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An Elusive minion

"Elusive" is an unofficial term used to refer to minions that cannot be targeted by spells or Hero Powers.

While no official keyword is used to denote the ability, precisely the same text is found on several cards: Can't be targeted by spells or Hero Powers.

Notes[]

Keyword[]

While many consistent abilities such as Taunt, Stealth and Divine Shield are denoted by a specific keyword, the "elusive" ability is not. This is due to the developers' desire to balance the pros and cons of keyword use; while keywords make it easier in cases where they are frequently encountered, when such examples are rare, keywords can actually serve to make understanding cards harder, requiring players to mouse over cards to examine their abilities.[1] Elusive is particularly tricky because it has more than one effect,[2] protecting the minion from both spells and Hero Powers, but not Battlecries or attacks.

Ben Brode has stated that the elusive ability was "right on the razor's edge" regarding whether or not to create a keyword for it.[2] Yong Woo has also stated that it is possible in the future that a keyword will be added for the "elusive" ability - should there come to be a sufficient number of minions with that behaviour in the game.[3] The team have considered names including "Shroud", "Untargetable" and "Ethereal".[2]

In the Descent of Dragons update, several minions with this ability were added, and all had "evasive" as part of the minion name (for example, Evasive Drakonid, Evasive Wyrm). This may indicate that Team 5 has settled on "evasive" as an unofficial keyword for this ability.

For more information on why some abilities have keywords and others do not, see Abilities#Keyword creation.

Strategy[]

Elusive is generally considered a valuable ability, which substantially increases the survivability of a minion. As a result, elusive minions are usually mana-inefficient for their stats and other effects.

Elusive prevents the opponent from removing or affecting the minion using spells or Hero Powers. The opponent is forced to tackle them using combat, or untargeted effects. This can prevent the opponent from being able to counter the minion, either forcing them into disadvantageous trades, or leaving them powerless to stop your attacks. It can also catch them by surprise, rendering otherwise effective strategies ineffective.

Elusive minions are therefore most effective against spell-heavy decks and those which rely on targeted Hero Power usage (primarily mage). Decks such as Zoo which rely on filling the board with minions and contain few spells, are minimally impacted by elusive minions, and these are generally less than optimal choices against such decks.

While elusive is mostly advantageous to the controlling player, by preventing the player from buffing or otherwise targeting the minion it can end up a hindrance. This is most significant for decks which focus on useful spell buffs, such as Blessing of Kings and Mark of Nature, and those with friendly Hero Power usage (almost exclusively priest), preventing elusive minions from being granted useful effects, or being healed using Lesser Heal. However, note that Battlecries can still be targeted on the elusive minion.

Cards with Elusive[]

For Wild format listings, see Elusive/Wild format

Swipe left or right to see the cards.
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Trivia[]

  • The removed card Grounding Totem had the text, "Your other minions can't be targeted by enemy spells or Hero Powers." This would have made it by far the most powerful Elusive card in the game, with its ongoing effect capable of granting the effect to a whole board of minions. Notably the text appears to either be in error (specifying only enemy spells and Hero Powers), or represent an earlier version of the ability

References[]

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