Breath is a stat that comes into play when the player is swiming and goes underwater. It is a blue meter that once had a duration of 60 seconds, but was changed in Patch 3.0.2 to 3 minutes. Players must be careful to return to the surface and replenish their breath before their breath meter runs out, especially if combat is initiated, or they will begin to take large chunks of health damage every second, and eventually drown. Also, if the character swims too far into open water Fatigue will also apply whether they are on the surface or underwater. If the fatigue bar runs out, the player will start taking damage and die.
Though the breath meter lasts three minutes, there are ways to counter the drowning mechanic:
- The Forsaken can hold their breath three times longer than other races. See Forsaken Racial Traits.
- Druids can shapeshift into a Sea Lion type creature with the Aquatic Form skill (Level 16), allowing them limitless water breathing. It also grants them +50% swim speed. Although they can fight in this form, the damage is very low compared to any other form except the Travel Form. (The form looks the same for both Alliance and Horde.)
- Unending Breath grants underwater breathing for 10 minutes (level 16 Warlock spell, can be cast on others).
- Water Breathing is a 10 minute level 22 Shaman buff, which can also be cast on others.
- allows underwater breathing for 30 minutes (requires Level 8, crafted by Alchemists), also a quest reward from [20E] .
- allows underwater breathing for 1 hour (requires Level 35, crafted by Alchemists).
- allows unlimited underwater breathing (crafted by Engineering skill 230).
- from the Scepter of the Shifting Sands quest [60R] .
- from Viscous Fallout in Gnomeregan.
- won from the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza in Booty Bay.
- bought from Marin Noggenfogger in Gadgetzan after finishing  has a good chance to turn you into a skeleton with underwater breathing for 10 minutes.
- , which comes in one stack of 20, grants underwater breathing for 5 minutes per cherry, from  in Nagrand.
- , given for the quest  can be kept afterward. It has six charges of underwater breathing for 10 minutes each.
- , available after becoming Exalted with The Kalu'ak.