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Thread: Justicar tanking guide by Radak

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    RIFT Community Ambassador Radak's Avatar
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    Default Justicar tanking guide

    A small note: the name of my own cleric is not Radak but Alovnek (Blightweald-EU) the name of my account was from before I decided to fully play my cleric.

    First something about me and the tanking I did so far.
    I started tanking somewhere around beta 5 after having only healed. I came to like the way cleric tanks worked and this only increased since they fixed some annoying points like the old way we used to manage our threat.
    And as of this latest update I have now main tanked the first 4 bosses in Greenscale blight.

    And to get things started I will first discuss a couple of different tanking builds that you will often find.

    Stats and tanking
    As a cleric tank there are a lot of stats that are usefull to you and here I will show you what each stat does assuming you have atleast picked up the basis to tanking spec (see below at tanking builds).

    Toughness: Reduces bonus crit damage taken from non player sources. 1Toughness gives a 2% crit bonus reduction.
    Endurance: Increases you health by 9 per point. We get a 90% endurance buff from MoL and as a result 1 endurance on your gear will give you 17.1 health.
    Wisdom: Increases your spellpower by 0.75 per point and also some mana regeneration.
    Intelligence: Increases your spellpower by 0.25 per point, your max mana by 10 per point and your spellcrit by 0.5 per point
    Strength: Increases your Attack power by 0.5 per point, your block by 1 per point and your parry by 1.5 per point.
    Dexterity: Increases your Attack power by 0.5 per point and your dodge by 1per point.
    Focus/Hit: Increase the chance to hit with spells/melee hits by 0.2% per point. (1 focus also increase hit by 1)
    Attack Power: Increases the damage of your melee attack.
    Spellpower: Increases the damage of your Spells, gives you 1.95parry per point and 0.3block per point.
    Parry: Increases your chance to parry an attack by 0.01618% per point resulting in 0 damage taken.
    Dodge: Increases your chance to dodge an attack by 0.02369% per point
    Block: Increase your chance to block an attack by 0.04854% per point and also effects the amount you block for.

    The caps
    Some stats have caps that effect how high the priority of each stats is.
    T1:
    Toughness: 50
    focus/hit: 70
    T2:
    Toughness: 100
    Focus/hit: 120
    Raids:
    Toughness: 150
    Focus/hit: 220
    General:
    Parry: 20% (1236 parry rating)
    Dodge: 20% (unconfirmed at 845 dodge rating)
    Block: No known cap atm
    Armor: No known cap atm

    The Priority
    Because of the parry cap Spellpower stats to lose it's priority relatively quickly and as a result.
    The stat priority assuming a raid environment (this means parry will always be capped because of the raid buffs)
    Toughness (until cap) > focus (until cap) > block rating > strength > Endurance > Spellpower > Wisdom > Dodge > Intelligence > Dexterity > Anything Else > Parry

    Toughness, focus and block are as a result the stats you should be looking for the most on gear.

    Tanking Builds
    The basis to tanking: 38 Justicar / 7 Shaman

    This is the spec that has all the mandatory talents though a few points can be switched around. All talents builds should have at least all these talents picked up (healer's greed can be switched to Doctrine of Bliss or Hammer of Virtue).
    The remaining 21talent points can be changed nearly everywhere to pick up the thing you want. Below are a few of the more common examples.

    51 point builds
    The most basic spec: 51 Justicar / 10 Shaman / 5 Sentinal
    This is one of the most basic tanking builds. It has all the points in justicar which gives you Doctrine of Authority. It has all the mandatory talents in shaman and a few more to pick up Courage of the Bear that will increase your block by a additional 40 if you don't have a archon in your party/raid. The 5% spellpower in Sentinel gives you a bit more block and parry (if not already capped) and will also increase your damage and healing (and of course threat as a result).

    Basic with inquisitor: 51 Justicar / 9 Shaman / 6 Inquisitor
    This one is nearly similar to the spec above however it has changed to 5% spellpower in sentinal for 5% spell crit and 50 endurance from Armor of Devotion. With this change you do lose courage of the bear but if you got someone else with a strength aura this is no problem as they don't stack (and you can still use courage of the Jaguar to keep 40 dodge). Also notice that because you lose 5% spellpower you will need more spellpower from gear to keep your parry capped.

    Actual tanking

    Now one of the first things you have to notice is that when using a lot of AoE heals to assist the healer your mana can go down fast. In this case getting the most out of your Purpose is very important.
    So here are a few tips:
    • Use it at a time that the need to heal is a lower priority or is unneeded if your healer is on TS having him use a cd works very well. This way you can maximize the efficiency of your Purpose.
    • Another thing which should be quit obvious is do not use your Sovereignty or Bolt of Radiance while active as they return no mana (Of course if it is really needed for a taunt use it).
    • Then a small warning Doctrine of Autority is a melee attack however it seems to be bugged and is not considerd a melee attack for Purpose and does not return mana so try to avoid using it.
    • Also try to use it at precisely the same time as a melee attack is this case it will also return mana from that attack and you should be able to get a total of 7 attacks out of your purpose for a 70% mana return.
    • Do not pop it the moment your at 50% mana or when it comes of cd but look at the above points and time in wisely.
    • Time it correctly after getting back from a knockback is the mobs/boss has one.

    Single target tanking.
    In the case of single target tanking it will mostly be boss encounters so I will assume it is one.

    The pull
    We lack a charge and as a result I will 90% of the time open with Sovereignty while running in immediately followed by Bolt of Radiance. After you should make about contact your the boss and immediately use Precept of Refuge.
    From here on it is just a keeping up your Precept of Refuge and your Censure. Try to avoid refreshing Censure early because even though the damage in the tooltip seems to have it only deal slight less damage then a Strike of Judgement it will deal about 20-30 less damage which is of course less threat (and less self healing). If you know there will not be any adds spawning in the fight use your Sovereignty and Bolt of radiance on cd as they deal more damage then a Strike of Judgement.

    Cooldowns
    Lets take a look at the defensive cd's and when to use them
    • Just Defense: Don't be afraid to use very often it only has a 1min cd and will be available pretty quickly again. I myself use it every time I see myself drop below 50% hp and it's off cd.
    • Reprieve: This one is a bit harder to time but using it at a moment your healer is incapacitated is the most logical option. Another option I regularly use it for is only to heal the target of my Righteous Mandate which is most of the time the healer but I might switch it mid fight if I see a person taking large amounts of damage for some reason.
    • Resplendent Embrace: This one is probably the hardest one to time correctly and with a cd of 2 min it's available less often then Just Defense so timing it is more important. One of the moment I myself use it is if there is a party wide aoe and everyone needs to be healed up again. Using it at such a time allows your healer to focus on his AoE heals and less on your because those AoE heals will heal you for 50% more. A more obvious one if of course when the boss does a enrage effect that can't be dispelled but there aren't that many bosses that have one.

    Multi-target tanking
    Now one of the biggest problems a cleric tank has is initial AoE threat. So I will explain how I do my aoe pulls. (all these pulls assume a spec without having a silence which makes these a lot easier)
    Group with some casters:
    Corner pull.
    Try to see if there is any way to do a corner pull even if this is a small walk from the trash pack. In case of a corner pull most mobs won't be coming in at the same time so use a even justice every time a mobs comes around the corner. Sometimes this means you have to wait half a gcd doing nothing because a new mob is still incoming. Only once all mobs have been picked up you will use your precept of refuge and start a normal AoE tanking rotation.
    One of the things you have to learn your group is that is you do a corner pull they stand together with you this way even if they get aggro in some way (bard seems to have a habit of this) they still go around the corner where you are waiting with your Even Justice.

    Non-corner pull
    If a corner pull is not possible things get a bit more tricky. For example lets look at a group with 2 ranged and 2 melee mobs which is a pretty common pull. In this case the way the group stand effect the way I do the pull. Most of the time they will be standing all 4 next to each other which will be my pull setup.
    So lets see. "R" will the the ranged mobs and "M" will be the melee mobs.

    The most important thing in all pulls is that you need to be hit/focus capped because missing the mob you will meet in the run in will mostly result in failing to pick it up correctly. (But even if you miss with the way I do the pulls you will always have your taunt available to pick it up)

    So the easiest pull is a M R R M pull.
    Just use Sovereignty on the left mob while running in toward the right mob. Pick up this mob using precept of Refuge and continue walking toward the 2 ranged mobs while using healing breath to heal the damage the melee mob did on contact. This part is pretty important as it generates healing threat on all 4 adds (if you have a purifier healer ask him to not pre bubble you as you will lose this threat). Once you arrive at the 2 ranged mobs (stun of Sovereignty will have worn out now) walk through them and turn around and use a even justice. At this point you should have threat on all 4 targets and you can use a the normal AoE tank rotation. However if your mages couldn't wait to start there aoe attacks until you arrived don't be afraid to use your AoE taunt to get aggro back. (You can change left and right depending on what is easier with the surrounding area)

    A little bit harder is a R M R M or M R M R pull
    In this case use your Sovereignty on the center melee mob and run straight in. When the outer melee mob reaches you use your Precept of Refuge on him while still running. Depending in the distance when your gcd is free again use your Healing Breath if your still at range from the ranged adds or a Even Justice if you are close. Again walk through them and quickly turn at which point you can start the normal AoE tank rotation.

    The hardest pull is the R M M R pull.
    Having the 2 ranged stand that far apart makes it very hard to keep aggro on both and the only good way to deal with this is having someone in your group with a silence.
    In case you have a silence in your group handel it as followed: Mark one of the ranged that needs to be silenced after the pull. Start the pull with a sovereignty on that ranged mob while running toward the second ranged mob. When you meet the 2 melee mobs use your even justice to get threat on both followed by a healing breath again. Now a small difference here is that you will want to turn around and walk backwards toward the second ranged mob. The marked ranged mob should now be out of it's stun and run toward you because of the silence. Keep using even justice until you arrive at the second ranged mob and use your precept of Refuge on it. After that you can start the normal AoE threat rotation.
    If you do not have a silence it is a little bit different Do the pull exactly the same as with a silence however the ranged mob will not walk toward you in this case. The only way to keep aggro on this ranged mob is to use your Bolt of Radiance and Sovereignty on it every time it is off cd. Using some extra self heals will also help to keep threat on it. However in this pull there is some serious chance of losing aggro so really check of there is really no corner pull possible which will make a a lot easier. (trash doesn't reset very fast so you can actually pull and run toward where a corner is available)

    Standard AoE rotation
    The standard aoe rotation isn't really hard but I see one thing a lot of people forget to do.
    After everything is togather you can basicly spam Even Justice while keeping Precept of Refuge up. If the dps isn't very high this is perfectly fine. However if you got some very high aoe dps players with you a small extra stap really needs to be added that for some people is very obvious and by some people is 100% forgotten. This extra step is called using your "Tab" button. Just use it after every Precept of Refuge and your aoe threat will be a lot better spread out.
    Another thing that can sometimes increase aoe threat is healing. This is only the case if the party takes damage during a aoe pack. Using Doctrine of Autority will cause a serious amount of healing threat if people have taken damage. The same if true for Dotrine of Loyalty however this one does less healing and no damage. But remember the threat from overhealing is very very low so only use it if people have actually taken damage.

    Cooldowns
    Just Defense: This is a good cooldown to use right after you picked up the entire pack. If your healer knows you will be using this right after the pull it will give your healer a chance to wait with healing reducing the chance of losing initial aggro (which actually shouldn't happen if you do the pull correctly).
    Reprieve: Just use this after you see your health drop low it actually isn't bad to use pretty quickly after the pull when you have low health as it will give you a large amount of threat when you do.
    Resplendent Embrace: Just as with single target probably the hardest to time right. But using it a bit after the pull works best. The biggest problem is that you use a gcd not building any threat which can end badly if used to early into the fight. But later in the fight damage income should have stabilized and it isn't necessary anymore.
    Last edited by Radak; 05-04-2011 at 05:40 AM. Reason: more specs

  2. #2
    Plane Touched tizleness's Avatar
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    sometimes when i pull and am at like 30% mana i just pop PURPOSE and spam EVEN JUSTICE it gets ur mana up quick and lots of agro!
    i LOVE this game!

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    Rift Chaser
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    since overheal isn't much threat...what abt just tossing dob on urself?..

    also for purpose, if the mob has a kb, it's usually good to cast the purpose after a kb right when u get back to the mob and hope u don't get kb'd again right away...hehe...sucks when u cast purpose and get kb'd right away...

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    Telaran Shiferbrains's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Excellent write-up.

    Can't say I've thought about tanking much, but I know who to talk with now if I do.
    Last edited by Shiferbrains; 03-18-2011 at 06:48 PM.
    The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is. -Winston Churchill

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    Soulwalker Sysko's Avatar
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    how do i gear a cleric tank though? To be honest I'm just starting to lvl one up atm since i hate warrior tanking. But I cant seem to fine anything worth while as a tanking gear.

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    Plane Walker
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    If you're just getting into tanking, become best friends with a armorsmith, they can set you up with some starting gear. Get a chest rune too. Once you get started into expert T1's, its just a matter of grinding plaques to buy gear off the vendor. Don't buy too much T1 gear, just enough to bring you to the T2 cap (100 toughness) and survive in there.

    Nice write up, solid build.

    About Resplendant Embrace though, I typically find myself getting the best use out of it early in a fight. Usually on nasty FUBAR AoE pulls, where I'm pretty sure we're gonna wipe, I usually pop it ASAP after an AoE taunt to buy myself some time. But on normal pulls or boss fights I seldom find myself using it, only if I'm below 50% or anticipating big hits and out of shield CD's. Its always hard to time these things absolutely right, you'll develop a instinct for it after a while though, which hopefully should be right most of the time.

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    Soulwalker Sysko's Avatar
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    I've been tanking since my days of EQ and i know how to tank. But my problem here is idk how to gear it. I know i have to go chainmail but, idk what stats to get or what type of 1h & shield to get. (Again idk how to gear because idk what stats to go for as a cleric)

  8. #8
    Plane Walker
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    Look at the PvE vendors in the PvP section of Meridian, or whatever the guardian equivalent is. You'll see what kind of stat layout the tanking gear has.

    In no particular order, I'm to tired for that, endurance, wisdom, block, parry, dodge, toughness, strength. Clerics can use some daggers or 1h maces, 1h maces are preferable, and cleric shields, which are inferior to warrior shields, but they're all we got.

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    Soulwalker Sysko's Avatar
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    Alright man tyvm for that I'll check it out

  10. #10
    Soulwalker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sysko View Post
    Alright man tyvm for that I'll check it out
    As far as while you're leveling, you can use the same gear you use for all the other specs. You don't start seeing gear with actual tanking stats for clerics until the very late 30s and into the 40s, at which point you can check out the vendor like was mentioned above.

  11. #11
    Rift Disciple KylarJ's Avatar
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    Great guide - bookmarked.

    However, I prefer these tanking specs:

    http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=00...Veezoo.Mcd.Vgk (a permanent 6% more armor)

    http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=00...Izoo..Eed000sh (a 6-man AOE swing)
    Quote Originally Posted by Imas
    I still don't get why everyone wants to buff (insert class you play) just because (insert class you wish you played) has a better spec or role for what you are wanting.

  12. #12
    Telaran
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    Hey Radak.
    Ive been tanking since IT normal, and i read ur guide and it seems alright. But theres 1 thing that concerns me.. Its that u use Bolt Of Radiance on CD. Its a taunt, and has DR . So if im not totally out there if ur target gets aggro from some1 else but u theres a big chance that hes immune to ur taunt
    There are no bad/broken classes, just bad/broken players, and Empathetic

  13. #13
    Rift Disciple
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    Bolt of Radiance does better damage than any of our melee strikes, which means it returns more health through Salvation and builds more threat. Sometimes it makes sense to hold it in reserve because it's also our ranged taunt, but if you feel you have things under control it's a good idea to go ahead and punch it. The solid damage it does just makes it more likely you won't lose threat in the first place.

    The armor buff from Purifier is kind of deceptive. It only modifies base armor (ie: before Mien of Leadership) so the benefit gained from it is really pretty trivial. You probably won't even get .5% extra physical mitigation from it. I'd rather put 6 points in Cabalist instead for +5% spellpower and +40 elemental resists, which will give you a lot more damage mitigation than the low-level Purifier talents.

    My tanking spec is: http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=00....iuRsVeeoRR.Vz

  14. #14
    Shadowlander
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    A question about Planar essence.
    Lesser is a nobrainer, wisdom and endurance as primary.

    On the greater I'm guessing 500health when block but im not sure about the second.

    endurance when hit
    the 500hot on healing spell ( does this proc from salvation?)

    Which one have you picked?

  15. #15
    Juz
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    The hot-on-heal-cast does proc from Salvation, and it procs fairly often. I find that I proc it on myself 1/trash pull on average. The fact that your aoe heals will occasionally leave a hot behind on the target is gravy.

    re: tanking pulls with multiple ranged mobs -

    First, be aware of the difference between caster mobs and physical ranged mobs (archers and sharpshooters and so on). Silence isn't going to work on the latter, so you need to actively bring the fight to them.

    Second, if the pull contains two ranged mobs far enough away from each other so as not to get hit by everyone's AoE, I've found it possible to just ranged tank the second caster mob. So in the aforementioned R M M R pull, just jump in on one of the corner guys and have your party fight them. Use Sovereignty, the occasional Bolt, and a healthy amount of Doctrine of Bliss to keep aggro on the far ranged guy. It is rare for the healer to pick up aggro over you as long as you're pretty attentive. When the other mobs are dead, everyone can kill the final caster mob at your leisure.

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