Triggered effect

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The lightning bolt icon, explicitly indicating a triggered effect

Triggered effects are effects that activate in response to specific events. Triggered effects may belong to minions, weapons or spells (in the form of Secrets), as well as some boss Hero Powers.

Triggered effects include named abilities such as Battlecry and Deathrattle, as well as unnamed effects such as those of Cult Master, Sword of Justice and Ragnaros the Firelord. All Secrets are triggered effects. Many triggered effects must first be put into play in order to become active - such as by playing the minion, equipping the weapon, or casting the Secret - while others activate when the card itself is drawn, discarded or put into play. Different types of triggered effect often share common rules for their activation.

Since the most common types of triggers are represented by keywords such as Battlecry, the term triggered effect is sometimes used more specifically to refer to those not indicated by a keyword, but instead described explicitly in their card text. Such effects are usually - but not always - denoted when in play by a small lightning bolt icon at the bottom of the card's portrait or icon, and can usually be activated any number of times, but only while in play. Any ability that states "at the end of your turn" or "at the start of your turn" is a triggered effect, as are most that state "when" or "whenever".

Notes[edit | edit source]

Main article: Advanced rulebook

The interactions and timing of multiple triggered effects are some of the most complex rules in the game. This section is only a summary:

  • When multiple triggered effects activate at once, such as at the end of a player's turn, the effects will activate in the order in which the minions were summoned, with the minions summoned first activating their triggered effects first. Any deaths resulting from the triggers then resolve at once, followed by consequences from those deaths. However, there are exceptions to this rule.
  • Triggered effects which trigger from playing cards or casting spells may take place before or after the card takes effect, depending on the trigger. For example, activating Leader of the Pack with a Violet Teacher active will cause her to summon a fresh Violet Apprentice, who will then benefit from the Leader of the Pack buff,[1] while playing Inner Rage on a 3/1 Wild Pyromancer will destroy the minion before it can activate its effect.
  • For notes on individual types of triggered effects, see the appropriate sections.

Advanced[edit | edit source]

  • Triggered effects require the card not to have been destroyed. However, the game only checks to destroy minions with 0 or negative Health when an event phase ends. This means that a minion can be triggered during the same phase in which it is destroyed, regardless of the order in which the events take place. For example, if three enemy Explosive Sheep are killed by your Flamestrike while you have an Acolyte of Pain on the board, the Acolyte will trigger three times (despite his Health reaching 0 after the first Exploding Sheep's Deathrattle) since he cannot completely die while the Sheep Deathrattles are still being handled. Once all simultaneous effects have resolved, the game will then check for any minions at 0 or lower Health, notice the Acolyte and destroy it. Conversely, Cult Master cannot trigger from the death of a friendly minion killed at the same time as the Cult Master itself, since by the time the game checks for triggers from the deaths, the Cult Master has also been destroyed.

Cards[edit | edit source]

For Wild format listings, see Triggered effect/Wild format

Below are listed all cards which possess or grant triggered effects, divided by the type of trigger.

Using Hero Powers[edit | edit source]

Most effects which are triggered by using Hero Powers are denoted by the Inspire keyword. For more details on that effect, see Inspire. Certain other triggered effects are not marked as Inspire effects, but are activated by the use of Hero Powers.

Card-playing[edit | edit source]

Card-playing triggered effects only activate when a card of the correct type is played directly from the hand. Cards brought into play through summon or put into battlefield effects will not activate these effects.

Card-playing triggered effects activate immediately after the card is played, before it takes effect.

Any type of card[edit | edit source]

Sherazin, Seed(55458).png
Questing Adventurer(157).png
Illidan Stormrage(203).png

Spell-casting[edit | edit source]

Whenever[edit | edit source]

'When' and 'Whenever' effects trigger from the attempt to cast the spell, before any of the spell's effects apply, and even triggers if Counterspell prevents it:

Arcane Anomaly(42043).png
Mana Wyrm(263).png
Priest of the Feast(42056).png
Red Mana Wyrm(49762).png
Wicked Witchdoctor(42047).png
Gadgetzan Auctioneer(131).png
Mana Addict(67).png
Violet Teacher(523).png
Burgly Bully(49704).png
Archmage Antonidas(220).png
Lorewalker Cho(456).png
After[edit | edit source]

'After' effects trigger from the spell fully resolving:

Cat Trick(42051).png
Cult Sorcerer(35239).png
Demented Frostcaller(35184).png
Wild Pyromancer(25).png
Primalfin Champion(55565).png
Auctionmaster Beardo(49659).png

Playing a minion from the hand[edit | edit source]

These effects trigger only when the minion is played directly from the hand. For effects which trigger from any form of minion summoning, see Minion summoning, below.

That minion[edit | edit source]

Effects which activate when the minion itself is played from the hand are denoted by specific keywords. By far the most common is Battlecry, followed by the druid keyword Choose One and the rogue keyword Combo. All three abilities cause a special effect to activate when the minion is played from the hand, although some require certain conditions to be met.

The list of such minions is too extensive to list here - see individual pages for complete lists:

Another minion

Mirror Entity(569).png
Hidden Cache(49736).png
Swamp King Dred(55454).png

Specific types of card[edit | edit source]

Unbound Elemental(51).png

Minion summoning[edit | edit source]

Minion summoning triggered effects may activate at various points during the summoning sequence of events. They may occur before auras are applied to the minion; after auras are applied to the minion, but before any Battlecries are activated; after Battlecries have taken place, but before the minion summoning has resolved; or once the minion summoning has resolved. In some cases they may sometimes activate later in the summoning process, if they did not activate at the proper point.

Note that these effects are triggered by any eligible minion being summoned, even if they are not played from the hand, such as through Summon or put into battlefield effects. Hero powers, Deathrattles, Battlecries and Secrets can all trigger these effects. If the summoned minion has a Battlecry, this will take place prior to the activation of any triggered effects or Secrets.[2]

Whenever you summon[edit | edit source]

Starving Buzzard(101).png
Murloc Tidecaller(420).png
Steward of Darkshire(33153).png
Blubber Baron(49760).png
Unlicensed Apothecary(49747).png

After you summon[edit | edit source]

Darkshire Councilman(35224).png
Addled Grizzly(35235).png
Knife Juggler(422).png
Sword of Justice(567).png
Patches the Pirate(49624).png

Attacking[edit | edit source]

Attacking triggered effects activate before the intended combat actually takes place, although those based on surviving an attack do not trigger until afterwards. For triggers which activate when attacking and killing a minion, see Attacking and killing.

Hero attacks[edit | edit source]

Truesilver Champion(293).png
Brass Knuckles(49680).png
Piranha Launcher(49618).png

Minion attacks[edit | edit source]

Blessing of Wisdom(100).png
Freezing Trap(99).png
Lotus Illusionist(49751).png
Wind-up Burglebot(49647).png
Genzo, the Shark(49737).png
Shaku, the Collector(49657).png

Any attack[edit | edit source]

Explosive Trap(344).png
Ice Barrier(672).png
Noble Sacrifice(158).png
Snake Trap(210).png

Character damage[edit | edit source]

Damage-triggered effects activate immediately after damage is received, but before any deaths are resolved. On-damage triggers that cause healing can prevent a fatally damaged character from dying, as the game will not check for deaths until the end of the current phase is reached, and all simultaneous effects have been resolved.

Taking minion damage[edit | edit source]

This minion[edit | edit source]
Gurubashi Berserker(624).png
Acolyte of Pain(428).png
Crazed Worshipper(35212).png
Hogger, Doom of Elwynn(31117).png
Friendly minions[edit | edit source]
Another minion[edit | edit source]
Any minion[edit | edit source]
Frothing Berserker(69).png

Taking hero damage[edit | edit source]

Eye for an Eye(206).png
Ice Block(28).png

Dealing damage[edit | edit source]

Various effects activate in response to dealing damage, either by the minion or by the player. Poison effects are a type of triggered destroy effect which display a vial of bubbling poison in place of the usual lightning bolt icon, and use atypical phrasing in their card text.

Water Elemental(274).png
Giant Wasp(55525).png
Stubborn Gastropod(55532).png
Alley Armorsmith(49663).png
Emperor Cobra(625).png
Patient Assassin(14).png
Hallazeal the Ascended(33131).png
Wickerflame Burnbristle(49633).png

Healing[edit | edit source]

Healing-triggered effects activate immediately after healing is granted.

Northshire Cleric(600).png
Hooded Acolyte(35192).png
Mana Geode(49705).png

Minion death[edit | edit source]

Death-triggered effects activate only after the death has fully resolved, and the minion or weapon removed from play. All types of death-triggered effects, including Deathrattles, triggered effects and Secrets are queued together from oldest to newest played, with no special priority.

That minion[edit | edit source]

Effects which trigger from the death of the minion itself are Deathrattles - see that page for details.

Mana Treant(55494).png
Backstreet Leper(49697).png
Deadly Fork(42057).png
Fiery Bat(35214).png
Harvest Golem(386).png
Igneous Elemental(55559).png
Infested Tauren(33128).png
Jade Swarmer(49713).png
Kindly Grandmother(42020).png
Leper Gnome(513).png
Loot Hoarder(395).png
Mistress of Mixtures(49646).png
Polluted Hoarder(31111).png
Possessed Villager(33171).png
Runic Egg(42065).png
Sated Threshadon(55534).png
Shaky Zipgunner(49669).png
Shimmering Tempest(55561).png
Soul of the Forest(311).png
Southsea Squidface(35241).png
Spawn of N'Zoth(33137).png
Tentacle of N'Zoth(33130).png
Tortollan Shellraiser(55446).png
Volatile Elemental(55550).png
Zealous Initiate(35222).png
Ancestral Spirit(526).png
Bomb Squad(49696).png
Corrupted Healbot(31109).png
Cruel Dinomancer(55569).png
Crystalline Oracle(55461).png
Darkshire Librarian(35221).png
Devilsaur Egg(55567).png
Direhorn Hatchling(55524).png
Infested Wolf(35215).png
Journey Below(35194).png
Moat Lurker(42063).png
Raptor Hatchling(55502).png
Savannah Highmane(8).png
Selfless Hero(35245).png
Shifting Shade(35186).png
Spikeridged Steed(55516).png
Undercity Huckster(33135).png
Giant Anaconda(55546).png
Hammer of Twilight(33163).png
Meanstreet Marshal(49641).png
Primalfin Champion(55565).png
Rat Pack(49681).png
Spirit Echo(55514).png
Tentacles for Arms(33140).png
Twilight Summoner(33175).png
Weasel Tunneler(49758).png
Aya Blackpaw(49706).png
Bloodmage Thalnos(525).png
Cairne Bloodhoof(498).png
Deathwing, Dragonlord(33177).png
Sherazin, Corpse Flower(55457).png
The Beast(179).png
Tirion Fordring(391).png
White Eyes(49726).png
Xaril, Poisoned Mind(33139).png

Another minion[edit | edit source]

Cult Master(140).png
Flesheating Ghoul(610).png
Scavenging Hyena(279).png
Usher of Souls(35242).png
Backroom Bouncer(49675).png
Getaway Kodo(49640).png

Attacking and killing

Giant Sand Worm(31118).png
Lotus Assassin(49619).png
Finja, the Flying Star(49632).png
The Boogeymonster(33138).png

End of turn[edit | edit source]

Most end of turn effects activate at the end of the controlling player's turn, but some activate at the end of the current turn, or at the end of each turn.

The game only queues end of turn triggers once, at the start of the end of turn phase. For example, if during the end of turn phase Kel'Thuzad resurrects a minion which has an end of turn triggered effect, that effect will not be activated that turn, since the minion was not in play when the end of turn phase started.

End of your turn[edit | edit source]

These effects activate at the end of the turns belonging to the controlling player.

Healing Totem(275).png
Blood Imp(196).png
Friendly Bartender(49645).png
Grimy Gadgeteer(49679).png
Twilight Elder(31112).png
Ethereal Arcanist(125).png
Grimestreet Enforcer(49667).png
Imp Master(178).png
Mana Tide Totem(613).png
Master Swordsmith(584).png
Primalfin Totem(55596).png
Young Priestess(123).png
Blood of The Ancient One(33164).png
Kabal Trafficker(49742).png
Baron Geddon(539).png
Nether Portal(55460).png
Ragnaros, Lightlord(33147).png
Y'Shaarj, Rage Unbound(33156).png

End of each turn[edit | edit source]

These effects activate at the end of each turn, whether belonging to the controlling player or their opponent.


End of the turn[edit | edit source]

These effects activate at the end of the turn after they are put into play. This is largely the same as effects that activate at the end of each turn, but only happens once.

Potion of Madness(49630).png
Shadow Madness(442).png

Start of turn[edit | edit source]

Start of turn effects take effect at the very start of the turn, before any cards have been drawn. Almost all take place only on the controlling player's turn, but some happen at the start of each turn, or the start of the opponent's turn.

Start of your turn[edit | edit source]

These effects activate at the end of the turns belonging to the controlling player.

Nerubian Prophet(35233).png
Ancient Harbinger(33157).png
Fel Orc Soulfiend(49639).png
Scaled Nightmare(33152).png
Validated Doomsayer(31115).png
Nat Pagle(19).png
Prince Malchezaar(42031).png

Start of your opponent's turn

These effects activate at the start of the opponent's turn.

Nat, the Darkfisher(35248).png

Start of each turn

These effects activate at the start of each turn, whether belonging to the controlling player or their opponent.

Molten Blade(55496).png
Shifter Zerus(35190).png

Drawing a card[edit | edit source]

Effects that activate when the card itself is drawn are known as on-draw effects.

Drawing another card

These effects activate when other cards are drawn.

Daring Reporter(49723).png

Revealing a Secret[edit | edit source]

Eaglehorn Bow(363).png

Discarding a card[edit | edit source]

Effects that activate when the card itself is discarded are known as on-discard effects.

Silverware Golem(42037).png
Clutchmother Zavas(55464).png

Patch changes[edit | edit source]

  • Patch (2014-03-11): Minions that have been blessed by Blessing of Wisdom now show the trigger “lightning bolt”. Talk about a bright idea!

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Funny and Lucky Moments - Hearthstone - Ep. 50. (2014-06-21). 
  2. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2014-08-22).