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Dealing with area-of-effect damage in Hearthstone

How to avoid being wiped out on the game board.

Even if you have a favourite class that you play above all others, we always recommend taking time to familiarise yourself with every class-specific card in the game. Knowledge is power in Hearthstone, and the more familiar you are with all of the possible plays that could be coming your way on your opponent's next turn, the better prepared you'll be to play your own hand safely first.

This is particularly important when it comes to area-of-effect clearance spells and abilities which can strike multiple enemies. It's one thing to dominate the board by throwing your entire hand onto the table, but if your opponent has more cards in hard - including one that can obliterate your board with a single play - they'll rapidly take control of the match, and leave you playing a deadly game of catch-up.

It's for this reason that we've put together a quick and easy-to-reference guide to some of the most devastating mass-minion removal spells available to each class. It's by no means a comprehensive guide to survival, and you should still take extra time to memorise the entire roster of cards, but if you can commit each of the following to memory and play your own cards to minimise their impact, you'll be well on your way to ranking further up the ladder.


Lightning Storm comes with an Overload price, limiting the amount of Mana available to the Shaman next turn. Still, this is a very common early response to aggressive decks.

3 Mana - Lightning Storm "Deal 2-3 damage to all enemy minions. Overload: (2)"


It's always worth playing a more controlling game against the Paladin, and making smart minion trades in anticipation of a common early Consecration. Watch out for devastating late-game use of this spell in conjunction with Equality too.

4 Mana: Consecration "Deal 2 damage to all enemies."


The Mage arguably has the most powerful board removal spell in the game in the form of Flamestrike. Always assume the Mage has one in hand as you approach turn seven (turn six if they have The Coin).

1 Mana: Arcane Explosion "Deal 1 damage to all enemy minions."

6 Mana: Blizzard "Deal 2 damage to all enemy minions and Freeze them."

7 Mana: Flamestrike "Deal 4 damage to all enemy minions."


Druids don't have the strongest removal spells overall, but Swipe is a particularly nasty card that can be used to make light work of aggressive decks that rely on pushing low power minions onto the board.

4 Mana: Swipe "Deal 4 damage to an enemy and 1 damage to all other enemies."

5 Mana: Starfall "Deal 5 damage to a minion; or 2 damage to all enemy minions."


5 Mana: Holy Nova "Deal 2 damage to all enemies. Restore 2 Health to all friendly characters."


Explosive Trap is one of the more popular removal spells for the Hunter class, and is yet another reminder of the importance of careful minion positioning. Don't just throw 'em onto the board!

2 Mana: Explosive Trap "When your hero is attacked, deal 2 damage to all enemies."

4 Mana: Multi-Shot "Deal 3 damage to two random enemy minions."

5 Mana: Explosive Shot "Deal 5 damage to a minion and 2 damage to adjacent ones."


As well as the Warrior's mighty weapons, he can also draw on a couple of spells to finish off the weaker elements of an opponent's board.

1 Mana: Whirlwind "Deal 1 damage to ALL minions."

2 Mana: Cleave "Deal 2 damage to two random enemy minions."


The Rogue depends on combos to fire most of its removal spells off, but pay particular attention to Betrayal. Like the Hunter's Explosive Shot, it's important to position your minions carefully.

2 Mana: Betrayal

"Force an enemy minion to deal its damage to the minions next to it."

2 Mana: Blade Flurry "Destroy your weapon and deal its damage to all enemies."

3 Mana: Fan of Knives "Deal 1 damage to all enemy minions. Draw a card."


Like all the best Warlock cards, the class's removal spells come with a price. Hellfire will do three damage to everyone and everything (including you!), while Shadowflame demands the price of a minion for its impact on the board.

3 Mana: Hellfire "Deal 3 damage to ALL characters."

4 Mana: Shadowflame "Destroy a friendly minion and deal its Attack damage to all enemy minions."

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John Bedford avatar

John Bedford


John is Metabomb's Editor in Chief and looks after the day to day running of the site when he's not writing about Hearthstone.