Another Guardian Fighter, Buff-Tank. Meet Mika
This is my very first guide here and I hope it gets published/posted correctly. I have learned a lot from other builds here before. My guardian is somewhat of a mix between a protectors build but is a full tactician, also, I play on xbox, so maybe pc has access to different/ more things? Where to start… with fray maxed 4/4 you will become a valuable asset to any group no matter what build or guide you use so whether you use this guide or not, remember that fray is a must have for groups and it buffs YOU as well. I wanted to be there to buff people, so tactician seemed the best choice to do that, with the fear of the paladin “nerf” coming I was looking into protectors, but couldn’t bring myself to respec to a full protector. Mika can take a beating and survive just about anything. T1 dungeon bosses barely scratch her and T2 bosses are very tankable.
New: With upcoming changes our base damage is going to be increased. Our fray will be less by alot, but never the less will still be a huge buff over nothing at all. Many powers are being changed so you will want to play around with stuff. Even though this is a guide, I want you to get to understand some aspects of the class and it’s powers. Just read the tooltips on powers and feats. You will enjoy the class more if you experience it for yourself rather than using only what I say. Some people might find that using different powers than what I have will be more useful to them.
The game is always changing. With class changes and new things like content, armor, companions, and artifacts I hope that anyone reading this will get a good idea of where to start and can make adjustments to what they need in their situation. I sincerely hope that by 3k item level you know your way around the class enough that you can make any adjustments yourself. If youre stuck on something, I get bored and check my emails, so comment and I’ll see it within a couple days.
Screenshots at the bottom
Race: depends, are you well setup already and want to debuff more? Maybe try a drow race reroll.
I prefer being simple and chose human because 3% DR, + 3 heroic points are nice.
Race comes down to preference.Anything can be made good.
I suggest you get as high as you can in CON and DEX, try for a little in the INT department but you will likely lose on CON if you get more than 12 there. See what you can make. When leveling, get Con every time.
New: I have changed my stats to be mixed evenly with strength and dex, con will always be chosen each time. This will get you a *little* bit more damage and get a small amount of extra deflect and arm pen. I recommend choosing 2-3 points in dex during the leveling process and the rest in str.
3/3 toughness, HP, obvious
3/3 Strength focus.
2/5 Action surge, AP from guarding, dailies will help keep you alive, but tacticians main feat will give alot of
3/3 Armor specialization, boosts effectiveness of AC and defense, mandatory
0/3 (2/3) Potent challange, +Threat, try* to keep everythings aggro away from the very squishy, about to be decimated, scourge warlock (or other classes.
4/5 (5/5) Powerful attack, boost your damage (helps solo mostly)
5/5 Ubiquitous Shield, lessen combat advantage against you, mandatory
Human feat points are (x/x)
New: Once you get a little bit into the character and how to use it properly, you would likely enjoy having 3 points into strength focus instead of potent challenge. Using the class feature/active enhanced mark will make up for the threat loss greatly.
Paragons: Mandatory – SWORDMASTER
Ok, so maybe it isnt mandatory, but I prefer it over iron vanguard.
5/5 Fight on, obvious, skills recharge 10% faster
5/5 daunting challange, your groupmates are squishy, you are not. Help them with the marks, they reduce enemies damage against allies but normal damage to you.
5/5 Rousing speech, AP gain boost is more desirable over a minute bonus to damage reduction.
5/5 Inspiring Leader, boost Fray, even by a little bit. — this will become a big part of the build in mod 10 as even 5% more will feel huge.
5/5 Surging tide, I did a respec at one point to get this just for Castle Never… Debuff Orcus as much as you can… He hurts.
1/1 Martial Mastery, Because Tactician. You taking damage will generate AP for everyone else nearby and yourself.
5/5 Plate Agility, 5% deflection, I prefer this constant bonus versus having to be low on stamina… because when youre low on stamina, thats when you will likely die.
5/5 Shield defense, +5 AC adds 2.5% DR
5/5 Devoted protector, shield attacks, gain deflection, I can’t quite pass this up. BUT if you need stamina badly enough that your powers or any boons you have access to arent enough, then choose unshakable line.
New: I ended up choosing pin cushion in tactician, mostly only choose if you play alot of group events that dont NEED you running with knghts valor active like tiamat, demo, or guild dragonflight.
You will be using mostly these powers: tide of iron, villains menace, enforced threat, fighters recovery, enhanced mark, guarded assault, anvil of doom, weapon master strike, Fray, knights valor,steel defence (situational), commanders strike (situational). Honorable mentions include: crushing surge, combat superiority, iron warrior. Some other powers will be very specific to what you are doing, like demonic escapes/guard the wizard will probably want bullcharge. Well of dragons super farm group? you may want lunging strike to get there in time.
Something I missed before… Steel defense will make you immune to ANY damage after you use a daily, for up to 6 seconds, until October 18th when mod 10 hits the rest of us. By then its about 3.5 seconds at 4/4. Sometimes this effect gets glitchy as a few guildies tell me it doesnt seem to always work. Unfortunately I havent used this active for a long time now. If you use it, I recommend using fighters recovery each time to proc steel defense since its a very short casting time. Why dont I use it anymore? With enhanced mark (paired with your artifact offhand power slotted to enhanced mark aswell) you will gain loads of extra threat and provide an additional debuff for any marked targets. My 2nd active of choice? Guarded assault. When youre blocking attacks you are dealing damage back to your attackers. Now pair this with fighters recovery and you will in a sense achieve the same affect as running steel defense. Oh, by the way, when steel defense is in effect/procced (you just used your daily), you do not gain ANY action points from taking damage until its finished so a daily spam will take longer whereas using guarded assault instead will allow you to keep fighters recovery cast at almost all times when the fights get big. However, early on, steel defense WILL help many of you so try it all.
Get 4/4 in Fray, Fighters recovery, and knights valor. Then get 4 in your other commonly equipped powers,
They are buffing cleave yet again and removing the small defense debuff from tide of iron… try out what you would rather use for atwill if you wish. I probably wont change atwills. Found out that WMS is getting a buff too so I’m definitely staying with that.
Solo play: powers will change, but I generally use anvil of doom, fray, and enforced threat. Guarded assault and either enhanced mark or combat superiority.
Group play: T1/T2s? knights valor, fray, enforced threat or commanders strike. Enhanced mark with guarded assault, or steel defense. Sometimes slot in shield talent if needed (try not to get in the habit of always having this active as theres better options).
Large scale events youre generally better off if you do not run with knights valor on. Swap it with another power of your choice.
Any other situations you will want to play around. At wills, tide of iron and WMS will usually stay slotted. sometimes crushing surge will replace WMS. I usually always keep fighters recovery and villains menace active, sometimes I’ll play with supremecy of steel or terrifying impact now.
You need to play with powers to find what you like most when it comes to solo play.
Many options, I use:
Dread warrior, threat gain on hit – Awesome one to have.
rust monster, 5% damage reduction, stacks 3 times – good to have
blacksmith, reflect damage to attacker – good to have
portal hound, I use with bonding stones as the summoned pet – changing to the harper bard for groups… expensive.
as a 5th I use the sylph companion from the feywild pack. If you dont have it, I suggest getting it if you have the wallet… otherwise yeti, because BIG tank is FUN tank, or maybe a phase spider, reduce that combat advantage against you.
Maybe during guild dragons pick up a goat or something… Blue dragon will cause an area wide wipe if a companion is targetted. You could also just unsummon a companion there.
For a summoned companion: Find something you like, but try to avoid ones that use an offhand weapon (swordknots, icons, etc). I feel the best summoned companions to use with bonding stones have atleast one ring slot, belt, or neck. Placing a “sudden” ring on your companion will multiply its effects on you with higher level bonding stones (higher than all rank 8s) and is the reason behind ideally using companions with rings. Necks and belt items can be made from jewelcrafting and be personalized to become double slotted (one offense, one defense slot). This is one reason why I like the portal hound.
Build that defense. Find everything you can to add to it or add to AC.
I stacked recovery 2nd, and everything else kind of falls into place. Anytime you have to choose between regeneration or other stats I prefer to stack those others since regen isn’t a significant stat, but choose which you feel fits your character better. Try to build a little armor pen since getting the damage to the enemy is how you build threat up on them. Stones, or boulders, which would you find more threatening?
New: You will need a decent amount of defense to survive dungeon bosses well. But remember that anything over 80% damage reduction will not benefit you. When you get somewhere around 50-60% start working on a happy median of deflect and defense (cruel enchantments will work well for this).
DrAconic enchantments will actually give you good stats offense slots. Arm pen power and recovery. This can be a good option to make up for a possible lack of Arm pen as you want to shoot for atleast 50% with 60% being ideal.
I HIGHLY recommend using the drowned weapon set, as the twisted set is nice, but wont provide you with any sort of heals. Maybe you will still want the twisted set in the end. NEW: With fray changes, twisted set does not sound desirable to me at all.
For armor enchantments, I recommend a soulforge, lesser is fine, although a shadowclad, or negation are good also.
For weapon enchantments, I recommend something like a plaguefire or terror, you want to debuff the enemies and when paired with WMS, these will hit most all enemies.
Artifacts: Cheap/free items
Theres so many choices for artifacts and artifact equipment that it will make your head spin. Find ones that are cheap that will assist you in your situation. Generally try to find a balance of defensive and offensive artifacts without sacrificing alot
Waters of alahzad- recovery, defense, regen – not a bad artifact for right at the start
or lantern of revelation – crit, arm pen, combat advantage – Some extra offense with a nice Use power
Devoted sigil – power, defense, incoming heal – I think every build of every character could use this if they wanted
Scourge sigil – power, deflect, stamina – decent, but wouldnt be my “go-to” artifact for longterm
Bruenors helm – defense, lifesteal, incoming heal – you may end up using this as a stability artifact feeder eventually
Guardian sigil – defense, deflect, aoe resist – good to keep I’d say
Hunters sigil – power, recovery, stamina – well now, those stats are pretty good if youre looking to build the offensive side a little.
Eye of Lathandar – defense, lifesteal, incoming heal – Worth it if you would like the set bonus (complete the set bonus with greater Lathandar belt and cloak)
For artifacts choose a combination of what you want and feel will work. I refined my current artifacts before the fray nerf was announced so its hard to choose what to replace.
I Have the guardian sigil, eye of lathander, heart of the black and red dragons for now.
I am in the process of switching the eye of lathander for the Hunter sigil. I will be holding onto the artifact still.
You could use a different
belt if you dont want to bother with the lathander set. Greater belt of constitution, you cant go wrong with that. But again use a belt that buffs desirable stats for your situation.
Seldarines belt is also a decent option, con, dex, power, deflect, lifesteal (meh stat)
Demogorgons belt actually does have decent stats (strength and con) with power, crit, deflect
Lathanders belt is power, recovery, and defense… It is cheap but has wisdom and charisma (we dont use those 2 stats).
Lathanders set bonus will bring you back to near full health when you get back up after getting knocked down (soulforged or revived) so it is a nice set.
I made a demogorgans belt and am currently testing out how I like it.
Active boost: Giant crab, or leopard of chult Is what I would use, defense or recovery, unless you have access to a 4k mount power…
The recovery is a nice bonus.
Leopard of Chult – Shephards devotion – Barbed, illuminated, and regal insignias, boost youre groups defense, deflect, and movement when you use a daily
Reanimated Destrier – champions return – illuminated, enlightened, enlightened insignias —Cheap, nearly a musthave for ALL classes, you heal 20% of you hp and stamina
Dawn Pony (Unicorn), Feywild pack – Wanderers fortune (for solo) – regal, illuminated, crescent… Better than any dragon hoard enchantments you can make. Gladiators Guile – swap crescent for an enlightened insignia, move faster when youre stamina is full/near full and regen faster when its low.
Guard drake – Protectors comraderie – Your companion attacking will buff your defense and power – regal, regal, barbed
5th – I don’t have another good one to use but maybe a heavy howler with survivors blessing – crescent, crescent, barbed, heals you on a deflect
If you have a giant spider you could leave the dawn unicorn as wanderers fortune and use this for gladiators guile.
Also the lesser mounts do have combinations that are similar to these mounts but weaker.
In groups you will want to run straight into the enemies after marking the largest one (hopefully) and use enforced threat so they huddle around or towards you. Depending on what youre fighting you may want to rush in after popping fighters recovery or villains menace. All the healing effects you have at your disposal should keep you alive as long as youre not playing beyond your limits. Once you get familiar with the class it will become easier and easier.
For knights valor to not seriously injure or kill you, try to keep aggro on you. Boss fights tell groupmates to get around the other sides of them. Defender companions make it hard to keep aggro the entire time so pay attention to them.
If you go by the screenshots, I am sorry but some boons are now different. Some boon names are shortened.
Sharandar: fey warder, fey elusiveness, elven haste (fortitude could be used instead), tranquility, elven resolve (or if your stamina is well boosted, you could use elvish fury and play a little more dps-like)
Dread ring: I went with the boons in the top rows, augmented thayan bastion included (I am trying to decide if I want to keep this or just go all out and choose rampaging madness…lol) —- I decided to use rampaging madness in the end
Icewind: Tactics, chill, thaw, cold shoulder, avalanche
Underdark: Vitality, focus, ambush tactics (I still dont feel like regeneration is worth it), stamina, tenacity.
Tyranny: all boons I used are in the top rows
Maze engine: abyssal regen, influence, endurance, and baphomets might if your defense is high, or displace fate if you need some real help on survivability.
Elemental evil: tide, renewal, aggression or resiliance (use aggression if you feel youre recovery is good enough), Gale of wind or gale of retribution (either crit or recovery, use what you want more).
I know I missed many things but I hope this helps people. Start small and build your character up, a fresh guardian won’t have the best of stats but by about 2500-2600 gear score you should start to notice that you can take some good hits for the group, survive, and buff well. With experience you will get used to what you should do.