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Soul Shards
Inv misc gem amethyst 02
  • Soul Shards
  • Level 3 warlock ability
  • Passive
  • Soul Shards are generated by Afflictionyour Agony's damage over time/Demonologyyour Shadow Bolt/Destructionmany of your spells.

    Soul Shards are consumed to cast your most powerful spells and summon demons to serve you.

    While out of combat you regenerate up to 3 Soul Shards.
Class Warlock
Other information
Level learned 3
It does not reflect the face of the viewer, but rather the face of the soul trapped within.[1]
Soul Shard Resource Mechanic

Soul Shards system interface as of Dragonflight

Soul Shards are a unique secondary resource available to warlocks, displayed in the user interface beneath the player's health and mana bars. Warlocks can have a maximum of five Soul Shards, which slowly regenerate out of combat and regenerate in combat through certain spells. Soul Shards have been around in some form since early WoW and have a long history as a secondary resource for warlocks in general.


Soul Shards have been a warlock resource since early WoW, and their use has been revamped many times to make them more streamlined with the warlock playstyle and improve quality of life.


Soul Shards were originally items held in the player's inventory and were required to cast many important spells, including summoning any demon besides an imp, summoning other players, and creating Healthstones. They were generated by using Spell shadow haunting [Drain Soul] on an appropriately-leveled mob.

Raiding warlocks tended to carry large quantities of them to prepare for nights of progression as resummoning their minions and creating Healthstones would deplete their stores rapidly. Blizzard introduced soul bags, larger than average bags (similar to ammo bags), to help warlocks with the increased load. However, the inconvenience of having to carry dozens of Shards and the difficulty of replenishing them when already fighting a boss had the warlock community clamoring for changes to their design though they would remain largely unchanged for many expansions.


Soul Shard Resource Mechanic Cataclysm

The Soul Shard resource mechanic as it appeared in Cataclysm

Soul Shards were removed as items and changed into a secondary resource for all warlocks, up to a maximum of three. Their usage was similar to the current Spell warlock soulburn [Soulburn] system, empowering the following spells:

Regeneration of Soul Shards was very limited. Out of combat, the warlock could use the spell Ability mage potentspirit [Soul Harvest], which restored 1 Soul Shard per 3 seconds for 9 seconds on a 45-second cooldown. In combat, the only way to replenish shards was through Spell shadow haunting [Drain Soul] and Spell shadow scourgebuild [Shadowburn], a Destruction-only talent that restored three Soul Shards if the target died within 5 seconds. Both spells required appropriately-leveled mobs.

Since shard replenishment depended on the existence of adds, it meant that for single-target fights, a warlock would have only three shards to spend, no matter how long the encounter. Using Soulburn in conjunction with any spell that was not Soul Fire meant a decrease in DPS, punishing its use as utility especially after the release of Tier 13 granted 10% spell power upon using the two spells together.

Mists of Pandaria[]

Mists of Pandaria gave each warlock specialization its own secondary resource system, with Soul Shards made into an Affliction-only mechanic. Soul Shards were changed to regenerate automatically outside of combat, although abilities such as Spell shadow haunting [Drain Soul] were still useful for replenishing stores mid-fight. Mid-expansion patches saw an increase in the maximum number of shards from three to four.


Gul'dan needed soul shards containing draenei souls to properly command the smaller demons he summoned[2] and to summon lesser demons Gul'dan's lesser warlocks must use a soul shard.[3] The Lich King trapped Alexandros Mograine's soul in a soul shard,[4] tormenting him in an attempt to break his will.[5]

Fel energy consumes souls,[6] hence, warlocks use soul shards. The foul crystal creates a link to the Twisting Nether.[7]


Patch changes[]

  • Dragonflight Patch 10.1.0 (2023-05-02): Updated special resource art and animations for warlocks.
  • Shadowlands Patch 9.0.1 (2020-10-13): Now learned at level 3 (was 10).
  • Battle for Azeroth Patch 8.0.1 (2018-07-17): Now learned at level 10 (was 1).
  • Legion Hotfix (2017-06-13): Soul Shards should now be set to 3 during Spell nature wispsplode [Arena Preparation].
  • Legion Patch 7.2.5 (2017-06-13):
    • Soul Shards are now divided into 10 Soul Shard Fragments for Destruction Warlocks, in order to provide more reliable, granular Soul Shard generation, prevent random overcapping of resources, rein in Soul Shard generation slightly, and reduce the number of Chaos Bolts being cast.
    • A passive ability has been added describing the functionality of Soul Shards.
  • Legion Hotfix (2016-09-13): Soul Shards now regenerate to 3, while out of combat (up from 1).
Developers' Notes: As discussed in last week's Developer Q&A, warlocks (and Demonology especially) needed to go through several spellcasts in order to generate the Soul Shards required to cast the spells needed for them to operate at peak efficiency. In outdoor gameplay and against packs of enemies in dungeons, this often meant that combat was ending just as the warlock was getting warmed up. Allowing warlocks to begin combat with 3 Soul Shards instead of 1 should let them bring more of their arsenal to bear in shorter encounters.
  • Legion Patch 7.0.3 (2016-07-19): Soul Shards are now used by all specializations. UI visual updated.
  • Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.2.0 (2013-03-05): Baseline maximum number of Souls Shards encreased to 4, up from 3.
  • Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28): Revamped. Changed to Affliction-specific secondary resource.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.0.1 (2010-10-12): Soul Shards have been removed from the game as items. Instead, they now exist as a resource system necessary for using or altering the mechanics of certain spells.

See also[]


  1. ^ Fires of Outland, Jar Soul
  2. ^ Rise of the Horde, pg. 490
  3. ^ A [10-40] Soul Shards of Summoning
  4. ^ Inv jewelcrafting gem 05 [Alexandros' Soul Shard]
  5. ^ N [30] Mograine's Reunion
  6. ^ Jeremy Feasel on Twitter (2015-07-10). Retrieved on 2015-08-02.​ “This is one of the few things I think I know. Real Fel energy consumes souls, yes. Hence, soul shards.”
  7. ^ A [10-40] Soul Shards of Summoning

External links[]