Power Word: Shield

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Power Word: Shield
Spell holy powerwordshield.png
Usable by
Class
Properties
Type

Defensive

School
Cooldown

7.5 seconds

Other information
Level learned

8

Improvements
Related buff
Spell holy powerwordshield.png
  • Magic
  • Power Word: Shield
  • Absorbs (550% of spell power) damage.
  • Duration: 15 seconds

Power Word: Shield (abbreviated PW:S) is a defensive Power Word available at level 8 to Discipline and Shadow priests. It creates a protective shield around a friendly target which absorbs a set amount of damage.

While Power Word: Shield is a valuable spell, Discipline priests have the opportunity to improve it far beyond its base effect, empowering it with their mastery. Power Word: Shield is undoubtedly one of the signature spells of the Discipline priest, protecting the target with a powerful shield that can seem unbreakable.

Use and effect

Power Word: Shield is an instant-cast spell which generates a shield around the target, absorbing most forms of damage. The shield will last for 15 seconds or until "broken" through combat. The shield enjoys the full protection of the player's armor, parry and dodge, partial resists, and other forms of damage mitigation: only damage which would actually injure the player will be absorbed by the shield.

Be aware that Power Word: Shield will not protect a target from debuffs, interrupts or crowd control, nor will it protect against environmental damage (falling, fatigue, drowning, etc). Attacks which additionally apply debuffs (eg. [Mortal Strike]) will still apply their debuffs even if all damage from the attack is absorbed. PW:S will also not absorb damage from abilities which injure their casters, such as a warlock's [Life Tap].

However, Power Word: Shield does protect targets against pushback. It also prevents daze effects caused by being struck from behind.

Power Word: Shield does not interfere with the generation of rage in druids or warriors.

Improvements

  • Haste reduces the cooldown, effectively allowing you to cast PW:S more frequently. While haste overall is desirable for the priest, its benefit to PW:S is situational depending on the circumstances of a fight. Refer to the tips and tactics section for more information.
  • [Body and Soul] will cause your shield (and [Leap of Faith] if Discipline) to briefly buff the movement speed of the target. This is especially useful in fights that require frequent movement.

Discipline

Discipline priests gain several spec-specific abilities which enhance Power Word: Shield:

Artifact traits
  • [Shield of Faith] increases the shield's absorption amount by 5/10/15%.
  • [Share in the Light] also shields you for 15% of the normal amount if you cast PW:S on a target other than yourself.

Tips and tactics

  • Shielding before combat does not cause any threat and reduces the time until the target can be shielded again.
  • A major disadvantage of the shield is that it is a limited form of damage mitigation, not a true healing spell, and so may wear off without having been of any use. With a limited duration of 15 seconds, priests must choose their timing in order to ensure mana is not wasted casting the spell to little or no advantage.
  • Mana efficiency of Power Word: Shield is typically predicated upon the shield being fully absorbed. In practice, with only a 15 second window for this to occur, in many situations the shield will fade without being completely absorbed. In these cases the spell can be considered to be far less mana efficient.
  • As a magical effect, PW:S is dispellable with abilities such as [Dispel Magic] and [Mass Dispel].
  • Mages can [Spellsteal] PW:S. Priests playing against smart mages may therefore wish to refrain from shielding, or stock up on buffs to make a theft more difficult.
  • PW:S is notably useful for its pushback prevention. This is very useful for casters who are receiving damage, allowing them to continue casting uninterrupted. In this way, PW:S can serve to increase casters' DPS output. This makes PW:S especially useful for priests when soloing.
  • Some classes and enemies (especially instance bosses) throw out debuffs which reduce the effectiveness of healing on player targets. As PW:S is not a healing spell, it is generally not impacted by these debuffs.
  • In PvP, this spell can be enormously helpful to rogues and Feral druids: if they take any sort of damage (including AoE and DoT), they will be broken out of [Stealth], which can expose them unexpectedly - and often fatally. Shielding a stealthed ally will protect them from these forms of damage, allowing them to jump out of stealth at their own leisure.
  • PW:S can be used to temporarily increase a tank's effective health in anticipation of a major damage spike.
  • PW:S has a somewhat antagonistic relationship with [Prayer of Mending]. PoM will not proc from absorbed damage, making the two spells hard to use in combination. One tactic is to first cast PoM on the tank or current target, allowing it to jump to another player before casting PW:S on the tank. This ensures at least one proc, and reduces the likelihood of PoM expiring prematurely.
  • By preventing daze effects, PW:S can be useful for fleeing players. However, it will not remove existing daze effects, so ideally cast it before the player has a chance to be dazed.

Trivia

  • Power Word: Shield is a basic Priest spell in Hearthstone. The flavor text reads: "Sure the extra protection is nice, but the shield really reduces visibility."

Patches and hotfixes

  • Hotfix (2017-06-13): "Power Word: Shield's absorption amount is increased by 10% in PvP situations (was 25%)."
  • Legion Patch 7.2.5 (2017-06-13): Power Word: Shield cost increase by 15%.
  • Legion Patch 7.1.0 (2016-10-25):
    • Cost increased by 51%.
    • Now learned at level 8 (was 5).
  • Legion Patch 7.0.3 (2016-07-19): No longer available to Holy priests. The Weakened Soul and Borrowed Time effects have been removed.
  • Hotfix (2015-11-20): "Weakened Soul effect from Power Word: Shield now has an 11-second duration while in PvP combat (down from 15 seconds). The perk, Enhanced Power Word: Shield (Discipline, Shadow) will continue to reduce the duration of Weakened Soul by an additional 3 seconds."
  • Warlords of Draenor Patch 6.1.0 (2015-02-24): Now absorbs 10% less damage.
  • Hotfix (2015-01-12): "Power Word: Shield's absorption has been reduced by 15%."
  • Warlords of Draenor Patch 6.0.2 (2014-10-14):
    • Now has a chance for a critical effect based on critical strike chance and can Multistrike based on Multistrike chance for all specializations.
      • [Divine Aegis] no longer grants Power Word: Shield a chance to critically strike.
    • [Borrowed Time] has been redesigned, and merged into baseline Power Word: Shield for Discipline priests. It now increases the priest's stat gains to Haste from all sources by 40% for 6 seconds.
  • Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28): Cooldown changed to 6 seconds, up from 3. Spell power coefficient changed to 187%, up from 87%.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.1.0 (2011-04-26): Duration has been reduced to 15 seconds, down from 30.
  • Hotfix (2011-02-16): "Power Word: Shield now costs roughly 34% of base mana, up from 25%. This is not reflected in the tooltip, but is reflected in the amount of mana used when the spell is cast. The tooltip update will require a client-side patch."
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.0.6 (2011-02-08): The mana cost of Power Word: Shield has been increased by approximately 31%, but its effect has been increased by 208%.
  • Hotfix (2010-02-05): "The amount of damage being absorbed by [Sacred Shield] and Power Word: Shield is being reduced by 10% correctly in only battlegrounds, Arenas, and Wintergrasp."
  • Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.3.0 (2009-12-08): This spell can now be cast on non-raid/party friendly targets.
  • The Burning Crusade Patch 2.4.2 (2008-05-13): Now has the correct sound associated with it and can no longer be heard from large distances.
  • The Burning Crusade Patch 2.4.0 (2008-03-25): Using low ranks of this spell will now be penalized the same way healing spells are penalized.
  • The Burning Crusade Patch 2.3.0 (2007-11-13): Now gains additional benefit from spell damage and healing bonuses. Base absorb values of ranks 10, 11 and 12 have been reduced.
  • The Burning Crusade Patch 2.1.0 (2007-05-22): The Weakened Soul effect will no longer sometimes be re-applied while zoning with this buff on.
  • The Burning Crusade Patch 2.0.10 (2007-03-06): The damage absorption of "Power Word: Shield" added by the caster's bonus healing has been increased to 20%.
  • WoW Icon 16x16.png Patch 1.10.0 (2006-03-28): This spell will now get a small bonus from items and effects which increase your healing.
  • WoW Icon 16x16.png Patch 1.7.0 (2005-09-22): Fixed a bug where [Soul Link] and Power Word: Shield, when used together, would heal the Warlock instead of splitting or absorbing damage.
  • WoW Icon 16x16.png Patch 1.6.0 (2005-07-12): Damage absorption now absorbs damage from mana burn effects like Lava Shield.
  • WoW Icon 16x16.png Patch 1.3.0 (2005-03-07): Now castable on all raid targets.
  • WoW Icon 16x16.png Patch 1.2.0 (2004-12-18): Now usable on party members only.
  • Patch 0.12 (2004-10-11): Holy Word: Shield has been renamed to Power Word: Shield.
  • Patch 0.9 (2004-08-17): Duration reduced. Can now only be used once per 30 seconds per target.
  • Patch 0.7 (2004-06-15): Mana cost increased.

See also

External links