World of Warcraft DoT explained: What does it mean?

World of Warcraft DoT explained: What does it mean?
Images via Blizzard Entertainment

Written by 

Amy Eastland


30th Aug 2023 14:42

If you’ve seen the term DoT come up multiple times during your journey in World of Warcraft, don’t panic if you don’t know what it means, as we've got an explainer of all you need to know right here.

WoW is jam-packed with terminology that can throw off even the most stalwart of players, regardless of whether they're new to Azeroth or are back after a break.

Dungeons and raids in the game can be a lot to keep up with at the best of times, so if you've seen mention of DoT pop up during gameplay, keep reading for all you need to know about what it means and how it can affect your builds and classes in World of Warcraft.

What is DoT in World of Warcraft?

Fyrakk angry and talking in WoW
Click to enlarge

Simply put, DoT is a type of damage that can be cast in World of Warcraft, which stands for 'damage over time'.

This type of damage is most commonly used in WoW by classes like Affliction Warlocks and Shadow Priests - you may see Warlocks using abilities such as Corruption, Agony, and Unstable Affliction that are a part of their core rotation if they are a DoT damage dealer. 

What classes use DoT in World of Warcraft?

Tyrande the Druid using Moonfire in World of Warcraft
Click to enlarge

Warlocks and Priests aren’t the only two classes that use DoT in World of Warcraft, though, as other classes use it too, including Death Knights with Death and Decay, and Balance Druids with Moonfire.

It’s important to note that enemies can also use damage over time, and can render you lifeless with DoT damage. Whilst it may sound like it isn’t that daunting, DoT damage can deal a tonne of damage, especially if multiple abilities are used, or the damage can stack.

Here are all of the classes and specs that use DoT in WoW, along with some examples of the damage they deal with their abilities so you know what to look out for:

More WoW specialisations that utilise DoT damage below...



Shadow Priest

Mind Flay, Vampiric Touch, Shadow Word: Pain

Affliction Warlock

Corruption, Agony, Unstable Affliction

Unholy Death Knight

Death and Decay

Havoc Demon Hunter

Immolation Aura

Feral Druid

Rip, Moonfire, Rake, Thrash, Adaptive Swarm

Balance Druid

Stellar Flare, Moonfire

Retribution Paladin

Seal of Truth, Consecration

Windwalker Monk

Touch of Karma, Eye of the Tiger

Elemental Shaman

Flame Shock



Assassination, Subtlety Rogue

Garrote, Deadly Poison

Fury Warrior

Deep Wounds, Rend

Fire Mage


These are only examples of the spells that these classes have access to. Some classes will have access to more DoT spells than others, whilst some may only have one or two, like Unholy Death Knight or Balance Druid. However, they can still be powerful with just those two spells.

If you’re going to play a class that uses DoT damage, it’s important that you know when to renew the damage over time as it can affect how maximised your damage is. DoT damage can negate CC effects, and learning how to use this style of damage in WoW is one of the best things that new players can do early on in playing the game - even if they are going to play a class that doesn’t utilise it.

So that’s everything to know about what DoT damage is in World of Warcraft and what it means for the player. 

For more guides on everything World of Warcraft, make sure to visit our WoW homepage, or check out our guide on all of the World of Warcraft expansions in order.

Amy was a Guides Writer for GGRecon. She has a BA (Hons) in Creative Writing and Journalism, and has previously worked for companies such as Gfinity and HITC. Her favourite games include Dark Souls 3, Elden Ring, and Crash Bandicoot Warped. When she's not at work, she's hanging out with her black cat, Shelby.

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