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Curse of Agony
Spell shadow curseofsargeras.png
  • Curse of Agony
  • 30 yds.  range
  • 0 cooldown
  • 10% of base mana
  • Instant cast
  • Curses the target with agony, causing X Shadow damage over 24 sec. This damage is dealt slowly at first, and builds up as the Curse reaches its full duration. Only one Curse per Warlock can be active on any one target.
Usable by
Casting timeInstant cast
Suppression, Improved Drain Soul, Improved Curse of Agony, Amplify Curse, Grim Reach, Shadow Embrace, Shadow Mastery, Contagion
Other information
Related debuff
Spell shadow curseofsargeras.png
  • Curse
  • Curse of Agony
  • X Shadow damage over 24 sec.
  • Duration: 24 Sec

Curse of Agony, or CoA, is a warlock curse that does increasing damage over time.

Rank table

Rank Level Damage Cost
1 8 84 2s
2 18 180 15s
3 28 324 50s
4 38 504 1g
5 48 780 1g 40s
6 58 1044 2g 40s
7 67 1356 5g 70s
8 73 1440 16g
9 79 1740 16g


Curse of Agony is "back-loaded" DoT in the sense that it deals an increasing amount of damage as it nears the final seconds of its duration. Damage occurs in 12 two-second ticks. Without bonus spell power, the first four ticks each deal 1/24 of the damage each (about 4.2%), the next four deal 1/12 of the damage (about 8.3%), and then the last four each deal 1/8 of the damage (12.5%). In other words, the first four ticks combine to 1/6 (16.6%) of the damage, the next four to 1/3 (33.3%), and the last four together to about one half of the total damage.

Compared to a flat DoT, the first four ticks each deal 0.5 of the average damage-per-tick, the next four deal the average damage-per-tick and the last four deal 1.5 as much damage per tick.

For instance, at rank 7 (with no spell bonus), 1356 damage is broken down by each tick as: 56.5, 56.5, 56.5, 56.5, 113, 113, 113, 113, 169.5, 169.5, 169.5, 169.5.

Curse of Agony receives 120% bonus from spell power items.

As a DoT spell CoA does not crit.

Talent improvement

Suppression reduces chance for enemies to resist by 2%/4%/6%.

Improved Drain Soul reduces threat generated by 5%/10%.

Amplify Curse reduces the global cooldown generated by all curses to 1 second.

Improved Curse of Agony increases the damage by 5%/10%.

Grim Reach extends the range to 33/36 yds.

Shadow Embrace reduces physical damage caused by 1%/2%/3%/4%/5%.

Shadow Mastery increases the damage dealt by 3%/6%/9%/12%/15%.

Contagion increases the damage by 1%/2%/3%/4%/5% and reduces the chance to be dispelled by 6%/12%/18%/24%/30%.

Tips and Tactics

Curse of Agony has one of the highest damage per second rates of all the curses which a warlock knows how to cast. It's weakness, however, is that it must remain on the target foe for nearly or completely its full duration in order for that damage potential to be realized. If a mob dies before this occurs then the casting of CoA becomes a waste of time.

In dungeons this curse can be cast on the second and third characters being tanked. Realistically, this may not be worth doing because a high dps is to a dead party like a fork is to a man with no food.

A typical technique employed during solo play is to pull multiple enemies, DoT them up, and let the VW tank, while casting Health Funnel and Life Tap to minimize downtime.


World of Warcraft: Cataclysm This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.

In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, Curse of Agony is slated to become a "bane spell" known as Bane of Agony, and will be considered a magical debuff instead of a curse, allowing it to stack with other Warlock curses, such as Curse of the Elements.

Patch changes

  • World of Warcraft Patch 1.8.0 (10-Oct-2005): Duration reduced to 24 seconds and damage per tick increased. Total damage over duration approximately identical.
  • World of Warcraft Patch 1.3.0 (07-Mar-2005): Now benefits from items that increase shadow damage.