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.

Boneguard Lieutenant(22352).png
Brave Archer(22310).png
Dalaran Aspirant(22359).png
Dragonhawk Rider(22369).png
Kvaldir Raider(22355).png
Lowly Squire(22263).png
Mukla's Champion(22318).png
Murloc Knight(22362).png
Orgrimmar Aspirant(22395).png
Silver Hand Regent(22275).png
Tournament Medic(22290).png
Argent Watchman(22298).png
Coliseum Manager(22291).png
Savage Combatant(22293).png
Spawn of Shadows(22357).png
Thunder Bluff Valiant(22271).png
Void Crusher(22387).png
Poisoned Blade(22273).png
Confessor Paletress(22368).png
Nexus-Champion Saraad(22264).png

Opponent Hero Power use

Dart Trap(27227).png

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]

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
Dragonkin Sorcerer(14441).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
Summoning Stone(27239).png
Violet Teacher(523).png
Burgly Bully(49704).png
Lock and Load(22258).png
Archmage Antonidas(220).png
Eydis Darkbane(22295).png
Fjola Lightbane(22296).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
Djinni of Zephyrs(27234).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
Sacred Trial(27217).png
Hidden Cache(49736).png

Specific types of card[edit | edit source]

Rumbling Elemental(27244).png
Tunnel Trogg(27246).png
Unbound Elemental(51).png
Crowd Favorite(22308).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
Knight of the Wild(22360).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
Power Word- Glory(22385).png
Mogor's Champion(22382).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]

Bear Trap(22364).png
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]
Acolyte of Pain(428).png
Axe Flinger(14439).png
Gurubashi Berserker(624).png
Imp Gang Boss(14443).png
Dragon Egg(14442).png
Grim Patron(14435).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
Animated Armor(27252).png
Ice Block(28).png
Bolf Ramshield(22346).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.

Pit Snake(27221).png
Water Elemental(274).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
Holy Champion(22287).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.

Anubisath Sentinel(27241).png
Backstreet Leper(49697).png
Deadly Fork(42057).png
Fiery Bat(35214).png
Harvest Golem(386).png
Huge Toad(27219).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
Mounted Raptor(27253).png
Polluted Hoarder(31111).png
Possessed Villager(33171).png
Runic Egg(42065).png
Shaky Zipgunner(49669).png
Soul of the Forest(311).png
Southsea Squidface(35241).png
Spawn of N'Zoth(33137).png
Tentacle of N'Zoth(33130).png
Tomb Pillager(27229).png
Zealous Initiate(35222).png
Ancestral Spirit(526).png
Bomb Squad(49696).png
Corrupted Healbot(31109).png
Darkshire Librarian(35221).png
Darnassus Aspirant(22303).png
Explorer's Hat(27209).png
Infested Wolf(35215).png
Journey Below(35194).png
Moat Lurker(42063).png
Savannah Highmane(8).png
Selfless Hero(35245).png
Shifting Shade(35186).png
Undercity Huckster(33135).png
Wobbling Runts(27223).png
Charged Hammer(22331).png
Hammer of Twilight(33163).png
Meanstreet Marshal(49641).png
Rat Pack(49681).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
Majordomo Executus(14456).png
Sylvanas Windrunner(33).png
The Beast(179).png
The Skeleton Knight(22314).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
Obsidian Destroyer(27222).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
Young Priestess(123).png
Blood of The Ancient One(33164).png
Kabal Trafficker(49742).png
Baron Geddon(539).png
Emperor Thaurissan(14454).png
Ragnaros the Firelord(503).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
Power Overwhelming(170).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
Competitive Spirit(22460).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.

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.

Ancient Curse(27503).png
Ancient Shade(27245).png
Beneath the Grounds(22397).png
Sea Reaver(22339).png

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

Equipping a weapon


Discarding a card[edit | edit source]

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

Fist of Jaraxxus(22332).png
Silverware Golem(42037).png

Discarding another card

These effects activate when other cards are discarded.

Tiny Knight of Evil(22386).png

Journey to Un'Goro

The below cards are planned for release with Journey to Un'Goro, coming early April 2017.

Name / Desc Rarity Type Subtype Class Cost Atk HP Description
Sherazin, Seed None Minion General Rogue When you play 4 cards in a turn, revive this minion. 
Mana Bind Common Spell Mage 3 Secret: When your opponent cast a spell, add a copy to your hand that costs (0). 
Corrupting Mist Rare Spell Warlock 5 Corrupt every minion. Destroy them at the start of your next turn. 
Molten Blade Rare Weapon Warrior 1 1 1 Each turn this is in your hand, transform it into a new weapon. 
Nether Portal Legendary Minion General Warlock At the end of your turn, summon two 3/2 Imps. 
Swamp King Dred Legendary Minion Beast Hunter 7 9 9 After your opponent plays a minion, attack it. 
Showing all 6 cards
Sherazin, Seed(55458).png
Mana Bind(55489).png
Corrupting Mist(55493).png
Molten Blade(55496).png
Nether Portal(55460).png
Swamp King Dred(55454).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).