The Iron Maiden: A Reflect-Based Protector Build for Swordmaster GF’s, by todesfaelle

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The Iron Maiden: A Reflect-Based Protector Build for Swordmaster GF’s.

The Iron Maiden
A Reflect-Based Protector Build for Swordmaster GF’s


Intro: Greetings, readers and fellow tanks. I’m Todesfaelle, an avid creator and tester of builds. I do my best to make all the builds I make as fun, unique, and wallet-friendly to casual players, and to become increasingly potent for hardcore players alike when given better gear. I’ve been playing the Guardian Fighter for a couple of weeks so far, however this build is actually something that I’ve been trying to plot out ever since the release of Gauntlgrym. In many MMO’s, tanking is seen as one of the most important roles for the community. However in Neverwinter, the Guardian Fighter is built in a way that it doesn’t resemble a real tank, making tanking a more challenging job. It’s this hurdle right here that made me think that the previous Iron Vanguard version of this build will not be able to do what it was supposed to do; which is to survive the process of tanking. However, with the recent addition of the Swordmaster Path for the GF, I believe it’s safe to say that we now have the means to be able to tank in this game without worrying about dying in the process of tanking. We now have the means to tank in the game thanks to Swordmaster’s Steel Defense, the class feature that makes or breaks the Iron Maiden Build.

This build is all about tanking, taking the blows for your allies and making sure you are on top of everything that can harm them; while also ensuring that you get out of most, if not all of these encounters alive and relatively unharmed as well. This is the Iron Maiden Build, a build that specializes in minimizing the risks of playing as a tank in a game that does not welcome tank play styles. I called this the Iron Maiden particularly because of how this build behaves; it gives us the ability to turn our tank into a reflective and impenetrable fortress, impervious to damage while doing it with both art, mastery and grace. The more our enemies attack us, the more they get hurt. This build absorbs and reflects damage, it defends and supports your allies in a wide variety of ways, and it can also maintain a decent amount of aggro without risking our lives by kiting. This build also addresses one of the biggest complaints Guardians have with the tanking play style, which is how easy it is for our Guards to break, and how hard it is to regain them. This build will give you the ability to have your Guard up without breaking, and it will make tanking a bit more funner regardless of whether you are a new player or not. It’s a play style that’s quite easy to pick up.

To summarize things a little, allow me to include the pros and cons of using this build.

Pros:

  • An effective method for tanking.
  • Incredible damage immunity uptime.
  • Competitive in both solo and group setups.
  • Able to protect allies in many ways.
  • Flexible, high in utility.
  • Offers a fun new way to tank as a Guardian.

Cons:

  • Minimal DPS.
  • Not a performing build in PVP unless you tweak it a little.
  • Limited gap closers, not as mobile as the Iron Vanguard.

And that’s basically the summary of this build’s pros and cons. So if you are interested in learning more about the Iron Maiden, read on, and I’m pretty sure you’ll be surprised at the many things you may find out about this build. It has a lot of neat tricks that’ll make your tanking experience both fun and effective at the same time.

Race: Your Race isn’t that important for this build. I personally chose a Sun Elf for role-playing purposes, since I’m creating my characters with a back story. But if by any chance you are looking to min-max, the usual races with boosts to STR/DEX and CON would be nice. If you are looking for more utility, I suggest you go for CON and INT. However if I were to reroll, I’d most probably choose Halfling, Half-Orc, or Dwarf. Just so that we’re all on the same page, I’ll be using my INT build for this guide.

Ability Scores: This build will aim to get as much RSI and AP Generation as it possibly can for maximized utility and to bring out Dailies much faster for our damage immunity. For this to happen we need the following stats.

  • STR: 13 (+2 Points from Level Up) = 15
  • CON: 15 (+6 Points from Level Up) = 21
  • DEX: 14 (+2 Racial Bonus) (+2 Points from Level Up) = 18
  • INT: 12 (+2 Racial Bonus) (+6 Points from Level Up) = 20
  • WIS: 11 (+2 Points from Level Up) = 14
  • CHA: 10 (+2 Points from Level Up) = 13

Recharge Speed Increase, or RSI, basically equates to “speed” in this game. Faster cooldown times equate to faster AP gain and better utility uptime. We’ll need as much speed as we can in order for this build to become successful. DEX will give us an extra 5% deflect which will be useful for our tanking strength, but more importantly CON will give an added 10% AP Generation, and INT will be giving an added raw 10% RSI. These aspects of the build will further be boosted later on by feats.



The Power Bar

At-Wills:

  • Cleave: AoE melee at-will, no target cap, plain awesome.
  • Tide of Iron: Restores 10% of our Guard Meter. A good tool to use while we’re immune to damage and are in need of restoring the guard meter to full.

Encounters:

  • Iron Warrior: Recovers our Guard Meter and gives us Temporary Hit Points based on the amount of HP we are missing. We gain access to this skill every 13 seconds. So that means an effective heal + Guard Meter Recovery. Its very effective in those situations in combat where your HP is just around 10%, and you manage to pop this skill for a whopping load of temp. HP which can be a life saver at times.
  • Knight’s Valor: One of the most important skills for this build. It allows us to intercept the damage our allies will take and absorb them. We’ll be reflecting the damage we take via the use of Supremacy of Steel which will be explained later on. But more importantly, this skill allows us to intercept 50% of the damage our party was supposed to take. Only the GF can provide a party with such a widespread and effective protection, but this power tends to kill the GF when used with other builds, which makes many players frown upon this skill. This build however, ensures that the GF will not die when using Knight’s Valor. He may take 50k damage from time to time, but that’s something you’ll only see in the Combat Log or in ACT Parser because more often than not, you will be immune to damage.
  • Enforced Threat: Another important encounter for our PVE skill bar. This is an AoE mark that generates a nice amount of aggro for us when combined with the Class Feature, Enhanced Mark, which causes the attention of the enemies to be diverted to us. It is also a Hard Taunt at the same time, which makes this skill an effective way to make opponents attack you. It has a target cap of 5 which is its only downside, but since we have a limited set of skills with a hard taunt mechanic, you will be using this skill a lot.
  • Into the Fray: An ability that provides your party with a nice buff to movement speed, AP generation and adds a nice amount of Temporary HP as well. When feated this skill will also boost your party’s damage by 5%. Only a GF can give a damage buff like that in an encounter. And the best part is this skill recovers our Guard Meter. It’s sad that it doesn’t generate AP on its own, but the entire party benefits from this skill which should be a good plus in the end.
  • Knight’s Challenge: A power which we’ll be slotting in Boss Fights. This will cause bosses to hit your allies for significantly less damage. With Knight’s Valor taking 50% of the damage from your allies and transferring them to you, Knight’s Challenge will further increase that by another 50%, giving you a total multiplicative bonus of 75% damage reduction. Knight’s Challenge supposedly has a Hard Taunt mechanic as well, which locks you in combat with an opponent of your choice. This means that it’s an effective tool to keeping the boss’s attention to you, and you will not have to worry about the boss going after your allies who are dealing with the mobs. But it’d be better if you managed to attract the attention of the mobs as well using your TAB Mark and Enforced Threat empowered by Enhanced Mark.

Dailies:

  • Villain’s Menace: CC immunity and the initial damage it does has no target cap. Really good daily when you are swarmed with hordes of mobs and you just can’t afford to be CC-ed anymore. Just pop this daily, use a potion to give yourself some breathing room and generate AP for another Daily.
  • Supremacy of Steel: The skill that this build revolves upon, and pretty much makes or breaks the build once you pair it up with Steel Defense. Attacks against you will be reflected back to the attacker. Combined with Knight’s Valor which intercepts the attacks from your allies, you reflect damage dealt to you AND your allies. This will be our main source of damage and you get to protect your allies in the process. Supremacy of Steel also procs our Weapon Enchantment’s effects. So that means if we slot a Lifedrinker enchantment on this GF build, we take damage and heal some back in the process which will inherently minimize the amount of damage we take. The perfect tanking combo right here. This skill has 2 stages of activation. The initial activation will give you a buff that reflects portion of the damage you take back to your attackers, and the secondary activation throws swords towards all enemies within your vicinity. Activating both stages twice will proc Steel Defense, meaning 10 seconds of immunity in one daily. This skill makes tanking more than a possibility right now.

Class Features:

  • Enhanced Mark: More threat for us whenever we mark our opponents! Nothing too useful in PVP, but it’s gold in PVE.
  • Steel Defense: 5 seconds of damage immunity; the biggest thing we gain from the Swordmaster Paragon Path. This one single Class Feature solved the biggest problem we had as a reflect-based GF, which is the amount of damage we take in the process of tanking. While the other GWF skills our GF gets from this path is considerably sub-par, this one right here fits perfectly for the role our GF has, which is to tank things and minimize the damage our allies take. Steel Defense makes sure that we stay alive while 50% of the damage our allies take gets redirected to us when using Knight’s Valor.
  • Steel Blitz: Inflicts an additional 36% of our damage when it procs. It has a higher chance of proc-ing if we hit multiple targets. This means popping the 2nd activation of Supremacy of Steel is guaranteed to have a whole lot of procs with this class feature. Use this only in solo plays as it is not to useful in groups.
  • Shield Talent: +15% extra Guard Meter. It’s a solid boost to our Guard Meter. And if we combine it with Indomitable Champion’s 4 piece set, we’ll get a total amount of 40% boost to our Guard Meter. This means we block 40% more damage with our Shield and we gain 40% more AP in one use of our Shield. Not only that, our Guard Recovery skills will be able to heal much more Guard at the same time because of the added 40% potency to our meter. This is useful for survival. If you’re not having much trouble generating threat, use this over Enhanced Mark. But sometimes you will find yourself in need of more Threat which will cause you to switch this one out with Enhanced Mark.

So what we have here is a GF that specializes in using skills for tanking. Notice that the encounter toolbar doesn’t have much skills that deal damage. While we can spec for more damage, it’s much more important to be able to protect your party from any potential damage they might take, making things easier for your DC and CW, as well as the TR’s and GWF’s facing the boss.


The Protector Iron Maiden

Heroic Feats:

  • Action Surge (5/5): 10% more AP whenever we guard attacks. Since we will be having our Guard up a lot, and we generate a lot of AP via the use of Guard, the 5 points we put in this Heroic Feat will be one of the best investments we can make as an Iron Maiden.
  • Toughness (3/3): +9% HP. More HP = more tanking. It makes Regeneration better, and will be a good help since we will not be stacking HP aside from the ones we get from our gear.
  • Strength Focus (1/3): Increases the effects of Strength by 5%. While not that useful for a defensive build, it does indirectly increase our Guard Meter as well.
  • Distracting Shield (5/5): Something to further debuff our opponents. While 5% may not sound like much, considering the amount of times we’ll have our Guard up, this feat will net pretty good returns in terms of long-lasting effects. It’ll provide some protection for our allies just in case our enemies are popping AoE’s.
  • Armor Specialization (3/3): Increases our AC by 5 and Defense by 15%. Always useful.
  • Potent Challenge (3/3): 15% more threat. Not much to explain here. We want more threat to take away the aggro from our allies.

Paragon Feats:

Tactician:

  • Fight On (5/5): 10% Recharge Speed Increase. Since we aim to pop our encounters very often for maximized utility, having a 10% increase in our cooldown speed would help us net more AP in the long run.
  • Daunting Challenge (5/5): Reduces the damage our allies take by 10%. In conjunction with Knight’s Valor and Knight’s Challenge’s multiplicative bonus of 75% damage reduction for our allies, we can top that with an additive bonus of 10% via this feat, giving us a total amount of 85% damage reduction for our allies. So we mark, KV, then KC on boss fights and you and your party will not have to worry about getting one shot by bosses, since we’re soaking the damage for them.

Protector:

  • Plate Agility (5/5): +5% more Deflect. We’ll try to get as much deflect as possible from our gear to net a possible 30% Deflect with complete gear. That’s practically deflecting 1 out of 3 hits.
  • Shield Defense (5/5): +5 AC, a good boost to DR right here which helps us survive strikes that will kill most other squishy classes.
  • Shield Master (5/5): -10% damage to our Guard Meter whenever we are attacked with our block up. This equates to more damage soaked, and more AP gained. We’ll be relying on our Guard to generate extra AP for us while we soak some damage.
  • Brawling Warrior (5/5): Knight’s Valor increases our damage resistance by 5%, and Enforced Threat deals an additional 10% damage and threat. A very useful tool to make our regularly slotted skills better. This gives us better Threat Generation from Enforced Threat, and Knight’s Valor will further increase or survival by giving us a 5% flat increase in Defense.
  • Iron Guard (1/1): Every melee hit on an enemy reduces the damage it deals to us and our party by 2% per hit, max of 10%. This will be another useful tool to reduce the damage our party takes from the boss. As long as we can keep this debuff up, our clerics will have an easier time healing our allies. It may not be the most useful capstone feat, but it’s worth the one point if we’re going to spec for the Protector.
The Tactician Iron Maiden

Heroic Feats:

  • Action Surge (5/5): 10% more AP whenever we guard attacks. Since we will be having our Guard up a lot, and we generate a lot of AP via the use of Guard, the 5 points we put in this Heroic Feat will be one of the best investments we can make as an Iron Maiden.
  • Toughness (3/3): +9% HP. More HP = more tanking. It makes Regeneration better, and will be a good help since we will not be stacking HP aside from the ones we get from our gear.
  • Strength Focus (1/3): Increases the effects of Strength by 5%. While not that useful for a defensive build, it does indirectly increase our Guard Meter as well.
  • Distracting Shield (5/5): Something to further debuff our opponents. While 5% may not sound like much, considering the amount of times we’ll have our Guard up, this feat will net pretty good returns in terms of long-lasting effects. It’ll provide some protection for our allies just in case our enemies are popping AoE’s.
  • Armor Specialization (3/3): Increases our AC by 5 and Defense by 15%. Always useful.
  • Potent Challenge (3/3): 15% more threat. Not much to explain here. We want more threat to take away the aggro from our allies.

Paragon Feats:

Tactician:

  • Fight On (5/5): 10% Recharge Speed Increase. Since we aim to pop our encounters very often for maximized utility, having a 10% increase in our cooldown speed would help us net more AP in the long run.
  • Daunting Challenge (5/5): Reduces the damage our allies take by 10%. In conjunction with Knight’s Valor and Knight’s Challenge’s multiplicative bonus of 75% damage reduction for our allies, we can top that with an additive bonus of 10% via this feat, giving us a total amount of 85% damage reduction for our allies. So we mark, KV, then KC on boss fights and you and your party will not have to worry about getting one shot by bosses, since we’re soaking the damage for them.
  • Inspiring Leader (5/5): Increase the damage of your party by 5% whenever you use Into the Fray. This will add further utility to one of the skills which we have slotted often.
  • Powerful Strike (5/5): Something to empower Lunging Strike and I have it at 5.2 seconds cooldown thanks to all the RSI I have. This skill will become a 5 second interrupt thanks to this feat, one that bypasses control immunities. This will be useful for a lot of situations both for PVP and PVE. It also allows you to generate an extra 20% threat whenever you use Lunging Strike.
  • Martial Mastery (5/5): A GF’s guard isn’t perfect, one has to admit that. Sometimes you will get hit from behind, and sometimes your guard may break. Martial Mastery aids us in getting your dailies faster for a dose of damage immunity. It is arguable that this path will survive more against hordes of adds, but when it comes to tanking bosses, the Protector build can perform better thanks to all the defensive utilities it gets.

Protector:

  • Plate Agility (5/5): +5% more Deflect. We’ll try to get as much deflect as possible from our gear to net a possible 30% Deflect with complete gear. That’s practically deflecting 1 out of 3 hits.
  • Shield Defense (5/5): +5 AC, a good boost to DR right here which helps us survive strikes that will kill most other squishy classes.

Boons: Our choice in Boons will be relatively simple. We’ll want to take the boons that increase our ability to tank things, so this means we only take the defensive ones as we are not a spec for DPS. That said, here is my simple list of Boons that I’d choose.

Sharandar:

  • Dark Fey Warden: 250 Defense.
  • Fey Elusiveness: 250 Deflect.
  • Elven Haste: 2% AP Gain.
  • Elven Tranquility: When being struck by a foe you have a chance to heal yourself for 400 HP.
  • Fey Thistle: When you Deflect an attack you deal 400 damage to your attacker.

Dread Ring:

  • Reliquary Keeper’s Strength: 125 Power and Movement.
  • Illusory Regeneration: 250 Regeneration.
  • Illusion Shimmer: 3% increased Deflect Severity.
  • Enraged Regrowth: When taking damage you have a chance to heal 1000 HP over a few seconds. After this effect ends you have 250 more Defense for 10 seconds.
  • Augmented Thayan Bastion: When taking damage you have a chance to generate a shield that absorbs 500 incoming damage and redirects that damage to a nearby foe. This shield lasts 6 seconds.

The Idea and Philosophy Behind the Iron Maiden

The beauty of playing as an Iron Maiden is in the synergy of the choices in the skills and feats. We are playing as a tank, one that aims to protect the party from most if not all forms of harm. We’ll be playing as defensively as possible, and aim to protect our allies by stacking damage debuffs to our enemies. We have Knight’s Challenge (50% damage reduction for allies), Knight’s Valor (50% damage reduction for allies), Distracting Shield (5% damage reduction), Daunting Challenge (10% damage reduction), Iron Guard (possibly 10% damage reduction), which will allow us to further reduce the effectiveness of the attacks of our enemies towards our allies, and we will be impervious to damage at our best.

Steel Defense and Supremacy of Steel: The combo that makes and breaks the build. Without it, it’ll be impossible to tank the damage mobs deal against us. Steel Defense procs each time we activate a Daily, giving us 5 seconds of damage immunity whenever we use a daily, and our Daily of choice will be Supremacy of Steel for most situations. Supremacy of Steel reflects a decent portion of the damage our opponents deal against us, and this is basically the reason why I named the build The Iron Maiden. We take advantage of our abilities to make our opponents attack us. And since we can predict that our opponents will, or will eventually attack us, this turns Supremacy of Steel into an effective tool to generate threat, deal damage from a wide area, and eventually use the predictability of our opponents to our advantage and cause them to commit suicide by attacking you. This mechanic also helps tremendously in solo play, as we will be able to deal with hordes upon hordes of mobs and not worry about getting ganked to death. Supremacy of Steel is also a double-cast Daily, meaning you activate it 2 times in one rotation, giving us a total amount of 10 seconds of damage immunity. I usually maximize the reflective portion of Supremacy of Steel before popping another 5 seconds of immunity by using the second cast of Supremacy of Steel, which is the part where we fling golden swords all across the room. The second cast has no target cap, and has a decent range. This means that it’s a good way to generate threat in a room teeming with mobs.

The Pros and Cons of Steel Defense: Steel Defense definitely has a lot of perks, but not all of em are useful for us. Steel Defense is able to give us 5 seconds of immunity as I mentioned in my earlier statements, but did you know that it also prevents the loss of our Guard Meter for 5 seconds? This will thereby allow us to freely regenerate our Guard while having it raised up, giving us CC immunity and soaking damage for us. This means that we have unlimited Guard for 5 seconds no matter how many enemies attack us, even if our meter is currently at its last 10%. But conversely, Steel Defense also prevents AP gain during the time we are immune to damage. It seems that the amount of AP we gain from blocking depends on how much we lose on our meter, not how much damage we take when we have our Guard up. Steel Defense not only prevents AP gain from Blocking, but it also prevents AP gain from the Tactician Capstone Feat, Martial Mastery, which led me to the conclusion that playing as a Protector will be a better choice for a tank, and that increasing the endurance and potency of our Guard Meter would net us much more AP gain in the long run as compared to soaking damage without using Guard via Tactician’s Capstone Feat. But both trees will be useful for this sort of play style. I just chose Protector for the added protection it gives to our allies. More Guard means more AP gain from soaking damage via Guard, so I modeled this build to have a much more potent Guard than usual, getting us nearer to popping dailies whenever we can.

The Perks of Knight’s Valor: Knight’s Valor allows us to intercept 50% of the damage our allies would have taken. Not to mention it allows us to proc our Armor Enchantment’s effects such as Briatrwine, Bloodthirst, and Thunderhead, and the likes. Knight’s Valor effectively increases the chance of proc-ing our armor enchantments by 5 in a full party. It’ll be as if you are giving them part of your armor’s abilities. Knight’s Valor also generates a decent amount of threat when your allies get hit, which will allow us to peel off the mobs away from our allies without us having to go and attack them. When paired with Steel Defense, it’ll be safe to say that even if that CW, TR, or HR stands in the red area of a boss attack, as long as you’re under Steel Defense and they have the KV buff on, they’ll be relatively unscathed after which.

The Perks of Knight’s Challenge: This skill is a really useful tool for bosses despite it being accessible only every 20 seconds at 40% RSI. It lasts 10 seconds, but what basically happens is that the GF will be able to pop this on a boss and reduce the damage the boss deals to the party by 50%, and you and the boss will deal an increased amount of damage to each other by 150%. The only difference is that you will not have to worry about getting hit by an empowered attack from your opponent because you tend to be immune to damage when they hit for big numbers, and if not you’ll always have your shield. So whenever you are in a party, you get the attention of the adds and the boss at the same time, and you’re invulnerable to damage, just like a tank should be. This skill also has an amazing AP gain which is why I like having this slotted in my bar all the time.

The Perks of Supremacy of Steel: This skill is our main and only reflect ability before we get any boons from Sharandar or Dread Ring. Supremacy of Steel allows GF’s to reflect a huge amount of damage dealt to you. And you guessed right, Knight’s Valor procs Supremacy of Steel as well because in the end, when you’re using Knight’s Valor, you are being attacked. So each strike to your allies gets reflected back to your enemies as an attack. But it gets better. I mentioned that the reflected damage come in the form of “attacks.” Yes, this skill also procs your Weapon Enchantments! So that means if you have Plague Fire on, the mobs attacking your allies will be getting their armor screwed, and if you have Lightning on, part of your weapon damage will chain to your enemies making Supremacy of Steel and Knight’s Valor a sort of AoE ability with a huge, huge range. But those aren’t for tanking. What we want for our Weapon Enchantment will be Lifedrinker or Greater/Perfect Lightning Enchantments. Why? For one, these two enchantments creates tons of Threat. More threat for you means you get to peel off the mobs from your allies giving them a lot of breathing room. Lifedrinker has a more decent utility purpose however. Because when Lifedrinker procs from Supremacy of Steel, you gain HP while the mobs attack you, making the process of tanking immense numbers of mobs a much easier job.

Generating Threat as an Iron Maiden: This is one of the main issues that non-DPS spec-ed tanks usually encounter, which is generating the right amount of threat in order to keep the attention of your enemies to us. We actually have a decent repertoire of skills that assist us with this task, and one of the most notable ones would be Enforced Threat. Enforced Threat is a good way to Mark and Hard Taunt some mobs to make them attack you. And if you have Enhanced Mark slotted, you’ll also be able to generate threat simply by marking things. There’s also the option of using Knight’s Valor to protect your allies and generate some thread while intercepting damage for your allies. Those 3 skills in which I just mentioned should be regularly placed in their appropriate slots in your skill bar whenever you are in a party, because those 3 skills assist us in reaching our goal as a tank; which is to protect the party from harm.

Gear and Stat Priorities

The set in which is required for this build is actually quite easy to get. What we want is the Indomitable Champion Set (T2 PVP). This set can be acquired by purchasing them from Gauntlgrym. Its effects are pretty straightforward and the stats on the set are useful for us. Below are the total stats and effects of our preferred armor set.

Set Stats:

  • +14 AC
  • +2296 Maximum Hit Points
  • +448 Power
  • +2608 Defense
  • +1268 Deflection
  • +126 Movement

Set Effects:

  • 2/4 Pieces: +450 Defense.
  • 4/4 Pieces: You have 25% more Guard Meter.

Having 25% more guard meter and 10% increased run speed should increase our survival by a whole lot, as well as our AP gain and damage soaking capabilities. Pair this up with Shield Talent and we get a 40% boost. Pair those two up with Guard Recovery skills such as Enforced Threat, Iron Warrior and Into the Fray and use them all in one rotation and you should be able to soak so much damage that you’ll rarely see your guard being broken for more than 5 seconds. It’s a fun and reliable way to tank. No need for kiting, just tank everything. Though the 10% increase in run speed helps us kite a little when we find ourselves in hairy situations where we messed up in our encounters, or we were chain CC-ed by mobs and find ourselves in need of some breathing room.

For our Main Hand and Off Hand, we’ll definitely want the following gear.

Main Hand: Ancient Grand Knight’s Long Sword
Off Hand: Ancient Grand Knight’s Shield

This set will give us a total amount of the following stats.

  • + 1095 Power
  • + 207 Recovery
  • + 779 Defense
  • + 442 Deflect
  • + 207 Regeneration

Set 2: +450 Defense

If the set is too costly, we can also opt to go for the Sword and Shield of the Grand Regent. The important stats will be Defense and Recovery for our AP Generation. 1355 Recovery so far for the 2 sets.

For our Jewelry and Belt, we definitely will want to get the following gear. These gear will be relatively cheap but their effectiveness for the build is top notch.

Neck: Blessed Amulet of Youth: 133 Power, 133 Recovery, 110 Regeneration.
Ring: Ring of the Forest Guardian: 128 Defense, 128 Regeneration, 108 Deflect.
Ring: Ring of the Forest Guardian: 128 Defense, 128 Regeneration, 108 Deflect.
Belt: Blessed Belt of Youth: 133 Power, 133 Recovery, 110 Regeneration.

For our enchantments, we’ll want to slot Silvery Enchantments with a minimum of Rank 7 on each Defensive and Offensive slot. Silvery Enchantments are really cheap in the Auction House which makes gearing up a whole lot easier.

Offense x 6: Silvery. Minimum of Rank 7 = 1110 Recovery.
Defense x 3: Silvery. Minimum of Rank 7 = 555 Deflect.
Utility x 3: Dark. Minimum of Rank 5 = 375 Movement.

With the gear and stats factored in, I currently have the following boosts to my stats so far, without any boosts from an Augment Companion.

For our weapon and armor enchants, we have a variety of choices to choose from.

Weapon Enchantment:

  • Lifedrinker: High in utility and improves survival. I personally would settle for the regular version. Anything that will help us milk some HP out of mobs will be useful for both threat generation and healing up. When we’re immune to damage, we regenerate our HP. With SoS up, we Regenerate HP and steal the opponent’s HP via Life Steal from Lifedrinker.
  • Normal/Greater/Perfect Lightning: High in DPS, incredible threat generation with SoS. A more costly enchantment for threat generation. This will make our Supremacy of Steel deal more damage to our opponents in the process of tanking as the Lightning strikes will arc to nearby opponents from time to time, further extending the effects of the threat generation. The normal version should suffice, but the extra threat you can gain increases per rank of this enchantment.

Armor Enchantment:

  • Briartwine: Greater or Perfect would be nice but the lower versions will work for the utility they give. Reflects a small amount of the damage dealt to us back to the enemies. This’ll help increase the damage we reflect back to our attackers. Good when paired up with other reflect abilities from our companions. This enchantment also takes care of the problem that we have to keep hitting our opponents or else they’ll attack someone else when left idle.
  • Thunderhead: Any rank will do fine, even the lesser one. With the amount of hits we take for our allies, it won’t be much trouble to proc that 10% chance for an AoE stun whenever we are hit with a crit. Generates a decent amount of Threat as well.
  • Soulforged: Any rank will be fine. What we want here is its ability to revive us just in case we make a mistake that causes us to die. While we shouldn’t be dying at all, having a backup plan like a Soulforged is always a good investment.
Companions and their Bonuses 

I’ll also be incorporating some of the features which will come from Module 2, which is the Active Companion Bonus System. This new system will give us bonuses as long as we have companions waiting in our Active Companion slots. It allows us to add dimensions to our play style and to personalize it even further using this system. While the main summoned companion for this build will still be the Ioun Stone of Allure, we’ll be able to benefit from our Active Companion Bonuses just by having them in our Active Companion Slots. So even if they’re not summoned, they will be passively providing us with buffs that will be beneficial for our tanking. Let’s start with our Ioun Stone of Allure.

Ioun Stone of Allure: All PVE builds need Ioun Stones to increase their performance, and we are no exception. We’ll be stacking as much Power, Recovery, and Regeneration as we can to increase our ability to get tank and to generate AP.

Runestones.

  • Offense: +185 Power.
  • Offense: +185 Power.
  • Defense: +185 Deflect.

Gear

  • Neck: Blessed Amulet of Youth: 133 Power, 133 Recovery, 110 Regeneration.
  • Ring: Blessed Ring of Youth: 133 Power, 133 Recovery, 110 Regeneration.
  • Icon: Icon of the Dark Forest: 128 Power, 128 Critical Strike, 108 Regeneration

Active Companion Bonus: The Active Companion Bonus system will introduce a new dimension to planning builds in PVE. It increases the number of paths one build may take, and the bonuses we took for this build pretty much sums up to increasing the amount of utility our reflective capabilities give us.

High Priority: These are pets that you will be able to use all the time and will further enhance your PVE play style. So when you get the chance to purchase them, just by them. The pets in this list are relatively cheaper than most other alternatives, and their effects will be readily apparent. These companions are also safe choices to upgrade as they can significantly improve your performance.

  • Blacksmith (ZEN Market, 1.2k ZEN): On Damage Taken: 15% chance to reflect 10% of damage taken. If the same target is hit 4 times it will reflect 3 times the damage taken. An increase in Reflect damage once more.
  • Dread Warrior (ZEN Market, 1.2k ZEN): On damage taken: 10% chance to become enraged, increasing threat generation by 25%. Considering the amount of times we get hit, it’s not that hard to imagine a 100% uptime on this 25% threat generation bonus we get from this pet. This is an awesome pet for all tanks who wish to generate as much aggro as possible. Get this as soon as you get your Blacksmith!
  • Ioun Stone of Allure (ZEN Market, 1.2k ZEN): Gives us extra equipment slots to use in order to increase our stats and it also provides some passive stat boosts. Useful for any class and this will pretty much be 100% summoned, all the time, for the extra stat bonuses. I like how it can also slow targets down but that’s just an extra.
  • Thay Renegade Evoker (Valindra’s Tower): On suffering a critical hit: Does fire damage to nearby enemies. You are bound to get critically hit with so many enemies piling up on you. More reflect damage and this effect doesn’t have any target cap as well which is nice. This companion is really cheap in the Auction House as well and you can never go wrong with it.
  • Pig (Auction House): I can’t stress how much my survival improved thanks to the Pig. It acts sort of like an extra regen that ticks for 1% of your max HP (~around 295 for my case) per second whenever we are controlled. And if we try to think of it similarly to Regen that ticks every 3 secs, it’ll be as if I had extra regen that gives an extra ~885 whenever I am affected by a control power. This includes Slows and Roots.

Medium Priority: The pets in this list are either costlier than usual, or their effects will not be as apparent as the ones from the High Priority list. But still useful.

  • Pseudodragon (Dark Forest Lockbox Reward): 20% chance to restore some Stamina/Guard when attacking. We can always use more Guard to heal up the broken parts of the meter.
  • Rust Monster (Rusted Lockbox Reward): On Damage Taken: 25% chance to inflict a 5% damage debuff on attacker. Stacks up to 3 times. Another useful tool to further power up the debuffs we are able to inflict against our opponents. More party utility.

Low Priority: These pets will be relatively useful, however they may be too costly, too hard to get, or their effects aren’t that reliable. But when their effects do proc, it can be pretty fun. If you guys have these pets, that’s good. I recommend buying more Active Companion slots for these guys!

  • Galeb Duhr (ZEN Market, 3.5k ZEN): Deal up to 10% more damage based on the percentage of damage you have taken. Increases the damage you reflect to your enemies based on how much damage you’ve taken. Expensive but useful for all types of tanks.
  • Lightfoot Thief (Swordcoast Adventures Reward): On Critical Hit: Foes nearby target will bleed for level based damage every 2 seconds for 10 seconds. We’re bound to strike critical hits on reflected damage anyway so might as well take this to make opponents bleed. Basically just extra threat and a good way to use a blue companion that is so hard to get.
  • Lillend (Promotional Companion): On Daily Use: Heal nearby friends 2% of their Max HP once every 30 seconds. Lillend is a costly companion, but for a build that generates so much AP, you should be able to provide some nice heals to your allies once every 30 seconds. Healing also generates extra Threat so this will ensure that you get the highest threat in your party.

Will be adding more pets to the list as soon as I get more time.

Artifacts: For our artifact selection, we will be choosing what best suits a type of build that tends to get hit a lot. We want a lot of Regeneration, and preferably some Recovery on the side as well for added RSI and AP gain. So my top choices for artifacts are…

Primary Artifact:
Emblem of Seldarine: Gives us the ability to heal ourselves and our allies whenever we get hit. We’ll be getting hit a lot. And an effect like this should scale well with the number of enemies facing us. The more we heal, the more threat we generate as well which will be good for the party. It has some Defense stats which will be pretty much overkill, but we can always use more defense. What we’re after is the effect of the Artifact.

Secondary Artifacts:
Waters of Elah’zad: It has Recovery, Regeneration and Defense. A really good defensive relic with stats that fit our build so well.
Blood Crystal Raven Skull: It has Recovery, Regeneration and Stamina/Guard Gain.A perfect addition for a tank build like ours.

These artifacts will further increase our ability to tank hits, and at the same time, it will help us generate more threat for the benefit of the party. The Emblem of Seldarine will also provide a good utility bonus to our party to keep them away from Death’s doors much more.

Closing Remarks

So this pretty much sums up the Iron Maiden Build. While it may not be the most effective tank spec in terms of instantly peeling mobs off our allies, we can peel them off in time and protect them at the same instance. People may say that the GF class is dead with the recent ascension of the GWF, but in the end it still depends on how you play your class. The GWF may have the better DPS, but I don’t think you’ll find one with the ability to do the same things as us, buffing our party members and shield them from damage, taking the hits for the team. I hope you enjoyed reading about my GF spec, and maybe enticed to spec-ing for a similar build.

If you guys have any questions, feedback, or are in need of clarifications, the thread and my inbox are open for them! Thank you for reading, and I sincerely hope you guys enjoyed it.

 

Original Post


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The Iron Maiden: A Reflect-Based Protector Build for Swordmaster GF's, by todesfaelle, 7.7 out of 10 based on 29 ratings

3 Comments

  1. Scarecrow
    June 13, 2014, 12:23 am
    10/10

    OMG you are Amazing this build is something i am going to work towards i am just about to start playing and this makes me want to be a Guardian Fighter you gave so much detail i doubt even i could mess this up Thank you.

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  2. Profile photo of Tyler
    Tyler
    June 13, 2014, 2:25 am

    This Build is amazing I am about to start playing Neverwinter as a Guardian Fighter and this is the build i will use this is the most detailed build i have seen on here and I am certain even I could not mess this up.

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  3. randy
    August 14, 2014, 8:54 pm

    I really enjoy this build, I have built my guardian fighter to the specs listed, for the most part. I hope you will be updating the build for mod 4, as they reworked the guardian fighter. One thing of note is that activating the second stage in supremacy of steel will not proc steel defense for a second time.

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