Kelldenn’s Mod 10 Buff/Tank Build

by OllieJMS5K on November 22, 2016
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Kelldenn’s Mod 10 Buff/Tank Build

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Hello fellow Guardian Fighters! I’m Kelldenn of the Guild “Dawn of the Dragon’s Bane” on PS4. I’ve been playing the GF since release on the PS4 and spent a lot of time tweaking my build and playstyle to finally arrive at my “perfect” build. I must emphasise that this is a build that is shaped for my current stats and party members, so it may not be 100% perfect for you to begin with. Regardless I hope you learn something new or at least gain an insight into my choices of Feats, Stats and Powers.

IMPORTANT: Update note 20/12/16. I have failed to mention that this guide is aimed more for “end game” players, yet the Feats can still be used upon hitting level 70 and will make you a valuable asset to a team. I have been tweaking my build and trying new Feats and Boons as my own Character is constantly evolving just like everyone else’s. All of the information within this guide is still valid, and if anything needs to be changed I will do so. I will make changes today and add more detail into each section to clarify any changes or information you need to know.

Back to Basics

No matter how much information you read or absorb at any given point, nothing will beat practice and experience. What do I mean by this? Throughout your tanking career you will notice a pattern; the slow attacks usually hit the hardest, oh and red AoEs are bad. This is easily avoided by using our shield to mitigate the damage and negate the Control Effects (Stuns, Knockbacks, Freeze) of AoEs (Area of Effect). Our Shield is our best friend because it allows us to survive and also generate even more threat through Aggravating Strike. Now with that being said, we can’t sit behind our Shield all day because eventually our Stamina will deplete to 0 and more importantly we need to occasionally drop our Shield for those well-appreciated buffs GFs are known for.

So, in terms of our bread-and-butter basics we have a few tools in our arsenal, specifically for generating Threat:

  • Aggravating Strike (At-Will behind our Shield)
  • Enforced Threat (Encounter)
  • Iron Warrior (Encounter)
  • Knight’s Valor (Encounter)
  • Enhanced Mark (Personal)
  • Mark (PS4 Default R1)

Now our job as a tank is quite simple really; keep the enemies attention on you. So let’s talk about Threat. How I see Threat is like a tug of war, we’re pulling to keep Threat towards us while our Healer and DPS are also generating their own kind of Threat. So we need to ensure we’re doing everything we can to keep the Enemies focused on us and away from our Allies. We have many ways to generate Threat and it differs between the GF as we all (hopefully) have different playstyles and favour different abilities. One of the simplest ways to generate this Threat is through Aggravating Strike while behind our Shield, and this does two things; one, it keeps us from taking the full damage Enemies are dealing to us and two it keeps those Enemies on us, leaving our party to do their thing.

Now let’s talk about Mark. We have two Marks; a Hard Mark (R1 for PS4) and a Lesser Mark (Enforced Threat). Essentially Marks will double the Threat you generate, but keep in mind that with the Lesser Mark it will be removed if you take a hit with your Shield down and even if your Shield is up, getting hit in the back will remove it too.

Combat Advantage is up next and it’s great! Combat Advantage is both good and bad because we can gain it’s effect and so can Enemies, so do be aware of that. So what is it and how do we get it? Combat Advantage is a damage boost (15% I believe) that will show by having a sword to the right of damage dealt or received. Now the way we get this for ourselves is two ways; first our Marks grant ourselves and Allies innate CA against Enemies. Secondly the usual method is to have an Ally on the opposite side of the Enemy (one stabbing it in the face, the other from behind). Now then, CA is also our enemy because Enemies naturally try to surround you and they will attempt to hit you in the back where your Shield is utterly useless, thus granting them the possibility of CA damage to you. This can be the cause of most deaths for Tanks early on.

Combat Advantage can be noticed in Castle Never after clearing the first set of Demons. Once you load into the next section, you will fight Undead Enemies on a bridge. The easiest way I have found to tank these mobs is to run to the left (or right, your choice) and keeping your back facing the railing. Upon reaching the middle-ish of the Mobs I activate Enforced Threat. Most of the time it marks all of them, sometimes it doesn’t but your DPS should be able to kill one or two on their own. After they have been taunted they will begin to swarm you, and the advantage of keeping the mobs in a 180 degree arc in front of you is that you won’t get hit in the back or lose your Lesser Mark.

One more thing I need to discuss is “dodging” and I don’t mean Fox’s Cunning (Hunter Ranger) dodging. What I actually mean is if you can avoid taking damage then by all means do so. We’re not there to take damage all the time, even though we are designed to mitigate it but by avoiding damage you increase your own survivability. I’ll discuss this more later on.


There are a few Races I would recommend if you’re starting fresh or want to change your Race. I have chosen Human because of the bonus Defense, three extra Heroic Feats and the choice of which Stats to roll. I would recommend Human, Dwarf, Halfling or Dragonborn if you have access to that pack.

You want to roll Constitution as high as possible and keep an equal balance between Strength and Dexterity on your initial roll. Constitution will always be beneficial. Strength and Dexterity will be the other two Stats you may flip-flop between when fine tuning your stats.

I can’t stress enough the importance of knowing your own stats, both unbuffed and buffed (by Bonding Stones and Consumables). YOUR stats are what YOU need to be aware of. Many players make the mistake of jumping straight onto MMOMinds and copying the first build they find to the last detail. This doesn’t always work, because we all have different stat pools and choosing certain gear with the stats you don’t need currently or may need later on can ruin your experience in the long run. So before you copy, ensure it will benefit you.

The Target Dummy is your best friend. If you’re using the Twisted set, make sure you’re at 24 Bloodlust stacks before checking your stats. Why? Because 99% of the time you’ll have full Bloodlust stacks in combat. Next you may want to use Potions or food to help boost your stats too. I use the Superior Fortification Potion (1,000 Defense) and the Mutton Leg (2,000 HP and 400 Power) Guild food. Next is Bonding Stone procs, and these are very important because it will grant a significant portion of your Companions stats to you (depending on what rank of Bonding Stones you have). This is when I look at my stats and figure out what I need to add or drop. Now I haven’t taken into account my Dusk set bonus, which grants 5,000 HP, 1,000 Power and 1,000 Defense while in a party, and because we’re a tank we will be in a party all the time. Other bonuses to consider are Rising Rings, such as Defense or Deflect. These won’t proc on the Target Dummy as it doesn’t hit you. If you’re using a Ring of Rising Defense +4 you can accumulate 1,150 Defense (every 1,000 points is 2.5% in its respective field, so 1,000 Defense is 2.5% Damage Resistance).

Fine tuning your stats will be part of the end game struggle we all face. But to reiterate, YOUR stats YOUR responsibility.

  • Strength 15
  • Constitution 31
  • Dexterity 21
  • Intelligence 13
  • Wisdom 13
  • Charisma 11

Now on to why I distribute them this way. First of all, Constitution is our primary stat and it is beneficial in two ways; it provides AP Gain and secondly it gives us a significant HP increase. Dexterity is my second choice because I’m lacking on Armour Penetration on my gear, so the easy choice was to boost it in my Stats. Dexterity also provides Deflect Chance and AoE Damage Resist. Finally Strength. This provides us with a damage bonus and Stamina Regeneration. Put your points where you feel necessary to fine tune your stat pool.

So that’s Stats out of the way, and now on to the other Stats. By now you should realise Defense is our primary focus. Having a high Damage Resistance will make your job easier. It will allow you to take the basic attacks without the need to constantly hide behind your Shield. Defense is also combined with Armour Class into our final Damage Resistance. AC is a much smaller bonus compared to Defense but it is still a bonus. You’ll notice it on your Chest Piece and Shield. Aim for a total of 80% Damage Resistance.

I want to talk about Deflect now because I believe it’s overlooked. Deflect is a chance to halve the damage you would have taken, meaning a 200k hit turns into a 100k instead. You’ll notice Deflect by an Arrow at a 90 degree angle when you take damage. You can stack as many points into this as you wish. I am using a Pure Shadowclad Enchantment which adds on a significant amount of Deflect per hit.

Recovery is an important stat yet it requires a lot of points to see a real difference in our Encounter Cooldowns. It reduces cooldowns on our Encounters and gives us bonus AP gain.

Armour Penetration is vital to maintaining Threat as it allows us to bypass the Enemies Armour and deal our optimal damage which in turn provides more Threat. You want your Resistance Ignored at 20% for starters. Lower than this you may see problems with holding Threat. After testing this with and without the Guild Boon (3,000 currently) I found Threat was easier to hold at the 60% Resistance Ignored apparent cap, compared to 30%. I have also noticed a much even and average damage number, compared to Power which fluctuated a lot.

Power is somewhat ignored I think, mainly because we’re “not a DPS”. Power is what provides us with extra damage and I’ve said a few times that damage = threat. So more damage will help when you’re in a group of insanely high DPS people. This is a stat you should invest into after you feel your Damage mitigating stats are adequate and you feel comfortable taking a few hits.


I run the same Powers for every dungeon I run, because it’s what benefits me and my team the most so this may differ from what you run or need. I’ll start off by saying that Sword Master to me at least is superior to Iron Vanguard because of Weapon Master’s Strike and Steel Grace. But it’s up to you what Paragon you choose. Use what you enjoy most.

  • Weapon Master’s Strike (At-Will)
  • Tide of Iron (At-Will)
  • Into the Fray (Encounter)
  • Enforced Threat (Encounter)
  • Commander’s Strike (Encounter)
  • Villain’s Menace (Daily)
  • Fighter’s Recovery (Daily)
  • Steel Grace (Personal)
  • Combat Superiority (Personal)

Now I’ll discuss why I use these Powers specifically. To explain in detail I’ll need to talk about rotations. Now I don’t believe there is a set rotation for tanking because it’s entirely situational, but my ideal rotation would be as follows; Initiate the fight by Hard Marking the target with the most Health, activate Into the Fray followed by Commander’s Strike, then a Weapon Master’s Strike to prepare for Aggravating Strike and finally Enforced Threat. Why is Enforced Threat last? That’s because while I’m setting up my buffs and debuffs I don’t want to waste Enforced Threat while my Shield is down, which would mean I’d lose the Marks provided. WMS means Aggravating Strike deals more damage thus building more Threat and on top of that I ensure Enforced Threat is last so I can use my Shield while my Encounters are on cooldown. Villain’s Menace is my favourite Daily because it gives the benefits that the Shield offers, like CC immunity. While VM is up it allows you to forget about stuns, knockbacks and focus on getting those buffs out for my team to do their optimal DPS. With a high Damage Resistance and a good Healer you’ll only need your Shield for those big hits and Red AoEs. Tide of Iron is a good way to debuff single targets at a time and restore Stamina in the process. This should be used when you’re either low on Stamina or waiting for Encounters to come off cooldown.

My Rotation for Orcus (Castle Never) is straight forward, and it’s also one of the best bosses to practice your timing and rotation on. The rotation for Orcus is very intermittent and it requires complete focus in order to maintain buffs and my own Stamina, but in the long run it has made me a better tank. To start we skip the stupid cut scene, and immediately activate Into the Frey, followed by a Hard Mark to Orcus. At the same time of Marking him I raise my shield and await his first strike (sometimes his animation bugs and will appear as if he isn’t striking you) and upon seeing that red damage number I drop my Shield for Commander’s Strike and then raise my Shield again. After the second hit taken I drop my Shield again and activate Enforced Threat and then raise my Shield. On the Third attack taken I drop my Shield and activate Tide of Iron to replenish my Stamina and then raise my Shield. The Tide of Iron phase continues until Into the Frey is back up, then I rinse and repeat from there. With this rotation my buffs are consistent and in a order I feel is best. Dropping Shield Talent and using Tide of Iron more not only makes tanking him more of a challenge and more fun, but also allows me to continue debuffing him.

Weapon Master’s Strike is something I don’t see a lot when I’m on my DPS character. The debuff this provides is extremely significant, especially when coupled with the Feat Staying Power. From my testing it boosts your At-Will damage by 10%, meaning 10% more damage to Aggravating Strike.

Tide of Iron is incredibly potent too. It not only restores our Stamina but debuffs an Enemy for ourselves to do more damage to them.

Villain’s Menace is my favourite Daily and the one I use all the time. So when your Shield is down you don’t need to worry about CC effects for 7 seconds and it that time you can buff and debuff and have a good time.

Fighter’s Recovery is kind of redundant if you have a competent healer or if you have avoided as many red areas as possible. I only keep this slotted because I haven’t found anything else I like using instead. It’s still great for big pulls or when you have an awful healer on boss fights.

Enforced Threat is the go-to aggro holder. If you’re running with DPS that believe they are the tank then you may need to use this earlier in a fight. But I am fortunate to run with a group that understands my role. So in short, it grabs aggro and places a Lesser Mark on them granting you double threat generation and granting allies combat advantage and every target to use their Commander’s Strike buff on.

I need to talk about the Mod 10 changes for a bit. What hit everyone hard was the change to Into the Frey, where it became a flat 30% damage increase (up to 35% in Tactician tree). I was so glad this got “nerfed” because people only used GFs for ITF to trivialise dungeons and go for “speed runs”. That to me is boring. Now we still have a great buff that helps massively but it doesn’t give your GWF a light saber that can one-shot Orcus. It’s still great and I will always use it.

Commander’s Strike is my new favourite toy. This thing provides everyone (except ourselves) with a 30% damage bonus to the next Encounter used within 5 seconds; By the way it also affects Companions, too. One thing to note is this requires a Marked target for the buff to be used. Using this and then refraining from Marking targets means the buff is essentially wasted. I run with two Hunter Rangers who are all about Encounter use, so this thing is perfect for them. Regardless of what classes you run with, it’s still a huge damage boost in the long run. Use Into the Frey first and then Commander’s Strike for a more significant increase to your teams damage.

Steel Grace is an incredible Class Feature mainly for the movement speed. To me movement is a stat that ends end being neglected, but with Steel Grace you gain Critical Chance (admittedly not that great for us), Deflection Chance and Movement Speed. So, to explain why the movement speed increase is so good I’ll talk about the second boss from Lair of Lostmauth, or The Twin Scorpions. Now, they have many “special” attacks that can all be avoiding by simply stepping to the left or right. Their red cone ability can be easily avoided by stepping to the left or right and it also gives you the opportunity to use an Encounter or Daily because they’re stuck in that animation. The same is applied for their Lava Circle that they place in front of them. This logic can be applied to almost every red AoE animation or slow/heavy hits. By standing still with your Shield up, absorbing the hit you could have spent that time dodging and using a buff instead.

Combat Superiority is a win-win. More damage dealt, less damage taken. Yes please.

Steel Defense rant: I want to get this off my chest, Steel Defense makes bad tanks. Well, a good tank can still use it but my point is Steel Defense is not the solution to any problems you may have. Giving yourself damage immunity will make things worse because eventually you’ll get used to it and rely heavily on it, thus completely forgetting you have a shield. No matter what anybody will tell you, Steel Defense is not a necessity for anything. Also Shield Talent is another one that I have a problem with, because we don’t need to hunker down behind our Shield for twelve hours at a time, we have buffing to do and aggro to hold. If you remember the 5 D’s, then you won’t need Shield Talent or Steel Defense. Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive and Dodge.

I wanted to prove to myself that these two common Class Features were not needed. I think I have done a good job so far, and I’m happy to be an unorthodox tank.



Now it’s time for the build.

I’ll start with the Heroic Feats and I’ll explain why I use them. I am Human. If you’re not Human then go with 1/5 to Action Surge.

  • Action Surge 4/5 – Generates AP from Aggravating Strike
  • Strength Focus 3/3 – Improves the benefits of Strength
  • Toughness 3/3 – Increases our Max HP
  • Distracting Shield 5/5 – Debuff Enemies’ damage that hit us with our Shield up
  • Powerful Attack 5/5 – Increases our At-will and Encounter damage
  • Armour Specialisation 3/3 Improves Defense and AC stats

Now I shall discuss why these Feats have been chosen. I’ll work my way down the list to keep things simple. Action Surge will grant more AP to shielded attacks and this Build is all about building AP. This is good because Villain’s Menace is going to be activated a lot more. Strength Focus is there because I stack Constitution and Dexterity, so Strength gets neglected but this Feat helps out with that loss. Toughness just adds onto our HP, meaning we have a bigger window before death occurs. Distracting Shield is great because it softens the damage you take by 5% after Shielding an attack, Armour Specialisation is massively important as we want our Defense and AC as high as we can get it (until we reach 80% Damage Resistance). Powerful Attack, yet again more damage = more threat.

Now it’s time for the actual Build. I have used every tree available and have finally come to the conclusion that Tactician is king. Once you begin running with a regular group, you’ll want to focus on buffing them which is what the Tactician tree is all about.

Tactician is red and Protector is Blue, just for simplicity.

  • Fight on 5/5 – 10% reduction to Encounter Cooldowns
  • Daunting Challenge 5/5 – Marked Targets deal 10% less damage to Allies
  • Rousing Speech 5/5 – Allies gain AP 5% faster
  • United 5/5 – Allies take 5% less damage
  • Inspiring Leader 5/5 – Into the Frey gains 5% more damage for everyone
  • Martial Mastery 1/1 – Taking damage (with Shield down) builds AP for everyone
  • Plate Agility 5/5 – 5% Deflect chance
  • Shield Defense 5/5 – Gain 5 to AC
  • Staying Power 5/5 WMS now grants 10% damage bonus to Encounters

This is a typical build for the Tactician tree so don’t be alarmed if you think it’s banal. The reason I use this build is because it provides my team with vital buffs that make them perform better and survive better. All of the Feats that can buff have been chosen and the three Feats in the Protector tree benefit my own Tanking and survivability.


I’ve not had the luxury or the patience to claim all of my Boons, but I do have the ones I deem useful to me. Red Boons are ones I am missing, but would recommend you to use if you have them.


  • Dark Fey Warder – 400 Defense
  • Fey Elusiveness – 400 Deflect
  • Elven Haste – 3% AP gain
  • Elven Tranquillity – chance upon being struck to heal for 20,000 HP
  • Elven Resolve – 10% Stamina Regain

Dread Ring

  • Reliquary Keeper’s Strength – 250 Power and 250 Movement
  • Evoker’s Thirst – 400 Life Steal
  • Illusion Shimmer – 3% Deflect Chance
  • Enraged Regrowth – chance to heal for 20,000 HP with 4000 Defense for 10 seconds
  • Rampaging Madness – Dealing damage stacks “Madness” after 50 stacks gain 4000 Power, Life Steal and Regeneration

Icewind Dale

  • Encroaching Tactics – 400 Combat Advantage
  • Refreshing Chill – 400 Stamina Gain
  • Rapid Thaw – 400 Recovery
  • Cool Resolve – Gain up to 2000 Power based on Stamina missing
  • Avalanche – Taking damage stacks “Avalanche” after 20 stacks deal 15000 damage to nearby Enemies


  • Primordial Vitality – 400 Defense and 1600 HP
  • Primordial Focus – 400 Critical Strike and 1600 HP
  • Drow Ambush Tactics –  10% Combat Advantage damage
  • Dwarven Stamina – 5% Stamina gain
  • Demon Slayer – 0-5% chance to slay Demons

Tyranny of Dragons

  • Dragon’s Claws – 400 Power
  • Dragon’s Shadow – 400 Deflect
  • Dragonscale Defense – 400 Defense
  • Dragon’s Greed – 400 Life Steal
  • Dragon’s Thirst – 5% Life Steal

The Maze Engine

  • Abyssal Regeneration – 400 Incoming Healing
  • Demonic Influence – 400 Combat Advantage
  • Demonic Swiftness – 3% Action Point gain
  • Baphomet’s Might – When striking a foe you have a chance to gain 2,000 Critical Strike for 6 seconds

Elemental Evil

  • Unassailable Tide – 300 Defense and 2000 HP
  • Heart of Stone – 4% Life Steal Severity and 2000 HP
  • Blazing Resilience – 400 Recovery and 2000 HP
  • Wall of Wind – Chance when struck to heal for 24,000 and gain 1000 Recovery for 10 seconds

Storm King’s Thunder

  • Frosty Demeanor – 2% Control Resistance and 1,000 HP
  • Survival Instincts – 400 Incoming Healing and 2% Everfrost Resistance
  • Chill Determination – Up to 2,000 Recovery based on Stamina missing
  • Glacial Strength – 3,200 HP and 2% Everfrost Resistance
  • Chill of Winter – Deal up to 10,000 damage after 50 stacks of Icy Chill


Here’s where it gets really interesting, and expensive on your Astral Diamonds. Companions combined with Bonding Runestones are a vital part of building your stat pool. I would like to add that I despise Defender Companions as the Summoned Companion, especially when I see other tanks with them. They can get your DPS and Healer killed in some situations. We don’t need a petty dog to do our job for us. Anyway, having an ample supply of Active Companions will benefit you greatly and will change everything for you. There are many choices of Companions both Summoned and just for the bonus they provide, but I’m going to talk about the five I use. Names will be colour-coded for Rank.

  • Intellect Devourer – (Summoned) 5% Combat Advantage Bonus – 3x Bonding Runestones. This Companion is great for me because it’s the only Striker Companion that has three Defense Slots (as far as I know) which is great for boosting my Damage Resistance even higher. Remember our Marks give us innate Combat Advantage, so this is perfect.
  • Shadow Demon – A Deflect does almost no damage, once every 30 seconds (20 with Three pieces of Dusk gear) – This thing is beyond amazing. That Deflect bonus is ridiculous and the damage this thing deals is incredible. Once my Damage Resistance hits 80% I’m switching back to this as Summoned.
  • Erinyes of Belial – 5% Critical Severity – Now that I can branch out into more Offensive stats I have chosen to use this and it has made a pretty big difference. This is perfect when paired with Steel Grace and Baphomet’s Might.
  • Man At Arms – 300 Defense – Super cheap on the AH for some extra Defense
  • Young Yeti –  On damage taken 10% chance, for you or your companion, to become blood thirsty, increasing damage dealt by 10% – You’ll be entering Blood Thirsty a lot because primarily we’re being hit all the time.


Yet another important piece of the puzzle to unlocking our full tanking potential. There are many options to choose and a lot of it will come down to what you can actually use at the time. You mainly want to slot Courage Insignias if you can.

  • Gladiator’s Guile – Move faster when your Stamina is high, regen Stamina when it is low.
  • Protector’s Friendship – When your Companion attacks, you gain Power & Defense.
  • Survivor’s Blessing – When you Deflect, receive a Heal Over Time.
  • Protector’s Friendship – When your Companion attacks, you gain Power & Defense.
  • Wanderer’s Fortune – Defeating an enemy has a chance to drop a bonus award.


I’d like to think that I have all the gear I want, and I’m in the perpetual process of Refining it to death. I really don’t want to list all the stats on my gear but I will list each piece and hopefully you may already know of them.

  • Dusk Raid Helm
  • Drowcraft Breastplate
  • Dusk Raid Gauntlets
  • Twisted Spathe
  • Twisted Aspis
  • Dusk Raid Sabatons
  • Greater Lathander’s Cloak
  • Ring of Sudden Defense +4
  • Ring of Brutality +4
  • Greater Plated Band of Constitution
  • Warrior’s Gemmed Exquisite Elemental Chainmail
  • Warrior’s Gemmed Exquisite Elemental Chausses
  • Sigil of the Guardian
  • Sigil of the Devoted
  • Waters of Elah’zad
  • Bruenor’s Helm

The pattern is every piece of gear provides me with Defense. Some of it comes with Power, Recovery and Armour Penetration which are some of our primary stats. I didn’t go for a Artifact 3 piece set because I found them to be underwhelming for my class, instead the Greater Lathander’s Cloak has incredible benefits and the same goes for the Greater Plated Band of Constitution. The gear you will use depends on what you can get your hands on and what you have already. And to reiterate, always look at your stats. If your Armour Penetration is low, then switch to some Dark Enchantments or switch a piece of Gear out. Just keep it simple and keep it cheap because your gear will change a lot to begin with.

I use the Pure Shadowclad Enchantment and the Perfect Plague Fire Enchantment. Shadowclad allows me to focus more on Power, Recovery and Armour Penetration than Deflect because of it’s innate Deflect chance upon being hit. After testing and watching back some footage of dungeon runs I was deflecting on average every 3-4 hits taken. That to me is superior to the Negation Enchantment, which to me is wasted because we’re already building up Damage Resistance as a primary goal.

The Plague Fire Enchantment is great as a debuffing tool and also as a separate Threat generator. I’ve tested this without Plague Fire on and holding Threat was a little more tricky than with it on. Essentially this removes Defense from the target meaning they take more damage. At Pure this will debuff the targets Power up to 15%. This is a great party buffing tool because you will boost everyone’s damage output and reduce the damage they take.

PSA: don’t trust a tank that uses Soulforged.

Enchantment wise, I use Azures in every Defense slot and a Silvery in my Offense.

Armour Kits I would suggest are the Major Defense kits, but it’s really your choice depending on what stats you need. I use Major Action Point Jewels on the Neck, Rings and Waist. I am unsure if Stamina Gain affects the amount of Stamina incoming from ITF or EF.

On my Twisted set I use Iron Tide to increase the amount of Stamina Tide of Iron provides. And on my Shield I use the Action Point Gain and the Combat Superiority feature. Enhanced Mark‘s feature seems useful but I only have Combat Superiority unlocked at the moment, and I doubt I’ll switch anytime soon.

Tips and Tricks and Other Stuff

As part of my updating process I will be checking up on this guide and tweaking the information when needed. Hopefully this is more of an informational guide than an actual build, because copying a set of Feats and Powers won’t help you unless you truly understand what’s going on when you spend these points and when you use these Powers in combat. The whole point of this guide was to add my own knowledge on to the vast number of Guides/Builds and videos out there. I must say that tanking isn’t for everyone and I would rather help people who truly want to tank and to improve their skills by reading as much information and watching as many videos as they can to help them become a better tank and ultimately to enjoy the role and responsibility of being a tank. Tanking Orcus for the first time for me, was a disaster. My timing was off and I was getting destroyed by lag balls of death but I kept on trying and watched every mistake I made and learned from it. I watched the frequency of his attacks, I counted the time between each Encounter I could use and eventually we killed him. And each time you die in a fight it’s just another opportunity to look back and think about how it happened and what you can do to avoid it.

Now for some actual “Tips and Tricks”.

One thing you’ll need to get used to is a thing called “animation cancelling” and what that is, is where you activate an Encounter or Daily  and as soon as the cooldown appears you raise your Shield. So what ends up happening is you Cut the excess animation time out and continue Blocking the attacks afterwards. This will take some practice, as some Encounters like Enforced Threat can’t be cancelled as quickly as Into the Frey.

Another thing I do during Trash Mob clearing is a little “shuffle” and what I mean is when the Enemies stack up in front of you, they eventually spread out to the sides and can usually get behind you. In order to stop that I “shuffle” a tiny bit left or right to reposition them.

If you plan on using Villain’s Menace a lot, then I’d suggest using it just before you initiate a fight to prevent any sudden knockbacks or stuns occurring.

If you ever find a single Mob wanders off and attacks the Healer or DPS, use Hard Mark to grab their attention and then immediately generate the Threat back on to them.

When positioning the Enemy, keep in mind where your party members are. You want to be on the opposite side of your Allies to prevent them from getting hit by the Enemy’s swings, Red cone attacks and heavy hits. Mobs can still hit your party with red circle AoEs though. Remember you’re not always responsible if someone goes down, they may be stood in a red area, or in front of the Enemy or they may even be so impatient as to pull every group before you do. Being in a Guild with party chat will help solve any problems.

Try everything. What I mean is that you should try every At-Will, Encounter, Daily and everything else to see what suits you. Everything in this guide is what I like and it may not be to your liking. Give both Paragon paths a try, use different Dailys or a new Encounter rotation. Remember it’s your choice as any Build/Guide should be seen as a guideline.

For new Guardian Fighters who have never tanked before I would recommend initially going into the Conqueror tree, as this will speed up the levelling up process and eventually your Daily Quests. I would still say that Tactician is the best tree for group play especially if you run with people you know or usually play with.


Both of these screenshots are from self buffs only. I am at 24 Stacks of Bloodlust and relying on my Bonding Stones to boost my stats. This is also how I believe you should look at your stats because Bonding is part of your stat pool in combat. As I have stated, YOUR stats are what you need to keep in mind when you start changing gear/Enchantments/Boons. Keep note of what to add and what not. Bear in mind factors like Shadowclad or Negation and even Rising and Sudden Rings, too. Especially Rings that require you to take damage.




So in summary I have discussed my choices of Feats, Powers, rotations and all that lovely stuff for all of you to indulge in. I do hope you’ve enjoyed the read through and I really really hope you’ve learned something new. If you want to ask me any questions feel free to leave a comment as I check this daily. If I’ve left anything out or you feel I didn’t explain something adequately then please mention it, as I want this to be as helpful as possible.


Leave a reply
  • Nick
    November 24, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    Can you please tell me which powers i should level up and which i shouldnt. Thanks

    • November 25, 2016 at 11:50 pm

      I am going to assume you’re new to the GF. I apologise if I’m wrong. I’d always recommend getting Into the Fray to rank 4 first, then Enforced Threat (both Regenerate Stamina). Commander’s Strike and Knight’s Valor are also worth having. In terms of Daily Powers I think Villian’s Menance is the best for both Paragons, so I’d also say rank that up to 4. If you struggle with Stamina management go for Shield Talent, if you think you’re struggling with holding/gaining Threat then go for Enchanced Mark. There is no wrong or right order to leveling up Powers. At the end of the day, use what you find is best or more importantly the most fun to use.

  • PAIN
    November 24, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    question would recommend any armor upgrade to like dragonflight or adament or should stay with dusk and drow?

    • November 25, 2016 at 11:56 pm

      Dragonflight is a great upgrade, and I’m currently working towards getting two pieces too. The most important thing to keep in mind is your current Stats. Only swap gear when you feel a certain stat no longer benefits you. For example; if you have 10k Armour Penetration then you’d want to swap some gear out to replace that with something you’re lower on in your Stat pool. If you have access to Guild Boons, be aware that your gear may need to change at some point to balance out your Stats.

  • Guest
    November 24, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    why without Crushing pin feat ?

    • November 26, 2016 at 12:09 am

      Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good Feat. But, I don’t need it because I’d have to drop points from Feats I find more useful. My role is to tank the Enemies and buff my DPS, so for me it has no place within my build because I’m not a DPS. It fits perfectly within an Iron Vanguard build and I did enjoy using it, but how I play my GF has evolved so much from then to now that I only see my class as an asset to improve my Party members’ performance and not my own.

      • Mikal swordhand
        January 30, 2017 at 2:01 am

        If you run the guarded assault bonus power on your artifact off hand it should proc crushing pin while your blocking. Increasing damage done by 10% far as I’m aware of. Just a thought

  • Dominic
    November 29, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    what IL are you?

  • Xpal
    November 30, 2016 at 11:28 am

    if i may ask should i go for DF gear and if yes which do u recommend or i should stick with wat u use

    • December 3, 2016 at 3:56 pm

      Yes, DF is a great upgrade. But I like the Dusk’s two piece set bonus. Now that I have my Armour Penetration where I want it, I switch the Dusk Ward Helm to a Dusk Raid Helm to drop the excess ArP and boost up my Recovery. Every piece of gear is there just to balance out missing or overspent points on stats. Use whatever gear you want so long as it balances out your Stat pool.

  • Dreadlast411
    December 1, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    why are you using a plague fire?

    • December 3, 2016 at 3:59 pm

      Because of it’s debuff factor and it’s seperate Threat generation. I’ve done some testing with and without Plague fire and with it on you’ll deal more damage and hold the Threat significantly better than without it. The reduction to a Mob’s Defense means you and your Party memebers will deal more damage to that affected Mod. Secondly the DoT generates a seperate amount of Threat which adds on to you current Threat generation, meaning it’s very difficult to lose Threat.

  • December 2, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    I agree that being a good GF means keeping the attention off your party members and on you. Have you thought about using a Dread Warrior as a companion?

    • December 3, 2016 at 4:05 pm

      No, because I’ve only ever had problems with Threat when I’ve been running with 4K+ GWF from my Alliance, because those things deal so much damage that it’s nigh impossible to keep consistent Threat up. But I rarely run with Nuke-wielding GWFs anyway. I play mostly with the same group of people and we’re all within the same Item Level range. One thing I’ve noticed is that spamming Aggravating Strike will ironically cause you to lose Threat in some situations, so having a set Encounter rotation mitigates that from my testing. If you are struggling with Threat then use Enhanced Mark until you can figure what’s not working for you.

      • December 3, 2016 at 4:15 pm

        Oh, no, I wasn’t asking for help. I’ve been running GF since beta. I use ET pretty religiously and I don’t have a problem with pulling threat; I just think an increased % of threat plus the added bonus of increased enraged chance makes the Dread Warrior worth having.

  • Felix
    December 2, 2016 at 11:15 pm

    Can you post pictures on how you have your powers set please. Thank you.

    • December 3, 2016 at 4:11 pm

      All of the Powers listed under the “Powers” section are the only ones I use, for everything. Nothing changes for me. I am currently playing around with Supremacy of Steel though, instead of Fighter’s Recovery. Everything that I use is Rank 4 and everything I don’t use is either ran 4, 3, 2, 1 or nothing because I don’t use them at all. My role is to tank the Enemies and to buff my Party. Into the Frey buffs, Enforced Threat aids tanking, Commander’s Strike helps my DPS. They have all been chosen for one purpose and if they do not fit my tanking/buffing requirements then I see no need for them. To answer your question; I doubt I will post pictures on here and that’s mainly because my GF is always evolving (Item Level, stats, playstyle changes, new techniques) and nothing is set in stone until I hit that IL milestone.

  • Groundhog
    December 12, 2016 at 2:20 am

    This is not a good build. The pets are wrong. The personals are wrong. The boons are wrong.. You mention needing movement speed for lostmauth and the scorpions, you must not have much defense at all because I don’t even have to move in any of those fights.. It’s sad to think that so many people will be following bad advice.

    • December 13, 2016 at 2:44 pm

      Hello Groundhog. I’m afraid I can’t take your comment seriously unless you tell me in detail what I have done wrong. You mention the build is wrong, so what exactly is wrong with it? What’s wrong with the Companions? What’s wrong with the Personals? What’s wrong with the Boons? On the topic of Movement Speed I only mentioned its benefits in certain cases like the Twin Scorpions where you can avoid most of the attacks. Surely you can see that as being beneficial? If not please tell me why. I never mention Moving in the Lostmauth fight. I refrain from moving Lostmauth as it is unnecessary. Contrary to your assumption I do have quite a lot of Defense. If you’re on PS4 please feel free to inspect my Character. Finally, I disagree that my guide would be considered “bad advice”. I feel I have enough experience and knowledge to help anyone improve their GF skills and become a better tank. I’ll be awaiting your response to my questions.

  • Nikky
    December 17, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    Hi! Do you have any boon suggestions for SKT?

    • December 20, 2016 at 4:28 pm

      Sorry for the late reply. Thank you for reminding me about what I left out. To answer your question, though I would suggest first Frosty Demeanor, then either Hardy Constitution or Survival Instincts depending on what stat you need. Chill Determination seems to be the better third option. Glacial Strength for the fourth. Finally, I would suggest Chill of Winter. In summary these Boons are pretty awful compared to other Campaigns.

  • compsmo
    December 21, 2016 at 1:40 am

    do you have a SS of your stats? For instance what is a good balanced target for def/deflect/power/recovery/ArP?

    • December 22, 2016 at 1:32 am

      Yep. Updated it for you, the screenshots are at the bottom of the page. So your priority should be Defense and HP. Both of these stats make your life a lot easier, especially when you want to drop your Shield for buffs. Get your damage resistance to the apparent cap of 80% and get your HP above 110k. Health is something you can keep dumping points into. My Health is in the region of 153k with VIP buffs and Dusk set. Depending on if you use Shadowclad or not, then build up your Deflect as much as you see fit as it is a chance to Deflect. It’s hard to say what’s a good amount when it is such a random occurrence. Power is something that you can never have too much of, so the more the merrier. Recovery is an important stat but I wouldn’t go crazy on it as it takes so much to see a difference. You don’t want this to be around 2 or 3k as your cooldowns will have a longer down time, meaning less stamina regeneration and a longer time without buffs. Armour Penetration is your friend when it comes to Threat. When I started tanking I was at about 18% RI and holding Threat without Enhanced Mark was hard. It won’t hold Threat for you though, so keep using Tide of Iron and WMS for the extra damage bonus if you’re Sword Master. Hopefully that answers the question for you. But trust me when I say you’ll know when you’ve hit your targets for Defense and Offense. The difference between 80% DR and my old tanking days is huge.

      • HTP
        December 31, 2016 at 7:25 pm

        I’m still a noob and learning but am following your build. Wondering if you can give advice on getting my DR up. It’s around 52 currently. I’m lvl 70, il 2460. Thanks in advance!

        • January 3, 2017 at 5:18 pm

          Hello. Apologies for the late reply. Your DR is quite good at your current IL. There are a few ways to bump up DR, but they’re not the cheapest or easiest ways. One is an Epic mount that grants 2,000 Defense or a Legendary for 4,000 if you’re lucky to own one. Secondly is your Artifacts, because you can acquire a total of 4,000 from those. Thirdly is access to a Guild with Boons. That can range from 800-8,000. Azure Enchantments and Armour Kits that also grant extra Defense, too. Four Armour Kits will grant you 800 Defense at the highest rank. Lastly is Armour Class (AC) it’s on your Chest, Off Hand and some Artifact Cloaks. Just keep in mind what to upgrade or add first, because you don’t want to spend all your time upgrading every Azure if you are missing stats from your Artifacts. If your Artifacts aren’t at Mythic, then focus on those first.

  • damien cruz
    December 21, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    Can this be used for PVP?

    • December 22, 2016 at 1:38 am

      I’m afraid I’m not a PvP expert. I can’t imagine it would be the best option, though due to the buff nature over self buffing and DPS. If PvP is your thing then you’re probably better off in the Conqueror tree. Sorry I can’t help you further as I literally just play my GF for PvE content. Hopefully someone else can reply here and help you.

      • Trivial's rage
        December 27, 2016 at 10:22 pm

        Any build can be useful in pvp, with the tact build and high defense/deflect you will survive, but not well without tenacity gear. Get a different gear set2 pcs frostborn, then two pcs prestige) and you will survive just won’t kill very quickly, but you will be an asset to your team

  • michael christensen
    January 6, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Something puzzled me… you spend points in feats that reduce dmg to allies, following your other arguments “if you do your tank job proper…. you dont need to .. ” shouldn’t such feats be redundant and points better spent else where if you do your tank job proper and have proper healer?

    How high was your DR when you switched out Negation enchantment? appears i’m only at 46-48% atm and im wondering if the Negation is a more pressing need that the deflection chance. I deffinently had a harder time keeping alive and died twice on throne of dwarves (what!?) granted im not using dusk, but frostborn. Mainly coz my little GF dorf is not a main but fun 🙂

    Do you ever use Knights Valor for extra DR and Threat generation?

  • January 10, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    Hello, Michael. To answer your first question my response would be no, those points aren’t better spent else where. And that’s because damage taken is inevitable in every dungeon I’ve ever run, both as a tank and as a DPS. There are times when even the tank can’t prevent taken occurring, like on the second boss of CN where the team can fall into the spikes. Even Kessel’s Retreat, with the orbs that spawn. Lostmauth even causes the whole team problems too. I used to play as a Conqueror and found that in those circumstances where people would take damage caused by something other than a Mob they would take more damage compared to the Tactician tree. If I consistently run with an adequately geared Cleric then yes, it’s redundant because AA is OP. But I rarely run with Clerics, instead I mainly run with two Healadins. Most PuG groups are impatient and will still stand in front of where the Mobs are swinging/attacking, so it helps in that case too. So unless you’re the perfect tank with the perfect healer, it will then be justified to remove those points.

    I used to have a Greater Negation when I was around 2,400 IL. I think I had 40% DR or something, I really can’t remember. The reason I switched was because I wanted to try something that I had seen no other tank use at the time. I was just curious, really. I still use it today at Pure rank, and I love it. The Transcendent Negation would be nice but that’s far too expensive for me at the moment. You’re probably better off with the Negation until your DR is about 60%. But if you want to try Shadowclad, then go for it.

    I don’t use Knight’s Valor anymore. I still run Into the Frey, Enforced Threat and Commander’s Strike. The main reason why I didn’t like KV was the thought process of knowing that if my allies get hit then the Threat comes back to me. I prefer to watch what enemies are attacking me and react when I see one unmarked or turn away. KV takes that observation work away. I just prefer the challenge to be honest, because tanking hundreds of dungeons gets really boring and it’s nice to keep myself awake and aware. I’m pretty sure KV only gives DR if you’re far enough in the Protector Tree anyway.

  • Rafael
    January 26, 2017 at 3:15 am

    How did you get to 100% deflectoin severity?

  • Rafael
    January 29, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    But does he have to be as a companion summoned or just need to be equipped?

  • Rafael
    January 30, 2017 at 2:05 am

    When I get a resistance to 80% damage does negation become useless or does it still make a difference for me to receive even less damage?
    Thank you for listening.

    • OllieJMS5K
      January 30, 2017 at 11:55 am

      Yes, the Shadow Demon must be active for the bonus to be used. It does not need to be summoned, only active. I am unsure if Negation affects damage taken after 80% DR. I have been running some Orcus without and DCs or Healadins affected me to see if the Pure Shadowclad’s DR buff works after 80% and it does seem to work. So, I believe that DR from Defense caps at 80% but other DR effects are calculated after that cap and can still work, just like our shield. I’m still unsure if this is true or not or if I’m getting other buffs affecting me. I still find the Shadowclad to be the better option due to a high deflect chance per hit taken, yes it resets but it procs like mad. So to me it’s the better option especially when you have the 80% DR.

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