Guardian - Polearm Tanking Guide [UPDATED]

Hello. I wanna share some tips about polearm tanking. I spent more time on polearm than on shield so i have a lot of experience about this specific play style. You will be able to tank all physical dungeons and raids in Age of Conan. Check guide and Enjoy!

1 : Good AoE agro, more fun than s&s, good also sometimes better agro than other tanks, more dps.
2 : Polearm tanking is possible only on physical bosses. Never try it on magical bosses - not useful and low survivability. You must know physical bosses uses miscellaneous ways of fight. So, some bosses hiting by thier hands, claws etc… and some casting physical attack on agro holder. And here is very important thing - Polearm tanking is very usefull and survability is very good (sometimes more than good!) On bosses which hiting by thier hands, claws etc… like I said before because you are able to dodge attack often.

My Builds


  • Elusive Nature + Decisive Strikes - Guard criticals are very high so more chance in crit is important.
  • Empovered Vitality + Rear Guard
  • Stall of Advance


If fight is starting.

  • Iritate + Cry of Havoc + Intimidating Shout

  • Disarming Agression + Hateful Strikes + Cunning Deflection/Stal of Advance(If you wanna agro lock)

  • Rotation
    1: Storm Strike(High agro generating combo and high damage, use always on start if you can)
    2: Flashing Arc VIII
    3: Flashing Arc VII [Important! FA 7/8 = two arrow combos. These combinations mainly hold and growth agro]
    4: Reckoning - Use always if available.
    5: Guard V. Counterstrike + Armor Buff

    • And here is your main rotation. Guard V can be used before as to situation or tank decision.
    • Remember! Don’t miss any white hit, arrow hit. It’s damage so if you put in air arrows you generating less agro.
  • Ability - Lightning Reflexes
    Very helpful ability if you wanna evade some attacks. Only usefull if you are agroholder. It’s 35% evade, not high but if you have 5 points in Expanded Sidesteps and with active Reflexes you will double tap right/left you have 45% evade! Also! If you double tap back you have aditional 25% evade = 70% chance to evade + active maneuvr you have +5% evade so finally you have 75%.

  • During fight you can sometimes double tap left/right to get more survivability by chance to evade.

Combos from s&s. You must know you can use combos from shield to generate more agro and make more damage on target.

  • Guard Destroyer: -15% Slashing etc.
  • Counterstrike IV: You are abto to counterstrike every melee attack to target/boss.

So! On start you can make some agro on polearm then you swap to s&s to use Guard Destroyer and Counterstrike IV then back to polearm and put Guard V - You must remember to first use s&s combos before use Guard V because if you swap to s&s with Guard V buff you will lose bonus armor! You don’t wanna that. You are kepping damage on boss by Storm Strike, Flashing Arc 7/8, you are using Guard Destroyer, Counterstrike then swap to polearm and use Guard V. Sometimes if you see 1/2 second to refresh Storm Strike you can use fast nice combination Disable and always use all of your skills.

Helpful AA’s.

  • Expanded Sidesteps, Empovered Flashing Arc, Improved Guard Destroyer, Vitality, Veteran, Warmaster.

At the end.
If you are tanking with other tank you don’t need swap to shield because you will lose some agro and your fast polearm rotation will be broken for few seconds. Also if you wanna generate more agro you should use Stall of Advance/Cunning Deflection with Hateful Strikes( only if you are agro holder - counterstrike damage from SoA/Deflection generating hate). Remember to sometimes swap between Provoke and Defense tactic depends on situation. If you wanna lose some agro and get more armour you swap to Defense tactic also you have more survivability.

Some helpful tips to be good newbie tank, Health, Gear

  • 14-16k HP.
  • 55%+ mitigation
  • T1 set + T1 polearm is enough to have good agro then gear up with head, chest, legs - Fearless Souls. All small pieces of set should have +hate or maybe some dps.
  • On my first guardian I had 26% hate normally so i was agro beast on my polearm. Now i have 22% and it’s very good % of hate. If you are not geared you will have 16+17% hate but… good agro is starting up 19%.

Guardian! Equip your old polearm and show your power!

(Very sorry for my bad english)


I would drop burning vigor and put one point into cunning deflection.

First of all, i like your effort with this thread, was a nice read. I think its nice and helpful that you make this guide. But there are some fundamental diffrences in how I look at polearm specc. I question your statement saying that this feat / rotation is anywhere close to an “aggro beast”.

Your threat is only measurable in relation to other players threat-levels. Thus, the envirement youre playing in is the most defining attribute in measuring your aggro. The quality of tanks in this game is so low that if you are a decent player, any specc will work in RF/Pug-raids. So If you do raidfinder and unchained-runs, i can buy your statement saying its a beast. But dont say you can tank any raid mellee encounter ingame with that specc, cos you cant, and frankly i dont even think you have tried.

  1. You wont hold enough aggro against t5/t6 dpsers that dish out numbers like 3k singletargetdps.

  2. That evadechance wont help you enough when you tank bosses like 2nd boss or brittle back in t6. You will die like a fly.

I would gladly demonstrate the aggrolevel endgame tanks need to uphold, we could meet up in kesh epic, il match your gear in sword and shieldspecc and il show you that you wont be able to match it with that polearm-specc.

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Really nice effort into this post. But as moriala said i dont think this will work in endgame raiding.

I play all three healing classes and id have to say that a s/s guard is the easiest to heal and keep alive. I dont think you will have enough aggro with this spec to hold it off the nasty dpsers and the survival in this will be less than s/s. I think you will do a bit more damage but it doesnt hold up vs the dps you will loose och the healers trying to keep you alive and the dpsers than will have to slow their dps to not pull it.

Anyway fun with diffrent playstyles and nice post :slight_smile:


Nice to see some replies under my post. I playing on my polearm guard and I don’t feel ‘agro problem’ on instances and raids. I have never tried to tank T6 bosses but i have tanked on polearm the Honorguard from T5 and Kyliki. Polearm style is very nice to play on a lot of instances in this game. I just tried to say by this post ‘is possible to play on polearm and have fun!’. It’s like carnage conq and tali dt. Sometimes usefull and possible and sometimes no. We can meet in Kesh Mori if you will have free time.

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this is a well written and presented guide to pole arm,i use a lot of the same idea’s and the spec is not far from what i have used in the past,good effort and worth the read

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Very well put together guide. However, polearm tanking has always been not as good as s/s and that sucks because I found it more enjoyable when I played my guard a lot. It just doesn’t work as well as s/s unfortunately and I’d only use it for solo content. Of course there will always be people that say “I do fine in polearm spec” but I have to question that as they must either be playing with bad dps (like RF) or are an extremely good player and at the top 1% of the skill curve :slight_smile:

Polearm agro is good. The important thing is rotation. If someone doing it different, not like i wrote his agro will be very bad.

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Again, aggro is relative. You saying that poleram aggro is good is like a food reviewer saying the food tastes well, without further explanation of how it tasted. But i promise you that polarm tanking have no chance against a well geared, well played DT, Conq or sword and shield guard. I can show you that on my conq, dt or guard.

Polearm tanking is subpar since the damage output isnt higher then sword and shield. You loose the dps-buffs & hatebuffs from the s&s tree which in the end, make you go 1/1 in dmg output even if u have the higher dps polearm. You loose shieldslam which is the single highest threat building ability/combo in the game. You also choose to only have 1 point in cry of havok which is a big mystery.

But like I said, if you are in the RF/Pugraid sector, it will most definitely work. Im online when servers come up if u wanna go!

There is never a reason to put more than one point in redoubt. Your’e not gaining any extra evade% only gaining a better chance of it proc’ing. those points could be better used elsewhere.

The most useful ability and the only reason to have a pole guard in a raid is for the passive Hatefull Vengence debuff they emit at a 10 stack. The trick is to be able to keep your Vengence counter at 10…If you can… every hostile entity gets a -10% to all dmg types. The Debuff wont stack so having multiple guards wont matter. But taking 8k dmg or 7200 can mean life and death for many raid members. Food for thought

cool info, I had no idea, but I still prefer keeing both guards in sword and shield, giving strong dps buffs to their groups, while staying competetive to fight for aggro in high performing raids.
keeping one tank in a gimp state just to buy out dpsers and healers from their mistakes (only way they would loose 8k health) every full moon, is kinda lame imo

pretty sure it’s not all damage types, and you don’t need to be polearm-guard to emit that debuff. I’ve heard it’s innate, so…

it’s like def stance, stating only “-damage multiplier %”, which only applies to real physical hits, not even spell physical hits (which includes dots from physical users aswell!)

(this is why def stance of DT doesn’t even reduce damage from the physical damage procs of VoM, let alone the unholy damage procs, because def stance only states -10% damage multiplier, unfortunately)

if it were work on all damage types it would say “-x% magic damage modifier” and “-x% damage multiplier”, both of them.

you could see @AndyB struggle to boost his spelldamage of his caster in the latest stream, because he only boosted the damage multiplier, hence he was only doing whitehits instead of spells, proving that “damage multiplier” works on whitehits, but not spells.

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Unfortunately the tempest guard is forgotten and that really need a little changes - anyway, it’s like 0.001 chance for that. But i really enjoy playing on polearm. Also, i updated the dps tree for guard with DPS group-wide buff without Storm Strike. To play on that tree you have to always be on correct side of boss to hit upper right.


How about some theorycrafting hybrid idea with weapon switch to work upon during your free time since you are playing the game my friend: - switch sns: ss, cs, switch pole: guard, cw, filler. Have fun.

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