Hero Power

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Anduin Wrynn with the basic priest Hero Power Lesser Heal

A Hero Power is a special ability displayed to the right of each hero's portrait. Usually Hero Powers can be used once per turn and cost 2 mana, but some effects can modify the mana cost of Hero Powers or allow the use of a Hero Power multiple times per turn.

Each class has its own unique Hero Power, which tends to epitomise its character and playstyle. However, some effects (such as Shadowform or Charged Hammer) are able to replace a Hero Power with a new one, while others modify the rules for some specific Hero Powers.

Hero Powers may have a variety of effects, such as summoning a minion or dealing damage to a target character. Using a Hero Power will activate related triggered effects, most notably friendly Inspire effects.

Overview[edit | edit source]

An exhausted Hero Power

The icon for the Hero Power in the game interface is face up when that Hero Power is available to the player, and flips over to a grayish empty space after being used. At the beginning of the player's turn, it flips back up to indicate it is usable once more. Regardless of whether it is face up or down, the Hero Power of the player or the opponent can be hovered over at any time to read their details.

You can not use your Hero Power if:

Example: Lesser Heal is a targeted Hero Power but, since it does not require a damaged character, it can be used on a full-Health minion too: although having no healing effect, this still counts as a use for Hero Power-related effects.

Usually you can only use each Hero Power once per turn. Your Hero Power flips back up (resetting the "number of times you have used your Hero Power this turn" counter) at the start of your turn and when replaced with a new one: the new Hero Power can thus be used on that same turn if mana allows (even if it is the "same" Hero Power as the replaced one).

Example: A hunter could use Steady Shot, trade Majordomo Executus into an enemy minion, then use Ragnaros's replacement Hero Power DIE, INSECT! in a single turn.
Example: A player already using the Ragnaros hero could use DIE, INSECT!, sacrifice another Majordomo Executus to become a new copy of Ragnaros with his Hero Power, and then use the "new" DIE, INSECT! once again. With additional copies of Majordomo Executus, this is possible even more times.[1]

In addition, some effects can refresh a Hero Power, allowing more then one use of it each turn:

  • Coldarra Drake refreshes your Hero Power at Aura Update (Health/Attack) timing;
  • Garrison Commander refreshes your Hero Power at Aura Update (Health/Attack) timing if it was used just once this turn (i.e., if the "number of times you have used your Hero Power this turn" counter is 1);
  • Auctionmaster Beardo refreshes your Hero Power after you cast a spell.

Advanced rules[edit | edit source]

Click 'Expand' to view section

Hero Power Sequence[edit | edit source]

"Use a Hero Power" is one of the Player Actions that a player can actively do during their turn (the others are: "Play a card", "Attack", "End the turn" and "Concede"), and as such it starts its own Sequence.

To use a Hero Power a player must click on it and, if required, select a target.

  • After clicking on a targeted Hero Power (such as Fireblast and Lesser Heal) a red arrow appears, going from the Hero Power to the player's mouse pointer. It disappears after the player clicks on the choosen target.
  • While Mayor Noggenfogger's effect is active, the red targeting arrow is replaced with a question mark.
  • While choosing a target the player can cancel the action by clicking on the Hero Power again. This is only possible for targeted Hero Powers: Hero Powers that are auto-targeted (such as Steady Shot) or randomly targeted (such as DIE, INSECT!) or that do not require a target at all (such as Reinforce) cannot be undone this way.

Then the following Hero Power Sequence takes place, in order:

  • Hero Power Phase
    • The mana cost of the Hero Power is paid.
    • If the Hero Power requires a target and there is a Mayor Noggenfogger in play since the last Aura Update (Other) Step, its effect triggers and randomly selects a valid target; multiple Mayor Noggenfoggers stack.
    • The Hero Power takes effect.
    • The Hero Power is exhausted and flipped over (the Hero Power visually seems to flip over before Mayor Noggenfogger triggers, but in the log file it is exhausted after having taken effect).[2]
    • The "number of times you have used your Hero Power this turn" and the "number of times you have used a Hero Power this game" counters are increased by 1.
      • The "number of times you have used your Hero Power this turn" counter is reset at the start of your turn and whenever your Hero Power is replaced with a new one.
      • The "number of times you have used a Hero Power this game" counter (which is for example used for the cost reduction of Frost Giant) never resets, regardless of your Hero Power being replaced, upgraded or otherwise modified.
  • Inspire Phase
    • Hero Power-related triggers (listed in the following table) queue and resolve. Most of them have the Inspire keyword, which denotes triggered effects that activate each time the controlling player uses a Hero Power.
  • Hearthstone checks for win/loss/draw.


Name / Desc Rarity Type Subtype Class Cost Atk HP Description
Boneguard Lieutenant Common Minion General Any 2 3 2 Inspire: Gain +1 Health. Underneath all that impressive armor, he's just skin and bones. Okay, maybe just bones.
Brave Archer Common Minion General Hunter 1 2 1 Inspire: If your hand is empty, deal 2 damage to the enemy hero. This is a "bearly" concealed reference.
Dalaran Aspirant Common Minion General Mage 4 3 5 Inspire: Gain Spell Damage +1Is he aspiring or inspiring? Make up your mind!
Dart Trap Common Spell Hunter 2 Secret: After an opposing Hero Power is used, deal 5 damage to a random enemy. Five years of tap-dancing lessons are FINALLY going to pay off!
Dragonhawk Rider Common Minion General Any 3 3 3 Inspire: Gain Windfury this turn. Check it out. You can do barrel rolls on this thing.
Kvaldir Raider Common Minion General Any 5 4 4 Inspire: Gain +2/+2. Coming soon... to a tuskarr village near you!
Lowly Squire Common Minion General Any 1 1 2 Inspire: Gain +1 Attack. But not the lowliest!
Mukla's Champion Common Minion Beast Any 5 4 3 Inspire: Give your other minions +1/+1. An elegant gorilla, for a more civilized age.
Murloc Knight Common Minion Murloc Paladin 4 3 4 Inspire: Summon a random Murloc. Hee hee! Look at his cute little feet.
Orgrimmar Aspirant Common Minion General Warrior 3 3 3 Inspire: Give your weapon +1 Attack. "Four out of three orcs struggle with math." - Angry Zurge
Silver Hand Regent Common Minion General Any 3 3 3 Inspire: Summon a 1/1 Silver Hand Recruit. The Silver Hand is the best paladin organization. The Argent Crusaders are super jealous.
Tournament Medic Common Minion General Any 4 1 8 Inspire: Restore 2 Health to your hero. The medic tournament is less entertaining than the Grand Tournament.
Argent Watchman Rare Minion General Any 2 2 4 Can't attack.

Inspire: Can attack as normal this turn. Who argent watches the Argent Watchman?

Coliseum Manager Rare Minion General Any 3 2 5 Inspire: Return this minion to your hand. Meets monthly with the gladiators to discuss career goals.
Savage Combatant Rare Minion Beast Druid 4 5 4 Inspire: Give your hero

+2 Attack this turn. Maybe if you whistle a tune it will soothe him. Yeah... Try that.

Spawn of Shadows Rare Minion General Priest 4 5 4 Inspire: Deal 4 damage to each hero. What did you expect to happen? He's a Spawn. Of Shadows.
Thunder Bluff Valiant Rare Minion General Shaman 5 3 6 Inspire: Give your Totems +2 Attack. Allowing totems to attack is not cheating. I mean, there isn't anything in the rule books about it.
Void Crusher Rare Minion Demon Warlock 6 5 4 Inspire: Destroy a random minion for each player. We like to call him "Wesley".
Kodorider Epic Minion General Any 6 3 5 Inspire: Summon a 3/5 War Kodo. Someone called her a Rhinorider, and she's NOT HAPPY.
Poisoned Blade Epic Weapon Rogue 4 1 3 Your Hero Power gives this weapon +1 Attack instead of replacing it. How much more poisoned can a blade get? The answer is a lot. A lot more poisoned.
Recruiter Epic Minion General Any 5 5 4 Inspire: Add a 2/2 Squire to your hand. Join the Argent Crusade! We have attractive tabards and you get to carry really nice swords!
Confessor Paletress Legendary Minion General Priest 7 5 4 Inspire: Summon a random Legendary minion. She sees into your past and makes you face your fears. Most common fear: Getting Majordomo out of Sneed's Old Shredder.
Nexus-Champion Saraad Legendary Minion General Any 5 4 5 Inspire: Add a random spell to your hand. The ethereals have their own jousting tournament, and Saraad is the reigning champion. Also he won the ethereal hot dog eating contest.
Showing all 23 cards


Player Hero Powers[edit | edit source]

Players start each match with the basic Hero Power of their class (sometimes also referred to as that class' starting Hero Power).

  • Alternate heroes use cosmetically altered versions of the basic Hero Powers: although there is no functional difference, the appearance and casting animations vary from those used by the standard heroes.

Over the course of the match certain effects can replace a player's Hero Power with another one, regardless of that player's class or hero:

  • Renounce Darkness replaces your current Hero Power with the basic Hero Power of a random non-warlock class.
  • Sir Finley Mrrgglton lets you Discover another basic Hero Power. More precisely, this minion's Battlecry forces you to replace your Hero Power with one among three randomly selected basic Hero Powers, with the exception of the basic Hero Power corresponding to your current Hero Power's class (see the table below).
Example: If you are a mage with the Mind Spike Hero Power, Sir Finley Mrrgglton's Battlecry can not offer you Lesser Heal (since it is the basic Hero Power of the Mind Spike's class), but it can still offer you the mage basic Hero Power Fireblast.
  • If your Hero Power is not Mind Shatter nor Mind Spike, Shadowform will replace it with Mind Spike.
  • If your Hero Power is already Mind Spike, Shadowform will replace it with Mind Shatter.
  • If your Hero Power is already Mind Shatter, Shadowform will have no effect (including not refreshing your Hero Power).
  • Sideshow Spelleater replaces your current Hero Power with a copy of the opponent's current Hero Power (whatever it is).


Hero Power's class Basic Hero Power Upgraded Hero Power Deathknight Hero Power Alternative Hero Powers
Icon Druid 48.png
Druid
Shapeshift(185).png
Dire Shapeshift(22481).png
Plague Lord(62908).png

Source: Malfurion the Pestilent
- -
Icon Hunter 48.png
Hunter
Steady Shot(481).png
Ballista Shot(22483).png
Build-a-Beast(58725).png

Source: Deathstalker Rexxar
Dinomancy(55705).png

Source: Dinomancy
-
Icon Mage 48.png
Mage
Fireblast(677).png
Fireblast Rank 2(22484).png
Icy Touch(62843).png

Source: Frost Lich Jaina
- -
Icon Paladin 48.png
Paladin
Reinforce(248).png
The Silver Hand(22485).png
The Four Horsemen(62913).png

Source: Uther of the Ebon Blade
The Tidal Hand(35276).png

Source: Vilefin Inquisitor
-
Icon Priest 48.png
Priest
Lesser Heal(126).png
Heal(22486).png
Voidform(62890).png

Source: Shadowreaper Anduin
Mind Spike(70).png

Source: Shadowform
Mind Shatter(229).png

Source: a second Shadowform
Icon Rogue 48.png
Rogue
Dagger Mastery(201).png
Poisoned Daggers(22487).png
Death's Shadow(62877).png

Source: Valeera the Hollow
- -
Icon Shaman 48.png
Shaman
Totemic Call(316).png
Totemic Slam(22489).png
Transmute Spirit(62862).png

Source: Thrall, Deathseer
Lightning Jolt(22451).png

Source: Charged Hammer
-
Icon Warlock 48.png
Warlock
Life Tap(20).png
Soul Tap(22494).png
Siphon Life(62935).png

Source: Bloodreaver Gul'dan
INFERNO!(83).png

Source: Lord Jaraxxus
-
Icon Warrior 48.png
Warrior
Armor Up!(253).png
Tank Up!(22495).png
Bladestorm(62925).png

Source: Scourgelord Garrosh
DIE, INSECT!(55711).png

Source: Sulfuras (Fire Plume's Heart)
-
Neutral - - -
DIE, INSECT!(14655).png

Source: Majordomo Executus
-

Related cards[edit | edit source]

For Wild format listings, see Hero Power/Wild format

The following cards generate, modify, respond to or otherwise relate to Hero Powers and their use.

Name / Desc Rarity Type Subtype Class Cost Atk HP Description
Auchenai Soulpriest Rare Minion General Priest 4 3 5 Your cards and powers that restore Health now deal damage instead. The Auchenai know the end is coming, but they're not sure when.
Ice Walker Rare Minion Elemental Mage 2 1 3 Your Hero Power also Freezes the target. Ice Walker you say? He doesn't have feet!
Mindbreaker Rare Minion General Any 3 2 5 Hero Powers are disabled. He's a mind breaker, dream taker, ghoul trainer, don't you mess around with him.
Dinomancy Epic Spell Hunter 2 Your Hero Power becomes 'Give a Beast +2/+2' Anyone can dinomance. Just put your lips together and RAAWWWAARGGGH.
Embrace the Shadow Epic Spell Priest 2 This turn, your healing effects deal damage instead. For when your Auchenai Soulpriests call in sick.
Renounce Darkness Epic Spell Warlock 2 Replace your Hero Power and Warlock cards with another class's. The cards cost (1) less. SEE YA DARKNESS!
Shadowform Epic Spell Priest 3 Your Hero Power becomes 'Deal 2 damage'. If already in Shadowform: 3 damage. If a bright light shines on a priest in Shadowform… do they cast a shadow?
Shimmering Courser Epic Minion Beast Any 4 3 3 Only you can target this with spells and Hero Powers. A courser is a courser of course, of course, she's more of a unicorn than a horse...
Vilefin Inquisitor Epic Minion Murloc Paladin 1 1 3 Battlecry: Your Hero Power becomes 'Summon a 1/1 Murloc.' Nobody expects the Vilefin Inquisition!
Auctionmaster Beardo Legendary Minion General Any 3 3 4 After you cast a spell, refresh your Hero Power. Gadgetzan has always run an under-the-table auction house, and business has been PRETTY good for Beardo since the population explosion. And since the explosion that destroyed the competing auction houses in the city.
Lord Jaraxxus Legendary Minion Demon Warlock 9 3 15 Battlecry: Destroy your hero and replace it with Lord Jaraxxus. "TRIFLING GNOME! YOUR ARROGANCE WILL BE YOUR UNDOING!!!!"
Prophet Velen Legendary Minion General Priest 7 7 7 Double the damage and healing of your spells and Hero Power. He's been exiled from his home, and all his brothers turned evil, but otherwise he doesn't have a lot to complain about.
Raza the Chained Legendary Minion General Priest 5 5 5 Battlecry: If your deck has no duplicates, your Hero Power costs (0) this game. "Could you do me a favor and get the keys from Kazakus?"
Sulfuras Legendary Weapon Warrior 3 4 2 Battlecry: Your Hero Power becomes 'Deal 8 damage to a random enemy.' 
Showing all 14 cards
Auchenai Soulpriest(656).png
Ice Walker(62848).png
Mindbreaker(62859).png
Dinomancy(55526).png
Embrace the Shadow(33176).png
Renounce Darkness(33136).png
Shadowform(421).png
Shimmering Courser(76985).png
Vilefin Inquisitor(33158).png
Auctionmaster Beardo(49659).png
Lord Jaraxxus(482).png
Prophet Velen(228).png
Raza the Chained(49702).png
Sulfuras(55531).png

Boss Hero Powers[edit | edit source]

Most non-playable bosses have their own Hero Power. Adventure bosses have both Normal and Heroic versions, with the latter usually featuring enhanced versions of their Hero Powers. Some bosses gain different Hero Powers over the course of the encounter due to cards or the Hero Powers themselves.

Boss Hero Powers vary in cost, and may cost anywhere from 0 to 8 mana. Some boss Hero Powers are "auto-cast" automatically as the boss's first action each turn, assuming it has enough mana. This means that the boss is not able to choose the best time to make use of the Hero Power, or to forgo using it on any given turn. Auto-cast Hero Powers have a special ongoing visual effect. Typically auto-cast Hero Powers are cheap, including the majority of those that cost 0 mana. Other boss Hero Powers are passive, causing a free ongoing and/or triggered effect rather than being used at one particular time.

For full lists of boss Hero Powers, see Boss card.

Examples
Flames of Azzinoth(349).png
Polarity Shift(7796).png
Intense Gaze(14518).png
Dismount(14534).png
Twister(42105).png

Strategy[edit | edit source]

Available each and every turn, Hero Powers can allow players to gain card advantage by taking actions without expending cards. Players can choose to use a Hero Power instead of playing a card, sacrificing some tempo in exchange for a larger hand. Hero Powers can also be used often in order to keep pace while holding back cards to build toward a combo, or to fill gaps when no other strong play is available. Hero Powers should generally be used whenever there is sufficient spare mana.

Basic Hero Powers are designed to offer a reliable but underpowered effect. For almost all basic Hero Powers, it is possible to identify cards which accomplish more for less mana, and cards that do significantly more for 2-3 mana. This mana inefficiency prevents Hero Powers from being directly superior to cards in most cases, making them reliable secondary options rather than first choices each turn. Generally speaking, Hero Powers are effects at the value of a 0-Cost card, as evident by comparing the paladin Hero Power Reinforce with the minion card Wisp, or the mage Hero Power Fireblast with the spell card Moonfire. The extra 2 mana is effectively a surcharge for gaining the effect without consuming a card.

Here are some examples for illustration:

Hero Power Cheaper card alternative Stronger card alternative
Armor Up! Iron Hide Shield Block
Dagger Mastery Kingsbane Perdition's Blade
Fireblast Arcane Blast Frostbolt
Lesser Heal Flash Heal Flash Heal
Life Tap Kobold Librarian Novice Engineer
Reinforce Lost in the Jungle Muster for Battle, any 2 mana minion
Shapeshift Claw Gnash
Steady Shot Arcane Shot Quick Shot
Totemic Call N/A Tuskarr Totemic

It should be noted that comparing cross-class effects is questionable, since each class's cards and Hero Power are balanced as a group. In some cases (marked with a *) this is unavoidable since no direct equivalent is available among neutral and class cards.

Note that the Totemic Call's randomness itself also makes the Hero Power comparatively weaker than a well-chosen equivalent in the hand. Still, each Totem other than Healing Totem can be compared unfavorably to cards, just as with other Powers:

Totem Cheaper card alternative Stronger card alternative
Searing Totem Wisp Totem Golem
Stoneclaw Totem Shieldbearer Pompous Thespian
Wrath of Air Totem N/A Kobold Geomancer

Healing Totem's effect is unique so it cannot be said to be strictly worse than examples like the Darkscale Healer or Lightwell. But again, due to the randomness of Totemic Call and situational usefulness of the summoned Totems, it is clear that it shares other basic Hero Powers' weakness with respect to tempo.

History[edit | edit source]

Hearthstone has included the basic Hero Powers for its nine classes since the very beginning. Although these "starting Hero Powers" have not changed, the variety and availability of Hero Power-related effects has increased over the years, including effects that replace the starting Hero Powers completely.

The Classic set included the priest's Auchenai Soulpriest, Shadowform and Prophet Velen, as well as the warlock's Lord Jaraxxus - two cards that replaced Hero Powers, and two cards that affected all healing and/or damage effects including Hero Powers, all class-specific. Steamwheedle Sniper in Goblins vs Gnomes introduced the first dramatic change to the way an existing Hero Power worked, although again it was limited to one class and its Hero Powers. Blackrock Mountain's Majordomo Executus provided the first neutral Hero Power-related card, with an effect very similar to Lord Jaraxxus'.

The Grand Tournament expansion had a particular focus on Hero Powers, increasing the number of Hero-Power related cards by a factor of 6 with a multitude of effects and interactions, most notably the Inspire ability. Since then, adventures and expansions have slowly continued expanding on Hero Powers with 2 cards from The League of Explorers, 3 from Whispers of the Old Gods, 2 from Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, and 2 from Journey to Un'Goro.

Blizzard has consistently introduced new effects that replace Hero Powers through new card sets, with almost half of Hero Power-related cards outside of The Grand Tournament including such effects. On the other hand, Inspire has not been on any cards since the expansion in which it was introduced.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Crypt (2015-05-10). Majordomo OTK Combo
  2. Tested by User:Elekim, 2017-04-04