Spell Focus: Vampiric Touch

Vampiric Touch iconOur most powerful, but also our most humble DoT, VT is the good old standby that gives us Replenishment. It mimicks the warlock DoT Unstable Affliction in that it has a cast time, but otherwise follows nicely in the footsteps of our other DoTs. This is also a talented spell (41st point talent) meaning you will not see this spell any earlier than level 50.

The Spell

Vampiric Touch

Vampiric Touch is a basic cast-time DoT, but with some special effects that can be talented into to increase its effectiveness or interact with other spells.

  • 40% coefficient per tick, meaning that 100 spellpower will increase the damage done by 40 each tick of the spell.
  • 1.5 second casting time, no cooldown.
  • Deals its damage over 15 seconds, ticks once per 3 seconds, meaning that the full damage is divided over 3 ticks.
  • Vampiric Touch cannot crit unless you are in Shadowform; if you are, it can crit for 100% increased damage.
  • Its casting time is affected by haste, but the speed of its ticks are not.
  • Vampiric Touch adds a stack of Shadow Weaving.
  • Deals damage to anyone dispelling it.


The following talents affect or interact with Vampiric Touch:

  • Shadowform (Requires 30 points in Shadow): Allows Vampiric Touch to Crit for +100% crit damage.
  • Misery (Requires 35 points in Shadow): Casting VT on a target allows misery to be debuffed on the target, increasing the chance to hit with spells by 1% per point (Max 3%).
  • Vampiric Touch (Requires 40 points in Shadow): Adds Vampiric Touch to your spellbook.
  • Shadow Affinity (Requires 5 points in Shadow): Returns mana to you should someone dispel your Vampiric Touch from a target.

General use

While it is powerful for a DoT, its most important use is to provide Replenishment to your raid. Once you have VT on the target, casting Mind Blast on it will provide replenishment (1% of max mana per 5 seconds) to the 10 lowest-mana raid members. It also is one of the first spells to cast, getting stacks of Shadow Weaving and Misery up to set up your assault.

In PvP it does not usually have the chance to shine, even though it has been optimized to do modest damage to anyone dispelling it, and if this happens will return a bit of mana to you. This last function is tied to Shadow Affinity, a talent which is not taken by PvP shades, and nowadays hardly by any PvE Shades either.

2 Responses to “Spell Focus: Vampiric Touch”

  1. “This last function is tied to Shadow Affinity, a talent which is not taken by PvP shades, and nowadays hardly by any PvE Shades either.”

    Actually I’ve seen several pvp shadows taking the talent.

    • Hmm, I wonder why. I know that in PvP your SW:P and VT will be dispelled by good opponents, but even then I wonder to what degree this will actually help in BGs.

      Mind you, this is awesome in Arenas, when you rely on wearing your opponent down (he spends mana to dispel, you gain mana back) as it is a zero-sum game. In BGs, however, I think it can easily be done without.

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