Today I was playing a game and had only my C'Thun on the board and my opponent (a Hunter) played a trap. I figured I was pretty safe as C'Thun would survive a damaging trap and I had an Innervate in my hand if he were to get returned. However, the Freezing Trap returned him to my hand and increased his cost by 2 (to bring it to 12) and when I played Innervate, it did nothing (kept my mana at 10 and did not allow C'Thun to be played).

It seems a bit overpowered for such a low cost trap card to essentially act as both a hard removal AND reduce your hand size by one (because you're then stuck with the useless 12-cost card in your hand), but aside from some sort of "Your minion costs are reduced by two" card, that seems to be the case.

Am I missing something? Is there a better way to defend against this aside from "Play a low cost minion, hope it doesn't die and attack with it first the next turn"?

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    I had allready thought about this scenario, as I was aware of it. I'm playing HS for allready more then 2 years continouse and active. I never run into this situation. I guess the only situation when one could encoutner this is, if he is not aware of this behaving, as you did. I really don't like the inconsistent moves of blizzard, where they self argue "keeping the card's texts short is more important, as a computer makes the rules rather as physical card games require an ruler" by saying "you will encounter it one time and then know it" while mostly its that one time what frustrates!
    – Zaibis
    Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 13:26
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    @Zaibis That is exactly what happened here. I made a decision based on what turned out to be a faulty assumption and lost the game because of it. It's just one game and I won't make that mistake again, but it is annoying. Separately, it's annoying that the game allows you to play Innervate while at 10 mana, completely wasting the card without any warning of "You're about to do something really dumb. Are you sure?" Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 13:29
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    Downvoter, I know it's your right not to, but if you cared to explain how this question could be improved or what the problem with it is, I would appreciate it. Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 16:05
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    @Kappei: anyway it would be consistent to either make this a part of the tutorial or make it clear on the card. same for wildgrowth. who expects to get a draw a card spell out of it if at 10 mana. when I noticed it some days later I expected same for inervate and... nope.... you can't argue here this is in any way consistent.
    – Zaibis
    Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 17:13
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    @Patashu: I'm aware of that, but could you provide me please an ingame source, describing this? No you can't. cause there is none! Thats just what I'm complaining about.
    – Zaibis
    Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 7:03

2 Answers 2


You cannot have more than 10 mana at once, so the only way to play a card more expensive than 10 mana is to reduce its cost to 10 or below. So, no you are not missing anything. The way to work against hunter traps generally is to deduce which trap it most likely is and play around it. In case of freezing trap it's using an expendable minion (or one with a good battlecry) to trigger it or use a card which destroys secrets (e.g. eater of secrets)

However, I don't see how this is overpowered. The likelihood of this situation occuring is fairly low and if it happens, you know it is a possibility and have to play around it. There is also the possiblity, that the hunter played misdirection and your own C'thun might have hit you in the face. Taking those two traps into account, it's an easy decision not to attack with C'thun until you have another minion to trigger the trap available or a card to destroy the secret, as the risk is simply too high. So unless, you are in a desperate situation anyway, there is little reason to take that risk.

Additionally take into account what other trap he could have played. Playing an explosive trap, when you only have a C'thun on board is utterly pointless, unless you'd die from the damage; the same applies to dart trap. Bear Trap only makes sense, when the hunter survives the hit from C'thun. Snake trap pointless as well, unless you want to trade, which is unlikely when using C'thun. Snipe? What's the point with a C'thun on board? Apart from that freezing trap is by far the most common hunter secret. So, you can see, unless the hunter was utterly desperate, there was little reason for him to play anything besides freezing trap or misdirection.

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    Note: OP actually isn't having trouble in deducing it had been a freezing trap and playing around(at least assumign to do so) but his problem actually had been the fact, that there is no information about it not beeing possible to aquire more then 10 crytals, not evne temporarily. While we learn in the tutorial, that we get each turn a mana crystal up to having 10, there is in the whole client and cards not even any mention of it beeing imposible to get more than 10 at all.
    – Zaibis
    Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 13:30
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    Thank you for your answer. In this case, I didn't even think that it would add 2 to the cost, but leave me unable to add 2 to my mana. I wrote the question while still bitter about my misunderstanding, and I appreciate polite, useful answers like yours. Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 13:35
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    I strongly disagree that playing another trap is pointless. If my opponent has nothing but a C'thun out and I don't have freezing trap in hand, I will happily play explosive, bear, or any other trap. As you so eloquently explain, this is very likely to stop them from attacking and buy me at least 1 more turn. Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 17:48
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    @MartianInvader A bluff play is usually hard to take seriously, when you have other options. It all depends on the hand, but putting your faith in a bluff is not something you should consider, when you have other reasonable options available. Besides, I'd argue that a situation, where you have to make a play to buy one more turn to maybe draw the salvation is a desperate situation.
    – Dulkan
    Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 18:35
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    It's not about "Putting your faith in a bluff". If you have 2 mana to spend then you have likely three options: Play the secret, play a low-cost minion, or hero power. In the case of the secret and hero power you're guaranteed to take the hit to the face because there's nothing preventing it. If you play the trap you're less likely to take the hit to the face. This likelihood (which you are estimating) determines the expected value of playing the trap over the other two. For instance, if it's 50/50 against a 10/10 c'thun, then the trap is worth ~5hp of potential value (not counting counters). Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 18:59

Yes, a 9 or 10 mana minion bounced back by a Freezing Trap becomes unplayable. There's (currently) no way to get above 10 mana and Cost-reducing effects for minions are very rare: as of today only 3 minions offer a cost-reducing effect, Emperor Thaurissan, Pint-Sized Summoner and Summoning Portal. Of these only Thaurissan sees play, since the other two have usually no immediate impact on the game state and can be easily removed. Also, in this specific case, Thaurissan would still require to be played after your C'Thun has been bounced back in hand AND survive for at least another turn after he's been played.

The "Play a low cost minion, hope it doesn't die and attack with it first the next turn" is exactly the way to play around Freezing Trap. Usually anyway the Freezing Trap is used way before turn 10 and most of the Hunter decks in the current meta use only one copy, so normally the chance of your C'Thun being bounced back is pretty low.

The perceived Overpowerednees of the trap is offset by the fact that it has to be played proactively, so the Hunter doesn't get the chance to target the minion to bounce, giving you the opportunity to play around it.

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    Clarify please what you mean by "unplayable" in "and Cost-reducing effects for minions are either rare or unplayable (Emperor Thaurissan, Pint-sized Summoner...)."
    – Zaibis
    Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 13:32
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    @Zaibis I've reworded the part of the answer you're talking about. My "unplayable" meant actually "so bad in the current meta that nobody uses it". I hope the edit is clearer.
    – Kappei
    Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 14:39
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    There are quiet a lot more then 3 of these. Just taking into account druid as thats what he played and neutrals. the druid legendary reduces minion costs to 1. from the new expansion there is also "naga sea witch" that sets card costs to 5 what is not a absolute reduce. but in this case would have made him play cthun anyways again. And for almost every other class I can think of at least one card that does it aswell... slight off hand
    – Zaibis
    Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 17:21
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    Also there is Alarm-O-Bot which will play it from hand. And other cases like if you froze Mal'Ganis then it can be pulled with Voidcaller. Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 19:01
  • @NateDiamond: true, but I left them out, as Kappei was explicite stating "cost reducing minions" If we just were talking about "cards that would have helped OP to get his c'thun played again", I could make a whole lsit for shaman. I even have a shaman deck based on this. and it runs pretty well. Like, in my 5 mana turn having malygos, ysera and deathwing on the board in companion of a ol shredder ;) It can sometimes backfire aswell but this are funny situations just enforced by reducing/alarmobot like effects.
    – Zaibis
    Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 7:08

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