Sometimes referred to as "luring", pulling means carefully approaching a large group of mobs with intent of aggroing only a small amount of them, preferably one. In Guild Wars, enemies have a tendency to cluster together in large groups that can quickly overwhelm even a powerful, experienced party with their superior numbers. The objective of pulling is to split up these large groups into more manageable portions.
A typical pull is done by either a Ranger or a Warrior using either a longbow or a flatbow so as to be able to hit the enemy at a significant range. This allows the group to select the most effective group to pull without dragging any unwanted groups along. To initiate the pull, the puller selects one monster in the targeted mob. As soon as the arrow leaves the bow, the puller rushes back to where the group is waiting, thus setting up the front-line Warriors, Assassins and Dervishes in the group to deal with the incoming mob. Pulling melee classes such as Warriors is preferred as they must come close to deal damage whereas Elementalists, Necromancers, Paragons, Ritualists, Rangers, Monks, and Mesmers are capable of attacking at range.
It should be noted that more crude forms of pulling can be done by other classes using a wand or staff though it is less effective as the range between the enemy mob and your own group will be minimal. An even more basic pull can be acomplished by simply walking into an enemy's aggro circle and then running back. An experienced puller can draw a small number of enemies away from the rest, towards their party waiting a short distance away, making for a much more manageable fight.
Even the most careful of pulls can be thwarted by the use of henchmen, pets, or minions who have a tendency to rush forward and attack the closest target. It is advisable to keep any ally with minions or pets towards the rear of the group during the pull and have them move forward after it is completed. henchmen and heroes can be ordered to stand back by a flag. Heroes can also be temporarily set to "Avoid Combat".
Most groups in the game are easy to lure, though it can be more difficult against certain mob groups such as Hydras or Minotaurs which tend to move quickly and unpredictably. Some groups tend to follow for only a short distance before returning to their original location. The only way to pull these groups is to wait for the enemies to get just inside your aggro circle before running back to your group.
The biggest problem with pulling is deciding if a group is a patrol group or a stationary group. Stationary groups spawn in one location and stay there unless otherwise attacked. Patrol groups will traverse the instance area along a set path. It is advisable to study an area for patrol groups before making a pull because they have a tendency to cross paths with stationary groups while on patrol, thus doubling or even tripling the number of enemies that will come running if attacked. On most occasions, the patrol group will head off in another direction leaving the stationary group behind. Just be sure that it isn't heading your way; if it is, just back up and pull them away from the stationary group.
- Remember that any class can equip and use a bow. Guild Wars lets you create various Weapon Sets between which you can cycle on the fly. Toggle to your bow, pull, and then toggle back to your primary weapon set. This is very useful for pulling when you are traveling with AI companions.