Now, there’s been alot of discussion about Tanking Builds and which stats are the most favorable; each one leading to ‘Glance > Block’ and ‘Sword > Hammer’ or ‘Hammer just isn’t viable’
Well, fear not. I’ve come to bring you a Nightmare Tested; Fully Viable Tanking build using every ladies best friend to keep Casanova’s away – a twohanded object of blunt force.
Why would you want to use Hammer Tanking when Sword is so much easier?
Well. For instance – Block Rating and block chance amasses easier than Glance.
Also, you can apply Major Block Chance far easier and more often than Major Glancing.
Block works directly against Penetration on bosses thus decreasing your damage taking on an overall equal, if not higher amount than Glancing is capable of.
As an Example – On the NM Polaris boss Ur-Draught, Using Swords I was penetrated 27-50 of the timer, fairly random dependant on the encounter. Needless to say at 50% Penetration the fight did not last long. Using a Hammer and roughly 530 block, this value lowered to 8-10%
In Theory, you will need roughly 700-800 block to bring it to a reliable 1-2%
Also, this is not a ‘theorized’ build, this has been tested in several NM runs & Elite runs.
1. (Hammer T2) – Razor Shards [F]
2. (Chaos T2) – Reality Fracture [F]
3. (Chaos T1) – Escalation [B]
4. (Turbulence) – Provoke // (Turbulence) – Mass Provoke
5. (Hammer T2) – Trucker // (Hammer T2) – Blowout // (Chaos T2) – Chaotic Pull/Helter Skelter
6. (Hammer T2) – Unstoppable Force // (Turbulence) – Stoicism // (Chaos T1) – Domino Effect
7. (Hammer T1) – Stonewalled
1. (Turbulence) – Agitator
2. (Hammer T2) – You’re Next
3. (Chaos T2) – From the Abyss // (Blade T2) – Flight of Daggers
4. (Shotgun T2) – Hardcase // (Chaos T2) – Fever Pitch
5. (Rifle T2) – Shoot ‘Em Up
6. (Chaos T2) – Inevitability
7. (Chaos T1) – Intensity
Unstoppable Force, Stoicism and Domino Effect are interchangeable depending on the fight.
Unstoppable Force – offers you another threat boost + 40% Blockchance + a minor heal. It’s like a boosted Stone Wall just not on the same cooldown. You can use this, Trucker and Stonewall to keep a +40% Blockchance for 21 seconds every 45 seconds.
Stoicism – Huge Boost in terms of Threat, 30% damage reduction, 33% uptime. What’s not to love about this all around useful skill?
Domino Effect – When you need an Impair. Eruption does not work on bosses in terms of Impairment, Domino Effect does.
Chaotic Pull – When you need a second interrupt on a semi low cooldown and do not require the secondary effect of a target being impaired.
Helter Skelter – A minor defense cooldown if used correctly; by dashing through several adds and rooting them in place to prevent yourself from being hit. Also relocates you behind bosses.
From the Abyss – useful on crowds, but slightly lower damage than Flight of Daggers.
Flight of Daggers – Higher single target damage, but can only hit 3 monsters.
Trucker – Useful to apply Major Block Chance and charge bosses/mobility.
Blowout – Should be changed on add heavy fights, Blowout will help you to get/hold threat on them. And since it’s a Fire & Forget ability, you can still use your normal rotation.
[How to, Tips & Tricks]
Firstly, you should use ‘Razor Shards’ before entering combat. Why? Because it gives you a 50% threat increase on your next attack. And while you are not incombat the hammer resources recharge, that allows you to use a +50% threat increased Trucker to charge into combat; and instantly regain the buff once more.
Your typical Roation should be as following:
Stoicism -> Trucker -> Razor Shards -> 5x Escalation -> (Stone Wall) -> Razor Shards -> Pulling the Strings -> Repeat
You can strafe or backstep a inch while spamming the Trucker Button to make an incombat, close charge. Since it has a min range of 3 meters. It takes some time to get used to and pull of smoothly, but a 40% Block Cooldown on a 25 second CD is nothing to be ashamed of.
If you need more threat; you can use Stone Wall as well, since with the increased block chance – You’re Next will proc more often and double your threat for 6 seconds.
[Strengths & Weaknesses]
Weaknesses First. Noone names them first, I shall.
AoE Threat. DPS without Confuse. Cooldowns not only serve as Defense, but also as a threat generator. All of them. Might required alot of new gear with +Block Rating. +Block Kickbacks and Stimulants are really useful as well. A slight increase of overall damage taken compared to blades.
The main strength – Minimized spike damage. It’s close to nonexistant. Mobility and alot of ways to apply Major Block Rating. Roughly 22-23 seconds every 45 seconds using Unstoppable Force.
Block Rating scales better in terms of Block %. Smacking things with a hammer.
Block > Defense > Protection should be your general rule. Well, mostly anyway.
You can entirely disregard Evasion as it’s rarely useful to the build and for fights required you can slot in Illusion. (Hell Raised for example)
In QL10 Blue gear you should aim at having at least 500 Block Rating. The rest should be put into Defense. An Even 400/400 Split can work but it lowers your threat generation via You’re Next; due to it’s uptime.
1 Major Talisman and 1 Minor Talisman which add +Attack and a +Defensive Stat are highly recommended for threat generation.
Also, preferably your weapons should sport +Defense or Block as well. Hit rating can largely be ignored; yet if you find yourself glancing too much you can switch out Hardcase for Fever Pitch.
It works. And it works smoothly. It’s been tested by me and I have asked several tanks to share their experiences using this build, but I do not believe them to sway as much from mine.
Hammers are back, Block is useful, and every tanking spec now is viable (Other than Blade/Hammer due to a lack of Exposed. Heh)
Thanks for the read & Happy Tanking!