Disclaimer: May contain ramblings of salty old timer
So, you rolled knight and want to have somesort of guide? I am here to deliver. This guide might be expanded with builds and more indepth tacticool stuff of tanks, but for now, this guide is here to help you make informed decisions on what or how to build your knight. It won't cram down any meta builds down your throat and call you useless for straying off the beaten, meta-path. All abilities will be given mostly neutral opinion on them, but in case of one tactic.. There is no good things to say about it.
Let’s start off by listing generally accepted pros and cons of the Knight.
+Strong party wide buffs
+Non-resource or mechanic tied CC
+Tough and flexible class
+Weakest damage output of order tanks
+Not the best solo pick
A knight of the blazing sun has many ways to build itself, but as his/her archetype is tank, you are expected to absorb a lot of punishment, Therefore defensive stats should be your priority. Just like any tank archetype, the mastery and proper usage of your core abilities is the key.
As knight, you are team-player and should act like one. Not only you get most mileage out of your auras by being in full party, but due low, but constant damage output you do rely on actual DPS to kill something in rvr fights. Still, you can build a knight in myriad of manner, even offtank (meaning offensive tank, a tank that trades some survival for attack power) as long as you remember that you’ll never be top damage and should never build for top damage.
As a tank archetype, you really don’t have damage rotations. Only bread and butter you apply between soft and hard CC.
ABILITY LIST (From order of appearance)
-Nearly every class gets this. Basically your “sprint”, you lose all AP and can’t regen while fleeing. Great for.. well.. fleeing or when you can’t mount at all. Luckily, you start with this.
-Your only true ranged attack. It’s basically for dismounting destro or trying to score that really hurting back attack proc on the wounded and escaping
-Your PVE tanking tool. Let’s you keep aggro. Outside of some builds, you should almost never use this in RvR, but considering it’s your only attack tool at level 1, might as well use it...
Press The Attack
Your first aura and one that won’t stop giving. This one boosts the strength of you and your party, also lowering enemies’ strength who are close to you.
Your sunder replacement. The armor ignore is all knight will get in terms of armor strip. You will be spamming this a lot as it is most efficient melee ability at your disposal.
-Your second aura and another good one. Having more toughness never hurts anyone and reducing toughness is nice bonus to boot!
-Your first DOT. Now instead of spamming just precision strike, you can also mix in Blazing blade, apply it three times for full stacks and refresh every 15 seconds for extra sneaky damage. Only if it did elemental like it used to in live days, still some extra bread to your bread and butter spam
-Your first interrupt with a dot. Interrupting channels is something tanks will do. If you see an enemy in long animation or doing a longwinded combo, interrupt them!
Gather Your resolve
-And with this we finish the basic trifecta of useful auras. This one boosting your resistances to make those spellslingers hurt less while lowering nearby foes’ resistances.
-Now something to define your archetype. A taunt often employed in both PvE and RvR. While a target is taunted, you deal 30% extra damage for 15 seconds or until the target lands three hits on you. Taunt even interrupts and has a nice range. If you manage to see healers in “praise the sun” pose or other dramatic posing, taunting them usually means you have ruined their cast bar as they were about to revive their ally or toss a power heal. Use taunt and use it often.
-A fine skill for your bread and butter if you are sword and shield, increasing your block by 10% is always helpful and you can keep the buff up all the time as long as you use SR everytime it’s off cooldown.
Demolishing strike (morale)
-Your first morale and pretty useful to boot. Not only this leaves a good dot, but it also chops off a nice amount of armor. All around solid morale to have with you, no matter how early or late in the game you are
Emperor’s ward (tactic)
-First tactic, for early game it’s decent but it’s usefulness wanes the more you rank up, mainly because you’ll unlock much better defensive tactics. Each time you get hit, you have 25% to gain a damage absorbing barrier. Definitely great for early game gear and stats as you rely on sheer Hp instead of blocking and parrying
-More archetype defining moves. Your basic slow and something you should be applying left and right to hinder advances and retreats.
Hold The Line
-The ultimate meatwall technique. If you got shield, you will end up using this at somepoint. While this is channeled, you gain 45% to dodge and disrupt, making those pesky mages and shooters a little easier to tank. Everyone behind you in 50 feet radius also get 15% to dodge and disrupt, this effect stacking three times. This means you can have three shield and sword tanks up in front to give substantial ranged protection to your allies
-The stuff dreams are made off. Guard makes you intercept half of the damage your guard target is receiving, but only if you are within 30 feet. Best part is that this damage can be both blocked and parried. An essential tool to any tank, no matter the build. YOU WILL guard that softer ally.
Shield wall (morale)
-The ultimate turtling morale as long as you can keep most of the foes infront of you. You basically block 90% of attacks for 10 seconds. This is going to be your only morale 2 for awhile, so rejoice!
On Your Guard
-This sounds awesome, delivering free damage to anyone who dares to attack your or your party? Problem is, this triggers once every two seconds and only works with melee attacks. I classify this as backup and PVE aura, great when you are taking on mobs and alright if there is two knights in same party running same auras, one of you have to change as auras don’t stack.
-Another archetype and staple of tank classes. You pop this and you break from slows, roots, disarms and silences. Use it when you deem necessary, but remember, sometimes just waiting out a root is better than clearing it out with juggernaut.
Focused Offense (tactic)
-Another one that sounds good, but in reality isn’t that good. The reduced armor hurts your ability to take damage. This can be great in some PvE scenarios. Say, your dungeoneering party needs little bit more DPS to clear faster.
-Now, this is nifty skill to use whenever you are running out of AP and getting attacked. A good buff of armor and getting 10 Aps everytime you get hit.
Champion’s challenge (morale)
-A new morale 1. Champion’s challenge can be nifty alternative to Demolishing strike. The challenge hodls you and your target still for 10 seconds. A root that cannot be broken too.
-This grants you extra toughness. A pretty good tactic to use, but not always mandatory.
-Your punt and something you should use often, but not without a thought. Never punt away enemies that are about to die with this, always make sure they don’t got immovable immunity on them. One of the tank archetype staples. You can do many things with this, like slow a fleeing target, move infront of them and punt the poor sob towards your team for easier killing. The punt distance isn’t much alone, but after slotting banish darknes.. Oh boy, you are golfing.
Unwavering faith (tactic)
-This raises your spirit resistances. If you find yourself getting rocked by spirit damage, this might be worthwhile to use, but since tactic slots are premium you might want to run Gather Your Resolve aura instead.
-A mix up to your bread and butter. First you do damage comparable to precision strike, but without the armor ignore and then the next damage on the target receives extra elemental. An alright skill to have now that it’s part of your core skills.
-A mediocre aura at best, everytime you or your ally defend, they receive a meager heal over time. The healing from the aura is great in PvE, but usually doesn’t cut it in PvP fights. This used to have AP regen, making it a little bit better back then. Still, this may find its use in party that can parry, block and dodge a lot for those precious survival moments. However, with appopriate tactic this tactic makes healers in your party love you.
-Filling out the core and critical parts of tank duties, Challenge is not only your AoE taunt, but also other ways to mitigate damage your allies are receiving. Each enemy afflicted by your challenge deal 30% damage to everyone else except you. The challenged can clear the debuff by hitting you three times or waiting 15 seconds. Challenging a cluster of melee is always a viable move.
-An AoE channel dealing total 900 damage. First morale 3 to acquire and not too shabby.
Gilded Shield (tactic)
-Nice good 15% disrupt bonus with your shield. This can be pretty great, making your disrupt little more reliable if a spell manages to get through your block.
-This might be somewhat useful to have despite being 25% chance to give you meager extra heal whenever you are healed. If lots of spam heals are happening, Sigmar’s favor could prove to be useful, but generally there’s better tactics to have.
Distracting bellow (morale)
-Juiced up challenge basically, cutting the belloweds’ damage output by 50%. Another solid, general tankpurpose morale to have. More benefical to your buddies than earlier shield wall morale 2
-Your first buff removal. Each tank has their own. This one smacks an enchancement type of buff out of your target. Shatter confidence used to be ridiculous with its 3x removal and damage tactic and 50 range. Now? Shatter Confidence is something to use whenever you can. Buff removal is one of the lesser works of tanks after all.
-Your aggro related tactic. A mandatory to slot in when you are a main tank in dungeons.
All Out Assault
-Passive Aoe damage! Sounds good, doesn’t it? It’s great for PvE though, utterly useless in RvR. You mostly end up breaking roots, proccing on-hit things on the enemy.
Mighty Soul (Tactic)
-Oh boy, now this used to be mainly meh tactic that was in glory mastery. Now it’s.. something. Mighty soul tries to mimic Chosen’s tactic but having bigger negative part in. Receiving 15% more damage is very very hazardous trade off to do elemental damage with all of your abilities. This can be somewhat useful for high end builds that can already take tons of punishment, but need to deliver some extra damage in return as resists are harder to build than armor.
Guardian of light (morale)
-Feel like you don’t need to strip armor or force a root on a person. Guardian light is generally good morale 1 then. It gives chunky barrier to absorb damage. A pretty solid morale.
Unstoppable Juggernaut (tactic)
-Reducing the cooldown of juggernaut could be helpful, but due the nature of CC immunities, I myself find rarily craving for more frequent juggernauting. If you feel like you need to have juggernaut off the cooldown faster. This is the tactic for you!
-The last tank archetype ability. The AoE root. This stops those without juggernauts or juggernauts on cooldown right there. This can be a lifesaver, a literal showstopper. Due the long cooldown, don’t spam it off CD everymoment though, wait for just the right moment.
Sun’s blessing (Tactic)
-This can be pretty dang good tactic, mostly because it lets you have only 5 second downtime with perseverance. Nearly constant armor buff and AP regain whenever you get receive damage? Go for it if you can fit the tactic in the precious slots with other great tactics.
Emperor’s Champion (Morale)
-Used to be godtier morale 2, but right now it’s “merely” great morale to use. You get a good hefty stat boost all around the board for half the minute.
-This is a tactic that needs a little tweak to fit the RoR version of cores and trees. But still, if you feel like crippling blow, smashing counter and shield rush should be zero AP moves.. Well, here is your answer.
Shield Of The Sun
-Your thorns and something you might as well use in conjuction with perseverance at least. The damage you return might be tiny, but it’s ‘free’ damage.
No escape (Morale)
-I consider this the better raze. The damage is instant and it leaves eglible targets rooted. Pretty decent morale 3 to pop every now and then for a surprise.
Bellow Commands (Tactic)
-This tactic keeps your AP regen high and rarily makes you AP starved. For every aura active, you gain 5 AP per second for total 15. Basically, free AP since you always have three auras active anyways
Immaculate defenses (Morale)
-The only M4 you can have without mastery trees. This is what you will be using by default whenever a push in rvr happens or dungeon boss is about to drop a “nuke”, Reducing the incoming damage by 75% for your entire party is great and is what lets your and your allies survive the worst brunt all that damage slung around like cheap biscuits.
-The only great weapon skill of knights. An AoE that reduces Max HP. A very strong “kill enabling” attack can be upkept constantly. One of two reasons to go 2H with knight.
-For price of reduced damage on crippling blow, you can now hit three enemies close to each other and apply slow on each. Since crippling blow is an utility skill anyways, that reduced damage is ignorable. Another solid skill to have, especially if you like to slow advances of clustered foes.
-While this is inferior in personal use when compared to bellow commands tactic, this affects you and your party but also drains AP of nearby enemies. It’s a good aura if you want to run something else than the basic trifecta of stat boosters.
Overpowering Swing (tactic)
-The second reason to go 2H as a knight. With this tactic, not only your overpowering swing reduces wounds (AKA max HP), but also makes them 10% more likely to be critted. That is huge, especially to DPS folks.
-The animation looks pretty nice, but otherwise it’s a poor man’s channel combo, almost always outdone by precision strike spam in same duration. It’s only saving grace that it is marginally more AP efficient than Precision strike.
Efficient Swings (tactic)
-If you somehow want to go conquest and don’t want to use To Glory or bellow commands tactic, then this may help you alleviate with AP starvation. I’d recommend using the AP aura ofrthe tactic instead for more all-around effect.
- A bit lackluster ability for so high up in tree. The 10% reduced defense chances is alright, but the damage is easily shrugged off. Does need a bit of tweak to sit right up here as last ability. Use this at your own caution and prepare to be disappointed.
Nova strike (morale
-Sure, damage is damage and in morale dumps, everything counts. However, Nova strike is one of the weaker offensive morales and the other morale 4s are generally better choice. Still, this might have a place in some whacky warband composition. I rather have Immaculate Defenses popped back to back though.
Vigilance is great defense oriented mastery, allowing knight to be pretty sturdy and make his pals lethal.
-This can be great early- midgame tactic as your block chance might not be up to reliable levels yet. Since block is checked first when defending against damage, a good block overshadows parry. 15% as early mastery tactic is pretty good though.
-The worst of the auras you can spec for. The 25% setback resistance and deristance to enemy isn’t anything spectacular and something one should rely on. Interrupts and hard CC do canceling job much better.
Dirty tricks (Tactic)
-Everytime you block, your party gets 5% increased crit chance. A great tactic that procs pretty much all the time.
-One of the skills considered mandatory for a knight. It used to be actual counter (as in you needed to defend first). A good, basic KD without any requisites attached to it.
Laurels of Victory (tactic)
-This will remove the next ability’s self debuff on damage. Perhaps useful if you are somesort of vigilancing 2H knight and need that damage at max as possible?
-Reduces damage you receive by half and drops your own damage output by 25%. Great for hunkering down when enemies overcommit by ganging up on you and your manly tankiness.
Flawless Defense (Morale)
-This is odd one and can be great companion morale 4 to the basic Immaculate defenses, making your party extra sturdy. A morale 4 that certainly requires constructed party for it.
-Pass, Even with this on shield of sun isn’t going to deal enough damage to justify the tactic and the reduced cooldown on vicious slash is unremarkable.
Now’s Our Chance
-Another tactic that sounds good but in reality isn’t. Yep, a bit of theme with knights. Any decent healer can adapt to the heal debuff and really brings down this aura is that it only affects outgoing heals. Meaning you need to stay close to enemy healers to get use out of it. Still, if you see a trend of MPDS not applying healdebuffs, this is better than nothing. (which is not a lot)
Focused Mending (tactic)
-While 25% healdebuff isn’t much, now.. 15% heal buff however is pretty nice. With this tactic, stay focused elevates from mediocrity to greatness., making your party healers’ job easier.
-The skill that can break or ruin a fight. A good, sizeable AoE that causes stagger. Stagger lasts 5 seconds and it is broken by any direct damage, much like roots are. In worse, this means granting free CC immunity to your foes, but well used, you can force a bunch of priority targets sit on a bench for five, grueling seconds. A very powerful skill in right hands and with right folks by your side.
-Oh, how they massacred my boy. If you have looked at Chosen’s skills, you see something similar but strength and weaponskill instead of strength and weapon skill. Runefang used to be both this and Chosen’s version before it was gutted and nerfed so severely, hung up high in glory tree in hopes no one would smell the putrid miasma of this once glorious tactic while the vile chosen feasted on the entrecorte made out of this once-glorious tactic. Anywho, as it currently stands, runefang is hard to justify occupying tactic slots.
-A fairly servicable AP drain ability that could be a little bit more considering how high is in the list. Then again, it can work nicely in tandem with To Glory! aura to AP starve your foes.
Solar Flare (morale)
-The ultimate offensive morale push tool in knight arsenal, granted if morales are dumped before enemy does. Resetting nine morale bars gets your sides’ push so much more oomph as it’s nine less morales to respond. This may not seem much in large scale, but the chances are.. There won’t be just one knight with Solar Flare.