SWTOR 3.0 Shield Specialist Vanguard Tanking Guide by Milas

SWTOR 3.0 Shield Specialist Vanguard Tanking Guide written by Milas of Harbinger. Updated for Patch 3.1.1

Intro to Shield Specialist Tanking

Shield Specialist 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 (Energy 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. Vanguards landed on the upside of this change and if/when utilities get nerfed, Vanguards will be one of the first ones touched.

Skillful tier

  • Battlefield Training – Increases your passive MS by 15%
  • Reflective Armor – When Into The Fray is triggered will deal “X” to attackers in 10 meters
  • Muzzle Augs – Increases cast range of Ion Pulse by 5 and radius of Explosive Surge by 2.
  • Sharp Satchel – Increases Explosive Surge damage by 25%
  • Iron Will – Decreases the cool down of Tenacity by 30 seconds and Hold The Line by 5 seconds.

Masterful Tier

  • Electro Shield – Reactive Shield will ignite and deal “x” damage per second to attackers nearby.
  • Advance The Line – Increases Hold The Line by four seconds
  • Accelerated Reel – Decreases cool down of Harpoon by 15 seconds
  • Sonic Rebounder – Give nearby allies a reflective shield that absorbs next incoming attack
  • Containment Tactics – Reduces cooldown of Cyro Grenade

Heroic Tier

  • Guard Cannon – Shoulder cannon missiles heal you for 5% of total heath
  • Paralytic Augs – Increases the stun duration of Cyro Grenade and Neural Surge by one second.
  • Charge The Line – Increases move speed by 45% while Hold The Line 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 Surge + Ion Storm)
  • Group Utility: 2 ( Riot Gas + 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 Vanguard tanking is shielding attacks or getting IC procs to get 3 power screens to use energy blast. We also get the most out of passive mitigation, getting full mitigation uptime is as simple as using energy blast and ensuring you have three stacks of shield enhancers up ( High Impact Bolt + Stockstrike.)

Stat priority: Shield > Absorb > Defense

Gear: 

  • x3 Deflecting 38B mods
  • x6 Weighted  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 with 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) Energy Blast increases DR by 2% for five seconds – Really vital basically 2% free DR.
  • (4) StockStrike 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 Riot Gas & Reactive 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

Vanguard tanking is rather boring when it comes to managing maximum mitigation its nearly as simple as doing your rotation and using Energy Blast at proper times. As long as you are using Energy 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:

  • Ion Storm
  • Ion Pulse
  • Stockstrike (Shield Enhancers)
  • High Impact Bolt (Shield Enhancers )
  • Energy Blast (active Absorb % Increase)
  • Hammer Shot
  • Storm
  • Shoulder Cannon

Situational abilities (out of range or AOE):

  • Sticky Grenade
  • Mortar Volley
  • Explosive Round

Highest opener threat-wise:

  1. x4 pre-loaded Shoulder Cannons (off gcd) – As a Vanguard 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. Storm
  3. Stock Strike
  4. High Impact Bolt
  5. Taunt (off GCD)
  6. Ion Storm proc or no proc (Pulse Engine proc)
  7. Stock Strike if reset
  8. Ion Pulse/Explosive Surge
  9. Energy Blast (Soon as you receive three Power Screens)

Ability Priority:

  1. Energy Blast (Mitigation) + off GCD
  2. Stock Strike (Reset City & Shield Enhancers )
  3. High Impact Bolt (Shield Enhancers)
  4. Ion Storm

Mid Fight Rotation:

  1. Ion Storm off CD / Pulse Engine proc
  2. StockStrike
  3. High Impact Bolt
  4. Energy Blast

If/when 65-70 energy cells, do Hammer Shot and try to proc Pulse Engine and use Energy Blast as soon as available.

Reserve Powercell & Recharge Cells– Use your energy cells aggressively. It’s easy to push your cells to at least 30 and use Recharge Cells. You can also go into “cell regain phase” if that’s available: Energy Blast & Pulse Engine + Recharge Cells/Heat Blast, this should bring you back to nearly 100 energy cells.

Highest Possible DPS Rotation

Has Explosive Surge (Flame Sweep) as your filler
Level 32 & 40 talent: Increases Explosive Surge by 15% + 10% crit chance. With 25% Explosive Surge utility its a superior option. (Kwerty Shoutout)
swtor-3.0-powertech-tanking-parse
This requires a you to use the utility Sharp Satchel which in turn makes you lose a utility.
Personally I still use Ion Pulse (Flame Burst) because I like having the reduced hold the line 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 Explosive Surge is 100% the go to ability.
swtor-3.0-powertech-tanking-parse-2

AoE Rotation & ability priorities:

  • Storm
  • Ion Storm
  • Mortar Volley
  • Explosive Surge
  • AoE taunt

If possible you want to start with storm to get Static Surge ( free two Explosive Surge), and leap in and start with Ion Storm into Mortar Volley followed by Explosive Surge x2 into a AoE taunt. You’ll basically Explosive Surge until you need to Recharge Cells / Pulse 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

  • Reactive Shield – Increases damage reduction by 25% for 15 seconds.
  • Battle Focus – Increases defense chance by 35% for 15 seconds
  • Adrenal Rush – 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.
  • Riot Gas – Reduce enemy’s accuracy by 30% if they are 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 Specialist 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.

  • Ellendra

    Lots of well written stuff. A few things: maybe you could split threat into snap threat (opening 10 or fewer GCDs with all abilities available) and sustained (standard rotation), since Shadows and Guardians produce significantly less threat in their sustained rotations. If you’d like, I could do a small write up on why the Exotech adrenal is still best as well. One last, closing comment: you forgot Riot Gas under DCDs.

    • Milas

      Yes I left out Oil/Riot gas thanks for finding it. I’ll get it fixed and if you want to do the adrenal write up that is 100% fine I’ll get it added.

      • Ellendra

        So, uh, interesting findings. An Absorb Adrenal that gives 681 Shield and Absorb creates the same average mitigation as the Exotech Adrenal for Powertech/Vanguard tanks. The new Anodyne one gives 750 of each. Since all damage that can be shielded is mitigated by armor, and vice versa, we’re basically sitting at “the Anodyne one is slightly better for mean mitigation, but also less reliable.” Since you don’t care about mean mitigation all that much, and want a reliable cooldown, stick to the Exotech Adrenal. However, the Anodyne one results in less DTPS. This only happens if you time average in all the absorb and shield boosts Shield Techs/Specialists get (which is quite a lot), but it happens. I can send you the math I did on it if you want to double check for mistakes, but it’s a simple calculation and I’m fairly certain I did it correctly.

        • TheHarbingersKwerty

          You remember to count on the fact that Tank Stance multiplies the benefits of the adrenal so it actually provides (I think) 2932 (Im not to sure on the armor multiplier from stance but I’m pretty sure its 75% after all the talents) more armor instead of the stated 1675?

          • Ellendra

            Yes, it is 75% and yes, I did count it. PTs get a HUGE boost to Shield and Absorb, which makes even large amounts still very valuable.

        • Milas

          If its more reliable I feel its better even if statistically its inferior. I will add it to the guide when I get thoughts from KBN. Appreciate work

  • Bucksby

    Just saying the picture you linked is of the powertech again not the vanguard.

    • Which picture?

      • Whintoca

        The one which shows the stats, I guess. But since the author’s character is a specialist, that’s not something you can change!

      • Ancaglon

        The “Tanking DPS” Parsec screenshot is actually of an Advanced Prototype Powertech, not a Vanguard Tank… (magnetic blast, rail shot).

        • TheHarbingersKwerty

          That parse was put in to show that you should abuse reflexive armor whenever you can. Underlurker typically goes with 1 tank 5 dps anyway.

      • vin b

        The character picture of Salim in the stat priority section is a powertech, not a vanguard. Semantics really since the stats are effectively the same

  • Edrall

    PRO guide as usual! You’re da best you know! 😀

  • mkwerner143

    Awesome guide! Thank you so much! I love my VG, but I’m always so nervous to tank…thanks for giving me hope!

  • KShrike

    ok, so tell me about stacking shield instead of stacking defense.
    I’ve talked to talks who say defense is the stat to max.
    Is this for other classes, or what’s the deal?
    People I talk to say my goals are 25 defense, 40 shield, 40 absorb.

    • The Watchmen

      Due to the passive defenses Vanguards have, and the fact that Shielding attacks is a how VG migration work, going for broke with Shield rating is the way to go.

      Now if you are a Guardian tank, Defense is your friend since you have awesome CDs to use and white damage (Melee/Ranged) is your weakness most of the time.

      • KShrike

        What about shadow though?
        (and thanks for the response)

        • The Watchmen

          I’ve never tanked with a Shadow outside of level as Kinetic Combat a bit in the 40s for fun. I can say based on the tree now, there is a bunch of passive and active buffs to your overall damage reduction (30% more armor, 6% defense toall, +4% more melee/ranged; up to add’l 29% to all through active abilities), Kinetic Ward give you both buffs to Shield rating [15%] and Absorb [8%] when used (via the Ward and Bulwark passive; 4% passive absorb, 30% more Absorb using Force Potency via Mental Fortitude).

          Given all of that, I would probably do a a balance of Shield and Defense, with a small majority going to Shield rating to make all the Absorb abilities worth while. Absord is still worth going for, but I would go mainly shield/defense, maybe augment for Absorb along with 2-3 mod/enhancements max. That’s my general Tanking option of course (my tank is a Vanguard)

          • Evrydayimsmggln

            It depends on the rest of your gear, but absorb augments are largely the way to go for shadows, mostly due to kinetic ward.

  • Fionxxi

    Thanks so much for putting the time into this one, its much appreciated!

  • Dorryn

    Quick question : should I apply the same gearing priority for a tanking companion? The other guides I read on the matter advise prioritizing absorb and endurance before shield. I don’t do operation or nightmare stuff, just casual pve.

    • Sarigar

      I can share my own experience, having a number of valued tank companions for various DPS characters. Prior to 3.0, I leaned very heavily on Endurance for companions, padding their HP as much as possible, with Shield/Absorb following behind. Defense was neglected, because companions get no innate defense bonus, and stacking defense on them was difficult. Post 3.0, with a lot of silver mobs hitting VERY hard, and defense much more readily available, I have added defense back into the mix.

      I’d suggest trying to shoot for 12-15% Defense, 40-45% Shield, and 35% Absorb for your tank companions. This is not hard to do with blue 178 gear and a few mk-9 augments. They’re still going to take a beating in some fights, but a tank companion doesn’t need to stay at 100% for an entire fight, they just need to stay up. Once the fight is done, a quick mount/dismount heals them to full.

      It’s a little different with the droids and droid armour, but not a lot. 178 and 186 droid armour is VERY defense-heavy, you will need to use Shield and Absorb augments to get it to a good state. Realistically though, unless you plan to attempt to solo the 55-60 tactical FPs, you will be fine with 178 or 186 droid armour as-is.

      • Dorryn

        That would mean using crafted mods. So far I’ve equipped them with 172 blue mods (from the Rishi mods vendor) and the 196 purple legacy weapons from SoR. I also have never used augments so far, maybe I’ll have to if 172 stuff doesn’t cut it.
        I’ll check it all out after the holliday, thank you for answering 🙂

        • Sarigar

          No trouble. Really, unless you’re trying to solo Korriban/Tython/Manaan (really solo, not using the GSI Droid), you’re not going to have any trouble with 172 mods. You may have to throw an occasional heal (if you have heals), but at lvl 60 in 172’s your tank companion should be fine against almost anything. I craft all my own stuff, so I’m in the mindset of “make it, use it”.

  • macewindy

    Just to be sure I understand your gearing priority.
    You aim to get about 55k-57k HP
    While below that HP you trade off defense/absorb against a 1:1 ratio for endurence?

    Can’t wait for your guardian and shadow analysis 🙂

    • Evrydayimsmggln

      While gearing up, b mods and whichever enhancements (medium endurance or low endurance) he has access to, along with comm implant and ear. As he gets close to 198s keeping all the b-mods and replacing all enh with the token (low endurance) ones, shooting for a final hp of 56-57k. We’re guessing that’s the hp pool we’ll want when nightmare modes come out.

  • SupRun

    Awesome guide! I main a VG tank, hopefully this will help out. Just have a couple questions:
    1) Is there a “cap” where we stop getting absorb and go for defense because I never had a high defense as a VG even optimized pre-3.0.
    2) Do you know if the Shield Amp relic would be better situationally in any fights?
    3) You open with Shoulder Cannons. (Here’s hoping my healers don’t read this.) I tend to load them at the beginning at the fight but use them strictly as a defensive CD. I usually have little to no trouble maintaining threat. Is this more personal preference or a very strict thing?
    Thanks!

    • Milas

      1) Not in this tier we won’t as most of our budget goes into Shield. I think 580-640 is fine for defense.

      2) Its at times gives better mitigation assuming you shielding you need when you get the relic proc. That reason is why I don’t use it because its not 100% mitigation if you don’t get XYZ.

      3) 100% preference smart usage has you using them as the way you described.

  • Luigy

    Just to make it clear for me, one more time pls:)
    Ear/implant – ulti comms BiS

    Armoring – setbonus

    Enhancements – 186 crafted/from comm vendor etc. BiS – 198 from tokens.
    Is it good idea to take 192 tokens one or skip it till i can get 198 (not hardcore raiding, so it will take some long time)?

    Mods – B-mods from comm vendor (just upgrade with time, basic->elite->ulti). And when i get drop from HM -> replace them with B-mods from non-setbonus peaces or just keep comm vendors one?

  • chazcon

    I disagree with so much here, there isn’t space to list it all. You lost me when you advocated the big bag o’ health tank vs. mitigation tank. To each their own, enjoy.

    • TheHarbingersKwerty

      Nobody advocated the bag’o’health tank, he advocated B-mods because otherwise its literally impossible to survive the HM Damage spikes.

      • Ancaglon

        Indeed. And for starting with the gearing, and learning the fights in the first place, the extra endurance from the B-mods (and, to a lesser extent, from the commendation enhancements) provides a better safety buffer than, as I saw this weekend on 1 tank, of using the 158 crafted Enhancements on a level 55 “because they’re better for mitigation”. Literally correct, but not necessarily relevant.

        • chazcon

          I call bullshit, this is an old, old argument, many years old across many games. between the bag o’ health tanks and the mitigation tanks. People that don’t understand how to build a tank or how to tank (newbs) falsely believe the more health the better. When you become a real tank and not just a weekend warrior you’ll understand the difference and always build for maximum mitigation, total amount of health is a very low priority in a well-built tank.

          • TheHarbingersKwerty

            Screw it, example time!

            HM Bulo. He sometimes does a triple combo that can kill pretty much anything. The combo?

            2x Mine Carts (28k energy tech)
            1x Explosive Barrel (30k Elemental)

            If you don’t shield any mine carts, thats ~58k of damage. And not shielding it happens a lot.

            Tanks, healers and DPS have all been instantly killed by that combo multiple times in HM Bulo. Now, this can be prevented, but requires 2 things:
            55k+ HP
            Sage giving Force Armor, or Commando giving Trauma Probe

            The only way to break 55k hp is to use B mods.

            And before anyone asks, those karts do chase down tanks as well.

            • Mr Awesome

              Don’t get hit by load lifters, move out of the way you noob.

              • TheHarbingersKwerty

                Everyone gets hit by load lifters, and it hurts just as much for everyone. Well, not as hard for tanks, but still…

                This point is far less valid since the most recent update, but only because the load lifters stop having all of them chase the same guy down. In fact, most of the time, they all just chase each other/random pirates/bulo instead of doing what they are supposed to.

          • Ancaglon

            Yes, I can certainly call your reply bullshit. I’ve been tanking in various different games for the last 8 years, and I know how to gear and play them. In SWTOR, I’ve main-tanked most things upto and including NiM DF and DP. All I know about you is that you have a VG tank and think you know how to play it — and that you’re good at insulting others.

            Incidentally, even the patron saint of the maximum mitigation tanks, KeyboardNinja, understands that you need a certain amount of health, and is trying to come up with a quantitative way to identify what that amount is, as seen in this thread: http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=777911

            Your “build for maximum mitigation” is a retarded philosophy if it reduces your chance of surviving a fight – as Kwerty’s Bulo HM example shows.

  • Vellith

    Question Ion pulse? It says it is in the main rotation and in the parse at second place and I think I recognized it in the video but is otherwise not mentionned in the guide. Where do you put it?

    • Weedet’te

      Use as a filler if stock strike, high impact bolt and energy blast are on CD.

  • Reality Check

    What a stupid stupid misleading guide. You bang on about not being a DPS and super fussy about not having a reflex barrel yet you fail to mitigate damage and become a healers black-hole nightmare.

    You are a tank you are there to suck up damage. The cold crushing fact is that you wouldn’t take huge spiking hits if you had the mitigation in the first place, this is pure logic something you have missed.

    Your ego clouds any remote common sense hiding inside you. One day you will wake up.

    • Ancaglon

      “you wouldn’t take huge spiking hits if you had the mitigation in the first place” — wrong.

      The approach KeyboardNinja takes is statistical in nature, and the difference in mitigation between that one and this leads to maybe 5% difference in dtps. You will STILL take massive hits when your defense rolls fail, but the difference is that this approach will still leave you standing while your healers patch up the holes, whereas with an optimal mitigation tank you may have taken less healing overall but be dead.

      This is especially true with a Vanguard tank, where most of your damage reduction is passive and has nothing to do with your mitigation stats.

      • Reality Check

        Clutching at straws there, perhaps I should have been more specific, you will take very few huge spiking hits. One or two are easy to heal.

        Working on this logic you may as well get any class with reasonable cool downs, tank or not and just stack endurance, with endurance augments……

        lol-some at best.

        • Evrydayimsmggln

          Have a read of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reductio_ad_absurdum

          If you want to wipe your group and say “well I probably will mitigate that damage next time so everyone zone in and do it again” that’s your call. We choose to increase our hp enough to live through the biggest spike we see during a fight at a cost of ~25dtps increase over the whole fight. Sorry if that isn’t logical enough for you.

          • Stone Cold Steve Austin

            Thanks for the wikipedia link which is completely irrelevant.

            Tanks in full 192 gear with optimal mitigation do not get one shoted in HM and it certainly won’t wipe the group.

            All this guide does is create a load of fail pug tanks causing mass laughter or rage whichever way you look at it.

            And that’s the bottom line Stone Cold says so.

            • Xzelsius

              “dumbass you are”…

              Sorry but Zorz did clear both HM operations successfully.. did you clear them? i think you didn’t so stfu with your non-sense crap…

              And i can say that with 55-56k Tanks it’s easier to heal the group than with full mitigation tanks with 49-51k life. I didn’t saw tanks getting that much damage that they aren’t healable easily… but i saw DDs nearly got onehit by a simple server-lag…

              • Tank Of The Universe

                zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

                Wake me up when you are finished whining, cleared them both, with optimal mitigation, so bore off with your bag o’ health tank tactics.

              • Xzelsius

                You’re the Best!

  • deetdootdot

    Which of the 4 loadouts would you say is an all-purpose build for just doing dailies/FPs?

    • Milas

      #4 highest AoE potential

  • SupRun

    Okay, I can get all that shield from augs and implants/earpieces in 198s. I just don’t understand where you get all that absorb from, at least at the level you have it (~47%)

    • Milas

      Believe in that screen shot I’m using two absorb augments.

      • SupRun

        I’m aiming for around 44-45%, with the Power Screen/Energy Blast combo that will boost absorb significantly. Your thoughts?

  • Kirby

    The KBN stats thread is gone. Anyone know why?

  • TheHarbingersKwerty

    So i’ve been looking at the utilities and at some of the abilities and I have a question:

    Well, first off, in all 4 of your loadouts you use Battlefield Training. Sure this is awesome and stuff, but it doesn’t stack with the near 100% uptime of the speed boost on Blitz (and when blitz falls off, its short periods of time where you can utilize Hold the Line anyway).

    After that, the other thing I noted is that Explosive Surge with the 25% damage boost does more damage and threat than Ion Pulse, so long as the target has the 10% aoe damage debuff from either a Concentration Sent, a DPS Sage, or a Plasmatech VG. So if you’re running with one of these, would you recommend swapping out Battlefield Training for Shrap Satchel and just using Explosive Surge over Ion Pulse?

    • Milas

      I prefer even when it falls off to have the 15% increase. I have weird fetish with move speed in games and if I can go faster I take it.

      As for explosive Surge my ratio has Ion Pulse being better. ( used imp side pictures as gewar was there)

      http://gyazo.com/1895d2844b7792c73e92ed887cf5bb26

      http://gyazo.com/1895d2844b7792c73e92ed887cf5bb26

      • Aelanis

        Movement speed is life.

      • TheHarbingersKwerty

        You stuffed up and made both pictures the same (Flame Sweep).

        Regardless, they don’t account for the +10% overwhelmed debuff, or the +10% crit chance for flame sweep that is given by Shield Tech. Still, I was thinking if it would be a viable choice to swap out Ion Pulse for Explosive Surge assuming you can sacrifice the talents elsewhere

        • Milas

          100% is viable given with what you just stated. I’ll do a parse with it when I get some free time and post back up. Appreciate the suggestion.

        • Milas

          Finally got time to do the testing you seem to be correct. Though the advantage comes with some stuff you lose in terms of utility. I personal don’t like losing either the passive move speed or hydraulic cool down.

          Anyhow single target it is nearly the same and comes down to RNG. Multi target its superior, and obviously the range bias is a factor.

          Parses found here

          http://gyazo.com/0a4e36705270c8b128f424d4aa41ae25
          http://gyazo.com/0a4e36705270c8b128f424d4aa41ae25

          I’ll have Dulfy do a mini update and mention for maximum theoretical DPS its superior.

          Appreciate you finding it will give you credit

  • Frankfurt13

    Personal Experience: B Mods = BULLSH** Mods

  • Name

    Thank you Milas. Good info for a first time vanguard tank.

  • Altoo

    Hello, and thank you for the job you do with this guide.
    I’m AVG (Vanguard in french). My rotation is a little different than yours. I don’t use full auto and prefer use ionic pulse instead… is that wrong ?

  • Ravarah

    3.1.1 update soon?

  • Ellios

    Hi, I would like to know how important Defense stat is for Vanguards. With 186 Yavin gear and crafted stuff I mainly stacked Shield/Absorb and left Defense quite low and in 1v1 boss situations (HM Flashpoints) im very spiky. In terms of percentages got 13% Def, 41% Shield 41% Absorb . Should I stick with mainly absorb or do I need more Defense rating?

  • King Goon the Real Coon

    Milas you’re esper sh*t, were is my raid spot kappa.

    Great guide man, much thanx for showing us plebs how to vg/pt. Maybe one day, Milas’ greatness will rub off on all of us. JK HE USES TEH 1337 ZORZ HAX, rito plz.

  • Darth Me

    “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.”

    Does taunt work differently in SWTOR than in other games? From what I’ve read, it seems to work the same, meaning it puts you at the top of the threat list by setting your threat level to the top amount, and forces the mob to focus on you for X seconds. Given that, this seems like the exact opposite of what should be done. In that case, taunting while you already have aggro is just wasting a taunt.

    • anonymous

      Taunt sets your threat to the current highest threat + 10% (if highest threat holder in melee range) or current highest threat + 30% (if highest threat holder out of melee range).
      In other words – you can boost your own threat by taunting over yourself.

      • Darth Me

        I guess it makes more sense if you can actually taunt off yourself. Without threat meters, do we know this actually works this way?

        • SPECTR-Lights

          Without threat meters? There is an excelent Raid-Threat-Meter in StarParse and in Parsec, and there is actually exect numbers.

    • me

      No he’s right. Taunting off the bat is wrong, you’ll only do 10% over top of the highest threat so at the start of the pull the highest threat is 0 10% of 0 is 0 waste of a taunt. Charge in use your threat generators and then taunt. most times coming to that taunt (if your DPS have a a good handle on their rotation and such) have the DPS use their agro dumps right before/as you taunt so that you open the threat level by a major margin.

  • Meat Tank

    confused how you have 3680 points allocated in gear for D/S/A…
    doing the math for even nonlettered 198 gear (which has more def or abs than lettered mods), you can only get to 3451 and the stim only gives 81 def.
    if you use lettered mods like you say…you drop from 90 to 72 def/abs stat, for a net loss of 162 (18*9) which brings you 3370 with the stim on.
    how do you have 3680 when 3370 is max allowed with 198 bis enhance and 198 b mods?

    • Enna

      My Powertech tank is at 3370 with mostly non-set bonus 192 and a few scattered 186, and using B mods. Did you forget to include earpiece, implants, relics, and augments? Those items would total maybe 1500+ stat points.

  • MrM

    Just so I understand. Milas is saying us the letter mods…but all the other tank guides say avoid the letter mods?

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