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For the World of Warcraft #16 comic, see Threat!.

Threat is a measure of an NPC's aggression towards a player. Each NPC has a threat table, and the character at the top of the list is usually the target of its aggression. In-game, this is known as having aggro from that particular NPC. The NPC will attack that character if possible, unless another character manages to change the NPC's target.

Changes to threat levels

Several abilities and effects increase a character's threat level against a mob. Note that the effective amount of threat generated can be modified by talents and spells. See the Threat Tables below for details.

Basic NPC attacks on a player do not modify threat; a character being attacked is neither gaining nor losing threat from it. However, some NPCs have special moves that affect threat.

Damage is the most basic form of threat generation. Threat measurements are normalized so that 1 point of damage generates 1 point of threat.

Many abilities generate additional threat that is not tied to their effect (damage dealt, buffs, debuffs). The bonus threat values are listed below.

Threat caused by beneficial effects is divided amongst all NPCs that are aware of the character. This global threat applies to heals, bonus threat from buffs (such as Ability warrior battleshout [Battle Shout] or Spell holy arcaneintellect [Arcane Brilliance]), and power gains (such as a Inv potion 72 [Mana Potion] or Inv potion 24 [Rage Potion]).

Healing threat is global, and is normally .5x of the amount healed. Healing effects cause no threat if the target is already at full health.

Example: Player 1 is involved in combat with 5 mobs. Player 2 (priest) heals Player 1 for 1000 health, and has no threat reduction talents. A 1000 heal generates 500 threat, however that 500 threat is split amongst the 5 mobs. Each of the 5 mobs now has 100 threat towards Player 2.

If a power gain (Rage/Mana increase) shows up in the combat log, the effect usually counts as a buff with bonus threat attached to the event. There are no Energy-increasing effects that appear to cause bonus threat. Normal power regen does not generate threat. Normal health regen also does not generate threat.

For debuffs and attacks, any bonus threat is divided amongst the affected targets. For example, the bonus threat of Ability warrior cleave [Cleave] is divided between the 2 targets of the attack, while the bonus threat of Ability warrior sunder [Sunder Armor] is applied directly to the target of the attack. Some attacks (such as Spell nature thunderclap [Thunder Clap] and Spell fire soulburn [Searing Pain]) have a threat multiplier instead of a bonus threat value.

Tank threat bonus

Classes that are designed to fulfill a tanking role now gain additional threat when they are in that mode. This mode is triggered by Death Knights with Frost Presence active, Druids in Bear Form, Paladins with Righteous Fury active, and Warriors in Defensive Stance.

Bear form doesn't specify that it increases threat, but the threat increase is there. Catform also has the same reduced threat that rogues have, however it too is not listed on the tooltip.

While in tanking mode, the character's threat is further multiplied by 1.43x. This was done in order to simplify threat modifying buffs, and allowed for the removal/change of Spell holy sealofsalvation [Blessing of Salvation] and Ability shaman tranquilmindtotem [Tranquil Air Totem].

In-game threat values

With the release of v3.0, WoW now provides the players with threat values on your target. These values are normalized differently: they are 100x damage done instead of 1-to-1. This is most likely done to optimize for integer calculations, rather than slower floating-point math. For the purposes of this article, all the values shown still use the 1:1 normalization for simplicity.

Threat tables per class

Threat auras affect the threat value of all abilities under their jurisdiction of effect that are used while the threat-modifying aura is active (which is always, in the case of passive modifications). Threat-modifying abilities have a direct effect on the threat level of one or more characters. All damaging abilities generate threat equal to 100% of the damage done (before modifiers), so any threat listed for a damaging ability is assumed to be "bonus" threat on top of the baseline threat from the damage caused.

An increase in threat by X% is equal to multiplying the current modifier (which begins at 1.0) by (1 + X%/100); for example, a threat increase of 20% would be a multiplier of 1.20. Likewise, a decrease in threat by X% is a multiplier of (1 - X%/100); a threat decrease of 30% would be a multiplier of 0.70.

Threat modifiers (such as Ability warrior defensivestance [Defensive Stance]; not direct value changes, such as Ability rogue feint [Feint]) stack multiplicatively when calculating the threat for an ability affected by more than one modifier. The final threat modifier for an ability is determined by multiplying all the active modifiers together; if the previous two examples were active simultaneously, the total threat caused would be 1.00 (baseline) * 1.20 * 0.70 = 0.84, or 84% of the threat that you would have caused without multipliers.

NOTE: The Threat system was heavily overhauled for Wrath of the Lich King and Patch 3.0.2. The numbers in these tables have been updated to the extent of understanding that community research has achieved so far; any pre-Wrath values that have not been verified or updated for the post-3.0 game are currently italicized to indicate that their values may be incorrect or outdated. Also, be aware that many ability pages have not been properly updated for the post-Wrath values and may contradict the values in this table.

Finally, note that the in-game threat meter (introduced in Wrath) does not use the decimal notation the table does; instead, the baseline modifier is considered to be 100. For example, causing 100 damage would cause (100 * 1.0) = 100 threat by this page's system. The in-game threat meter, however, would consider 100 damage as causing (100 * 100) = 10000 threat. Likewise, the 80% threat modifier of Ability warrior offensivestance [Battle Stance] would be 0.8x for all threat caused, while the in-game threat meter would consider all threat to be multiplied by 80 while in Battle Stance.

Threat Auras
Effect Threat Multiplier
Baseline modifiers (all characters)
Damage caused 1.0
Healing caused 0.5 * healing done (overheal not counted)
Death Knight
Spell deathknight frostpresence [Frost Presence] 2.0735
Spell deathknight bloodpresence [Blood Presence]
Spell deathknight unholypresence [Unholy Presence]
0.8
Spell deathknight subversion [Subversion] (3pt talent) extra .92/.84/.75
(while in Blood or Unholy Presence)
Druid
Ability racial bearform [Bear Form] 2.0735
Ability ambush [Feral Instinct] (3pt Talent) No longer affects Bear Form threat.
Ability druid catform [Cat Form] 0.71
Imp. Tranquility (2pt Talent) 0.5/zero for Spell nature tranquility [Tranquility]
Subtlety (3pt Talent) .90/.80/.70 (Restoration spells)
Nature's Reach (2pt Talent) .85/.70 (Balance spells)
Hunter
Ability hunter misdirection [Misdirection] Next 3 attacks increase target's threat instead
Mage
Spell holy dispelmagic [Arcane Subtlety] (2pt Talent) .80/.60x for offensive Arcane spells
Spell misc zandalari council soulswap [Burning Soul] (2pt Talent) .95/.90x for offensive Fire spells
Spell frost stun [Frost Channeling] (3pt Talent) .96/.93/.90x for offensive Frost spells
Paladin
Spell holy sealoffury [Righteous Fury] 2.534 (all Holy-school abilities)
1.43 (all non-Holy actions)
Imp. Righteous Fury (3pt Talent) No longer affects Righteous Fury threat.
Spell holy sealofsalvation [Blessing of Salvation] Removed from game.
Passive Reduction (Healing) 0.5 (all healing done)
(on top of baseline healing modifier)
Spell holy fanaticism [Fanaticism] (3pt Talent) .90/.80/.70 (all actions)

(disabled when Spell holy sealoffury [Righteous Fury] is active)

Priest
Spell shadow shadowward [Shadow Affinity] (3pt Talent) .92/.84/.75 for Shadow spells
Spell nature manaregentotem [Silent Resolve] (3pt Talent) .93/.86/.80 for Holy and Discipline spells
Rogue
Passive Reduction 0.71
Ability rogue tricksofthetrade [Tricks of the Trade] All attacks increase target's threat instead
Shaman
Spell nature elementalprecision 1 [Elemental Precision] (3pt Talent) .90/.80/.70x for Fire, Frost and Nature spells
Spell nature healingtouch [Healing Grace] (3pt Talent) .95/.90/.85x for healing spells
Ability parry [Spirit Weapons] (1pt Talent) .70 (all attacks)
Ability shaman tranquilmindtotem [Tranquil Air Totem] Removed from game.
Warlock
Spell shadow corpseexplode [Destructive Reach] (2pt Talent) .90/.80 for Destruction spells
Imp. Drain Soul (2pt Talent) .90/.80 for Affliction spells
Spell shadow shadowpact [Master Demonologist] (5pt Talent) Imp effect no longer modifies threat.
Warrior
Ability warrior defensivestance [Defensive Stance] 2.0735
Ability warrior innerrage [Defiance] (3pt Talent) Removed from game.
Spell nature enchantarmor [Tactical Mastery] (3pt Talent) 1.21/1.42/1.63 (Spell nature bloodlust [Bloodthirst] and Ability warrior savageblow [Mortal Strike])

(only if used in Defensive Stance)

Ability warrior offensivestance [Battle Stance]
Ability racial avatar [Berserker Stance]
0.8
Imp. Berserker Stance (5pt Talent) extra .98/.96/.94/.92/.90 in Berserker Stance
Ability warrior vigilance [Vigilance] (talent) target: extra 0.9
caster: gains remaining 0.1 as own threat
Threat Modifying Abilities
Ability Threat Bonus/Reduction
Power Gain (Mana) Base threat is 0.5x Mana gained (only certain effects)
Power Gain (Rage) Base threat is 5x Rage gained (only certain effects)
Death Knight
Spell deathknight darkconviction [Rune Strike] x1.75 damage
Death and Decay x1.9 damage
Spell deathknight icetouch [Icy Touch] x7 damage
Druid
Cower -3474 (rank 6)
Ability druid challangingroar [Demoralizing Roar] +62 - divided amongst targets
Spell nature faeriefire [Faerie Fire] +674
Ability physical taunt [Growl] Sets threat equal to NPC's primary target
Ability druid lacerate [Lacerate] +515 innate; 0.5x threat on initial and periodic damag
Mangle (Bear) Causes normal threat (1x damage done)
Maul +422 (rank 10)
Swipe (Bear) Base threat is 1.5x damage
Hunter
Ability rogue feint [Disengage] No longer reduces threat.
Spell arcane blink [Distracting Shot] 110, and functions as a temporary taunt, like Ability bullrush [Challenging Shout].
Ability rogue feigndeath [Feign Death] Removed from threat lists of all enemies (resistible)
Cower (pet) -360 (rank 6) to pet
Growl (pet) +1234 base (rank 9) to pet, scales with pet attack power and level
Ability devour [Intimidation] +580 to pet
Ability hunter pet wolf [Furious Howl] +?? to pet
Ability poisonsting [Scorpid Poison] +5 to pet
Peticon-beast Ability deathknight summongargoyle [Screech] +?? to pet
Thunderstomp +?? to pet
Mage
Spell nature polymorph [Polymorph] +??
Spell frost iceshock [Counterspell] +500 (300 with 2/2 Arcane Subtlety)
Ability mage invisibility [Invisibility] Reduces threat vs. all enemies by 33% every 1 second for 3s

Removed from all threat lists upon becoming invisible

Paladin
Inv shoulder 37 [Righteous Defense] Sets threat equal to friendly target being attacked

Affects up to three NPC's attacking the friendly target

Spell holy unyieldingfaith [Hand of Reckoning] Sets threat equal to highest threat among all players.
Spell nature timestop [Divine Intervention] Removed from threat lists of all enemies
Spell holy sealofsalvation [Hand of Salvation] Reduces target's threat by 2% every 1 second for 10s
Priest
Spell holy blindingheal [Binding Heal] -??
Spell magic lesserinvisibilty [Fade] -1500 (rank 7) for all enemies (temporarily)
Spell holy holynova [Holy Nova] This ability causes no threat.
Spell shadow shadowworddominate [Mind Control] +??
Spell shadow siphonmana [Mind Flay] +??
Spell holy powerwordshield [Power Word: Shield] +?? (rank 12)
Rogue
Ability rogue feint [Feint] -1050 (rank 6)
Ability vanish [Vanish] Removed from threat lists of all enemies.
Shaman
Spell frost frostshock [Frost Shock] Causes extra threat (amount undetermined)
Wind Shock -X threat (amount undetermined)
Warlock
Spell fire soulburn [Searing Pain] Base threat is 2.0x damage done
Spell shadow requiem [Siphon Life] This effect causes no threat.
Spell arcane arcane01 [Soulshatter] Reduces threat by 50% for all enemies within 50 yards (resistible)
Inv knife 1h artifactgarona d 01 [Anguish] +632 (rank 3) to pet
Spell shadow soothingkiss [Soothing Kiss] -165 (rank 4) to pet
Spell shadow blackplague [Suffering] +885 (rank 6) to pet
Spell shadow gathershadows [Torment] +632 (rank 7) to pet
Warrior
Ability warrior battleshout [Battle Shout] +78 (rank 9) - divided amongst targets
Ability warrior cleave [Cleave] +225 (rank 8) - divided amongst targets
Ability warrior rallyingcry [Commanding Shout] +80 - divided amongst targets
Ability warrior warcry [Demoralizing Shout] +63 (rank 8) - divided amongst targets
Inv sword 11 [Devastate] +5.0% attack power

No longer applies Ability warrior sunder [Sunder Armor] threat.

Ability warrior disarm [Disarm] +104
Ability shockwave [Hamstring] +181 (rank 4)
Ability rogue ambush [Heroic Strike] +259 (rank 13)
Inv axe 66 [Heroic Throw] threat = 1.5 * damage caused
Ability warrior revenge [Revenge] +121 (rank 9)
Ability warrior revenge [Improved Revenge] +25
Ability warrior shieldbash [Shield Bash] +36
Ability warrior shieldbash [Improved Shield Bash] +??
Inv shield 05 [Shield Slam] +770 (rank 8)
Ability warrior shieldreflection [Improved Spell Reflection] Reflected damage causes threat for reflecting ally.
Ability warrior sunder [Sunder Armor] +(345 + 5.0% attack power) (rank 7)
Taunt Sets threat equal to NPC's primary target
Spell nature thunderclap [Thunder Clap] threat = 1.85 * damage caused

Stacked threat auras

Threat auras stack in a multiplicative fashion. A common but wrong assumption is that due to this mechanic, threat reduction effects provide less benefit the more a player has; in fact, threat reduction is always equally powerful, no matter how much a player has.

Example: You are a Paladin casting a heal (threat is normally .5x healing done). For healing, Paladins also have an innate threat reduction (.5x). Consider that Righteous Fury is active (1.9x threat generated on Holy spells), which also means the game considers you in tanking mode (1.43x on all actions):
Your healing threat would be: .5 * .5 * 1.9 * 1.43 = .679x healing done.

Threat modifying items

Items

Wrath-Logo-Small Northrend items
Class Item Effect
Warrior [Glyph of Barbaric Insults] Your Ability warrior punishingblow [Mocking Blow] ability generates 100% additional threat.
Warrior [Glyph of Vigilance] Your Ability warrior vigilance [Vigilance] ability transfers an additional 5% of your target's threat on you.
Bc icon Outland items
Item Effect
[Grace of Earth] -640 Threat ~ 30 Yards, 5min cooldown
[Hypnotist's Watch] -720 ~ 30 Yards, 5min cooldown
[Jewel of Charismatic Mystique] -1075 ~ 30 Yards, 5min cooldown
[Muck-Covered Drape] -473 Threat
[Prism of Inner Calm] Reduces threat from your harmful critical strikes
[Timelapse Shard] -901 ~ 30 Yards, 2min cooldown
Classic items
Item Effect
[Bloodfang Armor] 5 part set bonus 25% improved Feint Threat reduction
[Nemesis Raiment] 8 part set bonus Reduces the threat generated by your Destruction spells by 20%.
[Bonescythe Armor] 6 part set bonus Reduces the threat from your Backstab, Sinister Strike, Hemorrhage, and Eviscerate abilities by 8%
[Vestments of Faith] 6 Part set bonus -10%
[Black Amnesty] -540 Threat
[Fetish of the Sand Reaver] Reduces the threat you generate by 50% for 20 sec

Enchantments

Wrath-Logo-Small Northrend Enchants
Slot Enchantment Effects Source
Back [Enchant Cloak - Wisdom] Reduce threat slightly and increase Spirit by 10. Enchanting (440)
Hands [Enchant Gloves - Armsman] Increase threat caused by 2% and increase parry rating by 10. Enchanting (435)
Bc icon Outland Enchants
Slot Enchantment Effects Source
Back [Enchant Cloak - Subtlety] Decrease threat from all attacks and spells by 2%. Enchanting (300)
Hands [Enchant Gloves - Threat] Increase threat from all attacks and spells by 2%. Enchanting (300)

Potions

Item Effect
[Shrouding Potion] -1500 ~ 30 Yards

Gems

Threat Gems
Color Name Effect(s)
UI-EmptySocket-Meta Meta Inv misc metagem b [Bracing Shadowspirit Diamond] 2% reduced threat +54 Intellect
Color Name Effect(s)
UI-EmptySocket-Meta Meta Inv jewelcrafting shadowspirit 02 [Bracing Earthsiege Diamond] 2% reduced threat +21 Intellect
UI-EmptySocket-Meta Meta Inv misc gem diamond 06 [Bracing Earthstorm Diamond] 2% reduced threat +12 Intellect

Known bugs

Some threat reduction abilities are also affected by threat reducing auras.

Example: Rogues have .71x threat as an innate ability. Feint reduces threat by -800. However, the innate threat reduction affects feint, which causes it to remove only 568 threat.

Videos

Additional notes

  • Being noticed by an aggressive NPC does not generate any threat. This behavior places that character on the NPC's threat list, but with a threat value of 0.
  • Threat doesn't decay (passively degenerate over time) unless a specific encounter is designed that way.
  • A character's threat level is reset if the character leaves combat with the mob (dies, moves far enough away).
  • A character's threat level cannot be negative.

References

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