For the Pet Battle ability, see [Breath].

Breath is a stat that comes into play when the player is swimming and goes underwater. It is a blue meter that has a duration of 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.

While it is imperative that a player recover his breath, it can be a viable PvP tactic to stun or root players in place while underwater and allow them to drown.

Water breathing

Though the breath meter lasts three minutes by default, there are many ways to delay or prevent drowning:


  • 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 seafloor 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 seafloor.

Racial abilities

Class abilities

  • Druids will shapeshift into an aquatic creature in water while in [Travel Form] (Level 18), allowing them limitless water breathing. It also grants them +50% swim speed.
  • [Unending Breath] grants underwater breathing for 10 minutes and +20% swim speed (level 16 Warlock spell, can be cast on others).


Up to Wrath of the Lich King, quests going under for long periods usually gave items for players to use, but the later expansions from Cataclysm and onward avoided this by giving a quest in their storyline to provide a permanent area buff instead (likely to help avoid bag clutter).


Patch changes

  • Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.0.2 (2008-10-14): Maximum breath increased to 3 minutes (was 60 seconds).

See also