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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 , 10:39 AM | #1
Watch the video: on YouTube | on my blog

Copy of the description for the video provided below.

Keep in mind that while the footage is from a 50 Vanguard, VG and Powertech are mirrors in terms of their mechanics and talent trees.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

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, Flame Shield talent, and Flame Surge talent synergize to generate a high frequency of high-damage Rocket Punch crits.

Here is the spec used in the video:
http://www.torhead.com/skill-calc#30...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 Powertech 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 (2012/01/29): 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 Sages/Sorcs (I think it’s theirs), 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 the 4% damage debuff we apply to opponents.

UPDATE (2012/2/2): 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 (2012/02/17): 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 over to the second point in Shield Vents. The idea here is to get your internal cooldown on the Heat vent proc from SV ticking as fast as possible.

http://www.torhead.com/skill-calc#30...RroMZMcrroZb.1
Taugrim
PVP Maven, Guide Writer, Host on GAMEBREAKER's The Republic show
@taugrim | taugrim.com
Guides: Resolve | Powertech/Vanguard PVP | Defense/Shielding | Bolster

Makktenn's Avatar


Makktenn
01.28.2012 , 10:53 AM | #2
Interesting build, how does it do in PVE tanking? Can you offtank decently or take lead in flashpoints still?
"So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph, because good is dumb." - Dark Helmet

taugrimtaugrim's Avatar


taugrimtaugrim
01.28.2012 , 10:58 AM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by Makktenn View Post
Interesting build, how does it do in PVE tanking? Can you offtank decently or take lead in flashpoints still?
This isn't a PVE spec. There are a lot of talent points spent for abilities that aren't that that relevant in PVE.

It's probably fine for group play but any hard-mode or ops content you'll make life easier for your healers by spec'ing into the Shield talents that this spec largely intentionally skips.

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.
Taugrim
PVP Maven, Guide Writer, Host on GAMEBREAKER's The Republic show
@taugrim | taugrim.com
Guides: Resolve | Powertech/Vanguard PVP | Defense/Shielding | Bolster

Joshuha's Avatar


Joshuha
01.28.2012 , 11:20 AM | #4
Do you think moving one over from Hot Iron/Frontline Offense to Prototype Cylinders/Blaster Augs is worth it?

taugrimtaugrim's Avatar


taugrimtaugrim
01.28.2012 , 11:27 AM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by Joshuha View Post
Do you think moving one over from Hot Iron/Frontline Offense to Prototype Cylinders/Blaster Augs is worth it?
Nope.

Prototype Cylinders is an 8% increase to the damage from our tanking stance proc effect. So it's a modest increase for an already-low damage ability.

Hot Iron buffs our main spammable instant-cast nuke and our melee DoT. It's the better choice.

Prototype Cylinders rocks for Pyrotech or Advanced Prototype builds but is very meh for tank specs.
Taugrim
PVP Maven, Guide Writer, Host on GAMEBREAKER's The Republic show
@taugrim | taugrim.com
Guides: Resolve | Powertech/Vanguard PVP | Defense/Shielding | Bolster

exphryl's Avatar


exphryl
01.28.2012 , 11:48 AM | #6
I wanted to watch the whole video a few times to provide an opinion on it. Pardon some bluntness to my comments but that is how I am, I can also be a bit opinionated so fair warning in advance. (I know you made a thread about this build before but without an accompaning video)

When I see the build, and watch the video, the thing that comes in to my mind is not "Ironfist" but "Grapple in to things on Huttball" Build. (Partially because you do it a lot and comment on it frequently. How's that working out for ya in Voidstar or Civil War...).

Otherwise, I saw nothing spectacular from this video. Nothing that would make me be like "Wow, I should try that". I saw a rather ineffective build (in my opinion) against a team that was rather terrible (which is a hard basis to make a point on the effectiveness of a build)

Points Of Interest:

At 4:50 You are attacking a sage and talk about how people say the lower cooldown on quell is useless. Well, it is. The minimal damage you were doing to the sage was hardly enough to ever kill him (at least this player). It wasn't until the OTHER player jumped in his health dropped quickly. (Which at that point you would have two players with interrupts anyway so the lower cooldown on quell becomes a useless talent)

Rocket Punch Crits were not "Bursty" to me as you say. Even coupled with a Rail shot it isn't a lot of damage. They barely broke the 2.5k Mark the entire video. The overall damage output of this build alone seems sub-par. (Referencing the end game screenshot, 220K for a PT is low for most "dps or hybrid" specs that are actually playing)

MOst of the "fights" were with a good amount of your team around so again hard to give the versatility of your build. (Minus the Jet Charge to the end). I personally may have had more "respect" for this build in a match that your team struggles in and the other team is fighting back a good amount. Those 0-0 or 1-1 or 1-2 Games that make you play your hardest to win. That's where you see specs and players shine through a bit beter.

So, with that said, and I hate comparing but it starts a conversation which is important.

What does "Iron Fist" give over "Parakeet"? (Note: I currently am a full pyro dps but just to provide discussion points)

I want to be as serious as I can when asking that. Why would people take this build? You get better heat management, better burst and sustatined damage, and jet charge with the Parakeet build, not to mention Guard and IGC as well.

I personally feel having a build that provides killing power as well as the protection works out a lot better then being able to grapple root people in acid or interrupt a healer you can't kill yourself.

tommythecat's Avatar


tommythecat
01.28.2012 , 12:16 PM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by exphryl View Post
What does "Iron Fist" give over "Parakeet"? (Note: I currently am a full pyro dps but just to provide discussion points)
I've used both... and parakeet is just weak, I didn't even stick with it a day. I'm full pyrotech now but I still enjoy using a variation of taugrims build. It's certainly not a perfect build but as far as I'm concerned a 6 second interrupt(grav shot/force lightning/tracer spam is basically nullified) and reduced cool down on grapple is far more useful, considering 90% of games are huttball. Nevertheless grapple is still useful as an interrupt of heals and a way to get a healer or someone nearly dead out of range of heals in voidstar and civil war.
CE VIP|Exiled Imperium
R.I.P. Lieutenant Hoshi of 1020 Squad

taugrimtaugrim's Avatar


taugrimtaugrim
01.28.2012 , 12:35 PM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by exphryl View Post
I wanted to watch the whole video a few times to provide an opinion on it.
It's one video, and a PUG at that.

I've put up much higher damage numbers in other warzones, PUG or premade. Part of the reason I chose this match was I received ~3000 healing (no, I didn't forget a zero) the entire match from other players, so it was a good opportunity to showcase how the spec looks with little support.

If you want to see more footage, go check my archived stream videos. The first night I ran Iron Fist - and I mean I was noob to the spec and hadn't adjusted my rotations - it was working really well. I was beating up BM-geared players, shutting down and soloing some healers.

Quote: Originally Posted by exphryl View Post
So, with that said, and I hate comparing but it starts a conversation which is important.

What does "Iron Fist" give over "Parakeet"? (Note: I currently am a full pyro dps but just to provide discussion points)

I want to be as serious as I can when asking that. Why would people take this build? You get better heat management, better burst and sustatined damage, and jet charge with the Parakeet build, not to mention Guard and IGC as well.
Let me first state that I get why people have been running Carolina Parakeet (21/2/18) - they're trying to maintain tank utility while packing some punch. It's a popular spec for good reason.

Let's take out the common factors first. Both specs have:
- charge
- Guard
- tanking stance

Heat management difference is negligible IMO.

I've discussed in my PVP Guide why Gyroscopic Alignment Jets isn't really that helpful, but in a nutshell 3 of the 4 CC effects which proc the heat venting for GAJ are during times you can't do anything anyway and are already passively venting heat and not building it.

I tried GAJ for dozens of matches and was hoping it would provide the heat help I was looking for, but I finally dumped it for Infrared Sensors based on player feedback and in my experience IS provides more value.

I would actually argue that it can be easier to go OOM with CP if you are not careful with IM, but whatever.

Here is what you gain with Carolina Parakeet:
+ improved ranged capability
+ better burst mechanics when Prototype Particle 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

I've been talking to people who've been trying Iron Fist based on my streaming this week, and people have been raving about it.
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 , 12:38 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by tommythecat View Post
as far as I'm concerned a 6 second interrupt(grav shot/force lightning/tracer spam is basically nullified) and reduced cool down on grapple is far more useful, considering 90% of games are huttball. Nevertheless grapple is still useful as an interrupt of heals and a way to get a healer or someone nearly dead out of range of heals in voidstar and civil war.
I've been surprised by how little value players give to the CC abilities for PT. My guess is its partly due to people being very focused on big numbers on their screen.

The 35-sec Grapple with 3-sec root is freaking amazing in Ilum.

When we're outnumbered, we pull opponents one at a time, kill them, then push and wipe / drive back the others.

Grapple is win.
Grapple with root is even better.
Grapple with root and lower cooldown is bestest.
Taugrim
PVP Maven, Guide Writer, Host on GAMEBREAKER's The Republic show
@taugrim | taugrim.com
Guides: Resolve | Powertech/Vanguard PVP | Defense/Shielding | Bolster

ducksmyth's Avatar


ducksmyth
01.28.2012 , 01:04 PM | #10
Probably because 10 seconds off grapple isnt going to change anything with current time to kill being less than 30 seconds.
Might be worth it for a huttball specialist, but then you might be best going full gimic mode with an AP build up to hydraulic overrides.
For me at least 20 seconds seems to be the magic number for an ability you might get to use twice in a fight.

Almost all the pvp CD talents for all classes seem really weak because of this. They don't turn an ability into a twice in one fight ability they just seem up once in individual fights a tiny fraction more often because of the gaps in the action being longer than the fights.