Vampiric Embrace
Spell shadow unsummonbuilding.png
  • Vampiric Embrace
  • Level 28 Shadow priest ability
  • 2 min cooldown
  • Instant
  • Fills you with the embrace of Shadow energy for 15 sec, causing you to heal a nearby ally for 85% of any single-target Shadow spell damage you deal.
Usable by
Class Priest
School Shadow
Cooldown 2 minutes
Other information
Level learned 28
Improvements [San'layn]
Related buff
Spell shadow unsummonbuilding.png
  • Vampiric Embrace
  • 85% of any single-target Shadow spell damage you deal heals a nearby ally.
  • Duration: 15 seconds

Vampiric Embrace is a level 28 Shadow priest ability. It is a self-buff that lasts for 15 seconds, with a 2 minute cooldown. While it is active, a nearby ally will be healed for 85% of any single-target Shadow spell damage the priest deals.


  • Vampiric Embrace is affected by the global cooldown.
  • Vampiric Embrace only counts single-target shadow damage from the casting priest's spells. Shadow damage from item procs, other casters, or wands does not count for healing.
  • Healing done is affected by reduced healing effects, such as [Wound Poison].
  • Healing done by Vampiric Embrace does not generate threat.



  • [San'layn] - Reduces the cooldown by 45 seconds and increases the healing done by 25% (106% of damage as healing).

Tips and tactics

  • Since Vampiric Embrace only lasts for 15 seconds, it is best used during a period when you are dealing large amounts of single-target damage, such as during [Voidform]. Timing it to coincide with these periods will maximize the healing generated. Any buffs or effects that increase your damage done will also increase healing done.


Since its introduction, Vampiric Embrace has received many adjustments and redesigns. In the original World of Warcraft, Vampiric Embrace was the 21-point talent in the Priest's Shadow Magic talent tree. The ability was an instant cast Curse effect with a 60 second duration and a 10 second cooldown, that caused 20% of all shadow damage dealt (30% with [Improved Vampiric Embrace]) by the casting priest to heal the priest and their group. This healing was not split and was capable of crits, even if the ability that triggered it did not crit. Up through the majority of Wrath of the Lich King, Vampiric Embrace received very few changes, notably being modified to a Magic effect, its duration increased to 5 minutes, and having its healing nerfed several times.

Patch 3.3.0 saw the first major redesign for Vampiric Embrace, changing the ability into an undispellable buff on the priest, rather than a targeted debuff that needed to be applied every time the caster changed targets. Aside from numerical changes, the ability remained constant throughout the Cataclysm expansion.

With the complete overhaul of the talent system in Mists of Pandaria, Vampiric Embrace became a baseline ability for the Shadow specialization and saw its second redesign, changing it to become a powerful raid cooldown rather than a persistent group heal. Since then, Vampiric Embrace has received at least one major change with each expansion's arrival.

Patch changes

  • Battle for Azeroth Patch 8.0.1 (2018-07-17): Vampiric Embrace is now affected by the global cooldown. Healing done is now 85%, up from 40%. Cooldown reduced to 2 minutes, down from 3 minutes. Now available at level 28, down from level 70.
  • Legion Patch 7.0.3 (2016-07-19): Vampiric Embrace now heals for 40% of all single-target Shadow damage done, up from 10%, but can only heal one target at a time.
  • Warlords of Draenor Patch 6.0.2 (2014-10-14): Now heals all party and raid members for 10% of damage done, and this healing is no longer split between targets (previously healed 75% of damage done, split between targets).
  • Mists of Pandaria Hotfix (2013-10-07): To help address issues with input lag, Vampiric Embrace now heals every second instead of every time the Priest deals Shadow spell damage. The total amount healed remains unchanged.
  • Mists of Pandaria Hotfix (2013-05-22): Vampiric Embrace should now split healing amongst multiple allied targets by the proper amount.
  • Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.3.0 (2013-05-21): Now has a healing cap of 15 raid members (up from 6) when used in a 25-player instance.
  • Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28): Vampiric Embrace is now a baseline ability for Shadow priests and has been redesigned.
    Previous talent: Fills you with the embrace of Shadow energy, causing you to be healed for 6% and other party members to be healed for 3% of any single-target Shadow spell damage you deal. Last until cancelled.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.0.6 (2011-02-08): Now lasts until cancelled or death (previous duration was 30 min).
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.0.3a (2010-11-23): Healing to the caster has been reduced to 6%, down from 12% (there was a tooltip error which stated that the self-healing amount was 15%). Party members still receive 3% healing.
  • Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.3.0 (2009-12-08): This ability now provides a 30-minute buff that cannot be dispelled, instead of a target debuff.
    "VE is unlikely to work with [Mind Sear]." (Source)
  • Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.1.0 (2009-04-14): Duration increased to 5 minutes, up from 1 minute. PvP duration remains at 60 seconds. Cooldown removed (was 10 seconds).
  • Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.0.8 (2009-01-20): Mana cost of this spell has been removed.
  • Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.0.2 (2008-10-14): Vampiric Embrace now heals party members for 3%, down from 15%. Healing for the casting priest remains at 15%.
  • Bc icon.gif Patch 2.0.10 (2007-03-06): The base healing percent from Vampiric Embrace has been reduced to 15%, down from 20%. In addition, healing done can no longer be a critical effect.
  • Bc icon.gif Patch 2.0.1 (2006-12-05): Vampiric Embrace is now considered a Magic effect instead of a Curse effect.
  • WoW Icon update.png Patch 1.11.0 (2006-06-19): This ability will no longer heal for damage caused when the target had no life remaining.
  • WoW Icon update.png Patch 1.10.0 (2006-03-28): Damage resisted by the target will no longer be counted as damage caused for the purposes of the healing from this ability.
  • WoW Icon update.png Patch 1.7.0 (2005-09-13): Now heals 20% of the damage actually caused (including critical hits, buffs etc...) but now only heals when shadow spells cause the damage.
  • WoW Icon update.png Patch 1.6.0 (2005-07-12): Health leech effects no longer give you health while you are a ghost.
  • WoW Icon update.png Patch 1.4.0 (2005-04-19): Active icon tooltip rewritten to be more clear.

External links