Take control

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Control effects or mind control effects are effects which allow a player to seize control of an enemy card.

Controlled minions and locations are treated as belonging to the controlling player for all purposes. Minions can be directed to attack its former allies and owner, and will immediately be transferred to the controlling player's side of the battlefield, to the far right of the board. The ability of a controlled location can be immediately used after transferring to the opposing board.

Take control effects are some of the most notorious effects in the game, and are most commonly associated with priests.

Far more rarely, take control effects can steal control of cards such as Secrets and Weapons instead of minions. As of Patch 30.0.0.203120, the only cards to feature this ability are  Kezan Mystic,  Kobold Stickyfinger, and  The Harvester of Envy.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • Control is generally a permanent state change, and as such cannot be changed through Silences, Return effects or other means. The exceptions to this are cards like  Shadow Madness and  Potion of Madness, which grant temporary control of a minion through a one-turn enchantment.
  • If a player activates a take control effect when their side of the battlefield is already full (i.e. they have the maximum 7 minions), the mind controlled minion will be instantly destroyed. Any Deathrattle that activates as a result of this will trigger as if their opponent still controlled the minion. It is often a good idea for a player to choose to intentionally destroy one of their own minions in order to be able to seize control of one of their opponent's, especially by sacrificing a weak minion in order to gain control of a very powerful one.
    • A similar effect occurs when a Secret is controlled and there is no "room" for it due to an identical secret being active already: A secret is destroyed instead of stolen if all active enemy secrets are duplicates of friendly ones.[1]
  • As with summoning effects such as  Mirror Image and  Feral Spirit, mind controlled minions will always join the board on the far right. Anticipating this can allow for superior placement of minions, important for positional effects. When planning to summon other minions that turn, the player can use the timing of the mind control effect to allow them to determine the final placement of the mind controlled minion. For example, a player with a  Shieldbearer already on the board may take control of a  Flametongue Totem, before then summoning a  Sludge Belcher to the right of it, thereby ensuring the Totem's is placed between the two minions, making the most of its buff.
  • Minions that have just been mind controlled are normally exhausted for one turn and cannot attack, just as with minions that were summoned that turn.
    • Cards like  Shadow Madness and  Potion of Madness do not cause its target to be exhausted, allowing it to attack - the effect only lasts until end of turn, and would otherwise be nearly useless.
    • Charge affects mind control exhaustion just as it affects summoning exhaustion - minions with that ability can attack on the same turn they are mind controlled.

Cards[edit | edit source]

For Wild format listings, see Take control/Wild format.


Swipe left or right to see the cards.
YOG 516t.png
VAC 959t01t.png
VAC 959t01.png
CORE EX1 085.png
CORE EX1 016.png
YOG 516.png
WW 373.png

Comparison[edit | edit source]

As of Patch 30.0.0.203120, there are 28 control effects in the game:

Some examples are listed in the table below:

Card Type Class Cost Target Duration Conditions
 Shadow Madness Spell Priest 3 Targeted End of turn Target has 3 or less Attack
 Mind Control Spell Priest 10 Targeted Permanent None
 Mind Control Tech Minion (Battlecry) Neutral 3 Random Permanent Opponent has 4 or more minions
 Sylvanas Windrunner Minion (Deathrattle) Neutral 6 Random Permanent Deathrattle is activated
 Kezan Mystic Minion (Battlecry) Neutral 4 Random Permanent Opponent has a Secret in play
 Embrace Darkness Spell Priest 6 Targeted Permanent Control shifts at beginning of player's next turn
 Treachery Spell Warlock 3 Targeted Permanent None (but player's own minion)
 Kobold Stickyfinger Minion (Battlecry) Neutral 5 - Permanent Opponent has a Weapon equipped
 Silas Darkmoon Minion (Battlecry) Neutral 7 - Permanent Swaps the outmost minions between both players
 Yogg-Saron, Master of Fate Minion (Battlecry) Neutral 10 Random Permanent 19% chance to cast  Mindflayer Goggles
 Najak Hexxen Minion (Battlecry) Priest 4 Targeted Until destroyed None
 The Harvester of Envy Minion (Triggered effect) Priest 3 Pre-determined Permanent A copy of the target needs to be played
 Kidnap Spell Rogue 2 Chosen by opponent Until destroyed Opponent plays a minion
 Sylvanas, the Accused Minion (Battlecry) Neutral 6 Targeted Permanent Must be Infused first

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Control is one of the few minion properties which are not displayed anywhere on the minion or in their text, instead being indicated by the side of the board on which the minion appears.

References[edit | edit source]

 
  1. Ben Brode on Twitter (X). (2014-12-02).