The aim of this guide is to provide an overview of the Jedi Guardian Advanced Class, and delve into Tanking mechanics specifically relating to the JG. Where possible I'll attempt to include both the Juggernaut and Guardian skill names so this is equally relevant to both factions.
- Guardian/Juggernaut Overview
- Tanking - Introduction
- Skill Priority
- Situational Skills
- Defensive Skills
- Skill Chart
- Building a Tank
- Brief Game Mechanics
- Be The Tank
- And Finally
Common acronyms words or phrases
Adds - Additional enemies that appear from nowhere, this usually happens at set intervals during boss fights.
Aggro - The amount of "hate" that computer controlled Mobs have on you. The person with the most hate is the target for attack.
Aggro Radius - The distance at which a mob will notice and attack a player.
AOE - Area of Effect. This usually refers to skills/spells that perform their effect over an area rather than directed at a single person. There are multiple kinds of AOEs, stuns, damage, slows, etc. Some AOEs are focused around the caster and some can be placed by clicking on a target location.
Buff - A spell that grants a beneficial effect to a player.
CC - Crowd Control. This refers to any skill that renders someone incapacitated. It can be a stun, mez or immobilization.
CD - Cooldown. When used alone it usually refers to the time a specific skill is locked before it becomes usable again.
De-Buff - The opposite of Buff, a skill that adds a negative effect to someone.
DPS - Damage Per Second. When used as a noun it means a character's primary role is to deal damage.
Elite Mob - A Mob with a gold star, indicating they are much more difficult then normal.
GCD - Global Cooldown. After using a skill the game locks you down from using another skill immediately (some exceptions). The time from start to stop of this lockout period is called the GCD (currently 1.5 seconds).
Knockback - Just as it sounds, any skill that pushes your player away from their current location.
Mez - Short for Mesmerize. A term referring to a skill that incapacitates someone but breaks upon damage. As opposed to a stun that doesn't break on damage.
Mobs - Short for Mobiles. This was a term from my MUD days where enemies roamed certain areas and were called MOBs for short. This generally refers to any computer controlled enemy that the player will be attacking and killing. Can also be used for friendly targets that perform the same types of functions - but will assist the player rather than trying to kill him.
PvE - Player versus Environment. This term is used when speaking of players killing computer controlled targets in the game, or matching their skill against the computer's programming.
PvP - Player versus Player. This term is used when two players are competing directly with each other, normally in a fight where they are attempting to kill the other player.
Stat - not STAT (doctor speak). Stat is short for Statistic which refers to character attributes (normally Strength, Endurance, Willpower, etc).
Strong Mob - A Mob with a silver star, indicating they are more difficult then normal.
Threat Table - This refers to the calculations that the mob uses to decide who to attack. This is generally explained as a table, which includes values for each person that has come to the mob's attention. The person with the highest value is the primary target.
Trash - Refers to any mobs (usually in an Flashpoint or Operation) that isn't a Boss level mob. Players refer to these as Trash and talk about "clearing Trash" to get to the difficult encounters.
I hear/see the question a lot - why play a Guardian? What does a Guardian have that defines them?
First, their equipment. Guardians are Single Lightsaber wielders and have the option to use a Shield or Focus in their off-hand slot. They also wear heavy armor (highest armor rating).
Guardians have two roles when it comes to combat: Tank or DPS.
Guardian mechanics revolve around generating Focus/Rage to spend on abilities that consume Focus/Rage.
The Guardian Buff increases bonus damage and healing by 5%.
It's worthwhile to mention that there are various types of heavy armor in the game. One set is designed to be worn by the Trooper/Bounty Hunters, and another by the Jedi class. You -can- swap these out if you so desire. Any Orange armor is able to be modified to suit any character as long as they can wear that armor type (light, medium, heavy). Standard Jedi armor consists of robes, or tunic and cape combinations. Higher level armors mix in armor pieces beneath the robes.
To make your character your own you have a choice between three talent trees. Each tree is (or should be) designed with synergies in mind so that putting more points into one tree rather than spreading them out thinly nets larger gains.
Once you've chosen a Guardian/Juggernaut the next decision you have to make is what kind of play style are you going for. While there is no single "best" tree (nor should there be) there are optimal trees depending on the role you are taking within a group.
Defense/Immortal - This is the tanking tree. The skills within this tree are designed around Mitigation and Utility.
Vigilance/Vengeance - Single target damage tree. The skills within this tree are designed around Damage and Mitigation.
Focus/Rage - AOE Damage tree. The skills within this tree are designed around AOE Damage and Speed.
At the time of writing this there is constant debate on whether it is better to spec Defence or Vigilance Hybrid for Tanking. I haven't tried the Vigilance build so I don't have an opinion on which is "better". I prefer the Defence tree style, so that is what I use.
Rather than give a breakdown of each skill and what it's used for I'm going to give a very general overview of how the Guardian plays when it comes to combat. It is actually a very simple mechanic, but one that can be difficult to master if you don't get the basics down right.
Beginning combat the Guardian/Juggernaut has no Focus/Rage. If you start fights close enough together you may have some left over from the last fight, but out of combat you will lose Focus rapidly and will likely be starting with nothing.
When initiating combat use an "Opener". This is a skill that provides focus instead of costing focus. These skills are designed to be used to begin combat by generating the resource you need to use higher damaging attacks. Your most common opener will be Force Leap, which rapidly closes the distance to your target and provides Focus.
During combat you will cycle between Focus Generation and Focus Consumption phases. During the Generation phase you will be using free skills to add to your Focus bar, and during the Consumption phase you will use that Focus to perform higher damaging attacks.
Focus is capped at 12 points, so generating any focus beyond that is wasted and definitely not optimal. Keeping a minimal Focus level is also recommended (2 bars) so you always have enough to use your riposte skill.
Tanking - Introduction:
Now I'll be getting more into the specifics for the guide which delve into the Tanking role. While Guardians are viable as DPS characters, particularly in PvP, this guide is not designed to help you in that role. There are other people much more experience than I am - and let's face it, trying to write a single guide for everything would be overwhelming.
So - what is a Tank?
It's a giant hunk of metal with a big canon on it, when it rolls onto a battlefield the infantry says "Oh Crap!" and runs the other way. It takes more than a little Pew-Pew-ing to take it down - in fact taking it down can seem next to impossible for some people.
In PvE - the Tank makes sure that all mobs are attacking him. His goal is to absorb/mitigate as much damage as possible so that his healer can keep him alive - while at the same time making sure to keep aggro on everything in sight.
In PvP - the Tank still tries to hold aggro, but players more easily ignore him. Tanks have a skill called "Guard" which allows them to direct half of all incoming damage to themselves rather than their target - helping to spread out the amount of healing that needs to be done, or to keep a target alive long enough to finish the opponents. Most of their time in PvP Tanks will be guarding or mitigating (using taunt) damage for other players. It is also important to deal damage and help control the battlefield.
My Current Build is listed on the site, and I will be using it to reference some of the combat scenarios that I'll delve into here. If you are using a different build just ignore the areas where I talk about skills you don't have, or talented skills that don't perform the same for you. There is a more Common 32/7/2 build that edges more to defense which you can see HERE
I prefer the Defense/Immortal heavy build, but there are people that use a Hybrid 14/27 Build that you can see HERE. The premise is that Unremitting/Unstoppable, Commanding Awe/Deafening Defense and Protector/Huddle offer more mitigation and Overhead Slash/Impale provides more damage which equates to more threat. I'm skeptical, and the tanks that I've come up against running a similar build just don't outperform me - so I haven't switched yet.
Frequently the question gets asked - What is the optimal skill rotation to be effective?
There really isn't an answer to that since SWTOR doesn't work on a rotation system - rather it works on a Priority Circumstantial system. WTF does that mean you say? It means that you don't hit keys in a certain order, rather you hit keys based on what will give you the most benefit at the current point in time. There are also a variety of abilities that trigger off specific circumstances and they need to be used within a small time window to be effective.
Guardians actually have a three part Priority system, and Tanks add another set of complexity by having to accommodate groups of enemies that are either ranged or melee heavy. Really there is no "one rotation fits all" circumstance, even the priority systems have caveats. As you play the class you'll get a better feeling of what to do and in what situation, but to get your started I'll do my best to outline some optimal "rotations" for you.
Yes, you have different priority sequences depending on if you need to generate Focus/Rage, or if you plan to spend Focus. If you tried to mash these all into a single rotation you'd probably have your generators at the bottom, but just because they're at the bottom doesn't mean they are the least important. In fact in certain circumstances they might be the best attacks available to you.
Guardian: Combat Focus > Sundering Strike > Strike
Juggernaut: Enrage > Sundering Assault > Assault
This is a very simple priority list. The reason Combat Focus is at the top, is because it's an instant high focus generation - even though it does no damage it immediately gives you the ability to perform high damage attacks. In the end using an attack designed to do damage over one designed to give you focus is a huge DPS increase.
Sundering Strike, in addition to giving focus adds an armor debuff stack to the enemy. This should be used off cooldown as much as possible, both to keep the stacks refreshed and to add focus.
Strike is your default attack, it does low damage and isn't anything special. If you have no focus this is what you're stuck with.
For now imagine that you're killing one thing at a time (like in a boss fight).
Guardian: Riposte > Blade Storm (-> Pommel Strike ) > Force Sweep (-> Pommel Strike ) > Hilt Strike (-> Pommel Strike ) > Guardian Slash > Freezing Force (-> Opportune Strike ) > Slash
Juggernaut: Retaliation > Force Scream (-> Pommel Strike )> Smash (-> Pommel Strike ) > Backhand (-> Pommel Strike ) > Crushing Blow > Chilling Scream (-> ) > Vicious Slash
Here you see some conditionals come in to play. Pommel Strike and Opportune Strike can only be used on Strong or Normal Mobs, but they should be used all the time when available. They both have 0 focus cost and are instant, and do high damage.
I've also added in Freezing Force low on the tree, this should only be used in conjunction with Opportune strike, it's pointless to use it if you aren't going to get that off. Although it is free if you spec for it - in that case all you're wasting is a GCD, and if you have one to spare it will keep stuff from running away on you.
Riposte is a circumstantial skill, but it should always be at the top of your priority. Since it ignores the GCD (is always available) you should be using it whenever it lights up.
Pommel strike is also on the graph to show the situations where you can use it. Using one skill commonly sets up using another skill. Remember that Pommel strike and Opportune strike can only be used on Strong and Normal enemies, so don't try to use them against elites or higher (also don't work against other players).
Blade Storm is higher on the rotation than force sweep for us because we want that shield up as often as possible.
You'll notice that Guardian Slash is the top of my tree, just beneath Riposte. I've set this tree up so that you are using the highest skill the first time it is off CD. Guardian Slash has a long CD and people seem to stick it lower in the tree, but that's wrong - it should be used immediately off CD no matter what other skills are available.
In Patch 1.3 some of the effects from skills changed which has made me adjust my opening rotation and it no longer follows the above guidelines for off cooldown skills. When opening on trash you want to stack 5 sunders before guardian slashing to get that added mechanic benefit. This is most effeciently done by performing: leap -> sweep -> sunder -> guardian slash.
When opening on a boss my rotation hasn't really changed since there aren't multiple targets to worry about.
I feel this deserves it's own section because we have so much trouble with AOE threat management - or at least I have trouble doing it right. You have no hope of holding on to threat if your DPS starts AOE damaging everything, so that isn't what this rotation is for. Instead this rotation is for keeping AOE threat on multiple targets while continuing to Tank a specific single target. The single target rotation is only slightly modified for the AOE situation.
The chart shows that we're adding Cyclone Slash/Sweeping Slash in after Freezing force. That's pretty much the only difference. Since Cyclone Slash has no CD you won't get to Slash in this rotation - which is good since Slash is really underwhelming.
As of 1.3 with the added mechanic to guardian slash that should fit just beneath sweep on this tree. You'll want to keep 5 stacks of sunder up on your primary target to get the benefit of the smart AOE damage every time you use it. See above for my opening rotation to get the most benefit.
I'm sure you've noticed that I haven't covered all the skills at your disposal. That's because just like we have hybrid builds, we have hybrid skills. These are skills that are used for specific purposes, or have multiple purposes that don't really fit into any kind of priority rotation. Instead - these skills are used when possible, and where it will make the biggest impact.
Dispatch / Vicious Throw:
This is our "execute" skill, only usable when your target is under 20% health. This should be your top priority skill and be used every time it comes off CD once you get the target to this point.
Force Leap / Force Charge:
This is our gap closer, it is used to get right up in someone's face and to do it quickly. Talented it provides a short stun which can be used as an interrupt. This also provides Force, so is used as a standard opener.
Force Kick / Disruption:
This is our interrupt, and it's a really good one. This should be used as often as possible to interrupt any channeled skill your opponent is casting. As you get more experience you'll learn which skills are priority interrupt and which ones you can let go.
Since the last patch this resets our force leap, giving us a great opening combination (leap -> push -> leap). With leap stuns you get about 8 seconds of immobility with this combination. This is used to both position ranges mobs (throw them closer to the others) or for some breathing room (push away one mob out of a group so they have to run back to attack you). In certain situations you can also throw mobs off ledges to instant death.
Force Stasis / Force Choke:
Talented this is a 3 second stun that does damage each second. Also increases focus. Should be used off CD as a passive aggro and focus generator. This should not replace your standard rotation on single targets - only use it if other skills are on CD.
Guardian Leap / Intercede:
This allows you to retreat from combat, and adds damage mitigation to your chosen target. In PvP this is a good way to get out of a sticky situation. In PvE if your taunts are on CD this is a good temporary measure to use on the person being attacked until you can regain control.
Master Strike / Ravage:
This is a great damage skill, the only downside is that it must be channeled for 3 seconds. This isn't on the focus usage chart because it doesn't cost any focus. Since you must be fighting a stationary battle to use this skill it's best used when you are behind on Focus generation or all your other high damaging skills are on cooldown. In the chart I would insert this just after Force Sweep.
Our only ranged attack, does damage and generates threat. This is normally used to begin a fight (as an opener) and is closely followed by Force Leap. Should be used off CD (if there is a target at range) for focus generation.
This is a short section - while you have access to multiple stances depending on how you spec, as a Tank you will be using Soresu Form exclusively. The form reduces all damage taken, increases your armor rating and threat generation - and gives your shield a huge boost in effectiveness. It also unlocks the guard talent, which is one of your best abilities in PvP.
In addition to all the offensive skills you have, as a Defence spec'd Guardian you'll also have access to a variety of defensive skills. These are fairly interchangeable, but I'll go over the minor differences.
This is only effective against white damage - so it is less useful in PvP and against bosses that have elemental or force attacks. Increases your defence by 50% (this is your dodge rating) and reduces damage of Force and Tech attacks by 25%. The damage reduction will work against yellow damage, but still doesn't affect elemental or internal damage.
Warding Call / Invincible:
Flat 40% damage reduction to all forms of damage. You'll find yourself using this a lot if you are surrounded by a large group of enemies, or when fighting a boss that has a high damage attack that you need to mitigate.
Enure / Endure Pain:
This is basically a temporary health shield. Unfortunately the health you gain by using the skill is lost at the end of the duration. This is a very situational ability - it does let you live longer, but if you are still being attacked at the end of the duration you will die immediately. This is a great PvE skill to use when you're about to die and your healer is a bit behind with his heals.
This skill is NOT useful for PvE tanking. The aggro drop is too much to overcome in 90% of all scenarios. I've never used this skill and found it worthwhile because it causes havok with boss control. In PvP this skill is awesome - it eats your focus but can be used while stunned for a little extra boost while you're just sitting there.
Taking all the above into account, this is how your overall chart looks. Defensive abilities aren't included since it doesn't really matter which one you use, they all have the same priority.
One of the most coveted and complained about talents is the Guard mechanic designed for the tanking stances used by the different classes. Guard works the same for everyone and is always attached to being in a specific stance.
What does it do?
It is a passive ability that targets a friendly player. The targeted player must stay within 15m of the Tank (or the tank must move with the guarded player). The ability stays active even when the targeted player is outside of range, but they receive no benefit until moving within the 15m radius once more.
In PvE -
The guarded player receives a flat 5% damage reduction and generates 25% less threat. Some people see the damage reduction and immediately think of the healer. 5% is not enough to jusitfy wasting the 25% threat reduction on them. Use it on a melee DPS player that is going to be fighting next to the boss. Generally they will do the most DPS and are at the highest risk of pulling aggro onto themselves.
NOTE: You do NOT have to be within 15m to get the damage reduction, or the threat reduction. You don't even have to be within 30m after the guard is placed.
In PvP -
This is one of the most complained about abilities, and is heavily misunderstood. It still gives the damage reduction (as far as I know), but people see the 50% damage decrease and think that it's overpowered. The truth is it isn't a damage decrease, it's a damage transfer.
What I do with guard depends on what is happening. If we are "attacking" or in an offensive mode, I'll use guard on a melee DPS that I'll be fighting beside during the attack. I'll often swap the guard to targets that are being focused on throughout the fight. Normally the focused target is the healer, so against a good team I'll normally leave it in place and continue on my business.
In a defensive role I'll normally stand close by a healer and CC people attacking them while keeping guard up on them. If no healers are available I'll pick another character and support them through the fight.
Your whole goal by using this skill in PvP is to keep people alive so they can do damage (or heal) for a longer period of time.
There is debate about using "tanking" (defensive) gear or DPS gear while in a tank stance in PvP. I am an advocate of using tank gear - the mitigation you do get, helps - it may help to a greater or lesser degree, but it helps. I am sure using DPS gear would allow me to do more damage, but that isn't my focus in a Warzone.
Building a Tank:
It's just as important to put a tank together properly as it is to use one effectively. Putting a tank together effectively in SWTOR revolves around your stat choices.
There are differences in stat choices depending on what you are doing and what your end goal is. There are of course rules of thumb, but sometimes you can't follow them, or are forced down a particular path (end game gear).
It is possible to play as a Tank wearing DPS gear - this is not optimal, but it is possible. Some people swear by it - personally I do not.
Endurance > Strength
This is easy, there are only two primary stats for any character. Ours is Endurance over Strength. Endurance increases max health and health regeneration. Strength increases damage and critical.
Defense > Shield = Absorption > Power > Crit > Surge
- Defense is the ability to completely dodge an attack, mitigating all damage.
- Accuracy adds to your ability to hit your target.
- Shield is the percentage of time that you block an attack.
- Absorb is the amount of damage blocked when your shield activates.
- Power adds to your bonus damage for all attacks.
- Crit increases your chance to score a critical hit.
- Surge is the amount of bonus damage done by your critical hits.
After playing more with Accuracy I've completely removed it from the rotation. No one stacks defense to any meaningful degree. Many tanks play in DPS gear. Accuracy doesn't benefit you as much as the same amount of shield/abs/def would. When given the option, don't take accuracy - generally this will require you to completely re-mod your tanking gear.
Brief Game Mechanics:
Just so you aren't completely in the dark, I'll discuss a few game mechanics as they relate to you. I'm looking specifically at combat mechanics here.
Attack and Damage Types:
There are four different attack types, and four different damage types. Each attack can be classified as any of the damage types - so in effect you have 16 different combinations (some you don't see or are very rare).
Attack types: Melee, Ranged, Force, Tech
Damage Types: Energy, Kinetic, Elemental, Internal
Defence and shield are only effective against Melee and Ranged attacks. Armor is only effective against Energy and Kinetic Damage. This may look like a 50% split kind of thing, but most high damage skills are Force and Tech (so in PvP you'll be hit with these more often) which bypass your shields, which is a lot of your mitigation.
Energy and Internal damage are scaled back because they ignore armor, but they are still brutal, especially to a class that relies on its armor for some survivability.
What does this mean to you? In PvP your mitigation stats are less meaningful than PvE. In PvE as long as you are aware of the limitations you'll be fine - most Mobs don't abuse armor penetrating shield bypassing skills like players do.
Part of this is observation, and part of this is what I've read elsewhere both from official and unofficial sources.
SWTOR runs on a two-roll system. The first roll is Accuracy vs Defence. The second roll determines crit, shield or normal hit.
IF( Random number 1-100) > Accuracy - Defence THEN Attack hits
What this means: If your accuracy is over 100% you lower the target's defence rating, making it less likely for them to dodge your attack.
Accuracy = 105%
Defence = 22%
Chance to hit = 83%
Accuracy = 95%
Defence = 22%
Chance to hit = 73%
This makes sense when you look at the math - but if you were only looking at your defence chance (22%) you might assume that they have a 78% chance to hit you (you will dodge 22% of all attacks) - this is wrong.
IF( Random number 1-100 ) > 100 - Critical THEN Critical hit
ELSE IF( Number ) < Shield Rating THEN Shield hit
ELSE Normal Hit
Critical hits always override shield chance, you can never shield a critical hit and critical hits are always checked first.
What this means: Skills that have a very high critical hit chance can never be shielded. These skills are rare, but they do exist. Also, if (100 - Crit) > Shield then every hit will be either a critical or a shielded hit - no normal hits will register.
Crit = 79%
Shield = 30%
Effective shield chance = 21%
Crit = 30%
Shield = 30%
Normal attacks = 40%
NOTE: All the above are just examples and approximations. There are no specifically known calculations that show the above formulas, they are designed to give an overview of how the mechanics work - they may not be 100% accurate, but are close enough for our purposes that it shouldn't matter.
Be The Tank:
Most of your Tanking career will deal with increasing threat or handling loss of threat. When single target Tanking your ability usage will vary widely from when you are multiple target tanking. Since most of the tanking you will be doing is multiple target I want to try and give an overview of those situations.
What is Threat: This is the amount of "hate" a mob has for you. Generating threat increases "hate". There are various ways to generate threat - do damage, use healing spells, CC, use abilities that explicitly state they add threat.
Damage is equal to 1 threat unit. Healing is 0.5 of a threat unit.
To pull a mob off another person you must top their threat value by 10% (30% at range) - this means that a person can hold a mob once it is focused on them, even if they are not generating the most threat at the fastest rate.
Snap Threat: You have two skills that will immediately cause a mob to attack you. One is single target, one is AOE. These are both called Taunts for future reference. If you lose control, or need a mob to attack you instead of it's current target you can use these to instantly get it's attention.
NOTE: Taunting from yourself increases your threat in the same way as if you had taunted from another player - which effectively makes taunting off yourself the single fastest and easier threat generation that exists.
Getting into Combat: Trash comes in huge varieties, most groups include some form of ranged Mobs in a mix with melee mobs. Some have healers in the groups - I could go on all day with the different variations. I'll be giving a breakdown here of what to do that can be used with almost any pack variation.
As a tank it will be your job to initiate combat. Since this brings you into the Aggro radius of all Mobs they will initially target and attack you. This allows you to control their initial positioning, so it is imperative that you chose wisely before rushing in. Three quick steps will save you a lot of headaches later on.
1) Size up the group: Does it include ranged mobs? How many? Are they spread out? Can you group them up? How many elites are there? How many strongs?
2) Mark your targets: It's up to you to tell your team how you want things handled, since you're going to be in the thick of things. Always ask if your group has CC's (if you don't know) and make use of them. Any mob that can be CC'd is one you don't have to worry about.
3) Plan your positioning: If your group is going to use AOEs make sure you move the main group away from CC'd mobs. If the mobs have AOEs or knockbacks, put yourself in a position where you won't become a threat to the group.
TIP: Always keep in mind that it is your goal to keep your team alive, it is far easier to allow normals to attack them and have the DPS kill them rapidly while you tank Elites then it is to keep a huge group centered on you for a whole fight.
When you're ready it's time to initiate the attack. This is where things get complicated. I'll be giving a sample of combat as it relates to tanking a group - I will mark Primary/Secondary targets. If you don't have that many targets just use the attacks listed on your primary target. If you have tertiary targets you're not going to have fun. I always prioritize killing weaker mobs first - they die faster and after they die they aren't doing damage and you can't lose control of them. As long as people aren't AOEing stuff you'll do fine holding hate just by throwing out a few hits on your secondary targets and focusing on killing stuff fast.
As of 1.3 rushing into a group has a bit different opening rotation. If you can get a few mobs to group up, or if you know the group is melee heavy you'll want to work in a rotation like this:
Leap -> Force Sweep -> Sundering Strike -> Guardian Slash
This will allow you to aggressively build 5 stacks of sunder on your primary target and distribute another 5 stacks of sunder (along with damage) to the two closest other targets.
TIP: If a group contains a healer they are always your primary mark (or primary CC).
Primary target = Any Strong > Elite > Champion
Secondary target = Any other Strong > Elite > Champion
Primary Ranged Target = Kill Mark
Secondary Ranged Target = Second Kill Mark
Primary Melee Target = Third Kill Mark
Secondary Melee Target = Fourth Kill Mark
(Exceptions to the above if the group is large and consists of normals that can be killed quickly by the DPS while you tank the elites)
Secondary Ranged Target -> Saber Throw
Primary Ranged Target -> Force Leap
( if Target is Strong or lower Pommel Strike )
Primary Ranged Target -> Bladestorm
Primary Melee Target -> Hilt Strike
Primary Melee Target -> Force Stasis
Any target -> Force Sweep
Secondary Melee Target -> Force Push (If you can position properly, push your Primary Ranged Target so it lands close to your Secondary Ranged Target)
Primary Ranged Target -> Continue with Priority AOE Skill Tree, Integrate Saber Throw off CD on Secondary Ranged Target
If you lose hate, single target taunt
If your group is doing AOE damage, AOE taunt just to be safe and prioritize Cyclone Slash
If your group continues doing AOE damage swap targets during your Prioitiy AOE rotation every 2 GCDs
If your target is under 20% health prioritize Dispatch
Often before your Primary Ranged Target dies you can move to your secondary ranged target
Secondary Ranged Target -> Force Leap
Secondary Ranged Target -> Bladestorm
Any Target -> Force Sweep
Secondary Ranged Target -> Continue with Priority AOE Skill Tree
Boss Tanking: This is actually much simpler (depending on the boss). Generally all you have to worry about is positioning, and making sure you keep the Bosses attention. From there it's just a matter of following your Priority Rotation.
Key stuff to watch for:
- Use your Sweep as an accuracy debuff if the boss has a heavy attack that can't be interrupted.
- Bosses can't be CC'd so use your stasis as passive damage and focus generation
- Bosses also can't be thrown, but your push can be used at slight range, is free (focus wise) and resets your leap cooldown. For bosses that move around or have knockbacks having your leap ready is always a good thing.
- If the boss has a cleave make sure your DPS is positioned behind them, turn the boss if necessary
- If the Boss spawns adds it is your job to round them up while still keeping the Boss focused on you
The above example is only for training purposes, by no means should you do this on every fight with no exceptions. Tanking is partly an art and partly a science - the art is what separates good tanks from great ones. With the example I'm hoping to show what is possible, please take it and make it your own by adapting it to your own needs.
Thanks for reading - I hope this guide has helped set your feet on the right road. Don't be shy about leaving your comments - especially if you have corrections, the last thing I want to do is spread the wrong information.
I've spent a lot of time reading the official SWTOR forums. I've looked at guides on sithwarrior.com (they have great calculations).
All tooltips and links are provided by torhead.com.
As a final note, all of the above is designed mostly for PvE