Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Trapping Those Pesky Casters

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!


Matticus said...

That's the best drawing of a Goomba I've ever seen.

If you have any spare pet slots, tame one and name it Goomba =).

pelides said...

A common problem you'll run into is tanks who will only give you casters and will call you a huntard when you ask to trap one of the melee mobs. It's infuriating.

Xial said...

Nice drawing and explanation. This can be a difficult frustrating task sometimes, especially when the tank forgets you are trapping around a corner and draws the agro back to him trying to protect the party!

Nialla said...

Nice post. I love the diagram.

Ess said...

Ah, very crafty! Love the diagram, too... hee hee! :D

Delos said...

I don't know why but I just can't stop laughing at that diagram. Awesome :)

Great guide too! I had a level 60 hunter in a previous life and a hunter roommate, so whenever I'm leading groups I almost always give the hunter the melee mob. Great point about line of sight, and it should be noted that oftentimes you can get line of sight from even the smallest crevices in walls. Remember, if you can't shoot them, they can't shoot you. Scatter shot works wonders for trapping casting targets too.

Great read!

Amur said...

My own approach is to charge at the caster and hit it with Scatter Shot as soon as it's in range. I don't bother with Distracting or any other opener. This prevents the mob from attacking anybody for 3 secs and gives me enough time to run up, drop a trap under it and move away..

Stephen said...


That drawing made me laugh for the first time in a stressful and tiring day, thank you very much!

Line of sight is the most useful trick a hunter can use, and best of all, it doesn't require gold to train, talent points, or mana! It can also be used for ranged attackers. If you've ever been to Shattered Halls and ar dealing with the multi-mob pulls at the start, it's very useful to get one of the orc marksmen into a trap before he can hit the tank with Scatter Shot.

Perhaps the best part is when a tank marks a melee mob for u to trap, and u politely ask for the casterm, assuring him that not only will the caster get trapped but that the caster will not even get a shot off. The shocked awe that greets you when u chain trap the caster throughout the entire fight keeping him on full mana is worth a hundred huntards destroying the name of our class :D

Gallia said...

I really do love the Goomba =)

Also, another tip I find very helpful when trapping casters and there are no walls just open areas, is to take my pet and walk it way back straight behind your trap, and MD onto him.

Then the caster will chase after your pet to get into casting range, and run smack into the trap.

Not my idea, I'm not that creative. But it works wonders!

Sade said...

If you get stuck trapping a caster mob and have no spot in which to LOS him, remember that the freezy trap graphic that your character sets down is actually a marker -- it signifies the center of a five-yard radius in which a mob will trip your trap if it happens to wander in. This means that if you've gotta run up and lay a trap underneath a mob's ass, don't set it right under him, lest you accidentally trap the mob that the tank is beating on. Instead, set the trap right next to the target, just so that the trap graphic is barely touching your target mob's model, and you should be able to get him. Stay close to your trap so that you can easily see when it breaks, and be sure to let your party members know that the trap's cooldown makes chain-trapping caster mobs this way very difficult. If you can master this technique, you will garner compliments and respect from your group members.

Great guide, Pike. This is an amazing blog; I can identify with it in so many ways, from my undying love of the hunter class to the Linux-nerdiness and even the roleplaying. I regret my not knowing that there was a sizeable roleplaying community on WoW when I first started; my current server is, shall we say... not friendly to roleplayers. So recently, I've been looking for either an RP or an RP-PVP server to roll an alt on, preferably horde. How is Venture Co.? Does it have a decent economy? Is the A:H ratio not completely out of whack? I'd love to get to say hey to you in-game sometime as well. =)

Sadejester with Archimedes and Nikei @ Proudmoore

Viktel said...

The Goomba is a fantastic blast from the past! Love the drawing. Woot!

I'll 2nd the MD on the pet trick. I will also send the pet in to distract the caster while I drop the trap at its feet.

When the trap springs Kaylee automatically stops attacking. At that point I'll send her off to dps the Main Tank's target, and get some distance to help cover the cooldown time.

A hotkeyed /assist focus macro can speed up the process.

Pike said...

Thank you for the compliment Sade (and everyone else!!)-- Venture Co. is a pretty good server, laid-back, decent economy, an Alliance:Horde ratio of about 1:1 I'd guess. (And according to the Warcraft Realms site it's actually tilted slightly in favor of the Horde.) Content-wise the guilds on Venture Co. are definitely not as progressed as the guilds on my other server Silver Hand. However I really like Venture Co. and you'll find more roleplay there than you will on Silver Hand.

Fanthis ( Kargath ) said...

What I typically end up doing, is drop the trap in the spot I feel best, shoot him, and just run straight back. You'll out range the caster, and the caster will run forward into the trap trying to get to you. As someone mentioned, this can also be done by setting your pet way behind you, trapping in the middle, and misdirecting the mob to your pet.

Other course this only works if the tank does not want a misdirect.

Anonymous said...

If it isn't going to aggro other groups, i like to just run up to the mob, scattershot, and drop trap underneath him. I suppose a BM hunter could use intimidate, and pull the pet away so it doesn't break trap.

Morane said...

Shaman's Earth Shock, a low-level ability, also silences casters for a few seconds. I keep two versions on my toolbar: The highest rank for damage dealing and rank 1 just to shut the buggers up.