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Keywords are included in a card's written ability text and may alter the normal flow of game-play. Most cards have abilities ranging from the mundane to dramatic in order to give a uniqueness to the card and a variety to the game.

This page lists and details the various abilities that appear on cards. The first list includes the Bold text Keyword abilities, officially named and identical every time. The second list includes other abilities that don't have bold text but do have a common theme.

Keywords

Adapt

The Adapt keyword allows a minion to become infused with elemental power, granting it new properties. Similar to the discover mechanic, players are presented with three options when they play a card with Adapt. They can choose one of the three options to immediately buff their minion. There are ten total Adaptations to choose from.

Battlecry

The Battlecry ability triggers when the card is played normally from your hand. It does NOT trigger if a different effect puts it into play from your hand or deck. For example, an Alarm-o-Bot will not trigger a Battlecry.

Charge

Minions with the Charge ability can attack on the turn they are played.

Choose One

When you play a card with a Choose One ability, you may choose which ability to use.

Combo

A Combo ability triggers when the card is played with at least one other card in a turn.

Deathrattle

Deathrattle triggers when the card is destroyed. (This can only happen with minions and weapons)

Discover

When someone plays a card with the Discover keyword, that player is presented with three cards to choose from. For spells, they will be three class-specific spells. For minions they can be class-specific and neutral.

Divine Shield

The next time a creature affected by Divine Shield would take damage, ignore it. This includes any take-damage based abilities, for example poison, meaning that the minion will not die from the poison.

Enrage

Enrage is an ability that gives a bonus if the minion is injured, but that bonus is lost if the minion is healed back to full.

Unlocking enrage bonuses are most commonly gained by attacking your opponent's low attack minions. Additional methods include a Mage's Fireblast, or any number of direct damage spells or minions effects, like Shiv or Elven Archer.

The Enrage keyword got removed the 12.4.2018 when the Witchwood expansion went live.

Freeze

Frozen minions may not attack during their next turn.

Inspire

Minions with the inspire keyword possess a special ability that may only be activated by using your Hero Power. It triggers after you use your Hero Power and affects any friendly minions on the board that have the Inspire keyword. Inspired minions can gain stats, attract additional allies to your cause, and so much more.

Mega-Windfury

Minions with the Mega-Windfury ability may attack four times in a turn.

Overload

Overload reduces the amount of mana you have available during your next turn by the number stated.

Secret

The card with the Secret ability is played face-down, with its effect triggering when a certain condition is fulfilled.

Silence

Silence removes a minion's card text and eliminates any other effects present on the card.

Stealth

A minion with Stealth can't be attacked or targeted by enemy spells, class powers or Battlecries until it deals damage. You may target your own stealthed minions. The stealthed minion can still be indirectly targeted, an example being arcane explosion.

Spell Damage

Spell Damage increases the damage dealt by other spells that you play.

Taunt

If an enemy is attacking you, they must first choose targets with Taunt until none remain (they may choose which to target if there are multiple).

Windfury

Minions with the Windfury ability may attack twice in a turn.

Common themes

Note that these are site-named, not officially named.

These cards provide additional abilities beyond those that fall into the categories above.

Card gain

Gain a spell when casting a spell.

Control Minion

Allows control of an enemy minion.

Copy Card

Allows the copying of one or more of your opponent's cards.

Copy Minion

Allows the copying of a minion.

Counter

Counter an enemy spell.

Damage

Deals single-target damage.

Destroy Minion

Instantly destroy a minion.

Destroy Weapon

Destroys the opposing hero's weapon.

Discard

Forces the discard of one or more cards.

Draw

Allows the drawing of additional cards.

Equip

Equips the hero with a weapon.

Immune

Grants immunity from attack.

Lose Armor

The hero loses all armor.

Lose Durability

The hero's weapon loses durability. (Side note: Atiesh, the greatstaff of the guardian also loses durability when you cast a spell.)

Multi Damage

These cards deal multiple-target (AoE) damage.

Plus Armor

Grants the hero additional armor.

Plus Attack

Generally speaking, grants additional attack for your minions.

Plus Health

Grants health, either adding to total health or restoring existing health pools.

Plus Mana

Adds to existing mana.

Shuffle

Shuffles a card into the friendly or enemy hero's deck.

Return Minion

Returns a minion to the player's hand; some focus on opponent minions, some friendly minions.

Summon

The Summon ability allows players to bring minions to the board.

Swap Minion

Randomly swaps out with a friendly minion.

Transform

The Transform ability changes the subject into something else irreversibly. Transformation does not kill the target, so it will not trigger a Deathrattle.

Patch changes

  • IconHearthstone (Patch 9.2.0.22017Minions that transform as they enter play, such as Druid of the Claw, will now correctly trigger secrets such as Hidden Cache.
  • IconHearthstone (Patch 2.7.0.9166Fixed an animation issue when golden cards with Taunt are destroyed.
  • IconHearthstone (Patch 2.4.0.8311Minions that are spawned from a Deathrattle are now targetable sooner.
  • IconHearthstone (Patch 2.1.0.7628Secrets no longer have a delay between their trigger and animation. Poor Noble Sacrifice – it just wants to get down!


Gameplay
Game modes

AdventureArenaPracticePlay ModeRankedTavern Brawl

Competitive Game modes

Last Hero StandingConquest

Adventures

Curse of NaxxramasBlackrock MountainThe League of ExplorersOne Night in KarazhanThe Dalaran Heist

Game Expansions

Goblins vs GnomesThe Grand TournamentWhispers of the Old GodsMean Streets of GadgetzanJourney to Un'GoroKnights of the Frozen ThroneKobolds & CatacombsThe WitchwoodThe Boomsday ProjectRastakhan's RumbleRise of Shadows

Card Types

MinionSpell (QuestSecret) ● Weapon

Classes / Heroes / Hero Powers
Druid / MalfurionHunter / Rexxar / AlleriaMage / Jaina / Khadgar / Medivh
Paladin / Uther / Liadrin / ArthasPriest / Anduin / TyrandeRogue / Valeera / Maiev
Shaman / Thrall / MorglWarlock / Gul'dan / NemsyWarrior / Garrosh / Magni
Gameplay Details

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Other Details

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Races
BeastDemonDragonElementalMechMurlocPirateTotem
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