What are CC and Breakbars


  • Have you ever heard people yell "cc" or "break" without understanding what those terms mean?
  • Have you died to the shockwave of Ignis and Aestus in Draconis Mons, or failed the PiƱata event at the end of the Amnoon Casino Blitz?
  • Have you died to the channeled attacks of Amala (in the Twilight Oasis fractal) or Siax (in the Nightmare fractal) without knowing how to stop them?
Have no fear -- this guide is here to help. By the end of this guide, you'll understand what CC is, what breakbars are, and how to use them to prevent events from failing.

What is Crowd Control?

Crowd control, also known as CC or control, is a term for any effect that disrupts enemy movement or skills. You may have noticed that some of your skills slow enemy movement, like Muddy Terrain, or interrupt enemy attacks, like Shield Bash. These skills are referred to as CC skills.
There are 2 kinds of CC:
  • Soft CC refers to CC inflicted by a condition that lasts over time. This includes Fear, Taunt, Blind, Chill, Cripple, Immobilize, Slow, and Weakness.
  • Hard CC refers to CC that interrupts and disables enemies. This includes Daze, Stun, Knockback, Knockdown, Launch, Pull, Freeze, Transform, and (when underwater) Float and Sink. In many cases Taunt and Fear also function like hard CCs.
When you hover your mouse over a skill, it provides a tooltip that tells you about that skill's effects, including any CC it inflicts. You can use this to find out which of your skills inflict soft or hard CC.

What are Defiance Bars?

Picture of a defiance bar on a Legendary Wyvern.

While most enemies you encounter can be affected normally by crowd control, many powerful enemies are defiant and resistant to control effects. This resistance is indicated by a defiance bar (or breakbar) which appears below their health bar.

Picture of a locked defiance bar.

  • If the defiance bar is locked and gray, it means the enemy is completely immune to CC.
    • Any hard CC you attempt to inflict on the enemy will be ignored.
    • You can still inflict soft CC conditions on the enemy, but these conditions will have no effect.

Picture of a blue defiance bar.

  • If the defiance bar is blue, it means you can use CC skills to deal damage to the defiance bar and break the bar.
    • Soft CC will deplete the defiance bar over time.
    • Hard CC will instantly deal a chunk of damage to the defiance bar.
  • When an enemy's defiance bar is broken, it will stun that enemy for a long duration. This interrupts whatever it was doing, roots it in place, and renders it vulnerable to attacks.

Picture of an orange defiance bar.

  • If the defiance bar is orange, it means the bar was recently broken and the enemy is now immune to CC. The bar will slowly recharge until it becomes blue and vulnerable to CC again.

When Should I CC?

If you see a blue defiance bar, 99% of the time you should try to break it as quickly as possible. This is because:
  • Breaking a defiance bar will stop the enemy from moving or attacking, and, in the case of Path of Fire bounties, completely nullify all its Unstable Magic Abilities.
  • You often get a massive damage boost against the enemy while it's stunned.
  • Some bosses, such as Ignis and Aestus in Draconis Mons, or Siax in the Nightmare fractal, will unleash a massive attack if their defiance bar is not broken in time.
This means that the faster you break an enemy's defiance bar, the easier that enemy is to defeat.
Exception: There are specific fights where you might want to slow CC instead of instantly breaking the defiance bar. This is because you only have a limited amount of time to deal damage and CCing too fast will reduce the amount of time you have.
  • If you CC the Mouth of Mordremoth in Dragon's Stand as late as possible, you keep his head on the platform and give the bomb crew more time to drop bombs.
  • If you CC the raid boss Gorseval the Multifarious as late as possible, you have more time to deal damage before he does his instant-kill World Eater attack.
In all other situations, you should strive to CC as fast as possible.

How Can I CC Better?

  • Learn your CC skills. Every profession has its go-to CC skills that it can use. If you're using a guide from MetaBattle, the guides often include a "CC" or "Breakbar" section that lists all the important crowd control skills available to the build.
  • Use your Springer. If you've trained the Forceful Impact mastery, the Cannonball ability of the Springer mount knocks down enemies. This makes it a free CC skill that any profession can use at the start of a fight.
  • Use Rocks and Planks. For even more CC, you can buy Rocks and Wooden Planks from various merchants around Tyria. These items provide hard CC skills that can be used by any profession.

Other Resources


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