There is a veritable lexicon associated with card games such as this so let’s just focus on the need-to-know terms attached to the minion cards that, once understood, will open up a whole new world of strategic possibilities.
A minion’s battlecry is a special ability that only comes into effect when it’s played from your hand and is active for that glorious moment only. If a card with battlecry finds its way onto the board by any other means, the requirement of it being played from your hand is not met and the battlecry will not come into effect.
Prep those hankies, because a minion has to die to knock this one out, as evident by the name. Again, if the minion is removed from the board in any other way that does not culminate in its tragic demise, it doesn’t count and the deathrattle won’t come into play.
You’ll notice that when a minion is placed on the board, the lazy little sod will just lie there having a kip until your next turn, completely oblivious to the gravity of the situation, probably mumbling in its sleep and haphazardly drooling all over the place. In another time and place, this might be known as ‘summoning sickness’ so suddenly a little saliva isn’t looking so bad.
A minion imbued with the charge ability has essentially quaffed a flagon of the strongest coffee, crunched its way through a packet of Pro Plus and is raring to go as soon as it hits the board. The charge ability is unaffected by the means by which the minion found its way to the board, presumably because it’s so buzzed.
Minions with taunt are extremely annoying or extremely useful, depending on whether it’s in your hand or your opponent’s. When placed on the board, the opposing player cannot attack anything or anyone else until the minion with taunt (the big shield around the card will tip you off) has been dispatched.
Taunt only applies to attacks, not spells. In addition, if you have more than 1 minion with taunt on the board, your opponent can pick which minion with taunt to attack. Be aware that there are certain abilities that can bypass Taunt entirely.
A magical, some might say divine, shield that negates the first attack against the minion with this ability. This applies to spell damage too. After the initial attack, divine shield will disappear and it will become vulnerable once again.
While smugly enjoying the benefit of Divine Shield, these minions are still susceptible to the effects of instakill abilities as they don’t actually deal damage. They can also be incapacitated by abilities like Silence.
A minion with windfury can attack twice per turn, potentially sticking a big ol' bullseye over its head for your opponent. The good news is that if a minion has already attacked and receives this ability during the same turn, it can attack again immediately without having to wait for your next turn to roll around.
Enrage activates when a minion takes damage and its health drops. In the majority of cases, once Enrage is in effect, it will exponentially increases a minion’s attack stat during that hero's turn. This is worth bearing in mind because if its health is fully restored, Enrage is deactivated.
A stealthy minion is impervious to being targeted by an opponent’s attacks or spells because it’s so stealthy. That being said, they can still take damage from attacks that don’t target specific minions, for example attacks that dish out damage at random on the board or area of effect attacks. It is entirely possible for a minion using stealth to be killed this way, but very unlikely.
A minion will lose the stealth ability as soon as you use it to attack, allowing your opponent to target it directly. Stealth trumps Taunt, so if a minion in stealth mode has Taunt, it can't be targeted until it attacks and comes out of stealth.
Once a minion or hero has been frozen, they cannot attack until the next turn. In the case of frozen heroes, you can still play cards and use hero powers but you can’t attack with a weapon. If you never had this ability to begin with, you can frolic through the ice singing about how you’re totally unfazed both by this turn of events and cooler temperatures in general.
This is applicable to Mages, Paladins and Hunters only. A secret is a spell card that the opposing player is unable to see any details for (but they will be notified when a secret has been played). They’re class specific and will only activate once their trigger conditions are met. As the conditions are based on your opponent’s moves, the secrets will trigger during their turn and so this is the only time when a player’s actions can be interrupted.