View Full Version : Thoughts on CC strategy (coming from a Hunter)

07-06-2008, 09:26 PM
Hello everyone!

I have an NE Hunter as my main. He is an awesome character and, played well, the Hunter class is the primo boss downing dps class in the game. I absolutely love my Hunter.

I read the entry "The art of PuGing, part 2" and included was a section on Hunters and more specifically a paragraph about our only decent CC- the freezing trap. While I certainly dont disagree, I do want to look at the paragraph and give my analysis on it, as there may be a few things I could clear up or add to the conversation that may help you guys in PuGs. What Im going to try to do is give you a look at the PuG mindset of a good Hunter, as it relates to Freezing Trap. Here goes:

Freezing Trap on the other hand, is a double edged sword. It can be extremely useful, or it can merely cause more chaos.The reason for the chaos is when a trap is prematurely broken, either by myself (it's happened) another dps (which is a miscommunication, no other dps should have my trap target as their target as well) or by an AoE move from the tank. What immediately happens is an angry elite moving amongst the group sowing choas, while the tank is trying to tank the targets he set out to tank, pre-pull. But we all know this. What might help here is to know my immediate idea is on a broken trap. I immediately go into kite mode. Threat-wise, I should be the one he comes after after the trap is broken, and I'm not much good dead, so my immediate thought is "Can I kite it?" or, more importantly, "can I re-trap?". The first thing I will talk about is my "kite mode"

For me, kite mode means immediately taking my pet off the tanked targets (where I usually keep it) and putting him on the free-moving mob, turning growl on as well as tossing out intimidation. This firmly roots the mob in place in terms of threat and in terms of who he's targetting- my pet. I can spam heal my pet and keep him up until help arrives or I can re-trap. Also, I might FD, but only if growl>Intimidation doesnt work. At some point in the pull I'm going to need to wipe aggro anyways, so doing it here doesnt hurt. I am in kite mode until my freezing trap cd is up and I can re-trap.

The 2nd and better option is simple, the re-trap. If the pull is made properly, I will be able to re-trap immediately, if needed. My traps are on 30 second cooldowns, and exist for 1 minute. So, if I get my blue square to trap, and immediately set it up, please allow me some time to get the cd down so I can do what we call "chain trapping" if need be. This provides the group with some security that even if someone screws up, I can immediately fix the problem.

Does anyone have any questions on my mindset about blown traps?

The reason is this: the mobs and you make a straight line, and in order for the trap to be successful, there has to be sufficient space away from you for the trap to be placed, effectively creating a sort of triangle. This requires you to split your attention lest the trap breaks and the mob starts running for your Hunter.Fine up to here. A good Hunters says something the effect of "I trap left, you pull right"
In my opinion, you should not have to split your attention between the traps and the tanks targets, unless the area is so enclosed that you need to watch your TClap/Swipe/Consecrate. In my mind, CC means "you keep this guy down until I can deal with him" in this aspect, thats my "job", and if you have to keep your eye over it, i'm not doing my job well enough. Also, having a mob run for me isnt such a bad thing, I wear Mail armor, and stack stamina, I'm not that frail :) Blizzard has given the Hunter class lots of utility to get back to range. Unless you broke the trap, or the mob is one shotting everyone, try not to worry about the Hunter too much as he has the ability to stay alive long enough to either re-trap or stay alive long enough to let you take over later on. I've done this many times.

Request that the trap be placed, and the Hunter stand with you between the trap and the trapped mob, ensuring that it runs through you to get to the Hunter.This is the thing that makes my eyes bleed. I might have a better option. The best runs I have ever had were where I said "I trap here, you pull there" and then trap in an area either behind, left, or right of the tank. Also, if feaseble, I try to trap away from the group, to avoid messes. The reason for the "you here, me there" idea is to avoid the AoE skills of tanks, or just to avoid dps targeting mistakes. A few skills of mages and locks have splash damage I believe, but I'm not sure. The above theory in quotes can get quite messy if done even marginally improperly, theres no telling who's coming through the trap and who isnt, and 1 of 5 folks could mis-target. making folks cycle through targets coming through the Hunter and tank isnt as efficient as having the Hunter target his trapee and letting everyone else be ready with their assignments right away.
With a PuG, minimizing the potential for mistake is just as important as coming to the group prepared, or directing in-pull mistakes. The "pull trap target thru the trap with everyone else" can get quite messy, especially if the mob that was supposed to get trapped gets out run by another less dangerous mob. "the mob that fears got through!!!" has come across my screen before. Not good. Heres my mindset after pulling a target away from the group:
"Ok, I have 20-26 seconds (depending spec, I have played both) before he's coming out again, better get near the tank so he can be picked up by the tank after he's out."
"Better be ready to trap again when I see him coming at me." Either way, most good Hunters are prepared to see the mob again before too long. Any questions?

I am a magnificent chain trapper, and yes, I proudly brag about that. I have chain trapped Moroes adds until after he was down, which is kind of the initiation into the "Good Chain Trappers" club.

This makes things much easier, also allowing the Hunter time to setup another trap if necessary, if he has not done so already. Make sure not to break the trap with any damage, especially from Thunderclap.As for the stuff in bold, I am confused. What makes the writer think this? I am just asking for clarification.

Any questions about relating to Hunter CC in PuGs should be asked here, I will do the best I can to tell you what my mindset with Freezing trap is as it relates to you.

07-07-2008, 06:36 AM
pretty good write up. I run with a hunter on a regular basis and while they are relatively new to PvE they've learned a lot about what you have been saying. Also it's been my groups rule that if you are a hunter; the "blue square" is yours until I decide to get to it. When we first started doing instances I would keep a wary eye on the hunters mob and interject early but have since let him deal with it until it's one of the last two mobs.

In general I give my hunter two jobs. 1.) Keep teh square busy 2.) help rogue and Spriest obliterate any casters that I've marked for them as I typically leave a caster or two if the situation warrants for dps exclusively while I tank the stuff that will come my way.

I do have a question that I've never really asked before as the healer (who used to be hunter) and I still offer tips to our resident hunter to help make him better... Do pets stop attacking a target once trap is triggered? Forgive the newbness, my hunter experiance is simply what I watch while in group or what I've heard.

07-07-2008, 07:03 AM
Do pets stop attacking a target once trap is triggered? Forgive the newbness, my hunter experiance is simply what I watch while in group or what I've heard.

I severely doubt it. My Felhunter on my Warlock will still dps things that are cc'd unless I call him off manually.

07-08-2008, 04:01 AM
Hi Myisland,

In regards to pets attacking trapped (or any CC'd mobs). This largely depends to two things.

1. The pet's stance: Pet's in Defensive or Passive stance, will stop attacking mobs once they are crowd controlled. Pet in Aggressive stance, will continue to attack.

2. Pet 'commands': A pet in any stance, when directed by the hunter will attack CC'd mobs. That is, if the Hunter has the mob targetted and issues the command to attack.

EDIT: A good hunter class leader will ensure that the rest of their hunters have 'pets on passive' and growl(taunt) turned off before the raid begins, unless the situation calls for some creative pet work.

Hope that helps.

07-08-2008, 05:18 AM
I wish i had hunters like you in my pugs.

07-08-2008, 10:06 AM
Myisland, pets on defensive or passive do not attack cc'ed targets, but can be given the command to.

As for aggressive? not sure, the only time I've ever had my pet on aggressive in an instance was in Stratholme when I knew the rat trap was coming, it made targetting easier. :P

I also wanted to talk about initial pulls, and how it relates to the tank and the Hunter.

Warriors. Warriors pull in 2 ways, the range pull with a gun or bow and charge in, or they just charge right in. Either way, my distracting shot causes enough threat to peel the charging mobs off the tank. I have never, not once, had a problem with initial pulling off a warrior tank. I do however miss on occassion, and Arcane Shot then deals enough threat through raw dps to peel away as well (note- why does Distracting shot have such a long CD?? makes no sense given its purpose.....) I always feel safe the the mob I shoot will veer right/left and come straight for me when I have a warrior tanking.

Druids. Druids also begin a pull in 2 ways, they either wrath/moonfire, shapeshift and charge, or just charge in. The same thing that can be written above about DS and such applies here.

Now, go back and read the section about pulling over a trap side-by-side with a tank. It is because of the above items that I do not agree with the blog entry. The blog entry didnt mention distracting shot (w/o going back and reading it.....Im pretty sure it didnt at least) and its incredible utility. The "pull over trap" method (heretofor now to be called the p.o.t.) removes the Hunters control from his own cc, and puts the tank in control of the CC.

A good Hunter no like this. Good Hunter turn big and green and smash. You can delegate assignments, thats your job, I can take that, but dont tell us how to trap them too, we run around azeroth doing it every day, you do not. Any moderately skilled Hunter can use DS to pull to his trap, theres no need for anything else, imo.

A good Hunter wants to be in control of his own cc, much in the same way you want to be in control of the mobs you tank.

Now, however, Paladins. Paladins pull in 2 ways, like everyone else, they either charge in (rare) or.......they go Captain America on the mobs. This can be tricky for a Hunter. Let me elaborate a bit on the DS some more.

DS does not deal weapon damage (it actually deals spell damage of some type, because it can be resisted....another curious item....wtf Blizz?) it deals straight threat, and good chunk of it too. AS, however, deals a crap ton of threat, moreso than my DS (obviously, thats its intent) so first of all, let me make this brief and final- do not hit my trap target with the MAIN blast of your AS!!!!wtf are you thinkking!!!!!!111!! (ok, rant over) AS, does, as well know, ricochet.

The ricochet can be tricky for unprepared Hunters who want to fire and forget DS and target something a little better like a tank target. There are 2 scenarios that can occur when my trap target gets hit by ricochet from AS and then with my DS (keeping in mind that when hes hit with DS he is already running for the tankadin)

1. He'll peel off. Whew. DS hits for between 6-8 hundred threat, and hit for an upper number this time. Sweet. Moving along.

2. He doesnt peel off, and he's still coming for you. Crap. Never, fear, I have other shots that deal threat (though DS is on that awful CD....WTF BLIZZ!!!) and I will use them!!!! However, what must now be considered is this-
I didnt pull him, meaning you, at that moment, out aggro me.
He's now sitting in your consecrate eating up more damage from you, thus upping your threat (which as we know, is already higher than mine) so I have an uphill battle to climb. Heres what I do

Arcane Shot. Right away. Its instant cast so it does the trick some of the time, but im not holding my breath when I fire it, im moving for another shot button to be sure. AS also deals less threat than DS, unless it crits, so im already working with inferior threat stealing tools.

After AS, auto shot should go off. Auto is just straight weapon damage, typically not enough.

After that steady shot. SS deals nice damage, sometimes enough.

If the mob is still on you after DS>AS>Auto>SS, guess what?

you can keep him, I dont want him. he aint comin over anyways. :P

6 seconds or so later, I will DS again, but by that point sometimes it doesnt matter. Sorry Tankadins, I tried my damndest, but that damn shiedl fling of yours frontloads a ton of threat.....

Any questions?

Note- I have had the above 4 shot scenario happen before, more than once. Its not uncommon.

07-08-2008, 11:24 AM
For a Paladin tank, CC means Continuous Consecration.

However, a good Paladin tank will know how his shield bounces. Most of the time I can work it out so that I don't hit the trapped mob, but sometimes that means giving the hunter a caster which is much harder to trap.

If the pull has 3 or less than mobs, all 3 are going to get hit, but I'm a Paladin, I'll be tanking all 3 anyway.

07-08-2008, 03:55 PM
DS does not deal weapon damage (it actually deals spell damage of some type, because it can be resisted....another curious item....wtf Blizz?)Actually, Distracting Shot deals no damage at all. In fact, if your quick enough to not let an auto shot land after it, you can shoot one at a trapped (or other CC'd) mob without breaking it.

I too, find it hard to pull aggro off of my MT prot pally, but I rarely need to, in fact, it's one of the things I love about prot pallies, more DPS time :D

However, If I have to, he usually does a low aggro pull with Righteous Fury down so I can pick it up. He then starts his normal rotation, etc while I kite my mob away.

Casters can be a little harder to trap, depending on the zone. Using Line of Sight to pull them over the trap usually works wonders.

07-08-2008, 04:32 PM
Kudos to you good hunters, you're a pleasure to run with!


Prot Warrior.

07-08-2008, 06:13 PM
Amen to that. I used to hate relying on a hunter trap, right up until a former GM (with a hunter main) started sending me whispers along those lines "ok if you're going to mark for me, mark my mob first, on the side I'm standing, let me throw down the trap and wait a few seconds before you begin the pull".

After that, we started running around the world practicing marking "pulls" and me picking up trapped mobs if they broke. I highly recommend that any tank who has a new guild hunter or any hunter who gets a new guild tank get some practice with it. Not everyone knows stuff like this!

07-08-2008, 08:47 PM
Hey Nekrin! :)

I'm Nekrin's regular pally tank and to be honest i rarely need him to trap.
When I do need him to trap there's only a couple of very simple rules.

1. Don't ask a hunter to trap a spell caster unless you hate him. Yes, they can line of sight, yes then can silencing shot (if they have). but it's just easier for them to deal with melee.

2. Don't ask them to trap if there's only three mobs and your throwing the shield. It's just mean to ask them to shoot distracting shot whilst misdirecting onto themselves.

3. Consecrate under their trap, because it's funny *cough*

Also, it may sound wrong, but serioulsy any Paladin who's been doing it for a long time (go easy on the newer pally tanks please! It's not an easy job people) knows exactly what mobs his shield is going to bounce off. Seriously, often i've challenged my rogues to sap random mobs and I can bounce the shield around the mob (as long as it's not stuipd like 4 mobs in a line such as the 4 near nethermancer in Mech....but I just mana tapped one and bounced the shield off the 3 that came, technically i still did it...>.> <.<). This was pre-patch that made shields ignore sapped targets.

Marking a hunter trap and then hitting it with your shield is just mean, and can be avoided, hell give them a caster before giving them a mob your going to hit with the shield. Mine now loads so much threat that it takes a misdirected aimed shot + arcance shot + distracting to get it off me, which is just not fair on the hunter.

Either way, even in H-MGT we rarely get hunter traps. becuase to be a honest mage with a focus target and spamming sheep is much less effort (and the tard gets to dps more).

There is also the added point of when trap breaks on caster mobs, they often stand and cast, requireing the hunter to run in and drop another trap under the mob. Even good hunters will allow a shot or two to pop out, which in some instances is enough to really cripple a healer if he's pulled aggro.

in short. Pally tanks, be nice to your hunters, tell em "Take a night off dude, race the mage/warlock on the DPS spot". And then send the exact same tell to your warlock and mage and watch the dps race. It's much more fun than CC 8-)

- Ell

07-08-2008, 08:53 PM
One more quick thing:

Now, however, Paladins. Paladins pull in 2 ways, like everyone else, they either charge in (rare) or.......they go Captain America on the mobs. This can be tricky for a Hunter. Let me elaborate a bit on the DS some more.

Paladins can't charge. If your paladin ever charges, check that they are also able to consecrate. It might be a warrior disguised in + spell damage gear pretending to be a paladin. IMPOSTER! Also, double check that your paladin hasn't assumed "bear form", this could also be another Imposter Paladin.

- Ell

07-08-2008, 08:58 PM
Also, double check that your paladin hasn't assumed "bear form"

LOL. I can't count the number of times that's happened to me, one time, my arcane shot removed the disguise when I was charmed and shot the tank.

07-08-2008, 09:12 PM
that was embarrasing, i was masquerading as a bear, growling/swiping/maul etc then suddenly i'm standing there nekkid, cold and alone with my earthwarden.

- Ell

07-08-2008, 11:39 PM
Having recently joined the 4/70 club I began reading around on the newest, my warrior.

As I'm sure most of you are painfully aware most hunters can't competently play themselves out of a paper quiver. Having played a druid, pally(68), hunter, and now warrior to 70, the amount of hunters who can maintain cc in any form has been much smaller than any of us would hope. I am also of mind that given equivalent gear/skill a hunter is a much better form of cc for instances. If for no other reason than he can CC any type of mob and is not restricted by creature type. Personal experience has lead me to believe that no single mob is unccable (except for the noted pally tank issues). Its just a matter of creativity and how you need to express it.

There are alot of times when i would group with my warrior friend, in fact almost all the time, that I would pull. Generous use of misdirection of course. Always being asked which in a pull I wanted to trap which I responded, doesn't matter I can get any one of them.

To expand on what Rev posted these are some techniques I've used to control unco-operative mobs. Conc shotting the mob to not be trapped on the pull. Depending on spec/group you can charge in past the pull and scatter/trap. Pet on stay, md to pet with a trap in the mobs path. Small waste of an md, but it is one of the fancier moves I guess.

I digress, there are alot of bad hunters. We all know this.

07-09-2008, 06:32 AM
The MD-to-pet is a very cool move. Tanks, if you see a Hunter do that, he r smartHunter.

So, help me a bit here. How does a pally shield bounce?

07-09-2008, 05:57 PM
It's one of those "hard to explain" things dude. You need to throw it a few hundred possibly thousand times(no joke) before you can be absolutley sure where it's going.

Short simple version:

It will hit your targeted mob, then it will hit the closest mob to him, then the closest one again. If the shield misses the first target, it will simply skip that mob and hit the second and third. Same goes with the 2nd (it will skip and hit the 3rd). If it misses the third it flys off in a weird direction and everyone laughs at you. I think this is new in 2.4, because I have missed the first mob before and it's just flown right over the mobs shoulders. They must have put some smarts in when they were setting up the shield to always miss the rogues stun.

There are a few other rules it seems to follow though (observed, not sure if there's any real mechanics behind it, but I do know exactly where it's going, so if you base your throws on this you won't be far off). Here they are:
*note, i'm not doing 3 mob targets, for the obvious reason...shield will hit all 3 :) *

1. If you have 4 mobs arranged in a box shape all within 10 yards of eachother (which is the rough range the shield will jump):
* = mob
p = paladin

* *
* *


and you throw your shield at the X
* *
X *


the shield will always (barring CC/line of site issues) hit the mobs in the following order:
2 3
1 *


The same occurs when the first mob is on the other side (ie the mirror):

3 2
* 1


So always sap the mob that is next to the target.

There's a few other patterns that can be made (i'll try to make them as accurate as possible with this silly ascii thing (i'm at work and don't want to spend 3 hours in paint). 1 2 3 = 1st, 2nd, 3rd, mobs that get hit with shield.
These 5 mob setups are common, ie: slave pens with the 2 casters, 2 melee and the ray. Or many of the packs in SV etc.

* = mob
123 = order of shield hits
. = spacer, to make things as neat as possible
* 3 2
.* 1

1 2 3
.* *

....* 2 3
.....1 *

- note, this one is HIGHLY suseptable to where YOU are standing and where the mobs are pathing. Notice i've positioned the pally to the left here, it will more often than not bounce to the right if you throw from the left. I'm not sure if it's just me sub-conciously throwing at the right time during a pat, or if it's 100% pure positioning. Like i've said, it's just 2nd nature now so i'm doing some things sub-counciously and may not be taking them into account).

Again same mobs, but from the side:

* 2 1 .............p
.3a 3b

- 3a and 3b purely based again on where the mobs are when the shield throws. 3a is more common through, so if your trapping 3b is still quite a safe call (or the * is even better. The furtherest mob is good to give hunters since it means the mob is already slightly split from the pack).

2 1 * ...........p
.3 *


3 * * ..............p
.2 1

Hope that helps. probably more detail than you wanted, but I figured it would be good to put this info here so you know what to expect when you see a shield flying in. A pally will mark your target as a cc, and more often than not a "first dps target" which is commonly the target he's throwing his shield at. This means if you follow the above patterns, you'll have an idea if your going to need to frontload a bucketload of threat to pull off the shield or not.

Some pallys may argue these shield locations, but mobs are not static, they always move a bit, so the paly needs to use his common sense as well.

- Ell

07-09-2008, 06:28 PM
Oh. one more thing.

The single largest factor in screwing up the above "hits" are.....all the paladins sing it with me now.......you all know the words.....


Yes, thats right. The perfect pull where you've lined everything up beautifully is sometimes screwed up because your shield has just 1 shotted a frog.

criters suck and shouldn't be valid targets. [/qq]

07-12-2008, 11:14 AM
I have a 70 hunter and I agree with the pull left tank right theory. Nothing is more aggravating then a p o t and the yank pops AOE and frees the trap. I prefer to stand between tank and caster move to one side lay trap. LET THE TANK PULL! let the mob attack the tank assess whether that trap is gonna work or move around mob and drop trap use DS and arcane to pull my square. and immediately retarget skull and follow kill order. when CD is over immediataly drop a backup trap. A skilled hunter can also save healers and caster with Misdirection on loose mobs. thus allowing tank to concentrate on the whole mob.

When I tank I dont like having hunters who dont know their class. They can truly be a waste of dps and cc if they dont know what theyre doin. A skilled hunter is priceless with a tank class pet in large mob pulls also so in essence a hunter can CC two at a time. And self heal there pet allowing healer to concentrate on the tank. Sheep and Saps are great but when they don't work i.e. rogue aggs the whole mob or the sheep is to close to the rest of the mob a gets popped it's great chaos.

07-31-2008, 05:32 AM
One of the most frustrating types of CC is unexpected CC.

The first thing I do in a group is assign CC targets. If I'm using square for trap, I will put a square over my hunter's head and say, "Trap = Square."

I'll wait for him to acknowledge this direction, and I usually send him a tell: "Please don't trap unless I mark a trap."

I plan my pulls carefully. When something unexpected happens, like, say, a mob flying towards a hunter because he decided it'd be fun to trap something, I get frustrated. I want to trust my CC. If I don't mark a target to trap, and I see a mob flying away, I naturally want to chase it down. If I don't build enough threat on the kill target because I am running down a mob I didn't want trapped... It's a slippy slope that can end in a wipe.

It all comes down to trusting your CC and understanding their respective CC mechanics.

07-31-2008, 01:25 PM
The only person I run down a mob for is my healer. If it takes me 3-6 secs to chase down a mob regain aggro and make it stick that is lost tps. I tell my group set a macro that simply yells HELP! /yell HELP! And run towards me. If they got aggro they went outta order or weren't watching Omen. My main concern is to keep those who follow the rules alive. And the healer ain't allowed to get touched. (unless he unloads some big bombs before the mob even gets to me)