Card draw

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For the game conclusion where neither player wins, see Draw

Card draw is a term used to refer the process or mechanic of drawing additional cards from the top of the deck, and adding them to the hand.

A card draw effect is an effect which causes the player to draw one or more cards directly from their deck. Cards with card draw effects are sometimes called "cantrips", after similar effects in other games.

Card draw effects are distinguished from generate effects, which place new cards into your hand without removing them from your deck; and from put into hand and put into battlefield effects, which place cards of a specific type into the hand or the battlefield directly from the player's deck, rather than simply drawing the next card in the deck.

Notes[edit | edit source]

The following terms are used in this wiki to carry different meanings related to card drawing:

  • Draw-related cards - These cards have special effects which trigger based on the drawing of other cards.
  • On-draw effect cards - These cards trigger their effect as soon as they are drawn.
    • Casts When Drawn - This ability appears on spell cards. When the spell card is drawn, it is cast without using any mana. Another card is then drawn.

Details[edit | edit source]

Drawing a card removes the top card from your deck, and places it into your hand. Since the hand can only hold 10 cards at a time, attempting to draw cards with a full hand will result in overdraw (see below), which is not considered card draw for game purposes.

Cards are drawn from the player's deck, and once the player's deck has been exhausted, it will not be possible to draw any more cards. Attempting to draw a card with an empty deck will cause fatigue damage to the player, with the amount increasing each time a draw is attempted.

Card draw takes the top card from the player's remaining deck. Since the deck is randomly ordered, this makes card draw essentially a random process.

Overdraw[edit | edit source]

Attempting to draw a card when you already have 10 cards in your hand will result in the drawn card being removed from play, something referred to as "overdraw". Overdrawn cards are revealed to both players, before the card is visually destroyed.

Overdrawing is similar to discarding, but does not count as a discard for game purposes. While discard effects remove cards from the hand, overdraw removes the card directly from the deck. Overdraw also does not count as card draw for game purposes, since the game never attempts to draw the card into the hand, but rather destroys it since there is no room.

Types[edit | edit source]

Most cards are drawn automatically without the use of specific effects: Each turn, the current player draws a random card from their deck. This occurs at the start of each round, before the player is able to take any actions, but after effects that state "at the start of your turn". The initial hand and mulligan at the start of the game also draws 3-4 randomly selected cards, although this takes place before regular game mechanics become active and do not trigger effects related to card drawing.

Certain spells cause the caster to draw one or more cards when they are cast. Some minions also have card draw effects as part of their card text, and vary in activation method. Many have a one-time Battlecry or Deathrattle that activates the card draw, but some that use triggered effects can be used repeatedly to draw numerous cards.

Card draw effects draw from the top of the randomly ordered deck, unlike "put into battlefield" or "put into hand" effects, resulting in an even chance of getting any card remaining in the deck. However, it is possible to gain more control over drawing using Tracking, which gives the player a choice among the top three random draws.

Strategy[edit | edit source]

Card advantage is a very important part of card games. Having more cards means having more options, and increases the likelihood of having the card you need. While card value and strategy form a part of this, using cards with card draw can also help you to maintain a good range of options each turn, and even attain a card advantage over your opponent.

An example of the value of card draw effects would be the Loot Hoarder, who draws the controlling player a card when he is destroyed. If the player uses their Loot Hoarder to attack their opponent's Knife Juggler, both minions will be destroyed. However, because Loot Hoarder's death draws a new card for its owner, the exchange can be considered to be favourable.

It is very important in gameplay to make profitable trades, such as using a Patient Assassin to attack a Molten Giant, destroying both minions. However, in some situations it will be necessary to sacrifice multiple minions to destroy a single enemy, such as using Murloc Raider to break Sunwalker's Divine Shield, before then attacking with Patient Assassin. Having good card draw can make this more viable, with a larger supply of cards to use.

The benefit of card draw has its limits, however, in the form of fatigue. Once a player has exhausted their deck, fatigue deals increasing damage to them each time they try to draw another card. Using too much card draw in a deck can lead to reaching this point prematurely, inadvertently leading to the player's demise.

Another limit to card draw is the player's hand size. Each player can only have a total of 10 cards in their hand at any time. If you attempt to draw a new card when your hand is full, that card will be destroyed. Cards destroyed in this way will be revealed face up to both players before being incinerated. This can therefore potentially grant additional strategic value by informing you of your opponent's deck style, or showing that they have lost a critical and possibly unique card, knowledge which can be very useful in anticipating what your opponent may or may not be capable of.

Both of these mechanics can be exploited to the other player's benefit. For example, forcing your opponent to draw cards when their hand is full will cause them to waste valuable cards. Even more powerfully, forcing your opponent to draw cards when they have exhausted their deck will cause them to suffer increasing fatigue damage. In such circumstances cards like Northshire Cleric can actually become the direct cause of the controlling player's defeat.

Forcing card draw and controlling the player's ability to empty their hand are key components in milling, a technique that attempts to hasten the opponent's progress toward fatigue damage, and/or cause them to overdraw, destroying and revealing cards. This is usually achieved through using card draw effects such as Naturalize and Coldlight Oracle to cause the opponent to draw a significant amount of additional cards. Unlike with Northshire Cleric, milling generally does not rely on the opponent's cards to initiate card draw, but aggressively pursues the goal through its own means.

Forced overdraw can be an effective way of causing the opponent to reveal cards, which can illustrate their deck type or general strategy. Destroying key cards such as Grommash Hellscream or a second Ice Block can serve to inform the player that their opponent no longer has a chance to draw these cards, providing substantial strategic advantage. However, since card draw is randomised, unless the game reaches fatigue, overdraw will not actually affect which cards the player draws.

Some cards interact with the number of cards in the player's hand, and can offer advantages for having either a full or an empty hand. Mountain Giant and Twilight Drake are cards which reward having a large hand, and players with these cards will often try to make their hand as full as possible before playing them. Cards with discard effects such as Soulfire and Doomguard offer a powerful incentive to empty the hand before playing them, or at least to play any valuable cards first.

The warlock has a particularly interesting relationship with card draw, due to their hero power Life Tap. Warlocks can use Life Tap to quickly fill their hand, doubling the usual rate of card draw each turn. This can be useful for quickly growing a full hand for use with cards like Twilight Drake, or to refill the hand after emptying it with cheap minion cards or discard effects like Doomguard. Warlocks trying to play around discard effects may deliberately empty their hand before then refilling using Life Tap, or even Life Tap before discarding in order to reduce the likelihood of losing specific cards in their hand.

Cards[edit | edit source]

Collectible[edit | edit source]

For Wild format listings, see Card draw/Wild format
Name / Desc Rarity Type Subtype Class Cost Atk HP Description
Mortal Coil Free Spell Warlock 1
Deal 1 damage to a minion. If that kills it, draw a card. If your spells look like horrifying skulls, let's be honest, you should get to draw some cards.
Northshire Cleric Free Minion General Priest 1 1 3
Whenever a minion is healed, draw a card. They help the downtrodden and distressed. Also they sell cookies.
Power Word: Shield Free Spell Priest 1
Give a minion +2 Health.
Draw a card. Sure the extra protection is nice, but the shield really reduces visibility.
Tracking Free Spell Hunter 1
Look at the top three cards of your deck. Draw one and discard the others. For the person who just cannot decide what card to put in their deck!
Novice Engineer Free Minion General Any 2 1 1
Battlecry: Draw a card. "Half of this class will not graduate… since they'll have been turned to chickens." - Tinkmaster Overspark, teaching Gizmos 101.
Shiv Free Spell Rogue 2
Deal 1 damage. Draw a card. Rogues are experts at SHIV-al-ry.
Arcane Intellect Free Spell Mage 3
Draw 2 cards. Playing this card makes you SMARTER. And let's face it: we could all stand to be a little smarter.
Fan of Knives Free Spell Rogue 3
Deal 1 damage to all enemy minions. Draw a card. I wouldn't say I LOVE knives, but I'm definitely a fan.
Shield Block Free Spell Warrior 3
Gain 5 Armor. Draw a card. Shields were invented because Face Block is USELESS.
Gnomish Inventor Free Minion General Any 4 2 4
Battlecry: Draw a card. She's never quite sure what she's making, she just knows it's AWESOME!
Hammer of Wrath Free Spell Paladin 4
Deal 3 damage. Draw a card. A good paladin has many tools. Hammer of Wrath, Pliers of Vengeance, Hacksaw of Justice, etc.
Starving Buzzard Free Minion Beast Hunter 5 3 2
Whenever you summon a Beast, draw a card. If you feed him, he loses his whole identity.
Starfire Free Spell Druid 6
Deal 5 damage. Draw a card. Balance is important to druids. This card is perfectly balanced.
Sprint Free Spell Rogue 7
Draw 4 cards. Rogues are not good joggers.
Blessing of Wisdom Common Spell Paladin 1
Choose a minion. Whenever it attacks, draw a card. Apparently with wisdom comes the knowledge that you should probably be attacking every turn.
Battle Rage Common Spell Warrior 2
Draw a card for each damaged friendly character. "You won't like me when I'm angry."
Flash of Light Common Spell Paladin 2
Restore 4 health.
Draw a card. Hey! No cameras allowed!
Loot Hoarder Common Minion General Any 2 2 1
Deathrattle: Draw a card. Always roll need.
Research Project Common Spell Mage 2
Each player draws 2 cards. Abstract: Analyzing systemic applications of coldlight data sets vis-a-vis shuffle-related paradigms. Conclusion: Yay, cards!
Rocket Boots Common Spell Warrior 2
Give a minion Rush.
Draw a card. This is the happiest moment of Grik's life. We'll miss him.
Slam Common Spell Warrior 2
Deal 2 damage to a minion. If it survives, draw a card. "Dun da dun, dun da dun": if you've heard an ogre sing this, it's too late.
Spellbook Binder Common Minion General Any 2 3 2
Battlecry: If you have Spell Damage, draw a card. You're bound to love his work!
Wrath Common Spell Druid 2
Choose One - Deal 3 damage to a minion; or 1 damage and draw a card. The talk around the Ratchet Inn is that this card is too good and should be a Legendary.
Acolyte of Pain Common Minion General Any 3 1 3
Whenever this minion takes damage, draw a card. He trained when he was younger to be an acolyte of joy, but things didn’t work out like he thought they would.
Ferocious Howl Common Spell Druid 3
Draw a card.
Gain +1 Armor for each card in your hand. Have you ever heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon?
Arena Treasure Chest Common Minion General Any 4 0 4
Deathrattle: Draw 2 cards. Yeah it's great, but did you see the Arena Treasure Arms?!
Cult Master Common Minion General Any 4 4 2
Whenever one of your other minions dies, draw a card. She may be an evil cult master, but she still calls her parents once a week.
Ticket Scalper Common Minion Pirate Any 4 5 3
Overkill: Draw 2 cards. Takes ten percent off the top.
Spirit of the Raptor Rare Minion General Druid 1 0 3
Stealth for 1 turn.
After your hero attacks and kills a minion, draw a card. “Loti! LOTI! Drop it. Drop it Loti! Down! Down Loti!”
Commanding Shout Rare Spell Warrior 2
Your minions can't be reduced below 1 Health this turn. Draw a card. "Shout! Shout! Let it all out!" - Advice to warriors-in-training
Flare Rare Spell Hunter 2
All minions lose Stealth. Destroy all enemy Secrets. Draw a card. Not only does it reveal your enemies, but it's also great for parties!
Soup Vendor Rare Minion General Any 2 1 4
Whenever you restore 3 or more Health to your hero, draw a card. Fresh from the floor of the arena!
Call to Adventure Rare Spell Paladin 3
Draw the lowest Cost minion from your deck. Give it +2/+2. Even the smallest minion can change the outcome of the game.
Mana Tide Totem Rare Minion Totem Shaman 3 0 3
At the end of your turn, draw a card. It is said that some shaman can say "Floatin' totem" 10 times, fast.
Pyromaniac Rare Minion General Mage 3 3 4
Whenever your Hero Power kills a minion, draw a card. She prefers “Flammably Inclined.”
Forest Guide Rare Minion General Druid 4 1 6
At the end of your turn, both players draw a card. "Just sign this waiver, and we'll be on our way."
Mass Dispel Rare Spell Priest 4
Silence all enemy minions. Draw a card. It dispels buffs, powers, hopes, and dreams.
Bonfire Elemental Rare Minion Elemental Mage 5 5 5
Battlecry: If you played an Elemental last turn, draw a card. Next step: Marshmallow elementals.
Holy Wrath Rare Spell Paladin 5
Draw a card and deal damage equal to its cost. C'mon Molten Giant!!
Gadgetzan Auctioneer Rare Minion General Any 6 4 4
Whenever you cast a spell, draw a card. He used to run the black market auction house, but there was just too much violence and he had to move.
Nourish Rare Spell Druid 6
Choose One - Gain 2 Mana Crystals; or Draw 3 cards. Druids take nourishment from many things: the power of nature, the songbird's chirp, a chocolate cake.
Hidden Wisdom Epic Spell Paladin 1
Secret: After your opponent plays three cards in a turn, draw 2 cards. Find your own wisdom. Perhaps behind the couch.
Book of Specters Epic Spell Mage 2
Draw 3 cards. Discard any spells drawn. Known throughout the land as the Spooky-nomicon.
Icicle Epic Spell Mage 2
Deal 2 damage to a minion. If it's Frozen, draw a card. This may appear weak at frost glance, but it's actually a very ice spell.
Far Sight Epic Spell Shaman 3
Draw a card. That card costs (3) less. Drek'thar can't see, but he can see. You know what I mean? It's ok if you don't.
Ancient of Lore Epic Minion General Druid 7 5 5
Choose One - Draw a card; or Restore 5 Health. Go ahead, carve your initials in him.
Lay on Hands Epic Spell Paladin 8
Restore 8 Health. Draw 3 cards. A grammatically awkward life saver.
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!
Nat Pagle Legendary Minion General Any 2 0 4
At the start of your turn, you have a 50% chance to draw an extra card. Nat Pagle, Azeroth's premier fisherman! He invented the Auto-Angler 3000, the Extendo-Pole 3000, and the Lure-o-matic 2099 (still in testing).
Stargazer Luna Legendary Minion General Mage 3 2 4
After you play the right-most card in your hand, draw a card. She's Dr. Boom's right-hand mage.
Harrison Jones Legendary Minion General Any 5 5 4
Battlecry: Destroy your opponent's weapon and draw cards equal to its Durability. “That belongs in the Hall of Explorers!”
Myra's Unstable Element Legendary Spell Rogue 5
Draw the rest of your deck. What could go wrong?
Showing all 52 cards
Blessing of Wisdom(100).png
Hidden Wisdom(89448).png
Mortal Coil(43).png
Northshire Cleric(600).png
Power Word- Shield(431).png
Spirit of the Raptor(90212).png
Tracking(163).png
Battle Rage(664).png
Bloodmage Thalnos(525).png
Book of Specters(89416).png
Commanding Shout(166).png
Flare(630).png
Flash of Light(90262).png
Icicle(90139).png
Loot Hoarder(395).png
Nat Pagle(19).png
Novice Engineer(435).png
Research Project(89916).png
Rocket Boots(89930).png
Shiv(164).png
Slam(215).png
Soup Vendor(90202).png
Spellbook Binder(90662).png
Wrath(633).png
Acolyte of Pain(428).png
Arcane Intellect(489).png
Call to Adventure(90617).png
Fan of Knives(378).png
Far Sight(107).png
Ferocious Howl(89432).png
Mana Tide Totem(613).png
Pyromaniac(90158).png
Shield Block(493).png
Stargazer Luna(89805).png
Arena Treasure Chest(90286).png
Cult Master(140).png
Forest Guide(89362).png
Gnomish Inventor(246).png
Hammer of Wrath(350).png
Mass Dispel(249).png
Ticket Scalper(90165).png
Bonfire Elemental(89425).png
Harrison Jones(602).png
Holy Wrath(355).png
Myra's Unstable Element(89802).png
Starving Buzzard(101).png
Gadgetzan Auctioneer(131).png
Nourish(120).png
Starfire(667).png
Ancient of Lore(34).png
Sprint(90).png
Lay on Hands(506).png


Uncollectible[edit | edit source]

For Wild format listings, see Card draw/Wild format

The following minions are generated by other cards or effects, and are uncollectible.

Name / Desc Rarity Type Subtype Class Cost Atk HP Description
Excess Mana None Spell Druid 0
Draw a card. (You can only have 10 Mana in your tray.) 
Life Tap None Hero Power Warlock 2
Hero Power
Draw a card and take 2 damage. 
Tolin's Goblet None Spell Any 3
Draw a card. Fill your hand with copies of it. 
Wondrous Wand None Spell Any 3
Draw 3 cards. Reduce their Costs to (0). 
Bomb None Spell Any 5
Casts When Drawn
You take 5 damage. 
Showing all 5 cards
Excess Mana(520).png
Life Tap(20).png
Tolin's Goblet(73346).png
Wondrous Wand(73347).png
Bomb(89894).png


Related cards[edit | edit source]

For Wild format listings, see Card draw/Wild format

These cards have a specific interaction with the drawing of any card.

Name / Desc Rarity Type Subtype Class Cost Atk HP Description
Bomb None Spell Any 5
Casts When Drawn
You take 5 damage. 
Curio Collector Rare Minion General Mage 5 4 4
Whenever you draw a card, gain +1/+1. Experts worry that curios are a gateway to face-collecting.
Untamed Beastmaster Epic Minion General Any 3 3 4
Whenever you draw a Beast, give it +2/+2. All it takes is a tummy rub.
Archmage Arugal Legendary Minion General Mage 2 2 2
Whenever you draw a minion, add a copy of it to your hand. His worgen children call him Archmage AROO-OO-OO-OO-gal.
Dollmaster Dorian Legendary Minion General Any 5 2 6
Whenever you draw a minion, summon a 1/1 copy of it. The children were puzzled by the scratches covering the insides of their toy-boxes.
Fel Lord Betrug Legendary Minion Demon Warlock 8 5 7
Whenever you draw a minion, summon a copy with Rush that dies at end of turn. Nobody else likes rush hour.
Showing all 6 cards
Archmage Arugal(89424).png
Untamed Beastmaster(90187).png
Bomb(89894).png
Curio Collector(89451).png
Dollmaster Dorian(89402).png
Fel Lord Betrug(90602).png


Casts When Drawn[edit | edit source]

Main article: Casts When Drawn

Casts When Drawn are card effects which activate when that card is drawn from the deck. For notes and other information, see Casts When Drawn.

Name / Desc Rarity Type Subtype Class Cost Atk HP Description
Corrupted Blood None Spell Any 1
Casts when Drawn
Take 3 damage. After you draw, shuffle two copies of this into your deck. 
Felhound Portal None Spell Any 2
Casts When Drawn
Summon a 2/2 Felhound with Rush
Bomb None Spell Any 5
Casts When Drawn
You take 5 damage. 
Showing all 3 cards
Corrupted Blood(90191).png
Felhound Portal.png
Bomb(89894).png


Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Card draw effects have traditionally "been a little bit dangerous" for the designers, particularly due to the possibility of achieving too much consistency in the cards drawn.[1] This can allow players to count on drawing most cards at some point during each match, making powerful but otherwise hard to achieve set piece combos predictable and reliable. Aside from the overall power of card draw, the developers also try to restrict its availability due to the potential for too much card draw to make every game feel "sort of the same".[1][2] This is because increased card draw allows players to draw more of their deck each game, removing much of the variation normally seen between matches.[1] For these reasons, the designers restrict the number of card draw effects available, especially in Standard format.[2]

References[edit | edit source]