Hero Power

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Anduin Wrynn with the standard priest Hero Power Lesser Heal

A Hero Power is a special ability displayed to the right of each hero's portrait. Hero Powers can be used once each turn for a set amount of mana - in the case of player Hero Powers, this cost is always 2 mana by default. However, certain cards can change the cost of Hero Powers, or allow the use of a Hero Power multiple times per turn.

Each class has its own unique Hero Power, which tends to epitomise its character and playstyle. Some effects are able to replace a Hero Power with a new one, such as Shadowform or Charged Hammer.

Hero Powers may have a variety of effects, such as summoning a minion or dealing damage to the enemy hero. Using a Hero Power will activate any friendly Inspire effects in play.

Details[edit | edit source]

An exhausted Hero Power
  • The icon for the Hero Power in the game interface is face up when that power is available to the player, and flips over to a grayish empty space when used. At the beginning of the player's turn, it flips back up to indicate it is usable once more. Regardless of whether it is face up or down, the Hero Power of the player or the opponent can be hovered over to read the details.
  • Targeted Hero Powers cannot be used without selecting a target. However, it is often possible to select a target which will not result in any effect, for instance Lesser Heal used on a full-health minion. This still counts as a use for Hero Power-related effects.
  • Hero Powers do not count as spells or played cards, so using them does not trigger effects like Burly Rockjaw Trogg's or Questing Adventurer's.
  • Hero Powers that summon a minion cannot be used at all if the player has a full board. The shaman power Totemic Call has additional restrictions on use based on totems in play.
  • Minions summoned by Hero Powers do not count as having been "played", so for instance Hobgoblin is not triggered by them. They are considered to be "summoned" however, so a Sword of Justice, Knife Juggler or similar trigger still operates on them.
  • A large variety of Hero Power-related cards exist. Some are affected by use of Hero Powers, most notably the Inspire ability. Others modify the rules for one of the players' Hero Powers.
  • A single Hero Power can normally be used once per turn. However, some cards such as Shadowform cause the Hero Power to be replaced, which resets the Hero Power so it can be used again in the same turn. For instance, a Hunter could use Steady Shot, trade Majordomo Executus into an enemy minion, then use Ragnaros's replacement Power DIE, INSECT! in one turn.
    • Even when a Power is used and then replaced with the same Power, the replacement can be used that same turn. For instance, a player already using the Ragnaros hero could use DIE, INSECT!, sacrifice a Majordomo Executus to become a new copy of Ragnaros with his Hero Power, and then use DIE, INSECT! once again. With additional copies of Executus, this is possible even more times.[1]

Player Hero Powers[edit | edit source]

Players start each match with the standard Hero Power of their class. Certain effects may replace or modify the power over the course of play.

Standard[edit | edit source]

In addition to being granted at the start of a game, these Hero Powers (usually referred to as starting or basic Hero Powers) may be copied from your opponent by Sideshow Spelleater, Discovered by Sir Finley Mrrgglton or randomly granted by Renounce Darkness.

Shapeshift(185).png

Icon Druid 48.png
Druid
Steady Shot(481).png

Icon Hunter 48.png
Hunter
Fireblast(677).png

Icon Mage 48.png
Mage
Reinforce(248).png

Icon Paladin 48.png
Paladin
Lesser Heal(126).png

Icon Priest 48.png
Priest
Dagger Mastery(201).png

Icon Rogue 48.png
Rogue
Totemic Call(316).png

Icon Shaman 48.png
Shaman
Life Tap(20).png

Icon Warlock 48.png
Warlock
Armor Up!(253).png

Icon Warrior 48.png
Warrior

Alternate heroes[edit | edit source]

Alternate heroes use cosmetically altered versions of the standard Hero Powers. There is no functional difference, but the appearance and casting animations vary from those used by the standard class heroes.

Replacement[edit | edit source]

These Hero Powers can be obtained through the listed card effects, replacing the hero's previous Hero Power. While most come from cards which belong to a specific class, the Hero Powers are not functionally tied to that class in any way, and can be obtained by any hero.

INFERNO!(83).png

Warlock icon.png Warlock
Source: Lord Jaraxxus
Mind Spike(70).png

Priest icon.png Priest
Source: Shadowform
Mind Shatter(229).png

Priest icon.png Priest
Source: a second Shadowform
DIE, INSECT!(14655).png

Neutral
Source: Majordomo Executus's Deathrattle
Lightning Jolt(22451).png

Shaman icon.png Shaman
Source: Charged Hammer's Deathrattle
The Tidal Hand(35276).png

Paladin icon.png Paladin
Source: Vilefin Inquisitor
Justicar Trueheart

These improved Hero Powers can be obtained via Justicar Trueheart's Battlecry. If the hero has a standard Hero Power, it will be replaced by the upgraded version. Other Hero Powers will not be affected.

Dire Shapeshift(22481).png

Icon Druid 48.png
Druid
Ballista Shot(22483).png

Icon Hunter 48.png
Hunter
Fireblast Rank 2(22484).png

Icon Mage 48.png
Mage
The Silver Hand(22485).png

Icon Paladin 48.png
Paladin
Heal(22486).png

Icon Priest 48.png
Priest
Poisoned Daggers(22487).png

Icon Rogue 48.png
Rogue
Totemic Slam(22489).png

Icon Shaman 48.png
Shaman
Soul Tap(22494).png

Icon Warlock 48.png
Warlock
Tank Up!(22495).png

Icon Warrior 48.png
Warrior

Related cards[edit | edit source]

For Wild format listings, see Hero Power/Wild format

The following cards generate, modify, respond to or otherwise relate to Hero Powers and their use. Included here are cards with Inspire, a keyword that grants a special effect whenever the controlling hero uses their Hero Power.

Name / Desc Rarity Type Subtype Class Cost Atk HP Description
Boneguard Lieutenant Common Minion General Any 2 3 2 Inspire: Gain +1 Health. Underneath all that impressive armor, he's just skin and bones. Okay, maybe just bones.
Brave Archer Common Minion General Hunter 1 2 1 Inspire: If your hand is empty, deal 2 damage to the enemy hero. This is a "bearly" concealed reference.
Dalaran Aspirant Common Minion General Mage 4 3 5 Inspire: Gain Spell Damage +1Is he aspiring or inspiring? Make up your mind!
Dart Trap Common Spell Hunter 2 Secret: After an opposing Hero Power is used, deal 5 damage to a random enemy. Five years of tap-dancing lessons are FINALLY going to pay off!
Dragonhawk Rider Common Minion General Any 3 3 3 Inspire: Gain Windfury this turn. Check it out. You can do barrel rolls on this thing.
Kvaldir Raider Common Minion General Any 5 4 4 Inspire: Gain +2/+2. Coming soon... to a tuskarr village near you!
Lowly Squire Common Minion General Any 1 1 2 Inspire: Gain +1 Attack. But not the lowliest!
Maiden of the Lake Common Minion General Any 4 2 6 Your Hero Power costs (1). Not a good basis for a system of government.
Mukla's Champion Common Minion Beast Any 5 4 3 Inspire: Give your other minions +1/+1. An elegant gorilla, for a more civilized age.
Murloc Knight Common Minion Murloc Paladin 4 3 4 Inspire: Summon a random Murloc. Hee hee! Look at his cute little feet.
Silver Hand Regent Common Minion General Any 3 3 3 Inspire: Summon a 1/1 Silver Hand Recruit. The Silver Hand is the best paladin organization. The Argent Crusaders are super jealous.
Tournament Medic Common Minion General Any 4 1 8 Inspire: Restore 2 Health to your hero. The medic tournament is less entertaining than the Grand Tournament.
Argent Watchman Rare Minion General Any 2 2 4 Can't attack.

Inspire: Can attack as normal this turn. Who argent watches the Argent Watchman?

Auchenai Soulpriest Rare Minion General Priest 4 3 5 Your cards and powers that restore Health now deal damage instead. The Auchenai know the end is coming, but they're not sure when.
Coliseum Manager Rare Minion General Any 3 2 5 Inspire: Return this minion to your hand. Meets monthly with the gladiators to discuss career goals.
Fallen Hero Rare Minion General Mage 2 3 2 Your Hero Power deals 1 extra damage. And he can't get up.
Fencing Coach Rare Minion General Any 3 2 2 Battlecry: The next time you use your Hero Power, it costs (2) less. Good fencers make good neighbors, right?
Saboteur Rare Minion General Any 3 4 3 Battlecry: Your opponent's Hero Power costs (5) more next turn. Listen all y'all it's a saboteur!
Savage Combatant Rare Minion Beast Druid 4 5 4 Inspire: Give your hero

+2 Attack this turn. Maybe if you whistle a tune it will soothe him. Yeah... Try that.

Spawn of Shadows Rare Minion General Priest 4 5 4 Inspire: Deal 4 damage to each hero. What did you expect to happen? He's a Spawn. Of Shadows.
Thunder Bluff Valiant Rare Minion General Shaman 5 3 6 Inspire: Give your Totems +2 Attack. Allowing totems to attack is not cheating. I mean, there isn't anything in the rule books about it.
Void Crusher Rare Minion Demon Warlock 6 5 4 Inspire: Destroy a random minion for each player. We like to call him "Wesley".
Charged Hammer Epic Weapon Shaman 4 2 4 Deathrattle: Your Hero Power becomes 'Deal 2 damage.' You can only pick it up if you are worthy.
Coldarra Drake Epic Minion Dragon Mage 6 6 6 You can use your Hero Power any number of times. The Grand Tournament has a "No dragons allowed" policy, but it's rarely enforced.
Embrace the Shadow Epic Spell Priest 2 This turn, your healing effects deal damage instead. For when your Auchenai Soulpriests call in sick.
Frost Giant Epic Minion General Any 10 8 8 Costs (1) less for each time you used your Hero Power this game. Don't ask him about the beard. JUST DON'T.
Garrison Commander Epic Minion General Any 2 2 3 You can use your Hero Power twice a turn. He'll never admit it, but he pushes you hard because he really cares about you.
Kodorider Epic Minion General Any 6 3 5 Inspire: Summon a 3/5 War Kodo. Someone called her a Rhinorider, and she's NOT HAPPY.
Poisoned Blade Epic Weapon Rogue 4 1 3 Your Hero Power gives this weapon +1 Attack instead of replacing it. How much more poisoned can a blade get? The answer is a lot. A lot more poisoned.
Recruiter Epic Minion General Any 5 5 4 Inspire: Add a 2/2 Squire to your hand. Join the Argent Crusade! We have attractive tabards and you get to carry really nice swords!
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!
Shadowform Epic Spell Priest 3 Your Hero Power becomes 'Deal 2 damage'. If already in Shadowform: 3 damage. If a bright light shines on a priest in Shadowform… do they cast a shadow?
Sideshow Spelleater Epic Minion General Any 6 6 5 Battlecry: Copy your opponent's Hero Power. Hey! Let me try that...
Vilefin Inquisitor Epic Minion Murloc Paladin 1 1 3 Battlecry: Your Hero Power becomes 'Summon a 1/1 Murloc.' Nobody expects the Vilefin Inquisition!
Auctionmaster Beardo Legendary Minion General Any 3 3 4 After you cast a spell, refresh your Hero Power. Gadgetzan has always run an under-the-table auction house, and business has been PRETTY good for Beardo since the population explosion. And since the explosion that destroyed the competing auction houses in the city.
Confessor Paletress Legendary Minion General Priest 7 5 4 Inspire: Summon a random Legendary minion. She sees into your past and makes you face your fears. Most common fear: Getting Majordomo out of Sneed's Old Shredder.
Justicar Trueheart Legendary Minion General Any 6 6 3 Battlecry: Replace your starting Hero Power with a better one. It's like putting racing stripes and a giant spoiler on your hero power.
Lord Jaraxxus Legendary Minion Demon Warlock 9 3 15 Battlecry: Destroy your hero and replace it with Lord Jaraxxus. "TRIFLING GNOME! YOUR ARROGANCE WILL BE YOUR UNDOING!!!!"
Majordomo Executus Legendary Minion General Any 9 9 7 Deathrattle: Replace your hero with Ragnaros, the Firelord. You thought Executus turned you into Ragnaros, but really Ragnaros was in you the whole time.
Nexus-Champion Saraad Legendary Minion General Any 5 4 5 Inspire: Add a random spell to your hand. The ethereals have their own jousting tournament, and Saraad is the reigning champion. Also he won the ethereal hot dog eating contest.
Prophet Velen Legendary Minion General Priest 7 7 7 Double the damage and healing of your spells and Hero Power. He's been exiled from his home, and all his brothers turned evil, but otherwise he doesn't have a lot to complain about.
Raza the Chained Legendary Minion General Priest 5 5 5 Battlecry: If your deck has no duplicates, your Hero Power costs (0) this game. "Could you do me a favor and get the keys from Kazakus?"
Sir Finley Mrrgglton Legendary Minion Murloc Any 1 1 3 Battlecry: Discover a new basic Hero Power. In addition to fluent Common, he also speaks fourteen dialects of 'mrgl'.
Wilfred Fizzlebang Legendary Minion General Warlock 6 4 4 Cards you draw from your Hero Power cost (0). He can summon anything, even a FEARSOME DOOMGUARD*.

*He's pretty sure this is going to work out.
Showing all 44 cards
Boneguard Lieutenant(22352).png
Brave Archer(22310).png
Dalaran Aspirant(22359).png
Dart Trap(27227).png
Dragonhawk Rider(22369).png
Kvaldir Raider(22355).png
Lowly Squire(22263).png
Maiden of the Lake(22259).png
Mukla's Champion(22318).png
Murloc Knight(22362).png
Silver Hand Regent(22275).png
Tournament Medic(22290).png
Argent Watchman(22298).png
Auchenai Soulpriest(656).png
Coliseum Manager(22291).png
Fallen Hero(22268).png
Fencing Coach(22378).png
Saboteur(22366).png
Savage Combatant(22293).png
Spawn of Shadows(22357).png
Thunder Bluff Valiant(22271).png
Void Crusher(22387).png
Charged Hammer(22331).png
Coldarra Drake(22261).png
Embrace the Shadow(33176).png
Frost Giant(22262).png
Garrison Commander(22274).png
Kodorider(22266).png
Poisoned Blade(22273).png
Recruiter(22367).png
Renounce Darkness(33136).png
Shadowform(421).png
Sideshow Spelleater(22372).png
Vilefin Inquisitor(33158).png
Auctionmaster Beardo(49659).png
Confessor Paletress(22368).png
Justicar Trueheart(22276).png
Lord Jaraxxus(482).png
Majordomo Executus(14456).png
Nexus-Champion Saraad(22264).png
Prophet Velen(228).png
Raza the Chained(49702).png
Sir Finley Mrrgglton(27215).png
Wilfred Fizzlebang(22288).png

Boss Hero Powers[edit | edit source]

Most non-playable bosses have their own Hero Power. Adventure bosses have both Normal and Heroic versions, with the latter usually featuring enhanced versions of their Hero Powers. Some bosses gain different Powers over the course of the encounter due to cards or the Powers themselves.

Boss Hero Powers vary in cost, and may cost anywhere from 0 to 8 mana. Most 0-cost boss Hero Powers are "auto-cast" automatically at the start of the boss' turn, following any triggered effects. This means that the boss is not able to choose the best time to make use of the Hero Power, or to forgo using it on any given turn. Auto-cast Hero Powers have a special ongoing visual effect. Other boss Powers are passive, causing a free ongoing and/or triggered effect rather than being used at one particular time.

For full lists of boss Hero Powers, see Boss card.

Examples
Flames of Azzinoth(349).png
Polarity Shift(7796).png
Intense Gaze(14518).png
Dismount(14534).png
Twister(42105).png

Strategy[edit | edit source]

Available each and every turn, Hero Powers can allow players to gain card advantage by taking actions without expending cards. Players can choose to use a Hero Power instead of playing a card, sacrificing some tempo in exchange for a larger hand. Hero Powers can also be used often in order to keep pace while holding back cards to build toward a combo, or to fill gaps when no other strong play is available. Hero Powers should generally be used whenever there is sufficient spare mana.

Standard Hero Powers are designed to offer a reliable but underpowered effect. For almost all the Powers, it is possible to identify cards which accomplish more for less mana, and cards that do significantly more for 2-3 mana. This mana inefficiency prevents Hero Powers from being directly superior to cards in most cases, making them reliable secondary options rather than first choices each turn. Generally speaking, Hero Powers are effects at the value of a 0 mana-cost card, as evident by comparing the Paladin Hero Power Reinforce with the minion card Wisp, or the Mage Hero Power Fireblast with the spell card Moonfire. The extra 2 mana is effectively a surcharge for gaining the effect without consuming a card.

Here are some examples for illustration:

Hero Power Cheaper card alternative Stronger card alternative
Armor Up! Claw* Shield Block
Dagger Mastery Light's Justice* Perdition's Blade
Fireblast Arcane Blast Frostbolt
Lesser Heal Flash Heal Flash Heal
Life Tap Tracking* Novice Engineer
Reinforce Wisp Muster for Battle, any 2 mana minion
Shapeshift Claw Claw
Steady Shot Arcane Shot Quick Shot
Totemic Call N/A Tuskarr Totemic

It should be noted that comparing cross-class effects is questionable, since each class's cards and Hero Power are balanced as a group. In some cases (marked with a *) this is unavoidable since no direct equivalent is available among neutral and class cards.

Note that the Totemic Call's randomness itself also makes the Power comparatively weaker than a well-chosen equivalent in the hand. Still, each Totem other than Healing Totem can be compared unfavorably to cards, just as with other Powers:

Totem Cheaper card alternative Stronger card alternative
Searing Totem Wisp Totem Golem
Stoneclaw Totem Shieldbearer Frostwolf Grunt
Wrath of Air Totem N/A Kobold Geomancer

Healing Totem's effect is unique so it cannot be said to be strictly worse than examples like the Darkscale Healer or Lightwell. But again, due to the randomness of Totemic Call and situational usefulness of its Totems, it is clear that it shares other standard Powers' weakness with respect to tempo.

History[edit | edit source]

Hearthstone has included the standard Hero Powers for its nine classes since the very beginning. These "starting Hero Powers" have not changed, however, the variety and availability of Hero Power-related effects has increased over the years, including effects that replace the starting powers completely.

The Classic set included the priest's Auchenai Soulpriest, Shadowform, and Prophet Velen, as well as the warlock's Lord Jaraxxus - two cards that replaced Powers, and two cards that affected all healing and/or damage effects rather than Hero Powers specifically, all class-specific. Steamwheedle Sniper in Goblins vs Gnomes introduced the first dramatic change to the way an existing Power worked, although again it was limited to one class and its Power. Blackrock Mountain's Majordomo Executus provided the first neutral Hero Power-related card, with an effect very similar to Lord Jaraxxus's.

The Grand Tournament expansion had a particular focus on Hero Powers, increasing the number of Hero-Power related cards by a factor of 6 with a multitude of effects and interactions, most notably the Inspire ability. Since then, adventures and expansions have slowly continued expanding on Hero Powers with 2 cards from The League of Explorers, 3 from Whispers of the Old Gods and 2 from Mean Streets of Gadgetzan.

Blizzard has consistently introduced new Hero Power replacement effects through new card sets, with over half of Hero Power-related cards outside of The Grand Tournament including this ability. On the other hand, Inspire has not been on any cards since the expansion in which it was introduced.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Crypt (2015-05-10). Majordomo OTK Combo