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Minions with Taunt (commonly referred to as Taunts) serve to protect their allies by forcing the enemy to deal with them first, preventing them from attacking other friendly minions or the controlling hero until the Taunts are removed. However, Taunts have no effect on spells, Hero Powers or other damaging effects. Minions with Taunt are displayed on the battlefield encased in a shield.
One of the most powerful effects in Hearthstone, confusion over how Taunt works is one of the main reasons new players quit the game.
Functionality[edit | edit source]
- The Taunt ability works by limiting which characters the opposing player can target with direct "melee" attacks from their own characters. Only these direct attacks - when a minion or hero physically moves to attack an enemy target - are affected by Taunt. All other types of effects are completely unaffected by Taunt, including spells, Hero Powers, and minion effects such as those of Elven Archer or Knife Juggler.
- If the opponent has one or more Taunt minions on the battlefield, the player will only be able to direct melee attacks at one of the minions with Taunt. If they try to attack a non-Taunt target while there is an enemy Taunt minion on the battlefield, they will be given the error message "A minion with Taunt is in the way".
- If the opponent has more than one minion with Taunt, the player will be able to choose which one of them to attack.
- Players do not have to attack Taunt minions, but cannot attack any other characters while there are enemy Taunt minions on the battlefield. A player may choose not to attack at all rather than attacking an enemy Taunt, which may be strategically advantageous.
- As with all minion abilities, destroying a Taunt minion or removing it from the board will immediately take it out of play, cancelling the Taunt effect. The Taunt ability can also be removed from a minion through Silence and Transform effects like Keeper of the Grove and Polymorph.
Advanced[edit | edit source]
- A unique conflict comes into play when a single minion has Stealth or Immune and Taunt active. The Taunt effect is temporarily negated by the Stealth or Immunity, and will not take effect until the minion loses its buff.
- Taunt only restricts attacks where the player is selecting a target for a character attack action. Abilities like Auto-Attack and the triggered effect of Swamp King Dred may bypass Taunt.
Strategy[edit | edit source]
Taunt is a key strategic ability in Hearthstone. It allows a minion to act as a 'tank', protecting other targets from melee attack while forcing the enemy to attack them first. Critically though, Taunt only affects target selection for melee combat, where the player sends their minion or hero to attack an enemy target. Spells, Hero Powers and ranged attacks, such as that of Elven Archer, are not affected by Taunt, and can be targeted regardless. Non-targeted effects such as area of effect (Flamestrike) and random target effects (Arcane Missiles) are also unaffected.
The value of a Taunt minion lies in its ability to dictate the focus of combat on the board. Generally, this is to divert attacks away from more valuable or vulnerable targets, and toward the Taunt. Taunts can be very useful in the late game to prevent the opponent from directing all attacks at the hero themselves, quickly finishing the game. It can also be important for protecting valuable minions such as those with special effects or abilities. Without a Taunt these minions may be quickly removed, preventing the player from benefiting from their effects. Taunts can sometimes also prevent combat outright (for a turn or two), such as when facing down a vastly inferior minion. While the choice between attacking a hero and attacking their minions is a key strategic point in the game, Taunt minions make this decision for your opponent, preventing them from sneaking in extra attacks on your hero and forcing them to focus on your designated champion.
The best Taunt minions generally have a high Health value, allowing them to engage in combat with several enemies before they are destroyed. Health-increasing and healing effects such as the priest hero power can be very useful for topping-up Taunts.
Like all abilities, Taunt represents a points trade-off with other possible qualities. Building the right proportion of Taunt minions into a deck is therefore a key strategic decision. Too many taunts can leave you short on other abilities, or routinely playing minions with lower stats than necessary. Too few taunts can leave your special minions vulnerable, your hero open to attack, and prevent you from capitalising on their powers. Different classes, strategies and players have different synergies and attitudes to the use of Taunts, with some decks relying on numerous Taunts as a core element of their strategy, and others eschewing them entirely.
Since they only affect melee combat, Taunts are generally most effective against decks which rely on minion attacks to defeat the opponent. Decks which focus on spells or Hero Powers to deal lethal damage will be minimally affected by Taunts.
Taunts generally represent a slowing down of the game, with the Taunt ability usually present on a card in place of additional stats or other useful effects. This makes Taunts effective in control decks which seek to delay the game until they can afford to play their expensive cards or powerful combos. In contrast, Taunts are far less valuable in aggro decks, which seek to defeat the opponent in the first few rounds, since these decks are less concerned about incoming damage, preferring to focus on dealing damage as quickly as possible.
One key thing to remember in the use of Taunts is that they are always vulnerable to Silences and destroy effects. An indomitable Taunt can be neutralised with a single Ironbeak Owl or Assassinate, wrecking plans to defend minions or the hero itself. Taunts can also be specifically removed by The Black Knight, or may be purposefully countered with direct damage spells or Charge minions in order to clear the way for attacks. Transformations can also remove the Taunt ability, although Hex will not, since the resulting Frog itself has Taunt. Taunts can be a target of Mind control effects, leaving their previous owner vulnerable. Players may also use return effects such as Sap or Freezing Trap to cunningly remove Taunts for a turn or two.
Decks seeking to burst the player down will often use cheap forms of removal such as these before using plays such as Unleash the Hounds to finish the opponent off. Using multiple Taunts can strongly reduce the likelihood of this happening, but cannot prevent it entirely.
Granting Taunt[edit | edit source]
While the Taunt ability is usually granted by the minion's card text, it can also be gained from various enchantments and spells. See the table below for a full list. Granting Taunt to a minion is a highly strategic decision, with consequences which can be hard to predict. It may force the opponent to attack the target first, prompt them to use removal upon the target, or serve to give them a larger selection of targets to attack.
Players often choose to grant Taunt to a powerful minion which can withstand several attacks, or is capable of destroying any minion which attacks it. Giving Taunt to a high-Attack minion may force the opponent to sacrifice a tough minion or suffer substantial damage themselves using a weapon. However, high-Health Taunts are generally considered preferable, due to their increased longevity in the line of fire.
Taunt can be used to force an opponent to trigger the minion's Deathrattle, such as with Abomination and Tirion Fordring. Players can grant Taunt for a similar purpose, choosing targets such as Savannah Highmane and Cairne Bloodhoof to manipulate the opponent's actions and trigger useful synergies. However, Deathrattle Taunts are easily countered with effects such as silences.
It is almost always preferable to keep valuable targets protected by at least one Taunt, which is arguably the key purpose of Taunts. For this reason, it is generally a bad idea to grant vulnerable targets Taunt, since this strongly enables and encourages the enemy to attack that minion. In the case of Taunt-granting positional effects such as Defender of Argus this can mean sacrificing a value buff, but may still be the better choice. In some cases positional effects can make it impossible to avoid granting Taunt to a minion, making the playing of that card problematic.
Soft taunt[edit | edit source]
Minions described as 'soft taunts' are cards which, although lacking the Taunt ability, possess a quality which is beneficial or desirable enough for the controlling player that the removal of the minion quickly becomes a priority for the other player. While the opponent is not forced to attack these minions, they may swiftly become the primary focus of the player's attacks, in the hopes of removing them as quickly as possible. Examples include Emperor Thaurissan, Fandral Staghelm, Grimestreet Enforcer, Frothing Berserker, Questing Adventurer, Auchenai Soulpriest, Gadgetzan Auctioneer, Knife Juggler, Vicious Fledgling, Murloc Warleader, Doomsayer, Archmage Antonidas, Prophet Velen and Malygos.
This attack priority is usually created due to special card text, including triggered effects, Spell Damage, Windfury, Enrage and Poison effects. Minions such as Magma Rager with high Attack but low Health may also act as soft taunts if the player wishes to avoid suffering their attack. Essentially, any minion which is a priority to remove can be considered a 'soft taunt'. The term is not fixed but is granted subjectively according to a player's sense of priorities.
Because soft taunts generally represent a minion of special value, it is usually to the advantage of the controlling player to do their best to protect these targets. This can help keep the minion alive a little longer, and also force their opponent's hand by requiring them to go to costly lengths in order to remove the minion, before its effects turn the tide of the game against them. However, these strategic decisions hinge upon the perceived value of the minion. Players can use this to lead their opponent to attack apparently valuable minions which are in fact not critical to their strategy. For example, a mage playing a Spell Damage minion can expect their opponent to quickly remove the minion if possible, due to its potential to increase the mage's damage output. However, a mage without any spells in their hand may choose to play a Spell Damage minion simply in order to distract their opponent from another target of greater value. This can cause the opponent to sacrifice a minion or waste a valuable removal spell of their own in order to destroy this apparently important minion, inadvertently clearing the way for the mage to play a different strategy the next round. This can also be used much like a literal taunt minion to buy the mage time or to dictate which of the possible minions the opponent must attack.
Players need to be aware of the attractiveness or 'soft taunt' status of their minions; for example, minions with Spell Damage are often best played in the same round as a damaging spell, ensuring that the minion is not destroyed before the player can get at least some use from its effect.
Cards with Taunt[edit | edit source]
|Name / Desc||Rarity||Type||Subtype||Class||Cost||Atk||HP||Description|
Restore a minion to full Health and give it Taunt. I personally prefer some non-ancestral right-the-heck-now healing, but maybe that is just me.
|Booty Bay Bodyguard||Free||Minion||General||Any||5||5||4|
Taunt You can hire him... until someone offers him enough gold to turn on you.
Taunt Grunting is what his father did and his father before that. It's more than just a job.
Taunt If 1/2 minions are all that is defending Goldshire, you would think it would have been overrun years ago.
Taunt I dare you to attack Darnassus.
Taunt "Bear Carcass 1/10"
|Lord of the Arena||Free||Minion||General||Any||6||6||5|
Taunt He used to be a 2100+ rated arena player, but that was years ago and nobody can get him to shut up about it.
|Mark of the Wild||Free||Spell||Druid||2|
Give a minion Taunt and +2/+2. (+2 Attack/+2 Health) Not to be confused with Jim of the Wild.
Summon two 0/2 minions with Taunt. Oh hey it's Mirror Image! !egamI rorriM s'ti yeh hO
Taunt Sen'jin Villiage is nice, if you like trolls and dust.
Taunt He likes to act like he's in charge, but the silverback matriarch actually runs things.
Taunt No relation to "The Voidsteppers", the popular Void-based dance troupe.
After you summon a minion, gain +1 Health. The original fifth beetle!
Overload: (3) Sometimes, the best defense is an offensive troll.
Taunt. Costs (1) less per Attack of your weapon. "Yarrrr" is a pirate word that means "Greetings, milord."
|Druid of the Claw||Common||Minion||General||Druid||5||4||4|
Choose One - Transform into a 4/4 with Charge; or a 4/6 with Taunt. Cat or Bear? Cat or Bear?! I just cannot CHOOSE!
|Druid of the Scythe||Common||Minion||General||Druid||3||2||2|
Choose One - Transform into a 4/2 with Rush; or a 2/4 with Taunt. She's a scythe for sore eyes.
Taunt Everyone expects an inquisition reference.
Taunt He used to be called Bog Beast, but it confused people because he wasn't an actual beast. Boom, New Name!
Taunt One head is a morning person. The other head hates morning people.
Taunt. Can only attack if you have 5 or more Armor. Perfectly accessorized to attract adventurers.
Taunt Still salty about it not being the "Year of the Mastodon."
|Hot Spring Guardian||Common||Minion||Elemental||Shaman||3||2||4|
3 Health. NONE SHALL PASS until at least an hour after eating.
Can only attack if you have 3 or more Armor. Marketed as a "rust-proof iron golem."
Battlecry: Discard two random cards. Guaranteed to track tar all over your carpet.
|Mark of Nature||Common||Spell||Druid||3|
Choose One - Give a minion +4 Attack; or +4 Health and Taunt. Druids call it the "Mark of Nature." Everyone else calls it "needing a bath."
Taunt All these guys ever do is talk about the Thunder King. BOOOORRRINNG!
Battlecry: If you control at least 2 other minions, gain Taunt. Roc eggs are great in omelettes, sandwiches, and as bait to turn poachers into bird food.
Battlecry: Adapt. "It's an herbivore. How dangerous can it be?" - Famous last words
Deathrattle: Restore 4 Health to your hero. Key ingredient in Gilnean applesauce.
Taunt Have you seen the size of the shields in this game?? This is no easy job.
Taunt Local villagers call her "Naps Under the Mountain."
Taunt Level 40 Tortollan Paladins quest to tame a Stegodon. There are no level 41 Tortollan Paladins.
Poisonous Stubbornly pursuing its dream to become Azeroth's fastest animal!
Has +2 Attack during your opponent's turn. If you won't come to the tar pits, we'll bring them to you!
Has +4 Attack during your opponent's turn. Tar Lord, man... legendary monster? Aw, forget it.
Has +3 Attack during your opponent's turn. Hi, Tar here. Long time lurking, first time taunting…
Has +3 Attack while damaged. Tauren Warrior: Champion of Mulgore, Slayer of Quilboar, Rider of Thunderbluff Elevators.
Deathrattle: Give a random friendly minion +1/+1. A hero... In a half-shell.
Taunt Overpowered Steambot got nerfed.
Battlecry: Deal 2 damage to your hero. Fortunately he has an even number of fingers.
Divine Shield Takes double damage from wick-based weapons
Battlecry: Add a random Shaman spell to your hand. Is she a frog that became a witch, or a witch that became a frog?
Taunt. Deathrattle: Deal 2 damage to ALL characters. Abominations enjoy Fresh Meat and long walks on the beach.
Battlecry: Gain +1 Health for each card in your hand. Amwitched. Beingwitched. Beenwitched.
Taunt. Battlecry: Summon three 1/1 Raptors for your opponent. The Draenei are seriously considering cancelling "Bring Your Murderous Pet to Work Day."
Deathrattle: Shuffle a 6/9 Direhorn with Taunt into your deck. His mom could beat up your mom.
|Druid of the Swarm||Rare||Minion||General||Druid||2||1||2|
Choose One - Transform into a 1/2 with Poisonous; or a 1/5 with Taunt. The Druid awoke from troubling dreams to find herself transformed into a giant spider.
Taunt. Battlecry: Destroy one of your Mana Crystals. Yes, he'll fight for you. BUT HE'S NOT GOING TO LIKE IT.
Summon two 2/3 Spirit Wolves with Taunt. Overload: (2) Spirit wolves are like regular wolves with pom-poms.
Deathrattle: Recruit 2 minions that cost (4) or less. Favorite sandwich? Grizzled cheese.
Battlecry: If you have 15 or less Health, gain +3/+3 and Taunt. The hook is just an accessory. He can reave just fine without it.
Battlecry: Summon a random 2-Cost minion for your opponent. How can he be hungry… if he's Ettin!?
Battlecry: If you control no other minions, gain Taunt and Divine Shield. He is a champion, with no friends. He'll keep on fighting, til the end!
|Paragon of Light||Rare||Minion||General||Paladin||3||2||5|
Has Taunt and Lifesteal while it has 3 or more Attack. She’s all fun and games until someone rings that stupid bell.
Taunt Recruited from the Gilnean opera house.
|Saronite Chain Gang||Rare||Minion||General||Any||4||2||3|
Battlecry: Summon a copy of this minion. Desperately needs some alone time.
Choose One - Transform into a 5/3 with Stealth;
or a 3/5 with Taunt. Master of the Three Shell Monte.
Battlecry: Discover a Taunt minion. Briefly tried stand-up comedy under the name "Stonehill Offender", but turtles are just too thin-skinned.
Taunt. Divine Shield She doesn’t ACTUALLY walk on the Sun. It's just a name. Don’t worry!
Battlecry: If you played an Elemental last turn, gain Taunt and Divine Shield. He spends a lot of time keeping himself in stoneshape.
Freeze any character damaged by this minion. The Silver Hand recruits shuddered in terror when they saw the dreaded totem of the Hexxer: A tiny little snowman, impaled with pins.
Battlecry: Lose 1 Health for each card in your opponent's hand. You know what they say about people with big hands? Small bears.
|Ancient of War||Epic||Minion||General||Druid||7||5||5|
Choose One - +5 Attack; or +5 Health and Taunt. Young Night Elves love to play "Who can get the Ancient of War to Uproot?" You lose if you get crushed to death.
Battlecry: If you're holding a Dragon, gain Taunt and Divine Shield. Fly like an eagle, drop like a rock.
Battlecry: Gain Taunt if your deck has a Taunt minion. Repeat for Divine Shield, Lifesteal, Windfury. Her extensive collection of corpses includes one of nearly every type. She'd love for you to join it.
Overload: (3) Nothing beats rock.
Battlecry: If your deck has only odd-Cost cards, gain +2/+2. Majestic. Ethereal. Still pretty down in the dumps, though.
Give your Silver Hand Recruits +2/+2 and Taunt. Ding!
Deathrattle: Destroy a random enemy minion. The original artist spent many hours with a fine chisel perfecting the facial expression for maximum tauntiness.
Battlecry: Deal 2 damage to all other minions. Before he became a rap artist.
Battlecry: Destroy your Totems. Gain +2/+2 for each destroyed. When regular totem hours won't cut it.
Deathrattle: Summon three 1/3 Demons with Taunt. Never let it hold your checkbook.
|Al'Akir the Windlord||Legendary||Minion||Elemental||Shaman||8||3||5|
Windfury, Charge, Divine Shield, Taunt He is the weakest of the four Elemental Lords. And the other three don't let him forget it.
Battlecry: Gain +5 Health for each Elemental you played last turn. Between you and me, Ozruk is a bit obsessed with his body.
Battlecry: If your deck has no 4-Cost cards, gain Lifesteal and Taunt. Three Princes stand before you. This one devours one after another.
|Rin, the First Disciple||Legendary||Minion||General||Warlock||6||3||6|
Deathrattle: Add 'The First Seal' to your hand. Signed and sealed, she delivers oblivion.
Battlecry: Set all other minions' Attack and Health to 3. Ironically, his favorite number is 4.
|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."
Divine Shield. Taunt. Deathrattle: Equip a 5/3 Ashbringer. If you haven't heard the Tirion Fordring theme song, it's because it doesn't exist.
|Showing all 81 cards|
Uncollectible[edit | edit source]
The following minions are generated by other cards or effects, and are uncollectible.
|Name / Desc||Rarity||Type||Subtype||Class||Cost||Atk||HP||Description|
|Amara, Warden of Hope||None||Minion||General||Priest||5||8||8|
Battlecry: Set your hero's Health to 40.
Battlecry: Replace your hand with Legendary minions.
|Druid of the Claw||Common||Minion||Beast||Druid||5||4||6|
|Druid of the Scythe||Common||Minion||Beast||Druid||3||2||4|
|Druid of the Swarm||Rare||Minion||Beast||Druid||2||1||5|
Battlecry: Give your minions Taunt.
|Showing all 20 cards|
Sources of Taunt[edit | edit source]
The following cards may not themselves possess Taunt, but are capable of generating minions with Taunt or granting Taunt to other minions.
Query: SELECT `cargo__Cards`.`targetpage` AS `targetpage`,`cargo__Cards`.`name` AS `name`,`cargo__Cards`.`rarity_index` AS `rarity index`,`cargo__Cards`.`rarity` AS `rarity`,`cargo__Cards`.`type` AS `type`,`cargo__Cards`.`subtype` AS `subtype`,`class__full` AS `class`,`cargo__Cards`.`is_multiclass` AS `is multiclass`,`cargo__Cards`.`multiclass` AS `multiclass`,`cargo__Cards`.`cost` AS `cost`,`cargo__Cards`.`attack` AS `attack`,`cargo__Cards`.`hp` AS `hp`,`cargo__Cards`.`description` AS `description`,`cargo__Cards`.`flavor` AS `flavor` FROM `cargo__Cards` LEFT OUTER JOIN `cargo__Cards__tags` ON ((`cargo__Cards`.`_ID`=`cargo__Cards__tags`.`_rowID`)) LEFT OUTER JOIN `cargo___pageData` ON ((`cargo__Cards`._pageName=`cargo___pageData`._pageName)) WHERE (`cargo___pageData`.`categories` HOLDS "Card_data" AND `cargo___pageData`.`categories` HOLDS "Standard_format_cards") AND (`cargo__Cards__tags`.`_value`="Taunt-generating" OR `cargo__Cards__tags`.`_value`="Taunt-granting") GROUP BY `cargo__Cards`.`_pageName` ORDER BY `cargo__Cards`.`rarity_index`, `cargo__Cards`.`name` LIMIT 1000 Function: CargoSQLQuery::run Error: 1064 You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near 'HOLDS "Card_data" AND `cargo___pageData`.`categories` HOLDS "Standard_format_car' at line 1 (db1_cluster.aurora.local.curse.us:3306)
Query: SELECT CONCAT(`cargo__Cards`.`targetpage`) AS `targetpage`,CONCAT(`cargo__Cards`.`name`) AS `name`,CONCAT(`cargo__Cards`.`image`) AS `image`,CONCAT(`cargo__Cards`.`gold_image`) AS `gold_image`,CONCAT("no") AS `gold` FROM `cargo__Cards` LEFT OUTER JOIN `cargo__Cards__tags` ON ((`cargo__Cards`.`_ID`=`cargo__Cards__tags`.`_rowID`)) LEFT OUTER JOIN `cargo___pageData` ON ((`cargo__Cards`._pageName=`cargo___pageData`._pageName)) WHERE (`cargo___pageData`.`categories` HOLDS "Card_data" AND `cargo___pageData`.`categories` HOLDS "Standard_format_cards") AND (`cargo__Cards__tags`.`_value`="Taunt-generating" OR `cargo__Cards__tags`.`_value`="Taunt-granting") GROUP BY `cargo__Cards`.`_pageName` ORDER BY `cargo__Cards`.`rarity_index`, `cargo__Cards`.`name` LIMIT 1000 Function: CargoSQLQuery::run Error: 1064 You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near 'HOLDS "Card_data" AND `cargo___pageData`.`categories` HOLDS "Standard_format_car' at line 1 (db1_cluster.aurora.local.curse.us:3306)
Related cards[edit | edit source]
|Name / Desc||Rarity||Type||Subtype||Class||Cost||Atk||HP||Description|
Battlecry: Give your Taunt minions +2/+2. It isn't "grave robbing" when there's no grave. It's just scavenging…
|Fire Plume's Heart||Legendary||Spell||Warrior||1|
Quest: Play 7 Taunt Minions.
Reward: Sulfuras. Why does an active volcano need to be defended? To save its ash.
Deathrattle: Summon your Taunt minions that died this game. The viziers of Azjol-Nerub released Hadronox as a last-ditch effort to hold back the Lich King. They did so by VERY carefully scooping him up in a LARGE newspaper and releasing him.
|The Black Knight||Legendary||Minion||General||Any||6||4||5|
Battlecry: Destroy an enemy minion with Taunt. He was sent by the Lich King to disrupt the Argent Tournament. We can pretty much mark that a failure.
|Showing all 4 cards|
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Cited in 2015 as one of the most common reasons new players left the game, according to Ben Brode a "shocking percentage of players" used to finish the tutorial without understanding Taunt, or even "get stuck" in the King Mukla encounter due to the mechanic. Ambiguous emotes - "I must attack that minion with Taunt" - are cited as the main issue, and have since seen updates.
- Early in development, attacking a Taunt minion would cause it to lose Taunt. However, when a bug cropped up that caused minions not to lose Taunt when attacked, the developers realised that it was much simpler and more fun for Taunts to retain the ability, and the behaviour was kept.
Patch changes[edit | edit source]
- Patch 126.96.36.19944 (2014-03-11): Minions who have Taunt and Stealth now have an effect that more clearly indicates that Taunt is temporarily disabled during Stealth.
References[edit | edit source]
|By minion type|
|By effect type|
|By card set|