API UnitAura

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Retrieve info about a certain buff on a certain unit.

name, icon, count, debuffType, duration, expirationTime, source, isStealable, 
  nameplateShowPersonal, spellId, canApplyAura, isBossDebuff, castByPlayer, nameplateShowAll, timeMod, ...
= UnitBuff("unit", index[, "filter"])


String (unitId) - unit whose auras to query.
Number or String - index (from 1 to 40)
String (optional) - list of filters, separated by spaces or pipes. "HELPFUL" by default. The following filters are available:
HELPFUL - buffs.
HARMFUL - debuffs.
PLAYER - auras that were applied by the player.
RAID - auras that can be applied (if HELPFUL) or dispelled (if HARMFUL) by the player.
CANCELABLE - buffs that can be removed (such as by right-clicking or using the /cancelaura command)
NOT_CANCELABLE - buffs that cannot be removed


1. name 
String - The name of the spell or effect of the buff, or nil if no buff was found with the specified name or at the specified index. This is the name shown in yellow when you mouse over the buff's icon.
2. icon 
Number (fileID) - identifier of the texture used for the buff's icon.
3. count 
Number - The number of times the buff has been applied to the target.
4. debuffType 
String - The magic type of the buff
5. duration 
Number - The full duration of the buff in seconds
6. expirationTime 
Number - Time the buff expires (compare to GetTime())
7. source 
String - The unit that cast the buff
8. isStealable 
Boolean - true if it is stealable
9. nameplateShowPersonal 
Boolean - true if the buff should be shown on the player/pet/vehicle nameplate
10. spellId 
Number - spell ID of the aura.
11. canApplyAura 
Boolean - true if the player can apply the aura (not necessarily if the player did apply the aura, just if the player can apply the aura).
12. isBossDebuff 
Boolean - true if the aura was cast by a boss.
13. castByPlayer 
Boolean - true if the aura was applied by a player.
14. nameplateShowAll 
Boolean - true if the buff should be shown on nameplates
15. timeMod 
Number - scaling factor used for displaying time left
16 and subsequent. ... 
Additional values, documented as up to 11 but possibly more, based on the specifics of the aura in question.


UnitAura("target", 1) 
the first buff on the target
UnitAura("target", 1, "PLAYER HARMFUL") 
the first debuff cast by the player on the target

The following macro prints the names of any stealable buffs on the current target, or a notice if nothing is stealable:

/run local y,n,s,_ for i=1,40 do n,_,_,_,_,_,_,s=UnitAura("target",i)if s then print(n.." on target, steal it!")y=1 end end if y~=1 then print("No stealable buffs.")end


  • Spell ranks were removed in Patch 4.0 (Cataclysm), so the rank argument to this function is largely useless today.
  • Some filters are mutually exclusive. Using "HELPFUL HARMFUL" together will return no results, since no aura can be both a buff and a debuff at the same time. Using "CANCELABLE NOT_CANCELABLE" will also return no results, since no buff can be both removable and unremovable.
  • The debuffType return value is not localized.
  • The UnitBuff function is an alias for using UnitAura with the "HELPFUL" filter. The UnitDebuff function is an alias for using UnitAura with the "HARMFUL" filter. Both aliases will ignore the "HELPFUL" and "HARMFUL" filters, but will accept other filters.

Patch changes

  • Battle for Azeroth Patch 8.0.1 (2018-07-17): Removed querying by name, Removed Rank return.
  • Legion Patch 7.0.3 (2016-07-19): Added nameplateShowAll and timeMod; shouldConsolidate changed to nameplateShowPersonal.
  • Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.1.0 (2012-11-27): isCastByPlayer moved from #17 to #14 after isBossDebuff so that the value[1-n] are at the end and can expand beyond 3 returns.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.2.0 (2011-06-28): Re-added the return values canApplyAura and isBossDebuff, and added return values value[1-3].
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.0.1 (2010-10-12): Removed the return values canApplyAura and isBossDebuff.
  • Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.3.0 (2009-12-08): Added shouldConsolidate and spellId.
  • Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.1.0 (2009-04-14): Changed isMine to unitCaster. It is now possible for addons to retrieve the unitId that cast the buff/debuff.
  • Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.0.2 (2008-10-14): Added as a combination of UnitDebuff and UnitBuff.

See also