Taunt is one of the keywords in Blizzard’s card game Hearthstone. This defensive mechanic is commonly present on minions throughout the entire game. A minion with Taunt is a sort of wall between your opponent’s minions or Hero and your Hero or other key minions. When a Taunt minion is on the board, your opponent can’t target your Hero and minions without Taunt. For example, if you have Sen'jin Shieldmasta and Chillwind Yeti on board, your opponent can’t target anything but Shieldmasta with their direct attacks.
Taunt is an evergreen keyword, a keyword that is not tied to a specific expansion and has been used across multiple sets already. It means that there’s a very high chance that it will appear again in future expansions.
Taunt Extra Information
- Taunt only limits the ability to target with “direct” attacks, so minion and weapon attacks. It has no effect on Spells, Hero Powers, Battlecries or other effects (e.g. Baron Geddon will still damage everything, even if minions with Taunt are present).
- If a player has multiple Taunt minions, they can all be targeted freely – but they will still block the opponent from targeting non-Taunt minions or Hero.
- Despite what the name might suggest, you aren’t “forced” to target Taunt minions. You just can’t target anything else. You can always choose to simply not attack with your minions or Hero if attacking into Taunt minions isn’t a viable option.
- Stealth and Immune effects temporarily deactivate Taunt because otherwise, having both on the same minion would introduce a mechanical conflict (minions with Stealth and Immune can’t be targeted).
- Taunt is one of the most important keywords in the game, especially in Aggro matchups, as it lets you stop your opponent from constantly hitting your Hero. Taunt minions are most valuable when your opponent wants to hit your Hero and kill you as fast as possible.
- You can also use your Taunt minion to protect other key minions. For example, if you have a minion with ongoing effect on the board, you should consider playing a Taunt minion alongside to keep it safe, especially against decks that don’t run many removal spells.
- When you try to protect yourself with a Taunt minion, always keep in mind that it will not protect you from Spells and other non-attack effects. Because of that, timing is important. When you wait with playing your Taunt minion too long and get down to low health, many decks can just kill you with burn damage (e.g. Fireball).
- Remember that building a balanced deck is important. A very common new player mistake is to put a deck full of Taunt minions to keep disrupting the opponent’s attacks. The problem with this strategy is that Taunt is usually a trade-off. A minion with Taunt will most likely have slightly lower stats, or maybe it won’t have another good effect that would help you win the game. While a deck with only Taunt minions might be good against minion-based Aggro decks, it will lose most of its matches against slower builds, where Taunt is useless. Most of the time, you shouldn’t include more than a few Taunt minions in your deck.
- Going even further, most of the time Taunts aren’t important when you build an Aggro deck. Since you will be the one dictating the pace of a match, having Taunt on your minions is useless and only costs you extra stats and/or effects.
- Keep in mind that Taunt minions aren’t forever and they aren’t an unbreakable wall. Just like any other minion, they can always be destroyed through effects like Assassinate, direct damage, or even transformed (e.g. Polymorph). You can hope that your opponent has no way to get through it, but you should always have a plan B.
- Taunt, just like any other ongoing effect, can be got rid of with Silence too. It’s often the most efficient way of doing so, given that Silence cards are usually cheap. The minion will stay on the board, but without Taunt it will only be able to trade into the minions one by one, which is often way too slow.
- Demon Hunter has a way to ignore Taunt minions altogether – Kayn Sunfury. As long as it’s on the board, Taunt keyword doesn’t have any effect. Right now it’s the only way to completely ignore Taunt minions in the game, but more might be released in the future.
List of Taunt Cards
A full list of Taunt cards is so long that copying it here would be pointless. Click here if you want to see it.
Here are some examples of cards with the Taunt keyword: