Breath is a stat that comes into play when the player is swimming and goes underwater. It is a blue meter that once had a duration of 60 seconds, but was changed in Patch 3.0.2 to three minutes. Players must be careful to return to the surface and replenish their breath before their breath meter runs out, especially if combat is initiated, or they will begin to take large chunks of health damage every second, and eventually drown. Also, if the character swims too far into open water Fatigue will also apply whether they are on the surface or underwater. If the fatigue bar runs out, the player will start taking damage and die.
Though the breath meter lasts three minutes, there are ways to counter the drowning mechanic.
- In some areas where a quest requires going under for long periods, such as by Shadowprey Village in Desolace, or where the water is very deep, such as Glimmer Bay in Borean Tundra, there may be Bubbly Fissures, a cracked mound on the sea floor with a stream of air bubbles rising from it. Placing yourself just above the fissure will replenish your breath.
- In Vashj'ir, there are giant clams that provide air; this can be useful for players during their intro quest to receive their permanent zone breathing buff.
- Offshore of the Broken Shore in the Broken Isles, Vaporous Abalones can be found on the sea floor.
- The Forsaken, being an undead race, have no need to breathe. Originally their racial was being able to hold their breath for up to 10 minutes (). For some time this was removed, then given back, and then "upgraded" to in Patch 6.0.2. See Forsaken Racial Traits.
- Druids will shapeshift into an aquatic creature in water while in (Level 18), allowing them limitless water breathing. It also grants them +50% swim speed.
- grants underwater breathing for 10 minutes and +20% swim speed (level 16 Warlock spell, can be cast on others).
- allows underwater breathing for 30 minutes (requires Level 8, crafted by Alchemists), was also a quest reward from .
- allows underwater breathing for 1 hour (requires Level 35, crafted by Alchemists).
- allows unlimited underwater breathing (crafted by Engineering skill 230).
- from Viscous Fallout in Gnomeregan.
- won from the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza in Booty Bay.
- bought from Marin Noggenfogger's wife Sprinkle in Gadgetzan (originally introduced in ) has a good chance to turn you into a skeleton with underwater breathing for 10 minutes.
- is provided from a few quests in Zangarmarsh and can be kept afterward. It has three charges of underwater breathing for one hour each.
- , which comes in one stack of 20, grants underwater breathing for 5 minutes per cherry, from in Nagrand.
- , given for the quest can be kept afterward. It has six charges of underwater breathing for 10 minutes each.
- , available after becoming Exalted with The Kalu'ak.
- The artifact fishing pole , with the trait purchased at rank seven (at the earliest). This essentially combines the Hook of the Master Angler with the Mastercraft Kalu'ak Fishing Pole.
- Shimmerscale Diving Helmet provides a single charge of underwater breathing for 15 minutes. Crafted by BfA leatherworkers. (Can be paired with Shimmerscale Diving Suit.)
- from the Scepter of the Shifting Sands quest .