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Alternate 2.0 Build


Jossajus's Avatar


Jossajus
03.30.2013 , 09:49 PM | #1
2.0 is about to drop an April 9th, and I've been going over the latest talent trees taken from the now closed PTS. Since a Vigilance Hybrid will no longer be as viable, I'm going to build a Defense specced Guardian Now, if we go by the conventional Defense spec, it would be almost a no brainer to go with a similar one for 2.0, a 36-10 split between Defense and Vigilance. However, I'm unsure if this is the best spec and I've come up with an alternative here

I'll explain why i'm breaking convention and why I took what I did, starting from the bottom and moving left to right.

Defense

Master Focus - 2 Points - Master Strike is one of our most powerful attacks, and this talent adds +10% to make it even more powerful. More damage = higher threat.

Dust Storm - 3 points - 5% accuracy debuff against enemies is equivalent to a 5% Defense boost to yourself. Since this is attached to our AOE threat generator this talent is a no-brainer.

Victory Rush - 2 points - With the changes to the sunder mechanic, Sundering Strike will have a longer cooldown, but generate more focus. This adds to it and will hopefully keep us from having to resort to our basic strike attack in order to generate Focus during Sunder's cooldown.

Lunge - 2 points - More damage and less Focus cost for Riposte = win.

Guard Stance - 1 point - 15% bonus to armor. Need I say more?

Now, at this point, you may wonder why I didn't take Guard and Thrust. A 3 second CD reduction to Riposte sounds nice, but Saber Ward is a CD. It has a 1 minute cooldown and is only active for a short period of time. This really means that you'll be able to get in maybe 1 or 2 more Riposte's per fight, which isn't worth the 2 points used to get the talent, in my opinion. Others may disagree, but I'll stick to my guns on this one.

Purifying Sweep - 2 points - This is a DPS helper, plain and simple. It reduces the armor rating of all nearby enemies which will allow the DPS to cut through them faster.

Warding Call - 1 point - great defensive CD

Blade Baricade - 2 points - With how often Riposte is used, I'll take a pretty much permenent boost to defense.

Stasis Mastery - 1 point - An unchanneled Stasis is extremely useful. It procs pommel strike, let's you use other attacks, and basically turns Stasis into a damage mitigator / focus builder.

Courage - 2 points - Since you should be parrying / deflecting 30 - 40% of the attacks that come your way, Courage should stack to it's maximum of 3 no problem, which will make Force Sweep and Blade Storm almost free.

Blade Barrier - 2 points - Damage ABSORPTION. Makes Blade Storm an ability you should use on CD.

Guardianship - 2 points - I was unsure of whether to take this talent. SInce it doesn't include the player casting it, and Challenging Call makes the enemies attack the player anyways, it may seem useless. However, I think that the Damage Absorption could turn out to be useful for OH &*^% moments, which do happen. Plus a lot of bosses and mobs use AOE attacks, and this can only help.

Jedi Warden - 2 points - I took this ability solely for the 15 second CD reduction to Force Push, one of our interrupts. I don't know about you, but I use my interrupts as often as I can. Plus Force Push finishes the CD on Force Leap and it's useful for rearranging a pull.

Hilt Strike - 1 point - I'm not a huge fan of this ability, primarily because it's usefulness against bosses is questionable. The "high" threat isn't really that high, and the damage is lackluster. However, it's a gateway talent to a VERY useful talent, so I'll take it.

Sheild Specialization - 2 points - This is a must have talent. 4 % bonus to shield and -30 on our best defensive CD.

Inner Peace - 2 points - While the 5 second bonus to Enure is nice, the real meat of this talent is the 10 % bonus resistance to Internal and Elemental damage, which on live is destroying Guardian Tanks.

Cyclonic Sweeps - 1 point - I was under the impression that Visionary was a Shii-Cho only Focus builder, but I may be wrong. However, the rest of this talent is pure gold. Reducing the Focus cost on some of our most used abilities is invaluable.

Daunting Presence - 2 points - If you're NOT getting the expansion, this talent is not very useful. Saber Reflect is a lvl 51 ability, and While it would be neat to start each fight with Force Kick off CD, there's other places to spend the 2 talent points. HOWEVER, I'm getting the expansion, and adding 2 seconds to Saber Reflect and giving it the ability to generate threat is pretty awesome.

Beacon of Might - 3 points - Where to start? This talent is so full of win. It halves the CD of Warding call, increases damage for our "Peak" ability, as well as hilt strike, and reduces the CD for Riposte. Every Guardian Tank should take this ability.

Guardian Slash - 1 point - This ability seems to have gotten a major buff from live. It now brings Riposte off CD and improves DR by 3 % for 20 secs. Since it has a 12 second CD, this means that the player should have the 3% DR reduction pretty much all the time. Also, the amount of additional enemies damaged has been doubled from 2 to 4. Also, with the new Sunder mechanics, you won't have to worry about building Sunder up to 5 stacks before using this ability.

Now, up until this point everyone should be using this build ( or something very similar ). However, I'll only be LIGHTLY dipping into the Vigilance Tree and moving on to the Focus Tree instead.

Vigilance

Single Saber Mastery - 3 points - 3% bonus to Melee and Ranged Defense = Way too good to pass up, plus a 30% boost to the threat generated by our AOE attacks. Every guardian should take this ability, no matter the spec, because it gives great bonuses no matter what form you are using.

And that's it for Vigilance! No Improved Sundering Armor, No Perserverance, which may leave you scratching your head, but bear with me, cause here comes Focus:

Focus

Insight - 3 points - 6% critical chance on all force attacks is a great bonus, especially since Force Sweep has received some major buffs.

Swelling Winds - 2 points - Another bonus damage to Force Sweep, and reduces it's CD by 3. Since it's our main AOE, I'll take it.

Second Wind - 2 points - The reason I didn't go very far into the Vigilance tree is this ability right here. It turns Resolute into a moderate Self Heal, which is something we don't have. Is it worth the 6% Strength and the 3 second CD on Sundering? I'm not quite sure, and I'll need to play test it to see how it works out.

Now, I just want to point out that Force Sweep has gotten some MAJOR buffs from this build:

FORCE SWEEP:
-5% Enemy Accuracy
Armor Reduction
Up to -3 Focus Cost
+ 30% Threat
+ 20% Damage
-3 Cooldown
+6% Critical Chance
Feel free to judge or tear this apart, I welcome feedback of all kinds.

Pilgrim_Grey's Avatar


Pilgrim_Grey
03.31.2013 , 05:19 PM | #2
I'm not sure Second Wind is worth it, particularly since going for it means dropping a 6% boost to strength which affects most of our abilities and aggro generation. Sure, 10% health is nice, but the CD on Resolute is pretty high as well. You also generally want to save Resolute for when you are controlled, so it's not something you want to use just when your health is getting low. Perseverance, on the other hand, will be helping you most of the time and not encourage weird power behavior.

Swelling Winds makes sense to stretch for, particularly when you have Dust Storm, etc. Is Insight worth it, though? I don't know enough about all our powers and what Insight affects. Seems like it would mostly affect Sweep and maybe Stasis and Blade Storm (? really can't remember which of our powers are actually force powered). Again, it seems like the boost to strength will be a more consistent boost to your damage and aggro generation over Insight. I could be wrong, though, since I don't have all the info I noted above. Just some thoughts, since you're asking some of the questions I am.

I definitely agree that Guard and Thrust isn't worth it, particularly since Beacon of Might is a must have in the Defense tree and it reduces Riposte by 1.5 seconds all the time.

Jossajus's Avatar


Jossajus
03.31.2013 , 06:43 PM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by Pilgrim_Grey View Post
I'm not sure Second Wind is worth it, particularly since going for it means dropping a 6% boost to strength which affects most of our abilities and aggro generation. Sure, 10% health is nice, but the CD on Resolute is pretty high as well. You also generally want to save Resolute for when you are controlled, so it's not something you want to use just when your health is getting low. Perseverance, on the other hand, will be helping you most of the time and not encourage weird power behavior.

Swelling Winds makes sense to stretch for, particularly when you have Dust Storm, etc. Is Insight worth it, though? I don't know enough about all our powers and what Insight affects. Seems like it would mostly affect Sweep and maybe Stasis and Blade Storm (? really can't remember which of our powers are actually force powered). Again, it seems like the boost to strength will be a more consistent boost to your damage and aggro generation over Insight. I could be wrong, though, since I don't have all the info I noted above. Just some thoughts, since you're asking some of the questions I am.

I definitely agree that Guard and Thrust isn't worth it, particularly since Beacon of Might is a must have in the Defense tree and it reduces Riposte by 1.5 seconds all the time.
So you're suggesting that THIS would be a better build? I would generally be inclined to agree.

However, when you think about the fact that the +6% to strength really only adds maybe 100 STR, is it worth all the talent points in Vigilance to get to it? The +6% to critical chance for Force Powers however, affects several of our most used abilities (Sweep and Bladestorm), as well as one of our auxiliary ones ( Stasis ). Plus, isn't the extra damage applied to enemies for Guardian Slash force damage? (I've never used Guardian Slash, so I honestly don't know. I've run a hybrid build until now.) This would mean that 2/3 of our AOE attacks would gain a +6% critical chance. Furthermore, both of these abilities are HIGH threat abilities. So in the end, is it really that big of a loss considering what there is to gain? Like I said, I'm unsure.

Furthermore, you're right that Resolute DOES have a 3 minute CD, which is really the part that makes me doubt this build. If Resolute had a 1 minute CD it would be more worth it. However, we do end up popping Resolute at least once a fight, and the 10% bonus to health would be extremely helpful. I'm not saying that we should use Resolute at odd times when our health is low, but it would be a nice benefit to gain 10% health when we do get stunned and pop Resolute.

I would never suggest NOT taking the +6% to STR for the current 1.7 build, as on live we need all the aggro we can get. However, it looks like aggro will be MUCH easier on 2.0 ( I see myself spamming Cyclone Slash a lot on 2.0 ) and the plus to STR may not be needed to hold aggro. If so, then it's wasted talent points, because then it's just there to add next to meaningless damage.

At the end of the day, however, I would be more concerned with the loss of the -3 seconds to Sunder's CD, which I think is the worst part of this build. So perhaps THIS would be a better build, a 31/5/5 split, still receiving the bonus to Force critical chance, but sacrificing Second Wind for Improved Sundering Strike.

I would like to point out to some of the people that read this ( I'm looking at YOU Kitru) that I don't bother with Min/Maxing. As long as I can effectively hold threat, it doesn't matter to me exactly HOW MUCH threat I'm putting out. So far, this has worked well for me and until it stops working it's not going to change. This build may not mathematically be the best, but we all know that theory and practice are two seperate things.

Pilgrim_Grey's Avatar


Pilgrim_Grey
03.31.2013 , 09:19 PM | #4
In the end, if you're wanting to know the difference between Perseverance and Insight, you're going to want a math person like Kitru. My gut tells me personally that Strength ups our all around damage and critical chance, so at worst it's going to be a wash with Insight, and at best it's going to be better (and you can still put a point into Insight with what you have there).

Anyone able to tell me what the CD on Sundering Strike is in 2.0? I don't recall hearing, other than it went up since it reduces armor a lot more in one hit now.

Jossajus's Avatar


Jossajus
03.31.2013 , 09:44 PM | #5
I'm not saying that Insight will be mathematically better, quite the opposite. However, I think that in practice, critting on the AOE attacks MAY be more effective than a little bit of extra damage. But in the grand scheme of things, 2.0 will make aggro problems a thing of the past for guardians.

Oh, and Sundering strike 15 seconds, 12 talented and it stacks only once for 20%.

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Kitru
03.31.2013 , 11:29 PM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by Jossajus View Post
I'm not saying that Insight will be mathematically better, quite the opposite. However, I think that in practice, critting on the AOE attacks MAY be more effective than a little bit of extra damage. But in the grand scheme of things, 2.0 will make aggro problems a thing of the past for guardians.
The problem with crits for tanks is that tanks don't stack surge, which is what makes crits effective. 2% additional crit chance (assuming a default 22% crit chance from main stat and Smuggler buff) amounts to all of .9% increase in damage (base damage with crit and surge factored in is 1.11; add that 2% crit chance and it rises to all of 1.12). Since Force attacks only make up a comparatively small amount of Guardian damage (Force Sweep and Blade Storm are the only Force attacks you use regularly; Guardian Slash, Sundering Strike, Strike, Slash, and Master Strike are all melee attacks), that .9% increase to damage is actually diluted even more. It's less valuable as well insofar as, crits aren't controllable or predictable. Insight, for Guardian tanks, just isn't that valuable.

Also, personally, I'm not going to be using 36/10/0 (if fact, from what I've seen, most tanks aren't going to be using it either). As I see it, Precision is substantially less valuable than Sweeping Winds: you don't need to hit in order to get the major benefits of Guardian Slash, Strike, Sundering Strike, or Blade Storm (BS and GS provide the mitigation benefits; SS and BS provide Focus) and Sweeping Winds brings Force Sweep down to a 12 sec CD (so that it's equal with GS, BS, and Sunder) while boosting its threat output by 26% (20% more damage with 130% threat modifier translates into 156% total threat from 130%). Honestly, Sweeping Winds just translates into more damage.

At that point, it's a question of comparing Precision (1% accuracy) against Insight (2% Force crit). Since, in 2.0, even Force attacks are going to have a default miss chance in PvE, Precision is actually going to translate into slightly more than 1% total increase in damage/threat. Compare that ~1% to all against the less than 1% to a small number of your attacks and the answer is patently obvious: Precision *easily* wins out over Insight.

Of course, I'm now curious as to whether Precision is a better investment than Perseverance: with the addition of default resist chances to NPCs, you might actually get more damage/threat out of filling out Precision than you would out of Perseverance (though Perseverance still wins out concerning mitigation thanks to Blade Barrier, so, to maximize mitigation, it's not really much of a decision).
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Jossajus
03.31.2013 , 11:58 PM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by Kitru View Post
The problem with crits for tanks is that tanks don't stack surge, which is what makes crits effective. 2% additional crit chance (assuming a default 22% crit chance from main stat and Smuggler buff) amounts to all of .9% increase in damage (base damage with crit and surge factored in is 1.11; add that 2% crit chance and it rises to all of 1.12). Since Force attacks only make up a comparatively small amount of Guardian damage (Force Sweep and Blade Storm are the only Force attacks you use regularly; Guardian Slash, Sundering Strike, Strike, Slash, and Master Strike are all melee attacks), that .9% increase to damage is actually diluted even more. It's less valuable as well insofar as, crits aren't controllable or predictable. Insight, for Guardian tanks, just isn't that valuable.

Also, personally, I'm not going to be using 36/10/0 (if fact, from what I've seen, most tanks aren't going to be using it either). As I see it, Precision is substantially less valuable than Sweeping Winds: you don't need to hit in order to get the major benefits of Guardian Slash, Strike, Sundering Strike, or Blade Storm (BS and GS provide the mitigation benefits; SS and BS provide Focus) and Sweeping Winds brings Force Sweep down to a 12 sec CD (so that it's equal with GS, BS, and Sunder) while boosting its threat output by 26% (20% more damage with 130% threat modifier translates into 156% total threat from 130%). Honestly, Sweeping Winds just translates into more damage.

At that point, it's a question of comparing Precision (1% accuracy) against Insight (2% Force crit). Since, in 2.0, even Force attacks are going to have a default miss chance in PvE, Precision is actually going to translate into slightly more than 1% total increase in damage/threat. Compare that ~1% to all against the less than 1% to a small number of your attacks and the answer is patently obvious: Precision *easily* wins out over Insight.

Of course, I'm now curious as to whether Precision is a better investment than Perseverance: with the addition of default resist chances to NPCs, you might actually get more damage/threat out of filling out Precision than you would out of Perseverance (though Perseverance still wins out concerning mitigation thanks to Blade Barrier, so, to maximize mitigation, it's not really much of a decision).
What about the original build? Forgoing Persevernece and Precision in Favor of Insight and Second Wind? The +10% Health could really come in handy, especially in PUGs when you might have a very subpar healer. (Or in solo content when Doc randomly decides that he wants to shoot at people or heal his minor flesh wound instead of heal the gaping hole in your chest )

Kitru's Avatar


Kitru
04.01.2013 , 02:08 AM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by Jossajus View Post
What about the original build? Forgoing Persevernece and Precision in Favor of Insight and Second Wind? The +10% Health could really come in handy, especially in PUGs when you might have a very subpar healer. (Or in solo content when Doc randomly decides that he wants to shoot at people or heal his minor flesh wound instead of heal the gaping hole in your chest )
As I said before, Insight just doesn't provide enough benefit to justify it. It's, essentially, points you're wasting to get to the next tier of Focus.

Second Wind is a worthless talent, as well, unless you're talking about PvP. Resolute (and all of the CC breakers) can only be used while you are CCd (and not just knocked down, but legitimately hard CCd for long enough for you to actually use said ability). In order for the talent to be useful you need to be in a fight where you're subject to hard CC that can be broken (there are actually surprisingly few of these) *and* be under the effects of substantial damage *while* you are affected by said CCs (most of the time, if you're CCd as a tank, you're not taking damage). Even more, since you only get to use Resolute once every 2 minutes, you're talking about .000833% hp/sec. At ~30k hp (what a tank should expect to have in the new raid tier gear for RotHC), that's all of 25 hp/sec *assuming you can use Resolute on CD every time and actually need all of said healing*. You'll get more useful mitigation out of Perseverance (since it increases Blade Barrier).

There's room enough for Swelling Winds in a tank spec, Second Wind is only really useful for PvP where you can actually *expect* to be CCd while being wailed on, and Insight just isn't worth it without the surge rating a tank shouldn't even be getting close to.
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Jossajus
04.01.2013 , 02:25 AM | #9
Alright, I'll buy what you're selling, especially about Second Wind. Is there any way to boost your force damage for a tank without sacrificing mitigation stats? I use Blade Storm and Force Sweep off CD, and it'd be nice if these abilities had more punch to them.

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Kitru
04.01.2013 , 02:46 AM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by Jossajus View Post
Is there any way to boost your force damage for a tank without sacrificing mitigation stats? I use Blade Storm and Force Sweep off CD, and it'd be nice if these abilities had more punch to them.
Of the 3 talents you've got that increase Force damage, 2 of them (Precision and Perseverance) increase Force damage only because they increase *all* of your damage (Precision by making you not miss and Perseverance by actually making you hit harder) and the last is, by far, the least effective of all of them at actually increasing your damage.

In short, if you want to increase your Force damage, you're best off just working on increasing all of your damage.
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