Definitions

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This page contains a list of terms and definitions that are commonly found when discussing Hearthstone.

General Game-play terms[edit]

A[edit]

All
Every possible target on the board for the spell or Ability.
Attack
To be on the offensive either by attacking an opponents card or your opponent himself/herself
Ability
There are a group of common keywords that are used on multiple cards that are collectively called abilities. They can for example specify when the action will happen, or how. These keywords are written in bold on the cards.
Aggro Deck
AoE
See Area of Effect
Arcane Dust
The ingredient used to craft new Hearthstone cards. Can only be obtained in two ways: as a reward for doing Arena or through Disenchanting an existing card in your possession. Crafting costs depend on the rarity of a card and whether it is Golden or not.
Common - 40 Dust
Golden Common - 400 Dust
Rare - 100 Dust
Golden Rare - 800 Dust
Epic - 400 Dust
Golden Epic - 1600 Dust
Legendary - 1600 Dust
Golden Legendary - 3200 Dust
Arena
A Hearthstone game mode. In this mode, players can choose to either pay 150 Gold or real money ($1.99/£1.49/€1.79) to enter. In Arena, you are given a random draft of three classes to pick then must pick cards individually out of a choice of three cards until you have completed your deck. Unlike Constructed, there is no limit to how many copies of the same card you may possess in your deck.
In an Arena run, you compete against other players to win as many games as possible. An Arena run will end when you either win twelve times, retire, or lose three times. Winning Arena games will upgrade the key in your possession, which will improve the spoils (You will receive five boxes of rewards, each having a chance to contain Gold, Arcane Dust or a Pack). You are always guaranteed to get a pack of cards, but if you do well enough it is possible to get two. Generally speaking, a Diamond Key (7 wins or above) is usually required to earn back the Arena entry fee in Gold while a Lightforge Key (12 wins) will earn you the greatest possible reward.
Area of Effect
Spells or attacks that affect more than a single target and either specifies a certain general area or an area emanating from a source point.
Armor
A resource similar to Health, that can be gained through the hero powers Armor Up! and Shapeshift, or spells like Shield Block, Ice Barrier and Bite. Armor gets removed before Health when taking damage, but you lose the game if your Health drops to 0 even if you manage to gain some Armor after taking the damage.
Attack Power
The attack power of a minion is the amount of damage it can do on each attack.

B[edit]

Battlecry
An ability that is triggered immediately, when a minion is summoned.
Burn
Powers and cards played with the purpose of lowering the health of the enemy hero, disregarding board control.

C[edit]

Character
A character is either your hero or any minion on the battlefield.
Charge
This Ability lets a minion attack during the turn it is summoned.
Choose One
This Ability gives you the option to choose between two spell effects when playing a spell, or between two minion Battlecry effects when playing a minion. This ability is associated with the Druid class.
Combo
A card with the ability Combo gets the ability triggered it if is not the first card that is played that turn, i.e. it is played in a combo with another card. Playing The Coin does trigger the Combo ability. Hero Power does not enable Combo. This ability is associated with the Rogue class.
Constructed
Refers to any Hearthstone game mode in which the player is allowed to use decks they have built from their own card collection. In any constructed deck, the player is allowed a maximum of two of each common/rare/epic card and a maximum of one of each legendary card.
Control Deck
A deck that aims to win through board control. Usually these type of decks have high emphasis on removal spells and lack burn damage. Most notable archetypes are Handlock Control Warrior and Control Priest.
Coin
A card that is given to the player who is going second at the start of the match. It grants the player 1 extra Mana Crystal for one turn only when they use it.
Crafting

D[edit]

Deathrattle
Ability that is triggered when the minion dies.
Deck
The set of 30 cards that player uses in a game of Hearthstone. Player draws one card from the deck each turn until there are no cards left, after which the player will be Fatigued
Destroy
Remove a minion from the board. There is no damage dealt so Divine Shield is ignored.
Discover
When a Discover ability is activated player is presented with three random cards to choose from and to take into one's hand.
Disenchant
Disenchanting cards will give you Arcane Dust. It's good to use when you have many duplicates. Rarer cards provide more Arcane Dust. Basic cards cannot be disenchanted.
Common - 5 Dust
Golden Common - 50 Dust
Rare - 20 Dust
Golden Rare - 100 Dust
Epic - 100 Dust
Golden Epic - 400 Dust
Legendary - 400 Dust
Golden Legendary - 1600 Dust
Divine Shield
Absorbs one attack or spell/effect that deals damage before the minion itself takes any damage.
Dream Cards
Cards that a player draws at the end of each turn while having Ysera on the board.
Durability
Number of times a hero can attack with a weapon before it is destroyed.

E[edit]

Enrage
This Ability is triggered when a minion takes damage.

F[edit]

Fast decks
Typically all-out decks that play many small aggressive minions, trying to close out the game as early as possible, leading to fast victories or defeats.
Fatigue
When you are out of remaining cards in your deck and the start of your turn or a card effect makes you draw a card, you take fatigue damage. The first time you're out of cards, it's 1 damage, the second time, it's 2 damage, and so on until you or your opponent is dead.
Freeze
Cannot attack for one turn, Hero abilities can still be used (although Rogues and Druids would be unable to attack with said Hero abilities.

G[edit]

Gold
Gold is the in-game currency. It cannot be directly purchased, but is instead won through arena matches and/or playing in matchmade constructed games.

H[edit]

Health
The amount of life a card or hero has left before it is discarded or, in the case of a hero, loses the game.
Hit Points (HP)
See Health

I[edit]

Immune
Everything is ineffective and damage cannot be inflicted to you.
Inspire
An effect that activates when the owner of the minion uses a Hero Power.

J[edit]

K[edit]

L[edit]

M[edit]

Mana
Mana is used to play cards. Your current mana is displayed in the bottom right of the screen. Each card requires a certain amount of mana to be summoned. You start with one Mana; at the start of each player's turn mana is fully restored and the mana pool gets increased by one until both players have 10 Mana. Certain cards can increase a player's mana pool.
Medal
Medals were an early ranking system in Hearthstone. Players started at Apprentice and based on their ladder performance in ranked games could work their way up to a higher medal. You did not lose Medals for losing games. This system was replaced with the current ladder system before launch.
Mill Deck
Milling is the act of flooding your opponent's hand, making him discard cards due to drawing over the 10 card limit.
Minion
Minion is a character with health and attack values that players summon to the board by playing minion cards or certain spells such as Feral Spirit
Mulligan
To mulligan a card is to discard it from your initial hand and draw a replacement from the remaining deck. You are allowed to mulligan as many cards as you want from your initial draw, but this can only be done before turn 1.
Murloc Deck
Deck that focuses on Murlocs. One of the most aggressive decks in the game. Most commonly used by warlocks, since they can use Life Tap to draw a lot of cards to keep the aggression going. Very susceptible to Area of Effect.

N[edit]

O[edit]

One Turn Kill
A combination of cards that leads to killing an opponent in one turn.
OTK
See One Turn Kill
Overload
Reduces the amount of mana a player can use the next turn.

P[edit]

Pack
Hearthstone cards are purchased in packs. Each pack has five cards in them, at least one of them being Rare or of higher rarity. Packs may also contain Golden cards or multiples of same card. Packs are earned as rewards or can be bought from the in-game store.
Plain Card
A plain card is a minion which has no text on it, ie. it only has Mana Cost, Attack Power, and Hit Points.
Power
See Attack Power

Q[edit]

R[edit]

Ramp
The act of playing cards that add mana crystals to your mana pool in order to play high mana creatures faster than your opponent. This includes cards that increase your mana pool temporarily (The Coin and Innervate) or permanently (Wild Growth, Nourish).
Rarity
In order from least rare to most rare: Common(White), Rare(Blue), Epic(Purple), Legendary(Orange). Although it mainly determines how uncommon certain cards would appear in a Pack, it also determines the crafting cost (in Arcane Dust) of a card. Rarity does not necessarily correlate to power.
Removal
A term applied to cards that deal damage or Destroy one or more minions on the turn they are played.

S[edit]

Secret
A Spell that is triggered when a certain action occurs (ex. attacking an enemy minion). The identity of a secret is hidden from the opponent until it is triggered, portrayed only as question mark graphic above the casting hero's portrait.
Silence
This Ability removes any effects (ex. +1/+1, taunt) from the chosen target(s). This does not remove spells like Hex or Polymorph that turn the creature into something else, although it would remove the taunt from the Hexed creature. Casting silence on a creature that is silenced already does not remove the first silence. You can use silence on your own creatures however to remove enemy spells such as Humility that negatively affect your minions.
Slow decks
Decks that try to stall out the game until high mana turns where they can bring out impactful minions like Ancient of War, Ysera and Ragnaros.
Soulbound
Cards that belong to the Basic set. They cannot be disenchanted and are available for all players. Also Reward cards belong to this category.
Spell Damage
Each point of Spell Damage makes spells deal one additional damage. It also applies to some spells like Shadowflame and healing spells with Auchenai Soulpriest.
Standard Format
A type of game mode where only the recent 2 years of Hearthstone cards can be used. Classic and Basic cards are always usable in Standard.

After coming out of Standard rotation, cards are classed as Wild

Stealth
This Ability makes a minion untargetable by attacks or targeted spells/effects. They still take damage from Area of Effect spells/effects, and can still be hit from spells that hit a random target. They can also be hit by spells that target adjacent minions. An Explosive Shot that targets a minion will still do 2 damage to the stealthed minion next to it. Stealth is removed after the minion attacks.
Subtype
A Minion category that generally has synergies within its type and with some spells (example Timber Wolf and Kill Command). Currently, there are seven subtypes: Beast, Dragon, Demon, Mech, Murloc, Pirate and Totem.

T[edit]

Taunt
This Ability forces enemy characters to attack this minion before any other minion without taunt or your hero. If there are multiple minions with taunt you can choose which of them to attack.
TBD
To be determined - Something yet to be determined such as tournament participants, or release date. In terms of release dates, TBA (To be announced) can also be used.
Tempo
A general concept used not only in TCGs but also in other strategy games such as Chess and Starcraft that refers to who has the initiative in a game. If, for example, both players play some minions but yours can attack first, you are said to have tempo.
Tempo Deck
A deck designed to gain the initiative in a game, often through a lower Mana Curve, cards holding significant Value relative to their Mana cost, and a healthy dose of Control options. Not to be confused with a Rush Deck which will often aim to win the game outright in a short number of turns with a tiny Mana Curve.
Token
A card that is summoned by another card, such as Violet Apprentice, Gnoll, Silver Hand Recruit and Wicked Knife.
Token Deck
A deck that floods the board with small, weak minions using cards like Violet Teacher, Haunted Creeper or Muster for Battle to get high value from buffs such as Power of the Wild, Bloodlust, Hobgoblin and Savage Roar.
Top-Decking
Drawing a powerful card that turns the game around in your favor while faced with a major card disadvantage (i.e. either having no or very few cards on your hand or in play) compared to your opponent. A term often used in other card games (particularly YuGiOh where some deck archetypes were notorious for top-decking.)
Tribe
See Subtype

U[edit]

V[edit]

Value
Value can be defined in two different ways:
1. By the effects and stats of a card relative to its Mana and Card cost (if applicable.) For example, Novice Engineer is deemed to be a valuable card due to its "Draw a card" Battlecry, Knife Juggler can potentially provide great value each time you play a minion and the Dark Iron Dwarf is deemed very valuable for a 4 Mana 4/4 due to its Battlecry which grants an additional 2 Attack to a minion.
2. A metric used to describe the efficiency of a certain play. For example, the act of eliminating a Bluegill Warrior with an Elven Archer's Battlecry can be deemed valuable both in terms of card advantage and Mana cost due to a 1 Mana 1/1 minion eliminating a 2 Mana 2/1 Charge minion with only its Battlecry (meaning the attacker who played the Archer did not lose the minion in the process.)

W[edit]

Windfury
This Ability allows a minion to attack twice in one turn.
Wild Format (game type)
A game type that allows any card in Hearthstone to be used in a deck. Standard decks are allowed, but not the other way round. See Standard Format above for information.

X[edit]

Y[edit]

Z[edit]