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Hearthstone Podcast: Hero Abilities (part 2) 17

What do Hunters, Warriors, Druids, Shamans, and Warlocks have in common? They’re all being featured on this week’s podcast!

Last week we looked at the hero abilities for the Rogue, Mage, Paladin, and Priest heroes in Hearthstone. Now the other five launch-day heroes get their turn in the spotlight.

Half-geek-half-jock superster Dan joins me and provides some awesome insight on the hero abilities.

UPDATE: A few helpful readers explained to us that the Druid ability works differently than the text shows. I’ve adjusted the text and our power/flavor ratings for the Druid hero ability below to reflect the actual functionality, but the audio podcast is still incorrect. Sorry!

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The Links

hearthstone heroes


  • Dan is on the show this week
  • Topic: Hero Abilities
  • Reasons to be happy this week

Who is Dan?

  • History with card games
  • History with Blizzard games
  • Favorite class in WoW
  • Hunters carry cards?

What are Hero Abilities?

  • 9 Heroes in the game, each with a unique ability
  • 2 mana to use
  • Can be used once per turn, unlimited times during game

Hero Garrosh

Garrosh Hellscream

Orc Male Warrior

Ability: Gain 2 armor.


  • What Defines Warriors in WoW?
  • Our Impressions
  • Flavor Rating: 6,8
  • Power Rating: 9,7

Hero Guldan


Orc Male Warlock

Ability: Lose 2 health and draw a card.


  • What Defines Warlocks in WoW?
  • Our Impressions
  • Flavor Rating: 10,10
  • Power Rating: 8,11

Hero Malfurion

Malfurian Stormrage

Night Elf Male Druid

Ability: Shapeshift for one turn, becoming a bear that has 1 Attack and 1 Armor.


  • What Defines Druids in WoW?
  • Our Impressions
  • Flavor Rating: 10,10
  • Power Rating: 3,3

Hero Thrall


Orc Male Shaman

Ability: Summon a random totem. (4 unique options)


  • What Defines Shamans in WoW?
  • Our Impressions
  • Flavor Rating: 11,10
  • Power Rating: 8, 2/4/6/8/10

Hero Rexxar


Orc Male Hunter

Ability: Deal 2 damage to the enemy hero.


  • What Defines Hunters in WoW?
  • Our Impressions
  • Flavor Rating: 5,7
  • Power Rating: 8,7

Card of the Week

felguard hearthstone card
Felguard don’t care about your precious crystals


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About Josh

I'm a game designer at Daybreak. In my free time, I enjoy talking about games I love on podcasts and websites. I like people, and hope to someday make things out of wood.

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17 thoughts on “Hearthstone Podcast: Hero Abilities (part 2)

  • Host

    Guys you got druid all wrong. Shapeshift is just for this current turn. You turn into a beast, attack for 1 and you’re armored for counter attack for 1 dmg, and then you turn back into Malfurion. Very simple.

    • Josh Post author

      Thanks for the heads up on this, Host. You’re absolutely right on how the ability works. It’s a shame the description isn’t more clear, and I must’ve missed it in the fireside duels I watched. I’ve updated the text and my power/flavor rating.

  • Calidyn

    Hey, guys! This a brilliant show. Keep it up!

    Just a couple of thoughts..

    Regarding the warrior and warlock powers, I’ve heard a lot of people throwing around that Magic adage, that the only health point that matters is the last one. But, to be honest, I don’t think it really applies to Hearthstone, since the ways in which you can protect your health are a lot more limited (i.e. taunt.) And from what I’ve seen messing around with the deck testing application, health can go down pretty fast.

    Also, regarding some of the discussion from the last episode. Don’t the tokens summoned by the paladin have taunt? If so, I think that’d make it a pretty powerful ability. And I don’t think you can evaluate the priest ability without taking into account shadowform and the Auchenai Soul Priest. I think they give it amazing versatility, and make it a lot more interesting.

    PS: Gul’dan is a pretty important lore character. He’s essentially the guy who gave the other orcs Mannoroth’s blood and who led them through the dark portal. He formed the shadow council and created the original Death Knights. I think he’s the logical choice for the warlock hero.

    Rexxar, I don’t know much about, but I’ve heard his name thrown around as someone who would make a good warchief, so I guess he must be a pretty big deal.

    • Josh Post author

      Thanks for the insight and thoughts on this, Calidyn!

      You bring up a really good point about the speed at which player health can drop in Hearthstone, compared to Magic. It’s definitely a lot riskier to drop your own health pool or only worry about the last HP here. It’s kind of crazy what can happen if both sides start swinging at the hero non-stop. I do think there is some natural dissuasion from players doing that, because one player can simply focus on wiping the board while the other person swings out every turn. But you’re absolutely right.

      I haven’t seen anything that says that the 1/1 recruits summoned by the Paladin have taunt on them. That would make the ability way better, and probably a bit overpowered.

      Shadowform and SoulPriest can make the ability more interesting/powerful, but I’m not sure it really changes my opinion of the hero power. The mana cost for that added power comes on the card, so you’re paying for the difference in power/flexibility.

      There are a lot of class cards that could change how effective their hero power is in a situation (a mage could play a spell power card to boost their damage as well). It gets tricky when trying to judge them in context of every possible rare card they could have on the table. In this situation I prefer to keep them isolated and judge the hero abilities on their own, and then the cards on their own after. I’ll be sure to mention the cards when we do the Priest episode, though!

      Rexxar is kind of a nomad orc, originally from Nagrand like Thrall, I believe. He’s one of those solid people who always do the right thing, but don’t get involved in politics or bigger issues. He trusts good people like Thrall, and does anything he can to help them.

      Thanks for the reminder about Gul’dan! I thought it had something to do with the Dark Portal, but I couldn’t recall. It definitely seems like a good fit–I guess the lopsided nature of the race/sex selection is more a result of the lore in the game world than the hero selection.

  • Calidyn

    Never mind. I’m not sure where I got the idea that the Pally recruit had taunt. I just rewatched the Uther v. Garrosh from the livestream and he definitely doesn’t, which I guess does make the power pretty lackluster when compared to most of the others.

    It’s a good point that judging the power of the hero ability with regards to how it interacts with different cards isn’t the best approach. By referring to the Priest power as interesting, I was more talking about flavour, though. If I recall correctly, one of your specific criticisms was that it left the shadow aspect of priests out.

    I do think that the lack of diversity in heroes is partially a product of the lore (and the lack of lore and development for certain factions is certainly a fair critcism of Blizzard’s storytelling). That being said, Blizz did have some options. Sylvanas is a ranger who could’ve fit as a hunter (although I suppose the beast centric flavour of the deck doesn’t quite fit), and I would’ve much preferred Velen as the priest hero to Anduin.

    • Josh Post author

      Man, now you have me wishing the Paladin soldier did have Taunt 😉 That would be so cool.

      You’re absolutely right about the flavor side of things, in regards to the Priest power. I actually made Shadowform the card of the week on yesterday’s podcast, and the guest host brought up the Auchenai Soulpriest as well, so we talked about both. Thanks for the tip on that 🙂

      That’s a good point about Sylvanas, I’d kind of forgotten that she is a Hunter. Hopefully she’ll come in with more of the Marksmanship or Survival-style cards in a future update. Velen would’ve been rad, but I’m not surprised that they chose Anduin–they’ve been pushing hard in all mediums to try and make him a central character in the game lore. Hey, at least it’s not an orc 😉

  • Blackwolf

    As far as the Warlock hero power, how powerful would it be if you have “Lord Jaraxxus” in your hand? You can replace your current hero with him since your current health doesn’t factor in on the health you will have once you activate “Lord Jaraxxus.” Pop his hero power a few turns before you use that card and it becomes an overpowered card.

    • Josh Post author

      Haha, that’s a cool trick 🙂 I hadn’t thought about that combo specifically, but that definitely makes the health cost a little less troublesome. It still means you’re having to use the Lord Jaraxxus card a little earlier than you’d need to, but man, that card draw is sweet!

      I can’t wait to play around with all the fun Jaraxxus combos. Warlock looks super fun.