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 cards such as Secrets and Weapons instead of minions. As of Descent of Dragons, the only cards to feature this ability are Kezan Mystic and Kobold Stickyfinger.

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."
Shadow Madness Rare Spell Priest 3
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 Acolyte Epic Minion General Priest 4 2 6
Spellburst: Gain control of a random enemy minion with 2 or less Attack. How did he get to the top of his class? He pulled a few strings!
Kobold Stickyfinger Epic Minion Pirate Any 5 4 4
Battlecry: Steal your opponent's weapon. He no take candle. He take sword.
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....
Silas Darkmoon Legendary Minion General Any 7
Battlecry: Choose a direction to rotate all minions. 
Showing all 6 cards
Shadow Madness(442).png
Cabal Acolyte(329889).png
Kobold Stickyfinger(151354).png
Cabal Shadow Priest(147).png
Silas Darkmoon(368689).png
Mind Control(401).png

Madness at the Darkmoon Faire

The below cards are planned for release with Madness at the Darkmoon Faire, coming November 17, 2020.

Name / Desc Rarity Type Subtype Class Cost Atk HP Description
Mindflayer Goggles None Spell Any 0
Take control of three random enemy minions. 
Yogg-Saron, Master of Fate Legendary Minion General Any 10 7 5
Battlecry: If you've cast 10 spells this game, spin the Wheel of Yogg-Saron. Yogg take the wheel!
Showing all 2 cards
Mindflayer Goggles.png
Yogg-Saron, Master of Fate(378802).png

Wild format

Wild icon.png  This section contains information exclusive to Wild format.
Name / Desc Rarity Type Subtype Class Cost Atk HP Description
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!
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.
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.
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.
Treachery Epic Spell Warlock 3
Choose a friendly minion. Your opponent gains control of it. Never look a gift minion in the mouth.
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.
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 7 cards
Potion of Madness(49630).png
Mind Control Tech(368).png
Kezan Mystic(12252).png
Embrace Darkness(62857).png
Sylvanas Windrunner(33).png

Comparison[edit | edit source]

As of Knights of the Frozen Throne, there are 10 control effects in the game:

  • Six belong to the Priest class, one is a Warlock spell, and the remaining 3 are neutral.
  • The 6 priest effects are targeted, as is Treachery, 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.
  • Kezan Mystic targets Secrets and Kobold Stickyfinger targets Weapons. The rest target minions.
  • Treachery gives one of the player's minions to the opponent. The rest take something from the opponent.
  • 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 Target Duration Conditions
Cabal Acolyte Minion (Spellburst) Priest 4 Random Permanent Spellburst is activated, target has 2 or less Attack
Cabal Shadow Priest Minion (Battlecry) Priest 6 Targeted Permanent Target has 2 or less Attack
Embrace Darkness Spell Priest 6 Targeted Permanent Control shifts at beginning of player's next turn
Entomb Spell Priest 6 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
Kobold Stickyfinger Minion (Battlecry) Neutral 5 - Permanent Opponent has a Weapon equipped
Mind Control Spell Priest 10 Targeted Permanent None
Mind Control Tech Minion (Battlecry) Neutral 3 Random Permanent Opponent has 4 or more minions
Potion of Madness Spell Priest 1 Targeted End of turn Target has 2 or less Attack
Shadow Madness Spell Priest 3 Targeted End of turn Target has 3 or less Attack
Silas Darkmoon Minion (Battlecry) Neutral 7 - Permanent Swaps the outmost minions between both players
Sylvanas Windrunner Minion (Deathrattle) Neutral 6 Random Permanent Deathrattle is activated
Treachery Spell Warlock 3 Targeted Permanent None (but player's own minion)
Yogg-Saron, Master of Fate Minion (Battlecry) Neutral 10 Random Permanent 19% chance to cast Mindflayer Goggles

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Control is one of the few minion properties which are 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).