Some abilities have only a small distinction between PVE interrupts and CC. I generally made the distinction, when it came to this, by looking at the number of targets affected and the duration.
I write the majority of this guide from a tanking perspective, but please note this, speaking as a healer, just because you can survive a pull without cc'ing doesn't mean you should put that strain on your healer. If you can cc, please do. Your healer does not enjoy being low mana, especially if fecal meets rotary and they're on a sudden new pull with low mana.
You should always consider the CCs and durations of these CC's when figuring out your kill order. Glyphed saps for instance, are best left for last with the 2m, 20s duration. In non-levelcap instances, it's important to note that players may not be spec'd into the talents as early as they are obtainable.
1. Information on CCs & Tactics.
3. Comprehensive List of CCs.
5. Information on Interrupts & Tactics.
7. List of Interrupts.
are for all other CC or repeats.
Tanks might consider having this on a macro. Remember, leading CC is part of a tank's job, so if you're not tanking, don't arrogantly post this. A standard is nice but the tank might do it differently for whatever reason.
CCs can break early. Some mobs while not immune are resistant to a particular cc or all cc and will break early, these can be re-applied but will have an even shorter duration because of the Diminishing Return and base resistance of the mob.
Some CCs (and interrupts) are talents. Every player might not be spec'd into them.
Disarms Rogues, warriors and Shadow Priests can disarm a target reducing damage output of the target. It's not CC but it is quite useful for helping the tank and the healer. Never be afraid to try to disarm either! Certain mobs that are immune to CC, such as the giant bone fellas in ICC are not immune to disarm and can do a great deal to ease the load on healers/tanks as well. Raid boss Gormok the Impaler in ToC was disarmable on regular mode (but not heroic). He would not impale his target for the duration of the disarm. Quite useful at the beginning and ending of the fight as the impale dot damage plus the snakes' attack were quite much for some healers.
Soothes These cause affectable targets to be less likely to attack.
Undead is not demon The few cc's that work solely on undead or solely on demons do not work on the other, please do not make that assumption.
Most Single target cc's can only be on one target at a time per player of that type. A warlock can't banish two targets, but 2 warlocks can.
Charms cause the player to take over the target and gain some of their abilities. While possessing their target, the player cannot control their own character. Healers should not MC and MC'ing is a consideration on movement sensitive fights.
Charms are affected by hit rating and distance. A player mc'ing a mob may wanted to be closer than their class typically allows.
You can, charm healer mobs and assist the healer in healing and negate the mob's own healing output on its friends. (Note that mc'ing another player only allows movement and melee auto-attack).
I've also confirmed, with the help of a lovely random priest, that casting Leap of Faith on a player who has charmed something breaks the Charm.
Many of the fears have useful glyphs now which cause the targets to cower rather than flee. Fear has often been dangerous to use as the mobs flee into 'friends'.
Most CCs will pull the mobs, so the tank should be ready to grab them. If you only need one CC, it's best to have someone besides the healer do it. Priests CCing should pop fade immediately after.
Unless otherwise marked, most CCs will break on damage taken. Many break immediately.. Some, like fears, have a tolerance for a certain amount of damage but may very well break on the first strike.
Transform forces the target to change form as a result of the caster's spell.
Sleeps and Incapacitates put the target in a harmless state. They stand there and watch their allies be attacked.
Most (all?) CC's can miss if the target is not properly hit capped. It is best to have a dps cc'ing as the tank may not, and the healer will not, be hit capped.
Horrors often function very similar to fears, the distinction however is important for DR mechanics. A mob who has become very resistant to fear may still be horrified.
Spell categories are important because of the Diminishing Returns mechanic where when a target is spammed with a spell over a short duration (relative to the spell's base duration) the duration of the effect is reduced.
F* - Fear
I* - Incapacitate
R* - Roots
S* - Sleep
C* - Charm
H* - Horror
M* - Snare
D* - Disorient
Fc* - Fears with optional glyph that converts to a stationary cower.
Sap should always be first. In fact, it needs to be because it cannot be used in combat. Sap will not trigger combat.
Hunter Traps/Ring of Frost should be second because these have an aiming/arming time that makes them difficult to aim at moving mobs. Once mobs are too close, CC becomes pointless.
Most other CCs are castable directly at mobs on the move. Become familiar with what tools your group has and prioritize correctly. While most have cast times, certain, like repentance, are instant cast and are ideal to be used on melee mobs.
Snares You may notice I've omitted most single-target movement-slowing debuffs as these are quite resource-consuming to use and having a player stalking a mob snaring and stopping it as much as possible is quite consuming on time and taking away from what these players do best: smashing face.
Roots only *roots* the target to the ground, the target is free to, and will, cast or melee attack anything that it can. Be careful when rooting with any spell that you're not leaving someone else near the mobs. Healers for instance, don't appreciate a mage frost nova'ing melee adds on the healer and then fleeing. The mage still tops threat, but the melee adds will attack whatever they can reach.
Earthbind Totem is immensely useful in low-level instances where humanoids that flee at low health are very common. While other classes can slow an aoe, none are quite so easy and passive as this totem. At low levels, I would rate earthbind totem as the most useful Earth type. (Remember you won't encounter DKs with Desecration til 55 at the earliest.)
Army of the Dead, and pet tanking (Thanks Demo); Army of Dead will tank mobs that are not raid bosses they will taunt back and forth between them. They may not last long but the mitigation for the first seconds of a fight can be of great assistance. 10 min CD.
It's also worth noting that army of the dead reduces damage taken calculated by your dodge and parry chance. It's a worthwhile cd if you've got nothing else and are expecting a big strike from heroics or raid bosses.
I'm not sure how long shaman earth ele survives these days but it has saved many lives in the past and the strategy for your group might have an earth ele or hunter pet tanking a caster add. It is not unreal. Tanks, be real about this, a melee add or certain casters might be suicide for a pet to tank, but if the pet can do it and ease the load on your healer/increase your survivability.. let it happen.
On my tank, I never was bothered by an add being tanked by a hunter pet. Some pulls are difficult for certain classes to gather, often incidental healing going on/class talents will allow the pet to tank a single caster.
There are definitely some CC tricks that while nice, I'm hesitant to encourage them. It takes understanding of more than just your class' typical role to properly pull them off--and usually Vent--and it might aggravate other players. Things like taunt-ping-pong might just frustrate an unexpecting tank, and as much as I love the role, my tank brethren can be a little uptight at times.
That being said, once you're comfortable with your class, there are a lot of things you can do. A mob should never be attacking the dps, and this is the responsibility of both the tank and the dps. Even moreso, however, a mob should never be attacking the healer, and if you need to Death Grip or Distracting shot a mob on the healer, you may well save the group.
Remember that a mob attacking you still allows me to heal you, a mob attacking me pushes back my casting each time a hit lands. A few mobs, and fast casting spells can take noticeably longer to cast. A good healer knows when a dps saved their butt and will *try* not to let the dps die.
"I'm below hit/expertise cap, what about that?" Mobs, like players, cannot dodge or parry (countered by expertise) while casting, therefore interrupts should land if you are hit capped, especially when made from behind, so that the mob can no longer block the attack (mobs can block without shields). They can however be missed (countered by hit) even while casting, just like players can. (Thanks Gandyn).
- ? - http://db.mmo-champion.com/s/84425 - 8s dur
- Taunt all mobs in an aoe and thus dying very quickly. A fine addition, perhaps, for a trash/heroics tanking belt macro'd to secondary CDs like AD and LS.
- I* -74 http://db.mmo-champion.com/s/33786 - 6s dur
- Targets are immune from damage but unable to cast/attack. The short duration makes this better for an emergency interrupt on trash.
- It is also a harsh punisher on diminishing returns. (6s, 3s, 1.5, immune. Yes, using cyclone as a full cc delivers immunity in 11 seconds.
Hunter (Some pets have additional lesser cc abilities like roots and stuns), Traps arming/flight time, they actually come earlier in level, but trap launcher is 48.
- Useful like aoe cower-glyphed fears. Short duration but useful for buying a sec (4) in a bind.
- T* -14 http://db.mmo-champion.com/s/28272 - 60s dur (beasts, humanoids)
- The target is transformed but regenerates health while transformed.
- The glyph for polymorph causes it to remove all dots on the target; highly useful because damage, including dots, break the effect.
- F* -78 http://db.mmo-champion.com/s/10326 (undead, demons)
- Tanks should avoid uses this in most cases as it has a cast time.
- The fleeing mob may attract more mobs and there is no glyph to make the mob cower rather than flee.
- C* -38 http://db.mmo-champion.com/s/605 - 30s dur (humanoids)
- Mind Control's success and duration is related to hit rating. It can break early if he priest is not hit-capped. Relax, the hit cap for mobs 2 levels above you and below is 6%.
Rogue - Several ability that require stealth or no combat can be activated in combat with Subtlety's Shadowdance (lv 69)
- I* -10 http://db.mmo-champion.com/s/6770 - 1m dur (Beasts, Demons, Dragonkin, Humanoids)
- Only useable outside of combat. The rogue may apply Sap without triggering combat.
Glyph of sap increases the duration to 140 seconds.
- T* -80 http://db.mmo-champion.com/s/51514 - 60s dur/45s cd (humanoids, beasts)
- Unlike Polymorph, this does not cause the target to regenerate health and can take a small amount of damage, but this is not something to try to strategize around
- The glyph reduces the cooldown by 15 seconds.
- S* -32 http://db.mmo-champion.com/s/8994 (demons, elementals)
- The target is immune from damage for 30 seconds.
- The way to remove Banish is to recast banish on the same target.
- R* - 39 http://db.mmo-champion.com/s/71521 w/ Aura of Foreboding - 3s dur.12s cd; Demonology
- Also stuns the targets. Useful like an aoe cower for immediately stopping trash damage to tanks or kiters
- Fc* -42 http://db.mmo-champion.com/s/5246 - 8s dur/2m cd
- Useful, glyphed, as an emergency interrupt on trash or a backup cd to buy literally a second or two of reduced damage.
Certain instant cast cc's in areas that you have range to work with, pulling before CC is fine, or if the cc target is a ranged mob, but nearly every random, even the great randoms I've been in, CC is how you pull and then the tank is quick to pickup.
You pull with CC, and then move behind the tank, even a distance behind the tanks to force other ranged to come closer. Paladins should AS the mobs once they're far from the cc'd mobs. Paladins and DKs should drop their aoe's if it's more than 2 mobs coming, or if they'd like to. Paladins should HoR+Holy Wrath once the mobs are upon them. DKs in the same scenario would taunt one and Deathgrip a non-cc'd ranged. Death Grip is a taunt.
In this whole scenario, I haven't forgotten Righteous Defense is a multi target taunt.
Melee mobs, once they've reacted to a fellow npc being cc'd tend to move together, warriors here should Heroic Throw one, pref a ranged, taunt another and charge once the mobs are a decent range from the cc'd target--or build some rage with shouts, battle shout for instance* and rend+thunderclap when the mobs are upon you, and/or cleave.
* I choose Battle Shout as an example because it causes a buff to friendly targets, generating a small amount of threat, but enough to pull 'awareness-threat' (made up term) off of the cc'er.
* Battle shout here is important because Commanding Shout, in most groups (no lock, no priest) will generate empty hp for the group, a healer may do a quick aoe to heal this (CH, CoH, PoH, WG) and cause the threat transfer to them. For the same reason, just in case a person should be so inclined, casting mark or kings immediately after the cc would probably be a bad idea.
Bears here, I've no experience at the helm of a bear so I can't say for certain but they should enrage and charge or enrage+swipe/thrash. (I've never played a bear tank, q'd in blues one time--the first time, got hToC, lol'd and wished the group better luck on a tank and left). Bears can also use Demoralizing roar, just as warriors can Demo Shout. It's a great idea to have the AP debuff up on the mobs anyway and it gets attention off the CC'ers.
Horn of Winter can be used the same way.
Most every tool in the game can be used horribly wrong, but several good, even decent, players of any class know how to use their tools well.
I was doing h BR last night and a hunter pet took the long way around and pulled everything and we all did amazing. I dropped PW:B on the tank because I had no idea how much was coming, the ret dropped hand of protection on me (I guess the ret didn't realize I had Fade--and the hunter, once he saw which ranged was going to hang back dropped a freezing trap.
After the pull, which we easily survived? He apologized for the mistake. The rest of the group? We congratulated each other and thanked the hunter for the clutch CC. Too many bads, realizing their mistake, would have done nothing but FD'd/vanish'd/left group as they watched us die to a perfectly survivable pull.[/i]
GCD Several abilities are on the GCD and several are not, the gcd status can cause a reaction to be delayed by a gcd, or more if the person is slow to stop mashing buttons.
Stun Most trash is stunnable and so stuns work quite effectively on stopping a harmful cast. Most dungeon bosses are not stunnable.
Interrupt Interrupts by themselves only interrupt the cast, allowing the boss to go immediately to the next cast unless the spell has another effect.
Silences and Spell locks: What's the difference? In many cases, the effects of the two are indistinguishable as many mobs only cast from one school but a silence will stop a vulnerable mob from casting anything for a short duration. A spell lock will only stop a mob from casting in the school they were casting in when locking ability was used.
G+ On GCD, G- Off GCD
X+ Stuns X- doesn't
I+ Interrupts, I- doesn't
S+ Silences, S- doesn't
L+ School locks, L- doesn't
- G- X+ I- S- L- 0 Tauren - http://db.mmo-champion.com/s/20549 - 2s dur/2m cd; aoe stun
- Druids cannot use this in bear or cat form. This ability has an 0.5s cast time so is dangerous to use while aoe tanking as you cannot dodge or parry while casting.
- G- X- I- S- L- 55 http://db.mmo-champion.com/s/49576/ - 35s cd
- Death Grip is not actually an interrupt or silence of any type, except that forcing the target to move interrupts its casting. Death grip is a taunt, and a 3s fixate, so having a dk death grip will put them at the top of the threat list and force the mob to attack the dk.
- G+ X- I+ S+ L+ 10 http://db.mmo-champion.com/s/31935 - 3s dur/15s cd; Protection
- Avenger's Shield will not jump to mobs CC'd with Incapacitates. It's still best to let mobs get breathing room away from the cc's though. It is also a substantial part of paladin aoe threat and so is typically on CD.
- G+ X- I- S- L- 69 http://db.mmo-champion.com/s/61882; Elemental - 8s Channel
- Earthquake is an aoe spell with an 8 yd radius, it has a 10% chance per tick of damage to each mob to knock that mob off its feet. This can interrupt casts and delay melee damage.