Class

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Class is the primary determinant of a hero's powers and abilities, and the strongest factor in deck selection. While each hero represents a unique character with their own personality, portrait and sounds, their class determines their Hero Power and which class-specific cards they are able to play. While each hero belongs to only one class, there are often multiple heroes representing each class. However, all heroes of a given class function identically, using the same cards and Hero Powers.

New players start with only the mage class available, and must unlock the others through defeating them in matches in either Practice mode or Play mode. Unlocking all 9 classes also unlocks various other game features: the Arena, adventures, and "Expert" difficulty Practice mode.

Hearthstone's classes mirror those of World of Warcraft. The current selection matches the class list from the original game, with classes added later not included, namely monk, death knight and demon hunter.

Below is a list of the current classes, with a brief description of each class' notable mechanics. For more detailed information, see individual class pages.

At a glance[edit | edit source]

Icon Druid 48.png Druid - Malfurion Stormrage

Icon Hunter 48.png Hunter - Rexxar or Alleria Windrunner

Icon Mage 48.png Mage - Jaina Proudmoore, Khadgar or Medivh

Icon Paladin 48.png Paladin - Uther Lightbringer or Lady Liadrin

Icon Priest 48.png Priest - Anduin Wrynn or Tyrande Whisperwind

Icon Rogue 48.png Rogue - Valeera Sanguinar

Icon Shaman 48.png Shaman - Thrall or Morgl the Oracle

Icon Warlock 48.png Warlock - Gul'dan

Icon Warrior 48.png Warrior - Garrosh Hellscream or Magni Bronzebeard

Druid[edit | edit source]

Malfurion Stormrage(621).png

Hero[edit | edit source]

Unique mechanics[edit | edit source]

The druid finds great versatility through the unique Choose One ability, allowing them to choose one of two options when playing certain cards. Druids boast a large range of enchantments with which to enhance their minions, and are known for having some of the biggest class minions in the game, such as Ironbark Protector and Ancient of War. Druids can also use cards such as Innervate and Wild Growth to manipulate and accelerate their mana gain to great effect.

Hero Power[edit | edit source]

Shapeshift(185).png

Shapeshift offers a combination of offensive and defensive benefits. It grants the druid a small but reliable source of Armor, mitigating damage from future attacks; and grants them a temporary point of Attack. The latter allows the hero to directly attack enemies, essentially granting them a weak weapon until the end of the turn. This can be useful for removing enemy minions, trading Health (or Armor) for board control, or simply for chipping away at the enemy hero. A blend of proactive and passive benefits, Shapeshift is a reliable option, even if there is no desirable target to attack.

Example cards[edit | edit source]

Ancient of War(242).png
Innervate(548).png
Keeper of the Grove(459).png
Swipe(620).png
Cenarius(605).png

Hunter[edit | edit source]

Rexxar(484).png
Alleria Windrunner(14694).png

Heroes[edit | edit source]

Unique mechanics[edit | edit source]

Hunters favour Beast type minions, with numerous unique Beasts available to them, and many cards such as Starving Buzzard, Houndmaster and Tundra Rhino offering synergies with them. Hunters have limited access to ranged weapons with which to deal direct damage, while the hunter Hero Power allows them to deal 2 points of unstoppable damage to the enemy hero. Hunters also employ traps in the form of secrets to counter enemy actions. With a host of faithful beasts at their command, hunters are excellently suited to an aggressive playstyle, with strong single-target removal abilities to sweep aside any opposition.

Hero Power[edit | edit source]

Steady Shot(481).png

Steady Shot is an extremely direct and straight-forward Hero Power - it deals a small but significant amount of damage to the enemy hero. Unlike many other Hero Powers, this does not offer special synergies or boast a range of possible uses, but what it lacks in strategic complexity it makes up for in sheer effectiveness. Without Health or Armor granting effects, Steady Shot can single-handedly destroy the opponent and win the game in just 15 turns. This allows the hunter to rely upon Steady Shot's damage to make steady progress toward victory, regardless of the state of the board. Alternatively, Steamwheedle Sniper can be used to expand its functionality, granting it the ability to target any character, opening up a range of strategic possibilities.

Example cards[edit | edit source]

Kill Command(488).png
Savannah Highmane(8).png
Unleash the Hounds(317).png
Houndmaster(225).png
King Krush(194).png

Mage[edit | edit source]

Jaina Proudmoore(320).png
Khadgar(33184).png
Medivh(14695).png

Heroes[edit | edit source]

Unique mechanics[edit | edit source]

Mages are the undisputed masters of damaging and removal abilities, with an array of spells to cripple enemy minions and damage the opponent, from single target spells such as Pyroblast and Polymorph to multiple target options such as Arcane Explosion and Flamestrike. Mages have access to spells such as Frost Nova and Blizzard which freeze targets, preventing them from attacking for one turn, as well as spells like Fireball and Frostbolt that can be used either to remove minions or to directly damage the enemy hero. The mage can also use secrets that trigger when a certain condition is met. With a range of options to tackle threats, mages are masters of board control, clearing or disabling enemy minions while placing their own.

Hero Power[edit | edit source]

Fireblast(677).png

At first glance, Fireblast can seem underwhelming compared to other Hero Powers, but its true strength lies in its tactical value. By being able to deal damage to almost any target regardless of Taunts or board state, the mage gains the power to enact a range of strategic plans, such as finishing off powerful but weakened minions, allowing for desirable trades, or even activating friendly effects like Acolyte of Pain or Amani Berserker. It can be used to add extra reach to damaging spells or attacks, to efficiently remove early threats like Clockwork Gnome, or simply to slowly chip away at the opponent's Health.

Example cards[edit | edit source]

Frostbolt(177).png
Counterspell(531).png
Goblin Blastmage(12195).png
Flamestrike(44).png
Archmage Antonidas(220).png

Paladin[edit | edit source]

Uther Lightbringer(257).png
Lady Liadrin(31127).png

Heroes[edit | edit source]

Unique mechanics[edit | edit source]

The paladin is a well-rounded class which focuses on strong minions and limiting your opponent's ability to use their own. The mechanic Divine Shield is most strongly associated with paladin cards. Paladins can use weapons to attack directly, and can use secrets that trigger when a certain condition is met. Their Hero Power can be used to summon an endless supply of 1/1 minions. With spells that can heal, buff and protect minions, paladins can potentially have some of the strongest minions in the game.

Hero Power[edit | edit source]

Reinforce(248).png

Reinforce provides a reliable stream of 1/1 Silver Hand Recruits. This can be useful for generally swelling the paladin's board presence, and for generating card advantage by trading for the opponent's minions. Effects like Sword of Justice and Raid Leader can be very effective at improving these weak minions, while Quartermaster offers a specific synergy. The constant presence of Recruits on the board also provides the perfect target for powerful buffs like Blessing of Kings, punishing the opponent should they ignore these seemingly weak minions.

Example cards[edit | edit source]

Argent Protector(191).png
Truesilver Champion(293).png
Equality(383).png
Muster for Battle(12223).png
Tirion Fordring(391).png

Priest[edit | edit source]

Anduin Wrynn(110).png
Tyrande Whisperwind(42261).png

Heroes[edit | edit source]

Unique mechanics[edit | edit source]

Priests are masters of healing, and can heal themselves and their minions through their Hero Power and a range of healing spells, as well as boosting minions' health through abilities such as Divine Spirit. Priests' healing theme is reinforced by synergies with spells such as Inner Fire and minions such as Lightspawn and Northshire Cleric. However, these masters of the light also have their shadow side, and priests command a number of darker abilities, including direct damage spells such as Mind Blast and deadly effects like Shadow Word: Pain. The epic card Shadowform allows priests to embrace the shadow, changing into a new form complete with a new direct damage Hero Power; Auchenai Soulpriest provides a similar but non-permanent transformation, allowing the priest to switch from healing to damage dealing and back again.

Hero Power[edit | edit source]

Lesser Heal(126).png

Lesser Heal is the priest's key healing ability, allowing the priest to consistently restore the Health of their minions or themselves, and opening up a range of strategic and synergistic options. At its simplest, it can allow priests to steadily regain Health, returning from the brink of death to full Health, something which no other class can reliably achieve. This can make priests very hard to kill, and allow them to counter the steady deterioration of their Health from enemy attacks.

Alternate Hero Powers[edit | edit source]

All priests begin with Lesser Heal. Playing Shadowform will replace Lesser Heal with Mind Spike. Playing Shadowform for a second time will replace Mind Spike with Mind Shatter.

Mind Spike(70).png
Mind Shatter(229).png

Example cards[edit | edit source]

Northshire Cleric(600).png
Power Word- Shield(431).png
Holy Nova(671).png
Mind Control(401).png
Prophet Velen(228).png

Rogue[edit | edit source]

Valeera Sanguinar(2).png

Hero[edit | edit source]

Unique mechanics[edit | edit source]

Rogues have access to a lot of cheap cards, including several zero-mana cards. This works well with the unique rogue ability combo, with combo cards granting additional effects when another card has already been played that turn. Rogues also can equip weapons to deal direct damage with their hero, and always have a dagger handy.

Hero Power[edit | edit source]

Dagger Mastery(201).png

Dagger Mastery equips a 1/2 Wicked Knife, providing the rogue with an ever-ready (if very weak) weapon. This can be useful for dispatching minions and maintaining control of the board, and can work with effects like Deadly Poison and Blade Flurry to even greater effect.

Example cards[edit | edit source]

SI-7 Agent(286).png
Eviscerate(382).png
Preparation(364).png
Backstab(471).png
Edwin VanCleef(3).png

Shaman[edit | edit source]

Thrall(319).png
Morgl the Oracle(35369).png

Heroes[edit | edit source]

Unique mechanics[edit | edit source]

Shamans can use Totemic Call to call Totems to their aid, a type of minions exclusive to shamans. With some handy utility effects, Totems can be helpful for survival or for aggressive play. Most Totems start with 0 Attack but cards like Bloodlust can turn a board of weak Totems into a force to be reckoned with. The shaman also has access to cards with Overload. Overload allows powerful spells to be cast for a low mana cost, but reduces the number of available Mana Crystals available the next turn. This allows the shaman to deal great burst damage. The shaman also has a number of weapons, as well as Attack buffs like Bloodlust and Rockbiter Weapon.

Hero Power[edit | edit source]

Totemic Call(316).png

Every time you use the shaman Hero Power one of 4 different Totems will be summoned at random. You cannot summon a totem that is already on the board, therefore the only way to have more than one of a specific totem is to utilize cards with effects similar to Youthful Brewmaster or Ancient Brewmaster, or with the improved version of this Hero Power through Justicar Trueheart. The 4 totems are:

Healing Totem(275).png
Searing Totem(98).png
Stoneclaw Totem(298).png
Wrath of Air Totem(365).png

Totemic Call is useful for reliably supplying extra minions for the board, and in potentially providing critical utility, in the form of a Taunt, Spell Damage, or healing. While most Totems have 0 Attack and therefore cannot be used to attack, various spells and effects such as Flametongue Totem or Bloodlust can be used to grant them additional Attack (and Health), or allow them to be used in other ways.

Example cards[edit | edit source]

Lightning Storm(676).png
Feral Spirit(214).png
Crackle(12241).png
Doomhammer(172).png
Al'Akir the Windlord(335).png

Warlock[edit | edit source]

Gul'dan(618).png

Hero[edit | edit source]

Warlock mechanics[edit | edit source]

Warlocks are notable for their ability to summon demons. These underpriced minions generally come with a battlecry that is negative for the warlock (e.g. discard cards or deal damage to the warlock) balancing their unusually low cost. Specialising in sucking the soul from their enemies, warlocks also have a number of dark direct damage spells at their disposal. The warlock legendary Lord Jaraxxus summons a mighty eredar lord to destroy and replace the warlock, reseting their Health to 15 and gaining a powerful new weapon and Hero Power.

Probably the most iconic of all warlock abilities is their Hero Power Life Tap, which allows them to sacrifice their own health in order to draw an additional card from their deck. This means that warlocks will rarely suffer an empty hand - so long as they are willing to pay the price.

Hero Power[edit | edit source]

Life Tap(20).png

Life Tap is a powerful tactical Hero Power, allowing the warlock to draw a card, in exchange for both 2 mana and 2 Health. This can be very effective for both early game and late game decks, allowing Handlocks to quickly build a large hand of cards, or an aggressive Zoolock to consistently flood the board with cheaper minions.

Alternate Hero Power[edit | edit source]

This Hero Power is activated by playing Lord Jaraxxus, and replaces Life Tap. While by default a warlock Hero Power, it can in fact be acquired by any class, by playing Lord Jaraxxus.

INFERNO!(83).png

Example cards[edit | edit source]

Flame Imp(85).png
Power Overwhelming(170).png
Doomguard(507).png
Imp-losion(12302).png
Lord Jaraxxus(482).png

Warrior[edit | edit source]

Garrosh Hellscream(635).png
Magni Bronzebeard(14693).png

Heroes[edit | edit source]

Unique mechanics[edit | edit source]

The warrior can equip a range of weapons to attack his foes directly. Armor can also be easily gained from his Hero Power to protect himself. Warrior cards feature an emphasis on direct damage, Enrage, instant destruction of minions, and minions with Charge, as well as a theme of weapons, Armor and Attack buffs.

Hero Power[edit | edit source]

Armor Up!(253).png

Armor Up! allows the warrior to build a substantial stack of defensive Armor, acting as an extra barrier to enemy attacks. In contrast to Health, Armor can be stacked indefinitely. Armor Up! is a reliable option, effectively healing the warrior for 2 Health, but allowing the hero's combined defensive value to far exceed the maximum Health limit of 30. Shield Slam can even allow Armor to be used offensively.

Example cards[edit | edit source]

Frothing Berserker(69).png
Death's Bite(7734).png
Armorsmith(644).png
Gorehowl(96).png
Grommash Hellscream(643).png

Related cards[edit | edit source]

For Wild format listings, see Class-related/Wild format

While the accessibility of all class cards and Hero Powers is determined by the hero's class, the following cards have effects that are specifically dependent on class.

Name / Desc Rarity Type Subtype Class Cost Atk HP Description
Swashburglar Common Minion Pirate Rogue 1 1 1 Battlecry: Add a random class card to your hand (from your opponent's class)Was almost named "Swashb-AAAARRHHH-gler"
Babbling Book Rare Minion General Mage 1 1 1 Battlecry: Add a random Mage spell to your hand. His idol is the Green Hills of Stranglethorn, and he won't shut up about it.
Burgle Rare Spell Rogue 3 Add 2 random class cards to your hand (from your opponent's class)Yoink!
Ethereal Peddler Rare Minion General Rogue 5 5 6 Battlecry: If you're holding any non-Rogue class cards, reduce their Cost by (2). Yeah, sure. That Ragnaros "fell off the back of a truck".
Undercity Huckster Rare Minion General Rogue 2 2 2 Deathrattle: Add a random class card to your hand (from your opponent's class). Psst! Wanna buy a random class card (from your opponent's class)?
Cabalist's Tome Epic Spell Mage 5 Add 3 random Mage spells to your hand. What's in there? I bet it's cookie recipes!
Grand Crusader Epic Minion General Any 6 5 5 Battlecry: Add a random Paladin card to your hand. A veteran of a number of crusades, she is a force for light and goodness. Her latest crusade is against goblin telemarketers.
Lock and Load Epic Spell Hunter 2 Each time you cast a spell this turn, add a random Hunter card to your hand. Rexxar narrowed his eyes, grabbed his machine gun, and said: "It's go time. Lock and load."

This card pays homage to that special moment.
Renounce Darkness Epic Spell Warlock 2 Replace your Hero Power and Warlock cards with another class's. The cards cost (1) less. SEE YA DARKNESS!
Nefarian Legendary Minion Dragon Any 9 8 8 Battlecry: Add 2 random spells to your hand (from your opponent's class)They call him "Blackwing" because he's a black dragon...... and he's got wings.
Prince Malchezaar Legendary Minion Demon Any 5 5 6 When the game starts, add 5 extra Legendary minions to your deck. He was super excited to acquire Gorehowl at a garage sale! Then super disappointed to find out it was a foam reproduction.
Shaku, the Collector Legendary Minion General Rogue 3 2 3 Stealth. Whenever this minions attacks, add a random card to your hand (from your opponent's class)Aya even staged an intervention once, but Shaku still insists that he is not a hoarder.
Showing all 12 cards
Swashburglar(42046).png
Babbling Book(42028).png
Burgle(22321).png
Ethereal Peddler(42023).png
Undercity Huckster(33135).png
Cabalist's Tome(33155).png
Grand Crusader(22326).png
Lock and Load(22258).png
Renounce Darkness(33136).png
Nefarian(14448).png
Prince Malchezaar(42031).png
Shaku, the Collector(49657).png


Design[edit | edit source]

  • One rule for the developers in class design is to make sure that each of the classes "feels very strongly like its World of Warcraft class."[1] This encourages the maintenance of constraints such as which classes have access to weapons and Secrets.[1][2]
  • As of Goblins vs Gnomes, adding specific minion type "themes" to classes is one "fun" way in which the designers aim to "make each class feel distinct and have its own flavor".[3]
  • Along with Hero Powers, class-specific cards are the main way of creating distinct playing styles and experiences for the different classes. However, in some cases effects allow players to use cards belonging to another class, such as Unstable Portal, Piloted Shredder or Grand Crusader. When a class starts imitating a behaviour specific to another class, this is known as "class bleed".[4] In many cases, a small amount of class bleed can be fun and interesting, but too much can cause the classes to lose their sense of uniqueness or even their identity. As a result the developers try to maintain "the right amount" of class bleed in the game.[4] For example, when designing the Discover keyword, the developers intentionally restricted the effect to class and neutral cards, as the keyword's initial ability to draw cards of any class added too much class bleed to the game.[4]
  • While class power is something the designers constantly struggle to balance, ultimately they feel having all classes precisely balanced is less important than ensuring that each has a time to shine.[5]

In development[edit | edit source]

  • The only World of Warcraft classes currently missing from Hearthstone are death knight, monk and more recently demon hunter. As of February 2017 the developers are not planning on adding new classes to Hearthstone.[6] In August 2014 Yong Woo stated, "the fact of the matter is that we already have 9 classes, and we feel there already is a ton of diversity and we frankly think that it has enough complexity right now for most people to sink their teeth into. So currently, we have no plans to add additional classes."[7] In December 2014 Ben Brode stated "There are pros and cons [to adding a new class] and we have to figure out when, if ever, the right time would be."[8] Brode elaborated: "A good design exercise is to think: "How many classes is too many?" My sense is that it's closer to 9 than to 20."[8]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The class colours in Hearthstone are notable for not always matching the traditional colours for those classes from World of Warcraft. Specifically, the rogue in World of Warcraft uses yellow, while in Hearthstone it uses black; the paladin uses pink, while in Hearthstone it uses gold; the warrior uses brown, while in Hearthstone it uses red; and the druid uses orange, while in Hearthstone it uses brown. There are also numerous differences in shade, such as the hunter, which uses a deep green as opposed to its traditional avocado-like shade. According to Lead Artist Ben Thompson, this is because the colours in World of Warcraft were chosen largely based on suitability for use in the game's chat interface; with Hearthstone the developers therefore decided to choose in some cases new colours that they felt better suited the classes.[9][10]
  • In August 2016 Ben Brode stated that of all the classes he felt the team had the hardest time designing warlock spells, stating "We need to carve out more design space for them."[11]
  • At one point during the game's initial development there were two heroes for each class, one representing the Alliance and one representing the Horde.[12] For details on early choices for each class, see Design and development of Hearthstone.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 JR Cook (2014-04-13). Interview with Eric Dodds and Jason Chayes, PAX East 2014
  2. Ben Brode quoted on reddit. (2016-10-03). 
  3. Blizzard Hearthstone Developer AMA - Ben Brode, Yong Woo and Christina Sims!
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 IGN.com - HEARTHSTONE: CREATING THE DISCOVER MECHANIC. (2016-01-17). 
  5. Hearthhead BlizzCon 2016 liveblog. (2016-11-05). 
  6. Dev interview with Producer Yong Woo about the Mammoth-sized changes in Hearthstone. (2017-02-17). 
  7. GamesCom Interview: Hearthstone Observer Mode Coming Soon. (2014-08-25). 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Blizzard Hearthstone Developer AMA - Ben Brode, Yong Woo and Christina Sims!. (2014-12-15). 
  9. Ben Thompson on Twitter. (2015-02-15). 
  10. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2016-03-23). 
  11. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2016-08-03). 
  12. Good Game Well Played - Designing Competitive Hearthstone with Ben Brode. (2016-08-10).