SWTOR 3.0 Shield Tech Powertech Tanking Guide by Milas

SWTOR 3.0 Shield Tech Powertech Tanking Guide written by Milas of Harbinger. Updated for patch 3.1.1

Intro to Shield Tech Tanking

Shield tech is one of the three tanking classes of SWTOR. It is hands down the most sturdy of the three classes and comes with so much passive mitigation. As a player there is little active mitigation you have to account for (heat blast + shield enhancers) and the rest of your mitigation comes from shielding incoming attacks. If you couldn’t tell from the name, shield is love and life. In this guide we’ll cover everything from gearing, to highest possible DPS, proper use of cooldowns, and the most important part, killing bosses.

Utilities

Introduced in game update 3.0, utilities are advanced class specific and as I like to say took everything that was “overpowered” about hybrid builds and gave them to you for free. No longer will your raid be upset at you for not being in hybrid spec… you’ll get all the goodies and full mitigation. Powertechs landed on the upside of this change and if/when utilities get nerfed, PT’s will be one of the first ones touched.

Skillful tier

  • Pneumatic boots – Increases your passive MS by 15%
  • Reflective Armor – When close and personal is triggered will deal “X” to attackers in 10 meters
  • Bracer Propellant – Increases cast range of flame burst by 5 and radius of Flame Sweep by 2.
  • Engulfing Flames – Increases Flame Sweep damage by 25%
  • Iron Will – Decreases the cool down of determination by 30 seconds and hydraulics override by 5 seconds.

Masterful Tier

  • Pyro Shield – Energy Shield will ignite and deal “x” damage per second to attackers nearby.
  • Torque Boosters – Increases hydraulics override by four seconds
  • Accelerated Reel – Decreases cool down of grapple by 15 seconds
  • Sonic Rebounder – Give nearby allies a reflective shield that absorbs next incoming attack
  • Prototype Electro Surge – Reduces cooldown of electro dart

Heroic Tier

  • Shield Cannon – Shoulder cannon missiles heal you for 5% of total heath
  • Enhanced Paralytics – Increases the stun duration of electro dart and carbonize by one second.
  • Overdrive – Increases move speed by 45% while hydraulics override is active

As you can see, there are lots to choose from, so I’ll generally respec for most encounters in Ravagers/ToS. Below are the load outs I use per boss fight:

Ravagers

  • Sparky – #2
  • Bulo – #1
  • Torque – #4
  • Blaster – #2
  • Coratanni – #2

Temple

  • Malaphar – #4
  • Sword Squadron – #2
  • Underlurker – #1
  • Commanders – #3
  • Revan – #2

Rating

Scaled 1-3 for each tank class. #1 – best/easiest

  • Single Target Threat: 2 ( #1 if using Shoulder cannon on pull)
  • Single Target DPS: 1
  • AoE Target Threat: 2
  • AoE Target DPS: 1 (sustained can spam more sweep + Firestorm)
  • Group Utility: 2 ( Oil + Sonic Rebounder)
  • Rotation Difficulty: 3
  • Defensive Cooldowns: 3
  • Spikiness: 1
  • Mobility: 1

Gearing and Stats Priority

Disclaimer

The way that I and the other Zorz tanks gear is opposite the widely accepted “mean mitigation” theory crafting. We and this guide value HP values more over overall mitigation as we gear for progression content and pushing for world firsts. We don’t value DTPS as others do. Our goal is surviving encounters in as little gear as possible and accounting for spikes. DTPS isn’t what kills a tank. It’s mistakes, lack of healing, and taking huge spikes so we gear for larger HP pools.

If you would like more information on “mean” mitigation and proper mods/enhancements following that gearing method, visit this post ( KBN shout out)

Accuracy: 10% given from Tank Stance + 1% Companion buff = 101% Melee Accuracy

Tank Mitigation: Shield is king, you’ll stack this until you can stack no more. If and when you can take shield you take it over absorb and defense. The foundation of PT tanking is shielding attacks or getting IGC procs to get 3 heat screen to use heat blast. We also get the most out of passive mitigation, getting full mitigation uptime is as simple as using heat blast and ensuring you have three stacks of shield enhancers up ( rail shot + rocket punch.)

Stat priority: Shield > Absorb > Defense

Gear:Β 

  • x3 Deflecting 38B mods
  • x6 Weighted Β 38B mod
  • x7 Sturdiness enhancement 38
Left Side
  • x2 Deciever Demolishers Mk-1 implant
  • x1 Deciever Demolishers Mk-1 module
  • x1 Revanite relic of Reactive Warding
  • x1 Revanite relic of Fortunate Redoubt

As of 3/16/15 here are my in-game ratios withΒ Advanced Anodyne Fortitude Stim:

  • Defense Rating: 629
  • Shield Rating: 1928
  • Absorption Rating: 1123

swtor-3.0-powertech-tanking-stats

My end game goal in min/maxed 198 gear is about:

  • Shield: 1800-1900
  • Absorb: 1200-1400
  • Defense: 550-620
  • HP : 57k

You’re also in luck. During HM content, the developers make it easy to gear the way I do. See this post.

Armorings: Commando, you dont need aim. You’re not a DPS.

Mods: B mods = best mods. You’re trading mitigation stat for endurance at a 1:1 rate. Again you don’t need aim

Enhancements: Immunity and Sturdiness are back and once I’ve reached my HP pool these will be BiS. Until I’m at the point Bulwark/Bastion enhancements are fine.

Trade off is + 26 endurance for + 29 main so not exactly 1:1. This will be your secondary stop for HP however as other conversions are much worse.

Implants/Ear piece is + 44/- 47 so Deceiver ultimate comm pieces are extremely good.

Quick gearing out of the gate

  • Get implants/earpiece for 100 ultimate comms
  • B mods 80/100 per
  • Ruusan relics of Fortunate Redoubt (Defense Rating) and Reactive Warding (X amount of Absorb Shield).

Set bonus

  • (2) Heal Blast increases DR by 2% for five seconds – Really vital basically 2% free DR.
  • (4) Rocket punch reduces the CD of taunts by two seconds – Rather meh you don’t need taunts, maybe on 2 encounters does this set bonus gain value.
  • (6) Increases the duration of oil slick & Energy shield by 3/4 seconds. (upgraded version of the old four piece prior to 3.0)

You should run the new six piece in general. But until you have the 6/7 pieces required, you should run 2 piece new, four piece old

Augments

  • 14 Shield augments

Abilities and Rotation

PT tanking is rather boring when it comes to managing maximum mitigation its nearly as simple as doing your rotation and using Heat Blast at proper times. As long as you are using Heat Blast fairly often (I personally use it off CD unless I know a large attack is coming) and keeping three stacks of Shield enhancers up.

Abilities in your main rotation:

  • Firestorm
  • Flame Burst
  • Rocket Punch (Shield Enhancers)
  • Rail Shot (get Shield Enhancers )
  • Heat Blast (active Absorb % Increase)
  • Rapid Shots
  • Jet Charge
  • Shoulder Cannon

Situational abilities (out of range or AOE):

  • Explosive Dart
  • Death From Above
  • Missile Blast

Highest opener threat-wise:

  1. x4 pre-loaded Shoulder Cannons (off GCD) – As a PT Shoulder Cannons have a 5% heal in utility. 2827 x 4 = 11308. Smart and optimal play has you using these as a heal/DCD. I personally use them off CD.
  2. Jet Charge
  3. Rocket punch
  4. Rail Shot
  5. Taunt (off GCD)
  6. Firestorm proc or no proc (Flame engine proc)
  7. Rocket Punch if reset
  8. Flame Sweep/Flame Burst
  9. Heat Blast (Soon as you receive three heat screens)

Ability Priority:

  1. Heat Blast (Mitigation)
  2. Rocket Punch ( Reset City & Shield Enhancers )
  3. Rail Shot (Shield Enhancers)
  4. Firestorm

Mid Fight Rotation:

  1. Firestorm off CD / Flame Engine proc
  2. Rocket Punch
  3. Rail Shot
  4. Heat Blast

If/when > 30-35 heat, do Rapid Shots and try to proc Flame Engine and use Heat Blast as soon as available.

Thermal Sensor Override & Vent Heat – Use your heat aggressively. It’s easy to push your heat to at least 70 and Vent Heat. You can also go into “heat drop phase” if that’s not available: Heat Blast & Flame Engine + TSO/Heat Blast, this should bring you back to nearly 0 heat.*

Highest Possible DPS Rotation

Has Flame Sweep as your filler
Level 32 & 40 talent: Increases Flame sweep by 15% + 10% crit chance. With 25% Flame Sweep utility its a superior option. (Kwerty Shoutout)
swtor-3.0-powertech-tanking-parse
This requires a you to use the utility engulfing flames which in turn makes you lose a utility.
Personally I still use flame burst because I like having the reduced hydraulics cooldown and passive movespeed. It is down to preference and the DPS difference is 6-10 seconds faster on a 500k dummy TTK wise. This is assuming single target. If not single target flame sweep is 100% the go to ability.
swtor-3.0-powertech-tanking-parse-2

AoE Rotation and Ability Priorities

  • Jet Charge
  • Firestorm
  • Death From Above
  • Flame Sweep
  • AoE Taunt

If possible you want to start with Jet Charge to get Flame Surge ( free two Flame Sweeps), and leap in and start with Firestorm into DFA followed by Flame Sweep x2 into a AoE taunt. You’ll basically flame sweep until you need to vent heat / Flame Engine procs / adds die.

Cooldowns Usage

I’m of the belief of using cooldowns proactively is the best way to maximize the efficiency of them. I’ll often pop them when I know damage spikes are incoming to reduce damage. I feel that it’s next to pointless to pop a cooldown when you are in survival mode (<30%) because the chances of dying are much higher using a cool down in advance of extreme danger to reduce the incoming damage load.

To see how I use cool downs in encounters see the playlist

  • Energy Shield – Increases damage reduction by 25% for 15 seconds.
  • Explosive Fuel – Increases defense chance by 35% for 15 seconds
  • Kolto Overload – If your HP % drops below 35% and heals you for 35% of your max health for 8 seconds.
  • Exotech Absorb Adrenal – Increases armor rating by 1675 for 15 seconds
  • Prototype Anodyne Medpac – 7192-7533 heal. HoT over 15 seconds 2750
  • Sonic Rebounder (raid cooldown) – Reflects the next incoming attack for those that have the absorb shield.
  • Oil Slick – Reduce enemy’s accuracy by 30% while inside the area

Tanking and You & How to Improve

Tanking is rather simplistic and often people are scared to tank when in my opinion it’s the easiest of the three roles. Tanking is perceived as difficult because if/when you mess up it’ll lead to a wipe and people think if you can’t hold threat/aggro you aren’t a good tank. The number one thing that I see new tanks doing is holding onto taunts as if they were money. Please taunt away in this game, especially with the new four piece bonus which basically allows you to taunt and multiply your threat off cooldown.

The next mistake I see tanks do is taunt without proper threat. Please do your highest threat abilities before taunting. Leading with a taunt will 9/10 lead to you losing threat to a adequate DPS within seconds.

Know the encounters like a book. The more you know about the incoming damage profiles and abilities you’ll be hit with, the more knowledge you can use. In particular you should know which cooldowns are most effective in each situation so you don’t waste them. This doesn’t exactly apply to Shield tech as we are limited on the “cheese” but for example knowing all the abilities you can Force Shroud or Saber Reflect is valuable information.

Examples

Reflective Armor – When close and personal is triggered will deal “X” to attackers in 10 meters

Working as intended

swtor-3.0-powertech-tanking-reflective-armor

Saber Reflect

Working as intended

swtor-saber-reflect

Force Shroud

( HIGUYS shrouds stacks 10-20 and takes no damage)

It’s the small things you do while raiding that makes encounters easier and less of a struggle. The more knowledge you have as a tank, the easier you make it for your raid.

Stuff I suggest you start to think about/use

  • Target of target
  • Record yourself playing ( write down your mistakes) and analyze week to week to find improvements
  • Don’t stress about DTPS it’s a stupid stat and the variance from pull to pull comes down to mitigation.
  • If/when you die over the course of a raid night, determine why after raid, not during it.

Experience and preference triumphs anything you’ll read and or be told. I’m arrogant and stubborn I can tell you everything about encounters. That doesn’t mean I’m the best. You’re not a DPS where the highest number obtained makes your rotation correct on a dummy. Tanking is touch and feel and the more experience you gain the easier it becomes.

About the author

I’m Milas, I’m the best, kidding no really I am the best. I’m the GM of <Zorz>, I like raiding and doing hard content. I’ve been doing “progression” raiding since 1.2 and still enjoy every minute of it. I’ve always dabbled in tanking just never did it fully until I started raiding with <EDE> on the toon Faker. One day madness sorcs will rise again and you’ll see me in a kill video near you on it. Until then you can found me in the comment section below, @ http://zorzz.enjin.com/ or on twitter @jdotter707.

In closing I’d like to thank Dulfy for hosting my guide and the following people.

Shout out to Toggle, Thiol, Carl, Freaky, and Smugglin for teaching/molding me into the tank I am today.

Shout out to my healers Sorvali and Raulos can you please get good numbers?

Shout out to everyone in Zorz for putting up with me on a weekly basis.

  • Edrall

    WOW best guide so far! (Not saying the rest are useless anyway)

    Thanks a lot for the guides everyone! And Dulfy for sharing with us! πŸ˜€

  • Nice nice!

    Guess we’re now actually gearing for some endurance now that all high mitigation modding just pushes you far into diminishing returns and leaves you with dps-like health.

    I’m personally pretty comfortable dropping a good bit of Defense for Endurance on my Guardian.. I had way too much of it anyway :/

    Anyways, a guide well done πŸ™‚

    • iceberg265

      “We” aren’t, this guy apparently is. Personally I would not recommend it.

      • Ellendra

        “This guy” you reference happens to be in one of the top progression guilds in the world, and I’m pretty sure has world first Ravagers HM, and will, if they haven’t already, have world first HM Revan. Their method of tanking works for them, and takes into account that certain mechanics or attacks, not sustained damage, is what kills tanks doing their job correctly.

        • TheHarbingersKwerty

          I’d like to point out that Milas is running with Zorz’s 2 best Merc Healers right now, so consider that when you remember he’s HP stacking…

          The average pug healer definately won’t be anywhere near as good as them, and so getting more mitigation will probably make their job easier, meaning you’ll need less healing. And dont go pugging HMs!

          Though I can see benefits of some HP stacking for a vanguard/Powertech (which is why Im still gonna use B-mods in my tank set), as:

          Shoulder Cannon
          Kolto Overload/Adrenaline Rush
          Close and Personal/Into the Fray

          Are all HP Based self heals, and so having more HP means more health from them.

          Speaking of which, one thing he forgot to bring up was the heal proc relic. “KWERTY YOU ARE MAD AGAIN, STAHP!”

          What I mean is that relic can (and does) proc off self heals – so if a fight has consistent enough AoEs for Close and Personal/Into the Fray to activate quite often, that relic ends up being your best relic defensively. There aren’t too many fights that this happens, but its still a good idea to have it for them – e.g. The Underlurker, where Close and Personal was activated every 6.9 seconds on average, and on Nightmare Brontes, where almost all the damage is AoEs

          • Trill

            These stats are what work for the highest tier of content in game and have been used for not only this round but previous rounds as well. Thiol used similar if not the same stats and I find it funny people seem to think that Raulos & Sorvali are the only healers to ever heal in our guild. We have other healers and people run MANY alts and its all the same.

            You can’t argue that for lower end content things will be better with full mitigation because it would probably be the complete opposite. Higher HP pools = more time for healers to attend to the tanks. You could argue you may take less damage and while this may be true in some cases defensive stats are pure RNG on whether they are useful while HP will always roll the same no matter the situation. Plus I doubt people are min-maxing Arkanian gear. Actually min-maxing using the stats Milas suggests is actually MUCH easier because you don’t even need token gear to obtain them. All of the mods and enhancements(I think?) are available from the Ultimate Comm vendor. So this will be easier for people reading this guide to achieve.

            Theory crafting is great and all but the problem I have with it is have the theory crafters actually experienced the content? The stats Milas presented have worked great for the highest tier of content available in the game and have for the past few cycles as well. So call me crazy but I feel like they just MIGHT be correct. Would you rather follow stats that are confirmed to work or stats you/others THINK they should be.

            Once people start clearing the content they can post their numbers and people can say what is or isn’t correct. But until then I’d say these are the right numbers to use seeing how they have proven successful.

            Just my opinion.

            • TheHarbingersKwerty

              You make a good point about having backup healers. Nevertheless, Zorz is arguably made up of the best players in the world who never get lag spiked, and even less often stand in bad, so even when they aren’t using their primary healers they would have some pretty amazing ones. Well apart from when they reach the bottom of their alt barrels πŸ˜›

              Something to note though: Bulwark/Bastion enhancements are ONLY available through HM Raids and crafters, and only as a random drop D:

              Token gear is immunity/sturdiness, and ultimate comms are steadfast/vigilant enhancements, which give up incredible amounts of shield/absorb/defense for a little bit of health. So even there, you need HM Raids and its less predictable πŸ™

              • Milas

                Bulwark/Bastion are only used to reach my HP pool. I think 57k is a pipe dream sadly. I think I’m really content with 56k. I more mean in the guide those are fine to use until you can get the BiS ones.

              • Trill

                To comment on the never get lagged spiked portion. This is because we make sure to jump to have the server update our position. We die due to forgetting to jump now and then, it happened to me 2 days ago during an alt walker hm run. Not everyone has 30 and below ping in the guild, and everyone who plays the game is just as capable of staying out of red. I get what your saying but we get spiked no less than anyone else in the game.

                That’s unfortunate about the enhancements.

              • Popo

                Can you explain how jumping helps with lag spikes? And how often do you jump? Thanks.

              • Junna

                Because jumping (or stopping and standing still) forces the client to update your position with the server. So if you are trying to get out of bad on the ground, you get outside of it and jump to force the client to update position. Because the client only periodically updates position to the server (exception being the two conditions above), if you don’t jump the server may still register you in the bad and you take damage or in some cases die.

        • iceberg265

          Its a fact of MMO tanking, once you have enough HP to live through two unmitigated attacks without receiving heals, you will always be better off with mitigation or avoidance than increased HP. Always. Its been proven countless times over the last 5 or so years that I have been tanking in MMOs.

          His method may work for him, probably due to the fact that his healers are amazing. His personal skill probably factors into it as well, but mathematically he would be better off not stacking endurance.

          • Ellendra

            That’s what he basically does, though. He gets to a hit point level where he’s comfortable and then stacks mitigation.

          • Milas

            I’m not really standing Endurance, I’m using B mods and the rest is mitigation pieces. I have those stats because proper gearing in a raid scenario tanks receive left sides last.

            As I posted on reddit

            +32 endurance -20 mitigation stat -16 Aim

            Is the difference from B to unlettered. Losing 180 mitigation stat and gaining 288 endurance. Without the HP difference on our first Revan kill I had 53,000 and the above damage profile would had killed me if I had proper mean mitigation mods.

  • Sharon

    In favor of less experienced players, wishing to take this guide to become better, can you at least give the meaning of all abbreviations in brackets the first time you use them? I didn’t understand half of what was written because of it.
    Thanks and hope you take my request under consideration.

    • Can you list which abbreviations? This will make it easier to track them down

  • DoubleNegative

    What is the current BiS stat pool? Trying to use KBN’s link to determine augments..

    • Milas

      I have 3739 ( using B mods) minus 20 per B mod, and I’m missing probably 150-200 from relics/revanite implants and ear. I also still have three high endurance enhancements. So all together I’d guess like 4,000 – 4,100 for 198 mean mitigation.

      • DoubleNegative

        Ok thanks. KBN has 4000 highlighted so I’m gonna assume that’s what its referring to.

    • DogEyedBoy

      4003.

  • Prog

    Umlol, finally someone else in the world os going for shield+endurance priority. Yay, mehappy, I want your healers.

  • Babubep

    Could you post the target numbers for 186 gear for Shield-Absorb-Defence
    Just looking for at starting point so I can build up from there

    • TheHarbingersKwerty

      What i’m running with 186 gear is:

      1 Defense Augment
      3 Absorb Augments
      10 Shield Augments
      All mods are B-Absorb mods
      All enhancements are Sturdiness (High stat contribution, Shield/Absorb)
      Crafted Shield/Defense Implants + Earpiece

      Its probably not optimal, but its as close as I could get to KBNs numbers while still having a decent amount of health (49k) and should be perfectly fine for SM Ops + HM FPs.

  • My issue is what should “right” look like for us “casual” tanks. The ones that will never set foot inside a HM Ops and for some of us any Op for that matter. I was pretty Set in my Ultimate’s prior to this and enjoyed doing HM FPs with friends and guild mate. From looking at
    TheHarbingersKwerty post I think this what I plan to shoot for, but knowing that the new base %s would help.

  • drx

    I personally have over 51k Health, 50%dmg reduction 20%defense chance, 40%shield and 44%absorb. I have still the lvl 55 armoring mods for bonus but the rest are decent. I augmented full absorb on my right armor. Endurance in my offhand, shield in my main, and defense in everything else. I have no issues tanking anything and I have yet to put lvl 60 Armoring Mods. =)

    imo Absorb is the stat that directly affects how much damage you take. The shield is good but sooner or later it will go through and when it does, your absorb kicks in.

    Defense Chance is the ability to not get hit in the first place.

    So if I get “hit” I have a 20% or a 1/5 to completely ‘dodge’ if it goes through my defense chance, my shield will decide. Sorry my English is not that good.

  • Methoxa

    Its absolutely viable to exchange defstats with hp on an 1:1 or even better ratio depending on the Boss. Actually i also have 3-4 B mods for most Bosses as they can hit a Tank for 20-30k + to give the healers a little puffer. Besides most of those hits can not be avoided by defstats as they are internal dmg.

  • Common folk

    I find this guide very lacking but instead patronizing! That is my general comment on it.
    Apart from this as a healer I would like to ask tanks to not gear for HP but for mitigation. More HP means you need more healing. That implies more attention on tanks and less on other raids members. It implies more pressure on healers. It requires more def CDs and self heals from DDs. It prevents your medic to help with burn phases…
    Both mitigation and high HP builds may work (although high HP means less dmg/threat). High HP tank builds however require much better perforamance by anybody but tanks.

    • TheHarbingersKwerty

      While that may be a good idea in the past, the fact is if a tank is taking immunity/sturdiness enhancements, and unlettered mods, he’s going to be spiked to death in 2 hits by unmitigated attacks. In storymodes.

      As such, The best compromise is B-mods. You lose the least mitigation that way, and in exchange you get a significant amount of health to help you survive the spikes. BTW you still end up with more mitigation by using B-mods and the good enhancements than you would have by using unlettered mods and the average enhancements.

    • Milas

      Here is our healers thoughts

      http://gyazo.com/c982e9a856846c1585242de55922589f

      I also think people are confusing using B mods for HP stacking.

      • whysoendurancey

        One healer. Where’s the others?

        • Tefia

          In new content tanks will get hit with 30k to 40k abilities. There’s no escaping that. Mitigation is hitting DR pretty strongly and min-max players will all have relatively the same health (Tanks, Healers, DPS). So instead of pouring more to get less, it’s better to pour into endurance. Helps healers attach better priority to DPS.

    • macewindy

      Well considering Zorz is a well know progression guild with an excellent record so I guess their tanks are doing something not terribly wrong πŸ˜‰ Added to that I think that also means we can trust the input of their healers.

      Also like Milas and Kwerty are saying. Don’t confuse a papertank with the idea from this guide. It has always been the case that the middle road was viable to take.
      Papertanks/HP stacking also means taking fortitude augs which Milas his guide didnt agree with

      Furthermore please read up on the SWTOR forums where KBN and co are busy defining a new way of calculating BiS gearratings. A new way which most likely will lead to the way of how Zorz is gearing (if I am interpreting the postings correct.

      Lastly about the guide. Its a good guide with touches all important subjects. Granted, its not a wall of text but thats a sign of a good guide. The art of keeping stuff short needs te be strong in a guide πŸ˜‰

  • Sarigar

    I run a PT tank as my main character. I’d like a more detailed explanation on why Reactive Warding is a better choice for relic than Shield Amplification. A 1520 pt. soak every 40 seconds seems to me like a poor choice compared to +835 Absorb rating every 20 seconds. Granted, I am not a number cruncher, but if you’re taking consistent damage, it seems like you would mitigate a lot more damage via absorption during SA’s 6 second window than you would from RW’s one-shot soak. Or does the soak from Reactive Warding apply to every attack within that window? I’d appreciate any detail you can provide on this.

    Thank you for the guide, I’m glad to see that my trial-and-error gearing has been going largely in the right direction.

    • Evrydayimsmggln

      It doesn’t look like the 1520 is that much, but it’s actually more than the average contribution from the other relics. The absorb looks like a lot of stats, but it actually doesn’t do that much.

  • Methoxa

    Absorb has a DR, Reactive Warding doesnt. There was a calculation of kbn on the swtor forum showing how much better reactive warding is. His post was deleted due to the forum update. Also keep in mind that reactive warding absorbs any damage, while you cant shield against f/t+i/e dmg.

  • Methoxa

    Btw. for tank adrenals :

    unbuffed: 37.98%
    w/ new adrenal: 33.84%
    w/ rakata adrenal: 31.5%

    Average damage values. The lower the better.

  • TheMirthMobile

    Interesting read, thank you for writing it. I too find tanking to be the easiest class to play. I main a jugg tank, but I am currently leveling a powertech I intend to use as an alt tank and I am liking its playstyle so far.

    I find your opinion on stats interesting, mainly as it goes against the gospel of KeyboardNinja (whose advice and maths I base my mains gear on) and you clearly feel it works better for you. πŸ˜›

    From my point of view I don’t fully understand the controversy surrounding your build. In the comments here you talk about swapping 180 def stat (which for ALWAYS be either def or absorb – never shield unless I am mistaken, the stat that you say is most important for PTs) for 288 endurance (or 2880 hp). At the current level of gear and stats available, this difference feels minor and somewhat academic to me, coming down to personal preference and team capability.

    In fact, I did something similar way back before 2.0 dropped when my guild was working on TFB HM, dropping about 1-2% absorb from augments to gain a some additional endurance and strength (to help with threat) and healers noticed no difference when healing me (of course though, we had higher ‘percentage’ mitigation then).

    Tbh I’m surprised that you see and feel such a major difference with 3k extra health at all, given the speed and amount of damage that tanks endure.

    I suppose in summary the ‘correct’ build for a tank is really dependent on the team more than anything. The differences in variety from ‘proper’ builds are relatively minor at the end of the day.

    • Milas

      Well currently its more than 2880 as my entire left side is Deceiver which gives you an additional + 40 endurance over mitigation stat. The difference we needed on some fights during progression was 50k-53k. I do 100% agree that its rather irrelevant and comes to personal preference and what you like.

      When I write guides I like writing what I like to do as I have the most experience from my own perspective and what I right has worked and I like doing it. I don’t offer much in theory crafting, I test stuff through trial and error.

      There is no “correct” way to things in SWTOR its all personal preference and most of the optimal things matter very little in a raid scenario.

      • TheMirthMobile

        Yeah exactly.

        Even for the RW vs SA relics. KeyboardNinjas maths show RW is better given the damage of current bosses (based on DF and DP anyway), but if I recall the difference in calculated mitigation between the two is relatively minor.

        There is more variety/options for gearing tanks than for DPS or healers in my opinion. Its all down to preference and your team.

  • fiffi

    Does Milas have a diagnosis of some kind? If not then get out and close the door.

  • Methoxa

    Well its not really controversy to KBN. KBN himself states that his calculation decreases dtps the most, but there is more to tanking. I play tanks since Wow beta, and it was even back than not only mitgation but also TTL and about dmg prediction. There was a program for Wow Theorycrafter called Rawr which implemented TTL calculation in a very early state i think it was before the release of Wotlk. Why shouldnt it also be a variable to consider for Swtor tanking?

    • Evrydayimsmggln

      Milas doesn’t say it’s controversial to kbn, he says full mitigation is the commonly accepted way to gear and the way we do it is seen as “wrong” by most of the community (which is largely true, you should see the messages he gets about it) and links kbn’s thread as the alternate/common gearing method. I know the two have been sharing logs and talking about it, kbn is and has been open to the idea and has been trying to form a new model to quantify the hp-mitigation tradeoff in swtor.

      • Methoxa

        I know Milas didnt say it, but ppl in the comments say so. Whats “wrong” or “right” is determined by the common believe of the community. To be honest how much % of the community is actually doing progress? How much % do their own theorycrafting? How much % didnt believe KBN when he posted his ideal tankstat distribution that less dtps > all? People believe things that the mainstream also believes. Everything else is in their narrow minds bad and wrong.

        • Methoxa

          Even 3 years back in Wow progression Tanks didnt equip full mitgation but also HP was important for the reasons Milas mentioned. I always wondered why those variables weren”t included into kbn’s calculations. Its not really new, but new to the community, just give them a bit time and they will eventually believe it. If they dont, dont care abt it, play your own style

  • Sorcasin

    So, the enhancements I should get are the ultimate comms vendor ones instead of crafted ones? I’m sorry, not really good at math, I’m quite confused. Both mods and enhancements from ultimate comms vendor until desired hp pool is reached?

    • Sorcasin

      Or if you can capture a screenshot while hovering over one of your gear with the mod and enhancement, it would also help a lot for me and maybe others.

    • Milas

      Bulwark/Bastion are fine. The BiS enhancements are called Immunity and Sturdiness

      • Sorcasin

        Are the bulwark/bastion ones that you’re using crafted or are they from the comms vendor?

        • TheHarbingersKwerty

          Neither. He does lots of HM Raids, and Bulwark/Bastion mods come from MK-2 Deceiver gear (which only drops in HM Ravagers and HM Temple of Sacrifice)

          • Sorcasin

            Ah, I see. Thanks. That would explain a lot…

        • Milas

          Kwerty is correct. I believe I’m using all but two Immunity and Sturdiness enhancements. If I was at square one buying tanking gear I would

          1) Yavin 186 gear
          2) Left side crafted Veracity or Yavin Earpiece/Implants
          3) Crafted Ruusan tanking relics
          4) Start going ham to get elite/ultimate comms for Ear/Implants
          5) Crafted 186 enhancements

          Augment for shield

          • Sorcasin

            Cheers for the list. I am oblivious on how to start, so, it came in real handy!
            So, until I start getting the enhancements from HM, crafted 186 ones are the way to go. Got it. Makes so much sense now. Thank you.

      • Sorcasin

        So, you are using Crafted purple Bulwark/Bastion 36 enhancements at the moment?

  • OneTruth

    Though I don’t mind others finding alternative methods of gearing, as long as they are comfortable with it and can clear content, you also have to consider that math doesn’t lie. Mathematically, you will take less damage gearing for mitigation. Endurance gearing is fine when you have great healers carrying you, but you still take more damage overall. You only need just enough health to avoid being one-shot, at which point mitigation then becomes king. As diminishing returns get greater and greater, we can start throwing in some HP here and there. The best tank to endurance stack is going to be Shadows due to them getting an extra 3% from Shadows training and another 2% from Mental Fortitude. That gives them 5% more HP baseline than the other 2 tanks and this gets better and better with gear.

    As far as you thinking tanking is the easiest role, all I can say is lolololol. Sounds to me like you are a dps who tried tanking and thinks he’s a pro now because you had awesome healers carry you. I’m not trying to sound rude, but there is a lot more involved in becoming a great tank than just winging bosses as fast as possible to get world firsts. Who even cares about world firsts really anyways? Everyone acts like its some standard that we have to follow and be just like those guys who cleared it first! Wrong. Ford made first vehicle. Chevy came along after them and made one just as good if not better in some peoples opinions. Point is, there are multiple ways of doing things and just cause someone did it first doesn’t mean jack. Innovate and improve.

    Think of it like this. Tanks are the center/quarterback/linemen, without them the ball doesn’t go anywhere. Dps are the running backs/ receivers which are allowed to score because of the tank. Healers are the gatorade/water on the side that does nothing other than replenish our electrolytes so that we can keep going. Without the tank, no one can do their job properly but boy do I love GOOD Gatorade and GOOD receivers/running backs.

    • OneTruth

      Id also like to add, I would like to see a place where its required to bring 3 tank compositions to clear content and situations where you need an endurance geared tank to taunt off of the mitigation geared tank to take a certain abilities hit periodically. It would make the game harder and more challenging sure but that’s also what makes raiding fun. Then, maybe then, will there be a true place for Endurance geared tanks. You let the mitigation tanks take the regular damage and you let an Endurance tank take the big attacks. Would require so much more coordination but hell, its worth it and it would make for some good stories.

      • I don’t disagree completely, but its only fun when the boss mechanics work -consistantly- :-/ Unfortunately, they usually don’t. Thus, you will just get more frustrated players. They would be wondering is it them or the mechanics not working right.

        Although as it is, groups have to be synch’d with stats to a certain extent. If you get crappy healers with a health stacked tank, they will be missing their mitigation. Likewise, mitigation tanks will be missing the health if dps is lacking even on basic mobs.

    • TheHarbingersKwerty

      2 things to point out:

      1. Going full mitigation doesn’t give you enough HP to survive the spikes. You need either B mods, or Bulwark/Bastion enhancements. B-mods have a far superior HP gain per mitigation loss.

      2. Vanguards/Powertechs are actually the best HP stacking tanks, because of all of their self heals are HP based:
      Close and Personal: 2.5% self heal on being AoEd. Increases with more health
      Shield Cannon: 5% self heal on firing a missile from shoulder cannon. Increases with more health. 4 missiles every 110 seconds if used on cooldown (though shouldn’t be used on cooldown)
      Kolto Overload: 2% HP/Sec self heal for up to 8 seconds when above 35% health, rapid healing below 35%.

      These are compared to Juggs, who have Bonus Healing based self heals in Enraged Defense and Sonic Barrier, and while sins get a 15% self heal every 2 minutes, its followed up by a self heal based on bonus healing, and its your only self heal

      • OneTruth

        Pre 3.0, I would have agreed with you because Vanguards/Powertech’s had an extra endurance talent in tree, but now Shadow’s are the only tank who has such a luxury as I stated in my original reply. If the goal is to maximize health without sacrificing too much mitigation, and not minimize DTPS then Shadows would be the best HP tank there is overall. I would personally run B-Mods on Vanguard/Powertech and Shadow/Assassin, but go full mitigation with Guardian/Juggernaut… You can always pop cooldowns to reduce the big hits if you know when they are coming and Enure/Endure Pain will grant you all the health you need to survive a huge hit. Plus you can always have an offtank with better hp taunt off the guardian/juggernaut to take the big hits then let the guard/jug taunt back afterwards

    • Methoxa

      Do the math for 3800 defstats and the math for 4000 defstats and youll see a dtps decrease by 24 dtps on a m/r+ k/e boss. Milas is trading those 200 defstats for a little more than 2k hp to give his healers more time to heal the raid instead of the tank. This is important for Revan Hm for example where the raid gets heavy dmg. Furthermore the fight is spiky and you receive up to 50k dmg in 3 seconds mostly f/t+i/e dmg which can not be mitgated by defstats. This is actually on many bosses. It doesnt have anything to do with being carried but analysing your parser and equipping towards the dmg received.

    • Milas

      All fair and valid when I approach teaching and or doing guide stuff I do it from my perspective and personal experience. Part of the reason I initially declined doing the guide was the reason that most don’t agree with (mean mitigation vs B mods.) I’m not one to say this is the absolute only way to do something because its not its just what we prefer.

      Keyboardninja is currently going through my 10/10 HM logs and I’m sure he’ll post his findings.

      As to why I find tanking the easiest role is based on the following (I’ve done at least 4/5 in every roll 3.0 HM Stuff)

      It doesn’t have strict requirements (if you do poor dps), or if you just can’t heal the damage profile you are inefficient. While as a tank yes if you mess up you’ll wipe the raid but there is no need to meet strict requirements and your job is essentially the following – hold threat, position well, maximize mitigation. Its hard to tell the difference from tank #1 and #2 if they are similar in overall skill.

      As for doing stuff first we experience content much differently than most (IE we cleared 1-4 of each instance in mostly 186-192 stuff. Most will go into HM with mostly 192-198 stuff. I do agree that first isn’t always best (see our original NM council strategy), but doing it first means you did it with as little resources as possible which to us is the fun way to play.

      • OneTruth

        From my initial review of your guide, you seemed arrogant, but after reading your reply here I have a newfound respect for you sir just based off the way you responded to me. I still disagree with your assessment of tanking being easiest cause there is much more involved mentally that as a DPS/Healer you don’t have to worry about, but its all based off opinions anyways. You have completed the test and have done well my young apprentice. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFYO43UCMYE

  • Jason Bourne

    You people confuse Endurance stacking with B-mods gearing. Plz learn to read.

  • flintz

    I agree also that tanking is the easiest. I’ve only done 8/10 Nim DF/DP and 3/10 HM new ops and play all roles, but feel tanking is the easiest(my main is a tank). With that said, most tanks are the leaders who also keep track of other people’s mechanics in a fight, and together with that, it’s not so easy(or at least it can be frustrating) anymore.

  • Sarigar

    Tanking is (usually) mechanically easy, but the situational awareness and on-the-spot judgment calls required to protect the group/raid cannot be taught. It’s a challenging but rewarding role to play, even though most of the time, when you’ve done your job right, few people notice that you’ve done anything at all.

    • Indeed. Sometimes as an off-tank on my guardian I don’t move, and it looks like I don’t do anything except wave my hand around, but I’m actually using different abilities to pull individual agro or stun. I feel bad at times due to the appearance, but afterward I occasionally get PMs saying they noticed I was paying attention to dps and healers. So sometimes it goes unnoticed and sometimes not πŸ™‚

  • A

    Hey milas, how do you feel about tanks that prefer some dps stats over endurance? i play a pt tank with almost the caps you have but my hp is lower by 4k. however the dps i pull helps a lot in certain fights with dps checks. just wanted to know what you think πŸ™‚

    • Milas

      I wouldn’t feel comfortable on HM Revan with a 52k HP pool. I’m sure it is fine however

  • Wildvoo

    hi can i ask how on your 2nd 2 parse documents you achieved 44 apm whilst using unload heavily without using phtotoshop?

    • TheHarbingersKwerty

      Heat Blast is not on the GCD, so those 15 hits from Heat Blast increased the APM by ~3.5. Then you also get 1 APM from the combination of Vent Heat and Thermal Sensor Overrides (1.5 if he burned them really early but I doubt that happened), and 0.5 APM from Explosive Fuel

      Overall, thats ~5 APM added on from things you completely ignored.

      • Wildvoo

        It all looks questionable when the parses are photo-choped even if its just from the republic to the imperial side — on the http://dulfy.net/2014/12/08/swtor-3-0-powertech-advanced-prototype-and-pyrotech-dps-guide-by-kwerty/ — you have changed the 2nd parse to imperial but left in high impact bolt and plasma cell

        • TheHarbingersKwerty

          Yeah… that was my screwup. No idea how I missed both of them in the pyro section. Regardless, I did warn that they originated on my Vanguard and I just used paint to rename the abilities.

          Regardless, no idea why we’re bringing this up in Milas’s tank guide. I explained why is APM is so high despite lots of full auto usage which was what the original questioning was about.

          Anyway, that makes it 4 things I have to fix up now…

    • Milas

      I have no real reasons to doctor parses (there is also a video.) its viable on the following bosses all the time though on most you can push heat then go into recovery mode ( usually on tanks swap)

      ToS

      Malaphar
      Sword Squadron

      Ravagers

      Bulo

      Torque ( jump to wall droids)
      Blaster ( Need to know KB timings)

  • Wulfenleid

    Thank you for the guide Milas.

  • Roan

    I got a question: in the guide you mention to use 14 Shield Augments but I have notice that some PT use Power Augments instead. So is going with Power augments a good idea, a bad idea, or worth thinking about it?

    • Power only increases damage. You don’t need damage since you are a tank, you need more mitigation or you will be squishy as heck.

      Some tanks (Guardians and Shadows as well) try to rely on damage to hold agro instead of learning which abilities actually build agro. You can’t out damage a melee dps, so you won’t be winning agro over them by using power augs.

  • Guest

    Why can’t any of these guides just list the mod builds?
    It’s a very simple thing that literally none of these guides do, ever. It’s stupid. Just show us your armorings. modifications, enhancements, etc, and how many of each. That’s literally all I want to know yet not a single guide on the planet goes over this

    • Guide now has mod builds

  • TheHarbingersKwerty

    Saber Reflect on torque working as intended ay?

    “Saber Reflect no longer deflects Floor Vent damage during the Torque encounter.”

    From 3.1.0a Patch notes πŸ˜›

  • Name

    could you do your Rating also for the other tank classes?

  • j7evn

    Hey guys!
    Why exotech adrenal better then new one?
    And if it better, is it best for every tanks or just for pt?

  • Django

    What are your Shield/Absorb/Defense ratings now that you have optimized 198 gear? What is your HP at now? Are you still gearing the same way as you did before?

    • Guide has been updated with new stats.

  • Ravarah

    Will this be updated to the 3.1.1 changes?

    • It is now updated πŸ˜€

      • Ravarah

        woo

  • Ethior

    Hmmm I see you take the utility to make Close and Personal cause damage on Bulo. But from what I see I never once trigger CaP in that fight it seems none of his attacks are classified as AoE. So is this a mistake on your part or am I missing something?

  • Jenley

    did the gearing section update today?

    • Jenley

      and removed unload, cool.

  • Alexander Schwarz

    Hey Milas !
    Taking your strategy (opposed mean mitigation) into account, what would be the values to aim for when gearing a sin tank ? Probably something like 1300 Shield, 1600 Absorb, rest Defense ???
    Thanks for the answer.
    Cheers

    • Milas

      You should use absorb augs as Sins/shadows need absorb and get a free 15% shield increase from Dark Ward

      • Alexander Schwarz

        Hey Milas !

        Thanks for your answer.

        I suppose for Jugg Tanks its Defense augs all the way then ?!
        Thanks again for your answer (which i hope to read soon).

        Cheers

  • paulywoggg

    Hi Milas, here is my question. Unless I am missing something, I have never heard you talk about what crystals to us for Shield Tech Tank. I would like to know your opinion on that? Thank you.

    • Milas

      Endurance until maybe they put in tank stat crystals.

  • Baffes

    Hi Milas, why exactly are you going for the new 6 pieces set bonus instead of 4 old / 2 new? As far as I discussed that with my guild, we agreed that this would be superior. Im confused πŸ˜€

    • Milas

      I put zero stock in defense as a stat on a PT. You’re losing 76 endurance and armor for 2% defense. I do know Yaboo (Hates You) does nearly the opposite from me. He uses old set bonus and think around 1100-1300 defense so it is viable.

      I just don’t value defense as nearly all PT mitigation is through shielding & absorb.

      • Baffes

        As far as I understood the old 4 pieces bonus, its not an increase of your defense stat. “Increases Melee, Range, Tech and Force defense by 2%.” sounds more like 2% damage reduction against all sources. I’m not gearing for defense at all. Will play around with the gear later.

        • Tru

          It is a direct addition to your defense chance, not your damage reduction. The 2% you gain to Force/Tech is a chance to resist. It still works through defense, not damage reduction.

  • AriaOfHavoc

    Hey Milas, So quick question. Crystals. Do you have 2 Endurance or Endurance and Power?

  • Tenked

    Hello Milas, Excellent guide. I’m a recently capped PT and wondering about guard while running HM FP. Is it best to guard the healer, or the dps that pulls the most threat. Thanks for your time

  • amirus

    Hey, what do you think is better at tanking? PT or Juggernaut? gameplay/storyline/tanking difficulty. I guess you gonna say: “depends on your playstyle” πŸ™‚ Thanks! πŸ™‚

  • GreΓ¨

    What utilties do you recommend just in regular tactical fp’s/ HM fp’s and just daily’s

    • Ryolic

      Yeah i wonder the same… specialy the HM flashpoints

  • Ryolic

    When i see ur rotation video i see/think you prefer flame sweep over flame burst how so that as flame burst does more damage as sweep…

    • N00b

      Flame sweep has *potentially* higher damage output as there is +% Crit Chance from your tanking tree and 25% more damage from Utility. So if it crits – it does more damage than Flame Burst. Parsing is all about hitting the dummy countless times and pray to RNGesus for that one lucky crit parse.

      • Ryolic

        aah ok thnx

  • Random

    what will happen with the guides (most of them are from zorz members), when the majority of zorz stops/pauses playing swtor?

    • Noob

      I assume that another no-lif…I mean a – progression raider – will come and make guides.

      • YesYouAreANoob

        And another loser, who feels so bad about himself he has to knock someone doing a service for people, will come along and say something stupid and ignorant. It’s a cycle.

        • Random

          I would love him for this xD

  • Manny Hudge

    As far as augments go, what would you recommend ? Shielding, Absorption or Defence ?

  • Bigjohn

    Do flame burst trigger ion gas cylinder? If not is it better to use rapid shot instead to shorten the cooldown of heat blast?

  • Derakos Zrux

    I’ve spent like half an hour looking online, but I still feel silly for asking. When does the Shield Tech learn taunts? My bro is supposed to be our tank, but he says he hasn’t learned any taunts yet and he’s level 20 something. I think he’s missing something, cuz I see reference to taunts in the Shield Tech guides, but no where do I see what they’re called or when they’re learned. Is he crazy, or are we missing something?

    • Peter Kern

      The first taunt comes at level 14 I believe and is called ‘neuro dart.’ See if he has that ability.

  • Bubbahotepfett

    Ok, so I’ve pretty much got my PTT in 220s. What are the stat pool goals I should be looking for in 4.0? I see Defense<Shield<Absorb for the PTTs on the forum leaderboards. Or, should I be looking at Shield<Absorb<Defense? What talent build is generally optimal in 4.0?

  • Barb Lee

    We need a Shield Tech guide for 4.0. Hope someone is working on one and it’s posted soon. Can they include actual numbers for stats too? That’s so helpful. Thanks πŸ™‚

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