7 + 1 Simple Ways to Pull Trash

Trash pulling can be a bane to players new to the game or new to the raiding scene. Its a basic coordination skill to learn which is employed from the 5 man level to the 25 man level. The act of pulling bosses are generally easy. There’s typically one boss to worry about.

But trash?

There’s a ton of trash. At this level, they can’t exactly be taken lightly! If your group isn’t properly focused or directed, trash packs can easily overwhelm your group.

Assuming you’re not taking on trash mobs with really specific mechanics, here’s a few general strategies your group can use to handle them.

Crowd Control Pull

This is the standard and textbook method that most groups use when grabbing trash. Let the players with crowd control skills open up. Remaining mobs which are either immune or designated as kill targets will automatically chase the raid allowing the tank to grab them.

Misdirect Pull

Have any Hunters around? Good as this is where they’ll come in handy! While a tank is building threat on one mob, a Hunter can send another mob their way. Just remember that the Misdirect mechanics have changed slightly. Best used against trash pulls with many mobs.

The current party or raid member targeted will receive the threat caused by your next damaging attack and all actions taken for 4 sec afterwards.  Transferred threat is not permanent, and will fade after 30 sec.

Charge Pull

No crowd control. The tank literally charges straight in and generates as much aggro as possible on all targets. Heavy reliance on the healer to keep them alive. DPS players are typically called upon to focus fire targets or to AoE mobs down. The side pulls in the first chamber of Bastion of Twilight are excellent examples of using a charge pull. The tanks jump in and it turns into a race between DPS and healer mana.

Line of Sight Pull

I would imagine Protection Paladins would be used to using this (for historical reasons). The line of sight pull involves the tank aggroing mobs and then running behind a pillar or a rock or some other object. This forces the mobs to chase after that player because they can’t actually see said player. Just make sure the rest of the group doesn’t start opening up on them until the mobs get into position. Use this if you’re worried about patrols.

Use the LOS pull if you’re up against ranged mobs or if you’re worried about patrols.

Distance Pull

Usually executed on trash packs consisting of all casters, your tank will want to run in and then back out as quick as possible. As the casters begin attempting to cast and chase you, they’ll eventually reach a point where they’ll stack up. This is when the tank then re-engages them in order to generate threat on all of the trash allowing group to open up. (Thanks Hi Ya).

Interrupt Pull

Reserved for any trash packs involving casters, this pull involves the use of an interrupt. I had to practice this one a few times on my Elemental Shaman. I’d manually break the Hex on the target with a few Lightning Bolts. Once the mob started casting, I’d hit it with a Wind Shear to get it to start running towards me thereby allowing the tank to snatch it up in place. This is especially useful if there are no immediate landscape features for the group to hide behind but you still need trash to move due to patrols.

Mind Control Pull

If you can’t line of sight pull, this is the next best thing. Naturally it requires a Priest. Your Priest Mind Controls a mob while the rest of the group stays back. The trash should then gang up and utterly destroy the Mind Controlled mob.* Just keep in mind that you may not get reputation or any loot from the death of the Mind Controlled mob.

Exception: If your Priest is named Matt, he will fat finger Mind Blast instead of Mind Control. Do not assign him to any Mind Control duties.

Bonus: The pet pull.


You know what the pet pull is. Everyone’s experienced the pet pull before. If you haven’t, well that can be easily arranged.

14 thoughts on “7 + 1 Simple Ways to Pull Trash”

  1. As far as I’ve been able to tell, the “next damaging attack” wording in the MD tooltip is slightly wrong: if I lob a Freezing Trap into a group of mobs with MD up, they still appear to head for the tank rather than me.

    So combining the first two pull styles works quite well.

    1. Hunter lobs a Misdirected Freezing Trap at their designated CC target
    2. As the trash pack starts moving, targeted CC is applied
    3. Tank picks up the remaining mobs as they arrive

    This is also very helpful when you want the hunter to trap a melee target – that’s a heck of a lot easier to do before the trash pack starts moving.

  2. The pet pull is always an interesting one – and everyone should get to experience the joy at some point..

    I have to admit I haven’t seen the Mind Control pull in ages. Makes me miss the old days.. are there new areas where that pull is especially useful?

    There’s also the version of the MD pull where the hunter is just tired of waiting for the tank to pull and decides to go ahead whether they’re ready or not 😉

    On a more serious note, a really good run-down of the various kinds of pulls. Now it’s just up to the rest of us to apply the right pull to the right trash pack (it’s kinda like a puzzle – fitting the pieces together!)

  3. There’s also the classic Hunter Pull of Complete Protection from Vanilla, before we had these fancy Misdirections.

    Hunter pulls way ahead of the group, if he gets two groups or too many, he FDs and resets it. If not, he runs to the tank, and FDs as soon as the tank has any aggro.

  4. Don’t you diss the classic Geddon/Shazzrah pet pull from Molten Core! That was a legit pulling technique back then 🙂

    Hunter casts “Eyes of the beast” (which lets him take direct control of the pet) and runs towards Geddon while the raid is waiting in Garr’s room. After aggroing Geddon (hopefully without Shazzrah) he removes the “Eyes of the beast” buff and because the pet is way too far away it despawns, leaving Geddon running towards the hunter who was standing behind the tank in Garr’s room.

  5. I’m digging that pet pulling is valid in 2 of the Cata heroics. Depending on group comp, I may ask a hunter/lock to pull the last Vortex group that’s completely grounded while the group hides at the top of the stairs, and then cc as the trash moves from the pet’s dismembered corpse to us. Pets also make great pin cushions in the Throne of Tides for those pesky poisoned spears.

  6. Just to comment on LOS and distance pulls, silence comes in a very handy on casters. A shadow priest, DK, a prot warrior with gag order, etc…nice stuff

    Don’t know how many times I’ve seen a tank tuck himself around a corner only to have DPS open up before the mobs get to the tank.

    Pet pull..heh, for my part most of what I see falls in with the accidental auto-shot to the boss pull. 🙂

  7. If you mention the pet pull, you also have to mention the other hunter ability:
    “Random Shot” – the hunter shoots a random target not currently engaged in combat at the worst time possible.
    Works especially well in Magmaw’s room.

    Also the Starfall pull, which if unglyphed will even be able to pull multiple trash groups simultaneously.

  8. Or the ranged dps randomly tab targeting and starts dotting the next group also due to a completely lack of paying attention…. not limited to random hunter shots at the next group.

  9. Or the auto-run pull.

    Re: pet pulling. It’s not my fault it’s better to have pets on aggressive during boss fights that have a lot of adds 🙁

  10. Here is an extension of the distance pull: Life grip the tank after they engage. As near as I can tell it doesn’t generate aggro but can more quickly put your tank out of range of damaging attacks.

    Great example is the top of the stairs in Vortex Pinnacle with the mobs in the triangle of death down at the bottom. The easy way is to have the tank tag them start running back to the stairs, have dps apply CC, and life grip the tank to LOS them at the top of the stairs.

  11. Don’t forget the Lock teleport los pull. As long as the Lock uses something light like CoE the tank should be able to pick up easily.

    • Ooh, I didn’t think of that one. Mainly cause I always fatfinger “summon teleport” when I mean to hit “teleport go” if you know what I mean. They’re called the same thing and they nearly have the same icon.

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