Disciple can paralyze War opponents. If the opponent is playing a Control/Relic War variant, be cautious with Shadow of Lethenons as those often get picked off by Savage Strike, Bar Fight, and Auric Rush. If your opponent is playing Aggro Vikings then give those knives to cats and bring out the Usain Bolt racing shoes.

Death Mulligan Strategy:

If facing Board Wipe Death, early game minions are optimal, try to come out with as much speed as possible before they can get their infinite sleep and board-wipe train going. If facing Zombies or Anubians, then Surprise Delivery is a mulligan keep. Timing the Surprise Delivery usually leads to game-winning scenarios against those archetypes. I believe Surprise Delivery is the only reason why this deck is (slightly) favored versus Zombies; it absolutely wrecks their vibe providing the roadblock needed to let Hidden Rush achieve lethal first. I believe Hidden Rush is favored vs Anubians with or without Surprise Delivery, but the barrels definitely contribut to the favorable win rate. Keep in mind 2x Surprise Deliveries vs Board Wipe Death (if played on the same turn) is a deadly defensive mechanism vs Canopic Hoarder/Siren of the Grave tricks and can truly frustrate the opponent.

Light Mulligan Strategy:

If they are Aggro then we go off to the races. Surprise Delivery goes up in value in this matchup as clogging up their board is super annoying for Zoo Light early on. Control Light is currently the flavor of the month, and in this matchup there are two cards to be aware of early in the game:

  1. Eucos in Eclipse (kills Switch Duelist, Armor Lurker, Shadow of Lethenon). Plan your mulligan and early game so that you only have one minion die from Eucos (it's OK to have two die but generally too risky to allow 3 to die).
  2. The other key card is Lips are Sealed. The main thing to note with this is even though there is a temptation to put knives on cats, control light can kill the cats with Eucos or give them order with Lips are Sealed. Early game Pyramid Wardens are great buffs for Dark Knives/Assassins aim as it takes the lad out of Lights Levy range.

Balling on a budget section:



Buy Deck:

AQUA - Gods Unchained - Deck codes

Use AQUA for a quick way to purchase the deck in this guide! (With a wallet connected) AQUA will provide a list of cards needed to complete the list as well as the total cost and the optimized currencies to purchase each card in to get the most value out of purchasing decisions.

Deck description:

Whenever I do a budget list everyone complains about “how expensive it is” . Well in this case there should be nobody complaining as this list is only 0.0065 ETH (or around $8.50 as I am writing this article). This list keeps a similar spirit that the main list has and actually might be a tad bit faster as the curve is slightly tighter.

I also suggest making edits based on the cards owned (I purposefully excluded Legendaries, Trial of the Gods, and Genesis cards from this list). Personalized improvements are recommended but with that being said I believe this list can compete at the Mythic level (I went 2-0 with it yay for small sample sizes!).

💡 Infinite Mana is Gods Unchained's premier esports organization. Learn more about us or check out more Gods Unchained articles.