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A disguise is an item, object, or spell that changes a character's appearance beyond what the game typically allows, normally found in the form of buffs and debuffs. Sometimes being in a certain zone or phase of a zone will change your character into something else. Getting your hair cut or colored at a barber would not be a disguise. An effect on the character that does not substantially change the character's appearance would not be a disguise.

Implicit is the assumption that being in disguise is voluntary, and the player retains control of the character. A hostile transformation whose main purpose is to cause the loss of control of your character and not to in any conceptual sense provide a deceptive appearance is not considered to be a disguise; however, it might be exploited as a disguise by a creative team in unusual circumstances. After all, sheep critters, polymorphed player sheep, and explosive sheep all look pretty much alike.

Players will refer to a disguise as either a transformation or a shapeshift. The general distinction between the two is that the latter is more restrictive in what the player can and cannot cast while under its effect ("You cannot cast that while shapeshifted" error message). Both are used for cosmetic appearance changes, and are used by roleplaying communities to enhance or supplement the roleplay experience.

Please note that as World of Warcraft changes, items, spells, and quests may be added, altered, or removed over time. This list should not be considered exhaustive and used only as a guide to the various types of disguises and their historical source.

Item disguises

These are disguises which take up inventory space. If you use them then the disguise will be applied to you or your target. Most of the ones which apply a disguise to a target require you to be partied with that target. Certain ones are consumed when used.

Item How to obtain Description of effects Buff duration
 [Dire Brew] Speak with Dark Iron Brewer in the Grim Guzzler located in Blackrock Depths until he drops a mug on the floor. Turns you into a Dark Iron dwarf. 1 hour
 [Savory Deviate Delight] Made by: Cooks who have obtained  [Recipe: Savory Deviate Delight] Turns you into a ninja or pirate. 1 hour
 [Noggenfogger Elixir] Quest reward of: N [49] Noggenfogger Elixir

Sold by: Marin Noggenfogger after the quest is completed.

Can turn you into a skeleton or shrink you. 10 minutes
 [Orb of the Blackwhelp] Sold by: Wyrmcult Provisioner while using [Overseer Disguise]. Turns you into a black whelp 15 minutes
 [Pygmy Oil] Made by: Alchemists

Found inside:  [Bag of Fishing Treasures]

Shrinks until you drink too much, turning you into a female Gnome. 10 minutes
 [Winter Veil Disguise Kit] Complete one of the following quests:

After completing the quest, you will receive it in the mail later.

Turns you into a snowman. Until canceled
 [Hallowed Wand] Found inside:  [Treat Bag], given by innkeepers during Hallow's End. Depending on the type of wand, it can turn you into a skeleton, bat, ghost, leaper gnome, ninja, pirate, or wisp. ??
 [Hallow's End Pumpkin Treat] Quest Rewards of:

Sold by:

This item gives these effects:
  • ”You feel larger... and oranger..." makes you larger and oranger.
  • ”You look a bit thin..." turns you into a skeleton
  • "Yeargh..." makes you a human, goblin, or undead pirate.
  • "OoOoOoo...." turns you into a human ghost.
20 minutes
 [Weighted Jack-o'-Lantern] Drops from: The Headless Horseman

Found inside:  [Crudely Wrapped Gift]

Places a pumpkin on your targets head. 1 hour
 [Blossoming Branch] Quest reward of:

Sold by: Noblegarden Merchants

Turns your target into a rabbit. ??
 [Spring Flowers] Sold by: Noblegarden Merchants

Found in: Brightly Colored Eggs

Places rabbit ears on your target. 2 minutes
 [Faded Wizard Hat] Quest reward of: H [19] Farewell, Minnow Turns you into one of Xylem's apprentices of (fairly) random race and gender. 30 minutes
 [Stave of Fur and Claw] Sold by Meilosh in Timbermaw Hold Turns you into a Furbolg. 3 minutes
 [Iron Boot Flask] Sold by: Turns you into a Iron Dwarf. 10 minutes
 [Gordok Ogre Suit] Made by: Turns you into a gray ogre. 10 minutes
 [Orb of Deception] It's a world drop. Turns you into a member of the opposite faction. The race you become depends on what race you are. 5 minutes
 [Orb of the Sin'dorei] Drops from: Turns you into a Blood Elf. 5 minutes
 [Hook of the Master Angler] Quest reward of: Master Angler Turns you into a fish. Until canceled
 [Time-Lost Figurine] Drops from: Terokk Turns you into an Arakkoa. 5 minutes
 [Murloc Costume] You needed to attend Blizzcon 2007. Puts a poorly made murloc costume on your character. You also hold a Blizzcon flag! 1 hour
 [Frenzyheart Brew] Sometimes made from  [Ripe Disgusting Jar]. Turns you into a Wolvar. 5 minutes
 [Darkspear Pride] Was earned by completing the Zalazane's Fall world event prior to the Shattering Turns you into a Darkspear Warrior. 30 minutes
 [Gnomeregan Pride] Was earned by completing the Operation: Gnomeregan world event prior to the Shattering Turns you into a Gnomeregan Infantry. 30 minutes
 [Rituals of the New Moon] Made by: Scribes who have obtained  [Technique: Rituals of the New Moon] Turns you into a wolf. 2 minutes
 [Carved Ogre Idol] Earned through the TCG. Turns you into a red ogre 10 minutes
 [Bones of Transformation] Rare Night Elf Archaeology Reward. Turns you into a Naga. 20 seconds
 [Wisp Amulet] Rare Night Elf Archaeology Reward. Turns you into a Wisp. 20 seconds
 [Blessing of the Old God] Rare Nerubian Archaeology Reward. Turns you into a Silithid. 20 seconds

Teleporter malfunctions

Engineers can use their teleporters,  [Ultrasafe Transporter: Toshley's Station] and  [Dimensional Ripper - Area 52], in an attempt to disguise themselves with a debuff that lasts an hour. Unlike other disguises, these can stack if you logout then log back in after 4 hours, but people prefer just to have fun with the malfunctions while they have them.

Mount disguises

Your mounts can be disguised with certain items.

Item How to obtain Description of effects Buff duration
 [Fresh Holly] Kiss a Neutral Winter Reveler found in inns during the Feast of Winter Veil. Turns your mount into a reindeer. 1 hour
 [Fresh Brewfest Hops] Sold by: Turns your mount into a Brewfest ram or kodo, depending on your faction. ??
 [Fresh Goblin Brewfest Hops] Sold by: Alliance Belbi Quikswitch <Token Redeemer> Turns your mount into a Brewfest kodo. ??
 [Fresh Dwarven Brewfest Hops] Sold by: Horde Blix Fixwidget <Token Redeemer> Turns your mount into a Brewfest ram. ??
 [Preserved Holly] Quest reward of:

Found inside:  [Ticking Present]

Turns your mount into a reindeer. 1 hour
 [Preserved Brewfest Hops] Sold by: Turns your mount into a Brewfest ram or kodo, depending on your faction. ??

Quest disguises

These only last until the quest they belong to are completed. Most are limited to a certain zone. A [28] Raene's Cleansing is one of the only quests that you can abandon and keep the item forever, but you can never finish the quest or [Dartol's Rod of Transformation] will be removed from your inventory. [Overseer Disguise] can be made continuously, but it's limited to its quest's zone.

Item Quest
 [Dartol's Rod of Transformation] A [28] Raene's Cleansing
 [Tree Disguise Kit] A [9] Tree's Company
 [Overseer Disguise] N [68] Meeting at the Blackwing Coven
 [Sunfury Disguise] N [68] Information Gathering
 [Blood Elf Disguise] N [70] What Illidan Wants, Illidan Gets...
 [Orb of the Crawler] N [50] An Innocent Disguise
 [Shabby Arakkoa Disguise] N [70] A Shabby Disguise
 [Worg Disguise] A [71] In Worg's Clothing

H [71] In Worg's Clothing

 [Warsong Orc Disguise] A [72] It Was The Orcs, Honest!
 [Overseer Disguise Kit] A [75] Put on Your Best Face for Loken

H [75] Loken's Orders

 [Sandfern Disguise] N [76] Crocolisk Mastery: The Ambush

Object disguises

Object disguises come from objects you can interact with in the environment. They can either be clicked on or you must walk on top of them.

Spell disguises

Disguises can be applied to players through spells. Both NPCs and players can cast them.

Player spell disguises

Some classes come with spells which let them disguise themselves. They are normally used for combat, but they can be used for fun as well.

  • Druids can use shapeshifting to turn into certain animals.
  • Shamans can turn into a [Ghost Wolf].
  • Shadow priests can use [Shadowform] to turn themselves a dark purplish color. Some may argue that this is not a disguise, however at one point it use to share the same blanket effect as disguises. That means it actually removed disguises once.

NPC spell disguises

If you interact with certain NPCs, they can provide you with a disguise. While there are a few NPCs that will give you a disguise just by speaking to them, a majority of NPCs will only cast spells on you for certain quests until they are complete.

  • The Pirates' Day buffs alter only the appearance of the character's clothes, but are disguises in the sense that they bypass the normal clothes mechanic of having to equip the items to display them and overide the appearance of equipped items. The buff can be obtained through talking with one of the commoners that spawn in the capital cities. You can get a longer lasting buff from Dread Captain DeMeza who's in Booty Bay during the event.
  • During Hallow's End, sometimes innkeepers will trick you instead of giving you a  [Treat Bag] by turning you into mini diablo, a cat, a miniature sand worm, or a frog. The debuff from being tricked only lasts for a short period of time, but some players like to run around with it.
  • Horde Bom'bay <Witch Doctor in Training> provides several short term spells; one enlarges the character, and one makes it a "ghost" - makes it more transparent.
  • Using the item  [Brazier of Dancing Flames] and then selecting the NPC that spawns, Dancing Flames, will allow you to interact with her through some emotes. The emote /dance will turn you into an enlarged version of her.

Zone disguises

When you step into certain zones, your character will become disguised.

Equipment disguises

Equipped clothing items, which are intended to change appearance, could be counted as disguises. However, the mechanic of equipping armor is not uniquely beyond what WoW normally allows to change appearance. Allowing clothing items to be called disguises leaves every costume item open to debate, however, not allowing this still leads to ambiguities.


  •  [Elixir of Giant Growth] and  [Deviate Fish] (one effect is shrink) are on the periphery as they change the character's size but none of the graphic elements.
  • You can trick the disguise buffs into thinking your character is the opposite gender! All you need is  [Pygmy Oil]. Make sure you drink enough to turn into the gnome, then use any other disguise which adjusts to genders. The disguise you use must have a duration lasting over what's left of the  [Pygmy Oil]'s buff. For example, if your disguise duration is 5 minutes long, you must wait until the oil buff duration reaches 5 minutes or below.

See also

Patch changes

  • Warlords of Draenor Patch 6.0.2 (2014-10-14): The Transformation system has been improved. Characters can now be affected by multiple transformation effects at once. While multiple transformation or shapeshift effects are active, only the highest priority one will be visible. This allows transformation effects to persist while shapeshifts are active. Additionally, many restrictions on being transformed have been removed.
  • Mists of Pandaria Hotfix (2013-12-19): "Effects transforming a player's appearance should no longer prevent them from being able to interact with a defeated Paragon."
  • WoW Icon update.png Patch 1.7.0 (2005-09-13): When you have more than one transformation aura (Orb of Deception, Noggenfogger, etc.), the last one applied is the one that is shown.