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Sith assassin / Jedi Shadow - Tanking guide

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Sith assassin / Jedi Shadow - Tanking guide

Post by Hultay on Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:51 am

So lets start with only proper build:
PVE: http://www.torhead.com/calculator/skill#200rsrokrskbsZZf0cM.1
PVP what I am using: http://www.torhead.com/skill-calc#200bIrokrskbZhGbMk.1

There is also a Madness variant of PVE tank build but I havent seen any good use for it so I wont bother posting it Smile

Few words about my tanking experience in PVE

The Standard will likely prove superior to the Madness Variant for difficult group content, due to the psuedo-mitigation provided by Wither, as well as the additional 12% healing provided by Force Lightning through Harnessed Darkness. Note that the first 6% of the heal, along with half of the damage, occurs during the very first second of the ability; if you have to move, your Force Lightning will not be wasted, and the ability does significant damage. Even so, the Madness Variant has significant benefits which should be discussed.

Most notably, ranged tanking is a pain. The Standard only has one ability at greater than 10m range: Force Pull. Force Pull is not a move that you use to start a fight, that is what stealth is for. Instead, Force Pull is to allow you to bring one enemy closer so that you can use your death spam AoEs easier. If you have multiple enemies wielding ranged attacks, however, this can prove inadequate; this is not a game that often allows for the 'pull around a corner' strategy tanks would use to deal with this in the past, due to slightly smarter enemy AI. It is true that Recklessness has a (clumsy) range increase built into it for Force Lightning, but your Force Lightning can be easily interrupted. Even if you have Harnessed Darkness up, the power is still cancelled by movement, and you can only do this twice every 90 seconds; it is not an adequate solution.

Gear and why:

You will obviously want to build up defensive statistics - Absorption, Shield Rating, Defense and Endurance. Absorption and Shield Rating will provide the biggest bang for your buck. The hardcap on bonus for Shield Rating is around +50% chance - you'll experience diminishing returns well before then, but it gives you a wide margin to reach for.

This is important, because the Sith Assassin or Jedi Shadow has the least amount of survivability cooldowns relative to other specs, but has a significant advantage in how often it shields, thanks to Dark Ward. (Note also that a shielded attack cannot be a critical. This could mean that the Tankasin is vulnerable to auto-crit abilities, or could also theoretically reduce the critical chance of a received attack, if the chance is not 100% but the sum of shield chance + critical chance is greater than 100%.)

Because Dark Ward has a limited number of charges available, a higher avoidance chance will increase its longevity, as well. Therefore, the type of encounters we face will direct the next most important survivability statistic. If we constantly see high-end content with multiple enemies which require tanking, there will be a strong lean - a higher avoidance chance will reduce the number of charges eaten up on Dark Ward, improving your AoE tankability. If, instead, the Shadow is constantly facing a limited number of attacks, armor and absorption rating will take precedence.

Endurance is of low priority at current itemization schemes, because the endurance multiplier in the Darkness tree is so low.

The base stats of interest are Endurance, Strength and Willpower. I will ignore Aim, Cunning and Presence as they are of no use to a raiding Assassin/Shadow. Further stats of interest are Absorption, Accuracy, Alacrity, Armor, Critical Chance, Defense, Shield and Surge. (Note: Armor Rating is an indication of the relative worth of an item, analogous to the item level/ilvl, not the amount of armor provided by the item.)

Now just some summary of abilities we have:

Situational Abilities

Electrocute / Force Stun - A CC ability with potential use in emergencies or add-pulls, but with limited use in a tanking rotation unless Nerve Wracking is viable.

Force Slow - Whilst potentially useful for slowing trash/adds, this is unlikely to be of much help against a boss.

Jolt / Mind Snap - Whilst useful for interrupting boss abilities with an activation time (if present), it's not part of the normal tanking rotation.

Overload / Force Wave - This ability may have some merit if overwhelmed, but will not be part of a standard rotation due to it pushing targets away, rendering further threat generation slowed.

Spike / Spinning Kick - This skill has little tanking-specific merit, but it may be useful to provide temporary CC against a melee opponent, such as to reduce incoming damage. This skill will be re-evaluated if Nerve Wracking affects bosses. If Nerve Wracking is taken for whatever reason, it may be of great use when attempting to burn down high-health adds more quickly.

Unbreakable Will / Force of Will - As an ability which frees the tank from CC once every 2 minutes, this is unlikely to be useful in most boss fights, but may still come in handy from time to time.

Whirlwind / Force Lift - This is of little use during tanking, for tanking's sake, but may be useful during the pull for adds/trash, or mid-tanking for adds in some scenarios.

Now to end this threat.... some rotaions:

Basic 1 target:

1. Dark Ward / Kinetic Ward if 1 charge left or <1s duration
2. Wither / Slow Time - if 5% damage debuff is not applied to target
3. Discharge / Force Breach - if 5% accuracy debuff is not applied to target
4. Crushing Darkness / Mind Crush - if Raze/Force Strike proc && (<82 force OR proc about to expire)
5. Assassinate / Spinning Strike - if target is at <= 30% health

One or two targets (make sure to tab target):

6. Force Lightning / Telekinetic Throw - if 3 charges && <93 force && situational
7. Shock / Project - if HD/HS has low duration
8. Death Field / Force in Balance - if 2 targets
9. Shock / Project - if Energize/Particle Acceleration
10. Thrash / Double Strike - if Energize/Particle Acceleration down

Three or four targets:

6. Wither / Slow Time / Death Field / Force in Balance
7. Force Lightning / Telekinetic Throw - if 3 charges && <93 force && situational
8. Discharge / Force Breach
9. Shock / Project - if Energize/Particle Acceleration proc OR HD/HS has low duration
10. Lacerate / Whirling Blow

Five or more targets:

6. Wither / Slow Time / Death Field / Force in Balance
7. Discharge / Force Breach
8. Lacerate/ Whirling Blow

In addition to the above, Overcharge Saber / Battle Readiness should be used whenever the healing boost is needed, as should the other survivability/utility buffs such as Deflection, Force Shroud / Resilience, Force Speed, and the taunts, Mind Control and Mass Mind Control. All of the skills in this paragraph are off the GCD.


Disclamer: Not all the info in here is done by me. Some of it I copy pasted from all arround in a web just to give us some usefull info for those who care.


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