Gorehowl

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Gorehowl
Gorehowl(96).png
Gorehowl(96) Gold.png
Set: Classic
Type: Weapon
Class: Warrior
Rarity: Epic
Cost: 7
Attack: 7 Weapon-attack.png
Durability: 1 Weapon-durability.png
Abilities: Increment attribute
Tags: Durability-related, Triggered effect

Attacking a minion costs 1 Attack instead of 1 Durability.

Grommash Hellscream's famous axe. Somehow this ended up in Prince Malchezaar's possession. Quite the mystery!

See this card on Hearthpwn

Gorehowl is an epic warrior weapon card, from the Classic set.

How to get[edit | edit source]

Gorehowl can be obtained through Classic card packs, through crafting, or as an Arena reward. Golden Gorehowl can also be obtained through the Highest Rank Bonus chest at the end of each Ranked season.

Card Crafting cost Disenchanting
Gorehowl 400 100
Golden Gorehowl 1600 400

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • Although not explicitly stated in the cards text, Gorehowl has a triggered effect that grants temporary Immunity to itself. More precisely, Gorehowl is coded as follows:
    • When the equipping hero attacks a minion, Gorehowl triggers on the Attack Event, attaching to itself an Enchantment called "Bloodrage" which makes Gorehowl Immune.[1][2]
    • During the Combat Phase, the "Bloodrage" Enchantment's Immune effect prevents Gorehowl from losing Durability (the same way Immune effects prevent characters from receiving damage).
    • Gorehowl triggers on the After Attack Event, attaching to itself a "-1 Attack" Enchantment.
    • Gorehowl's Enchantment "Bloodrage" triggers on the After Attack Event too, detaching itself and thus ending Gorehowl's temporary Immune state.[3] In addition, "Bloodrage" detaches also if the attack is canceled.[4]
  • Through repeated use against minions, Gorehowl's Attack can be reduced to 0: after reaching 0 Attack, Gorehowl is not destroyed, although usually it cannot be used to attack anymore.[5]
  • However, it is possible to get a -1 or lower Attack Gorehowl by using effects like Heroic Strike and Spiteful Smith to continue to attack with Gorehowl after it reaches 0 Attack.[6]
    • Negative weapon's Attack is displayed as 0. As usual, characters with 0 Attack cannot attack.
    • If Spiteful Smith is buffing a negative-Attack Gorehowl, it buffs the negative value, not 0. For example, a -1 Attack Gorehowl gains +2 Attack from Spiteful Smith and becomes 1 Attack.
    • If you have a negative-Attack Gorehowl and buff your hero with Heroic Strike, the negative attack of the Gorehowl does not subtract from the hero buff. Even though it does not contribute to the attack, attacking the enemy hero this way will still cause Gorehowl to lose Durability.
  • If resolving the Combat Preparation Phase caused your Gorehowl to have 0 Attack (for example because a friendly Spiteful Smith died), you still perform the attack, dealing 0 damage but still losing Durability and becoming exhausted.[7]

Strategy[edit | edit source]

This card is best used to destroy minions. It is possible through the use of Upgrade! and similar effects to increase its Durability thus making it a useful weapon against enemy heroes as well.

A common mistake is to overlook the text, which only works while "Attacking a minion". Attacking a hero with this weapon will cost 1 Durability as normal.

Gorehowl's special ability presents various strategies for making the most of the weapon. The greatest total damage can be achieved through attacking only minions for at least the first 6 attacks, followed by a 7th attack to any target, resulting in 28 damage in total. This allows for superb board control, even removing large minions, but will likely incur a heavy cost in damage received in turn by the warrior. Decks focused on tanking such as C'Thun Warrior can help mitigate the damage incurred from attacking a powerful minion. Violet Illusionist also combos well with Gorehowl by allowing you to trade with a minion without suffering any damage. Alternatively, it can be used a few times on minions, before dealing an attack of 3-5 damage to the enemy hero, sacrificing board clearing utility for face damage. This can be useful when there are no low Health minions to remove, or simply in order to allow another weapon to be equipped without wasting the remaining stats entirely.

Gorehowl can be a valuable asset for decks that make use of Pirates. The very high Attack of this weapon gives Bloodsail Raider a huge Attack boost and allows for 0-Mana Dread Corsairs even after a few attacks. In particular, Bloodsail Cultist's Battlecry essentially gives Warriors up to 2 additional Upgrades. Combine this with Captain Greenskin and this can result in up to a 12/6 weapon, allowing the user to deal huge face damage each turn and capable of destroying even Deathwing in one blow.

Lore[edit | edit source]

From Wowpedia:

Thrall handing Gorehowl to Garrosh, with the bones of Mannoroth in the background
Gorehowl is the legendary two-handed axe of the Hellscream family of orcs. The weapon was famously wielded by Grommash Hellscream, chieftain of the Warsong clan, and was later also held by his son and heir, Garrosh, Warchief of the Horde, until he discarded it in favor of an Old God replica.
Gorehowl was forged three generations before Grommash inherited it. Grommash's great-grandfather used Gorehowl to kill six legendary gronn. Their hearts were sealed into the blade, granting it untold strength.
When Golmash Hellscream, the father of Grom, was locked in the jaws of a giant gronn, he found the strength to stab Gorehowl into the gronn's eye and kill it alongside him. When they fell, it was the gronn who died first.
Grom Hellscream had been the first to partake of the Blood of Mannoroth, eventually coming to regret it. When Thrall met him, it was clear to him that Grom had the means by which to liberate his lethargic brothers and sisters. After Hellscream again drank the Blood of Mannoroth in Kalimdor, in his hands Gorehowl was the weapon which slew the demigod Cenarius.
During the second coming of the Burning Legion, Hellscream took his axe to the pit lord Mannoroth after Thrall was beaten into unconsciousness. With a single blow, Hellscream cleaved his adversary's weapon in two and slew Mannoroth. Hellscream perished shortly afterwards, but he had managed to break the curse over his people, freeing their souls and spirits from the demonic curse forever. It seems that afterward, Gorehowl was retrieved by Thrall or the orcs of the Horde in general and kept in Orgrimmar.
Before the Shattering, Thrall himself gives Gorehowl to Garrosh, who wields it in the duel resulting in the death of Cairne Bloodhoof. Garrosh wielded the legendary weapon wherever he went.
Garrosh left Gorehowl behind in the Vault of Y'Shaarj. It was discovered by Jaina Proudmoore and Lor'themar Theron, although it's unknown what happened to it later.
The warchief replaced the original Gorehowl with an Old God replica of the weapon named Xal'atoh, Desecrated Image of Gorehowl.
In the alternate timeline, Grom used Gorehowl to kill Mannoroth after rejecting the demon's blood. Some time later, he appears to have given his Gorehowl to Garrosh; Grom was not seen wielding the axe in any of his subsequent appearances in Draenor, while Garrosh used it at Grommashar. Following Garrosh's death in his mak'gora with Thrall at the Stones of Prophecy, Gorehowl remained near his corpse where Thrall had deflected it.
Gul'dan retrieved Gorehowl and brought it to Grommash in another failed attempt to convince him to drink demon blood.
Gorehowl is a famous weapon. The sharply curved axe head, with an intricate series of grooves in it, is massive, well worn, and permanently stained with old blood. Its wickedly curved blade has two notches in it, and many small holes in the head near the handle. When swung, the notches causes the axe to "sing" its own battle cry, just as Grom once did, which gave the weapon its name. The skull on the blade is believed to be that of a slain goren. The leather wrap on the handle would have been made from clefthoof hides. When it wasn't held in Garrosh's hands, he hooked it onto a brace on his back.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The artwork for this card comes from the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game "Blood of Gladiators" series, for the card Gorehowl.
  • This card's flavor text references Gorehowl's appearance as an item in World of Warcraft, where it is obtainable as a drop from Prince Malchezaar, a boss in the Burning Crusade instance Karazhan. There is no known lore explanation for how Gorehowl came into his possession, although it has been theorized by some players that Malchezaar obtained it from an alternate universe, as his quotes boast that he has access to "all realities, all dimensions". Prince Malchezaar's flavor text references this: He was super excited to acquire Gorehowl at a garage sale! Then super disappointed to find out it was a foam reproduction.
  • Gorehowl's World of Warcraft counterpart features the flavor text "The axe of Grom Hellscream has sown terror across hundreds of battlefields."
  • Prior to Patch 1.0.0.4944, Gorehowl featured the triggered effect lightning bolt icon. It is not known why it was removed.
  • In 2015 Blizzard hired professional blacksmith Tony Swatton to forge a replica of Gorehowl.[8]

Artist[edit | edit source]

Zoltan & Gabor

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Gorehowl, full art
Gorehowl in World of Warcraft

Patch changes[edit | edit source]

  • Knights of the Frozen Throne logo.png Patch 9.0.0.20457 (2017-08-08): The weapon is now correctly displays the Immune visual effect when the "Bloodrage" enchantment activates.
  • Journey to Un'Goro logo.png Patch 8.2.0.19506 (2017-06-01) The "Bloodrage" Enchantment now detaches also if the attack is canceled. Previously, it didn't; thus, if you proposed to attack a minion, but the attack was cancelled due to the defender dying (an easy way is to be Misdirection redirected onto a minion, then the minion is mortally wounded by Explosive Trap), Gorehowl would continue to have "Bloodrage" attached and continue to be Immune: thus, enemy Bloodsail Corsairs would not reduce the Durability of the Immune Gorehowl (however, it could still be destroyed by effects such as Acidic Swamp Ooze) and, if the equipping hero attacked the enemy hero, Gorehowl would not lose Durability (since it was Immune) nor Attack (since it was attacking a hero), although it would lose "Bloodrage" and thus its Immune state on the After Attack Event.[9][10]
  • Patch 1.0.0.4944 (2014-03-11): The triggered effect 'lightning bolt' icon has been removed from Gorehowl.
  • Patch 1.0.0.3664 (2013-08-14): Flavor text updated to reference Grommash Hellscream instead of Grom Hellscream.
  • Unknown alpha patch (April or May 2013): New text: Attacking a minion costs 1 Attack instead of 1 Durability.
  • Previously: Attacking a Minion doesn't cost Durability. [7 Mana, 7 Attack, 1 Durability, epic]

References[edit | edit source]