In Cataclysm the dungeon design has reverted back to where mana actually matters for healers and this becomes obvious, especially as we step into Heroics. Crowd Control, Silences, Stuns and similar is suddenly a lot more important than it ever was during Wrath. It makes a huge difference if there are 3 mobs beating on your tank or if there are 5.
Strictly speaking you can probably get away with not using CC in the normal dungeons, but practice makes perfect as they say – and why not get into the habit of using it anyway since you’ll be using it in Heroics for sure. Not to mention, there’s nothing wrong with making things a bit easier. Trust me, your healer (and tank) will thank you since the less things are beating on your tank the less the healer’s mana will suffer.
Now, as a Warlock, you may not care so much about others (why would we?) – but think about it like this… With more mana to spare for the healer they might give you a quick HoT or heal when you Life Tap. And we do love our Life Tap! Our self-healing was nerfed considerably and I find it’s not as easy to top myself off with drain life as it used to be (not to mention I rather spend my time dpsing anyway!)
So, this post is about the various kinds of crowd control that you can do as a Warlock to make the dungeon runs go smoother. We actually have quite a few things in our arsenal, even if some is depending on spec and demon. Behind each ability I’ve noted if you need something special to use it.
Banish – You can only use this on Elementals and Demons. 30 second duration. (Always)
Axe Toss – A 4 second single-target stun. (Felguard, Demonology)
Shadowfury – A multi-target stun for 3 seconds. (Destruction)
Hand of Gul’Dan – If you spec into Aura of Foreboding the mobs within 8 yards of the target will be rooted for 3 seconds, and if they’re still there after 6 seconds they will be stunned for another 3 seconds. (Demonology)
Spell Lock – A silence for 3 seconds, but also locks out the magic school for 6 seconds if used on a cast. (Felhunter)
You can also use Axe Toss/Shadowfury since if you can stun a mob doing so will effectively cancel anything they were casting too.
Shadowflame (glyphed) – If you glyph your Shadowflame it applies a secondary slowing effect which slows the target by 70% for 6 seconds. It may be useful (especially together withTeleport) if you’re tasked with kiting adds or similar. (Always, but only if glyphed)
Curse of Exhaustion – This is a single target curse that slows the movement speed of the target by 50% for 30 seconds. (Affliction)
Death Coil – A damage spell that also makes the target flee in horror for 3 seconds. AsCynwise said in a comment, this can be a nice quick way to peel nasties off the healer, but it’s also something you need to be careful with because the mobs won’t stand still. When death coiled they will run away, so make sure there’s no trash packs close by that they can pull, or you might soon find yourself with more than you can handle.
Howl of Terror – A multi-target (5) fear that makes the enemies run in fear for 8 seconds. Like death coil this spell makes the mobs run around, so it’s only to be used in emergencies and when you’re certain they won’t pull other packs. Most tanks don’t like it when you send all their targets running about the room, so it’s not something to be used lightly.
Warlocks were never counted on for CC as much as Mages with their sheep, but with glyphed Fear we actually become rather decent, we just have to keep re-fearing since the duration isn’t very long.
When there’s a pack with a mixture of mobs we truly shine since we can fear one and banish an elemental/demon. If your group is really lacking CC other than you, we can seduce a third mob with the Succubus.
However, the more CC targets we have to keep track of (due to the generally low durations) the less dps we can sustain. But in the end – surviving is more important so always make sure you help your group.
Personally I mainly use Banish and Fear (since I often have a rogue in the group with me). But depending on my spec I try to help with silences/stuns as well.
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Tags: Axe Toss, banish, Cataclysm, cataclysm-guide, crowd-control, Curse-of-Exhaustion, death-coil, entangling-roots, fear, Hand of Gul’Dan, Howl of Terror, Roots, Seduction, shadowflame, silence, Slows, spell-lock, Stuns, warlock, world-of-warcraft, wow, WoW Warlock Guides, wow-cataclysm, wow-guide