Triggered effect

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The lightning bolt icon, explicitly indicating a triggered effect

Triggered effects are effects that activate in response to specific events. Triggered effects may belong to minions, weapons or spells (in the form of Secrets), as well as some boss Hero Powers.

Triggered effects include named abilities such as Battlecry and Deathrattle, as well as unnamed effects such as those of Cult Master, Sword of Justice and Ragnaros the Firelord. All Secrets are triggered effects. Many triggered effects must first be put into play in order to become active - such as by playing the minion, equipping the weapon, or casting the Secret - while others activate when the card itself is drawn, discarded or put into play. Different types of triggered effect often share common rules for their activation.

Since the most common types of triggers are represented by keywords such as Battlecry, the term triggered effect is sometimes used more specifically to refer to those not indicated by a keyword, but instead described explicitly in their card text. Such effects are usually - but not always - denoted when in play by a small lightning bolt icon, a flask with venom (Poisonous), or a broken heart (Lifesteal) at the bottom of the card's portrait or icon, and can usually be activated any number of times, but only while in play. Any ability that states "at the end of your turn" or "at the start of your turn" is a triggered effect, as are most that state "when" or "whenever".

Notes[edit | edit source]

Main article: Advanced rulebook

The interactions and timing of multiple triggered effects are some of the most complex rules in the game. This section is only a summary:

  • When multiple triggered effects activate at once, such as at the end of a player's turn, the effects will activate in the order in which the minions were summoned, with the minions summoned first activating their triggered effects first. Any deaths resulting from the triggers then resolve at once, followed by consequences from those deaths. However, there are exceptions to this rule.
  • Triggered effects which trigger from playing cards or casting spells may take place before or after the card takes effect, depending on the trigger. For example, activating Leader of the Pack with a Violet Teacher active will cause her to summon a fresh Violet Apprentice, who will then benefit from the Leader of the Pack buff,[1] while playing Inner Rage on a 3/1 Wild Pyromancer will destroy the minion before it can activate its effect.
  • For notes on individual types of triggered effects, see the appropriate sections.

Advanced[edit | edit source]

  • Triggered effects require the card not to have been destroyed. However, the game only checks to destroy minions with 0 or negative Health when an event phase ends. This means that a minion can be triggered during the same phase in which it is destroyed, regardless of the order in which the events take place. For example, if three enemy Explosive Sheep are killed by your Flamestrike while you have an Acolyte of Pain on the board, the Acolyte will trigger three times (despite his Health reaching 0 after the first Exploding Sheep's Deathrattle) since he cannot completely die while the Sheep Deathrattles are still being handled. Once all simultaneous effects have resolved, the game will then check for any minions at 0 or lower Health, notice the Acolyte and destroy it. Conversely, Cult Master cannot trigger from the death of a friendly minion killed at the same time as the Cult Master itself, since by the time the game checks for triggers from the deaths, the Cult Master has also been destroyed.

Cards[edit | edit source]

For Wild format listings, see Triggered effect/Wild format

Below are listed all cards which possess or grant triggered effects, divided by the type of trigger.

Using Hero Powers[edit | edit source]

Most effects which are triggered by using Hero Powers are denoted by the Inspire keyword. For more details on that effect, see Inspire. Certain other triggered effects are not marked as Inspire effects, but are activated by the use of Hero Powers.

Card-playing[edit | edit source]

Card-playing triggered effects only activate when a card of the correct type is played directly from the hand. Cards brought into play through summon or put into battlefield effects will not activate these effects.

Card-playing triggered effects activate immediately after the card is played, before it takes effect.

Any card type[edit | edit source]

Corrupt the Waters(90701).png
Hidden Wisdom(89448).png
Rat Trap(89388).png
Whirlkick Master(90745).png
Questing Adventurer(157).png
Unbound Elemental(51).png
Spectral Cutlass(89391).png
Illidan Stormrage(203).png

Spell-casting[edit | edit source]

Whenever[edit | edit source]

'When' and 'Whenever' effects trigger from the attempt to cast the spell, before any of the spell's effects apply, and even triggers if Counterspell prevents it:

Never Surrender!(90590).png
Test Subject(89911).png
Lock and Load(22258).png
Lorewalker Cho(456).png
Mana Addict(67).png
Mana Wyrm(263).png
Sand Drudge(90241).png
Spirit of the Frog(90218).png
Spirit of the Tiger(90188).png
Vex Crow(89365).png
Violet Teacher(523).png
Gadgetzan Auctioneer(131).png
Zerek, Master Cloner(89863).png
Archmage Antonidas(220).png
Exotic Mountseller(90623).png
Arcane Devourer(90689).png
After[edit | edit source]

'After' effects trigger from the spell fully resolving:

Raid the Sky Temple(90705).png
Arcane Flakmage(90743).png
Keeper Stalladris(90585).png
Magic Dart Frog(90637).png
Pressure Plate(90755).png
Wild Pyromancer(25).png
Dune Sculptor(90808).png

Playing a minion from the hand[edit | edit source]

These effects trigger only when the minion is played directly from the hand. For effects which trigger from any form of minion summoning, see Minion summoning, below.

That minion[edit | edit source]

Effects which activate when the minion itself is played from the hand are denoted by specific keywords. By far the most common is Battlecry, followed by the druid keyword Choose One and the rogue keyword Combo. All three abilities cause a special effect to activate when the minion is played from the hand, although some require certain conditions to be met.

The list of such minions is too extensive to list here - see individual pages for complete lists:

Another minion

Making Mummies(90724).png
Underbelly Angler(90648).png
History Buff(90845).png
Magic Carpet(90638).png
Mirror Entity(569).png
Overlord's Whip(90211).png
Arcane Fletcher(90678).png
Harbinger Celestia(89909).png
Mortuary Machine(90786).png

Secret-playing[edit | edit source]


Minion summoning[edit | edit source]

Minion summoning triggered effects may activate at various points during the summoning sequence of events. They may occur before auras are applied to the minion; after auras are applied to the minion, but before any Battlecries are activated; after Battlecries have taken place, but before the minion summoning has resolved; or once the minion summoning has resolved. In some cases they may sometimes activate later in the summoning process, if they did not activate at the proper point.

Note that these effects are triggered by any eligible minion being summoned, even if they are not played from the hand, such as through Summon or put into battlefield effects. Hero powers, Deathrattles, Battlecries and Secrets can all trigger these effects. If the summoned minion has a Battlecry, this will take place prior to the activation of any triggered effects or Secrets.[2]

Whenever you summon[edit | edit source]

Brazen Zealot(90714).png
Murloc Tidecaller(420).png
Unseal the Vault(90813).png
Spirit of the Lynx(90282).png
High Priest Amet(90760).png
Starving Buzzard(101).png

After you summon[edit | edit source]

Knife Juggler(422).png
Sword of Justice(567).png

Attacking[edit | edit source]

Attacking triggered effects activate before the intended combat actually takes place, although those based on surviving an attack do not trigger until afterwards. For triggers which activate when attacking and killing a minion, see Attacking and killing.

Hero attacks[edit | edit source]

Hack the System(90768).png
Anraphet's Core(90769).png
Sharkfin Fan(90147).png
Desert Spear(90775).png
Hench-Clan Thug(89456).png
Livewire Lance(90766).png
Thori'dal, the Stars' Fury.png
Truesilver Champion(293).png
Armored Goon(90824).png
Silver Sword(89409).png

Minion attacks[edit | edit source]

Blessing of Wisdom(100).png
Freezing Trap(99).png
Neferset Thrasher(90816).png
Shaku, the Collector(49657).png
Soldier of Fortune(90633).png

Any attack[edit | edit source]

Autodefense Matrix(89817).png
Noble Sacrifice(158).png
Explosive Trap(344).png
Snake Trap(210).png
Flame Ward(90790).png
Ice Barrier(672).png
Splitting Image(90247).png

Character damage[edit | edit source]

Damage-triggered effects activate immediately after damage is received, but before any deaths are resolved. On-damage triggers that cause healing can prevent a fatally damaged character from dying, as the game will not check for deaths until the end of the current phase is reached, and all simultaneous effects have been resolved.

Taking minion damage[edit | edit source]

This minion[edit | edit source]
Eternium Rover(89851).png
Raid the Sky Temple(90705).png
Arcane Flakmage(90743).png
Keeper Stalladris(90585).png
Magic Dart Frog(90637).png
Wild Pyromancer(25).png
Acolyte of Pain(428).png
Dune Sculptor(90808).png
Imp Gang Boss(14443).png
Gurubashi Berserker(624).png
Security Rover(89876).png
Blackhowl Gunspire(89374).png
Underbelly Ooze(90659).png
Friendly minions[edit | edit source]
Snapjaw Shellfighter(90245).png
Another minion[edit | edit source]
Any minion[edit | edit source]
Frothing Berserker(69).png

Taking hero damage[edit | edit source]

Eye for an Eye(206).png

Dealing damage[edit | edit source]

Various effects activate in response to dealing damage, either by the minion or by the player. Poison effects are a type of triggered destroy effect which display a vial of bubbling poison in place of the usual lightning bolt icon, and use atypical phrasing in their card text.

Patient Assassin(14).png
Vicious Scraphound(90658).png
Emperor Cobra(625).png
Water Elemental(274).png

Healing[edit | edit source]

Healing-triggered effects activate immediately after healing is granted.

Spirit of Lucentbark.png
Northshire Cleric(600).png
The Glass Knight(89411).png

Minion death[edit | edit source]

Death-triggered effects activate only after the death has fully resolved, and the minion or weapon removed from play. All types of death-triggered effects, including Deathrattles, triggered effects and Secrets are queued together from oldest to newest played, with no special priority.

That minion[edit | edit source]

Effects which trigger from the death of the minion itself are Deathrattles - see that page for details.

Another minion[edit | edit source]

Floop's Glorious Gloop(89898).png
Spirit of the Dead(90168).png
Scavenging Hyena(279).png
Flesheating Ghoul(610).png
Cult Master(140).png
Carrion Drake(89440).png
Jumbo Imp(90640).png

Attacking and killing

Darius Crowley(89369).png

End of turn[edit | edit source]

Most end of turn effects activate at the end of the controlling player's turn, but some activate at the end of the current turn, or at the end of each turn.

The game only queues end of turn triggers once, at the start of the end of turn phase. For example, if during the end of turn phase Kel'Thuzad resurrects a minion which has an end of turn triggered effect, that effect will not be activated that turn, since the minion was not in play when the end of turn phase started.

End of your turn[edit | edit source]

These effects activate at the end of the turns belonging to the controlling player.

Blood Imp(196).png
Healing Totem(275).png
The Soularium(89881).png
Young Priestess(123).png
Crystal Merchant(90806).png
EVIL Totem(90695).png
Master Swordsmith(584).png
Micro Mummy(90774).png
Serpent Ward(90289).png
Spitting Camel(90849).png
Imp Master(178).png
Mana Tide Totem(613).png
Archmage Vargoth(90615).png
Ethereal Arcanist(125).png
Forest Guide(89362).png
Regeneratin' Thug(90267).png
Desert Obelisk(90734).png
Sandhoof Waterbearer(90809).png
Missile Launcher(89857).png
Scarlet Webweaver(90732).png
Baron Geddon(539).png
Dreampetal Florist(89880).png
Worgen Abomination(89412).png
Wrapped Golem(90795).png
Catrina Muerte(90614).png
Ragnaros the Firelord(90302).png
Ragnaros the Firelord(503).png
Big Bad Archmage(90561).png
Highkeeper Ra(90749).png

End of each turn[edit | edit source]

These effects activate at the end of each turn, whether belonging to the controlling player or their opponent.


End of the turn[edit | edit source]

These effects activate at the end of the turn after they are put into play. This is largely the same as effects that activate at the end of each turn, but only happens once.

Goblin Prank(89937).png
Shadow Madness(442).png
Fel Lord Betrug(90602).png

Related cards[edit | edit source]

These effects are related to end of turn effects.

Drakkari Enchanter(62929).png

Start of turn[edit | edit source]

Start of turn effects take effect at the very start of the turn, before any cards have been drawn. Almost all take place only on the controlling player's turn, but some happen at the start of each turn, or the start of the opponent's turn.

Start of your turn[edit | edit source]

These effects activate at the start of the turns belonging to the controlling player.

Lazul's Scheme(90555).png
Gurubashi Offering(90276).png
Curse of Weakness(89434).png
Nat Pagle(19).png
Blood Witch(89396).png
Conjured Mirage(90787).png
Sunstruck Henchman(90767).png
Azerite Elemental(90676).png

Drawing a card[edit | edit source]

Effects that activate when the card itself is drawn are known as on-draw effects.

Aranasi Broodmother(90551).png


Supreme Archaeology(90697).png
Archmage Arugal(89424).png
Curio Collector(89451).png
Dollmaster Dorian(89402).png
Fel Lord Betrug(90602).png

Discarding a card[edit | edit source]

Effects that activate when the card itself is discarded are known as on-discard effects.

High Priestess Jeklik(90182).png

Revealing a Secret[edit | edit source]

Eaglehorn Bow(363).png

Equipping a weapon[edit | edit source]

Gaining Armor[edit | edit source]

Overloading Mana Crystals[edit | edit source]

Shuffling into deck[edit | edit source]

Tak Nozwhisker(90562).png

Miscellaneous[edit | edit source]

Patch changes[edit | edit source]

  • Patch (2014-03-11): Minions that have been blessed by Blessing of Wisdom now show the trigger “lightning bolt”. Talk about a bright idea!

References[edit | edit source]