Protects you from all damage and spells for 8 sec, but reduces all damage you deal by 50%.
Cannot be used on a target with Forbearance. Causes Forbearance for 1 min.
Divine Shield is a core paladin ability learned at level 18. It is a protection spell that prevents all damage to the paladin for a short period of time. Damage done by the paladin is reduced by 50% while the shield is up. Divine Shield can be cast even while under the effects of most crowd control effects (Polymorph, Fear, etc) and acts as a universal “cleanse” removing nearly all debuffs. As of 4.0.3a patch change you can now cast Avenging Wrath immediately after casting Divine Shield. However, you are still afflicted with the Forbearance debuff.
In a PvP situation, other classes may try to bandage themselves when you shield. Throwing down a Consecration will interrupt their bandaging, letting you heal, but not allowing them to. This can be a great advantage when otherwise both combatants would be back to full health.
Divine Shield cancels virtually all crowd control effects, including a Silence from another player. The exception is when casting has been interrupted by a spell lock effect such as Mage's Counterspell, Rogue's Kick, Warlock Felhunter's Spell Lock or Death Knight's Mind Freeze. This will lock out all spells that derive their power from the same school of magic as the spell that was interrupted.
Divine Shield cannot be cast under the effect of Cyclone and similar effects.
Divine Shield prevents all damage, including (unlike most other bubbles of other classes) falling damage, and even drowning damage. It is not uncommon for a Paladin to leap off a high cliff or despawn their flying mount in the air and bubble before landing, preventing damage or death. Hand of Protection does exactly the same thing for falling damage, and a Paladin with good timing may bubble himself and a party member.
Divine Shield does not wipe threat, but mobs will ignore targets under the influence of Divine Shield unless there is no other valid target for them, which can lead to death of raid/party members if used in the wrong situation. On the other hand, if a Paladin healer or DPS pulls aggro, they can use Divine Shield to make the mobs ignore them.
It sometimes is helpful if a tanking Paladin activates the shield and then immediately remove the Divine Shield again (best through a macro) to instantly remove all harmful spells, but since this means a temporary aggro loss, it is highly dangerous.
It is possible to use Divine Shield and then immediately taunt the enemy to force the mob to stay on the now invulnerable tank as long as the taunt lasts.
When fighting alone against a mob that uses primarily a ranged attack, Divine Shield will cause the mob to run up to melee. Combined with another ranged attack, such as Avenger's Shield or Exorcism, this can be used to solo pull a mob in a somewhat crowded area (if you hit only one mob with the shield, that is).
In the Arathi Basin battleground, you cannot use Divine Shield, then attempt to capture a node, otherwise known as a flag or base. Similarly, when you capture a flag in Eye of the Storm or Warsong Gulch, the use of Divine Shield will cause you to automatically drop the flag. You cannot continue to carry it while under the spell of Divine Shield.
This spell originally appeared in Warcraft III and was used by the Paladin hero unit. The highest level divine shield in Warcraft III allowed for 45 seconds of immunity every 65 seconds with no attack speed penalty and disallowed any units from attacking it. It is also worth note that the Warcraft III version could not be dispelled, where the World of Warcraft version can.
Patch 4.0.3 (15-Nov-2010): Duration reduced to 8 sec from 12 sec. Forbearance reduced from 2 min to 1 min.
Patch 3.0.8 (2009-01-20): The 100% attack speed penalty has been replaced by a 50% reduction to all damage caused.
/Patch 3.0.2 (14-Oct-2008): Divine Protection and Divine Shield now cost 3% of base mana.
Patch 2.1.0 (22-May-2007): This ability no longer removes or prevents the Weakened Soul debuff.; It is no longer possible to use a macro to gain the benefit of Avenging Wrath and Divine Shield at the same time.
Patch 1.4.0 (2005-05-05): Fixed race condition where damage would sometimes be applied after Divine Shield was activated.