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Fear effects are a form of crowd control that makes a victim to run in random directions, unable to perform most actions for a period of time. Feared creatures have a chance to break Fear when damaged. Any Fear, no matter the duration listed, will last a maximum of 8 seconds when used against players in PvP, and fear is affected by diminishing returns.

Undead and Mechanical monsters are generally immune to Fear. Boss monsters, including lesser bosses of pre-70 instances, and some elite monsters are immune to Fear and other crowd control effects.

Fear, among all crowd control types, is unique in that the victim runs around, sometimes quite a distance before the effect ends. Players affected by it may run into awkward areas (though they will not fall off cliffs) or into more enemy monsters or players that may attack. Monsters affected by Fear may also run into groups of monsters, alerting their friends which then come running into the fight. This often makes fear effects dangerous at best in PvE, especially when used in crowded areas. However, most player fear effects can be modified with glyphs to instead cause their targets to tremble in place, making them viable for use in PvE.

Fear effects have a damage limit, which appears to be based on level. Once the target takes a certain amount of damage, the fear effect will be broken, regardless of any remaining duration. This can allow you to deal a fair amount of damage to the target before it does so. Melee targets will also have to run back to the caster in order to resume attacking them, allowing ranged classes more time to deal damage. Ranged types may therefore wish to decide how far to allow melee targets to run before attacking, ideally leaving them with a long run back.

All Fear effects also increase the afflicted target's run speed by 25%, making it harder to catch feared targets. When using Fear effects on flag carriers in battlegrounds such as Warsong Gulch, this can occasionally have the effect of accelerating their progress across the field. Fear effects do not inherently dismount players, meaning mounted players can ride a long way while feared.

Many Fear effects are magical and can be dispelled or reflected; many are Shadow and are affected by Shadow Resistance.

Some raid bosses cause Fear to the entire raid. Losing your fear before the tank does can be hazardous to your health as you may be acquired as the mob's target.

Player abilities that cause the fear effect[]

The paladins's Ability paladin turnevil [Turn Evil] functions very similarly to fear effects, but is considered a "turn" effect for the purpose of immunities, etc.

Fear counters and blocks[]


Ways to remove Fear effects:

Hostile counters:

  • Sufficient damage taken by the feared target will break the effect.

Fear prevention[]

Some abilities that help prevent or make you immune to Fear:

Silences, stuns and interrupts[]

See also: Silence effectStunInterrupt

Another method of preventing Fear would be preventing the caster from using a Fear through your own crowd control or anti-spellcasting abilities. Some examples are listed below. For fuller listings and discussion see interrupt, silence effect and crowd control.

Also dealing fatal damage, a high shadow resistance, or avoiding the range or area the user can hit with fear are all viable ways to stop the Fear from happening.

Patch changes[]

  • Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.4.0 (2013-09-10): All fear and horrify effects can no longer cause targets under the effects of a movement speed buff to move faster than normal run speed.
  • Wrath-Logo-Small Patch 3.2.2 (2009-09-22): "Ability druid ferociousbite [Bestial Wrath] and Ability hunter beastwithin [The Beast Within] Changed to function like PvP Trinkets, removing any movement impairing effects, and giving immunity to these effects for 10 seconds."
  • Bc icon Patch 2.2.0 (2007-09-25): "Fear duration against PvP targets has been reduced to 10 seconds."
  • Bc icon Patch 2.1.0 (2007-05-22): "Chance to break crowd control from damage: The increased chance for a spell to break from taking a critical strike has been removed. Instead, all targets over level 60 have a slightly larger chance to break out of crowd-controlling effects when they take damage."
  • Bc icon Patch 2.0.1 (2006-12-05): "In PvP, Crowd Control effects will last no longer than 12 seconds instead of the full duration, with a chance of a heartbeat resist."
  • WoW Icon update Patch 1.7.0 (2005-09-13): Druids should now be able to shapeshift back into caster form while Feared.