Hunter Crowd Control

4.2

Index:

  1. Introduction
  2. Other classes CC abilities
  3. The Freezing Trap
    1. How to use
    2. Macros
    3. What if everything goes terribly wrong?
  4. Other abilities
  5. Pets and crowd control
  6. Kiting

Introduction

Cataclysm dungeons currently require a lot of crowd control (commonly known as “cc”), this means that you are expected to cc mobs on pretty much every pull. If you started playing during Wrath of the Lich King, this concept might be completely new to you and if this is the case with you, this little guide might come in handy.

There are a lot of less reliable ways to crowd control, such as fearing, stuns, taunting totems or pets, slowing the mobs in random different ways and kiting them around the room – which sometimes is actually the best thing to do. But most of the time what people mean by”cc” is; “lock a target down so it can’t move and is removed from combat”, essentially making the crowd controlled target a non-issue for you and the party for a certain amount of time.

Us hunters have a fantastic cc-tool in our Freezing Trap which is, if it’s used right, more versatile than most cc’s out there. To put this into context, here are other classes cc abilities, how long they last and how they should be used.

Other classes CC abilities

Druids

  • Cyclone (6 sec) – Suffers from diminishing returns. Since the target becomes invulnerable and the effect lasts for such a short while, this cc is best used against short termed mind controlled team mates and not on random mobs.
  • Hibernate (40 sec) – Puts target to sleep. Only works on Beasts and Dragonkins.
  • Entangling Roots (30 sec) – This ability roots the target to the ground, making it immobile. However the target can still cast and melee anything in it’s range. While this cc is pointless on a caster, it’s quite effective on melee mobs as long as they’re out of range of you and your party members.

Mage

  • Polymorph (40 sec) – Turns the target into a sheep (or turtle… or rabbit, etc). While the target is polymorphed it will regenerate very quickly. Only works on Humanoids, Beasts and Critters.

Paladin (Retribution)

  • Repentance (1 minute) – Puts the target to sleep. Only works on Demons, Dragonkin, Giants, Humanoids and Undead.

Priest

  • Mind Control (30 sec) – Unlike the other more conventional cc methods, this does not incapacitate the target. Instead, the priest takes control of the target and is able to use some of it’s abilities against the other mobs. While doing this, the target won’t cause any harm to you or your party, in fact it can even boost the overall damage output if the mob has some good abilities.
    Since the priest has to control the mind controlled target, (s)he will be unable to cast any of her/his regular spells and thus only a shadow priest should mind control anything and not a healer.
  • Shackle Undead (50 sec) – Puts target to sleep. Only works on Undead.

Rogue

  • Sap (1 minute) – For a rogue to use this, he or she has to be in stealth and approach the target before combat. Once in combat, a target can not be sapped. Only works on Humanoids, Beasts, Demons and Dragonkin.

Shaman

  • Hex (1 minute) – Turns the target into a frog. Only works on Humanoids and Beasts.
  • Bind Elemental (50 sec) – Incapacitates the target. Only works on Elementals.

Warlock

  • Banish (30 sec) – Banishes the target, causing it to be unable to do anything or be able to take damage. Only works on Demons and Elementals.
  • Fear (20 sec) – If glyphed with Glyph of Fear, this ability will cause the target to tremble in fear in one spot rather than to run around. And apparently, this works on any type of mob. Unlike other cc’s, Fear will cause mobs that aren’t in combat to aggro and run wild.

So there you have it all the non-hunter classes crowd control abilities, ranging from very reliable to not so reliable. As you can see, every type of cc comes with disadvantages or limitations. The best and most versatile cc of the ones above is the new glyphed warlock fear, but even that has a disadvantage: it only lasts for a short 20 sec. Which means the warlock will have to re-cast it often to keep the mob cc’d.

This of course brings me to hunter crowd control, which is perfectly designed to fit hunters in every way. It’s a trap so it fits us very well thematically and if we’re allowed time to set things up the way we want it before combat and if we aim right, we can stay in total control for an unlimited duration.

The Freezing Trap

The thing that is so good about the hunter ability Freezing Trap is that it will freeze literally any mob to the ground. Because of it’s lack of restrictions on what mob-type it can freeze it has traditionally been known as and remains one of the most versatile cc abilities in World of Warcraft.

The disadvantage of Freezing Trap is that you have to use it before combat (much like the rogue cc) for it to be reliable. Freezing Trap is not cast on a target, like ALL other cc methods by all other classes, it is cast on the ground.

How to use

Since patch 4.2, cc’s don’t cause aggro anymore. This means it is perfectly safe for you to throw a Freezing Trap on a random target in a group of mobs without causing them to run wild. Therefor I strongly encourage all hunters to do so as soon as they see a new pack, because if you wait for the tank to pull first… You will most likely not be able to cc anything.

When trapping, put on your Camouflage so you can get a bit closer to the mobs without getting aggro. Move in closer but only as close as you need to, to be able to aim on the marked target with you trap. If you have nameplates on, you probably have to disable them when trapping so you can properly aim on your target.

Hit your Trap Launcher, wait a second to make sure you actually get the buff and then hit Freezing Trap. It’s very important to not rush it by hitting freezing trap too early, if you do you will just place a freezing trap on the ground and be stuck with a 30 second cooldown and a very non-understanding party. Or, you can macro the process so that the standard freezing trap is excluded.

Safe Freezing Trap macro:

#showtooltip Freezing Trap(Frost - Trap Launcher)
/stopattack
/petpassive
/cast Trap Launcher
/cast Freezing Trap(Frost - Trap Launcher)

This macro needs to be pressed twice to fire off the Freezing Trap. You cannot accidentally drop a Freezing Trap by your feet with it since it specifically calls for the trap launcher version of the trap.

The above makes for a very safe macro but it’s not very versatile. If you want to be able to drop a trap by your feet as well you might like something more like this…

Versatile Freezing Trap macro:

#showtooltip
/cast [nomod] Freezing Trap
/cast [mod:shift] Trap Launcher

This macro will drop a Freezing Trap when pressed, if you press it while holding shift you activate the trap launcher. So to cast a Freezing Trap on the ground somewhere else you first press the button while holding shift and then again without holding shift.
Make sure you practice using it before going into a dungeon, it’s very easy to misuse it and place a trap by your feet instead of at the feet of the mob.

Once a mob has been trapped it will stay frozen for 1 minute (or 1.5 minutes if you’re Survival and have the talent Trap Mastery). The cooldown on Freezing Trap is 30 seconds, which means you can put a new trap on top of the old one before it runs out, preventing the mob to ever run free. What you can’t do however is trap several targets at once since with patch 4.0.6 we can only have one target trapped.

What if everything goes terribly wrong?

Well a lot of times you’ll just be fucked frankly. But sometimes you can recover the situation. Caster mobs for example are likely to stand in one spot and cast from there rather than be moving around. So if no one interrupts or silences a caster mob which is positioned outside the “cleave machine” of the tank then you could trap it during combat.

Another thing you can do is to do it the old fashioned way by placing a Freezing Trap at your feet and use Distracting Shot on a melee-mob so that it runs straight to you. This gets a bit tricky because it’s very easy for you or your pet to break the cc accidentally and the tank will most likely think you are about to die and taunt the mob off you. To make this easier, here’s a macro for Distracting Shot:

#showtooltip
/petpassive
/cast Distracting Shot
/cleartarget

This macro will put your pet on passive and stop any auto-attacking that you might be doing. As long as you don’t start attacking the target again or any other member of your party attacks it, it should safely get trapped and stay trapped.

Other abilities

Wyvern Sting

If you play as Survival then you have an extra cc ability available in Wyvern Sting. This ability puts the target to sleep for 30 seconds and just like Freezing Trap it will work on any type of mob.

In one way Wyvern Sting is better than Freezing Trap and that is due to the fact that it is cast on target and not on the ground, so you could use it on mobs who are moving around freely.

However, the cooldown on Wyvern Sting is 1 minute, which means there will be a 30 second downtime on the cc after the first 30 seconds. Because of this Wyvern Sting mainly acts as an emergency cc of mobs who enter combat sometime after the pull.

Scatter Shot

This ability used to be talented but is now baseline for all hunter specs.
Scatter Shot will disorient a target for 4 seconds, causing it to turn back and forth a few times without causing anyone any damage.

Because this ability only cc’s a target for 4 seconds and has a 30 second cooldown it can only really be used as an emergency cc when a new mob enter already in-progress combat. That is, if it’s used on it’s own. Alternatively you can use Scatter Shot to keep a mob in the same place for a few seconds, just so you can get a trap on them.

Also keep in mind that you can use it to interrupt a caster, which is always helpful to your party.

Pets and crowd control

Pets love to break crowd control. When raiding or going through a dungeon you should always make sure to set your pet to Passive. If you have your pet on Aggressive it will pull random mobs at will and it won’t be pretty. Defensive isn’t a good choice either because the pets decide on their own if they should attack certain targets or not in this stance. Sometimes they might even decide it’s best to attack a CC’d target, which would obviously be a disaster.

So, step one, put your pet on passive. Step two, check if your pet has any AOE ability and disable auto-casting for that particular ability. Here follows a list of pets with their AOE abilities.

Pets with AOE abilities:

If you’re looking for more information about pets then you should check out my guide on pet buffs and debuffs.

Kiting

Certain mobs cannot be trapped or cc’d by any other conventional means. If a mob isn’t a caster and if it can be slowed it makes a good target for kiting.
When kiting make sure you’re always in Aspect of the Fox.

As a hunter you have many tools at your disposal to help you kite mobs:

  • Ice Trap – Start off by putting an ice trap in the mob’s general path. Try to keep the mob inside the trapped area by moving in a circle around it.
  • Distracting Shot – For taunting the mob towards you.
  • Concussive Shot – If your mob gets lose, fire off a Concussive Shot on it to keep it slowed while you try to get it back on top of the trapped area.
  • Wing Clip – If your mob gets too close to you (melee range), you can Wing Clip it to slow it down a bit more. If it’s a very hard-hitting mob you’ll most likely just be dead by now though.
  • Deterrence – And if it is a hard-hitting mob, use this to avoid taking damage for awhile, so you can reposition yourself out of the mob’s reach.
  • Disengage – And this is how you reposition yourself! Disengage across the trapped area to force the mob to walk across it again.

Cheers,
Gav

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About Gavendo

I write a World of Warcraft blog called "Rapid Fire" on the topics; hunters, pets and achievement hunting.
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7 Responses to Hunter Crowd Control

  1. Aybar says:

    For all the other cc-ers out there, I used this on my warlock:
    /clearfocus [target=focus,dead]
    /clearfocus [target=focus,noexists]
    /focus [target=focus,noexists]
    /cast [target=focus] Fear

    Fear can be replaced with any targeted cc spell. What it does is check if you have a focus target.
    If you have and it’s dead it clears your focus and sets it to your current target.
    If you don’t or if the previous erased your focus it sets focus to your current target.
    If your current focus target is alive and kicking it does not change your focus.
    Finally it casts your cc spel, in this case fear.

    If you need to refresh your cc, you can just hit the button or shortcut again without having to change targets. So you only use your GCD, not anytime switching targets.

    Finally, the first CC’d target to kill will usually be your rogues sapped target. But, if your tank is a feral druid that hibernated a dragonkin or beast, that will be your target since hibernate lasts 20 seconds less and your tank won;t be able to recast it :)

  2. Loronar says:

    Excellent compilation. You’re not the only one who has approached this topic:

    http://bossypally.wordpress.com/2010/12/12/a-crowd-control-compendium/

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