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The mana cost of a card or Hero Power determines how much mana is required to play that card from the hand or to use that Hero Power. The number is displayed inside a blue crystal in the upper left corner of each card, and at the top of each Hero Power. When a card is played or a Hero Power is used, its mana cost is deducted from the player's available mana for that turn.

All cards and Hero Powers have mana costs, even those not normally played from the hand (such as minions summoned by summon effects like LegacyMurloc Tidehunter's Battlecry or LegacyUnleash the Hounds). This is relevant when cards like Whispers of the Old GodsEvolve affect minions based on their cost, or when minions are returned to the hand.

Most cards have mana costs in the 0-10 range, while all playable Hero Powers cost 2 mana (with the exception of the Demon Hunter's LegacyDemon Claws). However, some effects can modify mana costs (even though not below 0).

Mana cost might be considered an attribute or statistic of a card, but does not affect the card in combat. The mana cost of a card determines how early or late in the game it may be played and is usually an indicator of the card's overall power. The distribution of mana costs in a deck is the mana curve, an important strategic consideration.

Modifying costs[]

Effects may reduce or increase the cost of cards and Hero Powers, or set them to a specific value. These effects either are ongoing effects or act by creating cost-modification enchantments (for a complete list see Cards below).

  • Cards that modify their own mana cost (such as LegacyDread Corsair) only work while in the player's hand: they have no effect while the card is anywhere else, such as in the player's deck or in the battlefield (see in-hand effects for details). Most of them are ongoing effects, while a few (Whispers of the Old GodsNerubian Prophet, The Grand TournamentKnight of the Wild) are triggered effects.
  • Ongoing effects that modify the mana cost of other cards or Hero Powers (such as LegacyMana Wraith and The Grand TournamentMaiden of the Lake) apply a modifier to all eligible cards currently in hand (but not to cards in play) and to eligible Hero Powers: removing or neutralising (for example by using Silence effects) the source of the effect will therefore immediately remove the modifier from any affected card or Hero Power.
Example: A Goblins vs GnomesMechwarper would allow a Goblins vs GnomesClockwork Gnome to be played for 0 mana, returned to the hand, and played for 0 mana again, but even with the Mechwarper in play a Goblins vs GnomesRecombobulator would cause the Clockwork Gnome to be transformed into a 1-Cost minion, not a 0-Cost one.
  • Cost-modification enchantments that are attached to a card in a player's deck (such as due to Whispers of the Old GodsRenounce Darkness) are not removed when the modified card is drawn.
  • Cost-modification enchantments that are attached to a card in hand are removed once the modified card is played: effects which depend on mana cost will then use the original mana cost of the card and, if it is returned to the hand, re-playing it will cost the original amount.
Example: A LegacyBloodfen Raptor drawn with Goblins vs GnomesCall Pet costs 0 mana when first played, but would cost 2 mana to re-play if returned to the hand by LegacyYouthful Brewmaster, and would be transformed into a 2-Cost minion if targeted by Goblins vs GnomesRecombobulator.
  • Some cost-modification enchantments (such as LegacyPreparation and The Grand TournamentSaboteur) are attached to a player instead of a card. Usually these enchantments have a limited duration and expire by themselves "the next time something happens" (which can be many turns later, such as for Blackrock MountainDragon Consort and The Grand TournamentFencing Coach) or "at the end of the turn". The only exception is Mean Streets of GadgetzanRaza the Chained, whose effect lasts for the rest of the game.

When there are multiple cost-modification effects, they are applied in the order in which they have been generated (from oldest to newest; notice that cards that were in a player's deck at the beginning of the game still have that timestamp when drawn); the only exception is LegacySummoning Portal, which is always applied first even if played last. Unlike Health/Attack enchantments and auras, cost-modification enchantments and auras have no special priority over one another.[1]

Example: If LegacyMillhouse Manastorm is played followed by NaxxramasLoatheb, spell costs are first set to 0, then increased by 5 for a final cost of 5. In the opposite order, spell costs would first increase by 5, then be set to 0, for a final cost of 0.
Example: If Blackrock MountainEmperor Thaurissan's effect triggers, reducing the mana cost of an in-hand LegacyWolfrider to 2, and The League of ExplorersNaga Sea Witch then comes into play, her effect immediately increases the Wolfrider card's cost to 5; at the end of that turn, Emperor Thaurissan triggers again, reducing the Wolfrider's mana cost to 4.
Example: If Blackrock MountainEmperor Thaurissan's effect triggers, reducing the mana cost of an in-hand LegacyWar Golem to 6, and The Grand TournamentAviana then comes into play, her effect immediately reduces the War Golem card's cost to 1; at the end of that turn, Emperor Thaurissan triggers again, reducing the War Golem's mana cost to 0.
Example: If you have a The League of ExplorersNaga Sea Witch in play and a LegacyFiery War Axe equipped and draw a LegacyDread Corsair from your deck, the Dread Corsair's final mana cost will be 5: the Dread Corsair card, being in your deck since the beginning of the game, is older than the Naga Sea Witch minion in play, and thus its effect is applied first, and then overwritten by the newer one by Naga Sea Witch. However, if you later return the Dread Corsair minion from the battlefield to your hand, it becomes a new Dread Corsair card, which is then newer than the Naga Sea Witch minion: thus, the Dread Corsair card's cost is first set to 5 by Naga Sea Witch and then, if you are still equipping the Fiery War Axe, it is reduced by 3, to a final mana cost of 2.
Example: If The Grand TournamentKnight of the Wild triggered twice before The Grand TournamentAviana enters play, early cost-modification effects are overridden by the "newer" Aviana effect, for a final mana cost of 1; if you later summon another Beast, Knight of the Wild triggers again, reducing its mana cost to 0.
Example: If you play The League of ExplorersNaga Sea Witch and then The Grand TournamentAviana, minion cards in your hand will cost 1; if you play Aviana and then Naga Sea Witch, minion cards in your hand will cost 5.[2]
Example: Suppose you have The Grand TournamentWilfred Fizzlebang on the battlefield. If you play The Grand TournamentAviana and then use LegacyLife Tap, the minion card you draw will cost 0; if you use Life Tap and then play Aviana, the minion card you draw will cost 1.[3]
Example: If Journey to Un'GoroBright-Eyed Scout's Battlecry draws LegacyMountain Giant, its cost will be set to 5 regardless of the number of cards in hand, and the cost will not change as the hand gains or loses cards: since the Mountain Giant card was created at the beginning of the game, its effect is always considered older than the Bright-Eyed Scout's Battlecry.[4]
Example: If Journey to Un'GoroBright-Eyed Scout's Battlecry draws Whispers of the Old GodsNerubian Prophet, its cost will be set to 5, and at the start of each subsequent turn its cost will drop to 4, 3, 2, and so on.

If a card's or Hero Power's modified cost would be negative, 0 is displayed and used instead (players can never gain mana from paying the cost of a card or Hero Power).

  • This minimum of 0 is only enforced after all other cost modifications have been taken into account: this allows reductions like LegacyFar Sight to counteract subsequent increases such as NaxxramasLoatheb's.
  • One may think of cards and Hero Powers as having two mana costs, an "actual" cost and a "hidden" cost. The hidden cost is simply the original mana cost with all subsequent modifications, and has no lower limit. The actual cost, which is displayed on the card or Hero Power and charged when the card is played or the Hero Power is used, is the greater of the hidden cost and 0.
Example: If LegacyFar Sight draws an LegacyEarth Shock, the Earth Shock has a hidden cost of -2 and an actual cost of 0; if the opponent then plays NaxxramasLoatheb the hidden cost increases by 5 and becomes -2 + 5 = 3, and the actual cost rises to 3 too. Thus, since only actual costs are displayed, apparently Far Sight reduced the cost of Earth Shock only by 1 (instead of 3) and Loatheb increased it only by 3 (instead of 5): however, even though Far Sight's reduction of -3 was temporarily, partially nullified by the lower limit of 0, it still remained in effect for later recalculation of the mana cost.

If a card's modified cost is different from its base cost, its mana cost will be displayed in a different colour:

  • if the modified cost is lower than the base cost, it will be displayed in green;
  • if the modified cost is higher than the base cost, it will be displayed in red;
  • if a card's modified cost is equal to its base cost (for example because multiple cost modifying effects cancel each other out), the colour of its mana cost will not be altered.

Whispers of the Old GodsCho'gall's and Mean Streets of GadgetzanSeadevil Stinger's Battlecry causes the next spell or Murloc the player plays that turn to deal to their hero an amount of damage equal to the card's mana cost, instead of expending mana.

  • The mana costs of those cards are affected as usual by cost-modification effects, and thus their "Health cost" is modified accordingly.[5]
  • Despite the card's ambiguous wording, Cho'gall's and Seadevil Stinger's effect deal damage to the controlling hero, thus affecting Armor (if any) before reducing the hero's Health.
  • Playing an affected card will cost no mana. However, card text effects which consume mana (such as Whispers of the Old GodsForbidden Ritual) are not altered.
  • The player must be Immune or have a combined Health and Armor total greater than the final mana cost of an affected card in order to be allowed to play it (regardless of their currently available mana).[6][7] Trying to play an affected card will otherwise result in an error message.[8]
  • Cards in hand that can be played using Cho'gall's or Seadevil Stinger's effect will have their mana cost highlighted by red bubbles.

Strategy[]

Main article: Mana curve

The mana cost of a card determines which round it will become available to play, as well as which cards it can be used in combination with. The mana curve of a deck describes how many cards are present at each mana cost, and is an important factor determining options available to a player based on the amount of mana available on each turn. When building a deck, it is wise to consider whether mana costs of cards and combinations follow the desired curve.

Expert players can also use this knowledge to predict which cards may be played on certain rounds. LegacyMind Control, for instance, generally only becomes playable from round 10 onwards, while a LegacyLeeroy Jenkins + LegacyPower Overwhelming combo is available once the warlock has 6 mana.

Cards that modify mana cost[]

For Wild format listings, see Mana cost/Wild format

Swipe left or right to see the cards.
SW 462.png
TSC 210.png
CORE EX1 145.png
CORE EX1 144.png
AV 203p.png
DED 004.png
SW 039.png
SW 039t.png
BAR 854.png
TSC 641ta.png
TID 078.png
AV 114.png
SW 041.png
ONY 005ta10.png
SW 322t.png
TSC 641td.png
BAR 323.png
AV 115.png
SW 025.png
ONY 013.png
SW 001.png
SW 059.png
AV 147.png
BAR 074.png
SW 060.png
CORE EX1 611.png
AV 259.png
AV 226.png
AV 113t2.png
AV 113t9.png
BAR 536.png
TSC 823.png
CORE UNG 034.png
BAR 537.png
AV 710.png
SW 418.png
AV 212.png
AV 123.png
TSC 944.png
AV 119.png
TSC 217.png
BAR 545.png
BAR 082.png
TID 715.png
CORE KAR 006.png
TID 004.png
WC 013.png
BAR 320.png
CORE BT 801.png
WC 004.png
CORE CS2 053.png
TSC 070.png
TSC 641tb.png
TSC 058.png
AV 296.png
TSC 635.png
TSC 055.png
AV 343.png
BAR 918.png
SW 036.png
BAR 902.png
TID 700.png
TSC 911.png
SW 043.png
TSC 940.png
AV 134.png
ONY 002.png
SW 032.png
CORE BT 416.png
BAR 552.png
AV 334.png
AV 135.png
TSC 936.png
AV 223.png
DED 517.png
AV 403.png
SW 039t3 t.png
TID 709t.png
DED 506.png
TSC 660t.png
SW 003.png
AV 298.png
SW 092.png
AV 284.png
TSC 020.png
BAR 917.png
WC 806.png
WC 006.png
SW 078.png
AV 291.png
SW 417.png
BAR 539.png
SW 037.png
BAR 308.png
WC 040.png
CORE DAL 609.png
TID 077.png
SW 062.png
AV 141t.png
CORE EX1 586.png
AV 108.png
TSC 061.png
AV 265.png
ONY 005tc2.png
TSC 829.png

Cost-modifying effects can be categorized by which entities they affect.

Hero Powers[]


Swipe left or right to see the cards.
SW 322t.png
AV 115.png
AV 123.png

Cards[]

The following cards have effects that modify the cost of other cards.


Swipe left or right to see the cards.
SW 462.png
TSC 210.png
CORE EX1 145.png
CORE EX1 144.png
AV 203p.png
DED 004.png
CS3 008.png
SW 039.png
SW 039t.png
BAR 854.png
TID 078.png
AV 114.png
SW 041.png
ONY 005ta10.png
TSC 641td.png
BAR 323.png
SW 025.png
ONY 013.png
SW 001.png
SW 059.png
AV 147.png
BAR 074.png
CORE EX1 611.png
AV 259.png
AV 226.png
BAR 536.png
BAR 536t.png
BAR 536t2.png
TSC 823.png
CORE UNG 034.png
AV 710.png
SW 418.png
AV 212.png
TSC 944.png
AV 119.png
TSC 217.png
BAR 545.png
TID 715.png
CORE KAR 006.png
TID 004.png
WC 013.png
BAR 320.png
WC 004.png
CORE CS2 053.png
TSC 070.png
TSC 641tb.png
AV 296.png
TSC 635.png
TSC 055.png
AV 343.png
BAR 918.png
BAR 902.png
TID 700.png
TSC 911.png
SW 043.png
TSC 940.png
SW 032.png
AV 334.png
TSC 936.png
AV 223.png
AV 403.png
SW 039t3 t.png
TID 709t.png
TSC 660t.png
AV 284.png
WC 006.png
SW 078.png
BAR 539.png
WC 040.png

Self[]

The following cards modify their own mana cost while in hand. Most act on an ongoing basis based on current game conditions or history, but Whispers of the Old GodsNerubian Prophet and The Grand TournamentKnight of the Wild accumulate enchantments on themselves in response to game events that occur while in hand.


Swipe left or right to see the cards.
TSC 641ta.png
CORE BT 801.png
TSC 058.png
AV 134.png
ONY 002.png
AV 135.png
DED 506.png
AV 298.png
SW 092.png
BAR 917.png
AV 291.png
SW 037.png
BAR 308.png
TID 077.png
SW 062.png
AV 141t.png
CORE EX1 586.png
AV 108.png
TSC 061.png
AV 265.png
ONY 005tc2.png
TSC 829.png

Related cards[]

For Wild format listings, see Mana cost/Wild format

Cost-affected cards[]

The following cards have effects that scale based on the mana cost of other existing cards.

  • The bigger the mana cost of the affected card, the bigger the outcome.
  • These cards may generate random cards or affect existing cards.

Swipe left or right to see the cards.
AV 213.png
TSC 753.png
ONY 005ta13.png
DED 516.png
DED 505.png
TID 714.png
TID 719.png
AV 284.png
TSC 658.png

Cost-specifying cards[]

The following cards only affect other existing cards which meet a specified cost-based criteria.

  • These cards only affect other existing cards.
    • These cards do not affect themselves.
  • The effects of these cards will always activate or attempt to activate, but there may not be any outcomes.
    • Even though the effects (e.g. triggered effects or Battlecries) of these cards were activated, nothing may happen.
    • For example, Forged in the BarrensBarak Kodobane will always try to draw a 1, 2- and 3-Cost spell, but you may not draw anything if you have none.
  • A common thing to look for here is the lack of the word "if".

Swipe left or right to see the cards.
TSC 654.png
BAR 912.png
AV 295.png
TID 099.png
AV 295a.png
AV 295b.png
TSC 073.png
BAR 325.png
BAR 326.png
AV 312.png
SW 405.png
AV 343.png
BAR 038.png
TSC 608.png
AV 116.png
CORE UNG 833.png
BAR 551.png
AV 341.png
ONY 009.png
CS3 024.png
AV 286.png
TSC 652.png
SW 109.png
BAR 329.png
BAR 042.png

Cost-triggered cards[]

The following cards are triggered by cards of a specific cost.

  • These cards only affect existing cards.
    • These cards may affect themselves.
  • These cards have cost-specific effects that will not activate before the conditions are met, or if they are not met at all.
    • For example, Forged in the BarrensTamsin Roame will not trigger at all, if the spell cast does not cost 1 or more.
    • Something will always happen if the condition is met.
    • A common word to look for here is "if".

Swipe left or right to see the cards.
SW 313t2.png
TSC 657.png
SW 313t.png
SW 313.png
SW 419.png
BAR 918.png
AV 100.png
BAR 079.png
AV 223.png
AV 262.png

Cost-listing cards[]

The following cards generate their random outcomes by considering all collectible cards that meet a specified cost-based criteria.

  • These cards all generate random cards based on the specified cost(s).

Swipe left or right to see the cards.
UPCOMING 76981.png
TID 931.png
CORE KAR 073.png
TSC 944.png
SW 035.png
CORE LOE 050.png
UPCOMING 76982.png
ONY 005ta13.png
ONY 030.png
SW 073.png
SW 006.png
AV 107.png
TSC 645.png
SW 034.png
TSC 658.png
BAR 042.png
AV 283.png

See also[]

References[]

 
  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNrXJGFETXw Tested in Patch 4.1.0.10956 (2015-12-04)
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8VPUi5AqtY Tested in Patch 4.0.0.10833 (LoE patch)
  3. Tested in Patch 4.1.0.10956 (2015-12-04): <culinko> if you play aviana before life tap, your drawn minion will cost 0. if you play aviana after you life tap, the minion will cost 1
  4. Disguised Toast (2017-04-06). [Hearthstone] 8 NEW INTERACTIONS from Journey to Un'Goro (King Mosh, Time Warp, Swamp King Dred)
  5. PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2016-04-08). 
  6. PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2016-04-08). 
  7. PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2016-04-08). 
  8. PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2016-04-08). 
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