[Guide] Sustain-tanking for anyone


#41

You seem to have misunderstood what I was saying. Immutable gives five seconds of invulnerability. Rock Hard adds another five. Pain Suppression is eight. That gives 18 seconds of invulnerability without needing any form of self healing. Do you disagree with this?

My whole answer about the selfhealing was indeed misunderstood, because i took selfhealing as the whole, including Immutable’s heal and Pain Suppression’s heals.

Based on this (18 seconds invulnerability in a 21 second window), I state that self healing is not very important. I never suggested it should be removed completely. Further your examples show how a missed rotation is lethal, not that self healing is required. The first example is simply failing to chain pain suppression after rock hard, and the second example is failing to overlap pain suppression and twist fate.

My examples are indeed actually bad, that’s what happens when i try to reply to a serious topic while doing scenarios at the same time XD. What i should just have stated is that the extra selfheals coming from Percussive and such “can” save one’s life in case of a screw up in chaining CDs, pretty much. One of my resources even proves that point, from the flappy regional tanking PoV. Since i had very low gear and every hit landed without protection buff was a one shot, in that situation, only perfect cooldown chaining was important. The other important thing to consider is that we can actually go further: the undergearing is possible because of how much of a strong CD coverage we can get, so stats as whole matter actually very little. Stats and extra selfheal sources start to matter once we remove a cooldown or 2 to bring some extras.

So to survive, EHP + self-heal must be bigger than 3*y, where y is incoming damage from the boss. EHP is 2.83 times your normal HP (backlash is 0.55 of HP, twist fate multiplies shield+HP by 1.83). So, if the boss normally hits you for less than 94% of your full HP, you will actually survive the last three seconds without any self healing. Also only self healing gained from the four hits after your last pain suppression heal matters.

I’m not very good at this kind of maths… yet, so i’ll just trust your analysis. We can potentially even add that in case of a screw-up, one can dodge-roll behind the boss, or just run away with Quickness (Alacrity helps big time). Further notice if one happens to derp on CD rotations: running away is possibly the only way to temporize until CDs are up and rolling correctly again.

One last thing to add: many bosses have special cast-based attacks that might one-shot under Thick Skin or Twist Fate + Backlash (things like Searing Brand from HR4 can one-shot even while under Rock Hard depending on stats) while the tank cannot necessarily take an interrupt since for the example of HR4, we are actually used to bring Catastrophe Shelter when we tank. It is possible to ask for an extra interrupt in form of an active ability slot, for sure, but what just works for me personally in this situation is dodge-rolling behind the boss with good timing to stopcast his Searing Brands, OR delaying cooldowns a bit to line up Immutable with Searing Brands, it is possible since the boss does not attack the tank without any break since he has 3 casts (Mine, Molten Metal and Searing Brand) during which he does not autoattack. It is also very easy to do with CD reductions (head signet and/or Efficiency weapon affix).

So my advice to players wanting to try out sustain tanking is to take your rotation seriously. That’s what keeps you alive, not self healing. For new sustain tanks, playing at their appropriate gear level, asking dps to help you with a second gadget is much safer than trying out a three-buff rotation, which is a lot harder and actually relies on self healing.

Yep, exactly what i’ve said above concerning selfhealing with less cooldowns. Again, i’m sorry for the confusion.

Back to the Red Hand Destroyer if you don’t mind: i actually glanced on my logs, and found out that the split of Pulverises and Ground Pounds in terms of hits in single target situation is about 60/40 in favour of Pulverise on tank & spank bosses. If we consider half of the Ground Pounds with 30% extra additive damage from Red Hand (i think this is even an overstatement), it will roughly give an extra of 1.77CP of aggro every 5s. If we compare this to the output of the Frost-Bound hammer, for instance, it will be an average of 0.3 x 0.85 = 0.255 CP/s (0.3CP is the average damage it deals and 0.85 is an arbitrary 15% penalty it gives from not benefitting from Weapon Expertise, i believe this proc does not benefit from it despite usually weapon procs benefitting from it), so we’re at 0.255 x 5 = 1.275CP of damage and aggro, which is 38% lower that the aggro from Red Hand. I consider this being a solid tradeoff considering how the additional mitigation provided by the Frost-Bound is good.


#42

Out of interest, you say the Brawler’s Belt is better than Blash Sash, the only difference I see is you trigger Pulverize’s heal ~14% more often, which is probably some fraction of a percent of extra aggro.

Certainly it’s better for DPSing but atm I have one of each at lv.1 mythic (brawler = crit power & dps signet, black sash = defense & cooldown signet)… if I move the time & space into the brawler I’ll do less dps (from Sessho-seki. granted only 0.5% less or somethin), but more dps as tank (+crit pow). I’m just wondering if I’m missing other reasons the Brawler belt would help out a tank specifically, since Black Sash is kinda vague.


#43

Out of interest, you say the Brawler’s Belt is better than Blash Sash, the only difference I see is you trigger Pulverize’s heal ~14% more often, which is probably some fraction of a percent of extra aggro.

You’re entirely right, Brawler is mainly better for flexibility and some extra selfhealing due to percussive, that’s it. For quite a while though, Black Sash was apparently bugged and wasn’t working, and it is somewhat hard to determine its value - it should grant an extra 10% aggro, but it is hard to test and to confirm. I guess i should put it above everything for pure tanking sorting.

Certainly it’s better for DPSing but atm I have one of each at lv.1 mythic (brawler = crit power & dps signet, black sash = defense & cooldown signet)… if I move the time & space into the brawler I’ll do less dps (from Sessho-seki), but more dps as tank (+crit pow). I’m just wondering if I’m missing other reasons the Brawler belt would help out a tank specifically, since Black Sash is kinda vague.

Then your choice is all decided ! You can probably consider time & space as a DPS option as well, it’ll get strong for Vali Metabolic if you decide to use that once, you’ll be more flexible to switch to any utility gadget and the Turret gadget from scenarios is actually slightly better DPS (even with Time & Space) than the shard if we disregard manual Shard usage at the end of a fight or before a downtime.


#44

Yeah I’m just hesitant cause it’s 30k to swap out the (red&yellow) signets for negligible decrease in effectiveness in both main roles. But converging on a single set of talis in both roles.

Also I think I lose like 8 IP but it’s fine, I didn’t want to do E9s anyway.


#45

I would have rather just kept the Brawler for both roles (if you happen to play hammer for your DPS role, that is), it just makes life easier to have as much cross-role gear as possible.


#46

It’s better to be prepared for the hardest, fastest hitting bosses, not for some mistaken idea of what is typical, or you risk dying to situations you have not accounted for. Quite a number of bosses have a pattern of attacking you three times in four seconds, with a break every now and then for a spell cast. Such bosses include the Haugbui Jarl, the Blarebane Sorceress, the Haugbui Mother, the Corroder, the Unbound Ak’ab, among others. You must, then, assume that your moments of vulnerability are open to the least and greatest number of hits. Goodness knows how many times I’ve died to and seen others to die such bosses because of a mistake in the buff rotation or an inadequacy of self-healing at the wrong time, such as a boss striking the half-second after a normal heal from Immutable. It is these circumstances when self-healing can matter. It is also why I tend to have my next mitigation buff cast a second prior to the expiration of the active one, if I can afford to do so. I learned from many mistakes with far less gear than I have now of the potential lethality of a half-second.


#47

Yesterday, i’ve been trying something different while running some E10 dungeons: instead of Unbridled Wrath, i took Incongruity and have been banking on full 8 paradox generation after Immutable’s end. It turned out that the majority of the time, the procs were useless and the useful enigmas were quite rare. I don’t have any CD reductions yet, and at times, i wasn’t taking enough damage in the Immutable windows to proc all 8 paradoxes (kind of overgeared for E10 already), so less than 64% of max life lost, this was mainly happening on bad timings on bosses which used to have downtimes in their autoattacks because of random casts.

After a discussion about Incongruity passive with Smyrill, it turns out this idea is expandable to Enigmatic Apparatus as offhand, correct elite CD reductions, and Resonance Cascade instead of Percussive Maintenance (both Unbridled and Percussive aren’t needed at all after a while). Resonance here will allow to eliminate risks of bosses gaining the Reciprocity enigma buff and damaging the group, and reduce the life threshold to loose for Incongruity to proc a Controlled Chaos effect.

I’ll be working on testing such a setup in the upcoming months as soon as i’ll get the Mark of the Starspawn upgraded alongside CD reduction signet, and such a setup should definitely earn a place in sustain-tanking guide. However, after some quick maths, considering 50% chance at an enigma from Enigmatic Apparatus, and Incongruity procing every 12s on average, it gives rouhgly 49% chance to proc the Potency Enigma per minute (1 / 2) * (1 / 4) ^5 = 0.4871. Going from this, one should expect a Potency Enigma proc every 2 minutes on average, and this is under ideal conditions of a Controlled Chaos every 12s (will require CD reduction head signet alongside Efficiency). So this setup isn’t anything fancy, the idea is rather to give up a small amount of survivability and selfhealing and gain a small amount of group utility.


#48

Absolutely, that calculation is very theoretical. Real fights also have adds, filth, dots and special casts. I mostly put that down to show how the most dangerous part of the rotation still isn’t very dependent on self-healing. (Where self-healing is defined as everything not part of the buff rotation; I could have made that clearer) But one hit every two seconds is arguably the worst you can face without considering special casts, since you pack four seconds of damage in to a timeslot which is 2.5-3 seconds long. Any longer and the boss can only hit you once between pain suppression and immutable (Ur-Draug hits harder, but his cleave is somewhere between 2.5 and 3 seconds), while faster hits are weaker and still only hit 2-3 times in that gap. (I think most of the bosses you mention hit every 1.5 second, which worst-case gives two hits on backlash and pain suppression, and two hits on backlash/twist fate.)

In a real world I’m more scared of a long cast (charged hack, concuss, synapse spasm etc) which prevents the boss from hitting me while pain suppression and backlash is active. That’s a situation where we’d be left with less HP when pain suppression ends, and self-healing may be the difference between wipe/frantic kiting and success. Luckily, in this case we’d also have more time to trigger self heals.

Anyway, any failure in rotation can lead to a quick trip to the well. That’s the risk and entertainment when sustain-tanking :slight_smile:

Not at all :slight_smile:

Regarding proportion of buffed basic attacks this will depend on rotation and how often you use enraged pulverise while at low energy. In general I always use pulverise while not enraged, both to benefit more from my destroyer but also to be able to start the next fight/phase enraged, and get pulverise buff up quickly. I also try to use pulverise only to refresh the buff or when I’m at risk of overcapping on energy. Since enrage isn’t part of the combat log I can’t give a precise number, but by staring at act I’d say 0-5% unbuffed ground pounds per fight.

That’s assuming your 50% unbuffed ratio which I think is way way to high. My 0-5% ratio requires a precise rotation, so I’ll grant you that’s low without taking special consideration. Let’s go for 25% and we’re both unhappy. Also, I’ve got less crit rating than you and my pulverise/ground pound split is hovering around 50/50. In single-target fights (worst-case for the destroyer) that gives 3.32CP for the destroyer vs 1.275 for the frost bound. In an aoe situation (assuming frost bound honours the standard one-proc-per-gcd rule) that’s 19.9CP vs the same 1.275CP. Frost bound still has the additional mitigation.

So an argument you’ve used with aoe tanking is that the best way to get aggro is rock hard/backlash. This is true if and only if those abilities are ready to be used. You talk a lot about when to activate abilities so I assume we simply have different ways of using buffs. I’m following a strict rotation that takes at most 21s, minus overlap. In reality it’s certainly closer to 20s than 21. I simply don’t have room to use my barriers for aggro purposes; if adds spawn right before I use a shield it’s just dumb luck. I can use percussive maintenance, but that’s slightly less hate per add than the extra hate from the destroyer for a single ground pound.

So I think my main reason for using the destroyer still stands. It’s the best option for improving aggro in aoe situations, and it’s decent for single target. It’s also flexible. (I disagree that it affects Fast&Furious in a negative way. It very slightly improves it because of extra rage.)

If you’re able to consistently use shields to lock aggro on adds I agree that the destroyer might not be the best choice for you.


#49

but by staring at act I’d say 0-5% unbuffed ground pounds per fight.

I don’t see how this is possible, you must have really low crit chance at this point maybe. Do you also have the cold silver dice ? I guess it is possible to write down the rotation using a spreadsheet and put energy values on each skill used, that way we could potentially understand it. Anyway, the extra aggro will come to a point of not being needed once you’ll get your glyphs well upgraded, i believe the extra mitigation from Frost-Bound might just have a way better opportunity value overall. About Pneumatic Maul (what i’m using now), its proc is actually really practical in some situations with downtimes and/or brief add tanking since it allows you to consume it and refresh Pulverise when you come back to the boss without having the necessary rage.

So an argument you’ve used with aoe tanking is that the best way to get aggro is rock hard/backlash. This is true if and only if those abilities are ready to be used. You talk a lot about when to activate abilities so I assume we simply have different ways of using buffs. I’m following a strict rotation that takes at most 21s, minus overlap. In reality it’s certainly closer to 20s than 21. I simply don’t have room to use my barriers for aggro purposes; if adds spawn right before I use a shield it’s just dumb luck. I can use percussive maintenance, but that’s slightly less hate per add than the extra hate from the destroyer for a single ground pound.

Most of the tanks will be doing this, and this is understandable. I’m personally modifying my rotations on the fly and always trying to frame-snipe autoattacks from bosses with something at the last moment. I can always reliably keep either Rock Hard or Backlash ready for any add situation, pretty much, and then, Pain Suppression carries over. It doesn’t prevent sometimes people dying in situations like pol5 add invasion, but in that situation, the Red Hand won’t help either since it’s capped at 6 targets and there are 20+ adds.

(I disagree that it affects Fast&Furious in a negative way. It very slightly improves it because of extra rage.)

How ? Fast & Furious procs when you get above 50 rage (you get enraged), so during the 3.5s of buff duration, you basically consume all the rage you get. If you keep building with the basic, the Fast & Furious buff’s window will just get filled with low base damage basics. Unless i’ve missed something ? It still can’t match the Pneumatic Maul in terms of extra rage, nor Hell-Forged Warhammer.


#50

You just don’t cast basics while below rage. Don’t cast Pulverize until you’re at >10 energy and you can spam pulverizes to get back above 50 before even using the next basic. Or of course use a Pulverize at 100 rage to drop to 50. It’s how I do it anyway in bosses where I need rage on demand. (for example Ankh 2, I want to Pain Suppression + Pulverize right at the start of Dreaming Shroud, so I keep energy high)

Went and parsed out my builds 5 minutes each on dummies to see actual basic:power ratio.
Hammer+shotgun (my goto for various reasons; roughly 18k hate/sec) - 63% power, 37% basic (+20% from shotgun power move)
Hammer+chaos (build here played straight - all 4 on 20s rotation, 14k hate/sec) - 57% basic, 43% power

I use mk3 energy + parse @ 30% crit chance at the mo.


#51

Ok i see how that works, i guess the thing i didn’t figure out is just the fact you need enough energy for 4 Pulverises before dropping your rage (so 8 energy, maybe go to 6-7 depending on your confidence in crits), so you don’t have to use any basic before you’re back to 50. It looks like actually a fun rotation. I still don’t see this being good for DPS.

Edit: i guess you’d be better going with 8-10 energy rather since you’ll need extra 2 for a cooldown.


#52

Dummies will have much higher ratio of basics. Real fights are shorter, and often have breaks that recharge energy. When I arrived at 50/50 I checked combat logs from two dungeons (DW+Pol) and saw results ranging from 60/40 (pol3) to 40/60 (dw6). Most fights were somewhere in the middle. I’ve got ca 22% crit, so you’ll do slightly more power than me.


#53

Regarding fast & furious you are correct. That’s not a good passive for the destroyer.


#54

Right, that’s kinda a worst case, the first 15 seconds were 0% basics and then the last 4:45 was 4 power:6 basic.

Actually that matches the theory very tidily - 14 energy in 10 seconds = 4 power, 1 cooldown.


#55

ok, that’s a lot of work you invested here.

Its not the only way of tanking and all ppl reading this be warned, it will bring us to the road that we run 1 tank 4 dps, heals useless in dung.

I do like the brain work behind it, and the dedication. ppl will think this the only appropriate way of Tanking.
I am just concerned…that’s all.


#56

Your concerns are legitimate. I’m certainly not telling people what to do, and people should actually play what they find fun before anything, but any guide is a risk of people using it literally to create standards. Up to people to interpret and set up their own expectations i guess.


#57

Modified hammer weapons’ sorting based on the previous discussions about various topics (the importance of selfhealing other than Pain Suppression, the Red Hand destroyer discussions, and some other points) : i’ve put the Red Hand Destroyer in the same tier with similar other weapons, such as The Mangler, Tenderiser and Flanged Mallet, but Red Hand and Flanged Mallet are being worse for flexibility than The Mangler and Tenderiser. Deranked the Anima-Touched as a result as well for pure tanking sorting, alongside Pneumatic Maul and Hell Forged Warhammer.


#58

@Szalord So here’s what I want to know, how viable is a normal hammer and chaos focus with this rotation? What level would the weapons need to be to do say an Elite 1 dungeon or NYR? As long as you have the abilities and passives, and say purple quality hammer and chaos, could you do some low level elites?


#59

Purple hammer is more than enough for E1 dungeons and E1 NY, the chaos isn’t important and you can play with a green level 1. For the rest of the gear, having fully maxed blue talismans is more than enough as well.


#60

Nice! I’ve been wanting to tank some so I can make some of these queues go a little faster maybe. Now I just need to unlock hammer and level it up. :+1: