While there are guides out there for Cleric Tanks regarding end game gearing and statistical analysis, there are very few that outline what a cleric tank goes through in the beginning and middle stages of the game. There are different specs for faster leveling, but if you enjoy tanking and the feeling of being an unstoppable juggernaut, there is really no other option then to run through the game as a tank.
I will not be focusing on the math behind the class, nor will I focus on a comparison between the 3 tanking classes. This is just a basic guide on how to successfully run a cleric tank while leveling up both in solo and group play.
Cleric Threat Overview:
With each damaging ability you use, Salvation will trigger and heal you, the target of your Righteous Mandate, and (depending on how many points you have into the skill Reparation) other people in your group that are somewhat nearby (I believe the range to be about 30 meters, but have not confirmed that at this time). So at level 20 if you open combat with Bolt of Radiance, you will heal yourself, and up to 5 other people (including pets). Salvation will heal for ~30 while using single target skills (Strike of Judgment), and 15 for AoE skills (such as Even justice, or Censure). Add 15% from the talent Life?s Devotion and you are looking at 34 for ST, and 17 for AoE. Now threat is increased by 350% with Mein of Leadership active, which includes any over healing. So your total threat against ALL ENCOUNTERED ENEMIES would be 595 (34*5=170*350%=595). Now for each activation of Even Justice, assuming there are 3 enemies to hit would be 892 (17*3=51*5=255*350%=892). This is a crazy amount of threat at this level, but fear not, as gear scales DPS will start to do a LOT more damage and you will have to work a bit to maintain threat. Keep in mind that you do not have to hit an enemy to gain threat on them. The threat I listed above is based off from heal amounts, not the actual damage you are doing. So any enemy that is actively in an encounter with you or your group will be effected by the threat you create. This works very well if your groups gets an add or two, chances are unless the DPS jump all over it, that the mob will simply wander over to you in a matter of seconds after they aggro on a member of your group simply from the group heals you create.
There is such a wide array of consumables that we can make use of, I figured it deserved its own section. So here is a quick list of some of the more common consumables that we can make good use of while leveling.
-Scroll of Wisdom ? Increases your Wisdom by X for 60 minutes
-Scroll of Endurance ? Increases your Endurance by X for 60 minutes
-Endurance Serum ? Increases your Endurance by X for 30 minutes
-Wisdom Serum ? Increases your Wisdom by X for 30 minutes
-Warding Potion ? Shields you from Physical attacks by X amount for 30 seconds
-Healing Potion ? Restores health for X amount useable once every 3 minutes
-Mana Potion ? Restores mana for X amount useable once every 3 minutes
-Ancient Tablet ? Restores mana over time and increases Strength and Wisdom by X for 15 minutes
-Rejuvenation Seed ? Restores health over 12 seconds, and increases Endurance for 15 minutes
-Raging Flame ? Deals 20% of all damage back to its target for 2 minutes or XX,XXX damage is taken
I usually end up using at least 1 of each through every dungeon I run. They are quite cheap on the auction house and can make a pretty big difference in your overall survival. The only ones I rarely use are the Healing and Mana potions. The Warding potions shares the same cool down as the Healing potions. The Warding potions actually negate quite a bit more physical damage than what the healing potion can heal for. The exception to this is if you are taking heavy magic damage.
PLEASE NOTE: Putting a // in front of the word ?cast? in the macro will skip that skill when you use the macro. Use this as you are leveling and do how have the required skill yet.
#show Strike of Judgment
cast Strike of Retribution
cast Precept of Refuge
cast Doctrine of Authority
cast Massive Blow (remove if having ST threat issues, this will increase DPS but lower TPS)
cast Sanction Heretic
cast Strike of Judgment
Area of Effect:
#show Even Justice
cast Strike of Retribution
cast Doctrine of Authority
cast Even Justice
#show Lightning Hammer (change to Reckoning @ lvl 54)
cast Bolt of Radiance
cast Sanction Heretic
cast Lightning Hammer (change to Reckoning @ lvl 54)
#show Strike of Judgment
cast Strike of Retribution
cast Doctrine of Authority
cast Massive Blow
cast Sanction Heretic
cast Strike of Judgment
Your build at level 10: Shaman 1/Justicar 10/Inquisitor 2
Passive ability that heals the cleric whenever s/he uses a damaging ability. Heals for twice as much when using a single target Justicar ability. Heals for a quarter of that amount when using non-Justicar area effect abilities.
Strike of Judgment:?http://www.rifthead.com/ability/2037?ke-of-judgment
This is your primary single target attack, you will be using this skill forever so get used to it being on your bar. It is classified as a single target Justicar ability, so you get the 2x bonus healing from Salvation when using it.
Bolt of Radiance:?http://www.rifthead.com/ability/4368?lt-of-radiance
Your first ranged ability. This is another single target Justicar ability, so you will get the 2x bonus healing from Salvation when using it. This ability has a 30 meter range and is best used while you are closing the gap on your target, then weaving it into your normal attack rotation. You should aim to keep this ability on cool down as much as possible, as it hits a bit harder than Strike of Judgment, and is on a short 8 second cool down.
This passive ability will grant the cleric a Conviction whenever a Life-Based Damaging ability is used. Clerics use Convictions as a ?build-up? system which is used throughout the fight for either healing, or damage. Some abilities increase in power if you have more convictions; others simply use a single conviction. Bolt of Radiance and Strike of Judgment both grant a single conviction.
Hammer of Duty:?http://www.rifthead.com/ability/-439?hammer-of-duty
This is your first Conviction Spender and your highest damage single target ability. It uses all of your current convictions into a burst of damage. It does about the same damage as Bolt of Radiance, and has the same 30 meter range. I found it helpful to use it at range along with Bolt of Radiance as I was running into combat, then saving up my convictions throughout the fight for the initial burst damage at the beginning of the next encounter.
The clerics first taunt. Try and place this ability somewhere on your hotkey bar that is very easy to access. Aggro as a Cleric tank is pretty decent, but in a time of need, a quick Provoke can save a life! 8 Second cool down, 30 meter range, Forces the target to attack you for 3 seconds.
Doctrine of Bliss:?http://www.rifthead.com/ability/1985?trine-of-bliss
Your second Conviction spender. This will be your go to self-heal. It spends a single conviction and heals for a pretty decent amount. While soloing I generally only used this ability in between fights while I was on the move towards a new target. Later when you are in groups you may find there are times where this can really help your healer. With 4 convictions you can spam it 4 times quite quickly for some burst healing to help top yourself off while your DPSers beat down the mobs. This will also grant you quite a bit of threat later on with the self-buff, ?Mien of Leadership?, which we will discuss in the next section.
Vengeance of the Winter Storm:?http://www.rifthead.com/ability/6975?e-winter-storm
This is a 1 hour buff that you should *always* have active. It adds damage to every attack based on your level.
Armor of Devotion:?http://www.rifthead.com/ability/2861?or-of-devotion
This is a 1 hour self-buff that increases your critical chance by 5%. I prioritize this buff early in the game because of the Justicar skill Light Makes Right, which grants you a Conviction every time you critically hit with a damaging ability. This 5% increase will net you a LOT of extra convictions to spend throughout a dungeon.
Your primary focus will be in the Justicar tree to maximize the heals you get from Salvation, which heals you every time you attack. You get more healing when using Justicar abilities, which is another reason to focus on the Justicar tree first. You basic strategy should be to take on one enemy at a time, spamming your Ranged macro until you are in melee range, then switching to your Single Target macro. Cast Hammer of Duty once you have 4 Convictions. Don?t forget to keep Armor of Devotion up for the extra crit chance. There is not much else to it at this stage of the game.
Group and Solo play at this level will be the same. Just keep spamming those Ranged and Single Target macros and you will be just fine. Content at this level is extremely basic. The only time you will likely be grouping is from random Rifts, which will all be Minor at this point and very easy to complete.
Anything you can find at this point will likely be an upgrade. Do not worry about gear until you are ready to start your first dungeons around level 16-20.
Your Build at level 20: Shaman 4/Justicar 20/Inquisitor 2
This is a 1 hour buff that you place on a party member which will grant that person the Healing effect that you receive from Salvation. This is a great skill that not only adds some extra healing to the group, but also increases your threat gain significantly. NOTE: With Righteous Mandate, and 5 points into Reparation you can heal 7 people including yourself, in a 5 man dungeon. This is of course assuming there are 2 pets that can receive the healing. This equates to a TON of extra threat. Keep this buff active all the time while grouping!
This is your first AoE ability. This skill adds 1 conviction per use and is a frontal AoE attack that hits up to 5 targets. Your salvation heals from Even Justice will be half of what you will be familiar to seeing from using Strike of Judgment. This is where the AoE pulling fun can really begin, either solo, or group! With 3-5 mobs at a time, and the occasional use of Doctrine of Bliss you can have a ball pulling groups of mobs with significant ease.
Precept of Refuge:?http://www.rifthead.com/ability/1299?cept-of-refuge
Increases your block chance by 5% for 8 seconds, AND does almost as much damage as Strike of Judgment; all on a 5 second cool down! Use this skill at least every 8 seconds for the 5% block chance bonus. Many people seem to add this into a Single Target macro which will fire it off on cool down, to me this just seems lazy, and an overall DPS/Threat loss, as you could be spending that GCD using an ability that does more damage.
Mien of Leadership:?http://www.rifthead.com/ability/4137?-of-leadership
This is your primary tank stance; it increases your Endurance, Armor, and Resistances by 35%, and increases all threat by a whopping 350%! This also includes all over healing done? which is a HUGE threat benefit!
This is a semi-decent ranged tool you can use while closing the gap on an enemy, always prioritize Bolt of Radiance over this as Lightning Hammer will not proc your Salvation. Always try and open combat with Lightning Hammer, and Bolt or Radiance while you are closing the gap on your enemy (see ranged macro). The DoT from this will do more damage over 9 seconds than Bolt of Radiance, but will not generate as much threat and healing as it is not a life-based damage skill.
Ride the Lightning:?http://www.rifthead.com/ability/-168?-the-lightning
This is an in or out of combat charge. It does rather low damage, but is a great gap closer and will remove all movement impairing effects from you. It is generally best used while solo for greater mobility or in a group while in combat if you need to move a large group of melee mobs over to a caster, its best to use the charge, rather than run all the way over while getting beaten in the back the whole way. It is important to learn when and when not, to use this ability. NEVER use this skill to initiate combat while in a group, during the GCD (Global Cool Down) of this skill half the mobs will run amuck all over your group while you scramble to get them back? trust me, just don?t do it.
You are going to be using the same basic strategy here with some minor changes. You will be gaining the skill Ride the Lightning in the Shaman tree which will increase your mobility. ONLY PUT 4 POINTS INTO THE SHAMAN TREE. We will be coming back to this tree later. Your remaining extra points will be going into the Inquisitor tree skill Planar Study. Continue to focus on single targets as much as possible until level 16, at which point you will gain your first AoE attack, Even Justice. This is a semi-hard hitting frontal AoE ability. Always use this skill over Strike of Judgment if you have more than 1 enemy, as it will be a DPS increase. Always try and get Lightning Hammer off from your Ranged Macro before you close to melee range. It will significantly speed up your solo kill speed. At this stage of the game you should only have 2 ranged skills to pop off before you close the distance, Bolt of Radiance, and Lightning Hammer.
I would suggest waiting until level 18 to begin queuing up for random dungeons. The reason being is the skills Light Makes Right (see above) and the skill Mein of Leadership (see above). Make sure to always keep Mein of Leadership active, which you should get at level 16. My basic strategy in a group is to toss Righteous Mandate on someone, preferably a melee DPS, ALSO make sure that Armor of Devotion is activated. When entering combat in a group, try to avoid using the Ride the Lightning skill (see above). It is HIGHLY suggested that you enter combat by simply running up to your enemies and using your Ranged Macro (Bolt of Radiance, and Lightning Hammer) as you close the distance to get their attention. Stop just short of them, with your group to your back, and start spamming Even Justice. At this point strafe around the targets, trying not to move them around, but just spin them in place so there backs are to your group. Many mobs in this game have frontal AoE attacks. Try and set up your pulls a bit. If you know there is more than 1 ranged mob in the group you are about to pull, try and do a Line of Sight (LOS) pull to a nearby corner, tree, tent, or other obstacle. If you get in over your head and have far too many mobs on you for your healer to keep up, remember that you can spam Doctrine of Bliss for some nice self-heals and threat. While in a group it is acceptable to spend a few GCDs healing yourself with DoB (Doctrine of Bliss) while your DPSers burn down the mobs. Your healer will appreciate it, even if they don?t always know what you did.
Realm of the Fae:
Video Part 1:?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bejvNBf9cDM
Video Part 2:?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydt1yM_EMJo
Gear suggestions:?While leveling up you were doing all the Rifts you could right? Get the gear from the Rare Planar Vendor, and make sure to visit the Auction House before you start grouping. It is worthwhile to spend a few gold at this point, as the quest rewards are a bit under leveled, and a full suite of at level gear, even if it is just green, will make a pretty significant difference. Focus on Endurance and Wisdom; use a Mace or Dagger and a shield in your offhand. Don?t worry too much about your Accessory, rings, and necklace slots, those are pretty hard to come by until level 20+.
Your build at level 30: Shaman 8/Justicar 30/Inquisitor 2
Doctrine of Loyalty:?http://www.rifthead.com/ability/1730?ine-of-loyalty
This is a group wide heal that will effect up to 10 players. Currently it heals for about as much as Salvation does, so unless you are in a raid group with 8+ people, it is not really worth using. The only time I use it is when I am unable to hit the mobs at all, such as a LOS pull on a group of casters to make sure I maintain threat while the mobs are running over to meet me. It requires 1 Conviction so opening with Bolt of Radiance to get a single conviction, moving to your LOS spot, then hitting DoL will usually be enough to secure threat unless your DPSers jump the gun.
This is a toggle skill that gives you 10% of your maximum mana for every attack, but blocks the ability to gain any Convictions while it is active. If I find myself low on mana I will use this if I am chain pulling and feel comfortable that my base attacks (Even Justice, and Strike of Judgment) will be enough to ensure aggro. Try not to wait until you are completely out of mana to use this. I usually pop this ability when I am at around 25% mana, and toggle it off when I hit around 75% mana, which usually only takes a few seconds.
This is your first AoE taunt skill. It is on a 60 second cool down and forces up to 10 nearby enemies to attack you for 3 seconds. I rarely have to use this except if I am in a very heavy DPS group that likes to do burst AoE at the very beginning of the fight. At the end of the 3 second duration you should have more than enough aggro built up to maintain threat. If you do not, you may need to speak to your DPSers and ask them to hold back, though I have not had any problems with this so far.
The clerics only stun, it is a 2 second stun on a 20 second cool down. So far the only times I have used this is when I need to interrupt a caster. The GCD it triggers while AoE tanking is just not worth it thus far.
An AoE interrupt that is off the GCD on a 10 second cool down. Against casters this skill is great, I generally try and keep this skill on cool down while fighting casters. The only times I save it is when I know enemies are going to be casting heals, CC, or a big damage nuke.
Courage of the Bear:?http://www.rifthead.com/ability/7028?ge-of-the-bear
This is a Toggle skill that does not have a duration, but needs to be recast if you die. It increases your Endurance by 5%. Not much else to say about this.
This is a very heavy hitting single target skill on a 15 second cooldown. This is primarily only used while soloing, as the threat and healing is significantly lower than the Justicar skill Strike of Judgement. Remember, while grouping it?s not your job to maximize your damage, and the loss is not worth the gain. While soloing though, this should be used on cooldown. (see Solo DPS macro)
Your single target DPS will start to suffer a bit at this point. You will get much more bang for your buck if you can gather up mobs and AoE them down. Massive Blow will help a bit with those times that you have to fight a single target, but it is still more effective to AoE. Remember to always use your ranged macro before you close to melee, the added damage from Lightning Hammer may be minor by itself, but every little bit helps. Keep doing those Rifts and accumulating as much Planarite as you can. You should have little to no problem soloing, even if it takes a bit longer than a DPS class.
This is where I felt the dungeons started to get pretty interesting. You will start to see more casters in groups, bosses will start to hit a bit harder, and your DPSers will start to pull pretty far ahead of you (some of them anyhow). Continue the basic AoE pulls, LOS when you can, keep Precept of Refuge up all the time, and spam Even Justice while keeping the mobs gathered up and in front of you. Try not to move the mobs around very much, remember to strafe around the mobs while positioning them instead of running around them. This way you will keep them stationary while spinning them around and keeping your melee group members safe from cleave attacks. We still don?t have any defensive cool downs for those oh %^&* moments, but that will change very soon!
Start saving those Endurance, and Wisdom scrolls. I would also suggest using some of those Rift Consumables you keep getting from the rifts. Please reference the consumables list at the top of this guide for specific consumable information. Keep upgrading your gear from the Rare Palnarite vendors, and any slots that lag more than 5 levels behind grab a green from the Auction House, they are cheap and the difference between some green level 18 leggings and some green level 28 leggings is pretty significant. If you run a lot of dungeons you can gear up some of your slots with that gear, but drops being as random as they are, chances are you will only see 1, maybe 2 pieces from each dungeon if you run them multiple times.
****Levels 31 ? 40
Your build at level 40: Shaman 8/Justicar 40/Inquisitor 5
Yay! Our first defensive cool down!! This ability increases your maximum health by 20% and increases all healing received by a whopping 50% for 10 seconds on a 2 minute cool down. This is simply an amazing skill; I?ve found the 50% increase to healing received to be beneficial in both solo and group play.
And our second defensive cool down (maybe they should spread these out a bit?). This skill gives the cleric a shield that absorbs damage equal to 50% of their maximum health which lasts for 10 seconds and is on a quick 60 second cool down. I pretty much pop this every other pull unless I am expecting a boss very soon. It?s great for AoE tanking as the first few seconds of combat against 4-6 elites can be a bit painful.
A full AoE attack that does junk for damage, but can hit up to 10 enemies. The big benefit here is that it reduces the chance that the effected enemies will hit you by 5% for 15 seconds. Use this every 15 seconds, and stick to Even Justice, unless you have 8-10 mobs, the damage may be a bit more ? I will have to test this out to be sure. Side Note here: If you are just running through an area and do not want to stop and kill the mobs, just keep spamming Censure and hit the mobs that are behind you to build up Convictions. The health you will get from Salvation, along with the occasional Doctrine of Bliss will keep you alive until you run out of range and the enemies reset.
This is one of the main reasons why people love cleric tanks. An instant cast, IN COMBAT rez that restores the ally to 100% Health and 50% mana ? AMAZING! I would suggest making a mouseover macro with this skill for ease of use.
cast @mouseoverui Absolution
raid brez %t
Strike of Retribution:?http://www.rifthead.com/ability/-103?of-retribution
This is an instant cast, off the GCD attack that you can use after you block. It has a cool down of 6 seconds. So when you are AoE tanking and blocking like crazy you may see this pop, but still have a cool down. I found it best to incorporate this ability into the top line of your melee macros. As it is off the global cooldown it will auto-fire whenever it pops and it is off its own 6 second cooldown.
Solo play at this stage of the game starts getting a bit more interesting. With 2 defensive cool downs, and a full AoE that debuffs the enemies chance to hit, you can really start pulling big groups of mobs. Remember to know your surroundings well and use LOS to pull the casters into one spot. You can spam cast Censure while you are gathering up melee mobs to hit them while they are behind you and maintain your health pretty well through Salvation. Popping both of your defensive cool downs at the same time is actually a pretty good idea at this point. Just Defense will negate all incoming damage for a while, and Resplendent Embrace will double the healing effects of your Salvation, allowing you to continue DPSing while getting a pretty significant amount of health back in the 10 seconds of shielding you have on.
This is when your tank spec will really begin to shine! With the addition of Censure, and 2 separate defensive cool downs you really start getting quite beefy. Just remember to always try to LOS pull when there is more than 1 caster in the group, if you need to move a group of melee mobs over to a caster use Ride the Lightning, and always recast Censure before its 15 second duration runs out, or there is an add. Dungeon difficulty increases again in this range, so if it is your first time through a dungeon, just give your group a quick heads up that it is your first time, and you may go slower than they are used to going. It is more important that you learn the pulls, and which mobs are ranged the first few times through so when you start expert mode dungeons you are more familiar with them. Use your defensive cool downs as often as you can, but always make sure they are both up and ready for a boss fight.
Video Part 1:?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwqX85wAcnA
Video Part 2:?https://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v?ture=endscreen
Same as before, you will get a few upgrades from Dungeons, but do not expect to get more than 1-2 pieces unless you spend an extended amount of time in this level range, which is doubtful. Continue to use those Rift consumables if you have them (they are generally pretty cheap on the auction house). Also remember to keep an eye out for the lower level variants of these items. It is also advisable to start looking up item enhancement mods for your gear, but honestly I did not start using these until I got a decent blue/purple set of level 50 gear. I do not think it is worth the cost at this level, as you will be upgrading your gear fairly often.
Your build at level 50: Shaman 8/Justicar 50/Inquisitor 8
Your second AoE taunt skill with a nice little twist, this one actually pulls up to 5 nearby enemies into melee range with you. This is such a great ability, it is just a shame it?s on a 60 second cool down. I still use this almost every pull to help gather up the mobs at the beginning of the fight, and save my other 2 taunts for those ?Oh $%^&? moments.
Your third defensive cool down. This skill can also be used for a MASSIVE amount of snap aggro for those occasions where your DPS may be mentoring down and blasting the mobs way before you have time to secure that much threat. Make sure you have Righteous Mandate activated on the highest health member of your group, and it will heal you for 100% of your health, and 50% of your maximum health to the target of your Righteous Mandate. Let?s say you have 10k health ? You heal yourself for 10k, and another group member for 5k, that?s a total of 15k healing, 15k*350%=52,500 threat to EVERYTHING IN THE CURRENT ENCOUNTER! That?s pretty nuts!
Hammer of Faith:?http://www.rifthead.com/ability/-850?ammer-of-faith
Ahh finally, the 41 point talent, the end of your skill tree! Make sure you do not replace Hammer of Duty with this guy. Hammer of Duty will still hit for about twice what Hammer of Faith will, so keep on using HoD on single targets, and use HoF on 3+ (HoD seems to do a bit more than 50% of HoF, so it would actually be a DPS loss to use HoF on 2 targets, please correct me if I am wrong here)
This is a debatable skill. Some people feel it?s worth it much greater than others. Personally I enjoy this skill, but really only use it in my Ranged Macro for ranged tanking, or initial threat bursts while gap closing. This has the added bonus of granting you 2 Convictions, one for the initial light based damage, and another for the first tick of the DoT, very handy for beginning a fight. Drop this, and Bolt of Radiance and get 3 Conviction before you even close to melee range.
You?re an AoE machine. You?re a walking juggernaut. You?ve pulled dozens of mobs at once and came out with hardly more than a scratch. PvE solo content at this point is pretty much a walk in the park. Just manage your defensive cool downs well, always LOS pull ranged mobs, and bask in the glow as people actually stop to watch you kill 20 mobs at a time.
NOTE:?You may decide to move over into the Storm Legion content at level 48. You will not be able to equip any of the quest rewarded gear until level 50, but you will go from 48-50 very quickly, as the quest rewarded experience is significantly higher than in the old world content. If you decide to skip to the Storm Legion please move down to the following post.
I honestly can?t say that the dungeons felt any harder in this tier than the last. Continue your AoE pulls, make sure you never leave the mobs facing any of your group members, and remember there is a LOT of enemies out there that have frontal AoE attacks. For bosses that have knockbacks, always try to position yourself against a wall. The same goes for bosses that jump backwards, try and position their backs to the wall ? mobs are dumb; they?ll just keep on trying to leap backwards while you beat them to death. If you are about to pull off a big AoE pull make sure you let your group know, people seem to get upset when you run through 3-4 groups of mobs and loose half of them because one of your DPSers jumped in a dropped an AoE before you stopped to secure threat. Making a /g ?Please hold off all attacks and heals until I have stopped moving? macro may not be too bad of an idea.
Fall of Lantern Hook:
Ahh level 50. The gear possibilities are nearly endless at this point. Try and focus on Dungeon gear, getting 3-4 upgrades if you can swing it. The price on blue level 50 gear on the auction house has come down quite a bit since SL was released, so you could even pop in there and see what you can pick up for cheap. Don?t spend too much money though; once you get into SL the green quest gear will outstrip your level 50 blue gear quite quickly. Continue to maintain a good stack of Scrolls, Potions, and Rift Consumables.
WELCOME TO STORM LEGION!!
The following sections will be broken down into smaller groups, as the content and gear choices become more and more various and can be difficult to understand as a new player.
I have seen quite a few people insist on running a solo friendly spec at this point due to the massive increase in mob health. I will offer brief off-spec information here, just remember to keep up on your tanking skills by running regular instances, and focus on tanking gear regardless of spec.
There are some really great solo friendly builds out there, but I decided to focus on a ranged DPS build. There are better solo builds out there (such as anything Druid related) but I wanted a build that could function well while solo, as well as if I needed to go DPS for various reasons. I do not like having a lot of different builds to memorize and there are times that you may have to go ranged (the last boss in Unhallowed as an example).
So I decided to go with a 61 Inquisitor build. (Special thanks to Ahov for his guide)
Link to Guide:?http://forums.riftgame.com/game-disc?tor-guide.html
I encourage you to visit the guide site I linked above for additional build information, Ahov did a great job. Even if you decide to stick with your tank build 99% of the time, switch into this one for a few kills every once in a while to keep sharp. The time will come when you will need it.
Now back to our tank build . . .
Your build at level 51: Shaman 8/Justicar 51/Inquisitor 8
Doctrine of Authority:?http://www.rifthead.com/ability/2132?e-of-authority
This is a close range attack that does some very significant single target damage AND heals up to 5 party members on a 15 second cool down for only 1 Conviction! This skill should be your new top priority in both solo and group play. Place this into all your melee macros just below Strike of Retribution (see macros section).
This section is going to be a bit lengthy as we are going to discuss starting in Storm Legion and what to expect as a Solo Cleric Tank. We are also going to breeze over the gear you will be receiving from quest rewards. I will go into greater detail of this in the Gear Suggestions section down below.
Technically, you can start questing in Storm Legion at level 48. You will level up to 50 very quickly as most of the quests offer between 30k and 50k exp. I decided to try this and actually went from 48 to half way through 50 in about 1.5 hours of questing in the Kingdom of Pelladane. So let?s begin on how to get here in the first place.
(Speaking from the perspective of a Guardian ? sorry all you evil vile murderous Defiants out there)
Travel to the porticulum in Iron Pine Peak, The Chancel of Labors. Here you will find Queen Miela Aurentis who will send you to the rather lopsided porticulum to the south or her location (you can actually see it from where she is standing if you have your graphics turned up enough). So head down there and ask one of the porticulum masters to send you to the Kingdom of Pelladane. Run around and pick up your first few quests, take note of the amount of experience you will receive per quest (holy $#!T) and the new green chest piece you will receive for the main quest line (again ? holy $#!T).
Now, remember the wise words of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy ? Don?t Panic. When you head outside of town and encounter your first mob you may notice the fight taking a bit longer than you are normally used too. Please take a moment and reflect on the massive amount of health even the normal mobs have in the starter zone of SL. Normal mobs have around 26k health, and the elites that you may bump into (not too hard to solo, just time consuming) have well over 50k. So, make yourself a sandwich, get a tall glass of your preferred beverage, put on some Big Bang Theory in the background and work your way through the first few areas of this zone. It?ll be time consuming, but well worth the wait. When you are done you are going to be significantly more powerful!
When you reach level 50 make sure you go through the tutorial on Planar Advancement. I will not go into detail here as the breakdown in game explains it quite well. If you want more information here is a link to a guide that shows you in a bit more detail:?http://rift.mmosite.com/patch1.5/a_g?tunement.shtml
As you progress through the zone you will notice several new CARNAGE quests popping up as you kill enemies. These are optional quests that will reward you ~34k experience. These are basic kill quests that require you to kill ~16 of a specific type of enemy. Feel free to collect these quests and put them to the side until you finish the main quest series in this zone, as the gear you will get from the main quest will help you complete these significantly faster.
Combat basics at level 48-50 in the Storm Legion: Remember to keep popping your defensive cool downs, and try to focus on 1 target at a time, if you have to take on more than 1 at a time try and make it 3-5 mobs, as the AoE damage spread is more effected if there is more than 2 mobs. Your single target damage is basically double your AoE damage and due to the massive amounts of health mobs have you don?t want to be spending an inordinate amount of time on each mob. Keep using your ST Hammer of Duty when you have 7 Convictions, spamming Strike of Judgment, and recasting Precept of Refuge every 7-8 seconds. Every 15 seconds make sure you tap your ranged macro to keep Sanction Heretic up. This will increase your kill speed on single targets. Don?t be afraid to use some consumables that up your DPS in this first stage. Increasing your Wisdom as high as you can, and even spell power will help you get through this first hurdle a bit faster. The rift consumables? _____ Flame? will help a lot when you are AoEing down 3+ enemies at a time, as the 20% damage reflection will equal a lot of additional damage to the mobs. Don?t worry about buying the most expensive versions of this consumable, then level 30-40 ones are cheap on the auction house and still reflect up to around 10k damage.
As you are progressing through the new SL zone try and do a few of the random rifts, they will be a bit of a shocker to you. Do not expect to complete any of the stages in the given time limits, just take your time, don?t pull too much, and focus on surviving. I was lucky enough to find a few people that were in the same gear/level range I was in that were doing some rifts so we grouped up and had some fun trying to tackle these SL rifts. It was tough, but doable. Remember to keep the mobs focused on you, keep up your Precept of Refuge and switch back and forth between your ST and AoE rotations as needed to maximize your damage output.
More out of curiosity than necessity, I decided to run through the old level 50 dungeons once I was done with the first SL zone. It was an instant queue (love being a tank) and I was placed in each dungeon with 5 other people level 48-49 who were just trying to grind to 50 through dungeons. I did 3 runs, 1 run for each 50 dungeon. Charmer?s Caldera, Abyssal Precipice, and Caduceus Rise. I HIGHLY suggest you run through these once you get your initial set of SL gear. They are a great deal of fun, and being insanely overpowered you can breeze through them pretty quickly. I was topping the DPS meter, and the healer in each group spent more time DPSing than healing me due to my sick armor values. Anyhow, run through them once for the lore and enjoyment of destroying the content, then head back to SL for the real fun!
NOTE: You will not be able to queue up for any of the Expert dungeons from the old world as none of the gear you get from the initial SL zone will have any toughness. 50 toughness is REQUIRED for the tier 1 expert mode dungeons, and 100 toughness is required for the tier 2. Honestly I would not bother running these. You will likely not be able to find a group for them anyhow unless you are lucky enough to find someone who is running through the end game of the old content and has not purchased the SL expansion yet. The gear is a significant downgrade from the quest gear you just received anyhow ? skip them and don?t look back.
Let?s take a moment and talk about the new Storm Legion dungeons. For starters here is a link to a really nice breakdown of the 7 new dungeons:
Exodus of the Storm Queen:Wait until you have some better gear from the next SL zone before attempting this dungeon, with a well-organized group you could defeat this dungeon with the initial level 50 quest gear, but in a Pick Up Group you will be very hard pressed. I would suggest waiting until level 51, or 52 before going here. Be sure to take your time and read through each one before you run it. These dungeons are no joke and are likely harder than anything you have done so far (unless you are a former raider, but for those that have actually read this guild, chances are you are new to this level of content). The dungeon guides over at terRIFTic are ? Terrific!
Exodus of the Storm Queen:
Okay so some of you may be thinking at this point, ?Well there goes the last years? worth of grinding to get my epic purp gears!? Well ? yes, it?s expansion time and with that comes a whole new level of itemization. Some love it, others hate it, but the bottom line is that it?s here to stay so put on your big boy pants and get to grinding!
So in our initial zone we have a main quest line, this is about 15 quests long and each step offers a green piece of gear for each slot you have with the exception of a decent Cleric Tank main hand weapon. So at your earliest convenience head over to the auction house get yourself a level 50 STORM LEGION weapon ? don?t be fooled into buying one of the old world level 50 weapons, the green level 50 SL main hands will simply blow them away. I got a green 1h mace for about 45gold that did 87 DPS! So go through the main quest here as quick as you can and get an entirely new set of gear, then go back and do all the side stuff you passed by such as carnage quests and dailies.
Empyreal Sourcestones are a new form of currency in SL. You can get these from several different sources and it is HIGHLY suggested that you do so. You can get them from Carnage Quests, Instant Adventures, and defeating rare mobs. You will want to start saving these up and get as many as possible. Do not worry too much about spending them right now, as the level 50 green gear you will get for them is about equal (slightly better but not much) than the quest reward gears you just got. The real kicker is that all the gear you will be able to get for these Sourcestones is upgradeable. To upgrade an item first buy the item (duh!) then alt+click on the new item to bring up the upgrade window. Here you will see what item is required to upgrade that item. The first level of upgrades is available from the adventure merchant located in Tempest Bay. Be Warned, this upgrade will bring your item up to a required level of 54. In all honesty, the level 50 versions of these items are not really worth wearing for the most part. The quest rewards and dungeon loot you will be receiving will be better. I would suggest checking out the level 54 gears though. The second upgrade for these items is located in a dungeon. I will be updating a good tank path gear upgrade in a different post and will link to that post here for future reference.
You?re build at level 53: Shaman 8/Justicar 53/Inquisitor 8
Make sure you are completing your Carnage quests as you get them; they are a very good source of Empyreal Sourcestones. Also if you have the time to spare, run through your 7 daily Instant Adventure quests this will get you a few more, and a big chunk of exp.
I also suggest running through the Cape Jule starter area at this point, as you may not be of the appropriate level for Stratos (the second area after Kingdom of Pelladane). Stay focused on this second continent for a while before returning to the previous one, it is a nice change of scenery as well.
Continue to try and pull groups of mobs, LOS (Line Of Sight) ranged mobs and burn them down in groups of 3+ to maximize your DPS and kill speed.
Run through Exodus of the Storm Dragon Queen dungeon a few times. Even if you already have all the loot you can get from this dungeon running the daily random dungeon finder here will get you about 1/10th a level, and the random loot cache.
See the previous level 50-51 section for a link to a guide and video for this dungeon.
Remember to continue to use your defensive cool downs as often as you can to take some pressure off your healer. Always try and face all the mobs so Even Justice hits as many as it can (remember it is a frontal AoE attack). This dungeon is quite easy once you get the hang of it, and a good tank can pull a no-so-good group through, so study hard, watch some videos on YouTube and be the best tank you can be!
At level 52 the random dungeon finder will place you into Storm Breaker Protocol. The first section of this dungeon requires you to be in a mech suit and is quite easy once you figure out your new skill bar (60% of this dungeon will be spent inside the mech vehicle). The last section of this dungeon might tax you a bit in your current gear. I would suggest waiting until level 53 or even 54 before attempting this.
Running dungeons is a great way to speed up your leveling process, but do not rely on it too heavily, the gear you will get from questing will cover all the necessary gear slots. Dungeon gear should be supplementary to your gear set at this point. Think of anything you find in a dungeon as an added bonus to what you already have instead of a goal. There will be plenty of dungeon grinding later on!
It is VERY important to study the Mech Suit abilities and understand what each ability does. Remember, if you are using a custom UI (as I was the first time I entered) your key bindings may be a bit screwy. Watch the video below labeled, ?How to use a Mech Suit? and set those keys on the main hotkey bar to something you can become familiar with.
Storm Breaker Protocol:
Video: How to use a Mech Suit:?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSwEHgXrNiE
Video: First Boss:?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GR4xXsLlnFQ
Video: Second Boss:?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8b7FF4hE3c
Video: Third Boss:?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDgR8X8k8fs
Video: Forth Boss:?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aH-7zRyH_4I
Your quest gear should be sufficient enough to run EotSD, don?t worry about cashing in your Empyreal Sourcestones yet. Once you hit level 54 you can get the first major upgrade to the gear you get from them which is a pretty nice bump in stats from what you are currently seeing from questable gear.
Keep an eye on the Auction House for cheap blues for your level, but do not spend too much money, try and save up as much as possible for level 60.
If you have a few extra plat kicking around, and a few pieces of gear you may keep for a few levels, you may want to pick up a few runes from the Auction House. Specifically the following:
Auroral Resolute Rune:?http://www.rifthead.com/item/AF85F7D?-resolute-rune
+32 Endurance each
Usable on Feet, Chest, and Gloves
Auroral Adamant Rune:?http://www.rifthead.com/item/D0A9DED?l-adamant-rune
+32 Endurance each
Usable on your one handed weapon, and your shield
Auroral Sagacious Rune:?http://www.rifthead.com/item/AA85F7D?sagacious-rune
+32 Wisdom each
Usable on Helmet, and Legs
Auroral Recondite Runeshard:?http://www.rifthead.com/item/D6A9DED?dite-runeshard
+25 Spell Power each
Usable on Ranged, and Seal (also usable on your weapon and shield, but Endurance should be prioritized)
These runes are not necessary, but will make your grouping experience a bit easier. The wisdom and spell power ones will also increase your kill speed while soloing a bit.
Your build at level 54:Shaman 8/Justicar 54/Inquisitor 9
*Please note that we are going to keep the Justicar tree at 54 points until level 60. This way we can focus on more DPS oriented skills in the Inquisitor and Shaman trees.
Reckoning is really an amazing ranged ability. With this you can really add to the initial threat generated while closing the distance on a mob. This along with Bolt of Radiance, and Sanctioned Heretic, can really pull some serious threat right out of the gate. This is also a good set of skills to try and pop off before you close to melee while soloing. This ability is also your primary attack while ranged tanking. (see Ranged macro)
Keep gathering up mobs to AoE them down. If you have stayed around Cape Jule now would be a good time to head back to Stratos and tackle some content that is right for your level. This progress will continue like this. You will be traveling back and forth between the 2 land masses until level 60. You could stick to a single land mass, but you would need to have a pretty significant amount of supplement experience through PvP or Dungeons. Keep in mind if you have any of the veteran reward EXP potions that they only give you a 10% bonus past level 50. They are still very much worth using when you are ready to do a good 2 hour intense grind, but more for the Planar experience, which remains at a 100% bonus.
You?re going to notice an increase in mob health in these levels. Don?t fret; there is a nice bump in gear around this level. Make sure you keep collecting those Empyreal Sourcestones and now that you hit level 54 upgrade a few pieces of the gear from the adventure merchant. Focus on the Chest piece first, as it is the only piece of gear from the Adventure Merchant that is upgradeable twice up to level 57. This level 57 chest piece is actually pretty decent starter tank gear for level 60, so if you have the Sourcestones for it, I would suggest it. I would also suggest getting the best weapon you can from the auction house. Avoid the weapon from the Adventure Merchant, as you will want to be upgrading your weapon every other level or so from now on to keep up with additional mob health. Focus on Wisdom and Spell Power over all else. Endurance will come naturally with gear and will be sufficient enough for the dungeons.
If you?re about to pull an elite mob you can squeeze out a bit more damage before they get to you by spamming the Ranged Macro while backpedalling to get a few extra shots from your newly acquired Reckoning skill. This macro is also worth using when in melee to keep Sanction Heretic up. The DPS increase is minor, but the 2 convictions you get from 1 GCD is pretty significant. Remember if any of your skills critically hit you get an extra conviction. Sanction Heretic has 2 chances to grant you the extra conviction on crit, on the initial damage, and on the first tick of the DoT.
Try to start joining some Hunt Rifts, if you have some extra planarite grab a few hunt lures for yourself and wait until you see a hunt rift group forming. Join them and let them know you have a few lures yourself. They will likely be very pleased to hear it as each lure is more loot for everyone in the group. Always try and make it habit to do the world events as they pop up. They are worth a LOT of experience and you will make everyone?s lives a lot easier as a tank. I have done dozens of them leveling up this tank and I?ve seen 1, maybe 2 tanks the entire time. The world events also net you a pretty decent bump to experience.
As far as dungeons, you will now have access to Unhallowed Boneforge. This is a great instance and a breath of fresh air after doing Storm Breaker Protocol multiple times. Be warned, there are a few mobs here that hit really hard. Be prepared to help your healer with some additional self-healing, and use your defensive cooldowns often! You will make liberal use of your Ranged macro on the 4th boss, Forgelord Helix, who you will need to kite the entire fight to avoid a ground AoE that will spawn away from the boss and slowly follow the boss wherever he is. The final boss here is a ranged only boss. Please refer to the build I posted at the top of the Storm Legion section here for a ranged DPS build. The idea here is to hug the 2nd pillar out to the left of the boss and burn down his left and right ?arms? while avoiding the moving AoEs. This process needs to be done quickly. If you take too long to kill the arms then the giants in the back of the room will come alive and practically one shot each of your party members in turn. This is why it is vital that you use a DPS ranged spec. There is an alternative way to defeat this boss, but no one ever does it, and groups will expect you to do it this way.
Remember to do your daily Instant Adventures; these are great sources of experience and Empyreal Sourcestones. I saved my Experience potions for these, and jumped into a dungeon or two right afterwards to get the best use out of them. Between your IA daily, and 2 random dungeon groups with an EXP potion you will get about 40-50% of a level per day. Round up the rest by solo questing, hunt rifts, and zone events and you should be leveling pretty fast depending on how much time per day you have to play.
You?re going to notice an increase in mob health in these levels. Don?t fret; there is a nice bump in gear around this level. Make sure you keep collecting those Empyreal Sourcestones. Now that you hit level 54 upgrade a few pieces of the gear from the adventure merchant. I would also suggest getting the best weapon you can from the auction house. Avoid the weapon from the Adventure Merchant, as you will want to be upgrading your weapon every other level or so from now on to keep up with additional mob health. Focus on Wisdom and Spell Power over all else. Endurance will come naturally with gear and will be sufficient enough for the dungeons. If you upgrade any pieces that you have put runes into, make sure to replace the runes. If you are short on plat avoid the runes altogether. I found myself with several hundred plat at this point from selling raw materials on the auction house, so I splurged here and got the runes for just about every blue or better quality upgrade I found.
Keep running those daily dungeons, there are a few good cleric tank pieces available in each one. Remember to look at all the chain armor, not just the stuff with defensive stats, remember, we do not need to min/max defensives at this stage of the game, so you can afford several pieces of ?dps? chain armor mixed in with your tanking set.
Your build at level 59:Shaman 9/Justicar 54/Inquisitor 12
Shroud of Agony:?http://www.rifthead.com/ability/-986?hroud-of-agony
This is a 1 hour buff you should always have active. It grants you a 20% chance when YOU take damage to do AoE damage to up to 10 enemies over 6 seconds. This is a very nice AoE DPS increase, but very minor if you are only fighting singles. Threat wise it equates to about 1600 threat per second for 6 seconds to everything in melee range. This will increase with higher wisdom and spell power. It?s a great buff that some people like to prioritize earlier in their tanking career, I feel it?s a nice boost to your damage in the late Storm Legion game, but is unnecessary for threat purposes, plan on respecting out of this once you start Expert dungeons. You can later decide to spec back into it once you are properly geared and can take the extra defensive hit.
Once you run a dungeon a few times you can start trying to use this skill to make the runs go a bit smoother. There are a few mobs and bosses that buff themselves with some pretty nasty buffs that you can remove with this skill. Remember, if you are struggling to maintain threat, or are on a DPS burn, this is usually a waste of a GCD.
Keep AoEing mobs to increase your kill speed. With Shroud of Agony now in your skill list your AoE DPS will be increased quite a bit. By level 56 should have completed Stratos, and City Core. Maybe even done some work in Eastern Holdings. I would suggest doing Ardent Domain and Kingsward before Morban. Stay out of Stepps of Infinity and Ashora until level 60.
Keep an eye on your DPS and practice getting as high as you can manage in every encounter. This practice is going to come in very handy in the difficult content to come. I would suggest you start doing some notoriety dailies to speed up the notoriety grind at level 60.
*Eternal City Survivors:
Head over to Eastern Holdings, into Ursine Grove Bunker. You will find a drinking game there that will you get you some reputation each day. Its quick and easy and worth it for the nice Neck Runes you can get.
Running Hunt rifts and daily hunt quests will get you quite a bit of notoriety here. Keep an eye on chat for groups forming, or purchase a handful of lures and get a group together yourself.
Onslaught dailies will net you notoriety with the Lycini. You can start doing these as soon as you first enter the Storm Legion expansion, but I did not start doing them on a daily basis until around level 58. I ended up being a bit behind IMO when I hit 60, so you may want to start doing them earlier. I would not go too far out of your way while leveling to do them, but if you happen to see one while you are out questing by all means, stop and do it.
As you progress through Kingsward and Morban be sure to stop and do the zone events as they pop up. You can start collecting Infinity Stones (the primary source of currency at end game) early this way which will give you a little bump up at 60. If you do collect quite a few of these pre-60 be sure not to get spend-happy. There is a lot of stuff for sale for this currency, but only a few items are actually worth getting. Keep doing your daily dungeon quests and try and save up a few hundred platinum, you?re going to want to grab some crafted gear off the Auction House at level 60.
Make using your defensive cooldowns a VERY high priority in the late 50s dungeons. The difficulty jumps up a bit here and makes the tank and healers work a little harder. Make us cleric tanks look good and use your cooldowns as often as you can to prevent spike damage. If you know you are going to pull a large group, or a mob that will often do spikey damage at the start (pretty much anything giant looking with a two-handed weapon you can bet money on a large damage ability to be used within the first 2-3 seconds of the fight) use Just Defense right as you close to melee range. I usually save Resplendent Embrace for AoE tanking trash, or periods of boss fights that include rapid smaller amounts of damage. Your defensive cooldowns should nearly ALWAYS be on cooldown.
There are a few dungeons where you will have to pull the target or targets to a specific location. While dragging these enemies you have two options to maintain aggro. First, if they all stay in melee range, spam Censure. This will generate both damage threat, and healing threat. If there are ranged mobs in the mix you will be better off building up a few convictions with your Ranged macro as you run in, then spamming Doctrine of Loyalty all the way back to the spot you plan on tanking. Ranged DPS classes tend to unload as soon as they can, which includes when you are dragging mobs behind you, so you will want to do everything you can to maintain threat the entire time. Be mindful of where you stop to tank, if there are ranged mobs be sure to stop around a corner, or anywhere that will make the ranged mob have to chase you to continue casting on you.
Archive of Flesh:
Video 1st Boss:?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcdCvQtCQAc
Video 2nd Boss:?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQdBdFLtQUs
Video 3rd Boss:?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZadFfgZ-qnE
Video Final Boss:?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UoDTqrYbYZQ
Tower of the Shattered:
By this time you should have collected quite a few Empyreal Sourcestones. The gear from the adventure merchant will be practically useless at this point except for the chest piece (if you were able to upgrade it to the level 57 version with the drop from Archive of Flesh). Feel free to visit the Lycini Planar Goods vendor in Tempest Bay and spend some of those Empyreal Sourcestones on some Lesser Essence. You should be at a notoriety level high enough to get the first tier of them (I think they are level 56). These are decent starting essences for the level 60 dungeons, but I would suggest upgrading them quickly as even the green level 60 Lesser Essences are better.
For a complete (or very nearly complete) dungeon loot breakdown, check out the amazing works over at?http://rift-mmorpg.com/?There are also dungeon guides for all the expert dungeons which will come in very handy for you soon!