Ongoing effects are minion, weapon, and boss Hero Power abilities which grant special effects on an ongoing basis. Ongoing effects are often referred to as auras, particularly those which grant temporary enchantments to other targets.
Ongoing effects are distinguished from regular minion abilities such as Taunt in that their effects directly affect the state of other game elements, and/or are toggled on and off in response to the state of other game elements. This makes ongoing effects dynamic and synergistic abilities, capable of directly altering the function of the game, or manifesting additional abilities in response to the wider state of the game. Ongoing effects are also distinguished from abilities such as Enrage which are activated solely through personal state changes, and effects which grant one-time enchantments. Ongoing effects are contrasted with triggered effects, which only take effect in response to specific events.
Minions with ongoing effects are indicated on the battlefield by a pool of light periodically welling from beneath them. There are exceptions, such as and , which do not have such pulsing pools of light. Any enchantments granted by ongoing effects are listed on affected minions, and not on the generating minion.
Ongoing effects which grant temporary enchantments or buffs to other minions are referred to as auras. Some notable examples of cards which provide persistent auras are and . Auras may affect all friendly minions, or all minions of a specific type. Auras usually take effect on the player's entire side of the board, but some auras only affect adjacent minions, such as and . The key distinction between aura buffs and minion-specific buffs is that auras grant their effects only for as long as the aura-generating card remains in play. For example, and are examples of minions that give minion-specific buffs, but not auras. In Hearthstone, auras can be defined as continuously ongoing effects that are provided only by the presence of another card in play.
Auras, unlike permanent enchantments, cannot be removed by silencing the minion being affected by the aura, but only by neutralizing the minion generating the aura. Silencing or removing an aura-generating minion will remove its aura generation, and remove its aura effect from all affected minions. However, silencing the same minion will not prevent it from being affected by the auras of other minions.
If an aura minion meets the requirements for its own aura, it will benefit from it. For example, will gain Charge due to its own aura, and will grant itself +1 Attack if you cast on it.
While enchantments are normally applied to minions in the order in which they were granted, enchantments from auras and ongoing effects appear to be granted after all other enchantments have been applied, even if the aura was in place prior to the other buffs being gained. For the most part this prevents auras from being included in the calculations of other enchantments, but still allows them to be included in effect calculations such as . For more details, see Advanced rulebook#Enchantments.
- Patch 184.108.40.20644 (2014-03-11): The visual effect for ongoing effects has been adjusted and now occurs more frequently.