Most often, a buff refers to a temporary beneficial spell or effect placed on a player. Buffs can range in effect from simple personal shields to buffs which augment almost every category of stats a given player may have for their race or class.
Buffs can be of two types: those that expire over time (simple buff like Arcane Intellect) and those that are dependent of the environment around you (like the AoE effect given by Headmaster's Charge).
You can dismiss an active buff that expires over time by right-clicking on its icon.
Buff can also be used as a verb, i.e. "to buff" means to apply buffs.
Buff is also used to represent a change to a class or ability that makes it more effective or useful. It is the opposite of a nerf.
List of notable buffs obtained from other players
- Mark of the Wild/Gift of the Wild - armor, all attributes, and resistances for target/target's party
- Thorns - reflective damage for target
- Innervate - massive short term mana regeneration for target
- Aspect of the Pack - run speed for party
- Aspect of the Wild - nature resistance for party
- Trueshot Aura - attack power for party
- Furious Howl - short term AP increase for party
- Arcane Intellect/Arcane Brilliance - intellect for target/target's party
- Amplify Magic - increased incoming spell damage and healing for target
- Dampen Magic - decreased incoming spell damage and healing for target
- Auras - Auras affect the Paladin's party/raid
- Devotion Aura - armor
- Retribution Aura - reflective damage
- Concentration Aura - reduced spell interruption from damage. With improvement from talent: reduced duration of silence
- Sanctity Aura - increase holy damage. With improvement from talent: slight increase of all damage
- Shadow Resistance Aura - shadow resistance
- Frost Resistance Aura - frost resistance
- Fire Resistance Aura - fire resistance
- Crusader Aura - increase mount speed
- Blessings - Blessings affect single targets, while greater blessings affect the target's class in party/raid
- Blessing of Might/Greater Blessing of Might - attack power
- Blessing of Wisdom/Greater Blessing of Wisdom - mana regeneration
- Blessing of Kings/Greater Blessing of Kings - all attributes
- Blessing of Salvation/Greater Blessing of Salvation - threat reduction
- Blessing of Sanctuary/Greater Blessing of Sanctuary - incoming damage reduction and reflective damage
- Blessing of Protection - short term immune to physical damage; temporarily removed from aggro list; remove all pre-existing bleeding effects
- Blessing of Freedom - short term free movement; remove all pre-existing snare effects
- Blessing of Sacrifice - short term damage transfer from target
- Power Word: Fortitude/Prayer of Fortitude - stamina for target/target's party
- Power Word: Shield - short term damage absorption for target in Priest's party
- Power Infusion - short term increase in spell damage and healing for target
- Divine Spirit/Prayer of Spirit - spirit for target/target's party
- Shadow Protection/Prayer of Shadow Protection - shadow resistance for target/target's party
Rogue: rogues have no buff for party members.
- Earth Shield - healing and reduced spell interruption from damage for target
- Water Breathing - target can breathe under water
- Water Walking - target can walk on water
- Totems - Most totems affect the Shaman's party and last 1 or 2 minutes
- Strength of Earth Totem - strength
- Grace of Air Totem - agility
- Fire Resistance Totem - fire resistance
- Frost Resistance Totem - frost resistance
- Nature Resistance Totem - nature resistance
- Windfury Totem - chance of extra attack
- Flametongue Totem - additional fire damage
- Stoneskin Totem - incoming melee damage reduction
- Mana Spring Totem - mana regeneration
- Mana Tide Totem - short term mana regeneration
- Totem of Wrath - spell hit and crit chance
- Healing Stream Totem - heals party
- Windwall Totem - incoming ranged damage reduction
- Tranquil Air Totem - threat reduction
- Wrath of Air Totem - spell damage and healing
- Unending Breath - underwater breathing for target
- Detect Invisibility - increase detection of invisibility for target
- Fel Intelligence - increased spirit and intellect for Warlock's party or raid
Draenei hunters, paladins or warriors:
- Heroic Presence - physical hit
Draenei mages, priests or shamans:
- Inspiring Presence - spell hit
List of notable buffs from environment
Increases stamina by 5%.
Lasts: 30 min
How to get: Take control of the northpass tower in Eastern Plaguelands, click the altar that appears outside the door.
Notes: Persists in Scholomance, Stratholme and Naxxramas.
Increases fire resistance by 83.
Lasts: 1 hour
Notes: Sometimes the tooltip will say differing amounts of Fire Resistance, but the buff always provides 83 resistance. Stacks with Paladin aura.
Increases critical chance of spells by 10%, melee and ranged by 5% and grants 140 attack power, for characters below level 61.
Lasts: 2 hours
Increases all stats for a value depending on level for 2 hours.
Duration: 2 hours (As of 1.11, this buff no longer persists through death)
Lasts: 1 hour
How to get: When the head of Rend Blackhand is returned after a player completes "For the Horde!", the end of the first part of the Onyxia prequest chain, all players located in Orgrimmar are buffed with this buff.
Increases critical strike rating and spell critical strike rating by 70 and all attributes by 15.
Lasts: 1 hour