Shadow Word: Pain

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Shadow Word: Pain
Spell shadow shadowwordpain.png
Usable by



None/Global Cooldown

Other information
Level learned


Related debuff
Spell shadow shadowwordpain.png
  • Magic
  • Shadow Word: Pain
  • Suffering (38% of spell power) Shadow damage every 2 sec.
  • Duration: 18 sec
"Your pain is my pleasure." —Omedus the Punisher[1]

Shadow Word: Pain is a level 3 Discipline and Shadow priest ability, and the only Shadow Word available to Discipline priests. It is a damage over time priest spell with a direct damage component. It deals damage over 18 seconds (14 for Discipline), and a smaller amount (equal to a single tick) instantly.

Shadow Word: Pain generates 3 Insanity for Shadow priests, and has a chance to active [Power of the Dark Side] for Discipline priests.



  • Like all damage over time spells, sufficient haste will cause Shadow Word: Pain to grant extra ticks.
  • The level 70 Absolution Regalia 2-piece set bonus extends the spell's duration by 3 seconds, adding at least one tick.

Tips and tactics

Shadow priests use Shadow Word: Pain (SW:P) as one of their key damage-over-time attacks, with [Shadowy Apparitions] improving its damage considerably. It should generally be kept active on enemies at all times.

As an instant cast DoT with no prerequisites, SW:P can be useful for preventing rogues from stealthing and dealing damage while on the move.

Unlike most DoTs, Shadow Word: Pain has an initial direct damage component that will interrupt flag captures and similar processes, making it highly useful for this purpose. This makes SW:P the shadow priest's only instant spammable direct damage ability.

Although costly and time-consuming, in mobile situations such as when chasing a fleeing target, the direct damage generated by repeatedly casting SW:P on the target will deal damage more quickly than simply allowing SW:P to tick.

In the RPG

The RPG Icon 16x36.png This section contains information from the Warcraft RPG which is considered non-canon.

This spell envelopes a target briefly in a cloud of dark energy conjured from the netherworld.[2]


  • Shadow Word: Pain is a basic Priest spell in Hearthstone. The flavor text reads: "A step up from a spell cast by many beginning acolytes: "Shadow Word: Annoy"."

Patches and hotfixes

  • Hotfix (2017-06-13): "Shadow Word: Pain damage reduced by 20% in PvP situations."
  • Legion Patch 7.2.5 (2017-06-13): Shadow Word: Pain damage increased by 5% for Discipline and 10% for Shadow.
  • Hotfix (2017-02-21): "Shadow Word: Pain (with the Misery talent) is now properly applied to the target when out of range."
  • Legion Patch 7.1.5 (2017-01-10):
    • Now generates 4 Insanity (was 3).
    • (Shadow) Duration now 18 seconds (was 14 seconds).
  • Legion Patch 7.1.0 (2016-10-25): (Shadow) Damage reduced by 10%.
  • Hotfix (2016-08-26): "Shadow Word: Pain (Discipline) damage increased by 7%."
  • Legion Patch 7.0.3 (2016-07-19): No longer available to Holy. Damage per tick reduced by 5%, now lasts for 14 seconds (down from 18) and generates Insanity.
  • Warlords of Draenor Patch 6.0.2 (2014-10-14):
    • Shadow Word: Pain's initial damage is now considered direct damage, not periodic damage. Shadowy Apparitions and Shadowy Insight are no longer able to trigger from this initial direct damage.
    • [Dispersion] and [Vampiric Touch] no longer restore mana.
      • Base mana regeneration rate for Shadow priests has been increased by 200%, Shadow Word: Pain and Vampiric Touch mana costs have been reduced by 50% to compensate.
  • Hotfix (2013-09-23): "Shadow Word: Pain's damage has been reduced by 15%."
  • Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.4.0 (2013-09-10): Now deals 25% more damage.
  • Hotfix (2013-03-12): "Shadow Word: Pain now deals 25% less damage."
  • Hotfix (2013-03-05): "Shadow Word: Pain now deals 25% more damage."
  • Hotfix (2012-09-14): "Shadow Word: Pain should now interrupt flag captures and other similar processes with its initial damage (but not its periodic damage over time)."
  • Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28): Now also deals damage instantly in addition to the DoT.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.2.0 (2011-06-28): Shadow Word: Pain damage done has been decreased by 12%.
  • WoW Icon update.png Patch 1.1.0 (2004-11-07): Removed facing requirement.
  • PTR client.png Patch 0.6 (2004-04-13): Shadow Word: Pain will now stack with [Corruption].

See also


External links