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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: [Hearthstone Science] TGT Science #02: Coldarra Drake/Garrison Commander - Trigger or Aura?

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Hello everyone. Coldarra Drake and Garrison Commander are a brand new kind of ability

in Hearthstone, that work by refreshing your exhausted Hero Power when played and when

your Hero Power is used. So how does it work - is it an Aura? Or a Trigger? Or is it kind

of both? In this video I'll be using both cards interchangably, since they function


The first thing we notice is that when this minion is summoned, not just when it's played,

it refreshes your Hero Power. We tested Mirror Entity, Kel'Thuzad, Resurrect and Deathlord

in total.

We also tested using a Faceless Manipulator on Garrison Commander. It refreshes the Hero

Power just fine.

So when you summon Garrison Commander, with what timing does he refresh your Hero Power?

We tested by playing Deathlord, Explosive Sheep and Explosive Sheep in that order. We

fill our deck with Garrison Commander using Gang Up, then use our Hero Power and Flamestrike.

The Deathrattles trigger in order of play in a single Death Phase, and we see Garrison

Commander enter play, become mortally wounded due to the explosions, and then refresh our

Hero Power as he dies.

Now, let's test playing a Deathlord then an Anub'ar Ambusher, and having them both die

simultaneously. The Deathrattles trigger in order of play in a single Death Phase, and

we see Garrison Commander enter play and immediately be bounced back to our hand. This time, our

Hero Power is NOT refreshed.

Finally, let's use the Vaporize + Freezing Trap bug to put a Coldarra Drake in our hand

that will die when played the first time Death Processing is run. If you haven't seen this

bug before, it works because the 'pending destroy' aka TO_BE_DESTROYED tag is not cleared

when a minion is bounced OR played. When we play this bugged Coldarra Drake, we first

see Questing Adventurer trigger, and then our Hero Power refreshes as the Coldarra Drake


So what can we conclude from all of these tests? It seems that Garrison Commander does

NOT trigger the moment it's summoned, or else our Hero Power would have been refreshed in

the Anub'ar Ambusher test. So it must trigger between Phases, but in which step? Recall

the test where the Deathlord and two Explosive Sheep were all killed by Flamestrike simultaneously.

As has been proven in previous videos, between Phases we do Aura Update (Health/Attack),

Death Processing Step where 0 Health and 'pending destroy' minions are removed from play, Aura

Update (Other) and then proceed to the next Phase, or a Death Phase to run on-death triggers

if anything died.

It doesn't trigger in the Aura Update (Other) Step, which is after the Death Processing

Step, or else the Hero Power wouldn't have been refreshed in the Deathlord and Explosive

Sheep test. Our conclusion is therefore that it triggers in the Aura Update (Health/Attack)

Step, which is now rather inappropriately named.

Now that you know what to expect, let's watch the two tests involving Deathlord a second


But things get weirder from here. What should happen if you use your Hero Power to kill

your own Coldarra Drake? Going by what we just found out, the Hero Power should refresh

in the Aura Update (Health/Attack) Step before the Coldarra Drake is removed from play in

Death Processing.

...Yet when we try this, our Hero Power is NOT refreshed.

Even if we use our Hero Power to kill an Explosive Sheep, which itself kills the Garrison Commander,

we still don't see our Hero Power get refreshed. What's going on?

It turns out that for the Hero Power Sequence, Coldarra Drake does not trigger between Phases

but is instead an Inspire trigger. Notice how our Hero Power is refreshed by the Coldarra

Drake, in order of play, with other Inspire triggers, before and after. Why would this

be needed if it triggers in Aura Update (Health/Attack)?

There is also one more oddity. In this footage from Disguised Toast, we see that stealing

an enemy Coldarra Drake does NOT refresh your Hero Power. Since playing, summoning and using

your Hero Power all work fine, albeit in different ways, this definitely seems to be a bug.

Let's investigate further. We'll do the Deathlord/Explosive Sheep/Explosive Sheep test again, but this

time using our Hero Power to kill an Explosive Sheep to kill those 3 minions simultaneously,

instead of a Flamestrike. What we find out is that the Garrison Commander summoned this

way refreshes our Hero Power before dying, even though it's in the Hero Power Sequence!

Our final conclusion is therefore that Coldarra Drake and Garrison Commander trigger the following

ways: 1) Once in the next Aura Update (Health/Attack)

Step after being Summoned/Played/Transformed into

2) As a Trigger in the Inspire Phase

Finally, what happens if you play Garrison Commander and replace your Hero Power or Hero?

The tag HEROPOWER_ACTIVATIONS_THIS_TURN, which is on your Player Entity, is reset whenever

your Hero Power is replaced, which means you get two MORE Hero Power activations each replacement.

We tested both replacing your Hero with Ragnaros the Firelord, and replacing your Hero Power

by casting Shadowform.

Thanks for watching.

The Description of [Hearthstone Science] TGT Science #02: Coldarra Drake/Garrison Commander - Trigger or Aura?