Bloodlust effect

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This article is about bloodlust and heroism abilities in general. For the shaman spell specifically, see [Bloodlust].

A bloodlust effect, bloodlust ability, or simply "a bloodlust" ("heroism" may also be used in place of "bloodlust" in any of these cases) is one of several effects that significantly increases haste for 40 seconds for all raid members, with an effective 10 minute cooldown. The true bloodlust effects are the shaman abilities [Bloodlust] and [Heroism], the mage spell [Time Warp], and the hunter pet abilities [Ancient Hysteria] and [Netherwinds]. Those abilities and their associated buffs and debuffs function identically to each other, and are often referred to interchangeably.


The true bloodlust effects are identical except for their names. All "increase melee, ranged, and spell casting speed by 30% for all party and raid members" and last 40 seconds. All are instant cast abilities. The cooldowns are 5 minutes for the player spells and 6 minutes for the pet abilities - however this is usually irrelevant due to their application of a 10 minute debuff to all targets affected, which prevents those characters from being receiving a similar ability's effects. The debuff is not cleared by death, but is cleared when a raid boss resets due to a wipe.

Bloodlust effects cannot be used in arenas. The 40 second buff provided is magical, which means it can be dispelled and is vulnerable to [Mass Dispel].

Bloodlust effects play distinctive sounds when used (even if nobody is actually affected due to the debuff) and increase the size of those affected by 30%.

Several effects of "war drum" leatherworking items were similar but inferior to the true bloodlust effects. These items have been phased out entirely past level 90.

Ability Haste Class Level Requirements Debuff Cooldown Cost Sound
[Bloodlust] +30% Shaman 50 Horde-only Sated 5 min 21.5% of
base mana
[Heroism] Alliance-only Exhaustion Heroism_Cast
[Time Warp] Mage 80 Temporal Displacement 4% of base mana SPELL_MA_Timewarp_Impact
[Ancient Hysteria] Hunter 65 Beast Mastery & Core hound pet Insanity 6 min None Bloodlust_player_cast_head
[Netherwinds] Nether ray pet Fatigued
 [Drums of Rage] 25% Any Any Use does not require
Level 90 or below
Exhaustion 2 min Consumable item;
stacks to 20


Bloodlust effects are most prominently used during raids, but there's no reason they can't be used in other situations.

Regardless of context, any player benefiting from Bloodlust should typically use damage cooldowns like [Avenging Wrath], [Arcane Power] and [Vendetta] if available; the damage boosts will stack multiplicatively, resulting in slightly higher overall damage compared to being used separately. The exception to this is other haste-increasing abilities such as [Power Infusion] if those abilities would cause a character to run into a haste cap. Players in possession of such abilities may want to calculate for themselves the optimal combination of haste buffs for their various ability breakpoints.

Use against raid bosses

Bloodlust abilities provide a large boost to a raid's damage output, so raid leaders almost always ensure they have at least one provider of the effect when assembling a raid for any on-level PvE content.

Because it only lasts 40 seconds, raids should utilize it according to the needs of the fight. Casters should be especially careful not to use it at a time when damage dealers would not be able to make use of its full duration, for instance if the boss will go invulnerable in 20 seconds.

  • The most basic usage is to use it near the beginning of the fight (once damage dealer rotations have gotten set up) to increase overall damage, decreasing the length of the fight and helping avoid any enrage timers. In very long fights it may be used again once the debuff has expired.
  • If a fight comes in phases, it is often beneficial to save bloodlust effects until a particular phase in order to deal damage as quickly as possible when that phase begins.
    • Because healing spells are also affected, occasionally bloodlust will be timed to assist healers in dealing with high amounts of incoming damage.
    • If the fight is structured so that raid members are initially limited in their damage output (e.g. Norushen), the effect should be saved until damage dealers are able to deal damage at maximum efficiency.
  • Even if the fight does not have distinct phases, in cases where bosses become more dangerous over time, bloodlust effects are usually saved until near the end of the fight to reduce the time spent dealing with increased damage or other dangers. This sometimes has the drawback of a reduced effect due to some raid members being dead.

The 10 minute cooldown debuff is cleared upon death, allowing the next attempt after a wipe to use it once again. Those surviving a wipe will not have their debuffs cleared, and should be aware they may not receive the benefits of the next bloodlust along with the rest of the raid.

Other uses

Bloodlust effects may be used on instance trash mobs, particularly larger trash pulls, although this is never necessary and rarely expected. It should absolutely not be used just before reaching a boss due to the long debuff.

Bloodlust effects can certainly be used in PvP, especially when two large groups of enemies are meeting each other. Priests and other offensive dispellers may listen for the sound of the abilities, and look for the buff and increased size of enemies to identify targets for a dispel. Because of the long duration, even single-target dispels are worthwhile.

When soloing or in small groups, bloodlust effects may be useful against elite mobs or large groups of mobs, or for surviving in panic situations. While it does not reduce damage taken, it can allow quicker casting of healing spells, crowd control, and escape abilities, or simply allow the player to kill the opponent first.

War drums

Drums crafted and used by leatherworkers can approximate bloodlust effects, although level restrictions prevent them from being relevant in modern raids. Most obvious are the  [Drums of Rage], which like the true bloodlusts provide a haste increase to the raid for 40 seconds, and apply a debuff preventing re-use for 10 minutes. However, the benefit is only 25%, not 30%. Note that the debuff prevents the drums from being used in conjunction with true bloodlust abilities. These drums can only affect characters level 90 or below, the level of Mists of Pandaria raids.

The  [Drums of Battle] and  [Drums of War] provide 30 second buffs to the raid that increase either haste, or attack and intellect. These effects can actually stack with those of true bloodlust powers. However, they only affect players level 79 and below, and therefore are not relevant to raids beyond the level of The Burning Crusade.


[Bloodlust] provides the general name for these effects because, while it and [Heroism] were added to World of Warcraft at the same time, Bloodlust has been around since Warcraft II, making it the most well known ability of this type. The specific ability Bloodlust should always be capitalized, whereas the general term "bloodlust effect" should not be capitalized.

It is common to refer to all bloodlust abilities as just Bloodlust or Heroism or one of their nicknames, especially in the heat of battle. All function the same, so this allows raid leaders to describe strategies and call for proper usage without worrying about which version is available. Raids will commonly hear "LUST!" or "HERO!" at at least one point in a boss fight, regardless of the ability used. "Lust" has a slight edge as the generic term, but "Hero" is extremely common among Alliance raids, even when [Time Warp] or another effect is used.


The first appearance of Bloodlust was as a spell available to the Warcraft II Ogre Mage unit which doubled all damage types of another unit for about 25 seconds[1]. It was considered one of the most powerful abilities in the game.[2][3] In Warcraft III, Orcish shaman received the ability, which was changed to increase attack rate by 40% (very similar to the modern spell) and movement speed by 25% for 60 seconds. This ability was also single-target, but could be autocast; a shaman with full mana could buff 10 other units.

A common misconception holds that [Bloodlust] was added to World of Warcraft before [Heroism], since shaman were initially a Horde-only class. In fact, Bloodlust was not added until The Burning Crusade, when it and Heroism were added as level 70 abilities as part of the decision to allow paladins and shaman in both factions.

Part of the design philosophy of Cataclysm was to make good on Blizzard's instruction to raid leaders to "bring a player, not a class". For this reason, mages learned [Time Warp] and beast master specced hunters received access to [Ancient Hysteria] via core hound pets. This eliminated the requirement to bring a shaman to every raid, and instead only asked that one of those three types of characters was present - a high likelihood in even 10-man raids. At the same time, bloodlust effects were banned from arenas, which (as with raids) removed it as a consideration for team composition.

In Warlords of Draenor, non-Beast Master hunters gained access to bloodlust effects via Nether Ray pets with the [Netherwinds] ability, making three full classes that could grant the ability to raids.

Bloodlust was added as a shaman spell in the first release of the Hearthstone card game, granting temporarily increased attack ability to the player's minions (allies). The other bloodlust effects are not yet present in the game.

Patch changes


  1. ^ Mueller, Florian. Warcraft II Insider's Guide. Retrieved on 2014-01-11. “Its effect is to double of the attack power of a unit for a duration of 1,000 program cycles (approximately 25 seconds).”
  2. ^ Warcraft II Strategy: Units. Blizzard Entertainment. Retrieved on 2017-03-11. “A cube (9) Bloodlusted Ogres can tear through a much larger force of Paladins”
  3. ^ The Warcraft 2 Newbie FAQ. Retrieved on 2017-03-11. “A Bloodlusted Ogre can probably take out two Knights single-handedly, making it the most powerful spell in the game. Most experienced players will always play Orcs because of this spell.”