Polymorph is a mage spell that transforms the enemy into a critter, removing it from combat. It is the mage's primary crowd control spell, allowing them or their party to focus their efforts elsewhere while the polymorphed target wanders harmlessly for a period of time. Any damage taken by the target will cancel the effect, and as a magical debuff it can be dispelled.
- This spell works on target types given above, and does NOT work on elementals, demons, undead, dragons, giants or uncategorized ("typeless") targets. It works just fine against Forsaken players, as they are considered humanoid.
- A polymorphed target is often referred to as a "sheeped" target. Furthermore, "sheep" is often used as a verb; to sheep a target is to polymorph it. Even when using any of the Polymorph variations, the word sheep is still often used.
- While sheeped, the target cannot do anything, but heals at a rapid pace. Mana does not regenerate. Any damage caused to the target causes it to revert to its normal state. The target will also wander across the area randomly in this state.
- A mage can only have one target polymorphed at a time, regardless of the particular spell used. If cast on a second target, the first Polymorph breaks. For instance, casting Polymorph: Pig while having a different mob under the effects of Polymorph: Sheep will break the spell.
Tips and tactics
The careful use of Polymorph can be tremendously effective in combat against elites. Typically, a mage will use Polymorph before combat, allowing the group to focus on the remaining targets. Because Polymorph heals the target, it is much more effective to use it on targets that has not yet taken damage.
Polymorph can be reapplied, refreshing the duration, at any time in combat, so it is helpful to always re-sheep before the effect expires; it is more difficult to re-sheep a mob that is running loose (and likely beating on you) than one that is already under control.
In group situations, the party leader can use a Raid Target Icon to designate which target to polymorph. This can allow the mage to keep track of where the sheep is during the fight, and can easily tell if the Polymorph effect is broken. The most common marker for sheep is the Moon. It is also possible for higher-level groups with more that one mage to further coordinate by assigning a specific Polymorph style to a specific mage.
Wandering sheep can aggro nearby groups when it breaks near them. Using to pull and slow the movement speed of the target to a more favorable location before sheeping will help minimize the chances of this happening. It is also helpful to use to freeze an enemy in place to prevent it from hitting you, then Polymorph it.
By using a simple macro you can stop casting a spell before it is finished and re-sheep as needed. This allows the mage to be much more responsive if a target breaks early.
Focus target & Polymorph macro
Use the Focus target to keep track of your sheep while killing other targets. In the default Blizzard UI, the focus target shows as a separate frame. The focus target can be set and regained with macros as well, which helps when it is necessary to re-sheep a target.
This macro combined with the Focus target will make your polymorph hotkey more responsive by allowing you to stop casting your current spell and sheep your focus target without switching your current target.
/cast [@focus] Polymorph
A more complex focus macro will focus and polymorph your target until it dies, with additional clicks re-sheeping the target. When your polymorphed focus is dead, select a new target and click again to focus and polymorph it. Hold shift and click to change polymorph targets mid fight. (via spicytuna)
#showtooltip Polymorph /clearfocus [modifier:shift] /focus [@focus,noexists]; [target=focus,dead] /clearfocus [@focus,help] /stopcasting /cast [@focus,exists,harm] Polymorph; Polymorph
Polymorph can be a very useful tool in PvP, though it does have some limitations over PvE use. Specifically, the following limitations apply when Polymorphing a hostile player:
- Polymorph will never last longer than 8 seconds.
- Polymorph is subject to diminishing returns. Duration displayed on the debuff is capped at 8 seconds on the first cast, then 4 and 2 after subsequent casts. After the 4th cast, the target is immune. After 15 seconds of freedom from Polymorph, diminishing returns reset back to 8 seconds. Polymorph is not known to share its diminishing returns with any other crowd control ability.
- Polymorph has a chance of a heartbeat resist.
- Players flying on flying mounts are immune to polymorph.
- Druids in shapeshifted forms are immune to polymorph completely, and druids in caster form can shapeshift to break the spell instantly.
While Polymorph does regenerate the target's health quickly, it doesn't affect mana in any way. In PvP situations mages can Polymorph then bandage and/or use , effectively restarting a fight.
Polymorphing a warrior using a shield and can also be extremely useful if timed correctly. Rather than have a damaging spell reflected back, you can essentially sheep yourself and benefit from the healing effect. This tactic should not, however, be used in arenas.
It is not particularly effective against druids, due to their immunity in shapeshifted forms and ability to shapeshift and break the spell instantly. The best it can do against a druid is interrupt his heal in progress or force him to spend mana to break it.
Polymorph spell list
A variety of alternate animal forms are available through various means, and provide the mage with an additional, separate Polymorph spell. The mage can then choose which Polymorph spell to cast on a target. However, these spells are, for the purposes of all game mechanics, one and the same; the mage can have only one target polymorphed at a time, regardless of the variant of the spell used.
|Polymorph||Sheep||Learned at level 18|
|Polymorph: Pig||Pig||Learned from The Amazing Zanzo in Dalaran.||Was a reward from before Patch 4.0.3a.|
|Polymorph: Black Cat||Black Cat||2,500 from Endora Moorehead in Dalaran at neutral Kirin Tor reputation.|
|Polymorph: Monkey||Monkey||Drops from hozen and monkey mobs|
|Polymorph: Rabbit||Rabbit||Found or purchased during Noblegarden|
|Polymorph: Polar Bear Cub||Polar Bear Cub||Drops from polar bears, notably the Arctic Grizzly in Dragonblight|
|Polymorph: Porcupine||Porcupine||Drops from porcupines on Pandaria|
|Polymorph: Turtle||Turtle||Rare drop from Fishing.||Fished from Cataclysm fishing pools.|
|Polymorph: Penguin||Penguin||Unknown source. Was a minor glyph prior to Patch 6.0.2.|
|Polymorph: Harmless Serpent||Serpent||Unknown|
Perhaps the most fearsome of the Mage spells, Polymorph alters the physical form of its target. This metamorphosis changes man to beast, forever warping both mind and body. This sorcery wholly transforms the victim into a creature of the wilds, thus losing their reasoning - making commands for direction or battle impossible. Although there is no counter for this spell, possessing a greater stamina does decrease the possibility of this enchantment taking effect.
- World of Warcraft
One of the first enforceable rules the Kirin Tor made for mage usage is to never send a polymorphed subject through a portal, or polymorph someone halfway through one, as "this has yet to not cause an explosion." 
- Polymorph is a basic Mage spell in Hearthstone. The flavor text reads: "There was going to be a pun in this flavor text, but it just came out baa-d."
- In Heroes of the Storm: Brightwing uses Polymorph as a basic ability and Medivh uses a Polymorph called Poly Bomb as a heroic ability.
- In the Warcraft film a prison guard is polymorphed into a sheep by Khadgar.
- A orc minion is polymorphed into a sheep in the animated short Hearth and Home.
The Polymorph spell of Mages in Warcraft II turned the target permanently into a defenseless critter.
The Polymorph spell of Sorceresses in Warcraft II turned the target into a defenseless critter for 60 sec.
Polymorphed into a sheep in Hearth and Home.
- Patch 7.0.3 (2016-07-19): Level increased from 14 to 18.
- Patch 6.0.2 (2014-10-14):
- Presence of Mind can no longer turn Polymorph into an instant-cast spell.
- Polymorph variants except for Polymorph: Sheep are now all learned as spells and grouped in a flyout on the Spellbook instead of being a Minor Glyph that alters the visuals of Polymorph: Sheep.
- Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28): Range reduced from 35 to 30 yd.
- Patch 4.3.0 (2011-11-29): Mages who apply both Glyph of the Monkey and Glyph of the Penguin at the same time will cause the polymorphed target to be randomly transformed into one of the two forms.
- Patch 4.0.6 (2011-02-08): Now has a PvP duration of 8 seconds.
- Patch 2.4.2 (2008-05-13): Mounted creatures will no longer remain mounted while polymorphed.
- Patch 2.2.0 (2007-09-25): Duration against PvP targets has been reduced to 10 seconds.
- Patch 2.0.1 (2006-12-05):
- In PvP, Crowd Control effects will last no longer than 12 seconds instead of the full duration, with a chance of a heartbeat resist.
- Casting a lower rank polymorph on a target that is already under the effect of a higher rank will cause an error message and not consume mana.
- Patch 1.12.0 (2006-08-22): This spell will now be removed when a player leaves a battleground. This prevents some bugs involving polymorph from occurring.
- Patch 1.4.0 (2005-05-05): Charm and Polymorph mechanics can now be reactively countered by spells and abilities (e.g. Druid Shapeshifting will now cancel Polymorph effects).
- Patch 1.1.0 (2004-11-07):
- Facing requirement removed.
- Now dismounts the enemy target, increased the chance of breaking early.
- Patch 0.12 (2004-10-11): No longer affects Dragonkin or Giants.
- Patch 0.9 (2004-08-17): Polymorphed targets will now wander a short radius around where they were polymorphed. They will no longer return to where they were first attacked and wander from there. Note that they may still wander off if the duration lasts long enough, so keep an eye on your sheep.
- Patch 0.8 (2004-07-07): Added to replace Sleep