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 Warrior Defenses v1.3

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CloeyNicole
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PostSubject: Warrior Defenses v1.3   Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:52 am

Intro

Welcome to yet another of my many warrior guides! This guide is all about ways that a warrior can defend themselves in various situations. However, if you are a primary raiding warrior, try sifting through TSW for raid based defensive techniques, but beware of severely outdated information. I will be covering some raid basics that I use in terms of defense but if you want more detail on that, that is what I suggest. My basic raiding defense techniques will surely get you on the right path though. There is a bit more information located in my "How to Build a Warrior 101" guide.

As always in my guides, anything written by me has been tested and used and works 100%. These are my techniques and are not to be taken as the "only" way of doing things. By all means, try different ways and see what works best for you and your playing style.

Before I begin, I must point out that I do not make or use hotkeys based solely on defense. This is because of timers on defensive skills and situations changing so often. That said, lets get started!

Skill List

This is a list of all of the different defense related skills that you will need to obtain and max out as soon as possible if you want to play my way rather than your own. This list is incomplete so be sure sure to read your skills as they become available to you. These are the most important ones.

Final Stand:
Reduces physical damage that you take for a short time... This is our best defense disc... This disc can be acquired at level 72... Last Stand is the upgrade to this and can be acquired at level 100...

Flash of Anger:
This disc parries every incoming blow for a few seconds and should be used for emergencies only as it shares a timer with some of our AC boosting discs... It can be acquired at level 87...

Fortitude:
This disc basicly renders you invulnerable from attacks for a short time and should be used for emergency situations primarily as it has a rather timely reuse time... It can be acquired at lvl 59...

Champion's Aura:
This is an AC buff that acts as an aura in your songs window... It says it is permanent but usually wears off after half an hour or so... It effects your whole group and it can be acquired at level 70... There is a lower level version of this called Myrmidon's Aura as well at level 55...

Field Guardian:
Group AC buff that lasts for 38 seconds (unless you purchase your extended AA for this disc) and has no reuse time meaning you can always keep it up during battle... Shares a timer with Flash of Anger and can be acquired at level 100... Lower level versions are Field Defender at level 95, Field Outfitter at level 90, and Field Armorer at level 85... These skills eat up endurance also but come in very handy at times... This disc uses a song timer meaning it can be used along with other buffs or discs that do not share a timer. Field Protector is the level 105 version and it no longer shares a timer with Flash of Anger.

Steadfast Defense:
This disc adds AC for a short time and can be acquired at level 100... Lower level versions are Stalwart Defense at level 95 and Staunch Defense at level 90... Stout Defense is the level 105 version.

Tempestrous Defense:
This disc stuns your opponent anytime you are attacked for a short time and can be acquired at level 100...

Armor of Stalwart Runes:
This disc is a triggered damage absorber that is triggered by your attacks on a mob, but this is only a chance, not a guarantee. Once triggered, you will take very little damage if any at all through my experience. It can be acquired at level 96... Lower level versions include Armor of Mystical Runes at level 91, Armor of Phantasmic Runes at level 86, Armor of Draconic Runes at level 76... Armor of Darkened Runes is the level 101 version.

Armor of Experience:
This is a veteran reward AA that acts as a rune on steroids. It will absorb damage and wears off in layers, meaning that for each layer that wears off, the damage you take slowly increases back to normal. It is a very good skill to have but it should only be used in the utmost of emergencies. This is because it has a whopping 20 hour reuse time!

3rd Spire of the Warlord:
This AA increases your ability to mitigate and avoid damage in combat (you take less damage). It can be acquired at level 85. This skill uses a buff timer, meaning you may use it along with other buffs or discs at the same time without any timer conflicts. However, it does share a timer with the 1st and 2nd spires.

Brace For Impact:
This AA acts as a proc with a limited use buff timer much like the scorpions agony or spiders bite potions. When it procs, it increases your damage mitigation and absorbs damage (You take less damage). It can be acquired at level 91 with the proper progression completed.

Defensive:
This disc allows you to take less damage at the cost of lowering your damage output and can be acquired at level 55.

Stonewall:
Much like the defensive disc, this disc allows you to take less damage. But rather than lowering your damage output, this one snares you instead. It can be acquired at level 65.

Shield Reflect:
This disc reflects the next spell cast on you back to it's caster when used at the right time. It only lasts for a few seconds so it is best used on mobs that you can predict when they will cast on you. Personally, I rarely ever use this disc, but for the sake of defense, it does come in handy in some situations. It can be acquired at level 77 and has a 10 minute reuse time.

Commanding Voice:
This disc adds a song timer based buff that increases your ability to dodge, making it a useful disc for defense.

Imperator's Command:
This AA increases you and your groups max HP, AC, and mana regen. It has a 3 minute reuse time and can be acquired at level 100.

Mark of the Mage Hunter:
This AA reduces the damage you take from spells for a short time and can be acquired at level 71. It has a 30 minute reuse time so it should be used sparingly.

Warlord's Tenacity:
This AA will boost your HP in an emergency situation. However, it fades over time, leaving you weaker than when you used it. While it is not a huge defense, it can be a life saving measure for times when your merc or real healer are out of or very low on mana. It can be acquired at level 65.

Resplendent Glory:
This AA increases healing on you by 3% for a minute and has a 15 minute reuse time. It can be acquired at level 85.

Hold the Line:
Much like Resplendent Glory, this AA increases healing on you by 10% (rank 1) and 15% (rank 2) at the cost of a 25% decrease in your damage output. This AA is best used for named mob tanking in a group or for raid tanking. It has a 10 minute reuse time and can be acquired at level 76.

No Time to Bleed:
This here is your bread and butter of damage absorber type skills. It can be acquired at level 96. This disc last for 2 minutes and has a hit counter up in the 500's for the rank 2 version. It uses a song timer and can be reused every 5 minutes. This one comes very highly recommended by me. Pain Doesn't Hurt is the level 102 upgrade to this disc.

Blade Guardian:
This AA places a 4 minute defensive type buff on you that also triggers a seperate song based buff when your health drops below 40%. The song based buff grants you an 80% chance to parry attacks for up to 18 seconds and it can be triggered more than once during the 4 minutes that it lasts. It has a 10 minute reuse time and can be acquired at level 96.

Passive Defense

While we have many different activated defense related abilities to choose from in various situations, they are not a warriors bread and butter of defense when taking timers into account. Plus, being that we can only use one disc at a time and suffer shared timer issues with a lot of our abilities, we really don't have quite as big of a selection as it may look like.

That said, our passive defenses are what provide us with our best defenses since these are always there for us and never wear off once they are purchased. Gear is a huge factor too and should not be taken lightly. Please see my guide about warrior building for more detailed info on gear and building.

When building up your defenses with our passive AA's, here is a list of what is available for defense.

General Tab:

Combat Agility
Combat Stability
Armor of Wisdom
Planar Power
Natural Durability
Mystical Shield
Mental Fortitude
General Sturdiness
Discordant Defiance
Innate Spell Resistance
Innate Eminence


Archetype Tab:

Physical Enhancement
Shield Block
Fear Resistance
Myrmidon's Defiance
Stalwart Endurance
Stoicism


Class Tab:

Living Shield
Sturdiness


Focus Tab:

All extended and hastened AA's for your defenses
Myrmidon's Synergy


I did not put these abilities in order of importance so you will be responsible for looking at the level and other ability requirements. Most of these do not require that you purchase other abilities first but some do. However, I recommend building up Combat Agility and Stability first and foremost as well as Shield Block. These are where the majority of your natural defenses come from and will provide noticeable differences as you progress through the levels and take on harder content.

You will notice that I included fear and charm immunities in this list. These are considered to be a part of the defense family of abilities and should not be looked over, especially if you plan on raid tanking. Let me give you a quick scenario as to why these are important.

When fighting a mob that fears or charms during a group or a raid, it is the tanks responsibility to be able to hold the agro while his or her group is charmed or feared. Agro resets when charm or fear lands, and if the tank gets charmed or feared, that mob will agro whoever it wants and cause a lot of unnecessary havoc on the entire group or raid rather than just you, making it easier for the group or raid to wipe and also causing a lot of extra mana to be used when it doesn't have to. So in short, you are essentially "defending" your group or raid more than yourself by purchasing these, making them a valuable and worthy addition to the defense family.

Defense Strategies

Now that you know what skills you will be needing, lets go over a few strategies. Face it, we all have our own ways we like to play, so there is no one way that is best when it comes to strategies, and this is why guides are so hard to find on this topic. But then again, that is the kind of stuff I like to put into this site. These are my own strategies that I use and have used for quite some time. Follow them if you like or come up with your own.

Solo or Group Defense

This is pretty cut and dry here. The first thing to remember is that as a tank, you are not only defending yourself, but also your group. Be sure that you position the mob so that only you are standing in front of it, that way the other melee group members are not taking riposte damage. Assuming that you've read my other guides, be sure to keep that agro when using the following defense techniques.

For normal group mobs or named group mobs, your passive defenses and gear will be what keeps you alive the most. Your activated defenses should only be used when you have to use them. AC buff abilities are an exception to this general rule. AC helps you to take less damage as we know, and you can never have too much. So I suggest keeping your Steadfast Defense or equivalent up and always keep your Champions Aura up, even if you think you don't need them. This is because with more AC and taking less damage as a result, you are saving your healer mana whether you know it or not, because they don't have to heal you as often.

Now, if you are in a good group, the mana being saved won't be noticeable. In this situation you won't need anything but passive defense until the group takes on something harder. Use common judgment. If your group is taking on tougher content though, this is when you will use activated defenses. This is also why I don't make defense only macros. Your activated defenses are all very good and very effective. So normally you will only need to use 1 or 2 at a time (not worthy of wasting macro space) depending on your skill at being a warrior.

Sometimes you will fight a named mob that hits hard on its own and then get an add. And sometimes the named plus an add will be too much damage for you to handle at once. Guess what, I still want you to hold agro on both. With a well placed use of Last Stand, you will be able to handle that damage and possibly even a 2nd add along with that named, depending where you are. If last stand is not enough, toss in a Pain Doesn't Hurt. A commanding voice and field protector probably wouldn't hurt either if necessary. But keep in mind that using voice and guardian will require you to keep them up since they both have short durations (unless you have maxed out your extended AA's for both). You're already clicking your fast reuse offensive skills during all of this, and it can get a lil tedious at times trying to keep everything in use. Personally, I use my Pain Doesn't Hurt disc more than I use Last Stand. But there are times when both are needed at the same time, especially if you swarm like me.

As I stated above, Pain Doesn't Hurt comes VERY highly recommended by me. Why? I'm level 105 and I was able to pull and kill the ENTIRE house of thule yard without a healer and survived thanks to this wonderful disc. The mobs landed only a handful of hits on me.

As you can see, your situation is ever changing no matter where you are or what you do, there is no single strategy to use all of the time when it comes to defense. But with some practice and getting to know each of your skills, you will find your niche and know when to use what.

Personally, my most used defenses are pain doesn't hurt, last stand, stout defense, field protector, and fortitude. Champions aura is one I keep up all the time and the rest of my abilities I save for times when my most used ones are down. However, I usually just wait for no time to bleed to pop back up before I pull again. I very rarely pull one mob at a time unless I'm taking on high end content such as heroic adventure mobs and higher.

Raid Defense

Raiding is a LOT different in terms of defense. The good thing is that if you are the tank, you will undoubtedly have more than a couple of healers focusing on you. However, those healers need reaction time sometimes. So the skills that you use and the order that you use them in plays a huge role when raiding.

That said, here is the way I go when raiding in the few times I have tanked...

First thing's first. When leading off as the tank after the target is pulled, your healers will need a few seconds to react to the damage coming your way all of a sudden. So it is best to lead off with either a fortitude or a flash of anger to allow the healers time to get the heals going. Once those wear off, it is all agro maintenance and self defense from there. The trick is surviving the initial attack when the mob gets to you.

Forget about offense if you're raid tanking, your raid members will be doing the damage. Your job is strictly this, hold agro and defend. I won't lie though, you're going to die... Death isn't a bad thing though, it happens to the best of us because no raid is perfect. You won't die everytime though, there will be raids where everyone does their jobs well and you survive the entire fight without the need for changing tanks. But never be discouraged when mistakes happen and you end up on your face mooning the mob waiting for a rez.

Now, back to self defense after the initial lead off. It is the same as grouping or soloing basically. Depending on how much the healers are struggling to keep you alive, you will need to throw in the occasional last stand or other activated defenses if that is down. I personally use last stand every time it pops back up and then follow up with other buff timer defenses (remember only 1 disc at a time?).

As far as hotkeys go, refer to my hotkeys and burns guide for the raid related hotkey I have on there. That key is designed more for defending yourself when you take over tanking after another tank dies or steps down. And never be afraid to step down and let the next tank take over. When a tank steps down, that usually means that all of his or her skills are in refresh time and he or she knows they're getting close to losing agro or dying. Keep in mind that if your defenses are down and the healers are now using more mana to keep you alive, it is best to just step down and let the next tank take over so that mana can be saved.

When stepping down, you will need to create a key that lets the next tank know that it is about to be their turn, so that they're ready to take over. Use your best judgment here, don't be too proud to step down or your guild/raid will soon be replacing you on the tank lineup for good. Stepping down is important for allowing your skills to refresh. Also keep in mind that changing tanks is situational, meaning that not all raid mobs will require tank changes. There will be some that you will tank the whole thing yourself. Your defenses are better than what you think my friends.

Closing

There's not much I can say that hasn't already been said when it comes to defense. There really isn't all that much work that goes into defending ourselves once we learn our skills thoroughly. Get them passive defenses maxed out or bought and work towards obtaining the higher ranked defense discs. The more the better I say. My final suggestion is to go out and test yourself in various places and put yourself into different situations on purpose to see what you can do, even if it kills you. A little exp loss is a small price to pay for knowledge that will stay with you forever. Also keep in mind that what works in one zone may not work in another or vice versa. I point that out because too many times in my day I have seen some people fail at something in one place and then refused to even try it in other places just because it failed in another.

Don't get yourself discouraged when you fail, that is how you get better! Take your time, test, test, and test some more until you perfect your skill. My guides are simply a tool to push you in the right direction.

_________________
Llux - Level 110 Dark Elf Warrior of Firiona Vie in Everquest
Llux - Level 100 Dark Elf Guardian of Free Trade in Everquest 2
Angelyz - Level 97 RB1 Untamed Venomancer of Tideswell in PWI
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