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grallmate's Avatar

11.11.2012 , 04:02 PM | #3
Firstly, ignore the rudeness above poster. It's fine to ask for assistance but it does pay to have a look at other threads or use the search function.

There are 2 common specs for PVE Guardian Tanking.
Full Defence:

Full Defence is a more AoE capable build with easier focus management. It does generate lower single target threat and has slightly less survivability compared to Hybrid. Hybrid has stronger single target threat generation and higher survivability but requires more focus management. When I say "Focus management" I mean that the Full Defence build will usually sit at the top of the Focus bar without needing Strike while the Hybrid build will sit near the bottom with Strike being a more common move and will benefit heavily from Combat Focus.

In terms of a rotation, Guardian tanks are very priority based. Once you play for a bit you'll start to get a feel for it but a couple of things to keep in mind:
1 - Riposte whenever off CD for increased Defence chance
2 - Blade Storm whenever off CD for Blade Barrier
3 - Force Sweep whenever off CD for Accuracy debuff and AoE threat (and Sunder stacks if specced)

Past that you have Focus builders, Focus burners and Focus neutral attacks. Generally if you have enough Focus, use whatever is highest priority on your Focus burner list. If you don't, use a Focus builder (again, highest priority). I use my Focus neutral attacks when my Focus burners are on CD and I still have a bit of Focus left. Again, you need to get a feel for it.

Focus Builders:
0 - Saber Throw (3 Focus)
0 - Force Leap (3 Focus)
1 - Sundering Strike (2 Focus)
2 - Force Stasis (3 Focus and a stun)
3 - Combat Focus (6 free Focus - 1 min CD)
4 - Strike (1 Focus)

I've listed Saber Throw and Force Leap as priority 0 because you always use them as an opener but often don't get to use them again. Whenever you can use them these are a great way to generate Focus. Sundering Strike also builds Sunder stacks, combined with the 4.5s CD and 2 Focus, this is your staple Focus generator. Force Stasis and Combat Focus are more situational in their application. Stasis is sometimes more useful for it's stun, sometimes for the Focus, on trash pulls I generally hold it in case I need a stun but for bosses I burn it early for Focus. Combat Focus is great if you need a sudden windfall of Focus for an AoE intensive rotation, for a Hybrid you will you this a lot more often, again you need to get a feel for this.

Focus Burners:
1 - Riposte (off GCD) (1 Focus)
2 - Blade Storm (4 Focus)
3 - Force Sweep (Full Defence) (4 Focus)
4 - Guardian Stlash (Full Defence) (4 Focus)
5 - Overhead Slash (Hybrid) (4 Focus)
6 - Slash (3 Focus)
X - Cyclone Slash (3 Focus)

With your Focus burners, you want to use Riposte and Blade Storm on CD to give you Blade Barrier and Blade Barricade. It is important to make sure you have enough Focus to be using them as soon as they come off CD as they both contribute to your survivability. Force Sweep should also be used close to CD but you need to be wary in a Full Defence build not to use Blade Storm and Force Sweep too close to each other or you won't be getting full benefit from Courage.

Guardian Slash is a nice "heavy" hitter with a smart AoE attached, it's best used when the target has 5 stacks of Sunder on them already to trigger the AoE. If used on a target with less than 5 stacks of Sunder, Guardian Slash will add up to 3 more stacks. Overhead Slash is the Hybrid alternative to Guardian Slash. It hits harder, generates more threat and costs the same Focus but only affects a single target. Slash should be used to burn focus if you are sitting near full so as to not waste any Focus generated from Soresu form. Cyclone slash is a focus burner but it is only useful for its AoE. It hits for less than Sundering Strike but will hit up to 5 targets in an arc in front of you.

Focus Neutral:
1 - Force Sweep (Hybrid)
2 - Master Strike
3 - Hilt Strike (Full Defence)

Each build has 2 Focus neutral attacks. That is attacks that don't cost and don't generate Focus. For Hybrid Guardians, Force Sweep is free and should be used on CD. Master Strike is a 3 second channel that hits 3 times total. It is one of the hardest hitting abilities in the game and a great way to generate threat. Should be used whenever you are below 3/4 Focus and your Riposte/Blade Storm/Force Sweet are on CD. Important to note that using Taunt or Riposte in the middle of Master Strike will break the channel and the last hit is the hardest. Hilt Strike is a hard stun that deals a little damage. Despite being "high threat" this is mostly useful for its stun. Use like Force Stasis if you are Full Defence.

AoE Priority:
1 - Force Sweep
2 - Guardian Slash (Full Defence)
3 - Cyclone Slash

AoE threat is pretty tough for a Guardian. If you can get everything close together you can usually hold it but if you are dealing with lots of spread out ranged mobs it can be a nightmare. I'd suggest learning to LoS pull to deal with these situations. TankingTOR and a few threads on these forums will cover that. Most of the above abilities have already been covered above. I'll just add that Cyclone slash strikes a ~120 degree arc in front of you. Make sure you are facing the mobs or its wasted.

Now that all that is covered. My single target opening rotation for the Hybrid Guardian is:
Saber Throw -> Force Leap - >Sundering Strike -> Blade Storm -> Force Sweep -> Sundering Strike -> Force Stasis -> Overhead Slash -> Sundering Strike -> Master Strike
Full Defence Guardian would look more like:
Saber Throw -> Force Leap - >Sundering Strike -> Force Sweep -> Guardian Slash -> Sundering Strike -> Blade Storm -> Force Stasis -> Sundering Strike -> Master Strike
Riposte is used as soon as it lights up and on CD thereafter. After that I go into my priority queues above.

Multiple target opening rotation is more like:
Saber Throw on ranged (change target to another ranged) -> Leap -> Sundering Strike -> Force Sweep -> (Guardian Slash) -> Cyclone Slash until out of Focus -> Combat Focus -> (Change target) Force Stasis -> Cyclone Slash until out of Focus
After that I go into a normal priority rotation just changing between to 2-3 biggest threats (aka strong/elites) in the pull every few attacks. Any remaining weaks and normals are the responsibility of the DPS but if they ignore them a taunt can be used to protect the healer.

In terms of gear, a Full Defence Guardians generally aim for:
- 30% Defence
- 50% Shield
- 50% Absorb
- 48% Damage Reduction

Hybrid Guardian will look more like:
- 30% Defence
- 46% Shield
- 50% Absorb
- 52% Damage Reduction

Guardian gear is a bit crazy. Rakata is very heavy on Defence and light on Shield/Absorb while Black Hole/Campaign has a lot more Shield/Absorb. One of the first things you should do with your gear is rip out all the Accuracy and replace it with mitigation stats. After that, you want to try and keep Defence/Shield/Absorb fairly balanced.

For BiS relics you can choose between:
- War Hero Defence
- War Hero Shield
- Campaign/Dread Guard Absorb Proc
- Campaign/DG Shield/Absorb click
- Campaign/DG Defence click

It's really up to you what fits your (and your healer's) play style when it comes to relics. The WH Defence/Shield ones give a nice constant boost of 113 points of the respective stat. The absorb proc relic gives really good mean mitigation but only affects attacks that would already have been reduced. The click relics give you an extra CD and in fights with tank swaps (which is most of the newer ones) they give great average up time if used proactively. Defence/Shield is all about preference, personally I like the Shield/Absorb one because its less spiky.

I'd recommend reading Camarius's sticky in the Guardian Forum as well as heading over to TankingTOR for some great videos that cover a few 'advanced' tanking tricks.
The Kae-Sare Legacy - The Harbinger
<Vindication> <Retribution>

Gralleh Grall'eh Khyar
Gralleh's Guide to Guardian Tanking [UPDATED for 2.0]