Vanilla WoW Wiki
Spell nature polymorph.png
  • Polymorph
  • 30 yd  range
  • 7% of base mana
  • 1.5 sec cast
  • Transforms the enemy into a sheep, forcing it to wander around for up to X sec. While wandering, the sheep cannot attack or cast spells but will regenerate very quickly. Any damage will transform the target back into its normal form. Only one target can be polymorphed at a time. Only works on Beasts, Humanoids and Critters.
Usable by
CooldownNone/Global Cooldown
[Arcane Focus], [Precision], [Arcane Subtlety], [Improved Polymorph]
Other information
Related debuff
Spell nature polymorph.png
  • Magic
  • Polymorph
  • Cannot attack or cast spells. Increased regeneration.
  • Duration: X seconds

Polymorph is a mage spell that transforms the enemy into a critter, removing it from combat. It is the mage's primary crowd control spell, allowing him or his party to focus their efforts elsewhere while the polymorphed target wanders harmlessly for a period of time. Any damage will break the effect, including DoTs. However, if the mage has applied [Glyph of Polymorph], their polymorph spell will remove any pre-existing DoTs on the target when it hits. The spell only works on beasts, humanoids (including enemy player characters) and critters.

Polymorph will affect mobs up to the advertised duration (20 to 50 seconds depending on spell rank), but players will break out of the transformation after no more than 10 seconds. Polymorph is dispellable as a magic debuff. Certain trinkets also specifically dispel Polymorph effects, such as [Insignia of the Alliance]/[Insignia of the Horde].

The trainer-taught spell transforms the target into a sheep. At level 60, mages can learn other variations on the polymorph spell. They are functionally the same as Polymorph (Rank 4), with the only difference being the visual transformation. They can also replace the standard spell with yet another form with a glyph starting at level 15

A polymorphed target is often referred to as a "sheeped" target. Furthermore, "sheep" is often used as a verb; to sheep a target is to polymorph it. Even when using any of the Polymorph variations, the word sheep is still often used.


At level 14, costs 14s 18c.

Talent improvement

Arcane Focus and Precision increase Polymorph's chance to hit by 1% per rank, up to a total of 6% (3% per talent). Arcane Subtlety will reduce the threat caused by Polymorph by 40% at max rank, though the threat caused by the spell is minimal.


This spell works on target types given above, and does NOT work on elementals, demons, undead, dragons, giants or uncategorized ("typeless") targets. It works just fine against Forsaken players, as they are considered humanoid.

While sheeped, the target cannot do anything, but heals at a rapid pace. Mana does not regenerate. Any damage caused to the target causes it to revert to its normal state. The target will also wander across the area randomly in this state.

A mage can only have one target polymorphed at a time, regardless of the particular spell used. If cast on a second target, the first Polymorph breaks. For instance, casting Polymorph: Pig while having a different mob under the effects of Polymorph: Sheep will break the spell.

Polymorph spell lists

Spell Name Polymorph effect Source Notes
Polymorph Sheep Mage Trainer
Polymorph: Black Cat Wrath Black Cat Tome of Polymorph: Black Cat 2500g from Endora Moorehead in Dalaran at neutral Kirin Tor reputation.
Polymorph: Monkey Wrath Monkey Glyph of the Monkey When this minor glyph is in place, only replaces standard sheep polymorph.
Polymorph: Penguin Wrath Penguin Glyph of the Penguin When this minor glyph is in place, only replaces standard sheep polymorph.
Polymorph: Pig Pig Wrath Trained from Neutral The Amazing Zanzo in Dalaran
Polymorph: Rabbit Rabbit Tome of Polymorph: Rabbit from the Noblegarden event.
Polymorph: Turtle Turtle [Tome of Polymorph: Turtle] can be fished from pools in Cataclysm Cataclysm zones. This is a rare drop.

Tips and tactics

This human mage's Polymorph transforms a Tauren into a sheep.


The careful use of Polymorph can be tremendously effective in combat against elites. Typically, a Mage will use Polymorph at the beginning of combat, allowing the group to focus on the remaining targets. Because Polymorph heals the target, it is much more effective to use it early in a combat rather than later when the target may have already suffered some damage. It is advised wait with your polymorph until the tank has started the combat, otherwise the mage will have initial aggro of all remaining enemies, which can lead to a quick death especially vs powerful raid elites if the tank does not draw aggro from these mobs fast enough.

Polymorph can be reapplied, refreshing the duration, at any time in combat, so it is helpful to always re-sheep before the effect expires. It is more difficult to re-sheep a mob that is running loose (and likely beating on you) than one that is already under control.

In group situations, the party leader can use a target marker to designate which target to polymorph. This can allow the mage to keep track of where the sheep is during the fight, and can easily tell if the polymorph effect is broken. The most common marker for sheep is the Moon. It is also possible for higher-level groups with more that one mage to further coordinate by assigning a specific polymorph style to a specific mage.

Wandering sheep can aggro nearby groups when it breaks near them. Using Frostbolt to pull and slow the movement speed of the target to a more favourable location before sheeping will help minimize the chances of this happening. It is also helpful to use Frost Nova to freeze an enemy in place to prevent it from hitting you, then Polymorph it.

By using a simple macro you can stop casting a spell before it is finished and re-sheep as needed. This allows the mage to be much more responsive if a target breaks early.

/cast Polymorph

Focus Target & Polymorph Macro

Use the Focus target to keep track of your sheep while killing other targets. In the default Blizzard UI, the focus target shows as a seperate frame as of recent patches. The focus target can be set and regained with macros as well, which helps when it is necessary to resheep a target.

This macro combined with the Focus target will make your polymorph hotkey more responsive by allowing you to stop casting your current spell and sheep your focus target without switching your current target.

/cast [target=focus] Polymorph

A more complex focus macro will focus and polymorph your target until it dies, with additional clicks re-sheeping the target. When your polymorphed focus is dead, select a new target and click again to focus and polymorph it. Hold shift and click to change polymorph targets mid fight. (via spicytuna)

#showtooltip Polymorph
/clearfocus [modifier:shift]
/focus [target=focus,noexists]; [target=focus,dead]
/clearfocus [target=focus,help]
/cast [target=focus,exists,harm] Polymorph; Polymorph


Polymorph can be a very useful tool in PvP, though it does have some limitations over PvE use. Specifically, the following limitations apply when Polymorphing a hostile player:

  • Polymorph will never last longer than 10 seconds.
  • Polymorph is subject to diminishing returns. Duration displayed on the debuff is capped at 10 seconds on the first cast, then 5 and 2.5 after subsequent casts. After the 4th cast, the target is immune. After 18 seconds of freedom from Polymorph, diminishing returns reset back to 10 seconds. Polymorph share dimishing returns with:Freezing Arrow, Freezing Trap, Gouge, Hex, Hibernate, Hungering Cold, Repentance, Sap, Shackle, Wyvern Sting.
  • Polymorph has a chance of a heartbeat resist.
  • Players flying on flying mounts are immune to polymorph.
  • Druids in shapeshifted forms are immune to polymorph completely, but druids in caster form can be polymorphed.

While Polymorph does regenerate the target's health quickly, it doesn't affect mana in any way. In PvP situations mages can Polymorph then bandage and/or evocate, effectively restarting a fight.

Polymorphing a Warrior using a shield and Spell Reflection can also be extremely useful if timed correctly. Rather than have a damaging spell reflected back, you can essentially sheep yourself and benefit from the healing effect.

Patch changes

  • Template:Patch 4.0.1
  • Template:Patch 3.0.2
  • Template:Patch 2.2.0
  • Template:Patch 2.0.1
  • Patch 1.4.0 (patch date:2005-05-05): Charm and Polymorph mechanics can now be reactively countered by spells and abilities (e.g. Druid Shapeshifting will now cancel Polymorph effects). 


  1. TCG Heroes of Azeroth, Polymorph card

External links

Polymorph Polymorph: Black Cat Polymorph: Pig
Polymorph: Rabbit Polymorph: Turkey Polymorph: Turtle