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Playing a Guardian is literally giving me a headache

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes > Jedi Knight > Guardian
Playing a Guardian is literally giving me a headache

Kurugi's Avatar


Kurugi
12.18.2012 , 12:27 PM | #1
My Guardian is level 33 Defense specced. Since about 30 when I got Hilt Strike I've noticed my abilities just start to feel convoluted and my rotation begin not feeling as tight. I've looked around but I keep finding conflicting information and most guides I find seem woefully out of date.

Mainly I see people prioritize abilities based on 2 separate things: Mitigation or threat.

If they prioritize for mitigation they put Riposte, Blade Storm, and Force Sweep at the top of the list since these abilities give you defensive buffs/debuffs to help you survive better.

If they prioritize threat they favor Guardian Slash and Hilt Strike more since they generate high levels of threat.

So which is correct? A lot of guides I see are before the changes to Guardian Slash, so I wonder if their assessment of it's threat generation is a bit off. It still says it "generates a high amount of threat", but I'm unsure if that still places it ahead of things like Blade Storm or Sweep.

Thing is I've leveled a Jugg to 50 and don't remember it ever feeling like this. Granted I ran a completely different build and mainly did PvP (come to think of it I don't think I ever ran a single flashpoint on her), but I don't ever remember feeling overwhelmed at the number of abilities I had.

Last night I ran Cademimu and it just felt really sloppy. Granted I had terrible DPS in the group attacking whatever target they felt like (I could've marked targets but it was a pug so even if I had marked targets I doubt anyone would have paid much attention) and a Sentinel who was the highest level in the group leaping in ahead of me (yes I had Guard on him). It was a pretty nerve wracking run for both me and the healer. It was probably the DPS's fault over mine but I still felt like I did a sloppy job.

I guess I'm just not sold on a solid opener/priority yet. I don't have Saber Throw yet so I typically lead off with Leap -> Sundering Strike -> Blade Storm -> Combat Focus -> Sweep, Riposting whenever it lights up. I've seen guides say to use Combat Focus before leaping but I find if I do that I end up capping out on focus, so I usually save it for after Blade Storm.

After that I typically throw out a stasis and then fall back into a priority of Sundering Strike > Riposte > Blade Storm > Sweep > Master Strike > Strike.

Thing is I'm not sure exactly where Hilt Strike fits in there. Do I want to use it ahead of everything else since it stuns/generates a lot of threat? Do I want to use it after Blade Storm/Sweep so I can get those defensive buffs/debuffs up? I only got it 3 levels ago so I'm still getting use to even having it in the first place. Often I completely forget to even use it. I'm also not sure if I'm not using Master Strike enough. I tend to only use it when everything else is on cooldown, but I know it generates a lot of threat for a tank. Having everything on cooldown seems to only happen once in a blue moon.

I keep flip-flopping between my Guardian and my Merc and I think the discrepancy in abilities is the reason why. It's so much more relaxing to play my Merc just because of how much easier the rotation is.

Thanks for reading.

Simbr's Avatar


Simbr
12.18.2012 , 03:56 PM | #2
If you don't like it don't play it. I love Guardian its my Fav class, but thats just me.

Kurugi's Avatar


Kurugi
12.18.2012 , 04:07 PM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by Simbr View Post
If you don't like it don't play it. I love Guardian its my Fav class, but thats just me.
........what?

I was asking for advice not complaining about the class....

I just...don't even know how someone can even take my post that way..just...wow >_>

Sylvatica's Avatar


Sylvatica
12.18.2012 , 05:25 PM | #4
some ppl just need to bash others.. In my defense, I leveld a knight to 40 and idd, after 30 it gets a little bit harder to play guard, but surely it get's better ^^you just gotta hang in there!
Chuundar PVP EU
Fus Ro Dah =

Kurugi's Avatar


Kurugi
12.18.2012 , 05:38 PM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by Sylvatica View Post
some ppl just need to bash others.. In my defense, I leveld a knight to 40 and idd, after 30 it gets a little bit harder to play guard, but surely it get's better ^^you just gotta hang in there!
-.-

That still didn't answer my question..not in the slightest.

Did anyone bother even reading my post or just the title...sheesh

I was asking very very VERY specific questions about rotations and such..things that "it gets better" doesn't even remotely answer.

Karasuko's Avatar


Karasuko
12.18.2012 , 05:41 PM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by Kurugi View Post
........what?
I was asking for advice not complaining about the class....
I just...don't even know how someone can even take my post that way..just...wow >_>
Stupid people are stupid thats how.

Having not leveled as defense the help i can give you is very limited.

However....
Don't bother speccing defense, it really just is not worth it while leveling. Google vigi defense hybrid or have a forum search for that spec and roll with that. Lowbie flashpoint tanking is generally quite forgiving until you get upto RR.

Just run around with defensive gear, soresu and a shield and I bet healers and dps will not even notice.

Kurugi's Avatar


Kurugi
12.18.2012 , 05:49 PM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by Karasuko View Post
Stupid people are stupid thats how.

Having not leveled as defense the help i can give you is very limited.

However....
Don't bother speccing defense, it really just is not worth it while leveling. Google vigi defense hybrid or have a forum search for that spec and roll with that. Lowbie flashpoint tanking is generally quite forgiving until you get upto RR.

Just run around with defensive gear, soresu and a shield and I bet healers and dps will not even notice.
Wow I'm 3 for 3 on unhelpful responses...

Not interested in specing Vig..in the slightest. I just don't care.

Guess I'll have to spell it out again...

I'm asking for help on priorities for defense spec based on conflicting/outdated information I've found elsewhere.

That's it.

Not interested in people telling me to stop playing if I don't like it.

Not interested in people telling me "it gets better" (because I wasn't even concerned about that to begin with..)

Not interested in people telling me to play a different spec.

C'mon people it's not that freakin' hard....

banehammer's Avatar


banehammer
12.18.2012 , 05:53 PM | #8
Im at a similar level as you, so Im no expert, but from my experience and readings I always open with sweep in a PVE situation to get the 4 stacks of sunder on the mobs. Because once you have control/aggro, then you can worry about mitigation.
Eg. Leap > Sweep > Blade storm etc etc.

So far I love playing defensive guardian, especially because I love control and protection in WZs. Also, groups frustrate me in FPs, so Im enjoying taking the lead.

But like I said, my advice would be prioritizing threat first to get control of the situation, then worry about mitigation. Sweep > storm (4 stacks sunder on all targets in the area > moderate dmg shield).
Endoor | Guardian Grenade wielding Jedi
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JimmyUltra's Avatar


JimmyUltra
12.18.2012 , 08:26 PM | #9
As for your question regarding the place of Hilt Strike in your rotation:
It has none
Personally, I use it as a kick / stun to interrupt elite or lesser foes.
Also it's quite useful to generate some extra threat after you've lost agro - i.e. cast it right after a taunt.

An average deep defence opening would be something like:
(Saber Throw) - Leap - Force Sweep - Sundering Strike - (Guardian Slash) - Blade Storm - Master Strike

After that Riposte whenever available and keep the abilities mentioned above on CD.
Use Strike if nothing else is available to build additional focus and use Combat Focus when you are in need of some extra focus.

That's basically it

Another piece of advice:
You're the tank not the babysitter. When you encounter another DPS thinking he has to pull mobs - just stand aside and watch him / her die.
When he complains tell him that DPS are a dime a dozen and that he's free to leave.
That might not be subtle but it usually puts an end to all discussions.
Lei'lani - Arsenal Merc Mdnight - Saboteuse
T3 - M4
La'ra - Juggernaut mara - Jedi Guardian

Mennil's Avatar


Mennil
12.18.2012 , 08:29 PM | #10
First off, it has been some time since I had a lower level Guardian. So, I will probably throw abilities in here that you do not yet have, oops :-)

The thing to understand about Guardian spec is it is priority based - not rotation based. You have already noticed that the cooldowns don't line up -that is the intent of the designers. Juggernaut has the same kinds of cooldowns on the same abilities, so to me they feel the same when not watching the graphics.

You will want to use Sundering Strike as often as possible - it generates focus and your ability to tank is directly associated to your focus. It generates good threat too.

Hilt Strike, even on bosses, is a great way to keep building that threat. Sure, you won't get a Pommel Strike on a boss, but the point is to get lots of hate.

Riposte _ANYTIME_ it lights up, unless you are in the middle of Master Strike. Riposte ignores the global cooldown, so it is free damage.

You will want to have Force Stasis talented so you can throw it on your target - boss or not - to generate focus and threat. It acts as a small, free DOT while you are going into another ability.

I will typically use Master Strike right after Force Stasis, for non bosses. Otherwise, I will use Master Strike when one of my higher priority abilities is not off cooldown.

Talent your Force Sweep so that it lowers the accuracy of your target, since you will probably be a mitigation tank in the long run. Lots of endurance for Guardians is okay, but since we can wear heavy armor that provides mitigation that Shadow's don't get.

For a glance at the future, my typical opener is
  1. Saber Throw - builds focus
  2. Force Leap - builds focus
  3. Sundering Strike - builds focus (and talented to give two sunders)
  4. Force Sweep - (talented to give four sunders)
  5. Guardian Strike - lots of damage when 5 sunders is up
  6. Hilt Strike - to finish getting threat built up fast

Once I open the fight, I go into a priority system, with a goal to keep my focus above 6 but generate threat. The scheme is highest to lowest priority:
  1. Riposte any time it is lit
  2. Sundering Strike
  3. Combat Focus
  4. Blade Storm - to keep up Blade Barrier which soaks some damage
  5. Hilt Strike
  6. Guardian Strike
  7. Force Sweep - to keep the accuracy debuff on the mob
  8. Master Strike (especially when boss is channeling long cast time item)
  9. Force Stasis
  10. Force Push
  11. Slash if focus 10+
  12. Strike if focus less than 6
But even the, with the opener and priority scheme, some end game bosses require slightly different approaches. For example, I will not Force Leap Karagga since I need the maximum amount of room to slowly kite him.