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.
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]
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 Taunt. I 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.|
|Hozen Healer||Common||Minion||General||Any||4||2||6||Battlecry: Restore a minion to full Health. He didn't go to school for healing, but we keep losing all the good healers to Ratchet, so I guess we'll take him.|
|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.|
|Kooky Chemist||Common||Minion||General||Any||4||4||4||Battlecry: Swap the Attack and Health of a minion. #abs|
|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?|
|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.|
|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.|
|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|
|Steward of Darkshire||Rare||Minion||General||Paladin||3||3||3||Whenever you summon a 1-Health minion, give it Divine Shield. Turns out divine shields are way cheaper if you buy in bulk.|
|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.|
|Blade of C'Thun||Epic||Minion||General||Rogue||9||4||4||Battlecry: Destroy a minion. Add its Attack and Health to C'Thun's (wherever it is). C'Thun demands a sacrifice! Preferably a Deathwing.|
|Bloodbloom||Epic||Spell||Warlock||2||The next spell you cast this turn costs Health instead of Mana. Help save mana. Donate blood today!|
|Darkspeaker||Epic||Minion||General||Any||5||3||6||Battlecry: Swap stats with a friendly minion. People often think that Darkspeaker is the arch nemesis of Lightspeaker, but that title actually belongs to Heavyspeaker.|
Battlecry: Copy a friendly minion's Attack and Health. "What is that thing?!" "I'm not sure, but it seems to be sort of Y'sera shaped."
|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*."|
|Giant Sand Worm||Epic||Minion||Beast||Hunter||8||8||8||Whenever this attacks and kills a minion, it may attack again. Banned from every all-you-can-eat buffet on Azeroth.|
|Lotus Assassin||Epic||Minion||General||Rogue||5||5||5||Stealth. Whenever this minion kills an enemy, gain Stealth. For 5000g, you can just give the Jade Lotus any name and they will assassinate and/or embarrass them.|
|Molten Giant||Epic||Minion||General||Any||25||8||8||Costs (1) less for each damage your hero has taken. He gets terrible heartburn. BECAUSE HE IS FULL OF LAVA.|
|Toxic Arrow||Epic||Spell||Hunter||2||Deal 2 damage to a minion. If it survives, give it Poisonous. What 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.|
|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?!|
|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!|
|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.|
|Cho'gall||Legendary||Minion||General||Warlock||7||7||7||Battlecry: The next spell you cast this turn costs Health instead of Mana. Even after all this time, Gul'dan still makes Cho'gall go get donuts and coffee.|
|Finja, the Flying Star||Legendary||Minion||Murloc||Any||5||2||4||Stealth. Whenever this attacks and kills a minion, summon 2 Murlocs from your deck. The last true master of Finjitsu.|
|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!|
|The Boogeymonster||Legendary||Minion||General||Any||8||6||7||Whenever this attacks and kills a minion, gain +2/+2. Has 20 years of training in classical ballet, but ALLLLLL he ever gets asked to do is boogie.|
|Showing all 33 cards|
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]
|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.|
|Aberrant Berserker||Common||Minion||General||Any||4||3||5||Enrage: +2 Attack. I berserk, therefore I am.|
|Amani Berserker||Common||Minion||General||Any||2||2||3||Enrage: +3 Attack 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."|
Enrage:+3 Attack. He thought the set was called "Flippers of the Old Cods" and hungrily volunteered to be in it. He is definitely going to get his hearing checked.
|Raging Worgen||Common||Minion||General||Any||3||3||3||Enrage: Windfury and +1 Attack 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!|
|Shadow Strike||Common||Spell||Rogue||3||Deal 5 damage to an undamaged character. It's like a backstab, only from the front. And with two more stabs.|
|Spiteful Smith||Common||Minion||General||Any||5||4||6||Enrage: Your weapon has +2 Attack. 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. Enrage: +3 Attack Tauren Warrior: Champion of Mulgore, Slayer of Quilboar, Rider of Thunderbluff Elevators.|
|Angry Chicken||Rare||Minion||Beast||Any||1||1||1||Enrage: +5 Attack. 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.|
|Blood Warriors||Epic||Spell||Warrior||3||Add a copy of each damaged friendly minion to your hand. They have an uneasy rivalry with the Blood Paladins.|
|Sleep with the Fishes||Epic||Spell||Warrior||2||Deal 3 damage to all damaged minions. If you're sleeping with the fishes, we highly suggest not bringing an electric blanket.|
|Sudden Genesis||Epic||Spell||Warrior||5||Summon copies of your damaged minions. Being hurt can make you another person.|
Enrage: +6 Attack 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.|
|Ragnaros, Lightlord||Legendary||Minion||Elemental||Paladin||8||8||8||At the end of your turn, restore 8 health to a damaged friendly character. What happens when you try and corrupt a corrupted firelord? DOUBLE NEGATIVE, INSECT!|
|Showing all 20 cards|
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. 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.