Power Word: Shield
|Power Word: Shield|
|Requirements||Target must not have Weakened Soul debuff.|
|Modified by||, ,|
|Improvements||, , , , , ,|
Power Word: Shield (abbreviated PW:S) is a defensive Discipline Power Word available at level 5. It creates a protective shield around a friendly target which absorbs a set amount of damage. To prevent overuse, Power Word: Shield also gives the target the 15-second Weakened Soul debuff, which must elapse before another shield can be applied.
While Power Word: Shield is a valuable spell for any priest, Discipline priests have the opportunity to improve it far beyond its base effect, empowering it with their mastery () and using it to restore mana ( ) and grant haste ( ). Power Word: Shield is undoubtedly one of the signature spells of the Discipline priest, protecting the target with a powerful shield that can seem unbreakable.
Use and effect
Power Word: Shield is an instant-cast spell which generates a shield around the target, absorbing most forms of damage. The shield will last for 15 seconds or until "broken" through combat. The shield enjoys the full protection of the player's armor, parry and dodge, partial resists, and other forms of damage mitigation: only damage which would actually injure the player will be absorbed by the shield.
Be aware that Power Word: Shield will not protect a target from debuffs, interrupts or crowd control, nor will it protect against environmental damage (falling, fatigue, drowning, etc). Attacks which additionally apply debuffs (eg. ) will still apply their debuffs even if all damage from the attack is absorbed. PW:S will also not absorb damage from abilities which injure their casters, such as a warlock's .
Shielding a target debuffs them with Weakened Soul, preventing another shield from being cast on that target for 15 seconds.
Interaction with other priest spells
- : Divine Aegis absorbs damage before PW:S. If a target is wearing both Divine Aegis and PW:S, the PW:S will not take damage while the Divine Aegis holds.
- : Prayer of Mending will not proc from damage fully absorbed by PW:S.
- : Spirit Shell absorbs damage after PW:S. If a target has both Spirit Shell and PW:S, Spirit Shell will not absorb damage while the PW:S holds.
- causes 45% of all damage absorbed by your own shield to be reflected back upon the attacker. Note that this applies only to the shield when cast upon the priest themselves; PW:S cast upon other targets will not benefit from this glyph.
- converts 20% of the shield's absorption into direct healing.
- reduces the duration of the Weakened Soul debuff by 2 seconds.
- ( Talent) will cause your shields to briefly buff the movement speed of their recipients. (Very useful for tanks in instances and raids.)
Discipline priests gain several spec-specific abilities which enhance Power Word: Shield:
- , the Discipline form of Mastery, significantly improves the overall strength of Power Word: Shield.
- reduces this spell's cooldown to 1 second, reduces its cost by 25%, and restores a portion of mana when a shield is fully absorbed or dispelled.
- grants Power Word: Shield a chance equal to the Priest's critical chance for the shield to absorb twice as much damage.
- grants 15% spell haste for your next spell after casting Power Word: Shield.
- allows you to use certain healing spells to reduce the duration on the Weakened Soul debuff.
- ( Talent) will occasionally proc an enhanced shield whenever the priest casts . This shield will not cause the Weakened Soul debuff, and can be cast on targets who are already under Weakened Soul.
- For players around level 80, the Tier 8 or four piece set bonus grants 250 spell power for 5 seconds upon casting Power Word: Shield.
Tips and tactics
- Shielding before combat does not cause any threat and reduces the time until the target can be shielded again.
- As a magical effect, PW:S is dispellable with abilities such as and .
- Mages can PW:S. Priests playing against smart mages may therefore wish to refrain from shielding, or stock up on buffs to make a theft more difficult.
- PW:S is notably useful for its pushback prevention. This is very useful for casters who are receiving damage, allowing them to continue casting uninterrupted. In this way, PW:S can serve to increase casters' DPS output. This makes PW:S especially useful for priests when soloing.
- A major disadvantage of the shield is that it is a limited form of damage mitigation, not a true healing spell, and so may wear off without having been of any use. With a limited duration of 15 seconds, priests must choose their timing in order to ensure mana is not wasted casting the spell to little or no advantage.
- Mana efficiency of Power Word: Shield is typically predicated upon the shield being fully absorbed. In practice, with only a 15 second window for this to occur, in many situations the shield will fade without being completely absorbed. In these cases the spell can be considered to be far less mana efficient.
- Some classes and enemies (especially instance bosses) throw out debuffs which reduce the effectiveness of healing on player targets. As PW:S is not a healing spell, it is generally not impacted by these debuffs.
- In PvP, this spell can be enormously helpful to Rogues and feral Druids: if they take any sort of damage (including AoE and DoT), they will be broken out of , which can expose them unexpectedly - and often fatally. Shielding a stealthed ally will protect them from these forms of damage, allowing them to jump out of stealth at their own leisure.
- PW:S can be used to temporarily increase a tank's overall health in anticipation of a major damage spike, although Discipline Priests will find a more efficient method.
- PW:S has a somewhat antagonistic relationship with . PoM will not proc from absorbed damage, making the two spells hard to use in combination. One tactic is to first cast PoM on the tank or current target, allowing it to jump to another player before casting PW:S on the tank. This ensures at least one proc, and reduces the likelihood of PoM expiring prematurely.
- The healing provided by Glyph of Power: Shield can crit, and will proc if it does. This means that, for Discipline priests, a crit from this Glyph can provide more than half the benefit of the Power Word: Shield itself. It will also proc .
- By preventing daze effects, PW:S can be useful for fleeing players. However, it will not remove existing daze effects, so ideally cast it before the player has a chance to be dazed.
- When glyphed with , priests may wish to allow targets to take a small amount of damage before shielding them, in order to benefit from the direct heal component.
- The amount healed by is increased by any passives or effects the target has that increase healing received.
- Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28): Cooldown changed to 6 seconds, up from 3. Spell power coefficient changed to 187%, up from 87%.
- Patch 4.1.0 (2011-04-26): Duration has been reduced to 15 seconds, down from 30.
- Hotfix (2011-02-16): "Power Word: Shield now costs roughly 34% of base mana, up from 25%. This is not reflected in the tooltip, but is reflected in the amount of mana used when the spell is cast. The tooltip update will require a client-side patch."
- Patch 4.0.6 (2011-02-08): The mana cost of Power Word: Shield has been increased by approximately 31%, but its effect has been increased by 208%.
- Hotfix (2010-02-05): "The amount of damage being absorbed by and Power Word: Shield is being reduced by 10% correctly in only battlegrounds, Arenas, and Wintergrasp. "
- Patch 3.3.0 (2009-12-08): This spell can now be cast on non-raid/party friendly targets.
- Patch 2.4.0 (2008-03-25): Using low ranks of this spell will now be penalized the same way healing spells are penalized.
- Patch 2.3.0 (2007-11-13): Now gains additional benefit from spell damage and healing bonuses. Base absorb values of ranks 10, 11 and 12 have been reduced.
- Patch 2.1.0 (2007-05-22): The Weakened Soul effect will no longer sometimes be re-applied while zoning with this buff on.
- Patch 2.0.10 (2007-03-06): The damage absorption of "Power Word: Shield" added by the caster's bonus healing has been increased to 20%.
- Patch 1.10.0 (2006-03-28): This spell will now get a small bonus from items and effects which increase your healing.
- Patch 1.7.0 (2005-09-22): Fixed a bug where and Power Word: Shield, when used together, would heal the Warlock instead of splitting or absorbing damage.
- Patch 1.6.0 (2005-07-12): Damage absorption now absorbs damage from mana burn effects like Lava Shield.
- Patch 1.3.0 (2005-03-07): Now castable on all raid targets.
- Patch 1.2.0 (2004-12-18): Now usable on party members only.