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Guardian or Vanguard for tanking?

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes
Guardian or Vanguard for tanking?

hunterraaze's Avatar


hunterraaze
09.13.2012 , 08:16 PM | #1
A friend of mine is getting the game soon, and we want to roll some republic classes together. He will be playing the Jedi Knight, and I shall be playing the Vanguard (already have a merc). My question is, which one is better for tanking? We will be playing mostly PvE, class and side missions, and heroics when they pop up. I have someone else who will be acting as our healer. So, should he be a guardian tank, and me dps as a vanguard? or should I tank as a Vanguard and he dps as a Sentinel? Why is that choice better then the other?
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Kitru's Avatar


Kitru
09.13.2012 , 10:14 PM | #2
Quote: Originally Posted by hunterraaze View Post
My question is, which one is better for tanking?
Well first off, I'd like to say that Guardians are not simply tanks. Vigilance is a perfectly serviceable DPS spec, such that I've seen reliable evidence that Vigi Guardians can push out numbers just as good as Sentinels. Don't feel like you have to decide between tanking as a Guardian or DPSing as a Sentinel. You can DPS as any AC, especially while leveling.

As to which tank is better than which, it gets a bit complicated.

For leveling, the Guardian is definitely going to have a worse time of things. Soresu Form is painfully vicious on your Focus generation and doesn't get better until you get pretty deep into the Defense tree. Vanguard tanks work well pretty much from the onset, especially when factoring in AoE threat gen.

At max level, both the VG and the Guardian are equally valid tank choices. All of the theorycrafting I've seen and done as well as all of my experiences playing each of the tanks at 50, puts all of the tanks in pretty much the same position. The only difference is in the amount of skill required to play each. A poorly played VG is going to play better than a poorly played Guardian because a majority of VG survivability is passive and static. A decently played VG and Guardian are going to perform at roughly the same level, but it takes a lot more work to be good at playing Guardian than it does to play a VG: threat generation, resource management, and ability management are all harder as a Guardian than as a VG. A well played Guardian, on the other hand, is going to perform substantially better than a well played Vanguard. Guardians have a higher skill requirement and the dividends for getting to that skill level pay out.

The fact that VGs have such a low skill requirement is one of the reasons why VGs have such a good reputation in pugs: the only way a VG can be a bad tank is if they can't generate threat decently. A bad Guardian (or bad Shadow for that matter) is going to have a hard time surviving, not just generating threat. Since people tend to remember extreme cases as opposed to what legitimate averages are and a tank doing his job isn't really noticeable, the fact that bad Vanguards are the least bad kind of bad tank.

So, rather than giving you a strict answer as to which is better, I'll give you a guideline to make a decision yourself: if you think your buddy has the skill to play the hardest tank well, have him go Tank. If you don't have that much confidence in him or he doesn't really feel like putting in the effort to learn how to play his class, have him go DPS (either Guard or Sentinel, both are equally effective) so that you can tank.
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grallmate's Avatar


grallmate
09.14.2012 , 01:55 AM | #3
Honestly, whoever loves tanking should tank.

If neither of you love it: both VG and JG can 'tank' while leveling just by jumping into tank stance. After about 35 you'll need tank gear and resource management is a bit tougher but it option is there if you both want to DPS. You also should use a shield while tanking.

I've got a Guardian tank and love him, was a dream to level and is a dream to play. Also have an Assassin and that didn't really feel tanky until about level 35. Currently leveling a PT tank and its like being spoiled. 30m basic attack, awesome ground targeted AoE at level 10 and a 10m conal AoE all make group threat a joke. (Plus starting with a healer companion is just amazing!)

Dhariq's Avatar


Dhariq
09.14.2012 , 02:24 AM | #4
I would also say that for leveling guardian is a little painful to tank with. But in all honesty if you level together with another player it will be a breeze no matter what you select. I actually did exactly this on imp side with my juggernaut tanking and a pt dps and we did every heroic without to much hazzle.

For endgame I would say that the guardian lacks slightly when it comes to aggro but well this game is kinda build on you taunting for aggro generation anyway so they are fine. Just a little envy against the other two classes who can get away with not doing it all the time I suppose.

grallmate's Avatar


grallmate
09.14.2012 , 03:24 PM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by Dhariq View Post
I would also say that for leveling guardian is a little painful to tank with. But in all honesty if you level together with another player it will be a breeze no matter what you select. I actually did exactly this on imp side with my juggernaut tanking and a pt dps and we did every heroic without to much hazzle.

For endgame I would say that the guardian lacks slightly when it comes to aggro but well this game is kinda build on you taunting for aggro generation anyway so they are fine. Just a little envy against the other two classes who can get away with not doing it all the time I suppose.
End game threat is not built on taunting. Tanks that *RELY* on taunt are actively hurting themselves as they don't optimize their attack rotation for max threat. They just taunt. Yes, taunt mechanics make threat increasingly irrelevant as the fight goes on, but they aren't designed around taunting. Its more a lazy implementation decision that can be used to benefit tanks.

On a side note, my Assassin in recruit gear was out-threating my Guardian in full Rakata. Not slightly, but by about 200 TPS. My Guardian can still hold threat over anyone (sometimes barely) but my Assassin finds it much easier. 3 short CD high threat moves that build procs and apply debuffs really helps.

Another thing to remember is that Guardian's benefit from higher Str/Pwr more than the other 2 classes because Blade Barrier is tied to bonus healing. I run with a Str/Pwr stim instead of an Endurance one normally for extra mitigation and higher threat. For hard hitting bosses (Kephess I'm looking at you) I swap to an Endurance stim after a few seconds and taunt a couple of times just to be safe. Having re-usable stims helps with this.

Trooperclay's Avatar


Trooperclay
09.14.2012 , 09:28 PM | #6
Just Remember:Being Vanguard means you HAVE and I mean HAVE to do Sheild Specialty.PvP is a Mess if you Dont.
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Hatstandard's Avatar


Hatstandard
09.16.2012 , 07:45 PM | #7
Juggernaut tanks are significantly better than vanguard tanks if played well??

news to me

Dhariq's Avatar


Dhariq
09.17.2012 , 02:32 AM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by grallmate View Post
End game threat is not built on taunting. Tanks that *RELY* on taunt are actively hurting themselves as they don't optimize their attack rotation for max threat. They just taunt. Yes, taunt mechanics make threat increasingly irrelevant as the fight goes on, but they aren't designed around taunting. Its more a lazy implementation decision that can be used to benefit tanks.
Funny joke. Made me smile anyway.

grallmate's Avatar


grallmate
09.17.2012 , 02:44 AM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by Dhariq View Post
Funny joke. Made me smile anyway.
I run EC HM with a Guardian tank. I don't taunt except for tank swaps or if our (guarded) commando DPS gets a series of crits at the start and pulls, he also likes to open up as soon as I saber throw just to make things interesting. My initial threat after 20 seconds is usually close to 45k without taunts. Tapers to about 1600 TPS after that though. I do use a power adrenal and strength stim on my opener to help boost threat and swap to an Endurance stim later into the fight.

For comparison my Columi geared Assassin puts out about 2000 TPS sustained with very low variance. Guardians put out less threat but they still put out more than enough.

ThatGnome's Avatar


ThatGnome
09.19.2012 , 06:50 AM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by grallmate View Post
Currently leveling a PT tank and its like being spoiled. 30m basic attack, awesome ground targeted AoE at level 10 and a 10m conal AoE all make group threat a joke. (Plus starting with a healer companion is just amazing!)
Although note that the Vanguard (and Guardian) don't get a healing companion to start with. Mako comes with the Bounty Hunter. The Trooper has Aric Jorgan (Ranged DPS) and the Knight has the droid (Ranged tank).