Mind control effect

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Mind control effects or control effects are effects which allow a player to seize control of an enemy minion. Controlled minions are treated as belonging to the controlling player for all purposes, can be directed to attack its former allies and owner, and will immediately be transferred to the controlling player's side of the battlefield, to the far right of the board.

Mind control effects are some of the most notorious effects in the game, and are most commonly associated with priests.

Far more rarely, take control effects can steal control of un-activated Secrets instead of minions. As of Whispers of the Old Gods, the only card to feature this ability is Kezan Mystic.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • Control is generally a permanent state change, and as such cannot be changed through Silences, Return effects or other means. The exceptions to this are Shadow Madness and Potion of Madness, which grant temporary control of a minion through a one-turn enchantment.
  • If a player activates a mind control effect when their side of the battlefield is already full (i.e. they have the maximum 7 minions), the mind controlled minion will be instantly destroyed. Any Deathrattle that activates as a result of this will trigger as if their opponent still controlled the minion. It is often a good idea for a player to choose to intentionally destroy one of their own minions in order to be able to seize control of one of their opponent's, especially by sacrificing a weak minion in order to gain control of a very powerful one.
    • A similar effect occurs when a Secret is controlled and there is no "room" for it due to an identical secret being active already: A secret is destroyed instead of stolen if all active enemy secrets are duplicates of friendly ones.[1]
  • As with summoning effects such as Mirror Image and Feral Spirit, mind controlled minions will always join the board on the far right. Anticipating this can allow for superior placement of minions, important for positional effects. When planning to summon other minions that turn, the player can use the timing of the mind control effect to allow them to determine the final placement of the mind controlled minion. For example, a player with a Shieldbearer already on the board may take control of a Flametongue Totem, before then summoning a Sludge Belcher to the right of it, thereby ensuring the Totem's is placed between the two minions, making the most of its buff.
  • Minions that have just been mind controlled are normally exhausted for one turn and cannot attack, just as with minions that were summoned that turn.
    • Shadow Madness and Potion of Madness do not cause its target to be exhausted, allowing it to attack - the effect only lasts until end of turn, and would otherwise be nearly useless.
    • Charge affects mind control exhaustion just as it affects summoning exhaustion - minions with that ability can attack on the same turn they are mind controlled.

Cards[edit | edit source]

All mind control effects available in Standard format are listed here.

Name / Desc Rarity Type Subtype Class Cost Atk HP Description
Mind Control Free Spell Priest 10 Take control of an enemy minion. Nominated as "Spell Most Likely to Make Your Opponent Punch the Wall."
Potion of Madness Common Spell Priest 1 Gain control of an enemy minion with 2 or less Attack until the end of the turn. You'd be insane NOT to drink it!
Mind Control Tech Rare Minion General Any 3 3 3 Battlecry: If your opponent has 4 or more minions, take control of one at random. Mind Control technology is getting better, but that's not saying much.
Shadow Madness Rare Spell Priest 4 Gain control of an enemy minion with 3 or less Attack until end of turn. You can rationalize it all you want, it's still a mean thing to do.
Cabal Shadow Priest Epic Minion General Priest 6 4 5 Battlecry: Take control of an enemy minion that has 2 or less Attack. You never know who may be secretly working for the Cabal....
Embrace Darkness Epic Spell Priest 6 Choose an enemy minion. At the start of your turn, take control of it. Once you both get comfortable, darkness is actually pretty snuggly.
Treachery Epic Spell Warlock 3 Choose a friendly minion. Your opponent gains control of it. Never look a gift minion in the mouth.
Showing all 7 cards
Mind Control(401).png
Potion of Madness(49630).png
Mind Control Tech(368).png
Shadow Madness(442).png
Cabal Shadow Priest(147).png
Embrace Darkness(62857).png
Treachery(62875).png



Wild format

Wild icon.png  This section contains information exclusive to Wild format.
Name / Desc Rarity Type Subtype Class Cost Atk HP Description
Entomb Common Spell Priest 6 Choose an enemy minion.

Shuffle it into your deck. It's perfectly safe as long as you remember to put in air holes.

Kezan Mystic Rare Minion General Any 4 4 3 Battlecry: Take control of a random enemy SecretThey pretend to be wise and enlightened, but they mostly just hate to be left out of a secret.
Sylvanas Windrunner Legendary Minion General Any 6 5 5 Deathrattle: Take control of a random enemy minion. Sylvanas was turned into the Banshee Queen by Arthas, but he probably should have just killed her because it just pissed her off.
Showing all 3 cards
Entomb(27238).png
Kezan Mystic(12252).png
Sylvanas Windrunner(33).png

Comparison[edit | edit source]

As of Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, there are 8 control effects in the game:

  • 5 belong to the priest class, while the remaining 3 are neutral. Therefore only priests have access to all 8 effects.
  • The 5 priest effects are targeted, while the 3 neutral effects select targets randomly. The conditions to use the neutral effects are harder to meet / more complex than the priest effects, and are more easily played around.
  • One card targets Secrets. The rest target minions.
  • Mind control effects are present across all card rarities, and are about evenly split between minion abilities and spells.

The spell Mind Control is the most expensive and powerful of the options, as the only one that takes immediate, targeted control of any enemy minion in play without using a combination card. This sets mind control effects apart from other removal abilities like destroy and transform, which are represented by a greater number of cards and are in many cases easier to play than mind control.

Card Type Class Cost Maximum Attack Target Duration Conditions
Cabal Shadow Priest Minion (Battlecry) Priest 6 2 Targeted Permanent Target has 2 or less Attack
Entomb Spell Priest 6 Any Targeted Permanent Target will be shuffled to the player's deck
Kezan Mystic Minion (Battlecry) Neutral 4 - Random Permanent Opponent has a Secret in play
Mind Control Spell Priest 10 Any Targeted Permanent None
Mind Control Tech Minion (Battlecry) Neutral 3 Any Random Permanent Opponent has 4 or more minions
Potion of Madness Spell Priest 1 2 Targeted End of turn Target has 2 or less Attack
Shadow Madness Spell Priest 4 3 Targeted End of turn Target has 3 or less Attack
Sylvanas Windrunner Minion (Deathrattle) Neutral 6 Any Random Permanent Deathrattle is activated

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • As of Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, only three new mind control cards have been added since the release of Hearthstone: Kezan Mystic, Entomb and Potion of Madness.
  • Control is one of the few minion properties which is not displayed anywhere on the minion or in their text, instead being indicated by the side of the board on which the minion appears.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2014-12-02). 


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