Blue Guardian

Blue Guardian Tank ‘Defender’ Build

By Araphorn – Updated for Blood of Azog, U31.1

Table of Contents

Introduction

Welcome, here you will find a good build for Guardian tanks, which is specifically tuned for high-end Raids/Instances. Blue Guardians got a little revamp to some of their skills and they are now pretty good tanks for all content.

Guardian tanks can mitigate sustainable damage better than any other tank, they have the best aggro control (AoE and ST), have one of the best B/P/E and have some of the best self-heals compared to other tanks.

Stat Goals

These goals are kept with Essence & Gear planning in mind, as to which Essences are to be prioritized over others. These goals can also be used when picking Virtues.

Tactical Mitigation > Physical Mitigation > Vitality

After Mits are capped or near capped, then old level 130 Vitality essences can be used. Generally, only Tactical Mitigation essences will be needed, as Physical Mitigation gets capped with just cap-level Gear and Virtues. At the beginning of expansion, Essence slots are really limited, this gets easier as better items become available later down the line.

* Before planning Essences, slot the right Virtues (more on that down below). This way you can plan your setup better, and utilize Essences perfectly, and you can dump the remaining Essence slots in Finesse, Old Triggers or other Stat of your choice after meeting Stat goals mentioned above.

Gear

With new Gundabad expansion released, new gear for Tanking Blue Guard is published in the tables down below. There are 2 published Builds, one for Endgame and one for Starters.

End-game Build

Armour Pieces

Gear SlotSet PieceLocation
HelmGundabad 6-Man Instance
ChestGundabad 6-Man Instance
Shoulders Gundabad 3-Man Instance
GlovesGundabad 3-Man Instance
LegsGundabad 3-Man Instance
BootsGundabad 3-Man Instance
CloakGundabad 6-Man Instance
Off-handEmbers Box
Barter
Class ItemEmbers Box
Barter

Jewelry Pieces

Gear SlotSet PieceLocation
Earring 1Gundabad 6-Man Instance
Earring 2Gundabad 6-Man Instance
Necklace Gundabad 6-Man Instance
PocketGundabad 6-Man Instance
Bracelet 1Storvagun Winter Festival
Bracelet 2Storvagun Winter Festival
Bracelets AlternativeMountain-hold Barter.
Use these if no
Storvagun Bracelets
Ring 1Gundabad 6-Man Instance
Ring 2 Gundabad 6-Man Instance

Starter Build

The 130 Level Gear from this Build can be acquired by bartering for Ember Armor/Jewelery boxes of the respective weight from the Adventurer’s Quartermaster NPC. As for Essences, you can use the ones you get from Questing or Crafting (whichever Tier is fine), and try to follow the Stat Goals above and Slot the ones which are needed by your Class.

Armour Pieces

Gear SlotSet PieceLocation
HelmEmbers Box
Barter
ChestEmbers Box
Barter
Shoulders Embers Box
Barter
GlovesEmbers Box
Barter
LegsEmbers Box
Barter
BootsEmbers Box
Barter
CloakEmbers Box
Barter
Off-handEmbers Box
Barter
Class ItemEmbers Box
Barter

Jewelry Pieces

Gear SlotSet PieceLocation
Earring 1Embers Box
Barter
Earring 2Embers Box
Barter
Necklace Embers Box
Barter
PocketEmbers Box
Barter
Bracelet 1Embers Box
Barter
Bracelet 2Embers Box
Barter
Ring 1Embers Box
Barter
Ring 2 Embers Box
Barter

Essences

Essence NameEssenceNote
Tactical
Mitigation
Use these to reach
Tactical Mitgation
cap, or near cap.
VitalityUse these to
fill Slots safter
Mits are capped.
FinesseUse some of
these if there’s room.
Tank Mitigation
Trigger 1
Use 1 of these
if there’s room.
Tank Mitigation
Trigger 2
Use 1 of these
if there’s room.

*Note: Finesse and Trigger Essences for Tanks are optional/situational. Use only if you have room for them, although the Tank Trigger essences can be quite nice for harder group content.

Trait Trees

Trait trees for Guardian are pretty straight-forward and just needs 1 Blue Tree for tanking all content.

Blue tree for tanking.

This tree gives all of the important stuff which is required for all content. Majority of the points are spent in yellow due to War-chant targets, Thrill of Danger morale absorb and Redirect potency.

35 Trait Points Build for Legendary Servers

35 Points Build

60 Trait Points Build for Beginners

60 Points Build

Virtues

These are the virtues I use to reach the Stat Goals. I use these 5 virtues on all my tanks as I find these exact ones to be the best for tanks.

Virtues for Blue-Line

Here are the Virtues which go along with the Stat Goals:

  1. Loyalty (Great for Vitality)
  2. Fidelity (Great for Vitality + Tactical Mit)
  3. Charity (Gives great amount of Resistance, decent Vitality and Physical Mit)
  4. Tolerance (Gives great amount of Tactical Mit, decent Physical Mit and Resistance)
  5. Innocence (Gives great amount of Physical Mit, decent Tactical Mit Mit and Resistance)
    • If you are over Physical Mitigation cap, swap Innocence with Honour

If you don’t have these virtues, here are some alternatives:

  • Honour (Gives decent Tactical Mit, Morale and Critical Defence)
  • Fortitude (Gives decent Morale, Resistance and Critical Defence)
  • Compassion (Gives great Physical Mit, decent Tactical Mit and Armour Value)

Legendary Items

Guardian tanks require 2 dedicated LIs for tanking, and with the new LI revamp, not much has changed.

*Note: Please use Word of Craft Traceries as per Stat Goals.

1-Hander Weapon

TypeSockets
Heraldic TraceryHeraldry of the Ox
Word of PowerBase Morale Multiplier
Word of PowerIncoming Heal Bonus
Word of MasteryGuardian’s Ward Damage
& Parry Chance
Word of MasteryGuardian’s Ward Duration
& Block Chance
Word of MasteryShield Damage
Word of MasteryStamp Cooldown
& Damage
Word of MasteryTurn the Tables Cooldown
Word of MasteryWarrior’s Heart Stoic Bubble
Strength
Word of CraftGrand Willpower
Word of CraftGrand Willpower
Word of CraftPerfect Recovery
(To be unlocked with Gundabad)

Guardian’s Belt (Class Item)

TypeSockets
Heraldic TraceryHeraldry of the Ox
Word of PowerArea Effect Target Count
Word of PowerIncoming Damage Reduction
(Physical)
Word of PowerIncoming Damage Reduction
(Tactical)
Word of MasteryAdaptability Block
& Parry Rating
Word of MasteryCatch a Breath Cooldown
& Heal
Word of MasteryForce Taunt Duration
Word of MasteryGuardian’s Pledge Cooldown
& Magnitude
Word of MasteryWarrior’s Heart Duration
Word of MasteryWarrior’s Heart Morale Heal
& Maximum
Word of CraftGrand Willpower
Word of CraftGrand Willpower
Word of CraftPerfect Recovery
(To be unlocked with Gundabad)

Rotation

Here is what I do on Guardian Tank.

For AoE aggro control:

  1. I will try to bunch up as many mobs as I can take, usually around 7 to 10. While I’m running to collect them up, I use Shield-swipe and Shield-taunt (along with Guardian’s Ward for the buff), and some Retaliations if I receive Parry responses. I don’t use War-chant unless I know it will hit all my targets, or I use it only if mobs run after someone else.
  2. When I have all the mobs lined up in one place, I quickly use Redirect (use a Whirling Retaliation if you don’t have it open). This allows me to absorb lots of damage and saves me from using a cooldown. I follow the Redirect with a War-chant after.
  3. After Redirect, I do a shield rotation, which is pretty simple, Shield-swipe – Shield-taunt – Shield-smash. If you don’t have a initial block response, use a Shield-blow first to start the shield rotation.
  4. After Shield rotation is done, I use another War-chant. This pretty much keeps all the mobs on you, but if your group DPS is too high and they steal some mobs, you are safe to use a Challenge now.
  5. Use Catch a Breath on cooldown pretty much if your morale is going down.
  6. Keep War-chant on cooldown also so your cooldown of Redirect and Catch a Breath gets reduced.
  7. If you are still receiving too much damage after Redirect expires and Catch on Breath on cooldown, you can pop one of your other cooldowns. Start with Thrill of Battle first. Then eventually proceed as needed, Juggernaut/Pledge/Warrior’s Heart. But you generally don’t need all those cooldowns for just 1 trash pack, save other cooldowns for the remaining trash packs.
  8. You can cut Shield-smash animations with your Stamp skill to speed up rotations a bit, but keep an eye on your power pool if you do that.

For Single-target aggro control:

  1. This is generally pretty easy and nothing hard. Start the fight with Fray the Edge.
  2. Wait around 6-7s and use Engage. Wait another few seconds, around 5s to be safe and use Fray the Edge again. You can pretty much go afk after that as far as aggro is concerned.
  3. Keep Redirect on cooldown for the damage absorption buff. Keep doing Shield rotations also, and War-chant on cooldown.

Fortification Buff explained:

  1. You get stacks of a buff called Fortification each time you use a Shield Skill.
  2. You can gain up to a maximum of 5 stacks of this buff, with each stack giving +2% mits (physical and tactical), and up to +10% mits maximum.
  3. Shield skills have a 25% chance to apply a stack of this buff.
  4. It is very important that you build this buff up really fast by just focusing on a Shield rotation (Shield-blow – Shield-swipe – Bash – Shield-smash) for boss fights. Faster you have a maxed Fortification buff, better your chances are to survive boss hits.
  5. Don’t worry too much about the Fortification buff for trash fights, you will eventually build the buff, focus on holding aggro first on all mobs, then do a Shield rotation on trash packs for the buff.

Break Ranks Buff explained:

  1. This is a buff you apply to your fellowship/raid if they are within a 20 meter circle with you, it applies a 40% Mastery/Damage buff for 15s, and has a cooldown of 1 minute.
  2. In order to proc this buff, you need to have the Fortification buff at 5 stacks, and then use a Shield-taunt.
  3. This Break Ranks buff can be helpful to the group if and only if you can manage to stay alive without Fortification max stacks.
  4. If you do end up using Break Ranks buff, then make sure to quickly build up the Fortification stacks again.
  5. If you want to skip Break Ranks buff and want to maintain permanent uptimes of Fortification buff, then either un-trait Break Ranks or skip using Shield-taunt in rotation and use Bash instead to open Shield-smash.

Smashing Stab CJ (Guardian’s Fellowship Maneuver) Explained:

  1. Guardians have a neat utility to CJ targets from Smashing Stab skill, which comes in very handy. It just requires Guards to use 2 certain skills before being able to make Smashing Stab do a CJ.
  2. In order to do so, you have to hit the target with a Shield-swipe (which requires a Block response).
  3. Next, you have to hit the target with a Retaliation (which requires a Parry response).
  4. It doesn’t matter which order you hit the target with those 2 skills, you can do whichever one first.
  5. Now that you have hit the target with both, Shield-swipe and Retaliation, you can open a CJ.
  6. Use Smashing Stab whenever you want now to do a CJ, there is no time limit.

Consumables

There are the consumables I use on Guardian:

  1. This an important consumable for Guard, it helps with Aggro control.

And this is the food I use:

Use the yellow food first, then purple, that way it all stacks and you just lose the 3.4K Might rating bonus, which you don’t need while tanking.

Updated as of U31.1.

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