Devouring Plague

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Devouring Plague
Spell shadow devouringplague.png
  • Devouring Plague
  • Level 21 Shadow priest ability
  • 40 yd range
  • 3 Shadow Orbs
  • Instant cast
  • Consumes 3 Shadow Orbs to deal (264% of Spell power) Shadow damage and then an additional 100% of the initial damage over 6 sec. Heals the caster for 100% of damage done.
Usable by



None/Global Cooldown

Other information
Level learned


Related debuff
Spell shadow devouringplague.png
  • Disease
  • Devouring Plague
  • Causes Y damage every 1 second, healing the caster.
  • Duration: 6 seconds
"When the shadows are through with you, there will be nothing left, not even your bones."
—Deacon Markus Hallow

Devouring Plague is a Shadow priest ability, learned at level 21. It is an instant cast Shadow-based spell that consumes 3 [Shadow Orbs] to deal instant damage and apply a damage over time debuff, which heals the caster each time it deals damage.



  • Deals 10% less damage in PvP.

Tips and tactics

  • Devouring Plague is one of the Shadow priest's main hard-hitting abilities, along with [Mind Blast]. It is best combined with cooldowns to maximise its damage and healing, and with [Insanity] is used to enhance [Mind Flay] for an increased burn period immediately after casting it. When Insanity is talented, try to apply all DoTs and make use of Mind Blast before then using Devouring Plague and immediately following with Mind Flay for the duration of the Insanity buff.
  • Both of Devouring Plague's damage components are capable of critting. However, its healing component is not capable of critting.
  • Devouring Plague's damage and healing are directly increased by the priest's haste. Using haste effects shortly before Devouring Plague can therefore serve to increase not only DPS, but also the healing generated.
  • Devouring Plague is a direct alternative to [Psychic Horror] as a use for Shadow Orbs. Psychic Horror offers more damage mitigation and crowd control benefits with its horrify effect, while Devouring Plague offers substantial damage and self-healing. Devouring Plague's short duration and lack of cooldown also makes it available more frequently.
  • If the cast misses or is evaded by the target, no Shadow Orbs will be consumed, allowing you to try again.
  • As a disease, Devouring Plague cannot be dispelled by the usual magic dispelling effects, preventing most classes from removing it. However, effects like [Divine Shield] and [Ice Block] will still remove it.
  • Be aware that recasting this on a target already afflicted by your Devouring Plague will overwrite the older debuff, wasting damage and healing, even if the new debuff is weaker.

Patch changes

  • Shadowlands Patch 9.0.2 (TBD): Reintroduced as an Insanity spending ability that costs 50 Insanity.
  • Legion Patch 7.0.3 (2016-07-19): Removed.
  • Warlords of Draenor Patch 6.2.2 (2015-09-01): Now deals 10% more damage. In PvP combat, Devouring Plague now deals 10% less damage.
  • Warlords of Draenor Patch 6.2.0 (2015-06-23): Now deals 12% less damage.
  • Warlords of Draenor Patch 6.0.2 (2014-10-14): Now always costs 3 Shadow Orbs, and now heals the priest for 100% of all damage it deals, instead of healing per tick. Now heals for 2% of maximum health per tick (up from 1%).
  • Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28): Changed. Now consumes all Shadow Orbs.
Previously: Afflicts the target with a disease that causes X Shadow damage over 24 sec. 15% of damage caused by the Devouring Plague heals the caster. This spell can only affect one target at a time.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.2.0 (2011-06-28): Devouring Plague damage done has been decreased by 12%.
  • Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.2.0 (2009-08-04): Cooldown removed but may only be inflicted upon a single target.
  • Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.1.0 (2009-04-14): This spell now has a new icon.
  • Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.0.3 (2008-11-04): The bonus coefficient has been increased to be on par with other DoT spells. Base damage on ranks 7, 8, and 9 decreased to partially compensate for better scaling.
  • Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.0.2 (2008-10-14): Devouring Plague made available to all priests instead of just Undead.
  • WoW Icon update.png Patch 1.12.0 (2006-08-22): Will continue to heal the caster after the target is Mind Controlled.
  • WoW Icon update.png Patch 1.10.0 (2006-03-28): No longer keeps players in combat for its duration.
  • WoW Icon update.png Patch 1.8.0 (2005-10-10): Will now properly consume the Inner Focus effect when cast.
  • WoW Icon update.png Patch 1.6.0 (2005-07-12): Health leech effects no longer give you health while you are a ghost.
  • WoW Icon update.png Patch 1.1.0 (2004-11-07): Added.

See also


External links