Spell Damage

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A video explaining spell damage in Hearthstone made by the Curse Gamepedia YouTube Channel.

Spell Damage is an ability which boosts the overall damage of spells by the listed amount. Spell Damage does not increase healing done by spells, and does not increase damage dealt from non-spell source such as hero powers, Deathrattles or Battlecries.

Notes[edit | edit source]

For any given spell, Spell Damage boosts either the total damage output or the damage per hit by the given amount, depending on the type of targeting and the way damage is distributed. The general rule is, when numbers printed on the card describe the amount of damage, each point of Spell Damage increases each of those numbers by 1, and the spell acts accordingly.

  • For simple single-target damage spells such as Fireball, +1 Spell Damage will simply increase the damage dealt by 1.
  • Spells that deal a base amount of damage distributed in a series of individual hits, such as Arcane Missiles and Avenging Wrath, do 1 additional total damage per Spell Damage point. Each additional damage takes the form of one additional hit; each hit still does just 1 damage.
  • Spells that do a base amount of damage repeated a variable number of times have the damage of each hit increased by 1 per point of Spell Damage. Currently Bouncing Blade is the only example of this type of spell; it will do 2 damage per hit with +1 Spell Damage.
  • Area of Effect (AoE) abilities increase damage done to each afflicted target by the total Spell Damage. For example, if you have Spell Damage +1 and cast Blizzard, it will deal three damage to each target instead of two. Similarly, with + 1 Spell Damage Swipe will do 5 damage to a target (instead of 4) and 2 to all other enemies (instead of 1).[1]
    • This includes "limited AoE" spells which only damage a few targets, such as Cleave and Explosive Shot.

Spell Damage does increase the power of spells that deal variable amounts of damage. This includes cards where the base damage is determined by some other source, such as Blade Flurry and Shield Slam. For example, if a player has +2 Spell Damage and Holy Wrath draws a card that costs 3 mana, Holy Wrath will deal 5 damage to its target.

Spell Damage does increase the damage of relevant Secrets, such as Eye for an Eye and Explosive Trap.

In the case of both multiplicative (Prophet Velen) and additive Spell Damage modifiers being in place, it appears that the additive component is applied to the base damage before being multiplied.[2]

Spell Damage improves all damaging spells. By causing healing effects to instead cause damage, Auchenai Soulpriest can allow Spell Damage to improve what are normally healing spells, such as Circle of Healing.

Spell Damage has no effect on spells which cause characters to do damage. Betrayal is currently the only example of this; the targeted minion will always do damage equal to its attack, regardless of Spell Damage.

Tactics[edit | edit source]

Spell Damage is a valuable quality for classes which use damaging spells. The mage and rogue are good examples, but every class has damaging spells and can therefore benefit from it.

Players will generally want to protect their Spell Damage minions, and may not wish to summon them until they have a sturdy Taunt in place, although this does not of course protect spells and abilities. Conversely, attacking players will often want to dispose of Spell Damage minions as quickly as possible, before their owner can put their bonus damage to good use.

This can make Spell Damage minions good lures for powerful negation cards like silences and Polymorph, or simply high-damage attacks like Fireball. In some cases, Spell Damage minions can be used like Taunts, drawing the priority fire of your opponent while other targets are ignored. In less than ideal circumstances, this is as good a use of a Spell Damage minion as any, especially if you have other Spell Damage minions on the way, have no spells in your hand, or have already used most of those in your deck.

Like most card text effects, Spell Damage takes effect as soon as the related minion comes into play. This makes order of play very important, and allows you to quickly unload a flurry of buffed attacks in one turn, if you have the mana to spare. This is particularly possible with low mana cost minions such as Kobold Geomancer. Even if your opponent removes your minion the next turn, you will still have gotten some use from them.

Note that while many varieties of Spell Damage minion exist, almost all of them offer the same bonus: Spell Damage +1. This means the difference between a Dalaran Mage and an Archmage (and the justification for the extra mana cost) lies only in Attack and Health values, not in their actual ability to boost spell damage. This can make low-cost Spell Damage minions an appealing choice, allowing you to rapidly and cheaply put them into play, ideally in immediate combination with some damaging spells.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The developers have tried having cards that decreased the opponent's Spell Damage, but found that it was too confusing in practice.[3]

Cards with Spell Damage[edit | edit source]

Name / Desc Rarity Type Subtype Class Cost Atk HP Description
Wrath of Air Totem Free Minion Totem Shaman 1 0 2 Spell Damage +1
Archmage Common Minion General Any 6 4 7 Spell Damage +1You earn the title of Archmage when you can destroy anyone who calls you on it.
Dalaran Aspirant Common Minion General Mage 4 3 5 Inspire: Gain Spell Damage +1.Is he aspiring or inspiring? Make up your mind!
Dalaran Mage Common Minion General Any 3 1 4 Spell Damage +1You don't see a lot of Dalaran warriors.
Frigid Snobold Common Minion General Any 4 2 6 Spell Damage +1Ironically, the natural enemy of the snobold is THE CANDLE.
Kobold Geomancer Common Minion General Any 2 2 2 Spell Damage +1In the old days, Kobolds were the finest candle merchants in the land. Then they got pushed too far...
Ogre Magi Common Minion General Any 4 4 4 Spell Damage +1Training Ogres in the art of spellcasting is a questionable decision.
Velen's Chosen Common Spell Priest 3 Give a minion +2/+4 and Spell Damage +1.Velen wrote a "Lovely Card" for Tyrande with a picture of the Deeprun Tram that said "I Choo-Choo-Choose you!"
Ancient Mage Rare Minion General Any 4 2 5 Battlecry: Give adjacent minions Spell Damage +1.Sometimes he forgets and just wanders into someone else's game.
Azure Drake Rare Minion Dragon Any 5 4 4 Spell Damage +1. Battlecry: Draw a card.They initially planned to be the Beryl or Cerulean drakes, but those felt a tad too pretentious.
Soot Spewer Rare Minion Mech Mage 3 3 3 Spell Damage +1The inventor of the goblin shredder is involved in several patent disputes with the inventor of the soot spewer.
Mini-Mage Epic Minion General Any 4 4 1 Stealth

Spell Damage +1He is sometimes found hiding in the treasure chest in the Gurubashi Arena.

Bloodmage Thalnos Legendary Minion General Any 2 1 1 Spell Damage +1. Deathrattle: Draw a card.He's in charge of the Annual Scarlet Monastery Blood Drive!
Malygos Legendary Minion Dragon Any 9 4 12 Spell Damage +5Malygos hates it when mortals use magic. He gets so mad!
Showing all 14 cards
Wrath of Air Totem(365).pngArchmage(545).pngDalaran Aspirant(22359).pngDalaran Mage(388).pngFrigid Snobold(22381).pngKobold Geomancer(479).pngOgre Magi(659).pngVelen's Chosen(12174).pngAncient Mage(176).pngAzure Drake(280).pngSoot Spewer(12306).pngMini-Mage(12262).pngBloodmage Thalnos(525).pngMalygos(241).png

Related cards[edit | edit source]

Name / Desc Rarity Type Subtype Class Cost Atk HP Description
Arcane Blast Epic Spell Mage 1 Deal 2 damage to a minion. This spell gets double bonus from Spell Damage.Now with 100% more blast!
Master of Ceremonies Epic Minion General Any 3 4 2 Battlecry: If you have a minion with Spell Damage, gain +2/+2.Goes by "MC ElfyElf".
Showing all 2 cards
Arcane Blast(22358).pngMaster of Ceremonies(22306).png

Patch changes[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. forum - Malygos and Spellpower
  3. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2015-05-04).