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Instance grouping guide for a crowd controller

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Instance grouping guide
Main Roles

Instance tanking (Tank)
Instance healing (Healer)
Instance damage dealing

(Damage dealer)

Currently a stub.

Other Roles

Instance leader
Instance puller
Crowd controller
Instance main assist
Instance off tank
Instance scout
Instance rezzer

Currently a stub.

Class Roles



Other Topics

Marking up mobs
Crowd Control
Combat Cycle
Dying and Wipe prevention
Role Assignment
How Not To Do Things
Additional Tips

Related Topics

Crowd control
Looking For Group

Meeting stone
Pickup group

Back to the Instance grouping guide

Basics of Crowd Control in instances

In most encounters where a group of players faces multiple elite mobs, the basic strategy is to have the tank hold the attention (aggro) of an enemy target while the DPS classes kill it and the healing classes keep the tank alive. All additional enemies who are active must thus be crowd controlled in some way to keep them from attacking the non-tanking classes, or overwhelming the tank. In a certain sense, the tank is exercising a form of crowd control itself: it's keeping a mob occupied so that it cannot attack party members with less health and armor. However, while tanks, backed up with a good healer, can often 'survive' the attacks of more than one monster, it gets increasingly difficult to keep additional mobs focused on the tank while the rest of the party is building threat with all other monsters.

There's a plethora of crowd control abilities in the game which vary wildly in effectiveness and duration. The key to good crowd control is to time when the ability "breaks" (meaning the monster is then free to charge and attack a member of the party) so that it can either be crowd controlled again, or the tank can pick it up and gain aggro. It is also very important for party members not to use abilities that break crowd control effects before the natural end of their duration: generally this means not to use any AoE attacks in the proximity of CC'd mobs, targeting them directly (and causing damage), or putting a DoT on them. There are a number of abilities that can be used on CC'd mobs without breaking the effect.

The Crowd Controller

Most crowd controls will not aggro a patrol and can be used pre-pull. Care must still be taken not to stop into a mob's aggro range. Note that [Fear], even when glyphed, will cause a patrol to aggro.

Summary of common primary CC types:

Summary of common secondary CC types:

Preferred general crowd controllers



  • The hunter's pet is like having an extra party member.
  • Traps can be used pretty much everywhere.
  • Ranged CC roots, slows, stuns and taunts give a little extra time to react or change tactics.



  • [Polymorph] works at range on a good range of mobs, has a long effect compared to other CC types, and a relatively short cooldown.
  • [Frost Nova] has an AoE root effect that few mobs have immunity to.



  • [Sap] has a long effect compared to most stuns or stun-like effects.
  • Rogues can use stealth do pick rear targets.
  • A skilled stun-lock Rogue can keep mobs occupied.

Preferred additional or situational crowd controllers

Druid vs. beasts, dragonkin and outside


Priests vs. humanoids and undead


  • [Mind Control] works great if there is somewhere to suicide a mob or effect lasts long enough to burn down attacked or controlled mob, but otherwise takes priest out of fight. When channeling breaks prematurely, can be effectively worthless since it adds aggro to what may be a healer.
  • [Shackle Undead] works well most of the time, but can break prematurely.
  • ...

Warlocks vs. demons, elementals, and humanoids


  • Warlock pet has similar virtues to hunter pet, though not quite as good unless a Felguard.
  • [Banish] is one of the best CCs for demons and one of the only ones for elementals.
  • [Seduction] of a Succubus on humanoids can work well.
  • ...

See also