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Thread: An introduction to Magetank (61 Arbiter)

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    Ascendant Ianto Jones's Avatar
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    Default An introduction to Magetank (61 Arbiter)

    Disclaimer: This is a preliminary guide focused on a pure tanking role for level 60 players. Things are still somewhat in flux, so while you're encouraged to try hybrid and leveling builds (and give feedback!) I won't be going over those.

    1. Gear (Those who have played tank souls in other callings can probably skip ahead to 2.)

    First thing's first: to be a Mage tank, you need Mage tank gear. But what to choose? Take a look at the Arbiter soul gift: every point spent increases damage done by 0.5%, Armour by 2%, Resists by 2%, and Endurance by 1.5%. That tells you most of what you need to know, but let's go over the important stats for a tank.
    • Toughness: Toughness reduces the damage modifier on critical hits from NPCs. Think of every mob and boss having a hidden Crit Power value which increases with content tier. Getting to the Toughness cap for a dungeon or raid effectively reduces the Crit Power of all mobs in that dungeon to 0. You can find the Toughness cap for a tier by opening your character sheet stats page and hovering your mouse over "Toughness", like so.
    • Armour/Resists: As you'd expect, armour reduces the amount of physical damage you take and resists reduce the amount of elemental damage you take. Arbiter's talents, buffs, and soul gift all provide major bonuses to your armour and resists. An item's armour/resist value is determined by the tier of content to which is belongs.
    • Deflect: Like Riftstalker, Arbiter uses a stat called "Deflect", which is the equivalent of a Warrior's or Cleric's Block stat (except they use shields, we use MAGIC). Intelligence gives you Deflect at a 1:1 ratio, and it also comes on gear as a standalone stat. Deflect has two ratings: chance to Deflect, and amount Deflected. You can see these values by hovering over it on your character stat sheet, like so. Chance to Deflect soft caps at 45% (not including talents like Arcane Protection), which is fairly low, so Deflect isn't something you should fret about too much.
    • Endurance: You probably know what this does by now. Arbiter, like all tank souls, gets big bonuses to Endurance to give you that bona fide tank health bar. Endurance also increases the amount of threat you generate, and as we'll see later, your health pool ties directly into some of your other Arbiter abilities as well.
    • Hit: We all know about hit. It's even more important for tanks than it is for DPS, because taunts, interrupts, and all your highest-threat skills can miss! Never sacrifice Hit!

    The short version is this:

    Toughness/Hit > Armour > Endurance > Intelligence > Deflect

    Q: But Trunks! What about Dodge and Parry?
    A: Just wait. Getting there.

    2. The build(s?)

    Note: there are changes pending in the Stormcaller soul that will put 5% damage reduction at 5 points in High Voltage (tier 1), and that moves Icy Vortex to 16 point investment in Stormcaller.

    61 Arbiter / 11 Warlock / 4 Stormcaller - link NOTE: soul calculator is outdated.
    This is pretty straightforward. 4 points in High Voltage in Stormcaller, 5 Points in Magical Affinity and Vitality in Warlock, 1 point in Draining Bolt in Warlock.

    61 Arbiter / 10 Harbinger / 5 Stormcaller - link
    This is an avoidance build. You lose some HP and charge gain to get 20% Dodge out of Harbinger, which also affords you a little bit higher DPS (or runspeed, if that's how you roll). There's a major stigma against avoidance (that is, Dodge/Parry) tanking - and for good reason. Most of the time this build is a bad idea, because avoidance is RNG-dependent, causing incoming damage to be more spiky (and thus more dangerous). Generally it will only be of use when you are tanking many mobs that deal only physical damage and nothing else. This is more a warning that if you have this build and not the other, your friends will laugh at you.

    Other niche builds:
    • Purge: 61 Arbiter / 9 Warlock / 6 Necro - link
    • Reflective Command: 61 Arbiter / 8 Dominator / 7 Stormcaller - link
    • Self-cleansing: 61 Arbiter / 12 Archon / 3 Stormcaller - link
    • Flicker: 61 Arbiter / 11 Pyro / 4 Stormcaller - link
    • Natural Conversion: 61 Arbiter / 14 Chloromancer / 1 Stormcaller - link (Note: never use a Veil with a Chloro in the group, it's prevents you from receiving Veil heals from other players!)
    (No thanks to Primalthirst, who tried to blackmail me into not posting these secret specs. Nothing will stand between my good information and my loyal readers.)

    Q: Are you crazy?! What about Power Drain? 10% mitigation on demand!
    A: Unfortunately, that won't work with Arbiter. Let's talk about that.

    3. Arbiter Basics

    Arbiter is all about two things:
    1) Really long tooltips (seriously, it puts Chloro to shame)(My guide to concise writing is now available for just $5.95! Pay off my student debt!)
    2) Charge management (I know, you're thinking "Charge? What's that?")

    Your air-damage Arbiter abilities generate charge, and your water-damage Arbiter abilities consume charge. This facilitates the management of Arbiter's principal active mitigation buffs and shields:
    • Storm Front - this significantly increases your armour rating. Storm Front is applied when you use a Charge-generating ability while above 75 Charge, and lasts 30 seconds.
    • Arcane Shielding - this significantly reduces the spell damage you take. Arcane Shielding is applied when you use a Charge-consuming ability while below 25 Charge, and lasts 30 seconds.
    • Shielding Charge - this shields you from damage for an amount based on your maximum health. This is applied when you use an ability to bring you above 75 Charge, and lasts 10 seconds.
    • Frosted Shield - this shields you from damage for an amount based on your maximum health. This is applied when you use an ability to bring you below 25 Charge, and lasts 10 seconds.

    Q: Hey! What are these debuffs?
    A: Whenever Shielding Charge or Frosted Shield is applied to you, you also gain a debuff that blocks you from gaining the applied shield again for a set amount of time. Shielding Charge applies Recharging, and Frosted Shield applies Overheated. The base duration of these debuffs is 20 seconds, though we'll talk more about that in a moment.

    Q: What about the pet? I thought we had a pet. A glowy shieldy thingy or something?
    A: Nope! No pet. The Mage God, in his benevolence, was persuaded the world was not ready for a pet-tanking soul. Even a pseudo-pet that didn't really do anything but follow you around.

    4. Buffs and Abilities: What they do

    Alright, you've got the premise down I hope. Now the fun part: dragging the pretty icons onto your bars and hitting buttons.

    I. Buffs
    • Ebb and Flow - the tooltip is huge.. This reduces your GCD to 1 second. And remember the debuffs you get from your shields, Recharging and Overheated? Ebb and Flow causes your Charge-generating abilities apply a buff called Glaciate, which reduces the duration of the debuff from your next Frosted Shield (Overheated) by 1 second per stack; likewise your Charge-consuming abilities apply Supercharge, which reduces the duration of the debuff from your next Shielding Charge (Recharging) by 1 second per stack. They both stack up to 20 times. It sounds complicated, but it's not.
    • Arcane Ward - this is your "tanking stance", like Riftstalker's Guardian Phase or Justicar's Mien of Honour. It reduces the GCD of Arbiter abilities to 1 second. It gives you bonuses to your threat, mitigation stats, and Endurance, while reducing your damage and healing. This buff must be active to enable Deflect. Also be aware that you cannot gain Charge from Verse of Joy / Resuscitating Chant while this buff is active.
    • Aqueous Blessing - reduces the damage you take by 3%.
    • Energized Vitality - personal Endurance buff.
    • Frosted Ward - THIS IS YOUR NON-TANKING BUFF. It REDUCES your threat and increases damage (the exact properties of the buff are still in flux), and is mutually exclusive with Arcane Ward.

    II. Particularly nifty abilities
    • Avalanche - this is your charge/gap-closing ability. It instantly applies your Storm Front and Arcane Shielding buffs. Because of its short cooldown, that means that this skill on its own can keep those buffs up indefinitely, but note that it does NOT apply Frosted Shield or Shielding Charge.
    • Swirling Winds - instantly gives you full Charge and increases the damage of your Charge-consuming abilities by 20% for 10s. 60s CD.

    III. Threat generation

    a. Taunts and things
    • Misdirection - This is Arbiter's unique and totally awesome threat intercept skill. You cast it on a player in your raid and for 10 seconds it intercepts all threat generated (and 10% of damage taken) by every player in that player's group. Make sure you're aware of what's going on around you when you use it. For example, using this skill on a group of healers when nobody is taking damage (and thus they are not healing) won't do you much good. Alas, every raid is plagued by at least one chronically trigger-happy DPSer. You have the power.
    • Arcane Projection - this is more or less a weaker, single-target version of the above, with half the cooldown.
    • Biting Wind - Your single-target force taunt.
    • Frozen Volition - Your AOE force taunt.

    b. Single-target attacks
    • Galvanic Strike (BUILDER [+21], melee) - every class needs a spam button, and this is Arbiter's.
    • Counter Shock (BUILDER [+12], reactive, melee) - an oGCD skill used after a successful Deflect.
    • Glacial Spike (CONSUMER [-15], 30m range) - this is a hard-hitting damage ability, and a major component of Arbiter's ranged threat capabilities.
    • Icy Fury (CONSUMER [-15], 30m range) - this is a ranged threat ability that reduces the cooldown on your Glacial Spike by 5 seconds every time you use it.
    • Vortex (BUILDER [+21], melee) - this ability is AWESOME. It's a builder that resets and removes the cooldown on Glacial Spike and Jolting Wave (see below) for 5 seconds, on a 20 second cooldown. Very useful for when mobs are spawning and you need to generate a lot of threat from range very quickly.
    • Scatter Strike (CONSUMER [-15], 30m range) - this is a ranged consumer that hits a little harder than Icy Fury and applies a small damage absorb shield to up to 5 allies around the enemy for 10 seconds, on a 20 second cooldown. Good for those moments when the healer is forced to bust themselves out of a cocoon or something.
    • Thunder Shock (BUILDER [+12], 30m range) - wait, what? Yes, if you absolutely need to build charge but must stay at range, Thunder Shock will be your reluctant friend. (This is a Stormcaller ability, remember that soul?)

    c. AOE attacks
    • Shattered Reflection (BUILDER [+21], 360 AOE) - your harder-hitting AOE builder, this is a 360 AOE around your character on up to 10 enemies, and applies a small partial-absorb damage shield to you for each enemy it hits for 8 seconds.
    • Jolting Wave (BUILDER [+21], 360 AOE) - this has a shorter cooldown than Shattered Reflection, and more or less does the same thing, just without the nifty shield thingy. This has a 4 second cooldown, but remember that using Vortex allows you to reset and remove Jolting Wave's cooldown for 5 seconds.
    • Icy Blast (CONSUMER [-15], 20m range, 360 AOE around target) - this is your ranged AOE ability, which naturally does not hit as hard as the above two. It has no cooldown... until you run out of Charge. Also note that while your single-target ranged abilities are 30 meters, Icy Blast is 20.

    IV. Cooldowns
    • Crystalline Shield - this can be used on yourself, or another player in the raid: if the targeted person receives a killing blow within 30s, they are shielded for 15s for an amount equal to 50% of their HP. It's amazing.
    • Shared Agony - this buffs an ally, giving them your Toughness rating and intercepting 50% of the damage they take for 6 seconds. They cannot receive this or any other tank intercept for 2 minutes thereafter.
    • Shield Surge - Reduces the damage you take for 20 seconds and removes Recharging and Overheated (thus allowing re-application of either of your shields).
    • Shield of the North Wind - gives you a full absorb shield for a value equal to 100% of your maximum health.
    • Mana Aegis - Absorbs 30% of the damage taken. 15% of the damage taken is deducted from your mana pool. Lasts 6 seconds.

    V. Utility
    • Freezing Gust - your interrupt, 8s CD.
    • Choking Flood - single-target pull with CC and 3s force taunt. 20m range, 45s CD.
    • Icy Command - pulls 5 enemies near the target to you with 3s force taunt. 20m range, 60s CD.
    • Soothing Waters - consumes all your Charge (this will instantly apply Arcane Shielding and Frosted Shield in case you derp and let them fall off), restoring a fixed amount of health per 20 Charge consumed.
    • Crystallize - melee attacks return mana, but blocks Charge gain (toggled).

    5. Pressing your buttons and mashing your macros

    No guide is complete without macros, right? My personal preference is to use as few macros as possible because I am a control freak with rather large hands that prefers precision over simplicity. Arbiter is also one of those souls that simply isn't conducive to macro'ing a ton of things together because of the back-and-forth Charge mechanic, the specific uses many abilities have, as well as cooldowns. But you're Mages, so you like the challenge! You might want to macro things a bit more, and I promise that if you don't tell me about it, I won't judge you. Here are a couple you might find useful:

    ST Builder spam:
    Spoiler!


    ST Consumer spam:
    Spoiler!


    I also use cast @mouseoverui macros for Arcane Projection, Misdirection, Shared Agony, and Crystalline Shield (you can also make a cast @self Crystalline Shield one).

    If you've read everything up to this point you should have the general ideal of what you're supposed to do. Whether you're managing AOE or ST threat, in melee or at range, you want to use builder abilities until you apply Shielding Charge at 75 Charge, then switch to consumers until you drop below 25 Charge and apply Frosted Shield. Your shields are a major part of your mitigation and are what make Arbiter really shine as a tank, so there's incentive to make intelligent use of your abilities. And remember, at no point should you let Arcane Shielding or Storm Front fall off. Oh, here, I'll help with that.

    6. Trunks caves in and makes spec-specific karuul alerts for the first time

    This is my Arbiter kalert set. It includes Arcane Shielding, Storm Front, Frosted Shield, and Shielding Charge.
    Spoiler!



    Okay that's it. Remember to give the devs your feedback. Go forth and make your dreams come true.

    tl;dr version
    Last edited by Ianto Jones; 08-01-2014 at 11:38 AM.

  2. #2
    Ascendant Primalthirst's Avatar
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    How dare you discredit my good name you dastardly rogue!

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    Nope.

  3. #3
    Plane Touched carbondioxide's Avatar
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    Am I counting all that right 5 taunts?!
    <Infitialis> Raid Leader - Rogue - Carbondioxide@Deepwood - P90

    #PVPJAZZHANDS

  4. #4
    RIFT Fan Site Operator Seatin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carbondioxide View Post
    Am I counting all that right 5 taunts?!
    4 Taunts and 2 Misdirects.

    Buff Mages!

    Awesome Guide btw Ianto, I'll definitely be linking this around.
    #1 Hardcore Casual - Seatin - RIFT Livestreamer/YouTuber. Check out: www.twitch.tv/seatinmanoflegends and www.youtube.com/seatinmanoflegends

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    Rift Disciple superhbman's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if I'm missing it but, does the Arbiter not have a mage armour? I thought that Ebb and Flow is the Arbiter's mage armour, but it's not in the tooltip. Does this mean that the 10 Warlock variant will use Dark Armour?
    Shinryujin | Tsuyuko | Chieri | Kimiyomi

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    Rift Chaser VolsalexR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superhbman View Post
    I'm not sure if I'm missing it but, does the Arbiter not have a mage armour? I thought that Ebb and Flow is the Arbiter's mage armour, but it's not in the tooltip. Does this mean that the 10 Warlock variant will use Dark Armour?
    Old version of Aqueous Blesiing was considered Mage's Armor, is the new one too? (question to the OP/anyone who tested Arb)

    P.S Dream about 38/38 Arb/Harb shattered into million pieces with this system of building/consuming Charge... Now Arb/SC or 61 Arb only I suppose...
    Last edited by VolsalexR; 03-17-2014 at 07:15 AM.

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    Ascendant Sedvick's Avatar
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    Correct, Arb doesn't have it's own Mage Armor.

  8. #8
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    That's a very nice writeup to get those of us that want to play with it on PTS started! Thank you.

    Also as a side note, does anyone know if they are introducing new mage tank ring RECIPES with the new mage tank gear?
    Last edited by Hasmonean; 03-17-2014 at 08:29 AM.

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    Nice guide!

    Will try it out on the PTS soon. Those charge mechanics sound rather clunky... but if they last 30 seconds, I guess it's not a huge problem.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by superhbman View Post
    I'm not sure if I'm missing it but, does the Arbiter not have a mage armour? I thought that Ebb and Flow is the Arbiter's mage armour, but it's not in the tooltip. Does this mean that the 10 Warlock variant will use Dark Armour?
    I didn't notice anything like a Blade buff a la Harbinger. Would be weird whacking a boss with a staff!

  11. #11
    Ascendant radiomaryja's Avatar
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    2h staff is a very powerful defensive weapon in martial arts - perfect fit for tanking imo.

  12. #12
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    Don't 100% discount avoidance builds, especially with 3.0 around the corner and the gear reset. This means it's back to dungeon grinding for new gear. Something like 15harb / 0 archon can provide pretty serious avoidance and is only about 2k hps behind lock, and the 5% mitigation from SC, for a massive 20% dodge and 10% parry increase.

    Raids are all about having enough eHPs to live through the bosses massive attack, or hits are coming slow enough that RNG spikes don't have a chance to balance out, although experts typically don't have those single massive blows, instead you typically have packs of adds to clear which gives enough mob swings for an avoidance build to balance out the RNG, and the 20% / 10% avoidance spec will be significantly easier to heal through during an expert due to the fact the 5% mitigation is fairly low, while the 30% total avoidance is massive.
    Last edited by vexare; 03-17-2014 at 01:35 PM.

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    RIFT Guide Writer Lethaemis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vexare View Post
    Don't 100% discount avoidance builds, especially with 3.0 around the corner and the gear reset. This means it's back to dungeon grinding for new gear. Something like 15harb / 0 archon can provide pretty serious avoidance and is only about 2k hps behind lock, and the 5% mitigation from SC, for a massive 20% dodge and 10% parry increase.

    Raids are all about having enough eHPs to live through the bosses massive attack, or hits are coming slow enough that RNG spikes don't have a chance to balance out, although experts typically don't have those single massive blows, instead you typically have packs of adds to clear which gives enough mob swings for an avoidance build to balance out the RNG, and the 20% / 10% avoidance spec will be significantly easier to heal through during an expert due to the fact the 5% mitigation is fairly low, while the 30% total avoidance is massive.
    I believe there is a plan in to works to rework harb which will get rid of those avoidance specs.
    12/12 -- 15/15 -- 9/9
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  14. #14
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    nice guide trunks

    I really love what kervik has done with charge management in this soul
    but.. some of those tooltips OMG reminds me of when tooltips had actual information and numbers and stuff in them
    Quote Originally Posted by Frailaq View Post

    tl;dr - Trion should do this: Melee = Turret Ranged > Mobile Ranged

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    RIFT Guide Writer Muspel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ianto Jones View Post
    Natural Conversion: 61 Arbiter / 14 Chloromancer / 1 Stormcaller - link
    It's worth noting that if you use this spec and there's a mage healer, you should not use a veil. Most experienced players know that having a veil up prevents other mages from healing you with their veils, but new players probably won't know because it's not mentioned on the tooltip.
    Last edited by Muspel; 03-17-2014 at 10:02 PM.

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