Mind Control

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Mind Control
Spell shadow shadowworddominate.png
  • Mind Control
  • Row 4 priest talent
  • 30 yd range
  • 2% of base mana
  • 1.8 sec cast
  • Controls a mind up to 1 level above yours for 30 sec. Does not work versus Demonic, Undead, or Mechanical beings. Shares diminishing returns with other disorienting effects.
Class Priest
School Shadow
Cooldown None/Global Cooldown
Talent required [Phantasm] or [Death and Madness]
Related debuff
  • Magic
  • Mind Control
  • Under the command of the Priest.
  • Duration: 30 seconds
"Why should I shed my own blood?"[1]

Mind Control (or MC) is a priest class talent that allows a unit to temporarily take control of a non-friendly target and use it against other enemies. It can last up to 30 seconds against monsters or 8 seconds against players. Mind Control can be used on most non-mechanical targets, including players, mobs and critters. Bosses, battle pets and some other targets are immune. Mind Control has a number of uses in both PvE and PvP, as a form of crowd control, for dealing damage and even for healing. As one of priests' most unique abilities, its use can mean elation and victory for the caster and frustration and death for the unwilling recipient, and serves to illustrate the darker side of the priest's powers.

It is an exclusive choice node with [Dominate Mind].


Mind Control serves as a unique form of crowd control in that not only is the target removed from the fight temporarily but the target's powers can be directed against other enemies. On a successful cast of Mind Control, the priest's viewpoint will shift to the controlled player or mob and the priest's movement keys will move this unit. When controlling mobs, the target unit's abilities will replace the priest's primary action bar and will be available for use; when controlling players, their abilities are NOT available for use, although they can be made to melee attack targets. Mind Control forms a general-purpose crowd control similar to sapping and sheeping; however, unlike most other forms of crowd control, the priest himself is essentially removed from battle for the duration of the spell and cannot cast any of his own heals or attacks until Mind Control is broken.

Mind Control's full duration is 30 seconds vs mobs, and 8 seconds vs players, but there are several factors which can cause it to break early. A break is checked vs target's level / distance from controlling priest / resistances of target, every x seconds, and the spell can break without warning even if the channeling bar is still mostly full. In addition, if the controlled unit is moved too far from the controlling priest the spell will automatically be broken. Duration is also partly controlled by distance. The farther your 'pet' is from you, the higher the chance of breaking. Park it on top of yourself if you wish to reduce its chances of resisting - unless you have other plans in mind for it, OR if the NPC you are fighting has some sort of stun/cc (Shield bash/gouge/polymorph etc). Shadow resistance can also increase a target's ability to resist or break free of Mind Control.

Damage taken by the controller will shorten the duration of the spell but will have no effect on the the target's ability to break free of their own volition. Death (of the priest or the controlled target) will also break the spell. If under attack, it's therefore a good idea to shield yourself with [Power Word: Shield] before casting MC, in order to ensure the maximum possible duration. This also reduces the possibility of being killed or seriously injured while MCing, since it's easy to become distracted by the MC process. Keeping an eye on your own health bar is particularly critical in PvP. Mind Control is a channeled effect, and so can be affected by pushback, interrupts, silence effects and other forms of crowd control such as stuns, fears and disorients.

Tips and tactics for usage in PvE

  • Elite mobs can often be controlled, but not bosses.
  • Casting Mind Control on a mob wipes all threat from that mob. Once Mind Control ends, the mob will fixate the priest for 10 seconds unless the mob is taunted back, regardless of the amount of threat generated by other players. Apparently, mobs don't like having their free will stripped away by someone they can kill in two hits.
  • MC a healer if it's available. Why spend your own mana and get possible aggro when you can easily dominate that medic and use its prayer of healing which heals for 30k+? Don't forget that the medic has 200k mana, meaning it can chain cast it for a while. And if it gets aggro and dies... just remember that it wasn't you. Keep in mind, however, that many healer mobs have moderate cooldowns (5–30 seconds) on their heal abilities, so be cautious MCing even healer mobs if you are the sole healer for the group.
  • Priests should attempt to use high mana non-damage spells like buffs or heals to burn the mob's mana away before it is released to be killed. If it has an aura or shapeshift, if should also be turned off before releasing it, forcing the mob to recast it when released (or preventing it if sufficiently mana starved.) Cooldowns should also be burned just before releasing.
  • Mobs within aggro range of a controlled target will regard it as hostile - they have no qualms over beating up a unit that was a trusted ally only moments before, so you can MC something and let the surrounding 'linked' NPCs kill it. Note, however, that if the controlled target is freed from your control, they will once again regard it as a friend and will immediately seek another hostile target to attack - which may be you.
  • Controlled NPCs have their own aggro; spells cast by an NPC do not get 'added' to your current aggro, so in group situations you do not have to worry about enemies that you attacked with a controlled mob favoring you over your tank.
  • Be aware that when the spell ends, any mobs that were attacking the controlled target will immediately turn their attention to you (as will the controlled target itself). This is the case even if the mobs are out of range of you, and were previously un-aggroed or even neutral. This is because engaging in combat with your mind controlled target, which you are in combat with yourself, automatically puts you in combat with them as well, even if your threat on them is 0.
  • Mobs must take damage from players in order to generate loot; should they be killed solely by a controlled mob they will drop no items - the same rule as with any other pet. In addition, a controlled mob will generate no loot if it dies while still controlled; it must be released if you wish to take its items.
  • If you want enemies to focus on your mind controlled minion and not on you first (remember aggro rules), make sure you do not engage them before completing the Mind Control cast and engaging them via your pet. [Mind Soothe] is very useful in getting close to humanoid NPCs without them seeing you due to the 30 yard range of Mind Control.
  • See also a List of mind controllable mobs for information on MC-able enemies as well as their locations and special abilities.

Tips and tactics for usage in PvP

  • The signature usage of MC in PvP is to MC an enemy player atop a tower or other high place and then run that player off the edge, causing a large amount of falling damage (if not death) and removing them from the area. Good spots include the Lumber Mill in Arathi Basin, the central flag area in Eye of the Storm, and the Dun Baldar Bridge in Alterac Valley. Successfully employed, this can allow a single priest to defeat a group of enemy players in a very short period of time.
  • When MCing targets to their deaths, you can break the channel once they are over the edge, although be careful not to break it too soon. This saves precious seconds spent waiting for the spell to finish, although the spell will cancel itself if the target falls far enough.
  • Another use for MC in battlegrounds is to cause enemies to lose the advantage of the higher ground. For example, in Warsong Gulch and Twin Peaks, enemy casters (or even flag carriers) often stand on the higher levels inside the bases, out of reach of the players below, while raining damage down upon them. If timed correctly, priests can MC these targets down into the melee of their teammates waiting below.
  • Conversely, when fighting on raised areas (such as the bases' roofs in Warsong Gulch) MC can be used to temporarily remove enemies from play by forcing them to jump down, out of range of combat. Although they will probably return shortly, it can give you the break you need to win the battle.
  • In battlegrounds involving flag carrying, MC can be used to control enemy flag carriers, slowing their progress across the field or even forcing them to run in the opposite direction. This is a great way for a lone priest to slow indestructible flag carriers until support arrives, or to give their team a few more seconds to grab the opposing team's flag.
  • MC is subject to diminishing returns in PvP. However, it has no shared DR category, making it far more useful as an extra form of crowd control.
  • MC can be used for a number of purposes, the most basic of which being simply to prevent the target from taking action. When this is the intention, the desire is mainly to ensure that the MC lasts for as long as possible. By keeping the target close by, the priest has the greatest chance of maintaining the channel, but if, in the latter half of the channel, the priest runs the target as far away as possible from their intended action, by the time the MC breaks, the target should be too far away to be of effect without a short run. This gives the priest time to re-cast MC and re-CC the target before it gets in range. When used in this way, MC can be used to keep a player out of action for more than 20 seconds at a time. The downside is that the priest will be out of action for this time as well.
  • MC can be very useful for CCing healers, especially at critical moments. Although the priest is unable to act, preventing the target from healing their allies for up to 8 seconds is often enough to down a player.
  • Always be aware that when MCing a target that is currently under attack, the other players on your side will be unable to harm the target once it becomes controlled. Timed incorrectly, this can waste cooldowns or even prevent your allies from defeating the target. Other players also have no way of knowing when the MC will end, often leaving them surprised when the target becomes hostile once again.
  • Controlled targets are counted as members of the opposite team, and this has a number of consequences:
    • Friendly players cannot harm controlled targets, although any DoTs on the target will continue to deal damage. Pets, minions and guardians will also cease to attack controlled targets.
    • Enemy players can harm controlled targets. Since damage to the controlled target does not reduce the duration of MC, it is generally desirable for as much damage to be caused to the target as possible. AoE will usually be the main source of this.
    • Controlled targets can be made to attack enemy targets. Although this is limited to simple melee auto-attacks, this can still be useful to contribute a little dps while MCing the target, and always has the potential of causing confused enemies to focus their attacks upon the target! Alternatively, use the target to destroy totems.
    • Enemy players can dispel buffs from controlled targets, such as via [Mass Dispel].
    • Enemy players can place debuffs and DoTs on the controlled target, and any such debuffs will remain (and continue to deal damage) after MC has finished.
    • Friendly players can buff controlled targets. Since most buffs are now raid-wide, it is easy to accidentally lend buffs to controlled targets. These buffs will remain active on the target after MC has finished. On the bright side, these can usually be easily dispelled once MC has ended.
    • Friendly players can dispel debuffs from controlled targets - it is easy when dispelling buffs from a suddenly controlled target to instead begin dispelling its debuffs! Casting [Mass Dispel] will simply remove a debuff from a controlled target, instead of removing a buff.
  • While MCing a target, any friendly spells cast will automatically be directed at the target. Although casting any spell will break the MC, there is a moment after the priest has ended the MC, when the target is still marked as friendly. In this window, any buffs (such as [Power Word: Fortitude] or even [Power Word: Shield]) that are cast will be directed at the target, if in range and line of sight. While this only applies to spells that are cast while channeling MC, priests hastily breaking MC in order to shield themselves should be careful to break the channel before casting the buff.
  • Controlled targets will continue to take damage from DoTs. For this reason, Shadow priests may wish to use MC in a similar fashion to Warlocks' [Fear], applying DoTs to their opponent and then using MC to prevent them from responding. Although the priest cannot act, by the time the target has escaped MC (especially if it is used to its maximum possible extent) significant damage will have been done. The priest can also pause between MC casts to reapply DoTs. This is especially useful to prevent healers from healing, once their health is dangerously low; simply MC them until they die from their DoTs.
  • Controlled targets will also incur the wrath of any mobs or NPCs that would normally attack you. This can be particularly effective when used in battlegrounds such as Alterac Valley and Isle of Conquest. While attackers gather in preparation for assaulting the enemy boss, defending priests can MC opposing players into aggro range of the boss. When MC is cancelled or expires, the boss and his allies will immediately attack the target, almost always immediately killing him. Healers and tanks make the best targets for this, and their loss can postpone or weaken the attacking team's efforts. Any defenders foolish enough to stray within range of attacking priests can be controlled and taken within aggro range of their own boss, who will promptly kill them. Be warned however that this will pull the boss.
  • MCing a target does not interrupt its cooldowns; enemies with powerful (non-dispellable) buffs can therefore be controlled until the buff expires. Conversely, while controlled the target's cooldowns will be refreshing, allowing them to return to the fight deadlier than ever.
  • MC can be useful in PvP for disorienting players. Especially for players using their keyboards to turn, it can take a few moments to re-orient themselves and return to the matter at hand. Running players behind pillars or obstacles can also help to slow their return to combat.
  • MC does have some value in intense PvP as a form of frustration. By interrupting a player's flow and disrupting their plans, their organization and focus can be diminished. In organised PvP, not only their cooldowns but also the cooldowns of their teammates may be wasted in this way, and the disruption to their plans and their timing can be critical.
  • Especially in PvP, it is wise to shield yourself with [Power Word: Shield] before casting MC. While various forms of CC can still interrupt the channel, pre-shielding reduces the likelihood of pushback, and if you do come under attack while MCing, increases your chances of survival.
  • Always keep an eye on your own health while MCing. Especially when the target you're MCing is distant from your character, there are few warnings that you have come under attack. Sudden reductions in the duration of the channel are due to incoming damage, and serve as a reminder to reassess the wisdom of continuing to MC.
  • One of the chief difficulties in MCing a target is the long cast time of this ability. [Borrowed Time] can be very useful for this, and it is often wise to use [Power Word: Shield] beforehand anyway. [Psychic Scream] (and [Psychic Horror]) can also be useful for this purpose. Be aware that if you MC the target while it is still feared, you will be unable to act until the fear expires. However, since many players will trinket out of fears, it can be wise to immediately follow Psychic Scream with a MC cast; if the target trinkets out of the fear, you can then immediately MC them, and they will have wasted their trinket. If they do not trinket, you can break the cast and either use the time to apply DoTs, dispel buffs, etc, or simply wait until the effect is around 2.5 seconds from expiring before beginning to cast MC again.
  • MC can be useful for the sole purpose of forcing your target to use their trinket. Since MC is not an ideal form of crowd control (as it requires you to take no action for the duration) it can be useful to have your opponent waste their trinket escaping MC; following this with [Psychic Scream] should provide several seconds of unescapable CC.
  • If you do MC a feared target, you may prefer to break the MC early; since the target is already CCed, only your time is being wasted. However, this will still waste the diminishing return, and you may prefer to simply wait for the effect to expire (depending on its duration). Always check your target's debuffs before completing the cast; MCing snared and rooted targets can be frustrating when attempting to run them off high edges.

Defense against Mind Control

  • When being controlled, the first defense is of course to use a PvP trinket, [Will to Survive] or [Will of the Forsaken] to break the charm directly.
  • The most direct defense against MC being used on others is to stun or interrupt the casting priest, or simply take advantage of the opportunity to deal as much damage to them as possible while they're distracted, which will also shorten the duration of the MC.
  • When enemy priests use MC to run allies off high ledges, remember that those allies are temporarily attackable, so you can use snares, roots, stuns and even fears to prevent them from reaching the edge. They'll thank you later!
  • [Tremor Totem] can be very helpful in preventing the effects of MC.
  • Certain abilities such as [Bladestorm] also offer immunity to crowd control effects such as MC.

Beast shapeshifts against Mind Control

Until Mists of Pandaria, Mind Control was only usable against humanoids, and also had a longer cast time of 2.5 seconds. Therefore, Druids and Shaman could become immune by shapeshifting into Beasts. With the expansion of the spell to cover all non-mechanical units, this strategy no longer works.

At the time, with careful timing and observation of the opposing priest's cast bar, they could even return to humanoid form to cast a few spells before returning to beast form if necessary. The priest was also prevented from pre-casting Mind Control against Beasts because of the invalid target.

  • Druids in [Bear Form], [Cat Form], [Travel Form], [Aquatic Form] and [Flight Form] are considered beasts. However, caught unawares, druids in humanoid form are just as susceptible to MC as any other class.
  • Shamans using [Ghost Wolf] are also classed as beasts. As a magical buff, Ghost Wolf can easily be dispelled by the priest, although the longer cast time of MC meant the shaman could simply re-buff. While shamans with [Ancestral Swiftness] could instantly reapply Ghost Wolf, for others it had a 2-second cast, giving quick priests a chance at MCing them between casts. On the downside, Ghost Wolf prevented the shaman from using any spells or abilities, and so was a heavy price to pay to avoid MC.

Similar abilities

A number of mobs and bosses use Mind Control-like abilities, controlling the player, forcing them to attack their allies and in turn forcing their allies to attack them. Usually players are required to reduce the controlled player's health to 50% before the effect is broken. Examples include Mindbender Ghur'sha in Throne of the Tides and Phantasmal Possessors in the Auchenai Crypts.


Patch changes

  • Dragonflight Patch 10.1.0 (2023-05-02): Duration decreased to 6 seconds in PvP combat (was 8 seconds).
  • Dragonflight Patch 10.0.0 (2022-10-25): Now a row 4 class talent (was a level 34 ability).
  • Shadowlands Patch 9.0.1 (2020-10-13): Now learned at level 34 (was 36).
  • Battle for Azeroth Patch 8.1.5 (2019-03-12): Mana cost increased by 200%.
  • Legion Hotfix (2016-09-15): Players are no longer able to use the Bribe and Mind Control abilities on Ysera.
  • Legion Patch 7.0.3 (2016-07-19):' Name changed back to Mind Control from Dominate Mind. Changed from a level 15 talent to level 36 ability. No longer works against Demonic or Undead beings.
  • Warlords of Draenor Hotfix (2016-06-27): We have recently become aware of an exploit involving the Priest’s Dominate Mind talent which has been causing disruption in rated PvP. We’re currently working to fix that exploit, but while those investigations take place, we’ve temporarily disabled Dominate Mind in instanced PvP. Once the issue has been corrected, we will re-enable it.
  • Warlords of Draenor Patch 6.0.2 (2014-10-14): Now shares Diminishing Returns with all other Mesmerize effects.
  • Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.2.0 (2013-03-05): Now has a 1.8-second cast time (was 2.5 seconds).
  • Mists of Pandaria Hotfix (2012-09-28): Void Shift can no longer be cast on Dominate Mind targets.
  • Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28): Renamed from Mind Control to Dominate Mind, and is now a level 15 talent (was a level 38 ability). Attack speed penalty removed. Now functions against non-Mechanical targets instead of just humanoids.
    Previous effect: Controls a humanoid mind up to {caster's level + 3}, but increases the time between its attacks by 25%. Lasts up to 30 sec.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.0.6 (2011-02-08): Now has a PvP duration of 8 seconds.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.0.1 (2010-10-12): Now has a 30 yards range, up from 20 yards. Cast time reduced to 2.5 sec, down from 3 sec. Now learned at level 38 (was 30).
  • Wrath-Logo-Small.png Patch 3.1.0 (2009-04-14): This spell can no longer be cast while it is already active.
  • Wrath-Logo-Small.png Patch 3.0.2 (2008-10-14): Now has only one rank and costs 12% of base mana.
  • Bc icon.gif Patch 2.2.0 (2007-09-25):
    • Creatures immune to this spell will now cause an immediate error message rather than make it seem like the spell succeeded with no effect.
    • Duration against PvP targets has been reduced to 10 seconds.
  • Bc icon.gif Patch 2.1.0 (2007-05-22): No longer has a 100 yard range limitation in instances.
  • WoW Icon update.png Patch 1.12.0 (2006-08-22): Due to the haste effect change, the tooltip has been changed to 25%.
  • WoW Icon update.png Patch 1.11.0 (2006-06-19): If you cast [Power Word: Shield] while Mind Controlling a target, the Recently Shielded aura will now appear on the correct target instead of yourself.
  • WoW Icon update.png Patch 1.9.1 (2006-01-10): Now functions properly. Previously, the person who was charmed did not appear to be moving on their screen or any other local clients.
  • WoW Icon update.png Patch 1.7.0 (2005-09-13): You can cancel melee combat while mind controlling by clearing the target, like you can normally.
  • WoW Icon update.png Patch 1.4.0 (2005-04-19): Mind Controlled characters will no longer receive a durability penalty when they die.
  • WoW Icon update.png Patch 1.3.0 (2005-03-07): Players under Mind Control pass reputation changes due to kills to the controlling player, and do not receive the reputation changes themselves.
  • WoW Icon update.png Patch 1.2.0 (2004-12-18): Can no longer be cast on tapped targets.
  • WoW Icon update.png Patch 1.1.0 (2004-11-07):
    • Increased the chance of breaking early.
    • Removed facing requirement.
    • Now flags you for PvP when used on enemy players.
  • Test-inline.png Patch 0.7 (2004-06-15): Range increased. Creatures will now be more responsive after Mind Control wears off.

See also


External links