Devouring Plague
Spell shadow devouringplague.png
  • Devouring Plague
  • Level 12 Shadow priest ability
  • 40 yd range
  • 50 Insanity
  • Instant
  • Requires Shadowform
  • Afflicts the target with a disease that instantly causes (49.04% of spell power) Shadow damage plus an additional (81.51% of spell power) Shadow damage over 6 sec. Heals you for 50% of damage dealt.

    If this effect is reapplied, any remaining damage will be added to the new Devouring Plague.
Usable by
Class Priest
School Shadow
Cooldown None/Global Cooldown
Other information
Level learned 12
Improvements Damnation, [Mastery: Shadow Weaving]
Related debuff
Spell shadow devouringplague.png
  • Disease
  • Devouring Plague
  • Suffering (40.76% of spell power) every 3 sec.
  • Duration: 6 seconds
"When the shadows are through with you, there will be nothing left, not even your bones."
—Deacon Markus Hallow

Devouring Plague is a Shadow priest ability, learned at level 12. It is an instant cast Shadow-based spell that consumes 50 Insanity to deal instant damage and apply a strong damage over time debuff, healing the caster each time it deals damage.




  • Damnation


  • Ticks scale with haste and damage dealt can critically strike (healing returned cannot crit).
  • Devouring Plague is the only baseline ability that costs insanity.
    • Shadow priests may talent into Searing Nightmare which also costs insanity and competes with Devouring Plague in multi-target scenarios.
  • Uses the same refresh mechanic as [Mastery: Ignite], where reapplying the effect early will roll all of the previous remaining damage into the newly applied DoT. This means that unlike other DoTs, refreshing Devouring Plague early at any point will never cause a loss of damage.

Tips and tactics

  • Devouring Plague is one of the three periodic effects that "applies" [Mastery: Shadow Weaving] to the target. Therefore it is ideal to refresh the effect near its end in order to maximize its uptime, so long as the priest will not cap their insanity doing so.
    • While in [Voidform], shadow weaving applies its full effect to all targets regardless and players should instead prioritize casting Devouring Plague whenever possible.
  • As a disease, Devouring Plague can be dispelled by abilities such as [Detox] and [Purify Disease]. Devouring Plague has no dispel protection on its own, but it can benefit from the dispel protection provided by [Vampiric Touch] and [Unstable Affliction] against dispel abilities that remove both disease and magic effects (such as [Cleanse]).


  • For a time between patch 9.0.1 and patch 9.0.2, Devouring Plague was learned before [Shadowform]. Since Shadowform is necessary to use Devouring Plague, this made the skill unusable until Shadowform could be learned. Eventually, the levels at which Shadowform and Devouring Plague were learned at were swapped.

Patches and hotfixes

  • Shadowlands Hotfix (2021-07-12): Devouring Plague damage reduced by 8%.
  • Shadowlands Patch 9.1.0 (2021-06-29): Damage reduced by 18%.
  • Shadowlands Patch 9.0.2 (2020-11-17): Devouring Plague's initial damage has been reduced by 15% and its periodic damage has been reduced by 12%. Now learned at level 12.
  • Shadowlands Patch 9.0.1 (2020-10-13): Reintroduced and redesigned. Now learned at level 10.
    Previous ability: Consumes 3 Shadow Orbs to deal (264% of Spell power) Shadow damage and then an additional 100% of the initial damage over 6 sec. Heals the caster for 100% of damage done.
  • Legion Patch 7.0.3 (2016-07-19): Removed.
  • Warlords of Draenor Patch 6.2.2 (2015-09-01): Now deals 10% more damage. In PvP combat, Devouring Plague now deals 10% less damage.
  • Warlords of Draenor Patch 6.2.0 (2015-06-23): Now deals 12% less damage.
  • Warlords of Draenor Patch 6.0.2 (2014-10-14): Now always costs 3 Shadow Orbs, and now heals the priest for 100% of all damage it deals, instead of healing per tick. Now heals for 2% of maximum health per tick (up from 1%).
  • Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28): Redesigned. Now consumes Shadow Orbs instead of mana.
    Previous ability: Afflicts the target with a disease that causes X Shadow damage over 24 sec. 15% of damage caused by the Devouring Plague heals the caster. This spell can only affect one target at a time.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.2.0 (2011-06-28): Devouring Plague damage done has been decreased by 12%.
  • Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.2.0 (2009-08-04): Cooldown removed (was 3 minutes), but now may only be inflicted upon a single target.
  • Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.1.0 (2009-04-14): This spell now has a new icon.
  • Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.0.3 (2008-11-04): The bonus coefficient has been increased to be on par with other DoT spells. Base damage on ranks 7, 8, and 9 decreased to partially compensate for better scaling.
  • Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.0.2 (2008-10-14): Devouring Plague made available to all priests instead of just Undead.
  • WoW Icon update.png Patch 1.12.0 (2006-08-22): Will continue to heal the caster after the target is Mind Controlled.
  • WoW Icon update.png Patch 1.10.0 (2006-03-28): No longer keeps players in combat for its duration.
  • WoW Icon update.png Patch 1.8.0 (2005-10-10): Will now properly consume the Inner Focus effect when cast.
  • 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 1.1.0 (2004-11-07): Added.

See also


External links