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.
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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 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 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.
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.
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:
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!