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Set:Knights of the Frozen ThroneKnights of the Frozen Throne
Spell school:Shadow
Cost:2 Mana icon.png
Abilities:Deal damage, Recurring
Artist:Dave Allsop
Deal 1 damage to all minions. If any die, cast this again.
Flavor text

This spell was originally designed to help warlocks clean up their hard drives.

External links

Data pagePlayHearthstoneHearthpwn

Defile is a rare warlock spell card, from the Knights of the Frozen Throne set.

How to get[]

Defile can be obtained through Knights of the Frozen Throne card packs, or through crafting.

Card Crafting cost Disenchanting
Defile 100 20
Golden Defile 800 100

Known bugs[]

  • When a Scavenging Hyena and one or more other beasts are in play, the Defile effect may trigger one time too often.[1] The reason for this is at this time not known.


  • If Defile kills a minion with Deathrattle, the Deathrattle will resolve before the next recast of Defile. That means if the Deathrattle summons more minions, they too will ultimately be damaged.
  • If Defile causes itself to be cast repeatedly, these additional "recasts" will not count as having been cast by the controlling player, and will therefore not trigger effects such as those of Gadgetzan Auctioneer nor add to the spell count of Yogg-Saron, Hope's End.[2] Neither will it trigger Archmage Antonidas, which can be obtained, for example, through Kabal Courier.
  • Spell Damage effects on Defile will be recalculated for each subsequent recast, meaning that if a minion with Spell Damage dies from Defile, their effect will not carry over on the subsequent recasts.
  • Due to the potential for an infinite loop when combining Defile and Grim Patron, Defile can re-cast itself 13 times, after the 14th cast, it will stop.[3][4]
  • Similarly, having an Immune Necrotic Geist and an Immune source of Spell Damage will also result in 14 recasts. With an Immune Knife Juggler, this can be used for an OTK combo [5]


Defile is a cheap AoE card with very large potential. If the damage kills a minion, it continues to cause damage, potentially causing a huge amount of damage in a single turn if each subsequent activation of its effect also kills a minion. This effect can be strong against Jade Golem decks, where there are many minions on board with ascending Health values. Defile can be used as an additional AoE effect for Control style Warlock decks.

In Arena[]

Defile is an above average card in Arena. Although similar 1 damage AoE effects, such as Arcane Explosion, are generally considered poor cards, the potential for Defile to continue causing additional damage greatly increases its potential.


In World of Warcraft, "Defile" is an iconic ability used by the Lich King during his boss encounter in the Icecrown Citadel raid. The spell defiles the area under a random target. Anyone who enters the area takes Shadow damage and causes the defiled zone to grow.

In the World of Warcraft: Legion expansion, Defile was added as a level 100 talent for Unholy death knights. It works similarly to the Lich King version and replaces the similar death knight ability Death and Decay.


  • With the release of Knights of the Frozen Throne, Dreadsteed's Deathrattle was changed to summon the new Dreadsteed at the end of the turn instead of right after the Deathrattle triggered; the original behavior would've caused Defile to recast infinitely. This marked the first time a card in Wild format was changed due to interactions with newly released cards.
    • Despite Dreadsteed being changed specifically to prevent infinite loops, Defile stops recasting after 13 recasts as noted above.


Defile, full art

Patch changes[]


  1. [1] HSReplay recording of Scavenging Hyrena bug
  2. Matt Place on Twitter. (2017-07-28). 
  3. Puffin on reddit. (2017-07-29). Retrieved on 2017-07-30.
  4. Peter Whalen on Twitter. (2017-07-30). 
  5. [2] Defile OTK Combo - YouTube