"When I deal Damage" applying through Barrier or Entangle

What you were expecting to happen, and what actually happened?
The Silvermaiden had barrier. Was hit by spider swarm. Got poisoned

What are the steps to make it happen again?
Use Silvermaiden. Get barrier from casting spell. Get hit by a Venomous troop

Do you have any screenshots or video you want to share with us so we can see the problem? Attach them to your post!

No, but it’s so easy to replicate, they shouldn’t be needed. Fairly simple problem, too.

Poison is applying through barrier. Global chat seems to suggest that Wraith is applying status effects through Entangle as well, and Draakulis has his trait trigger when entangled even though it says “when I deal skull damage”

Tl;dr: Something is wrong with on-hit things. They are triggering even when they are not doing damage. Just want to make sure the devs have this on their radar.

Edit: There were no four or five matches in my example, with Spider Swarm. However, I cannot attest that the other people having similar problems had this happen on three skull matches.


“Touch” trait status effects (Chill Touch, Death Touch, Venemous, Plague Touch, Aflame, Knockout, Snare, and possibly Silence!) only apply if the damage dealt when matching skulls was above zero eg., with 4 or 5 matches even if entangled. It doesn’t matter if the damage is completely absorbed by the barrier or hits only armor, this still counts as “dealing damage” for the purposes of this trait. Agile will also prevent the status effects from applying, though, if it triggers. Psion’s Siphon also seems to fit into this category.

On skull hit “procs”, like Maw’s old hunger (presumable extends to Kruarg’s Voracious), Assassinate, and Bullseye will trigger even if you are at zero attack, and get a simple match 3 skulls. They dont care about Barrier or Entangle. Have not ever observed Agile and these traits triggering at the same time, but my assumption is it would not matter. Based on my observations with pre-nerf Hunger, this is because Hunger would need to trigger before skull damage is even tested to properly devour the correct target. In the patches right before Hunger was changed and after Impervious was buffed, a Hunger trigger would completely nullify your own skull damage so it wouldn’t “spill over” to the next troop, leaving you doing no damage to Impervious troops when it triggered.

Buff from skull hits like Maw’s current Hunger, Virtue of Courage (and presumably Drakkulis third trait) don’t care whether or not damage was actually dealt, only when skulls are matched (though attack cannot be buffed while entangled). Drakkulis fits into this category presumably because he used to be able to gain life in any slot, but the trait was changed to only work if he was in the first position. Since this was changed on a weekly push and not a major patch, it is highly unlikely they re-coded the entire trait.

Traits that trigger when the user takes skull damage, eg., Bone Dragon’s Frozen Soul triggers regardless if the user takes damage. Presumably, Sheggra’s third trait also works like this. Have not tested how Hydra’s trait interacts with this, but presumably it deals damage regardless if any damage was dealt.

I’ve heard reports that Gloom Leaf can reflect potential skull damage even if he has barrier regardless of damage was dealt, but I can’t personally attest to this. If no damage was done due to attack being zero or the user having entangle, though, none is reflected.

I believe most of these are working as intended (and have always worked this way) but we could use more consistency or clarification with different language. For example, traits that require the user to “take damage” will only apply if the user’s life is reduced, but traits triggering when you “deal skull damage” only need to “hit” the target regardless of if they have barrier or armor left. Perhaps the language should be changed to “when I hit with skulls”, which would make it more clear in what they do and differentiate them, but this could still provoke some confusion on the entangle issue, as a zero damage hit counts as a miss.

“When I match skulls” makes more sense for Assassinate, in my opinion but I believe they had the description as something similar and people complained that they thought it meant the trait could work regardless of the Assassin’s position.


A skull hit on Barrier counts as skull damage (as there are damage numbers), it just gets absorbed by Barrier rather than hitting armor (the same way armor absorbs damage before hitting life), it still counts as damage dealt. That is unlike Entangle or Agile proc, which prevents any damage from being dealt.

In short: “on skull damage” status effects would apply when hitting barrier, but not when entangled or Aglie procs. That is my experience with Wraith encounters as well.


Agreed. Shame though, would be nice if the Barrier also negated the side-effects of the attack.


Psion’s Siphon is different, and I have no idea why, but if he’s entangled he cannot siphon. It doesn’t matter if you match 4+ and do damage, it still won’t trigger. I haven’t checked but I would guess that if his attack is reduced to 0 by other means (debuffs) then he also wouldn’t ever siphon.

@Simon - Here is a video of the trait activating while entangled:

Odd though, I remember someone else claiming this as well. If it works differently specifically for skill spam, why? The single match fours didn’t trigger Siphon in the clip, but Siphon does not show a trait activation if the enemy does not have any mana regardless, so that is not confirmation one way or the other that single match 4/5s work differently. That one is a bit harder to set up.

Hmm, I just tried fighting against an entangled Psion and his Siphon DID activate on a critical hit. I don’t know if they stealth fixed it or what, but I’m positive it used to not work, because I remember the first time I saw it I thought maybe I was confused because it was so odd. I made sure to watch carefully whenever I fought Psion.

You gotta get philosophical to understand: dealing zero skull damage is a member of the “deal X skull damage” subset, which is what triggers all those abilities. Zero is a number, after all.

Would this be the Same as my double BD team not able to break a barrier with skull hits (doesn’t take the shield points either) but I’ve had the opponent be able to completely ignore my barrier with BD. I’ve not seen it happen with any other troop but BD against my silvermaiden