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Spell nature polymorph.png
  • Polymorph
  • 30 yd  range
  • 2.0% of base mana
  • 1.7 sec cast
  • Transforms the enemy into a sheep, forcing it to wander around incapacitated for up to 50 sec. While wandering, the sheep cannot attack or cast spells but will regenerate very quickly. Any damage will transform the target back into its normal form.

    Only one target can be polymorphed at a time. Only works on Beasts, Humanoids and Critters.
Usable by
Casting time1.7 sec cast
CooldownNone/Global Cooldown (GCD 1.5 sec)
Level required14
Related debuff
Spell nature polymorph.png
  • Magic
  • Polymorph
  • Cannot attack or cast spells. Increased regeneration.
  • Duration: 50 seconds
TCG image

Polymorph is a core mage ability learned at level 14. It transforms the enemy into a critter, removing it from combat. It is the mage's primary crowd control spell, allowing the mage's party to focus their efforts elsewhere while the polymorphed target wanders harmlessly for a period of time. Any damage will break the effect, including DoTs. The spell only works on beasts, humanoids (including enemy player characters) and critters.

Polymorph will affect mobs up to 50 seconds, but players will break out of the transformation after no more than 10 seconds. Polymorph is dispellable as a magic debuff. Certain trinkets also specifically dispel Polymorph effects, such as [Insignia of the Alliance]/[Insignia of the Horde].

The base spell transforms the target into a sheep. Mages can learn other variations on the polymorph spell, either through tomes or via glyphs. They are functionally the same, with the only difference being the visual transformation.

A polymorphed target is often referred to as a "sheeped" target. Furthermore, "sheep" is often used as a verb; to sheep a target is to polymorph it. Even when using any of the Polymorph variations, the word sheep is still often used.

Modified by


  • While sheeped, the target cannot do anything, but heals at a rapid pace. Mana does not regenerate. Any damage caused to the target causes it to revert to its normal state. The target will also wander across the area randomly in this state.
  • A mage can only have one target polymorphed at a time, regardless of the particular spell used. If cast on a second target, the first Polymorph breaks. For instance, casting Polymorph: Pig while having a different mob under the effects of Polymorph: Sheep will break the spell.
  • Polymorphed animals retain the mass of their original form ie; if a Kobold is Polymorphed into a Rat, the Rat retains the original mass of the Kobold.[1]

Polymorph spell lists

I'm in the mood for some pork ribs. — High Magus Olvek
Ability Min Level Taught by
Polymorph: Pig 60 The Amazing Zanzo in Dalaran
Polymorph: Rabbit 60 Tome of Polymorph: Rabbit from the Noblegarden event.
Polymorph: Turtle 60 Tome of Polymorph: Turtle from Combat Gahz'ranka in Zul'Gurub.
Polymorph: Black Cat 60 Tome of Polymorph: Black Cat for 2500g from Neutral Endora Moorehead in Dalaran at neutral Kirin Tor reputation.


Polymorph: Penguin TCG art

Polymorph:Pig TCG art

This human mage's Polymorph transforms a Tauren into a sheep.


The careful use of Polymorph can be tremendously effective in combat against elites. Typically, a mage will use Polymorph at the beginning of combat, allowing the group to focus on the remaining targets. Because Polymorph heals the target, it is much more effective to use it early in a fight rather than later when the target may have already suffered damage. It is advised that the mage until the tank has started the fight, otherwise the mage will have initial aggro of all remaining enemies, which can lead to a quick death, especially vs powerful raid elites if the tank does not draw aggro from these mobs fast enough.

Polymorph can be reapplied, refreshing the duration, at any time in combat, so it is helpful to always re-sheep before the effect expires. It is more difficult to re-sheep a mob that is running loose (and likely beating on you) than one that is already under control.

In group situations, the party leader can use a target marker to designate which target to polymorph. This allows the mage to keep track of where the sheep is during the fight, and can easily tell if the polymorph effect is broken. The most common marker for sheep is the Moon. It is also possible for higher-level groups with more than one mage to further coordinate by assigning a specific polymorph style to a specific mage.

Wandering sheep can aggro nearby mobs when it breaks near them. Using [Frostbolt] (requires frost specialization) to pull and slow the movement speed of the target to a more favorable location before sheeping will help minimize the chances of this happening. It is also helpful to use [Frost Nova] to freeze an enemy in place, then Polymorph it.


By using a simple macro you can stop casting a spell before it is finished and re-sheep as needed. This allows the mage to be much more responsive if a target breaks early.

/cast Polymorph

Use the Focus target to keep track of your sheep while killing other targets. In the default Blizzard UI, the focus target shows as a separate frame as of recent patches. The focus target can be set and regained with macros as well, which helps when it is necessary to resheep a target.

This macro combined with the Focus target will make your polymorph hotkey more responsive by allowing you to stop casting your current spell and sheep your focus target without switching your current target.

/cast [target=focus] Polymorph

A more complex focus macro will focus and polymorph your target until it dies, with additional clicks re-sheeping the target. When your polymorphed focus is dead, select a new target and click again to focus and polymorph it. Hold shift and click to change polymorph targets mid fight. (via spicytuna)

#showtooltip Polymorph
/clearfocus [modifier:shift]
/focus [target=focus,noexists]; [target=focus,dead]
/clearfocus [target=focus,help]
/cast [target=focus,exists,harm] Polymorph; Polymorph


Polymorph can be a very useful tool in PvP, though it does have some limitations over PvE use. Specifically, the following limitations apply when Polymorphing a hostile player:

  • Polymorph will never last longer than 10 seconds.
  • Polymorph is subject to diminishing returns. Duration displayed on the debuff is capped at 10 seconds on the first cast, then 5 and 2.5 after subsequent casts. After the 4th cast, the target is immune. After 18 seconds of freedom from Polymorph, diminishing returns reset back to 10 seconds. Polymorph shares diminishing returns with: Freezing Arrow, Freezing Trap, Gouge, Hex, Hibernate, Hungering Cold, Repentance, Sap, Shackle, Wyvern Sting.
  • Polymorph has a chance of a heartbeat resist.
  • Players flying on flying mounts are immune to polymorph.
  • Druids in shapeshifted forms are immune to polymorph completely, but druids in caster form can be polymorphed.

While Polymorph does regenerate the target's health quickly, it doesn't affect mana in any way. In PvP situations mages can Polymorph then bandage and/or evocate, effectively restarting a fight.

Polymorphing a Warrior using a shield and Spell Reflection can also be extremely useful if timed correctly. Rather than have a damaging spell reflected back, you can essentially sheep yourself and benefit from the healing effect.

Reference List

  1. ^ Game Master Enisler, Support Forum Agent Orlyia,

Patch changes

  • World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor Patch 6.0.2 (14-October-2014): Polymorph variants except for Polymorph: Sheep are now all learned as spells and grouped in a flyout on the Spellbook instead of being a Minor Glyph that alters the visuals of Polymorph: Sheep.
  • World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Patch 4.0.6 (8-Feb-2011): Polymorph now has a PvP duration of 8 seconds.
  • World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King/ World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Patch 4.0.1 (12-Oct-2010): Spell ranks removed.
  • World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade/ World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.0.2 (14-Oct-2008): Now affected by [Glyph of Polymorph], [Glyph of the Monkey], and [Glyph of the Penguin]. Polymorph now costs 12% of base mana.
  • World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade Patch 2.4.2 (2008-05-13): Mounted creatures will no longer remain mounted while polymorphed.
  • World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade Patch 2.3.0 (13-Nov-2007): It is no longer possible to polymorph a player and have that player remain mounted. In addition, it will now always be removed correctly if multiple Mages overwrite each other’s Polymorph.
  • World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade Patch 2.2.0 (25-Sep-2007): Duration against PvP targets has been reduced to 10 seconds.
  • World of Warcraft/ World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade Patch 2.0.1 (05-Dec-2006): In PvP, Crowd Control effects will last no longer than 12 seconds instead of the full duration, with a chance of a heartbeat resist. Casting a lower rank polymorph on a target that is already under the effect of a higher rank will cause an error message and not consume mana.
  • World of Warcraft Patch 1.4.0 (2005-05-05): Charm and Polymorph mechanics can now be reactively countered by spells and abilities (e.g. Druid Shapeshifting will now cancel Polymorph effects).

External links