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Thread: 3.7 Void Knight Guide

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    RIFT Guide Writer SecondBass's Avatar
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    Default 3.7 Void Knight Guide (& Intro to Tanking)

    Void Knight (VK) is one of Warrior's two tanking souls. Its strength as a tank soul lies in its unparalleled ability to group up large amounts of enemies and its utility with access to purges and cleanses.

    While it has been outshone by newer tanking souls, VK is a very reliable tank soul and is worth picking up by any warrior interested in tanking.

    *This guide is meant to teach both the basics of tanking as well as the specifics of void knight, so experienced non-VK tanks may find this guide somewhat redundant*

    What do tanks do?

    There are two key aspects that define tanking:

    Threat - getting all of the enemies to attack you and not your allies
    As enemies in the game are controlled by a computer, they use a metric known as ‘threat’ to decide who to attack. Doing damage to an enemy or healing an ally generates threat. It is a tank’s job to generate more threat than its allies so that enemies attack you.

    Survivability - not dying from all of the enemies attacking you
    Since enemies will be attacking you more than anyone else it is important to not die. This is why tank builds as defensive as possible, including everything from soul tree builds to gear and weapons to planar attunement points. Many abilities in tank souls increase your survivability by either providing constant boosts to your defences or short bursts or massively increased survivability.

    Point Spread:
    61 Void Knight/15 Paladin/0 Tempest
    Best Survivability

    61 Void Knight/15 Paladin/0 Tempest
    Slightly better damage for little loss to survivability. (I promise the point spread is different)

    The third soul provides no benefit to survivability, only utility, so it is flexible.
    Tempest provides 30m range and the highest DPS
    Reaver provides 30m range if you don't own Tempest.
    Warlord provides an additional pull ability.
    Champion provides a charge.

    Mastery Alternatives:
    62: Protective Aura is a viable option. You lose slight self survivability and some range, but you gain a slight boost to raid survivability.

    Synergy Crystal:
    Protector’s Crystal

    Gear & Stats:
    Tanks have very different itemization than healers or damage dealers. Tanks have different tertiary stats, meaning that physical crit, ability power, and crit power are useless to tanks. Tank gear has block, dodge, or guard on it.
    It is very important to reach 10% guard for the content you are trying to tank. (you can see what your guard % is for a given content by hovering over the number on your character sheet) 10% of your strength is also added to your guard.
    After you reach that threshold, you want to get as much endurance as you can. Block and dodge are fairly worthless so don’t worry about them.

    Buffs:
    Spoiler!


    Important Abilities:


    Playstyle:
    *Threat and Survivability are not exclusive, you need to have both to be a good tank*

    Pacts:
    Pacts are the central mechanic of Void Knight. They are generated passively, or when you use Unstable Reaction. Additionally, you have a chance to gain them when you are healed or take damage. They power many of your powerful defensive abilities as well as your AOE abilities, so it is important to monitor your pacts to make sure you are getting the most of your abilities. (I have screen popups that tell me when my pacts are low and when I have no pacts)

    Threat:
    In single-target situations, your main threat generation is going to be Reckless Strike x3 > Devouring Blow.
    In multi-target situations you will use Tempest > Ragestorm as your builders and use Unstable Reaction when it is available (or Devouring Blow).

    Taunts:
    Taunts do not generate threat, but force an enemy to attack you for 3 seconds, allowing you time to generate enough threat to keep them attacking you after the taunt wears off. Rift Summon, Void Summon, Spark, and Airburst are all taunts, and they should be used liberally when new enemies spawn to guarantee that they won’t attack your allies.
    *Remember that AOE taunts are also single-target taunts if you really need one*
    WARNING: TECHNICAL HOCUS POCUS
    Spoiler!


    Passive Survivability:
    Use Retaliation when it is available as well as Aggressive Block to improve your blocking abilities. While block is not that important, on fights with lots of chances to block, these can improve your survivability greatly and have guaranteed up-time.

    Active Survivability:
    This is what separates good tanks from the rest.

    You will always be taking damage during the encounter, which is why there is a healer dedicated to you. However, the damage will come in higher spikes, and you need to use your Defensive Cooldowns to survive it. Having good communication with your healers will also help with this as they also have Defensive Cooldowns that will help you survive.
    You should get into the habit of using your cooldowns proactively, because if you died and you still had some available, you messed up.

    Fusion of Flesh - This is your get-out-of-jail-free card. This ability will save your ***, but it has a 2min CD, so it won't always be there to save you. Can be used to anticipate heavy damage or after you've sustained heavy damage, it works equally well in both cases.

    Power Shield & Protective Shield - These abilities must be used strictly pro-actively or they will be useless. Use these when you anticipate heavy damage (boss spellcasts, add spawns, healer is distracted etc.). The cooldown on Power Shield is very short, so you can often line it up to specifically mitigate one certain mechanic per fight as it will always be available for it (e.g. Searing Breath on Fyragnos[Comet of Ahnket], Rapid Strikes on Lady Envy[Mind of Madness])

    Rift Shield - A sizeable shield that can even be thrown on an ally! 25% of you health is a decent shield, but it won’t always save you. It has a short cooldown so don’t be afraid to just use it early and often.

    Power Variation - a 3s channel that will heal you for 150% of your health. It doesn’t do any healing until 1s into the cast, so you’ll get better results using it proactively. You can also cancel it by using other abilities so be careful.

    Impunity - This can’t be used on yourself, but it will save an ally. Some fights have mechanics that specifically require you to use this ability on a specific ally (e.g. Envy’s Focus on Lady Envy[Mind of Madness], Petrifying Gaze on Shockbite[Sea of Ladon])

    Devouring Shield - I don’t mention this in the ability list above because this ability is incredibly weak. The only thing of merit is that it increases your shield cap by 10% for its duration.

    Item Abilities - Some trinkets and weapons/shield have active abilities attached to them. Use them with your natural cooldowns to boost your survivability even more.

    Creative use of mechanics - Abilities can increase your survivability even if they don’t specifically say so. If an enemy is stunnable, Shock will effectively give you 5s of no damage taken, which is amazing. Impunity can also be used on another tank (in an encounter that doesn’t specifically require it!) to give them another amazing cooldown.

    Healers - Tank healers have defensive abilities too, so if you can’t keep yourself alive with your abilities, talk with them to coordinate their use of their abilities. Be nice to them or they’ll let you die on purpose!

    Putting It All Together:
    Get comfortable with your threat generating rotation (both versions are quite simple) so you can generate threat without having to think about it much. This allows you to focus on surviving the fight. Know where all of your cooldowns are so you can use them quickly and intelligently.

    Opener:
    Use Reckless Strike and Spark to quickly generate significant threat on a single target.

    Your AOE threat requires more effort as Tempest and Ragestorm are melee only. Void Summon can grab enemies from far away and allow you to quickly use Tempest on them. Unstable Reaction can also be used, but be careful as it takes a moment to generate enough threat to make an enemy attack you. Liberal use of taunts is incredibly effective here.

    Aggressive Block generates very little threat, so do NOT use it until you are sure you have threat.

    Interacting With Other Tanks:
    Once you can maintain enough threat to keep enemies away from your healers and DPS, you need to learn how to play nice with other tanks.

    Many fights require multiple tanks as the boss will apply a debuff to one tank making it take increased damage, so the other tank will need to taunt the boss away from that tank.

    As all tanks will be trying to generate threat, it is important to know which enemies should be attack which tanks, or one tank can easily die. This is very contextual to the specific fight, but being communicative is very important in multi-tank encounters.

    Macros:

    ST builder:
    Spoiler!


    This will just cast a basic builder as long as the target is within 30m of you.

    Rift Shield:
    Spoiler!


    Lets you quickly cast Rift Shield on an ally or yourself.

    Impunity:
    Spoiler!


    Lets you quickly cast Impunity on an ally.

    Power Variation:
    Spoiler!


    Forces Power Variation to heal you instead of doing one of its other effects.


    FAQ:

    Why don’t you mention some abilities you have available?
    VK has many abilities that aren’t useful. (Reckless Strike is better than Discharge, and Ragestorm is better than Void Storm) The additional abilities from Paladin are also not particularly useful and Interfere shares a cooldown with Spark so it isn’t useable.

    How do I get better at tanking?
    Practice and game knowledge. Tanking is by far the most mechanically-simple role, but requires the most situational awareness. Good tanks know the game well and have learned when their abilities are best used. You’ll want to tank expert dungeons, raid rifts, raids your guild has already cleared. Ask the people who have already tanked those encounters for help and you will start to learn the game from a tanking perspective.

    Everyone is yelling about how bad a tank I am, what do I do?
    A bad tank is much more impactful than a bad DPSer, so if you mess up everyone will notice. You can ignore the yelling, or only tank with friends, to get through the hard parts. It’ll only get easier.

    I died. Is it my fault or my healer’s fault?
    Both, but assigning blame is useless. Just work on doing better the next time. You both have ways of keeping you alive. It is very rare that both players' resources are completely spent when the tank dies. If you had more cooldowns you could have used, use them the next pull. Same goes for the healer.

    Conclusion:
    Tanking is very different from the other roles, and will take longer to learn. It can be challenging but if you chose to be a Warrior you probably had some interest in tanking, so it’s time to learn.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSeLk7taP2I(PG-13 language warning)
    Horribly made video, but just a sample of communicating cooldown usage during a fight that relies on coordinating cooldown usage.

    As always, constructive feedback is always appreciated.
    If you have any questions, you can ask them here or find me in-game.
    Thanks to Sullivain for being a grammar nerd and reminding me of the hocus pocus behind taunts.
    Last edited by SecondBass; 11-06-2016 at 07:28 PM. Reason: video day
    The cockroaches won.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kajib View Post
    I hate to brag but am one of those pro warriors who tries to push things to the limit, broken so many records
    4.1 Champion — 4.1 Overlord — 4.1 Riftblade — 4.1 Reaver — 4.1 Tempest — 4.1 Warpest
    3.7 Beastmaster — 3.7 Liberator — 3.7 Paladin — 3.7 Void Knight

  2. #2
    RIFT Guide Writer SecondBass's Avatar
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    Was gonna wait til the Pally changes go through, but I wanted to see how people respond to the format before I do the pally one.
    The cockroaches won.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kajib View Post
    I hate to brag but am one of those pro warriors who tries to push things to the limit, broken so many records
    4.1 Champion — 4.1 Overlord — 4.1 Riftblade — 4.1 Reaver — 4.1 Tempest — 4.1 Warpest
    3.7 Beastmaster — 3.7 Liberator — 3.7 Paladin — 3.7 Void Knight

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    Ascendant forbiddenlake's Avatar
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    Can you please make all ability mentions Magelo links to help me remember what they are while not ingame or on my warrior? (Highlight the ability name, press ctrl+space, and pick one)
    Last edited by forbiddenlake; 08-01-2016 at 02:56 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SecondBass View Post

    How do I get better at tanking?
    Practice and game knowledge.
    Gonna put some emphasis on this. Because it's the biggest piece of advice that I see people underestimate.

    You learn to Tank, by Tanking.
    Burst before or after Rift implosion, never both.

  5. #5
    Rift Chaser
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    Hi, can you make this into a 1 button spec please?
    Quote Originally Posted by Klutch817 View Post
    "I don't like what you're saying, so I'mma get triggered and shame you somehow." ~RIFT Forums, 2016

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    wow, this is a really nice guide, every guide should be like this!
    Gildian@Gelidra

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    8/9
    4/4CoA NM

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    Opening with PV also works great (because it has the highest damage output which in a way also helps with initial threat). But do a precast at 2 before pulling caz somehow it takes time to tick but it has never let me down. (Maybe once or twice)
    Last edited by Crazier; 08-04-2016 at 05:31 AM.

  8. #8
    RIFT Guide Writer SecondBass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by forbiddenlake View Post
    Can you please make all ability mentions Magelo links to help me remember what they are while not ingame or on my warrior? (Highlight the ability name, press ctrl+space, and pick one)
    Added these to the ability section. Didn't realize how simple it was to do, thanks for pointing this out! Gonna have to go back and do this to my other guides.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crazier View Post
    Opening with PV also works great (because it has the highest damage output which in a way also helps with initial threat). But do a precast at 2 before pulling caz somehow it takes time to tick but it has never let me down. (Maybe once or twice)
    I'd caution against this actually. Reckless Strike has an absurd threat modifier attached to it, so I actually doubt PV does more threat, at least in a single target scenario. You're also using up PV which could be a potential lifesaver.
    It takes a second to tick because it deals damage 1s into the channel (just like the heal tick pattern).
    If we're talking AOE I see more merit in it, but Unstable Reaction fills the same role.
    The cockroaches won.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kajib View Post
    I hate to brag but am one of those pro warriors who tries to push things to the limit, broken so many records
    4.1 Champion — 4.1 Overlord — 4.1 Riftblade — 4.1 Reaver — 4.1 Tempest — 4.1 Warpest
    3.7 Beastmaster — 3.7 Liberator — 3.7 Paladin — 3.7 Void Knight

  9. #9
    RIFT Guide Writer SecondBass's Avatar
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    -Fixed some grammar garbage
    -Added some more complete information about how taunts work
    -Added a horrible video where I tried to show off coordinating CDs

    I promise I'll try to make a better video eventually.
    The cockroaches won.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kajib View Post
    I hate to brag but am one of those pro warriors who tries to push things to the limit, broken so many records
    4.1 Champion — 4.1 Overlord — 4.1 Riftblade — 4.1 Reaver — 4.1 Tempest — 4.1 Warpest
    3.7 Beastmaster — 3.7 Liberator — 3.7 Paladin — 3.7 Void Knight

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    question, why did you put the points in block and resistance in the Paladin soul.

    block is pretty much useless and resistance works onely on caster bosses i think?

    so think the points better go in : a good defense and vengeful wrath.
    Last edited by faabs; 08-06-2016 at 02:57 PM.

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    Ascendant DarkDaemon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by faabs View Post
    question, why did you put the points in block and resistance in the Paladin soul.

    block is pretty much useless and resistance works onely on caster bosses i think?

    so think the points better go in : a good defense and vengeful wrath.
    A LOT of damage is non-physical, and resist is just as important, if not more so, than armor.

    Block plays an important role in reducing the load on your healers. You can't rely on block to save you from a potential killing blow, but blocking attacks regularly gives your healers extra GCDs and decreases the overall amount of damage you take.

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    Shadowlander
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    Nice guide, but you have not included the crystal we need and what to invest in!! eg-crit power, strength or enduranc!!! you get the idea. on a personnel note, what spec would you use for a new tank this or Paladin??

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    Quote Originally Posted by bjcdh06 View Post
    Nice guide, but you have not included the crystal we need and what to invest in!! eg-crit power, strength or enduranc!!! you get the idea. on a personnel note, what spec would you use for a new tank this or Paladin??
    Well, that'd be good to include, but there aren't many choices. The crystal is Protector's Crystal because that's the only tank choice. As for gearing: when you have a choice, get guard. Everything else that matters (endurance, armor, resist) comes naturally as you get better gear, and everything else doesn't matter as much as those 4 (but if you must know, str > dex and block > dodge).

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    Quote Originally Posted by bjcdh06 View Post
    Nice guide, but you have not included the crystal we need and what to invest in!! eg-crit power, strength or enduranc!!! you get the idea. on a personnel note, what spec would you use for a new tank this or Paladin??
    It's hard to cater to the needs of all lemmings, squirrels and vegetables.


    if you want a tanking role for NTEs or wants to start out tanking, I recommend VK. It's generally a little easier and the broader utility is useful.

    Otherwise, use VK or Paladin depending on the situation and personal preference.

    VK has:
    • A 10 second CD purge
    • An AOE cleanse/purge that will cleanse/purge 5 allies/enemies every second for 3
    • Faster run speed
    • Summons that reset (will be able to summon, on average, more than Paladin)
    • Shielding CDs
    • AOE with no CD (although it requires pacts)
    • Better healing received modifier
    • Less energy starved

    Paladin has:
    • AOE mitigation CDs (channels)
    • Higher passive mitigation in all physical, non-physical and spell damage departments
    • Slightly stronger and more reliable mitigation CDs
    • Strong snap threat
    • An AOE summon with no target limit and a reliable CD

    Some bosses have little burst AOE damage, and so Paladin's Wall of Light or Sanctuary aren't very useful as raid CDs. Some require a purge or kiting. Chose between Paladin and VK depending on the situation, and adapt accordingly.

    VK:
    Pagura
    Enigma
    Pillars of Justice
    Lady Justice
    Dark Genesis
    Duke Eblius
    Azaphrentus

    Paladin:
    Lady Envy
    Herecius
    Lord Fionn
    Last edited by DarkDaemon; 09-12-2016 at 05:35 AM.

  15. #15
    RIFT Guide Writer SecondBass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjcdh06 View Post
    Nice guide, but you have not included the crystal we need and what to invest in!! eg-crit power, strength or enduranc!!! you get the idea. on a personnel note, what spec would you use for a new tank this or Paladin??
    Quote Originally Posted by SecondBass View Post

    Synergy Crystal:
    Protector’s Crystal

    Gear & Stats:
    Tanks have very different itemization than healers or damage dealers. Tanks have different tertiary stats, meaning that physical crit, ability power, and crit power are useless to tanks. Tank gear has block, dodge, or guard on it.
    It is very important to reach 10% guard for the content you are trying to tank. (you can see what your guard % is for a given content by hovering over the number on your character sheet) 10% of your strength is also added to your guard.
    After you reach that threshold, you want to get as much endurance as you can. Block and dodge are fairly worthless so don’t worry about them.
    I did include the answers to both of those questions.

    I personally found Paladin way easier to learn back when I started playing, but either option is good, it's much, much, MUCH more important to learn how to play the role of a tank than to learn a specs, so just pick whichever soul seems cooler and stick to it until you can tank everything with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkDaemon View Post
    It's hard to cater to the needs of all lemmings, squirrels and vegetables.
    Be nice.
    The cockroaches won.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kajib View Post
    I hate to brag but am one of those pro warriors who tries to push things to the limit, broken so many records
    4.1 Champion — 4.1 Overlord — 4.1 Riftblade — 4.1 Reaver — 4.1 Tempest — 4.1 Warpest
    3.7 Beastmaster — 3.7 Liberator — 3.7 Paladin — 3.7 Void Knight

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