Bjoernars IV Protector buff/debuff defender (PS4 Mod 11.5/12)

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by Bjoernar on February 11, 2017
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intro

Introduction

Hi!

After reading every single build/forum post/youtube comment/random zone chat statement out there, I’ve been spending most my time experimenting with my guardian fighter on PS4. The result is a setup I myself find very functional and fun to play.My main goal for my guardian fighter is to be able to solo PVE, group PVE and some PVP when alliance calls for it. With those goals in mind, I found that the IV covers all my requirements.

This build is very viable both as a party buffer/tank and for solo play as soon as you reach the endgame gear I would however recommend using a conqueror loadout for dailies and solo play while gearing up.

Race/Attributes :

I went for Drow only for the Darkfire racial feat (5% chance to debuff mob defense by 5% on hit).CON is important for AP gain and Max HP, DEX is raised to 18 to hit 60% resistance ignored easily and INT for recharge speed increase. I started out with 18 CON, 15 DEX and 10 INT. All points earned during leveling are spent in CON + INT. If you decide to swap to Company Set when reaching endgame toon stats, move 2 points from INT to STR.

 

Paragon Path :

I get many questions regarding why I choose the Protector paragon path. The answer is easy ; I want to be in a defender role, not dps, so Conqueror is out of the question.

As for choosing between tactician/protector, these are the reasons I find the protector the best for filling a tank role in party :

Added deflect and DR from Devoted Protector (5% deflect on block) and Brawling Warrior (Knights Valor increases damage resistance by 5%). More deflect and defense = more gearslots for other stats.

Protector capstone easily replaces the United feat from tactician three.

Overwhelming Impact does give Terrifying Impact a 5% DR debuff to mobs hit. This enables us protectors to buff party dps (+/- 1.X%) as good as tacticians.

The tactician capstone Martial Mastery gets worse the better the Guardian Fighters gear get. If you decide to raise your sheild, its is 100% useless. Defender role GFs tend to raise their shields from time to time.

The main reasons to go for the Iron Vanguard paragon path is :

Threatening Rush at-will for marking mobs and extreme mobility (also has a nifty double mark effect excellent for PvP). T Rush at-will will open up one encounter slot, so that you have more flexibility when choosing encounter powers.

Trample the Fallen personal for added dps, this is very awesome as a defender specced GF suffer from lack of dmg in solo and PvP play.

Feats and Boons :

I choose to combine these  major stat-gain categories as you will have to adjust boons and feats as you gear up your toon. Posting screenshots of my boons will not help anyone as they are adjusted for 100% endgame gear. The simple logic is to equip all your gear, check what stats are lacking and choose boons based on that.

Priority stats :

Damage Resistance (Defense) : Stack defense until you have 95% Damage Resistance. For lower item level toons, this means Azures in all defensive slots (both toon and companion) and running negation armor enchant. Goal is about 32.000 defense with bondings procced.

Resistance Ignored (Armor Penetration) : You want 60% resistance ignored. Stack Armor Penetration to about 6000 to achieve this.

Action Point Gain/Recharge Speed Increase (Recovery) : You want to be at 10.000+ recovery for reduced cooldowns and more action point gain. The secondary stat Action Point gain should be at 1000-1200

Stats to focus on when the main stats are maxed :

Power : You will want as much power as possible, as this helps you hold aggro and maximises the buff from the Shepherds Devotion Insignia bonus for your party. As this is build doesnt stack any crit at all, power is also your only source of personal damage.

Lifesteal : Get 3000-4000 lifesteal to add to survivability. I tank all endgame content comfortably at 15% lifesteal chance. Easily achieved from boons and a few key gearpieces

Hit Points/Deflection : This is where you dump all defensive stats after reaching the 95% damage resistance cap. I personally prefer swapping Azure enchants on toon for Wickeds.

Stamina Gain and Combat Advantage Damage : Get both of these to 1000+ after maxing the other stats.

I suggest using this feat setup until you have achieved the max goal of all the priority stats :

After you have read and achieved the goals for the End-Game “Great Protector” version of the build, this is the feat setup you want :

feat2

End-line campaign boons you want :

Sharandar :Fey Thistle

Dread Ring : Rampaging Madness

Icewind Dale : Rousing Warmth

Underdark : Abyssal Tenacity (can change to Abyssal Strikes @ endgame)

Tyranny of Dragons : Dragons Thirst 3/3

The Maze Engine : Displace Fate

Elemental Evil : Wall of Wind

Storm King’s Thunder : Frozen Reflection

The Cloaked Ascendancy : Planar Vitality. Make sure to also choose the Aura of Despair boon, as this proccs Crushing Pin.

Gearing :

Bonding runestones for your companion should be priority #1. Focus on gearing and leveling enchants on companion first, as Companions Gift gives you more stats based on bonding level.

Important note for those of you that are gearing up/leveling a Guardian Fighter and will not reach the best in slot version of the build before mod 12 hits : Do NOT buy any of the expensive gear pieces listed in the “Great Protector” version of the build, as these will easily be replaced by even the lowest tier of the new gear introduced in mod 12.

Fresh lvl 70 character :

First of all make sure to get in to a guild for guild boons 🙂

Armor :

Start out by getting the Company armor pieces from the stronghold vendor. If you have  tradebars, the Dusk Raid helm + sabatons will get you the 2 piece Dusk Set bonus (5000 hp, 1000 power and 1000 defense) and will stay with you well into mid/endgame content. Start farming Epic Temple of the Spider for the Lifesilk Spinneret as soon as you can.

Rings :

Start farming Throne of the Dwarven Gods for the Ring of Sieging. This is the absolutely best in slot ring for a tank specced Guardian Fighters, as it will keep you at maximum damage resistance even when entering combat (before companion can procc bondings) The +5 version of this ring will stay with you all the way. The 2nd ring slot can be filled with whatever ring that has the stats you are looking for.

Artifact set :

Go for the Great Protector set. The Cloak of the Protector can drop from the Lockbox of the Nine or you can get it extremely cheap from the auction house. Combine this with the Greater Plated Band of  Constitution and the Aurora’s Whole Realms Catalogue or the Lantern of Revelation. I prefer the Aurora’s Catalogue as its the only option that gives us stats we actually need. This setup will be viable in all content up to and including Mod 11b.

Artifacts :

Using the Great Protector set leaves 3 artifact slots open. At a lower itemlevel, make sure to use these slots to fill in your missing priority stats Defense, Armor Penetration and Recovery.

If you decide to stick with this build all the way to endgame  you will have to swap out artifacts on your way, so just check the collection tab under “Items” to find artifacts that gives you the stats you need.

I would suggest getting the Tome of Ascendance as soon as possible as this has more defensive stats + power than any other artifact.

The heart of the Black Dragon should be your active artifact for all group content.

Enchants :

Azures in defensive slots and Silveries in offensive slots.

Armor Enchantment :

  • Negation.

Weapon enchantment :

See section below on weapon enchantments.

Companion Gear :

  • BONDING RUNESTONES is priority #1. (See companion section for companion suggestions)

Starting out I suggest using a combination of Gemmed Exquisite Aberrant Belt of Piercing and Gemmed Exquisite Aberrant Belt of Recovery on companion. This can be crafted with Jewelcrafting or bought off the Auction House. Azures in defensive slots, silveries in offensive. Upgrade belts to double enchant slots with jewelcrafting.

Mounts :

First of all, get mounts with the insigna bonuses show below. When you have the mounts, make sure that all insignias actually contribute towards your main stat goals.

  • Equip power : +2000 Armor Penetration (White Tiger)

Insignia bonuses :

insignia1

 

“Mid-game”-toon :

You achieve this status when you have met all the priority stat goals, your bondings are r10+, you have the Ring of Siegeing +5 and you have all insignia bonuses mentioned before.This is also where you start stacking the stats to focus on when you have achieved mainstat goals

Armor :

  • Head : Dusk Raid Helm
  • Chest : Lifesilk Spinneret
  • Arms : Dusk Raid Gauntlets
  • Feet : Elemental Drowcraft Raid Sabatons/Shieldbearer’s Ward Sabatons

NB! : Frostborn Ward 3 set (Head, Armor and Feet) + Shieldbearer’s Sabatons is a VERY viable choice for everfrost zones (FBI+MSVA)

Rings :

  • Ring of Sieging +5 (This ring is key to achieving max DR before companion can procc bonding to avoid 1-shots in endgame content)
  • Ring of rising/sudden deflect/lifesteal +5 or any ring with power + recovery (Focus, Brutality or Hellig)

Artifact set :

The Great Protector.

Artifacts :

  • Tome of Ascendance,
  • Aurora’s Whole Realms Catalogue
  • 2 artifacts with stats that needs to be filled. I would strongly recommend using DC sigil or (gasp) Wheel of Elements as main artifact for solo play and the Heart of the Black Dragon for group content.

Enchantments :

Start swapping offensive slots (Silveries) for Cruels, defensive slots (Azures) for Wickeds.

Armor Enchant :

Swap the Negation for either R11 Shadowclad or Transcendent Barkshield when you reach 95% damage resistance. I really like the barkshield as this is another way to prevent 1-shots in endgame content.

Weapon enchantment :

See section below on weapon enchantments.

Companion Gear :

  • Bonding Runestones Rank 12.
  • Personalized  Aberrant Belt of Recovery (Crafted with jewelcrafting level 25)
  • Defensive slots : 3x Azure R12
  • Offensive slots :3x Cruels R12

Mounts :

Start saving up AD to swap out the White Tiger for the Armored Axe Beak legendary mount.

  • Equip Power : +4000 Armor Penetration

Insignia Bonuses stays the same until you have found/bought a legendary mount.

End-Game toon, “The Great Protector” :

This is it. After months/years of testing different setups, failing miserably, being yelled at by teammates and hours spent crying in a corner, I ended up with this setup as the ultimate GF Iron Vanguard Protector setup.

Armor :

Important note for those of you that are gearing up/leveling a Guardian Fighter and will not reach the best in slot version of the build before mod 12 hits : Do NOT buy any of the expensive gear pieces listed in the “Great Protector” version of the build, as these will easily be replaced by even the lowest tier of the new gear introduced in mod 12. League gear (lowest tier mod12) and Pilgrim gear (zen/tradebar) will be more than good enough to replace the recommended Masterwork/Mysterious Merchant gear pieces. Primal Ward (top tier mod12) will be the new best in slot, as the stat balance is 100% perfect for this build.

  • Head : Titansteel Ward Helm
  • Armor : Lifesilk Spinneret
  • Arms : Wisley’s Dreaded Dueling Wristguards (Mysterious Merchant in Stronhold)
  • Feet : Titansteel Raid Sabatons/Vivified Shieldbearer’s Ward Sabatons

NB! : Frostborn Ward 3 set (Head, Armor and Feet) + Vivified Shieldbearer’s Sabatons is a VERY viable choice for everfrost zones (FBI+MSVA)

Rings :

  • Ring of Sieging +5
  • Ring of Hellig +5/Silverspruce Ward Ring/Sphene Restoration Ring/Ring of Brutality +5

Artifact Set :

Sadly, at this stage of the game you can choose to drop the Great Protector set for Company Set. Specifically  the Company Ward Belt + Company Raider Cloak. Doing this also makes it necessary to change your main feats/main stats (see screenshot in introduction). The only reason to swap artifact set, is to deal more damage and this is only possible due to the fact that you should be at max defensive stats.

Artifacts :

At this point you have a very limited choice of artifacts, as it all about perfectly balancing stats and maximising damage dealt (!).

These are the artifacts I ended up with :

  • Main for group content: Heart of the Black Dragon or Token of Chromatic Storm (Mod 12 preparation)
  • Main for solo content : DC sigil or Wheel of Elements.
  • Forgehammer of Gond (Power, Deflect, Control Resist)
  • Tome of Ascendance (Defense, Deflection, Power, Lifesteal)
  • Kessel’s Sphere of Annihilation  (Armor Penetration, Power, Combat Advantage Bonus) (!: Mod 12 preparation, will be swapped for Black Ice Beholder when getting full Primal gear)

Enchantments :

  • Offense slots : Cruel Enchantments R12
  • Defense slots : Wicked Enchantments R12

Armor Enchantment :

Barkshield R12, Shadowclad R11 or Soulforged

Weapon Enchantment :See section below on weapon enchantments

Companion Gear :

  • Bonding Runestones Rank 12.
  • 3x Personalized  Aberrant Belt of Recovery (2x Personalized Aberrant Belt of Recovery + 1x Personalized Aberrant Belt of Piercing for mod 12)
  • Defensive slots : 2x Azure R12 + 1x Vicious R12
  • Offensive slots : Cruels R12

Mounts :

  • Combat Power : Aureal Armament (Swift Golden Lion)
  • Equip Power : 4000 Armor Penetration (Armored Axe Beak)

Insignia bonuses :

insignia2

These are the stats I currently run all endgame content with :

stats

Yes, I know im missing a few % for perfect damage resistance, but this will even out when we get the 2 missing lvls on our guild boons 🙂 Also, the increased resistance ignored are deliberately placed in preparation for Mod 12.

I will also have to replace 3 of my Action Point reinforcement kits for Stamina Gain ones to balace out those two stats.

Gear I will be swapping to as soon as I get my hands on it in mod 12 (Ignore until mod 12 release) :

mod12gear

As you can see, the 2x Primal Ward + 2x Primal Raid setup has 100% perfect stats for this build, after getting this gear (bought by farming mod12 dungeon for seals), I will have to make to minor adjustments to my setup :

  • Swap Kessel’s Sphere of Annihalation for Black Ice Beholder (to keep recovery at 15k)
  • Swap 1 azure in Companion defense slot for 1 Vicious

 

Weapons and Weapon Enchantments :

There are 4 relevant weapon sets for this build in mod11b.

Ranging from beginner to best in slot these are :

Drowned – Lifeforged (River District)/Relic (Sea of Moving Ice) – Stronghold Masterwork II

As for weapon enchants, you can choose any of the following based on personal preferance :

  • Lightning : My personal favorite at endgame as this is the ultimate aggro-enchant. It also deals the most damage when running solo content.
  • Feytouched : Very good for mob damage debuff + best single target damage.
  • Frost/Plaguefire : Extremely good for party buffs.
  • Terror : My bet for best in slot party buff enchant for Mod 12 changes.

Weapon Artifact Powers/Class Features :

Main Hand : Crushing Surge : This or Threatening Rush (will help if aggro problems). I chose Crushing Surge + healing.

Offhand :Guarded Assault, this is VERY IMPORTANT for the build as it makes the Guarded Assault personal power procc the feat Crushing Pin and thus adding +10% damage dealt for your team.Action Point Gain for maxing this stat. (Enabling you to cast daily more often = win)

Companions :

Summoned companion : Dancing Shield (upgrade to legendary as fast as possible)

Active companions : Rust Monster and Chicken are considered must-haves. This leaves 2 slots open for whatever you feel like using. I would recommend looking at Air Cultist, Celeste, Shadow Demon, Blacksmith, Energon or even the +% dmg ones for endgame (archons, siege master, wild hunt rider and owlbear cub).

At the moment I’m running Dancing Shield as summoned and the following active companions ; Rust Monster, Chicken, Owlbear Cub and Blink Dog (testing +Combat Advantage damage as I always have combat advantage due to different marks).

 

Powers / Playstyle :

This is where it gets tricky it seems, as most of the people that ask me about my build dont actually understand how to play it… In my opinion the main difference between a Sword Master GF and an Iron Vanguard GF is how they move around the battlefield. A SM GF would walk/run around where the IV GF should use the skill Threatening Rush to move between groups of mobs in combat. This takes practice and is VERY different from the swordmaster playstyle. I always engage by marking mobs with R2 (Tab-mark for PC players) and running around grouping them up. When grouped, I make sure they are all marked at all times by using Threatening Rush. If you spot a mob in the pile you have collected that is not marked, targed it and T-Rush over to it.

This is the setup I use in groups :

Note : These are the most important damage buffs you contribute to your party : Marks (T Rush and R1 (TAB)), Into The Fray, Crushing Pin (Knights Valor/Guarded Assault, Griffons Wrath and Terrifying Impact) and Commander’s Strike

For groups of “trash”-mobs, these are the skills you need :

1. Into The Fray

2. Threatening Rush + Crushing Surge (Crushing Surge in case you need self-heal) at-wills

3. Commanders Strike (Depending on weapon enchant, if lightning use Enforced Threat)/Enforced Threat (I use ET just for lightning enchant procc as it hits 3 targets at a time, causing quite the lighting storm and pulling mobs like crazy)

4. Knights Valor encounter/Guarded Assault personal. This is where your Guarded Assault offhand artifact class feature comes into play, as all hits TO YOUR PARTY when you have your shield raised will procc the feat Crushing Pin.  Remember that Knights Valor unlike other encounter powers is toggled on/off. Keep it ON when fighting trash mobs.Make sure to raise your shield from time to time to apply crushing pin.

5. Terrifying Impact. Make sure to position yourself so that you hit as many mobs as possible when casting Terrifying Impact. This proccs the Crushing Pin and Overwhelming impact feats, thus increasing party damage output. Cast this as soon as you have the action points for it.

For single target combat these are the go-to skills :

1. Into The Fray

2. Threatening Rush + Crushing Surge at-wills (keep TR mark on target at all times, crushing surge for self-heal)

3. Griffon’s Wrath (For proccing crushing pin, 3 charges. Do ITF-GW-CS-GW-Repeat)

4. Commanders Strike

5. Terrifying Impact .This daily proccs Crushing Pin on bosses/targets that can not be controlled, as the criteria for crushing pin procc is that you have to cast and hit a mob with a control power, not actually control it.

This is how I enter combat :

1. Cast Into The Fray

2. Run into range of mob while spamming R1 (Tab-Mark), when the big double X appears, cast Threatening Rush to close in on the target.

3. Make sure to keep the R1 mark on the target that is the worst threat to the group, as this marks helps you “focus” aggro.

After marking all mobs, start buff encounters for added damage for all DPS-classes in party. Keep target marked by using Threatening Rush and R1 (TAB) to make sure you hold aggro.

These are the personal powers I use for group content : Combat Superiority (can be swapped for Trample the Fallen for trash mobs) and Guarded Assault.

For solo play I use the following skills :

Groups of mobs :

  • Into the fray
  • Enforced Threat
  • Griffons Wrath
  • Trample the Fallen + Combat Superiority personals
  • Villians Menace + Terrifying Impact dailies

For single target fights :

  • Knights Challenge
  • Griffons Wrath
  • Anvil of Doom/Knee Breaker
  • Trample the Fallen + Combat Superiority personals
  • Villians Menace + Terrifying Impact dailies

 

 

Invaluable sources of information for Guardian FIghters

Everyone reading this guide should also read the links in this section. I would not have been able to “perfect” my own setup without these awesome contributions from the community.

 

rjc9000s Together We Ride! Tact GF guide

dread4moor’s Bowser IV guide

two30s Neverwinter Tools

michela123s Debuff spreadsheet

michela123s Damage Mitigation spreadsheet

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Leave a reply
  • XxFlea
    February 15, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    Trying out the build, it’s working great for my play style.

  • arthuga
    February 19, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    19/16/11 ?????

  • Profile photo of Marc
    February 21, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    Not bad. Not bad at all I have played gf for nearly 8 months ps4. If u want another gf to msva with look me up grimhelm in prestige worldwide. Only 3.2 k but I can solo up to elol. And solo tank msva ……How? I’m that good at the class hahaha. I would be 4k but decided to build every class this time on ps4. Anyway I think we might get along well together. DPS gf isn’t a gf at all 🙂 . Tactician/protector ftw. Love the mount bonuses by the way proper group/survival bonuses there…..Very rare mate nice to know I’m not last in game though.

  • Michela
    February 23, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    Hey there! The insignia bonus list is by @two30. This is the site with al the tools:
    https://two30.github.io/neverwinter/

    • Profile photo of Bjoernar
      February 23, 2017 at 11:14 pm

      Hi! Thanks a lot for letting me know, guide updated with new info 🙂 Are you Michela123 by the way ?

      • Michela
        February 25, 2017 at 1:35 pm

        Yes that’s me^^

        • Profile photo of Bjoernar
          February 25, 2017 at 5:07 pm

          Thank you very much for the work on the debuff/dmg reduction spreadsheets! I have to ask; What does a neverwinter professor like yourself think about my build ?

          • Michela
            February 26, 2017 at 10:02 am

            Well, it seems well balanced between buffs and mitigation, but I can’t say much about the rotation because this kind of knowledge comes with experience and I’ve never played a GF in dungeon. The only note I can say is that Drow’s Darkfire is 5% debuff and not 10% (tooltip is wrong). I’d like to try a tank but I’m too used to run around the enemies and I think my party would not appreciate that.

        • Profile photo of Bjoernar
          February 26, 2017 at 5:29 pm

          I do ofc know about the darkfire cryptic tooltip, I corrected it now 🙂 Another question : In your debuff list you list debuff cap max at 200% effectiveness. Does this mean that we enter combat at 100%, and capped debuffs stack to a maximum of 200% (+100% total from capped debuffs), or does it mean we enter combat at 0% debuff and capped debuffs stack to +200% ?

          • Michela
            February 26, 2017 at 9:42 pm

            You start from 100%, so you gain only an extra 100% from debuffs (unless you armor penetration isn’t capped, in that case debuffs will also fill that gap).

    • Profile photo of Bjoernar
      February 26, 2017 at 11:39 pm

      thank you very much for clarifying 🙂 one last question : Regarding the items you list as 75% effective vs lvl 73 mobs, token of chromatic storm for example, does this mean that it applies a 75% of 20% = 15% debuff on these mobs ? Wouldnt this make the token the absolutely best debuff artifact in the game ?

      • Michela
        February 27, 2017 at 5:20 pm

        It means that it is 25% weaker against these mobs, so it is 15% instead of 20%. Token is also mitigated by enemy’s damage resistance, so if a level 73 mob has 60% damage resistance it loses another 60% and it becames only 6% (since 15*0,4 = 6).
        The best debuffs are the ones that have NO in all three categories.

  • ParrotZilla
    February 24, 2017 at 9:13 pm

    Hey Mr. Bjoernar, nice seein your build here

    • Profile photo of Bjoernar
      February 26, 2017 at 1:24 am

      You should put your own build up aswell, mr Parrot 🙂

      • ParrotZilla
        February 26, 2017 at 8:59 pm

        Maybe, but it’s the generic pala build, just focused more on pvp , buffin and tanking instead of dpsing lol

      • Profile photo of rjc9000
        July 11, 2017 at 10:15 pm

        This seems like a weird spot to leave a comment, but the usual comment button wasn’t working for my laptop, so I only could post it here or as a reply to another comment.

        T_T

        Anyways, this was quite an … interesting read. A Crit-less Protector GF with good Recovery and decent solo DPS … was not something I expected to work. I honestly wish I adapted a build like this for soloing back before loadouts. Your choices make sense for the build aims and I like the unique take on a GF, cementing it as a build of your making (one thing I love about GF is that there’s multiple ways to get the job done, so the choices of gear, stat allocation, boons, etc. tells me more about you as a player).

        Did I actually tell you about the whole idea of using the SH build to patch up deficiencies in your build? I don’t quite remember ever coming here before March/April 2017 and I’ve been working on so much stuff on DPS GF and weapon enchants that I don’t remember what advice I gave to who.

        I also see Michela’s over here, which means that she’s probably gone crazy reading all the bad DC builds. I’m also surprised that she hasn’t gotten bat**** over any potential spelling/grammar errors, since she does that often to Sharp (and sometimes me).

        I’m very curious as to how bad these “DPS GFs” are on PS4. I know you said in Svardborg, most DPS GFs don’t stand next to you with the double arrows (which is mental facepalm) or the fact that they stand with the DPSers means that they don’t want to get hit (which nerfs their damage output), but do PS4 DPS GFs get any worse?

        The reason I’m asking is because, on PC, there’s quite a few good DPS GFs who can defend and deal damage at the same time as a solotank non-Svardborg stuff (ex: Ryu, Freya aka Snoo Snoo, or Bethel). They have to work extremely hard to juggle all their duties though.

        Overall, great work (would rate, but can’t find the rating button <.<). I'm curious to see how this build will evolve in the coming modules…

        • Profile photo of Bjoernar
          July 17, 2017 at 11:07 pm

          Hey, rjc9000. I didnt see your comment as it didnt pop up as new comment for some reason. I just updated the build and as you can see it has changed a lot since my first mod 10.5 build 🙂 The feedback you gave that i was referring to was made in the official forums, not on this page 😉

          • Profile photo of rjc9000
            July 18, 2017 at 3:45 am

            Jeez, 5 legendary mounts. 5. I don’t even…

            I’d say the biggest issue of this update is the Mod11.5/Mod12 split. I know PS4 won’t have Mod12 for a long time which is why yours accounts for Mod11, but imo it makes your focus too divided where some of your suggestions are good in one module but meh in the next. The biggest theme is “what’s good now may not be good later”, which kind of screws up your build planning.

            An example goes in choice of debuff artifact. Currently, all the debuffing artifacts save for Black Dragon are useless, as the cap is not that hard to reach.

            But, come Mod12, all debuffs are in the same category, which means that you need to look at artifact useage and stats. Mod12 Chromatic Storm is undoubtedly the strongest debuffing artifact, but it suffers in its huge accuracy issue (and slow activation), meaning it only shines on targets which are immoble/have large hitboxes. On small/less mobile bosses, I’d rather use Lantern. Lantern isn’t as strong in raw debuff % and doesn’t have the best stats for a tank build, but it doesn’t have accuracy issues and is easy to acquire.

            I’d like to add some comments the whole “IV versus SM differences”, at least, only in PvE. What you chose is always going to be a matter of preference and is ultimately up to the build creator as to wha they need from a build (you are free to copy-pasta any ideas/rebuttal to any argument on the way I see the differences between the two paragon paths).

            SM destroys mobs more quickly, which holds the edge in dailies, although in dailies, Cleave holds up fine, if it slightly slower and the focus of this build isn’t dailies anyways (you can always create a SM Conq solo loadout anyways).

            SM also gets the more versatile class features. Steel Defense has uses as a training wheel, Steel Blitz is the impatient man’s “second” extra damage class feature, and Steel Grace adds a bit of movement. IV gets two useless class features (Desperate Survival and Ferocious Reaction? buahahahaha) and one situational class feature (Trample). Trample’s damage buff is numerically superior than anything Steel Blitz provide s, but it only works on CC-able targets and scales with the length of your CC effects. This makes it near useless for mobs, as the GF’s best AoE CC effects (Frontline Surge, Terrifying Impact) don’t last for long or just suck (Line Breaker) and useless for most bosses (most bosses are CC immune).

            IV gets the more versatile At-will. Rush is a movement option, a debuffing option, and marking effect. WMS is only good for clearing mobs.

            In terms of movement, the biggest difference comes down to Rush versus Steel Grace. I would say that the difference between the two is Rush’s quicker burst movement versus Steel Grace

            Rush is a lot of fun, is quick, and even ignores elevation advantages (yes, you can do flying GF, provided your target is within Charge distance). However, Rush’s biggest issue in my opinion is that you need a target to charge TO.

            Most bosses don’t have any adds, and if they do, they’re usually out of charge range. eSP boss 3 is an example of this.
            Other times, there are targets to charge to, but the CCs and clumped up nature of mobs means you need to be watchful of who you charge to. In FBI hill climb, for example, when a giant prepares a charge/prepares to throw a oneshot, your goal is to gtfo out of the way of the impending oneshot, but you need to watch for the freeze runes from the bards, prones from the orc shaman, and prones from the giant charge. If you’re IV, your most likely instinct is to charge using Rush on the nearest target out of the way. But you’re not

            Swordmaster gets Steel Grace, which is a flat 15% buff to your runspeed. You don’t get the quick burst option of Rush, but you get more constant movement overall. I personally prefer this “slower” and more precise movement, as I prefer to be able to control where I move with pinpoint accuracy (although that’s the bullet hell part of me speaking). The downside to Grace is that you need to sacrifice a slot for Grace, which leaves you with only one option and doesn’t have the same degree of versatility that Rush offers.

          • Profile photo of Bjoernar
            July 18, 2017 at 4:40 am

            First of all, I can’t fit all my legendary mounts in the stable lol 😀

            The Heart of the Black Dragon should ofc be listed as alternative to Token of Chromatic Storm as I use this artifact frequently myself, I forgot all about it in my underdog-craze (Token-wielding Iron Vanguard Protector, underdog deluxe). I didnt even consider the lantern, as michela123 has this listed as capped at 200%. Come mod 12 I will for sure be using the Token, as this both gives +20% dmg and proccs crushing pin. Main reason being the awesome disco-esque light show tho.

            You say the artifact is 1 example of things that screws up my build planning, what other things are you refering to ?

            I have tried playing SM many times, but as I’m so used to running Iron Vanguard, I end up pressing the wrong buttons and end up in all the wrong places when I try to T Rush into position. Im not at all implying that IV is superior to Swordmaster, just that it is a different way to acheive the same, and that I find the playstyle a lot more fun than Swordmaster. Another reason for me to choose Iron Vanguard is that I can easily swap to my PvP gear and jump right into action (this was ofc more relevant before mod11b hit, but I still use the same build both for PvE and PvP).

            Im also trying to figure out how/if the different guardian fighter marks stack. If the TR mark stacks with “Tab” mark and ET mark, even if only for the GF, wouldnt this be a major dps increase for the IV gf ?

          • Profile photo of rjc9000
            July 18, 2017 at 5:54 pm

            I dunno wtf is up with the programming of this site, I can’t directly reply to your comments.

            The whole “screws up your build planning” was originally because I saw the 67% RI in your char-sheet and immediately thought “needs moar for Mod12”. But you said you got it covered, so…

            Debuff queen’s sheet is only updated for Mod11, as she, and Sharp, and I, and a lot of other guide makers are waiting for mod12 before pumping out big updates.

            The way marking effects work is that each player only benefits from the greatest marking effect. Marking effects still have their weirdo separate category.

            You can sum it up pretty easily like this:

            Non GFs/GWFs get 8% from all marking sources, no matter how (because all marks are only 8% for teammates).
            GF using Tab mark gets 20%.
            GWF using Daring Shout or gets an IBS Finisher gets 20%.

            So, unfortunately, you can’t multi-stack marking effects. I have not tested if multistacking marks works with the War Boar

            Threatening Rush has an EXTRA debuff (12% from what I remember) that . It would work just like any other debuff, such as Swath, Wicked Reminder, Crushing Pin, etc.

            Also, the comment which ended with “but you’re not” was supposed to say “but, if you’re not careful, you could end up charging straight into a CC effect”.

          • Profile photo of Bjoernar
            July 18, 2017 at 6:37 pm

            I updated the screenshot of my stats to properly show the stats I will be entering mod 12 content with. The screenshots shows stats when I have the Heart of The Black Dragon equipped and I swapped one for the pwr/rec belts on companion to arm pen/pwr. When our defense boon is lvl 10 I will be at about 95% DR + Armor Specialization, do you happen to know what I should aim for for mod 12 content ?

            The mark mechanics is something I really wish I could use ACT to test, as it FEELS like I do more damage when marking targets with TR than when I mark with ET. I guess this is where the extra 12% debuff comes into play and its FEELS like a really nice dmg boost for running solo content.

            I really appreciate your feedback, thanks a lot for taking your time to reply 🙂

  • ScorZa
    February 26, 2017 at 9:56 pm

    Hi using t.plague instead of fey would be bad ?

    • Profile photo of Bjoernar
      February 26, 2017 at 11:42 pm

      Hi there 🙂 I think the following weapon enchants are good replacements for feytouched : Plaguefire, Lightning and Bronzewood. Ive also seen some GFs use Frost, but I have yet to test this myself. The main reason I went for Feytouched, is that its awesome both for PvE and PvP.

  • Shauneepeak
    April 4, 2017 at 5:01 am

    Oh wow I’ve done a few runs with you before and almost invited you to a SWS mSVA the other day but you were busy running with another group. I had no idea you had a guide on here and were fairly well known, I feel stupid now. XD
    Anyways major props for making this guide, it is so nice to see a PS4 player promoting a non-DPS Guardian Fighter build, the flood of “DPS” GF’s in SoMI are making me batty.

  • Jake
    May 29, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    Is there anyway you could show me a picture of evrything in powers you have equipped

    • Profile photo of Bjoernar
      June 1, 2017 at 10:22 pm

      Hi. Im not able to provide screenshots right now, as im away from my PS4 for a few days. I can however tell you what skills I use the most.

      For trash mobs : Encounters :Into The Fray, Enforced Threat and Knights Valor. Dailies : Terrifying Impact and Villian’s Menace. At-Wills : Threatening Rush and Crushing Surge. Passives : Guarded Assault and Combat Superiority.

      For single target (boss) fights : Encounters :Into The Fray, Knee Breaker and Commanders Strike. Dailies : Terrifying Impact and Villian’s Menace. At-Wills : Threatening Rush and Crushing Surge. Passives : Guarded Assault and Combat Superiority.

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