Help with a Jedi Shadow Tank build.

#1Zogar20Posted 6/21/2013 7:44:00 AM
I have looked in a few places, and found some things that would be very helpful latter in game, more toward the end. But I am currently only level 19, and have never played a tank of any kind before in and MMO. So I guess I am just asking for any general suggestions you guys can make to help me play this and be an effictive tank in flash points and the like for now. Thanks in advance.
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Great game, give it a try, and put zogar as your referal to get bonuses to start.
#2Deaths_BladePosted 6/21/2013 10:59:21 AM(edited)
Tanking isn't too difficult:

a.) Make sure to use the Guard ability on the healer. Ignore any DPS who wants it, you job is to protect the healer first, DPS second.

b.) Enemies attack the player who has done the most damage to them [or healed the most HP. Healers can attract lots of agro via AOE healing skills]. Therefore, if the other players are all attacking one enemy, you can briefly attack each of the remaining enemies to draw their wrath [called "agro'ing" enemies].

Then you join in with the squad and keep attacking the single enemy. Your tanking stance allows you to "out agro" DPS's of a similar level, so you can be agro'ing the entire enemy mob.

An effective way of doing this is the Shadow's Force Breach ability. It hits 5 enemies at once and can be used every 15 seconds or so. I don't know if it breaks CC, so check first before using it.

You can use Taunt et al on single, tough enemies such as bosses. It's an effective way of artificially agro'ing the boss while you build up real agro via damage.

c.) You are the tank, you run the show. You start the fights, pick the targets and direct the crowd control [cc] abilities [shadow's stunners, sage's force lift, sentinel/smugglers' hack droid].

Tanks are the leaders, you must learn how to lead and direct the 4 man squad.

Most veteran players are smart enough to follow your lead, some need instructing/teaching, others need beating into their place [usually noob DPS's]. Some player teams are dumb enough to attack multiple enemies, in which case the tank must agro as best they can, and protect the healer while gradually whittling down the enemy mob.

Then yell at the squad about focusing attacks.

d.) IMPORTANT: You job is NOT causing damage. You job is to agro enemies, take as much damage as possible on behalf of the squad. Keep the healer from being targeted [and therefore having their abilities interrupted].

This means: <U>DON'T GET TUNNEL VISION! </U>Don't get caught up in causing damage. Watch your squads HP levels. If someone other than you is taking damage, go agro the enemy in question.

However, the best Shadow Tank build is the following:
http://www.noxxic.com/swtor/pve/jedi-consular/shadow/kinetic-combat/talent-build
The level-by-level build isn't difficult to work out, just focus on the tanking stuff after getting the Project upgrade in the Infiltration tree.
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Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it - Thomas Paine: The American Crisis IV
#3Captain PandaPosted 6/21/2013 3:40:48 PM
I'm going to disagree with Death's Blade on several points.

First, with regards to the build itself, I've heard a lot of people say Noxxic is sort of bad in terms of guides, but never looked until now...and honestly, it seems the rumors were true. That build foregoes a lot of the more useful tanking skills for a lot of offensive skills that, while handy, aren't all that great for playing a tank overall. Shadow Wrap is nice, but not really that much return on your points spent, and same with Expertise. I've never needed the small damage boosts to maintain aggro with my Shadow. Upheaval, while fairly nice, is again, not all that great IMO...I wouldn't touch until after level 50. On the other hand, grabbing Martial Prowess gives extra (if somewhat costly) control in addition to a soft interrupt. Extremely handy in tight situations. Also, while I think grabbing Upheaval early is a poor choice of point use, the one skill I would recommend jumping out of the tree to grab ASAP is Psychokinesis. The increased Force regen that Shadows get isn't quite enough, but once you reduce the costs of a couple of your more frequent attacks, things get much smoother.

Here's my build. The last four points can be sort of flavored to taste for some of those low-priority offensive skills.
http://www.torhead.com/skill-calc#601MIroddfdGzRZ0MZbM.3

The other point I'll note:
a.) Make sure to use the Guard ability on the healer. Ignore any DPS who wants it, you job is to protect the healer first, DPS second.


This is good advice in a "default" sort of way, but is definitely more of a suggestion than a rule. Particularly if you are dealing with a DPS teammate who is a couple of levels higher than you, it can be pretty easy to lose aggro, or have it bounce back and forth. It's going to be easier for a healer to keep you topped-off than a DPS, just because you're mitigating more of the incoming damage. Hence, if a DPS ally is consistently stealing aggro off of you, it's often not a bad idea to Guard that ally instead. In battles with bosses that summon adds, though, you may have to Guard-dance a little bit, though, since anything new that spawns has a tendency to make a bee-line to any healers who aren't protected.

Aside from all that, just remember to stay on your toes, and keep the attention of as much as you can. You'll get two good AoEs in Force Breach (which will break CC, so you'll need to skip it in some fights) and Slow Time (which will not break CC, so spam away). Once you get Harnessed Shadows, make sure you save your Telekinetic Throws for when you have three stacks since that will give you some extra healing, and don't forget to use Kinetic Ward as much as possible. It's easy to forget about when solo, as you generally won't need it, but it makes a big, big difference in team play.
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Stay Dangerous, my friends.
#4Muljo StphoPosted 6/21/2013 3:53:56 PM
Some player teams are dumb enough to attack multiple enemies, in which case the tank must agro as best they can, and protect the healer while gradually whittling down the enemy mob.

Then yell at the squad about focusing attacks.


Let's clarify the situation a bit here. DPS can and should go after smaller enemies (unmarked or marked with a silver badge) at their own discretion. They can take out these enemies fairly quickly on their own, and the fewer enemies you have dishing out damage to the team the better off you'll all be. It's the stronger enemies (gold badges) and bosses (fancy silver & gold badges) where more coordination is helpful.

When faced with a group that contains many strong enemies, have the team use whatever one minute long stuns (called crowd control (cc)) they have to tie up as many strong enemies as possible. This keeps them out of the way for a whole minute so long as everyone on the team is careful not to target them too soon or use an area attack too close to them. The tank gets to work keeping any remaining strong enemies busy while the DPS pick off the weaker enemies. And then you'll want the team to focus fire to knock out each strong enemy as quickly as possible, being careful to only wake up one enemy at a time when you get down to just those enemies that have been kept out of the fight.

The healer will of course be fixing the damage that the tank is receiving. (Or the team in general, in less ideal situations. But the tank should still get priority.) In some situations in group content you night get weak enemies that spawn into the fight and swarm the healer. If the DPS are any good they should spot this and wipe them out to protect the healer. If they don't notice or if the healer is getting targeted by strong enemies, the tank can use a taunt to draw the enemy attention away from the healer.
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"This ain't like fieldwork. You never have to notarize a man and kill him in triplicate. Well... Almost never..." - Ruby
#5PteranPosted 6/21/2013 6:29:40 PM
Muljo Stpho posted...
Let's clarify the situation a bit here. DPS can and should go after smaller enemies (unmarked or marked with a silver badge) at their own discretion. They can take out these enemies fairly quickly on their own, and the fewer enemies you have dishing out damage to the team the better off you'll all be. It's the stronger enemies (gold badges) and bosses (fancy silver & gold badges) where more coordination is helpful.

When faced with a group that contains many strong enemies, have the team use whatever one minute long stuns (called crowd control (cc)) they have to tie up as many strong enemies as possible. This keeps them out of the way for a whole minute so long as everyone on the team is careful not to target them too soon or use an area attack too close to them. The tank gets to work keeping any remaining strong enemies busy while the DPS pick off the weaker enemies. And then you'll want the team to focus fire to knock out each strong enemy as quickly as possible, being careful to only wake up one enemy at a time when you get down to just those enemies that have been kept out of the fight.

The healer will of course be fixing the damage that the tank is receiving. (Or the team in general, in less ideal situations. But the tank should still get priority.) In some situations in group content you night get weak enemies that spawn into the fight and swarm the healer. If the DPS are any good they should spot this and wipe them out to protect the healer. If they don't notice or if the healer is getting targeted by strong enemies, the tank can use a taunt to draw the enemy attention away from the healer.


Thanks for clarifying that. I see a lot of people talking as if the DPS is supposed to immediately jump on whatever the tank is keeping busy. When there is weaker stuff that's quick and easy for them to kill, they need to do so. Like you said, less enemies attacking the group means less incoming damage, meaning an easier time for the healer. Once the trash is cleared up, take out whatever comes next in the kill order.

One thing I would like to add though, for a guarded healer, be sure you're actually standing in range of the tank's guard. It only has a 15m range to it.
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#6ShinesmanOWPosted 6/21/2013 7:28:44 PM
The guarding part of guard is almost irrelevant if the tank is doing their job correctly, the major bonus is the threat reduction from the target which helps the tank do their job.

That said, guarding the healer is always a good default choice since an overzealous dps taking damage might slow you down if the healer is always wasting resource, but a dead healer often means a wipe.

The main thing that I see tanks doing wrong is that they don't use their AoE skills to dish out damage - area taunt is a band-aid at best because once the taunt duration ends, it's almost like you never used it. The purpose of the tank is to control enemies and absorb damage - it's nice if you help with killing, but that's ultimately not your job. If that means spending time bouncing between enemies and not constantly attacking because you can't hit them all with one AoE, so be it.

If you, as a tank, are using single target attacks when there are multiple enemies, you're doing it wrong (tm).
#7Deaths_BladePosted 6/21/2013 11:28:10 PM
I just had a proper look at the Noxxic build, and it is too offensive-focused. I didn't use that build.

Muljo Stpho is correct, I'm too used to fighting elite-only mobs.

When you have mixed level mobs [e.g. 2 normal, 2 strong, 1 elite], the DPS should focus on the weaker ones to start cutting back the mob number and make the encounter easier to manage.

Agro'ing in these situations isn't really important, as the weaker enemies will both cause less damage and die quickly enough.
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Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it - Thomas Paine: The American Crisis IV
#8CTLMPosted 6/22/2013 10:36:51 AM
As a healer, can I add "please don't charge way ahead of me so I can do my job?" My last group got SLAUGHTERED because the tank kept running ahead of everyone nonstop, leaving us behind to fend. A DPS tried his best to fill the role, but we know that doesn't work. I kept everyone alive for as long as I could
#9Zogar20(Topic Creator)Posted 6/22/2013 4:41:21 PM
Thank you everybody for all the information. I have already used most of it, and it has helped a lot. I really apericate it. I am still level 19,(don't play a whole lot, and recently have been doing nearly nothing but crafting when I do play) but have run 2 flash-points since making this post. And I joined one of them in progress.

And the tips you guys gave me must be good, as in the one that was in progress, after about 2-3 minutes in(2 or 3 decent fights) they all said "Thank god, you actually know what you are doing!!!" Now granted, they are only level 19 flash-points, think they were both Hammer Station, but still, made me feel good to be apericated and told I was doing a good job.

I will have to get used to more or less being the leader though I realized. I am use to being DPS and just following the tank around, not attacking until they did, and then clearing up all the non-elite trash while the tank "Tanks" lol.

Its a huge change of pace, but so much fun so far, and very much more rewarding then DPS, at least IMO so far.

I did have one question about gear however. I know as tank, I should focus primarily on endurance over willpower. My question however, is by how much? As I know I still need some willpower to add to my damage. I know as tank my DPS will obviously never out shine a DPS character, and that I don't get and hold aggro through DPS. But I do know that a little burst DPS at the beginning of a fight, or sometimes through-out(in case of adds or losing aggro) can help to start me with or to get the aggro.

But like how much of a priority. Say I have 2 pieces of gear. One gives me 20 endurance and 12 will power. The other one gives 18 endurance and 14 will power. Everything, including armor rating is the same. Which piece of gear should I take? As a tank I lean toward 20 endurance. But a lot of what I have been reading suggests that the damage and crit ect. ect. from the 2 willpower might be of more value then the 20 hit points, even for a tank. Just wanted your guys opinion. thanks in advance for any and all information.
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http://www.animecubed.com/billy/
Great game, give it a try, and put zogar as your referal to get bonuses to start.
#10Deaths_BladePosted 6/22/2013 11:25:57 PM
I did have one question about gear however. I know as tank, I should focus primarily on endurance over willpower. My question however, is by how much? As I know I still need some willpower to add to my damage. I know as tank my DPS will obviously never out shine a DPS character, and that I don't get and hold aggro through DPS. But I do know that a little burst DPS at the beginning of a fight, or sometimes through-out(in case of adds or losing aggro) can help to start me with or to get the aggro.

Until you hit Lv50, just get the Endurance>Willpower rather than the Willpower>Endurance mods from the vendors. There's only a few points difference in each, but I always stick with a full set.
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Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it - Thomas Paine: The American Crisis IV