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Mind Flay
Spell shadow siphonmana
  • Mind Flay
  • Level 10 Shadow priest ability
  • Replaces Spell holy holysmite [Smite]
  • 40 yd range
  • Channeled
  • Assaults the target's mind with Shadow energy, causing (194.911% of Spell power) Shadow damage over 4.5 sec and slowing their movement speed by 50%.

    Generates 12 Insanity over the duration.
Class Priest
School Shadow
Cooldown None/Global Cooldown
Other information
Level learned 10
Improvements Spell mage presenceofmind [Dark Evangelism], Achievement boss cthun [Idol of C'Thun], Ability revendreth priest [Manipulation], Spell nzinsanity chasedbyshadows [Mastermind], Ability kaztik dominatemind [Mental Decay], Spell shadow mindflay [Mind Trauma]
Related debuff
Spell shadow siphonmana
  • Mind Flay
  • Movement speed slowed and taking Shadow damage every 0.75 sec.
  • Duration: 4.5 seconds
"Some priests heal; others enhance. I, however, melt faces!" —Omedus the Punisher[1]

Mind Flay is a channeled Shadow priest ability.


  • Mind Flay deals four ticks of damage over its duration, each tick occuring every 0.75 seconds (before Haste). Haste reduces the duration and time between ticks, but does not add additional ticks.
  • Mind Flay also generates 18 Insanity over its duration, 3 Insanity per tick.
    • If Mind Flay is interrupted early, it will not generate the full 18 Insanity listed in the tooltip.
  • Mind Flay's debuff has no classification, hence it cannot be dispelled by normal dispel effects. However, it can be dispelled by abilities that remove snare effects, such as Ability rogue trip [Escape Artist].
    • If Mind Flay is "dispelled" by one of these effects, its channel is immediately interrupted.

Tips and tactics[]

Mind Flay is generally the 'filler' in any Shadow priest's rotation. It deals damage fairly slowly and requires the priest to remain stationary while channeling it.

In a standard Shadow priest rotation, Mind Flay should only be used once all DoTs have been applied, and while Spell shadow unholyfrenzy [Mind Blast] (and Ability ironmaidens convulsiveshadows [Void Bolt] while in Spell priest voidform [Voidform]) is on cooldown. Mind Flay is far less effective than any of these abilities, and should be interrupted mid-channel if necessary in order to utilize one of them.

Mind Flay has four main strengths:

  • Its 50% snare effect makes it effective for slowing fleeing targets. This can allow teammates to reach them and finish them, or simply slow a flag-carrier's progress across the field in a battleground. Since Mind Flay has no cooldown, this effect can be channeled continuously as long as the target is within range and in line of sight.
  • As a channeled ability, Mind Flay can be used to continue to deal damage to (and snare) targets even after that target has moved out of the priest's line of sight. When a target is about to move behind an obstacle or similar, priests can use Mind Flay to continue to deal damage to and snare them for a little longer. Mind Flay's effectively instant cast also makes this possible in situations where there would not be time to cast Mind Blast. This also makes Mind Flay very effective when dealing with melee classes such as rogues, who will run closely around the priest while attacking, making it near impossible to cast spells that require line of sight (Spell holy stoicism [Vampiric Touch], Spell shadow unholyfrenzy [Mind Blast]). Although not the most powerful attack, when casting other spells is difficult at best, Mind Flay can be used to deal constant damage.
  • Mind Flay has no cooldown and can be used in combination with DoTs. This makes it the ideal (and almost only) attack to use when all DoTs have been applied and other abilities such as Spell shadow unholyfrenzy [Mind Blast] are on cooldown.
  • Since Mind Flay does not deal damage instantly, it is also possible to use Mind Flay to pull targets from a distance without damaging them. Simply cancel the channel once the target has aggroed, but before the first tick of damage is dealt. This requires precise timing and low latency as Mind Flay deals its first tick of damage less than a second after casting.


  • This spell is popularly referred to as the "face melter" due to the ray that usually targets the opponent's face.


Patch changes[]

  • Dragonflight Hotfix (2023-07-24): Damage increased by 12%. Does not apply to PvP Combat.
  • Dragonflight Hotfix (2023-06-26): Damage increased by 10%.
  • Dragonflight Patch 10.1.0 (2023-05-02): Damage is now increased by 30% in PvP combat.
  • Dragonflight Hotfix (2023-01-09): Damage increased by 15%.
  • Dragonflight Hotfix (2022-12-19): Damage increased by 20%.
  • Dragonflight Patch 10.0.0 (2022-10-25): Now learned at level 10 (was 11).
  • Shadowlands Patch 9.0.2 (2020-11-17): Damage has been reduced by 15%.
  • Shadowlands Patch 9.0.1 (2020-10-13): Channel duration increased by 50%. Now learned at level 11 (was 10).
  • Battle for Azeroth Patch 8.0.1 (2018-07-17): No longer deals damage to nearby targets. Additionally, Mind Flay has received a new spell effect.
  • Legion Hotfix (2017-06-13):
    • Damage increased by 18%.
    • Damage increased by 40% in PvP situations.
  • Legion Patch 7.1.5 (2017-01-10): Now generates 3 Insanity per tick (up from 2). Additionally, Mind Flay will now deal damage to nearby targets and generate additional Insanity, if the target has Spell shadow shadowwordpain [Shadow Word: Pain].
  • Legion Hotfix (2016-09-26): Mind Flay damage increased by 20%.
  • Legion Patch 7.0.3 (2016-07-19): Damage increased by 122%. Mana cost removed.
  • Warlords of Draenor Patch 6.2.2 (2015-09-01): Now deals 20% more damage.
  • Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28): Now learned at level 10 (was 20).
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.2.0 (2011-06-28): Mind Flay damage done has been increased by 12%.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.1.0 (2011-04-26): Should no longer lose a tick of damage when the last tick is clipped by another Mind Flay cast.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.0.1 (2010-10-12): Now a level 20 Shadow specialization ability (was a tier 3 Shadow talent). Range increased to 40 yards (up from 30).
  • Wrath-Logo-Small Hotfix (2009-12-10): You are now able to recast Mind Flay after missing with the spell without receiving a “This spell is not ready yet” message.
  • Wrath-Logo-Small Patch 3.3.0 (2009-12-08): The range of this ability has been increased to 30 yards (up from 20).
  • Wrath-Logo-Small Patch 3.0.8 (2009-01-20): Fixed a bug with targeting where you would not deal damage if not facing the target while channeling. Also corrected an issue where the damage from this ability was slightly delayed.
  • Wrath-Logo-Small Patch 3.0.2 (2008-10-14):
    • Can now periodically critically hit. The spell coefficient has been increased approximately 30%.
    • Mind Flay has received a new spell effect.
  • WoW Icon update Patch 1.6.0 (2005-07-12): Will now cause damage to targets immune to movement slowing effects.
  • WoW Icon update Patch 1.4.0 (2005-04-19): Should now be affected by the Spell arcane blink [Focused Casting] talent.
Wrath of the Lich King Classic
  • Wrath-Logo-Small Hotfix (2022-10-19): Mind Flay, and other similar spells, will no longer benefit from movement impairment reduction as a cast speed bonus.


External links[]