I realized it's been a little while since I posted a guide. And because I always want to have some guides available for newer (or older) hunters wishing to hone their skills, I figured I'd post a new one.
Today's topic comes from a question somebody in my guild asked me the other day, while she was in ZF: "Tawyn, how do you trap casters? The person marking always seems to mark the caster for me to trap."
Well, before we go any farther, I want you to make sure that the person marking is aware of the fact that trapping casters is a difficult thing to do. It could be that they haven't played a hunter before and thus this little problem hasn't occurred to them. I got lucky in this regard; our guild's main tank already has a level 70 hunter of his own and he is very, very good about making sure that I don't get the casters unless necessary. So be sure you politely let whoever is marking know that, if at all possible, you should be trapping the non-casters.
Now then, sometimes you really don't have a choice and you will have to trap a caster anyway. The main problem with trapping casters is, of course, that they stay in place and cast spells at you from afar rather than run up to you (and thus, run into your trap). So, what can we do about this? Well, let's take a look at some of our options:
Silencing Shot: Silencing Shot does exactly what it says on the tin: it silences the target for three seconds. If the mob is silenced, he can't cast spells, and will default to trying to hit you with his stick. Open with this thing and it should give you enough time to pull the mob into your trap. The downside is that it is the 41-point-Marksman talent. Therefore, only full-Marksman hunters will have access to this shot; BM, Survival, and hybrid hunters will not be able to use this.
Warlockery!: Our warlock friends have a minion called the Felhunter. This minion has an ability sort of like Silencing Shot; it will silence a mob for a few seconds, thus allowing you to pull it into your trap. The downsides: Firstly you have to have a warlock in your group, and secondly... well lemme put it this way. In my experience, warlocks don't typically like to be told what to do with their minions, much in the same way that we hunters don't like to be told what to do with our pets. This is very understandable, of course. But poor warlocks are often told to use certain minions for certain tasks when they'd really rather be using their Imp or something. So if you're going to ask your resident 'lock for help, be sure you are very polite and that they aren't already using a minion for a very needed reason. Most 'locks, I'm sure, would be glad to help, but it's always good to let them know that their help is appreciated. (Or you can get lucky like I have and get a warlock who comes up with this idea on their own and volunteers their felpuppy before you've even thought about it.)
Other Classes' Help: I have to admit here, there is a lot I don't know about non-hunter classes. However, I believe there are other classes with a sort of silencing ability. Shadow Priests, for example, can silence. You might ask around and see if any one in your party has any sort of silencing ability (if you don't already know for certain). I know the warlock one mentioned above surprised me the first time I heard about it. You might be pleasantly surprised too.
Okay. But what if you're not a Marksman hunter, and you don't have an available warlock or other silencing class in your party? Then what?
Then we use a little trick we call Line-of-Sight.
Basically this means you are going to set your trap down by a corner of a wall, shoot the mob, and then run around the corner. If the mob can't see you, he can't cast at you. He will run to catch up with you, and pop! He'll run right into your trap.
Here's a little illustration I whipped up:
(Yeah, it's not too pretty, but it works, right?)
Things to watch out for include making sure the trap isn't too far off the beaten path (though they always do seem to have a fairly wide "radius"), making sure the place you're hiding behind really is a good place to hide behind (i.e., it's wider than a thin tree or something), and placing the next trap pretty close by so when the first trap breaks, he can hardly move without being trapped again.
Also, it's a good idea to keep your mob selected. That way, if when you run around the corner you can't see him anymore, you'll be able to see the trap debuff pop up under his nameplate and know that you were successful.
"But Pike, what if I'm not a Marksman hunter, there is nobody in the party that can silence, and there are no walls in sight? Then what??"
Then... you do the best you can. Which for me usually means running up to the mob and throwing down a trap at their feet. Make sure you don't invoke the wrath of any other nearby mobs when you do this, though!
Lastly, remember that practice makes perfect-- if at first you can't figure this thing out, keep trying and you'll eventually start "picking up" what to do at what times and where to best place your trap. Hopefully it won't be long until you've added yet another little magic trick to your Hunter Goodie Bag.
Alright, there you have it. A Basic Beginner's Guide to Trapping Casters. I'm sure there are probably other little nuances regarding this topic that I haven't covered, but hopefully this will at least enable you to get the general idea. As always, your questions and comments are quite welcome.
Until next time... hunt's luck!