Hey all. I do not by any means consider myself a subject matter expert, but I've been tanking in MMOs since 2007 and have been playing my guardian for the past 8 years or so. I'm into theory-crafting, research, and seeking out advice from the people who ARE the class experts.
This is just an overview that serves to get someone set up to tank for at least Anvil T2. There are a ton of details I won't go into here but I'm happy to answer any questions that may come up.
Tac Mit- 208k
Phys Mit- 240k
Note: Block, Parry, and Evade seem to be secondary as the high level tanks I’ve talked to don’t worry about slotting for them at all.
Yeah, I know I’m missing some, but here’s the general idea.
This is the guide I'm following to finish off my class trait points.
These are dependent on where your stats are, so this is not set by any means, but I found this combo to be very in line with where I was trying to get. It’s high mitigations, an extra 5k morale or so, and some added Finesse so you don’t have to focus using your armor slots for it.
7792 Phys Mit
3896 Tac Mit
7792 Tac Mit
2338 Phys Mit
3896 Tac Mit
2790 Crit Def
7792 Tac Mit
2338 Phys Mit
3202 Phys Mast
Total tanking stat increase from virtues-
12,468 Phys Mit, 23,376 Tac Mit, 1860 Armor, 5,520 Morale, 2,790 Crit Defense, 4,651 Resistance, 7,906 Finesse
You can definitely see this has a huge impact as it supplies 11% of your Tac Mit and 16% of your Finesse. That’s at least 2-3 essences or an extra piece of jewelry you can devote to stacking Vitality. Virtues are worth maxing out, and then you can max out other virtues to swap out depending on what kind of damage your taking or how much you need to boost your outgoing damage to bump your threat.
First off, I was dumb here and maxed out a sword for the extra 1% Parry. The threat calculator for Guardians is that every 1 damage you do is multiplied by 5 for threat, so damage is a big deal. I should have gone for an axe which has the extra 5% damage because Thregan is a dwarf. If you can take advantage of a racial buff, you should.
Anyway, these are the legacies I’m rocking that have been confirmed by other Guards on the server and I’ve found to be effective.
-60 Guardian’s Pledge CD
-10 Stamp CD
+66.4% AOE Skill Damage
+8300 Shield Swipe Crit Rating
+33.2% Warrior’s Heart Max Morale
-30s Turn the Tables CD
+33.2% Whirling Retaliation Damage
+5s Force Taunt duration
+51.4% Shield Damage
+33.2% Guardian’s Pledge Magnitude
-17s Catch a Breath CD
+83% Warrior’s Heart Fortitude
+83% Shield Smash Damage
+66.4% Light Damage
Relics- All from the Vales. This will change in about 2 weeks. They are the same for your weapon and belt.
Grand Vales Setting of Resistance
Grand Vales Gem of Vitality
Vales Rune of Striking (remember, DPS=5x Threat)
Vales Device of Protection
For tanks in general, the idea is to run in , establish threat early, keep threat by using primarily damage and only using your taunts if absolutely while popping mitigation skills frequently to make your damage taken less spikey.
Here’s in general what I like to do.
Before running in, it's a good idea to use Guardian's Pledge or Juggernaut to help take the edge off the initial damage.
When you first run in, use War Chant- Reduces response skill CDs, does light damage which is buffed by belt legacy, establishes initial AoE Threat.
Guardian’s Ward- keep up for mitigations.
Guardian’s Pledge- Keep up for mitigations. Pop it whenever the CD is up.
Thrill of Danger- Restore Morale every time CD is up to aid healer.
Other than that, you want to be using your shield attack abilities to keep your threat up. The following is your main rotation while mitigation abilities are on CD.
1a) Shield-Blow- your main attack whenever it’s not on CD. Pops a block/parry response which make other abilities available.
1b) Sting- not your main quick attack, but keep in mind that it removes a corruption. This is a big deal in some fights like the Maw in KK.
2) Shield Swipe
5) Retaliation (single target)/Whirling Retaliation (multi target)
There are several situational abilities to be aware of
Challenge- Your main AoE taunt. Never use at the beginning of a fight as tempting as it is. This is for when you’ve lost threat already because it replaces your threat on each target with whatever the highest threat is. If you already have the highest threat, this ability does nothing.
Fray the Edge- Your main single target taunt at distance. Save this CD for if something gets away from you and is out of melee range.
Engage- Good to pop just in case near the beginning of fights or occasionally during the fight. Tab to any ranged enemies you lose and use this before Fray the Edge if you can.
Juggernaut- I usually use this whenever CD is up as a general mitigation skill, but know the fights. If there’s a particular point you know you’re going to take really hard hits, save this for then.
Stagger- I mostly use this when it’s on CD for the class deed. It has some good effect, but I don’t know if it’s worth worrying about after that.
Ignore the Pain- Super important ability. Keep this handy to take bleeds and other negative effects off you. It has a really short (5s) CD and your healer will thank you for helping them keep negative effects off you.
Endurance of Stone- Use this when things are looking rough and you know heals might not be coming in steadily.
Dwarf Endurance- a nice little morale bump for the party. Use at the beginning of a fight.
Note: It might seem important to use Vexing Blow and Sweeping Cut, but it just doesn’t generate the same amount of threat as your shield abilities. I generally ignore these.
Don’t forget Stamp and Head Butt for interruptions. You’re the one in the enemy’s face, you should be the one interrupting when see the inductions.
Following these will at least establish a good baseline for you and you can feel free to improve on it. It works really for me and I very rarely have threat issues and am told I'm one of the easier Guards to heal because I keep my mits up.
As always, reach out here or in game if you have any questions or suggestions.