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Thread: Ciderhelm's Guide to Warrior Tanking w/ Builds, Macros, & Recommended Progression

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    Thumbs up Ciderhelm's Guide to Warrior Tanking w/ Builds, Macros, & Recommended Progression

    Original Guide: Complete Warrior Tanking Guide
    My website: Ciderhelm.com (Endgame PVE, Tanking, & Warriors)


    This guide is copied from my website. Due to formatting and post size restrictions on these forums, I strongly recommend you read this guide from my website: It looks better, can contain more information, and will always be updated first. However, I am providing it as fully as possible for members of the community who prefer to read it from these forums.

    If you're looking for a class overview, I recommend checking out my Complete Warrior Tanking Guide. This covers all of the tanking souls. You can also watch a narrated version of it on YouTube.

    If you're leveling, this guide isn't for you. Check out my tank leveling guide.



    CTRL+F is highly recommended! This is a very long guide, and using your browser's search function will help you.



    Directory
    Warrior Tanking Information
    0.1.1 Important Links
    0.1.2 Damage Reduction
    0.1.3 Threat & Hit
    0.1.4 Warrior Ability Notes
    0.1.5 Understanding & Using Macros

    Recommended Progression
    0.2.1 Expert Dungeons & Expert/Raid Rifts
    0.2.2 Gilded Prophecy
    0.2.3 Greenscale's Blight
    0.2.4 River of Souls

    Pure Damage Reduction Builds
    1.1 Maximum Damage Reduction (51 Void Knight)
    1.2 Maximum Passive Magic Damage Reduction (Reaver Hybrid)
    1.3 Maximum Average Physical Damage Reduction (Deep Paladin)

    General Tanking Builds
    2.1 Warlord Tank/Support
    2.2 Greenscale Plant Handling
    2.3 & 2.4 Solo AOE Grinding Builds (*NEW* My site only due to length. Click Here)



    Warrior Tanking Information
    Warriors are the most versatile of the tanking classes, with four separate souls that each have strengths and weaknesses and can be built to suit any situation you find yourself in. Though other classes are also capable of tanking, Warriors are a solid choice if your goal is main tanking throughout the game.

    To be the most effective tank, I recommend you follow some simple guidelines:

    -Be willing to invest multiple different souls into tanking -- don't try to use a one-build-fits-all approach;
    -Always build resist Sigils. These aren't expensive: Check the Auction House periodically for high level green lesser essences with 10+ resist on them. If you're going to be main tanking in raids, invest in high-resist essences;
    -Don't lock yourself to a specific build because you like the feel of it. I see this frequently among players who invest most of their points in Paladin or Reaver without realizing how much they're giving up in other trees;
    -Do what benefits the party or raid the most -- this isn't always pure damage reduction! Your Warlord Support tree should get lots of action, and there are very specialized builds you'll want to use for encounters like Greenscale;
    -Use macros. No matter how good of a player you are, automating some processes will improve your performance. Along these lines, learn to use your mouse for turning and your keyboard for using most abilities.
    -Don't trust the combat log and don't trust displayed stats on Sigils or in the character sheet. The combat log is notoriously bad at determining actual Block reduction, Sigils will sometimes show more Resist than they actually contribute, and you'll show 1 Hit when you have 0. There are probably other issues that we don't know about.
    -Read my site. I don't usually troll, and you can trust I can back up what I'm saying.

    Do these things, and you're going to be a better tank.



    0.1.1 Important Links

    Here's a collection of links that I regularly use, or that I've written. If you're viewing this guide from the official Rift forums, I strongly encourage you to check out my blog site where I keep all these guides maintained:

    http://www.ciderhelm.com/



    General

    My YouTube Channel (Encounter, Tanking, Warrior Guides):

    http://www.youtube.com/ciderhelm



    My Dungeon & Raid Guides:

    http://ciderhelm.com/?page_id=16



    Using Advanced Combat Tracker in Rift:

    http://bluedots.org/2011/05/06/using...acker-in-rift/



    Eventide Guild forums:

    http://www.eventideguild.com/home



    Unstable Rift Dungeon/Raid Guides (Isomalt):

    http://unstablerift.com/?q=forum/33



    Warrior & Tanking

    Rift Warrior Forums:

    http://forums.riftgame.com/forumdisp...ior-Discussion



    Warrior Tank Leveling Guide:

    http://ciderhelm.com/?p=359



    Tanking Calculator:

    http://ciderhelm.com/?page_id=183



    When 1% Block is better than 1% Dodge or 1% Parry:

    http://ciderhelm.com/?p=631



    Damage Reduction Comparison between Specs:

    http://ciderhelm.com/?p=554





    0.1.2 Damage Reduction

    Combat Roll System

    Rift uses a multi-roll combat table, not a single-roll combat table. This prioritized Avoidance first, then Block. This means that all Dodged hits, for example, are accounted for, and then your chance to Block is factored against the remaining hits.

    Practically speaking, this means that if you have a 50% Chance to Dodge and a 50% Chance to Block, you will only Block 25% of the total times an enemy swings at you. This is because your Block chance only applies to swings that were not already Dodged. This is notably dissimilar from World of Warcraft, where a 50% Chance to Dodge and a 50% Chance to Block meant you would only Dodge or Block incoming attacks, and no full-damage swings would land.



    Damage Reduction Scaling

    Most damage reduction buffs appear to stack additively with each other. In other words, if you have 10% damage reduction from one buff and 5% from another buff, you will have 15% damage reduction.

    However, other forms of damage reduction, such as Armor and Resistance, are multiplicative, meaning they do not stack on top of each other. In other words, 50% damage reduction from buffs does not stick with 50% damage reduction from Armor to equal 100% damage reduction. Instead, you would have 75% damage reduction.

    When determining total damage reduction, it is helpful to use the following equation:

    ( 1 - Buff Damage Reduction ) * ( 1 - Stat Damage Reduction ) = Damage Taken

    For example, let's say we have 15% damage reduction from Power From the Masses and Imbued Armor, in addition to 10% damage reduction from resists. For damage reduction, we would do:

    (1 - 0.15 ) * ( 1 - 0.10 ) = 0.765

    This tells us that, on a magic attack with each of these damage reductions, we will take 76.5% damage.

    This has a much more extreme effect at high percentages.



    Passive Damage Reduction

    When I refer to passive damage reduction, I am referring to damage reduction that can be guaranteed on every single attack. Examples of passive damage reduction are Armor, which is applied to every physical attack that lands, and Resistance, which is applied to all magic damage from most spells.

    Passive damage reduction is used in combination with our Health to determine Effective Health, or our raw survivability in the worst case scenarios. As a general rule, passive damage reduction is the most important thing to keep in mind on nearly every raid encounter, and should rarely be sacrificed for Avoidance or other chance-based damage reduction.



    Effective Health

    Effective Health is determined by taking your health and dividing it by your guaranteed passive damage reduction with this formula:

    Effective Health = Health / (1 - damage reduction)

    As an example, if you have 10,000 health and 75% damage reduction, you would do:

    10,000 / ( 1 - 0.75) = 40,000 Effective Health

    Effective Health is the raw damage you can take from an enemy, without heals, and be guaranteed to survive. Effective Health can never include chance-based damage reduction like Avoidance or Block unless they are guaranteed to occur on every single attack, without fail.

    Keep in mind that raw damage does not refer to the damage you see. If you take 5,000 damage from an attack but have 75% damage reduction from Armor and other passive damage reduction, the raw damage was actually 20,000 for that attack, and your Effective Health would need to be 20,000 to survive the attack.

    Effective Health is the best and easiest metric to determine both how well Armor and Resist are scaling with your current gear, and when you should consider Endurance instead of Armor or Resistance for certain gear upgrades. It is important to prioritize Effective Health in most raid encounters.



    Average Damage Reduction

    This refers to your damage reduction when we factor in non-guaranteed sources such as Avoidance and Block. This can be helpful in specific situations, such as trash tanking and dungeon runs. As Block reaches high raid levels, Average Damage Reduction increases from Block can become significantly more useful even in progression environments (until Block reaches 100%, at which point it is considered Passive as it will always be applied on every attack that would otherwise deal full damage).

    In situations where damage reduction really matters, this is usually the least helpful statistic to look at because it's never guaranteed to be true in the time-frame that it matters. Or another way of putting it: The time-frame that it mattered to you is usually the place where you died because the average didn't hold true.



    Armor

    Armor represents the damage we will reduce on every single incoming physical attack that is not Avoided.

    To determine the damage reduction you receive from Armor, use this formula (courtesy Fasc):

    Damage Reduction = (Armor) / (Armor + 120 * Level + 500)

    Armor multipliers are not compounding, as they always calculate off your base unbuffed, untalented Armor. This makes it very easy to calculate. If you have Ravenous Defense (50% Armor), you will have a 1.5x multiplier on your Armor. If you have Defender (10% Armor) as well, you will have a 1.6x multiplier. And if you have Powerful Coutenance (10% Armor) in addition to the other two, you will have a 1.7x multiplier.

    Armor bonuses such as Shield of the Chosen, Empowering Strike, and Crest of the Abyss are applied separately and are not included in the multiplier.



    Avoidance

    Avoidance is your chance to completely remove all incoming damage, as well as negative effects associated with an attack. Dodge, Parry, and Chance to be Missed are forms of Avoidance. Here are the conversions (courtesy Radak):

    Dodge is acquired at 0.02369% per 1 Rating.
    Parry is acquired at 0.01618% per 1 Rating.

    In Rift's combat system, avoidance is the first thing that is determined. In other words, a swing can be Dodged before it ever has a chance to be Blocked.

    Dodge and Parry each have hard caps of 20%, though Warriors are unlikely to reach either of these in the gearing process.

    You can Dodge attacks and be Missed by attacks when facing away from an enemy attacking you. You cannot Parry attacks from behind.

    You can Dodge, Parry, and be Missed by Ranged attacks. You can also Dodge, Parry, and be Missed by attacks while mounted.



    Block

    Block is mitigation that has a chance to occur. Block is generally the strongest form of damage reduction for a Warrior because it can be acquired most easily, has the best conversion from rating into percentage, and at high levels is far more likely to keep you alive than Dodge or Parry. Here's the conversion (courtesy Radak):

    Block is acquired at 0.04854% per 1 Rating.

    Your Block Chance is determined by this formula (courtesy Radak):

    Block chance = Block rating x 0,04854

    Your Damage Reduction from Block is determined by this formula (courtesy Radak):

    Block amount = Block rating / (Block rating + 721)

    There is no cap on how high of a Block Chance you can get, nor is there a known cap on damage reduction.

    Unyielding Defense (20% reduced damage on Blocked hits, Paladin) multiplies with your damage reduction from Block. In other words, if you have 50% Damage Reduction from Block, you will have 60% with Unyielding Defense, not 70%.

    As an interesting side effect of Rift's combat roll system, it is possible for 1% Block to supercede the damage reduction of either 1% Dodge or 1% Parry. (source)

    You can Block ranged attacks and can Block while mounted. You cannot Block attacks from behind.



    Resistance

    Resistance is both a passive damage reduction and a chance to completely resist certain spells. The formula for passive magic damage reduction received (courtesy Radak):

    Magic reduction = resistance / ( resistance + 600 )

    Some spells cannot be fully resisted. Additionally, some spells on encounters such as Plutonus the Immortal deal a set percentage of health as damage, and their damage is not reduced by Resistance or other forms of magic damage reduction.

    Resistance generally comes from Sigils and chest/shoulder enchants, though certain world events and questlines also award limited resist in other slots. Tanks are strongly recommended to research the encounters they're doing and prepare for them by acquiring Resistance.



    Toughness

    Toughness is a simple damage reduction stat intended to make sure tanks are at approximately the right gear level for new content.

    As the tooltip indicates, Toughness will reduce the amount of damage you take from a critical strike, but only down to the point where the critical strike hits as hard as a normal attack (i.e. 100% damage).

    Critical strikes from enemies have increasingly higher multipliers in higher tiers of content. For instance, a Tier 1 Expert dungeon will have enemies that deal 200% Damage when they crit. Tier 2 Expert Dungeons have 300%, though. Raid Tier 1 has 400% and Raid Tier 2 has 500%. Your goal is to reach the Toughness necessary to bring this number back down to 100:

    -50 Toughness for Tier 1 Experts
    -100 Toughness for Tier 2 Experts
    -150 Toughness for Raid Tier 1
    -200 Toughness for Raid Tier 2

    Toughness is acquired in equal proportions on shoulder, chest, leg, and foot pieces, and enough can always be acquired from the previous tier of content. Toughness can also be acquired as a chest enchant and a special essence purchased with Crystal Sourcestones, though the purchased essence is strongly recommended against as you'll want to keep those on hand for Resistance essences.

    Having maximum Toughness is not necessary to successfully complete content in a new tier, but is strongly recommended when possible.
    Last edited by Sodahelm; 07-08-2011 at 09:30 PM.

  2. #2
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    0.1.3 Threat & Hit

    Threat is a hidden stat that is used to determine who an NPC is targeting and attacking in normal circumstances. Though we occasionally use the words Threat and Aggro interchangeably, Aggro specifically means who the enemy is currently attacking. In other words, you would say that someone is generating Threat in order to get Aggro on a target.



    Threat & Damage

    1 Damage = 1 Threat. In the absence of talents or other special situations, the amount of Damage you've dealt is the amount of Threat you've generated on the target.

    Being attacked does not generate any Threat. Avoiding or blocking attacks (provided you aren't doing any reactive abilities) does not generate any Threat. Threat does not appear to decay over time.

    Overhealing does not generate Threat, but I haven't had a chance to get exact healing numbers.



    The 130% Rule

    Melee and ranged players will pull aggro once they've generated 130% Threat of the player who currently has aggro.

    Special Note: Players who are above the melee Threat threshold but have not pulled aggro can safely move into melee range without pulling aggro, so long as they do not use any active abilities or attacks. In other words, if you're pulling extremely high damage/threat at a range and need to run through a boss, you'll be fine so long as you don't do anything until you're back at a range. (As of 1.3, the melee and ranged Threat threshold are identical; this note is in here as reference if this changes in the future)



    +Threat / +Damage Abilities

    I tested abilities without any talents, then began testing them with +Threat and +Damage talents. They all appear to work as intended. Since it looks clear that abilities are scaling in Threat almost entirely off damage dealt, it's worth noting that Small Arms Specialization is essentially a 10% Threat talent. This held true in the data.



    Threat Multipliers by Ability

    In my most recent testing, the following formulas held true:

    -Nearly all damaging abilities in tank builds have a 5x multiplier of damage, meaning that dealing 200 damage with these abilities will generate 1,000 Threat. This is true of all builder abilities (Empowering, Pacifying Strike...), finisher abilities (Righteous Blow, Devouring Blow...), and at least some special attacks like Retaliation. Not all abilities have been tested to date;

    -Spotter's Order, Call to Entrench, Call to Battle, and Call to Regroup generate a 6x multiplier of your buffed Endurance, meaning if you have 500 Endurance you will generate 3,000 Threat. This is true whether spending 1 combo points or 3 combo points. This is not increased with Aggressive Guardian (20% Threat from Paladin);

    -Reaver DOTs have unique scaling which has not yet been completely determined. Per global cooldown, they appear to generate more Threat when allowed to tick over their full duration than will be gained immediately from using a builder ability like Pacifying Strike.

    As a rule, the words "Generates additional threat" in a tooltip should not be considered accurate for an ability. Throughout testing, we frequently found that abilities that weren't listed as generating additional Threat did, and abilities that did list it often didn't. At this point, all tanking abilities tested have a standard Threat multiplier, including abilities like Empowering Strike which don't list it.



    Taunts

    Taunts have three components: A fixate mechanic, a small amount of base Threat, and a Threat increase to match the player who currently has the highest Threat against the target.

    The fixate is a debuff placed on the target, forcing them to target and attack you for a short duration.

    Taunts appear to have a small amount of Threat associated with them. Sergeant's Order appeared to consistently generate about 31 Threat on mid-30's enemy, Grim Lure generated a little over 100 on a level 50 enemy. Not all Taunts were tested, and though these are small numbers, they may help smooth out a pull.



    Taunts also have a Threat increase. When a player Taunts an enemy, the game increases the Threat the player has against that enemy to match the Threat of the player who currently has the highest Threat against that enemy. This is not related to the person who currently has aggro.

    Keeping in mind the 110/130 rule, a ranged player can potentially have 29% more Threat than the player who currently has aggro on that enemy. If a tank taunts, they will take the Threat of the ranged player.

    For this reason, it may be situationally useful to Taunt an enemy you are currently tanking (particularly with Shield Throw, since it generates a combo point and won't break a standard rotation by wasting a global cooldown).



    Taunts are subject to diminishing returns, and can only be used three times before an enemy becomes immune to future Taunts for 20 seconds from previous Taunts.



    Hit

    Hit removes Dodge, Parry, and Miss from attacks you make against your target. Though Hit is not absolutely necessary, it is strongly recommended that you maximize your Hit for the content you're doing. This is because missing key attacks can significantly reduce your Threat output and potentially your survivability. Currently, you'll want:

    -71 Hit or 14.2% Hit for Tier 1 Experts*
    -121 or 24.2% Hit for Tier 2 Experts*
    -221 or 44.2% Hit for Raid Tier 1
    -321 or 64.2% Hit for Raid Tier 2

    *Extensive parsing in the player community has shown that ~220 is the actual cap when it comes to Raid Tier 1. We believe this is based on the mobs being level 52, not level 50, and so we've applied this logic to Tier 1 and Tier 2 Experts as well. This section needs more verification before we can confirm this.

    Additionally, there's potentially a rounding issue which bumps that number up by 1 (courtesy Zuignap). At zero Hit rating, you'll notice you are listed as having 1 Hit rating. While this is not confirmed, it's a safe bet to keep the additional 1 Hit.

    Keep in mind that Shield of the Hero and Graceful Under Pressure from Paladin are fantastic to combine with low Hit Rating to achieve your Hit goal.





    0.1.4 Warrior Ability Notes

    In this section I'm going to cover a few notes on important tanking abilities. I don't cover every ability here, instead focusing on abilities that are either unclear, have special mechanics, have deficiencies, or cause a shift in how a tank should use their abilities.



    Pacifying vs. Empowering Strike

    One of the most common ability decisions you'll see throughout my macros is a tendency to prioritize Pacifying Strike on single targets while using Empowering Strike on multiple targets.

    Both of these abilities are strong at what they do, and both should be kept up as often as possible. In tests I did on Baron Krevic, Pacifying Strike came out to a consistent 5-10% reduction in damage I took from his spells. In the gearing process, Empowering Strike is similarly effective against physical damage.

    The logic I used in the macros was fairly simple: Since Pacifying Strike is applied to a single target, it will often have less of an impact in a multi-target scenario than Empowering Strike, which is a self-buff and will therefore affect all incoming physical damage. However, Pacifying Strike is going to frequently be more important to get off, especially on caster mobs, in single-target situations.

    Again, you should be using both! The priority is simply which you get active first on a pull.

    Related to this, keep Pacifying Strike up on magic-heavy bosses as often as possible, even if you're not tanking them. It helps.



    Pacifying Strike vs. Intimidating/Binding of Atrophy

    You'll notice that Pacifying Strike is a flat Spell Power and Attack Power reduction, where both Intimidating (Warlord) and Binding of Atrophy (Reaver) are 5% reductions.

    In testing on Baron Krevic, Intimidating and Binding of Atrophy only gave 1-2% damage reduction on his spells. As noted above, Pacifying Strike gave a 5-10% damage reduction to his spells. As a caveat to this, understand that this has not been tested on all raid bosses or encounters, and with only one easily testable encounter, there is not enough information to say for sure that Pacifying Strike is always better. However, I'd certainly encourage you to use Pacifying over Intimidating or Binding of Atrophy.

    Pacifying Strike and Intimidating do not stack, and Pacifying Strike will always overwrite Intimidating (where Intimidating cannot overwrite Pacifying).

    However, Pacifying Strike and Binding of Atrophy do stack, and do work together. Though slight, you can squeeze a little more damage reduction out of the Reaver Hybrid by using Binding of Atrophy -- so long as you're willing to sacrifice Binding of Affliction in an already Threat-sensitive build.



    Shield of the Chosen, Crest of the Abyss, and Empowering Strike

    All flat Armor buffs appear to be unique and do stack with each other. Additionally, they stack with outside raid buffs.



    Warlord Buff Stacking

    Warlord is a very strong tree for several reasons. However, it is partially a Support tree, which means there's some abilities that don't play well with other Support classes. Abilities that don't stack with other classes are:

    -Call to Entrench
    -Call to Battle
    -Aspect of the Fallen Hero
    -Aspect of the Elements
    -Assault Command

    Even with a Support class providing a similar buff, Call to Entrench is justifiable to apply in some circumstances due to the 3% additional damage reduction you gain. Call to Battle and the Aspect buffs should not be used if these buffs are provided by other classes. Archons use Charge to use Flaring Power (the equivalent of Assault Command), and there are some circumstances -- such as initiating Warmaster Galenir -- where it's simply easier for a Warlord to use the buff.

    Keep in mind that all of these can be useful in parties, especially since Warlord Support is significantly better to use in Expert dungeon runs than any other Support (since you don't lose a pure DPS slot doing so).

    Warlord brings these unique buffs:

    -Spotter's Order
    -Rallying Command
    -Aid Command
    -Call to Regroup

    Spotter's Order is one of the strongest raid debuffs in the game. Rallying and Aid Command are useful in many raid encounters (covered in the Recommended Progression section).

    I have not tested whether Battlefield Distraction or Cutting Distraction stack with other classes.



    Power From the Masses

    Power From the Masses is bugged and currently sees 100% uptime with only one point invested. This is why I will rarely invest more than 21 points in a Reaver build.

    As a side note, Power From the Masses will function when you're by yourself if you have a companion pet active.


    Quality Care

    The Quality Care talent from Void Knight is bugged and currently does not increase stacks of Ravenous Strength or Ravenous Defense. For this reason, it is recommended you do not take these talents.


    Tempered Will, Paladin's Devotion

    While I don't commonly put these in stock builds, you may choose to do so. If you do, place them at the bottom of your core macros and they will fire the moment you attempt to use an ability while you're affected by a hostile control effect.




    0.1.5 Understanding & Using Macros

    Macros are automated actions that attempt to fire abilities, in sequence, until they find an ability that works. For instance, let's say we have two abilities in sequence, Soul Sickness and Necrotic Wounds:

    #show Necrotic Wounds
    cast Soul Sickness
    cast Necrotic Wounds

    In this example, the first time a player pressed the macro, they would cast Soul Sickness. However, this would put Soul Sickness on a 15 second cooldown where it cannot be cast again, and the second time a player pressed the macro, the ability would fail. When the ability failed, the macro automatically falls through to Necrotic Wounds. In other words, the first press would cast Soul Sickness and the second press would cast Necrotic Wounds. Any following key-presses would cast Necrotic Wounds.

    This fall-through logic is the foundation of Rift macros. In a macro, we're prioritizing our most important attacks in a logical sequence to make us as effective as possible. There are a few special circumstances that you'll see in macros:

    -When at range from your target, all targeted melee abilities in a macro will automatically fail and a ranged ability will be cast. Some macros are built around this concept, allowing the same macro the ability to cover both melee and ranged attacks;
    -When abilities are on the global cooldown (the 1.5 seconds between each ability you use), all abilities affected by the global cooldown automatically fail and only special abilities that ignore the global cooldown will fire. This is why I can safely place Retaliation beneath other abilities in my macros.

    As a rule, you always want to spam macros! In other words, hit them as frequently as you can. You'll get your attacks off more frequently and -- more importantly -- abilities off the global cooldown like Retaliation will be more effective over time.

    One of the bigger concerns I see with new players is that they see errors and believe the macros aren't working. This isn't the case! Any time an ability fails in a macro, an error will pop up in red on your screen explaining the reason. However, the next ability in the macro will still attempt to fire. If you don't like errors, you can remove them from macros by adding 'suppressmacrofailures' just above the abilities (example):

    #show Necrotic Wounds
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Soul Sickness
    cast Necrotic Wounds

    Finally, one thing that will help you a lot is turning on "Smart Target" in your Settings if it's not already on. This will let the game select a target for you when you're attempting to fire a macro, and is generally always helpful. You can find this by pressing Escape, clicking "Settings," clicking "Interface," clicking "Combat," and checking the "Smart Target" checkbox on the upper right side.

    There are some specific situations in raids where it can be helpful to turn "Smart Target" off. This will occur when you absolutely do not want to fire an ability off until a target has entered the encounter.
    Last edited by Sodahelm; 06-28-2011 at 10:10 PM.

  3. #3
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    Recommended Progression
    As mentioned above, if you're still leveling, this guide isn't for you. Check out my tank leveling guide.



    0.2.1 Expert Dungeons & Expert/Raid Rifts

    Generally speaking, you'll want to use just one or two tanking builds while you're running Expert dungeons, and you're not going to want to change these builds every time you go to a new dungeon (or encounter). Because of this, I'm going to recommend builds in this section based on gear level.

    Before going forward, please note that I'm including Expert and Raid Rifts in this section. While Raid Rifts can have markedly more difficult encounters, it is often the case that you are unable to switch builds between phases, and you'll need a good general build going into these, rather than builds specific to the encounters.

    Guides for all Expert dungeon encounters can be found here.



    Dungeon Tier 1 Gear (And Below)

    Your two good options at this level of gearing are the 51 Void Knight build, covered in sections 1.1.1 and 1.1.2, or the Reaver Hybrid build, covered in sections 1.2.1 and 1.2.2.

    As a general rule, I'll always recommend the 51 Void Knight build, as it far exceeds the damage reduction potential of the Reaver Hybrid build. This is because Void Knight takes significantly less passive and average physical damage at this gearing level, and also offers a wide variety of cooldowns that make handling magic damage in dungeons very easy.

    It's possible, depending on your guild, that you may find yourself tanking Baron Krevic (outdoor raid boss) during this level range. You will be most survivable on this encounter with the Reaver Hybrid.

    If you're new to tanking, here's another way you can choose between the builds:

    51 Void Knight is easier to play when not dealing with magic damage;
    Reaver Hybrid is easier to play when dealing with magic damage.
    Even though Void Knight will outperform the Reaver Hybrid in nearly every situation you'll come across, it does require you pay more attention and utilize cooldowns to be more effective than the Reaver Hybrid in situations where you're handling magic damage.



    Dungeon Tier 1 to Dungeon Tier 2

    As your gear and survivability increases, so do your options.

    51 Void Knight is still a fantastic choice. It will still net you great AOE Threat and still come out on top in magic encounters over the Reaver Hybrid, so long as you're paying attention to cooldowns.

    The Reaver Hybrid can still be useful, but it's lack of burst AOE Threat compared to any-build-with-Warlord is going to start showing if you are in groups with players at your gear and skill level. While pulling groups at a range is easier with this build, getting initial aggro and sustaining it is simply not as reliable as other builds. You can continue to make this work by adjusting the talents to match the build covered in section 1.2.3.

    Deep Paladin, covered in sections 1.3.1 through 1.3.3, begins rapidly outscaling the other builds in terms of average damage reduction on physical hits. If you are confident you can reliably interrupt the large-damage spells from casters in the zone, or you're running with another player who will do so (or shield you from magic damage), or you can afford a second build for magic damage reduction, you would be benefited by switching over to this build. It has a lot of flexibility, a lot of Threat, and a whole lot of physical damage reduction.

    This is also the gear level where you can go into a full Warlord Tank/Support build, covered in sections 2.1.1 and 2.1.2. This is a balancing act, as you're going to take more damage, so you may not necessarily increase the performance of your party over Deep Paladin or 51 Void Knight.



    Dungeon Tier 2 and up!

    Your spec choices again fall to Warlord Tank/Support vs Deep Paladin, with the difference most likely coming down to whether you know your healer. When tanking Experts, keep in mind you'll be capped at only about 10 targets you can reliably hold aggro on with Spotter's Order, so as long as you can survive 10 targets in a pack, it'll be better and more enjoyable and helpful to run Warlord Tank/Suppport.

    Keeping a magic damage reduction spec on hand will still make some encounters easier, even in Expert dungeon runs. At this point of gearing, you likely have either 51 Void Knight or the Reaver Hybrid, or both, available for raid encounters.





    0.2.2 Gilded Prophecy

    For Gilded Prophecy, you will benefit from collecting an Earth Resist sigil and Earth Resist enchants.



    Anrak the Foul

    As long as you're handling Anrak's abilities correctly and swapping tanks, the choice is yours on what build to use. 51 Void Knight, covered in 1.1, or Warlord Tank/Support, covered in 2.1.3, are both fine options.



    Guurloth

    For this encounter, I strongly recommend 51 Void Knight. This is because Guurloth will cast Devastating Boulder on the tank with, a little over a minute in between each cast, and you can use Singularity to trivialize every single one of them.

    If you choose not to use this build, you'll want to have the entire raid adjust to stack on the tank (which divides the damage of the attack), but the encounter is hectic enough as is.

    Earth Resist is strongly recommended for this encounter.



    Thalguur

    You have a choice between three specs for this encounter: 51 Void Knight, Warlord Tank/Support, or Deep Paladin, covered in 1.3.

    The encounter is all physical damage, and it scales up throughout the encounter. This is where either 51 Void Knight or Deep Paladin come into play, as they're both very good at handling it (the first being better if you're falling behind on crystal stacks). The advantage to Deep Paladin is that both listed choices (Light's Decree or Rift Summon) are going to help you with picking up adds.

    Warlord Tank/Support is a very solid option, too, though. If your entire raid receives the healing debuff, especially later in the encounter, the use of Rallying and/or Aid Command can prevent a wipe. Since this is a physical-only encounter, you're not missing out on too much damage reduction going this route.



    Uruluuk

    This encounter comes down to whether or not you have put together an Earth Resist sigil and/or Earth Resist enchants. If not, you're tied to the Reaver Hybrid, covered in 1.2.1 through 1.2.3. This is not ideal as you miss out on critical Support options from Warlord, and I'd strongly recommend investing some time into an Earth Resist sigil.

    If you have some Earth Resist going into the encounter, your two options are 51 Void Knight or Warlord Tank/Support. 51 Void Knight is safer for learning the first phases of the encounter, especially for newer healers, and allows you to provide Spotter's Order on both the boss and all crystals/idols.

    For the final phase, both builds will be easier to pick up adds with than the Reaver Hybrid, as Spotter's Order means you don't have to target the adds, just be near them, to pick them up. In the final phase, Warlord Tank/Support winds up being the strongest spec, as the use of Rallying/Aid Command can lock in a victory that might otherwise be uncertain.

    No matter what build you choose, make sure you pick up Spell Sunder! It will let you clear off his buffs throughout the encounter.





    0.2.3 Greenscale's Blight

    For Greenscale's Blight, you will benefit from collecting a Life Resist sigil and Life Resist enchants if you are main tanking Lord Greenscale, and a Death Resist sigil if you are handling plants on the Lord Greenscale encounter.



    Duke Letareus

    If you're main tanking the Duke, you're going to want to use Warlord Tank/Support, covered in 2.1.3. Even if you're undergeared, Duke doesn't hit hard enough to warrant a pure damage reduction build.

    Use Rallying/Aid Command in the final ground phase. Use Assault Command in the final kite phase.

    If you're tanking adds, use a Deep Paladin build of your choice, covered in 1.3.

    Shamblers should be tanked by any DPS'er who can quickly pull and kill them (in a DPS build with DPS gear).



    Infiltrator Johlen

    For main tanking Infiltrator, use Warlord Tank/Support. Rallying/Aid Command have only limited use in this encounter.

    Use Assault Command on the second bomb if you're coordinating class cooldowns on the first and third bomb. Use Assault Command on the third bomb instead if you're not, as that is more likely to ensure a kill.



    Oracle Aleria

    For tanking the melee werewolf, use Warlord Tank/Support. Use Rallying/Aid/Assault towards the end of the encounter, especially if Aleria has stacked multiple damage buffs.

    For tanking the ranged werewolf, use the 51 Void Knight build covered in 1.1 if you have a Death Resist sigil and/or don't have another Warrior providing Spotter's Order. Otherwise, use the Reaver Hybrid covered in 1.2.3.



    Prince Hylas

    For Prince Hylas, you'll want at least one Warrior using Warlord Tank/Support. If you're the only Warrior, that's you. Use Rallying when Oracle Aleria is being summoned, as it will help keep alive the player she targets with her first cast. Use Rallying again when you're breaking Hylas' shield after the critter phase to allow for the smoothest transition to occur on the first fracture. Use Aid on Soul Fractures of your choice.

    Ideally you should be applying Spotter's Order to each of the adds as they're being DPS'ed, and then to Hylas afterwards. If you're the only Warrior, this means it's best for you not to tank Prince Hylas.

    If you're running more than one Warrior, the other builds you choose to use don't really matter.



    Lord Greenscale

    Greenscale is going to be a choice you need to make between 51 Void Knight and the Reaver Hybrid. There are specific situations that call for both. In favor of 51 Void Knight:

    -You can provide Spotter's Order, one of the best damage debuffs in the game;
    -You can reduce more damage from breaths using cooldowns;
    -Being 51 Void Knight means never needing to worry about Threat;
    -You never need to worry about Pacts.

    In favor of the Reaver Hybrid:

    -You are less likely to die if your healers fail to use Healer's Covenant or Purifier shields on you on a breath;
    -There's less micro-management involved.

    The Reaver Hybrid is less dependent on do-or-die actions by healers, but more dependent on your top DPS players making sure not to pull aggro early on.

    I'd recommend the Reaver Hybrid for Greenscale when you're new to it, especially if you don't have a solid Life Resist sigil set up yet. If you trust your healers and trust your cooldown usage, you may want to switch this to 51 Void Knight, even while learning, if you are using a Cleric or Rogue off-tank (make sure you pick up Spellbreaker, as this allows you to reset their stacks every 15 seconds or so).

    The main reason I use 51 Void Knight is because my healers are very experienced and I don't like lugging around the Reaver Hybrid when I don't use it anywhere else in the game. I also don't like micro-managing pacts. One rule of thumb: Use a "/cancelbuff Battlefield Awareness" macro going into the final air phase so you don't aggro pollen spawns through the rest of the encounter (though they're damage is small, they can easily tip the balance on you since you're already dealing with a 75% healing debuff).

    If you're handling plants, you're going to use the Greenscale Plant Handling build covered in 2.2. This is an extremely specific build that will make you a god among horticulturists. While learning the encounter, use Rallying Command on the first air phase (once the raid starts taking damage), Aid Command on the second air phase (once the raid starts taking damage), and Rallying Command -- then Assault Command -- on the third air phase (once the raid starts taking damage). All of this is covered in the build-specific information.
    Last edited by Sodahelm; 06-20-2011 at 12:21 AM.

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    0.2.4 River of Souls

    For River of Souls, you will strongly benefit from collecting a Death Resist sigil and Death Resist enchants. This will be useful on Herald Gaurath, Plutonus, Alsbeth, and most trash.



    Warmaster Galenir

    For Warmaster Galenir, the Warlord Tank/Support build is recommended. If you can duel and get three charges prior to engaging, this will allow you to pop Assault Command at the beginning of the encounter, and once again in the 30 second run-up to his enrage. This is a rare case where it's harder for an Archon to use Flaring Power in time due to their charge mechanic.

    Use Rallying/Aid Command any time the debuff is hitting your raid (unless this is part of your guild strategy, in which case you won't be able to cover all of them). Make sure you apply Spotter's Order to the mote!



    Dark Focus

    51 Void Knight or Warlord Tank/Support. There's not much else to say -- this isn't exactly a tough encounter as far as tank damage. Use an AOE to tag shades, and Spotter's Order to lock them. Alternatively, if you use three tanks, make sure you don't use Spotter's Order when adds come up if you're just trying to tank the Focus.



    Herald Gaurath

    As far as main tanking, this encounter is similar to Greenscale, except that you're not dealing with a 75% healing debuff. The rule is pretty much the same:

    -If you don't have Death Resist on a sigil and/or enchants, use the Reaver Hybrid;
    -If you do, use 51 Void Knight, as it's better for the raid.

    If you're tanking adds, you've got some flexibility. You are going to take some magic burst occasionally, and while you're learning the encounter, your healers may not be used to timing their heals around movement phases. Because of this, it's good not to entirely forgo magic damage, and instead go for a build like 51 Void Knight. As the raid gets used to the encounter, Warlord Tank/Support is probably a good idea (alternate Rallying/Aid Command for movement phases). No matter what build you go for, the best burst Threat you're going to get is through Spotter's Order, so that should be a priority.

    As a rule, I use Tempest the moment adds spawn, and immediately follow that up with Spotter's Order. At first, especially with the DPS in my party (one mage, Bluedot, pulls 2500 sustained DPS on the adds), I use Spotter's Order the moment I gain a single combo point, rather than waiting until 3. Once everything is settled, I switch to using three combo point Spotter's Order on our primary kill target.

    If you're tanking trolls, your build doesn't matter as much. It'd be a solid place for a Warlord Tank/Support if you don't have it on the other add tank. If your main tank is either not a Warrior, or doesn't have Spotter's Order, your priority should be applying Spotter's Order to Herald Gaurath when possible. Though the troll add doesn't cleave, if your other add tank is a Warrior, it's a good idea to keep your adds apart to prevent pulling aggro from each other.



    Plutonus the Immortal

    Do you have Death Resist from a sigil and/or enchants or not? If you don't, you're stuck with Reaver Hybrid. This is a serious cost to your raid, as they'll need to watch Threat and you'll either need to forgo Spotter's Order or have a DPS Warrior pick up Warlord as a hybrid at a massive penalty to their own DPS.

    Plutonus is dangerous because of a combination of Shocking Cipher and either a physical hit or a magic burst ability called Thunder Clap. For tanks who aren't specced or geared correctly, this combination is lethal. However, Shocking Cipher deals a percentage of your health as damage (75%, according to Unstable Rift), and this damage is not reduced by magic damage reduction. The only thing you need to be able to survive is a Thunder Clap or physical hit at low health.

    As long as you can survive the combination of a single Shocking Cipher and Thunder Clap at low health, even if you end up with 1% health, 51 Void Knight blows away the Reaver Hybrid. This is because 51 Void Knight let's you burn cooldowns in the hardest phase of the encounter where everyone is grouped up and everyone is racing to DPS Plutonus (use Singularity if you see a Shocking Cipher that's going to hit you in the last ~20% when people are grouped up, use Fusion of Flesh for the last 10%). It also lets you keep Spotter's Order up, a massive DPS increase on a boss that is a raid DPS race.



    Alsbeth the Discordant

    Any build that is not the Reaver Hybrid, regardless of your role. 51 Void Knight is a solid bet on Alsbeth, and I personally used (and developed) the Deep Paladin build with Rift Summon for handling adds on the encounter. As much as possible, apply Spotter's Order to Alsbeth, even if you're handling adds.

    For picking up Fallen Defiants and Fallen Guardians, one thing to note is that Spotter's Order will hit all three of them as they're summoned so long as it is cast from the direct center of the platform (where Alsbeth normally is).

    I'd suggest using a Death Resist sigil and enchants for the encounter, regardless of role.





    Pure Damage Reduction Builds
    1.1 Maximum Damage Reduction (51 Void Knight)

    This is my #1 recommended build for undergeared tanks, and frequently recommended in raid environments. Here's what you need to know:

    51 Void Knight has the highest passive physical damage reduction in game. Unblocked, unavoided hits will hit you for significantly less in this build than they will in any other build.

    51 Void Knight has a relatively low magic damage reduction compared to the build I cover in section 1.2. However, it has:

    -Singularity - 50% magic damage reduction for 10 seconds, 1 minute cooldown
    -Fusion of Flesh - Shield/heal on next 5 incoming spells, 3 minute cooldown
    -Rift Shield - 1075 damage spell shield on target, 30 second cooldown
    -Shock Burst - 8 second silence on 8 nearby enemies, 15 second cooldown
    -Unstable Reaction - Ranged silence, 45 second cooldown
    -Power Sink - 5% damage reduction for 15 seconds, 2 minute cooldown
    -Residual Absorption - Passive 6 second immunity to negative magical effects when using Spellbreaker, 15 second cooldown

    In other words, you have a giant toolkit for handling casters and magic damage. You'll also have Spotter's Order, which alone makes holding aggro on up to 10 enemies very easy, and adds a great debuff for party damage.

    As your gear improves, especially into raid tanking gear, this gear will become less and less desirable for running 5-mans, and you'll want to move to either a Warlord build (section 2.1) or an Average Damage Reduction build (section 1.3). This is because this build will not hold up in average physical damage reduction at higher levels, due to the increasing power of Block and Unyielding Defense.

    However, this build remains extremely strong in a raid environment where Effective Health and moment-to-moment survivability is critical. You will reliably take less damage per hit with this build in any situation (until you reach 100% Block Chance, which won't occur until the tier after Hammerknell).

    Though covered in the raid outline, this build is recommended in a raid setting on encounters like Plutonus and Herald Gaurath, where Spotter's Order are critical but potential magic burst is still dangerous. It can also be used on Lord Greenscale in certain situations (again, in the raid outline above). It should not be used on encounters where damage reduction needs to be 'always-on,' such as Uruluuk in Gilded Prophecy or Baron Krevic in Stillmoor.



    1.1.1 Armor Emphasis: http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=0c...qIkiudz.A0o.xo

    This build invests points into Armor at the expense of Block. This decreases our per-hit damage and allows us to better survive burst damage. It will not maximize our average damage reduction, but it is generally going to be a safer bet when dealing with the hardest hitters, including raid bosses.



    1.1.2 Block Emphasis: http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=0c...qIkiudz.e0o.xo

    In this build, we switch our points in Paladin to cover Block instead. Over time, this will average out to higher damage reduction, but this increase in survivability cannot be relied on in the most difficult Frodo-meets-Shelob situations.



    Macros

    AOE Macro
    #show Empowering Strike
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Tempest
    cast Ragestorm
    cast Aggressive Block
    cast Power Sink
    cast Empowering Strike
    cast Retaliation

    Note: If you're having serious problems with aggro, use Spotter's Order every time you can, including when you only have one combo point. If you're not having aggro issues, use Spotter's Order once at the start of each pull regardless of combo points, then only use it every third combo point for maximum benefit to your party.

    Single-target Builder
    #show Pacifying Strike
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Aggressive Block
    cast Pacifying Strike
    cast Retaliation

    Single & Multi-target Finisher
    #show Spotter's Order
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Spotter's Order
    cast Retaliation



    Ability & Macro Usage Notes

    This build maximizes passive physical damage reduction while offering a wide variety of cooldowns to handle incoming magic damage. Smart use of these cooldowns will offer you the highest potential survivability in nearly every situation while providing massive AOE Threat and increased damage output for your party.

    Spotter's Order is your holy grail for both AOE and single-target Threat. It generates a massive amount of Threat on up to 10 targets within 10 meters of yourself (not your target). It is helpful to familiarize yourself with how far 10 meters actually is (it's decently far!), and the best way of doing this is to have a friend move away from you and check your distance between each other on the mini-map. As long as a target is in combat with you, activating Spotter's Order will usually lock that target onto you. I always use Spotter's near the beginning of a pull, and then continue to do so every time I build 3 combo points, but it is possible to generate more Threat if necessary by using Spotter's Order every time you build a single combo point. Keep in mind that you're penalizing both your own DPS and your party's DPS if you use it every combo point; On top of being great Threat, Spotter's Order is a fantastic damage bonus for everyone in your party on the target you've applied it to.

    How do you pull? With your face, or with one of your ranged Void Knight abilities. This build lacks a simple pulling mechanism, so you'll need to get used to positioning. As a rule, I tend to open up on a group of mobs with Ragestorm or Tempest to make sure everything is in combat. Then I use Spotter's Order to lock everything on me. (Using the macros, you can simply use your AOE macro once then your Spotter's Order macro immediately after)

    The main abilities you need to familiarize yourself with are Singularity, Fusion of Flesh, and Shock Burst. This build has extremely high physical damage reduction, but for this build to shine, you really need to watch out for casters and make use of these cooldowns when you start seeing serious damage coming your way.

    Pact Conversion shouldn't be necessary in most circumstances, but keeping an eye on your pacts (especially after using Fusion of Flesh or Tempest) is a good idea. If you're sure you have aggro, use a Pact Conversion to get back up and running. Between pulls or during long breaks, you can burn Ragestorm and Pact Conversion to refresh your pacts while you're not in combat.

    Keep Empowering Strike active. It's a very powerful Armor buff that can noticeably decrease your physical damage taken.

    Get used to Spellbreaker and Spell Sunder. They are each situationally helpful on bosses and some trash throughout the gearing process. Rift Shield is also helpful to use and can be used frequently.

    Catalyze is a useful ability, but cannot be macro'd at this point because it will fail on targets without mana, then lock out the rest of your macro (i.e. fall-through abilities won't fire). Use it situationally, but always make sure you've got aggro first as you'll lose an opportunity for Spotter's Order.

    Rift Summon is currently unreliable on anything but perfectly flat terrain, so get used to using other abilities in your arsenal to pull ranged mobs to yourself.
    Last edited by Sodahelm; 06-22-2011 at 01:14 PM.

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    1.2 Maximum Passive Magic Damage Reduction (Reaver Hybrid)

    This is a very strong passive magic damage reduction build that relies on the universal damage reduction talents in Reaver. While this build cannot take physical damage reduction as well as the builds covered in sections 1.1 and 1.3, and does not provide Spotter's Order, it does have it's advantages:

    This build passively reduces significantly more magic damage than the 51 Void Knight build covered in 1.1;
    This build deals more damage and has more flexibility in generating Threat at a range;
    This build is generally easier to play as it does not rely on special abilities to reduce magic damage.
    My general recommendation is to use this build if you want an easy playstyle while still getting great damage reduction, and to use this build on specific raid encounters that really benefit from it (Greenscale and Uruluuk, under certain conditions).

    I will occasionally switch into this build, but generally only in situations where Threat is not a major concern. This build simply cannot hold up to builds which incorporate Warlord when it comes to immediate and sustained Threat.



    1.2.1 Highest Survivability: http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=0c...qzh00z.E0kh00V

    This is the purest form of the build, absolutely maximizing damage reduction by investing five points into Unyielding Defense. Of the builds listed here, this one is both the most survivable and the least practical, as it generates the least Threat of any serious tanking build. Use this build only if you absolutely must or you're confident Threat will not be an issue in the encounters you're tanking.



    1.2.2 Rift Summon/10% Threat: http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=0c...qzh00z.y0Rh00m

    This is a more practical form of the Reaver hybrid build, incorporating Rift Summon for a semi-functional death grip and 10% more Threat generation from Aggressive Guardian.



    1.2.3 Higher Damage/Threat: http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=0c...Rth00z.y0Rh00m

    This is a a much more serious Threat and Damage generator than either of the previous builds, at very little performance loss. In acquiring the damage in Reaver, you lose 3% universal damage reduction from Imbued Armor. You also lose Power in the Blood, which I consider the worst 5-point damage reduction investment in any of the tanking trees (it is situationally useful, but rarely, and it will rarely ever come into play in a way that will keep you alive).



    Macros

    Dot Pull
    #show Soul Sickness
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Plague Bringer
    cast Soul Sickness
    cast Infestation
    cast Necrotic Wounds

    Note: In long-duration encounters, reapply Soul Sickness and Necrotic Wounds every time they wear off to maximize Threat generation and damage output. In short trash pulls, use it only on the pull so the cooldown is ready again for the next pull.

    AOE & Dot Application
    #show Blood Fever
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Aggressive Block
    cast Ragestorm
    cast Plague Bringer
    cast Blood Fever
    cast Retaliation
    cast Disarming Counterblow

    Note: If you're only using this build for raid encounters, remove Ragestorm and Aggressive Block, and use this macro strictly to get Blood Fever applied quickly before moving onto single target macros. For Greenscale air phases, spamming this macro will work wonderfully (still utilize the DOT Pull macro at the start and refresh it).

    Remove Disarming Counterblow if you're running 1.2.2 or 1.2.3, as these builds do not have the ability.


    Single-target Builder
    #show Pacifying Strike
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Aggressive Block
    cast Pacifying Strike
    cast Retaliation
    cast Disarming Counterblow

    Note: Remove Disarming Counterblow if you're running 1.2.2 or 1.2.3, as these builds do not have the ability.

    Single-target Finisher
    #show Devouring Blow
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Devouring Blow
    cast Retaliation
    cast Disarming Counterblow

    Note: Remove Disarming Counterblow if you're running 1.2.2 or 1.2.3, as these builds do not have the ability.



    Ability & Macro Usage Notes

    For Macros, I tend to find myself using the DOT Pull to apply Soul Sickness, Infestation, and Necrotic Wounds during the pull, then switching to the DOT Application macro until Blood Fever is applied, then (on a boss or single-target pull) to the single-target finisher macro. After this, I'll use the single-target builder and single-target finisher again, and by this time I can usually start this rotation over again as Soul Sickness will need re-application.

    Blood Fever does best when you let it tick, because spamming it in a macro prevents most of it's damage from occurring (if you hit the ability twice in a row, it won't tick a single time). But Blood Fever acts as a 5-target Cleave, and still deals significant initial damage, so it's superior to, say, Vicious Cleave or Sweeping Strike in most situations, and it's worth spamming in those situations.

    In a raid environment, if you're very concerned about burst Threat from a raid member, begin the pull with your single-target builders and a single-target finisher first.

    Apply Ravaging Strike against single targets when you get a chance. I usually don't get this up until the second full macro cycle, where I need to buy an extra GCD before Soul Sickness is back available.

    Make sure you have Furious Rage (interrupt), Spell Sunder, and Spellbreaker ready to use if they're in your build. They're useful in specific situations that you'll run across throughout Expert progression.

    Pacts can be gained or refreshed while buffing or between pulls by burning Ragestorm and using Pact Conversion. If you don't have 10 pacts going into a pull and feel you'll need it, use Pact Conversion when you have the combo points. Though rare, be careful that your pacts don't expire.





    1.3 Maximum Average Physical Damage Reduction (Deep Paladin)

    This build is a lot of fun, especially at high Block levels. This build will average out to the highest physical damage reduction in game, and by a pretty solid margin. This comes at the expense of some magic damage reduction, though there are options to boost your magic damage reduction a little.

    Practically speaking, this build is useful for Expert dungeons and for add tanking in raids. As Block continues to increase in raid tanking gear, this will probably overtake Void Knight as the spec of choice, but that won't happen until mid or late Hammerknell.

    This build has quite a bit of flexibility in it, and I'm going to include a version (listed at 1.3.3) with 6 talent points unspent so you can customize how you like.



    1.3.1 Light's Decree: http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=0c...00VczMz.xE000z

    In this variant, we use Light's Decree. Light's Decree operates similarly to Reaver DOTs, in that it hits multiple targets off the one you hit; however, any single-target attacks on that target continue to proc damage on nearby targets, so you'll need to adjust your build around this concept and make sure you're not tabbing targets too frequently if you want to maximize damage.



    1.3.2 Rift Summon/Magic Reduction: http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=0c...Mh00V0z.xE000z

    In this variant, which I use for add tanking on Herald and Alsbeth, we get a second Death Grip in the form of Rift Summon.


    Pull (1.3.2 Build Specific Macro)
    #show Sergeant's Order
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Sergeant's Order
    cast Rift Summon

    Note: I use this macro for pulling. Sergeant's Order first so it comes off cooldown a little sooner!



    1.3.3 Core (6 points Remaining): http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=0c...Mh00V0z.xE000z

    Here's the core build. Make sure you keep all damage reduction talents, but otherwise adjust this build to your playstyle.



    Macros

    Single-target Builder
    #show Pacifying Strike
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Sweeping Strike
    cast Aggressive Block
    cast Pacifying Strike
    cast Retaliation
    cast Disarming Counterblow
    cast @mark 8 Intercept

    Note: Depending on your party composition, you may find this simply eats up too much energy over time. Dropping Intercept is not a bad idea if Threat is not going to be an issue; if you really need to, you'd drop Disarming Counterblow next.

    Multi-target Builder
    #show Empowering Strike
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Ragestorm
    cast Sweeping Strike
    cast Aggressive Block
    cast Empowering Strike
    cast Retaliation
    cast Disarming Counterblow
    cast @mark 8 Intercept

    Note: This is primarily so I have a slightly-AOE-oriented button to press when I want to deal a little AOE damage to targets or tag them. This is primarily only going to be used if I don't have Light's Decree active, which will be rare w/ the Light's Decree build, but infinitely more common in the build without Light's Decree.

    Single & Multi-target Finisher
    #show Spotter's Order
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Call to Entrench
    cast Spotter's Order
    cast Retaliation
    cast Disarming Counterblow
    cast @mark 8 Intercept

    Note: As with the Single-target Builder, this macro may eat up too much energy. Using Call and Spotter's are critical to burst AOE Threat, so if you're having issues with energy, drop everything below Spotter's Order to make sure the finishers fire as soon as possible.



    Ability & Macro Usage Notes

    By the time you're using this build, you may have already used a Warlord Support/Tank build, which plays very similarly. It's also somewhat similar to 51 Void Knight, in that you'll need to be used to generating AOE Threat with Spotter's Order unless you've specced into Light's Decree.

    Light's Decree should not be incorporated into a macro unless you're only using it for sustained encounter. As a general rule, you want to use Light's Decree to pull and to deal AOE damage off of that target, but you'll want it back up for the next pull, and automatically refreshing it mid-pull can mean it won't be available to help you pull the next group. Use Light's Decree frequently, but don't refresh it if you think you'll want to pull within 12 seconds.

    The @mark 8 Intercept means I'll cast Intercept on the player with raid marker 8. This is a Threat transfer, so assign your raid marker to the player you believe will be the highest Threat generator in each run.

    Keep Empowering Strike active!

    As always, with any non-51 Void Knight build, you'll need to pay attention to Pacts and make sure they don't fall off. Missing Quality Care is one big flaw with the Light's Decree build. Pact Conversion as necessary, but try to time things so you're not in danger of losing aggro when you do it.

    Use Ragestorm if you need AOE damage or need to tag mobs quickly. You can also use it between pulls or during downtime to refresh your Pacts (use Ragestorm, use Pact Conversion).
    Last edited by Sodahelm; 06-28-2011 at 10:11 PM.

  6. #6
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    General Tanking Builds
    2.1 Warlord Tank/Support

    With all of these builds, it's up to you whether you want to go 31 or 32 points in. 32 points in Warlord grants Assault Command, an ability which can be provided by an Archon; I prefer to keep it in because I won't have an Archon in Expert dungeons, and I like controlling the timing of it in raids. It's up to you.

    Alternatively, if the Commands aren't something you're realistically going to use in an Expert setting -- which is fine -- then you can go ahead and drop yourself to 28 points. You always want to keep Rapid Recovery when you can because it has such a dramatic impact on Energy.

    If you know you're not going to be running with Support classes or just want an easier playstyle, remove either Call to Battle or both Call to Battle and Call to Entrench and just use Spotter's Order. This isn't a good way to maximize performance but it does make managing your finishers substantially easier.



    2.1.1 Void Knight 5-mans: http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=0c...0Rh.xEzV0zMscz

    This is the build you'll want to use for Expert Dungeons so you can perform as both Support and Tank. If you're using this build and are comfortable with it, you'll want to request that any Bard or Archons in your 5-man go to a pure DPS spec. The main difference between this build and the raiding version of this build is Call to Battle and Dramatic Presence, two talent investments that will only have a practical benefit in a 5-man situation without another Support class.

    Keep an eye on your Pacts, as they will expire if you don't occasionally use Pact Conversion.

    You can switch points around for your convenience. By removing points from Hardened Will or Aggressive Guardian, or points from within Void Knight, you can get Quality Care, Spellbreaker, Spell Sunder, and/or Rift Summon.

    If you know you'll have a Support class in your runs, remove Call to Battle and Dramatic Presence in favor of other points (such as those in the Raiding build below).



    AOE Macro (2.1.1 Build Specific Macro)
    #show Empowering Strike
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Ragestorm
    cast Promise of Steel
    cast Sweeping Strike
    cast Aggressive Block
    cast Empowering Strike
    cast Retaliation
    cast @mark 8 Intercept

    Note: As with the 51 Void Knight build, you want to pop an early Spotter's Order to generate initial burst Threat, regardless of your combo points.



    2.1.2 Reaver 5-mans: http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=0c...0R.xEzV0zMsczz

    This is another build you can use for 5-mans. It's a bit easier to play than the Void Knight variant. It also outputs more damage and gives you a little more flexibility in terms of hitting multiple mobs at range with DOTs.

    In terms of mitigation, you're going to take a bit more damage during dungeons using this build over the Void Knight build, although you'll take slightly less magic damage with this build. You can switch points around for more damage reduction, but always make sure you're going at least 21 points for Power From the Masses.

    As above, if you know you'll have a Support class in your runs, remove Call to Battle and Dramatic Presence in favor of other points (such as those in the Raiding build below).



    Dot Pull (2.1.2 Build Specific Macro)
    #show Soul Sickness
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Plague Bringer
    cast Soul Sickness
    cast Infestation
    cast Necrotic Wounds

    Note: While this is listed as a ranged pull macro, you should use it every time Soul Sickness comes off cooldown on long single-target encounters to re-apply Soul Sickness and Necrotic Wounds.

    AOE & Dot Application (2.1.2 Build Specific Macro)
    #show Blood Fever
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Aggressive Block
    cast Promise of Steel
    cast Plague Bringer
    cast Blood Fever
    cast Retaliation
    cast @mark 8 Intercept

    Note: For multi-target pulls, go ahead and spam this. For single-target pulls, switch immediately to the following single-target macros once the Blood Fever debuffs have been applied, then only start using it again to refresh Blood Fever after you've refreshed Soul Sickness and Necrotic Wounds.



    2.1.3 Void Knight Raiding: http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=0c...E0R.xE00otMscz

    This is the raiding variant of the build. This build focuses on raid encounters where you're taking primarily physical damage and not much magic damage, which means we shift points away from Paladin's Hardened Will over to Quality Care for ease of Pact maintenance. Additionally, we move points out of Call to Battle and Dramatic Presence, and switch them to Imposing and That Which Doesn't Kill me. In a raid setting, you will have dedicated Support classes, so those buffs simply don't matter (though the alternatives are only slightly better).

    This build is ideal for most non-magic raid encounters in Greenscale's Blight and River of Souls.



    Finisher (2.1.3 Build Specific Macro)
    #show Spotter's Order
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Call to Entrench
    cast Spotter's Order
    cast Retaliation
    cast @mark 8 Intercept

    Note: In a raid environment, you won't need to alternate Call to Battle and Call to Entrench as another Support class should be providing these buffs. However, you do get a 3% damage reduction buff from Call to Entrench, so I still include it in this macro (you can choose to take it out if you just don't think it matters).

    If you're using this macro, don't worry about the Finisher macros in the next section.




    Macros

    Single-target Builder
    #show Pacifying Strike
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Aggressive Block
    cast Sweeping Strike
    cast Promise of Steel
    cast Pacifying Strike
    cast Retaliation
    cast @mark 8 Intercept

    Note: You can include Pin Target in here for slightly more damage, but I've started opting out of it because I like to move a lot (including to the next pull, etc.), and I don't like my target sitting around for a long time. Sometimes fun, so keep it off to the side.

    Finisher 1 & 2
    #show Call to Battle
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Call to Battle
    cast Spotter's Order
    cast Retaliation
    cast @mark 8 Intercept

    Note: Use this finisher twice (after building 3 combo points for each), regardless of whether you're on a single-target or multi-target pull, before using the next macro. Get used to the cooldown animation on Call to Battle and Call to Entrench to get used to when you're supposed to switch.

    Finisher 3 & 4
    #show Call to Entrench
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Call to Entrench
    cast Spotter's Order
    cast Retaliation
    cast @mark 8 Intercept

    Note: As above, use this finisher twice before switching back to the first macro.

    Finisher (Assault Command)
    #show Assault Command
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Assault Command
    cast Spotter's Order
    cast Retaliation
    cast @mark 8 Intercept

    Note: If you're going to use Assault Command (burn it early and often!), use this macro instead of Call to Entrench. Go ahead and use it twice before moving back to Call to Battle. This will prevent you from losing any DPS due to dropped Battle or Spotter's.



    Ability & Macro Usage Notes

    These builds are utility dumps, and allow you to tank very effectively while also functioning as Support in your party. In other words, your party can and should trade another Support in favor of a pure DPS while you're running this build.

    The @mark 8 Intercept means I'll cast Intercept on the player with raid marker 8. This is a Threat transfer, so assign your raid marker to the player you believe will be the highest Threat generator in each run. I choose to use raid markers because focus targets frequently dropped and bugged out when I was first running Warlord -- I don't know whether this has been improved, but I've never moved away from the raid marker method.

    Regardless of which support souls you have in your party, Warlord more than justifies its spot in a party thanks to Spotter's Order, Rallying Command, and Aid Command. I usually go one more point for Assault Command, even though other classes can cover this, since it gives me more control over use (and, again, since you won't necessarily have it in 5-mans). Spotter's Order is among the best, if not the best, DPS debuff that a party or raid can have. It will dramatically improve the DPS of any player, even bad DPS who don't understand their abilities yet.

    Don't be bashful about using Rallying Command, Aid Command, and Assault Command for all boss fights if they'll be useful. I tend to avoid Aid Command unless there's something really difficult, because it's the weakest of the three, and it comes at the expense of another finisher. Remember that, even though they have a 5-minute debuff, dungeon runs still let you use them a lot.

    Sergeant's Order is the best death grip available to Warriors. While Rift Summon works, the cooldown is extremely prohibitive to quick dungeon runs, and is more prone to failure. Sergeant's Order will allow you to death grip 1-2 times per pull, and trivializes pulls with multiple ranged mobs.

    Keep Empowering Strike, Pacifying Strike, and Leader's Mark up as often as possible.





    2.2 Greenscale Plant Handling

    This is an extremely specific build that happens to have several unnecessary talents in it. The main things you need are:

    Spellbreaker
    Sergeant's Order
    Talented Rift Summon
    Rallying Command
    Aid Command
    Spotter's Order
    Rift Shield
    Entropic Embrace
    As long as you've got all of this, you're set on the encounter. This is covered in the Greenscale movie here:

    http://ciderhelm.com/?p=331

    As far as Entropic Embrace, I haven't tested. The Deathly Flames debuff that you burn plants with is Death damage; it's possible -- though untested -- that Entropic Embrace improves this damage and may kill plants a little more quickly. Binding of Affliction, however, does apply. (Though I haven't confirmed this, the combined damage of Entropic and Binding needs to cause plants to die one tick earlier or else it's not a benefit)



    2.2.1 Void Knight/Reaver/Warlord: http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=0c...d.xEh00xMsMz.V



    Macros

    Greenscale Builder
    #show Ravaging Strike
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast @self Spellbreaker
    cast @mark 8 Intercept
    cast @mark 7 Rift Shield
    cast Ravaging Strike
    cast Soul Sickness

    Note: Soul Sickness is intentionally here, and at no other place in any other macro, because of the frequent situation where I've run out of melee range to handle plants, have two combo points, and want a third to refresh Spotter's Order with. Firing this macro on the move will give me that one extra combo point.

    Verdant Annhilator Builder
    #show Ravaging Strike
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast @self Spellbreaker
    cast @mark 8 Intercept
    cast Ragestorm
    cast Promise of Steel
    cast Ravaging Strike

    Note: Used while focusing the Verdant Annhilator during Greenscale air phases. I don't have Tempest included in this. Including it would be dependent on your rate of pact generation, as you want to have pacts available for Rift Shield.

    Greenscale/Annhilator Finisher
    #show Spotter's Order
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast @mark 8 Intercept
    cast Spotter's Order

    Note: Your single most important responsibility. Well, aside from smothering plants with burning death.

    Plant Pull
    #show Sergeant's Order
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Sergeant's Order
    cast Rift Summon

    Note: Use this to pull Noxious Bracken! (And make sure you're not clicking on Greenscale!)



    Ability & Macro Usage Notes

    This is an oddball build for a very specific situation. For a full Greenscale guide, which covers this role, check:
    http://ciderhelm.com/?p=331

    As usual, @mark 8 Intercept is a Threat transfer. Use this on a player who needs their Threat reduced, but be careful not to build too much yourself because you're not trying to pull aggro on Greenscale.

    @mark 7 Rift Shield is to apply your Rift Shield to the main tank. For full disclosure, I have never used this ability, so if there's some caveat where "ally" means "self-only," or it shields for half as much as the tooltip says, I have no idea. And I can't test it for another week and a half, so please let me know in this thread.

    If you're not using one of the above macros for any reason (such as a phase transition), make sure you're still using Spell Breaker on yourself to reset your Deathly Flames stacks.

    Spell Sunder is very specific to a buff Verdant Annhilator gains which increases his attack damage. The buff is minor and we've always ignored it on our kills, but in re-thinking this build for 1.2, I realized there's no reason not to do it. That said, I haven't actually attempted to sunder off his buff, and can't guarantee it actually works.

    In theory, you should be gaining five pacts before you can cast Rift Shield again, but if this turns out not to be the case, make use of Pact Conversion if you've dropped as low as 2 Pacts after a Rift Shield cast.

    Covered in the Greenscale guide, but I'll cover it again here. After the first tick of raid-wide damage in air phases:

    First Air Phase: Rallying Command
    Second Air Phase: Aid Command
    Third Air Phase: Rallying Command & Assault Command

    I tend not to burn Assault Command in the first air phase because our kills are coming quick enough that sometimes there's a delay before I can fire off Rallying Command in the third air phase, which also means that Assault Command would be delayed when DPS burn is the most critical. (As always, Assault Command can be covered by other classes, but I prefer to do it to have better control over the encounter)

    Add to the excitement of this build and remember to drop banners for your guild's DPS.
    Last edited by Sodahelm; 06-28-2011 at 10:13 PM.

  7. #7
    Telaran
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    Good guides and good build, was heavily influenced with by it in my leveling (just went heavier reaver, less pally).

  8. #8
    Soulwalker
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    thanks so much for this!

  9. #9
    Rift Disciple Swadel's Avatar
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    Default Great stuff Ciderhelm.

    Using 2 of your builds helped me alot to improve my tanking. Awesome stuff thanks alot.
    May the force be with you! Always.....



    The Divine Knights EU Steampike, Guild Leader.

  10. #10
    Rift Chaser Rolotomasi's Avatar
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    hahaha my first t2 was DSM with something like the burn build. wipe at first pull. but that was 1.1

    p/s kind of funny 51vk is best phy mitigation build~~~~
    Last edited by Rolotomasi; 05-15-2011 at 06:38 PM.

  11. #11
    RIFT Community Ambassador Sodahelm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rolotomasi View Post
    hahaha my first t2 was DSM with something like the burn build. wipe at first pull. but that was 1.1

    p/s kind of funny 51vk is best phy mitigation build~~~~
    Yeah I've faceplanted a couple times on the first pulls in DSM w/ experimental builds. Haven't seen it since 1.2, though, and I suspect it'd be just fine now.


    I'm hesitant to say 51 point Void Knight is the best tanking build for undergeared players just because it's also the most complex to play well, thanks to all of it's situational cooldowns.

    But the math says that Void Knight edges out the other build on passive physical damage reduction, even if the other build has 10% Block, 10% Armor, and 5/5 Unyielding Defense in it, which is a point investment I suspect few people will actually want to use (i.e. they'd want to drop a couple points of Unyielding, etc., in favor of 10% Threat Generation and Rift Summon in VK). And it will certainly edge out the previous build when Power From the Masses gets fixed and points need to be moved around.

    Add to that, if the cooldowns are used in a smart way by a player who's on the ball, Void Knight should just come out to be a better build than the previous build for everything, including magic encounters, except the particular raid encounters which use a variant of the hybrid.

    At some point above 50% Block, the 5/5 Unyielding Defense will overcome it on average damage reduction. But at this point, I'd hope tanks aren't still using either of these builds.

  12. #12
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    Im no tank specialist but this compilation seems to be a solid work.
    thanks for your great contribution to the community!

  13. #13
    Rift Master Spyrit's Avatar
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    The biggest turn off to VK, at least to me, is no mobility. Having recently learned that tanking at range can be done by spamming NW, at least as a 44 Reaver, not sure if it can be done from hybrid.

    How I found this out, I was rifting with a sc friend of mine, I got knocked back, and I was feeling lazy and started spamming NW, the sc was doing his ting, and I was holding aggro, then my friend decides to run in closer, and I stayed back and continued spamming, then it clicked.

    So I thought I'd experiment with 2 war melee in the group. Held aggro just fine. Took me almost 4 months to figure that one out.

    And you should you Cider, Tempered Will and Paladin's devotion, break all ccs now and are on seperate cds, trivializes the werewolf boss. Creeping Death is the easiet way to pull 3 kings, stand between where the mage and cleric bosses spawn and pop it.

    44 Reaver 22 Pally faceroll trash packs, with large pulls, pulling more than 1 group at a time. Trash packs don't last long, gaining pacts seems kind of pointless on them, especially when block is highly efficient on them, t1 bosses don't hit hard enough to matter, so far my experince with T2 bosses is the same.

  14. #14
    Rift Disciple HopelessMLT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spyrit View Post
    The biggest turn off to VK, at least to me, is no mobility. Having recently learned that tanking at range can be done by spamming NW, at least as a 44 Reaver, not sure if it can be done from hybrid.

    How I found this out, I was rifting with a sc friend of mine, I got knocked back, and I was feeling lazy and started spamming NW, the sc was doing his ting, and I was holding aggro, then my friend decides to run in closer, and I stayed back and continued spamming, then it clicked.

    So I thought I'd experiment with 2 war melee in the group. Held aggro just fine. Took me almost 4 months to figure that one out.

    And you should you Cider, Tempered Will and Paladin's devotion, break all ccs now and are on seperate cds, trivializes the werewolf boss. Creeping Death is the easiet way to pull 3 kings, stand between where the mage and cleric bosses spawn and pop it.

    44 Reaver 22 Pally faceroll trash packs, with large pulls, pulling more than 1 group at a time. Trash packs don't last long, gaining pacts seems kind of pointless on them, especially when block is highly efficient on them, t1 bosses don't hit hard enough to matter, so far my experince with T2 bosses is the same.
    This is gear dependant. But I can pull 3-4 packs in any t2 without a problem of keeping aggro or dying. And I usualy run with Stormcallers going instawild on pulls.

    Takes some time to get used to 51vk ( by some time I mean 1 or 2 runs :P ) And I have 10 pacts on myself the whole time. They never run out.
    Last edited by HopelessMLT; 05-16-2011 at 02:55 AM.
    Hopeless Cleric - Whitefall >_>
    Fateless Warrior - Whitefall <_<


    Inglorious Basterd

  15. #15
    Rift Master Spyrit's Avatar
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    It was never gear dependent been running reaver pally before the patch, without any trouble. Was able to handle two groups in rof prior to 1.2, not intentionally, from what I was being told repeatedly the instance was bugged and mob placement wasn't right. And I dont have to work as hard to hold that many mobs.
    Last edited by Spyrit; 05-16-2011 at 03:05 AM.

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