Starving Buzzard

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Starving Buzzard
Starving Buzzard(101).png
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Starving Buzzard(101) Gold.png
Set: Basic
Type: Minion
Subtype: Beast
Class: Hunter
Cost: 5
Attack: 3
Health: 2
Abilities: Draw cards
Tags: Beast-related, Summoning-related, Triggered effect
Artist: Bernie Kang

Whenever you summon a Beast, draw a card.

If you feed him, he loses his whole identity.

See this card on Hearthpwn

Starving Buzzard is a hunter minion card, from the Basic set.

How to get[edit]

Two copies of Starving Buzzard are a reward for raising a hunter to level 4.

Two Golden copies of Starving Buzzard are a reward for raising a hunter to levels 47 and 48.

Starving Buzzard is uncraftable and cannot be crafted or disenchanted.


  • The sequence of events for Starving Buzzard's triggered effect is that it activates following the application of any auras, but prior to the activation of any Battlecries.[1][2]
  • Druid of the Fang's Battlecry, if activated, will cause its summoning to trigger Starving Buzzard.[3] The Buzzard will not be activated during its normal phase, but instead after the minion's summoning has resolved.[4]


Starving Buzzard is often considered a very weak card, providing a 3/2 minion for five mana that tends to die before you can use it to draw many (if any) cards. However, because Hunter has always been a class with very few Card draw effects and low mana curves, it has usually seen some play simply due to lack of alternatives.

If you have a few low cost Beasts in hand, such as Alleycat, you may be able to play several cheap Beasts while simultaneously refilling your hand. You can also combo Starving Buzzard with spells such as Unleash the Hounds or Snake Trap, summoning multiple Beasts at once for substantial card draw.

Buzzard combos often require having multiple cards in hand (which is difficult for a class that has few other options for card draw) and a large amount of mana (which is a problem for a class that tends to focus on aggro or mid-range play).

Alternatively, you can use an array of Hunter Deathrattle cards that summon Beasts in conjunction with this card, letting you bypass restraints on mana cost. Hunter Deathrattle cards which summon Beasts include Kindly Grandmother, Rat Pack, Infested Wolf, and Savannah Highmane.

Starving Buzzard also can combo with Piranha Launcher, though this is considered very weak as both cards are overly expensive and the combo can only guarantee one draw.


Long a key card in hunter combos, especially involving Unleash the Hounds, both Starving Buzzard and Unleash the Hounds have seen an unusually large number of changes in order to balance their importance in play.

During the game's alpha, Starving Buzzard only triggered from Beasts played from the hand, but was changed to trigger from any Beast summon,[5] due to a preference to keep the function of basic cards relatively simple.[6] This significantly increased the range of combination plays, helping the Buzzard to become a key card in the hunter's arsenal. However, it also had the effect of restricting future design space.[7] Because the Buzzard now triggered from any Beast summoned, the designers had to consider carefully the ramifications of introducing cards which summoned multiple Beasts, even 1/1s.[8]

Due in part to this change, Starving Buzzard became a very powerful card, especially in combination with Unleash the Hounds. During mid-beta, the card was changed from its previous stats of 2/2 to a 2/1. This was explained as being in order to make the minion more easily removed by the hero powers of druids, mages and rogues, balancing the match-ups between these classes and hunters, but also served to make the minion more vulnerable in general.

In September 2014, the card saw its most drastic changes yet - from a 2 cost 2/1, up to a 5 cost 3/2. The change was made after a short but pronounced period of hunter dominance, following the full release of Curse of Naxxramas and the availability of cards such as Mad Scientist and Webspinner. While the developers generally prefer to solve balance issues through allowing the meta to right itself, or introducing new cards, in this case it was stated that the "back-end stats" justified direct changes to the card.[9] In an official announcement,[10] it was stated that the changes were intended to allow the opponent "more time to react to both the Starving Buzzard and the cards drawn by its power."


Buzzards are large scavenger birds found throughout Azeroth. Starving Buzzards are tameable level 44-45 mobs found in the Badlands.



Starving Buzzard, full art

Patch changes[edit]

Commentary: "The amount of cards Starving Buzzard allowed Hunter players to draw ultimately ended up being too excessive for its low cost. This change will allow the Hunter's opponent more time to react to both the Starving Buzzard and the cards drawn by its power."
Commentary: "Hunters were very strong against Druid, Mage, and Rogue in Copper through Platinum leagues, and this change should help those match-ups."
  • Patch (2013-06-22): Had a wording change from "play" to "summon".
  • Previously: Whenever you play a Beast, draw a card. [2 attack, 2 health, 2 mana, Basic]


  1. Tested by User:Taohinton, 2014-02-19. Various scenarios. Starving Buzzard always triggers after any Battlecries. For example, playing Buzzard then Ironbeak Owl will result in the Buzzard drawing a card, then the Owl silencing the Buzzard. Other tested minions include Hungry Crab and Captain's Parrot.
  2. Tested by User:Taohinton 2015-02-12
  4. Tested by User:Taohinton and User:Xinhuan, 2015-02-02
  5. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2014-09-12). 
  6. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2014-09-14). 
  7. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2014-09-12). 
  8. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2014-09-12). 
  9. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2014-09-12). 
  10. Upcoming Balance Changes for 9/22. (2014-09-11). 
  11. Dean Ayala (2016-09-08). Hearthside Chat: Upcoming Arena Changes with Dean Ayala. Retrieved on 2019-03-26.
  12. Blizzard Entertainment (2018-12-19). Arena Updates – December 19 2018. Retrieved on 2019-03-26.