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Power Word: Shield
Spell holy powerwordshield.png
  • Power Word: Shield
  • 40 yd range
  • 4 seconds cooldown
  • 23% base mana
  • Instant cast
  • Target must not have Weakened Soul debuff.
  • Draws on the soul of the friendly target to shield them, absorbing X damage. Lasts 30 sec. While the shield holds, spellcasting will not be interrupted by damage. Once shielded, the target cannot be shielded again for 15 sec.
Usable by
Cooldown4 seconds
Improved Power Word: Shield, Silent Resolve, Mental Agility, Reflective Shield, Pain Suppression, Borrowed Time, Renewed Hope
Other information
RequirementsTarget must not have Weakened Soul debuff.
Related buff
Spell holy powerwordshield.png
  • Magic
  • Power Word: Shield
  • Absorbs damage.
  • Duration: 30 seconds
Related debuff
Spell holy ashestoashes.png
  • Weakened Soul
  • Cannot be affected by Power Word: Shield.
  • Duration: 15 seconds

Power Word: Shield (abbr. PW:S) is a defensive priest Power Word available at level 6. It creates a protective shield around a friendly target which absorbs a set amount of damage. Power Word: Shield also gives the target the Weakened Soul debuff for 15 seconds, which prevents the target from being shielded.


Power Word: Shield is available at level 5 for 1s 35c.

Level Mana cost Absorbed damage
1 - -
2 - -
3 - -
4 - -
5 9 % 143
6 10 % 144
7 10 % 145
8 10 % 145
9 10 % 148
9 10 % 148
10 9 % 151


  • Absorb effects apply after damage reduction effects, including armor. If the damage of an attack is partially resisted or reduced by another effect such as Renewed Hope, this will lower the amount of damage remaining to be absorbed and allow a shield to last longer.
  • Power Word: Shield absorbs damage only. Most other effects attached to a damaging attack, such as a debuff that the attack applies or a spell interrupt will ignore the shield even if the attack deals no damage. Exceptions are Daze effects from being attacked from behind and spell pushback, which are both prevented.
  • Environmental damage (fall, fatigue, drowning) is not absorbed.
  • Receives a 80.68% bonus from spell power (30% of +healing in Patch 2.3; 20% as of Patch 2.0.10, previously 10%)
  • Generates about half the threat of normal healing spells.
  • The shield cannot absorb health paid to pay the cost of an ability such a Life Tap or Blood Tap. Such health lost ignores the shield.

In the World of Warcraft: Trading Card Game.

  • As of Patch 3.1, will still allow warriors and druids to generate rage from damage absorbed.


Talents and spells

  • Body and Soul: When you cast Power Word: Shield, you increase the target's movement speed by 30-60% for 4 sec.
  • Borrowed Time increases spell haste by up to 25% on the next spell cast (with a cast time) after casting Power Word: Shield and increases spell power contribution to the amount absorbed.
  • Focused Power increases the amount absorbed by the shield.
  • Improved Power Word: Shield increases the amount of damage absorbed by the shield.
  • Mental Agility reduces the mana cost of Power Word: Shield.
  • Pain Suppression is an activated talent which also decreases the chance of Power Word: Shield being dispelled.
  • Rapture returns mana to the caster when the shield is fully absorbed.
  • Reflective Shield causes partial damage absorbed by the shield to be reflected to the attacker, without increasing threat. Only works if the casting priest is the target of the shield.
  • Renewed Hope increases critical strike chance on targets with Weakened Soul and reduces damage done to your party or raid when you cast Power Word: Shield.
  • Silent Resolve reduces threat gain from the shield and decreases its chance of being dispelled.
  • Soul Warding reduces the cooldown of your Power Word: Shield ability by 4 sec, and reduces the mana cost of your Power Word: Shield by 15%.
  • Spiritual Healing increase the amount absorbed by the shield.
  • Twin Disciplines increases the amount absorbed by the shield.


  • Tier 8, [Conqueror's Sanctification Regalia] or [Valorous Sanctification Regalia]: Four piece set bonus grants 250 spell power for 5 seconds upon casting Power Word: Shield.
  • The All-Seeing Eye of Zuldazar: On equip, increases the amount of damage absorbed by Power Word: Shield by 35.


Inv misc questionmark.png
    Glyph of Power Word: Shield
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Current formula for working out Power Word: Shield (Patch 3.2)

(base_absorb+(0.8068+0.08*BT)*sp)*(1+0.05*IMP)*(1+ 0.02*FP)*(1+0.01*TD)

  • base_absorb is the base absorb given the PW:S which is 2230 at the moment
  • BT is your Borrowed Time level
  • SP is your Spell Power
  • IMP is your Improved Power Word: Shield level
  • FP is your Focused Power level
  • TD is your Twin Disciplines level

e.g. (2230+(0.8068+0.08*5)*2500)*(1+0.05*3)*(1+ 0.02*2)*(1+0.01*5) = 6589

It should be noted here that PW:S will only absorb damage after all other damage reduction including the target's armor. This means that while the amount absorbed here is 6589 the character will most likely be taking more than 6589 damage before the shield has absorbed all it can.


  • The bonus given by Twin Disciplines and Focused Power do not apply correctly to the amount absorbed by the shield; the bonuses are added instead of multiplied. Thus, when fully talented, the size of the shield is multiplied by 1.09 rather than 1.092. (4% & 5% = 1.04*1.05 = 1.092)
  • Glyph of Power Word: Shield does not take into account the bonus from Improved Power Word: Shield when calculating the healing amount
  • The amount healed by Glyph of Power Word: Shield is increased by any talents or effects the target has that increase healing done. For example, if the effect is used on a Restoration Shaman, the heal will be increased by 10% because of Purification. This bug created the commonly held misconception that Focused Power applies twice to Glyph of Power Word: Shield. When a priest tests the effect on herself, Focused Power does apply twice; once correctly and once because of this bug. On any other target the caster's Focused Power will apply only once.

Tips and tactics

  • Casting it before combat does not cause any threat and reduces the time until the target can be shielded again.
  • A major disadvantage of the shield is that it is not a true healing spell, so it may wear off without having any impact. If the shield is cast on a player who will not be taking damage in the next 30 seconds, it is a waste of mana.
  • Paladins will not receive mana from Spiritual Attunement from this spell unless glyphed. This is not an issue, as Divine Plea, Judgement of Wisdom, Blessing of Sanctuary, and potentially Blessing of Wisdom provide a solid mana base, and what traditional heals are used will give enough mana from Spiritual Attunement that the Paladin will not go oom. In the event of the shield being sufficient, it was not a very big fight, and thus the paladin did not need to use much mana anyways.
  • Due to changes in rage/mana generation (especially with Blessing of Sanctuary), Power Word: Shield is more acceptable to place on tanks since 3.0.2.
  • There was a time when Power Word: Shield would only be used in case of emergency because of its large mana cost and cooldown. Now it is a mainstay of healing for Discipline priests and is actually one of the Discipline priests' most mana efficient heals.
  • Power Word: Shield can also be seen as a way of pushing a tank's health beyond its normal limit. It is effective to Power Word: Shield before major attacks that will destroy the shield in one blow. Using it before Patchwerk's Hateful Strike or similar devastating attacks reduces the chance that a tank will die to a possible critical hit after such an attack.
  • During the Lich King fight in Icecrown Citadel (instance), Power Word: Shield is particularly useful for the ability Infest, as it keeps the tank above normal health, making it easier to bring the tank back up to 90% health and remove the debuff. This is one reason Discipline Priests excel at tank healing this encounter.
  • The effectiveness of Power Word: Shield is not altered by Mortal Strike and similar healing-reducing debuffs; in these situations it can sometimes be more effective to shield a tank first, rather than spam heals right away.
  • This is useful for casters who are receiving damage, as it prevents spell interruption from damage, especially while they are channeling, and even the priest himself can benefit from this (especially in solo combat).
  • The Weakened Soul debuff can be shortened to 13 seconds with the 4 piece bonus from Gladiator's Investiture.
  • In PvP, this spell can be a huge boon to bestow on Rogues and Feral Druids. Any damage taken will unstealth a character. However, if you Power Word: Shield a Rogue, AoE damage that doesn't get through the shield is absorbed, which greatly increases the difficulty of finding a Rogue by laying down an AoE. Power Word: Shield will also absorb the damage from DoT's, allowing DoT'd Rogues to Vanish safely. Just know that if the AoE or DoT damage is greater than the shield will take, then the actual character will take damage and stealth will become undone.

Patch changes

  • WoW Icon 16x16.gif Hotfix (2010-02-05): "The amount of damage being absorbed by Sacred Shield and Power Word: Shield is being reduced by 10% correctly in only battlegrounds, Arenas, and Wintergrasp."
  • Template:Patch 3.3.0
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  • Template:Patch 2.0.10
  • Patch 1.10.0 (patch date:2006-03-28): This spell will now get a small bonus from items and effects which increase your healing. 
  • Patch 1.7.0 (patch date:2005-09-22): Fixed a bug where Soul Link and Power Word: Shield, when used together, would heal the Warlock instead of splitting or absorbing damage. 
  • Patch 1.6.0 (patch date:2005-07-12): Damage absorption now absorbs damage from mana burn effects like Lava Shield. 
  • Patch 1.3.0 (patch date:2005-03-07): Now castable on all raid targets. 
  • Patch 1.2.0 (patch date:2004-12-18): Now usable on party members only. 

External links