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Power Word: Shield
Spell holy powerwordshield
  • Power Word: Shield
  • Level 4 priest ability
  • 40 yd range
  • 10% of base mana
  • 7.5 sec cooldown
  • Instant
  • Shields an ally for 15 sec, absorbing (336% of Spell Power) damage.
Class Priest
School Holy
Cooldown 7.5 seconds
Other information
Level learned 4
Improvements Spell holy powerwordshield [Aegis of Wrath], Ability priest atonement [Atonement], Spell holy symbolofhope [Body and Soul], Spell holy borrowedtime [Borrowed Time], Ability priest reflectiveshield [Crystalline Reflection], Ability racial forceshield [Protector of the Frail], Spell holy blessingofprotection [Strength of Soul], Inv enchant voidsphere [Void Shield], Ability priest clarityofwill [Words of the Pious]
Related buff
Spell holy powerwordshield
  • Magic
  • Power Word: Shield
  • Absorbs (336% of Spell Power) damage.
  • Duration: 15 seconds

Power Word: Shield (abbreviated PW:S) is a defensive Power Word priests learn at level 4. It creates a protective shield around a friendly target which absorbs a set amount of damage, and prevents spell pushback.

Power Word: Shield is undoubtedly one of the signature spells of the Discipline priest, protecting the target with a powerful shield that can seem unbreakable. It also is one of the primary ways Discipline priests apply Ability priest atonement [Atonement] to their allies.


Power Word: Shield is an instant-cast spell which generates a shield around the target, absorbing most forms of damage. The shield will last for 15 seconds or until "broken" through combat. The shield enjoys the full protection of the player's armor, parry and dodge, partial resists, and other forms of damage mitigation: only damage which would actually injure the player will be absorbed by the shield.

Be aware that Power Word: Shield will not protect a target from debuffs, interrupts or crowd control, nor will it protect against environmental damage (falling, fatigue, drowning, etc). Attacks which additionally apply debuffs (eg. Ability warrior savageblow [Mortal Strike]) will still apply their debuffs even if all damage from the attack is absorbed. PW:S will also not absorb damage from abilities which injure their casters, such as a warlock's Spell shadow burningspirit [Life Tap].

However, Power Word: Shield does protect targets against pushback. It also prevents Spell frost stun [Dazed] effects caused by being struck from behind.

Power Word: Shield does not interfere with rage generation for druids in bear form or warriors.

Tips and tactics[]

Power Word Shield

In the World of Warcraft: Trading Card Game.

  • Shielding before combat does not cause any threat and reduces the time until the target can be shielded again.
  • A major disadvantage of the shield is that it is a limited form of damage mitigation, not a true healing spell, and so may wear off without having been of any use. With a limited duration of 15 seconds, priests must choose their timing in order to ensure mana is not wasted casting the spell to little or no advantage.
  • Mana efficiency of Power Word: Shield is typically predicated upon the shield being fully absorbed. In practice, with only a 15 second window for this to occur, in many situations the shield will fade without being completely absorbed. In these cases the spell can be considered to be far less mana efficient.
  • As a magical effect, PW:S is dispellable with abilities such as Spell nature nullifydisease [Dispel Magic] and Spell arcane massdispel [Mass Dispel].
  • Mages can Spell arcane arcane02 [Spellsteal] PW:S. Priests playing against smart mages may therefore wish to refrain from shielding, or stock up on buffs to make a theft more difficult.
  • PW:S is notably useful for its pushback prevention. This is very useful for casters who are receiving damage, allowing them to continue casting uninterrupted. In this way, PW:S can serve to increase casters' DPS output. This makes PW:S especially useful for priests when soloing.
  • Some classes and enemies (especially instance bosses) throw out debuffs which reduce the effectiveness of healing on player targets. As PW:S is not a healing spell, it is generally not impacted by these debuffs.
  • In PvP, this spell can be enormously helpful to rogues and Feral druids: if they take any sort of damage (including AoE and DoT), they will be broken out of stealth, which can expose them unexpectedly - and often fatally. Shielding a stealthed ally will protect them from these forms of damage, allowing them to jump out of stealth at their own leisure.
  • PW:S can be used to temporarily increase a tank's effective health in anticipation of a major damage spike.
  • PW:S has a somewhat antagonistic relationship with Spell holy prayerofmendingtga [Prayer of Mending]. PoM will not proc from absorbed damage, making the two spells hard to use in combination. One tactic is to first cast PoM on the tank or current target, allowing it to jump to another player before casting PW:S on the tank. This ensures at least one proc, and reduces the likelihood of PoM expiring prematurely.
  • By preventing Spell frost stun [Dazed] effects, PW:S can be useful for fleeing players. However, it will not remove existing daze effects, so ideally cast it before the player has a chance to be dazed.


  • Power Word: Shield is a basic Priest spell in Hearthstone. The flavor text reads: "Sure the extra protection is nice, but the shield really reduces visibility."
  • Prior to patch 1.10.0, Power Word: Shield gained no absorption from spell power, entirely preventing the shield from scaling with the priest's gear. This was changed in the patch to allow it to gain a "small bonus" equal to 10% of the caster's bonus healing (the healing portion of spell power).

Patch changes[]

  • Dragonflight Hotfix (2023-08-21): No longer reduced by 15% in PvP combat.
  • Dragonflight Patch 10.1.5 (2023-07-11): Now costs 10% of base mana (was 5%).
  • Dragonflight Hotfix (2023-06-05): Now absorbs 15% less damage in PvP Combat.
  • Dragonflight Hotfix (2023-04-10):
    • Now costs 2.4% of base mana for Discipline (was 3.1%).
    • Now absorbs 25% more damage for Discipline.
  • Dragonflight Hotfix (2022-12-19):
    • Increased the mana cost of Power Word: Shield to 5% of base Mana for Shadow only (was 4%).
    • Reduced the absorption value of Power Word: Shield by 20% in PvP Combat for Shadow only.
  • Dragonflight Patch 10.0.2 (2022-11-15): Absorb value no longer increased by 10% in PvP combat.
  • Dragonflight Patch 10.0.0 (2022-10-25): No longer causes Weakened Soul. Now has a 7.5 second cooldown.
  • Shadowlands Patch 9.2.5 (2022-05-31):
    • (Discipline/Shadow) Power Word: Shield absorb amount increased by 10% in PvP combat.
    • Fixed an issue that reduced the value of Power Word: Shield critical strikes in PvP combat.
  • Shadowlands Hotfix (2020-11-09): Absorb reduced by 8%.
  • Shadowlands Patch 9.0.2 (2020-11-17):
    • Now absorbs 17.5% less damage.
    • No longer increased by 10% in PvP combat.
  • Shadowlands Patch 9.0.1 (2020-10-13): Now available to all priest specializations and learned at level 4 (was 8). Now absorbs around 32% more damage.
  • Battle for Azeroth Hotfix (2018-12-12):
    • Resolved an issue that caused Power Word: Shield's value to be lower than intended when engaged in combat with enemy players.
    • Power Word: Shield absorbs an additional 10% when engaged in combat with enemy players.
Developers' note: Shadow Priests' Power Word: Shield was unaffected by the above and is unchanged.
  • Battle for Azeroth Patch 8.1.0 (2018-12-11): Once again applies Weakened Soul, preventing the same caster from recasting it on the same target for 7.5 seconds.
  • Battle for Azeroth Patch 8.0.1 (2018-07-17): Cooldown removed for both specializations.
  • Legion Hotfix (2017-06-13): Power Word: Shield's absorption amount is increased by 10% in PvP situations (was 25%)./
  • Legion Patch 7.2.5 (2017-06-13): Power Word: Shield cost increase by 15%.
  • Legion Patch 7.1.0 (2016-10-25): Mana cost increased by 51%. Now learned at level 8 (was 5).
  • Legion Patch 7.0.3 (2016-07-19): No longer available to Holy priests. The Weakened Soul and Borrowed Time effects have been removed.
  • Warlords of Draenor Hotfix (2015-11-20): Weakened Soul effect from Power Word: Shield now has an 11-second duration while in PvP combat (down from 15 seconds). The perk, Enhanced Power Word: Shield (Discipline, Shadow) will continue to reduce the duration of Weakened Soul by an additional 3 seconds.
  • Warlords of Draenor Patch 6.1.0 (2015-02-24): Now absorbs 10% less damage.
  • Warlords of Draenor Hotfix (2015-01-12): Power Word: Shield's absorption has been reduced by 15%.
  • Warlords of Draenor Hotfix (2014-12-04): Critical hits should now correctly absorb only 150% of normal in PvP.
  • Warlords of Draenor Patch 6.0.2 (2014-10-14):
    • Now has a chance for a critical effect based on critical strike chance and can Multistrike based on Multistrike chance for all specializations.
      • Spell holy devineaegis [Divine Aegis] no longer grants Power Word: Shield a chance to critically strike.
    • Spell holy borrowedtime [Borrowed Time] has been redesigned, and merged into baseline Power Word: Shield for Discipline priests. It now increases the priest's stat gains to Haste from all sources by 40% for 6 seconds.
  • Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28): Cooldown increased to 6 seconds, up from 3. Spell power coefficient increased to 187%, up from 87%. Now learned at level 5 (was 6).
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.1.0 (2011-04-26): Duration has been reduced to 15 seconds, down from 30.
  • Cataclysm Hotfix (2011-02-16): Power Word: Shield now costs roughly 34% of base mana, up from 25%. This is not reflected in the tooltip, but is reflected in the amount of mana used when the spell is cast. The tooltip update will require a client-side patch.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.0.6 (2011-02-08): The mana cost of Power Word: Shield has been increased by approximately 31%, but its effect has been increased by 208%.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.0.1 (2010-10-12): Now costs 19% of base mana, down from 23% of base mana. Cooldown reduced to from 4 sec to 3 sec.
  • Wrath-Logo-Small Hotfix (2010-02-05): The amount of damage being absorbed by Ability paladin blessedmending [Sacred Shield] and Power Word: Shield is being reduced by 10% correctly in only battlegrounds, Arenas, and Wintergrasp.
  • Wrath-Logo-Small Patch 3.3.0 (2009-12-08): This spell can now be cast on non-raid/party friendly targets.
  • Bc icon Patch 2.4.2 (2008-05-13): Now has the correct sound associated with it and can no longer be heard from large distances.
  • Bc icon Patch 2.4.0 (2008-03-25): Using low ranks of this spell will now be penalized the same way healing spells are penalized.
  • Bc icon Patch 2.3.0 (2007-11-13): Now gains additional benefit from spell damage and healing bonuses. Base absorb values of ranks 10, 11 and 12 have been reduced.
  • Bc icon Patch 2.1.0 (2007-05-22): The Weakened Soul effect will no longer sometimes be re-applied while zoning with this buff on.
  • Bc icon Patch 2.0.10 (2007-03-06): The damage absorption of "Power Word: Shield" added by the caster's bonus healing has been increased to 20%.
  • WoW Icon update Patch 1.10.0 (2006-03-28): This spell will now get a small bonus from items and effects which increase your healing.
  • WoW Icon update Patch 1.7.0 (2005-09-13): Fixed a bug where Ability warlock soullink [Soul Link] and Power Word: Shield, when used together, would heal the Warlock instead of splitting or absorbing damage.
  • WoW Icon update Patch 1.6.0 (2005-07-12): Damage absorption now absorbs damage from mana burn effects like Lava Shield.
  • WoW Icon update Patch 1.3.0 (2005-03-07): Now castable on all raid targets.
  • WoW Icon update Patch 1.2.0 (2004-12-18): Now usable on party members only.
  • Test-inline Patch 0.12 (2004-10-11): Holy Word: Shield has been renamed to Power Word: Shield.
  • Test-inline Patch 0.9 (2004-08-17): Duration reduced. Can now only be used once per 30 seconds per target.
  • Test-inline Patch 0.7 (2004-06-15): Mana cost increased.
Burning Crusade Classic
  • Bc icon Patch 2.5.2 (2021-08-31): Resolved an issue where the first cast of Power Word: Shield used by Priests after a login would not benefit from Ability priest reflectiveshield [Reflective Shield].

See also[]

External links[]