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A Poisonous minion

Poisonous is a minion ability that causes any minion damaged by them to be destroyed. Poisonous minions on the battlefield are marked by a bubbling vial of poison at the bottom of their portraits. Poisonous is a type of triggered destroy effect.

Prior to Patch, the Poisonous ability was represented by the text "Destroy any minion damaged by this minion".

Notes[edit | edit source]

While the stats of Poisonous minions are not always especially powerful, they offer a unique tactical advantage. Poisonous minions can destroy any opponent in a single strike, and can be used to single-handedly dispose of giants such as Ysera or even Deathwing.

Poisonous minions are generally disposable, intended for a single swift strike. However, abilities such as Divine Shield can allow you to make more extended use of them.

Conversely, note that Poisonous minions only destroy minions to whom they have caused damage. Minions shielded with Divine Shield will not actually take damage, and will not therefore be destroyed. Reducing a Poisonous minion's Attack to 0 through means such as Shrinkmeister will likewise prevent the Poisonous effect from occurring.[1]

Opponents will generally want to destroy Poisonous minions as quickly as possible, especially if they already have a powerful minion on the battlefield. The presence of a Poisonous minion, especially a Stealthed one, is a great deterrent to summoning any valuable minions, since they will likely be immediately removed from play.

Betrayal can be especially effective when used on a Poisonous minion; any adjacent minion without Divine Shield will be killed by the Poisonous effect.

Cards[edit | edit source]

Name / Desc Rarity Type Subtype Class Cost Atk HP Description
Pit Snake Common Minion Beast Rogue 1 2 1 Poisonous It could be worse. It could be a Snake Pit.
Emperor Cobra Rare Minion Beast Any 3 2 3 Poisonous The Sholazar Basin is home to a lot of really horrible things. If you're going to visit, wear bug spray. And plate armor.
Patient Assassin Epic Minion General Rogue 2 1 1 Stealth
Poisonous He’s not really that patient. It just takes a while for someone to walk by that he can actually reach.
Showing all 3 cards
Pit Snake(27221).png
Emperor Cobra(625).png
Patient Assassin(14).png

Wild format

Click to view Wild format cards
Wild icon.png  This section contains information exclusive to Wild format.
Name / Desc Rarity Type Subtype Class Cost Atk HP Description
Maexxna Legendary Minion Beast Any 6 2 8 Poisonous Maexxna gets super mad when people introduce her as "Maxina" or "Maxxy".
Showing the only card

Trivia[edit | edit source]

Keyword[edit | edit source]

Poisonous is actually a triggered effect, but does not display the lightning-bolt icon found on all other triggered effects. However, when the Poisonous minion deals damage, the lightning bolt icon is revealed.

Before Patch 7.1, 'Poisonous' was not a keyword, but was represented by the text "Destroy any minion damaged by this minion", as well as a unique animated icon depicting a green bubbling flask. The case of the Poisonous ability was cited in 2014 by Ben Brode as an example where the developers could have added a keyword, but chose instead to simply describe the ability in full, since it was only found on 4 cards.[2] This was changed in Patch during the lead up to Journey to Un'Goro, with the addition of the Poisonous keyword. The change was purely cosmetic, but appears to have been due to the introduction of a number of new Poisonous cards with Un'Goro, therefore justifying the creation of a keyword for the long-standing effect.

Poison vs Venom[edit | edit source]

At the time of its introduction, the keyword itself, Poisonous, was arguably technically incorrect for all four of the playable cards involved. This is because 'poisonous' animals such as snakes and spiders are in fact venomous, rather than poisonous; venom is injected whereas poison must be absorbed or ingested.[3] For example, a venomous spider injects its prey with venom, while a poisonous frog is dangerous if eaten.

However, Ben Brode explains that the term "Poison" is inherited from World of Warcraft,[4] where the term has long been used by the rogue class for a range of abilities and items used to deal additional effects when applied to their weapons. Hearthstone itself already contained a few such cards at the time, with more planned for the then-upcoming Journey to Un'Goro.

Patch changes[edit | edit source]

  • Mean Streets of Gadgetzan logo.png Patch (2017-02-28): Poison effect is now named as Poisonous.
  • Patch (2013-10-02): Poison icon and triggering flash added. Prior to this, cards with Poison had no icon, and did not flash when triggering their ability.[5][6]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2014-11-24). 
  2. ChanManV (2014-04-24). Value Town #27 w/ ChanManV, Trump, Gnimsh, and Ben Brode Pt. 1
  3. Diffen.com - Poison vs. Venom. Retrieved on 2017-03-02.
  4. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2017-03-01). 
  5. Shaman Hearthstone Arena #2. (2013-09-22). 
  6. Hearthstone Arena: Northernlion's Den! [Episode 45]. (2013-11-15).