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For the Classic Undead priest ability, see Spell shadow blackplague [Devouring Plague].
Devouring Plague
Spell shadow devouringplague
  • Devouring Plague
  • Row 1 Shadow priest talent
  • 40 yd range
  • 50 Insanity
  • Instant
  • Requires Shadowform
  • Afflicts the target with a disease that instantly causes (155.231% of Spell power) Shadow damage plus an additional 4 Shadow damage over 6 sec. Heals you for 30% of damage dealt.

    If this effect is reapplied, any remaining damage will be added to the new Devouring Plague.
Class Priest
School Shadow
Cooldown None/Global Cooldown
Improvements Spell shadow gathershadows [Distorted Reality], Ability priest clarityofpower [Mental Fortitude], Spell shadow devouringplague [Mind's Eye], Spell shadow lifedrain02 purple [Screams of the Void], Ability priest shadowyapparition [Shadowy Apparitions], Spell fire twilightflamebreath [Surge of Insanity], Inv enchant voidsphere [Voidtouched]
Related debuff
Spell shadow devouringplague
  • Disease
  • Devouring Plague
  • Suffering (73.73% of Spell Power) damage 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 HS

Devouring Plague in Hearthstone.

Devouring Plague is a Shadow priest ability. 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.


  • 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 Ability priest voidentropy [Searing Nightmare] which also costs insanity and competes with Devouring Plague in multi-target scenarios.
  • Uses the same refresh mechanic as Spell fire incinerate [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" Spell shadow shadetruesight [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 Spell priest voidform [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 Ability rogue imrovedrecuperate [Detox] and Spell holy nullifydisease [Purify Disease]. Devouring Plague has no dispel protection on its own, but it can benefit from the dispel protection provided by Spell holy stoicism [Vampiric Touch] and Spell shadow unstableaffliction 3 [Unstable Affliction] against dispel abilities that remove both disease and magic effects (such as Spell holy purify [Cleanse]).


  • For a time between patch 9.0.1 and patch 9.0.2, Devouring Plague was learned before Spell shadow shadowform [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.

Patch changes[]

  • Dragonflight Hotfix (2023-07-24): Damage increased by 12%. Does not apply to PvP Combat.
  • Dragonflight Patch 10.1.0 (2023-05-02): Instant damage increased by 75%.
  • Dragonflight Hotfix (2023-01-09):
    • Damage increased by 15%.
    • Damage reduced by 25% in PvP Combat.
  • Dragonflight Hotfix (2022-12-19): Damage increased by 10%.
  • Dragonflight Hotfix (2022-12-12):
    • Healing reduced to 30% of damage dealt (was 50%).
    • Healing is no longer reduced in PvP combat.
  • Dragonflight Hotfix (2022-11-01): Damage increased by 10%.
  • Dragonflight Patch 10.0.0 (2022-10-25): Now a row 1 Shadow talent (was a level 12 Shadow ability).
  • Shadowlands Hotfix (2021-07-12): Devouring Plague damage reduced by 8%.
  • Shadowlands Patch 9.1.0 (2021-06-29): Damage reduced by 18%.
  • Shadowlands Hotfix (2020-11-23): Now learned at level 12 (was level 10).
  • 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%.
  • 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-Logo-Small Patch 3.2.0 (2009-08-04): Cooldown removed (was 3 minutes), but now may only be inflicted upon a single target.
  • Wrath-Logo-Small Patch 3.1.0 (2009-04-14): This spell now has a new icon.
  • Wrath-Logo-Small 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-Logo-Small Patch 3.0.2 (2008-10-14): Devouring Plague made available to all priests instead of just Undead.
  • WoW Icon update Patch 1.12.0 (2006-08-22): Will continue to heal the caster after the target is Mind Controlled.
  • WoW Icon update Patch 1.10.0 (2006-03-28): No longer keeps players in combat for its duration.
  • WoW Icon update Patch 1.8.0 (2005-10-10): Will now properly consume the Inner Focus effect when cast.
  • WoW Icon update Patch 1.6.0 (2005-07-12): Health leech effects no longer give you health while you are a ghost.
  • WoW Icon update Patch 1.1.0 (2004-11-07): Added.

See also[]


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