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A period of wait time before a spell, ability or item power can be used again.

For example:

  • The time it takes a spell to recharge after it has been cast. You will not be allowed to cast this spell for the duration of the cooldown period. This is not the cast time.
  • A  [Hearthstone] has a 60 minute cool down time.

Shared Cooldown

A Shared Cooldown is when some spell, item or ability prevents usage of certain others while it is cooling down. It effectively applies the same cooldown to all those that it shares cooldown with.

It is important to know if a spell or item has a shared cooldown, since that is much more limiting than an isolated cooldown. This usually means that you must choose wisely which to use, since you cannot use all within a short time period. For instance, many potions share cooldown with other potions, and some of the warrior's abilities share cooldown.

Global Cooldown

A global or universal cooldown is the cooldown which starts every time you start to cast a spell, and it affects all of your class spells (except a few, such as the priest's [Inner Focus] or the mage's [Counterspell].)

If the spell has a casting time less than the global cooldown (or instant cast), you generally have to wait X seconds until you can begin casting a new spell, where X is the time of the global cooldown. If a spell with casting time is interrupted before it has finished casting, the global cooldown (if still present) will be cancelled, meaning you can start casting a new one immediately.

The global cooldown is generally 1.5 seconds for all classes, except rogues and cat form druids, whose abilities are mostly 1 second global cooldown.

For Paladins, the Judgement skill is independent of most other skills, so you can cast one seal, judge immediately, and recast another seal when the universal countdown runs off from the original seal. Or if the countdown has already passed from casting your seal (like when your seal is about to run out), you can judge and immediately cast another seal.

Cooldown and usage theory

The cooldown determines how often something (spell, ability, or item) may be used. Specifically it has an inverse relationship to how many times per fight it may be used.

For example, A Druid should never participate in the post encounter resurection. His resurection spell is on a 30 minute timer and should be used in emergencies only, such as when it can prevent a wipe.

Basics:

1.5 sec Shortest Spam this if necessary
30 min Long Use at Calculated times and emergencies
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