Many of the buffs and debuffs in World of Warcraft have a dispel type, which appears in the upper right-hand corner of the tooltip box if you hover your pointer over the buff or debuff icon. The dispel type tells you how the effect can be removed or dispelled. There are 5 main dispel types, 2 that are rarely used, and at least one that is present on tooltips but not targeted by any abilities.
- Main article: Curse
- Main article: Disease
These are usually conditions like Rabies, Tetanus, and the like and are usually caused by mobs. However, priests can cast , and certain death knight abilities cause diseases, most notably and . Paladins (), priests (), and monks ( and Mistweavers' ) can remove Disease-type effects from themselves and their allies. The dwarven racial ability will also instantly cleanse the caster of all Disease effects.
- Main article: Magic (dispel type)
The most common effects are Magic. There are Magic-type buffs (beneficial), as well as Magic debuffs (harmful).
Hunters can use , shaman can use , and Protection warriors can use to remove Magic buffs from their enemies. Warlocks may use their Felhunter's . Mages can use to transfer enemy Magic buffs to themselves.
With the appropriate talents, Holy paladins (), Restoration druids (), and Restoration shamans () have the ability to remove Magic debuffs from their allies. All Mistweaver monks can remove Magic debuffs from themselves and their allies using and . The monk talent removes Magic debuffs from the caster.
Some Magic-type effects are classed as invulnerabilities, and cannot be removed by any of the aforementioned abilities; these include , and . Only a priest's glyphed or a warrior's can remove these more potent buffs.
- Main article: Poison
Rogues are highly capable of causing Poison-type debuffs and DoTs, but many mobs do as well. Hunter sting abilities are also considered poison debuffs. Druids (with ), paladins () and monks ( and ) can remove these. Those with the First Aid secondary skill can also create Anti-Venoms to cure poison, although these are very rarely used at max level. Dwarves can invoke to cleanse themselves of all Poison effects for free once every two minutes.
- Main article: Enrage effect
Rare dispel types
- Stealth: Includes the rogue ability , the druid ability , and some NPC abilities. The only dispel effect that removes these is the ability of a .
- Invisibility: Displayed as a dispel type, but not dispelled by anything in the game. Includes the mage spells and .
- Special (npc only): A type that includes only one effect, Kael'thas Sunstrider's Mind Control, which is dispelled by . could also have dispelled this effect before Patch 4.0.3, since the effect it was designed to dispel (Morbent Fel's Unholy Shield) also had this dispel type.
There are also many lasting effects which do not have a dispel type; there are no general spells that remove these. However, there may still be hope: the ones that impose a specific mechanic upon the target may be susceptible to removal by certain items and abilities that can remove this specific mechanic (for example, and can remove bleed effects, while , , and can remove Enrage effects). Some lasting effects, however, must simply run their course and expire with time.
Reading a Wowhead dispel effect
On Wowhead, a spell entry may include the effect "Dispel" followed by a number in brackets. That number indicates the type of buff or debuff the spell will remove:
- Magic, Curse, Disease or Poison
- Special (npc only)
On the next line, the number following "Value:" is the maximum number of effects of this type that will be dispelled. Spells that have the attribute "Remove auras on immunity" remove buffs and debuffs based on their mechanic rather than their dispel type.