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Gorehowl(96) Gold.png
Set: Classic
Type: Weapon
Class: Warrior
Rarity: Epic
Cost: 7
Attack: 7 Weapon-attack.png
Durability: 1 Weapon-durability.png
Abilities: Immune
Tags: Durability-related, Triggered effect

Attacking a minion costs 1 Attack instead of 1 Durability.

Grommash Hellscream's famous axe. Somehow this ended up in Prince Malchezaar's possession. Quite the mystery!

See this card on Hearthpwn

Gorehowl is an epic warrior weapon card, from the Classic set.

How to get[edit | edit source]

Gorehowl can be obtained through Classic card packs, through crafting, or as an Arena reward. Golden Gorehowl can also be obtained through the Highest Rank Bonus chest at the end of each Ranked season.

Card Crafting cost Disenchanting
Gorehowl 400 100
Golden Gorehowl 1600 400

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • Although not explicitly stated in the cards text, Gorehowl has a triggered effect that grants temporary Immunity to itself. More precisely, Gorehowl is coded as follows:
    • When the equipping hero attacks a minion, Gorehowl triggers on the Attack Event, attaching to itself an Enchantment called "Bloodrage" which makes Gorehowl Immune.[1][2]
    • During the Combat Phase, the "Bloodrage" Enchantment's Immune effect prevents Gorehowl from losing Durability (the same way Immune effects prevent characters from receiving damage).
    • Gorehowl triggers on the After Attack Event, attaching to itself a "-1 Attack" Enchantment.
    • Gorehowl's Enchantment "Bloodrage" triggers on the After Attack Event too, detaching itself and thus ending Gorehowl's temporary Immune state.[3]
    • Due to the way Gorehowl is coded, if you propose to attack a minion, but the attack is cancelled due to the defender dying (an easy way is to be Misdirection redirected onto a minion, then the minion is mortally wounded by Explosive Trap), Gorehowl will continue to have "Bloodrage" attached and continue to be Immune: thus, enemy Bloodsail Corsairs will not reduce the Durability of the Immune Gorehowl (however, it can still be destroyed by effects such as Acidic Swamp Ooze) and, if the equipping hero attacks the enemy hero, Gorehowl will not lose Durability (since it is Immune) nor Attack (since it is attacking a hero), although it will lose "Bloodrage" and thus its Immune state on the After Attack Event.[4][5] This may be or may not be a bug.
  • Through repeated use against minions, Gorehowl's Attack can be reduced to 0: after reaching 0 Attack, Gorehowl is not destroyed, although usually it cannot be used to attack anymore.[6]
  • However, it is possible to get a -1 or lower Attack Gorehowl by using effects like Heroic Strike and Spiteful Smith to continue to attack with Gorehowl after it reaches 0 Attack.[7]
    • Negative weapon's Attack is displayed as 0. As usual, characters with 0 Attack cannot attack.
    • If Spiteful Smith is buffing a negative-Attack Gorehowl, it buffs the negative value, not 0. For example, a -1 Attack Gorehowl gains +2 Attack from Spiteful Smith and becomes 1 Attack.
    • If you have a negative-Attack Gorehowl and buff your hero with Heroic Strike, the negative attack of the Gorehowl does not subtract from the hero buff. Even though it does not contribute to the attack, attacking the enemy hero this way will still cause Gorehowl to lose Durability.
  • If resolving the Combat Preparation Phase caused your Gorehowl to have 0 Attack (for example because a friendly Spiteful Smith died), you still perform the attack, dealing 0 damage but still losing Durability and becoming exhausted.[8]

Strategy[edit | edit source]

This card is best used to destroy minions. It is possible through the use of Upgrade! and similar effects to increase its Durability thus making it a useful weapon against enemy heroes as well.

A common mistake is to overlook the text, which only works while "Attacking a minion". Attacking a hero with this weapon will cost 1 Durability as normal.

Gorehowl's special ability presents various strategies for making the most of the weapon. The greatest total damage can be achieved through attacking only minions for at least the first 6 attacks, followed by a 7th attack to any target, resulting in 28 damage in total. This allows for superb board control, even removing large minions, but will likely incur a heavy cost in damage received in turn by the warrior. Decks focused on tanking such as C'Thun Warrior can help mitigate the damage incurred from attacking a powerful minion. Violet Illusionist also combos well with Gorehowl by allowing you to trade with a minion without suffering any damage. Alternatively, it can be used a few times on minions, before dealing an attack of 3-5 damage to the enemy hero, sacrificing board clearing utility for face damage. This can be useful when there are no low Health minions to remove, or simply in order to allow another weapon to be equipped without wasting the remaining stats entirely.

Gorehowl can be a valuable asset for decks that make use of Pirates. The very high Attack of this weapon gives Bloodsail Raider a huge Attack boost and allows for 0-Mana Dread Corsairs even after a few attacks. In particular, Bloodsail Cultist's Battlecry essentially gives Warriors up to 2 additional Upgrades. Combine this with Captain Greenskin and this can result in up to a 12/6 weapon, allowing the user to deal huge face damage each turn and capable of destroying even Deathwing in one blow.

Lore[edit | edit source]

Gorehowl is magically imbued and strengthened, and regarded as one of the most feared weapons in all of Azeroth.

During the second coming of the Burning Legion, Grommash Hellscream took his axe to the pit lord Mannoroth after Thrall was beaten into unconsciousness. With a single blow, Hellscream cleaved his adversary's weapon in two and slew Mannoroth. Hellscream perished shortly afterwards, but he had managed to break the curse over his people, freeing their souls and spirits from the demonic curse forever. It should also be noted that Gorehowl is the weapon which slew the night elf demigod Cenarius.

Gorehowl somehow wound up in the hands of Prince Malchezaar after Grom's death. In Orgrimmar, Thrall presented Gorehowl to Grom's son Garrosh as a gift.

The name Gorehowl comes from holes that dot the blade near the handle. When Gorehowl is swung, air whistles through these holes, magically strengthened and imbued with otherworldly power. The sound strikes fear into the hearts of Gorehowl's enemies.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • This card's flavor text references Gorehowl's appearance as an item in World of Warcraft, where it is obtainable as a drop from Prince Malchezaar, a boss in the Burning Crusade instance Karazhan. There is no known lore explanation for how Gorehowl came into his possession, although it has been suggested that the Prince may have removed it from Mannoroth's corpse. Prince Malchezaar's flavor text references this: He was super excited to acquire Gorehowl at a garage sale! Then super disappointed to find out it was a foam reproduction.
  • Gorehowl's World of Warcraft counterpart features the flavor text "The axe of Grom Hellscream has sown terror across hundreds of battlefields."
  • In 2015 Blizzard hired professional blacksmith Tony Swatton to forge a replica of Gorehowl.[9]

Artist[edit | edit source]

Zoltan & Gabor

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Gorehowl, full art
Thrall handing Gorehowl to Garrosh

Patch changes[edit | edit source]

  • Patch (2014-03-11): The triggered effect 'lightning bolt' icon has been removed from Gorehowl.
  • Patch (2013-08-14): Flavor text updated to reference Grommash Hellscream instead of Grom Hellscream.
  • Unknown alpha patch (April or May 2013): New text: Attacking a minion costs 1 Attack instead of 1 Durability.
  • Previously: Attacking a Minion doesn't cost Durability. [7 Mana, 7 Attack, 1 Durability, epic]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJ35sbzkRXg Tested in Patch (2015-12-04)
  2. https://imgur.com/WUn0MTe https://gist.github.com/culinko/b7559f2938017be684de Tested in Patch (2015-12-04)
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJ35sbzkRXg Tested in Patch (2015-12-04)
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJ35sbzkRXg Tested in Patch (2015-12-04)
  5. https://imgur.com/WUn0MTe https://gist.github.com/culinko/b7559f2938017be684de Tested in Patch (2015-12-04)
  6. Experimenting with Gorehowl, December 2014
  7. https://www.reddit.com/r/hearthstone/comments/3nu0hi/i_recreated_the_1_durability_weapon_bug/cvr9ydg Tested in Patch (Mech War Tavern Brawl patch)
  8. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rb21sGuSw4I
  9. Blizzard Entertainment (2015-04-03). Azeroth Armory: Forging Gorehowl