Starving Buzzard

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Starving Buzzard
Starving Buzzard(101).png
Starving Buzzard(101) Gold.png
Set: Basic
Type: Minion
Subtype: Beast
Class: Hunter
Cost: 5
Attack: 3
Health: 2
Abilities: Draw cards
Tags: Beast-related, Triggered effect

Whenever you summon a Beast, draw a card.

If you feed him, he loses his whole identity.

See this card on Hearthpwn

Starving Buzzard is a basic hunter minion card.

How to get[edit | edit source]

Starving Buzzard x 2 are a reward for raising a hunter to level 4.

Golden Starving Buzzard is a reward for raising a hunter to levels 47 and 48.

Starving Buzzard is soulbound and cannot be crafted or disenchanted.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • The sequence of events for Starving Buzzard's triggered effect is that it activates following the application of any auras, but prior to the activation of any Battlecries.[1][2]
  • Druid of the Fang's Battlecry, if activated, will cause its summoning to trigger Starving Buzzard.[3] The Buzzard will not be activated during its normal phase, but instead after the minion's summoning has resolved.[4]

Strategy[edit | edit source]

Starving Buzzard is a very powerful card in the hunter's arsenal, providing incredible synergy with the Beast minion type. As long as it remains on the board, the hunter will draw a new card whenever summoning a Beast, allowing them to fill the board with minions without emptying their hand (until they exhaust their deck). This provides a powerful advantage to the hunter, and makes Starving Buzzard a high priority target for the opponent.

Ideally, immediately follow Starving Buzzard with one or more Beasts, ensuring some advantage is gained even if it is immediately countered by the opponent. However, its fairly high cost makes it hard to combine effectively with other minions too early in the game. Remember that the value of the Buzzard makes it a soft taunt, increasing the likelihood that it will be quickly removed.

Starving Buzzard combines well with low cost Beasts, allowing the hunter to fill the board with minions to maximum benefit. You can also combo Starving Buzzard with Unleash the Hounds or Snake Trap, summoning multiple Beasts at once for substantial card draw, and is a key part of most Unleash the Hounds and stampede combos, where it serves to generate a rapid flurry of low-costs beasts onto the board, and/or compensate the hunter for their hasty expenditure of cards. Unleash the Hounds in particular can combine extremely well if the opponent has a large number of minions. However, these combos have an expensive cost of 7/8 mana.

Starving Buzzard's card draw essentially makes Beast cards 'free', comparable to Loot Hoarder, as long as the hunter still has sufficient cards to recoup their loss. This can allow the hunter to pour weaker minions onto the battlefield without great loss, even if they are quickly countered by the opponent. This can make lower cost minions more desirable in hunter decks using the Buzzard.

Starving Buzzard also combines well with Call Pet, allowing the hunter to play a Starving Buzzard followed immediately by a cheap or possibly free Beast card, activating the Buzzard's effect.

History[edit | edit source]

Long a key card in hunter combos, especially involving Unleash the Hounds, both Starving Buzzard and Unleash the Hounds have seen an unusually large number of changes in order to balance their importance in play.

During the game's alpha, Starving Buzzard only triggered from Beasts played from the hand, but was changed to trigger from any Beast summon,[5] due to a preference to keep the function of basic cards relatively simple.[6] This significantly increased the range of combination plays, helping the Buzzard to become a key card in the hunter's arsenal. However, it also had the effect of restricting future design space.[7] Because the Buzzard now triggered from any Beast summoned, the designers had to consider carefully the ramifications of introducing cards which summoned multiple Beasts, even 1/1s.[8]

Due in part to this change, Starving Buzzard became a very powerful card, especially in combination with Unleash the Hounds. During mid-beta, the card was changed from its previous stats of 2/2 to a 2/1. This was explained as being in order to make the minion more easily removed by the hero powers of druids, mages and rogues, balancing the match-ups between these classes and hunters, but also served to make the minion more vulnerable in general.

In September 2014, the card saw its most drastic changes yet - from a 2 cost 2/1, up to a 5 cost 3/2. The change was made after a short but pronounced period of hunter dominance, following the full release of Curse of Naxxramas and the availability of cards such as Mad Scientist and Webspinner. While the developers generally prefer to solve balance issues through allowing the meta to right itself, or introducing new cards, in this case it was stated that the "back-end stats" justified direct changes to the card.[9] In an official announcement,[10] it was stated that the changes were intended to allow the opponent "more time to react to both the Starving Buzzard and the cards drawn by its power."

Lore[edit | edit source]

Buzzards are large scavenger birds found throughout Azeroth. Starving Buzzards are tameable level 44-45 mobs found in the Badlands.

Artist[edit | edit source]

Bernie Kang

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Starving Buzzard, full art

Patch changes[edit | edit source]

  • Patch (2014-09-22): Now costs 5 (up from 2) and now has 3 Attack and 2 Health (up from 2 Attack and 1 Health)
  • Patch (2013-12-10): Now a 2/1 (was a 2/2). "Hunters were very strong against Druid, Mage, and Rogue in Copper through Platinum leagues, and this change should help those match-ups."
  • Patch (2013-06-22): Had a wording change from "play" to "summon".
  • Previously: Whenever you play a Beast, draw a card. [2 attack, 2 health, 2 mana, Basic]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Tested by User:Taohinton, 2014-02-19. Various scenarios. Starving Buzzard always triggers after any Battlecries. For example, playing Buzzard then Ironbeak Owl will result in the Buzzard drawing a card, then the Owl silencing the Buzzard. Other tested minions include Hungry Crab and Captain's Parrot.
  2. Tested by User:Taohinton 2015-02-12
  4. Tested by User:Taohinton and User:Xinhuan, 2015-02-02
  5. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2014-09-12). 
  6. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2014-09-14). 
  7. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2014-09-12). 
  8. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2014-09-12). 
  9. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2014-09-12). 
  10. Upcoming Balance Changes for 9/22. (2014-09-11).