Poisonous is a minion ability that causes any minion damaged by them to be destroyed. Poisonous minions on the battlefield are marked by a bubbling vial of poison at the bottom of their portraits. Poisonous is a type of triggered destroy effect.
Prior to Patch 22.214.171.12420, the Poisonous ability was represented by the text "Destroy any minion damaged by this minion".
Granting Poisonous to minions with triggered effects that deal damage to minions will cause those effects to become Poisonous themselves.
- Example: A is adapted with . When its triggered effect activates, all minions dealt damage by the effect are destroyed, including itself.
- Example: An is adapted with Poison Spit. When its deathrattle effect triggers, all minions dealt damage by the effect are destroyed.
- Example: A is given Poisonous by . Minions damaged by the Knife Juggler's knives will be destroyed.
- Example: An is given Poisonous by Plague Scientist. At the end of the turn, the Imp Master will be destroyed.
Minions which deal damage as a Deathrattle which are adapted to be Poisonous will destroy every minion the Deathrattle damages. (Prior to Patch 126.96.36.19957, this did not happen if the minion died, but it did happen when the minion's Deathrattle was triggered by certain effects while it is still alive, such as , , or .)
- Example: A gets the adaptation from . Its deathrattle is triggered by , and instantly destroys the minion it damages. Later the Fiery Bat dies and the deathrattle triggers again, again instantly killing the damaged minion.
While the stats of Poisonous minions are not always especially powerful, they offer a unique tactical advantage. Poisonous minions can destroy any opponent in a single strike, and can be used to single-handedly dispose of giants such as or .
Poisonous minions are generally disposable, intended for a single swift strike. However, abilities such as Divine Shield can allow you to make more extended use of them.
Poisonous minions only destroy minions to whom they have caused damage. Minions shielded with Divine Shield will not actually take damage, and will not therefore be destroyed. Reducing a Poisonous minion's Attack to 0 through means such as will likewise prevent the Poisonous effect from occurring.
Opponents will generally want to destroy Poisonous minions as quickly as possible, especially if they already have a powerful minion on the battlefield. The presence of a Poisonous minion, especially a Stealthed one, is a great deterrent to summoning any valuable minions, since they will likely be immediately removed from play by the Poisonous minion.
Any card with the Adapt ability may become (or grant) the Poisonous ability with this choice:
See Adapt for full listings.
Cards with Poisonous
This section lists minions which are Poisonous or have the ability to become Poisonous when played.
Sources of Poisonous
This section lists cards which generate Poisonous minions or weapons.
This section lists cards which grant the Poisonous ability to other minions or to itself.
|Gameplay - General - Neutral Keywords||Uh, Actually, They're Venomous||Play 5 cards with Poisonous.||10|
|Gameplay - General - Neutral Keywords||Uh, Actually, They're Venomous||Play 15 cards with Poisonous.||10|
|Gameplay - General - Neutral Keywords||Uh, Actually, They're Venomous||Play 50 cards with Poisonous.||10|
|Gameplay - General - Neutral Keywords||Uh, Actually, They're Venomous||Play 150 cards with Poisonous.||10|
|Gameplay - General - Neutral Keywords||Uh, Actually, They're Venomous||Play 500 cards with Poisonous.||20|
|Gameplay - Barrens - Hunter||Poison, Poisoff||Destroy 20 minions with Poisonous Beasts and weapons.||10|
|Gameplay - Barrens - Hunter||Poison, Poisoff||Destroy 60 minions with Poisonous Beasts and weapons.||20|
|Gameplay - Sunken City - Hunter||An Acquired Taste||Destroy 15 minions with Poisonous spells.||10|
|Gameplay - Sunken City - Hunter||An Acquired Taste||Destroy 30 minions with Poisonous spells.||10|
|Gameplay - Sunken City - Hunter||An Acquired Taste||Destroy 60 minions with Poisonous spells.||20|
Poisonous is actually a triggered effect, but does not display the lightning-bolt icon found on all other triggered effects. However, when the Poisonous minion deals damage, the lightning bolt icon is revealed.
Before Patch 7.1, 'Poisonous' was not a keyword, but was represented by the text "Destroy any minion damaged by this minion", as well as a unique animated icon depicting a green bubbling flask. The case of the Poisonous ability was cited in 2014 by Ben Brode as an example where the developers could have added a keyword, but chose instead to simply describe the ability in full, since it was only found on 4 cards. This was changed in Patch 188.8.131.5220 during the lead up to Journey to Un'Goro, with the addition of the Poisonous keyword. The change was purely cosmetic, but appears to have been due to the introduction of a number of new Poisonous cards with Un'Goro, therefore justifying the creation of a keyword for the long-standing effect.
Poison vs Venom
At the time of its introduction, the keyword itself, Poisonous, was arguably technically incorrect for all four of the playable cards involved. This is because 'poisonous' animals such as snakes and spiders are in fact venomous, rather than poisonous; venom is injected whereas poison must be absorbed or ingested. For example, a venomous spider injects its prey with venom, while a poisonous frog is dangerous if eaten.
However, Ben Brode explains that the term "Poison" is inherited from World of Warcraft, where the term has long been used by the rogue class for a range of abilities and items used to deal additional effects when applied to their weapons. Hearthstone itself already contained a few such cards at the time, with more planned for the then-upcoming Journey to Un'Goro.
- Patch 184.108.40.206613 (2020-07-30): Poisonous has a new damage icon.
- Patch 220.127.116.1157 (2017-08-08): Poisonous will work with Deathrattles.
- Patch 18.104.22.16820 (2017-02-28): Poison effect is now named as Poisonous.
- Patch 22.214.171.12490 (2013-10-02): Poison icon and triggering flash added. Prior to this, cards with Poison had no icon, and did not flash when triggering their ability.
- 6 AWESOME Combos from Journey to Un'Goro (Time Warp, Galvadon, and more!). (2017-03-31).
- Mike Donais on reddit. (2017-07-22). Retrieved on 2017-07-26.
- Disguised Toast: Testing New Interactions + Planning for Frozen Throne + Random Stuff. (2017-08-08).
- Ben Brode on Twitter. (2014-11-24).
- ChanManV (2014-04-24). Value Town #27 w/ ChanManV, Trump, Gnimsh, and Ben Brode Pt. 1.
- Diffen.com - Poison vs. Venom. Retrieved on 2017-03-02.
- Ben Brode on Twitter. (2017-03-01).
- Shaman Hearthstone Arena #2. (2013-09-22).
- Hearthstone Arena: Northernlion's Den! [Episode 45]. (2013-11-15).