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Is Vanguard a good tank?

Stumkrav's Avatar

03.10.2013 , 12:35 PM | #1
Turns out after one year and a half playing swtor I've leveled up my first alt, a sentinel. The story was good, the gameplay is fun, but I'don't like to do pve such as a dps.

After a year being a hybrid assassin, I would start doing pve with more depth, and since I want to change playstyle, I'm thinking on a trooper Vanguard full tank for OPS HM or else.

I would ask your best opinion about viability being a vanguard tank and his utility in ops, if they are competent and stuff. In short, what do you think about vanguard tank and his progress in the incoming 2.0.


Joefjr's Avatar

03.10.2013 , 02:42 PM | #2
They have the some of the best tools in game for mob management. Charge, grapple, a range able AoE taunt plus having a gun you can face smash NPC A with and tab target shoot NPC B that's out of melee range to keep aggro/kill.

Ammo become easier to manage at 32 then at40, that's when you get to hit your AoE threat/de-buff twice for free after using storm(charge), and at 40 you get a short CD attack that does damage and re-gens an ammo.
PLEASE give us an option to make HK-55 Melee we NEED a melee droid we got plenty of range droids already!
(9 Patches and still not fixed)Veeroa Denz and Choza Raabat are Force users comps getting tech power.

Taleek's Avatar

03.10.2013 , 10:52 PM | #3
They are absolutely viable, ammo management can be difficult at times if you aren't paying close attention, you may need to use reload occasionally. They have excellent AoE damage, one of my usual strategies, particularly on trash or multi enemy boss fights is to use battle focus and reserve powercell followed by mortar volley as an opener to generate a lot of immediate AoE threat without costing any ammo. Pulse cannon is where the bulk of your AoE threat comes from, and using it in combination with your AoE stun is a very effective tactic in both PvE and PvP, further they get two free uses of explosive surge from a proc after they use their gap closer, Storm. While not particularly powerful this does allow you to get a decent amount of extra initial threat. They also have quite good single target threat gen due to the talent that finishes the CD on stockstrike, which allows you to use it very, very often, which is good as it hits hard and triggers your ion cell.

You need to keep 4 stacks of power screen up, as this will give you a constant extra 8% absorb, which when combined with proc relics can make you very, very hard to kill. Due to their having the highest armor values, as well as having excellent consistent absorption, Vanguards tend to do very well at absorbing damage, however their defensive CDs are considerably weaker than those of the other two tanks, so you may have more trouble with certain mechanics that inflict a high amount of burst damage, though this is being changed somewhat in 2.0.

In 2.0 Vanguard tank is getting changed a moderate amount, but in a good way. They are getting a self heal from the new Shoulder Cannon ability that can restore up to 20% of their health while also doing some off GCD damage, albeit on a long cooldown, of note is that this ability can also be used while stunned, which means you aren't completely helpless even while stunned, provided you have any missiles loaded.

Smoke grenade is being both buffed and nerfed, depending on how you look at it. Instead of inflicting a one off debuff, it will inflict a debuff on anyone who is in a certain radius of where it is dropped, and I believe this goes away if they leave, however the debuff is significantly more powerful, 30% loss of accuracy, up from 20%, and a snare as well, I think its like 50% or 70%, I can't remember off the top of my head. Adrenaline Rush is also being changed to be more of a powerful emergency self heal than a moderate self heal, I'd explain but this post is already running long.

Like all troopers, Vanguards are also getting Hold the Line in 2.0, a 30 second CD ability that slightly boosts your movement speed and cures any roots or snares on you, as well as making you immune to them for the duration. This is very useful in both PvE and PvP, I was able to use it to great effect on the PTS when kiting one of the Cartel Warlords in the new Operation, Scum & Villainy, who snares you and does crazy melee damage. Using this ability, I was easily able to keep a good distance between him and I most of the fight.

Perhaps the biggest change to Vanguard tank in 2.0 though is the way power screen and energy blast work. Instead of being generated by energy blast and ion pulse, power screen is generated by shielding attacks or triggering your ion gas cylinder on a target, this essentially eliminates all of the Vanguard tank's energy management problems, as ion pulse is only useful for the damage debuff it inflicts. Further, instead of being an ability on a fairly long CD, energy blast can only be used when you have, and consumes 3 stacks of power screen (the new max) to immediately grant you 25% more absorb for 6 seconds, note that you can continue to get more stacks of power screen while this is up, allowing you to possibly achieve a 28% increase.

Finally, my personal favorite change is the talent Pulse Engine, this gives your direct damage abilities a chance ( can't remember the number off the top of my head, i think its like 15% with 2 points) to finish the CD on pulse cannon, make your next pulse cannon free, and reduce its channel time and time it takes to apply its damage by half.

Overall, this makes Vanguard a much more active and fun tank class in 2.0, I had a blast playing on my Vanguard on PTS compared to live, but the changes were not so radical I could not figure out what I was doing, and I was able to quickly adapt.

I hope this helps , if you have any more questions feel free to PM or post here.
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.- Never forget.
"DPS is science, healing is art, tanking is strategy."