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Random effects are effects which include some degree of randomness or 'RNG' (random number generation).
Random effects introduce an element of chance into Hearthstone. They can be interesting, fun, frustrating or rewarding, but their outcome is always uncertain. For a discussion of the role of randomness in games, see RNG.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Effects which draw randomly from a pool of cards are influenced by game format, with only cards valid in the current format being eligible for selection. All other random effects are unaffected by game format or game mode.
- Random effects without specific influencing factors are "truly random" and offer balanced chances of all possible outcomes, regardless of circumstantial details such as which minions are currently on the board or which cards are currently in the player's hand. Random outcomes are also not affected by game mode, such as Tavern Brawls (unless specifically stated). However, some effects are limited by clearly relevant factors, such as Totemic Call, which will only summon a totem that is not already present, or card draw, which can only draw cards that are remaining in the player's deck.
- The one exception is the Discover keyword, which does offer a type of weighted random effect, with class cards more likely to be Discovered than neutral cards. While this makes Discover a less than truly random mechanic, the odds and behaviour are consistent across all cards with the keyword. It should also be noted that while semi-random in its behaviour, Discover does not describe itself as 'random'.
- Random effects do not always feature the word 'random' in their description. Game Designer Ben Brode explains that the general strategy is to explicitly state 'random' for effects that take place in "visible zones" such as the battlefield or the player's hand; and not to explicitly state 'random' for effects that take in "hidden zones" such as the opposing player's hand, or either player's deck. However, Brode acknowledged that not all cards follow this convention, stating that "the word 'random' just feels better on [some] cards", while in other cases adding the word 'random' would simply complexify card text too much. Players must therefore expect that effects which affect hidden zones will be random, even if this is not specifically stated on the card. In addition, Deathrattles and triggered effects are never targetable, and so are always random, whether or not this is stated.
- When a card has "a 50% chance to attack the wrong enemy", it is unofficially known as "forgetful". More details on this type of randomness can be found on that page.
- One of the design reasons behind random effects of all kinds is to add variety, ensuring that each match feels different. This is also one reason for the limit of 2 copies per card in a deck, and the relatively small number of card draw effects in the game, preventing the cards available to players from being too consistent across games.
Random damage[edit | edit source]
Random damage comes in a few forms. Some cards, commonly Shaman cards, deal a random amount of damage (within a certain range) to one creature or each one of multiple creatures. Other cards deal an exact amount of damage to a random target, or multiple random targets.
The most complicated case is cards such as Arcane Missiles and Mad Bomber that deal a total amount of damage distributed or "split" randomly. These effects are best thought of as a set of one-damage "hits" being randomly targeted one at a time: Each point of damage is considered a separate instance of damage dealt, meaning that cards like Gurubashi Berserker and Frothing Berserker will trigger multiple times even if the points of damage came from the same spell or effect, and Divine Shields will be removed by a single point of damage, allowing the protected minion to be damaged by further "hits" from the same effect. Furthermore, damage will never be distributed to a minion that has already been brought to 0 health by previous hits from the same effect.
This concept has some exceptions. Deathrattles and other death effects from any destroyed minions occur "simultaneously" after all the damage is dealt, which means that minions summoned by Deathrattles (e.g. Damaged Golem) cannot be hit by the same effect that destroyed their "parents" (e.g. Harvest Golem), and that damage may be "wasted" on targets that would have died anyway from the Deathrattle of another dying minion (e.g. Abomination). Also, for spells which distribute damage between multiple targets, each point of Spell Damage adds one additional randomly targeted "hit", thus increasing the total damage dealt by one, rather than increasing the damage of each hit by one.
Strategy[edit | edit source]
Some RNG elements within Hearthstone can be minimised by controlling the prevailing situation. For example, Deadly Shot destroys one random enemy minion. When faced with several enemies, this can prove extremely random; however, when faced with only a single fearsome enemy its RNG element is removed, and it becomes a simple and effective removal spell.
Order of play is often important when dealing with RNG in target selection. Players may wish to first remove non-desirable targets for abilities such as Arcane Missiles and Cleave, to ensure that only the ideal targets remain available. More often though, players will generally want to use RNG abilities early in the round, in order to plan the rest of their actions around the resulting situation.
The uncertainty of RNG elements causes many players to avoid them whenever possible, preferring guaranteed effects which can be relied upon to achieve their intended goals, and RNG options are often considered to be slightly poorer than their average effect, due to the undesirability of their randomness, which also makes planning for their use much harder. However, the satisfaction of a successful roll of the dice can be very gratifying, and to some degree form a reward in itself for attempting a risky play. The seeming unfairness of being defeated by an opponent due almost entirely to luck or chance can be particularly exasperating for the loser, and particularly entertaining for the victor. Some players also choose to use cards with strong RNG elements (such as Gelbin Mekkatorque) in order to add variety, unpredictability and fun to the game.
Card draw itself is inherently a randomised process, and cards granting card draw can also be considered to provide players with random effects.
Cards[edit | edit source]
|Name / Desc||Rarity||Type||Subtype||Class||Cost||Atk||HP||Description|
Passive Hero Power.
After you play a minion, add a random Shaman spell to your hand.
Craft a custom Zombeast.
|Death Grip||None||Spell||Death Knight||2|
Steal a minion from your opponent's deck and add it to your hand.
|DIE, INSECT!||None||Hero Power||Any||2|
Deal 8 damage to a random enemy.
Deathrattle: Add a random Legendary minion to your hand.
Battlecry: Replace your hand with Legendary minions.
Deathrattle: Give your opponent a fantastic treasure!
Battlecry: Fill your hand with random Murlocs.
|Scroll of Wonder||None||Spell||Mage||5|
Cast a random spell. Draw a card. Cast this when drawn.
|Totemic Call||None||Hero Power||Shaman||2|
Summon a random Totem.
|Transmute Spirit||None||Hero Power||Shaman||2|
Hero Power: Transform a friendly minion into a random one that costs (1) more.
Add 5 Journey to Un'Goro cards to your hand.
Summon a random Beast Companion. You could summon Misha, Leokk, or Huffer! Huffer is more trouble than he's worth.
Deal 3 damage randomly split among all enemies. You'd think you'd be able to control your missiles a little better since you're a powerful mage and all.
Deal 2 damage to two random enemy minions. Hey you two…could you stand next to each other for a second…
Put a copy of a random card in your opponent's hand into your hand. I see what you did there.
Deal 3 damage to two random enemy minions. You see, it's all about throughput.
Deal 4 damage. Discard a random card. Are you lighting a soul on fire? Or burning someone with your OWN soul? This seems like an important distinction.
Battlecry: Discard a random card. Warlocks have it pretty good.
Battlecry: Draw a Secret from your deck. What did you draw? Shhhh… it’s a secret.
Battlecry: Add a random card to your hand (from your opponent's class). It's like, SUPER bad at staring contests.
|Breath of Sindragosa||Common||Spell||Mage||1|
Deal 2 damage to a random enemy minion and Freeze it. Is it cold in here or is it just Sindragosa?
Battlecry: Draw a weapon from your deck. They call her the candled vandal.
At the end of your turn, give another random friendly minion +3 Attack. You get a sword! And you get a sword! Everybody gets a sword!
Destroy a random enemy minion. Accuracy is not a highly valued trait among the mok'nathal. Deadliness is near the top, though.
|Forge of Souls||Common||Spell||Warrior||2|
Draw 2 weapons from your deck. Powerful weaponry forged by Bronjahm, the Godfather of Souls.
Deal 2 damage to 2 random enemy minions. Overload: (2) If you combine it with Spooned Lightning and Knived Lightning, you have the full dining set.
Restore 12 Health divided randomly among all friendly characters. It's filled with electrolytes!
Whenever this minion takes damage, discard a random card. The problem is that he carries those cards in his mouth.
Draw 2 Murlocs from your deck. Glow fish, war fish... blow fish, more fish...
Battlecry: Add a random Beast to your hand. It’s not LITERALLY jeweled. The goblins were terribly disappointed.
Battlecry: Deal 3 damage randomly split among all enemies. Horrible secret: The Darkness is immune to Arcane Missiles.
Battlecry: Deal 3 damage randomly split between all other characters. He's not really all that crazy, he is just not as careful with explosives as he should be.
Copy a spell in your opponent's deck and add it to your hand. She prefers calling it "Psionic Tickling."
Battlecry: Add two random 1-Cost minions to your hand. That Friends and Familiars Plan is really paying off!
Draw 2 Demons from your deck. Generally demons are pretty obvious and you don’t need a spell to sense them.
At the end of your turn, give another random friendly minion +1/+1. When you're at the bottom, there's nowhere to ascend, but up.
Each turn this is in your hand, transform it into a random Mage spell. Next turn, this is going to be AMAZING.
Deathrattle: Add a random Mage spell to your hand. HATES being summoned for Kirin Tor party lighting.
|Swamp Dragon Egg||Common||Minion||General||Any||1||0||3|
Deathrattle: Add a random Dragon to your hand. Would you eat them in a ditch? Would you eat them with a witch?
Battlecry: Add a random 2-Cost minion to each player's hand. Doom! Only doom for you! But pay good tip, maybe less doom.
Copy 2 cards from your opponent's deck and put them into your hand. "What do you get when you cast Thoughtsteal on an Orc? Nothing!" - Tauren joke
Battlecry: Add a random minion with 5 or more Attack to your hand. In the Tortollan tongue, Un’goro is known as the “Land of the Lost and Found.”
Whenever you cast a spell, summon a random 2-Cost minion. As birds of ill omen, these crows often summon Doomsayers.
Deathrattle: Deal 3 damage to a random enemy minion. Currently in an anger management class with Raging Worgen, Grommash Hellscream, and The Angry Chicken. It isn't helping.
Battlecry: Add a random Shaman spell to your hand. Is she a frog that became a witch, or a witch that became a frog?
Deathrattle: Give a random friendly minion +2 Health. THIS wood imp. Stop asking!
Deathrattle: Give a random friendly minion with Rush +2/+1. It's a lumberjack's axe and that's ok.
At the start of your turn, swap this minion with a random one in your hand. WARNING. WARNING. WARNING.
Battlecry and Deathrattle: Put a Secret from your deck into the battlefield. Who are you? Eh, none of my business.
Deathrattle: Add a random Dragon to your hand. The bone drake brings all the dragons to the yard. He would teach you, but you have no cards.
Deal 5 damage randomly split among all enemies. Forecast: Cloudy with a chance of fireballs.
Deathrattle: Summon a Deathrattle minion from your hand. Also does weddings.
Deathrattle: Summon a random minion you discarded this game. As that old saying goes: "you don't get into dinomancing to make friends."
Deathrattle: Copy a card from your opponent's deck and add it to your hand. Being made of light has its disadvantages, but at least it's always looking on the bright side.
At the start of your turn, deal 2 damage to a random enemy. Laying siege isn't fun for anyone. It's not even all that effective, now that everyone has a flying mount.
Copy 3 cards in your opponent's deck and add them to your hand. A mind is a terrible thing to waste. Seconds, anyone?
Resurrect 3 different friendly minions. (Cast 4 spells to upgrade.)
Charge. Battlecry: Discard two random cards. Summoning a doomguard is risky. Someone is going to die.
Give a minion +2/+2. If it's an Elemental, add a random Elemental to your hand. Or it might not.
Combo: Draw 2 minions from your deck. "After that gig in Hamlin went south, I swore off rats."
|Gather Your Party||Rare||Spell||Warrior||6|
Recruit a minion. Thrilling adventure! Danger guaranteed! Loot uncertain! Death optional! Who's with me?
Battlecry: Summon a random 1-Cost minion for your opponent. The mole of La Mancha rides again!
|Greater Diamond Spellstone||Rare||Spell||Priest||7|
Resurrect 4 different friendly minions.
|Greater Onyx Spellstone||Rare||Spell||Rogue||5|
Destroy up to 3 random enemy minions.
|Greater Ruby Spellstone||Rare||Spell||Mage||2|
Add 3 random Mage spells to your hand. (Play two Elementals to upgrade.)
Battlecry: Summon a random 2-Cost minion for your opponent. How can he be hungry… if he's Ettin!?
After you summon a minion, deal 1 damage to a random enemy. Ambitious Knife Jugglers sometimes graduate to Bomb Jugglers. They never last long enough to make it onto a card though.
At the start of your turn, attack a random enemy. What is best in life? To make candle. To keep candle. To hear lamentation of candle-takers.
Deathrattle: Summon a 1/1 copy of a minion from your hand. He can make ANYTHING look like a candle.
|Lesser Diamond Spellstone||Rare||Spell||Priest||7|
Resurrect 2 different friendly minions. (Cast 4 spells to upgrade.) A diamond, white, this stone the eighth
A precious jewel for those of faith
A whispered prayer restores the lost
But none among them know the cost.
|Lesser Onyx Spellstone||Rare||Spell||Rogue||5|
Destroy 1 random enemy minion. (Play 3 Deathrattle cards to upgrade.) The trolls of old embraced the gift
A jewel of black for daggers swift
No party lasts who finds the stone
Those wielding it soon stand alone.
|Lesser Ruby Spellstone||Rare||Spell||Mage||2|
Add a random Mage spell to your hand. (Play two Elementals to upgrade.) The final stone undid its master
Spun into wards by nameless caster
Azari wailed a savage roar
Now sealed in nether, evermore.
Deal 2-3 damage to all enemy minions. Overload: (2) An umbrella won't be effective, I'm afraid.
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.
Battlecry: Randomly toss 3 hats to other minions. Each hat gives +1/+1. He's entirely bonkers. All the best goblins are.
At the end of your turn, give another random friendly minion +1 Attack. He's currently trying to craft a "flail-axe", but all the other swordsmiths say it can't be done.
|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.
Each turn this is in your hand, transform it into a new weapon. It’s a sword! It’s a knife! It’s a swizzle-stick!
Destroy up to 2 random enemy minions. (Play 3 Deathrattle cards to upgrade.)
Add a random card to your hand (from your opponent's class). He'll pick anyone's pocket, except a gnome's. He'd never stoop so low.
Give your minions "Deathrattle: Summon a random basic Totem." All that remained from the first kobold colony: a single talisman and the word "Flamestrike."
Add 2 random Mage spells to your hand. (Play two Elementals to upgrade.)
Battlecry: Gain the Deathrattle of a random minion in your deck. Uh, you might want to get that looked at.
Summon a 5/5 copy of a random minion in your deck. Difficult to bottle up and sell. But it packs a punch.
Deathrattle: Add a random Deathrattle minion to your hand. It's hard to put them six feet under when you're three feet tall.
Battlecry: Destroy a random enemy minion with 2 or less Attack. This Kodo is so big that he can stampede by himself.
Summon 1/1 copies of 2 friendly Deathrattle minions that died this game. If you're experiencing resurrection sickness, press 1.
Choose a friendly minion. Destroy it and a random enemy minion. Stand right... there. Perfect, perfect! Now don't move.
Deal 15 Damage randomly split across all minions. Overload: (2) Many young shaman summon a volcano as their first school project.
Secret: When an enemy attacks your hero, summon a 3-Cost minion as the new target. Not all who wander are lost. This one is lost though, for sure.
At the end of your turn, give another random friendly minion +1 Health. She can't wait to learn Power Word: Fortitude Rank 2.
Deal 8 damage randomly split among all enemies. Wham! Wham! Wham! Wham! Wham! Wham! Wham! Wham!
|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.
Whenever your hero is healed, deal that much damage to a random enemy minion. "Did I ever tell you the story of when I single-handedly took down a 29/29 C'thun?" - Reno Jackson
Whenever you cast a spell, draw a minion from your deck. The tricky part is getting them to HOLD their shape.
Destroy all minions except one. (chosen randomly) Do you know the first rule of Brawl Club?
Battlecry: Give a random Lifesteal minion in your hand +2/+2. Don't fear the Arcanite Reaper.
|Deck of Wonders||Epic||Spell||Mage||5|
Shuffle 5 Scrolls into your deck. When drawn, cast a random spell. "Pick a card, any card. Wait! No! Not that one!" - Last words of previous owner
Deathrattle: Summon a minion from your hand with 5 or more Attack. Must be something it ate.
At the end of your turn, cast a spell from your deck (targets chosen randomly). Qualifications: Found pointy hat.
Put a copy of a random minion from your opponent's deck into the battlefield. Sometimes it feels like this is all a game.
Deathrattle: Destroy a random enemy minion. The original artist spent many hours with a fine chisel perfecting the facial expression for maximum tauntiness.
Battlecry: Draw an Elemental from your deck. The secret is glue.
Battlecry: Reveal a spell from your deck. Summon a random minion with the same Cost. Sometimes she'll summon a Doomsayer. Out of spite.
Each time you play a Beast this turn,
add a random Beast to your hand. Many hunters long for the pitter-patter of enormous feet.
|To My Side!||Epic||Spell||Hunter||6|
[x]Summon an Animal
Companion, or 2 if your
deck has no minions. I hunt alone. Well, me and Misha. And Huffer. And Leokk.
Battlecry: Add a random Deathrattle minion that died this game to your hand. She hangs out in all the tombs, but she rarely posts.
Battlecry: Discover a spell and cast it with random targets. I see pizza in my future.
Battlecry: Draw a Rush minion from your deck. When he was younger, he was the town crybaby.
Transform a friendly minion into one that costs (1) more. Repeatable this turn. They grow up so fast.
Whenever a friendly minion dies, add a random Shaman spell to your hand. Eye of murloc, ear of bat, foot of Fordring, fur of cat…
Deathrattle: Add a random Death Knight card to your hand. There must always be a Lick King.
Can't Attack. Whenever this minion takes damage, deal 3 damage to a random enemy. The upper windows used to be for aiming. Then we thought: "Hey! MORE cannons!"
Battlecry: Draw a Rush, Lifesteal, and Deathrattle card from your deck. "1 minion… ah, ah, ah! 2 minions… ah, ah, ah! 3 minions… ah, ah, ah!"
Battlecry: Add a random Legendary minion to your hand. “I'll trade you a Malfurion for an Anduin.”
At the end of your turn, summon a random minion with Cost equal to your Armor (up to 10). Once crafted a gauntlet out of earwax and pure ambition.
Battlecry: Replace spells in your hand with random spells (from your opponent's class). She doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And she absolutely will not stop... ever, until all necromancers are dead.
|Lyra the Sunshard||Legendary||Minion||Elemental||Priest||5||3||5|
Whenever you cast a spell, add a random Priest spell to your hand. Arise, fair sun, and kill my envious foes. They don't have a legendary as beautiful as you.
At the start of your turn, you have a 50% chance to draw an extra card. Nat Pagle, Azeroth's premier fisherman! He invented the Auto-Angler 3000, the Extendo-Pole 3000, and the Lure-o-matic 2099 (still in testing).
After you play a Secret, put another random Hunter Secret into the battlefield. Among his more notable inventions: A tentacle-groomer, a plague that would wipe out all life on Azeroth, and a fidget spinner.
Battlecry: If your deck has no minions, fill your hand with Hunter spells. Rhok'delar is ready to Rhok'de'casbah!
Whenever this minion survives damage, summon a random Legendary minion. Daddy! I think I made a Legendary!
Battlecry: Repeat all other Battlecries from cards you played this game (targets chosen randomly). Beware the Shudderwock, my son. We're fresh out of vorpal daggers.
|Skull of the Man'ari||Legendary||Weapon||Warlock||5||0||3|
At the start of your turn, summon a Demon from your hand. Don't trust the skull.
Battlecry: Replay every card from another class you've played this game (targets chosen randomly). Those who cannot remember their card history are doomed to repeat it.
|The Lich King||Legendary||Minion||General||Any||8||8||8|
At the end of your turn, add a random Death Knight card to your hand. "All that I am: anger, cruelty, vengeance, 8 attack - I bestow upon you, my chosen knight."
After your hero attacks, Discover a spell and cast it with random targets. When asked what the runes do, the tauren smith smiled: "A little of this, a little of that..."
|Thrall, Deathseer||Legendary||Hero card||Shaman||5|
Battlecry: Transform your minions into random ones that cost (2) more. "Do not be afraid. Approach. The dead will sleep… for now."
Battlecry: Transform another random minion into a 5/5 Devilsaur or a 1/1 Squirrel. Tinkmaster Overspark nearly lost his Tinker's license after the Great Ironforge Squirrel Stampede of '09.
Battlecry: Add a random Legendary minion from the past to your hand. Just a twist to the left, one quarter turn to the right and … oops! Well, we didn’t need that timeline anyway.
At the end of your turn, add a Dream Card to your hand. Ysera rules the Emerald Dream. Which is some kind of green-mirror-version of the real world, or something?
|Showing all 132 cards|
History[edit | edit source]
In the build-up to Curse of Naxxramas, the adventure's class cards were revealed to players one by one, many of which featured Deathrattle effects, with text that did not specify that the effects were randomly targeted. This led to widespread confusion over the function of the effects. In a special forum post, Ben Brode explained that by omitting the word 'random', card text could be shortened. By establishing the rule that Deathrattles were never targetable, the developers would not have to explicitly state this on each card, which could eventually allow for the development of more "strategically deep" card effects, due to having more card space in which to describe them, potentially otherwise a limiting factor. Brode stated that "setting expectations now that triggers never allow choices allows us to make cards that otherwise would have too much text", explaining that the omission of explicit statements to this effect "lays the groundwork for shortening the text."
However, in the face of player confusion and preference for random effects to be explicitly described as such, the policy was altered, and the word 'random' added to several Naxxramas cards.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Gnomes are known for the unpredictability of their inventions, and many gnome cards in Hearthstone feature random effects.
References[edit | edit source]
|By minion type|
|By effect type|
|By card set|