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 will increase the damage targets receive. The endurance debuffs for tank classes are:
Jackhammer – 1% per stack; stacks up to 8 times. (8%)
Overrides Combative Strike and Punishing Strike.
Debilitate – 4% per stack; stacks up to 3 times. (12%)
Overrides all other endurance debuffs.
Combative Strike – 8% per stack; stacks once. (8%)
Lowest priority of the main endurance debuffs (Debilitate, Jackhammer, Punishing Strike).
Punishing Strike – 4% per stack; stacks up to 2 times. (8%)
Overrides Combative Strike.
(add and remove glyphs based on preference; these are subject to change based on the dungeon and your playstyle):
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)
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.
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):
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:
- 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%
- 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%
- 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%
- 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%
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.
- Increases Power by 5
- Increases Attack Speed by 2.25%
- Increases Crit Factor by 9
- Increases Movement Speed by 6%
- Increases Endurance by 4
- Replenishes 2% of total MP every 5 seconds
General guidelines on how to tank
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.
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!