How to Control a PUG

It’s been 2 years of Wrath of the Lich King, and it’s been 2 years of the same 5-man dungeons over and over…and over…and over.  Yet PUGs and the dungeon finder are still your best source for consistent, easy emblems.  If you’re like me, you want quick, painless, easy PUG runs.  I’m going to tell you the best way to control your PUG and how quickly it progresses.

Paladins are probably the strongest 5-man class in the game.  Not because I’m biased, but because of how overpowered we are in terms of AoE tanking and DPSing.  Currently, 5-mans are all about the AoE, and to progress quickly, you need to be able to deal punishing damage, or hold 2 to 3 packs of mobs with ease.

First, let’s take a look at the quickest way to get into a 5-man PUG:

  1. Tank – Less than 10 seconds usually.
  2. Healer – 1 to 2 minutes tops.
  3. DPS - Anywhere from 9 to 18 minutes on average.

If you want a quick PUG, go tank or heals.  But is either of those options a great way to control a speedy run?  let’s see.

Tanking PUGs

With a decent amount of gear, and I mean T9 level or above, a Paladin tank can easily control 2 or 3 packs of mobs.  Use your AoE abilities and move quickly from pack to pack, keeping Divine Plea up as long as possible (remember it refreshes on melee attacks with talents).

Watch your healer’s mana, and only stop if they need to replenish mana.  A good DPS that is out of mana will immediately plop down, drink to recover mana pool, then run and catch up with the still-moving group.

Also, as a tank, you can pretty much decide which bosses to kill and which to skip.  Your group will more than likely be wanting a quick run just like you.  In the instance where a player or two wants all bosses…well, that’s up to you.  Be nice and do ‘em all, or force them to take on just the ones you want.  Like I said, you are in control, and unless they boot you, they have to follow the tank.

Healing PUGs

Being a healer in a PUG is literally the worst position for you to be in, in terms of controlling the speed of the PUG.  You are at the mercy of the tank, who may either have threat issues, or may pull excruciatingly slow, even if his gear is good.  You are also at the mercy of the DPS, who if all are cranking out a whopping 2.2k DPS or below, will stall you beyond frustration.

As a healer, you can only hope to keep them alive so that eventually they will take you through to the end.  Trust me, I’ve been in several groups like this of late.  And as tempting as it is to let them all die out of mind-numbing pain, remember that will only delay you further!


A Ret Paladin in a PUG is a surprisingly great way to control its speed.  At decent gear levels, our Seal of Command in combination with extraordinary AoE attacks can kill things very quickly.  If you plug in ICC geared Paladins, the DPS is ridiculous, and the speed of the PUG is enhanced so brilliantly, that even a poor tank and healer will look good.  A decked out Ret Paladin is probably the best way to ultimately speed up a PUG.

Best Role for Controlling PUGs

It all really comes down to tanking and DPS.  Holy doesn’t even come close, as you often feel more like a bystander, rather than a party member.  In the end, I feel tanking wins out, because you can control the speed at which you pull, and decide which bosses to cut out.  Ret DPS comes close, but without the ability to control the movement of the party, it will always come a close second.

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