What I've learned about tanking with the Guardian Fighter

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What I've learned about tanking with the Guardian Fighter

Post by Preechr on Sun Dec 11, 2016 4:11 pm

My main is a Divine Cleric, but I wanted to build a tank so I could help out in other ways. I've noticed we have quite a few new tanks joining the guild, and that's great. I wanted to share some thoughts on my experiences so far with building the GF in hopes that it might help some of you that are just getting started with your own GFs, and maybe some of the more experienced GFs might add their own thoughts as well.
Just like healing, tanking is hard work. I've led my fair share of wipes and have spent an uncomfortable amount of time sitting by a campfire waiting on the rest of the party to kill the boss. Those moments are all part of the learning process, and I was lucky to have patient friends in the guild that would help me learn by letting me tank dungeons badly, over and over.
As my Cleric build focuses on sharing as well as healing, I first built my GF Swordmaster heavy in the tactician line in order to add more to the party than just keeping the mobs busy. Having no experience with tanking Neverwinter's dungeons, I soon learned that this was a mistake. Even after stripping all the high level Azures and bonding stones off my Hunter Ranger and even stealing some nice Silvery enchants off Preechr, I simply died way too much. I felt I needed to get back to basics and learn tanking first, then maybe add the party buffs after I had more experience. I respecced as more of a pure tank build, and that has helped quite a bit. I also dropped the popular Steel Defense method of tanking and decided to focus more on footwork and shielding and stop relying on a few seconds of invulnerability. It felt like a crutch, and by taking that out of my build I feel like I'm learning this class much better.
My good friend Orcus was the one that suggested this path for me Very Happy He saw what I was doing, popping my dailies to gain a tiny window in which I could drop my shield and throw Into the Fray and Commander's Strike, and he laughed. Over and over he patiently explained this was not going to work, pounding me into the dirt like only a true friend would. Orcus doesn't care about invulnerability. He only respects defense and deflect. He's not a big fan of bonding companions either. Orcus doesn't like tricks... If you want to stand in his face and take the big hits, you need to be ready. Lesser bosses, like Lostmauth and Valindra, agree with him on this point, but a lower level Tactician can learn how to get around their mechanics.
Even after respeccing, tanking Castle Never is still a challenge, and I am no expert by any measure. I will say again that tanking is hard work, and the only way to get good at it (just like anything else) is through practice and experience. If you are new to tanking with a GF and are using the Tactician/Steel Defense build and finding it to be a bit of a struggle, let me assure you that Babylon's dungeon running groups really don't need the buffs that build can provide as much as they would enjoy seeing their tanks be successfully surviving boss fights. If you are dying in dungeons, I would encourage you to consider use your Savras Tokens do get a free retraining token and give the Protector tree a shot.
Here is the way I went with it, but please make it your own. Everyone has their own playstyle, and I am far from an expert.


For running dungeons, I usually slot Enhanced Mark and Steel Blitz, then use Enforced Threat, Into the Fray and either Commander's Strike or Griffon's Wrath for Encounters. I always run Cleave and Tide of Iron for At-Wills, but go with whatever feels best for you. For solo play I use a striker companion with bonding stones to add some dps, but in a dungeon and especially up against a boss, I will switch to an augment pet just to be safe. When facing a really tough boss, I go full defensive by swapping Steel Blitz for Shield Talent and Commander's Strike for Iron Warrior. Using this set up you can pretty much keep your shield up forever as long as you are spamming your At-Wills to rebuild your stamina. I don't have a ton of boons on my GF, but the ones I took all focus on defense and stamina.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reply here or ask in game. There's so much more to tanking than the feats and skills you use, so please join us for some dungeon runs whenever you feel like it!

Have Fun!

Preechr

Posts : 5
Join date : 2016-11-24

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