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Suggested Cooldown Use on Current Content (shadow/assassin)


KeyboardNinja

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Thus follows my suggested cooldown use on current content. There's a lot of stuff in here that I think is pretty much common sense, but I'm listing it anyway just for completeness. People have requested guides like this in the past, and since no one else has stepped forward…

 

If someone else who regularly tanks this content has better ideas for where each cooldown can be applied, by all means, speak up! I'm very open to improving my own play as well. Note that I'm in no way claiming that prolific cooldowns are necessary in the current HMs, but it's a good habit to get into and studying cooldown application times is a good way to get "in shape" for the nightmare modes when they do drop.

 

Nefra

 

Best cooldown: Deflection

Worst cooldown: Adrenal

 

  • Resilience/Shroud every other DoT application, generally starting with the first one. Communicate with your healers. Break your channel (if necessary) to cleanse faster.
  • Deflection whenever your HP drops to 20% or below. Ideally, you won't have to do this…
  • Battle Readiness/Overcharge Saber, Deflection or Exotech Adrenal (in that order of priority) after any DoT application that you cannot cleanse. Your healers will be slightly more taxed whenever you aren't cleansing, since they need to spend an extra GCD on you. BR/Overcharge is better than Deflection here because it affects the DoT and it provides a very effective heal.

 

Draxus

 

Best cooldown: Battle Readiness/Overcharge Saber

Worst cooldown: Resilience/Shroud

 

  • Resilience/Shroud off the tech DoT whenever you get it. Or, if you don't trust your DPS, save it for a Mass Affliction. This cooldown is also useful for ignoring the guardian's Slam attack if, for whatever reason, you simply cannot move out of it.
  • Resilience/Shroud during the "Strong Swipe" cast (or immediately before) to avoid the debuff. You should tank swap here anyway, just because it's more pro, but this allows you to cheese the mechanic a bit. Very useful in emergencies (e.g. off-tank dead and having to tank both Dismantlers)
  • Deflection whenever your health gets below 30% and you're tanking Draxus. Doesn't help much on any of the trash, so don't burn it there. The exception to this rule is explained below.
  • Battle Readiness/Overcharge Saber immediately after the first agro dump in the third Draxus phase (double Corrupters in the back). This phase is the highest damage phase in the fight, and chances are you have a few lightning adds on you at the same time. BR/Overcharge will do a much better job here than Deflection. Use in the same position in the very final phase, to mitigate risk. These phases also tend to be the longest (assuming you don't delay anything), and so it doesn't hurt to use Battle Readiness/Overcharge Saber early and resort to Deflection or Adrenal later if you're still on the boss and need propping up.

 

Random protip #1: you can get 100% uptime on Phase Walk in this fight by always refreshing immediately before Draxus appears.

Random protip #2: Force Cloak before every appearance of the boss except the second one (with one corrupter on each side) and grab agro with your AoE taunt.

 

Grob'thok

 

Best cooldown: Deflection

Worst cooldown: Adrenal

 

  • Resilience/Shroud whenever he does his conal scream. It does a fairly high amount of damage, and there's no reason not to eliminate it. You won't be able to shroud each one, but generally close to every-other (depending on procs).
  • Deflection or Battle Readiness/Overcharge Saber whenever your health gets really low (around 15% is a good emergency point). Either cooldown works, though Deflection is slightly better unless a scream is coming and your Resilience/Shroud is on cooldown.
  • Battle Readiness/Overcharge Saber if something goes horribly wrong and your healers have to deal with a long-duration Pipe Smash while you're at low health.

 

Note that this is probably the second easiest boss in the game to enrage tank (behind Soa). Pipe Smash hurts REALLY bad during enrage, but you don't even need to use a cooldown for his normal hits. We solo healed through about 45 seconds of enrage when we facepulled with weaker gear without a couple DPS and lost a healer early on to adds.

 

Corrupter Zero

 

Best cooldown: Battle Readiness/Overcharge Saber

Worst cooldown: Adrenal

 

  • Resilience/Shroud on Chest Laser. You can also save this for cleansing off the bleed that he applies in melee mode. It is also useful in the rare case where your DPS don't interrupt the ranged elite and you somehow have agro (avoiding the knockdown).
  • Resilience/Shroud at the start of the fight (opening the add pull). For whatever reason, most of that spike of damage appears to be Tech, despite looking for all the world like it's Ranged.
  • Deflection if you have the ranged strongs and you need to swap back to the boss early.
  • Deflection during the laser phase after you AoE taunt the adds.
  • Battle Readiness/Overcharge Saber whenever you're on the boss and your HP gets below 30% (and you're not about to swap).
  • Resilience/Force Shroud if you're really bad at getting out of the laser and you need to negate the first one.

 

Random protip #1: you can stealth after the initial add pull and right before the boss drops for 4 free stacks of SP/DP.

Random protip #2: combat stealth after the last laser so you have 4 stacks as you grab the boss.

 

Brontes

 

Best cooldown: Battle Readiness/Overcharge Saber

Worst cooldown: Resilience/Force Shroud

 

Note, this is an odd fight were Resilience/Force Shroud is the worst cooldown in terms of damage mitigation, but probably the best cooldown from a utility standpoint. *shrug*

 

  • Battle Readiness/Overcharge Saber when your meter-gazing DPS push the second Fixate too early and you still have a dozen or so seconds on your debuff from the first Hand. Deflection is a statistically better cooldown here, but the chance of failure is too high to be worth the risk, and BR/Overcharge reduces the damage to well within healable margins, at least in 8 man.
  • Resilience/Force Shroud whenever you have to take an orb in a hurry. This makes shadow/assassin tanks perfect for stealing orbs from DPS going into the droid phase, since you can taunt + resilience/shroud + explode, all the while praying to the RNG gods that your 5% number isn't up.
  • Resilience/Force Shroud during the Kephess laser blast if you have a LOT more confidence in your DPS than your healers. You can also resil/shroud through Arcing Assault, as it does more damage, but the healers usually have better margins after Kephess dies. Note that if you do this, you won't be able to use this cooldown to take an orb in the droid phase, which is bad.
  • Deflection during the droid phase once you have a few on you. Deflection doesn't work on anything in the finger phase, which is long enough for Deflection to come back up in time for the soft enrage.
  • Exotech Adrenal after the third or fourth slam in the finger phase.
  • Battle Readiness/Overcharge Saber after the fifth or sixth slam during the finger phase. Slam hits progressively harder as the phase goes on, so don't blow your best cooldown too early.
  • Resilience/Force Shroud immediately prior to a Slam if your health is too low to take the hit or you absolutely need to not get knocked back at that precise moment.
  • Resilience/Force Shroud if you make a mistake (or lag) and miss an orb. Resil/Shroud + Taunt + Force Pull on the orb and you won't have to worry about it anymore.
  • Resilience/Force Shroud during the soft enrage if you think you'll get stunned in a purple circle.
  • Deflection during the soft enrage after you kill the first hand (but before the second), just as you take the boss. Give your healers a break.
  • Battle Readiness/Overcharge Saber during the soft enrage after you kill the third hand and you're getting up over 5 stacks.

 

Random protip: combat stealth before taking Brontes during the Kephess phase, and before taking the Hand during the finger phase.

 

Bestia

 

Best cooldown: Deflection

Worst cooldown: Resilience/Force Shroud

 

  • Deflection whenever you have two or (god help you) more adds.
  • Battle Readiness/Overcharge Saber if the above and Deflection is on CD.
  • Battle Readiness/Overcharge Saber if you have the boss and more than 4 stacks (shame on your cotank).
  • Exotech Adrenal if you still have the boss and you're over 8 stacks (is he afk?!)
  • Resilience/Force Shroud just before the final tick of Dread Strike (Bestia's Ravage attack) to avoid getting stacks.
  • Resilience/Force Shroud if you have a Dread Seed (right before it explodes).
  • Resilience/Force Shroud if you need to run through a red circle during a swap.
  • Deflection during the final push on the boss if things look a bit dire in terms of healing.

 

Tyrans

 

Best cooldown: Resilience/Force Shroud

Worst cooldown: Adrenal

 

  • Resilience/Force Shroud every Thundering Blast that you can. This is priority 1! Break your channel to do it.
  • Resilience/Force Shroud if you have to move through a poorly-placed Inferno (try not to need this)
  • Deflection if your HP drops below 25%.
  • Battle Readiness/Overcharge Saber if Thundering Blast is casting and you're below 40% HP.
  • Battle Readiness/Overcharge Saber if you have the boss and you feel the healers need a breather.

 

Random protip: don't use Phase Walk

 

Calphayus

 

Best cooldown: Deflection

Worst cooldown: Resilience/Force Shroud

 

  • Deflection when you take the boss following a phase transition back to the present (healer load screens are a pain)
  • Deflection whenever you have the boss and your HP drops below 40%.
  • Battle Readiness/Overcharge Saber whenever the above and Deflection is on CD.
  • Resilience/Force Shroud if you have the debuff and one of your ranged DPS is trolling you by inching the circle forward.

 

Random protip: combat stealth + taunt after every phase (zoning into the present) to open with stacks.

 

Raptus

 

Best cooldown: Battle Readiness/Overcharge Saber

Worst cooldown: Force Cloak

 

So stupid that stealth removes your curse…

 

  • Deflection whenever you have the boss and your cotank gets lost. Rising Slash is a melee attack, and if you defend it, you don't get knocked up. Getting knocked up while your cotank is on vacation in bridge-land is bad.
  • Resilience/Force Shroud on Force Execution.
  • Resilience/Force Shroud if you are unavoidably caught in Deadly Slash (sometimes happens after a Rising Slash)
  • Resilience/Force Shroud before Driving Thrust if your HP is below 30% and you're very confident in your healer's ability to prop you up before the impending Force Execution (5 seconds later).
  • Battle Readiness/Overcharge Saber whenever you take the boss following a challenge phase, but especially following the second one.
  • Battle Readiness/Overcharge Saber whenever your HP dips below 30%. Use it if your HP is below 50% if you think that Driving Thrust might be coming soon (it's on a timer).
  • Exotech Adrenal if your HP is low and Battle Readiness/Overcharge Saber is on cooldown.

 

Random protip: two-tank the challenge phase like a real man and you won't need to waste a cooldown on something that is not a boss.

 

Dread Masters

 

Best cooldown: Battle Readiness/Overcharge Saber (arguably)

Worst cooldown: Resilience/Force Shroud

 

Another fight where Resilience/Force Shroud is great for utility purposes and fairly weak otherwise.

 

  • Resilience/Force Shroud whenever you have Death Mark.
  • Resilience/Force Shroud in your opener against Bestia to avoid the first knockback and maximize threat.
  • Resilience/Force Shroud if Tyrans yanks you while you're tanking Bestia. Her knockback comes immediately after this! Note that if you do this, you won't be able to cleanse the next Death Mark (notify your healers).
  • Battle Readiness/Overcharge Saber if you're tanking Bestia and your HP drops below 30%, or if you feel the healers need a break (often during Death Mark).
  • Battle Readiness/Overcharge Saber if you're tanking Calphayus and your HP drops below 30% and you know Crystal Projection is coming soon.
  • Deflection if you're tanking Calphayus and your HP drops below 30% and Crystal Projection just happened.
  • Deflection if you're tanking Styrak or Brontes and your HP drops below 20%.
  • Resilience/Force Shroud to mislead your DPS by standing directly in the path of Brontes's spinning circle of lightning.
  • Resilience/Force Shroud as soon as possible in the soft enrage.
  • Battle Readiness/Overcharge Saber in the soft enrage once Resilience/Force Shroud is no longer active.

 

Random protip #1: don't blow a cooldown in the first or third phases if you're just about to swap, especially if you're swapping to Calphayus.

Random protip #2: don't get too excited about DPS and forget about Phase Walk during the soft enrage.

 

General Rule

 

Figure out if a boss is primarily melee/ranged damage or if there is more emphasis on Force/Tech. If the latter, even if it's still heavily melee/ranged, then Battle Readiness/Overcharge Saber will be your "go to" emergency cooldown (hit reflexively when below a safe health level). If a boss is almost exclusively melee/ranged (such as Calphayus or Nefra), then you want to use Deflection in that role. Resilience/Force Shroud and (to a much lesser degree) Deflection tend to be better utility cooldowns, while Battle Readiness/Overcharge Saber is one of the best "don't kill me" cooldowns in the game.

 

Parsec is probably the greatest gift to tanks since the endurance stat when you're trying to figure stuff out during progression. Run your parser, even if you aren't group parsing (my guild doesn't), and identify which attacks do what damage and attack type, which ones hit the hardest, how often, etc. Knowledge is strength, strength is power, power shall break your chains…uh, something like that.

 

Don't be afraid to blow Resilience/Force Shroud on something just to see if it works. It's a very short cooldown when you're main tanking due to the proc, so there's very little penalty for experimentation.

 

Enjoy!

Edited by KeyboardNinja
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COOLDOWNS ERRYWHERE

 

I agree with most of your suggestions, and I'll point out where I disagree.

 

Nefra:

Cleanse alternating DoTs with Shroud.

Alternate Cooldowns with your Co-Tank...if you are with another assassin or a Jugg, at no point should either tank not have a CD up. You can cycle every other CD going through Deflection, Overcharge, and Adrenal. Your healers will thank you (and you'll be able to do 16M with 2 Healers!

 

Draxus:

I pretty much agree, though I suggest saving shroud for when you have aggro on Draxus and more than one lightning add.

 

Grobthok:

Joketown, USA who cares.

 

Corruptor:

Yup.

 

Brontes:

Pick up all the adds on the laser/droid phase and deflection, shroud lets you negate a knockback from the Hand, so save that for when something spawns opposite side just as you are about to get slammed, can save wipes. This fight is great for the Deception Hybrid, but even if you're not a hybrid, you can tank the phase with stacking debuffs alone and take less damage than the other tanks. Taunt, eat the first one, shroud the second one as the first tick applies (takes some timing practice), you'll have 0 stacks. Next time she channels it, Cloak out and retaunt, it entirely cancels the cast, at this point, you can eat the 4 stacks from the next cast and burn Overcharge (or Blackout if you're hybrid) and she should be pushed.

 

Bestia:

Mostly right, if you shroud towards the end of the dread strike channel (I'm honestly not sure exactly what you shroud), she cannot apply stacks for another full rotation, allowing you to hold her longer. Obviously pop an adrenal or Overcharge if a tank swap is going to be late.

 

Tyrans:

Yup

 

Calphayus:

You can shroud off affliction, but there's no damage in this fight so meh. I open with overcharge saber just for the safety net of "derp my healer wasnt paying attention", or pop something if healers fall behind because of the AOE DoT.

 

Raptus:

Yep.

 

Council:

Yep, though I wouldn't waste the shroud on the knockback, the knockback lets you force pull if you're quick.

 

Just an aside, your suggestions are great reactionary cooldown timings, but sometimes popping a cooldown to let a healer catch up on healing others and then not being able to cheese a mechanic is a solidly better choice, but only an individual tank can know that based on their raid group.

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Nefra:

Cleanse alternating DoTs with Shroud.

Alternate Cooldowns with your Co-Tank...if you are with another assassin or a Jugg, at no point should either tank not have a CD up. You can cycle every other CD going through Deflection, Overcharge, and Adrenal. Your healers will thank you (and you'll be able to do 16M with 2 Healers!

 

True story. I mostly know what my vanguard cotank does at this point, so there's not a lot of requisite communication, but your point is well taken. We already do 16 man with two healers, though we generally do it by respecing our assault commando to healing just because it puts less strain on the healers.

 

I pretty much agree, though I suggest saving shroud for when you have aggro on Draxus and more than one lightning add.

 

A totally fair use. There's not much else that you need to use it on.

Pick up all the adds on the laser/droid phase and deflection, shroud lets you negate a knockback from the Hand, so save that for when something spawns opposite side just as you are about to get slammed, can save wipes. This fight is great for the Deception Hybrid, but even if you're not a hybrid, you can tank the phase with stacking debuffs alone and take less damage than the other tanks. Taunt, eat the first one, shroud the second one as the first tick applies (takes some timing practice), you'll have 0 stacks. Next time she channels it, Cloak out and retaunt, it entirely cancels the cast, at this point, you can eat the 4 stacks from the next cast and burn Overcharge (or Blackout if you're hybrid) and she should be pushed.

 

We swap on every arcing assault. My snap threat is generally better than my cotank's, so it's easier if I manage Kephess since I can do it without a taunt.

 

Yep, though I wouldn't waste the shroud on the knockback, the knockback lets you force pull if you're quick.

 

The initial knockback is timed such that it will interrupt your channel almost precisely (though because you use an RNG-dependent opener, you might get knocked right before your channel instead of during). Interrupting the channel (especially with Recklessness/Force Potency up) in that opener runs the risk of losing agro to either your Raptus or your Tyrans DPS. It puts you behind by at least a GCD on your stacks. Even more importantly, it puts you out of position for Calphayus and makes it essentially impossible to prevent him from dropping a circle in the middle-ish area.

 

Also, be friendly to your melee, especially during their time of adrenal.

 

The Tyrans yank + knockback is largely just annoying if you're quick on your feet and tanking against the light (we do). Resilience/Shroud is the safest way to deal with that mechanic, since it guarantees (well, to within 5%) that you won't get knocked off the platform. I use Resilience/Shroud there because I know there will be enough margins on Death Mark and I'd rather not have the inconvenience of running back to the light from a thousand miles away. In nightmare mode, it's entirely possible that I'll just eat the knockback and save the cleanse.

 

Just an aside, your suggestions are great reactionary cooldown timings, but sometimes popping a cooldown to let a healer catch up on healing others and then not being able to cheese a mechanic is a solidly better choice, but only an individual tank can know that based on their raid group.

 

This. A thousand times this. The difference between a great tank and a grand master tank is when you graduate from shepherding your own health to shepherding the health of the entire raid. Watch the raid frames, listen to healer call outs, pop cooldowns and call it out to give the healers a little breathing room when they need it most. One of the easiest indicators if you have a sage/sorc healer is to just look at where their mana is.

Edited by KeyboardNinja
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1) True story. I mostly know what my vanguard cotank does at this point, so there's not a lot of requisite communication, but your point is well taken. We already do 16 man with two healers, though we generally do it by respecing our assault commando to healing just because it puts less strain on the healers.

 

2) We swap on every arcing assault. My snap threat is generally better than my cotank's, so it's easier if I manage Kephess since I can do it without a taunt.

 

3) The initial knockback is timed such that it will interrupt your channel almost precisely (though because you use an RNG-dependent opener, you might get knocked right before your channel instead of during). Interrupting the channel (especially with Recklessness/Force Potency up) in that opener runs the risk of losing agro to either your Raptus or your Tyrans DPS. It puts you behind by at least a GCD on your stacks. Even more importantly, it puts you out of position for Calphayus and makes it essentially impossible to prevent him from dropping a circle in the middle-ish area.

 

Also, be friendly to your melee, especially during their time of adrenal.

 

The Tyrans yank + knockback is largely just annoying if you're quick on your feet and tanking against the light (we do). Resilience/Shroud is the safest way to deal with that mechanic, since it guarantees (well, to within 5%) that you won't get knocked off the platform. I use Resilience/Shroud there because I know there will be enough margins on Death Mark and I'd rather not have the inconvenience of running back to the light from a thousand miles away. In nightmare mode, it's entirely possible that I'll just eat the knockback and save the cleanse.

 

 

 

4) This. A thousand times this. The difference between a great tank and a grand master tank is when you graduate from shepherding your own health to shepherding the health of the entire raid. Watch the raid frames, listen to healer call outs, pop cooldowns and call it out to give the healers a little breathing room when they need it most. One of the easiest indicators if you have a sage/sorc healer is to just look at where their mana is.

 

1) I meant 8man the 16m version with 2 healers, if that's what you meant, we're on the same page.

2) Don't swap. Your co-tank (PT right?) can burn his taunts on Kephess, he doesn't need them for anything else for well over a minute, and it's less healing.

3) I have a feeling we do this fight a LOT differently.

4) Cooldowns aren't just for when the boss is hitting hard :3

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1) I meant 8man the 16m version with 2 healers, if that's what you meant, we're on the same page.

 

Yep.

 

2) Don't swap. Your co-tank (PT right?) can burn his taunts on Kephess, he doesn't need them for anything else for well over a minute, and it's less healing.

 

I'm not sure how higher stacks is in any way less healing. We never have more than 4 stacks on either tank, neither Kephess nor Brontes ever cleave anyone, and the healers have a moment to catch up on a tank after Arcing Assault before they take any serious damage (since the swap happens there).

 

3) I have a feeling we do this fight a LOT differently.

 

 

Mistakes galore on my part in that pull, and some really fail Resilience RNG (I hit it in my opener, but it didn't negate the knockback). I've seen the DnT strat. It's not too far off, except our kiter runs a slightly different pattern and sustains higher DPS with the same incoming damage, and our tanks swap exactly on each knockback. Oh, and we don't bother putting the bosses together in the second phase, because you know, DPS.

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Yep.

 

 

 

I'm not sure how higher stacks is in any way less healing. We never have more than 4 stacks on either tank, neither Kephess nor Brontes ever cleave anyone, and the healers have a moment to catch up on a tank after Arcing Assault before they take any serious damage (since the swap happens there).

 

 

 

 

Mistakes galore on my part in that pull, and some really fail Resilience RNG (I hit it in my opener, but it didn't negate the knockback). I've seen the DnT strat. It's not too far off, except our kiter runs a slightly different pattern and sustains higher DPS with the same incoming damage, and our tanks swap exactly on each knockback. Oh, and we don't bother putting the bosses together in the second phase, because you know, DPS.

 

It's less stacks, you're at 4 stacks for only about 6 seconds and the start of the phase and never again have a stack unless you have 4 at the end if DPS is slow.

 

Kite path is irrelevant to tanking, but not stacking the bosses is actually just a waste of time and DPS. Also, don't get styrak's crystal, just get aggro on him, he follows normal aggro rules, and you can start hitting him sooner, more uptime is always good.

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It's less stacks, you're at 4 stacks for only about 6 seconds and the start of the phase and never again have a stack unless you have 4 at the end if DPS is slow.

 

You'll have to explain that one more precisely, I think.

 

Kite path is irrelevant to tanking, but not stacking the bosses is actually just a waste of time and DPS. Also, don't get styrak's crystal, just get aggro on him, he follows normal aggro rules, and you can start hitting him sooner, more uptime is always good.

 

25% less damage from Styrak is nothing to sniff at. Less damage on the tanks means more healer time spent DPSing. We don't do it in the video, but due to the ranged AoE taunt, it is actually possible for my cotank to pick up Styrak such that he is never on a DPS, even while I'm getting the crystal.

 

We're aware that it's a DPS loss not to hold them together, particularly with a focus sentinel. It's something that we've talked about doing, but we've never needed it to beat the phase (not even on our first clear, right after it dropped). The reason we don't is both to avoid kiting out of a flyby and also to avoid kiting away from a channeling melee. Zealous Leap has a weird root effect associated with the animation, which can make focus slightly less mobile than the other melee specs (and especially less mobile than the other sentinel specs). Our working theory is that in nightmare mode, the damage check will be tight enough that we will need to hold them together, but for now we're being lazy.

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25% less damage from Styrak is nothing to sniff at.

 

TODAY I LEARNED SOMETHING ON THE SWTOR FORUMS HOLY ***

 

You'll have to explain that one more precisely, I think.

 

You get the initial 4 stacks (usually 3 since she aggros a dps/healer and immediately casts if you don't grab proxy aggro, but unimportant). You keep those 4 stacks until she casts it again, and shroud. No stacks get applied, they all fall off. You run around in circles bored until she casts again. This time, you vanish/taunt. No stacks again. DPS should be pretty much done by now, if not you take the next 4 stacks and pop a CD (Overcharge will be back up to be your last CD on the orb phase if you use it there). Voila, no damage.

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You get the initial 4 stacks (usually 3 since she aggros a dps/healer and immediately casts if you don't grab proxy aggro, but unimportant). You keep those 4 stacks until she casts it again, and shroud. No stacks get applied, they all fall off. You run around in circles bored until she casts again. This time, you vanish/taunt. No stacks again. DPS should be pretty much done by now, if not you take the next 4 stacks and pop a CD (Overcharge will be back up to be your last CD on the orb phase if you use it there). Voila, no damage.

 

That's more damage, not less. You tank for an entire cycle with 4 stacks. If you swap on Arcing Assault, the tank on Brontes never has any stacks. Additionally, it has fewer margins to absorb orb derp. Not that this is an issue in a sane group, but I don't like strats which require ad libbing in the case of slight problems elsewhere in the pull.

 

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, this strat only works with an assassin tank. Given that we swap, my group isn't dependent on me or my class to down the fight (without modification of accustomed strat). It's also a strategy that we can share with the other guild groups that don't have shadow tanks.

 

Oh KBN,

 

On bestia if you force shroud before she ends her ravage like move. You can avoid her putting stacks on you.

 

Edit someone else said it before I did

 

I forgot to update the post after Tenebras mentioned this. I think this is probably a better use of Resilience/Shroud than cheesing the seed.

 

guarding the seed right when it spawns will get a few more of the adds on you than the crystal. from my experience.

 

Hmm, interesting… I've never actually tanked that phase. :-)

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Resilience/Force Shroud whenever you have to take an orb in a hurry. This makes shadow/assassin tanks the absolute best tanks for stealing orbs from DPS going into the droid phase, since you can taunt + resilience/shroud + explode, all the while praying to the RNG gods that your 5% number isn't up.

 

Guardians can also cheese an orb with Saber Reflect. In fact we plan around our tanks grabbing two of the orbs so we only have to have DPS/healers deal with two (or as often seems to happen, a DPS only has to deal with 1 orb instead of 2 at once).

 

That's mostly nitpicking, but I felt I should mention it =)

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I'm not sure how higher stacks is in any way less healing. We never have more than 4 stacks on either tank, neither Kephess nor Brontes ever cleave anyone, and the healers have a moment to catch up on a tank after Arcing Assault before they take any serious damage (since the swap happens there).

 

As a shadow you can solo tank Brontes without swapping and never have more than 4 stack.

 

Nm, I was the 3rd to say it ^^

Edited by cs_zoltan
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Nice post KBN,

 

I'm not pretending to be an expert or anything (I haven't cleared all the HM content so I don't deny that I'm not perfect lol), but I do things a little differently on some of the bosses and I wanted to offer my perspective for the hm 8m ops that my guild runs:

 

Nefra:

-Since she does her Dot cast every 45-50 seconds after the first, I spread out my CDs along those lines; i.e. everytime she hit the group with the Dot I fire either an Overcharged Saber, Deflection, or Adrenal (or Relic if you run that way) in order to prevent any strain from hitting the healers during the phase were they have to be cleansing. The CDs will all last long enough for your healers to finish cleansing the group and then turn their attention back to you, and when executed with good timing the CDs will all be back up again (or damn close) for the 4th and 5th Dot casts if you go that far.

 

Draxxus:

-Normally I save my Deflection specifically for wave 5 (double corruptors in back); I wait for him to land, let him finish his AoE without issue since it doesn't hurt and once he begins using his main attack I fire off Deflection. I do this because I'll basically take no damage from the boss with Deflection up and it will allow the healers to focus on the group while the corruptors are up. Assuming DPS is good then the corruptors will be dead before deflection is done and DPS will be working on the the other adds and heals will be more able to focus you, thus sparing your other CDs (exception being shroud if you get randomly focused by the lightning).

 

Like I said I'm not an expert, but these have worked for me :)

Edited by Sivar
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As a shadow you can solo tank Brontes without swapping and never have more than 4 stack.

 

Nm, I was the 3rd to say it ^^

 

I should have been more clear in my post. The way we swap, no tank has any stacks while tanking the boss. In other words, we literally swap on every single Arcing Assault. This makes tanking Kephess harder (since I can't taunt), but the healing is a lot lighter as a result.

 

I think it's very useful to be able to solo tank Brontes as a shadow, since it gives options in case of something going horribly wrong, and even just thinking about how to do it helps us see our class in its maximally-flexible light. However, it's not a strat that I would advocate in my guild as our go-to way to down the fight.

Edited by KeyboardNinja
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I should have been more clear in my post. The way we swap, no tank has any stacks while tanking the boss. In other words, we literally swap on every single Arcing Assault. This makes tanking Kephess harder (since I can't taunt), but the healing is a lot lighter as a result.

 

I think it's very useful to be able to solo tank Brontes as a shadow, since it gives options in case of something going horribly wrong, and even just thinking about how to do it helps us see our class in its maximally-flexible light. However, it's not a strat that I would advocate in my guild as our go-to way to down the fight.

 

I would also recommend this as the preferred way, although it's best with an assassin/shadow as Force Pull + Force Speed is a good combo on the spawning kephess and will most of the times keep you aggro while the ranged kill it, with juggs/powertechs this may be more difficult to do. The solo tanking shadow on Brontes "wastes" a Resilience/Force Shroud which is better used on the last orb(s).

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A note on Dread Masters Bestia/Calphayus: you can actually avoid the swap here. Her attack that refreshes the stacks has a fairly short range (looks like 4-5m) and she tries to use it starting when you have ~4s left on the debuff. If you force speed then you should be able to kite her long enough to drop them.

 

I do this on my Vanguard, using Hold the Line once the countdown is < 6s. You have to take some care with her knockback - some times it is just perfectly timed to prevent me dropping the stacks - but otherwise works very well and I end up needing to swap less than one time in ten (made several runs with 0 swaps).

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A note on Dread Masters Bestia/Calphayus: you can actually avoid the swap here. Her attack that refreshes the stacks has a fairly short range (looks like 4-5m) and she tries to use it starting when you have ~4s left on the debuff. If you force speed then you should be able to kite her long enough to drop them.

 

I do this on my Vanguard, using Hold the Line once the countdown is < 6s. You have to take some care with her knockback - some times it is just perfectly timed to prevent me dropping the stacks - but otherwise works very well and I end up needing to swap less than one time in ten (made several runs with 0 swaps).

 

It's an interesting trick, but I'm not sure that it's worth messing up the pathing on the other bosses. My guild does this boss by holding Bestia against the light (which is a strategy that I highly recommend, btw), which is obviously not something you can do if you want to be free to range the stacks. It keeps her in a single location, leaving the rest of the arena to be divided into thirds, with two thirds going to Calphayus and one going to Raptus and the middle remaining completely free. Tank swapping is a lot easier than dealing with Bestia jumping around relative to the other bosses, so I think the stacks are a worthy price to pay.

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What do you mean, holding her against the light?

 

It's as Azreal said. We tank her against the lamps near the entrance, always on the lamp farther from whatever side of the room Calphayus is on. This completely negates her knockback and ensures that she is always in a stable position. This eases the pathing on Calphayus (since you never have to worry about Bestia getting knocked into you), eliminates the Tyrans yank RNG (since you're always at an angle such that she won't knock you off), and makes the healer positioning much simpler.

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KBN why not against the heightened sections in the outside wall? I always used those in SM. In HM I always thought it too risky due to tank swap and knockback.

 

My cotank suggested that in our first few pulls on the boss. I think the lamp is just more reliable. Even the lamp can be tricky sometimes if you get Bestia at exactly the wrong angle. Additionally, the lamps are very centrally located in the entrance-side of the platform, lending a nice symmetry to the Calphayus kiting and swapping. Standing in the middle of the wall would be asymmetric.

 

The more serious, though untested, problem with holding Bestia against the higher sections of the outside wall is that these sections are directly opposite the corners of the heptagon, and almost certainly close enough that Tyrans would get buffed if he teleported to the corner that Bestia was close to. This would be a serious, serious problem, since a buffed Thundering Blast is almost an insta-kill.

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Draxus

 

Best cooldown: Battle Readiness/Overcharge Saber

Worst cooldown: Resilience/Shroud

 

  • Resilience/Shroud off the tech DoT whenever you get it. Or, if you don't trust your DPS, save it for a Mass Affliction. This cooldown is also useful for ignoring the guardian's Slam attack if, for whatever reason, you simply cannot move out of it.
  • Resilience/Shroud during the "Strong Swipe" cast (or immediately before) to avoid the debuff. You should tank swap here anyway, just because it's more pro, but this allows you to cheese the mechanic a bit. Very useful in emergencies (e.g. off-tank dead and having to tank both Dismantlers)
  • Deflection whenever your health gets below 30% and you're tanking Draxus. Doesn't help much on any of the trash, so don't burn it there. The exception to this rule is explained below.
  • Battle Readiness/Overcharge Saber immediately after the first agro dump in the third Draxus phase (double Corrupters in the back). This phase is the highest damage phase in the fight, and chances are you have a few lightning adds on you at the same time. BR/Overcharge will do a much better job here than Deflection. Use in the same position in the very final phase, to mitigate risk. These phases also tend to be the longest (assuming you don't delay anything), and so it doesn't hurt to use Battle Readiness/Overcharge Saber early and resort to Deflection or Adrenal later if you're still on the boss and need propping up.

 

Random protip #1: you can get 100% uptime on Phase Walk in this fight by always refreshing immediately before Draxus appears.

Random protip #2: Force Cloak before every appearance of the boss except the second one (with one corrupter on each side) and grab agro with your AoE taunt.

\

 

I use my Shroud/Resilience on the first wave of subteroths. AoE taunt them all and hold them in the OS/XS and hit my shroud right before the first one dies. You've got to know how fast your DPS can burn them down, but it works well. Its back up by the time the Dismantlers are out in worst case scenario.

 

I would provide a video on my timing, but the only one around is a foul up where I Shrouded a poison just before the 1st wave ><.

 

Another worst case scenario is to Force Cloak if you DO take a strong swipe (never put your back to a wall). Better to let your DPS take a few hits than eat a death.

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