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Taugrim's "Iron Fist" 25/14/2 PVP Tank Spec [Video]

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes > Vanguard / Powertech
Taugrim's "Iron Fist" 25/14/2 PVP Tank Spec [Video]

taugrimtaugrim's Avatar


taugrimtaugrim
01.28.2012 , 10:40 AM | #1
UPDATE (2012/06/27): the nerfs in 1.3 to Flame Shield (Static Shield) and Flame Surge (Static Surge) have unfortunately made "Iron Fist" no longer viable in PVP. Given the current mechanics, I recommend running Pyrotech (Assault Specialist) or Advanced Prototype (Tactics). If you are set on tanking, you can run a 31-pt spec but understand that your damage output is going to be limited.

Watch the video: on YouTube | on my blog

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This video covers my “Iron Fist” 25/14/2 PVP tank spec.

I designed the spec after discerning the limitations of the Defense (avoidance) and Shield (block) mechanics for tanks in PVP. Mitigation is king in SWTOR PVP. The two 2% mitigation talents and 5% mitigation from the tanking stance stack additively to provide 9% mitigation against all damage types (i.e. Elemental, Energy, Internal, and Kinetic) - you can see this by mousing over Damage Reduction on your Character window.

The 4-pc Tech set bonus, Static Shield talent, and Static Surge talent synergize to generate a high frequency of high-damage Stockstrike crits.

Here is the spec used in the video:
http://www.torhead.com/skill-calc#80...RroMZMcrroZb.1

The “Iron Fist” spec has been very effective for me in PVP, both group play and solo. It’s designed to support aggressive close-quarters combat gameplay: you can tank and burn down MDPS and pressure and shutdown casters and healers, while retaining Guard, charge, and debuff capability.

For more information about Vanguard PVP, please refer to my free in-depth Guide.

I queued solo for the Huttball match shown in the video.

Comments / Errata:
  1. I had an incorrect Relic bound on my Quickslot bar. The point made in the video still stands: the level 50 Crit buff stacks with a Relic

UPDATE (2012/04/17): no changes for Patch 1.2 to this spec, as none of its talents were impacted in a significant way. Unfortunately, the Carolina Parakeet spec is now history

UPDATE (2012/03/26): moved the point in Prototype Cylinders (Blaster Augs) back to Retractable Blade (Gut). The point in PC (BA) only seems to buff the direct-damage portion, not the DoT.

UPDATE (2012/03/12): moved the point in Retractable Blade (Gut) to Prototype Cylinders (Blaster Augs).

UPDATE (2012/02/29): people keep asking about leveling. You can level with any tree. If you want to do a tank build such as Iron Fist, put your first 21-25 pts in the tank tree, then fill out the other trees.

UPDATE (2012/02/17): with the nerf to Surge Rating in 1.1.3, burst damage is down significantly for all players and time-to-kill has increased. An implication is that “mana” management has become more important.

As such, I moved the point in Oil Slick (Smoke Grenade) over to the second point in Shield Vents (Shield Cycler). The idea here is to get your internal cooldown on the Heat vent (Ammo regen) proc from SV (SC) ticking as fast as possible.

UPDATE (2012/02/08): read NoGoal’s insightful comment on the mechanics limitations for Rebraced Armor.

UPDATE (2012/02/02): people have been asking about gear for this spec. Here’s what you want to get:
  • Supercommando Shield offhand: to leverage the free +15% Shield Chance buff you get from the tanking stance. While I don’t believe the Shield Chance stat is worth stacking for PVP, the +15% benefit is worth leveraging
  • Combat Tech 4-pc set: for the awesome +15% Crit Chance to Rocket Punch (Stockstrike). Alternatively, if you prefer the Supercommando set bonuses, you can go 4-pc Supercommando and swap out the mods for DPS ones
  • Go for DPS stats for the remaining slots: this means Eliminator, Combat Tech, and in some cases Combat Medic. The priority for the stats is what I documented in the Stats and Gear section of my Powertech / Vanguard Guide

UPDATE (2012/01/29): to clarify why mitigation matters and how it stacks, consider the following…

Talents such as Power Armor are not affected by diminishing returns, and mitigation becomes more valuable the more you have.

Without points in the two 2% mitigation talents, my mitigation against Energy and Kinetic attacks is 45.5% from Armor and the tanking stance, so I suffer 54.5 points of damage out of every 100.

With Iron Fist, the mitigation increases to 49.5%, so I suffer 50.5 points of damage out of every 100.

Which means that a non-IF tank spec is going to take 7.9% (4 / 50.5) more damage than an IF build. The difference is significant and very noticeable in PVP.

By the same token, the damage that a non-IF spec takes from Elemental and Internal damage compared to an IF spec is > 4%.

I.e. non-IF in tank stance has 5% mitigation against those damage types, and IF has 9%. So 95 damage taken vs 91 damage taken, or an increase of 4.4%.

When you factor in the +10% mitigation buff from Sorcs / Sages, the gap between non-IF and IF tank specs widens to 4.9% (4 / 81).

And the above percentages again increase when you factor in our 4% damage debuff.

UPDATE (2012/01/28): people asked about the pros and cons of Carolina Parakeet (21/2/18) and Iron Fist. Here’s my brief take…

Here is what you gain with Carolina Parakeet:
+ improved ranged capability
+ better burst mechanics when Prototype Particle Accelerator (Ionic Accelerator) procs multiple times in a short time window

Here is what you gain with Iron Fist:
+ better mitigation and CC capability
+ no wasted talent points or set bonuses

They are both excellent specs – which you choose depends on your preferred capabilities.
Taugrim
PVP Maven, Guide Writer, Host on GAMEBREAKER's The Republic show
@taugrim | taugrim.com
Guides: Resolve | Powertech/Vanguard PVP | Defense/Shielding | Bolster

Romgaard's Avatar


Romgaard
01.28.2012 , 11:38 AM | #2
Hi there

How would u compare surviveability vs dps in your Ironfistspec vs this spec:
http://www.torhead.com/skill-calc#801bMZMsZfhMbdGGMs.1

For me the assault spec offers a lot more crits, HIB and incendiary round.

I know u have tryied every possible spec, so what r your thoughts?
There are three kinds of people: Those who totally agree with me, those who kind of agree with me, and those locked in the trunk of my car!

taugrimtaugrim's Avatar


taugrimtaugrim
01.28.2012 , 12:19 PM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by Romgaard View Post
Hi there

How would u compare surviveability vs dps in your Ironfistspec vs this spec:
http://www.torhead.com/skill-calc#801bMZMsZfhMbdGGMs.1

For me the assault spec offers a lot more crits, HIB and incendiary round.
4/6/31 is our highest burst and sustained DPS spec. I've played it and the damage output is superb.

That being said, it has several downsides:
- it lacks a charge or in-combat sprint
- it's squishy
- the spec has no synergy with Guard
- the CC capability relative to other specs is limited

4/6/31 basically is "a good defense is a good offense".

Iron Fist offers much more utility and survivability. The difference when taking focus fire is night-and-day.

So it really depends on whether you want to be an all-out DPS or an offensive tank. The latter is more what I'm looking for, and the reason I rolled a can-tank AC in the first place.
Taugrim
PVP Maven, Guide Writer, Host on GAMEBREAKER's The Republic show
@taugrim | taugrim.com
Guides: Resolve | Powertech/Vanguard PVP | Defense/Shielding | Bolster

LaManoNera's Avatar


LaManoNera
01.28.2012 , 12:42 PM | #4
This is the spec I want to wind up with on my leveling Vanguard.

Can you tank PvE content with this build, though? And I know that Absorption isn't really useful in PvP as the shield doesn't really work with a whole lot of damage types, but is it any useful in PvE?

Basically, I don't want to have to respec every time I switch from PvP to PvE just to replace a few talents. So, is this a versatile spec in that regard in your experience?

Edit: one more question. What's the most effective way to use that smoke bomb? 60 second for -20% for 18 seconds doesn't really seem all that important looking at it on paper.
♥ Love ♥
Definition: Love is making a shot to the knees of a target 120 kilometers away using an Aratech sniper rifle with a tri-light scope.

Romgaard's Avatar


Romgaard
01.28.2012 , 12:42 PM | #5
Hi again

U make a pretty good point. I chose Vanguard as well for being the can-tank ( played an Ironbreaker in warhammer for a loooong time ).

Will def. look into your Ironfist spec.
I have a few questions, if u have time to answer.
How essiential is focused impact ( 60% reduced armor for HIB), did u do the math on this?

I have messed around with this spec a couple of times:
http://www.torhead.com/skill-calc#80...RboMZZrI0bdh.1
Gives the opp. to switch from Ioncell to plasma. Still give those free HIB hits I have come to love so much ;-)
Any thoughts on this?
There are three kinds of people: Those who totally agree with me, those who kind of agree with me, and those locked in the trunk of my car!

taugrimtaugrim's Avatar


taugrimtaugrim
01.28.2012 , 12:49 PM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by LaManoNera View Post
Can you tank PvE content with this build, though? And I know that Absorption isn't really useful in PvP as the shield doesn't really work with a whole lot of damage types, but is it any useful in PvE?

Basically, I don't want to have to respec every time I switch from PvP to PvE just to replace a few talents. So, is this a versatile spec in that regard in your experience?
I just hit 50 about 2 weeks ago, so my focus has been trying out various PVP specs. I'm going to start building out a PVE tanking set.

EDIT (2012/01/29): FWIW, I tanked my first SWTOR instance tonight, Hard-Mode Directive 7, and the spec held up fine even with only 3 pieces of "tanking" gear from PVP: Champion legs and weapon and Centurion shield offhand.

Quote: Originally Posted by LaManoNera View Post
Edit: one more question. What's the most effective way to use that smoke bomb? 60 second for -20% for 18 seconds doesn't really seem all that important looking at it on paper.
Exactly how I stated in the video. Use it to debuff IA/Smuggler and Sith Warrior / Jedi Knight opponents.

I've debated dropping the debuff to put the 2nd point in Shield Cycler. TBD.
Taugrim
PVP Maven, Guide Writer, Host on GAMEBREAKER's The Republic show
@taugrim | taugrim.com
Guides: Resolve | Powertech/Vanguard PVP | Defense/Shielding | Bolster

taugrimtaugrim's Avatar


taugrimtaugrim
01.28.2012 , 12:52 PM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by Romgaard View Post
U make a pretty good point. I chose Vanguard as well for being the can-tank ( played an Ironbreaker in warhammer for a loooong time ).
Yep, I played WAR too. If you followed Swordmaster on the warhammeralliance.com forums, you may have seen my SM Guide and PVP videos.

Quote: Originally Posted by Romgaard View Post
How essiential is focused impact ( 60% reduced armor for HIB), did u do the math on this?
It's an awesome talent and what makes HIB crit for over 2k.

Quote: Originally Posted by Romgaard View Post
I have messed around with this spec a couple of times:
http://www.torhead.com/skill-calc#80...RboMZZrI0bdh.1
Gives the opp. to switch from Ioncell to plasma. Still give those free HIB hits I have come to love so much ;-)
Any thoughts on this?
Assuming you're using the tanking cell, you have 2 wasted talent points in II, put them in PCS instead.

Swap the Static Surge points for FI, esp for an 18+ pt Assault Spec build.
Taugrim
PVP Maven, Guide Writer, Host on GAMEBREAKER's The Republic show
@taugrim | taugrim.com
Guides: Resolve | Powertech/Vanguard PVP | Defense/Shielding | Bolster

Lildenjin's Avatar


Lildenjin
01.28.2012 , 01:59 PM | #8
With this build how often do you find yourself using gut? Are you trying to gut everytime your close range and stock is on cd?

taugrimtaugrim's Avatar


taugrimtaugrim
01.28.2012 , 02:06 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by Lildenjin View Post
With this build how often do you find yourself using gut? Are you trying to gut everytime your close range and stock is on cd?
Stockstrike is always first priority.

Gut against targets that are high health or are trying to cap a door.
Taugrim
PVP Maven, Guide Writer, Host on GAMEBREAKER's The Republic show
@taugrim | taugrim.com
Guides: Resolve | Powertech/Vanguard PVP | Defense/Shielding | Bolster

Taunque's Avatar


Taunque
01.28.2012 , 02:58 PM | #10
Nice movie, but I'm blown away that you got to play Huttball with another Republic team!

On what server is there enough Republic to actually have same-faction Huttball? My queue times are 15-20 minutes because there's not enough Republic to fill a single game. And this is on weekends during prime time!