- Divine Shield
What is Divine Shield in Hearthstone?
Hearthstone has many card effects that are common enough that they get their own keyword - a word or two that immediately tells you how the card works. Let's take a look at the Divine Shield keyword.
The first time a Shielded minion takes damage, ignore it.
Divine Shield is a mechanic that will prevent the first source of damage it takes, then the shield "pops" (as is referred to by fans). Just like Stealth, Divine Shield is an effect of a minion and an ability of a minion. A minion that naturally has Divine Shield will always start with the shield. If the shield disappears however, the card text remains unaffected. Divine Shield will not protect a minion from being killed by destroy effects. Minions can only hold one Divine Shield at a time, but can be given another one if one it had previously disappears.
Divine Shield is flavorfully and mechanically associated with the Paladin class, although the mechanic can be found on Neutral cards. With only two exceptions (Al'Akir the Windlord and Elixir of Purity), all class cards with Divine Shield are Paladin cards.
Keywords that Work Great with Divine Shield
Divine Shield can be added to a Taunt minion, granting it extra resilience against enemy attacks.
Divine Shield also works great with Rush minions, allowing it to trade and develop a board without losing the minion.
Adding Divine Shield to a Lifesteal minion will also allow it to survive longer, dealing more damage, thus healing you more.
Playing Against Divine Shield in Hearthstone
The best way to pop a Divine Shield is to deal the minion amount of damage possible. Mage can simply just use Fireblast to remove a Divine Shield. Druid, Rogue, Demon Hunter, and Paladin to a lesser extent, can also simply use their Hero Power to remove Divine Shields, although it does carry a caveat compared to Mage.
Divine Shield doesn't prevent it from dying to hard removal effects such as Assassinate or Twisting Nether, meaning that these cards will be able to deal with a minion with a shield if you can't remove it.
Silencing a minion with a Divine Shield will also remove its shield as well as any other effects and enchantments it has.
Blood Knight can be used against decks centered around Divine Shield minions, removing their shields and creating a huge minion for only 3 mana.
If your opponent is a class other than Paladin, the only sources of Divine Shield in their deck are all Neutral cards (apart from the two exceptions mentioned earlier), although they may still be able to generate a Paladin card with Divine Shield from outside the game with a card effect.
Example Divine Shield Hearthstone Cards
Righteous Protector is a Paladin minion that combines Taunt and Divine Shield together, which will end up delaying the opponent from attacking other sources. It can also be considered an example of power creep as it's strictly better than Argent Squire, which is a card that used to see play. Argent Squire however can be played in other classes, and an argument can be made that class cards are supposed to be slightly better than Neutral cards.
Steward of Darkshire is a card that grants Divine Shields to other minions. Whenever you summon a 1-Health minion (by any means) while you control her, she will give the minion a Divine Shield allowing otherwise fragile minions to survive longer. It also makes the Hero Power stronger as all Silver Hand Recruits summoned will gain a shield from her.
Zilliax combined Divine Shield with a myriad of other keywords, and was one of the most universally played cards in the entire game during its Standard lifespan. Even in Wild though, don't expect this card to disappear any time soon.
Tirion Fordring is the Classic Legendary card for Paladins, boasting Taunt and Divine Shield. Upon death, it will equip a 5/3 weapon (Ashbringer) allowing you to continue swinging (pun not intended) for the game.