A Crowd Control Compendium

Last updated Dec 18, 2010 – Added some more suggestions, many thanks to you all for filling in the gaps. Changed the one mob per CC explanation and edited the Fear description.

As I was writing about heroics, I found myself listing off the various forms of crowd control (affectionately called CC). Because, to the greatest pleasure of those who complained about the lack of CC during Wrath, Crowd Control is back with a vengeance!

At least it is for now as we’re doing our best to run heroics in our soft and squishy greens and blues.

I’m sure someone has written a similar compendium at some point of another, but I’m not aware of any I could just link to so I made my own, for your enjoyment. Convincing your PuG to actually use CC is a topic for another day, but because knowledge is power and we all love power, here’s a list of all the forms of CC that I’m aware of.

And as usual, if you find anything missing, let me know and it’ll be added with credits given where they’re due.
* * *

Most of the time, nothing listened here will work on bosses (there have been exceptions over the years) but most trash mobs and mobs summoned during boss fights can be controlled using these abilities.

Complete CC

Complete CC keeps the poor creature from doing anything as long as the CC holds. This is your first resort for CC, and the most effective.

Frost Death Knights: Can do an AoE freeze that locks up all mobs within 10 yards for 10 seconds.
Druids: Can Hibernate beasts and dragonkin.
Hunters: Can Freezing Trap most creatures.
Survival Hunters: In addition to freezing creatures, that can also put them to sleep via Wyvern Sting.
Mages: Can Polymorph beasts and humanoids. Can also place a Ring of Frost on the ground, sealing all enemies that enter the area in ice for 10 seconds.
Retribution Paladins: Can Repentance demons, dragonkin, giants, humanoids and undead.
Priests: Can Shackle Undead.
Shadow priests: Can Mind Control.
Rogues: Can Sap humanoids, beasts, demons and dragonkin (must be done before the pull, when out of combat).
Shaman: Can Hex humanoids and beasts and Bind elementals.
Warlocks: Can Banish demons and elementals.Seduce humanoids and Enslave demons.

Note that a Warlock’s Seduction and Enslave Demon and a Shadow Priest’s Mind Control are more inconvenient to the player than other forms of complete CC, so don’t suggest them if other forms are available, unless you know the fight specifically calls for them. Though sometimes you’ll find a Shadow Priest who’s really into Mind Controlling and will jump at any occasion to use it.

Also note that with the exception of Frost Death Knights, each spell can only CC one mob at a time. For example, one shaman can Hex one mob and Bind one elemental, but one shaman cannot Hex two mobs.

Most of these forms of CC will break if the target gets damaged in any way, so be sure that CCed creatures are kept out of the way of AoEs and DPSers who struggle with targeting.

The typical order for casting CC before a pull is:
Rogue Sap -> Hunter Sets Trap -> Mage Polymorphs -> Mobs come running

Partial CC

Partial CC still gives the creature some freedom to cause mischief, but it can keep casters from casting long enough for them to move into melee range (called “silencing”), or roots melee into place. When a melee is stuck somewhere, you can move away from it, so it can’t reach you.

Rooting
Druids: Can Root melee.
Mages: Can Frost Nova to root targets in an area for up to (but usually much less) 8 seconds.

Silencing
Death Knights: Can silence for short bouts via Strangulate and Mind Freeze.
Boomkin Druids: Can cause a Solar Beam, which silences any creature standing within it.
Feral Druids: Can interrupt and spell lockout for 5 seconds with Skull Bash (both Kitties and Bears have their individual Skull Bashes)
Marksman Hunters: Can Silencing Shot for 3 seconds.
Mages: Can also silence for 4 seconds if they’ve specced into Improved Counterspell and time their interrupt well.
Protection Paladins: Can silence one target (and 2 other random targets if not glyphed for single target) for 3 seconds with Avenger’s Shield (and it has a bonus slowing effect when glyphed for it)
Shadow Priests: Can spec into Silence.
Rogues: Can silence for 3 seconds via Garrote, or can lock a creature out of a school of magic for 5 seconds if they time their Kick well.
Shaman: Can do an interrupt/ 2 second lockout via Wind Shear.
Warriors: Pummel causes a short 4 second silence and Arms Warriors can interrupt and completely stun for 5 seconds with Throwdown.
Protection Warriors: A well timed Shield Bash can lock a creature out of a school of magic for 8 seconds.

Fears

When a mob is feared, they can’t do anything. Most fears are pretty short in duration, serving more as a damage reduction technique than anything else, but a 20 second Warlock fear can serve as complete CC, as long as the target is second or third on the kill order or the fear is constantly refreshed.

Historically, feared creatures ran and grabbed the attention of more mobs. Nowadays, Priests , Warlocks and Warriors have glyphs available that remove the running effect of the fear. Not everyone grabs these glyphs though, so it’s worth asking your friendly priesty, warlocky or warriory teammate if they’re glyphed for fearing.

Paladins: Can Turn Evil one undead or demon target for 20 seconds
Priests: Can Psychic Scream 5 random targets for 8 seconds.
Warriors: Can Intimidating Shout 5 random targets for 8 seconds.
Warlock: Can Fear one target for 20 seconds and Howl of Terror 5 random targets for 8 seconds.

Slows and Stuns

Most classes have one or several abilities that will slow down a target (also referred to as snaring), practical for repositioning or kiting (running while being chased by a mob) and a short term stun that will completely take out a target for a few seconds. Since just about every class has these abilities or can have one of these abilities if they spec into it, glyph for it, stand on their head and recite the alphabet backwards 3 times, listing them all would be more confusing than anything else. However should you feel the need to ask for slows/stuns:

Hunters ,Frost (or specced into Slow Arcane) Mages and Death Knights (via Chains of Ice) are the go-to people for slows, with Rogues and Paladins being the experts of stuns.

Note that the Paladin stun, Hammer of Justice, has a fairly long cooldown, so it usually can’t be used more than once or twice a fight.

Many players have shared their class’ stuns and slows in the comments, so if you want to know more (or see what your or your alt’s class can do) have a read through the comments.

Now go forth and take less damage!

Note: Huge thanks to Blinky, Grimmtooth , Shopshopshop ,Windsoar, Poneria, Matt, Kirenaaz, Lady Erinia, Kaboomski, Niliin, Gaia , Velidra, Pewter, Talexei, Gilomor, Berry, Shealle, Tarinae , Deyndor , Skip , Khahan and everyone else who pointed out an omission for their help!

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57 Comments on “A Crowd Control Compendium”

  1. Grimmtooth Says:

    The Warlock Glyph of Fear ( http://www.wowhead.com/spell=57262 ) will make it so that mobs don’t go running off when feared (there of course is a tradoff).

    • Ophelie Says:

      I’ll add a note about that. Thanks!

      • Vinz Says:

        You should move it up to the “Full CC” section too. Many groups I’ve run with since Cataclysm don’t realize that glyphed Fear is just as good as anything in that list, and thus don’t take advantage of it.

        Additionally, unlike a Polymorph, fear can take a few hits. So you can fear a target, and a pally can throw her shield into the group to pick up the rest of the mobs without worring about breaking the fear. At least, they can at current gear levels.

  2. Windsoar Says:

    Druids can hibernate beasts & dragonkin. (http://www.wowhead.com/spell=2637)


  3. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Shathus and The MMO Hobo's Feed, Ophelie. Ophelie said: A crowd control compendium http://bit.ly/gnxhFA [...]

  4. Poneria Says:

    You forgot Banish (warlocks) which works on elementals & demons. It can only be broken by falling off or the warlock recasting Banish. (So much fun! :3)

  5. Matt Says:

    Warlocks can banish elementals and demons

  6. Kirenaaz Says:

    Warriors also have an AE fear w/ cover option available through intimidating shout.

    Long cooldown, but works in a pinch.

  7. ladyerinia Says:

    Hmmm….DK’s can spam Chains of Ice. While it’s only a 60% slow, they can do it to multiple targets. It’s enough to buy some time.

    • Ophelie Says:

      Yeah, pretty much every class has some sort of slow or a spell that turns into a slow which is why I didn’t go into listening them all. But you’re right in that Chains of Ice is a basic, easy to use slow, so I’ll add that one.

      I never realized that you could Chains of Ice more than one target at a time, that’s a pretty good deal.

  8. Janyaa Says:

    This is a GREAT resource. I’m going to post the link on our guild forums. Thank you!

  9. Kaboomski Says:

    And less convenient, but Priests also have Psychic Scream.

    http://www.wowhead.com/spell=8122

    I’m not aware of any glyphs that change the behaviour, but I suppose that could researched easily.

  10. Gaia Says:

    You may as well add Mage’s Ring of Frost and Frost Nova to the list along with a whole slew of slow options. A good frost mage can occupy most of a group if they know what they are doing.

    • Ophelie Says:

      Yeah, that’s why I set frost mages as go-to people for slows. I considered adding Frost Nova as a root, but I wasn’t sure how effective it really is since the duration is short and the nova often breaks early (at least mine does when I play a mage)

      • Gaia Says:

        On a couple of the 5man bosses the tank is required to gather up and kite around several large adds. Most dungeons have a couple of traditional “AoE groups” of small adds. Frost mages can keep a group of adds frostnova’d for a surprisingly long time between their cold snap and their pets AoE freeze.

        The real reason I commented though was because I didn’t recognize the DK AoE freeze ability (and still couldn’t find any information on this ability after briefly searching) but it sounds exactly like the new mage ability “Ring of Frost” http://www.wowhead.com/spell=82676 Which can be amazing if something like an extra group gets pulled.

        • Ophelie Says:

          I fail and posted the wrong link for the DK ability. It should actually link to Hungering Cold. Only reason I know about it is because DKs always use it on me to steal my mining nodes.

          I did add Frost Nova to the list. I wasn’t familiar with Ring of Frost, it looks awesome! I’ll add that too.

  11. Niliin Says:

    Pally Avenging Shield (can’t remember exact name) from Prot spec has a short silence on it. Can glyph for a daze as well on a decent cooldown

    • Ophelie Says:

      Good point. I originally left out Avenger’s Shield because I didn’t consider the silence to be significant, but it’s actually the same duration and some of the other ones. Will update that, thanks.

  12. Skip Cocoa Says:

    Yay, great post! I’ve always had a secret crush on CC.

    My personal favorite CC would be pets. Not any specific pet ability, mind you. Just a nice meaty creature of general inconsequence to lock down a mob. After all, Tanking is, in some schools of thought, the game’s most powerful and specialized form of CC. The potential for a Warlock in this area is something I would love to give a go, since they can Soul Burn a shard to instant cast any pet in their toolbox, each with their own little uses like you’ve already mentioned a little, or just to replace one that got dropped in the act of tanking.

    • Ophelie Says:

      Hehehe. Pet CC is always interesting. Voidwalker tanks have been used as alternative strategies to quite a few fights over the years. I’m not sure I’d want my pugs to start using pet tanks, but it’s definitely an option to consider when all else fails!

  13. deyndor Says:

    If specced into Aftermath, a destro warlock can also daze and stun.

    • Ophelie Says:

      Interesting talent!

      I stuck with the most common dazes and stuns since just about every class has a way to get slows and stuns in some form, but it is an talent that I think all Warlocks should be aware of.


  14. [...] Bossy Pally has a full list of complete and partial crowd control techniques [...]


  15. [...] • Must read educational post at Bossy Pally here [...]

  16. Tarinae Says:

    Ret paladins who have put the point in can do Repentance…

    Puts the enemy target in a state of meditation, incapacitating them for up to 1 min. Any damage caused will awaken the target. Usable against Demons, Dragonkin, Giants, Humanoids and Undead.

    It is also on a 1 Min CD so given diminishing returns can still be done again if it is not broken early.

  17. Shealle Says:

    Great resource, but please don’t forget boomkins talented into Solar Beam. This spell will silence any casters who are in the beam of white light within 5 yards, including any that run thru it.
    http://www.wowhead.com/spell=78675
    Additionally, if using the glyph,http://www.wowhead.com/item=40899 it will continue the silence when they run out for an additional 5 secs. I’m so frustrated by groups not wanting to use this to help on pulls.
    One last option for CC is Cyclone, available from all druids. I’d hesitate to ask your resto druid to use it unless its a nasty pull since their mana is desperately needed but its an option to completely isolate them for 6secs out of combat. http://www.wowhead.com/spell=33786

    • Ophelie Says:

      Oooo interesting! I’m surprised no one pointed those out until now. Will definitely add Solar Beam to the silence section.

      Cyclone looks like an expensive, slow cast Hammer of Justice, but I can think of a few occasions where it would be useful.


  18. [...] And because it is highly informational, I think you need to check out Bossy Pally’s guide to Crowd Control (CC)! [...]

  19. berry Says:

    Druids can also cyclone

  20. Arybeth Says:

    Not related to the post, but have ‘good news’ for you!

    - Holy light no longer generates holy power through tower of radiance.
    - Light of dawn got nerfed to the ground number wise.

  21. Gilomor Says:

    I think Arcane mages make better “slowers” than frost mages. Arcane’s spell slow, is instant, costs very little mana, and has a nice long range. Frost mages, either use frostbolt (it’s slow with a cast time), or cone of cold (instant, but it’s a conical effect with only a 10 yard range or so). I’m not saying a frost mage is bad at slowing mobs, but if it’s just one mob you need slowed, Arcane is just a bit better at it (they’ve also got more instant attacks to keep pew pewing while they kite).

    • Ophelie Says:

      I’ll add a note about that. I did remember Arcana mages having a slow, but wasn’t sure if they actually used it or not.

      • Gaia Says:

        Most arcane mages will actually have the talent that applies the slow to their Arcane blast target automatically in order to benefit from their Torment of the Weak ability.

        Regarding slows, every tank spec should probably include the talent/ability to slow the tank’s target movement and attack speed. Probably doesn’t need to be included in your list, but just figured I would toss it out there ;-)

        • Ophelie Says:

          Yeah, I would hope most tanks grab their slowing talent(s). And the way the game is right now, it’s actually a good idea for most classes to grab their slowing talents, since they do come in handy.

  22. Talexei Says:

    Not to overburden this list but a Shaman’s Wind Shear spell can stop the cast and lock out that school for a short time (can’t remember if it is 10 or 30 seconds). Been using it on my Shammy healer for years to great effect.

    Also the Elemental Shaman’s Thunderstorm will stop all casts in the area via the knockback (unless the Shaman has glyphed the knockback out) though that can also break other CC’s and move things the Tank may not want moved.

    • Ophelie Says:

      Looks like Wind Shear’s lockout is 2 seconds. Worth mentioning, thanks.

      • Gaia Says:

        Again, probably not necessary to note in your list but the fact that windshear is both off the GCD and ranged make it one of the best interrupts available.

        Feral druids also have a new (as of 4.0) interrupt/silence (5second duration) with Skull Bash (separate abilities for cat and bear form) With talents Bears can reduce the cooldown to 10 seconds to bring it in line with most other interrupts.

  23. Pewter Says:

    Also elemental shaman can root using the talent Earth’s Grasp, they do have to be especially specced for it, mind. Hex and Bind Elemental can be used in combination with each other/at the same time.

    Elemental shaman’s Earthquake has a 10% chance to knock-down anyone within it’s 8yard radius, this tends to interrupt casts

    All shaman have access to Frost Shock which acts as a slow.

    great list!

    • Ophelie Says:

      Thanks!

      I probably should specify that classes with more than one CC can use more than once spell at once, that the limits is one creature per CC spell.


  24. [...] CC abilities are, or how to mark for the classes in your group, check out the Bossy Pally’s Compendium on the subject. If you choose to ignore crowd control, in a win-win situation your healer will be [...]

  25. madeinheave Says:

    Simply awesome list, im going to share this link on the guild forum.


  26. [...] de muchas guías que no cubren solamente aspectos del paladín si no también por ejemplo nos muestra que CC (Crow Control o control de masas) tenemos disponibles según la party en donde nos [...]


  27. [...] can shine in both damage and crowd control. If you have forgotten how to do that, there are those who are willing to [...]

  28. Khahan Says:

    Sigh, once agains warriors are the red-headed step child. I can’t speak for fury, but arms warriors have:

    Fear – as mentioned
    Pummel – works interrupts/silences a mob and locks them out of a school for 6 seconds (maybe 8) with a 10 sec CD. A pummel caster will move into melee
    Throwdown – knocks a target down and stuns it for 6 seconds.
    charge/intercept – interrupts a spell caster with a short stun.

    A good arms warrior can keep most spell casters locked out of the fight AND dps them down at the same time.

    • Ophelie Says:

      I blame my lack of warrior readers ;D

      Warriors have always been the class that confused me the most. I updated the post with your contributions, thanks!


  29. [...] a similar vein, Ophelie over at The Bossy Pally wrote about all the types of CC there are. I suppose some people feel now that CC is no longer necessary in heroics and everything has become [...]


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