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Psychic Scream
Spell shadow psychicscream
  • Psychic Scream
  • Level 7 priest ability
  • 1.2% of base mana
  • 45 sec cooldown
  • Instant
  • Lets out a psychic scream, causing all enemies within 8 yards to flee, disorienting them for 8 sec. Damage may interrupt the effect.
Class Priest
School Shadow
Cooldown 45 seconds
Radius 8 yards
Other information
Level learned 7
Improvements Spell shadow psychichorrors [Petrifying Scream], Ability warrior commandingshout [Psychic Voice], Spell nzinsanity fearofdeath [Sheer Terror]
Related debuff
Spell shadow psychicscream
  • Magic
  • Psychic Scream
  • Disoriented.
  • Duration: 8 seconds
"You say 'scream' … I say 'serenade'."[1]
Psychic Scream Comic

The priest Revil Kost using Psychic Scream against the Defias in the comic.

Psychic Scream TCG

In the World of Warcraft: Trading Card Game.

Psychic Scream is a priest ability that causes up to 5 nearby enemies to run away in fear. It is one of the priest's primary forms of crowd control.

Tips and tactics[]

Icon-time This section contains information that is out-of-date.

In PvE[]

The main drawback to the use of Psychic Scream in PvE is the potential for fleeing mobs to aggro other mobs, causing a number of additional enemies to attack the priest or their group. In many situations this can be disastrous, and situational awareness is required to use it successfully.

Shadow priests can use Spell shadow siphonmana [Mind Flay] to snare a feared enemy, reducing the potential distance they travel and therefore the likelihood that they will aggro other mobs. While damage may break the effect, Mind Flay counts as a DoT and so has a reduced chance of doing so.

While Psychic Scream has the potential to affect several targets, some enemies are immune to fear, notably dungeon and raid Bosses, and all Undead mobs.

Psychic Scream in PvP[]

Psychic Scream can be indispensable in PvP due to its ability to interrupt players and remove them from play for up to 8 seconds. However, many players have abilities that render them immune from fear effects, and others will make use of PvP trinkets or similar abilities to end their fear prematurely. Damage taken may also cancel the effect. Psychic Scream also shares a diminishing returns category with all other fear effects.

While Shadow priests have a number of other options for single-target crowd control, such as Ability priest silence [Silence] and Spell shadow psychichorrors [Psychic Horror], Psychic Scream offers a powerful instant escape option from up to 5 opponents. With the exception of Spell shadow shadowworddominate [Mind Control], Discipline priests have no other crowd control abilities, and Holy priests have only Spell holy chastise [Holy Word: Chastise]. To compensate, these two specs have the talent Ability warrior commandingshout [Psychic Voice], cutting the cooldown of Psychic Scream in half.

Psychic Scream can allow priests time to cast spells uninterrupted, whether to heal or to deal damage, although direct damage spells will usually cause the effect to break. It is particularly useful when attempting to use Spell shadow shadowworddominate [Mind Control] on the target, due to its lengthy cast time. When attempting to Mind Control the target off a cliff or edge, Psychic Scream can be doubly useful in propelling them most or all of the way toward it, although it will not in itself cause targets to walk off high edges.

While direct damage will almost always break the effect, by placing several DoTs upon a target before fearing them and using Mind Flay, Shadow priests can cause significant amounts of damage while the enemy is helpless to respond, or escape.

When survivability is not the priest's prime concern, Psychic Scream can also be used regularly as a form of damage mitigation. By placing himself within range of a number of enemy targets the priest can use the spell to prevent them from damaging his team mates, by causing them to flee or at the least interrupting casters. Damage caused to feared opponents will usually break the effect, so this is of greatest use when a group of players is focusing upon a single target - such as a flag carrier or healer - removing other enemies from the situation. The 8 yard range of Psychic Scream means that this use may require the priest to place himself in the midst of battle, and timing can be critical in affecting as many targets as possible. However, such direct intervention may draw an undesirable amount of attention to the priest.

Although use of Psychic Scream will ideally result in enemies being feared for 8 seconds, trinkets, counters and the possibility of damage breaking the effect means that in PvP this will often not be possible. However Psychic Scream is still extremely valuable as a multiple-target interrupt, even if the effect is immediately broken. As with any interrupt, players may wish to save this ability for interrupting healers and casters at critical moments. Even non-casters such as hunters using Inv spear 07 [Aimed Shot] can be interrupted in this way to great effect. Psychic Scream can even be used while the target is shielded with certain spells (such as Spell holy powerwordshield [Power Word: Shield]) to interrupt them and prevent them from completing their cast. Damage taken (or absorbed) while under the protection of shield or damage reduction spells will still count toward Psychic Scream's damage threshold in full, and such spells will not reduce the likelihood of Psychic Scream breaking.

Finally, Psychic Scream is of particular use in battlegrounds when players are attempting to perform an action such as capturing a base or picking up a flag. In these situations the priest may wish to reserve Psychic Scream for use at these moments, potentially making the difference between a win and a loss. The spell can also be of critical use in slowing the progress of flag carriers, although the unpredictable path taken by feared opponents means that while the target may wander directly away from his goal (or toward your team mates) on occasion he will in fact continue to travel in the same direction.

Patch changes[]

  • Dragonflight Patch 10.1.0 (2023-05-02): Now hits all enemies within 8 yards (was a maximum of 5 enemies).
  • Dragonflight Patch 10.0.0 (2022-10-25): Rank 2 removed.
  • Shadowlands Patch 9.0.2 (2020-11-17): Rank 2 added at level 54: Psychic Scream can withstand 20% more damage before breaking.
  • Shadowlands Patch 9.0.1 (2020-10-13): Now learned at level 7 (was 18).
  • Battle for Azeroth Patch 8.1.5 (2019-03-12): Mana cost reduced by 60%.
  • Battle for Azeroth Patch 8.1.0 (2018-12-11): Shadow: Damage break threshold increased by 40% against non-players.
  • Battle for Azeroth Patch 8.0.1 (2018-07-17): Psychic Scream is once again available as a baseline ability for Holy priests.
  • Legion Patch 7.1.0 (2016-10-25): Now available at level 18 (up from level 12).
  • Legion Patch 7.0.3 (2016-07-19): No longer a talent. Now a baseline ability for Discipline and Shadow priests, available at level 12. Cooldown increased to 1 minute (up from 30 seconds).
  • Warlords of Draenor Patch 6.1.0 (2015-02-24): Cooldown reduced to 30 seconds (down from 45 seconds).
  • Mists of Pandaria Hotfix (2012-12-11): Several abilities that should break on damage will now correctly have a chance to break when damage is absorbed, including Psychic Scream.
  • Warlords of Draenor Patch 6.0.2 (2014-10-14): Psychic Scream is no longer a baseline priest ability, and is now a level 15 talent (replacing Spell priest psyfiend [Psyfiend]). Cooldown has been increased to 45 seconds (up from 30 seconds).
  • Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.4.0 (2013-09-10): Psychic Scream can no longer cause targets under the effects of a movement speed buff to move faster than normal run speed. Additionally, Psychic Scream has a new visual spell effect.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.0.1 (2010-10-12): Now affects up to 5 enemies, up from 2. Now learned at level 12 (was 14).
  • Wrath-Logo-Small Hotfix (2009-04-30): Mana Burn now causes Fear, Hex and Psychic Scream to break early when used.
  • Wrath-Logo-Small Patch 3.1.0 (2009-04-14): The damage threshold for Spell shadow possession [Fear], Psychic Scream, Spell shaman hex [Hex], Ability golemthunderclap [Intimidating Shout], and Ability paladin turnevil [Turn Evil] to break early has been significantly reduced.
  • Wrath-Logo-Small Patch 3.0.2 (2008-10-14): Now costs 15% of base mana.
  • Bc icon Patch 2.0.1 (2006-12-05): Psychic Scream is now considered a magic effect and can now be dispelled.
  • WoW Icon update Patch 1.12.0 (2006-08-22): This spell now uses the same resistance checks as the Warlock spell Spell shadow possession [Fear].
  • WoW Icon update Patch 1.8.0 (2005-10-10): Updated tooltip to reflect that damage caused to the feared target may break the effect. Included radius in tooltip.
  • Test-inline Patch 0.9 (2004-08-17): Now has a chance to break when the feared target is damaged.

See also[]


External links[]