Mana cost

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See also: Mana, Mana curve

A card or Hero Power's mana cost determines how much mana is required to play the card from the hand, or use the Hero Power. The number is displayed inside a blue crystal in the upper left corner of each card, and at the top of each Hero Power. When a card is played or a Hero Power used, its mana cost is deducted from the player's supply of mana for that turn. Some effects can modify mana costs, although no mana cost can ever be less than zero. Mana cost might be considered an attribute or statistic of a card, but does not affect the card in combat.

The mana cost of a card determines how early or late in the game it may be played and is usually an indicator of the card's overall power. The distribution of mana costs in a deck is the mana curve, an important strategic consideration. Almost all playable Hero Powers cost 2 mana, but this can be modified through various effects.

All cards and Powers have mana costs, even those not normally played from the hand, such as minions summoned via a Battlecry or spell effect. This is relevant when cards like Evolve affect minions based on cost, or when minions are returned to the hand.

Modifying costs[edit | edit source]

Effects may reduce or increase the cost of cards and Hero Powers, or set them to a specific amount. These effects either are ongoing effects or act by creating cost-modification enchantments (for a complete list see Cards below).

  • Cards like Dread Corsair that modify their own mana cost only work while in the player's hand - they have no effect while the card is anywhere else, such as in the player's deck or in the battlefield (see in-hand effects for details). Most of them are ongoing effects.
  • Cards like Mana Wraith and Maiden of the Lake that modify the mana cost of other cards or Hero Powers have ongoing effects which apply a modifier to all eligible cards in hand or Hero Powers: removing or neutralising (for example by using Silence effects) the source of the effect will therefore immediately remove the modifier from any affected card or Hero Power.
  • Ongoing effects apply only to relevant cards in hand (including returned cards) - they do not apply to cards in play. For example, a Mechwarper would allow a Clockwork Gnome to be played for 0 mana, returned to the hand, and played for 0 mana again, but even with the Mechwarper in play a Recombobulator would cause the Clockwork Gnome to be transformed into a 1-mana minion, not a 0-mana one.
  • Cost-modification enchantments may be created by spells (like Unstable Portal), triggered effects (like Emperor Thaurissan) or Battlecries (like Millhouse Manastorm and Saboteur).
  • Cost-modification enchantments that are attached to a card in hand are removed once the modified card is played: effects which depend on mana cost will then use the original mana cost of the card and, if it is returned to the hand, re-playing it costs the original amount. For example, a Bloodfen Raptor drawn with Call Pet costs nothing when first played, but would cost its base of 2 mana to re-play if returned to the hand by a Youthful Brewmaster, and would be transformed into a 2-cost minion if targeted by a Recombobulator.
  • Cards like Millhouse Manastorm and Fencing Coach create cost-modification enchantments that are attached to a player instead of a card. Usually these enchantments have a limited duration and expire by themselves "the next time something happens" or "at the end of the next turn".

When there are multiple cost-modification effects, they are applied in the order in which they have been generated (from oldest to newest); the only exception is Summoning Portal, which is always applied first even if played last. Unlike Health/Attack enchantments and auras, cost-modification enchantments and auras have no special priority over one another.[1] Here are some examples:

  • If Millhouse Manastorm is played followed by Loatheb, spell costs are first set to 0, then increased by 5 for a final cost of 5. In the opposite order, spell costs would first increase by 5, then be set to 0, for a final cost of 0.
  • If Emperor Thaurissan's effect triggers, reducing the mana cost of an in-hand Wolfrider to 2, and Naga Sea Witch then comes into play, her effect immediately increases the Wolfrider card's cost to 5; at the end of that turn, Emperor Thaurissan triggers again, reducing the Wolfrider's mana cost to 4.
  • If Emperor Thaurissan's effect triggers, reducing the mana cost of an in-hand War Golem to 6, and Aviana then comes into play, her effect immediately reduces the War Golem card's cost to 1; at the end of that turn, Emperor Thaurissan triggers again, reducing the War Golem's mana cost to 0.
  • If you have a Naga Sea Witch in play and a Fiery War Axe equipped and draw a Dread Corsair from your deck, the Dread Corsair's final mana cost will be 5: the Dread Corsair card, being in your deck since the beginning of the game, is older than the Naga Sea Witch minion in play, and thus its effect is applied first, and then overwritten by the newer one by Naga Sea Witch.
However, if you later return the Dread Corsair minion from the battlefield to your hand, it becomes a new Dread Corsair card, which is then newer than the Naga Sea Witch minion: thus, the Dread Corsair card's cost is first set to 5 by Naga Sea Witch and then, if you are still equipping the Fiery War Axe, it is reduced by 3, to a final mana cost of 2.
  • If Knight of the Wild triggered twice before Aviana enters play, early cost-modification effects are overridden by the "newer" Aviana effect, for a final mana cost of 1; if you later summon another Beast, Knight of the Wild triggers again, reducing its mana cost to 0.
  • If you play Naga Sea Witch and then Aviana, minion cards in your hand will cost 1; if you play Aviana and then Naga Sea Witch, minion cards in your hand will cost 5.[2]
  • Suppose you have Wilfred Fizzlebang on the battlefield. If you play Aviana and then use Life Tap, the minion card you draw will cost 0; if you use Life Tap and then play Aviana, the minion card you draw will cost 1.[3]

If a card or Hero Power's modified cost would be negative, 0 is displayed and used instead (players can never gain mana from paying the cost of a card or Hero Power).

  • This minimum of zero is only enforced after all other cost modifications have been taken into account: this allows reductions like Far Sight to counteract subsequent increases such as Loatheb's.
  • One may think of cards and Hero Powers as having two mana costs, an "actual" cost and a "hidden" cost. The hidden cost is simply the original mana cost plus or minus all modifications, and has no lower limit. The actual cost, which is displayed on the card or Hero Power and charged when the card is played or the Hero Power is used, is the greater of the hidden cost and 0.
For example, if Far Sight draws an Earth Shock, the Earth Shock has a hidden cost of -2 and an actual cost of 0; if the opponent then plays Loatheb, the hidden cost increases by 5 (-2 + 5 = 3) and the actual cost rises to 3. Thus, since only actual costs are displayed, apparently Far Sight reduced the cost of Earth Shock only by 1 (instead of 3) and Loatheb increased it only by 3 (instead of 5): however, even though Far Sight's reduction of -3 was temporarily, partially nullified by the lower limit of 0, it still remained in effect for later recalculation of the mana cost.

If a card's modified cost is different from its base cost, its mana cost will be displayed in a different colour:

  • if its modified cost is lower than its base cost, the mana cost will be displayed in green;
  • if its modified cost is higher than its base cost, it will be displayed in red;
  • if a card's modified cost is equal to its base cost (for example because multiple cost modifying effects cancel each other out), the colour will not be altered.

Strategy[edit | edit source]

Main article: Mana curve

The mana cost of a card determines which round it will become available to play, as well as which cards it can be used in combination with. The mana curve of a deck describes how many cards are present at each mana cost, and is an important factor determining options available to a player based on the amount of mana available on each turn. When building a deck, it is wise to consider whether mana costs of cards and combinations follow the desired curve.

Expert players can also use this knowledge to predict which cards may be played on certain rounds. Mind Control, for instance, generally only becomes playable from round 10 onwards, while a Leeroy Jenkins + Power Overwhelming combo is available once the warlock has 6 mana.

Cards that modify mana cost[edit | edit source]

For Wild format listings, see Mana cost/Wild format
Name / Desc Rarity Type Subtype Class Cost Atk HP Description
Bloodthistle Toxin None Spell Rogue 1 Return a friendly minion to your hand. It costs (2) less. 
Cloaked Huntress Common Minion General Hunter 3 3 4 Your Secrets cost (0). She's practically GIVING your secrets away!
Dragon's Breath Common Spell Mage 5 Deal 4 damage. Costs (1) less for each minion that died this turn. Dragons breathe fire, sure, but did you know they can also breathe Cotton Candy? It's harder to give them a reason to do that, though.
Dread Corsair Common Minion Pirate Any 4 3 3 Taunt. Costs (1) less per Attack of your weapon. "Yarrrr" is a pirate word that means "Greetings, milord."
Freezing Trap Common Spell Hunter 2 Secret: When an enemy minion attacks, return it to its owner's hand and it costs (2) more. "Dang, that's cold." - appropriate response to Freezing Trap, or a mean joke.
Kabal Lackey Common Minion General Mage 1 2 1 Battlecry: The next Secret you play this turn costs (0). I'll tell you one thing he doesn't lack: GUMPTION.
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.
Nerubian Prophet Common Minion General Any 6 4 4 At the start of your turn, reduce this card's Cost by (1). It’s a self-reducing prophecy.
Shadowstep Common Spell Rogue 0 Return a friendly minion to your hand. It costs (2) less. Rogue dance troops will sometimes Shadowstep away at the end of a performance. Crowds love it.
Solemn Vigil Common Spell Paladin 5 Draw 2 cards. Costs (1) less for each minion that died this turn. Each year, folk gather in front of Blackrock Mountain to mourn those who were mind-controlled into the lava.
Sorcerer's Apprentice Common Minion General Mage 2 3 2 Your spells cost (1) less. Apprentices are great for bossing around. "Conjure me some mana buns! And a coffee! Make that a mana coffee!"
Summoning Portal Common Minion General Warlock 4 0 4 Your minions cost (2) less, but not less than (1). NOT LESS THAN 1! Don't get any ideas!
Venture Co. Mercenary Common Minion General Any 5 7 6 Your minions cost (3) more. No Job is too big. No fee is too big.
Volcanic Drake Common Minion Dragon Any 6 6 4 Costs (1) less for each minion that died this turn. Volcanic Drakes breathe lava instead of fire. The antacid vendor at Thorium Point does a brisk business with them.
Blackwater Pirate Rare Minion Pirate Any 4 2 5 Your weapons cost (2) less. "Look, they fell off the back of a ship, do you want them or not? I have a meeting with Y'Shaarj in like ten minutes."
Dragon Consort Rare Minion Dragon Paladin 5 5 5 Battlecry: The next Dragon you play costs (2) less. Everybody wants someone to snuggle with. Even giant armored scaly draconic beasts of destruction.
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".
Everyfin is Awesome Rare Spell Shaman 7 Give your minions +2/+2.

Costs (1) less for each Murloc you control. Everyfin is cool when you're part of a murloc team!

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?
Kabal Crystal Runner Rare Minion General Mage 6 5 5 Costs (2) less for each Secret you've played this game. "Listen, I can cut you in on a little of this premium mana, but you can't tell my boss."
Kirin Tor Mage Rare Minion General Mage 3 4 3 Battlecry: The next Secret you play this turn costs (0). The Kirin Tor reside in the floating city of Dalaran. How do you make a Dalaran float? Two scoops of ice cream, one scoop of Dalaran.
Knight of the Wild Rare Minion General Druid 7 6 6 Whenever you summon a Beast, reduce the Cost of this card by (1). He gets a discount on the tournament entry fee because he is his own horse.
Mana Wraith Rare Minion General Any 2 2 2 ALL minions cost (1) more. They come out at night to eat leftover mana crystals. "Mmmmmm," they say.
Pint-Sized Summoner Rare Minion General Any 2 2 2 The first minion you play each turn costs (1) less. She's quite jealous of the Gallon-Sized Summoner.
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!
Seadevil Stinger Rare Minion Murloc Warlock 4 4 2 Battlecry: The next Murloc you play this turn costs Health instead of Mana. Pretty harmless unless you're a Seadevil.
Second-Rate Bruiser Rare Minion General Any 5 4 5 Taunt. Costs (2) less if your opponent has at least three minions. He'll be a first-rate bruiser once he gets used to his contacts.
Thing from Below Rare Minion General Shaman 6 5 5 Taunt. Costs (1) less for each Totem you've summoned this game. Just can't resist the opportunity to hang around with a bunch of totems.
Volcanic Lumberer Rare Minion General Druid 9 7 8 Taunt
Costs (1) less for each minion that died this turn. The roots, the roots, the roots is on fire!
Arcane Giant Epic Minion General Any 12 8 8 Costs (1) less for each spell you've cast this game. Claims to be drawn to Karazhan because of the ley lines. Actually, just loves Moroes’ cooking.
Far Sight Epic Spell Shaman 3 Draw a card. That card costs (3) less. Drek'thar can't see, but he can see. You know what I mean? It's ok if you don't.
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.
Lunar Visions Epic Spell Druid 5 Draw 2 cards. Minions drawn costs (2) less. The true mystery of lunar visions is how there is nothing to watch when there are so many channels.
Molten Giant Epic Minion General Any 25 8 8 Costs (1) less for each damage your hero has taken. He gets terrible heartburn. BECAUSE HE IS FULL OF LAVA.
Mountain Giant Epic Minion General Any 12 8 8 Costs (1) less for each other card in your hand. His mother said that he was just big boned.
Naga Sea Witch Epic Minion General Any 5 5 5 Your cards cost (5). If she had studied harder, she would have been a C+ witch.
Preparation Epic Spell Rogue 0 The next spell you cast this turn costs (3) less. "Be Prepared" - Rogue Motto
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!
Sea Giant Epic Minion General Any 10 8 8 Costs (1) less for each other minion on the battlefield. See? Giant.
Shadowcaster Epic Minion General Rogue 5 4 4 Battlecry: Choose a friendly minion. Add a 1/1 copy to your hand that costs (1). I mean, it's not creepy if you ASK before you steal their shadow to make a small replica of them to keep on your shelf.
Shadowfiend Epic Minion General Priest 3 3 3 Whenever you draw a card, reduce its Cost by (1). Hopes to be promoted to "Shadowfriend" someday.
Aviana Legendary Minion General Druid 9 5 5 Your minions cost (1). Call her "Tweety". She'll find it real funny. I PROMISE.
Cho'gall Legendary Minion General Warlock 7 7 7 Battlecry: The next spell you cast this turn costs Health instead of Mana. Even after all this time, Gul'dan still makes Cho'gall go get donuts and coffee.
Emperor Thaurissan Legendary Minion General Any 6 5 5 At the end of your turn, reduce the Cost of cards in your hand by (1). His second greatest regret is summoning an evil Firelord who enslaved his entire people.
Inkmaster Solia Legendary Minion General Mage 7 5 5 Battlecry: If your deck has no duplicates, the next spell you cast this turn costs (0). Solia marks the Kabal with intricate tattoos that grant immense power. Also it makes it harder for other gangs to recruit from their numbers. BACK OFF, GOONS.
Millhouse Manastorm Legendary Minion General Any 2 4 4 Battlecry: Enemy spells cost (0) next turn. "I'm gonna light you up, sweetcheeks!"
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?"
Skycap'n Kragg Legendary Minion Pirate Any 7 4 6 Charrrrrge
Costs (1) less for each friendly Pirate. What's more boss than riding a parrot with a jawbone for a shoulderpad while wielding a giant hook-lance-thing and wearing a pirate hat? NOTHING.
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 49 cards


Mana cost modifying effects can be categorized by which entities they affect.

Hero Powers[edit | edit source]

Maiden of the Lake(22259).png
Fencing Coach(22378).png
Saboteur(22366).png
Raza the Chained(49702).png

Cards[edit | edit source]

The following cards have effects that modify the cost of other cards.

Bloodthistle Toxin(35290).png
Cloaked Huntress(42050).png
Freezing Trap(99).png
Kabal Lackey(49692).png
Shadowstep(550).png
Sorcerer's Apprentice(4).png
Summoning Portal(566).png
Venture Co. Mercenary(509).png
Blackwater Pirate(35203).png
Dragon Consort(14452).png
Kirin Tor Mage(411).png
Mana Wraith(197).png
Pint-Sized Summoner(54).png
Seadevil Stinger(49695).png
Far Sight(107).png
Lunar Visions(49635).png
Naga Sea Witch(27231).png
Preparation(364).png
Renounce Darkness(33136).png
Shadowcaster(33180).png
Shadowfiend(22356).png
Aviana(22325).png
Cho'gall(35303).png
Emperor Thaurissan(14454).png
Inkmaster Solia(49693).png
Millhouse Manastorm(339).png
Wilfred Fizzlebang(22288).png

Self[edit | edit source]

The following cards modify their own mana costs before being played, making them in-hand effects. Most act on an ongoing basis based on current game conditions or history, but Nerubian Prophet and Knight of the Wild accumulate enchantments on themselves in response to game events that occur while in hand.

Dragon's Breath(14446).png
Dread Corsair(261).png
Nerubian Prophet(35233).png
Solemn Vigil(14453).png
Volcanic Drake(14450).png
Everyfin is Awesome(27224).png
Kabal Crystal Runner(49700).png
Knight of the Wild(22360).png
Second-Rate Bruiser(49626).png
Thing from Below(33159).png
Volcanic Lumberer(14458).png
Arcane Giant(42049).png
Frost Giant(22262).png
Molten Giant(94).png
Mountain Giant(264).png
Sea Giant(614).png
Skycap'n Kragg(22260).png

Related cards[edit | edit source]

For Wild format listings, see Mana cost/Wild format

The following cards interact with the mana costs of other existing cards to determine their effects.

Name / Desc Rarity Type Subtype Class Cost Atk HP Description
Atiesh None Weapon Any 3 1 3 After you cast a spell,
summon a random
minion of that Cost.
Lose 1 Durability. 
Desert Camel Common Minion Beast Hunter 3 2 4 Battlecry: Put a 1-Cost minion from each deck into the battlefield. Dang. This card is sweet. Almost as sweet as Dessert Camel.
Gadgetzan Jouster Common Minion General Any 1 1 2 Battlecry: Reveal a minion in each deck. If yours costs more, gain +1/+1. It's not HER fault you didn't put a spinning saw blade on your horse.
Ironforge Portal Common Spell Warrior 5 Gain 4 Armor. Summon a random 4-Cost minion. Come to beautiful Ironforge! Where irons are forged and the forges are iron!
King's Elekk Common Minion Beast Hunter 2 3 2 Battlecry: Reveal a minion in each deck. If yours costs more, draw it. Elekk jousting is AWESOME.
Silvermoon Portal Common Spell Paladin 4 Give a minion +2/+2. Summon a random 2-Cost minion. What's Millhouse Manastorm doing in Silvermoon?
Argent Lance Rare Weapon Paladin 2 2 2 Battlecry: Reveal a minion in each deck. If yours costs more, +1 Durability. The stripes make it look like a candy cane, but we recommend against licking it.
Armored Warhorse Rare Minion Beast Any 4 5 3 Battlecry: Reveal a minion in each deck. If yours costs more, gain ChargeYep. It's a horse... wearing armor... going to war.
Devolve Rare Spell Shaman 2 Transform all enemy minions into random ones that cost (1) less. Ragnaros looked down. He looked like some kind of War Golem. "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO ME," he yelled. But all that came out was a deep grinding sound. He began to cry.
Effigy Rare Spell Mage 3 Secret: When a friendly minion dies, summon a random minion with the same Cost. Burning man, brah.
Evolve Rare Spell Shaman 1 Transform your minions into random minions that cost (1) more. So you say you want an evolution. Well, you know. We all want to change the board.
Healing Wave Rare Spell Shaman 3 Restore 7 Health. Reveal a minion in each deck. If yours costs more, Restore 14 instead. Favored by shaman who study the art of restoration and healing, this spell would feel smug, if it had feelings.
Ivory Knight Rare Minion General Paladin 6 4 4 Battlecry: Discover a spell. Restore Health to your hero equal to its Cost. Do NOT call it a "horse".
Maelstrom Portal Rare Spell Shaman 2 Deal 1 damage to all enemy minions. Summon a random 1-Cost minion. They bill this as a popular resort attraction, but they try and get your money up front.
Master Jouster Rare Minion General Any 6 5 6 Battlecry: Reveal a minion in each deck. If yours costs more, gain Taunt and Divine ShieldNeeds just a few more ratings points to become Grandmaster Jouster.
Master of Evolution Rare Minion General Shaman 4 4 5 Battlecry: Transform a friendly minion into a random one that costs (1) more. Will be really useful in the new "Hearthémon" game.
Moonglade Portal Rare Spell Druid 6 Restore 6 Health. Summon a random 6-Cost minion. Ain't no party like a Moonglade party ‘cause a Moonglade party got bears.
Servant of Yogg-Saron Rare Minion General Mage 5 5 4 Battlecry: Cast a random spell that costs (5) or less (targets chosen randomly)Yogg-Saron always likes to complain about how he has too many servants and there are too many mouths to feed.
Summoning Stone Rare Minion General Any 5 0 6 Whenever you cast a spell, summon a random minion of the same Cost. Sometimes it feels like it's always the same slackers that are waiting for a summon.
Tuskarr Jouster Rare Minion General Paladin 5 5 5 Battlecry: Reveal a minion in each deck. If yours costs more, restore 7 Health to your hero. Just could not be talked out of using his turtle for the joust...
Ancient Harbinger Epic Minion General Any 6 4 6 At the start of your turn, put a 10-Cost minion from your deck into your hand. "honey, can u run down to the store and pick up some 10 cost minions? thx"
Lotus Illusionist Epic Minion General Shaman 4 3 5 After this minion attacks a hero, transform it into a random 6-Cost minion. If you think her Illidan and Sylvanas cosplay is great, wait till you see her Reno Jackson!
The Skeleton Knight Legendary Minion General Any 6 7 4 Deathrattle: Reveal a minion in each deck. If yours costs more, return this to your hand. Apparently it really was just a flesh wound.
Showing all 23 cards
Atiesh(42209).png
Desert Camel(27251).png
Gadgetzan Jouster(22311).png
Ironforge Portal(42064).png
King's Elekk(22370).png
Silvermoon Portal(42054).png
Argent Lance(22316).png
Armored Warhorse(22312).png
Devolve(49715).png
Effigy(22267).png
Evolve(35232).png
Healing Wave(22340).png
Ivory Knight(42019).png
Maelstrom Portal(42045).png
Master Jouster(22317).png
Master of Evolution(33160).png
Moonglade Portal(42040).png
Servant of Yogg-Saron(33179).png
Summoning Stone(27239).png
Tuskarr Jouster(22315).png
Ancient Harbinger(33157).png
Lotus Illusionist(49751).png
The Skeleton Knight(22314).png

References[edit | edit source]

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNrXJGFETXw Tested in Patch 4.1.0.10956 (2015-12-04)
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8VPUi5AqtY Tested in Patch 4.0.0.10833 (LoE patch)
  3. Tested in Patch 4.1.0.10956 (2015-12-04): <culinko> if you play aviana before life tap, your drawn minion will cost 0. if you play aviana after you life tap, the minion will cost 1