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

Icon-RPG.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

  • Battle for Azeroth Patch 8.1.0 (2018-12-11): (Discipline) Damage reduced by 11%. (Shadow) Damage reduced by 5%.
  • Battle for Azeroth Hotfix (2018-09-10): "Shadow Word: Pain (Shadow) damage increased by 20%."
  • Battle for Azeroth Hotfix (2018-08-07): "Shadow Word: Pain (Discipline) damage reduced by 9%."
  • Battle for Azeroth Patch 8.0.1 (2018-07-17): Duration reduced to 16 seconds (was 18 seconds).
  • Legion Hotfix (2017-12-05): "Shadow Word: Pain (Shadow) damage reduced by 12%."
  • Legion Hotfix (2017-11-28): "Shadow Word: Pain (Shadow) damage reduced by 4%."
  • Legion Hotfix (2017-06-13): "Shadow Word: Pain (Shadow) 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.
  • Legion 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%.
  • Legion 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%. Duration reduced to 14 seconds (down from 18). Now generates Insanity (Shadow only).
  • Warlords of Draenor Patch 6.0.2 (2014-10-14): Mana cost reduced by 50%. Shadow Word: Pain's initial damage is now considered direct damage rather than periodic damage. Shadowy Apparitions and Shadowy Insight are no longer able to trigger from this initial direct damage.
  • Mists of Pandaria 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.
  • Mists of Pandaria Hotfix (2013-03-12): "Shadow Word: Pain now deals 25% less damage."
  • Mists of Pandaria Hotfix (2013-03-05): "Shadow Word: Pain now deals 25% more damage."
  • Mists of Pandaria 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 deals initial damage in addition to its periodic damage.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.2.0 (2011-06-28): Shadow Word: Pain damage done has been decreased by 12%.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.0.1 (2010-10-12): Range increased to 40 yards, up from 30.
  • Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.1.0 (2009-04-14): No longer gains increased damage from critical strike via [Shadowform]. Instead, Shadowform will now grant Shadow Word: Pain the ability to critically strike.
  • Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.0.3 (2008-11-04): Shadow Word: Pain cast while in [Shadowform] now deals increased damage equal to the caster's critical strike chance.
  • The Burning Crusade Patch 2.0.6 (2007-01-23): Spell power co-efficient reduced by 9%.
  • 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