The four tank classes in Tera are Brawler, Lancer, Warrior (under Defense Stance) and Berserker (under Intimidation). Brawler and Lancer are both dedicated tanks, while Warriors and Berserkers are hybrids that can tank but are often better in the DPS role. With the advent of the new aggro update that came with the Knockout patch, a much more damage-oriented and offensive tanking style is more optimal compared to the old system where aggro stacking was good. The challenge has now shifted from positioning and being able to hold aggro, to maximizing DPS (from the front) while positioning as aggro is not a problem.


What is optimal tanking?

In my opinion, you are playing optimally if:

  • You are staying alive to the best of your ability.
  • You are positioning the boss so that the DPS can get back crits easily and the healer is able to more or less easily survive.
  • You are keeping your endurance debuffs up with at least a 95% uptime.
  • You are rarely (or never) losing aggro against even better geared party members who know their class well
  • You are dealing as much damage as possible while fulfilling all of the above.
  • You are taking as little damage possible to make your healer’s life easy.

Positioning is about both location and direction; the direction the boss faces should change as little as possible. The way you do this will depend on the boss. Learning boss animations will not only help your DPS deal more damage, but also give you benefits as well, such as wasting as little time blocking and as much time attacking the boss. If you’re a Lancer, Warrior, or Berserker, tapping block and instantly using your Counter ability (Shield Counter, Blade Draw, Axe Counter) will help maximize damage. If you’re a Brawler, you should continually be getting Perfect Block buffs, which helps a lot with Growing Fury uptime.

Against most bosses, it is best to keep them positioned in the center of the room if possible. Most bosses are not able to push tanks back so this should be relatively easy.

Circle-tanking is when you are gradually moving in a circle around the boss room. This is mostly useful against bosses that push the tank back like Nightmare Pahoegar.


Endurance Debuffs

Endurance debuffs will increase the damage targets receive. The endurance debuffs for tank classes are:

Brawler

  • tempest
    Jackhammer – 1% per stack; stacks up to 8 times. (8%)
    Overrides Combative Strike and Punishing Strike.

Lancer

  • debilitate
    Debilitate – 4% per stack; stacks up to 3 times. (12%)
    Overrides all other endurance debuffs.

Warrior

  • combative-strike
    Combative Strike – 8% per stack; stacks once. (8%)
    Lowest priority of the main endurance debuffs (Debilitate, Jackhammer, Punishing Strike).

Berserker

  • punishing-strike
    Punishing Strike – 4% per stack; stacks up to 2 times. (8%)
    Overrides Combative Strike.

Glyph Skeletons

(add and remove glyphs based on preference; these are subject to change based on the dungeon and your playstyle):

Brawler
Lancer
Warrior
Berserker


General build guidelines:

Get as much Crit Factor and power as possible. Crits dealing over 5x the amount of white damage when attacking from the front makes Crit Factor superior. Only Warriors and Berserkers should need the additional aggro from a Threatening Crystal when properly geared otherwise.

Power is a good stat to get compared to Crit Factor when the ratio of Power obtained:Crit Factor lost is high enough (4 power vs 4 crit factor). The amount of damage you get per hit from Power is constant, but a single Crit will out damage any amount of Power because of the amount of Crit Power you can attain from crystals, scrolls, and gear rolls. The power that a Priest or Mystic gives you, from charms, and from other sources like glyphs or gear is usually more than enough, although you might want 2 pieces of Power jewelry.


What jewelry should I use?

(refer to a guide for more details)

  • earring-2earringring-2ringnecklace
    Full Crit Factor – (Resized) Manorborne and (Resized) Blubred/Shadowvain – This build is double dipping into the set bonuses for Crit Factor jewelry. You get a ton of Crit Factor from this build and it’s the one I recommend using.
  • earring-2earring-2ring-2ring-2necklace
    Balanced – (Resized) Manorborne and (Resized) Estateborne – This gives you a balance of Crit Factor and Power. Occasionally used when running with a Mystic, depending on the class.

What about crystals?

Weapon (refer to a specific guide for more details):

Carving-NiveotFocused-NiveotThreatening-NiveotWrathful-Niveot
Focused, Threatening, Wrathful, Carving – recommended for newer or undergeared tanks
Carving-NiveotFocused-NiveotniveotWrathful-Niveot
Focused, Pounding, Wrathful, Carving – this build has more damage compared to the previous one. You can also use a second Pounding instead of the Carving for Lancers, Brawlers, or Berserkers depending on your Crit Factor.
Slaying-NiveotFocused-NiveotFurious-NiveotWrathful-Niveot
Focused, Slaying, Wrathful, Furious – the use of the Slaying crystal has to be coordinated well with the healer, as you have to remain under 50% max HP to use this. This is usually only used in specialized high score runs.

Armor:

blue-nivblue-nivblue-nivblue-niv
4x Hardy

Accessories:

Keen VyrskKeen VyrskKeen VyrskKeen Vyrsk
4x Keen

 


Gear Rolls!

The rolls on your gear will actually matter a lot more than the enchantment level. They’re important. Don’t half-ass them and expect to do well.

Perfect rolls for tanks are:

Weapon
Top:

  • Lancer/Brawler/Berserker: Increases damage by 9.3% to enraged monsters
  • Warrior: Increases damage by 9.3% to enraged monsters or Decreases skill cooldowns by 7.2%
Bottom:

  • Increases damage by 6%
  • Increases damage by 9.3% to enraged monsters
  • Increases damage by 8.6% to the target with the highest aggro toward you
  • Decreases skill cooldowns by 7.2%

 

Chestpieces
Skill line:

  • Brawler: Increases damage of Jackhammer by 12%
  • Lancer: Increases damage of Spring Attack by 15%
  • Warrior: Increases damage of Blade Draw by 10%
  • Berserker: Increases damage of Flatten by 10% or Increases damage of Thunder Strike by 8%
Bottom:

  • Decreases damage taken by 6%
  • Decreases damage from frontal attacks by 6.9%
  • Decreases damage by 8.7% from the monster with the most aggro toward you
  • Decreases damage from enraged monsters by 10%
Why not max HP?
Your effective HP is much higher with a damage reduction roll instead of maximum HP. It also artificially increases your block amount. It’s the same reason why people use Hardy crystals instead of Relentless crystals.

 

Gloves
  • Increases Power by 5
  • Increases Attack Speed by 2.25%
  • Increases Crit Factor by 9

 

Boots
  • Increases Movement Speed by 6%
  • Increases Endurance by 4
  • Replenishes 2% of total MP every 5 seconds

General guidelines on how to tank

Consumables to bring!

Be aggressive. If you’re not hitting the boss, you’re not dealing damage and therefore losing aggro. Shield + Shout playstyles do not work against proper DPS. Dealing damage is how aggro works in TERA.

If you can choose to block a small attack (under 10k) or hit the boss, hit the boss, unless you can get off a Counter skill (Shield Counter, Counterpunch, Blade Draw, or Axe Counter) with it. It will obviously generate more aggro. You can also use certain moves during this time that will make you take less damage (various Warrior skills, Onslaught, Bull Rush).

Trust your healer and play aggressively.

Learn your class. The main problem most people have with tanking is that they don’t know how to play their class. They’re using suboptimal rotations and using the wrong skills at the wrong time. Read a guide, learn the dungeons, watch videos, but most importantly, practice! Being comfortable at the front of the boss is extremely important to getting better as a tank and as a player.

Bring mana potions. Tank classes will use a lot of mana every fight. They will run out even with Priests using Mana Charge and Spirited Restorative Burst and Mystics using Corruption/Infusion Ring.

LEARN THE BOSS ANIMATIONS. Spending as little time blocking is going to give you more time to fit in a quick skill between attacks. It’s the difference between casting an extra skill for more damage and not being able to.

The skill you use will depend on the amount of time you have before you need to block again. You need to do quick assessments of the situation and adapt accordingly. Plan your cooldowns and try to guess what you will do a few seconds ahead of time.


Conclusion

That’s it for now! If anyone has any questions, feel free to contact me in game or in the comments below. I’m almost always happy to help as long as you’re willing to learn (don’t just blindly copy without understanding why I do what it is, please). If you’re willing to learn and take the effort to improve, I’ll be more than happy to teach you. You can also post a reply here and I’ll respond as soon as possible!

24 Comments

  1. Nice guide dude, it makes me interested in tanking 🙂 based o this I want to know about the costs to gear up a tank and necessary skill compared to the other roles (dps and healers) oh and it’s the more ping reliant role? Tyvm

    • Costs to gear up tanks is the highest due to the importance of the VM chest. Skill depends on the tank class you pick. From the two main tanks, Lancer is very ping reliant while Brawlers can do well with high ping.

  2. Hey, thanks for the great guide! I just have a few questions. I’m a level 65 warr with +12 dread trying to get slaughter. I’ve found myself losing aggro more than I should. I’m currently stacking aggro which I will switch very soon because of this guide but what exactly do you recommend? I love my warr so I don’t want to reroll. I’m thinking no aggro crystals since I have plenty of aggro jewlry. Also do you know where I can find a warr guide for rotation? The ones I find are from 2013 🙁

    • You should use a single Threatening Niveot (can’t stack them anymore) instead of Aggro jewelry. It’ll give you more aggro and more damage. Make sure your weapon crystals are Focused, Wrathful, Carving/Pounding, and the Threatening.

      Warriors don’t have a rotation, especially when tanking. The best thing would be to look at Bernkastel’s guide on Teratoday, though the Spoilers don’t work anymore. This guide by Zorex is also pretty decent. These are for Warrior DPS though, but Warrior tanking nowadays is the same thing though you have Block cancelling and the Cross Parry > Blade Draw chain.

  3. My main character is a Berserker Tank, named Ckasaron, geared in full +12 Dreadnaught.

    I do understand how offensive tanking is good, but having a couple crystals or rings or other added buffs to aggro generation certainly does not hurt the potential of Zerk Tank. Bind the Evasive Roll to an easily accessible button to dodge the handful of unblockable moves that you can see coming (the third DF boss with the laser moves, provided your screen doesn’t glitch and render the lasers invisible).

    I currently have a mostly DPS armor build for the +12 dreadnaught stuff, a simple grounding brooch, one fine threatening niveot, the man o’war & brigantine jewelry, and currently some threatening vyrsks.

    Since Demokron Factory is the hardest dungeon I’ve been in so far, I find holding the bosses’ attention to be fairly simple. I’d rather do suboptimal damage instead of be too aggressive and die 24/7. The Lancer Boss is probably the most annoying of the 3 due to the Sorceror spamming AoEs. The crab-thing is somewhat annoying due to the minis, and the tree is only annoying due to laser spam.

    Zerk is a viable tank. A tank’s jobs are, in this order:
    – Get and keep monster’s attention
    – Help kill the boss directly

    Zerks hold aggro quite well and are arguably one of the easier tanks to play. Intimidation constantly draws aggro, as does Raze and Axe Counter. A zerk tank doesn’t need to do much else besides those to keep the target’s attention. In DF I only lose aggro briefly when I need to reposition to avoid the AoE spam or the minis from the crab, only to gain it right back within 1-2 hits.

    Also, I absolutely HATE brawlers, and will always hate them until the uppercut move that renders the target a helpless sitting duck in midair is completely disabled in Corsair’s Stronghold. Also, they should damn well be expanded to male humans (same with Gunners too). Race locked stuff makes some sense (races don’t fully trust each other and don’t share ALL their secrets) but gender-locked stuff defies any semblance of logic this game once had.

    • Problem with Zerk tanks is that the main tanks (Brawler/Lancer) do everything Zerk does, except better. Aggro isn’t a problem and shouldn’t be anymore after the Brawler patch. The main comparison now is party support and raw damage. Zerks have the same party support as Brawlers (8% endurance debuff) but have worse damage. They have worse party support compared to Lancers and do the same or less damage. Lancers and Brawlers are also tankier and can play more aggressively as well.

  4. I am new to playing Lancer and would like to find a good skills build. I have played tank in other games and this build is different in style than I am used to but looks like a lot of fun. If anyone can give me a suggestion for the skills I need to be running I would appreciate it. If you whisper me at the above name I let you know which ones I am running (yes may be noob like but fun) but I am wanting to learn to be a lot better.

    • Perhaps this could be of use: https://www.essentialmana.com/fucbois-lancer-pve-guide/

      TERA’s skill system is different than other games with skill trees. The main skill customization comes from glyphs, which you unlock at level 20. You should be maxing out every skill when you get them.

      As a lancer, you’ll be wanting to chain Shield Barrage x2 into Spring Attack as often as possible, block incoming attacks and retaliate with Shield Counter, and use Wallop whenever available.

  5. Thanks for that really fast answer. I like the warrior and the zerk much more because i run as tank and as damage dealer. This helps me alot to learn the boss mechanics. The guides here help too but i feel better if i can run a few times as dps to get a better understanding of the skills and the animations. Futhermore i dislike the Brawler because of the OP factor and the gender and race restrictions. The brawler feels so unbalanced and i like huge challenges. The problem with the lancer are the rotation it feels “easy” and i am scared of getting bored with a lancer.

    • If you can afford it, I recommend gearing up two characters, one for DPSing and one for tanking. I think tanking will give you a lot more understanding of boss attacks and mechanics than DPSing. Warrior and Zerk tanking will make your experience as a tank much less enjoyable because of the mechanic differences.

      Don’t be afraid of playing Brawler if you enjoy a challenge. Brawler has a lot of things that can be improved and min-maxed. It has a low skill floor yes, but its skill cap is actually really high. If you enjoy the playstyle, don’t let the OP factor and character restrictions hold you back.

      Lancer is not an easy class either. It doesn’t have as many skills, yes, but it’s mechanically more difficult over the other tanks in its own way. Trying to keep up Hold the Line will keep you on your toes and it’s also pretty fun with a lot of attack speed from Adrenaline Rush and/or Quickcarve Brooch.

  6. Hello fluffy_tails, first of all i want to say that your guide is really great. I was wondering that you include the zerk as tank because it seems that about 99% of the players say that zerk tank is useless and with DS2 it is not possible to clear DS2 with a zerk tank. Now because of the fact that i really don´t like brawler and i dont feel happy with lancers as well there are only two more options. I really like warrior and zerk even with their different playstyles. My question is can you give me a comparison of the differences between them. Which of both blocks more dmg. Is the loss of an enrage skill that hard? Who can tank better (aggro vs alot of monsters)? Who got better substain? Thanks for all reply.

    Best regards Mico

    • The lack of an Infuriate is very, very bad for Zerk tanks; enraging a boss gives you a lot more utility because of burn phases in DS2 and the perma-enrage in SCHM. Block amount does not really matter. What matters is defense and chestpiece rolls. Warrior is more survivable but both will have damage bleed through their block in DS2. Both Warrior and Zerk tanks get pushed back by bosses a lot more than Lancers and Brawlers. If you have to choose one, I would pick Warrior because they have much more utility. Both of their aggro generations are really bad compared to Lancers and Brawlers, but both should be fine. Zerks have better sustain through healing but Warriors have better survivability because of iframes.

      Brawlers and Lancers are much more superior though. Maybe you could explain why you don’t like playing them? Lancers currently already deal a lot more damage than Warriors and Brawlers have a similar playstyle to Warriors as well and are superior in almost every way.

  7. Wow, tanking really changed alot since the lvl 65 patch came out. I’m a Warrior Tank, or was, but right now I don’t have the gear to tank (logged on with +12 Dev. GG). So what exactly caused the falling out for aggro? Was it the amount of crit that DPS can stack up, or were formula’s changed about how aggro was factored?

  8. Really nice guide, gives you a new perspective on tanking. I’m maining a Lancer myself, and I’m wondering if really everything is applicable to Lancers. Lancers are still the lowest on DPS charts (apart from healers), so their job should be just to hold aggro and keeping on the buff/debuff. I’m not really aware of the numbers here, but does it really make that much of a difference in damage if a Lancer goes full crit AND can he still hold aggro just as good as with full aggro vyrsks and glyphs?

    • Well, the difference between a damage building Lancer and an aggro building lancer is quite large (percentage wise). When the buffs to Lancer PvE damage come, it’ll definitely be noticeable. Right now, it’s not as big, but it’s still quite a bit. I average around 250k dps on my +12 Dreadnaught Lancer. When the patch comes for Lancers, I expect to get around 750k/s, even more if I get a +15 Lucid weapon. Remember that a Crit adds around 5x more damage than white damage, so building damage does add up rather quickly. Adding additional aggro beyond what is needed is just a waste, as there is literally no benefit. Building additional damage will always be beneficial to the party if you don’t lose aggro and position the boss correctly.

  9. I would like to point out, for lancers because of the 100% crit chance on shield counter, the 17% shield counter damage roll is very viable.

    • Hey. sorry for the late reply but it’s not the best roll. Spring Attack should still do significantly more damage unless all you do is block and Shield Counter. Lancers will also get buffs in the next couple months that make Spring Attack even easier to use.

  10. Hi there ! Thanks for this amazing guide. I have been playing lancer for a while and I have always been fond of aggressive tanking. Though, which stats would you recommend for each piece of jewelry? What about etchings?
    Looking forward for you answer, best of luck.

    • For Rings, I recommend 4 Power/4 Crit Factor. For Necklace, I recommend getting 4 Power. Earrings are 4% HP/4 Endurance. Of course, you can also get “okay” rolls if you’re not loaded with Semi Enigmatic Scrolls such as 4 Power/2 Crit Factor.

      For Etchings, you can get Energetic Etchings if you’re lacking attack speed (if you rolled Enraged damage on the top line of your weapon for instance). If you feel fluid enough, you can get Keen or Pumped etchings (I recommend Keen).

      • Hi guy, it’s me again. I was wondering what type of brooch (superior) would be worth for lancer now the new aggro formula is out?
        Thanking you in advance, cheers!

  11. There have been discussions over whether enraged is that good this patch, with the bosses being only enraged for 37 seconds per enrage.

    Where you’re running with DPS that can manage to take out the 30% (or however much it is) HP to get to the next enrage, happy days.

    When you’re running with DPS that hit like paper towels, you’ll have more time with the boss not enraged than enraged, which is the rut I’m in.

    As I like rolls with 100% uptime, I’m going with Double Speed, Single Flat Damage and Single CDR on both my Lancer and Warrior when they get Dreadnaught weapons.

    • Enraged damage will definitely be a major factor in Dreadspire 2, which I will definitely be participating in. Attack speed is still good, but I value Enraged a lot more on my Warrior and Brawler (don’t play Zerk). It’s also good for score runs where the bosses will definitely be enraged at least 95% of the time.

  12. The guide is good, but I would like to raise a point about the maximum agro rolls. It is a very feast or famine roll, since it is only good when you are already doing your job. While it is excellent when you have agro, since it prevents you from losing agro easily, it is terrible if you lose agro. Since losing agro is when you need your weapon to have maximum preformance so you can regain agro, losing 8.6 percent of your damage in a worst case scenario is very iffy. Personally, I like cdr as a roll, since it synergizes the best with the large amount of attack speed you build as a tank.

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