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Thread: Cleric Tanking in Storm Legion

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    RIFT Guide Writer TheGrinnz's Avatar
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    Default Cleric Tanking in Storm Legion

    As a Cleric, you use the Justicar soul to tank, which affords you supreme threat-building ability through ranged attacks and passive threat through healing. Justicar is also the only tank spec to have a battle rez, which happens to be the best battle rez in the game as it fully heals the target.

    Builds

    Standard Tank Build:
    http://rift.magelo.com/en/soultree#lgI/rkGGFlkll5h0/nA4

    Reasoning: 61 Justicar/6 Inquisitor/6 Shaman is the maximum HP and mitigation build. The remaining points are unimportant for mitigation so I put them in increased range (for picking up adds), spellpower (higher threat), and crit chance (applies to both damaging abilities and salvation healing).

    For tanking in groups while leveling, put as many points as you can into Justicar focusing on Endurance, Damage Reduction, and Block/Parry/Dodge talents, and put the spare points first into Shaman then Inquisitor as above. Justicar can be used to solo as well but with its low damage output it is very slow and often does not survive difficult enemies alone. I suggest a Druid or Defiler based build for that purpose.

    Advanced Tank Builds - not recommended:
    Purge: http://rift.magelo.com/en/soultree#ls/rkGGFlkll5h0/nAeE
    Cleanse: http://rift.magelo.com/en/soultree#ls/rkGGFlkll5h0/U8hE
    AoE Cleanse: http://rift.magelo.com/en/soultree#l...laaGyh0/pk8hm8
    Double Interrupt: http://rift.magelo.com/en/soultree#l...rnaGGlaaGyh0/n
    Double Interrupt (alternate): http://rift.magelo.com/en/soultree#l/rkGGFkEGGay/Dk42
    Triple Interrupt: http://rift.magelo.com/en/soultree#l/rnGGGlaaGyh0/DkF2g

    These builds are all designed for a specific utility at a loss of mitigation, so it is not recommended to use them unless you have the extra role slots to spare and an exact idea of what to use them for. Do not replace your standard tank spec. The remainder of the guide will be for the standard tank spec.

    Abilities

    Buffs:
    Mien of Leadership - Required to build enough threat for tanking, and provides a defensive bonus. Lasts through death.
    Courage of the Bear
    Armor of Treachery
    Vengeance of the Winter Storm
    Righteous Mandate - Place on a target so they receive extra Salvation heals as well as the 50% heal from your Reprieve cooldown. Use on another tank if there is one, or on your healer. Just having this active on any target will build additional healing threat from Salvation if they get damaged.

    Mien of Honor - Alternate Mien for when you are not tanking, reduces threat gain and slightly increases healing from Salvation/Doctrines. Miens share a cooldown so only switch to it when you will not be taking damage or tanking for at least 10(?) seconds. Can also be used to prevent pulling threat when not tanking. In most cases it is not worth using this buff at all.

    Single Target Spam:
    Code:
    #show Precept of Refuge
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Precept of Refuge
    cast Bolt of Radiance
    cast Reckoning
    cast Strike of Retribution
    Even Justice:
    Code:
    #show Even Justice
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Even Justice
    cast Strike of Retribution
    Note: You may put Precept of Refuge at the top of the Even Justice macro but only if you are aware it will use it first if there is an enemy in range. This will result in a loss of threat if you use it initially on a group!

    Battle Rez:
    Code:
    #show Absolution
    cast Absolution
    yell Battle Rezzing %t
    Defense (last resort self heal or break free):
    Code:
    #show Doctrine of Bliss
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Doctrine of Bliss
    cast Break Free
    Separate on bar:
    Hammer of Duty
    Hammer of Faith
    Censure
    Doctrine of Authority
    Doctrine of Loyalty
    Just Defense
    Resplendent Embrace
    Reprieve
    Doctrine of Glory
    Total Assurance
    Provoke
    Rebuke
    Righteous Imperative
    Intercede (damage intercept on ally)
    Interdict (interrupt - ranged AoE)
    Purpose (mana regen - toggle, blocks conviction gain)
    Sovereignty (stun)

    Tanking a Single Target

    The first thing to do when tanking a single target is to establish the initial aggro. There is always the possibility a DPS will simply out-threat you but you want to minimize that risk.

    To start, since you passively build convictions, throw a Hammer of Duty at the target as you run in. Then hit it with Bolt of Radiance followed by Reckoning until you are in melee range. Use Total Assurance followed by Doctrine of Authority and Hammer of Duty to boost those two abilities by 50%. By this time there is no way you will lose threat as long as you continue to hit the target with at least Reckoning and no taunts are used.

    If you need to establish threat faster before getting into melee range, start off with a Hammer of Duty followed by Total Assurance and another Hammer of Duty then Bolt of Radiance. The second hammer and Bolt of Radiance will be boosted by both Total Assurance and Light Makes Right.

    If you lose threat for whatever reason, it is time to use your force taunt, Provoke. This will set your threat to the highest on the enemy's threat table, which is usually its current target. It will also force the target to attack you for 3 seconds, giving you that much time to build up further threat, so you should be hitting the target during those 3 seconds. Note this is also what you use to tank swap in multi-tank raid encounters. If an enemy is force-taunted several times in a short period of time they become immune to taunts, so it is important to taunt only when you need to.

    Once threat is established, simply use the single-target macro and use a Hammer of Duty whenever you get to 7 convictions. Note that you get convictions both from blocking attacks and your off-GCD reactive ability, and critical hits give you an extra conviction. When Total Assurance is up, if you don't expect you will need it for Doctrine of Glory (it is rarely worth saving), use Total Assurance -> Doctrine of Authority -> Hammer of Duty for a large amount of healing and damage.

    New in 2.7, Censure is now a single-target DoT, and Light Makes Right now causes Hammers to give you a damage buff. So keep up Censure on the target once you have established threat, and make sure to only use hammers with a full 7 convictions for the maximum damage buff. Using a hammer with a lower number of convictions will overwrite your previous damage buff.

    Tanking a Group

    Establishing initial threat on a group can be tricky. While Justicars have exceptional ranged threat abilities, they do not have the melee AoE threat capability of some other tanks.

    The highest initial threat you can apply on a group at range is with Hammer of Faith followed by Censure and a Total Assurance-boosted Hammer of Faith, and Even Justice if you have moved into melee range. Hammer of Faith will now instantly hit up to 10 targets near your target, so it is very potent for initial threat on a group. Additionally, if Censure is applied to your target, Hammer of Faith will spread it to the other targets hit, which is very useful for maintaining AoE threat. However, the hammer requires convictions so you should get into melee range when possible to maintain threat with Even Justice. Be wary of using the Shaman charge to do so however, as it builds minimal threat and you will often find the enemies go right past you while you ready your next AoE.

    If you lose aggro from enemies you have Provoke as well as two AoE taunts (one ranged) to pull them back. As with a single target you then have 3 seconds to build further threat on those enemies.

    For general AoE threat, Even Justice is your primary tool. It is spammable and will hit enemies in every direction. Hammer of Faith should be used whenever you have 7 convictions, or with Total Assurance when it's up. Make sure Censure is applied to your target whenever you use Hammer of Faith so that it is spread to the other targets. Doctrine of Authority and Doctrine of Loyalty can be used to build healing threat in encounters where a large number of raid members are taking damage. Overhealing no longer builds threat, so you cannot rely on healing threat otherwise.

    You will heal passively with Salvation every time you attack for each enemy you hit. This adds to the threat generated by Even Justice when your allies are taking damage. With 10+ enemies nearby and enough friendly targets to heal, Salvation heals from spamming Even Justice can build significant threat even on enemies you aren't hitting.

    Survival

    So we have covered how to keep aggro on the enemies. To do this job, you must also stay alive. There are three primary factors to whether you are successful at this: your gear, the healer(s), and your cooldowns.

    Gear

    You should have gear appropriate to the enemies you are tanking. Pre-60 this means the gear with the highest Armor and Endurance that you can find. For experts and raids, this means gear of the level that gives you the appropriate hit and toughness.

    Experts - 320 Hit/300Toughness
    T1 Raids - 420 Hit/400 Toughness
    T2 Raids - 520 Hit/500 Toughness
    T3 Raids - 620 Hit/600 Toughness

    Hit can be obtained from Helmet, Gloves, One-hand, Shield, Wand, Neck, and Rings (8 pieces total). Toughness can be obtained from Shoulders, Chest, Legs, and Feet (4 pieces total).

    If you don't have sufficient toughness, then you will take extra damage from critical hits and you will die quickly. If you don't have sufficient hit, your abilities will be frequently resisted or avoided and you will not be able to hold threat. Note that going above the optimal hit or toughness for the tier you are tanking is pointless, except to prepare for the next tier; you don't gain any additional damage reduction or chance to hit.

    Generally if you have the tank-focused gear to meet the hit and toughness requirements then you are ready to tank. However there is some important gear which does not contribute to either stat, including Essences, Seal, Belt, Cape, and Trinket. You should fill these slots with the highest Endurance items you can acquire. Trinkets (other than certain PvP and random-drop trinkets) generally do not provide Endurance until they are upgraded with Expert marks.

    You only need as much Hit/Toughness as the tier dictates, and you will get a certain amount of Armor and Resistance from the tier of gear you are using. But you will commonly find items with different Endurance, Block, Parry, Dodge, Wisdom, and Intelligence.

    For tanking, Wisdom and Intelligence contribute both to your Block/Parry/Dodge as well as your Spellpower, increasing your threat. However against raid bosses, neither of these is important, because you will not have an issue holding threat on one boss, and nearly all raid mechanics are unblockable and unavoidable (by dodge/parry). This means Endurance is the most useful stat to focus on for raid tanking. However if you are planning to tank only large groups of blockable enemies, or if you are comparing gear upgrades with similar Endurance, the remaining stats have the following priority:

    Wisdom (1 Block+1 Parry+0.75 Spellpower)
    Block
    Intelligence (1 Dodge+0.25 Spellpower)
    Parry/Dodge
    Spellpower (this and other associated DPS stats will not generally be found on tanking gear)

    There are numerous resources to find the best tanking gear available, I recommend Magelo's Item Search. Select the item type in the "Slot" dropdown to narrow the search.

    Another important source of Endurance is runes. You can apply runes giving large amounts of endurance to your Chest, Gloves, Feet, Onehand, and Shield. You can also get runes from various reputations that will apply Endurance and usually Wisdom to Belt, Neck, Cape, Trinket, Rings, and Seal. There are new runes available for a large endurance boost on Shoulders and Legs, and Wisdom on your ranged weapon. Additionally you can purchase new reputation runes for endurance on your Helmet.

    The most useful consumables are Endurance Vials, Feasts or Dwarven Goulash, Armor Plating, and Renewing Seed, the last of which can also be obtained from PA with a cooldown of 30 minutes (but does not last through death).

    As a minor boost, you can additionally use the Planar Attunement weapon enhancements Wind Sigil for an extra 60 Wisdom, and Earthen Barbs for some free reflected damage on block, as well as Archaic Tablets and Petrified Runes for extra Wisdom and Intelligence (the last two are very optional and also obtainable through PA).

    The Healer

    If your healer is not keeping up with the damage you are taking, you are not going to survive. If you are taking large amount of smaller hits (such as a large group of enemies), they need to provide enough combined HPS and mitigation to counter how much damage you take over time. If they are undergeared, in an inefficient tank healing spec such as Warden, or not using the appropriate abilities, they could have a difficult time with this. If you take a large amount of damage in a short period of time they need to be able to react or be prepared with a cooldown, or you can use your own (more on those below).

    In an expert you may want to ask for a support healer so the healer can focus on you instead of healing the group. In a raid you can add an additional healer, but note that it's not usually useful to have more than one each of Chloro, Defiler and Purifier on a tank (but theoretically, infinite Sentinels are infinitely effective -- of course it is never necessary to stack Sentinels).

    Cooldowns

    This is your primary active method of survival. When you are taking heavy damage you should be using cooldowns to minimize the effects. They are most useful for bosses with burst damage mechanics or when you are tanking a few too many trash mobs.

    Just Defense (1m cooldown) - Often my default "oh crap" cooldown, as well as a preventative measure for burst damage. Shields for half your max HP for up to 10 seconds.

    Reprieve (1m cooldown) - Emergency full-heal, which also heals 50% of the amount on your Righteous Mandate target. If you have RM on a non-tank it will full-heal them as well. If both you and your Righteous Mandate target are at low health, this can generate a lot of threat, so be careful using it in multi-tank fights as you may pull the other tank's targets.

    Resplendent Embrace (2m cooldown) - Preventative cooldown. Increases your max HP by 20% and your healing received by 50% for 10 seconds. Also since it increases your max HP, it increases the amount of the shield from Just Defense or the heal from Reprieve. Primarily useful for surviving a large amount of damage while your healer(s) are still able to heal you.

    Doctrine of Glory (30s cooldown) - Uses all of your convictions to apply damage mitigation for 4 seconds. With 7 convictions it is 20% mitigation. Useful for specific high-damage mechanics in boss encounters such as Crucia's Lightning Breath. Should not be used with less than 7 convictions if possible. If you plan on needing it you should make sure not to spend your convictions on Hammers. Total Assurance can be used to get the convictions quickly, but will not grant any bonus mitigation.

    Summary

    In general as a tank, your role in an encounter is to keep threat and stay alive. As a Justicar you have the most versatile array of ranged threat abilities. It is possible to tank certain entire encounters at range. You also have a set of powerful defensive cooldowns to keep yourself alive.

    Do not use non-justicar abilities to build threat. Justicar abilities by default have a higher threat modifier, and additionally they generate higher salvation healing. Sanction Heretic no longer generates an extra conviction so it is not worth using for that either. The only useful non-justicar abilities are those in the specialized utility tank specs designed for them, and the charge from Shaman for mobility purposes. The Shaman charge also builds very little threat so care must be taken if you use it, and it's never a good idea to use it for an AoE pull.

    If you run low on mana toggle on Purpose. You will need to use non-spell weapon abilities, which include Strike of Judgment, Doctrine of Authority, and Even Justice. Note that Even Justice will regen mana even without hitting any targets. Make sure Purpose is toggled off when you don't need it, as you won't gain any convictions with it on.

    As a final note, tanks are usually expected to take a leadership role especially in random dungeon groups. You should read up on encounters before you face them, or try them as DPS or healing first. Also make sure to let the group know if you have not tanked a specific encounter or dungeon before, otherwise it is likely they will assume you have experience in it. It is often a good idea to start tanking with guildmates or friends who are willing to help. This simple preparation and communication can save much future aggravation. Good luck!
    Last edited by TheGrinnz; 05-13-2014 at 12:20 PM. Reason: update for 2.7 changes

  2. #2
    Plane Touched
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    Just wanted to say thanks. This helped me get my feet wet for tanking.

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    Plane Touched Cinnibar's Avatar
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    Minor gripe; Precept of Refuge doesn't count as a weapon attack for Purpose. So it doesn't restore any mana. It's annoying but true.
    Sunberry, cleric lead, Nicely Played, Faeblight; 2/4 GA; 1/4 HM; 1/3 IG; 1/5 PB

  4. #4
    RIFT Guide Writer TheGrinnz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cinnibar View Post
    Minor gripe; Precept of Refuge doesn't count as a weapon attack for Purpose. So it doesn't restore any mana. It's annoying but true.
    Wasn't sure about that one, thanks for the confirmation. If I remember correctly, Strike of Retribution counts though...
    Last edited by TheGrinnz; 09-25-2013 at 12:57 PM.

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    Plane Touched
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    What do you guys do with all your convictions? At times I have doctrine of glory up and no dmg to the raid, so what do I do then?

  6. #6
    RIFT Guide Writer TheGrinnz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deusveult View Post
    What do you guys do with all your convictions? At times I have doctrine of glory up and no dmg to the raid, so what do I do then?
    Hammers...

  7. #7
    Shadowlander
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    Hey Grinn

    Was just wondering if you have a threat monitor or something like it to keep an eye on others in a group?

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    RIFT Guide Writer TheGrinnz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timpest View Post
    Hey Grinn

    Was just wondering if you have a threat monitor or something like it to keep an eye on others in a group?
    There is no interface to see threat numbers in Rift, but with raid frames you can see if other people get aggro on an enemy as they get a red outline around their frame.

  9. #9
    Shadowlander
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    Thank you much

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    Soulwalker
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    Great guide. I just hit level 60, while being a tank most of the time - until I had to switch to Inq to learn dungeon mechanics, heh; you are right that people expect tank to be the leader. And that's cool.

    Wanted to ask you something else. Just wondering, bear with me.

    Are you sure that Inq/Shaman souls are the best option to go with 61 Justicar? I mean, 5% damage reduction is surely a must, but there is also 10% Wisdom increase as other possibilities, so just wanted to clear that. Thanks in advance.

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    RIFT Guide Writer TheGrinnz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sinriel View Post
    Great guide. I just hit level 60, while being a tank most of the time - until I had to switch to Inq to learn dungeon mechanics, heh; you are right that people expect tank to be the leader. And that's cool.

    Wanted to ask you something else. Just wondering, bear with me.

    Are you sure that Inq/Shaman souls are the best option to go with 61 Justicar? I mean, 5% damage reduction is surely a must, but there is also 10% Wisdom increase as other possibilities, so just wanted to clear that. Thanks in advance.
    This guide is primarily regarding raid tanking since that is the most demanding tank job. For dungeon trash groups block can be useful but most boss mechanics are not blockable or avoidable so wisdom is not useful in those situations.

  12. #12
    RIFT Guide Writer Lethaemis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sinriel View Post
    Great guide. I just hit level 60, while being a tank most of the time - until I had to switch to Inq to learn dungeon mechanics, heh; you are right that people expect tank to be the leader. And that's cool.

    Wanted to ask you something else. Just wondering, bear with me.

    Are you sure that Inq/Shaman souls are the best option to go with 61 Justicar? I mean, 5% damage reduction is surely a must, but there is also 10% Wisdom increase as other possibilities, so just wanted to clear that. Thanks in advance.
    The idea of going into Shaman and Inquisitor are for Courage of the Bear(5% more endurance) and Armor of Treachery(3%endurance and 3% armor). The 5% damage reduction is a nice bonus when getting Courage of the Bear.

    As TheGrinnz posted though, block/dodge/parry are generally useless due to the fact that the attacks you want to mitigate are typically unblockable/cannot be dodge/parried. Because of this fact, 10% wisdom will never beat out 5% DR and 5% Endurance from Shaman or getting 3%armor/endurance from Inquisitor.
    12/12 -- 15/15 -- 9/9
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    I read a post from about a year ago that said DoL had the highest threat generation for a Cleric, more than EJ and Censure. Is this still true, or is that reminiscent of the -icar days? Thanks.

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    RIFT Guide Writer Lethaemis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchanDelon View Post
    I read a post from about a year ago that said DoL had the highest threat generation for a Cleric, more than EJ and Censure. Is this still true, or is that reminiscent of the -icar days? Thanks.
    DoL is great for picking up adds, but it is not an IWIN button anymore. The fights I use DoL are Gelidra(picks up all the harpies), Prog(just to gather the group at the beginning since nobody should be hitting them), Matriarch(picks up the Childe, little adds should be taunted or smacked with a hammer), Eggtenders(just to initially gather the first few adds then it's just EJ and Censure), Proteus(I literally spam EJ/Censure and DoL). Other than that DoL gathers dust on my bar since Hammers are superior for keeping threat once you have them.

    You can DoL your head off, but until you actually hit something with damage, there is a chance for DPS to pull adds off of you.
    12/12 -- 15/15 -- 9/9
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    RIFT Guide Writer Burninalways's Avatar
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    removed as its now n/a
    Last edited by Burninalways; 05-10-2014 at 07:12 AM.
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