First lets cover what crowd control is. Crowd control is using a spell or ability to reduce the damage done to the group or the tank specifically. Some forms of crowd control are better used on casters, others are best used on melee. Some forms are used pre-pull and some are used when things are going bad. Most forms of crowd control are limited to the type of mob.
It is up to every tank to know what tools he has in his group and mark pre-pull cc accordingly. The tank, not the dps, is responsible for the pull, don’t just imagine that your group will do what they are supposed to. Communication is key. If you don’t mark it, they won’t cc the way you want them to. Also know whether you want to charge in, or range pull, or pull to one side. Remember that most forms of cc are broken if the mob takes damage, you don’t want an accidental AoE spell to break the cc.
Now that I have called out the tank, time to flip the switch. DPS and Healers are responsible to know what forms of cc they have available to them and how to best use them. If the tank loses control, if a caster is standing in the back casting at your healer, or if indications are that a wipe may soon happen, then take control and use your cc. Act decisively and no one will fault you for it. Don’t be afraid to act. Never cc a mob pre-pull unless the tank tells you to do it, mark or verbal. Always track the mob that you cc, if it breaks and you can reapply it, do it. Never AoE on a crowd controlled mob.
The following is a list of class specific spells that can be used both pre-pull and for oh crap moments.
Chains of Ice, 20 yd range, Instant Cast
Shackles the target with frozen chains, reducing their movement by 60% for 8 sec. Also infects the target with Frost Fever.
A short form of CC with the only downside being that the DK picks up a small amount of threat over the duration.
Frost DK only:
Hungering Cold, 40 Runic Power, Instant Cast, 1 min cooldown.
Purges the earth around the Death Knight of all heat. Enemies within 10 yards are trapped in ice, preventing them from performing any action for 10 sec and infecting them with Frost Fever. Enemies are considered Frozen, but any damage other than diseases will break the ice
A very good way to CC a large group, oh crap moments, but only if people are still controlled enough to not be using AoE spells.
Entangling Roots, 7% of base mana, 35 yd range, 1.7 sec cast.
Roots the target in place and causes 370 Nature damage over 30 sec. Damage caused may interrupt the effect.
Read that as a root, very good CC for Melee, but very poor for casters as the caster will continue to use spells.
Hibernate, 7% of base mana, 30 yd range, 1.5 sec cast.
Forces the enemy target to sleep for up to 40 sec. Any damage will awaken the target. Only one target can be forced to hibernate at a time. Only works on Beasts and Dragonkin.
A very interesting spell with as many Dragonkin and Beasts that are out there. Many mobs are immune but if you can figure out which ones are not you are golden.
Cyclone, 8% of base mana, 20 yd range, 1.7 sec cast
Tosses the enemy target into the air, preventing all action but making them invulnerable for up to 6 sec. Only one target can be affected by your Cyclone at a time.
Very good CC for short duration control of a caster. Not the best of the bunch.
Nature’s Grasp, Instant Cast, 1 min cooldown
While active, any time an enemy strikes the caster they have a 100% chance to become afflicted by Entangling Roots. 3 charges. Lasts 45 sec.
Defensive spell used by druids but is very effective at CC’ing or kiteing a mob.
Scare Beast, 25 Focus. 30 yd range, 1.5 sec cast
Scares a beast, causing it to run in fear for up to 20 sec. Damage caused may interrupt the effect. Only one beast can be feared at a time.
Fear bombs are back baby. Proper use of this spell in an open environment with no chance to pull additional mobs make this spell a very good one to have keybound.
Freezing Trap, Instant Cast, 30 sec cooldown
Place a frost trap that freezes the first enemy that approaches, preventing all action for up to 1 min. Any damage caused will break the ice. Trap will exist for 1 min.
When combined with the trap launcher spell not only makes this a nice form of CC but very controllable as well. If you are a hunter practice this one a lot.
Polymorph, 7% of base mana, 35 yd range, 1.7 sec cast
Transforms the enemy into a sheep, forcing it to wander around for up to 50 sec. While wandering, the sheep cannot attack or cast spells but will regenerate very quickly. Any damage will transform the target back into its normal form. Only one target can be polymorphed at a time. Only works on Beasts, Humanoids and Critters.
By far the best known form of CC. Very reliable when the tank and mage both understand how to use it. The long duration of Polymorph is great the wandering critter is not.
Frost Nova, 7% of base mana, Instant cast, 25 sec cooldown
Blasts enemies near the caster for 368 to 426 Frost damage and freezes them in place for up to 8 sec. Damage caused may interrupt the effect.
Best used during an Oh crap moment to help the tank round-up mobs. Again works great when everyone is still controlled enough not to be using AoE spells.
Ring of Frost, 7% of base mana, 30 yd range, Instant cast, 2 min cooldown
Summons a Ring of Frost, taking 3 sec to coalesce. Enemies entering the fully formed ring will become frozen for 10 sec. Lasts 12 sec. 10 yd radius.
Works great both pre pull and as an Oh crap, short duration freeze makes this more of a round-up toll than a true cc. Tanks need to remember that it takes three seconds for the ring to fully form.
Repentance, 9% of base mana, 20 yd range, Instant cast, 1 min cooldown
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.
By far my favorite CC. One min cd for a one min CC.
Mind Control, 12% of base mana, 30 yd range, 2.5 sec cast
Controls a humanoid mind up to level 41, but increases the time between its attacks by 25%. Lasts up to 30 sec.
My second most favorite CC. Especially good when the MC target’s spells are good. I love being healed by an enemy healer.
Shackle Undead, 9% of base mana, 30 yd range, 1.5 sec cast
Shackles the target undead enemy for up to 50 sec. The shackled unit is unable to move, attack or cast spells. Any damage caused will release the target. Only one target can be shackled at a time.
This is a spell that any Wrath priest worth his weight in salt used. Very good CC with a very limited use. This is one spell I wish Blizzard would open up a bit.
Sap, 35 Energy, 10 yd range, Instant Cast
Incapacitates the target for up to 1 min. Must be stealthed. Only works on Humanoids, Beasts, Demons and Dragonkin that are not in combat. Any damage caused will revive the target. Only 1 target may be sapped at a time.
probably the second most known form of CC. With the increased range from the good old days this is an easy form to use. Can and should be applied pre pull. The rogue should have a finger on vanish in case this fails. Please be patient with rogues as they should take the opportunity to pick pocket prior to the sap for extra goodies.
Blind, 15 Energy, 15 yd range,Instant cast, 3 min cooldown
Blinds the target, causing it to wander disoriented for up to 10 sec. Any damage caused will remove the effect.
Very good way to take a caster out of the fight for a short duration. Rogues sometimes forget that this is in their arsenal unless they PvP a lot.
Hex, 3% of base mana, 30 yd range, 1.5 sec cast, 45 sec cooldown
Transforms the enemy into a frog. While hexed, the target cannot attack or cast spells. Damage caused may interrupt the effect. Lasts 1 min. Only one target can be hexed at a time. Only works on Humanoids and Beasts.
Shaman version of Polymorph, has better duration but fewer applications but are you really going to care that you can’t hex a critter.
Bind Elemental, 9% of base mana, 30 yd range, 1.5 sec cast
Binds the target hostile elemental for up to 50 sec. The bound unit is unable to move, attack or cast spells. Any damage caused will release the target. Only one target can be bound at a time.
Very good in Cata dungeons where elementals seem to be around a lot of corners.
Fear, 12% of base mana, 30 yd range, 1.7 sec cast
Strikes fear in the enemy, causing it to run in fear for up to 20 sec. Damage caused may interrupt the effect. Only 1 target can be feared at a time.
Like I said before Fear bombs are back baby. Warlocks who pvp’d during late Vanilla and early BC will love doing and will be very proficient at this.
Banish, 8% of base mana, 30 yd range, 1.5 sec cast
Banishes the enemy target, preventing all action but making it invulnerable for up to 30 sec. Only one target can be banished at a time. Casting Banish on a banished target will cancel the spell. Only works on Demons and Elementals.
Again with elementals around corners a very good ability, just not as good as the shamans in duration but hey, it works on demons.
Seduction Special Ability, 30 yd range, 1.7 sec cast
Seduces the target, preventing all actions for up to 30 sec. Any damage caused will remove the effect. Only works against Humanoids.
Yep, you read that right, Warlocks have the ability to use three CC’s if needed. This one requires a specific pet but hey who doesn’t like the Femme Fatal model.
Intimidating Shout, 25 Rage, 8 yd range,Instant cast, 2 min cooldown
The warrior shouts, causing the targeted enemy to cower in fear and up to 5 additional enemies within 8 yards to flee. Lasts 8 sec.
Yep, not as good as the other fears but it can help keep mobs off a healer. This is only an Oh Crap situational CC.
Protection Warriors only:
Shockwave, 15 Rage, Instant cast, 20 sec cooldown
Sends a wave of force in front of you, causing (75 / 100 * AP) damage (based on attack power) and stunning all enemy targets within 10 yards in a frontal cone for 4 sec.
I know it is part of your normal rotation but hey if the cooldown is up and you need that pesky caster CC’d for 4 more seconds and he is close, why not aim and shoot.
Arms Warriors only:
Throwdown, 15 Rage, Melee Range, Instant cast, 45 sec cooldown
Knocks the target to the ground and stuns it for 5 sec.
Good for reducing damage output of your current target and thus damage on your tank. Use when a high damage strike is about to go off. I think the 45 seconds is a bit long for a class that really has no real form of CC, but what you going to do.
I am hoping that this information will help everyone perform better in raids and dungeons. Get to know not only your class but all classes.
Until next time,
Don’t stand in the Fire.