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An instant is a spell or ability with a cast time of zero.

In practice, instant means less than half a second but seems to depend on server response. Typically such spells can be cast on the move, which can serve as a great advantage over spells that must be cast while standing still. Instant cast spells come in many forms including DoTs such as [Shadow Word: Pain] and a Warlock's curses, heal-over-time spells such as [Renew], and instant damage spells such as a Shaman's [Earth Shock]. Instant cast spells are distinct from channelled spells, which although cast instantly must then be channelled in order to take effect, and can be interrupted before their full effect is complete.


  • Can usually be cast while moving
  • Cannot be interrupted. However, they can still be prevented by pre-emptive use of stuns or silence effects
  • Can often be cast without facing the target
  • Although instant are still subject to the global cooldown