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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.

A few cards have special effects which trigger based on the drawing of cards.

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]

For Wild format listings, see Card draw/Wild format
Name / Desc Rarity Type Subtype Class Cost Atk HP Description
Life Tap None Hero Power Warlock 2 Hero Power
Draw a card and take 2 damage. 
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Shield Block Free Spell Warrior 3 Gain 5 Armor. Draw a card. Shields were invented because Face Block is USELESS.
Shiv Free Spell Rogue 2 Deal 1 damage. Draw a card. Rogues are experts at SHIV-al-ry.
Sprint Free Spell Rogue 7 Draw 4 cards. Rogues are not good joggers.
Starfire Free Spell Druid 6 Deal 5 damage. Draw a card. Balance is important to druids. This card is perfectly balanced.
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.
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!
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.
Battle Rage Common Spell Warrior 2 Draw a card for each damaged friendly character. "You won't like me when I'm angry."
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.
Coldwraith Common Minion General Mage 3 3 4 Battlecry: If an enemy is Frozen, draw a card. He's freezing his bones off!
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.
Loot Hoarder Common Minion General Any 2 2 1 Deathrattle: Draw a card. Always roll need.
Malchezaar's Imp Common Minion Demon Warlock 1 1 3 Whenever you discard a card, draw a card. Malchezaar used to have an imp named Dobby working for him, but there was a tragic accident.
Mark of Y'Shaarj Common Spell Druid 2 Give a minion +2/+2. If it's a Beast, draw a card. Y'shaarj had three sons: Mark, Theodore, and Chris.
Naturalize Common Spell Druid 1 Destroy a minion. Your opponent draws 2 cards. Another one bites the dust.
Purify Common Spell Priest 2 Silence a friendly minion. Draw a card. Even better than a hot shower with vigorous scrubbing!
Runic Egg Common Minion General Any 1 0 2 Deathrattle: Draw a card. Oh man! Runic omelettes are the best!
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.
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.
Coldlight Oracle Rare Minion Murloc Any 3 2 2 Battlecry: Each player draws 2 cards. They can see the future. In that future both players draw more cards. Spoooky.
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
Darkshire Librarian Rare Minion General Warlock 2 3 2 Battlecry: Discard a random card. Deathrattle: Draw a card. Do NOT be late with your overdue fines.
Divine Favor Rare Spell Paladin 3 Draw cards until you have as many in hand as your opponent. This is not just a favor, but a divine one, like helping someone move a couch with a fold out bed!
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!
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.
Holy Wrath Rare Spell Paladin 5 Draw a card and deal damage equal to its cost. C'mon Molten Giant!!
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.
Mass Dispel Rare Spell Priest 4 Silence all enemy minions. Draw a card. It dispels buffs, powers, hopes, and dreams.
Mimic Pod Rare Spell Rogue 3 Draw a card, then add a copy of it to your hand. Jinx!
Nourish Rare Spell Druid 5 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.
Roll the Bones Rare Spell Rogue 2 Draw a card. If it has Deathrattle, cast this again. Call it: Heads or Tailbone…
Thistle Tea Rare Spell Rogue 6 Draw a card. Add 2 extra copies of it to your hand. Aren't Thistles prickly? Why would you drink them? I don't get Rogues.
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.
Bright-Eyed Scout Epic Minion General Any 4 3 4 Battlecry: Draw a card. Change its Cost to (5). Also inordinately excited for cupcakes.
DOOM! Epic Spell Warlock 10 Destroy all minions. Draw a card for each. We ran out of space for "DOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!"
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.
Fight Promoter Epic Minion General Any 6 4 4 Battlecry: If you control a minion with 6 or more Health, draw two cards. "Yeah, I can get you Knuckles. No, no, he's been clean for *weeks*."
Lay on Hands Epic Spell Paladin 8 Restore 8 Health. Draw 3 cards. A grammatically awkward life saver.
Lunar Visions Epic Spell Druid 5 Draw 2 cards. Minions drawn costs (2) less. The true mystery of lunar visions is how there is nothing to watch when there are so many channels.
Meanstreet Marshal Epic Minion General Paladin 1 1 2 Deathrattle: If this minion has 2 or more Attack, draw a card. Remember, submit your bribes directly to the Marshal - it's the law!
Ultimate Infestation Epic Spell Druid 10 Deal 5 damage. Draw 5 cards. Gain 5 Armor. Summon a 5/5 Ghoul. Ghouls in the pipe, five by five.
Wind-up Burglebot Epic Minion Mech Any 6 5 5 Whenever this attacks a minion and survives, draw a card. Don't blame the bot for his crimes... Blame whoever keeps winding him up!
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!
Genzo, the Shark Legendary Minion General Any 4 5 4 Whenever this attacks, both players draw until they have 3 cards. Infamous in the seedy underground card rooms of Gadgetzan, he got his nickname winning the coveted Shark Plushie in the city's first Hearthstone tournament.
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!”
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).
Nat, the Darkfisher Legendary Minion General Any 2 2 4 At the start of your opponent's turn, they have a 50% chance to draw an extra card. You can take away his humanity, but you will never take away his fishing pole.
Wrathion Legendary Minion General Any 6 4 5 Taunt. Battlecry: Draw cards until you draw one that isn't a Dragon. Wrathion, son of Deathwing, is a dragon. Why isn't he tagged as a dragon, you ask? WHAT, ARE YOU TRYING TO BLOW HIS COVER??
Showing all 57 cards
Life Tap(20).png
Arcane Intellect(489).png
Fan of Knives(378).png
Gnomish Inventor(246).png
Hammer of Wrath(350).png
Mortal Coil(43).png
Northshire Cleric(600).png
Novice Engineer(435).png
Power Word- Shield(431).png
Shield Block(493).png
Shiv(164).png
Sprint(90).png
Starfire(667).png
Starving Buzzard(101).png
Tracking(163).png
Acolyte of Pain(428).png
Battle Rage(664).png
Blessing of Wisdom(100).png
Coldwraith(61825).png
Cult Master(140).png
Loot Hoarder(395).png
Malchezaar's Imp(42027).png
Mark of Y'Shaarj(33151).png
Naturalize(154).png
Purify(42061).png
Runic Egg(42065).png
Slam(215).png
Wrath(633).png
Coldlight Oracle(88).png
Commanding Shout(166).png
Darkshire Librarian(35221).png
Divine Favor(581).png
Flare(630).png
Gadgetzan Auctioneer(131).png
Holy Wrath(355).png
Mana Tide Totem(613).png
Mass Dispel(249).png
Mimic Pod(55483).png
Nourish(120).png
Roll the Bones(62885).png
Thistle Tea(33174).png
Ancient of Lore(34).png
Bright-Eyed Scout(55590).png
DOOM!(33129).png
Far Sight(107).png
Fight Promoter(49712).png
Lay on Hands(506).png
Lunar Visions(49635).png
Meanstreet Marshal(49641).png
Ultimate Infestation(62879).png
Wind-up Burglebot(49647).png
Bloodmage Thalnos(525).png
Genzo, the Shark(49737).png
Harrison Jones(602).png
Nat Pagle(19).png
Nat, the Darkfisher(35248).png
Wrathion(49731).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
Carnassa's Brood None Minion Beast Hunter 1 3 2 Battlecry: Draw a card. 
Excess Mana None Spell Druid 0 Draw a card. (You can only have 10 Mana in your tray.) 
Kazakus Potion None Spell Mage, Priest, Warlock 1
Kazakus Potion None Spell Mage, Priest, Warlock 5
Kazakus Potion None Spell Mage, Priest, Warlock 10
Kingsblood Toxin None Spell Rogue 1 Draw a card. 
Showing all 6 cards
Carnassa's Brood(55499).png
Excess Mana(520).png
Kazakus Potion(49798).png
Kazakus Potion(49803).png
Kazakus Potion(49804).png
Kingsblood Toxin(35289).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
Daring Reporter Common Minion General Any 4 3 3 Whenever your opponent draws a card, gain +1/+1. She's working on a story! While skydiving!
Showing the only card
Daring Reporter(49723).png


On-draw effects[edit | edit source]

Main article: On-draw effect

On-draw effects are card effects which activate when that card is drawn from the deck. For notes and other information, see On-draw effect.


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]