The dead zone references the distance in which a player cannot do any useful action against a mob. Generally this term is used by Hunters and Warriors to refer to the distance over 5 yards and less than 8 yards away from them. At 5 yards and less, a player can engage in melee combat. At 8 yards and more, a player can engage in ranged combat.

  • Between these two distances, a Hunter finds nearly all of his (or her) options unavailable other than [Scatter Shot], [Volley], and using their pet. This is no longer true after Patch 2.3. See below.

This dead zone can be exploited by mobs with rooting abilities. The mob can root the player and stay in the dead zone untouched during the duration of the root.

Patch 2.3

In Patch 2.3 the hunter dead zone was effectively removed.

Kalgan on Fri, 12 Oct 2007 02:19:53 PM PDT

We're planning to shrink the min range on ranged attacks to reduce or eliminate the "dead zone". The only point to the dead zone was to ensure the min range on ranged weapons was enough such that ranged weapon attacks wouldn't be used while also being melee'd (at least by mobs... players have a bit of slush built in).