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Unleash the Hounds
1243 • EX1_538
EX1 538.png
Dimensions: Full330 x 410px
EX1 538 Premium1.png
Dimensions: Full330 x 410px
Cost:3 Mana icon.png
Artist:Linggar Bramanty
For each enemy minion, summon a 1/1 Hound with Charge.
Flavor text

You must read the name of this card out loud each time you play it.

Referenced tags
Boolean tags
Wiki tags
Wiki referenced tags
Battlefield-related, Beast-generating, Charge-generating
External links


Unleash the Hounds is a common hunter spell card, inducted into the Legacy set, formerly from the Classic set.

Other versions[]

How to get[]

Auto-detected sources
Card packs
Classic Pack
Wild Pack
Golden Classic Pack
Regular, Golden1~2
Crafting40 dustdustRegular1
Crafting400 dustdustGolden1

Summoned minions[]



  • If the number of enemy minions increases or decreases after Hounds start being summoned, it does not change how many Hounds appear - the game has already calculated the amount it will summon. For example, 3 Hounds are summoned if the enemy has 3 minions, even if one of the Hounds summoned causes an allied Knife Juggler to damage an enemy Grim Patron, giving the enemy a total of 4 minions by the end of the spell.[1]
  • If the number of enemy minions changes as the result of a 'whenever a spell is cast' trigger, Unleash the Hounds does summon Hounds according to the new number of enemies. For example, if the opponent has Troggzor the Earthinator, his triggered effect summons a Trogg before Unleash the Hounds takes effect, and one additional Hound will be summoned as a result.
  • When calculating how many Hounds to summon, the enemy's dormant minions are not counted.


Unleash the Hounds is one of the simplest and most devastating combo cards available to the hunter. It also synergies with several key hunter cards, and can serve a number of different purposes, from card draw to removal to directly defeating the opponent through burst damage. Its low cost allows it to be played alongside several other cards to make these powerful combinations, especially in later rounds.

The Hounds summoned by Unleash the Hounds are useful, but weak. Other Beast cards such as Timber Wolf and Dire Wolf Alpha are the perfect remedy for this. They can transform these 1/1s into something far more powerful. Other options such as Raid Leader can also be useful, but Beasts are generally preferable to due to synergy with other Hunter cards.

Because Unleash the Hounds summons one Hound for each enemy minion on the board, it is most powerful when the opponent has a large number of minions in play. Under the right conditions, these weaker Beasts can be used to trade for far more powerful minions, allowing the hunter to turn the game around and reclaim the board. Excellent cards to combine with the Hounds include Hunter's Mark and Kill Command, to easily remove any threats from the battlefield.

Another great combination with Unleash the Hounds is Scavenging Hyena, which could gain up to +12/+6 from the Hounds when Unleash is played while the enemy has 6 or 7 minions, whereas 7 minions at one time is the maximum a player can have on the battlefield.

Combining Unleash the Hounds with Starving Buzzard will cause the hunter to draw a card for each Hound summoned, and with Cult Master for each Hound that died. Unleash the Hounds potentially offers one of the cheapest and most card-efficient trigger for Starving Buzzard and Cult Master, drawing up to 6 cards for 3 mana.

Other good combinations include King of Beasts, Infest and Acidmaw, where the latter can be played at 10 mana to efficiently destroy all enemy minions on the battlefield.

Be aware that the Hounds summoned by Unleash the Hounds will be limited by the 7-minion limit, and plan accordingly. If the opponent has more minions than the hunter has room for Hounds, some of the summons will be wasted. Also note that several copies of Unleash the Hounds can be played in the same turn, which allows summoning more Hounds in total than the amount of minions the opponent has. For instance, two copies of Unleash the Hounds will summon 6 Hounds in total if your opponent has 3 minions. If your opponent has more than 3 minions, the best is to trade the Hounds from the first Unleash the Hounds before casting another copy, to maximise the amount of Hounds you can get due to the 7-minion limit.

Note that because Unleash the Hounds is a summon spell and not a direct minion summon, the Hounds themselves cannot be placed, and will always appear to the far-right of the player's board. This can make it disadvantageous to play cards such as Dire Wolf Alpha before summoning the Hounds.


The main counters to Unleash the Hounds are Taunt minions and AoE damage. The former can be used to force the Hounds to trade into a single powerful target, and this is usually the only option available to prevent the Hounds from overrunning the player entirely. Making sure to have a Taunt on the board as the game approaches the mid- to late-game is the main defence against this assault.

The second counter is the more efficient and cheaper. Think of cards like Fan of Knives and Twilight Flamecaller. The optimum counter is Counterspell, which can also prevent other powerful Hunter spell cards like Call of the Wild.

Another way of countering Unleash the Hounds is to limit the number of friendly minions on the board. Every friendly minion is one additional Hound for the opponent. Limiting minion numbers to two or three can prevent the hunter from making good use of the card.

Any combo cards set-up in advance, such as a lone Timber Wolf, should of course be removed immediately, as these can allow the combo to build to even greater proportions.


  • Prior to Patch, Unleash the Hounds had a different effect, granting each friendly Beast +1 Attack and Charge. It was often used as part of an extremely powerful and hard to counter combo, often resulting in a 'one turn kill', and was one of the most notorious cards of the closed beta. After substantial discussion and complaint from players, Blizzard changed Unleash the Hounds, in order to prevent the "un-fun play environment" created by players relying upon its use to win games.
The card was changed into a four mana card that summoned one 1/1 hound with charge for each enemy minion. This version was considered underpowered and was rarely played.
After the mana cost was reduced to 2, the card was considered to be overpowered once again, and was held responsible by Blizzard for the dominance of hunters across many levels of play, as explained in an official blog. To counter this, with Patch the card's mana cost was increased from 2 to 3, slightly reducing its effectiveness as a combo card, and preventing it from being played so early in the match.


Unleash the Hounds, full art

Patch changes[]