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3.0 Assassin/Shadow tanking guides by Aelanis


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Hey everyone, here are the assassin/shadow tanking guides for patch 3.0 written by Aelanis. I know some of you have been requesting these guides for a while so hopefully you will find it useful!

 

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Only one question. Is Discharge's damage buffed on PTS to the point where it hits harder than Assassinate? I expected the new value to put it between Assassinate and Maul in priority, but you put it higher than Assassinate.

 

Lol what? no.

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Raw damage-wise: no. Threat-wise: yes. It will have higher threat than Assassinate.

 

While that is true, IMO raw TPS should have ceased being an issue well before you get to the execute phase. If I'm not mistaken, if you're say 2 minutes into the fight a taunt is adding 36 seconds worth of threat (and significantly more if it is not your first taunt). As you know, by the time you put operation bosses into the execute range, you've often had more time than that elapsed.

 

Now, there are obviously fights where mechanics dictate more attention to threat, and frankly that's a good thing; but in the general case, to my mind at least, taunts in this game trivialise sustained aggro building. I would certainly, in the general case, recommend going with damage over threat multipliers in the execute phase. Just my feedback though, feel free to ignore it :)

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One dps in my team asked to guard him because he may overaggro. I told him that I will give him a million if he overaggros me without guard. Shadow tank simply cannot loose aggro.

 

In 2.10 I would've argued that. Now... not anymore. Maybe a PT going all out the second you use pull.

But a taunt will take care of that.

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In 2.10 I would've argued that. Now... not anymore. Maybe a PT going all out the second you use pull.

But a taunt will take care of that.

 

One dps in my team asked to guard him because he may overaggro. I told him that I will give him a million if he overaggros me without guard. Shadow tank simply cannot loose aggro.

 

Prog, you must not play with people who are halfway decent at burst specs. 10k+ burst DPS openers are going to ruin your day when you don't guard them. Your opening threat per second plummets after Force Pull, even with a pre-casted Mind Crush, giving them plenty of time to pull off of you before you taunt (unless you're into taunting after Force Pull in your opener). Lightning Sorc opens with a pre-cast Chain Lightning > Affliction > Thundering Blast + Chain Lightning. The second Chain Lightning is under Recklessness and the TB is an auto-crit, so if that first Chain Lightning crits, your day is pretty ruined. Deception can give you trouble a lot of trouble, with a 10k Discharge, an 8k Ball Lightning with 4k Twin Surge and a 2.5k Surging Charge trigger, for 24.5k damage in 2 globals. Basically: not guarding your burst spec dps is just asking for them to aggro the boss.

Edited by Aelanis
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While that is true, IMO raw TPS should have ceased being an issue well before you get to the execute phase. If I'm not mistaken, if you're say 2 minutes into the fight a taunt is adding 36 seconds worth of threat (and significantly more if it is not your first taunt). As you know, by the time you put operation bosses into the execute range, you've often had more time than that elapsed.

 

Now, there are obviously fights where mechanics dictate more attention to threat, and frankly that's a good thing; but in the general case, to my mind at least, taunts in this game trivialise sustained aggro building. I would certainly, in the general case, recommend going with damage over threat multipliers in the execute phase. Just my feedback though, feel free to ignore it :)

 

Oh, I'm not advocating building on your 30 million threat in the execute phase at the cost of damage. I'm just noting that Breach will produce ludicrous threat. It's also great for snap threat when adds come out, especially since they gave us an unpleasant nerf in giving Wither a 10 second cooldown.

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I always prefer to use the DPS Hilt and Armoring (in Offhand) over the tank (endurance heavy) one (pre 3.0 in belt and bracer too). I think it gives you another small amount of threat in the opener (or in a situation where you have to grab some adds) and the "lose" of some hitpoints it's worth it. Especially in the beginning of a new op where your dps are not equipped that well...

For fun I even thought about switching my color crystals to power ;)

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I always prefer to use the DPS Hilt and Armoring (in Offhand) over the tank (endurance heavy) one (pre 3.0 in belt and bracer too). I think it gives you another small amount of threat in the opener (or in a situation where you have to grab some adds) and the "lose" of some hitpoints it's worth it. Especially in the beginning of a new op where your dps are not equipped that well...

For fun I even thought about switching my color crystals to power ;)

 

Not a good idea, if you're going to do top-difficulty content. These hard modes have very real spikes, which the extra endurance will help you survive.

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Maybe - but including Dread Fortress nim never had an issue. I mean we are talking about 600? hitpoints in total

 

HM Revan is almost entirely internal/elemental damage, and he has insane spikes. That's not the only boss either. Honestly, I think this might be a tier where B mods are BiS. If B mods are good, then trading any amount of HP for DPS is a bad idea.

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Good to know, thx KBN. I think it'll take some weeks until my group will face Revan in hm.

Don't get me wrong, of course more endurance means a higher TTK and thats always better for a tank. I just said for the older content pre 3.0 I've never had an issue with my approach. If new mechanics in new ops require more hp thats the way to go

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Good to know, thx KBN. I think it'll take some weeks until my group will face Revan in hm.

Don't get me wrong, of course more endurance means a higher TTK and thats always better for a tank. I just said for the older content pre 3.0 I've never had an issue with my approach. If new mechanics in new ops require more hp thats the way to go

 

Going back pretty far… Warlord Kephess NiM at level was a bit of an HP check for shadow tanks. He had a particular attack that was split into 3 components, which if unmitigated would hit for about 9.3k a piece on a BiS shadow tank at level. If you recall HP levels of the day, a BiS shadow with B mods would have 27.8k HP. So in other words, it was an RNG one-shot. Even if you managed to mitigate one of them, if you didn't have the B mods, it would still drop you from about 90%. That, combined with the self-healing mechanic, was the reason that shadows basically all ran B mods pre-2.0.

 

I ran unlettered mods throughout 2.0. I came very close to swapping over to B mods when progressing on NiM Dread Guard and KtU. As far as I know, I was the only shadow to main tank NiM KtU at tier due to the spikes (basically everyone else used another tank class to MT that boss), and that was almost enough to push me into endurance stacking. Still wasn't as bad as Warlord Kephess, but it was bad.

 

NiM Raptus pre-nerf was probably the worst spike boss in recent memory. Third phase NiM Dread Masters was bad too unless you were solo tanking Bestia and had enough DPS in p2 that you could get your crystal. Raptus had three attacks which could drop a shadow tank from full health (assuming unlettered mods) if unshielded or otherwise reduced. They weren't as frequent as Warlord Kephess's attacks though, and two of them were also so incredibly telegraphed that it was almost trivial to get a CD up in time (the third, Rising Slash, was still very predictable due to the static timer).

 

I'm worried about this content cycle though. Revan is a crazy-spiky boss with very little subject to mitigation, as is Coratanni. Nothing that's going to drop a tank from full health, but remember that we're only in the HM tier thus far! Nightmare Mode is going to hit like a drunken Mack truck with spikes on the bumper.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The author recommends preserving the old 4 piece set bonus until I acquire the new 6 piece. Does the author mean:

 

1-to keep my old armoring mods (140 in my case) and upgrade only the Mod and Enhancement slots

 

and

 

2-withhold from equipping the new gear until I 6 pieces (in other words, do not gear piecemeal)?

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The author recommends preserving the old 4 piece set bonus until I acquire the new 6 piece. Does the author mean:

 

1-to keep my old armoring mods (140 in my case) and upgrade only the Mod and Enhancement slots

 

and

 

2-withhold from equipping the new gear until I 6 pieces (in other words, do not gear piecemeal)?

 

Gear piecemeal. Always gear piecemeal unless you can throw on a new piece and it's a total upgrade.

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