Rathael87 wrote: ↑
Mon May 25, 2020 11:01 pm
JadsiaDax wrote: ↑
Sun May 24, 2020 5:27 pm
Making a SM build (i'd like to go 2H) but sadly shield is a must so I'm going for that.
I understand that its mostly a hoeth/vaul type build with some bubbles and some AOE attacks but what I don't know is progression.
I'm only rank 15 atm, but I'm not sure if I start in Hoeth or vaul first? What to prioritize etc...
I'm looking on the forums and haven't been able to find a comprehensive SM GUIDE. I've used the search function but can't find anything.
Heya. Apologies in advance if most of this is stuff you already know, but since you asked for something more comprehensive, I will try to offer up what I can.
Currently RR70 SNB SM using https://builder.returnofreckoning.com/c ... ,2874,2897
First and foremost, Sword and Board is only really a must for large-scale oRVR, especially if you are planning to participate in organized warbands. The primary reason for this is because AoE damage is king in large-scale combat. 2H sword master does barely any AoE, so your single-target damage means next to nothing in large scale combat. Yes, you can use wall of darting steel to be tanky, but Hold the Line is much more beneficial to your allies. In addition, SNB SM's will pack typically more than 40 block in perfect balance. You can think of this as almost 40% damage reduction from the front that 2H SM's do not have. Having said that, in small-scale RVR such as scenarios or 6-man roaming, single-target burst pressure is actually quite important for bursting healers down before they can react. SM shines in these situations when (and only when) supporting a strong single-target mobile damage dealer like a white-lion. SM cannot deal significant-enough damage alone, but when our damage is added to that of a powerful DPS, it is often enough to overpower a healer. Having a 2-man team that can put enormous pressure on healers is very powerful in small-scale.
The primary skill for rank-40 oRVR that you should bring to your party as SNB SM is Whispering Winds. It's primary application is to counter and nullify the effects of squig herder's ability to increase cooldowns by the same amount, as well as providing 0s cooldown rez for your healers where needed. Having said that, whispering winds is not extremely powerful. It is critical for organized warbands, but not terribly important while you are levelling up.
While levelling up, I would strongly recommend focusing on Vaul to start with. Pick up the perfect defenses tactic ASAP. You will meet a lot of destro MDPS in scenarios while levelling and the increased parry helps a lot. Grab redirected force as soon as you can. It is vastly superior to the AoE punt strategically, as you can be selective with it and it has a much longer travel time and distance than the AoE punt. You can use this to punt key targets (tanks using guard, healers etc) and really screw up destro's day. Vaul's buffer is also very nice in small-scale where there is less random damage ripping the shield off.
Crushing advance is very nice when levelling as it allows you to be very tanky before you pick up any armor potions. However, keep in mind that at rank40, you will be using armor potions in oRvR. The armor from Crushing advance does not stack with the armor from potions, so this ability is mostly taken for the 5% block it provides.
Crashing wave is extremely powerful when used for single-target pressure so pick it up at later levels if you are playing scenarios a lot. This is when you have a powerful white-lion or slayer ally. Your job is to snare their target and knock them down, basically to hand them an easy kill while protecting them with guard. MDPS do not have as much access to slows as we do. As tanks, we can pretty much slow targets on demand, which is something MDPS need help with. Obviously it is a bit medicore in oRvR since knocking down a single target has very minimal impact.
In general, as a tank, your objective is to be the best guard you can be. If you are running SNB, you ignore any thoughts of increasing your damage (or healing). The SM heals are frankly not that great. Proper healers will make your healing look next to useless, especially if you are properly guarding your DPS. Run full defensive tactics and mitigate as much damage as you possibly can for your party. All guard damage that you take can be mitigated by normal means (absorbs, blocks, parries etc), so the tougher you are, the less guard damage you will take. Since you are already taking 50% damage for your DPS, you are massively reducing the amount of total damage on your party. Throw in challenges and use body blocks and snares to be a complete pain in the ass for your enemy. Removing pressure from your healers by mitigation is your primary function.
Guard is the single most important thing in a tank's arsenal. By guarding and following your guarded target closely, you are infinitely more useful than any tank attempting to do any sort of DPS... because you are keeping DPS alive that can do far more damage than any tank could dream of. In that respect, tank classes are beautiful in their simplicity. We are already making ourselves insanely useful just by being tough and following our guard target. Anything else you do on top of that to protect your team is a bonus.
Blade Enchantment choice is a bit situational but in general we use nature's blade in oRvR. Most of the beneficial buffs provided by nature's blade will be outclassed by buffs given by other classes, but the debuffs are decent in many cases. Proper oRvR knights generally do not run the strength aura, so our strength debuff can be useful there. The AoE initiative debuff I think is not bad either. Generally anything Heaven's Blade provides is outclassed by knights and armor potions (since none of these defensive bonuses stack). In addition, Heaven's Blade requires that you hit your target, whereas knight auras don't. For this reason, Heaven's Blade is pretty inferior despite us having most points in Hoeth. Again, I do not think Phantom Blade stacks with other wounds buffs such as the WP one afaik, but in any case the healing it provides is quite medicore. It is generally just better to use Nature's Blade most of the time.
Isha's protection stacks with the various other healing multipliers that Order has, so it is quite a powerful defensive tactic. The extra healing and very high avoidances we can achieve make us excellent guard tanks for the classes taking the most damage such as BW's and slayers. In my warband, well-geared SM's are typically assigned to guard Bright Wizards most of the time.