Many people (especially those new to the game) will wonder what the heck this card is. One of the most overlooked spells in the game, it is a trainable minion manipulation spell from a secret trainer in Marleybone. If you’re feeling a bit of deja-vu, you may be remembering an article a while back where we used Steal Health to get the badges “One in a Million” and “Elixir Vitae” at the same time.
This spell is typically disregarded and sees little use in competitive play, but it has some unique properties which make it different from the other (commonly seen as terrible) minion manipulation spells. I personally think it is an incredibly strong spell. It shines especially at lower levels, but higher level duelists can also make great use of it. Without further ado, lets get to the spell itself!
When you first see the card, it seems like a normal (not very useful) minion spell; however, upon further examination, the word “steal” becomes very interesting. What does this mean? The way the spell actually functions would make the dissection of the description look more like this:
- Deal 300 Death damage to minion
- Heal self for amount of damage dealt
In other words, it works exactly the same way as a drain spell (Ghoul, Vampire, Wraith,) except it heals you for all of the damage dealt instead of half.
Awesome! But some of you may wonder why exactly this is useful. Let me explain why this is so much more effective than the other minion manipulation spells.
First and foremost, it doesn’t have a set heal amount. This means that with the proper damage buffs, you can heal back for huge amounts of health (as used in the Elixir Vitae article). Likewise, it doesn’t have a set damage amount, so you aren’t necessarily sacrificing your entire minion for using it. This all makes it a somewhat flexible spell (within situational uses).
Steal Health can also be enchanted. Although treasure cards are still better at lower levels because the enchants only give half of their damage value, the spell could potentially look like this at higher ones:
Another point is that because this spell uses damage to calculate the heal, it completely goes around both Doom and Gloom and Infections. This is extremely helpful because this makes it so that there is no efficient way to shut down the heal (except, of course, to kill any minion that comes up).
Oh, by the way, it’s only one pip.
This brings me to my next point: this spell uses damage boost (not healing) to determine the amount of the heal. In addition, it also uses blades and traps to boost the damage. While this may not be ideal for a bladestacking Death wizard, any other Death wizard could use this spell to great extent with damage and critical (yes, it can critical,) boosts. Another bonus for Myth and Life wizards is that it will use the Death portion of the Spirit Blades. Also, it can remove Weaknesses on you (although they will reduce the heal). You can still get a solid heal while removing that Weakness, healing you up, and preparing you for the offensive. However, it also uses shields, so maybe don’t use it after protecting your minion with a Tower Shield.
Although it can be somewhat situational, this spell is a great tool to have. I keep them on my Magus Myth wizard, but I’m sure others can use it as well. I could see Death wizards making use of a Golem minion treasure card with this spell. It isn’t the kind of card to put lots of in a normal setup due to the limitations of the minion requirement, but I think it can be useful in a deck of any school. It also could be fun to experiment with a deck based around this card.
If you still aren’t convinced that this card has any use at all, here is a general scenario:
You are a Magus Myth wizard facing a Fire wizard. You are going second, and have a Volcanic shield and a Cyclops minion out. You are at around 1000/1500 health, and have 2 Mythblades and a Spirit Blade on, as well as a few Infections, while your opponent has their bubble up. They cast a Scald to destroy your minion, and you used a Weakness on them. Next turn would be a great time to Steal Health, especially since you know the minion will die anyways, you have a blade to buff it, and you will avoid the infections. After the heal, you should be alright to go offensive. This is a very general scenario, so please for my sake don’t go dissecting it or commenting about how it doesn’t perfectly mimic an arena setting.
Hopefully this has helped you get a sense of some of the benefits of Steal Health, and maybe you can put it in a deck or two of your own.