Xenakis Guardian Fighter Compendium Mod 14 Swordmaster PVE Builds/Loadouts

by Troy on June 10, 2018
Guardian Fighter
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Xenakis Guardian Fighter Compendium Mod 14 Swordmaster PVE Builds/Loadouts

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 Xenakis

Guardian Fighter Compendium

for Swordmaster

 

Mod 14 Builds for

Protector/Tactician/Conqueror

Welcome to my guide! This guide is currently being updated for Mod 14. I will change this status when updates are all done, please be patient.

 

I’m still working on adding pages and reformatting the way the information is laid out for clarify, so If anyone has suggestions about the new format or feedback, please let me know!

I am aware that the Armor, Companion, and Mount tabs are currently unformatted, but they should be fixed by the end of 5.25.18.

*Thanks to Elven Archer for explaining some of the guide customization to me.

 

The pictures below are from Mod 13, will update soon.

Introduction:

Hello everyone, I am Xenakis and I play on Xbox One. It has been almost a year since this guide was first published, and it has been great to see all the support and suggestions from the community regarding the success of this guide. I have designed this guide to provide as much information as possible in an easy to see manner (that’s the goal anyways). At the time of updating this guide the current Mod on Xbox One is Mod 14. There are few guides quite as in depth as this one (mine isn’t the only one), but I hope everyone stopping here can learn something, or at the very least, gain perspective. Please read the “What This Guide Will Accomplish” tab to gain a sense of all the information in this guide before proceeding.

Changes and Updates:

 

On 9.3.18, add some new information for Mod 14 including companions and armor choices.

On 5.29.18, added the “consumables” page, as well as added media to existing pages. Also worked on the formatting of individual pages.

On 5.24.18, migrated the page into a new button format. This transition is still in progress.

As of 5.24.18, the Earthtreader boots are now working properly across all platforms, and is viable for the Tactician build. All aspects of this guide should reflect this change. Patch notes here.

On 5.24.18, made a correction to the Toughness heroic feat description.

On 5.24.18, made some changes to the guild boon and enchantment section to include the upcoming Mod 14 armor pen cap and include suggestions to plan head for it.

What This Guide Will Accomplish:

In writing this guide, it was always my goal from the beginning to improve the quality of information on the internet available to Guardian Fighter’s of all skill levels. This guide is intended to be a full guide to the class, in addition to providing the builds that I use. I do not claim to be the very best or that my way is the only way to go with the class, but the information in here is as accurate as can be and everything is backed with experience/trial and error. Even though I have my own play style I think it is important to present all of the information available in a non-biased way so that you the may develop your own informed decision. I’m not going to cover every build imaginable (there are many play styles), but rather you’re getting a snapshot of my builds/playstyles, why I play the way that I do, and as much factual information to back it up as I can. I try not to have a cookie cutter play style, but at the same time, I don’t want everyone to just copy and paste my builds. I show my builds hoping that everyone can learn from them and use the information as a stepping stone to figuring out how they would like to play and build.

This guide is written with the understanding that many players will utilize the load out system, and that you can have more than one play style or build on one character, and switch load outs in the blink of an eye. I understand that few people will be interested in both a full Tactician or a full DPS build, but in an attempt to make this guide well-rounded and provide something for every reader here, I wanted to show how I play as a buff/debuff Tactician and as a full DPS. I’ve also included builds for beginners that want quality information, but can’t quite utilize the builds I am currently running.

As a Guardian Fighter, it’s important to understand that due to the queue system, we are primarily a tank class. With private queues, we can be whatever we would like (DPS) as we can build whatever group composition we would like. If you’re public queueing, you will want a tank build so that you may complete the queue. Both tanking and DPS are viable, but it’s important to always be capable of filling the tank role in the queue if needed. My initial recommendation is to use one load out for tanking and one for DPS (two load outs are free).

In this guide, you’ll see Protector, Tactician, and Conquerors builds in the Swordmaster paragons. All of these builds are specifically tailored for PvE content, but I eventually hope to add my PvP build as well.

 

LOADOUTS:

On my character, all of my load outs that I use are self-sufficient, meaning I don’t swap enchantments around or share gear (unless the enchantments are the same, sorry i’m a gold pincher). Here is a little more information about what load outs can or can’t do, so you may decide if you want to build fully self-sufficient load outs, or perhaps you’ll grow your Tactician load out and switch to Conqueror when you do your dailies.

Loadouts can:

  • Swap gear, mounts, and companions. This includes gear on companions, and insignias on mounts.
  • Swap between Swordmaster/Iron Vanguard, as well as swap between Protector, Tactician, and Conqueror.
  • Let you reassign points into Ability Scores between loadouts.
  • Let you have different boon selections.

Loadouts can’t:

  • Let you reroll your initial Ability Scores distribution (can only be changed with a race reroll).
  • Move anything that requires gold (enchantments, insignias CAN be moved as it is free).
  • Be swapped in combat or in danger zones (only in safe zones such as cities, the stronghold, and campfires).

Ability Scores:

For the Guardian Fighter, the Primary Ability is Constitution. The Secondary Abilities are Dexterity and Strength. The abilities Wisdom, Charisma, and Intelligence are not considered main ability scores for the Guardian Fighter but they have their uses.

Constitution: This stat increases Maximum Hit Points and Action Point Gain.

Dexterity: This stat increases your Resistance Ignored (Armor Penetration) and your Deflection Chance.

Strength: This stat increases your overall damage, Damage over Time Resistance, and Stamina/Guard Gain.

Intelligence- This stat increases your recharge speed, which means your encounters cooldown faster.

Charisma- This stat increases your companion stat bonus and combat advantage damage. This means you’ll get more stats from your companion and you’ll deal more damage when you have combat advanrage over an enemy.

Wisdom- This stat increase your Control Bonus and your Control Resist.

When building a character, particularly a Guardian Fighter, you want to take a look at the big picture and imagine where you get your stats from. Whether you’re new to GF, or you’re experienced with lots of gear and boons will change what type of roll you do. Also, consider the playstyle you may want. There are better rolls for tanking versus DPS. Since I do both tanking and DPS in this current mod, I will share the initial roll of stats I took that seems to be the “best of both worlds.” This means that with this roll I can maximize my DPS loadout, but also this starting roll can work really well for tanking no matter where you want to put your points.

Constitution- 16

Strength- 16 (18)

Dexterity- 12

Intelligence- 10

Wisdom- 10

Charisma- 10 (12)

Since I am Dragonborn, I put +2 into Strength and Charisma, making those stats 18 and 12 respectively. To me this is the optimal roll if you want to keep your options open for tanking and DPS. The above roll is what I currently use on all loadouts. On the next page, you’ll see exactly what roll to choose depending on the race of your choice, and the role you would like to play as your Guardian Fighter.

Race:

Which race you decide to play can be a very personal decision. Some of you reading this will want the best race to do your job, and some of you will pick the race you like regardless of it’s utility for the sake of appearance. In older versions of this guide, I listed a variety of races that could be viable because they supported the Primary and Secondary ability scores of the Guardian Fighter or they provided another desirable gain. I have redesigned this section to include less traits, as feedback from the community stated they want to see the top few choices for race. The further along your character progresses, the more your race choice becomes about maximizing your potential for the roll you play. Some races are better for tanking as they can buff/debuff. Other races are better for DPS as they have the highest potential damage output. Which race you choose is a personal decision, but I will lay out the most viable options (with a few choices options each) to fit the roll that you’d like to play.

Beginner Race:

Human:

• Versatile Defense- This race has an extra 3% Defense stat.

• Heroic Effort- You are granted 3 additional Heroic points to use in their Heroic Feats.

• You get +2 to ANY Ability Score The Guardian Fighter first and foremost is a Tank.

When you queue for a dungeon, the server picks you up as a tank, even if you are built for DPS. Defense will be one of the first stats that you stack on your character with the goal of reaching 80% DR, which is the cap for Defense based damage mitigation. Some people stack Defense even higher to counteract Defense debuts. Having 3 extra points into your heroic feats is great for first time tanks. If you’re feeling fresh and that the extra points will help you do your job, it’s a solid choice. More heroic feats means more initial stats on your character. The extra Defense is only to Defense stat, and not DR as the tooltip states, but if you’re going to have extra stat, it doesn’t hurt for it to be Defense. Overall, this race choice is not really desired for end game guardian fighters but is still worth mentioning for those starting out and learning the class. Human is really only a viable option for TANKING.

Tanking Races: 

Drow/Menzo Drow:

• *Darkfire- You have a 5% chance when attacking a foe to apply Darkfire for 4 seconds, reducing its Defense by 5%. This debuff can stack 4 times, but does not stack with multiple Drow in group.

• *Faerie Fire- You have a 5% chance when attacking a foe to apply Faerie Fire for 4 seconds, reducing its Defense by 3%, and its Power by 6%. This debuff can stack 4 times, but does not stack with multiple Drow in the group.

• Trance- You recover at campfires twice as fast. • You get +2 to Dexterity, AND+2 to either Wisdom OR Charisma.

For those looking for a way to extend the role of buff/debuff tank into your race choice, this is the race for you. Trance is…disappointing to say the least but the debuff you can apply can be extremely valuable. The downside to this race is that the choice in ability scores could be better, but the debuff value outweighs the downsides here. If you want to be a fully dedicated buff/debuff tank then pick this race. Darkfire is the debuff that normal Drow can apply and Faerie Fire is the debuff that Menzo Drow can apply. According to Oria1, Darkfire and Faerie Fire can stack together if two different Drow are in the group but two of the same race of Drow can’t stack the same debuff, and Menzo Drow is the more reliable debuff as it is easier to apply and stack than Darkfire.  The Drow debuff is more in demand since it is a higher damage increasing debuff, whereas the power debuff on Menzo is basically just an incoming damage reduction debuff.The Menzo Drow is a premium race purchase from the Zen Market.

*Darkfire only applies to the regular Drow race, and Faerie Fire only applies to the Menzo Drow Race.

Tiefling: 

• Bloodhunt- You deal an additional 5% damage to targets below half health.

• Infernal Wrath- When you receive damage, you have a 10% chance to apply Infernal Wrath to your attacker for 5 seconds. This effect reduces the target’s Power by 5%.

• You get +2 to Charisma, AND+2 to either Constitution ORIntelligence. This race is a second option for those looking to help their group out more by providing debuffs.

This race is a second option to the Drow because while this race reduces the damage the enemy deals (power debuff), the Drow race debuffs the enemies Defenses (more important), and the Menzo Drow can debuff Defense and Power. Like with Menzo Drow, the power debuff is basically another incoming damage reduction debuff so not as strong as a draw, but helpful anyways. Still, this class is worth mentioning for the debuff, as well as the ability to roll both Intelligence and Charisma higher. The additional damage to targets below half health can help with aggro, and while it’s not necessary to have, it is nice anyway.

 

DPS Races: 

Half-Orc:

• Furious Assault- Your Critical Severity is 5% higher.

• Swift Charge- You gain a 10% bonus to run speed for 3 seconds when you enter combat. This effect can only occur once every 20 seconds.

• You get +2 to Dexterity, AND +2 to either Constitution OR Strength.

The Guardian Fighter in more recent mods has risen to the role of DPS Guardian Fighter. When built correctly, it is very highly sought after. As far as free race choices go, Half-Orc is the best available race for DPS because you’ll take Dexterity and Strength for Armor Penetration and Damage Bonus. The extra critical severity is a nice bonus as well. Overall, if you’re looking for free race choices, Half-Orc is the top choice but there is a better choice for DPS.

Dragonborn/Metallic Ancestry Dragonborn:

• Dragonborn Fury- Your Power and Critical Strike are increased by 3%.

• Draconic Heritage- You receive 5% more healing from all spells and abilities.

• *Metallic Ancestry- You receive 3% more healing from all spell and abilities, and your Maximum Hit Points total is 3% higher.

• You get +2 to ANY TWO stats.

First, as I mentioned previously this race is not a default race, It is a PAID pack on the Zen Market. Even when it went on sale for the holidays it was almost 50 USD. If you have it, like burning a hole in your pocket, or want your character to look like an ugly lizard with legs, is actually some gain here. 5% healing is great for any class, and a tank benefits from this especially. If you are looking to do DPS, or maybe you just want the extra power and crit without having to invest it into your gear/boons/enchantments, then perhaps this race is for you. All jokes aside, this is my race of choice. I prefer it because I like to play all content and styles (Tank/DPS/PVP) and for flexibility Dragonborn is great. Most people regard Dragonborn as being the best for PVP and DPS as well. There is a better option for tanking but if you want to be able to do it all and take advantage of the load outs OR just focus on DPS, go Dragonborn. *Dragonborn Fury only applies to the regular Dragonborn race, and Metallic Ancestry only applies to the Metallic Dragonborn race.

Summary:

The Dragonborn race is my personal choice for the many roles my Guardian Fighter plays (Tank/DPS/PVP). For end game Guardian Fighters, if you don’t have Dragonborn, pick the race that you feel supports your MAIN area of focus: Drow or Tiefling for tanking as they provide debuffs that help support your team, and Dragonborn or Half-Orc for DPS as they have the highest potential for DPS output. Human is a comfortable first choice for new guardian fighter, but is not desired for end game content as there are better options. As always, there are some people that use want to play the game in more of a roll playing aspect. I’ve given some of the best examples for both DPS and Tank, but if you pick something else for aesthetics, I urge you to take the information you’ve earned and apply it so as to maximize your effectiveness no matter the race you choose (don’t pick Wisdom).

Stats:

An important part of any character build and their level of performance has to do with stat allocation. Stats can be broken up into two categories: Defensive and Offensive. Tanks typically stack Defensive stats first and Offensive stats second. If you want to DPS, you would stack Offensively first and then Defensive stats second. If will break down what each main stat does for us, why we may or may not need it, and for which builds you’ll want to focus certain stats on.

Defensive Stats:

Defense- Defense is your primary form of Damage Mitigation. Defense as a stat translates into Damage Taken or DT, formerly known as Damage Resistance or DR. The cap for DT is 80%. There are other forms of Damage Mitigation that fall outside of the DT cap, so your goal is to just hit 80%. Some like to stack some DT over the cap to help negate the effects of armor break debuffs (they lower your DT%). If you want to do this, you can stack up to 95%, however it shouldn’t be necessary with buffs and damage mitigation that falls outside of the cap.

Deflection- Deflection is one form of chance based survivability. Deflection stat translates into Deflection %. Deflection when procced halves the damage that you take (with 50% deflection severity which is the base amount of severity you have). Your damage is first mitigated (through DR for example), and then that damage is cut in half when you successfully deflect. Deflection can be a good means of prevent large amount of damage from taking your Hit Points, but it IS still a chance. You would want a large Deflection % to make stacking Deflection reliable as a means of survivability. 100% deflect would guaranteed that every hit you take is halved, but it is very difficult to achieve that number. You could imagine that if 50% of the time you take half damage and the other 50% of the time you don’t, even 50% percent can be pretty unreliable.

Lifesteal- Lifesteal is the other form of chance based survivability. Lifesteal stat translates into Lifesteal chance %. As it sounds, Lifesteal is a way to restore health when you’ve lost Hit Points. The amount of health you replenish is a factor of Lifesteal severity and how much damage you deal. Increasing your damage and Lifesteal severity can increase the amount of life you restore in a hit. Lifesteal is more forgiving in that you can get by with a lower chance for Lifesteal and have good gains from it.

Maximum Hit Points- Maximum Hit Points is easy. The more hit points you have, the more hit points you can lose before reach 0 and croak. Maximum Hit Points is one often looked over defensive stat. I personally recommend a minimum of 200k. If your DR mitigates 80% of a 1 mil hit, you would take a 200k Hit Point loss. If you deflected, it would only be 100k, but at 200k Hit Points you would be at half health. With other forms of mitigation and buffs from your team, you would take less but 200k allows for some room for error and in general helps with survivability.

 

Offensive Stats:

Power- Power is your damage. You can now view your damage bonus in character sheet as Damage Dealt. Stacking more Power allows you to hit harder. Power is always good to have, but with power share coming from other party members, it’s not going to be the first stat we go after. Take it where you can get it as it helps.

Critical Strike- Critical Strike translates into Critical Chance %. When you crit, you deal more damage than normal. It is good to have some crit as a tank, but you do not need to stack absurd amounts of it. I have about 30% crit chance and I feel that is a healthy number to aim for, particularly with my Tactician build. If you are going to be a DPS GF, you want to aim for at least 90% ( more on this later).

Armor Penetration- Armor Penetration translates into Defenses Ignored or DI, formerly know as Resistance Ignored or RI. Armor Penetration is the mechanic that pierces through enemy DR. In all content before the Jungles of Chult, the target RI% is 60%. If you are in the Jungles of Chult, you need 75% Armor Penetration. If you’re in Tomb of the Nine Gods, you need 85% Arp. Both DPS and Tanks should stack the appropriate amount of Arp for the content they are playing. Recovery- Recovery translates into Cooldown Reduction % as well as Action Point Gain %.

Recovery allows a player to cooldown their encounter powers faster and to build their Action Points for their Daily powers faster. Recovery hits a soft cap (point of diminishing returns) around 12k Recovery. You can gain benefit from stacking more but the return is significantly less. For DPS, you don’t need to go out of your way for Recovery as your team will help you with cooldowns. For a tank, we want to be self-sufficient in Recovery so that we can reliable provide our buffs. Our goal is to have enough Cooldown Reduction % to cast our buffs with 100% uptime.

 

Tertiary Stats:

There are other kinds of stats that are much harder to come by referred to be some as tertiary stats. For tertiary stats, you want between 800-1200 as 1200 is the starting point of very harsh diminishing returns. If you go over 1200, try to rebalance your stats and move the points elsewhere. These stats are changes with artifacts, artifact weapon offhand bonuses, jewelry kits, and mount insignias.

AP Gain- This stat helps you build you Action Points faster. Popping your Daily powers is an important way to buff both you and the team so Action Points are a stat we will go for as both DPS and Tanks.

Combat Advantage Damage- This stat helps us deal more damage when we have combat advantage. More damage equals higher threat generation, and since GFs can always provide Combat Advantage through marking, this stat is worth investing in as both DPS and Tanks.

Control Bonus- This stat helps your control powers to last longer/perform better. This is not a stat we need to focus on in PVE content. In PVP it may help a little bit but it’s still pretty far down the list as far as usefulness goes.

Control Resist- This stat helps you avoid being stunned, knocked, dazed, etc. Really, it reduces the time that control powers apply to you (so it’s the opposite of control bonus). This a decent if you have some points there but we won’t go out of our way for it.

AOE Resist- This stat reduces the damage you take from AOE attacks (the big red circles). This stat is good, but you probably won’t have the means to get this high after raising AP Gain and CA Bonus.

Regeneration- This stat helps you heal outside of combat. Now, so people say it is useless. I do recommend that everyone has just a little bit of regeneration so that you can heal on your own if you’re running content by yourself or so you can heal in between enemy groups in dungeons. Usually, I just pick one regeneration boon to cover myself.

Stamina/Guard Gain- This stat helps you regenerate lost stamina. It does NOT slow down the consumption of stamina. It’s good to have some points here but we won’t go out of our way for it.

Incoming Healing Bonus- This stat increases the potency of healing both from outside sources as well as self-procced heals. We will get some of this stat from boons, but we won’t go out of our way for it.

Mechanics: 

Coming soon!

Powers:

The powers available to you are defined by the Paragon Path you choose at level 30 (Swordmaster), as describe above, so it doesn’t matter which build you end up following, the same powers will be available as long as you selected Swordmaster. I’m going to give you power loadouts to use in different scenarios, These will be the first powers to level 4 and will be the most used. Understanding how your powers work, what kind of buffs/debuffs they do, and when to use them are what makes any class great. You can copy my load outs and move on or read on and learn why we use these moves. Below are the powers you will want to take to 4 as soon as possible. I will show where I map my powers but you can move them as you see fit. Below all of my power sets I will include other situationally useful powers for you to try. The powers below are my most used, but depending on your toon development and situation, you may find some of the other powers helpful and I will describe why they are helpful.

DPS Mob Powers (Also for solo):

• RT= Weapon Master’s Strike

• LT= Tide of Iron

• X= Linebreaker’s Assault

• Y= Enforced Threat

• B= Into The Fray

• Villian’s Menace (Daily 1)

• Fighter’s Recovery (Daily 2)

• Combat Superiority (Personal)

• Steel Blitz or Steel Grace (Personal)

 

DPS Single Target:

• Weapon Master’s Strike

• LT= Tide of Iron

• X= Griffon’s Wrath

• X= Knee Breaker

• Y= Knight’s Challenge

• B= Into The Fray

• Villian’s Menace (Daily 1)

• Fighter’s Recovery (Daily 2)

• Combat Superiority (Personal)

• Shield Warrior’s Wrath (Personal)

 

Group Play Mobs Powers (Tanking):

• RT= Weapon Master’s Strike

• LT= Tide of Iron

• X= Knight’s Valor

• X= Commander’s Strike

• Y= Enforced Threat

• B= Into The Fray

• Villian’s Menace (Daily 1)

• Fighter’s Recovery (Daily 2)

• Guarded Assault (Personal)

• Combat Superiority or Steel Grace (Personal)

If you are running a lower level dungeon, or your group is at the point where they can do without Knight’s Valor, you could play around with using Commander’s Strike instead. You’ll still want Enforced Threat as Commander’s Strike requires targets to be marked for it’s bonus.

 

Group Play Single-Target (Tanking):

• RT= Weapon Master’s Strike

• RT= Crushing Surge

• LT= Tide of Iron

• X= Knight’s Valor

• X= Knight’s Challenge

• Y= Commander’s Strike

• B= Into The Fray

• Villian’s Menace (Daily 1)

• Fighter’s Recovery (Daily 2)

• Guarded Assault (Personal)

• Combat Superiority (Personal)

 

Personal Powers:

• Enhanced Mark- This Personal Power is a go-to when learning to tank. Marked targets build increased threat while marked, and you generate 75% more threat when striking them. Threat is the mechanic that enables a tank to pull and hold Aggro. If a tank cannot generate enough threat, enemies will lose interest in you and back hand the crap out of your DPS (P.S. They don’t like when this happens). Leave this on and you should hardly ever have trouble. When fully upgraded, threat generation is increased by 300%. This power should not be overlooked, however if you can generate enough threat without it, then use something else.

• Guarded Assault- A great one to leave on when tanking, the Personal Power reflects 5% of your incoming damage when you block, up to 15% of your Max HP. Reflect 20% damage when fully upgraded. This a gem if you’re needing the extra survivability. This power becomes more important if you use it in  combination with the weapon offhand bonus to proc Crushing Pin (more on this later). This power is always on as a tank.

• Steel Grace- You become lighter on your feet in combat, increases run speed by 10%, and increase deflection chance and critical chance. 17.5% run speed, 3% Deflection and 3% Critical chance at max.This is my personal favorite to use, though it may not be slotted 100% of the time depending on the load out and the needs of the group. The run speed from this is just insane. No one likes a tank that’s always late to the fight as it’s harder to pull back aggro off the dps, and your group didn’t get the benefit of your buffs from the start. I like to use this on mobs with a tank build.

• Shield Talent- If you are a lower level guardian fighter and are struggling with shield up-time then you can switch to this (probably just during boss fights) to help with your Stamina management. Guarding consumes stamina 5% slower. 20% at max. • Combat Superiority- When a foe hits you, you deal 5% additional damage to them and they deal 5% less to you for 8 seconds. 8% Damage increase and deduction and max. You definitely want this if you’re DPS. I also like to use it on my tanking build in boss fights.

• Shield Warrior’s Wrath- When you take damage with your shield up, you gain 8% damage for 15 seconds at max. This is great for single target DPS. The personals listed in my power sets above are the ones I feel most useful in those situation for where my toon development and playing ability are. If you struggle with shield/stamina management as a tank for example, the absolutely try using Shield Talent! It could save your life and make your job easier until you learn how to play with out it. Each of the above personals have their place but some are better than others once you reach a certain point with your character.

Why do we use these powers?

• Weapon Master’s Strike- This power is supposed to self buff you to make enemies more susceptible to your damage when struck with this power. I’ve heard reports that it doesn’t work properly but when buff caps are readjusted in Mod 12, this will still work. HOWEVER, it is still best because it’s AOE swing is HUGE and the damage is way better than the Cleave alternative. If you’re DPS, this power becomes more important as a debuff.

• Crushing Surge- This is the go-to At-Will power for single target encounters. This move has a slight lunging animation as it stabs on the final blow. I tolerate the moving around on this move in single target as it helps keep me on the boss, and it heals you on the third hit. It can be a pain to switch At-Wills for Single Target versus AOE, but it does give a nice return and does a bit more base damage than WMS.

• Tide of Iron- This is a single target shield smash that reduce their damage resistance to your attacks and it recovers 10% of your Stamina which means more shield time. I always keep this on for the debut and will use it whenever I start attacking enemies. For DPS, this is a good move to use before you use your encounter powers.

• Knight’s Valor- This power allows you to shield your allies, temporarily intercepting half of all damage they would have taken, which also BUILDS THREAT based on how much damage you mitigate. Most groups have come to rely on this power because it’s just that good. More importantly, it’s how you’re going to get most of your aggro.

• Into The Fray- This power gives a straight outgoing damage boost to members in your party. This is the reason everyone wants a GF in their group. Your end game goal is to have 100% ITF up time (get your recovery up). This power buffs the party AND you. If you’re DPS, the small amount of Temp HP ITF gives provides a damage boost.

• Enforced Threat- This is an AOE soft mark power. This power can mark a whole mob of enemies which not only helps them Aggro onto you, marking enemies helps your allies do more damage to them. This ability also recovers 30% of your Stamina over 8 seconds when fully upgraded. If you’re in really low level areas like Sharandar and Dread Ring, this power can one shot or near-one shot a whole group of enemies leaving them for a quick clean up. For DPS this powers hits like a truck as an AOE, and simultaneously marks and debuffs the enemies.

• Commander’s Strike- This power is a single target debuff. When used against a marked target, your allies all do bonus damage on their next encounter power use. Fully upgraded, you buff 40% bonus damage to each ally. This power is good when you don’t need to use either KV or ET.

• Villain’s Menace- This is your DPS Daily Power, it buffs your damage output, it makes you immune to disabling effects, and it gives you an additional 20% Damage Mitigation. If you’re DPS, this is the only Daily power that you use. You can easily cancel this daily by beginning to cast it, then quickly raise your shield (block/guard). You can use this to “pop your daily” without using your Action Points (more on this later).

• Fighter’s Recovery- This is your self-heal Daily Power. Fully upgraded, you heal for well over half of the damage you deal. Basically just use Enforced Threat once and you’ll be at full health. This is a super useful back pocket tool and therefore it is always slotted.

• Griffon’s Wrath- This move has three charges and on top of that it’s one of the hardest hitting encounters anyways. The charges do take a while but they pack a punch. When used with Knight’s Challenge in Conqueror it’s menacing. I use Griffon’s Wrath currently as it’s one of our attacks that proc Crushing Pin. When used in this manner, you would pace your charges so you aren’t on a terribly long cool down with no debuff uptime. If you’re DPS, you activate Knight’s Challenge and try to time your Griffon’s Wrath hits with the buffs and debuffs. This can be very hard to do, but is worth the attempt since the 3 charges of wrath have a long cooldown.

• Knight’s Challenge- This power locks you into 1v1 combat where you and the enemy deal double damage to each other. Using Griffon’s Wrath while in Knight’s Challenge deals insane damage in Conqueror. Knight’s Challenge in a tank scenario can also be used to make any boss your personal pet for a few seconds and reassert your aggro. If you’re a Tactician Tank, you can use this to help build your aggro by increasing your damage, and the extra damage you take will help you give your teammates more AP. Marking enemies: Make sure that you mark your enemies. as a tank it helps you build threat and keep your group safe from an unexpected clobbering. Your enforced threat is a soft mark you use to grab multiple enemies at once. Your RB (again Xbox) button is your hard mark which you use on the biggest enemy in the room. You can also use your hard mark to correct any defectors attempting to attack your group. Marking is for threat generation as well as debuffing, so you always want to be sure that the enemies you have are marked to the best of your ability. Be sure to utilize both your Hard Marking and Soft Marking capabilities. Enforced threat has a cap of 5 mobs, so after using enforced threat use your hard mark to tag the rest of the enemies if necessary.

Rotations:

Tanking Rotation:

In a typical Tank rotation, your goal is to buff first than cast powers that deal damage. Into the Fray on it’s own does no damage because it is a buff. Your Weapon Master’s Strike and Tide of Iron makes your encounter powers deal more damage too, so those powers would also be used before you deal damage. The most important thing is to always make sure that Into The Fray is being used immediately off of cooldown. If Into The Fray is up 100% of the time, your teammates don’t have to worry about losing that buff (and neither do you).

For Mobs: Use ITF–Guard and Hard Mark–Enforced Threat (to apply soft marks)–Weapon Master’s Strike until powers are off cooldown. Once you’ve inititally applied both your hard and soft marks, try to make sure that follow up Enforced Threats are buffed with Into The Fray and Weapon Master’s Strike if you can. Always block when necessary and make sure you keep the enemies in front of your shield and not surrounding you for combat advantage. When possible, apply hard marks to mobs. Only one enemy can have a  hard mark at a time some sure to target the biggest enemy with the hard mark.

For Boss: The rotation stays largely the same except that you may swap Enforced Threat for Commander’s Strike or a power like Knee Breaker or Griffon’s Wrath that can proc Crushing Pin. These powers all deal damage so make sure you buff them up by using Into The Fray, Weapon Master’s Strike, and Tide of Iron before your damage encounter to increase their effect. If your group does not need Knight’s Valor then you can use Knee Breaker and Commander’s Strike. Use Into the Fray as soon as it is ready to keep it up 100% of the time. You should try to mix Weapon Master’s Strike and Tide of Iron in between Knee Breaker and Commander’s Strike to help you deal a little bit more damage (aggro) as your at-wills will debuff the boss and make the powers deal more damage. Hard mark at the very beginning of combat and make sure to refresh it periodically in case it wears off. If you lose aggro for some reason, through in Aggravating Strike (stab while your shield is raised) to help generate extra threat. If all else fails to hold aggro, slot Knight’s Challenge in place of Commander’s Strike.

 

DPS Rotation:

DPS Rotation: 

In the DPS rotation, the most important tip I can provide is to wait for your party’s buffs and debuffs to kick in. The GF has an incredible amount of burst damage currently, but this means that timing is everything (well it always is). GF DPS currently runs with a full buff group/usually 1 AOE DPS that also provides some buffs (HR with LSS and Thorn Ward, CW with Chaos Magic, Combustive Action/Swath of Destruction). The GF has very little or no recovery and relies on support to reduce cool downs so whether you’re on mobs or boss, if you miss your window there is a long waiting penalty until you can really do a full rotation again. The rotation/playstyle is universally the same from player to player, there are very few variations in power selection and rotation so the information here is more “common knowledge” and not really anything special I’ve done. Thanks to @Abrams with this section.

For Mobs: Assuming your groups gets buffs up fast, you can use Into The Fray into combat and use Weapon Master’s Strike to apply its debuff. Then use Enforced Threat which will do large AOE damage as well as place the soft mark DR debuff, then use Line Breakers Assault to clean them up. If anything did survive, you probably don’t have encounters off of cool down so quickly make use of Crushing Pin (applied by LBA) and finish with Weapon Master’s Strike. If it’s one bigger mob you may try WMS, Tide, then Aggravating Strike. It’s a nice little combo not utilizing encounters that is fast due to animation canceling, and applies both at-will debuffs. Again, the biggest thing here is waiting for the buffs. If you use your damaging encounters too soon (or Fray and lose your temp HP/Wrathful Warrior buff) you damage output will be cut severely.

For Boss: For Bosses one of the biggest things to practice is a fast and smooth rotation. Timing is everything and if you can’t self-buff as fast as your support team then you will not be doing your maximum damage; everything must line up. The boss debuff bars are much easier to see than on mobs, so I recommend using the debuff bar as a way gauge the correct time to strike. Wait for the cleric’s Break the Spirit and Forgemaster’s Flame to be on the debuff bar. Your actual rotation is as follows. Use Villian’s Menace then immediately hold your shield up to proc Shield Warrior’s Wrath and Reckless Attacker. Be sure to allow enough time behind the shield to build full stack (5 hits, or wait until stamina is at about 50%). Then you will very quickly use Knight’s Challenge, Soul Sight Crystal, Mount Combat power (Rex/Lion/Tenser’s, the rest aren’t worth using), then Into the Fray, Weapon Master’s Strike, then your 3 Griffon’s Wraths. The order may change slightly depending on the person but the most important thing is not using Griffon’s before all the buffs from your team are up, but your team needs to move fast enough to allow you to hit your Griffon’s before Reckless Attacker and Shield Warrior’s Wrath start to fall off.

Other things to look for are the Devo paladin using Bane on you before and occasionally during the fight, as well using Absolution on you to help protect your Temp HP and Wrathful Warrior damage bonus. Another tip that’s not really needed in good groups (but worth mentioning) is the DO DC can use Sacred Flame to give you Temp HP just in case you lose yours from Into The Fray. On Avatar of Orcus, you can proc your self buffs by just raising your shield and letting the curse bleed your health, which allows you to use Villian’s Menace inside the arena at the beginning of your rotation. Another member of the group can use the Wheel of Elements fire buff on you at the door to the boss room to boost your damage as well.

Paragon Paths:

Swordmaster vs Iron Vanguard:

As clearly outlined at the top of this guide, you will be choosing Swordmaster for all of these builds. I’m not going to bash Iron Vanguard, but here are some reasons for picking Swordmaster. With Swordmaster powers being on the left and Iron Vanguard powers on the right, I will show what you the changes are between Swordmaster and Iron Vanguard, and explain some pros and cons.

 

Weapon Master’s Strike versus Threatening Rush

(At-Wills)

• In this case, both at-wills are good but the reasoning for picking Swordmaster comes down to the pair of at-wills you would use. In Swordmaster you’ll use Weapon Master’s Strike and Iron Tide or Crushing Surge. In Iron Vanguard you’ll be using Cleave and Threatening Rush or Tide of Iron or Crushing Surge. Crushing Surge is a single target stab and Iron Tide is single target as well. Threatening Rush offers a soft mark and mobility which is great but for AOE you’ll most likely use Cleave (which isn’t good compared to Weapon Master’s Strike) or you’ll be stuck using two single target at-wills on AOE. In this case, Threatening Rush from IV is great but Weapon Master’s Strike is just better. WMS also a debuff, a huge AOE that’s great for trash clearing/spreading your weapon enchantment, it’s easy to control, and it’s “back-stab” mechanic can be helpful if fighting enemies with shields.

 

Steel Grace versus Ferocious Reaction

(Passive Powers)

• In this case there is a clear winner in my opinion. IV’s Ferocious Reaction is basically just more heals, but honestly it isn’t needed. Fighter’s Recovery does wonders all on its own and both paths can use Fighter’s Recovery so picking IV for Ferocious Reaction doesn’t make much sense. Steel Grace give a flat movement speed bonus (unlike Fray which is only up as long as Fray is active), and it also gives 3% Critical Chance and 3% Deflection Chance. The reason I use Steel Grace (sometimes but not always) is for the movement speed. It’s great if you’re speed running or just for clearing dailies quicker. There are other passive powers that you’ll use instead of Steel Grace in most situations but when comparing the two, Steel Grace is a clear winner.

 

Line Breaker Assault versus Frontline Surge

(Encounter Powers)

• This comparison could be up to personal preference, but I do think that Line Breaker Assault is better in this case (I swear i’m not biased). Line Breaker Assault and Frontline Surge both proc Crushing Pin which is good. These powers are either for pricing Crushing Pin or dealing damage, and most likely on mobs. When you think of it in that regard, Frontline Surge does a slash combo that effects less enemies than Line Breaker Assault can. Line Breaker Assault rushes through the crowd. It can potentially spreading Crushing Pin to more enemies than Frontline Surge can, and a bonus is that when timed well can be used to maneuver in and out of red AOEs as well. If you’re building for DPS, you’ll definitely line Line Breaker Assault better than Frontline Surge.

 

Crescendo versus Indomitable Strike

(Daily Powers)

• To be honest, neither of these really get used in PVE. So for most of you this is negligible. Both powers proc Crushing Pin, however since I do PVP a bit, I can say that with the correct rotation, Crescendo can be very deadly. It locks you in to one target which can help when enemies are slipping away from your. Some people that play Sword Master do like to use this on bosses as yet another way to proc Crushing Pin but I just prefer Villian’s Menace for the damage boost and damage mitigation. Indomtiable Strike is more of an AOE daily and is just one that I’m not likely to use in any situation. It is important to note that when you pick Swordmaster or Iron Vanguard, you get a new feat in the second column (on the bottom) that is tailored to that path and the powers available in it. As far as feats we will take, the only one that really matters is the added debuff to Weapon Master’s Strike in the Protector path. Most DPS GF’s take this feat. It is one of the main reasons GF DPS goes Swordmaster versus Iron Vanguard in PVE.

Protector Feats: 

Please know that when selecting points for a build, you must use a certain amount of points to progress up the trees. I left space to comment on each power even if it wasn’t selected. That way, you know if i picked/didn’t pick a power because it was good/bad or maybe I just need more points to advance to get where we needed (the top of the tree). Each build uses one tree primarily and will often use a few points in the other trees. This will be notated along the way. The Heroic Feats will largely stay the same, however I have noted where some changes could be made. I have chosen at least one build for each paragon path.

Beginners will gain some feats that will help with survivability while providing minimal group support. When the beginner tank feels accomplished, it is no longer recommended that they run the Protector build. Sometimes the Protector is referred to as a “full tank.” Now, you only get TWO free loadouts. What most of you (starting out) SHOULD do is make one loadout Conqueror and the other one Protector (until you’re an experienced tank, then go Tactician). What I anticipate many doing is trying to skip the Protector Path and go straight to Tactician. There is nothing wrong with this necessarily. The Protector Path sort of has training wheels built into the path (much like shield talent is training wheels for shield training), and Tactician doesn’t. Protector is all about you and Tactician is all about the group. I still include Protector her as many first time tanks will appreciate the build as they learn the class and their role. I tried to balance the Protector build to include some group buffs but the Protector build is designed to ease into tanking. Accomplished tanks should not use the Protector build. I recommend all serious tanks (end game content or not) to use the Tactician Path. Protector is really only here for the beginners. The Conqueror Path can be used on a budget as a means of clearing solo content faster, but a full DPS build for group content is only recommend as an end game build as it is hard to gear.

 

Heroic Feats:

Toughness (3)- Increases your Maximum Hit Points by up to 9.8% (credit to @thefabricant on noting the incorrect tooltip). More Hit Points means you can take bigger hits. This feat buffs total HP as opposed to just base HP (like CON) so this is worth taking on virtually any build/class.

Strength Focus (3)- Increases the effectiveness of Strength by up to 15%. This will help with aggro.

Action Surge (3)- Gain up to 10% more Action Points from Guardian attacks. More AP means more Daily Powers. Our Action Point is already pretty good from guarding, but this makes it much faster.

Shielded Resurgence (0)- When affected by a control power, gain up to 4% of your HP over 10 seconds. Can happen once every 30 seconds. I would like this more if it did more for us, but the cool down is too long for too little HP, but mostly there are better options for our points.

Distracting Shield (5)- When you Guard an attack, your attacker briefly deals up to 5% less damage. I really despise tooltips that don’t specify their cooldowns or durations like this one, but with the difficult of some new content, this is a good one to run because it’s a layer of Damage Mitigation that falls outside of the cap.

Armor Specialization (3)- Increases the effectiveness of Armor Class and Defense by up to 15%. Armor Class is Damage Resistance as a % on your character and Defense is a number (which simplifies to a % eventually). More static defense on your tank is about as good as it gets. This feat saves you from making up a few thousand defense in your build, I’ll include more info on how this is calculated soon.

Grit (0)- Gain up to 3% of your Max HP in Temp HP when you are healed by a player power (40 second cooldown). The only way this could possibly be viable is for providing extra Temp HP for DPS GFs (Temp HP grants bonus damage), but with a 40 second cooldown it isn’t worth it.

Powerful Attack (0)- Increases the damage of your Encounter and At-will powers by up to 10%. As a DPS you definitely want to use this. As a tank, extra damage is good but our points are better spent elsewhere.

Potent Challenge (0-3)- You generate up to 15% more threat. This could help if you have trouble holding aggro but it would be better to learn to hold threat without points here so you can spend the points elsewhere. Don’t put any points here unless you’re human.

Pin Down- The Prone duration of your powers are increased by up to .3 seconds. We don’t really use prone powers (except in PVP), plus the amount of buff you get for 3 points is insignificant and insulting so this power isn’t worth the investment. Don’t use any points here.

Weapon Mastery (3)- Increases your Critical Chance by up to 3%. If you’re DPS, you’re looking for as much free Crit as  you can get and Crit Chance is even better. I also run this on my Tank builds as it support my particular play style; having the occasional crits when buffed can go a long way to help you maintain your ago threshold.

Ubiquitous Shield (0)- Reduce the damage effects of Combat Advantage against you by up to 25%. As a tank it isn’t uncommon to find yourself surrounded, however a great tank can avoid being caught with CA on them by reshuffling the enemies in front of your shield, so if you play smart you can save yourself points here.

Protector Beginner Build:

It is worth noting that I don’t really use Protector at all. Protector get a bad wrap because they say it is useless and it doesn’t help the team out (particularly in end game content). Other opinions also say that it is not needed in content anymore. The Protector is typically referred to as a “Full Tank.” I don’t really advise anyone to run the Protector build unless they are brand new to tanking or they want a bit more protection when learning to tank. That being said, the Protector isn’t totally without group benefit, but it is not as much as Tactician. I have designed this build to a balance of beginner “training wheels” as well as take group debuffs where possible. Note, for one of the debuffs you will need to use Terrifying Impact (Daily) instead of Villian’s Menace when Fighter’s Recovery is not needed to try and provide as much to your group as possible.

Protector Tree:

Plate Agility (5)- You gain up to 5% chance to Deflect attacks.

Shield Defense (5)- Gain up to 5 AC.

Unshakeable Line (5)- Each ally within 20’ of you increases your Stamina Regen by up to 10%.

Shieldmaster (5)- Guardian drains Stamina up to 10% more slowly.

Brawling Warrior (5)- Knight’s Valor increases your Damage Resistance by up to 5% and Enforced Threat deals an up to an additional 10% damage and threat.

Overwhelming Impact (5)- Supremacy of Steel and Terrifying Impact now temporarily reduces Damage Resistance by up to 5% on affected targets.

Iron Guard (1)- With every melee hit on an enemy, you reduce its damage by 5%. Maximum 20% damage reduction.

Tactician Tree:

Crushing Pin (5)- Apply a debuff when you use a control power on enemies.

Daunting Challenge (5)- Marked targets now deal 10% less damage to your allies, but still deal full damage to you.

Tactician Feats:

Please know that when selecting points for a build, you must use a certain amount of points to progress up the trees. I left space to comment on each power even if it wasn’t selected. That way, you know if i picked/didn’t pick a power because it was good/bad or maybe I just need more points to advance to get where we needed (the top of the tree). Each build uses one tree primarily and will often use a few points in the other trees. This will be notated along the way. The Heroic Feats will largely stay the same, however I have noted where some changes could be made. I have chosen at least one build for each paragon path.

Beginners will gain some feats that will help with survivability while providing minimal group support. When the beginner tank feels accomplished, it is no longer recommended that they run the Protector build. Sometimes the Protector is referred to as a “full tank.” Now, you only get TWO free loadouts. What most of you (starting out) SHOULD do is make one loadout Conqueror and the other one Protector (until you’re an experienced tank, then go Tactician). What I anticipate many doing is trying to skip the Protector Path and go straight to Tactician. There is nothing wrong with this necessarily. The Protector Path sort of has training wheels built into the path (much like shield talent is training wheels for shield training), and Tactician doesn’t. Protector is all about you and Tactician is all about the group. I still include Protector her as many first time tanks will appreciate the build as they learn the class and their role. I tried to balance the Protector build to include some group buffs but the Protector build is designed to ease into tanking. Accomplished tanks should not use the Protector build. I recommend all serious tanks (end game content or not) to use the Tactician Path. Protector is really only here for the beginners. The Conqueror Path can be used on a budget as a means of clearing solo content faster, but a full DPS build for group content is only recommend as an end game build as it is hard to gear.

Heroic Feats:

Toughness (3)- Increases your Maximum Hit Points by up to 9.8% (credit to @thefabricant on noting the incorrect tooltip). More Hit Points means you can take bigger hits. This feat buffs total HP as opposed to just base HP (like CON) so this is worth taking on virtually any build/class.

Strength Focus (3)- Increases the effectiveness of Strength by up to 15%. This will help with aggro.

Action Surge (3)- Gain up to 10% more Action Points from Guardian attacks. More AP means more Daily Powers. Our Action Point is already pretty good from guarding, but this makes it much faster.

Shielded Resurgence (0)- When affected by a control power, gain up to 4% of your HP over 10 seconds. Can happen once every 30 seconds. I would like this more if it did more for us, but the cool down is too long for too little HP, but mostly there are better options for our points.

Distracting Shield (5)- When you Guard an attack, your attacker briefly deals up to 5% less damage. I really despise tooltips that don’t specify their cooldowns or durations like this one, but with the difficult of some new content, this is a good one to run because it’s a layer of Damage Mitigation that falls outside of the cap.

Armor Specialization (3)- Increases the effectiveness of Armor Class and Defense by up to 15%. Armor Class is Damage Resistance as a % on your character and Defense is a number (which simplifies to a % eventually). More static defense on your tank is about as good as it gets. This feat saves you from making up a few thousand defense in your build, I’ll include more info on how this is calculated soon.

Grit (0)- Gain up to 3% of your Max HP in Temp HP when you are healed by a player power (40 second cooldown). The only way this could possibly be viable is for providing extra Temp HP for DPS GFs (Temp HP grants bonus damage), but with a 40 second cooldown it isn’t worth it.

Powerful Attack (0)- Increases the damage of your Encounter and At-will powers by up to 10%. As a DPS you definitely want to use this. As a tank, our points are better spent elsewhere, even though damage on a tank helps aggro.

Potent Challenge (0-3)- You generate up to 15% more threat. This could help if you have trouble holding aggro but it would be better to learn to hold threat without points here so you can spend the points elsewhere. Don’t put any points here unless you’re human.

Pin Down (0)- The Prone duration of your powers are increased by up to .3 seconds. We don’t really use prone powers (except in PVP), plus the amount of buff you get for 3 points is insignificant and insulting so this power isn’t worth the investment.

Weapon Mastery (3)- Increases your Critical Chance by up to 3%. If you’re DPS, you’re looking for as much free Crit as you can get and Crit Chance is even better. I also run this on my Tank builds as it support my particular play style; having the occasional crits when buffed can go a long way to help you maintain your ago threshold.

Ubiquitous Shield (0)- Reduce the damage effects of Combat Advantage against you by up to 25%. As a tank it isn’t uncommon to find yourself surrounded, however a great tank avoid being caught with CA on them so if you play smart you can save yourself points here.

TACTICIAN BUILDS:

Tactician Beginner Build:

This build is intended for people that want to be a buff/debuff tank but may not be totally geared on their character, may be lacking certain stats, or they just want a bit of extra help from their feats. Your end goals for stats are still the same but this set of feats assumes that you may be low on recovery and/or defense, and that you probably haven’t had time to spread out your stats to include critical strike and life steal. This build served me well when I was leveling up my character and as worked well for new Tact GFs that have come to me for help.

Tactician Tree:

Fight On (5)- Encounter cool downs reduced by up to 10%. If you’re low on Recovery, this will help you keep Into The Fray up as well as allow you to refresh Enforced Threat and Commander’s Strike more often.

Crushing Pin (5)- Your control Powers cause the target to take up to 10% bonus damage for 3 seconds. This is a great debut for you and the group.

Rousing Speech (5)- Allies within 30′ of you gain Action Points up to 5% faster. Everyone loves AP Gain, especially your clerics.

United (5)- Allies within 30′ of you take up to 5% less damage. Reportedly, this actually gives 5% DR to teammates AND you. In a beginner build, this feat is definitely viable as it will help you reach that DR cap.

Inspiring Leader (5)- Into the Fray increases the damage dealt by group members by up to 5%. Who doesn’t want a bigger damage buff from Into The Fray?

Martial Mastery (1)- Taking damage now builds Action Points for yourself and allies within 50′. You gain a bonus to this value based on your Damage Resistance.

Protector Tree:

Plate Agility (5)- This will give you a bit of extra deflection that could help with your survivability. My style isn’t really to stack deflection so much anymore but really we take this to get to the next feat.

Shield Defense (5)- This will provide you with 5 additional Armor Class which will really help with Defense if you’re just starting out.

Unshakeable Line (5)- This feat will give you more stamina when in a group, If you’re a beginner tank this feat can be helpful. Even if you’ve mastered managing your stamina, stamina can help in tough situation and group compositions.

 

Tactician Advanced Build: 

This build is intended for people that want to be a dedicated buff/debuff tank. This build assumes that you can manage your stamina well, you’ve met your Recovery and Defense needs through stats, and that your character is well rounded enough to stack some lifesteal and critical strike. You CAN use this build out the gate, but most of these adjustments have to do with losing feats that aid our stats and using feats that work with end game level stats. This is the build that I am currently using.

Tactician Tree:

Crushing Pin (5)- Your control Powers cause the target to take up to 10% bonus damage for 3 seconds. This is a great debut for you and the group.

Daunting Challenge (5)- Enemies deal 10% less damage to allies but still deal full damage to you. Anything that can help protect your team in the form of a damage debuff on the enemies is a must.

Rousing Speech (5)- Allies within 30′ of you gain Action Points up to 5% faster. Everyone loves AP Gain, especially your clerics.

Inspiring Leader (5)- Into the Fray increases the damage dealt by group members by up to 5%. Who doesn’t want a bigger damage buff from Into The Fray?

Surging Tide (5)- When you use Tide of Iron, the enemy will deal less damage to all allies. Another great way to mitigate damage for your group.

Martial Mastery (1)- Taking damage now builds Action Points for yourself and allies within 50′. You gain a bonus to this value based on your Damage Resistance.

Conqueror Tree:

Take Measure (5)- When you are crit, gain Temporary Hit Points equal to up to 5% of your Maximum Hit Points (50 second cooldown). You take this because it has good synergy with the next feat.

Wrathful Warrior (5)- When you have Temporary Hit Points you deal up to 15% more damage. The extra damage bonus here can’t be beat.

Jagged Blades (5)- When you critically strike a foe they begin bleeding. This bleed lasts 10 seconds, and deals up to 750% of your weapon damage over its duration. The reason for taking this as an end game Tactician (that stacks Lifesteal versus Deflection), is that Jagged Blades places a DoT, and each tick of the DoT can proc Lifesteal.

Summary:

The main difference between the beginner build and the advanced build is the change from Conqueror to Protector at the end of the feat distribution, as well as a few tweaks in the Tactician Build that you can outgrow as your stats increase. To drop Fighter’s Recovery, you want to make sure you can pop Into The Fray every 7 seconds. If you can do that without using Fight On then you’re good to drop that and take Surging Tide instead. If you have enough crit chance and life steal (and your DR is at the cap (then you have the option to take points into Conqueror for Jagged Blades. If you don’t have crit or life steal, you’re better off going into Protector for the final three feats. I think 30% crit chance and 20% life steal is an effective number you should aim for. I have more, but with the above numbers, Conqueror should do well for you on the Tactician build. The nice thing about life steal is it works all the time with constant crits which work together to keep you topped off. If you are dangerously low on health you can use Fighter’s Recovery and experience a near instant heal without even having to deal another hit as the bleeds should still be proccing damage and life steal boosted by Fighter’s Recovery. The Conqueror DPS build is pretty non-negotiable. The feats that we didn’t take either aren’t good at all or there was something better.

Conqueror Feats: 

Please know that when selecting points for a build, you must use a certain amount of points to progress up the trees. I left space to comment on each power even if it wasn’t selected. That way, you know if i picked/didn’t pick a power because it was good/bad or maybe I just need more points to advance to get where we needed (the top of the tree). Each build uses one tree primarily and will often use a few points in the other trees. This will be notated along the way. The Heroic Feats will largely stay the same, however I have noted where some changes could be made. I have chosen at least one build for each paragon path.

Beginners will gain some feats that will help with survivability while providing minimal group support. When the beginner tank feels accomplished, it is no longer recommended that they run the Protector build. Sometimes the Protector is referred to as a “full tank.” Now, you only get TWO free loadouts. What most of you (starting out) SHOULD do is make one loadout Conqueror and the other one Protector (until you’re an experienced tank, then go Tactician). What I anticipate many doing is trying to skip the Protector Path and go straight to Tactician. There is nothing wrong with this necessarily. The Protector Path sort of has training wheels built into the path (much like shield talent is training wheels for shield training), and Tactician doesn’t. Protector is all about you and Tactician is all about the group. I still include Protector her as many first time tanks will appreciate the build as they learn the class and their role. I tried to balance the Protector build to include some group buffs but the Protector build is designed to ease into tanking. Accomplished tanks should not use the Protector build. I recommend all serious tanks (end game content or not) to use the Tactician Path. Protector is really only here for the beginners. The Conqueror Path can be used on a budget as a means of clearing solo content faster, but a full DPS build for group content is only recommend as an end game build as it is hard to gear.

Heroic Feats:

Toughness (3)- Increases your Maximum Hit Points by up to 9.8% (credit to @thefabricant on noting the incorrect tooltip). More Hit Points means you can take bigger hits. This feat buffs total HP as opposed to just base HP (like CON) so this is worth taking on virtually any build/class.

Strength Focus (3)- Increases the effectiveness of Strength by up to 15%. Strength is a large portion of your damage so you definitely take this.

Action Surge (3)- Gain up to 10% more Action Points from Guardian attacks. More AP means more Daily Powers. Our Action Point is already pretty good from guarding, but this makes it much faster.

Shielded Resurgence (0)- When affected by a control power, gain up to 4% of your HP over 10 seconds. Can happen once every 30 seconds. I would like this more if it did more for us, but the cool down is too long for too little HP, but mostly there are better options for our points.

Distracting Shield (0)- When you Guard an attack, your attacker briefly deals up to 5% less damage. I really despise tooltips that don’t specify their cooldowns or durations like this one, but with the difficult of some new content, this is a good one for tanks to run because it’s a layer of Damage Mitigation that falls outside of the cap. For DPS, skip this.

Armor Specialization (3)- Increases the effectiveness of Armor Class and Defense by up to 15%. Armor Class is Damage Resistance as a % on your character and Defense is a number (which simplifies to a % eventually). More static defense on your tank is about as good as it gets. This feat saves you from making up a few thousand defense in your build, I’ll include more info on how this is calculated soon.

Grit (0)- Gain up to 3% of your Max HP in Temp HP when you are healed by a player power (40 second cooldown). The only way this could possibly be viable is for providing extra Temp HP for DPS GFs (Temp HP grants bonus damage), but with a 40 second cooldown it isn’t worth it.

Powerful Attack (5)- Increases the damage of your Encounter and At-will powers by up to 10%. As a DPS you definitely want to use this. As a tank, extra damage is good but our points are better spent elsewhere.

Potent Challenge (0)- You generate up to 15% more threat. If you’re DPS, this isn’t needed as we aren’t tanking.

Pin Down (0)- The Prone duration of your powers are increased by up to .3 seconds. We don’t really use prone powers (except in PVP), plus the amount of buff you get for 3 points is insignificant and insulting so this power isn’t worth the investment.

Weapon Mastery (3)- Increases your Critical Chance by up to 3%. If you’re DPS, you’re looking for as much free Crit as  you can get and Crit Chance is even better.

Ubiquitous Shield- Reduce the damage effects of Combat Advantage against you by up to 25%. As DPS, we’re aiming for enemies to be dead long before CA happens against us. Plus, this is more designed for a tanks.

CONQUEROR BUILD:

A true DPS GF build really only has one set of viable feats. DPS GF is a widely growing trend in PVE content. Whether you’re looking to just clear dailies easier, build a Hybrid GF, or building for full DPS the feats do not change. Thanks to fellow GF Abrams for his contributions to the DPS portions of this guide.

Conqueror Tree:

Take Measure (5)- When you are crit, gain Temporary Hit Points equal to up to 5% of your Maximum Hit Points (50 second cooldown). You take this because it has good synergy with the next feat.

Wrathful Warrior (5)- When you have Temporary Hit Points you deal up to 15% more damage. The extra damage bonus here can’t be beat.

Jagged Blades (5)- When you critically strike a foe they begin bleeding. This bleed lasts 10 seconds, and deals up to 750% of your weapon damage over its duration. This one also provides extra damage just for stacking crit which DPS will do anyways.

Staggering Challenge (5)- Gain up to 20% damage bonus to Griffon’s Wrath when the target has recently been struck by Staggering Challenge empowered Griffon’s Wrath. Additionally, your damage bonus from Knight’s Challenge is increased by up to 10%. To use this feat effectively, you need to use all 3 charges of Griffon’s Wrath quickly they fit within the Knight’s Challenge timer, and because each successive hit does even more damage. It is wise to time this with full buffs up for maximum burst damage. This feat is huge and is one of the main reason end game groups look for a DPS GF. When timed correctly with the teams buffs/debuffs/and a proper rotation your can 3 shot even the hardest bosses. Make no mistake though that most of the hard work here comes from everyone buffing towards those three shots and that it takes tons of practice with a consistent team, but this feat is part of the magic.

Tactical Superiority (5)- You deal up to 5% more damage and Combat Superiority grants up to an additional 5% damage. We will always have Combat Superiority slotted so this is more free damage.

Reckless Attacker (1)- When struck in combat you gain Reckless Attacker. Reckless Attacker increases your damage by 5% and Critical chance by 2%. Reckless attacker lasts 10 seconds and stacks up to 5 times. This capstone is very important. I said earlier that DPS GFs need at least 90% crit chance. That’s because Reckless Attacker can make up the other 10%. As long as you continue to take damage, the stacks refresh so you can keep the 10% up if taking damage. The extra damage that comes with the crit chance is huge. even better if you can get around 94% crit chance so you don’t need to maintain full stacks of Reckless Attacker to reach 100% crit chance.

Protector Tree:

Plate Agility (5)- You gain up to 5% chance to Deflect an attack. Deflect doesn’t hurt but you take this to get to Staying Power.

Staying Power (5)- Weapon Master’s Strike now also reduces your targets Mitigation to your Encounter powers by 10%. This is important for making your encounters (particularly Griffon’s Wrath) hit harder.

Tactician Tree:

Crushing Pin (5)- Apply a debuff when you use a control power on enemies. This is important for increasing the damage of your rotation consider Line Breakers Assault (AOE rotation) and griffon’s Wrath (Single Target rotation) procs Crushing Pin.

CAMPAIGN BOONS:

I won’t be debating boon choices in great length but here are some a few points of insight as to why I take some choices over others. Boons that say chance are less reliable than ones that guarantee something. I avoid chance boons unless there is a better option. Many boons that offer extra damage in many cases aren’t that great because they can’t crit, and they can’t scale with buffs. So if it says it does 3000 damage, that’s all it does no matter the circumstance. If you’re DPS, 3000 damage may be better than no damage but it’s a consideration. In instances where boons split for 3 points, Sometimes it is better to spread the points out and sometimes it’s better to stack into one boon, but it all depends on the build. A picture is worth a thousand words so I will be including pictures for each campaign boon set. Both Protector and Tactician are using the same boons, but DPS Conqueror is different, There are many changes to the tank boons with my Mod 13 build, as well as the addition of a separate DPS boons section. There are some places where boons could be debated, but the boons lists below give what I believe to be the best of all the options available.

Tank Boons:  

Elemental Evil:

Unassailable Tide- 300 Defense and 2,000 Maximum Hit Points.

Heart of Stone- 4% Life Steal Severity.

Blazing Resilience- You gain 400 Recovery and 2,000 Maximum Hit Points.

Wall of Wind- When taking damage you have a chance to heal up to 24,000 Hit Points over a few seconds. After this effect ends your Recovery is increased by 1,000 for 10 seconds.

Sharandar:

Dark Fey Warder- You gain 400 Defense.

Fey Precision- 400 Critical Strike.

Feywilds Fortitude- Your Max HP is increased by 1,600.

Elven Transquility- When being struck by a foe you have a chance to heal yourself for up to 20,000 Hit Points.

Elven Resolve- Your Stamina regenerates 10% faster in Combat.

The Maze Engine:

Abyssal Siphoning- 5% Life Steal Severity.

Demonic Influence- You gain 400 combat Advantage Bonus.

Demonic Demonic Swiftness- You gain Action Points 3% faster.

Baphomet’s Might- When striking a foe, chance to gain 2000 Critical Strike for 6 seconds.

The Underdark:

Primordial Vitality- You gain 400 Defense and 1600 Maximum Hit Points.

Primordial Regenesis- You gain 400 Life Steal and 1,600 Maximum Hit Points.

Drow Ambush Tactics- Combat Advantage damage bonus is increased by 10%

Dwarven Footing- Control Effects will now have 5% shorter duration when applied to you.

Abyssal Striker- Gain 10% damage versus Demons.

Dread Ring:

Conjurer’s Gambit- 250 Critical Strike and 250 Movement.

Evoker’s Thirst- You gain 400 Life Steal. Forbidden Piercing- You gain 3% Resistance Ignored.

Enraged Regrowth- When taking damage you have a chance to heal up to 20,000 Hit Points over a few seconds. After this effect ends you have 4,000 more Defense for 10 seconds.

Endless Consumption- When you steal health from your Life Steal stat, it has a chance to steal 3 times as much.

Well of Dragons:

Dragonheart- Grants 1,600 Hit Points.

Dragon’s Gaze- 400 Critical Strike.

Dragonic Armorbreaker- 400 Armor Penetration.

Dragon’s Greed- Grants 400 Life Steal Rating.

Dragon’s Thirst (1)- 4% Life Steal.

Dragon’s Revival (1)- 10% Incoming Healing.

Dragon’s Fury (1)- 5% Critical Severity.

Icewind Dale:

Encroaching Tactics- 400 Combat Advantage bonus.

Appreciation of Warmth- 400 Incoming Healing bonus.

Rapid Thaw- You gain 400 Recovery.

Cool Resolve- You gain up to 2000 Power based on how much Stamina or Guard Gain is missing.

Avalanche- When damaged by a foe chance to gain a stack of Avalanche. at 20 stacks, taking damage will clear the stacks and deal up to 15,000 damage to nearby targets.

Sea of Moving Ice:

Cold Hearted- 2% Life Steal Severity.

Survival Instincts- 400 Incoming Healing bonus and 2% Everfrost Resistance.

Chill Determination- You gain up to 2,000 Recovery based on how much Stamina or guard you are missing.

Glacial Strength- Your Max HP is increased by 3,200 and 2% Everfrost Damage Resistance.

Chill of Winter (3)- When striking a foe, chance to gain Icy Chill. At 10 stack, your next attack clears all stacks and deals 14000 damage to targets nearby.

The Cloaked Ascendancy:

Aura of Hope- When you kill an enemy you have a chance to emit an Aura of Hope that boosts  AP gain for all allies within 25 feet for 10 seconds.

Healing Heat- You gain 2% Incoming Heal Bonus and 1,000 Maximum Hit Points.

Soothing Zephyr- You gain 500 Recovery and 2,000 Maximum Hit Points.

Vision of Beyond- When you land a critical strike your stamina regenerates 10% faster of 10 seconds.

Jungles of Chult:

Tyrant’s Terror (3)- 1000 Power and 1600 Maximum Hit Points.

Shamanic Grace (1)-500 Regeneration and 1200 Maximum Hit Points.

Overgrown (1)- 500 Defense and 800 Maximum Hit Points.

Soul Syphon- Chance on hit to gain Soul Syphon. On killing creatures, release all stacks of Soul Syphon in a burst at all nearby enemies. Each enemy receives 2000 damage per second lasting 1 second for each stack of Soul Syphon. You restore 1% of your Max health for every stack released, for a maximum of 10 stacks.

Death’s Blessing (1)- When an enemy dies nearby, you reduce incoming damage by 1% and gain 1% increased incoming healing for 10 seconds. This can stack 5 times.

DPS Boons:  

Elemental Evil:

Wave of Force- 400 Power and 2000 Maximum Hit Points Heart of Stone- 4% Life Steal Severity and 2000 Maximum Hit Points. Searing Aggression- 400 Critical Strike and 2000 Maximum Hit Points. Gale of Retribution- When taking damage, chance to heal up to 24,000 Hit Points. Afterwards, gain 1000 Critical Strike for 10 seconds.

Sharandar:

Dark Fey Hunter- 400 Power.

Fey Precision- 400 Critical Strike.

Feywilds Fortitude- 1600 Maximum Hit Points.

Elven Ferocity- Chance to deal 20,000 Arcane damage when striking a foe.

Elvish Fury- When you kill a foe, gain 135 Power for 45 seconds. Can stack up to 30 times.

The Maze Engine:

Abyssal Siphoning- 5% Life Steal Severity.

Demonic Influence- 400 Combat Advantage bonus.

Demonic Swiftness- You gain Action Points 3% faster.

Baphomet’s Might- When striking a foe you have a chance to gain 2000 Critical Strike for 6 seconds.

The Underdark:

Primordial Might- 400 Power and 1600 Maximum Hit Points.

Primordial Focus- 400 Critical Strike and 1600 Maximum Hit Points.

Drow Ambush Tactics- Combat Advantage damage bonus is increased by 10%.

Dwarven Stamina- Gain Stamina 5% faster.

Abyssal Striker- Gain 10% damage versus Demons.

Dread Ring:

Conjurer’s Gambit- 250 Critical Strike and 250 Movement.

Evoker’s Thirst- 400 Life Steal.

Forbidden Piercing- 3% Resistance Ignored.

Shadwotouched- When dealing damage, chance to deal up to 20,000 Nectroic damage, Afterwards, the target receives 25% less healing for 10 seconds.

Rampaging Madness- When dealing damage you gain a stack of Madness. At 50 stacks, Madness grants 4000 Power, 4000 Lifesteal, and 4000 Regeneration. Bonus last for 10 seconds and the stacks reset.

Well of Dragons:

Dragons’s Claws- 400 Power.

Dragon’s Gaze- 400 Critical Strike.

Draconic Armorbreaker- 400 Armor Penetration.

Dragon’s Greed- 400 Life Steal.

Dragon’s Fury (3)- 8% Critical Severity.

Icewind Dale:

Encroaching Tactics- 400 Combat advantage bonus.

Appreciation of Warmth- 400 Incoming Healing bonus.

Sleet Skills- 2% Critical Severity. Cool Resolve- Gain up to 2000 Power based on how much Stamina/Guard is missing.

Winter’s Bounty- Chance to gain 10% bonus Action Points when killing a target.

Storm King’s Thunder:

Cold Hearted- 2% Life Steal Severity and 1000 Maximum Hit Points.

Survival Instincts- 400 Incoming Healing bonus and 2% Everfrost Resistance.

Icy Wrath- Chance when taking damage to gain up to 2000 bonus damage on the next attack.

Glacial Strength- 3200 Maximum Hit Points and 2% Everfrost Resistance.

Chill of Winter (3)- When striking a foe, chance to gain Icy Chill. At 10 stack, your next attack clears all stacks and deals 14000 damage to targets nearby.

The Cloaked Ascendancy:

Aura of Hope- When you kill an enemy, chance to emit an Aura of Hope that boosts AP gain for all allies with 25 feet for 10 seconds.

Fiery Frenzy- 2% Critical Severity and 1000 Maximum Hit Points.

Fey Briars- 500 Lifesteal and 2000 Maximum Hit Points.

Aberrant Power- When damaged by a foe, chance to gain Aberrant Power. At 10 stacks, taking damage clears all stacks and deals 10000 damage to nearby targets. Aberrant creatures take double damage.

Jungles of Chult:

Tyrant’s Terror (3)- 1000 Power and 1600 Maximum Hit Points.

Shamanic Grace (1)-500 Regeneration and 1200 Maximum Hit Points Overgrown (1)- 500 Defense and 800 Maximum Hit Points.

Soul Syphon- Chance on hit to gain Soul Syphon. On killing creatures, release all stacks of Soul Syphon in a burst at all nearby enemies. Each enemy receives 2000 damage per second lasting 1 second for each stack of Soul Syphon. You restore 1% of your Max health for every stack released, for a maximum of 10 stacks.

Death’s Blessing- When an enemy dies nearby, you reduce incoming damage by 1% and gain 1% increased incoming healing for 10 seconds. This can stack 5 times.

GUILD BOONS:  

Power:

Your only viable choices for either DPS or Tanking is to use the Power boon or the Armor Penetration boon. This is personal preference, and will change the way that you build with your gear and enchantments. I have decided to always use the Power boon, and to get my Armor Penetration through my gear, boons, enchantments, etc. *Mod 14 foreshadowing: If you’ve been following my build for a while, you likely swapped to three stat Draconic enchantments to boost armor pen self-sufficiently on our character sheet (on the Tactician build). The is still a great option, but it’s worth noting that in Mod 14 the armor pen requirement for end game content is going up (again). This time the cap will be 100% for most enemies in the new dungeon and area. This equates to about 12k armor pen. With a max guild boon providing 8k armor pen, this option is looking nicer and nicer. The best reason for recommending the power boon is because IF you should ever find yourself without a guild without a max armor pen boon (or your armor pen boon isn’t higher enough), the enchantments route allows you to be self-sufficient and not screw your build because you’re changing guilds (hey, it does happen) or your guild is upgrading the boon and it’s inconsistent.

My advice going forward is: IF you are confident you will hold and maintain a max armor pen boon or your guild is working towards it and will have it when you reach end game Mod 14 content, then go ahead and use the armor pen boon. IF you have been following my guide and have built around getting your armor pen elsewhere, then keeping building your armor pen up unless it’s affordable to switch. If you are using Draconics like I am, it may be harder to trade them than it is worth and this route still works, it just requires the enchantments to be real high level and truly end game, plus you’ll still need a little bit of armor pen off of gear/insignias/artifacts even with the high level Draconics. For the DPS build, I’ll likely still  use the Power boon because the difference between the DPS and Tank load outs in armor pen acquisition mainly is the companion choice. You’ll still get a large amount of armor pen from the companion striker bonus, and if needed on or two enchantments or gear choices can be swapped to up the armor pen; much easier adjustment than the Tactician will have.

Defense:

Defense is a bit more complicated. As a tank, you will likely use the Defense boon early on until you hit the DR cap. After that, you can choose Lifesteal or Hit Points. I personally choose to get Lifesteal from elsewhere as Hit Points can be hard to get a lot of without the HP boon. If you’re DPS, you’ll want to run the HP boon if you’re running with a Paladin (hopefully you are) as HP adds to your damage through the Paladin’s Aura of Courage. If you are not with a Paladin you will want to use the Lifesteal boon (you’ll pretty much always want to be with a Paladin in a DPS set up).

Utility:

This boon is 100% personal preference. If you’re new to the game and need power points I would suggest using the experience boon so you can get the extra experience rewards. Otherwise, I keep mount speed bonus on all the time. Revive sickness is a good one but as GFs we always hope to not go down in the first place. PVP: I’m including this boon since some of you may be in a guild that has this boon available, and some of you may dabble in PVP. When I go into PVP I run the Overload Slayer. My goal is to kill my target in one rotation so the overload slayer boon helps me do that, especially on the tankier classes that I slot overloads for. If you do not have the Overload Slayer boon, I would go for the Stamina Drain boon. Just be sure to use overloads according to the boon you’re using.

Equipment:

Once again, this section is getting a major change (in progress). Armor is now listed as a palette as opposed to pre-made sets. Additionally, this list is not definitive. There are other choices that will work for any of the builds (particularly lower gear), but seeing as the time gap to catching up from fresh level 70 to reaching this new gear is considerably smaller, I have left out older gear such Drowcraft, Dusk, Alliance, Elven, and Dragonflight. If you happen to come across those feel free to use them until you get better gear, however the lists below all consider the most recent modules’ gear selection (Mod 11-13).

When choosing any equipment in this game, there are a few important considerations. The first one being accessibility (costs, content unlocked, seals, etc) and the second being the stat allocation. Below I will list all of the equipment most recent equipment I would recommend in each category, but that does not mean you must use that gear. I will highlight and explain why I’ve picked some pieces over others, but any gear that has made this has the stats required for a good build, and you should feel free to mix and match, and tailor to your playstyle.

Be sure to take a look in your collection to find out information on the stats they have and where to acquire the gear.

Tank Armor:

Helm:
  • Company Raid/Ward
  • Pioneer Raid/Ward
  • League Raid/Ward
  • Pilgrim Raid/Ward
  • Huntsman Raid/Ward
  • Primal Raid/Ward
  • Mask of the Voodoo Witch
  • Lizardfolk Mask
  • Hunter’s Kelfiyeh
Chest: 
  • Company Raid/Ward
  • Pioneer Raid/Ward
  • League Raid/Ward
  • Pilgrim Raid/Ward
  • Huntsman Raid/Ward
  • Primal Raid/Ward
  • Deepknight’s Brigandine
  • Martyr’s Plackart
  • Vined Deathdelayer
  • Stalkwrapped Armor
  • Fured Kiuno of the Bear
Arms: 
  • Company Raid/Ward
  • Pioneer Raid/Ward
  • League Raid/Ward
  • Pilgrim Raid/Ward
  • Huntsman Raid/Ward
  • Primal Raid/Ward
  • Gigantopithecus Wraps
  • Survivor’s Wrap
  • Lycosa’s Barbed Gloves
Boots: 
  • Company Raid/Ward
  • Pioneer Raid/Ward
  • League Raid/Ward
  • Pilgrim Raid/Ward
  • Huntsman Raid/Ward
  • Primal Raid/Ward
  • Bonespurs
  • Boots of the Willed
  • Earthtreaders
  • Enduring Boots

For all of these armor choices I mostly based my choices off of stats. The Earthreaders are great since they provide a damage and DR % bonus, though the placement of the buff is random, I still think it’s worth running. There are some options to consider outside of pure stats such as using the Fured Kiuno of the Bear chest for extra melee damage (almost all of our powers are melee), or the Survivor’s Wraps for the constant damage as taking damage with the Tactician capstone procs AP for our allies. Boots of the Willed are also a nice choice of boots for the extra at-will damage. It’s always nice when gear can have good stats and provide a bonus, so that is why I chose some of the pieces above. Really, you can mix and match until you have the stats that you need. If you don’t have Ring of the Curse Bringer, Lycosa’s Barber Gloves will also proc Crushing Pin.

 

DPS Armor: 

Helm: 
  • Company Raid
  • Pioneer Raid
  • League Raid
  • Pilgrim Raid
  • Huntsman Raid
  • Primal Raid
  • Guise of the Wolf Clan
  • Rex Corona
  • Decaying Habit
Chest: 
  • Company Raid
  • Pioneer Raid
  • League Raid
  • Pilgrim Raid
  • Huntsman Raid
  • Primal Raid
  • Rex Amiculum
  • Fured Kiuno of the Bear
  • Shieldlord’s Raid Chest
  • Vistani Breastplate
Arms: 
  • Company Raid
  • Pioneer Raid
  • League Raid
  • Pilgrim Raid
  • Huntsman Raid
  • Primal Raid
  • Survivor’s Wraps
  • Fearbringers
Boots: 
  • Company Raid
  • Pioneer Raid
  • League Raid
  • Pilgrim Raid
  • Huntsman Raid
  • Primal Raid
  • Bonespurs
  • Boots of the Alpha
  • Boots of the Willed
  • Enduring Boots
  • Heels of Fury

For all of these armor choices, we’re primarily looking at the bonus first and stats second. This makes it harder to reach out stat goals, but taking the damages bonuses is BiS over something that just helps your stats. We take Guise of the Wolf Clan for more power, Fured Kiuno of the Bear for melee damage increase, Survivor’s Wraps for the DoT damage to proc Shield Warrior’s Wrath and Reckless Attacker, and for the boots there are two options. Enduring Boots are the ideal item to use for the 3% damage to everything but the stats don’t help us at all. If you can meet your stat needs with these boots then they are best. Boots of the Willed are a nice second place option offering 3% at-will damage increase. These also offer tons of armor pen so they will fit really nicely into most people’s stat pools.

Rings:

Tank Rings: 
  • Greater/Ostorian Ring of Stein/Hellig
  • Yuan-Ti/Undead/Beast Slayer
  • Huntsman Raid/Ward
  • Primal Raid/Ward
  • Beaded Restoration
  • Lichstone Ward
  • Ring of the Curse Bringer

Tank ring requirements are very relaxed since the rings you need really just depends on what stats you need. Tanks can use rings to supplement the stats they aren’t getting from their armor or their companions. You can run 2 defense slots, 1/1 splits, or 2 offensive slots and all of those works depending on the stats and enchantments you’re going for. In general, I would say most people will benefit from the 1/1 split rings. I personally use double offense as I’m using my offense slots to gain recovery and armor pen. I personally haven’t used double defense in a few mods just because the Dancing Shield holds so much defense, but double defense slots may help out earlier tanks. One ring I do recommend as BiS at the moment is Ring of the Curse Bringer. It used to proc it’s bonus 100% of the time, then it got nerfed, and now in Mod 13 it appears to be back up to 100% uptime (or close). This ring’s paralysis procs Crushing Pin, so as long as the uptime on it remains great it is BiS.

DPS Rings: 
  • Greater/Ostorian Ring of Dod +4/+5
  • Dino/Beast/Undead Slayer +4/+5
  • Huntsman Raid/Assault
  • Primal Raid/Assault
  • Gravestriker +4/+5
  • Shadowstalker +4/+5
  • Bronzewood Raid/Assault
  • Vistani Ring of the Dark

DPS ring requirements are a bit more strict. To be successful with DPS, you’re combining offense slots to maximize your crit, but also you can make concessions on the offense slot to gain a damage bonus (Undead Slayer 4). I have listed a few options, but ideally you’ll have one of these set-ups. Either both Undead Slayer 4 and 5, Shadowstalker 4 and 5, or a mix of the two such as Undead and Shadowstalker 5. Those are the BiS rings for your character sheet for DPS. Gravestriker is also a great option, but we will save those for our companion as they don’t have a damage % bonus. If you can’t get those set-ups, most important is having two offense slots, and if they have stats you need like crit, power, or armor pen then even better.

 

Clothes:

Shirts: 
  • Gemmed Exquisite Chainmail
  • Lord Roy’s Shirt
  • Bloodstained Shirt
  • Merchant Prince Shirt
  • Upper Primal Paints
Pants: 
  • Gemmed Exquisite Chainmail
  • Sandy Assault Pants
  • Merchant Prince Pants
  • Lower Primal Paints

For tanks, best is the Merchant Prince Shirt and the Lower Primal Paints. The Bloodstained Shirt is also viable for a means of survivability. For the DPS, you can either run Upper and Lower Primal Paints, or stick with the old Gemmed shirt and pants for the small increase in power.

 

Artifacts:

What artifacts I run depend on the build I am running. Since I have had time to refine extra artifacts, it gave me the opportunity to really help customize my stats for each loadout.

Protector Artifacts:
  • Sigil of the Guardian Fighter (active)
  • 
Bruenor’s Helm
  • Lantern of Revelation
  • Waters of Elah’zad

Assuming that most of you will be using a Protector build starting out, this section is redesigned to include artifacts featuring more defensive stats and is considering artifacts that may be easily accessible early on in the game. This means these artifacts are either free or they are cheap on the auction house. Sigil of the Guardian Fighter is free once you get to level 60 and unlock the quest for it in Protector’s Enclave. Bruenor’s Helm is a reward for completing the Pwent quest line. This artifact has nice stats and I wish I never would’ve gotten rid of it. Lantern of Revelation should be the reward you pick for doing the Artifact Recovery quest. I know that Waters of Elah’zad is the final artifact suggestion and can also be gained through Artifact Recovery, but take Lantern of Revelation because it is more expensive to buy it (so take the free one), and buy the Waters of Elah’zad on the auction house.

Tactician Artifacts:
  • Tactician’s Banner/Heart of the Black Dragon/Charmed Serpent/Lantern of Revelation/Token of Chromatic Storm (active)
  • 
Heart of the White Dragon
  • Champion’s Banner
  • Thayan Book of the Dead or Heart of the Black Dragon

The most important thing to keep in mind when picking artifacts is to pick a good active artifact that will help your group. Typically as a support class we want artifacts that will debuff. I like the Tactician’s Banner because it reduces enemy DR, and it is active for 30 seconds. While not easy to acquire, it is a solid choice for anyone considering it’s long uptime. Since the banner is placed on the ground, it isn’t always a good idea to use it (like if a boss is moving around), so it’s a good idea to have a few debuff artifacts that are good to be active, and then the rest of your artifacts can be used to help you with your stats. I am using the Thayan Book of the Dead to help with Armor Penetration as well as help me get enough Action Point Gain. The rest of the artifacts listed above are nice because I like the extra HP. The bottom three artifacts can change to meet your needs on stats. Other good options for debuff artifacts in your active slot include Charm of the Serpent, Lantern of Revelation, Heart of the Black Dragon, and Token of Chromatic Storm. Some of these debuff options are best when you and your group both know how to line up buffs in order to deal major damage. Really any of the non-active artifacts can be swapped according to what stats you need. I am at the point of maxing out HP and Tertiary stats which is reflected above. The most important thing is the debuff artifact selection you have, and the rest just supplement your stats.

Conqueror Artifacts:
  • Soul Sight Crystal (active)
  • Fragmented Key of Stars
  • 
Shard of Orcus Wand
  • 
Eye of the Giant/Thayan Book of the Dead/Sigil of the Controller/Lantern of Revelation

This section has been redesigned to gear more towards full DPS. As a DPS, you’ll definitely want the Soul Sight Crystal as your active artifact because it provides the biggest single target damage buff for you. On AOE, if you want a different power artifact you can use the Wheel of Elements, however as DPS GF you’re hoping that the DC or Pally has Wheel to give you, so you can double dip and have both buffs. For the remaining three artifacts, you’re first looking to reach your crit and armor penetration needs. If you have reached you caps, then you can start to change out artifacts for ones that have more power. Lantern of Revelation and Thayan Book of the Dead have crit and armor penetration. Also, you get 600 Action Point Gain and 600 Combat Advantage Damage bonus if you use both of them. This is helpful early on in building for DPS, but eventually the Eye of the Giant takes the place of both of them for more power. Fragmented Key of Stars and Sigil of the Controller are good for adding power depending on your armor pen and crit needs. Shard of Orcus is a must for the Demon Lord’s set bonus. The first four listed are the ones that I run. Fragmented Key of Stars and Eye of the Giant are artifacts used to add power while reducing crit and armor pen. If you are still low on crit or armor pen then you may do better with some of the other options listed such as Thayan and Lantern.

Artifact Sets:

For Tanks:

For artifact sets, you have a few options depending on what you want to do. For a tank, you want use gear that will give you good stats, and good set bonus that comes with that gear is even better. Currently in Mod 13, you have 4 options:

1. Protector Set (Greater Plated Belt of Constitution, Protector Cloak, Waters of Elah’zad or Lantern of Revelation.

2. Valhalla Set

3. Broken Company Set (Company Gladiator Belt, Company Raider Cloak, no artifact for set)

4. Fanged Beaded Amulet and Beaded Sash (Masterworks 3, no artifact for set)

The Protector set is still getting mention only as it is super cheap to acquire. The set bonus is 10K HP. There are better sets but this is still viable. The Valhalla Set can be a great set for tanks that need extra protection. The set bonus makes enemies deal less damage to you which can greatly improve your survivability. In end game I don’t use this because I’m trying to make sure i’m still taking some damage for Martial Mastery. If you’re low on defensive stats though, this is a perfect set. The Broken Company Set is nice as it has great stats and helps boost the Intelligence up. This is the current set I’m using. In my opinion, the Fanged set is supreme for my particular build and needs. I like the Fanged pieces because they offer Power, crit, and recovery. I don’t need extra defense, deflection, or armor penetration. If you desire those stats, there are other good sets from Mastercrat such as the Lichstone set which give lots of Con, Defense, and Delfection. Really any combination of Mastercraft V necks and belts is going to be good as long as you’re keep track of what stats you need. The added recovery on the Fanged pieces plus the 1500 recovery and movement bonus for the set more than makes up for the Intelligence we lost off of the Company Set.

For DPS:

There is only one viable set for full DPS. Demon Lord’s set with the Demogorgon’s Belt, Baphomet’s Infernal Talisman, and the Shard of Orcus Wand artifact. I suppose the next best set available currently would be the Lostmauth Set, but if you’re seriously trying for DPS, the artifact set isn’t the place to cut corners. Even in Mod 13, the Demon Lord’s set is still unmatched. People have asked if I think the Apocalypse set from Mod 14 will beat the Demogorgon set. The short answer is no, but when I get to Mod 14 and can test it, I will pass along my findings.

Artifact Weapons:

Outdated Weapon Sets:
  • Golden Dragon
  • Elemental Fire
  • Burning, Howling, Earthen, Drowned
  • Twisted
  • Shieldbearer
  • Mirage, Fireforged, Fey, and Aboleth
  • Wootz (The “catch-up” set)
Current Weapon Sets:
  • Pilgrim (Zen Market, AH)
  • Pioneer (Omu Campaign Store)
  • Primal (Brave Seal Vendor)
  • Tyrant (Tyrant T3 Lure, Tyrant Teeth/T3 Vendor)
  • Bronzewood (Masterworks 3/AH)

So you’re probably wondering, if the weapons are outdated, why even list them? Well, particularly for the new players in Neverwinter, it is important to understand that you’re joining the game late, and so many changes have occurred since the beginning of the game. You will progress through older campaign module content and will come across many of the weapons. It’s important to know that your time grinding for the old weapons, or refining them is not valuable. Unless you want it for a transmute or something super specific (like using Mirage for PvP trolling), then you’re best to skip the weapons. Wootz gets notable mention here because for a fresh character, it’s pretty affordable on the Auction House and is only behind one module, so the stats and weapons damage are pretty good still (WAY better than keeping Elemental Fire which you get for free).

Among the new weapon sets are many options. It’s important to upgrade to a current weapon set not just for the base stats (much higher), but the weapon damage is much higher than older weapon sets. Weapon damage determines the range in which your attacks can deal damage. If your teammates have higher weapon damage then you, then you’re at a huge disadvantage as a tank to try and hold aggro threshold over someone who will have higher base hits than you. As DPS, it’s simply less damage so upgrade from Wootz (if applicable) as soon as you can.

For tanks, the new BiS weapon set is the Bronzewood because it offers 2% damage, 2% DR, and 2% healing to all party members. If other members have Bronzwwood then that number goes even higher. As a support class, the biggest buff you can provide is damage. If Bronzewood is too pricey, Pioneer is a very strong second option, offering an additional 5k stats when in a full party. This is not a group buff, but a self-buff based on the size of your group.

For DPS, the best weapons are Primal. 10% damage bonus procced when you take 10% of your health in damage or are healed for 10% of your health. It’s important to note you don’t actually need to heal/recover 10% of your health to proc the bonus) so even a mediocre DC, Temp, or OP can keep that bonus up 99.9% of the time, making this a clear winner. Tyrant sounds good, but the extra bonus isn’t practical and it’s regular damage bonus takes 45 seconds to max, whereas Primal takes virtually no time to proc. Pilgrim is a poor/budget DPS set. It’s based on the amount of enemies in combat, so while it’s passable for mobs it’s almost useless on bosses for a main DPS weapon set.

Enchantments:

Whatever stats you cannot get from your boons, artifacts, weapons, gear, and your mount you will need to supplement with enchantments. A few things about enchantments are that there are single, double, and triple stat enchantments. It is difficult to advise one on which enchantments are best for their character is it is all fine tuning. Because enchantments are expensive to refine or purchase, In Mod 12B, enchantment stat distribution changed a little bit. The trend for using dual stat enchantments was big before, but now triple stat enchantment are being pushed for more heavily because they offer 40% more stats than a single stat enchantment. The end goal for some people may be triple stats across their whole character as it yields the highest amount of total stat. It is all about fine tuning your stats, knowing what you need, and the best way to get there. If at any point you need to mix triple/double/single stat enchantments to reach your stat goals, then by all means do that. I suggest the following, but keep in mind if you have guild boons you’re relying on for your build, that is a huge factor in what you can do with your enchantments. I will list in order based on the likely progression you’ll make towards triple stat. You can use triple stat from the start or never use them at all, but what matters most is your stat goals.

In Offense:

For Tanks: 
  • Dark or Silvery (Armor Pen or Recovery)
  • Cruel or Wicked (Power/Recovery or Recovery/Armor Pen)
  • Draconic or Black Ice or Gigantic (Armor pen-Recovery/Power or Power-recovery/Crit or Crit-Recovery/Armor Pen)

Notice that the big theme is Armor Pen and Recovery. Crit and Power are nice, but Power comes for free from Power share (but we’ll take what we can get for free) and Crit is helpful but we don’t need to go out of our way to stack it. If you use the Guild Power boon like I do, then you’ll need Armor Pen and you’ll likely use Wicked or Draconic to pick up Recovery along with it. If you are using the Guild Armor Pen boon you can knock out most of your Armor Pen needs with that and get the rest from gear, leaving your enchantment slots open to either go for Silveries (high recovery), or Cruels for more total stat, or you can do a mix or Black Ice or Gigantic to finish your armor pen, or just gain more total stat. I currently use all Draconics in 9 offense slots and when high enough that is almost your whole armor pen requirement for end game, and I picked up recovery and power along the way.

For DPS:
  • Azures or Darks (Crit or Armor Pen)
  • Brutal or Savage or Vicious (Power/Crit or Crit/Armor Pen or Power/Armor Pen)

I’ll be honest, there’s not much of a chance of you successfully utilizing triple stat enchantments on a GF DPS build. Crit is extremely difficult to build on a GF and so basically every armor pieces and slot needs to have it. In the case that you are short on armor pen, there are options for that as well. Early on you can use Azures or Darks to even out your Crit and Armor Pen. Once your enchantments and gear are higher you’ll be able to slowly (one at a time) move to double stat without losing your Crit and Armor Pen caps. I currently run all Brutals on the front page and on the back page. With the correct companion gear and armor pieces I’m hitting 94% crit chance and 85% Armor Pen. While possible, this is difficult to do without at least r13 enchantments, otherwise stick to single stat to fill in the gaps. Every gear change will likely push you to swap an enchantment here or there, so use Savage or Vicious to balance that out if necessary (like losing 1290 Armor Pen taking Enduring Boots and dropping Boots of the Willed). If the lose is real extreme, use a single stat enchantment. When all maxed out, it is possible to run all double stat enchantments, but it may not be all Brutals depending on your gear selection.

 

In Defense:

For Tanks: 
  • Radiant, Silvery or Dark (HP, Deflection, Lifesteal)
  • Cruel, Brutal, Wicked, Savage, or Vicious (Defense/Deflect, HP/Defense, HP/Deflect, HP/Lifesteal, Deflection/Lifesteal)
  • Black Ice, Draconic, Demonic, Gigantic (Defense-Deflect/Lifesteal, HP- Defense/Lifesteal, HP- Deflect/Lifesteal, Deflection- HP/Defense)

This is a bit more preference/rounding out your build honestly. Assuming you’re using a defender companion like I do, you will get loads of defense and likely won’t need much or any defense from your enchantment slots. I highly value HP as a means of survival, and from reading my Tactician build you can see that Lifesteal is imperative to have (and Deflection is free from Shepherd’s Devotion) so I would go with enchantments that do one or both of those stats. You can do an enchantment that has defense mixed in as well, but most like you will be close to capped on DR just from gear and a defender companion with good bondings. Toons under the DR cap should definitely run an enchantment with Defense. At end game I’ve run all Radiants, and just recently started making Draconics to min-max my defensive stats. It’s about a 4k HP loss while can about 4% Defense and Lifesteal making this switch. Once your toon is built the decision of what to run is  more lead by where you’re at in the moment. I’ll say that if you’re totally unsure, Radiants always have good resale value and are a safe investment, but won’t help out younger tanks with their Defense.

For DPS:
  • Radiant or Azure (HP, Crit)
  • Brutal (HP/Defense)
  • Black Ice (Defense- Deflection/Lifesteal)

In the current state of the game, Radiants are a clear winner for all DPS classes. The reason is that an Oathbound Paladin’s Aura of Courage is a buff that allows you to deal additional damage on enemies based on YOUR HP (it’s supposed to be off the Paladin’s HP but the tooltip is wrong/broken). Aura of Courage is a damage source that can scale with buffs, so these hits can actually end up being a strong and consistent source of damage. I have other enchantments listed so you have options, but Radiant is a clear winner. IF the devs eventually fix AoC to proc off of the OP’s HP, then Black Ice would be BiS for the overall defensive stats, which feeds Assassin’s Covenant. For now, go with Radiants.

Utility:

The number one BiS enchantment for utility slots in PvE content is Darks for the movement speed, hands down. It’s the only utility that actually improves our group content performance. That being said…

With the new refinement system (and lots of new things to refine and test), I understand the need for refinement and occasionally, I find myself needing refinement boosting enchantments. To maximize refinement, use 1 Quartermaster and 1 Dragonhoard as both enchantments have cool downs, so no use running extras. Then use Fey enchantments in the remaining 3 slots, or run 1 Fey and 2 Darks. If you have no need or interest in these enchantments for refinement, then run Dark for movement speed in all utility slots.

 

Weapon Enchantment:

The thing to understand about weapon enchantments is that what’s best to use may be situational. It’s not exactly what everyone wants to hear when discussing making a huge investment like buying a weapon enchantment or ranking one up. However, it’s true and the fact is some weapon enchantments stack and some don’t. If you run enchantment A in a group and your buddy uses that same enchantment, you only get the benefit of one enchantment if it doesn’t stack. With that in mind, here are some options.

For Tanks:

Frost- At Unparalleled, this enchantment reduces both enemy damage resistance and damage dealt by 12% This debuff has a 50% uptime. This enchantment’s debuff does stack with other Frost at the same rank. This enchantment must be at rank Pure or higher for the debuff.

Plaguefire- At Unparalleled, this enchantment reduces enemy damage resistance by 4% and damage dealt by 2%. This debuff can stack 3 times (12% and 6%). This debuff has no cool down, but 100% uptime depends on keeping stacks applied. This enchantment’s debuff does not stack with other Plaguefires at the same rank. This enchantment must be at Transcendent or higher for the debuff.

Bronzewood- At Unparalleled, this enchantment marks enemies on encounter use, and provides allies with an 18% damage buff against these marked targets. These marked enemies also deal 12% less damage to you. This enchantment’s buff/debuff has a 50% uptime. This enchantment’s buff/debuff does stack with other Bronzewood at the same rank. This enchantment must be at Transcendent or higher for the debuff.

Terror- At Unparalleled, this enchantment gives 8% damage increasing buff and an 8% damage decreasing debuff. This debuff has a 100% uptime, This enchantment’s buff/debuff does stack with other Terror at the same rank. This enchantment must be at Transcendent or higher for the debuff.

These four enchantments all provide debuffs for the team and are generally intended to be used by support. DPS enchantments debuff too, but it’s best not to invest in them if you aren’t DPSing as you run the risk of have enchantments not stack in the group. An alternative to the debuff enchantment is Lightning. If you’re really having trouble with aggro, this can help with mob aggro but a debuff enchantment is best. Frost stacks and Plaguefire does not if that helps with your choice.

For DPS:

Dread

Fey

Vorpal

Lightning

All three enchantments are good, but results may vary depending on the skill level of the group you’re in. In the best groups, Dread performs the best as the buffs are fantastic and so your encounters powers will be what you want to boost in damage. If the buffs aren’t as good, Fey is good because it buffs ALL damage including Aura of Courage damage, not just crits on encounters like Dread does. Vorpal is another viable option and currently the cheapest options. It gives all powers more critical severity, but only buffs damage that can crit, so Aura of Courage damage would not be affected by Vorpal. If you could only pick one, i’d recommend Fey as it will perform consistently well in a variety of group skill levels.

Armor Enchantment:

Negation-

Shadow clad-

Elven Battle-

As far a armor enchantments go, there is one suggestion that works for all types of GF and that is Negation. If you could only have one, you couldn’t go wrong with it. Some people like Shadowclad because it’s defense and deflect, but I figure Shepherd’s Devotion give decent deflection anyways, and the recovery boost and incoming healing boost (aka life steal boost too) is good on the negation. If you feel that you are no longer in need of an actual defensive armor enchantment, your options open up. Elven Battle gives extra stamina and helps a little bit with control resist. Briartwine lets you reflect incoming damage back at the enemy (extra aggro). Thunderhead has a chance to stun enemies nearby. Though, if you could only pick one, I’d still say Negation. Even if you cap on Defense, the extra DR helps ward against armor break (defense debuff) and the recovery/healing bonuses are good.

Companions:

When you are building your companion team, there are some basics to know. 1. Bonding runestones are what can make a low level character very effective, and a great character BiS. They share stats from your companion and add them to your own stats. There’s no better runestone in the game for any class or build. 2. Some stats share from your companion to you, and some don’t. Power, Crit, Armor Pen, Recovery, Defense, and Deflection DO share. Maximum Hit Points and Regeneration DO NOT share through the bonding stones. As long as you use a Defender companion, HP and Regen WILL share through the Legendary companion bonus however. 3. You get 5 active companion, one of which is summoned. Only one of them NEEDS to have gear, enchantments, bonding runestones. The summoned companion is the only one that shares stats in combat, ALL active companion share their active bonus at all times. 4. Mod 11.5 started giving gear score for the gear, enchantments, and runestones equipped on your summoned companion, as well as a gear score for the quality of each active companion. This means thats all your companions should be at least Epic quality. Legendary quality should be reserved for the summoned companion only until you have an indispensable income of AD to blow on upgrading each companion to Legendary. Legendary only gives you stats when summoned, and a companion’s active only upgrade to Epic quality, so upgrading all your actives to Legendary will grant and additional 400 gear score, but it comes with no stat gain. Legendary quality grants a bonus much like bonding runestones do, so basically it’s more stat share stacked on top of your bonding stones. 5. The Legendary quality bonus now applies for each Legendary companion you have active. You get 16% of the stats off of the first one, and then each legendary active after that gives you an additional 8%, 4%, 2%, and 1% for a total of 31% stat gain off or your companion. 6. Which companions you choose for your actives will really come down to personal preference and how you like to play your character. I will provide my own companion team as well as many alternative suggestions. The summoned companion is a little more cut and dry. You need a good companion that can stay alive, activate bonding stones, and hopefully have some useful powers for combat.
The active companion that you choose should have a couple of features.

1. Great active bonus.

2. 3 Defense rune slots (until you hit max defense, if you’re way over when your bonding stones go off, then you may go 2 D slots and 1 O slot. It becomes personal preference since you’re three equipment slots and their enchantments will cover a lot of stats.

3. Preferably, an attack that can benefit the team. Some companions have terrible damage output and no buffs/debuffs to assist the team. They are an ally in combat that can heal you or fight for you. Checking the powers on your companion is always wise to do if you’re planning on using it as a summoned companion. I will list the companions that I use, why I use them, and a list of some other options should you fall into a nice loot drop or desire different actives to suit your needs or situation. When listing active bonuses, I always list the buff at Epic quality, as that is the highest the active bonus can be.

For Tanks:

 

Dancing Shield (Summoned)- This companion grants 2% Deflect Chance. I run this companion because of it’s debuff attack that it does when summoned. the 2% deflect chance is a decent bonus.

Energon- Increases you Max HP by 5%. The further into end game you get, you’ll want o consider taking your Maximum HP higher as bigger HP pools will allow you to take bigger hits. Please note, this companion is bugged. It doeswork, but in order for it to work properly, you must deactivate it, and reactive it each time you change instances or change your HP (join a group or take HP boosting potions).

Tamed Velociraptor- Grant 1% damage to each party member that is “Part of the Pack.”Run this for your group if everyone else has it for a maximum of 5% damage bonus. Rust Monster- On damage taken, 25% chance to inflict a 5% damage debuff on attacker. Stacks up to 3 times. Great debuff, stacks easier with single target fights.

Bulette Pup- If you take 25% of your health in damage in a single blow, recover 25% health over time. It’s pretty good for an emergency heal! The above companions can be a little bit flexible.

On my Tactician, I ALWAYS run Dancing Shield for it’s 20% debuff, and the Energon because I’m an HP whore. Tamed Velociraptor, Rust Monster, and Burette Pup depend on the group. Usually my group has raptors so typically it stays on, but if you don’t need it you can run the Phase Spider for extra combat advantage damage resistance. Some groups I run with don’t have trouble surviving, so if your group is strong then you don’t need the Rust Monster debuff. If you yourself are strong, you may not need the Bulette Pup. In these cases, those last companion slots can be filled with the Air Archon and Siege Master for extra damage. These two are great particularly because they are up 100% of the time. One companion that every tank should have in their back pocket is the Dread Warrior. I don’t need it any more, but it is a good options to have available in a pinch. Remember that damage is aggro, so while Dread Warrior gives me an increase in threat %, the damage % companions basically do the same thing. If your damage is poor Dread Warrior will be better for aggro. If your damage is decent, the damage companions will be better. This is because the threat % can make weaker hits generate much more threat than you’d normal get.

For DPS:

 

Con Artist (summoned)- It’s attack debuffs 10% which helps everybody, but the real reason DPS GF uses it is for the easy ring equip. Some people like the Sellsword (same debuff) but the equipment is much harder to acquire and end game rings have way more stats than the companion gear coming out of IG. Con artist equip has 300 crit which doesn’t sound like much but every little bit counts.

OR

Chultan Tiger (summoned)- At the start of combat, you gain a 5% increase to your damage and run speed for 25 seconds. Also, this companion debuffs 10% like the Con Artist. This one is BiS for summoned IF you can get a double offense neck to work with. Otherwise stick with the Con Artist.

Air Archon- 5% damage up 100% of the time, can’t beat it. Siege Master- 4% damage up 100% of the time, can’t beat it.

Warboar- 5% damage bonus to marked targets. As long as you’re marking (and you should), that’s another big bonus.

Tamed Velociraptor- As stated above it’s 1% for each member in the group running it. Use it if everyone has it for another 5% damage with 100% uptime.

Earth Archon- 6% damage up as long as you are at full health. I named 6 companions above. Con artist is a must, and the other four need swapped around depending on the situation. Siege Master is the lowest bonus so that’s the first to go usually. If the group doesn’t have 5 raptors, then you use Siege Master instead of the raptor. If you really aren’t confident about your health staying up enough for the Earth Archon’s bonus, then use Siege Master and Tamed Velociraptor together. If you can’t afford the Warboar out of the GWF pack, then Fire Archon would be an ok backup. Which companions you have alongside your summoned really just depends on the situation. Fire Archon is also notable in boss fights that are longer since it buffs the bonus or Air and Earth Archons, and the damage bonuses are multiplicative.

COMPANION GEAR:

Before Mod 11, many players used a select few companions as actives because getting gear for their companion was difficult. You gear choices were high level crafting items, Adorable Epic Companion Gear, and Underdark rings were some of the best and mostly hard to get items or they were expensive. This led many people to choose companions based on their equipment slots. Popular ones were ones that used rings as one could use Underdark rings. In Mod 11, the Underdark rings no longer work on companions, and there is the new Illusionist’s Gambit skirmish which drops Ranks 1-5 companion gear much like the Underdark gear was scored. Now, any gear, even difficult to get gear such as sword knots are a lot more accessible. Ranks 1-3 can even be bought on the auction house. The +4 gear is what you’re aiming for. Alliance gear or lower ranked companion gear can suffice until the rank 4 drops for you. The rank for has 2 slots for your stats. Unlike Underdark, +5 gear is not BiS because the plus 5 has an overload slot instead of a second enchantment slot. This may be a mistake, but for now, +4 gear is the best. The gear you use in combination with the amount of Offense or Defense runeslots you have can help compensate for any “holes” in your character’s static stats. If your character is in great shape stats wise and can run your content effectively, then use the companion as a supplement. If you’re using a companion with rings, the Mod 10 Ostorian rings are also a great (and possibly better) option to the IG gear. Currently, I’m using 2 personalized recovery belts and 1 Defiant 4 belt from IG on my Dancing Shield for tanking. I’m using silveries in the 2 Offensive slots, and I’m using 3 Darks/1 Azure in the Defensive slots. What enchantments you use can be changed to give you the stats you need to hit your targets. For the Tank: For my DPS build, I’m using a con artist with 1 Dinosaur 5, 1 Gravestriker 5, and a power/armor pen +4 neck from IG on my Chilean Tiger. For DPS you’re going to need the 6 offensive slots to hit your crit target so use any double offense you can get if attempting DPS. Con artist is easiest as the rings are likely easier to acquire than good IG gear. My Tiger is running all Brutals at the moment but you may need azures/savages/etc depending on your stats.

SUMMARY:

Since companion gear acquisition is easier now, pick your companion based on the combination of active bonus and powers it has. When you have chosen your active companion and have it geared up, you can visit a test dummy and attack it to see the effects of your bonding runestones. You want to be somewhere private so that you can assure the stats you see are unbuffed by nearby players. If you’re not in a Guild, then the best place to do this testing is in the PVP Hub in Protector’s Enclave. You attack and get your companion swinging, then you can inspect your character sheet and watch the stats go up and down. By doing this when you make adjustments, you’ll see what stats need work still and if you need to swap out enchantments or gear. It is worth noting that I have change my summoned companion a number of times as well as changed my active companions as my needs have changed. You will likely undergo transformations like mine. Here’s an example. I used the Lillend because it had 3 rings slots and healed me; super useful for a weaker tank. I then switch to an Ice Galeb Duhr because I was strong enough to not need the Lillend, and I could handle tanking more enemies. Only problem was I had trouble generating threat. The Ice Galeb Duhr generates its own threat with it’s Taunt power so if you aren’t holding aggro, he will. Plus, it’s a high defense companion and can take a beating on it’s own. When I didn’t have trouble generating threat (and my Defense was higher so I had less use for the active bonus) I switched to Dancing Shield because I needed more Deflect stat, and also because it has a great single target debuff. What companions you use comes down to need and personal preference. I would highly recommend using the Dancing Shield for tanking due to its debut, and the con artist for dps due to its easy equip and debuff.

Mounts Bonuses, Powers, and Insignias:

To start, mounts can be pretty expensive. You can get them through Auction House, The Tarmalune Trade House, and through the Zen Market. While it is cheaper in AD to buy the mount you need through the Auction House, there is benefit to buying it through the Zen Market. If you are someone that runs multiple characters or plans on running multiple characters, you can reclaim any and all mounts purchased through the Zen Market. This makes for getting your characters good mount bonus and extra stats fast. I will say each mount that I do have, it’s stat and combat powers if relevant, it’s insignia bonus I use, and then I’ll list insignia bonuses and insignias that I like to use. The below mounts are very expensive, but you do not need those mounts to gain the listed insignia bonuses. Legendary mounts only differ from epic mounts in that the equip power is doubled from its epic counterpart, and you gain a combat power. You can build the below listed insignia bonuses with epic mounts on the zen market and the auction house. You can find a good list of mounts for the bonuses needed here.

 

Tank Powers and Insignias:

Artificer’s Persuasion- Whenever you use an Artifact Power, your Recovery, Movement, Action Point Gain, and Stamina Gain are increased by 10% of your Power for 15 seconds. Shepherd’s Devotion- Whenever you use a Daily power, your teammates Defense, Deflection, and Movement are Increased by 5% of your Power for 10 seconds.

Gladiator’s Guile- When your Stamina is above 75%, you move 15% faster. When your Stamina is below 25%, gain 15% of your Power and Stamina Gain.

Vampire’s Craving- When you lifesteal, receive a heal over time for 10% of your maximum hit points for 4 seconds. If you decided to stack some deflection then Survivor’s Gift is a good self heal to equip.

Protecter’s Camraderie- Whenever your summoned companion attacks, you gain 3% of your Power and Defense for 10 seconds. This effect can stack up to 4 times.

Shepherd’s Devotion-

Optional: 

Combatant’s Maneuver-

Survivor’s Gift-

 

I would pretty much recommend all of these bonuses as being the best options for a tank. If you decided not to stack life steal, you can use Survivor’s Gift in place of Vampire’s Craving, or you can use both and drop Protector’s Camaraderie for a second heal as long as your Defense is high enough without Protector’s Camaraderie. If you don’t need any heals at all, you can copy my insignia selection in the picture, and swap out Vampire’s Craving for Combatant’s Maneuver.

DPS Powers and Insignias:

Artificer’s Persuasion- Whenever you use an Artifact Power, your Recovery, Movement, Action Point Gain, and Stamina Gain are increased by 10% of your Power for 15 seconds. Shepherd’s Devotion- Whenever you use a Daily power, your teammates Defense, Deflection, and Movement are Increased by 5% of your Power for 10 seconds.

Gladiator’s Guile- When your Stamina is above 75%, you move 15% faster. When your Stamina is below 25%, gain 15% of your Power and Stamina Gain.

Combatant’s Manuever- When you control an enemy, you gain 5% Combat Advantage damage for 10 seconds.

Protecter’s Camraderie- Whenever your summoned companion attacks, you gain 3% of your Power and Defense for 10 seconds. This effect can stack up to 4 times.

Shepherd’s Devotion-

Optional: 

Cavalry’s Warning-

 

I have listed 6 mounts above. Based on the picture you can see the one I don’t have equipped is Cavalry’s Warning. If you have a Legendary Mount, you can use Cavalry’s Warning if you like. Since it’s downtime 50 seconds I typically don’t use this. However, if you want to use this for a bit more Power and other stats, I would swap with Gladiator’s Guile. One option is to run Gladiator’s Guile on mobs and Cavalry’s Warning on bosses. The rest of the mount bonus are pretty much non-negotiable as they provide the biggest buffs to the group (you) and damage bonus.

 

Insignias:

In Mod 11.5, the insignias you slot effect your gear score, so upgrading them past green means more than it used to. In Mod 13, they made it possible for Insignias to swap with load outs, so as you can see in my pictures, I have the same exact mounts, and I just change the insignias depending on the load out. Epic insignias can be very costly, so how I obtained most of mine were from lockbox drops or drops on the ground. I would first get the minimum required to activate my bonuses, then keep switching out insignias until I get only the stats that I need (Max HP, Defense, Deflect, etc.), and upgrade the quality as they became available. If you had the extra AD laying around, you can buy Epics. The reason I don’t rush to upgrade insignias is because they are the last way to fine tune your character. They are the finishing touches on your stats, not a means to achieving big numbers. So I would wait until your stats are nicely lined out and semi-permanent before investing in expensive insignias. I recommend use Skill and Aggression Insignias to get AP and Combat Advantage Damage to 1200 (or to fix Armor Pen), then the rest of the insignias can go into Mastery and Prosperity for Recovery and HP. For DPS, once your Armor Pen and Combat Advantage damage are sorted, you can keep stacking Skill for more Crit or use Dominance for Power.

It is helpful to keep in mind the third stat each insignia has. Tertiary stats such as AOE resist, Control resist, and et cetera start having diminished returns at about 1,000-1,200 points. Insignias can be a great way to round off your character build and even those numbers out to be as close to 1,200 without going over. The Tertiary stats off of insignias for the most part are supplemental to the build, with a few exceptions being “necessary” (see in the Stats section). The insignias really should be one of the last things you change as generally they are the easiest swaps to make in your stats.

Mount Power:

The mount power is the stat or bonus gained by equipping a specific mount. Each epic and legendary mount has a mount power. Rare and common mounts do not have mount powers. Epic mounts generally have 2k stats while legendary have 4K stats. There are exceptions to this rule such as a few mounts that have % bonuses and the HP mount has 8k at epic and 16k at legendary.

For Tanks: 

Recovery (2000-4000)

Daily Action (15%-25% AP Gain)

Defense-(2000-4000)

For DPS: 

Critical Strike (2000-4000)

Armor Penetration (2000-4000)

Power/Armor Penetration (1000-2000 each)

Power (2000-4000)

 

Combat Power:

These powers only come with legendary mounts, so if you’re lucky enough to pull one or you think you’re ready to buy one, here are a few to consider.

For Tanks: 

Legendary T-Rex

Legendary Golden Lion

Legendary Flying Carpet

For DPS: 

Legendary T-Rex

Legendary Tenser’s Disk

Legendary Golden Lion

Consumables: 

Consumables, often referred to as “potting up” (no double meaning here), is an important part of maximizing your characters stats. If you’re a toon that is still developing, it can be a great way to supplement your build (kind of like taking your vitamins). The game has change what consumables can be stacked, and so it’s important to know what your options are. Please reference the chart below, and then I will break down what I use for each build.

Credit to @batdriven for the easy to read chart. I will work on getting the resolution up.

This chart is not updated to Mod 13 (yet) but all information is still relevant. The only changes were the addition of the Chain of Scales Potion Tray Item, as well as the new Masterworks 3 Potions called Luminescent, which gives 2500 stat and persists through death and lasts an hour.

For Tanks: 

  • Stronghold Food- Ratatouille or Honeyed Bread
  • Event Food- Caprese or Watermelon Sorbet
  • Potion- Tidespan or Fortification
  • Elixir- Sunlord’s Elixir or Elixir of Fate
  • Potion Tray- Liira’s Bell, Champion’s Battle Horn, Chain of Scales, Tymora’s Coin, Stone of Health

The above listed consumables are the essentials. Ideally, you will be running all recovery buffs, but I have listed defense options as well. With regards to Event Food, it’s important to note that Watermelon Sorbet scales with your base Power and Recovery, so the more you have the more you get from this consumable. Depending on your development/preference you may prefer Caprese. Caprese scales with buffed HP, so you should consume this buff after VIP bonuses, stronghold food, and Energy (if applicable) has all been set for the maximum HP gain. The Elixir choice is AP gain versus an ability score bump basically. Neither is really needed, but it’s a nice addition to our stats.

On the Potion Tray, I recommend leaving Liira’s Bell and Champion’s Battle Horn on at all times. The bell can be used at the beginning of combat to keep your pet up long enough to get buffed, and used reviving. The Champion’s Battle Horn can be used to catch up to the group if you’re behind, or more likely run ahead to be able to trigger campfires. Chain of Scales and Tymora’s Coin can be used to pop their buff and then swapped with Stone of Health on the tray. The items should cool down from your inventory and you get to keep that third tray slot useful. Use Chain of Scales first, then Tymora’s Coin because if you get a bad buff of Chain of Scales (Regen), you can try Tymora’s Coin to see if you get a better buff. The reason to use Chains first is the buffs are better and last longer than Tymora and you can’t have both active, so try Chains then Tymora.

For DPS: 

  • Stronghold Food- Seared Tuna or Prime Rib
  • Event Food- Squash Soup or Watermelon Sorbet
  • Potion- Accuracy or Force
  • Elixir- Wild Storm Elixir or Elixir of Fate
  • Potion Tray- Liira’s Bell, Champion’s Battle Horn, Chain of Scales, Adorable Pocket Pet, Tymora’s Coin, or Stone of Health.

The above listed consumables are the essentials. All of the above consumable choice are picked for either Crit/Crit Severity or for Power. If you have enough crit 90-94% then you can choose Power buffs. When given the option between Crit Severity or Watermelon Sorbet, it really is situational. Power should always do better solo, and in most cases Crit Severity will do better in groups since power share can get our power pretty high as it is. Assuming that you have maxed out your Crit Severity boons, and potions you’ll have the choice of Elixirs. If you’re running a Dread I definitely recommend Elixir of Fate because at nearly 175%+ Crit Severity, adding 10% Crit Severity should not add more than 2% Damage the Elixir of Fate does (Damage and CA Damage bonuses). If you run a Fey, I would suggest running the Wild Storm Elixir as the damage would be more than 2%.

On the Potion Tray, I recommend leaving Liira’s Bell and Champion’s Battle Horn on at all times. The bell can be used at the beginning of combat to keep your pet up long enough to get buffed, and used reviving. The Champion’s Battle Horn can be used to catch up to the group if you’re behind, or more likely run ahead to be able to trigger campfires. Chain of Scales, Adorable Pocket Pet, and Tymora’s Coin can be used to pop their buff and then swapped with Stone of Health on the tray. The items should cool down from your inventory and you get to keep that third tray slot useful. Use Chain of Scales first, then Tymora’s Coin because if you get a bad buff of Chain of Scales (Regen), you can try Tymora’s Coin to see if you get a better buff. The reason to use Chains first is the buffs are better and last longer than Tymora and you can’t have both active, so try Chain of Scales, then Adorable Pocket Pet, then Tymora’s Coin as a last resort. Ideally on either the Chain of Scales and Adorable Pocket Pet, you are aiming for the Crit Severity.

Additional Consumables: 

There are other consumables that you may find helpful. These consumables can be stacked since they are less potent or situational. Dragon Slayer Potions and Dragon Protection Scrolls may help in certain instances, such as the FBI Dragon Turtle. Ever frost consumables can also help in FBI for protecting from Everfrost damage. If you want extra consumables, you can utilize Invocation Blessings and Scrolls of Fate in order to gain more stat. It is also important to make sure you always have your campfire buff on; just visit a campfire every 30 minutes or sooner to refresh the buff.

 

 

Useful Links:

Overload Enhancements Tests

  • This is the most update state on Stronghold Overload Enhancements. Some work and some don’t so check it out.

Mod 10 GF Class Rework- Patch Notes

  • It’s my hope that everyone takes my guide as a reference and collects as much information as possible on the Guardian Fighter. This link is the most recent class balance, reworking many things such as Into The Fray, Commander’s Strike, and Combat Superiority. This link will explain more in depth about how powers work now as opposed to their tooltips (which are notoriously bad/wrong/deceptive).

Janne’s Site for Game Mechanics

  • Janne’s Site explains in-game mechanics such as damage calculations, buffs, debuts, cool down education, aggro, etc. For anyone looking for more of the math “under the hood” this is the place.

Michela’s Debuff Spreadsheet Mod 11.5

  • This guide by Michela is a list of debuffs that exist in the game and shows the source of the debuff and the strength of the debuff. The chart says Mod 11.5 but all the information as far as debuffs go is correct. In Mod 12, the debs changed how debuffs scale and calculate into each other but the amount on the debuffs are the same.

Bethel’s Mount Insignia Bonus Guide

  • Use this if you’re having trouble figuring out what mount has the insignia bonus you need. This guide is a bit outdated (Mod 10?) but there are plenty of choices here for your insignia bonus needs.

RJC9000’s Together We Ride GF Guide

  • RJC has done a lot for the GF community in providing quality information to Guardian Fighter’s on all platforms (including myself). Some things we do are similar and some are different, but it would be wrong not to mention his guide, and since you all should be reading everything you can find, this resource is of high quality.

RJC9000’s Help Me Michela! DC Guide

  • RJC also (with Michela’s help) made a great guide to the DC. I recommend reading this over little bit as it is super important both as a support and DPS role to know how we interact with other buffers.

Grimah’s GF Compendium

  • Since everyone should “know their roots,” this is one of, if not THE original GF guide.

Oria1’s MoF CW Guide

  • A good friend of mine, we does a very good job at explaining game mechanics. In particular, I’ve linked and info page he was describing debuffs in the game and how they work. Every serious player should attempt to understand this information.

Neverwinter Dye Preview

  • In case you haven’t truly maxed out your character until it looks good.

NWO Character Simulator

  • This tool created by J0shi is just phenomenal. It is a free way to “build” your character and see how changes would effect your stats/build without actually logging into the game, shelling out diamonds, and finding out it was a waste. Just be sure to create an account, and log in when you’re editing so you say your progress. It is currently up to date for Mod 13 and it will be updated for Mod 14 whenever it launches, so if you’re a console player you can peek ahead at the new gear and start planning.

Neverwinter Guardian Fighter Facebook Page

  • This page is a nice and clean resource for you to reach out and ask questions about the class, your build, or just share with the community. Myself and the other admins are active in conversation and moderation. If you have questions about this guide you can find me there as I check it daily.

Jelly Group Synergy Guide

  • This page is a great resource that lays the ground work for serious players learning to time their buffs with their teammates. If you don’t know what other classes bring to the team, or how your buffs should line up with other classes rotations, then read this guide.

The End:

Thank you all for reading if you got this far! If you have any questions about the guide, or would like to submit possible correction or suggestions for information you would like to see added, please message me on here and I will try to maintain my inbox. If this guide helped you please rate it a 5! If you rate it lower and feel it can be improved or corrections can be made, please send me a message and I’ll be glad to help.

Xenakis

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Leave a reply
  • Rafael
    October 13, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    Can i use a healer companion? Should be better to sustain my tank function?

  • October 18, 2017 at 4:39 am

    Hi Rafael,

    The short answer is yes, you can use a healer companion. However, once you reach a certain point in your build (your gear and stats reach a certain point) you should be able to survive on your own without a healer. If you use a defender companion, you will get defense which would make it easier for you to survive anyways, which would possibly make you not need a healer. If you want to go with a healer, be mindful of what runeslots it has. The lillend for example has 3 offense slots, so while it is good for equipping easily (3 ring slots) it will not provide you extra defense unless it’s on the rings.

    If this didn’t answer your question, you can private message me on here and we can talk a little bit more in depth about what may be best for you at this particular time.

    Xenakis

    • Ken
      October 2, 2018 at 3:16 am

      New to the site some hope I’m talking to the right person I’m looking for the person who posted the build above and was hoping they can send me a screenshot of where they Place their ability points not the stat points but the skill points like enhance Mark Etc

  • Tom
    October 21, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Great guide, I learned a lot from it! I just recently decided to dedicate some more time to my GF, and am currently running a similar Protector build. I was wondering at what point would it be more beneficial for me to switch to a tactician build? Also, whats the total DR I’m looking for when all said and done?

    Again, thanks a lot for the guide!

    • October 28, 2017 at 8:15 pm

      Hi Tom,

      I would recommend switching to Tactician when you feel like you’re comfortable with the class. Mainly I mean timing your powers and shield blocks so that you’re always blocking when needed. Protector is helpful while you are learning the class. Protector is also helpful in situation where maybe your cleric isn’t good and you want the extra survivability. Other than that I pretty much use Tactician all the time. For content before FBI 60% DR is good. 80% or so DR would be fine up until chult. In Chult, I would go for 90% or more depending on your armor enchantment. I hope this helps. If you have more questions feel free to ask.

      Xenakis

  • October 28, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    what chult boons are you using?

  • November 3, 2017 at 3:32 am

    Hi George,

    I am splitting my points for 500 power, 500 defense, and 500 deflect. Another option is taking regeneration instead of power. I really don’t like regen but that option allows you the maximum amount of HP from the boons. For the final boon I took Death’s Blessing. Impenetrable Jungle would be decent too if you prefer, but I know that they are nerfing the proc rate of Impenetrable Jungle in which case I would definitely pick Death’s blessing. If you don’t like the idea of mitigating damage because it works against the Tactician capstone, soul siphon is basically a secondary form of lifesteal and is another viable option. Ultimately, I am still staying with death’s blessing.

    Xenakis

  • LittleVC
    November 7, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    I get that this is a build for Xbox players but, does the Xbox not use Daily Powers (eg: Villian’s Menace, FIghter’s Recovery, etc) or did I just miss those somewhere?

    • November 9, 2017 at 12:07 am

      Hi LittleVC,

      The information you’re looking for should be in the guide but I will look through again and make sure it wasn’t accidentally edited out.

      Yes, you want to use Villian’s Menace and Fighter’s Recovery in most cases on all platforms.

      Reasoning is that Villian’s Menace, while it does deal damage (and looks cool) it provides CC immunity which makes it a good daily to pop when you don’t need healing. Fighter’s Recovery is one of the best heals in the game in my opinion and for me that is always slotted for “just in case moments. It is a smart idea to pop Fighter’s when it’s available so has to start building the next daily. I hope this helps!

      Xenakis

  • OrdinarilyBob
    November 14, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    Xenakis, I’ve recently started my first GF and this information will be invaluable. I really appreciate the details you put into your guide. Yours isn’t just a list of powers and stat preferences, I love that you express the REASONING behind your decisions and often give alternatives. If I had one complaint it’s there’s TOO MUCH CHOICE in your guide, lol… It’s like man, now *I* have to think about what *I* want in *MY* build. OMG, I didn’t want to have to do any work, I wanted to get a cookie cutter build! Sheesh. LOL Actually, your details prove: No, I really don’t. I WOULD like to conscientiously choose the course of my character. Which I think will be much more fulfilling.

    I am *especially* grateful for the details you put into describing how Companions work. I’ve only been playing NWO ~3mos, and this information will not only inform how I put Companions on my new GF, but also on my Main (Archer). A wonderfully kind person gifted me a goat a few weeks in, and that Augment greatly improved my character back then, but I’ve recently been experimenting with Bonding Runetones on non-augments, and I see how much better those can be (even after the recent 12B Mod nerfs), so I’ll be switching to Bonding in the near future when I can raise the AD for a good companion. I also didn’t understand about the Legendary Bonus, so putting it out there so plainly, is appreciated.

    I do have question though… You say: “The Jungles of Chult weapons really aren’t great, even though they are newer.” Could you explain that more? Everyone I’ve spoken to in-game has recommended the “Wootz” gear as near top of the line (I’ve heard between 2nd and 4th place). That Wootz is even more attractive when one factors in the fact that it’s so cheap to get off the AH (usually <50k AD to buy both Main and Off Hand), making it all the better for a fresh L70 character or for an Alt that may not need BIS. You're the first to complain about them. I'm not arguing that there aren't better choices (and some of the options you describe seem to be so), but I wonder why you discard them so readily?

    Thanks again for the guide. Great work, and I appreciate all the effort!

  • November 15, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    Hi OrdinarilyBob,

    I’m glad that you have found a lot of this information helpful! As far as the style of this guide, I was stuck with two options:

    1. Present cookie cutter builds that could be copied and pasted.

    2. Give people the tools necessary for actually learning how this class works and why, and empowering them to fine tune in their own eventually.

    Not everyone will have access to the exact same gear, and not everyone will play exactly the same as me, but if you take the information in this guide, you can self tailor yourself a bit to your own play style (which I can’t anticipate). I do try to always include exactly what gear I’m running currently and why I personally choose certain powers, but I do want people to know that there are other viable options and that in fact, the choices I listed are my top personal preference.

    The just Jungles of Chult weapons are good in the sense that all of the newer weapon sets (River District, Sea of Moving Ice, Stronghold, and Chult). Have the highest base damage and stats available on weapons. This puts old weapon sets like drowned, burning, elemental fire, and twisted way below these sets. You DO want a newer set for base weapon damage. Out of those four options though, they are absolutely the bottom tier weapons. It’s not to say that they are bad, but they are designed to be cheap and accessible for newer players, and to replace sets like elemental revolt as a players “first” weapon set. Definitely worth buying as a first set, but there are better weapons available because the set bonus on the chult weapons really aren’t valuable (random stat boost at the beginning of combat for 10 seconds I believe). The other new weapons have much more focused set bonuses that are much better at rounding off a character.

    Hope this helps!

    Xenakis

    • OrdinarilyBob
      November 19, 2017 at 11:08 pm

      Ah, I see what you mean about the set bonus being poor on the Wootz. I’ve thought as much myself as I’ve come to learn about the other newer weapon sets. However, those take so much more effort to get. And on my Main, I expect as I play on, I will eventually get something better, but I think for my alts (including my GF), I will go ahead an get the Wootz since it’s so cheap, and being an alternate character that gets significantly less play time, I simply won’t be putting a lot of time into the character for a long while. Sure, eventually I’ll get bored of my Archer and/or finally “max him out” and pick an alt as a new main, but that’s probably many months away.

      I appreciate the response and your insight, and again, the Guide in general. Thank you!

      • December 3, 2017 at 2:05 am

        Hi OrdinarilyBob,

        I would definitely agree that for an alt character, wootz is a good first weapon set choice. I really have tailored this guide for people looking to be guardian fighters as their main toon, or at least for players that want to put serious work/playtime into this class. The wootz would be great for what you’re trying to accomplish at this time.

        Thanks for visiting this guide!

        Xenakis

  • Dylan Green
    December 2, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    what is your rotation? i might have missed it but i dont want to be randomly using encounters. thx

    • December 3, 2017 at 2:01 am

      Hi Dylan Green,

      Where I outline the powers, I have stated which powers are mapped to what buttons (for Xbox) but that part is preference. With enough recovery, Into The Fray should always be up. It lasts for 7 seconds and then you (should hopefully) have it off cooldown to pop again. If your recovery isn’t there yet, you may just want to time Into The Fray with the cleric’s AA and BTS or with your DPS’s rotations. Into The Fray is always up for me so it’s more about popping it when it’s off cooldown then timing it in a rotation. Knight’s Valor is usually on for me in group play so once it’s on you leave it alone unless you get stunned and it turns off. If the power icon is “blinking or pulsing” then you know it’s on. Again, another power that really isn’t in a rotation. Other than that, Weapon Master’s Strike and shield up are alternating as needed. Pop Enforced Threat when available. If you’re single target, I try and time Commander’s Strike with the strong encounters my party uses like Disintegrate, IBS, etc. I will throw up a Tide of Iron before Commander’s Strike if the timing allows. Otherwise, it’s back to alternating shield up and sword swings. If I’m stuck behind the shield for a bit I’ll nail the boss with Aggravating Strike to build threat but I don’t usually lack threat where I need to go out of my way to do that. That’s a long answer to your question but I hope it’s what you’re looking for. A fixed rotation can be hard and maybe impractical depending on when your shield needs to go up but with the amount of recovery I have my tank powers pop when they are ready with the exception of Commander’s Strike which I try and line up with the buffs and key encounter powers. Thanks for asking this question! I may need to rethink how I layout the powers section.

      Xenakis

  • December 12, 2017 at 1:20 am

    Have you tried Priestess Moonbow for an active companion? +crit% to party and -crit% to enemies.

    • December 12, 2017 at 3:05 am

      I have not personally tried the Priestess but it could be viable as long as you are getting the stats you need. I have not made an update for 12b yet but the Priestess and Harper Bard will get more mention as viable options with bonding runestones getting their effectiveness cut and they both provide crit. I have tried the Harper Bard but I don’t run it mainly because Dancing Shield debuffs more and most groups now don’t need the crit help.

      Xenakis

  • Fifilalachuchu
    February 14, 2018 at 11:18 am

    Is this guide updated enough to follow today?

    • February 18, 2018 at 3:54 am

      Hi Fifilalachuchu,

      Thank you for your comment. This guide is currently being updated. If you check back in a day or two you with see updates to gear, enchsntments, as well as additional considerations for mounts, companions, etc. the incoming update will bring viewers up to date with gear and information available in Mod12B.

      Xenakis

  • Actwz
    March 9, 2018 at 6:28 pm

    I do not understand how the Feats go, the Paragon have a number in parentheses and the Feats do not.

    • March 14, 2018 at 3:48 am

      Hi Actwz,

      Thank you for commenting. This guide is currently under maintenance. I went into the guide and fixed the Heroic feats sections. Just numbering them won’t really work in the case of Heroic points because the point allocation is different from the tank to the dps builds so under each Heroic I labeled which build uses it and how many points. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

      Xenakis

  • March 13, 2018 at 8:02 am

    It looks like you forgot the DPS boon list. Or is it mashed together. I might have missed it.

    • March 22, 2018 at 1:32 am

      Hi Andrew,

      Thanks for letting me know! It does appear that the DPS boons are missing and I will try to add that in tonight. It looks like it may have been cut out when I was playing around with adding pictures into that section (still haven’t found a way to get the picture quality up).

      Xenakis

  • Day
    April 7, 2018 at 7:03 am

    Hi. Very detailed guide, thanks. I’m just a bit confused about not taking any points in CON. You mention that lost HP from it for you is not detrimental, but it would be ideal to mention CON also provides more AP gain, which is always welcomed for any GF. Do you feel it is still okay without it? How do you recommend not spending CON points for a starting GF?

    • April 13, 2018 at 3:32 pm

      Hi Day,

      In the guide, it should break down each ability score attribute to show exactly what you gain from each one. That includes showing that Con also gives AP gain. You get s lot of AP from taking damage with your shield up, so extra Action Point gain from Con is nice, but it’s not absolutely needed. I believe I do recommend that fresh tanks could consider Con and Dexterity starting out to help out with HP and Armor Penetration. If you run a guild HP boon it is relatively easy to break 200k HP. I sit at about 275k without VIP group bonus. For me I don’t notice a little bit extra HP from Con as it only boosts base HP. It is a good option though and people should feel free to try it if they wish. If you’re starting out it’s good, but not needed from mid to end game. I hope this addressed your concerns.

      Xenakis

  • Day
    April 8, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    Btw in your Tactician Advanced Build, you spent 46 points??? Am I missing something here?

    • April 13, 2018 at 3:35 pm

      Hi Day,

      Thank you for bringing the typo in the Advanced Tactician build to my attention. The build incorrectly had 5 points into United. It has now been removed and should have the correct amount of points. Thank you for bringing this to my attention!

      Xenakis

  • Orhan
    May 10, 2018 at 5:19 am

    This is a great work ! Ty for your efforts.
    İ wanna ask for a hybrid build for my gf ; i m level 70 and eorking through boons atm.i need (my play style) a build with a high defense and proper damage to solo most content faster then a tank. İ dont know if this is possible. But if you have such a build ı d be glad if you can share/add to this loadouts. Ty.

    • May 10, 2018 at 5:44 am

      Hi Orhan,

      One of the easiest things you can do to go “hybrid” is to keep all of your regular tanking gear on, and simply spec into the Conqueror feats and boons instead of the tank ones. This is not recommended necessarily as something you’d use as an end game Hybrid GF (which do exist and do well), but it is a cost efficient way to make solo content go faster without much investment. If you really want to pack a punch, the next biggest dps increase would be focused around using the Demon Lord set, and swapping out companions better suited for dealing damage such as the ones outlined in the DPS part of the build. I hope this helps!

      Xenakis

  • May 10, 2018 at 8:13 am

    My main concern is actually the companion. İf i use chultan tiger 3 offensive slots my def decreases considerably making me fragile. Also tiger dies a lot in chult

    İf i use dsncing shield or shieldmaiden i feel much more tanky but damage dps decreases

    My item level is 12 k atm . Maybe i d spec 2 seperate loadouts for tanking and damage but this would be very expensive due to the all companions snd enchantments and companion jewellery needed for this.also need tons of rp..

    So i was wondering if a total endgame hybrid build is possible.
    Ty for your reply btw

    • May 10, 2018 at 1:38 pm

      As far as Hybrid goes it is certainly viable at endgame, just not totally my playstyle. That being said there are basically two ways to do it starting out.

      One way is to build for tank and spec feats and boons for Conqueror and the other way is the opposite, acquire the DPS gear but feat into Tactician for the debuffs. Usually, an endgame Tactician is Conqueror with 15 points into Tactician, and the gear is as DPS as can be while still maintaining survivability (this extreme will vary by person).

      My end game Tactician build with the small amount of crit it has usually puts me in third place for paingiver in dungeons. In To9G I get over 300k sometimes where my critless collegues get less than 100k. You could use the Tactician build and add Demon Lord set to it for a decent damage increase by itself.

      In my opinion, if you are going to play hybrid, you should prioritize the buffs over the damage but it depends on the groups. Featingninto Tactician does way less damage but you buff the group more. I believe that (situationally) if you’re not going to be top DPS as GF then you may as well support the DPS.

      If you’re truly set on the Hybrid playstyle, get a Con Artist and Demon Lord art and start there. Mix and match rings until you get the desired amount of defense versus offense slots to suit your needs, and then try it feated into Conqueror. If you like the playstyle, then try a Hybrid loadout specced into Tactician.

      Xenakis

  • Orhan
    May 10, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    On my way sir ::)) ; i was thinking the same, con artist might be better with a def slot and 3 rings easy to manage

    İ already have demon lord set and will be wearing that.

    İ was already using conquerer feats.

    Now i ll continue this way up to item level >14 k. And after that i ll try tactician feat.

    Ty for the help!

  • Orhan
    May 10, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    Two more question pls. İ am using pilgrim set atm. For the hybrid build would you advice any specific armor or weapon set?

    And for the artifacts should i mix offense and defense artifacts for this build?(or probably situationsl depending on stats?)
    Ty

  • May 12, 2018 at 7:06 am

    What artifacts you go with will be largely influenced by the stats you get off your companion. In general I’ll say you’ll want offensive artifacts. Artifacts take lots of refinement so it would be nice to build around your artifacts. As far as gear goes, Boots of the Willed, Fured Kiuno of the Bear, and Fearbringers are all good pieces from the new hunts. You can keep a pilgrim helm for extra damage in chult if you wish. The offensive primal gear is good but the new bonuses off the hunt gear is good stats and will significantly boost your damage. If you have Survivor’s Wraps you could skip using Fearbringers. Besides the pilgrim helm your choices are Rex Corona or Guise of the Wolf Clan.

  • Ernbrecht
    May 28, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    what do you think about new artifact set in mod 14, you think they’re good enough to change orcus for them?

    • May 29, 2018 at 2:12 pm

      Hi Ernbrecht,

      Are you talking about the Apocalypse set? The short answer is- it needs tested. However, I do not think it will out perform Orcus set. It is still early on the Mod 14 Preview but I haven’t heard of anyone doing extensive tests on artifact sets yet. That being said, note that the Orcus set is a damage % buff to, whereas the Apocalypse set is a damage increasing debuff to the enemy. A 5% damage increasing debuff does not necessarily mean 5% extra damage because of the way debuffs are all scaled together. a 5% damage buff to you could scale with buffs and so if this were the case it would be better. If your group debuff/buff output is already high, it’s my assumption at the moment that Apocalypse will not increase damage more than Orcus already does. As soon as I hear anything concrete with ACT tests to back it up I will share! If Apocalypse is any good at all, I’d say it may be viable on trash mobs over Orcus but it is all too soon to tell at the moment. Thanks for asking!

      Xenakis

  • Dale
    June 18, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    Xenakis, as a long time buff tank, I appreciate your efforts and sharing your experience. I didn’t see your recommendations for enchantments on your companions. Would you recommend stacking some recovery there? Or are you of the mind to stack power and crit on your companion as well. I am crossing over to DPS and was curious to your opinion. thank you!!

    • June 19, 2018 at 3:41 am

      Hi Dale,

      I’ll have to check that my suggestions for companion enchantments and gear made it into the guide, so thank you for asking. On Tactician I run 3 Adorable Licks belts. 3 silveries in offense and 3 Darks in Defense. The defensive slots are completely preference. I get most of my crit cold off of gear so I can keep recovery high and it works well with the Lifesteal and Jagged Blades. If you opted to use the armor pen boon/silveries on the front page combo you could try the new ruthless enchantments instead of silveries. Since most of our stats come from the companion though, I’d say stay silveries on the companion and then you have options for the front page: Draconic, Ruthless, Silvery. Hope this helps!

      Xenakis

  • June 23, 2018 at 8:58 am

    I love this guide, i hope in a pvp section soon!!

    • June 26, 2018 at 2:40 pm

      Hi Rossimi,

      Thanks for your feedback! It is my intention to add a PvP builds soon, but my PvP career is always on and off. When I put it out there for everyone to see, I just want to make sure it’s polished up. I will share when possible!

      Xenakis

  • Pumpkin
    June 25, 2018 at 11:44 am

    Why do you want the undead slayer rings?

  • June 26, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    Hey man, first of all, wonderful guide, thank to it now I have a better knowledge of the game and of my character.
    Now I was wondering if you can comment on what I made here.
    I made a few changes to what you adviced for a Tactician in order to suit my will to use almost only the latest equipment.
    Is there anything I should change?

    • July 2, 2018 at 9:03 pm

      Hi Alessandro Woronzy Sponza,

      So you updated the equipment you’re saying, and want to know what else you should change? I’m not sure exactly what you’re running so I’m not sure what you should change but it should all be pretty clearly layed out in the guide. If it isn’t let me know!

      Xenakis

      • July 8, 2018 at 12:18 am

        Hi Troy, and thanks for the reply.

        So I’m trying to build a tactician. Now due to the fact that I want to use the highest item level’s gear (in the message before I said “the latest” but I then realized that also the gear you suggest in the guide is from the latest mod, despite the lower item level) and for me is very difficult to acquire the Tactician and Champion banner artifacts, I made some changes, and I wondered if you can take a look and tell me if there is something wrong that I should change.
        Please let me know.

        Alessandro

  • June 26, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    Hi Pumpkin,

    The Undead Slayer rings are great for the bonus damage against undead. In the newest content, many enemies are Undead plus has double offense slots at rank 5. The Undead rings will remain viable in Mod 14 as well due to Undead in Ravenloft. Next Mod there is a new ring with a +5% damage bonus to Undead, so you can stack with ththem Undead Slayer +5 or in place of it if you never get an Undead Slayer +5. Hope this helps!

    Xenakis

  • Ernbrecht
    June 27, 2018 at 7:47 am

    Hi
    what do you think, new razorwood companion would be suit in your build? his bonus sounds great

    • June 27, 2018 at 1:23 pm

      Hi Ernbrecht,

      Yes, the Razorwood works really well for DPS. Most player will run Tiger, Air Archon, Earth Archon, Razorwood, and then the 5th is a toss up based on what you have access to and the content you are running. Either Siege, War Boar, Compy, or Tamed Velociraptor if your group runs it. Hope this helps!

      Xenakis

  • Will
    July 15, 2018 at 9:09 am

    All great information. What I may have missed though is after your intial ability roll where did you put your ability points? I’m sure STR, but the other, did you go CON or CHA?
    Thanks!

  • Eugee
    July 19, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    First off, love the guide. It’s so wonderful to not find a collection of screenshots labeled as a guide. By the end of reading all this I feel like I have a better understanding of where to go with my GF. I play OP main, and the two classes just don’t tank the same–and I wanted a better understanding of the priorities for a GF. Which brings me to my question:

    While my GF is an alt, it’s probably my most-played alt, and I was thinking about going with Tactician, DPS boons, Tank gear/artifacts, and a 3xDefense companion w/ Bold gear and Crit/ArP enchants. The idea being to push my Crit/ArP up with bondings, and handle my defense/deflect on the gear/insignias. End result on the character sim is like 70% crit, 100% armor pen, 65% defense, and 35% deflect, and 40kish power. Is 65% defense enough or should I be pushing all the way to 95%?

    I noticed I could go with a defensive pet and Sturdy/Cruel equipment and peg it to 80% def and 56% deflect without boons. In that case I could devote my gear/insignias to the offensive side. Which would you recommend?

  • TADEU
    July 25, 2018 at 7:18 am

    WHICH THE NAME OF THE BELTS THAT YOU USE IN THE COMPANION ?

  • August 3, 2018 at 5:17 am

    Never had the chance to look at your stuff in depth, so I guess I have the time now.

    I find it incredibly hilarious that you say “I don’t wan’t everyone to copy and paste my builds” when you are posting a guide on a website where almost every visitor will just CTR C + CTR V the builds and not look at the text.

    AoE Resist is just extra damage resistance versus AoE attacks, making AoE Resist a rather pointless stat if you are at the DR cap. Note that not all red circles count as AoEs. This post by Edgy should assist you if you want to write about the subject more in depth.
    https://www.arcgames.com/en/forums/neverwinter#/discussion/1228506/pve-monster-ability-info

    How difficult/fast is it to swap powers mid-combat on console?

    I’m wondering, because your run troughs of Castle Monologue *heavily* benefits from being able to do this.
    For example, during discount Dracula, you’ll want to run the usual single target DPS setup when you’re fighting and ITF/Griffon’s/Knight’s Valor during the Nightmare sections (KV is incredibly useful for making sure your teammates survive the stupid bats, explosions, and Xs).

    Your spacing on Combat Superiority is a little messed up, I almost thought you didn’t cover one of the best GF passives. There might be other places in the writing that has this screwed up spacing.

    Your descriptions of these powers are not necessarily incorrect, but if you wish to give more detail on them, here is the info.

    -On Shield Warrior’s Wrath, I would just clarify that you gain an 8% buff per stack of SWW. Meaning that, at max stacks, you gain a colossal 40% damage buff.
    -Weapon Master’s Strike places a 30% damage increasing debuff versus your at-wills only on targets hit by the ghost hit.
    -Tide of Iron grants a 20% damage increasing debuff versus your attacks.
    -Into the Fray, at Rank 4, grants a 30% damage buff, 15% AP Gain buff, 2x run speed (the run speed is what I pulled from the wiki during 11.5, this may not be correct as of now), and 5% of each player’s maximum buffed HP as Temporary HP (2% at base, +1% per each additional rank of ITF).

    Then there are the incorrect statements on a few powers.

    Commander’s Strike is not a debuff, or even a buff like Into the Fray. What it really does is it takes 40% of the DPSer’s hit and applies it as another hit counting towards your own damage. This will only trigger if you marked the enemy, so it is imperative that CS spamming GFs *mark their damn targets*.

    See the ACT log below for proof (ET is to apply marking effect to targets, then the GF casts Commander’s Strike,then the GWF casts IBS, and then the GF gets credited for an additional Commander’s Strike proc. Checking the damage, 1602.2/4005.5 = 0.4).
    https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/308536669362061312/474442705041358848/commandersstrikeactlog.jpg

    Enforced Threat has a target cap of 10.
    https://www.arcgames.com/en/forums/neverwinter/#/discussion/1218456/official-feedback-thread-guardian-fighter-changes

    I would say Villain’s Menace is a 20% damage resistance bonus rather than damage mitigation, but then I realized I couldn’t find Michela’s damage resistance buffs sheet as proof. She used to have it somewhere on the forums, however it has been lost to time.

    You also have some inaccuracies on Paragon Path stuff.

    There are more paragon exclusive passives than just Steel Grace and Ferocious Reaction. SM gets Steel Grace, Steel Blitz, and Steel Defense, whereas IV gets Ferocious Reaction, Enduring Warrior, and Trample the Fallen. You didn’t miss much, because Enduring Warrior is about as useful as Ferocious Reaction, Steel Blitz will only comprise 1-5% of your total DPS in the long run, and Steel Defense is a training wheel tool that is useless in any content past epic Spellplague. The duration of Trample is as exactly as long and as potent as your CC effect. So if you place KB on an enemy, the enemy will be afflicted with Trample with the DoT is ticking, whereas a target hit with Griffons or Frontline will only be afflicted with Trample for as long as they are stunned/on the ground. This also has a downside, namely being that Trample only works on CCable targets, making it useless on mobs (only works on CCable mobs, but Trample forces you to to play the path with garbage AoE) and useless on bosses. The exception to the bosses is when running with a TR using Courage Breaker … but I’d rather just use SWW for its bugged 8% per stack.

    Line Breaker Assault is a universal power and Flourish is the Swordmaster exclusive power. Not that you missed much, since Flourish is rather useless in PvE. It actually hits slightly harder than Anvil above Half HP, but that’s not a very good justification for a power with an incredibly long cast time.

    The name of the IV specific daily attack is “Indomitable Strength”. I cannot comment on its usefulness in PvP, but it has a very specific niche in PvE. It also places a 20% damage reducing debuff on the enemy hit by it, which could have potential on an IV setup if you want to reduce enemy damage for idiot meatbags in your party.

    Iron Guard is a maximum 18.55% damage reduction. This is found by doing: 1 – (1.05)^4 . See link below for info.
    https://www.arcgames.com/en/forums/neverwinter#/discussion/1228140/pve-debuffs-that-reduce-enemys-damage

    I see you’ve been reading my Tactician info. 😛
    There are a few things wrong in the Tactician section.

    Daunting Challenge will just debuff enemy damage by 10% regardless of who is being attacked. Surging Tide also has this curious behavior.
    “Debuff” is spelled “debut” for some reason.

    I am very surprised you don’t try for 1 point of Grit in the DPS setup. It’s not much, but it’s something for the one damage buff that is the most difficult for GFs to keep up (unless you cheat the class designs by having an Paladin constantly put Absolution on you). I mean, I don’t really notice the effects of Armor Specialization, and with DPS GF following DCs and OPs everywhere, I doubt 1 point would make a difference in damage resistance.

    A curious note about the Survivor’s Wraps: it counts towards your DPS and thus can be used to proc Fighter’s Recovery.
    I would recommend an Undead Slayer +4 for use with the Vistani Ring of Dark due to the whole bonus stacking fiasco of Module 14.

    UP Bronzewood is split between a personal damage increasing debuff (18%) and an instance wide damage increasing debuff (6%).

    Lightning is not really worth using on DPS due to the way the GF’s damage is calculated. The additions of procs worth (x)% of your weapon damage will never outweigh the multiplication of the GF’s enormous base damage.

    Wild Storm is worth using even accounting for Dread. The DPS increase of 10% Critical Severity, accounting for both Severity and CA damage, is over 2% for obtainable CA+Crit Severity for a GF. Yes, this stays the same accounting for the upcoming Groot pet. You could make an argument that the +7.5% Crit Severity of the Potency Flasks aren’t that great versus the addition of 2000 Power from the Effervescent Potion of Force, depending on how much Power your DC/OP are giving you.

    Use Janne’s website!!!
    http://jannenw.info/pages/mechanics/cs

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