Spell Focus: Devouring Plague

inv_inscription_tarotprismFor those of us who are not among the Undead Forsaken, this will be the newest tool in our arsenal. Currently in the Beta for testing, this little number has all we could ask for; it slices, it dices, and it feeds us. Today’s installment of Spell Focus will go into more detail on this oddly misnamed DoT.

The Spell

Damage-wise equivalent to Shadow Word: Pain and healing-wise as powerful as a buffed-up Renew, and this is just the old version! The version that is currently in the Beta has a much lower cooldown and a “substantially reduced mana cost”. It’s most recent incarnation from MMO-Champion is this:

Afflicts the target with a disease that causes 1720 Shadow damage over 24 sec. Damage caused by the Devouring Plague heals the caster.
31% of base mana, 30 yd range, Instant cast, 24 sec cooldown

Assuming base mana of about 2000 at level 80, the mana cost for this spell would fall in the 620 range. The base damage this spell deals is slightly superior to a rank 11 Shadow Word: Pain. Expect the cooldown to be set back to 30 seconds in the future. (Instead, the healing was reduced to 15% of damage done).

  • 80% coefficient, meaning 100 Spell Power would translate into +80 damage.
  • 24 second cooldown, 24 second duration (Meaning 100% uptime is nearly possible)
  • Devouring Plague can crit, but is unaffected by haste.
  • Devouring Plague heals the caster for 15% of the amount of damage dealt.
  • Devouring Plague is a Disease, not Magic or Curse.
  • Procs Shadoweaving
  • Devouring can affect only one target at a time.


Because it went from a Forsaken racial ability to a trained ability, Devouring Plague’s interaction with other talents is still uncertain.

  • Shadow Reach (requires 15 points in Shadow): Increases the range of your offensive Shadow spells by 10% per point. (Max 20%)
  • Mental Agility (requires 15 points in Discipline): Reduces the mana cost of your instant-cast spells by 2% per point. (Max 10%).
  • Improved Devouring Plague (requires 25 points in Shadow): Increases the periodic damage done by Devouring Plague by 15%, and also allows it do deal 15% of its total damage instantly when DP is cast on the target.

In patch 3.0, the coefficient of this spell has been raised (some say doubled), making this spell our highest DPS and DPCT spell across the board when fully talented.

General Use

Like Shadow Word: Pain, this spell would be a very spammable DoT as long as its duration equals its cooldown. And even if it doesn’t, it should not be difficult to manage it among the others. With VT, SW:P and DP on the target at all times, your damage should see a hefty increase.

It is less stellar against multiple targets, because the cooldown prevents you from using it on more than one. Therefore, it is best used against bosses or in PvP. Its use in farming and trash clearing is limited.

Tips and Tricks

This is a Master Recovery combo in PvP. With VE, SW:P and DP on the target, pop Dispersion. Over the course of those 6 seconds of Dispersion, you should see a massive increase in mana and health, as well as a remarkable decrease in your opponent’s life. Essentially, this combination functions as a reset during a battle.

In PvE it would be good to have this spell on a boss target at all times, and this is exceptionally valuable during AoE boss fights or heavy spike-damage fights. Just to name a few:

  • Lynx phase on Zul’jin
  • Shadow Volley on Malacrass
  • Reliquary of Souls
  • Watery Graves on Morogrim Tidewalker
  • Taking the blue beam on Netherspite

And many more like it. A very multi-purpose DoT.

How will it be in Wrath of the Lich King?

Well, as the pre-patch would contain the talent changes, that is also the most likely time for it to become our newest toy of destruction. Even so, it is likely to see a few iterations on the way.

As of patch 3.2, the cooldown has been removed from this spell, allowing you to cast it on different targets much quicker. However, it can only affect one target at a time. This means that if you have a target die with DP just applied, you can immediately cast it on the second target.

And why misnamed, exactly?

Well, the spell is listed as a disease, which I personally find less fitting for a Shadowpriest that is not an undead. If this spell is to see general use, I would rename it “Hungry Darkness” or “Devouring Dark” or the like.

8 Responses to “Spell Focus: Devouring Plague”

  1. So DP is availabel to all priests now. What is the replacement racial for undead priests?

  2. There is no replacement. All racials have been removed.

    All priests get Devouring Plague as base ability.

    All priests get Hymn of Hope (The old Symbol of Hope) as base ability.
    Hymn of Hope is now a Holy spell (boo!) and is channeled (boo!).

    Desperate prayer becomes an 11-point holy tree talent.

  3. Hello!

    >80% coefficient, meaning 100 Spell Power would translate into +80 damage.
    So, if I have 1000 sp, the rank 7 dp will do 1216+800 dmg over 24 sec?

  4. Yes, but it has been changed of course, as per patch 3.1

    Right now it not only benefits from an insance co-efficient (over 2 patches its damage was buffed by about 30%) but also a new talent, Improved Devouring Plague.

    This talent not only buffs the damage by 15% fully talented, but also makes DP deal 15% of its damage immediately on cast.

    Add this to the healing it does, and this is now my favorite spell.

  5. As this is a desease, a death knight can spread it around on other mobs and you get health back and damage multiplied by the number of mobs it is on (it is hard to tell but it seems so) so if you have death knights in your group keep it on cool down on a mob all the time. I am healer/shadow dual speck and I keep it on cool down even when healing.

    • This used to be true, up until 3.1 where one patch made an end to that. By limiting the Death Knight ability that spreads its diseases to only a few named diseases (his own), this eliminated our ability to have Death Knight spread Devouring Plague for us.

      Which means that right now, Death Knights cannot spread our diseases, and are no longer our best friends :)

  6. Ahhh man Blizzard takes all the fun out of the game (just joking)

  7. Cefjitytete Says:

    Hullo; I have been viewing this site several times – Thought i would quit sitting in the background:)

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