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.
Battlecry: Summon a random 2-Cost minion.
Battlecry: Transform a friendly minion into one that costs (1) more.
|Totemic Call||None||Hero Power||Shaman||2|
Summon a random Totem.
Battlecry: Replace your hand with Legendary minions.
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.
Put a copy of a random card in your opponent's hand into your hand. I see what you did there.
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.
Deal 2 damage to two random enemy minions. Hey you two…could you stand next to each other for a second…
Battlecry: Discard a random card. Warlocks have it pretty good.
Summon a random Beast Companion. You could summon Misha, Leokk, or Huffer! Huffer is more trouble than he's worth.
Deal 3 damage to two random enemy minions. You see, it's all about throughput.
Transform a friendly minion into a random one that costs (1) more. You'll get the transformation you want when murlocs fly.
|Call of the Void||Common||Spell||Warlock||1|
Add a random Demon to your hand. "Marco!"
"Who dares summon me?!"
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.
Deal 1 damage to a minion.
If it is survives, add a Lackey to your hand. "The beatings will continue until MY morale improves."
Add a random card to your hand (from your opponent's class). The class is always greener on the other side of the board.
|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?
|Tome of Intellect||Common||Spell||Mage||1|
Add a random Mage spell to your hand. Just a compilation of napkins of intellect.
Deal 2 damage.
Overkill: Summon a basic Totem. Trolls are the first group to have a totem survive atmospheric re-entry.
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!
Each player transforms a random minion in their hand into a Demon. Another group project where Jaraxxus doesn't do any work.
Add 2 random Dragons to your hand. Not to be confused with Dragon Yodel.
|EVIL Cable Rat||Common||Minion||Beast||Any||2||1||1|
Battlecry: Add a Lackey to your hand. Gradually driven to darkness by the promise of unobtainable cheese.
Deathrattle: Add a Lackey to your hand. Kobold! There's a place you can handle
I said kobold! When you're short in the candle
Cast a spell with the E! V! I! L!
Battlecry: Destroy a friendly minion to add 2 random Lackeys to your hand. You do not want to be on the business end of this intellect!
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.
|Magic Dart Frog||Common||Minion||Beast||Mage||2||1||3|
After you cast a spell, deal 1 damage to a random enemy minion. There's a powerful throat in this frog.
Battlecry: Add a random Elemental to your hand. Electra stores her elementals in the cloud.
Deathrattle: Give a random friendly minion with Rush +2/+1. It's a lumberjack's axe and that's ok.
Battlecry: Add a random card to your hand (from your opponent's class). It's like, SUPER bad at staring contests.
Destroy a random enemy minion. Accuracy is not a highly valued trait among the mok'nathal. Deadliness is near the top, though.
Combo: Add two random Lackeys to your hand. Because there are no G.O.O.D. Miscreants.
Deathrattle: Deal 4 damage to a random enemy minion. More Boom for your buck.
Battlecry: Add two random 1-Cost minions to your hand. That Friends and Familiars Plan is really paying off!
Battlecry: Discard your lowest Cost card. "Reck less!? ME WRECK MOAR!"
Draw 2 Demons from your deck. Generally demons are pretty obvious and you don’t need a spell to sense them.
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
Add 2 random Deathrattle cards to your hand. Elite Tauren Chieftain's next hit single.
Deathrattle: Summon a random minion from your hand that costs (2) or less. New facial recognition systems keep out the Lorewalkers and Doomsayers.
Whenever you cast a spell, summon a random 2-Cost minion. As birds of ill omen, these crows often summon Doomsayers.
Cast a random Paladin Secret. Desperate times call for disparate secrets.
Deathrattle: Add a random Hunter spell to your hand. Plenty of buzz around this card.
Discard your lowest Cost card. Deal 2 damage to all minions. The first warning sign of an oncoming warlock temper tantrum.
Battlecry: Add a Lackey to your hand. Overload: (1) You can't stop slurping this delicious sludge!
At the end of your turn, give another random friendly minion +1 Health. She can't wait to learn Power Word: Fortitude Rank 2.
Add 2 random minions to your hand. Let's see what's behind rift number one!
Give your minions "Deathrattle: Add a random Mech to your hand." Goes great with Cyber-Salsa.
Give a minion +2/+2. If it's an Elemental, add a random Elemental to your hand. Or it might not.
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, restore 3 Health to a damaged friendly character. It isn't clear if people ignore the Lightwell, or if it is just invisible.
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.
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.
|Spirit of the Bat||Rare||Minion||General||Warlock||2||0||3|
Stealth for 1 turn.
After a friendly minion dies, give a minion in your hand +1/+1. Nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah nah
After you play a Murloc, add a random Murloc to your hand. Attracts murlocs... and moths.
At the start of your turn, swap this minion with a random one in your hand. WARNING. WARNING. WARNING.
Deal 5 damage randomly split among all enemies. Forecast: Cloudy with a chance of fireballs.
Destroy a minion. Summon 2 minions of the same Cost to replace it. If only you'd let it go to voicemail...
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.
Whenever you restore Health, add a random Druid spell to your hand. Lifeweaving is all well and good until it's time to cut the thread.
Deal 2-3 damage to all enemy minions. Overload: (2) An umbrella won't be effective, I'm afraid.
|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.
Deathrattle: Trigger the Deathrattle of a random friendly minion. Grab death by the handle.
Deathrattle: Destroy a random enemy minion. Wrecks a dude, any size. Catches thieves, eats those guys. Look out! Here comes a Spider Bomb!
Battlecry and Deathrattle: Put a Secret from your deck into the battlefield. Who are you? Eh, none of my business.
Deathrattle: Give two random friendly minions +2/+2. Eager to please, even if it kills him.
Battlecry: Your opponent summons a minion from their deck. Built by goblins, designed by a troll.
Battlecry: Randomly toss 3 hats to other minions. Each hat gives +1/+1. He's entirely bonkers. All the best goblins are.
Draw a Beast from your deck and double its Health. Somebody’s been eating their funnel cakes.
Draw two Pirates from your deck. Combo: Draw a Weapon. And a bowl of chips. And some of those little cocktail weenies!
Deathrattle: Destroy a random enemy minion. It's always nice to steal a familiar face.
Battlecry: Deal 5 damage randomly split among all minions except Mechs. Star player on the inter-office Boomball team.
Overkill: Give a minion in your hand +2/+2. Only two things in life are certain: death and axes.
Force each minion to attack another random minion. Black Friday gets worse every year.
Battlecry: Destroy a random enemy minion with 2 or less Attack. This Kodo is so big that he can stampede by himself.
Deathrattle: Summon a Deathrattle minion from your hand. Also does weddings.
Summon a copy of a random minion in your hand. Genius is 1% inspiration, and 99% drawing your Deathwing.
Summon a random minion with Cost equal to your Armor (up to 10). This metal is so heavy it will satisfy your iron requirements for the next year.
Battlecry: For each card in your hand, deal 1 damage to a random enemy. Some say the world will end in fire. Some say in ice. Why not BOTH?
Whenever you cast a spell, summon a random 3-Cost Beast. *Taps roof of mammoth* "You can fit so many squirrels in this thing!"
Summon 3 friendly minions that died this game. One's company, two's a crowd, and three's a "mass" resurrection, apparently.
Summon 2 copies of a minion in your deck. The first dimensional ripper had a point.
The second fell flat.
The THIRD one really started to take shape!
|The Beast Within||Epic||Spell||Hunter||1|
Give a friendly Beast +1/+1, then it attacks a random enemy minion. Undoes years of obedience school training.
Battlecry: Draw a Rush minion from your deck. When he was younger, he was the town crybaby.
|Big Bad Voodoo||Epic||Spell||Shaman||2|
Give a friendly minion "Deathrattle: Summon a random minion that costs (1) more." Murlocs practice Small Nice Voodoo.
Battlecry: For each spell you've cast this turn, add a random Mage spell to your hand. It'll put a good spin on your spells.
Battlecry: Give each player a copy of a random card from their opponent's deck. “It’s an illusion, Malacrass!”
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…
Shuffle 10 cards from your opponent's class into your deck. They cost (1). The tenth Pyroblast really felt like overkill.
Put a copy of a random minion from your opponent's deck into the battlefield. Sometimes it feels like this is all a game.
Battlecry: Draw an Elemental from your deck. The secret is glue.
Summon two random 2-Cost minions (improved by Spell Damage). Sometimes science is more art than science. A lot of people don't get that.
Deathrattle: Return a random friendly minion to your hand. It costs (2) less. Kobolds informally refer to its effect as a deathwaggle.
Deathrattle: Add a random Legendary minion to your hand. It'll be fine. It's not like they have any reason to hate us.
|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.
Deal 2 damage to all minions.
Overkill: Add a random Mage spell to your hand. If you’re burning and you know it, wave your hands!
Destroy all minions except one. (chosen randomly) Do you know the first rule of Brawl Club?
Summon a minion from each player's deck. They attack each other. If you don't fight to the death, it's Duel Yielding.
Enemies attacking this have a 50% chance to attack someone else. One's play-by-play. The other is off-color.
Battlecry: Transform into a 4/4 copy of a different minion in your deck. Fan favorite in the muck morphin' sewer strangers.
After you attack a minion, force it to attack one of its neighbors. Boom's Second Law of Motion: HIT IT VERY HARD!
Deal 8 damage randomly split among all enemies. Wham! Wham! Wham! Wham! Wham! Wham! Wham! Wham!
Deal 3 damage to a random enemy. Repeat for each of your Pirates. Why fire your cannons strategically when you can fire them all at once?
Destroy all friendly minions. For each one, summon a random minion from your deck. It's always darkest just before you find the light switch.
Battlecry: Add 3 random cards you discarded this game to your hand. Reduce, reuse, resoul.
Summon a random Beast from your hand and give it Rush. The Gurubashi Arena has an extremely permissive policy on pets in the workplace.
Battlecry: Your opponent casts a random spell from their hand (targets chosen randomly). Far more effective than the flamboyant saboteur.
Battlecry: Summon a random minion with Cost equal to your hand size. All signs point to Antonidas.
Whenever you cast a spell, draw a minion from your deck. The tricky part is getting them to HOLD their shape.
|Big Bad Archmage||Epic||Minion||General||Any||10||6||6|
At the end of your turn, summon a random 6-Cost minion. "My, my, what big minions I have!"
Each turn this is in your hand, transform it into a card your opponent is holding. He's everyone you want to be.
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).
Battlecry: Add a random Legendary minion to your hand. “I'll trade you a Malfurion for an Anduin.”
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.
At the end of your turn, cast a spell you've cast this turn (targets are random). He's an archmage, but he might want to brush up on the basics... like aiming.
Battlecry: Discover two cards. Give one to your opponent at random. With Griftah in your deck, sometimes you start the game with The Coin!
|Gral, the Shark||Legendary||Minion||Beast||Rogue||5||2||2|
Battlecry: Eat a minion in your deck and gain its stats.
Deathrattle: Add it to your hand. “… We’re gonna need a bigger board.”
Battlecry: Draw 5 different Secrets from your deck. The original clever girl.
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.
Battlecry: Replace your hand and deck with Legendary minions. Minions must wash hands before being LIQUIDATED AND REPLACED BY SOMEONE BETTER.
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!"
|Kangor's Endless Army||Legendary||Spell||Paladin||7|
Resurrect 3 friendly Mechs. They keep any Magnetic upgrades. "That's three, Kangor. Three isn't endless."
- Countess Ashmore
|The Storm Bringer||Legendary||Spell||Shaman||7|
Transform your minions into random Legendary minions. Finally, Electra can work from home.
Battlecry: Summon 3 Pirates from your deck. Give them Rush. "You three! Get in the cannon!"
At the end of your turn, summon a friendly minion that died this game. She always manages to lift your spirits.
Deathrattle: Swap this with a minion from your deck. She will NOT STOP until she gets tenure.
Summon 3 minions from your deck. They attack enemy minions, then die. It used to be a Ba-zooka but we ran out of sheep.
Battlecry: Draw 2 minions from your deck. Set their Attack, Health, and Cost to 1. "I'm a real toy now!"
|Ragnaros the Firelord||Legendary||Minion||Elemental||Any||8||8||8|
Can't attack. At the end of your turn, deal 8 damage to a random enemy.
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.
Rush. Overkill: Summon a Beast from your hand. Adorning devilsaurs with armor and feathers is a respected job in troll culture, although it has a high turnover rate.
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.
Summon 3 random minions from your hand. Give them Rush. Dr. Boom ends his motivational speeches by dropping the mechs.
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?
Battlecry: Cast all spells you've played this game (targets chosen randomly). If you can dodge an axe, you can dodge a ball.
|Showing all 138 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||Standard|