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On-draw effect

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On-draw effects are a type of triggered effect which activate when that card is successfully drawn from the deck.

Currently, almost all on-draw effects deal damage, while many cause the card to self-destruct, and draw another card to replace it. Many cards with on-draw effects are shuffled into the opponent's deck, with negative effects once drawn.

On-draw effects are distinguished from general draw-related triggered effects, which activate when another card is drawn.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • On-draw effects are only activated through regular card draw. They will not be triggered if the card is chosen during the mulligan, put directly into the player's hand, or returned to the hand.[1][2]
    • On-draw effects should not trigger when copied or generated.[3] For example, drawing an Ambush! with a Chromaggus on the board will generate a copy in the player's hand; the copy will not activate its on-draw effect, but the original Ambush! will. However, in some cases copied cards have been known to activate their on-draw effects, due to bugs.
  • On-draw effects are only activated through successful card draw. Overdrawing a card with an on-draw effect (attempting to draw it when the player already has a full hand) will not activate its on-draw effect.[4][5]
  • On-draw effects reveal the card to both players, as the effect takes place. The card is then added to the player's hand (unless the on-draw effect has itself destroyed the card).
  • On-draw effects which include card draw effects can themselves activate on-draw effects for the cards they draw. This process can repeat indefinitely, potentially creating a lengthy chain of on-draw effects.[9]
  • Although not mentioned in the card text, many cards with on-draw effects self-destruct once their on-draw effect has been activated, removing themselves from play. This removal is comparable to overdraw, and does not count as a discard.
  • Technically, cards with on-drawn effects can be seen to occupy a space in the player's hand prior to their activation, suggesting on-draw effects are in fact a special type of in-hand effect.
  • Cards from the Kobolds and Catacombs expansion use a different approach: Spider Ambush! casts itself while drawn, but if it was copied via Thoughtsteal or similar effects, it will still give the player a playable card unlike Ambush! did.

Cards[edit | edit source]

For Wild format listings, see On-draw effect/Wild format
Name / Desc Rarity Type Subtype Class Cost Atk HP Description
Aranasi Broodmother Common Minion Demon Warlock 6 4 6
When you draw this, restore 4 Health to your hero. She's got a big brood and a big mood.
Showing the only card
Aranasi Broodmother(90551).png


For Wild format listings, see On-draw effect/Wild format

The following minions are generated by other cards or effects, and are uncollectible.

Name / Desc Rarity Type Subtype Class Cost Atk HP Description
Shadow None Spell Rogue 4
Casts When Drawn
Summon a {0}. 
Bomb None Spell Any 5
Casts When Drawn
You take 5 damage. 
Waxadred's Candle None Spell Rogue 5
Casts When Drawn
Summon Waxadred. 
Dream Portal None Spell Druid 9
Casts When Drawn
Summon a random Dragon. 
Showing all 4 cards
Waxadred's Candle(151448).png
Dream Portal(127282).png

Strategy[edit | edit source]

  • Due to the nature of card draw, on-draw effects are difficult to predict or prevent. This can make it hard to plan around their useful effects, or give the player a chance to evade their drawbacks.
  • There are a few ways players can avoid activating enemy on-draw effects that have been shuffled into their decks. Tracking is particularly useful for this, neutralising any on-draw effects displayed. However, the most common way is to intentionally maintain a full hand, causing any further cards to be overdrawn. While drastic, this can be an effective strategy and in the right circumstances a desirable trade off, such as if facing lethal from a Burrowing Mine, while the opponent's hand and board are empty. This is most viable for control decks, and is especially relevant for Freeze Mages trying to prevent a Burrowing Mine from circumventing their Ice Block. More aggressively, Fel Reaver can be intentionally employed to mill the player's own deck.

Patch changes[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2014-12-02). 
  2. Zeriyah on Twitter. (2015-03-30). 
  3. Zeriyah on Twitter. (2015-03-30). 
  4. Whirthun on Twitter. (2015-08). 
  5. Zeriyah on Twitter. (2014-12-02). 
  6. Whirthun on Twitter. (2015-08-20). 
  7. Zeriyah on Twitter. (2014-12-02). 
  8. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2014-12-03). 
  9. Today In Hearthstone Ep. 145 Ambush. (2016-02-21).