“Magic is the art of circumventing the normal. [...] The stars march in order across the sky, the seasons fall one after the other with lockstepped regularity, and men and women live and die. If that does not happen, it's magic, the first warping of the universe, a few floorboards that are bent out of shape, waiting for industrious hands to pry them up.”

WoW Chronicle Magic.jpg
The cosmic forces, realms and denizens of the universe from the perspective of the titans.

The universe is a realm filled with potent magics (or magiks[2][3][4] and magicks)[5][6] and mighty beings. Since the dawn of time, these forces[7] have influenced the cosmos, setting the stars in motion and the destiny of countless worlds and mortal civilizations.[8]

Magical energies are most apparent beneath the earth as well as in special locations - centers of elemental forces, otherworldly powers, and mystical energies.

The cosmic forces

Grimoire of the Shadowlands - Cosmology.jpg
The cosmology chart from the perspective of the brokers in the Shadowlands
Created by the First Ones,[9] the cosmic forces have influenced Azeroth and the surrounding cosmos, setting the stars in motion and shaping the destiny of countless worlds and mortal civilizations.

Light and Shadow

Light and Shadow are the most fundamental forces in existence. Although contradictory by their very nature, they are bound together on a cosmic scale. One cannot exist without the other. Pure Light and Shadow dwell in a realm outside the borders of reality, but shades of their presence are found in the physical universe. Light manifests as holy magic, while Shadow (also called the Void) appears as shadow magic.

Life and Death

The forces of Life and Death hold sway over every living thing in the physical universe. The energies of Life, known commonly as nature magic, promote growth and renewal in all things. Death, in the form of necromantic magic, acts as a counterbalance to Life. It is an unavoidable force that breeds despair in mortal hearts and pushes everything toward a state of entropic decay and eventual oblivion. Another type of Death magic is domination, which is capable of controlling and reshaping souls.

Order and Disorder

The forces of Order and Disorder (also called Chaos[10]) govern the cosmic systems of the physical universe. Order is most commonly perceived in reality as arcane magic. This type of energy is innately volatile, and wielding it requires intense precision and concentration. Conversely, Disorder is manifested as highly destructive fel magic. This brutal and extremely addictive energy is fueled by drawing life from living beings.

It has been hinted that when titans die, their souls would return to their own Order plane.[11]

The Elements

The elements of fire, air, earth, and water serve as the basic building blocks of all matter in the physical universe. Shamanic cultures have long sought to live in harmony with, or assert dominion over, the elements. To do so, they called upon the primordial forces of Spirit and Decay. Those who seek to bring balance to the elements rely on Spirit (sometimes referred to as the fifth element by shaman, or chi by pandaren). This life-giving force interconnects and binds all things in existence as one. Decay is the tool of shaman seeking to subjugate and weaponize the elements themselves.

Elemental duality

Elements can influence a variety of emotional positive and negative states:

  • Fire influences passion and fury
  • Air influences cunning and madness
  • Earth influences stability and stubbornness
  • Water influences tranquility and indecisiveness
  • Spirit influences bravery and naiveté
  • Decay influences efficiency and ruthlessness

The seventh force?

A few in-game sources imply the presence of a potential seventh force. The broker Al'firim compiled a report on his findings of a force he refers to as the "fractals". Additionally, a Korthian relic, the Inv helmet 30.png  [Everliving Statuette], whispers "The seventh covets what the six hold fast. The fulcrum wavers. All will be undone.".

Different types of magic


Main article: Arcane
Arcane magic in the form of a frost spell.
On Azeroth, volatile arcane magic was once concentrated in the Well of Eternity, but its destruction spread arcane magic throughout the world.[7] Arcane is distinctive for its ability to bend other energies (such as Fire,[12][13] Life)[14][15][16] to the caster's will. It can be used to manipulate space and time.[17]

Arcane is derived from the phase transitions of mana - if mana were water, then arcane would be steam pressure.[18] Arcane energy is so similar to an element it might as well be one, for all magical intents and purposes.[12] Ley lines carry arcane magic. Sub-branches of arcane:


Main article: Technomancy

Technomancy, or techno-sorcery, is a form of magic employed by the ethereals, capable of modifying an item's arcane essence or housing items in a pocket dimension,[19] as well as opening portals.[20]


Main article: Time

Chronomancy is the art of weaving time.


Main article: Fel

Fel magic is a destructive form of magic often used by the members of the Burning Legion. It is demonic, entropic, chaotic and extremely volatile. Its use results in the alteration of the individual, or corruption, which manifests as a physical transformation such as a change to an individual's eyes or skin color, or heavy genetic mutations. All of the Burning Legion carry the taint of fel magic within their very blood, allowing them to spread greater evil.[21] Warlocks use life force to power their fel magic.[22]


Main article: Holy

Pure Light cannot exist within the physical universe but shades of it manifest as holy magic.[23] It can be channeled to heal, cleanse, and protect. Practitioners of the Light are called priests or paladins, devoted to cleansing the universe of darkness. The Light is often said to bring about feelings of positive emotion—hope, courage, comfort—coming from the "heart."[24]


Main article: Void

Shadow magic is the manifestation of the Void in the universe.[25] A source of terrible power, it is the kind that comes at a price.[26] Although destructive, it can also be used to raise the undead or to harm the mind, imparting feelings such as despair, doubt, and panic—emotions based on survival logic.[24]


Twilight magic is presumably Old God magic of the void branch.[27]


Main article: Necromancy

Necromancy is the study and use of magic to raise and control the dead.[28] The manifestation of Death magic, it has many functions. Masters of this tainted field of magic can conjure festering diseases, harness the shadows into bolts of incendiary energy, and reconstruct the flesh of undead creatures, allowing them to function again even after the foul monsters have been destroyed.[29]


Main article: Life

The energies of Life, commonly known as nature magic, promote growth and renewal in all things.

Blood magic

Blood magic is a form of tortured life magic that uses blood as a power source.[30][31]


Druids maintain a deep connection to nature through the Emerald Dream, a primordial realm that encompasses all aspects of nature.[7]


Main article: Shamanism and Nature Worship

Spirit, or Chi as the pandaren call it,[32] is the life force that shaman manipulate.[33] Spirit energy is intrinsically linked to the elements—earth, air, fire, and water. This life-giving force interconnects and binds all things in existence as one.[34] Shamanism is a deeply spiritual form of elemental magic that involves a connection with both the natural and spirit worlds. Shaman do not normally enslave elementals, but honor them, asking the elements to heed their call. Shaman are not inherently imbued with magic—they harness the powers of the elements through ceremonial totems.[7] Shamanism is also practiced by some of the draenei who learned shamanism from the orcs of Draenor.


Main article: Geomancy

Geomancy is a crude form of shamanism.[35]


Main article: Voodoo

Voodoo is a dark and powerful form of magic practiced by the troll shadow hunters, hexxers, and witch doctors. They use mojo in their voodoo.


Main article: Rune magic

Runic magic is a magic that employs runes. The vrykul practice a runic magic that even the most experienced wizards find unfamiliar.[36] The runes can access various types of magic, such as fel, void, arcane, and death.[37]

Table of magic-using races

Form of magic Races
Arcane Blood elf, Blue dragon, Dark Iron dwarf, Draenei, Dwarf, Ethereal, Forest troll, Forsaken, Goblin, Gnome, High elf, Human, Jungle troll, Lightforged draenei, Mag'har orc, Mechagnome, Naga, Nerubian, Night elf, Nightborne, Ogre mage, Orc, Void elf, Worgen, Void elf, Vulpera, Zandalari troll
Blood Blood elf, Blood troll, Forest troll, Human, Ice troll, Jungle troll, Mogu, Orc, San'layn, Sand troll, Zandalari troll
Chi Blood elf, Dark Iron dwarf, Draenei, Dwarf, Forsaken, Gnome, Highmountain tauren, Human, Jungle troll, Mag'har orc, Mechagnome, Night elf, Nightborne, Orc, Pandaren, Tauren, Vrykul, Vulpera, Zandalari troll
Druidism Furbolg, Forest troll, Highmountain tauren, Human, Jungle troll, Night elf, Tauren, Wildkin, Worgen, Zandalari troll
Fel Blood elf, Dark Iron dwarf, Demon, Draenei, Dwarf, Forsaken, Gnome, Goblin, Harpy, High elf, Highmountain tauren, Human, Jungle troll, Mag'har orc, Mechagnome, Murloc, Naga, Nightborne, Orc, Satyr, Void elf, Vrykul, Vulpera, Worgen
Geomancy Kobold, Pandaren, Quilboar, Trogg
Holy Blood elf, Dark Iron dwarf, Draenei, Dwarf, Forsaken, Gnome, Goblin, High elf, Human, Lightforged draenei, Mag'har orc, Mechagnome, Night elf, Nightborne, Pandaren, Tauren, Void elf, Vulpera, Worgen, Zandalari troll
Necromancy Blood elf, Blood troll, Dwarf, Forest troll, Forsaken, Human, Jungle troll, Mechagnome, Nathrezim, Nerubian, Nightborne, Orc, Sand troll, Undead, Vrykul, Vulpera, Zandalari troll
Runic Dwarf, Tauren, Vrykul
Shamanism Centaur, Dark Iron dwarf, Dwarf, Draenei, Forest troll, Furbolg, Gnoll, Goblin, Gorloc, Human, Jungle Troll, Mag'har orc, Magnataur, Makrura, Murloc, Ogre, Orc, Pandaren, Quilboar, Taunka, Tauren, Trogg, Tuskarr, Vulpera, Wildhammer dwarf, Wolvar, Zandalari troll
Voodoo Blood troll, Dark troll, Forest troll, Jungle troll, Ice troll, Sand troll, Zandalari troll
Void (Shadow) Arakkoa, Blood elf, Ethereal, Forsaken, Human, Jungle troll, Mechagnome, Mag'har orc, Nightborne, Ogre, Orc, Void elf, Vulpera, Zandalari troll

In the RPG

Icon-RPG.png This section contains information from the Warcraft RPG which is considered non-canon.

Two categories of magic exist, arcane and divine. Divine magic contains druidism, shamanism, voodoo, and holy light, as well as other religions. Nature is a subcategory within the divine, but a form of it can also be found in arcane as well. Runes are mystically ancient, it is a type of arcane magic, but accessed by more natural means (see Runemasters and Inscribers).


Arcane, the most common form of magic, comes from the Well of Eternity, which itself draws from the Twisting Nether. Arcane magic is very powerful, but if not used carefully can cause corruption and great destruction.[38] . Used by mages, wizards, and other sorcerers, such as those of the Kirin Tor, arcane magic is ever present in the atmosphere and accessible to any who are capable of drawing upon its energies. Arcane magics were discovered by the kaldorei and later refined by the high elves of Quel'Thalas and the human nations, and are most commonly practiced by mages.[39][40]


Fel energy is arcane magic at its most corrupt. If arcane magic is an addiction, fel magic is the embodiment of the drug at its purest form.[41]


Necromancers are capable of reviving living creatures from death to do their bidding as undead servants.[42]


Druids derive their power from the earth itself, although they do not require totems to channel energy like shamans. They become agents of nature itself, forming a bond with all beings of nature and pulling their strength directly from that bond.[43]


The practice of divination and elemental combat native to several humanoid races of Azeroth. It is similar to shamanism in that disciples of geomancy wield the powers of the earth and encourage respect of earth’s spirits. The main difference between a geomancer and a shaman is the method through which the trust of the elements is gained. A shaman speaks directly with the elemental spirits, whereas a geomancer uses rituals, songs, and sacrifices to appease and propitiate the spirits.[44]

Rune magic

Runic magic was created by the titans. Their creation, the dwarves, quickly mastered the mysteries of the runes taught to them. However, as generations passed, the dwarves forgot their heritage and lost all knowledge of runes and their hereditary powers.

Tauren in Kalimdor rediscovered the power of runes. An ancient race as well, the tauren remembered the myths of runecasting and revived interest in this nearly lost art. The dwarves that came to Kalimdor with Jaina Proudmoore's Alliance Expedition learned tauren runecasting techniques. Tauren and dwarves do not share good relations, but they were eager to share knowledge of runes and titan myths.[45]


Voodoo is a strange tribal mix between the power of arcane and divine magic,[46] practiced by witch doctors and shadow hunters. They often combine reagents in a cauldron to create strange brews that most often result in bizarre transformations when consumed. They are widely known for placing hexes to morph victims into various creatures or placing curses.[47][48] The majority of voodoo users are trolls, although other races of the Horde have taken up the craft.[49][50]


  • The nature and uses of the forms of magic are vigorously debated on Azeroth, but the magnitude of what magic can accomplish cannot be doubted.[7]
  • The four motifs at the corners of the cosmology chart are identical to the four motifs used in the map of Azeroth after the sundering in World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1.

See also


  1. ^ Grubb, Jeff. The Last Guardian, 92. ISBN 978-0-6710-4151-9. 
  2. ^ Warcraft: Orcs & Humans manual
  3. ^ Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness manual
  4. ^ Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal manual
  5. ^ Neutral 15.png   Ui-charactercreate-classes warrior.png  [10-45] The Sword of Kings
  6. ^ Traveler: The Spiral Path, chapter 16
  7. ^ a b c d e Ultimate Visual Guide
  8. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1
  9. ^ World of Warcraft Devs Talk the New Raid and Mythic+ Score Coming to the Chains of Domination Expansion - "the First Ones, the progenitors who created the Shadowlands and other cosmic realms."
  10. ^ Jeremy Feasel on Twitter: "@koldun1029 There's nature magic, like druids use, and light magic, like priests/pallies use. Blood was tortured life. Fel is Chaos."
  11. ^ Steve Danuser with Taliesin & Evitel - 00:40:01
  12. ^ a b Tides of War
  13. ^ The Demon Soul - "Touching upon the green flames that were an inherent part of the demons, the red-haired wizard made them truly fiery and, in a sense, caused the demons to consume themselves."
  14. ^ Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects - "He spoke an incantation, and a strand of white arcane energy shot out from the artifact. It wrapped itself around the whelp, a rope of magic, and began to pull golden life energy from the small dragon. It squeaked in pain. "No!" screamed Kirygosa, lunging forward. The man jerked on the chain, hard. Kirygosa dropped to her knees, hissing in agony. The whelp grew. It opened its mouth and let out a small, squeaking cry as its body spasmed. Thrall could almost hear bones creaking and skin stretching as the mage drained its life energy, aging it quickly."
  15. ^ The Last Guardian - "Nature magic?" asked Medivh. "Ripening, culling, harvesting? Can you take a seed and pull the youth from it until it becomes a flower?"
  16. ^ The Worst Mage in Dalaran: A Children's Book
  17. ^ Weaver Belmaril - Quotes
  18. ^ Dave Kosak on Twitter (2014-04-27)
  19. ^ Thaumaturge Rafir
  20. ^ Ability mage netherwindpresence.png  [Ethereal Portal]
  21. ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 21
  22. ^ The Comic Volume 4 - Hard Choices: "We will use the injured gryphon's life force to power our fel magic."
  23. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 10
  24. ^ a b Ask CDev Answers - Round 3
  25. ^ World of Warcraft: The Magazine Volume 2 Issue 1
  26. ^ Neutral 15.png  [35-40] Disrupt the Rituals
  27. ^ Jeremy Feasel on Twitter
  28. ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 21
  29. ^ The Schools of Arcane Magic - Necromancy
  30. ^ Horde 15.png  [35R] Life Blood
  31. ^ Jeremy Feasel on Twitter
  32. ^ Dave Kosak on Twitter
  33. ^ Dave Kosak on Twitter
  34. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg 13.
  35. ^ The Old Wizard's Almanac: The Shamanic Races
  36. ^ The Old Wizard's Almanac: Non-Magical Creatures
  37. ^ Neutral 15.png  [45] Dabbling in the Demonic
  38. ^ Arthaus. World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 248-249. ISBN 9781588467812. 
  39. ^ Arthaus. Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 150-151. ISBN 9781588460714. 
  40. ^ Arthaus. World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 59. ISBN 9781588467812. 
  41. ^ Johnstone, Mike. Magic & Mayhem, 24. ISBN 9781588469540. 
  42. ^ Arthaus. World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 60. ISBN 9781588467812. 
  43. ^ Arthaus. Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 154. ISBN 9781588460714. 
  44. ^ Borgstrom, Rebecca; Eric Brennan, Genevieve Cogman, and Michael Goodwin. Manual of Monsters, 79. ISBN 978-1588-4607-07. 
  45. ^ Johnstone, Mike. Magic & Mayhem, 34. ISBN 9781588469540. 
  46. ^ Arthaus. Lands of Conflict, 117. ISBN 9781588469601. 
  47. ^ Johnstone, Mike. Magic & Mayhem, 55-57. ISBN 9781588469540. 
  48. ^ Bennie, Scott; Richard Farrese, Bob Fitch. Horde Player's Guide, 66-68. ISBN 9781588467720. 
  49. ^ Arthaus. More Magic and Mayhem, 8. ISBN 9781588469458. 
  50. ^ Bennie, Scott; Richard Farrese, Bob Fitch. Horde Player's Guide, 67. ISBN 9781588467720. 
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