Xenakis Guardian Fighter Mod 13 Swordmaster PVE Builds/Loadouts

by Troy on July 19, 2017
Guardian Fighter
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Xenakis Guardian Fighter Mod 13 Swordmaster PVE Builds/Loadouts

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Xenakis

Guardian Fighter Swordmaster

Protector/Tactician/Conqueror

PVE Builds/Loadouts

Welcome to my guide! This guide is currently up to date for Mod 13. Please pardon the dust here as this guide transitions from being one long page into a (hopefully) more organize buttons and tab layout. I will do my best to get the formatting looking clean quickly. If anyone has suggestions about the new format or feedback, please let me know!

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

Introduction:

Hello everyone, I am Xenakis (Zen-ah-kees) and I play on Xbox One. This guide is packed full of information, variety, and guides you to make the best decisions to help you personalize your playstyle. I also recommend checking out other builds and talking with other Guardian Fighters to gain different perspectives and opinions.  At the time of writing this, the current Mod on Xbox One is Mod 13. This whole guide is going to focus on PVE tanking. While tanking is the primary goal for this guide, I will also be discussing the current metas DPS Guardian Fighter build. The tanking builds will be the focus as full DPS playstyle is impossible to optimize until end game. As most players here are new, my focus is the tank side of the Guardian Fighter. I am going to assume that people reading this guide are either new to the class, or they are using a respec token seeking advice. As such, I will be very thorough in my information so feel free to skip around as needed! I do realize that I have an increasing number of mid to end game players looking for supplemental information so I will also include more detail that tailors more to end game play style. **I will warn you, this guide is BIG. There is a ton of information, and not everyone will need all of it. I hope to include buttons soon so that readers may quickly find what they are looking for. Until then, follow the BOLD.

Changes and Updates:

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

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

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

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

What This Guide Will Accomplish:

This guide is aimed at players who use their Guardian Fighter in the traditional role, as a Tank. The reason for this is that the queuing system only recognizes the Guardian Fighter and the Oathbound Paladin as possible tanks, and so when searching for a group, the group you pick up is going to rely on you to do the job predesignated to you which is to Tank. That means this guide will stack defensive stats which include Defense, Deflect, Lifesteal, and Maximum Hit Points for survivability. You will also need a certain amount of offensive stats to help with aggro as well as lower encounter cooldowns. With the loadout system that was introduced in Mod 11.5, changing your loadout to fit the current situation has become easy. It is my goal to provide a means for you to be even more flexible in the way that a Guardian Fighter can aid the group they are currently running with. I will outline a variety of builds; at least one for each Paragon path within the Guardian Fighter’s Swordmaster Path. The Conqueror, Protector, and Tactician builds will provide you with higher DPS contribution, higher personal survival, and higher group support respectively. You can choose one of these builds and stick with it, or you can use them as ways to adapt and best support your group, and you’ll learn how to make those decisions in this guide. If your goal is to maximize your effectiveness in PVE group and solo play, then please keep reading. With DPS Guardian Fighters being the hot new item (newer trend on console anyways), I can't stress how important it is to have a passable tanking load out on your character, particularly if you like to play in Pick-Up Groups. You may want to be a full DPS Guardian Fighter, but you can use one of these builds to give you an extra tool to use when playing with unfamiliar groups. You get 2 loadouts outs for free at level 70. One is the original and the second is a first load out. I am outlining more than two loadouts. For characters that have been around for a while. I recommend using the Conqueror build for solo content, and the Tactician build for group content. If you would like to purchase more loadouts, they make you more flexible to aid the group you are in but are not necessary. It is my goal to eventually update this guide to include my PVP build. When my PVP build is ready to share I will add it to the guide.

LOADOUTS: Loadouts were introduced in Mod 11.5. Here is a little bit more information about what loadouts will and will not do for you. Loadouts will allow you to switch Paragon Paths and Feat tracks, including all the points spent there. You can reassign where your ability score points go but you CAN'T reroll you ability scores. For those wanting to do a little bit of everything in the game and with builds, you will want to roll your race and ability scores that are relatively universal. Loadouts will let you completely reassign power points. You can switch all gear and artifacts, but enchantments MUST stay with the gear. If you want to run a Frost enchantment in your PVE weapons, you can't map that weapon to PVP with a Feytouched enchantment. You need a separate weapon set and enchantment, or you need to spend gold to move enchantments around, Loadouts will not adjust companions or mounts and insignia bonuses. If you really wanted to get the most out of a DPS build versus tank build, those things would need to be adjusted manually like swapping enchantments, mount bonuses, and companions as well as get entirely separate gear to slot in. Loadouts can only be switched at the camp fire and additional loadouts currently cost 500 Zen each.

Ability Scores:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Constitution- 16

Strength- 16 (18)

Dexterity- 12

Intelligence- 10

Wisdom- 10

Charisma- 10 (12)

 

Since I am Dragonborn, I put +2 into Strength and Charisma, making those stats 18 and 12 respectively. To me this is the optimal roll if you want to keep your options open for tanking and DPS. If you are human, just pick Strength since it’s a secondary stat. Any other races with extra ability scores, fill primary and secondary stats first. Now, with this roll I can tank or DPS, but where I allocate my points changes. For tank builds, put your points into Strength (for aggro) and Intelligence (for cooldown). If you need extra armor pen (everyone new to GF for sure), you can put your points into Dexterity and Intelligence instead. For DPS builds, put your points into Strength (for damage) and Charisma (for companion influence and combat advantage damage). If you are low on armor pen, you can rank up Strength and Dexterity instead, but Strength and Charisma is ideal. Some of you may be asking, why not rank up Constitution (the primary stat)? I used to do this and removing points in Constitution is one of the biggest changes in my build. Stacking Constitution is not wrong, but I felt that the losing some Constitution to gain other stats was just more beneficial in the long run. Constitution only increases base HP, not HP gained from equipment and enchantments which is my main reason for not ranking up Constitution. Since it is a Primary stat, it is rolled relatively high anyway. For me I lost a few thousand HP so it’s not much to worry about.

Race:

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

Beginner Race:

Human:

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

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

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

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

Tanking Races: 

Drow/Menzo Drow:

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

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

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

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

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

Tiefling: 

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

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

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

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

 

DPS Races: 

Half-Orc:

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

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

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

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

Dragonborn/Metallic Ancestry Dragonborn:

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

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

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

• You get +2 to ANY TWO stats.

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

Summary:

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

Stats:

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

Defensive Stats:

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

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

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

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

 

Offensive Stats:

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

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

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

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

 

Tertiary Stats:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mechanics: 

Coming soon!

Rotations:

Tanking Rotation:

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

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

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

 

DPS Rotation:

DPS Rotation: 

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

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

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

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

Paragon Paths:

Swordmaster vs Iron Vanguard:

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

 

Weapon Master's Strike versus Threatening Rush

(At-Wills)

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

 

Steel Grace versus Ferocious Reaction

(Passive Powers)

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

 

Line Breaker Assault versus Frontline Surge

(Encounter Powers)

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

 

Crescendo versus Indomitable Strike

(Daily Powers)

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

Protector Feats: 

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

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

 

Heroic Feats:

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

Strength Focus- Increases the effectiveness of Strength by up to 15%. You definitely take this in a DPS build For tank and DPS, take 3/3.

Action Surge- Gain up to 10% more Action Points from Guardian attacks. More AP means more Daily Powers. Our Action Point is already pretty good from guarding, but this makes it much faster. For tank and DPS, take 3/5.

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

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

Armor Specialization- Increases the effectiveness of Armor Class and Defense by up to 15%. Armor Class is Damage Resistance as a % on your character and Defense is a number (which simplifies to a % eventually). More static defense on your tank is about as good as it gets. For tank and DPS, take 3/3.

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

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

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

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

Weapon Mastery- Increases your Critical Chance by up to 3%. If you're DPS, you're looking for as much free Crit as  you can get and Crit Chance is even better. I also run this on my Tank builds as it support my particular playstyle. For tank and DPS, take 3/3.

Ubiquitous Shield- Reduce the damage effects of Combat Advantage against you by up to 25%. As a tank it isn't uncommon to find yourself surrounded, however a great tank avoid being caught with CA on them so if you play smart you can save yourself points here. Don’t use any points here. IF you pick Human for a tank build, you can put your extra 3 points into Potent Challenge.

Protector Beginner Build:

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

Protector Tree:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tactician Tree:

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

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

Tactician Feats:

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

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

Heroic Feats:

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

Strength Focus- Increases the effectiveness of Strength by up to 15%. You definitely take this in a DPS build For tank and DPS, take 3/3.

Action Surge- Gain up to 10% more Action Points from Guardian attacks. More AP means more Daily Powers. Our Action Point is already pretty good from guarding, but this makes it much faster. For tank and DPS, take 3/5.

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

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

Armor Specialization- Increases the effectiveness of Armor Class and Defense by up to 15%. Armor Class is Damage Resistance as a % on your character and Defense is a number (which simplifies to a % eventually). More static defense on your tank is about as good as it gets. For tank and DPS, take 3/3.

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

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

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

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

Weapon Mastery- Increases your Critical Chance by up to 3%. If you're DPS, you're looking for as much free Crit as  you can get and Crit Chance is even better. I also run this on my Tank builds as it support my particular playstyle. For tank and DPS, take 3/3.

Ubiquitous Shield- Reduce the damage effects of Combat Advantage against you by up to 25%. As a tank it isn't uncommon to find yourself surrounded, however a great tank avoid being caught with CA on them so if you play smart you can save yourself points here. Don’t use any points here. IF you pick Human for a tank build, you can put your extra 3 points into Potent Challenge.

TACTICIAN BUILDS:

Tactician Beginner Build:

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

Tactician Tree:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Protector Tree:

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

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

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

 

Tactician Advanced Build: 

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

Tactician Tree:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conqueror Tree:

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

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

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

Summary:

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

Conqueror Feats: 

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

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

Heroic Feats:

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

Strength Focus- Increases the effectiveness of Strength by up to 15%. You definitely take this in a DPS build For tank and DPS, take 3/3.

Action Surge- Gain up to 10% more Action Points from Guardian attacks. More AP means more Daily Powers. Our Action Point is already pretty good from guarding, but this makes it much faster. For tank and DPS, take 3/5.

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

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

Armor Specialization- Increases the effectiveness of Armor Class and Defense by up to 15%. Armor Class is Damage Resistance as a % on your character and Defense is a number (which simplifies to a % eventually). More static defense on your tank is about as good as it gets. For tank and DPS, take 3/3.

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

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

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

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

Weapon Mastery- Increases your Critical Chance by up to 3%. If you're DPS, you're looking for as much free Crit as  you can get and Crit Chance is even better. I also run this on my Tank builds as it support my particular playstyle. For tank and DPS, take 3/3.

Ubiquitous Shield- Reduce the damage effects of Combat Advantage against you by up to 25%. As a tank it isn't uncommon to find yourself surrounded, however a great tank avoid being caught with CA on them so if you play smart you can save yourself points here. Don’t use any points here. IF you pick Human for a tank build, you can put your extra 3 points into Potent Challenge.

CONQUEROR BUILD:

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

Conqueror Tree:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Protector Tree:

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

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

Tactician Tree:

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

CAMPAIGN BOONS:

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

Tank Boons:  

Elemental Evil:

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

Heart of Stone- 4% Life Steal Severity.

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

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

Sharandar:

Dark Fey Warder- You gain 400 Defense.

Fey Precision- 400 Critical Strike.

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

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

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

The Maze Engine:

Abyssal Siphoning- 5% Life Steal Severity.

Demonic Influence- You gain 400 combat Advantage Bonus.

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

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

The Underdark:

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

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

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

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

Abyssal Striker- Gain 10% damage versus Demons.

Dread Ring:

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

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

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

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

Well of Dragons:

Dragonheart- Grants 1,600 Hit Points.

Dragon's Gaze- 400 Critical Strike.

Dragonic Armorbreaker- 400 Armor Penetration.

Dragon's Greed- Grants 400 Life Steal Rating.

Dragon's Thirst (1)- 4% Life Steal.

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

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

Icewind Dale:

Encroaching Tactics- 400 Combat Advantage bonus.

Appreciation of Warmth- 400 Incoming Healing bonus.

Rapid Thaw- You gain 400 Recovery.

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

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

Sea of Moving Ice:

Cold Hearted- 2% Life Steal Severity.

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

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

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

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

The Cloaked Ascendancy:

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

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

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

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

Jungles of Chult:

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

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

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

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

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

DPS Boons:  

Elemental Evil:

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

Sharandar:

Dark Fey Hunter- 400 Power.

Fey Precision- 400 Critical Strike.

Feywilds Fortitude- 1600 Maximum Hit Points.

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

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

The Maze Engine:

Abyssal Siphoning- 5% Life Steal Severity.

Demonic Influence- 400 Combat Advantage bonus.

Demonic Swiftness- You gain Action Points 3% faster.

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

The Underdark:

Primordial Might- 400 Power and 1600 Maximum Hit Points.

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

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

Dwarven Stamina- Gain Stamina 5% faster.

Abyssal Striker- Gain 10% damage versus Demons.

Dread Ring:

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

Evoker's Thirst- 400 Life Steal.

Forbidden Piercing- 3% Resistance Ignored.

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

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

Well of Dragons:

Dragons's Claws- 400 Power.

Dragon's Gaze- 400 Critical Strike.

Draconic Armorbreaker- 400 Armor Penetration.

Dragon's Greed- 400 Life Steal.

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

Icewind Dale:

Encroaching Tactics- 400 Combat advantage bonus.

Appreciation of Warmth- 400 Incoming Healing bonus.

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

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

Storm King's Thunder:

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

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

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

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

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

The Cloaked Ascendancy:

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

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

Fey Briars- 500 Lifesteal and 2000 Maximum Hit Points.

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

Jungles of Chult:

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

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

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

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

GUILD BOONS:  

Power:

Your only viable choices for either DPS or Tanking is to use the Power boon or the Armor Penetration boon. This is personal preference, and will change the way that you build with your gear and enchantments. I have decided to always use the Power boon, and to get my Armor Penetration through my gear, boons, enchantments, etc. *Mod 14 foreshadowing: If you've been following my build for a while, you likely swapped to three stat Draconic enchantments to boost armor pen self-sufficiently on our character sheet (on the Tactician build). The is still a great option, but it's worth noting that in Mod 14 the armor pen requirement for end game content is going up (again). This time the cap will be 100% for most enemies in the new dungeon and area. This equates to about 12k armor pen. With a max guild boon providing 8k armor pen, this option is looking nicer and nicer. The best reason for recommending the power boon is because IF you should ever find yourself without a guild without a max armor pen boon (or your armor pen boon isn't higher enough), the enchantments route allows you to be self-sufficient and not screw your build because you're changing guilds (hey, it does happen) or your guild is upgrading the boon and it's inconsistent. My advice going forward is: IF you are confident you will hold and maintain a max armor pen boon or your guild is working towards it and will have it when you reach end game Mod 14 content, then go ahead and use the armor pen boon. IF you have been following my guide and have the draconic already made just keep ranking them. It would be harder to trade them I think and this route still works, it just requires the enchantments to be real high level and truly end game, plus you'll still need a little bit of armor pen off of gear/insignias/artifacts even with the high level Draconics. For the DPS build, I'll likely still  use the Power boon because the difference between the DPS and Tank load outs in armor pen acquisition mainly is the companion choice. You'll still get a large amount of armor pen from the companion striker bonus, and if needed on or two enchantments or gear choices can be swapped to up the armor pen; much easier adjustment than the Tactician will have.

Defense:

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

Utility:

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

Armor:

This portion of the guide is getting considerable overhaul from the original format and information. This section is being redesigned to be more current and relevant in gear selection, as well as streamline gear progression quite a bit (eliminate unnecessary steps in upgrading gear). I also understand that this section is not super easy to find what you're looking for in this current format so that is something that I am continuing to look at and improve so it's easier to read. There are many pieces of gear that are not going to be mentioned here that are still viable depending on where you're at in your character growth. For example, Deepknight's Brigandine is noteworthy, but with company and league gear being much easier to access, it's assumed that if you get a nice drop such as that chest piece, this guide is informing you to decide if the armor is still relevant for you or not. Wear it if you like but the below sets of gear are pieces that everyone will get access to eventually (hopefully). This is just the simplified track and is not the entire list of viable gear at all stages of development. Early on in your adventures (leveling to 70), you can wear pretty much whatever you pick up off the ground for free. Just keep trading up as you find better gear. What comes next is largely influence by being in a guild or not. If you aren't in a guild, join one. The boons are very valuable, plus having a network of people to play with helps a lot early on. IF you still decide that no guild is your thing, you'll be left to farm low level dungeons and rely on what drops from there until you can get the AD to afford better armor off of the auction house.   If you're in a guild it's easy. Ask your guild to help you farm guild marks so you can buy Company Armor. This is an ideal beginning set, unless you don't have access to a guild as this set is bought from the guild Marketplace.

Company Raid Helm Company Raid Chest Company Ward Arms Company Ward Boots   If you are not in a guild or just don't want to join one, you'll need to run content with whatever gear you get for free until you get the AD to buy the League armor. This armor is in line with Company gear, it just has a different means of acquisition.   Eventually, after lots of hard work you will be able to get into Tomb of the Nine Gods and start earning your Brave Seals. Brave Seals will be used to buy some of the best armor available in the game right now. There is also the option of buying Mastercraft V armor, but with a very hefty price tag you can buy gear with similar stat allocation as Primal, just with different bonuses. Also, it may seem like there is a big gap between Company/League armor and Primal, and there is. This gap is mainly bridged by making sure you're adequately ranking up your enchantments, companions, mount insignias, etc. To9G is not for the ill prepared. Here is the set I am currently using.

Primal Raid Helm (Brave Seal Vendor) Primal Raid Arms (Brave Seal Vendor) or Survivor's Wraps (Normal Demogorgon) Primal Raid Chest (Brave Seal Vendor) Primal Raid Boots (Brave Seal Vendor) or Earthtreaderboots (Tier 2 Hunt Lure) or Boots of the Willed (Tier 3 Hunt Lure). For end game tanking, this is my current set up. I like the raid pieces because I'm not trying to stack deflection, but more importantly there are good offensive stats such as armor penetration, recovery, and critical strike. This makes it easy to hit my stat targets on this more well-rounded build. If you want to take the pieces that stack Deflection, that is certainly viable but you do lose out on some good offensive stats. Additionally, with Shepherd's Devotion giving out loads of Deflection, I take advantage of this to gain other stats. Survivor's Wraps get noticeable mention here as being viable for proccing extra DoT damage as an extra source of Martial Mastery AP Gain as long as you're constantly popping your Daily.

Announcement: The Earthtreaders are now fixed! These boots now have a place as being viable for buff builds. The one drawback to the boots is that the Blessed Land cannot be aimed in specific points on the ground (random). If not being able to place the buff makes these boots seem useless to you, then use Primal Raid Boots or Boots of the Willed.   For end game DPS, you want to take any gear that can help with your crib and armor penetrate first. Once you have a reliable way to meet your armor penetration and critical strike targets, your goal is to stack power. As I said earlier, I won't be making a progression of gear for DPS GF since it is an end game play style. If you're looking for DPS gear as just a basic load out, anything that helps with crit and armor pen will help you clear dailies faster but the most important part is the feats. Primal Raid Helm (Brave Seal Vendor), Rex Corona (KoS Tier 3 Hunt), or Guise of the Wolf Clan (Mysterious Merchant) Survivor's Wraps (Normal Demogorgon), and Primal Raid Arms (Brave Seal Vendor) or Fearbringers (Omu Tier 2 Hunt) Primal Raid Chest (Brave Seal Vendor), Rex Amiculum (KoS Tier 3 Hunt), or Fured Kiuno (Polaris Tier 2 Hunt) Primal Raid Boots (Brave Seal Vendor), Boots of the Willed (Tyrant Tier 3 Hunt), or Enduring Boots (Makos Favors) This gear pieces having varying pieces of crit and armor penetration versus power. For most of the pieces the challenge for you is deciding when you take higher power pieces versus ones that give you more crit or armor penetration, and that's based on your current toon progression. A few new pieces introduced in Mod 13 are situational. Survivor's Wraps are still great for pricing Shield Warrior's Wrath and Reckless Attacker and are a staple for all DPS. In addition to wraps, Fearbringers can be used either when you are getting damage from another source and don't need the wraps DoT, or in instances where you may not benefit from using SWW (mobs). The Fured Kiuno can be the best chest due to the high power and melee damage bonus. Rex Amiculum has the same stats but a different, weaker bonus. Primal Chest will help if you're low on crit. The Primal Raid boots are good for Armor Penetration but if you don't need it, then I recommend swapping between Boots of the Willed and Enduring Boots depending on the scenario. Boots of the Willed are great all the time, but the Enduring Boots have the potential to be better if you're able to line up your rotation AND have your stamina refilled in time do your damaging encounters. I would suggest getting both boots from Omu so you have the option available depending on the situation.   For armor kits, use whatever you need to round off your toon. The should be the very last thing that you change on your character as they are very expensive and consumable. It's easier to swap insignias than it is kits. For DPS your end goal is Power. Tacticians can use HP or Power as an end result, but use Armor Pen, Recovery, etc if you haven't hit your targets.

Rings:

There are rings that you can get early on in the game that will help you gear into higher level content. The newest rings come from Chult and Omu. I recommend the Chult rings as they have two enchantment slots at the lower level where as the Omu rings don't, despite them being newer they are not better. When you're first starting out, you can use any ring you get for free like a rising or sudden ring from th Underdark, but eventually you'l go for the following. The Ostorian vendor rings and the rings from the Chult hunts are both good depending on what stats you need. Also, consider that the Ostorian rings are free but require Protector Seals, and Chult rings must be bought from the auction house. Ostorian Helig, Ostorian Stein, Yuan-Ti Slayer +3, and Undead Slayer +3 are a couple good starting rings. These rings should suffice until you can access Chutl and Omu. In Chult and Omu, you can do hunts which drop potentially end game rings. Chult has all double offensive rings as legendary drops, and Omu has double defense rings as both +4 and Legendary drops. In Omu, you can get double offensive and defensive rings from the Makos and Eku vendors, and the Treasure Maps offer a double offensive ring at rank +4 and +5 (Legendary). For my tank, I prefer the double offensive slots as that is where I stack most of my recovery and armor penetration from enchantments. However, double defense rings at end game are also viable too but you would have to build your character a little bit differently to make up for the lost offensive stats. My current rings of choice on the tank build are the Yuan-Ti Slayer +5 and the beast Slayer +5 which gives a mix of HP, Defense, Crit, and Recovery. You can also buy the new Mastercraft V rings which offer double defense or offensive slots at a hefty price tag. For DPS, the current BiS rings on the character sheet is the Undead Slayer +4 and +5. If you wear both together, their bonus stacks for an extra 9% damage towards undead (which is most of To9G and Cradle). If you can't get those, any double offense rings helping you hit your armor pen, crit, or power needs will suffice, including the new Mastercraft 5 Rings. The Ring of Offensive Action can be bought from Makos as a cheap double O option but it's not ideal. One ring worth mentioning is the Gravestriker +4 and +5. These rings are double offense and have power and crit. If you can drop these from the Omu treasure maps, they offer great stats, but when placed on the companion they are BiS because their extra power bonus shares to your companion and then back to you. So if you're a companion with rings (hopefully), try to scoop up Gracestrikers 4 and 5.

Clothes:

With Mod 13, the clothes progression changed quite a bit as well. For you first set of clothes I recommend either using some of your Underdark currency to buy Drowcraft shirt and pants, or using the cheapest shirt and pants for the GF on the auction house. Just make sure the clothes have enchantment slots! The second set is the Chilean Shirt and Pants from Merchant Prince's Folly. This set is actually pretty good, so if you have the opportunity to get into MPF early and farm them as your first set, you can skip the previously mentioned option. This set is great for the tank and there's no need to go to the next set if you don't want. The small recovery boost is definitely worthy. The third set is new with Mod 13, the Upper and Lower Primal Paints, which features the same but slightly higher stat distribution as the Chilean clothes. Especially if you're DPS, this is what you'll want to pick up. The shirt bonus buffs Daily damage, so if you're a tank and using Villian's Menance as opposed to Fighter's Recovery you could use the set for tanking as well. These can be bought from the Campaign Store in Chult with Omuan Riches. Additionally, if you're into PvP it's worth noting the Sandy Assault Pnts. They have a nice bonus for PvP that activates when being controlled (though it has a cool down). It can be purchased from the Mysterious Merchant and pairs well with the Upper Primal Paints for PvP.

Artifacts:

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

Tactician Artifacts:

Tactician's Banner (active)
Heart of the White Dragon
Champion's Banner
Thayan Book of the Dead or Heart of the Black Dragon The most important thing to keep in mind when picking artifacts is to pick a good active artifact that will help your group. Typically as a support class we want artifacts that will debuff. I like the Tactician's Banner because it reduces enemy DR, and it is active for 30 seconds. Since the banner is placed on the ground, it isn't always a good idea to use it (like if a boss is moving around), so it's a good idea to have a few debuff artifacts that are good to be active, and then the rest of your artifacts can be used to help you with your stats. I am using the Thayan Book of the Dead to help with Armor Penetration as well as help me get enough Action Point Gain. The rest of the artifacts listed above are nice because I like the extra HP. The bottom three artifacts can change to meet your needs on stats. Other good options for debuff artifacts in your active slot include Charm of the Serpent, Lantern of Revelation, Heart of the Black Dragon, and Token of Chromatic Storm.

Conqueror Artifacts:

Soul Sight Crystal (active)
Fragmented Key of Stars
Shard of Orcus Wand
Lantern of Revelation or Thayan Book of the Dead or Sigil of the Controller or Eye of the Giant   This section has been redesigned to gear more towards full DPS. As a DPS, you'll definitely want the Soul Sight Crystal as your active artifact because it provides the biggest single target damage buff for you. On AOE, if you want a different power artifact you can use the Wheel of Elements. For the remaining three artifacts, you're first looking to reach your crit and armor penetration needs. If you have reached you caps, then you can start to change out artifacts for ones that have more power. Lantern of Revelation and Thayan Book of the Dead have crit and armor penetration. Also, you get 600 Action Point Gain and 600 Combat Advantage Damage bonus if you use both of them. This is helpful early on in building for DPS, but eventually the Eye of the Giant takes the place of both of them for more power. Fragmented Key of Stars and Sigil of the Controller are good for adding power depending on your armor pen and crit needs. Shard of Orcus is a must for the Demon Lord's set bonus.

Artifact Sets:

For Tanks:

For artifact sets, you have a few options depending on what you want to do. For a tank, you want use gear that will give you good stats, and good set bonus that comes with that gear is even better. Currently in Mod 12B, you have three options: 1. Protector Set (Greater Plated Belt of Constitution, Protector Cloak, Waters of Elah'zad or Lantern of Revelation. 2. Valhalla Set 3. Broken Company Set (Company Gladiator Belt, Company Raider Cloak, no artifact for set) 4. Fanged Beaded Amulet and Beaded Sash (Mastercraft V) The Protector set is still getting mention only as it is super cheap to acquire. The set bonus is 10K HP. There are better sets but this is still viable. The Valhalla Set can be a great set for tanks that need extra protection. The set bonus makes enemies deal less damage to you which can greatly improve your survivability. In end game I don't use this because I'm trying to make sure i'm still taking some damage for Martial Mastery. If you're low on defensive stats though, this is a perfect set. The Broken Company Set is nice as it has great stats and helps boost the Intelligence up. This is the current set I'm using. In my opinion, the Fanged set is supreme for my particular build and needs. I like the Fanged pieces because they offer Power, crit, and recovery. I don't need extra defense, deflection, or armor penetration. If you desire those stats, there are other good sets from Mastercrat such as the Lichstone set which give lots of Con, Defense, and Delfection. Really any combination of Mastercraft V necks and belts is going to be good as long as you're keep track of what stats you need. The added recovery on the Fanged pieces plus the 1500 recovery bonus for the set more than makes up for the Intelligence we lost off of the Company Set.

For DPS:

There is only one viable set for full DPS. Demon Lord's set with the Demogorgon's Belt, Baphomet's Infernal Talisman, and the Shard of Orcus Wand artifact. I suppose the next best set available currently would be the Lostmauth Set, but if you're seriously trying for DPS, the artifact set isn't the place to cut corners. Even in Mod 13, the Demon Lord's set is still unmatched.

Weapons:

The weapon progression has already change from Mod 12B to Mod 13. It's important to understand that while you will come across old weapons as you're caring up, it's not really worth investing refinement into an outdated weapon set since the new weapons offer the highest weapon damage. The weapon damage is very important as that dictates how much damage your powers can do. Last Mod, Wootz were introduced as the new starter weapon set as they are pretty inexpensive for most classes and they had the highest base weapon damage at the time. Now the weapon damage is outdated, however depending on the resources available to you, they can still be OK to use temporarily. Don't bother with Elemental, Twisted, Shielderbearer, or any of the River District weapons as most of those requiring farming and they're outdated. For a first weapon set starting out, try and buy the Pilgrim weapon set. You can buy them off the auction house, or using Zen you can buy the main hand and offhand separately. Unfortunately, this is the only weapon set that's current that's available to new players which is why I mention Wootz as being OK temporarily. Pilgrim is an introductory DPS bonus but will work for all of your needs until you're ready to trade up. Once you can get into Chult and Omu, I recommend either going for Pioneer or Primal weapons. Primal weapons will require Brave Seals from Tomb of the Nine Gods and Pioneer will require Omuan riches from Omu to be purchased from the campaign store. The Pioneer weapons offer 1000 Power, Crit, Armor pen, Recovery, and Defense when in a full group of 5 which can really help the stats out early on. The BiS choice for tanking is the Mastercraft V weapons which give 2% Damage, DI, and Healing Bonus to everyone in the party. This fits the role of a buff tank very ell as being the most you can give to the group. BiS weapons for DPS are Primal weapons. Some tanks may want to run Primal all the time just for ease of access. Tyrant weapons, despite being one of the hardest to get, does not beat the bonus from Primal as far as damage goes.

Enchantments:

Whatever stats you cannot get from your boons, artifacts, weapons, gear, and your mount you will need to supplement with enchantments. A few things about enchantments are that there are single, double, and triple stat enchantments. It is difficult to advise one on which enchantments are best for their character is it is all fine tuning. Because enchantments are expensive to refine or purchase, In Mod 12B, enchantment stat distribution changed a little bit. The trend for using dual stat enchantments was big before, but now triple stat enchantment are being pushed for more heavily because they offer 40% more stats than a single stat enchantment. The end goal for some people may be triple stats across their whole character. It is all about fine tuning your stats, knowing what you need, and the best way to get there. I suggest the following.

In Offense:

I am currently running Draconics on my end game Tactician build. I have double offense rings which makes it easier to use triple stat enchantments. Draconic's give higher armor penetration, and low power and recovery. If you were low on Recovery or Armor Pen, I would suggest you use a mix of Dark and Silvery enchantments for more of those stats. I do use one Tenebrous enchantment. It is not necessary, but it is a nice addition if your HP is high and you've hit your stat caps. For DPS, I use a mix of Brutals and Azures in my offense. You can mix armor penetration in you're low on that as well. In Mod 14, if you're running Tactician you may take my consideration on using the guild armor pen boon as opposed to the Draconics we've been running due to the increase armor pen cap (100%). If you decide to do this, I recommend either running straight silveries in offense for the recovery, or Cruel Enchantments for the power recovery. On principle I prefer the split stat enchantments as it's more overall increase, but Recovery is the priority. If you need Silveries to achieve your high recovery stat, then by all means use it.

In Defense:

I use Radiants on my end game Tactician and DPS builds. This is because HP means you can take bigger hits as a tank, and if you're DPS you'll get a higher damage boost from the Paladin's Aura of Courage. If you're a tank, use Azures until you're at the cap. You can use Darks for life steal too if your Defense is good. Ideally, you'll get both Defense and Lifesteal elsewhere, and use your enchantment slots for HP.

Utility:

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

Weapon Enchantment:

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

For Tanks:

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

For DPS:

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

Armor Enchantment:

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

Companions:

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

1. Great active bonus.

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

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

For Tanks:

Dancing Shield (Summoned)- This companion grants 2% Deflect Chance. I run this companion because of it's debuff attack that it does when summoned. the 2% deflect chance is a decent bonus. Energon- Increases you Max HP by 5%. The further into end game you get, you'll want o consider taking your Maximum HP higher as bigger HP pools will allow you to take bigger hits. Please note, this companion is bugged. It doeswork, but in order for it to work properly, you must deactivate it, and reactive it each time you change instances or change your HP (join a group or take HP boosting potions). Tamed Velociraptor- Grant 1% damage to each party member that is "Part of the Pack."Run this for your group if everyone else has it for a maximum of 5% damage bonus. Rust Monster- On damage taken, 25% chance to inflict a 5% damage debuff on attacker. Stacks up to 3 times. Great debuff, stacks easier with single target fights. Bulette Pup- If you take 25% of your health in damage in a single blow, recover 25% health over time. It's pretty good for an emergency heal! The above companions can be a little bit flexible. On my Tactician, I ALWAYS run Dancing Shield for it's 20% debuff, and the Energon because I'm an HP whore. Tamed Velociraptor, Rust Monster, and Burette Pup depend on the group. Usually my group has raptors so typically it stays on, but if you don't need it you can run the Phase Spider for extra combat advantage damage resistance. Some groups I run with don't have trouble surviving, so if your group is strong then you don't need the Rust Monster debuff. If you yourself are strong, you may not need the Bulette Pup. In these cases, those last companion slots can be filled with the Air Archon and Siege Master for extra damage. These two are great particularly because they are up 100% of the time. One companion that every tank should have in their back pocket is the Dread Warrior. I don't need it any more, but it is a good options to have available in a pinch. Remember that damage is aggro, so while Dread Warrior gives me an increase in threat %, the damage % companions basically do the same thing. If your damage is poor Dread Warrior will be better for aggro. If your damage is decent, the damage companions will be better. This is because the threat % can make weaker hits generate much more threat than you'd normal get.

For DPS:

Con Artist (summoned)- It's attack debuffs 10% which helps everybody, but the real reason DPS GF uses it is for the easy ring equip. Some people like the Sellsword (same debuff) but the equipment is much harder to acquire and end game rings have way more stats than the companion gear coming out of IG. Con artist equip has 300 crit which doesn't sound like much but every little bit counts. OR Chultan Tiger (summoned)- At the start of combat, you gain a 5% increase to your damage and run speed for 25 seconds. Also, this companion debuffs 10% like the Con Artist. This one is BiS for summoned IF you can get a double offense neck to work with. Otherwise stick with the Con Artist. Air Archon- 5% damage up 100% of the time, can't beat it. Siege Master- 4% damage up 100% of the time, can't beat it. Warboar- 5% damage bonus to marked targets. As long as you're marking (and you should), that's another big bonus. Tamed Velociraptor- As stated above it's 1% for each member in the group running it. Use it if everyone has it for another 5% damage with 100% uptime. Earth Archon- 6% damage up as long as you are at full health. I named 6 companions above. Con artist is a must, and the other four need swapped around depending on the situation. Siege Master is the lowest bonus so that's the first to go usually. If the group doesn't have 5 raptors, then you use Siege Master instead of the raptor. If you really aren't confident about your health staying up enough for the Earth Archon's bonus, then use Siege Master and Tamed Velociraptor together. If you can't afford the Warboar out of the GWF pack, then Fire Archon would be an ok backup. Which companions you have alongside your summoned really just depends on the situation. Fire Archon is also notable in boss fights that are longer since it buffs the bonus or Air and Earth Archons, and the damage bonuses are multiplicative.

COMPANION GEAR:

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

SUMMARY:

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

Mounts Bonuses, Powers, and Insignias:

To start, mounts can be pretty expensive. You can get them through Auction House, The Tarmalune Trade House, and through the Zen Market. While it is cheaper in AD to buy the mount you need through the Auction House, there is benefit to buying it through the Zen Market. If you are someone that runs multiple characters or plans on running multiple characters, you can reclaim any and all mounts purchased through the Zen Market. This makes for getting your characters good mount bonus and extra stats fast. I will say each mount that I do have, it’s stat and combat powers if relevant, it’s insignia bonus I use, and then I’ll list insignia bonuses and insignias that I like to use. The below mounts are very expensive, but you do not need those mounts to gain the listed insignia bonuses. Legendary mounts only differ from epic mounts in that the equip power is doubled from its epic counterpart, and you gain a combat power. You can build the below listed insignia bonuses with epic mounts on the zen market and the auction house. You can find a good list of mounts for the bonuses needed here. My current mounts:   Here's a little more information about my current bonuses: The mounts section has change a bit, mostly due to preference. Two insignia bonuses I’m going to suggest you must have are Shepherd's Devotion and Artificer's Persuasion. These two mounts are some of the biggest buffs you can give yourself, and in the case of Sheperd's Devotion the buff goes to you AND your teammates. These two mounts are must haves. Artificer's Persuasion will help you keep Shepherd's Devotion up for your team so they have good synergy. Another must have for me in Gladiator's Guile because I value movement speed; a tank that is late to an encounter doesn't get to pull aggro first. The last two mounts are negotiable depending on where your stats are and your play style. I am using Protector's Camraderie for extra power and defense, and Vampire's Craving to boost my life steal.

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

Artificer's Persuasion- Whenever you use an Artifact Power, your Recovery, Movement, Action Point Gain, and Stamina Gain are increased by 10% of your Power for 15 seconds. Shepherd’s Devotion- Whenever you use a Daily power, your teammates Defense, Deflection, and Movement are Increased by 5% of your Power for 10 seconds. Protecter's Camraderie- Whenever your summoned companion attacks, you gain 3% of your Power and Defense for 10 seconds. This effect can stack up to 4 times. Vampire's Craving- When you lifesteal, receive a heal over time for 10% of your maximum hit points for 4 seconds. If you decided to stack some deflection then Survivor's Gift is a good self heal to equip. If you have deflection and life steal you can use both Vampire's Craving and Survivor's Gift to help keep your HP topped off. Another mount worth mentioning is Cavalry's Warning. I stopped using it because a 10% increase in my stats wasn't needed/noticeable. However, if you have a legendary mount and you’re not liking one of the self heals or Gladiator's Guile, then that’s where you would use Cavalry's Warning.   Insignias: In Mod 11.5, the insignias you slot effect your gear score, so upgrading them past green means more than it used to. Epic insignias can be very costly, so how I obtained most of mine were from lockbox drops or drops on the ground. I would first get the minimum required to activate my bonuses, then keep switching out insignias until I get only the stats that I need (Max HP, Defense, Deflect, etc.), and upgrade the quality as they became available. If you had the extra AD laying around, you can buy Epics. The reason I don’t rush to upgrade insignias is because they are the last way to fine tune your character. They are the finishing touches on your stats, not a means to achieving big numbers. So I would wait until your stats are nicely lined out and semi-permanent before investing in expensive insignias. I personally use Prosperity (HP) in every single slot possible, then I filled the each slot I could with Recovery (because I don't need Defense or Deflect more than Recovery at this point), and then whatever I had left I stacked Armor Pen or Deflection. It is helpful to keep in mind the third stat each insignia has. Supplemental stats such as AOE resist, Control resist, and et cetera start having diminished returns at about 1,000-1,200 points. Insignias can be a great way to round off your character build and even those numbers out to be as close to 1,200 without going over. The insignias really should be one of the last things you change as generally they are the easiest swaps to make in your stats.

Mount Power:

The mount power is the stat or bonus gained by equipping a specific mount. Each epic and legendary mount has a mount power. Rare and common mounts do not have mount powers. Epic mounts generally have 2k stats while legendary have 4K stats. There are exceptions to this rule such as a few mounts that have % bonuses and the HP mount has 8k at epic and 16k at legendary. For tanking, I currently use the 4K Recovery power which comes from the legendary Tenser's Disk. For DPS I use the 4K critical strike which comes from the legendary Rage Drake. For PvP, I use the 2k Power/2k Armor Penentration from the legendary T-Rex. Mounts can used to round off your stats at the epic level, if you’re using a legendary mount, your gear and artifacts tend to build around your legendary mount as it’s such an expensive addition to your build. I recommend getting your enchantments and gear up to near end game before considering buying s legendary mount for your build as it may be tough to know what you want early on. Combat Power- These powers only come with legendary mounts, so if you’re lucky enough to pull one or you think you’re ready to buy one, here are a few to consider. The Tenser's Disk combat power increases your Con, Str, and Dex (your main attributes on a GF) for 10 seconds. This can be used for bonus damage. As a tank, one of my favorite support mounts is the legendary Lion as its combat power provides a blue over shield to the team and is great for surviving some difficult situations. As DPS, it can be used to protect your Temp HP, which is a large source of your damage. Another great mount is the legendary T-Rex. This will root mobs and debuff all enemies in the area for 10 seconds. This debuff can be great if timed well with the rotations of the DPS, and with the buffs. A combat power is sort of a finishing touch on a build, it is not mandatory but is more of luxury.

Useful Links:

Coming soon!

Overload Enhancements Tests

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

Mod 10 GF Class Rework- Patch Notes

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

Janne's Site for Game Mechanics

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

Michela's Debuff Spreadsheet Mod 11.5

Bethel's Mount Insignia Bonus Guide

RJC9000's Together We Ride GF Guide

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

RJC9000's Help Me Michela! DC Guide

Grimah's GF Compendium

Oria1's MoF CW Guide

Neverwinter Guardian Fighter Facebook Page

 

The End:

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

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

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

  • October 18, 2017 at 4:39 am

    Hi Rafael,

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

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

    Xenakis

  • Tom
    October 21, 2017 at 6:29 pm

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

    Again, thanks a lot for the guide!

    • October 28, 2017 at 8:15 pm

      Hi Tom,

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

      Xenakis

  • October 28, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    what chult boons are you using?

  • November 3, 2017 at 3:32 am

    Hi George,

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

    Xenakis

  • LittleVC
    November 7, 2017 at 1:32 pm

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

    • November 9, 2017 at 12:07 am

      Hi LittleVC,

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

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

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

      Xenakis

  • OrdinarilyBob
    November 14, 2017 at 8:42 pm

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

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

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

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

  • November 15, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    Hi OrdinarilyBob,

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

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

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

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

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

    Hope this helps!

    Xenakis

    • OrdinarilyBob
      November 19, 2017 at 11:08 pm

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

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

      • December 3, 2017 at 2:05 am

        Hi OrdinarilyBob,

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

        Thanks for visiting this guide!

        Xenakis

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

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

    • December 3, 2017 at 2:01 am

      Hi Dylan Green,

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

      Xenakis

  • December 12, 2017 at 1:20 am

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

    • December 12, 2017 at 3:05 am

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

      Xenakis

  • Fifilalachuchu
    February 14, 2018 at 11:18 am

    Is this guide updated enough to follow today?

    • February 18, 2018 at 3:54 am

      Hi Fifilalachuchu,

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

      Xenakis

  • Actwz
    March 9, 2018 at 6:28 pm

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

    • March 14, 2018 at 3:48 am

      Hi Actwz,

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

      Xenakis

  • March 13, 2018 at 8:02 am

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

    • March 22, 2018 at 1:32 am

      Hi Andrew,

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

      Xenakis

  • Day
    April 7, 2018 at 7:03 am

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

    • April 13, 2018 at 3:32 pm

      Hi Day,

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

      Xenakis

  • Day
    April 8, 2018 at 5:42 pm

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

    • April 13, 2018 at 3:35 pm

      Hi Day,

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

      Xenakis

  • Orhan
    May 10, 2018 at 5:19 am

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

    • May 10, 2018 at 5:44 am

      Hi Orhan,

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

      Xenakis

  • May 10, 2018 at 8:13 am

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

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

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

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

    • May 10, 2018 at 1:38 pm

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

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

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

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

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

      Xenakis

  • Orhan
    May 10, 2018 at 1:57 pm

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

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

    İ was already using conquerer feats.

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

    Ty for the help!

  • Orhan
    May 10, 2018 at 2:03 pm

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

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

  • May 12, 2018 at 7:06 am

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

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