Health

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Health, sometimes referred to as life, hit points or HP, is an attribute found on heroes and minions, reflecting the remaining survivability of the character. Health can be reduced, almost always by taking damage. If a character's Health is reduced to 0 (or lower) that character will be destroyed. All standard heroes start off with 30 Health, a number which can only be exceeded with Amara, Warden of Hope. However, Armor can be used to protect a hero's Health from damage, for a total "effective Health" greater than the hero's maximum.

Health is displayed at the bottom right corner of each character's card or portrait, set against a red drop of blood.

Details[edit | edit source]

Health is divided into two separate stats: the character's current Health, and their maximum Health. A character is said to be "at" their current Health. The term Health usually refers to a character's current Health.

Characters at maximum Health have their Health value displayed in white, while those below maximum Health have it displayed in red. Characters below maximum Health are considered "damaged", which can enable certain effects (see below). Each character enters play at maximum Health.

Amani Berserker, a minion with 3 Health, and an Enrage effect, activated only when damaged.

Characters can lose current Health by taking damage from various sources, primarily combat, spells and Hero Powers. Unlike in some other games, Health is persistent, and does not automatically regenerate. Characters that are damaged do not heal by themselves. However, numerous abilities exist to heal characters, such as Lesser Heal, Voodoo Doctor and Lay on Hands. Healing effects increase a character's current Health, but cannot increase it beyond their maximum Health. Additionally, Alexstrasza changes the current Health of a player to 15, which does not count as healing or damage despite having a similar effect.

Maximum Health is not altered by taking damage, but can be reduced through other means, such as Hunter's Mark and Equality. Various effects can increase a minion's maximum Health, which will also increase their current Health by the same amount, without technically healing them. Examples include Divine Spirit, Blessing of Kings and Stormwind Champion's ongoing effect. For details on how enchantments can affect current and maximum Health, see below. Transform effects set all attributes to predetermined values, which could result in current and/or maximum Health increases, decreases, or neither. The hero equivalent to transformation is replacement, which similarly could result in a Health change (usually a decrease). Alexstrasza has a unique effect on maximum Health of heroes as well: In the rare case a hero (currently, only the Ragnaros replacement hero) has less than 15 maximum Health, Alexstrasza sets that Hero's maximum Health to 15 alongside its current Health. None of the maximum Health-related effects in this paragraph count as damage or healing, even if they also add or remove "current" Health.

Health can be reduced to below 0. Usually this has no consequence, since any character with Health at or below 0 will be destroyed, but when multiple effects alter a character's Health during the same event phase, this can allow other effects to increase the character's Health back to a positive number, thus preventing the character from being destroyed. For more information, see Advanced rulebook.

Some minions have an unusual relationship with their Health value. For example, Lightspawn's Attack is always equal to its Health, allowing abilities such as Divine Spirit to increase its Attack, and any damage taken to decrease its Attack accordingly.

Related cards[edit | edit source]

For Wild format listings, see Health/Wild format

While numerous cards can affect a character's Health, certain cards have a specific synergy with a character's Health value, usually of that of the controlling hero.


Name / Desc Rarity Type Subtype Class Cost Atk HP Description
Ancestral Healing Free Spell Shaman 0
Restore a minion to full Health and give it TauntI personally prefer some non-ancestral right-the-heck-now healing, but maybe that is just me.
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.
Inner Fire Common Spell Priest 1
Change a minion's Attack to be equal to its Health. Good idea: Buffing your minions. Bad idea: Starting a conversation in the Barrens.
Lightspawn Common Minion Elemental Priest 4 0 5
This minion's Attack is always equal to its Health. Spawn of the Light? Or Pawn of the Lights?
Pumpkin Peasant Common Minion General Any 3 4 2
Lifesteal
Each turn this is in your hand, swap its Attack and Health. 
Pumpkin Peasant Common Minion General Any 3 2 4
Lifesteal
Each turn this is in your hand, swap its Attack and Health. Time to squash your opponent.
Redemption Common Spell Paladin 1
Secret: When a friendly minion dies, return it to life with 1 Health. I am not sure how you get demptioned the first time. It’s a mystery!
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.
Spellshifter Common Minion General Any 2 1 4
Spell Damage +1
Each turn this is in your hand, swap its Attack and Health. He also goes by "worg-lock."
Spellshifter Common Minion General Any 2 4 1
Spell Damage +1
Each turn this is in your hand, swap its Attack and Health. 
Swift Messenger Common Minion General Any 4 2 6
Rush
Each turn this is in your hand, swap its Attack and Health. Same turn delivery - guaranteed!
Swift Messenger Common Minion General Any 4 6 2
Rush
Each turn this is in your hand, swap its Attack and Health. 
Crazed Alchemist Rare Minion General Any 2 2 2
Battlecry: Swap the Attack and Health of a minion. "You'll love my new recipe!" he says... especially if you're not happy with your current number of limbs.
Desperate Stand Rare Spell Paladin 2
Give a minion "Deathrattle: Return this to life with 1 Health." They're grateful for the help, but most minions would prefer not dying in the first place.
Duskhaven Hunter Rare Minion General Hunter 3 2 5
Stealth
Each turn this is in your hand, swap its Attack and Health. After a short paws, she's back to herself again.
Duskhaven Hunter Rare Minion General Hunter 3 5 2
Stealth
Each turn this is in your hand, swap its Attack and Health. 
Gilnean Royal Guard Rare Minion General Any 8 3 8
Divine Shield, Rush
Each turn this is in your hand, swap its Attack and Health. Admittedly, they kind of dropped the ball with Prince Liam.
Gilnean Royal Guard Rare Minion General Any 8 8 3
Divine Shield, Rush
Each turn this is in your hand, swap its Attack and Health. 
Holy Water Rare Spell Priest 5
Deal 4 damage to a minion. If that kills it, add a copy of it to your hand. For a healthier option, try Holy Water: Zero.
Hooked Reaver Rare Minion Demon Warlock 4 4 4
Battlecry: If you have 15 or less Health, gain +3/+3 and Taunt. The hook is just an accessory. He can reave just fine without it.
Mortal Strike Rare Spell Warrior 4
Deal 4 damage. If you have 12 or less Health, deal 6 instead. "If you only use one ability, use Mortal Strike." - The Warrior Code, Line 6
Val'kyr Soulclaimer Rare Minion General Warrior 3 1 4
Whenever this minion survives damage, summon a 2/2 Ghoul. My Ghoul friend is back and you're gonna be in trouble.
Void Terror Rare Minion Demon Warlock 3 3 3
Battlecry: Destroy the minions on either side of this minion and gain their Attack and Health. If you put this into your deck, you WILL lose the trust of your other minions.
Bane of Doom Epic Spell Warlock 5
Deal 2 damage to a character. If that kills it, summon a random Demon. My advice to you is to avoid Doom, if possible.
Bloodbloom Epic Spell Warlock 2
The next spell you cast this turn costs Health instead of Mana. Help save mana. Donate blood today!
Ratcatcher Epic Minion General Warlock 3 2 2
Rush
Battlecry: Destroy a friendly minion and gain its Attack and Health. He's on the hunt for Togwaggle's missing rat.
Toxic Arrow Epic Spell Hunter 2
Deal 2 damage to a minion. If it survives, give it PoisonousWhat doesn't kill you makes you toxic.
Twilight Acolyte Epic Minion General Priest 3 2 4
Battlecry: If you're holding a Dragon, swap this minion's Attack with another minion's. The dragons mostly keep him around as a snack.
Vivid Nightmare Epic Spell Priest 3
Choose a friendly minion. Summon a copy of it with 1 Health remaining. "I… I dreamed I accidentally crafted a golden Millhouse! It was so REAL!"
Void Ripper Epic Minion Demon Any 3 3 3
Battlecry: Swap the Attack and Health of all other minions. You had to put the portable hole inside the bag of holding, didn't you?!
WANTED! Epic Spell Rogue 4
Deal 3 damage to a minion. If that kills it, add a Coin to your hand. Wanted: Dead or Undead.
Alexstrasza Legendary Minion Dragon Any 9 8 8
Battlecry: Set a hero's remaining Health to 15. Alexstrasza the Life-Binder brings life and hope to everyone. Except Deathwing. And Malygos. And Nekros.
Darius Crowley Legendary Minion General Warrior 5 4 4
Rush
Whenever this attacks and kills a minion, gain +2/+2. You either die a villain, or live long enough to see yourself become the hero.
Lady in White Legendary Minion General Priest 6 5 5
Battlecry: Cast 'Inner Fire' on all minions in your deck. (set Attack equal to Health) She was a lady in polka dots until the gnomish laundromat incident.
Rotface Legendary Minion General Warrior 8 4 6
Whenever this minion survives damage, summon a random Legendary minion. Daddy! I think I made a Legendary!
Showing all 35 cards
Ancestral Healing(216).png
Mortal Coil(43).png
Inner Fire(207).png
Lightspawn(192).png
Pumpkin Peasant(89486).png
Pumpkin Peasant(89339).png
Redemption(657).png
Slam(215).png
Spellshifter(89401).png
Spellshifter(89489).png
Swift Messenger(89399).png
Swift Messenger(89488).png
Crazed Alchemist(612).png
Desperate Stand(62880).png
Duskhaven Hunter(89378).png
Duskhaven Hunter(89485).png
Gilnean Royal Guard(89487).png
Gilnean Royal Guard(89400).png
Holy Water(89390).png
Hooked Reaver(77010).png
Mortal Strike(345).png
Val'kyr Soulclaimer(62853).png
Void Terror(119).png
Bane of Doom(670).png
Bloodbloom(55594).png
Ratcatcher(89469).png
Toxic Arrow(62952).png
Twilight Acolyte(76974).png
Vivid Nightmare(89351).png
Void Ripper(76973).png
WANTED!(89363).png
Alexstrasza(303).png
Darius Crowley(89369).png
Lady in White(89375).png
Rotface(62898).png


Damaged status[edit | edit source]

If a minion's Health value is reduced below its current maximum, it is considered 'damaged', and its Health value will be displayed in red. Restoring a minion's current Health to its maximum will cause it to lose damaged status.

The damaged status is used in numerous card mechanics. Most notably, Enrage effects only take effect when the minion is damaged; healing it back to full health will cancel the effect. Cards such as Execute and Rampage require damaged targets, while Backstab requires an undamaged target. Damaged status may be a liability or a boon, depending on the minion and the player. Warriors have many cards offering synergy with damaged minions.

When a minion's maximum Health is increased by effects, it is possible for a minion to be considered damaged despite having far more Health than its original maximum. By lowering the minion's maximum Health, losing a Health-increasing enchantment (or gaining a Health-reducing enchantment) can also act to restore a damaged minion to undamaged status.

Related cards[edit | edit source]

For Wild format listings, see Health/Wild format

Below are listed cards with a specific relationship to the damaged status. For other effects activated by taking damage, see Enrage and triggered effect.


Name / Desc Rarity Type Subtype Class Cost Atk HP Description
Backstab Free Spell Rogue 0
Deal 2 damage to an undamaged minion. It's funny how often yelling "Look over there!" gets your opponent to turn around.
Execute Free Spell Warrior 2
Destroy a damaged enemy minion. It's okay, he deserved it.
Amani Berserker Common Minion General Any 2 2 3
Has +3 Attack while damaged. If an Amani berserker asks "Joo lookin' at me?!", the correct response is "Nah, mon".
Battle Rage Common Spell Warrior 2
Draw a card for each damaged friendly character. "You won't like me when I'm angry."
Raging Worgen Common Minion General Any 3 3 3
Has +1 Attack and Windfury while damaged. If he's raging now, just wait until he gets nerfed.
Rampage Common Spell Warrior 2
Give a damaged minion +3/+3. Minion get ANGRY. Minion SMASH!
Spiteful Smith Common Minion General Any 5 4 6
Your weapon has +2 Attack while this is damaged. She'll craft you a sword, but you'll need to bring her 5 Steel Ingots, 3 Motes of Earth, and the scalp of her last customer.
Tauren Warrior Common Minion General Any 3 2 3
Taunt.
Has +3 Attack while damaged. Tauren Warrior: Champion of Mulgore, Slayer of Quilboar, Rider of Thunderbluff Elevators.
Angry Chicken Rare Minion Beast Any 1 1 1
Has +5 Attack while damaged. There is no beast more frightening (or ridiculous) than a fully enraged chicken.
Death Revenant Rare Minion General Warrior 5 3 3
Battlecry: Gain +1/+1 for each damaged minion. How's everyone doing? Hurt? Bleeding? Wounded? ... Excellent.
Lightwell Rare Minion General Priest 2 0 5
At the start of your turn, restore 3 Health to a damaged friendly character. It isn't clear if people ignore the Lightwell, or if it is just invisible.
Redband Wasp Rare Minion Beast Warrior 2 1 3
Rush
Has +3 Attack while damaged. Also comes in other colors, but red's in fashion this season.
Sudden Genesis Epic Spell Warrior 5
Summon copies of your damaged minions. Being hurt can make you another person.
Worgen Abomination Epic Minion General Any 7 6 6
At the end of your turn, deal 2 damage to all other damaged minions. Does anyone want to play dead!??!?
Grommash Hellscream Legendary Minion General Warrior 8 4 9
Charge
Has +6 Attack while damaged. Grommash drank the tainted blood of Mannoroth, dooming the orcs to green skin and red eyes! Maybe not his best decision.
King Mosh Legendary Minion Beast Warrior 9 9 7
Battlecry: Destroy all damaged Minions. He's a terror at concerts.
Showing all 16 cards
Backstab(471).png
Execute(227).png
Amani Berserker(641).png
Battle Rage(664).png
Raging Worgen(95).png
Rampage(454).png
Spiteful Smith(627).png
Tauren Warrior(477).png
Angry Chicken(57).png
Death Revenant(62926).png
Lightwell(117).png
Redband Wasp(89358).png
Sudden Genesis(55577).png
Worgen Abomination(89412).png
Grommash Hellscream(643).png
King Mosh(55501).png


Enchantments[edit | edit source]

The basic process of dealing and receiving damage is simple: the appropriate number of points are deducted from the character's current Health value. However, the interactions between health, enchantments and damage are a little more complex.

The key underlying design is that any time a minion's maximum Health is increased, its current Health is increased by the same amount. A 1/1 minion gaining +1 Health becomes a 1/2. There is no distinction between a minion's 'natural' Health and Health granted through enchantments.

However, when a minion's maximum Health is reduced, its current Health is only reduced if it exceeds the new maximum. If a minion's current Health does not exceed the new maximum, it will not be reduced. Losing current Health due to a reduced maximum Health does not count as damage.

One consequence of this design is that +Health enchantments can at times act like heals. Example: A 2/2 minion takes a point of damage, making it a damaged 2/1. It then gains a +1 Health enchantment, making it a damaged 2/2 with a maximum Health of 3. The enchantment is then removed, leaving it as an undamaged 2/2. The enchantment, although temporary, effectively gave the minion a permanent +1 Health effect, and also served to remove the minion's damaged status.

This design makes the order of damage and enchantment removal strategically significant. Specifically, when a minion's current Health exceeds its natural maximum, it makes it far more effective to remove a minion's Health enchantments before attacking it. Example: A 2/1 minion is granted a permanent +1/+1 enchantment, making it a 3/2. Option A: The player deals 1 point of damage to the 3/2, making it a damaged 3/1, then silences it, leaving an undamaged 2/1. Option B: The player silences the minion, making it a 2/1, then deals 1 point of damage to the minion, destroying it. Note that buffs granted by other minions' on-going auras cannot be removed by silencing the buffed minion; only neutralising the aura minion itself will remove the buffs from the affected minions.

Note that while most increases to a minion's Health occur through gaining enchantments, they can also come from removing enchantments such as Equality and Hunter's Mark which lower Health. For example, if a 5/5 Stranglethorn Tiger is reduced to 1 Health, affected by Equality, then silenced, the result will be a full Health 5/5 Stranglethorn Tiger.[1] Regardless of the cause, any adjustment to a minion's maximum Health follows the same rules.

For more information on Health and enchantments, see Advanced rulebook.

Strategy[edit | edit source]

A common tactical point regarding Health is that Health is simply a resource, to be used to progress the player's position within the game. While losing Health can generally be regarded a bad thing, in many cases it is possible to sacrifice Health in order to gain advantage, to protect from future damage, or to keep friendly minions in play. If the player is too concerned about taking damage, they may make bad compromises in order to retain their Health, while slowly giving away the game.

The use of weapons and Shapeshift are good examples of where the hero's Health can be traded for board advantage to great effect, while the warlock hero power Life Tap allows the hero to directly trade Health for card advantage. Weapons can also provide card advantage, by using a single weapon card to clear multiple minions - at the cost of the hero's Health, of course. While some situations will provide the opportunity for excellent trades, in others it is a simple exchange of Health for the removal of a threatening minion. It is generally preferable to suffer a minion's Attack in damage once in order to remove the minion, rather than allow it to repeatedly attack the hero thereafter. The hero can sacrifice their Health in exchange for the Health of their minions, making for a stronger position on the board.

Health only becomes more than a resource when it is exhausted completely, losing the player the game. However, the point at which Health begins to become a concern is a highly debatable point. Decks such as nuke and aggro decks, using spells like Pyroblast and Unleash the Hounds, can quickly burst the hero's Health a dozen points or more in a single turn. For this reason, below a certain point it is considered risky to lower the hero's Health any further. Aggro and nuke decks rely upon lowering the hero's Health within a relatively short timeframe, and may count on the player trading their Health for board advantage - allowing the hero to be defeated before they have time to capitalise on their apparent board or card advantage.

Over all, consider Health a useful commodity which can often be traded for board advantage, and which only becomes important to conserve once it reaches critical levels. Knowing when to sacrifice it and when to conserve it is a key skill, especially important for weapon classes, druids and warlocks.

References[edit | edit source]

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