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Thread: Comprehensive Warrior Raid Tanking Guide

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    RIFT Guide Writer tordana's Avatar
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    Default Comprehensive Warrior Raid Tanking Guide

    Note: As of 2/13/12 this thread is no longer being updated on these forums. Older versions are maintained here, but the latest version can be found at:

    http://bluedots.org/content.php?146-...-Tanking-Guide


    Tordana's Comprehensive Warrior Raid Tanking Guide

    Contents

    • 1 Introduction and About Me
    • 2 Tanking Builds and Macros
    • --- 2.1 Reaver Hybrid (General)
    • 3 Guides and Suggested Builds by Boss
    • --- 3.1 Drowned Halls
    • --- 3.2 Gilded Prophecy
    • --- 3.3 Greenscale's Blight
    • --- 3.4 River of Souls
    • --- 3.5 Hammerknell Fortress
    • 4 Gear Suggestions
    • 5 Conclusion

    Introduction

    Welcome to the guide. This is intended to be a comprehensive source of information on Warrior raid tanking, with my preferred builds as well as specific information for each boss you will encounter in the raids of RIFT. Unlike other guides which may be more detailed in one particular aspect or another, in this guide I hope to provide an overview for all aspects of raid tanking. Do not take my word as law -- I heavily encourage everyone to experiment for themselves and use what works. While I have the utmost respect for noted Warrior contributors such as Ciderhelm and Kruunch, too often I see people assuming that their way is the only correct way to play. In truth, RIFT's soul system is designed such that there are many options that will work equally well depending on playstyle and gear level. What I present in this guide is simply the best way I have found of doing things. It may not agree in all aspects with other guide writers, nor may it agree in all aspects with what you, the reader, use. But it will work. There are no right ways to play, but there are wrong ways and I hope to steer you clear of those. In addition, I hope the tanking breakdowns by boss will be useful. I have not seen any similar guides that do this and thought it a void that needed filling.

    Why should you listen to me? I have been tanking for RIFT since Beta 5 when I first played -- I created a warrior immediately and never looked back. I am currently the GM of Affinity on US-Belmont (Guardian Side) and though I didn't start in the GM position, I have been the raid leader and main tank starting with GSB progression in April all the way up to current Hammerknell progession. Affinity is as of November 15 7/11 in Hammerknell with everything dead on the bottom floor except Grugonim. I will not be providing any information on bosses in Hammerknell I have not seen and tanked, for obvious reasons. I do not proclaim to be a guru of tanking, but I consider myself a quality player. While RIFT is my first game as a main tank, I have raid experience in other games, primarily LoTRO, where I was at my peak a healer (minstrel) in the #1 NA guild, Preying Mantis of Elendilmir server. I also have extensive competitive FPS experience, most recently in Team Fortress 2. Now, without further introduction allow me to get to the meat of the guide.

    Tanking Builds and Macros

    These builds are now updated for 1.6. 1.5 outdated builds can be found in the next post for reference.

    With the release of 1.6, there is now one build to rule them all that contains incredible mitigation of both physical and magical damage.

    1. Reaver Hybrid (General)

    Build: http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=0c...zhukAbk.EczV0z

    Rationale: 8 points in Paladin gets you the newly-improved Touch of Life, now on a 5 minute cooldown so you can potentially use it twice during a boss fight. Max armor and grab some block for mitigation. 20 points in Warlord gets you the essential raid buff Cutting Distraction, as well as a bonus AoE threat generator in Promise of Steel. One point in Call to Battle allows you to keep up the Dodge from Battlefield Awareness permanently, as well as any bonuses from the warlord synergy crystal. 38 points in Reaver gets you Binding of Death, an incredible 9% flat damage reduction.

    Macros: I use three macros for this build, but there are some skills you cannot macro and will need to hit manually for optimal rotations.

    Single target AP builder:
    Code:
    #show Aggressive Block
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Aggressive Block
    cast Soul Sickness
    cast Cyclone Strike
    cast Empowering Strike
    cast Retaliation
    cast Necrotic Wounds
    AoE AP builder:

    Code:
    #show Soul Sickness
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Plague Bringer
    cast Soul Sickness
    cast Cyclone Strike
    cast Promise of Steel
    cast Blood Fever
    cast Necrotic Wounds
    Finisher:

    Code:
    #show Call to Entrench
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Call to Entrench
    cast Call to Battle
    cast Dire Blow
    Pulling: Simply run in and start mashing your appropriate builder macro. Use Sergeant's Order if necessary.

    Rotations:

    EASY Single Target: Builder --> Builder --> Builder --> Finisher. This will keep the essential buffs going.

    OPTIMAL Single Target: Same as EASY, but every 15 seconds manually cast Blood Fever and Pacifying Strike rather than using the Builder macro.

    AoE: Builder --> Builder --> Builder --> Finisher.

    Passive Buffs: This build has a huge number of buffs to cast. The list is:

    Aegis of Vitality
    Shield of the Hero
    Crest of the Abyss
    Binding of Death
    Aspect of the Fallen Hero
    Battlefield Awareness
    Cutting Distraction

    Cooldown Usage: If aggro is an issue, sprinkle Sergeant's Order (single-target), Concussion (AoE), and Intercept (either) into your rotations as needed. For health cooldowns, you have the big Touch of Life full heal but don't neglect Master of the Abyss and Creeping Death for a little extra health when needed. In addition, Infestation gives you a significant damage reduction bonus for 8 seconds once every minute -- remember to use it. It's especially useful on fights like Estrode where you can pop it during each Mind Control.

    Guides and Suggested Builds by Boss

    This section is not intended to be a detailed strategy breakdown of each boss, but instead what the TANK needs to know specifically. Look elsewhere for general fight mechanics, I highly recommend Veev's website http://www.riftstrats.com. With the release of 1.6, one build can be used to tank every encounter in the game so I'm deleting recommended builds from the per-boss strategies. Individual boss strategies may list out of date skills not present in current builds -- simply replace as necessary. I'll update them at some point.

    1. Drowned Halls

    Assault Commander Jorb
    There are two methods of tanking this boss based on personal preference, either by kiting him or by flipping him. I prefer to use the flipping method. Whenever he summons a player into melee range, run directly THROUGH the boss (do not run AROUND him) to the other side at the same time as any melee players do the same thing starting from the opposite side. Executing properly will prevent any cleaves from hitting anyone but you.

    Joloral Ragetide
    As a main tank, pull the boss to the back of room to start and slowly pull clockwise around the edge staying 180 degrees away from your off tank. Let the off tank lead the movement -- when you see him move you move. As the off tank, pull the add to where you enter the room and wait for the first seacap spawn. After it run 120 degrees clockwise for the second seacap spawn, then again for the third. Watch for extra large adds to spawn and pick them up. Use Commands when appropriate. Alternatively, try this excellent strategy posted by forum member Methadras:
    The best way to tank this boss is to pull him into the stairwell that the players start in and gets blocked off. Have the tank put his back against the barrier in the corner and tank him there. Then pull the add to the center of the bottom of the stairs. This effectively keeps the seacaps to migrate to the add and you don't have to kite him all around the room in the hopes of picking of the seacaps. Then when the second add pops out, dps the first add down right there at the bottom of the center of the stairwell. Rinse and repeat.
    Isskal
    Tank and spank, interrupting at the proper time if you are in the interrupt rotation (since recent nerfs only 2 people in rotation are required). Save Singularity for if you think an interrupter is going to miss -- it will allow you to survive a cast if you have enough gear. Execute the proper movement during the whirlpool and water ring phases. During whirlpool phase you CAN melee the boss to keep your threat up, simply strafe in the proper direction while keeping your camera pointed at the boss. Seacaps are immune to force taunts, just have your DPS kill them.

    High Priestess Hydriss
    At the start, pull when the patrol is at the front to get him and 3 melee mobs. Wait a few seconds before Rift Summoning the caster in one of the two back groups to you and picking up the two melee as they run past. Once you are down to 3-4 mobs alive, face pull the remaining group and Shock Burst to get the caster to follow you back into the melee (Rift Summon will not be off cooldown if your group DPS is high enough). As Hydriss activates, point her to the side of the area. Pick up the dragon when it comes down the stairs and use Singularity to help out the healers while the dragon is alive. On hive phases, adds are immune to force taunts but will respond to threat so spam those Spotter's Orders and Ragestorms.

    2. Gilded Prophecy

    Anrak the Foul
    Point the boss in your group's chosen direction (I do it with the head facing into the cliff) and wait for a tail strike. When it starts casting, run straight forward, through the boss, to behind him (he will not turn while casting). When the cast finishes return to your initial position. When the second tail strike begins casting, again run through. At this time the second tank should force taunt the boss and HE returns to your position while you stay behind. Continue alternating tanks every other tail strike in this fashion. IMPORTANT NOTE: Turn off Battlefield Awareness when adds spawn! Accidentally getting an add on either tank will cause a wipe if your group does not over-gear the content due to stacking debuffs. Let the DPS handle the adds.

    Guurloth
    This fight should be solo tanked, contrary to what many people believe. Dodge mechanics with the rest of your raid until the add spawns. When it does, simply pick up the add and move away from the boss with it. The boss will continue casting on you while you tank the add, and since all DPS should be targeting the add you should not lose aggro on the boss during this time. Return to melee range of the boss once the add is dead. When he begins casting a boulder on you, use Singularity.

    Thalguur
    As the main tank, simply tank and spank the boss picking up crystals when appropriate. As the off tank, be sure to grab all adds each phase and hold them until the player with the shovel gets rid of them. Ragestorm and Spotter's Order are your friends. Use Commands when appropriate.

    Uruluuk
    Tank and spank the boss. Interrupt if you are not reflecting his casts, otherwise pray that your reflecting mage doesn't screw up. Singularity is best used when running from place to place on this fight as your healers may not be able to keep you up while moving (especially if one is crystaled at the time). At the last phase of the fight, make sure you are tanking the adds as near to the base of the stairs as possible to stop them from healing the boss. Don't go into melee range to dodge his big AoE nukes, simply pop Singularity and take it like a man. It only deals ~3k damage with Singularity up, ~6k without it.

    3. Greenscale's Blight

    Duke Letareus
    As the main tank, just remember to get out of the way of his AoE casts and kite through pools at the proper time based on how your raid positions them. As the off tank, pick up all the adds and tank them off to the side somewhere. In later phases you are in charge of interrupting Fae Barrage on the big fairies. My guild only has one big fairy spawn during the fight due to our high DPS, but if you get a second fairy assign a DPS to interrupt the second one that spawns. Pop Commands as necessary.

    Infiltrator Johlen
    Spank him in the middle and dodge bombs. In the last phase have your raid stack up in the middle, and make sure everyone knows that the boss does not cleave! Standing directly on top of the tank is perfectly fine and in fact beneficial. Make sure you do not ever get hit by bombs in this encounter -- the tank getting punted off to the side a single time can easily cause wipes especially in the last phase.

    Oracle Aleria
    As either tank, just spank your assigned werewolf. It IS possible for the tank to be called out of the room in this encounter. Save your cooldowns for if this happens, you will be out of range of your healers with the boss attacking you for a few seconds. One Aleria herself activates the two tanks can switch when one of them gets the incoming healing debuff, but most guilds just ignore this debuff altogether.

    Prince Hylas
    If your guild is new to this encounter I recommend using 4 tanks for this encounter, but reduce to 3 as soon as you can. 2 tanks is doable but not necessary by any means. As the main tank, just dodge the boss's AoE casts. If you are assigned to the reborn Duke, make sure to hold aggro while kiting out of purple goo on the ground. As any tank make sure to keep the boss and any adds well away from each other. Off-tanks should be assigned one to wolves and one to trees for the second phase of the fight.

    Lord Greenscale
    As the main tank, save Singularity and Fusion of Flesh for breaths when needed. On air phases you should be tanking all four small adds (depending on your guild's strategy). As the off tank, stand in a puddle at the start of the encounter and run through Strangling Plants to kill them. Cleanse yourself every time your skill is off cooldown, and MAKE SURE your healers know NEVER to cleanse you during the fight. On air phases you should pick up the large add and position him directly under Greenscale (look for the pets that will invariably still be attacking the boss during the air phase). After Noxious Bracken begin spawning, the off-tank should use Sergeant's Order to move any that spawn under the boss away.

    4. River of Souls

    Warmaster Galenir
    At the start of the fight wait for 5 stacks of the debuff then switch. After that tanks should switch whenever their stacks drop off. Whichever tank does not currently have the boss should be sure to pick up the wisp that spawns during transformed phases. This fight can create awkward positioning depending on when the boss finishes teleporting between the two players you should have spread out at range -- just stay cool and adjust positioning of yourself and your raid if need be.

    Herald Gaurath
    As the main tank, simply spank the boss. Back up when he goes into the air so he chases you immediately upon landing. As the tertiary tank simply grab the add that spawns every time the boss lands and play with him off to the side. Pop Commands on air phases. As the off tank, you should have the entire raid stacked on you for coffin add spawns. Create a macro:
    Code:
    #show (skill of your choice)
    suppressmacrofailures
    target Ancient Defiler
    mark 1
    As soon as the adds spawn, use Ragestorm (which requires no target and will pick them all up), followed by your targeting/marking macro, followed by Spotter's order. Watch the Defiler you marked as #1 for interrupts on Defiling Storm and have a DPS watch the other for interrupts. Spam a couple 1-point Spotter's initially to be safe, then resume 3-point. If your main tank isn't a warrior it's a bonus to keep 3-point Spotter's up on Herald during this phase. Finally, have a key ready for Rift Summon -- I cannot stress this enough. Sometimes you will be forced to run out of the purple bubble at the same time as your #1 add begins casting Defiling Storm. If this happens, Rift Summon WILL INTERRUPT the cast from 20m range, as well as having the bonus of teleporting the mob back to you. Stay cool -- you have the hardest job of any player in your raid for this fight. Get your job down pat and your guild will score a kill within an hour or two.

    Plutonus the Immortal
    Start the fight by backing up towards one of the pillars around the edge of the arena (but not TO it!). Wait for two Ciphers to go off (it's the only thing that damages your raid... just watch the HP bars to catch the second one), then put your back up to a pillar. Singularity is useful now to reduce some spike damage. Once he breaks the pillar, move towards another, wait for two ciphers, blow it up. Repeat until you're approaching 50% (this should take 3 or maybe 4 pillars), then move the boss to the middle of the arena. You should move him once in preparation for 50% phase, then wait in the same spot through the 40% and 30% transitions, then move for a second time to your final location prior to the 20% and 10% transitions. This will maximize your raid DPS by not having to reposition much.

    Alsbeth the Discordant
    Use 3 tanks for this encounter. This fight is fairly complicated to tank so I'll break it down by phase.

    Phase 1: Ground 1. Tank #1 on boss. Tanks #2 and #3 on adds, using Rift Summon to bring any casters into the boss. All three tanks should be standing in the same spot to prevent cleaves facing every direction.
    Phase 2: Air 1. Tanks split to 3 different circles. Tank #1 to Black add circle, Tank #2 to White add circle, Tank #3 to Grey add circle. Pick up your add if it spawns and any wisps that float near you. The two tanks without big adds should grab any of the add trios that spawn in the middle during this phase as well as any loose wisps and group everything up in the middle for later AoE. Tank #3 remember to interrupt your add's casts!
    Phase 3: Air-->Ground Transition 1. Tank #2 should pick up the boss when she lands, Tanks #1 and #3 on any adds. Once stacks of debuff drop off of Tank #1, #1 picks up the boss again and #2 switches back to adds.
    Phase 4 to ?: Repeat 1-3 as many times as required to get the boss to 20%.
    Phase X: Once she full heals, Tank #2 should pick up the boss. Tank #1 and #2 stay in front, Tank #3 move BEHIND the boss (first time tanks should be split up at all during ground phases). Tank #3 grab all wisp adds -- have your raid run to #3 if they get any on them. Tank #3 should be spamming 1-point Spotter's constantly. Tanks #1 and #2 switch aggro on the boss periodically to keep stacks low. All three watch out for the AoE under her -- it will one-shot tanks if you get hit. Move out as the cast bar nears completion then come back in.

    5. Hammerknell Fortress

    Murdantix
    On the pull my guild brings the boss towards the front-left and moves clockwise throughout the fight. Other guilds may start in a different location or move a different direction -- do what you're used to. In any case, tanks should switch at 4 stacks of the debuff and then whenever stacks drop off for the rest of the fight. At 75%, be sure to keep your melee out of purple goo on the ground -- drag the boss backwards more than you think you have to in order to be safe. If you need to move the boss backwards out of tar while he is casting Demonic Blast don't be afraid to leave melee range before the cast finishes. Nobody should be standing near you anyway and a blast hitting you at ranged is mostly harmless. At 50%, watch for interrupts. At 25% use some extra AoE threat to grab as many adds as possible, but your normal Spotter's should get most of it.

    Soulrender Zilas
    I solo tank this boss - many guilds use two but I find it unnecessary. This boss is definitely doable with one tank and you get a nice raid DPS boost from the extra player you free up. It's certainly challenging, but incredibly fun. Tank the boss so its back is to the add path leading in (so you face the adds as they come in). With force taunts being off cooldown after 1.5 patch, it's simple to pick up adds that are running in. Keep your camera zoomed out as far as possible and just click on anything that comes in followed by a force taunt to grab it. The only tricky spot is when a butcher and imp come in at the exact same time from opposite sides -- prioritize picking up the butcher first. The imp doesn't do much damage so if it gets a hit or two off on a raid member before you can grab it (either from residual Spotter's aggro or a second force taunt after 8 seconds) it's no big deal. On laser beam phases, keep an eye on the road coming in to see if any adds will arrive during the phase. If they do, just position yourself so you're in range to grab them as they come. Spam Ragestorm and Spotter's while running to hold aggro on any adds chasing you. Note that the beam takes about 10 seconds to complete a full rotation and you can run faster than it with bard speed buff up. That means if you are running right behind the beam and see an add coming you can sit in one place for 7-8 seconds, grab the add, build some aggro, and start running again before the beam catches back up to you. As the beam dissipates move to your tanking spot and wait for the skeletons to run up from behind you. This part can be tricky, but in order to minimize damage coming from you at this point, WAIT until the skeletons have run PAST you and then throw Spotter's immediately. If done properly all the skeletons will be in front of you, lined up nicely with the boss/butchers/imps so you can block all incoming attacks and your melee DPS can cleave it all. Stay cool and don't screw up during this fight -- if you're solo tanking one mistake can wipe your raid pretty easily. If you're unsure about your skills there's always the safety net of using a second tank for adds (of course your DPS will need to be higher to compensate).

    Vladmal Prime
    As the main tank, chill out and spank the boss down. You may get feared, just reposition as normal. Other than that it's an incredibly boring boss to tank. As the delver tank things are a little more interesting -- just watch for them to run in, grab them and pull them off to a corner. You should have 1-2 AoE DPS with you to help kill them. As far as excavator tanking goes -- leave that to another class (Clerics work well) or create a gimmicky spec with some Riftblade for Freeze Armor. Alternatively, this fight can be done with only 2 tanks as my guild has done recently. Have somebody, preferably a warrior with Spotter's, go play with the boss and the rest of the raid while the second tank deals with all the adds (except the squirrel-able adds, obviously still need a mage with you for that). The off-tank should just pick everything up and tank it at the top of the ramp. Keep a dedicated puri healer on you, as well as two rogues with 0-point Sab for Adhesive Bomb and an -Icar for extra DPS and heals. The two rogues cycle their Bombs on you, which will keep the Excavators with a permanent slow debuff if done properly. The rogues (and the -Icar) AoE the rest of the time to knock down the Delvers and help the Excavators die a little faster.

    Grugonim
    Tank damage is fairly minimal in this encounter, I like having the bonus raid DPS of Cutting Distraction -- it especially helps nuking down adds quicker. As a tank there's not a whole lot going on in this fight, just remember to move to the side of the boss on the third breath each time. Remember to make use of Infestation on Grug near the end of the 10% tower phase!

    King Molinar and Prince Dollin
    The tank should pull Molinar to the third pair of pillars counting from the throne (second pair counting from the entrance door) and move back and forth from pillar to pillar on each Cursed Blows. Dollin tank uses first pair of pillars, raid ranged players use second. When purple squares appear, adjust your kite path as minimally as required. It is better to cut across the corner of a purple square spawning in the middle than it is to circle around behind a pillar and out of line of sight of your healers. The warrior tank should be responsible for interrupting (or not) Frightening Shout throughout the first half of the fight, make sure other players are NOT interrupting this cast so you can control when it goes off. When a Revenant spawns, try to get a Spotter's up on it for your DPS but make sure you don't miss an interrupt while doing this. At 40%, a DPS should be assigned to Shout while the tank and one other DPS interrupt all Consuming Essence. Note that you need one ranged interrupter on Consuming Essence -- in a couple hours of attempts prior to us adding a ranged player to Molinar for interrupts we had two RNG deaths from a knockback from Dollin kicking all players out of melee range of Molinar at the exact instant he started casting Consuming Essence, resulting in a wipe.

    Estrode
    This fight is a simple tank and spank -- the dangerous parts of the fight are when she has a Mage with Pyro soul stolen at the same time as a Mind Control hits. When this occurs, sit with 3 AP ready to blow Singularity the instant she uses the fire breath. Interrupt Chastise when she has a cleric soul, and help your archon in purging Rage of the North and Mistress of the Rift. If your raid is in the proper specs there should be no adds or other mechanics to worry about, and you as the tank will never be mind controlled.

    Matron Zamira
    My guild uses two main tanks and an off-tank. As a main tank, switch at 2 stacks initially and whenever they drop off after that. When you use a tome the tanks should switch immediately after adds spawn so one tank gets most of the adds and the other a few adds + the boss. Pop cooldowns on these add spawns, but save your big ones for sub-30%. At 40% start interrupting the boss's casts (or don't if your raid is reflecting them). You should use your third tome at about 32-33% so Ichor begins after the final round of adds. Have your tome clicker jump down to help out and hope you can burn the boss before she one-shots your tanks. Save all defensive cooldowns for around 10-15% on the boss -- chain Singularity into Fusion of Flesh and a Touch of Life after an Ichor hit. As the off-tank, simply grab the single adds that spawn continuously and bring them into the middle for your DPS to kill. Interrupt Arc of the Night -- there should never be more than one add alive so the tank should be able to handle interrupts on his own. If you are dying repeatedly on this fight, find more Death Resistance!

    Sicaron
    This boss's breath is a fairly gimmicky mechanic where it is a Physical damage Spell. This means you can block it, and Hardened Will (Paladin) and Crest Mastery (Reaver) work to mitigate it, but Void (Void Knight) does not. In addition the damage can be split between two players which is why you should use a second tank. Move the boss as needed to make room for more Contract drops, ending up at the path leading to the boss. The main tank will never be targeted with Contracts, but the off tank can be. Make sure your raid is stacked up enough to keep the two tanks inside the blue Contract bubble, otherwise you will not be able to hold aggro (my guild has a rogue pulling 3.2k DPS and a warrior pulling 3k DPS on the fight). Tanking this fight is heavily RNG-based -- stack as much block as possible and hope for the best.

    Inquisitor Garau
    This fight is fairly simple as a tank, just stand in the middle and tank him. When a porter spawns, head to him early so you don't waste too much time getting the beam and bringing it back to him. Bring a lot of water resist -- I sit at 337 raid buffed with a potion and still get hit for ~3k a tick of his beam and ~4k on an auto-attack spell spam.

    Inwar Darktide
    Tanking melee side of the encounter (left for most guilds) is fairly easy. Phase 1 is a simple tank and spank. For Phase 2, have your group move to the piles of rocks along the side. Have a DPS WARRIOR make the pulls of the three mobs, this will prevent adds from ever spawning on this phase. Phases 3 and 4 (focus and miniboss) are again simple tank and spanks -- be ready for adds at 30-40% of the mob's HP on Phase 4. For Phase 5 (Darktide), again just tank and spank. Be aware of Surge and kite the boss when it happens -- I just make a loop around the half of the platform closest to the door. Try not to get too close to your casters. ;)

    Akylios
    <Disclaimer: Have not successfully killed boss. I've reached Phase 4.>

    Phase 1: Jornaru and Adds
    Main tank (recommend normal warrior tank OR rogue): Spank Jornaru. Watch out for waves.
    Off tank #1 (Recommend WOTM tanking spec (38 reaver/21 paragon/7 paladin): On the first add spawn, keep one Apostle and one Deepclaw separated from the rest of the AoE pile. When the OTHER deepclaw reaches 25% HP, bring your two guys into the mix. The Apostle should get a damage taken buff, nuke it down. Keep your deepclaw alive. On the second add spawn, keep everything in the AoE pile until the deepclaw you saved dies. Then, pull one deepclaw out of the pile and save it for Phase 2. If you're in WOTM tank you can ignore waves.
    Off tank #2 (recommend cleric): Keep every add that off tank #1 isn't dealing with in the AoE pile on Jornaru. Watch out for waves.

    Phase 2: Lashers, Stingers, and Adds
    Main tank: Tank Lasher spawns #2 and #4. Can also grab some adds if you're having troubles with them. Throw taunts on Stingers that happen to be in range of you.
    Off tank #1: Tank Lasher spawns #1 and #3. Can also grab some adds if you're having troubles with them. Throw taunts on Stingers that happen to be in range of you.
    Off tank #2: Tank all adds, keeping them next to the active lasher for AoE DPS.

    Phase 3: Lashers and Akylios
    Main tank: Tank Lasher #2 on the transition and on all submerged subphases.
    Off tank #1: Play with Akylios. Make sure to stay in melee range 100% of the time except during breath casts. Tank Lasher spawn #1 (peeling it off of main tank probably) on submerged subphases.
    Off tank #2: If you're a cleric, bust out healing mode. If not, sit around, twiddle your thumbs, and wait for the next phase.

    Phase 4: Lashers, Akylios, and Jornaru
    Main tank: Tank Jornaru next to whatever DPS target is currently active (Akylios or lasher)
    Off tank #1: Akylios and lasher #1, same as Phase 3. You can ignore waves if you're in WotM.
    Off tank #2: Lasher #2. Can go heal mode or twiddle thumbs mode with Akylio's head up.

    6. Rise of the Phoenix

    Ereandorn
    Easiest tanking fight in the game. Tank'n'spank, no mechanics that you as the tank have to worry about.

    Beruhast
    Stay in the middle of the room and do your best to keep the boss out of the fire circles -- not so much for yourself as the damage is extremely minimal on you, but so that your melee DPS can have maximum uptime on the boss. Make sure you are interrupting Inferno Lash! You should have your cooldown available for every cast, but have at least one other raid member also interrupting in case you miss one -- most often will happen while moving the boss. As a warrior, you should never be doing offtanking duty on this boss (should be a cleric), but if you really must then I'd recommend using some sort of PvP spec such as 38 vk/28 champion so you can have reasonable DPS with your threat.

    General Silgen
    This fight is a bit interesting as a tank since the boss cleaves. In addition to dodging all the mechanics that everyone in the raid has to dodge, you need to do it without flipping the boss into anybody's face and getting them one-shot. I recommend that each time you have to move for a tether you turn the boss the same direction, so the melee know what's happening every time. As a tank you can survive for a really long time on the tether, so don't worry about taking a straight line to your location. Take the path that goes through the least people in your raid. Once you've moved to your tether spot, you should tank the boss there until the next Incinerate cast to prevent excess movement. When the cast goes off, you can move the boss back to your normal tanking spot as everyone leaves the bubble without fear of cleaves.

    High Priest Arakhurn
    Be careful of positioning on this fight. You can actually be in melee range and NOT be in range of your big AoE threat skills -- Promise of Steel/Cyclone Strike/Ragestorm. The only way to hit with these skills is to stand on the very tip of the rock outcropping. Standing here then makes it a bit tricky to get behind a rock in time for the big AoE attacks he does. The trick is to watch the lava -- once you see it start flaming more back up to max melee range, then start running as soon as she puts you down from the lift. Ideally you should be right next to your rock when the cast starts. MAKE SURE you take one tick of damage from the AoE before ducking behind the rock, and try to avoid taking two ticks. If the option is zero or two though, go for two. When the AoE finishes, make sure to get back in line of sight ASAP, then execute your tank swap. The adds on this fight are simple to deal with, whoever is not currently tanking the boss simply pulls the bird behind your rock and waits for the AoE for everyone to come nuke it down. If the bird is still up for some reason when the AoE finishes, the tank who was previously on the boss picks up the bird and the tank previously on the bird picks up the boss. Final note on this fight: the current tank will never be turned into the fire elemental from Slow Burn stacks, and neither will the off-tank in Phase 2 of the fight. I have seen the off-tank be the elemental during Phase 1 though.

    Gear Suggestions

    With any Warrior raid tanking, the first stats to consider are Toughness and Hit. For Hammerknell you need 200 toughness (which is the cap, but is the minimum) and 300-320 Hit (320 being the cap). For all other raids, the numbers are 150 Toughness and 200-220 Hit. When adding runes to gear, first add a toughness rune to your chest if required, then add Hit runes to gear if required (keep in mind you can get 45 Hit from my Paladin Hybrid spec if you adjust it!), then add stat runes to other pieces.

    As a rule of thumb, you should order gear by:

    Armor = Endurance > Strength > Block > Dexterity > Parry = Dodge. To figure out upgrades between similar pieces of gear, consult a BiS spreadsheet. The best one I know of is found at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...jdlUGFiQ2VsWmc -- Rain's BiS updated to 1.7.

    In addition, certain fights in Hammerknell will require resist sigils (source machines for you lousy Defiant). For earlier dungeons you can get by with just a standard BiS tank sigil, but in Hammerknell you will need a Death resist sigil for Zamira (possible to get by without it if you have excellent healers and a few pieces of HK gear already) and a Water resist sigil (preferably from the event, which will net you a bonus +20 resist) for the entirety of the upper floor, from my understanding.

    Conclusion

    I hope this guide was useful to someone reading it. If anyone has suggestions for changes or things I missed, please feel free to post. I will update this thread based on suggestions, as well as once I get more boss experience in Hammerknell.

    Changelog:

    02/08/12: Added RotP info.
    02/06/12: Finally updated rest of Hammerknell, as well as updating BiS link.
    12/07/11: Changed preferred BiS list, added info on Garau.
    11/18/11: Begun update for 1.6, added spec. Individual encounter strat changes to come.
    11/15/11: Added information on Estrode and Grugonim, updated Vladmal for two-tank strat
    10/18/11: Added information on Molinar
    Last edited by tordana; 02-13-2012 at 06:46 PM.
    Read my Comprehensive Warrior Raid Tanking Guide and Warrior Tank Leveling Guide!
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  2. #2
    RIFT Guide Writer tordana's Avatar
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    1.5 Outdated Specs

    Below are the old specs for 1.5, these are no longer in use.

    1. 51 VK (General/Magical)

    Build: http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=0c....EeuqIkiudz.xz

    Rationale: Taking 51 points in Void Knight grants access to the incredible Accord of Emptiness, which is the primary reason this spec is so powerful. Beyond that, 6 points in Warlord are a must for Battlefield Awareness. The 9 points in Paladin can be rearranged based on preference. 5/5 Defender and 1/1 Shield of the Hero are a must, but the other three points can be moved as you personally see fit. I enjoy having the extra threat generation from 2/2 Aggressive Guardian, but there is also merit in moving those to Stalwart Shield for 3/5 instead of 1/5 if you never have aggro issues and wish for a little extra mitigation. I recommend my listed build for most players, of course.

    Macros: There is only one useful macro for this build. AP builder:
    Code:
    #show Aggressive Block
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Aggressive Block
    cast Reckless Strike
    cast Retaliation
    This will maximize your Aggressive Block uptime and generate maximum threat while spamming it. However, you will not use this macro 100% of the time as I will outline below.

    Pulling: I usually facepull with this build. Use Ragestorm as melee mobs are running through you towards whatever aura player you have in your group, and follow it up with Spotter's to solidify aggro. Use Rift Summon to get any casters into the mix if possible. Throwing out 3 1-point Spotter's Orders at the start of a pull is very safe and you can go into a normal 3-point rotation after that confident you won't lose any aggro to overzealous DPS players. It is important to know that you can generate Pacts (and therefore stacks of Ravenous Armor/Ravenous Strength) outside of combat by using Ragestorm followed by Pact Conversion. Always try to pull bosses with 10 stacks already running, as well as 3 AP.

    Rotation Explanation: This build has a number of important buffs and debuffs to keep active while tanking. You have 4 AP builder buffs/debuffs: Aggressive Block, Pacifying Strike, Empowering Strike, and Leader's Mark. Of the four, the latter three have no cooldown so only one could be placed in a spam macro. However, they all have lower damage than the standard builder Reckless Strike so we'll use that in our spam macro. If you want to simply matters a bit, simply replace Reckless Strike with Pacifying Strike in your macro and have one less buff/debuff to worry about.

    Leader's Mark should ONLY be used if there is no Ranger in your raid with Piercing Shot and 3/3 Exposure. That armor debuff is higher and yours will overwrite it. Let's assume we have a ranger with the armor debuff for now, if you don't simply add it in.

    Basic Rotation:
    Code:
    Pacifying Strike -- Empowering Strike -- Spam -- Spotter's Order
    Spam -- Spam -- Spam -- Devouring Blow
    <Refresh Pacifying, Empowering, Spotter's as they wear off, spam macro/Devouring otherwise.>
    For higher threat generation, use Spotter's Order every 3 AP rather than only when it needs to be refreshed.

    Max Aggro Rotation: For maximum threat generation, simply alternate a builder with Spotter's, using it at 1 point each time. In situations where you are tanking a boss + adds, attempt to keep 3-point Spotter's up on the boss while targeting the adds with your 1-point Spotter's spam for threat. This maximizes DPS on the boss while keeping your threat high on everything.

    Passive Buffs: Make sure you have active Shield of the Hero, Aegis of Vitality, Void, Battlefield Distraction, and Battlefield Awareness

    Cooldown usage: This build excels in cooldown abilities. You have Touch of Life and Fusion of Flesh that both work well for emergency low-health situations. Singularity needs to be used pre-emptively when you know a large amount of magical damage will be coming. Also, never forget that you have both a purge and a cleanse! Help your healers out.

    2. Paladin Hybrid (Physical)

    Build: http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=0c...Mh00V0z.tE00oz

    Rationale: This build has an incredible amount of physical mitigation via blocks and armor, as well as raid utility and massive threat generation. 18 WL is an excellent raid DPS boost with Cutting Distraction, I would not recommended re-arranging points here at all. Void Knight gives a massive defensive boost with Ravenous Strength/Defense, and pact upkeep is not an issue with 5 in both Insatiable Hunger and Blood from a Stone. 2 points in Devourer provide a token amount of magic resistance. Most of the leeway in this build lies in Paladin. What I linked is my personal build, but there are plenty of modifications possible. If you are lacking Hit, moving some points into Graceful Under Pressure will be useful. Taking Martial Shield can be useful, though I personally prefer not to have it as it throws off my rhythm and extra finishers are not nearly as important for tanking as DPSing. Paladin's Devotion and Steely Resolve have minor uses but I would generally advise against them.

    Macros: Again, there is only one useful macro for this build. AP builder:
    Code:
    #show Aggressive Block
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Aggressive Block
    cast Reckless Strike
    cast Retaliation
    cast Disarming Counterblow
    This will maximize your Aggressive Block uptime and generate maximum threat while spamming it. However, you will not use this macro 100% of the time as I will outline below. Note that all bosses are immune to the disarm effect of Disarming Counterblow, but it's still useful to use for extra threat and damage if you get a block while Retaliation is on cooldown.

    Pulling: Charge into a group of mobs with Shield Charge and immediately Riftstorm and Spotter's Order. Like 51 VK, throwing out 3 1-point Spotter's Orders at the start of a pull is very safe and you can go into a normal 3-point rotation after that confident you won't lose any aggro to overzealous DPS players. Again, it is important to know that you can generate Pacts (and therefore stacks of Ravenous Armor/Ravenous Strength) outside of combat by using Ragestorm followed by Pact Conversion. Always try to pull bosses with 10 stacks already running, as well as 3 AP. Using Imposing before a pull can help out.

    Rotation Explanation: Like 51 VK, this build has a number of important buffs and debuffs to keep active while tanking. You have 4 AP builder buffs/debuffs: Aggressive Block, Pacifying Strike, Empowering Strike, and Leader's Mark. Of the four, the latter three have no cooldown so only one could be placed in a spam macro. However, they all have lower damage than the standard builder Reckless Strike so we'll use that in our spam macro. If you want to simply matters a bit, simply replace Reckless Strike with Pacifying Strike in your macro and have one less buff/debuff to worry about. In addition, you have two finisher buffs to keep running.

    Leader's Mark should ONLY be used if there is no Ranger in your raid with Piercing Shot and 3/3 Exposure. That armor debuff is higher and yours will overwrite it. Let's assume we have a ranger with the armor debuff for now, if you don't simply add it in.

    Basic Rotation:
    Code:
    Pacifying Strike -- Empowering Strike -- Spam -- Spotter's Order
    Spam -- Spam -- Spam -- Call to Entrench
    <Refresh Pacifying, Empowering, CtE as they wear off, spam macro/Spotter's otherwise>
    Max Aggro Rotation: For maximum threat generation, simply alternate a builder with Spotter's, using it at 1 point each time. In situations where you are tanking a boss + adds, attempt to keep 3-point Spotter's up on the boss while targeting the adds with your 1-point Spotter's spam for threat. This maximizes DPS on the boss while keeping your threat high on everything. Always use Call to Entrench with 3 points if at all possible.

    Passive Buffs: Make sure you have active Shield of the Chosen, Aegis of Salvation, Void, Battlefield Distraction, Aspect of the Fallen Hero, and Battlefield Awareness

    Cooldown usage: This build has only one noteworth cooldown ability: Touch of Life. Save it for when your primary healers are out of commission for a few seconds due to encounter mechanics and you get low HP during that time.

    3. Warlord Hybrid (Special)

    Build: http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=0c...ozMs0z.gc0qczV

    Rationale: This build is intended for off-tanking with raid utility. The purpose for the build is access to Aid Command, Rallying Command, and Assault Command, as well as a purge and cleanse and respectable mitigation. This build should not be used for main tanking unless you significantly outgear the content.

    Macros: See 51 VK.

    Pulling: This is an offtank build, you should not be pulling with it.

    Rotation Explanation/Basic Rotation/Max Aggro Rotation/Passive Buffs: See 51 VK. Note that Spotter's should be kept up on the main boss if not using a warrior main tank with it, otherwise use as you see fit on adds.

    Cooldown usage: Cooldowns depend on individual encounter mechanics. Figure out the best time to use your Commands based on the fight (more details listed later in the guide in the proper section).
    Last edited by tordana; 11-18-2011 at 11:08 AM.
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  3. #3
    Champion propapili's Avatar
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    I like this guide overall. A couple critiques...

    Should be running a reaver hybrid type build for sicaron, not the paladin hybrid you linked. 26 pal/ 21 reaver/ 19vk - either have the OT run spotters or make a warrior DPS go buff spec.

    On Matron, interrupts don't start until 30%. At 40%, have your mages alternate reflects on whichever tank is being targeted. We have each of our tanks marked, and the mages just mash whichever macro they need to. If you reflect Hideous Blast, it will give Matron a debuff that increases the damage she takes.

    Each tank should have a macro that reads /cancelbuff Reflective Command. Tanks should mash this macro a couple times as she transitions to 30% to ensure that you don't get an Ichor reflected.

    Anyway, overall it's a good guide. Nice work.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by propapili View Post

    On Matron, interrupts don't start until 30%. At 40%, have your mages alternate reflects on whichever tank is being targeted. We have each of our tanks marked, and the mages just mash whichever macro they need to. If you reflect Hideous Blast, it will give Matron a debuff that increases the damage she takes.

    Each tank should have a macro that reads /cancelbuff Reflective Command. Tanks should mash this macro a couple times as she transitions to 30% to ensure that you don't get an Ichor reflected.
    Of course, if you have a solid mage rotation of reflects and no one with interrupts in their macro, you can reflect every single hideous blast.

  5. #5
    Plane Walker
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    tl;dr: use more win

  6. #6
    Rift Chaser
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    Great guide! I keep 51 VK and the 32 WL hybrid at all times. No room for a 3rd tank soul right now. I have run all the way up to Murdantix now and I agree with your tanking recommendation for all the fights except Thalguur in GP. I always solo tank that fight with 51 VK. No need for a 2nd tank there. I overgear it now, but even when I was T2 with some T3, I was fine solo tanking it.

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    Why does the Paladin hybrid have 18 in WL? Seems like a bit of a waste for Cutting Distraction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by titansgrip View Post
    Why does the Paladin hybrid have 18 in WL? Seems like a bit of a waste for Cutting Distraction.
    It's a fairly significant dps increase, and pretty much the only reason you wouldn't run 51vk on a physical fight.
    Last edited by Ahov; 10-07-2011 at 12:58 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahov View Post
    It's a fairly significant dps increase, and pretty much the only reason you wouldn't run 51vk on a physical fight.
    Hm. I never really noticed. Or took note, I suppose.

    Wait does that even work on bosses? I see the Immune thing pop up for BD all the time.
    Last edited by titansgrip; 10-07-2011 at 01:01 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by titansgrip View Post
    Hm. I never really noticed. Or took note, I suppose.

    Wait does that even work on bosses? I see the Immune thing pop up for BD all the time.
    Yes. It works on bosses.

  11. #11
    RIFT Guide Writer tordana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by titansgrip View Post
    Hm. I never really noticed. Or took note, I suppose.

    Wait does that even work on bosses? I see the Immune thing pop up for BD all the time.
    It works. BD doesn't work on anything really, but CD works on everything.

    Thanks for the feedback so far guys. I realized I managed to forget about Plutonus in the guide (derp) but I can't edit my post so waiting to hear back from Walsingham to get those privileges.

    @propapili: Didn't realize you could cancel a reflective command on yourself, that's awesome. If your tanks are on the ball that means you can keep reflects going sub-30% too. My guild has just never bothered with any reflects on the fight.

    @zadozex: Definitely possible. I actually haven't gone to GP personally for over a month (before the Uruluuk nerfs) but will try solo tanking it next time I'm in there. Just got used to two-tanking it right when it released and we weren't geared.
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    Champion propapili's Avatar
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    Armor should be on your priority list on the same plane as endurance.

  13. #13
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    where is your magic mitigation build?

    I see you call your 51VK a magic mitigation build, however I do not understand this (i have heard this before). I have been told to build this for magic mitigation, but I see very few options that make it better then the paladin build with the 9% spell dmage reduction in it. I may be missing something, but other then 10% from the 51 point ability (barely better then the 9% from Pally), there are just 2 abilities that are on long cooldowns that address spell damage reduction.

    Edit: I know about the void buff increase, but in most pally/VK i see that is at 4/5 or 5/5 (as it is in my pally hybrid build).
    Last edited by Clinkz0r; 10-07-2011 at 02:04 PM.

  14. #14
    Champion propapili's Avatar
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    If you're taking consistent magic damage or magic damage that comes in bursts that are less than 1 minute apart, I would run Reaver Hybrid or Riftblade Hybrid.

  15. #15
    RIFT Guide Writer tordana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by propapili View Post
    Armor should be on your priority list on the same plane as endurance.
    While that is true, the itemization is such that with only one exception that I know of (crafted shield vs. relic from RoS) higher other stats means higher armor. Of course it works the other way too, higher armor means higher other stats. Regardless I'll mention it once I can edit.

    @Clinkz0r:

    With 26 paladin and 18 warlord, the maximum magic mit you can get is 9% from Paladin + 11% from VK (2/5 Devourer) = 20%. With 51 VK you have 20% from Void and 10% from Accord of Emptiness = 30% + the 2 cooldowns. Singularity is up for 10 seconds every minute and is 50% mitigation, if you extrapolate that out you find it's an average of ~8.33% mitigation so you're looking at an average of 38.33% compared to the 20% from my Paladin hybrid.

    Now, you can also make a case for a 26 paladin / 15 warlord, which lets you take 25 VK and thus 5/5 Devourer for a total of 29% magic mitigation. At that point though you lose cutting distraction and you're still below the 51 VK numbers.

    Finally, you can drop Warlord altogether and use a paladin/vk/reaver hybrid for 20% + 9% + 9% magic mitigation (ending up at 38%). Notice that this ends up being actually less mitigation than the 51 VK if you include the average mitigation from Singularity. In reality Singularity will do even better in many fights than 8.33% since you pop it during large spikes of damage. And as a bonus 51vk gives you a hell of a lot more physical mitigation than a paladin/vk/reaver, as well as Spotter's Order.

    Hope that makes sense.

    EDIT: Crossposted with clinkz0r's edit: you can't take more than 2/5 devourer if you want 26 paladin for Shield of the Chosen and 18 WL for Cutting Distraction.
    Last edited by tordana; 10-07-2011 at 02:11 PM.
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