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Discard effects are effects which cause the player to discard cards from their hand. Discarded cards are removed from the game, without activating Deathrattles. Discard effects are most commonly found on warlock cards.

Discard effects are distinguished from overdraw, Tracking, and other remove from deck effects, all of which remove cards directly from the deck without being in the hand; which in fact removes cards directly from a special display zone without entering the hand. While similar to discard effects, neither is considered a discard for game purposes, and will not activate related effects.


  • Discarded cards are revealed to the opponent.
  • Discarded minions are not considered to have died, and therefore cannot be summoned by resurrection effects.[1]
  • Effects that trigger from discards trigger only when discarded from the hand, not when removed from deck.[2]
  • Cost-related discard effects consider enchantments that modify costs of the card.
  • If there are more than 2 cards that met the cost requirements, Cost-related discard effects will discard randomly one of them.


The negative repercussions of a discard effect can be removed entirely by not playing that card until your hand is otherwise empty. If this is not possible, they can be minimised by making sure your hand contains only cards you are willing to lose, such as by making sure to first play your most valuable cards.

Discard effects are mostly found on warlock cards, serving as an additional cost to playing a card at an otherwise unusually low price. This may allow the warlock to put out powerful minions at an early stage of the game, or deal strong damage on demand. While the card loss is undesirable, warlocks are able to easily compensate for this using Life Tap, especially in later rounds when mana is more plentiful. While the total cost of playing such a card is therefore in fact unusually high, the ability to delay paying that price until a later round can offer a strategic advantage.

The order in which discard effects are activated is of great importance. A warlock whose hand comprises two Doomguards and a Soulfire has two ways of playing their hand. Playing a Doomguard first will guarantee both other cards will be discarded, while playing the Soulfire first will guarantee that one Doomguard is retained. In most cases the player's hand will contain a variety of cards, making it impossible to entirely predict the outcome. However, the player can still control events to some degree by choosing which cards to play before the discard effect, ensuring that those cards will not be discarded.

When it is not possible to empty the hand of all important cards before playing a discard effect, warlocks can also choose to use Life Tap to add more cards to the hand, reducing the likelihood of a specific card from being discarded. For example, a warlock with a Soulfire and a Loatheb in their hand may use Life Tap to draw an Abusive Sergeant, in the hopes that playing the Soulfire will discard the latter card instead of the Loatheb. However, if an even more valuable card is instead drawn, the warlock may regret having used Life Tap before playing Soul Fire.

Starting with The Grand Tournament, warlock cards with discard synergy effects have been added, which aid in mitigating or removing the disadvantages of discarding cards. Fist of Jaraxxus and Silverware Golem are played when discarded and have more value if doing so, while Malchezaar's Imp and Clutchmother Zavas make the warlock's hand more powerful as cards are discarded. Discard effects are the focus of the Warlock quest, Lakkari Sacrifice.


For Wild format listings, see Discard effect/Wild format

Swipe left or right to see the cards.
CORE OG 109.png
CORE UNG 833.png
CS3 003.png
ONY 035.png
CS3 036.png

Related cards[]

For Wild format listings, see Discard effect/Wild format

All current discard-related effects activate only when discarding from the hand, and not removed from the deck or other zones.

Swipe left or right to see the cards.
CORE AT 021.png
CORE TRL 252.png


  1. Tested on 9-8-2015 by jerodast: Played Succubus obtained via Thoughtsteal, discarding Acidic Swamp Ooze, without ever having a friendly minion die. Then played Resurrect, which summoned no minion. Played a second Succubus, discarding Novice Engineer, then a second Resurrect, again resulting in no minion summoned.
  2. Whirthun on Twitter. (2015-08-07).