Knock back (also known as punting) is an effect that lifts an enemy off the ground and knocks them back a certain distance, without dismounting mounted players.
Knockback abilities can have great strategic value. By knocking back melee attackers, incoming damage can be interrupted. Ranged specs can benefit from keeping enemies as far away as possible, while melee specs may find this to be less desirable. Knockback can also be used to keep enemies away from allies, or to prevent them from reaching a target, such as flag capture points in battlegrounds.
In PvP, knockback can be used to punt other players off high edges. Top locations for this include the Lumber Mill in Arathi Basin, and the central island in Eye of the Storm. Skilful use of knockback abilities in these locations can single-handedly kill several enemy players, or at least punt them far enough away for the base to be captured. All players should take great care in these locations not to put themselves in a position where they can be knocked off.
Knockback effects can also be used to interrupt casting. The cast will be interrupted while the target is in motion, and must then be started afresh once the target is stationary, providing substantial disruption. This can be particularly effective against healers, or in countering any long or particularly dangerous cast. Certain PvE targets, when interrupted by a knockback mid-cast, may fail to resume casting the ability, situationally making knockbacks as useful as interrupts. In battlegrounds, knockback can be used to interrupt node captures or flag collections.
The following is a partial list of player abilities with knockback effects:
- Hunters' effectively allows hunters to knock themselves back.
- Death Knights have a kind of "anti-knockback" skill, . It pulls targeted enemy up from 30 yards away next to the caster.
- Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28): and added.
- Patch 4.0.1 (2010-10-12): Knockback effect removed from .
- Patch 3.3.0 (2009-12-08): Knockback effects no longer dismount players. If on a flying mount, you will be knocked back a short distance before being able to resume flying.
- This change is most likely due to some players abusing their knock back abilities on flagged players leading them to fall to their death.
- Patch 1.6.0 (2005-07-12): Knockback effects are now synchronized with any associated missile impacts.