A stun lock (also called stunlocking) is the act of using multiple stuns and immobilizing effects in succession to prevent an enemy from fighting back or escaping. As a result, a stunlock sacrifices a large amount of DPS in exchange for keeping the opponent "locked down", but that doesn't matter because it is extremely annoying and in the act of stunlocking provides other players to freely attack the enemy as he stands there unable to do anything. Although typically and most easily accomplished by a rogue, it can also be achieved to lesser degrees by warriors, paladins and druids. Some refer to this ability as a full kill of an enemy player in PvP without allowing them to react, whereas others consider a small sequence of stuns a stun lock. Stunlocking was a significant tool in skilled rogue's arsenal, until Blizzard intoduced Diminishing returns to the game. This greatly reduced the effectiveness of stunlock, and later on rendered it next to useless when they moved Kidney Shot and Cheap Shot to same Diminishing Returns category. The term is still widely used.\
Related talents and abilities
All classes Faction Insignias free the user from stuns. Additionally, there are many talents, such as Nerves of Steel for rogues, Iron Will for warriors, Primal Tenacity for druids, and Unbreakable Will for priests, that grant stun resistance. Finally, orcs have a racial called Hardiness that gives them a 15% chance to resist stuns. A paladin's Divine Shield and Blessing of Protection instantly breaks him/her from all stuns.
Rogue stun locking
A rogue can perform a stunlock in a variety of ways, some of which include Thistle Tea or Renataki's Charm of Trickery, means by which to gain extra energy. A rogue's effectiveness at performing a stunlock is dependent on his or her build. For example, a full combat build or a Seal Fate build without Vigor would be least effective for stunlocking while a Cold Blood and Hemorrhage build would be most effective.
It should be noted that, for the most part, stunlocks are confined to the realm of 1v1 PvP and dueling. Any interference by other players during a stunlock may prevent the rogue from executing his or her next stun, which in turn allows the target a chance to break out of stunlock. Furthermore, the stunlocks listed require precise timing to avoid diminished returns. Each ensuing stun must be timed to land just as the previous stun is about to fade.
- Cheap Shot -> Hemorrhage x2 -> Kidney Shot -> Hemorrhage x1 -> Gouge or Cheap Shot -> Hemorrhage x1 -> Gouge -> Kidney Shot.
- Restealth using Vanish.
- Cheap Shot -> Hemorrhage -> Gouge -> Kidney Shot -> Hemorrhage x2 -> Blind -> Slice and Dice -> Restealth.
- Once blind is about to fade:
- Cheap Shot -> Hemorrhage -> Gouge -> Kidney Shot -> Hemorrhage x2-> Cold Blood -> Eviscerate.
- Cheap Shot -> Sinister Strike -> Gouge -> Kidney Shot -> Backstab -> Blind -> Restealth.
- Once blind is about to fade:
- Cheap Shot -> Backstab -> Kidney Shot -> Backstab.
Note: If you possess 5 pieces of Nightslayer Armor you can complete the second half using: Cheap Shot -> Backstab -> Cold Blood -> Eviscerate.
- Cheap Shot -> Adrenaline Rush -> Sinister Strike -> Gouge -> Kidney Shot -> Sinister Strike x3 -> Blind -> Restealth.
- Once blind is about to fade:
- Cheap Shot -> (Wait for Energy) -> Kidney Shot -> Sinister Strike x3.
- Cheap Shot -> Hemorrhagex1/2 -> Gouge -> Restealth (4 combo points minimum)
- Ambush (adds the fifth combo point) -> Kidney Shot -> Hemorrhagex2/3 -> Gouge -> Restealth (3 combo points minimum)
- Repeat step 1
- Optional: If your victim is already near death, you can change step 3 into an Ambush -> Eviscerate to finish it off.
Blows as few long cooldowns as possible. It works best when specced the appropriate talents to reduce energy costs/increase chance of adding extra combo points. Blind is saved here for trinket breakouts/other breakouts such as a mage's blink.
Mutilate with Improved Gouge
- Cheapshot -> Mutilate (1 or two, depending on how many combo points are given) -> Kidney Shot-> Mutilate -> Eviscerate -> Blind -> Restealth -> Sap -> Cheapshot -> Mutilate -> Kidney Shot -> Mutilate-> Eviscerate -> Gouge (Improved, 5.5 sec) -> Restealth -> Sap -> Cheapshot -> Mutilate -> Kidneyshot -> Vanish -> Sap -> Cheapshot -> Mutilate -> Kidney Shot.
Druid stun locking
Druids have some limited stunlock capabilities, especially if a druid mixes Cyclone into his stun rotation.
This is a short but effective stunlock, which will allow the druid to do a good amount of damage to the opponent before he has an opportunity to fight back. Against undergeared cloth opponents it may be possible to kill the opponent before the stun wears off.
Feral Charge and Bash can be added to the end of this rotation for maximum stun length, but due to the lower damage potential of bear form using them to extend a stunlock does not add much damage compared to staying in cat form for the duration of the maim. These abilities are usually saved for interrupting the cast of an attack spell (or heal).
maximum stunlock Pounce, 2xClaw(add in a Rake if you desire), Maim, (Go bear form, wait for maim to end use Enrage if you don't have Furor) Bash, (Wait for bash to end) Cyclonex3. If talented for the ability, Feral Charge can be used after the Maim and after Cyclone.
This tactic gives the maximum stunlock potential, but at the expense of rendering the opponent invincible to damage during the Cyclone phase. Cyclone also has a higher mana cost and so may not be viable for a feral druid due to their lower mana reserves. This stunlock is very useful against healers in group PVP settings if your unable to out DPS their heals; this allows the druid to incapacitate the enemy healer long enough for his teammates to kill their targets and focus on the healer.
This is also very useful for a restro druid in BG if forced into a 1v1 fight. Since many restro druids can't do enough dps to out damage an enemies self healing abilities he may need to incapacitate him long enough for support to arrive. Especially useful when trying to single handedly defend a location in AB or stop a flag runner in WG. For similar reasons an under geared druid in BG may choice this method to contribute to a strategic battle by incapacitating a foe he knows would quickly defeat him in a direct battle.