Deathrattle is an ability where the stated effect occurs when the minion or weapon is destroyed. Cards with Deathrattle appear with a skull and crossbones when in play. All classes have access to Deathrattles, but they're more abundant for Hunters then other classes.
- Minions may benefit from multiple Deathrattles at the same time. As with all abilities, Deathrattle can be removed from minions with Silences.
- Deathrattle effects occur after battle damage has been calculated and minions destroyed. Additional effects caused by damaging spells such as will also take place before any Deathrattles.
- Like triggered effects, players cannot choose the targets of Deathrattles. While the developers' policy is to explicitly state when a visible target of a Deathrattle is random, this may in some cases be left unstated, in order to simplify the card text.
- As with all death-related effects, Deathrattles only activate when the minion dies while in the battlefield. Discarding a minion from the hand or removing it from the deck will not activate its Deathrattle.
Sequence of events
- Main article: Advanced rulebook
Deathrattles and death-related effects take place after damage has been exchanged and minions/weapons have been destroyed and removed from the board. This prevents Deathrattles from acting upon other minions which were destroyed in the same combat. It also prevents several simultaneous events from acting upon consequences of Deathrattles or other triggered events. The same is true for secrets and triggered effects which are activated from death, such as and , which are treated exactly the same as Deathrattles.
Note that all effects triggered from the death of a minion will play out in the order in which they were put into play, regardless of type of effect. For example, if a mage plays followed by , and the Abomination is then destroyed on the opponent's turn, the Duplicate will activate before the Abomination's own Deathrattle; while if the Abomination was played first, its Deathrattle will activate first, followed by the secret. Deathrattles do not gain any special priority.
Note also that when multiple minions are killed simultaneously, their deaths will be resolved one at a time, in the order in which they entered play.
Once all destroyed minions have been removed from the board, each death will be resolved, including the activation of any death-related effects - this includes the minion's own Deathrattle, triggered effects such as Cult Master, and Secrets such as Duplicate. Resolution takes place one minion at a time, in order in which the minions entered play. As each death is resolved, all eligible triggered events will play out in the order in which the effect entered play, including the minion's own Deathrattle, Secrets and other effects. Each effect will play out individually and resolve, before the next activates. Once all related effects have played out for the minion, the next simultaneous minion's death will begin to resolve.
For example, if a attacks another Sylvanas Windrunner, destroying both minions, the Deathrattle of the Sylvanas which was summoned first will take place first, followed by the Deathrattle of the Sylvanas which was summoned second. Order of minion summoning can therefore be extremely significant.
For a more thorough explanation of Deathrattles and their interactions with other effects, see the Advanced rulebook.
Cards with Deathrattle
Sources of Deathrattle
Deathrattle generating cards
This section lists cards which generate Deathrattle minions.
Deathrattle granting cards
This section lists cards which grant the Deathrattle ability to other minions or to itself.
|Gameplay - General - Neutral Keywords||Dance with Death||Play 100 cards with Deathrattle.||10|
|Gameplay - General - Neutral Keywords||Dance with Death||Play 300 cards with Deathrattle.||10|
|Gameplay - General - Neutral Keywords||Dance with Death||Play 1000 cards with Deathrattle.||10|
|Gameplay - General - Neutral Keywords||Dance with Death||Play 3000 cards with Deathrattle.||10|
|Gameplay - General - Neutral Keywords||Dance with Death||Play 10000 cards with Deathrattle.||20|
|Gameplay - Darkmoon Faire - Hunter||Ride Together, Die Together||End your turn with 3 identical Deathrattle minions in play.||20|
|Gameplay - Barrens - Demon Hunter||Don't Dead Open Inside||Summon 50 Deathrattle minions without playing them, as Demon Hunter.||20|
|Gameplay - Stormwind - Hunter||Carrion My Wayward Son||Repeat the Deathrattles of 8 different cards using Monstrous Parrot.||10|
|Gameplay - Stormwind - Hunter||Carrion My Wayward Son||Repeat the Deathrattles of 16 different cards using Monstrous Parrot.||20|
|Gameplay - Alterac Valley - Priest||I Will Remember You||Trigger 50 Deathrattles with Xyrella, the Devout.||10|
|Gameplay - Alterac Valley - Priest||I Will Remember You||Trigger 100 Deathrattles with Xyrella, the Devout.||10|
|Gameplay - Alterac Valley - Priest||I Will Remember You||Trigger 200 Deathrattles with Xyrella, the Devout.||20|
|Gameplay - Alterac Valley - Rogue||Rolling In Their Grave||Have 30 Deathrattle minions die while you control a Snowfall Graveyard.||10|
|Gameplay - Alterac Valley - Rogue||Rolling In Their Grave||Have 60 Deathrattle minions die while you control a Snowfall Graveyard.||10|
|Gameplay - Alterac Valley - Rogue||Rolling In Their Grave||Have 120 Deathrattle minions die while you control a Snowfall Graveyard.||20|
|Gameplay - Sunken City - Neutral||Killamari||Destroy 3 enemies at once with Ozumat's Deathrattle effect.||100 , 10|
|Gameplay - Sunken City - Neutral||Killamari||Destroy 6 enemies at once with Ozumat's Deathrattle effect.||200 , 20|
In the build-up to Curse of Naxxramas, the adventure's class cards were revealed to players one by one, many of which featured Deathrattle effects, with text that did not specify that the effects were randomly targeted. This led to widespread confusion over the function of the effects. In a special forum post, Ben Brode explained that by omitting the word 'random', card text could be shortened. By establishing the rule that Deathrattles were never targetable, the developers would not have to explicitly state this on each card, which could eventually allow for the development of more "strategically deep" card effects, due to having more card space in which to describe them, potentially otherwise a limiting factor. Brode stated that "setting expectations now that triggers never allow choices allows us to make cards that otherwise would have too much text", explaining that the omission of explicit statements to this effect "lays the groundwork for shortening the text."
However, in the face of player confusion and preference for random effects to be explicitly described as such, the policy was altered, and the word 'random' added to several Naxxramas cards.
- Patch 126.96.36.199662 (2021-03-25): Fixed a bug where cards that target Deathrattle minions would still work with in play.
- Patch 188.8.131.5224 (2014-07-22): The order in which Deathrattle abilities resolve has been updated to be more consistent.
- Tested by User:Taohinton, 2015-02-07. Playing a before or after a minion with Deathrattle, and then destroying the Deathrattle minion, will see the Cult Master's death-triggered effect activated before or after the minion's Deathrattle, respectively.
- Tested by User:Taohinton, 2015-02-07. Exactly as described: Played followed by ; the Abomination was then destroyed on the opponent's turn. The Duplicate activated first, before the Abomination's own Deathrattle.
- Tested by User:Taohinton, 2015-02-16/18. Various scenarios. For example: Played then ; opponent destroyed Gnome, Gnome's Deathrattle triggered before Avenge. Played Avenge then ; opponent destroyed Abomination, Avenge triggered before Abomination's Deathrattle.
- Ben Brode on Twitter. (2014-05-14).
- Ben Brode on Twitter. (2014-05-14).