Shadow Word: Death
Set: Hall of Fame - SVG logo.svg Legacy
Spell school:Shadow
Class: Priest icon.png Priest
Cost:2 Mana icon.png
Wiki tags:Attack-related, Targeted
Artist:Raymond Swanland
Destroy a minion with 5 or more Attack.
Flavor text

If you miss, it leaves a lightning-bolt-shaped scar on your target.

External links

Data pagePlayHearthstoneHearthpwn

Shadow Word: Death is a priest spell card, inducted into the Legacy set, formerly from the Basic set.

Other versions

How to get

Two copies of regular and golden Shadow Word: Death are automatically given after the player completes the Ranked's New player experience system, unlocking Wild and Classic format.

They are uncraftable and cannot be crafted or disenchanted.

Core set

Two copies of regular Shadow Word: Death (Core) are obtained for raising priest to level 1.

Two copies of golden Shadow Word: Death (Core) are obtained for winning 50 games as priest.

Shadow Word: Death (Core) is uncraftable and cannot be crafted or disenchanted.

Previous availability

Prior Year of the Gryphon's rotation on March 30, 2021:

  • Two copies of Shadow Word: Death were a reward for raising a priest to level 8.
  • Two Golden copies of Shadow Word: Death were a reward for raising a priest to levels 43 and 44.


Shadow Word: Death (SW:D) is a destroy effect that works on any minion with 5 or more Attack. This makes it perfect for removing powerful minions, even titans like Deathwing or Ragnaros the Firelord. This also makes it a very valuable card, and the decision to play it should not be made lightly.

While minions with more than 4 Attack can be destroyed with this card, and minions with less than 3 Attack can be destroyed with Shadow Word: Pain, minions with precisely 4 Attack cannot be destroyed by either card. This tactically includes a number of powerful minions, including uncommon cards such as Ysera. One solution to this is to use a buff such as that from Dark Iron Dwarf to increase the Attack of the enemy minion so as to bring it into the range necessary for Shadow Word: Death. This may waste a useful buff, but can be very effective. This can also work with minions with Attack below 4 (given the right buff), if a Shadow Word: Pain is not available.


"As words go, it's frequently the last."

Shadow Word: Death is a priest spell from World of Warcraft. It is an instant attack that deals Shadow damage that can generally only be used when the target is below 20% health, as a kind of execute ability. Favoured by Shadow priests, the ability also grants these priests a Shadow Orb, a resource used to empower their other attacks.

However, the spell previously had a far wider range of uses. Prior to Mists of Pandaria the spell could be used on any target regardless of their health, but dealt equal damage to the priest as to the target unless the target was killed by it. Shadow priests' Masochism talent previously allowed the ability's self-harming effect to restore 10% of the priest's mana, making its regular use vital to maintaining the priest's mana pool. Its backlash damage also made it extremely useful for breaking crowd control effect such as Polymorph which broke on damage; the server delay between casting the spell and its dealing backlash damage allowing it to break the priest out of the effect if cast at just the right time.


  • This card's flavor text appears to refer to Harry Potter, who survived the assault of a supposedly unsurvivable spell with only a lightning-shaped scar to show for it.
  • The artwork for this card comes from the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game "Icecrown" series, for the card Mind Sear. This explains the depiction of the spell as a beam of dark purple energy, radiating outward from its initial target to afflict the minds of several enemies; Mind Sear is a channeled AoE damage spell whose function and appearance matches this art precisely.
  • The art depicts the spell being used on a group of ghouls.

Patch changes

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