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Tanks and threat : shadow still on top?

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes
Tanks and threat : shadow still on top?

Leafy_Bug's Avatar

07.09.2013 , 11:30 AM | #1
Many of you know I am a shadow tank user and very vocal about balancing without nerfs. I have played my tank since the game came out and saw the ups and downs. One thing is sure about Shadow tanks and that is threat. I have a guardian co-tank in the guild and a very good friend who uses a vanguard. After a few months of raiding, even after 2.0, it seems that shadows are still the best at holding aggro and generating threat. I can already see you frowning after reading that statement but bear with me.

On a survey of 10 raids, 8 man and 16 man, I have lost aggro significantly less than the above mentioned people. Looking at the logs and comparing threat, the guardian especially, does more threat than I do with my shadow. Not in every fight but the majority of fights. We have a very naughty commando who does 3.2k DPS in most fights. Even guarded by the guardian tank, he will turn a boss a few times. When the guardian tanks. Now you may say it is a matter of skill and I will disagree because my guardian co-tank is in the upper echelon skill wise. He has 1000 bonus damage I have 960.

I open this topic to confirm a few things :

1. I do significantly less damage
2. Parses say I do less threat

Conclusion : I lose aggro less and for 16 man HM, even with a squishy spiky tank, I am asked to do it.

What gives? Do shadow tank abilities generate more threat by default?

LE: A sample of tanking GoldenFury and the amount of threat a shadow can do. Old log as my latest are from a sentinel DPS.

Moradeth's Avatar

07.09.2013 , 11:46 AM | #2
Are you counting openings when losing threat (<30 seconds into fight) or only after the tank manages to establish themselves? I'm also assuming you don't taunt fluff.

1) On stationary-ish bosses, are you taking a step back and using your "ranged" attacks? Since it does boost your threat by an additional 30%
2) Do your co-tanks spec any accuracy? What's their effective miss rate?

Edit: Oh, I forgot, Shadows/Sins have 2 abilities that generate high threat that are on pretty low cooldowns(15 and 6), Guards/Juggs have 2 but one is a 60 second cooldown, so that would explain a big difference.

mastirkal's Avatar

07.09.2013 , 11:54 AM | #3
Sin/Shadows are dps' who can tank.

On a stationary boss where you are the one getting hit you should be doing around 1050-1100 dps. Fights where you are off tanking you should still be doing 940-960 dps. Generally speaking sin tanks are good for multitarget and burst damage as we can easily stay at 1700 dps for a good fifteen seconds, what this means if you should be abusing your taunts anyway when dealing with sixteen man groups. Your dps should also be giving you a good 3-5 second head start.

If your commando isn't using his agro drops and is causing problems tell him to calm the **** down for a few seconds. If he refuses, I don't think he's the type to bring to a raid no matter how good he is.

Also remember that threat is roughly 2.2 times that of your dps numbers, just incase you are wondering why I use those numbers instead of threat. Threat means little when taunts give you 10% or 30% more than the top threat already in play.

Leafy_Bug's Avatar

07.09.2013 , 12:00 PM | #4
Thanks for the replies. I completely understand position is important and the need for the tank to pull first. We do give the guardian and vanguard tank to pull, what they don't do is give me enough time. Consequently, them being trigger happy I had to adjust my strategy. For example, in 16 man TFB HM, tentacles, I do the following :

1. You open on main boss with force pull and wait for the tentacle to spawn.
2. You force speed on the tentacle and position yourself with your toon halfway inside the tentacle.
3. You open with slowtime, potency, project (two stacks of harnessed) + taunt. You need to do this extremely fast as your dps are opening with everything they have. Slowtime reduces tentacle damage, potency makes project critical and project generates a high amount of threat. I add the taunt that builds on my high amount of threat.
4. Two times double strike for particle acceleration, to reset the cd of project. If this happens, instant project, and observe the duration of the taunt debuff on the tentacle. When you see the single taunt debuff close to being off the tentacle and the cooldown timer of the single taunt at 6 seconds, AOE taunt, and use telekinetic throw due to 3 stacks of harnessed shadows.
5. Force breach+slowtime next with single taunt as backup in case someone pulls. At this point, as a shadow tank, you will not need to taunt anymore.
7. When aoe taunt is on 6s cd, you will single taunt to assure that not even god himself pulls the tentacle.

With the above opener, timed right, I can always stay in control as opposed to a vanguard or guardian. Again, are shadows still the best threat generating tanks?

Panzerfire's Avatar

07.09.2013 , 12:06 PM | #5
Hmm, Force Pull compared to Saber Throw + Force Charge is in favor or Force Pull. 60% crit chance on 2 attacks (one channeled, the other autocrit + 50% dmg) is comparable to or better than 6 instant rage (3 extra Vicious Slash, although it's mostly used to have enough rage for Crushing Blow)

Since tanks are unlikely to lose aggro during the first 20-22 seconds, initial 2-4 seconds on the pull + first ability and then taunt debuffing. I'd say that Shadows/Sins have a better minimal amount of threat since they can always do good moves while the Guardian dips in threat after everything is on cd and he can only do Saber Strike + Vicious Slash + Retaliation.

Also the Sin/Shadow can also sacrifice self healing for more Thrash + Energized Shocks if they need to, although it's very minor. I'd say Sins/Shadows get a bit better frontloaded damage so they can wait longer to do the first taunt resulting in higher threat overall.

Well, I was using this rule of thumb when tanking pre 1.7. The best way to use a taunt is to use it as late as possible without screwing up mechanics or losing aggro, if this is *never* you're good. But now I cannot hold aggro without taunting and I also have a BiS 72 Mercenary doing the best dps opener possible who does pull if I make 0 mistakes or taunt wrongly. My own Jugg isnb't yet geared for HM/NiM so I'll have to see but these were my thoughts.

Moradeth's Avatar

07.09.2013 , 12:18 PM | #6
Eh... in your example you are fluffing to start, which puts you so far ahead of the DPS that it doesn't matter, especially on a limited DPS target. But yes Shadows/Sins have better sustained threat than the other two tanks by design.

Personally I don't even use taunt unless I need to get the boss back or if I'm positioning the boss first (Thrasher, Zorn/Toth, etc). I'm guessing your Guard and Vanguard friends are doing the same.

mastirkal's Avatar

07.09.2013 , 12:20 PM | #7
My rotation for sin,

Shock->Wither->Discharge->Trash/Assassinate/maul until shock is off cooldown, early or not->Shock->Force lightning->Taunt->repeat with only using discharge every other rotation to keep the debuff up. Shouldn't have a problem with your opening threat as you have a metric **** ton.

Discharge when not on multiple targets is a dps loss and energy sink so It shouldn't ever be used until the debuff is close to falling off or if the boss is a joke on incoming damage, not at all.

Leafy_Bug's Avatar

07.09.2013 , 12:35 PM | #8
It seems to come to different play styles as well. Thanks again for the replies, it makes sense why the guardian needed such a big buff in threat. Shame the guy who designed the shadow left

Kitru's Avatar

07.09.2013 , 12:48 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by Leafy_Bug View Post
Again, are shadows still the best threat generating tanks?
If they are, it's by a tiny margin. Right now, all 3 of the tanks have *disgustingly* well balanced threat generation. Guardian threat got buffed a *crapton* and VG threat got buffed substantially whereas Shadows got comparatively minor improvements (and are the only tanks that actually had our comparative damage *drop* slightly thanks to the Bombardment change; threat still went up though thanks to the resource modifications).

I find it amusing that, pre-2.0, the survivability of the tanks was beautifully balanced but the threat was *really* screwed up and, now we're dealing with a situation where the *threat* is beautifully balanced but the *survivability* is utterly screwed up. Gotta love it. They *had* to mess around with the stuff that was actually working like it should've been...
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