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The Aggro Magnet Guardian - How to be a Tank


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#1 paradiselight

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 03:50 AM

Announcement
12/13: Back in the game since my real-life friends started playing.

I have received quite a few questions and PM ever since I mentioned on and off the forums that I play an aggro magnet guardian. I think it's time I share some of my experiences.

Introduction
When I reached level 80 about 3 weeks after launch, I remember the hype at that moment was support guardian with cleric gear (paladins!). But I didn't like playing support as the support is pretty weak in this game and I also didn't want to purchase a separate armor set for dungeons since I'm pretty broke (who wasn't at the beginning? ^_^ )

I fooled around a little and it didn't take me too long before I come to the conclusion that the best role for a guardian is to be a tank. After all, guardians have the highest base armor, awesome self-healing via virtue of resolve and altruistic healing, and have the most amount of defensive skills and utilities at their disposal. What's the point of having so many defensive skills, utilities and traits if I don't use it to tank?

The vision I had at that time was me tanking while 4 other party members pew pew safely from range. If that's true, then I can almost single-handedly dictate the success of my PUG group. I get to control my own destiny in PUG groups, great!

I have to say here all that is just my personal belief and you're free to disagree. I know that tanking might not be everyone's cup of tea.

Aggro Mechanics (Simplified version)
One significant hurdle stands between me and my utopia: how does aggro work? After some testing and fact gathering, I believe the following factors come into play
1) First sight
2) Proximity
3) Damage
4) Shield
5) Support via healing/boon/res
6) Toughness
7) Remaining health
8) Luck :lol:  (it's truly random sometimes)

Everything on the list is intuitive except for toughness. The counter-intuitive fact is that having more toughness will actually attract more aggro on lots of instances, especially bosses. This turns out to be the most important factor in gaining and holding aggro.

Note: There is a more detailed version of aggro mechanics at the end of this post.

Maintaining Aggro
My hypothesis is that aggro is calculated as the weighted sum of all the listed factors. For the mobs to switch target, the new target need to have an aggro that is greater than the old target's aggro by a certain amount. Performing various actions such as ressing a downed teammate may add a significant amount of aggro thus making the mob change target.

So to prevent losing aggro, you need to build up a huge enough aggro differential compared to the next aggro target of your team. The logical way to do this and which synergizes with the whole concept of being a tank is to stack toughness. I find that to be effective, you need to stack toughness to the point where your armor is 3000+.

At the same time, DPS matters. If you hit like a wet noodle, you'll lose aggro because the aggro differential from the toughness difference alone is going to diminish as the fight drags on.

Once I get all that down, the plan to gain and maintain aggro is easy: In order of importance
1) Stack toughness
2) Stack DPS
3) Heal only when I'm truly low on health. If I can stay at 8k health and have no danger of getting downed, I don't heal.
4) Charge headfirst into battle
5) Use melee weapons and have shield as off-hand if possible
6) Spread boons via shouts

Do note that it is not enough to just stack toughness, you also need decent DPS to be able to gain and hold aggro.

The Tank
If you have played around with guardian traits, you could basically guess the traits from points 1,2,5 and 6.

0/30/30/10/0

Traits
Valor 30 is a no-brainer. We get to stack toughness, get +30% to crit damage, and get access to altruistic healing for awesome self-healing.

Radiance 30 to get the DPS. The largest DPS boost comes from the last 10 points (radiant power and right-hand strength) so unfortunately going full 30 is a must.

Honor 10 for the vitality, vigor (need to dodge pretty often) and shout cd reduction.

Equipment
Except for knight's helm, I run 5x Orrian armor with power, vitality and toughness (soldier).

The accessories are beryl amulet, 2x Emerald Orichalcum Earring (knight) and 2x Emerald Orichalcum Ring (knight). The rings, earrings and backpack are slotted with exquisite ruby jewel.

Rune-wise I have 6x Superior rune of divinity (I got it when it's below 1 gold) but it's not a must and you could run with rune of the soldier, dolyak or earth. The key thing is to get to 3000+ armor (I have 3150 armor or 1939 toughness),

I know Rune of divinity is freaking expensive at the moment (5g each), so an alternative would be 3x emerald orb + 3x beryl orb for a total of 102 power, 60 precision, 6% crit damage, 42 vitality and 42 toughness. You lose out on some survivability and DPS but it's not that much.

Knight Weapons
Theoretically speaking, sword + shield fills the criteria the best although sometimes I run GS (just love it too much). On various occasions I also use hammer, mace or focus as offhand. Keep in mind that if you run a 2H, you can change right-hand strength to perfect inscriptions and get 15% damage reduction with signet of judgement. This allows you to facetank with hammer on various occasions.

The second weapon set is always scepter + focus for the non melee friendly boss. I will opt to go range whenever I know I could maintain aggro even at range (this happens more often than you think). Scepter also hits pretty decently with this setup; 61% crit chance, +66% crit damage. Scepter auto-attack will hit for 1-1.5k on crit during the level 80 dungeons. In fact, I recommend anyone trying out this build to avoid melee at the beginning and go scepter + focus. Get used to the aggro before going melee.

Sigil of superior force on 2H and offhand and sigil of superior accuracy/air/fire/ice/frailty on 1H weapons.

Healing, utility and elite skills
Healing: Signet of resolve or Shelter.
Utility: depends on situation, but in general, it's 3 shouts (hold the line, retreat and save yourselves; stand your ground if there is knockdown) or 2 shouts (retreat and save yourselves) with signet of judgement.
Elite: Renewed focus.

Recommended food buff
Omnomberry pie for 66% chance to lifesteal on crit with no internal cooldown. The most OP food buff ever. Synergizes extremely well with 60+% of crit chance.

Final stats
Posted Image
*Wielding a greatsword during this screenshot

TLDR: Aggro magnet Guardian

A walk through CoF path 1(Ferrah)
Just to give you a sense of what to expect, here's what happens if you bring such a Guardian to CoF path 1.

1) Flame region turrets and mobs
Smite -> flashing blade (or leap of faith)
Gain aggro of the two silver mobs (look out for fire!)

2) Slave driver
Stay in scepter  + focus. Boss will beeline towards you unless there is a melee. You will gain the aggro of the effigy depending on the positioning (first sight).

3) Bridge event
The champion mob will eventually direct all its fire on you. Face away from party. Can be facetanked if another party member can stack weakness.

4) Same as 1

5) Kill the acolytes
3 - 5 mobs will be on you (due to proximity, the rest will be going after other party members)

6) Rolling boulders and vault (aggro doesn't matter here)

7) Searing effigy
Stay range. You will be the target of its long-range single target attack.

Warning
A word of caution here. Because the lower-level dungeons such as AC, CM and TA tend to have more mobs per fight, and because damage, vitality and healing are poorly scaled at these levels. you're going to get focused fire by the mobs and be downed incredibly fast if you're not prepared. You may want to switch to 0/30/30/5/5 instead to exploit the fact that more mobs = more VoJ spam = more might = more healing from altruistic healing.

Aggro Mechanics (Detailed version)
In a way, the aggro mechanic in GW2 is not that much different than the aggro mechanic in WoW. Most of the concept of aggro from WoW applies here. So, if anything, you might want to look up how aggro and threat are managed in WoW before coming back here.

Threat and aggro tables still exist in GW2, they are just way less transparent how they are actually calculated. GW2 also throws in a few extra factors into play (see the list earlier) while having no taunt skills to directly pull aggro. However, the standard tactic for a tank to do the opening moves to gain aggro still holds here.

Complication arises once the full party engages. At this point, the question becomes: how does the designated tank with high toughness hold aggro? In WoW, the mob switches target once the threat by another character exceed the tank's by a certain amount. The same applies here. So understanding how threat is generated is the key to understanding how aggro is held.

My hypothesis is that threat is calculated as a weighted running sum of
1) damage dealt
2) boon generated
3) specific actions such as ressing (generates a large one-time threat)
4) remaining health

The weights are determined by
1) toughness, the more toughness that you have, the higher the weights (my conjecture is that the higher weights come into play more prominently when armor exceeds 2600)
2) equipment, i.e. equipping a shield increases the weights
3) proximity

To put all these into perspective, let's consider a sequence of events during a typical boss fight.
1) A high toughness tank with 1H melee weapon and shield aggro boss.
2) The rest of the party starts to DPS.
3) Threat is generated by damage dealt. Suppose the tank hits like a wet noodle. So despite the higher threat generation weight, a glass cannon D/D thief managed to pull the aggro off the tank.
4) Boss kills thief. Boss continues to hit downed thief until thief stealths.
5) Boss goes back to hitting tank.
6) Another players starts to rez the thief, instantly generating a huge amount of threat and pull the aggro from the boss.
7) Boss kills player ressing ..... chaos ensues...

It all goes wrong because the tank doesn't have enough DPS. It's not that much different from WoW really. Sufficient DPS to make sure that the DPSer doesn't pull aggro off. That's why I stressed the importance of having enough DPS.

Have fun tanking!

Revision history
11/12: Added a section to clarify maintaining aggro and gear choices. Added alternative to rune of divinity. Added recommended food buff.
11/13: Added screenshot of final stats.
1/4: Added some further thoughts on aggro mechanics.

Edited by paradiselight, 04 January 2013 - 04:58 PM.


#2 jpg1

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 04:47 AM

Nice insights.

Between Knight's and Soldier's Armor, does Knight's have more toughness? And what would be the implication of having more Vitality, as this also effectively increases your Survival? Does it contribute to you holding aggro (beyond the fact that you don't die easily) if you have higher health or is it inconsequential? (Would mobs think that you're just harder to put down so they ignore you?)

#3 paradiselight

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 05:34 AM

View Postjpg1, on 09 November 2012 - 04:47 AM, said:

Between Knight's and Soldier's Armor, does Knight's have more toughness? And what would be the implication of having more Vitality, as this also effectively increases your Survival? Does it contribute to you holding aggro (beyond the fact that you don't die easily) if you have higher health or is it inconsequential? (Would mobs think that you're just harder to put down so they ignore you?)
Knight's have more toughness. Knight chest armor gives
101 toughness
72 power
72 precision

Soldier chest armor gives
101 power
72 toughness
72 vitality

As for vitality, I haven't managed to check what would happen if I stack toughness + vitality because accessories that gives + toughness and +vitality could only be bought with WvWvW badges. I have tried bringing my HP to 16k+ and there doesn't seem to be much difference in aggro behavior.

I have heard accounts that when you stack those two to the extreme, you become unattractive to mobs and they don't attack you. But of course, that's unvalidated and requires further testing.

It does make sense though, as remaining health matters to controlling aggro. That's why I frequently run around with half-health and not healing when there's no danger of getting downed. And I have had occasions on Lupicus where I lost aggro when I healed back to full.

Overall, I would say that going with 16-17k HP should be fine and doesn't affect aggro much, but make sure that those gains doesn't cut too much into your DPS.

I should add that I have done all dungeons except for some paths of Arah with this setup with no problem though, and I'm pretty slow at dodging stuff. 9 times out of 10, I will fail to dodge the AoE knockdown attack from the searing effigy, even at close to max scepter range.

#4 jpg1

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 05:58 AM

Thanks for clearing that one up. So it's a good thing I decided to invest in a set of Knight's Armor instead of the Cleric's set then. I'm running a total of three sets for my Guardian actually:
  • Knight's, my first set.

  • Soldier's from Honor of the Waves with Archon Shoulders from Orr.

  • Flame Legion (Berserker's Stats) to follow the awesome build of Ultramatum.
In terms of holding aggro, it's the last that seems unable to hold for a long time, in my experience. While it has the damage potential of a truck, the toughness (armor) is just around 2,300 give or take.

Edited by jpg1, 09 November 2012 - 05:58 AM.


#5 Enillion

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:20 AM

View Postparadiselight, on 09 November 2012 - 03:50 AM, said:


4) Shield (from wiki, personally, I couldn't verify this)


Oh boy, it works...

Equip shield and honorable shield trait, and you'll be focus fired so hard that sometimes even extremaly high armor and protection wont save you from being killed in less than second.

#6 paradiselight

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 05:25 PM

View Postjpg1, on 09 November 2012 - 05:58 AM, said:

Thanks for clearing that one up. So it's a good thing I decided to invest in a set of Knight's Armor instead of the Cleric's set then. I'm running a total of three sets for my Guardian actually:
  • Knight's, my first set.

  • Soldier's from Honor of the Waves with Archon Shoulders from Orr.

  • Flame Legion (Berserker's Stats) to follow the awesome build of Ultramatum.
In terms of holding aggro, it's the last that seems unable to hold for a long time, in my experience. While it has the damage potential of a truck, the toughness (armor) is just around 2,300 give or take.
I'll throw some numbers to give you a sense of the tradeoff between damage and survivability.

A full glass cannon build using 30/30/10/0/0 deals about 54% more damage than my build while my build has 107% more EHP.

Ultimatum's build does about 4.65 - 10.25% more damage than my build (with scepter + focus, comparison with different weapon is not possible at the moment)  but my build has 23.7% more EHP.

View PostEnillion, on 09 November 2012 - 09:20 AM, said:

Oh boy, it works...

Equip shield and honorable shield trait, and you'll be focus fired so hard that sometimes even extremaly high armor and protection wont save you from being killed in less than second.


Thanks for sharing your experience. Do you mind telling me what's your toughness prior to equipping a shield? And what's your party composition like?

The problem I have with verifying rigorously whether shield works or not can be summarized by the following question:

Am I getting more aggro due to the increased toughness or due to shield being equipped?

A somewhat convincing test would be for a guardian with full berseker's to equip a shield and run in a party with another person with 2600+ armor but no shield. If the player with the shield gets the aggro, then we can reasonably conclude that shield does attract aggro. I couldn't drop my armor below 2600 with all the armor set that I have so If someone could do this test and post the results, you have my thanks.

Edited by paradiselight, 09 November 2012 - 05:26 PM.


#7 Izokka

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:41 PM

Ohh nooo. I love so much my corrupted hammer + ascalonian staff

#8 Naekuh

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 10:19 PM

im using a lot of AC gear with toughness + vit + power, with beryl amulets and other exotics.

I primary hammer / staff.  

I am more into a symbol build and can play tank role moderately.
Symbols heal, my Virtue passives are given to my party members, and the hammer symbol gives 33% reduction to damage as well as heal + does dmg.  
(lots of people dont like symbols because there stationary, but the hammer's third attack is pretty quick so you can spam it quite frequently.)
Even with all that healing + defense, if i get focused by everything i will die faster then i can pop my heal.  


I have to agree with the shield comment, in that you get focused so fast, you die b4 u can react at times.
This game was not intended to have a true Tank.  Example.. there is no way you can "tank" a champion, eventually you will give, and will need either another guardian to try to pull agro off you, or a warrior to DPS the hell out of whatever is trying to kill you while u KITE.

I wish there was dedicated roles on a few classes.
Then u wouldnt see so many people on the floor dead during a messy event, and would probably have more people partying up with you because ur a dedicated role, instead of a Gang Bang Solo Fest.

Edited by Naekuh, 09 November 2012 - 10:22 PM.


#9 jpg1

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 01:05 AM

View Postparadiselight, on 09 November 2012 - 05:25 PM, said:

I'll throw some numbers to give you a sense of the tradeoff between damage and survivability.

A full glass cannon build using 30/30/10/0/0 deals about 54% more damage than my build while my build has 107% more EHP.

Ultimatum's build does about 4.65 - 10.25% more damage than my build (with scepter + focus, comparison with different weapon is not possible at the moment)  but my build has 23.7% more EHP.


Thanks for the input.

I would have to agree with a previous comment - there are times you want to pass around the heat. Other classes have their way of controlling the crowd as much as the Guardian has it.

The thing is, running dungeons can be pretty random. You might have people stacking more DPS than you in a dungeon. Or for that matter, any other stat that you might have mentioned here. Having a group that can pass around and handle pressure feels way better.

#10 paradiselight

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 05:06 AM

View PostNaekuh, on 09 November 2012 - 10:19 PM, said:

Even with all that healing + defense, if i get focused by everything i will die faster then i can pop my heal.  

I have to agree with the shield comment, in that you get focused so fast, you die b4 u can react at times.
That does happen and that's why I recommended running with scepter + focus to start with. As you gain more experience, you'll learn the tricks to stay around longer and know when to gtfo before getting downed. That's when you need your party members to step up and start snaring via immobilize, cripple or chill.

View Postjpg1, on 12 November 2012 - 01:05 AM, said:

I would have to agree with a previous comment - there are times you want to pass around the heat. Other classes have their way of controlling the crowd as much as the Guardian has it.

The thing is, running dungeons can be pretty random. You might have people stacking more DPS than you in a dungeon. Or for that matter, any other stat that you might have mentioned here. Having a group that can pass around and handle pressure feels way better.
That's right, there's no way a single class can tank through every dungeon without some backup from the party. However. after running through the same dungeons with my DPS-focused thief alt and looking at dungeons with a different perspective, I can positively say that my build does make the runs faster, smoother and less chaotic.

It's faster because I can either hold or kite the mobs in a small confined region allowing the other melees and AoEs to hit with ease. True, there are times when I need to pass the heat around, but those times don't happen often and by cutting down such occurrences, I allow my party members to focus on DPS.

It's smoother because there are way less downs and deaths. If any party members are down, the rest can safely res the down member since I have the aggro.

And of course it's less chaotic because I have more control on where the mobs hit and go.

That's purely from a PUG perspective. Now if you're playing with friends or a dedicated group, you can basically tell the rest to focus more on DPS and less on surviving. It'll make your runs much faster without a doubt.

p/s: if anyone is interested in a dedicated dungeon group, send me a PM.

Edited by paradiselight, 12 November 2012 - 05:08 AM.


#11 jpg1

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 05:34 AM

View Postparadiselight, on 12 November 2012 - 05:06 AM, said:

Snip


I'm a bit confused with 3,150 Toughness. Do you mean the value showing beside Armor?

I can actually run with your build sans the Divinity Runes which is close to 5G a piece at them moment. I will end up broke before I can afford six of them.

The reason why I've been toying with Ultramatum's build is that I was exploring builds that steer away from Valor. Before reading up on his build I've been running a Full Knight's Set-up. I have observed that with his build, Aggro doesn't stick to me all too much. (I also still have yet to complete his build as I lack the same upgrades and the Berserker's weapons.)

While I land critical hits like crazy - the other classes still outdamage me in some encounters and given that I don't have points in Valor, my Armor Value is sitting around at ~2,300. I attract some heat but rarely hold it, as someone with better "Tanking Factor" charges in. Or somebody in the party dips too low in HP that mobs will chase him down. Guardians just have a knack of squeezing small amounts of healing here and there so I rarely go lower than 70% unless being chased down by a very big group or I miscalculate a boss' big hits.

A balance I'm looking at would be going with full Knight's Armor, Knight's Weapons, and Valkyrie/Knight's Trinkets. As far as traits are concerned, Ultramatum's set-up is pretty flexible even without the damage boosting of the Berserker's Armor Set. We can't seem to agree in the use of Valor. I actually think some point's in it for the Critical Damage bonus is pretty sweet.

Ugh! And here I thought I have it all set. I was already moving towards Skinning my final set already. Now I'm back to step one. I want to T3 my most viable/flexible armor, now I'm confused again. My Knight's armor pieces are actually skinned with Whisper's right now (Chest/Gloves/Boots). Now I don't know if I'm ready to T3 the Berserker's Set (CoF Skin)  

~First world problems. :P

PS: I am a little irked at the fact the there's an additional precaution for lower level dungeons for your build. I was thinking maybe you can switch to a Monk's Focus build when it comes to these runs. It's a bit self-centered but by the way you would be controlling the mobs, I think you would need more on-demand self-healing. What I could probably do adjust a bit further is get 20 Radiance and 20 Honor instead of 30 and 10. (The pains of learning something new every time you hit the forums.)

Edited by jpg1, 12 November 2012 - 05:52 AM.


#12 SolomonGunn

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 05:44 AM

I'm not gonna lie, when I first read the OP I expected there to be so much rage thrown your way that your comp would spontaneously combust. The word "tank" seems to be a taboo of the highest caliber in this game.

I'm glad to see there is some actual discussion going on in this thread. :)

#13 jpg1

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 05:57 AM

View PostSolomonGunn, on 12 November 2012 - 05:44 AM, said:

I'm not gonna lie, when I first read the OP I expected there to be so much rage thrown your way that your comp would spontaneously combust. The word "tank" seems to be a taboo of the highest caliber in this game.

I'm glad to see there is some actual discussion going on in this thread. :)

I think this forum has an unwritten understanding of the term already. :P

It's not your usual Tanking as mobs just really hit like crazy. No one class has the ability to be a basin for all of it. It's buying your party a bit more time by making full use of traits and your bar and not just technically soaking up damage. (You won't end up soaked. You'll drown.)

Edited by jpg1, 12 November 2012 - 05:57 AM.


#14 paradiselight

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:32 AM

View Postjpg1, on 12 November 2012 - 05:34 AM, said:

I'm a bit confused with 3,150 Toughness. Do you mean the value showing beside Armor?
My bad, yea I meant armor. The point of getting 3000+ armor is that you need a huge enough armor differential compared to the next party member with the most armor so that the aggro will stick to you. I guess I should add in some additional details about holding aggro tomorrow when I have time.

I find Monk's focus to be subpar to AH. The main problem is the long cooldown for any meditation other than smite condition. The better build is actually 0/30/30/5/5 since more mobs = more VoJ + Inspired Virtue = more healing + more might (I'll add a note on this tomorrow). The last 10 points of radiance equals to a crapload of DPS so I don't recommend switching them around.

#15 jpg1

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 08:50 AM

View Postparadiselight, on 12 November 2012 - 07:32 AM, said:

The last 10 points of radiance equals to a crapload of DPS so I don't recommend switching them around.

Gotcha. Speaking of DPS - I understand why chose Radiance over Zeal. (1) Zeal doesn't have a lot of traits to work with, and (2) In conjunction with Valor, you really want to unload that Critical Damage Bonus. However,  would Power be a bigger factor than Precision in terms of DPS contribution?

#16 Enillion

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 09:17 AM

View Postparadiselight, on 09 November 2012 - 05:25 PM, said:


Thanks for sharing your experience. Do you mind telling me what's your toughness prior to equipping a shield? And what's your party composition like?

The problem I have with verifying rigorously whether shield works or not can be summarized by the following question:

Am I getting more aggro due to the increased toughness or due to shield being equipped?

A somewhat convincing test would be for a guardian with full berseker's to equip a shield and run in a party with another person with 2600+ armor but no shield. If the player with the shield gets the aggro, then we can reasonably conclude that shield does attract aggro. I couldn't drop my armor below 2600 with all the armor set that I have so If someone could do this test and post the results, you have my thanks.

HI,

I'm running with knights armor and Beryl jevelery. I'm quite tanky already. Party members are 1x tanky warrior, 1x berserker full dps warrior, me, and 2x cloth/light armor users.

Everything is ok if tanky warrior use shield&mace, damage and spikes are distibuted between us two. If tanky warrior equip GS, mobs go apeshit, ranged can drop you instatntly by fucus firing you from max range, ignoring party members whooping their arses from meele range. So, we (me and tanky warrior) eiter run with gs+hammer or shields.

#17 AEnesidem

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 10:32 AM

Hehe, i use strifey's build but i've always used it to tank. Even in AC and CM what i generally do is jump in head first use GS skill 5 pull em all to me,(eventually let my ranger entangle them) and keep everything on me as the rest nukes them. I pop everything when i am about to go down and then use renewed justice to recharge and survive. Should i really be on full CD i dodge out to staff and deal out stacks of might or to mace/shield and tank some more.And it's incredible how much more difficult it is when i don't bring my guardian. I started leveling a mesmer and as well with PUG's as with my team (even when there is another guardian) we don't get things done as fast and clean. The tanking of a guardian can sometimes even be truly awesome. For example at the end of AC we had bad luck and a mediocre team so i went out and got my guardian. There were 2 rangers 3 necro's and 2 elementalist backed up by 2 warriors. We were getting wiped constantly. I pulled them all onto me so the team could focus fire and survive. I died twice but nobody else died that day :D.

Edited by AEnesidem, 12 November 2012 - 10:32 AM.


#18 SirGamesalot

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 02:56 PM

Thanks man, this really helped my "kind of tanky" guardian becoming a tank!

It kind of makes sense to me now that guardians have the lowest vit but the highest tough in the game. Arenet didn't wan't us to survive everything, they wanted us to be holding agro and be a bit more like a real tank, but still having to dodge and play the game right! GG anet!

#19 paradiselight

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 03:39 AM

View PostSolomonGunn, on 12 November 2012 - 05:44 AM, said:

I'm not gonna lie, when I first read the OP I expected there to be so much rage thrown your way that your comp would spontaneously combust. The word "tank" seems to be a taboo of the highest caliber in this game.

I'm glad to see there is some actual discussion going on in this thread. :)
Truth be told, I choose to post this because I know by now the average guardian should be able to figure out that this is useful. I didn't post this back when I figured it all out late September because I didn't want to potentially deal with all the possible rage, just like how you mentioned it.

It's also why I have my guide to how awesome altruistic healing is from mid September still sits on my desktop unpublished, because some PvPer on his high horse decided to come to the PvE forum and said AH is trash compared to Monk's Focus because no one runs it and it's never published on any respectable PvP team website.

View Postjpg1, on 12 November 2012 - 08:50 AM, said:

Gotcha. Speaking of DPS - I understand why chose Radiance over Zeal. (1) Zeal doesn't have a lot of traits to work with, and (2) In conjunction with Valor, you really want to unload that Critical Damage Bonus. However,  would Power be a bigger factor than Precision in terms of DPS contribution?
1 Power usually does more damage than 1 precision, but due to the high crit damage of this build, the difference is small, and we need all the crit we can get for AH heals from vigor procs as well as from omnomberry pies (Check out the added section on food buffs as well as the alternative to rune of divinity if you're poor in gold).

View PostEnillion, on 12 November 2012 - 09:17 AM, said:

HI,

I'm running with knights armor and Beryl jevelery. I'm quite tanky already. Party members are 1x tanky warrior, 1x berserker full dps warrior, me, and 2x cloth/light armor users.

Everything is ok if tanky warrior use shield&mace, damage and spikes are distibuted between us two. If tanky warrior equip GS, mobs go apeshit, ranged can drop you instatntly by fucus firing you from max range, ignoring party members whooping their arses from meele range. So, we (me and tanky warrior) eiter run with gs+hammer or shields.
Interesting and thanks for sharing. I'm beginning to believe that shield adds aggro comparable to a few hundred toughness.

By the way, having two tanks is always better than 1 or for that matter, 3 melee tanks (1 guardian + 2 warrior with about the same toughness, which don't have to be too high) are probably the meta for speed clearing dungeons. DPS is all that matters with the current set of dungeons since support is too weak to make too much of a difference.

#20 SirGamesalot

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 11:38 AM

View Postparadiselight, on 13 November 2012 - 03:39 AM, said:

It's also why I have my guide to how awesome altruistic healing is from mid September still sits on my desktop unpublished....

Could you please release this? I haven't had much time to play around with altruistic healing, so that would be awesome :)

#21 jpg1

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:34 AM

Can you display your final stats on this please? Would appreciate it very much. :lol:

Also, why is your computation of Critical Damage +66%? I understand that you have +30% Critical Damage from Valor. So coming from a base of +50% it will be a total of +83% extra damage on critical. Please clarify; I must be missing a point somewhere.

Edited by jpg1, 14 November 2012 - 09:49 AM.


#22 hungryolred

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 12:54 AM

I have been using 0 10 30 30 0 with knights w soldier rune everything for awhile now. It works great but I want to make use of that soldiers armor I farmed for. I dont have any cash for divinity runes and have currently specced two monk, water, pirate for the boon durations. Gonna hope it works ok as is.
Do conditions ever become a problem for you?


#23 paradiselight

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 01:13 AM

View Posthungryolred, on 22 November 2012 - 12:54 AM, said:

Do conditions ever become a problem for you?
There are two passive + two active condition removals in the build. The passives are signet of resolve and purity. Remember that upon entering a dungeon, switch your signet of resolve to some other healing skills and then switch it back, this will change the timer where signet of resolve removes a condition to be non-overlapping with purity.

Two active condition removals come from inscribed removal + signet of judgment and signet of resolve. When you have to deal with condition damage, the direct damage threat is usually lesser and so you could afford to spam SoJ to remove conditions on a 16-sec cooldown.

By the way, I'll be taking a break/quitting the game soon, so hopefully, after I'm gone, someone else with enough knowledge of my build will be able to take over and answer the questions.

#24 jpg1

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 01:32 AM

View Postparadiselight, on 22 November 2012 - 01:13 AM, said:

...switch your signet of resolve to some other healing skills and then switch it back, this will change the timer where signet of resolve removes a condition to be non-overlapping with purity.

This is a pretty neat trick right here. :P

#25 ivonbeton

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 12:24 PM

I actually play something like this aswell, but with more vitality. But at lvl 20+ fractals I'm thinking a healing build might perform better. I'm not sure yet. What do you think?

#26 Mithroch

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 12:46 PM

I've been playing around with this build a bit and I must say I quite like it.  As a small tweek I've been using Stand Your Ground instead of Hold the Line.  I admit... this is in part due to my lousy dodge timing (my twitch isn't what it was 20 years ago) and that extra stun break has saved my bacon more than once.  The lower cool down makes up most of the lost regen (though I guess not for your allies) especially when running 5 Hon / 5 Virt and the extra retaliation is just a nice kick in the teeth.

I was playing with Honorable Shield over Purity for a while... the shield cool down was very nice.  But yeah... a few too many times while kiting with scep/focus I got crippled with SoR on cool down... and dead.  Purity it is.

Anyway... thanks for the break down and discussion in general.  My guildies thank you too as dungeon runs seem much smoother now ;)

#27 Dasryn

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 11:01 PM

im in a position where im gearing up my guradian and i noticed you said you were using full PVT (power/toughness/vitality) gear minus the helm.  

my question is: wouldnt it be more feasible to were full Knight's gear because Knight's gear has the most toughness out of all the gear out there and shouldnt we be stacking toughness?

im using the AC set but i have two Knight's pieces (chest and legs) and i was wondering whether i should take the Toughness hit by going ahead and switching those out for PVT AC gear.

plus the precision from Knight's gear for the crit chance?

Edited by Rickter, 24 December 2012 - 11:14 PM.


#28 Dasryn

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 06:03 AM

nvm folks, i decided to just go with full PTV AC dungeon set.  i read through the thread a little more in detail and saw that the precision is made up for with the accessories and trinkets.

even without the jewelry, im noticing a huge difference in aggro management.  like its happening folks, this build works.  example:

i was in AC P2 at the spikes where someone has to kite.  i volunteered ofc because thats what i was meant for- well some how the breeder completely ignored me and ran past me and i didnt notice because i was fighting for my life at the spikes.  i just happened to look up and noticed the breeder fighting the middle chain party member and Detha.  so i booked it over there and hit virtue of justice and wailed in on the breeder - i pulled the breeder off of them and brought it back to the spikes and we won!

so im a firm believer at this point and im going to continue to gear my character per this build :)  thanks OP!

#29 KennoArkkan

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 04:51 PM

I just wanted to give some feedback in this.

I'm a very PvE player, and since the launch of the game, I played a dps necro power build, and now that it's full geared, and after seeing most classes work on dungeons, i was like "I want to play a guardian damn it!". (that summed to the fact that i always played supportive rolls in other games, including GW1 as monk).

I started my guardian like a month ago, mainly cuz i love doing Dungeons, and playing a supportive role in the party gives you control of your destiny, so now that i'm finally 80, i was thinking: What kind of supportive spec I want to play my guardian as?

I tested the full support build of ultramatum, and then this one. and i was like SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEET!!!!!! THIS IS AWESOME.

I tested this on CoF path 1 and Arah path 3 yesterday.

Posted Image

Notes: My armor is transmuted, it's all Soldier (power/toughness/vitality) runed with the holy trinity of +40 buff duration (as i intended to do it more support-esque, still thinking if i should keep them or leave them) beryl amulet and emererald ring/earring, beryl ring/earring, with exquisite sapphire gems on them (again, trying to put a supportive taste on it)

weapons don't even have sigils!!

The fact that there is actual aggro control in this game blew my mind. Monsters were actually following me. And the fact that the build does some decent damage (not like a pure DPS spec, but not as shitty as a full support, it's actually nice).

Although i'm still not full exotics (just weapons missing lol) 8 out of 10 times i held the aggro of the mobs (mainly cuz i had very glass-cannony teammates). What is true is that you have to be careful with managing the damage you recieve, but that's part of being a tank, right?

the crits were great, the pacing was great, the smoothness of the run was great. I loved it.

The only thing I could wish for this build is to be more supportive (and have a larger hp pool, but this is arguable cuz it's easier to heal 16k than 20k) and i tried it, but if you take out points of radiance, you lose that delicious 15% crit chance. You can't take points out of valor cuz you lose toughness, and even when i tried it (i made a weird 0/15/30/20/5 build), aggro management wasn't that cool... It makes me kind of sad tho that the only thing this build lacks is a little more versatility :(

I'm just unsure if i should go with power/toughness/vitality weapons, or knight weapons, but since the apparent 3k toughness cap is met (is this even a rule or something? or why did paradiselight mentioned that number?) , i guess i should go with +vit.

Edited by KennoArkkan, 02 January 2013 - 04:52 PM.


#30 Dasryn

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 10:39 PM

youknow the other thing i really like about this build?  every guardian i see is greatsword staff and thats getting old, i want sword and board and this build grants me that as primary weapon




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