A type of ranged weapon that usually causes only physical damage and, like all ranged weapons, doesn't need ammo to use. Thrown weapons do not have durability. Cannot be used on targets within 5 yards.
Rogues, Warriors, and Hunters start with the Throw ability. Rogues can later gain the ability , which requires an equipped thrown weapon. This is currently the only ability for any type of character (other than Trolls) that requires a thrown weapon be equipped. The Warrior ability does not require a thrown weapon.
Throwing differs from shooting in several ways.
- The shoot ability requires more time to cast than the throw ability, regardless of the weapon's cooldown spec. For this reason, some Warriors and Rogues tend to prefer thrown weapons over other ranged weapon types. A good player can typically throw three or four times at a pulled mob at maximum range vs. only one shot with a shooting weapon. However, there are more types of bows, guns, and crossbows that offer higher dps and better attributes than thrown weapons, so the choice of which type to equip depends on individual preference.
- Throw does not suffer as much pushback as Shoot.
- Unlike with Shooting weapons, Thrown weapons cannot be Disarmed by players, pets, or mobs.
- Thrown weapons cannot be improved by enchantments or other enhancement effects, in contrast to shooting weapons which can be enhanced with engineer-crafted scopes.
- For Hunters, the Auto-Shot ability only applies to bows, crossbows, and guns. It does not apply to Thrown weapons. In addition, an equipped Thrown weapon cannot be used with the Hunter's various ranged abilities, such as Arcane Shot or Concussive Shot.
- Rogues must equip a thrown weapon to use the Deadly Throw ability.
- Hunters, because of their Auto-Shot class ability, typically will never need to use thrown weapons.
- For PvE, the thrown ability for Rogues and Warriors is almost always used to pull mobs.
- In PvP, thrown can have a couple of uses:
- Many Rogues and Warriors choose to equip thrown over shoot weapons because of the short casting time. If a player is rooted in place, such as with , melee weapons are often not an option, so only a ranged weapon will be of any use. Because thrown weapons will cause a caster to suffer pushback just as much as with shooting weapons, it offers a quick way to slow down or even interrupt a cast even if the player is immobilized.
- Because thrown weapons can't be disarmed, it is a pre-emptive way to maintain dps ability if players find themselves without a melee weapon.
- Battlegrounds: Thrown weapons will interrupt the capture of a flag (or base) in a similar manner to shooting weapons.
Thrown weapons benefit from the same ranged stats as shooting weapons, including Haste and Agility. They can also be thrown through terrain objects under certain conditions, similar to shooting weapons.
Shoot and Throw are different abilities. If switching between a shoot and throw weapon, the ability for the weapon equipped must be present on an action bar in order to use the weapon. That is, the "Shoot" button will not work with a thrown weapon, and vice-versa.
For all players, there is currently no way to make Thrown into an auto-attack so each invididual throw must be cast.
Some Throwing weapons can be crafted using the Blacksmithing profession, such as Whirling Steel Axes.
Trolls have a Throwing Weapon Specialization (+1 % crit bonus). There is a similar bonus for Bow Specialization, so Troll Hunters need not consider the Thrown specialization as a wasted racial trait.
Although Thrown weapons never used ammo, there had been attempts to impose limits on thrown weapons, similar to how ranged weapons were limited by ammo. However, with the release of Patch 4.0.1, all ammo was removed from the game, making shooting weapons behave more like thrown weapons instead.