This article is about the warlock ability. For other uses, see Death Coil (disambiguation). For its replacement, see [Mortal Coil].
Death Coil
Spell shadow deathcoil.png
  • Death Coil
  • Level 42 warlock ability
  • 30 yd range
  • 23% of base mana
  • 2 min cooldown
  • Instant
  • Causes the enemy target to run in horror for 3 sec and causes X Shadow damage. The caster gains 300% of the damage caused in health.
Usable by
Class Warlock
School Shadow
Cooldown 2 minutes
Other information
Level learned 42
Improvements  [Glyph of Death Coil]
Related debuff
  • Magic
  • Death Coil
  • Horrified.
  • Duration: 3 sec
Death is not something you can run from when it comes for you.[1]

Death Coil is a warlock Shadow-based Direct Damage spell that heals the caster for 300% of the damage done and causes the target to run in horror for 3 seconds.



  • Death Coil is a horrify effect (one of only two horrify effects in the game, the other being a shadow priest's [Psychic Horror]). As such, fear-countering abilities will not be effective against it.
  • Most creatures that are [Fear] immune are also immune to Death Coil. This includes nearly all undead.
  • It is a binary spell, and as such it can only hit or miss. Neither critical hits nor partial resists are possible.
  • [Demon Armor] does increase the life gained.
  • Absorbing the damage from Death Coil does not prevent the horrify effect.

Tips and tactics

In World of Warcraft: Trading Card Game.

  • Typically, Death Coil is followed up with the [Fear] spell against melee attackers, especially in PvP as the short horrify effect will prevent you from suffering casting pushback or losing your Fear spell to an interrupting skill such as [Kick] or [Pummel].
  • It can be used to interrupt enemies' spellcasting.
  • While in a five-man-instance this spell can be particularly useful when used against mobs aggroing healers or players that recently crowd controlled the target, buying the CCers or the tank time to take them out of combat or pick them up respectively. Despite for the fear only lasts three seconds, depending on the given situation you have to consider the odds for a misfortunate fear, which could easily lead to adds and as a result to a wipe.
  • Because of the high health return of this spell it can be used in conjunction with life tap for mana/health management.


Death Coil was premiered in Warcraft II, where it was used by the Horde unit called the death knight. It was used in much the same way as it is now, except against either friend or foe. The spell reappeared in Warcraft III as one of the powers of those death knights who serve the Lich King. This version of the spell dealt damage to living enemies, while healing their undead allies.

Patch changes

  • Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28): Removed. Replaced by [Mortal Coil].
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.0.3a (2010-11-23): Damage has been reduced by approximately 12%.
  • Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.2.0 (2009-08-04): Immunity to Horror effects no longer grants immunity to the damage portion of this spell.
  • Wrath of the Lich King Hotfix (2009-04-30): The Warlock ability Death Coil now heals you for 300% of the damage done, up from 100%.
  • Bc icon.gif Patch 2.1.0 (2007-05-22): Is now subject to diminishing returns in the Horror category. Currently, only Death Coil is in this category.
  • WoW Icon update.png Patch 1.8.0 (2005-10-10): Cooldown reduced, mana cost increased, and now causes a short Fear effect that is not diminished.
  • WoW Icon update.png Patch 1.6.0 (2005-07-12): Health leech effects no longer give you health while you are a ghost.
  • WoW Icon update.png Patch 1.2.0 (2004-12-18):
    • Death Coil won't give health until it actually hits the target.
    • Death Coil will only give the amount of health that it actually drained from the target.
  • Test-inline.png Patch 0.11 (2004-09-29): Added. (Level 42)

See also


External links