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SENTINEL TANKING in MOD 17/18

Author: theaxolotl#4252 (Barbarian: Icarium)

Last Modified: January 6, 2020

INTRODUCTION

If you’re reading this, that likely means you want to know something about tanking as a Barbarian Sentinel! I’m not going to start this section off with my credentials and accomplishments in this game – I’ve only been playing since August 2019, so many of you have probably taken hiatuses longer than I’ve been in this game. I have not been in TOMM, however I have tanked everything else the game has to offer as of its creation in January 2020. I’ve thrown this together because there seems to be a lack of recent Sentinel information out there, and knowledge is great for us all to have!

I’d like to preface everything with saying this isn’t a holding-your-hand sort of guide. I’m not going to claim this is the only way to tank as a Barbarian, and I won’t even claim it’s the best way. This is what works for me, and it’s full of information that I’ve learned through both trial and error and discussions with other, better tanks. I won’t be touching on races or attribute distribution. I won’t be going into specifics of every single ability or option we have. I also won’t be going into gearing options, outside of mentioning a few select items that work well. There are plenty of guides out there that talk about these sorts of things.

If you happen to see something in here that is incorrect or want to talk mechanics either in-game or in Discord (TheAxolotl#9404), please don’t hesitate to reach out. With all of that out of the way, let’s move on to what you really want to see.

POWERS

At-Wills

Primary – Sentinel’s Slash: This is my most-used At-Will. Since it’s an attack that can be charged, it’s very flexible with its timing, and to make it even better, you block during the duration of the charge. This makes it a reliable source of steady threat and AP generation, especially when used with Frustrating Slash.

Fun Tip: One downside to Sentinel’s Slash is the extended animation that makes up the swing. This animation can actually be shortened by immediately pressing Block after releasing the mouse button for Sentinel’s Slash. The attack will still land, even though the swing doesn’t happen. This will result in a significantly faster cast time, thus more AP generated. I highly recommend practicing this on a target dummy.

Secondary – Bounding Slam: This is my secondary At-Will, and I chose it strictly for mobility. Being able to bounce around to protect your dps and healers is very handy.

Alternative Secondary – Sure Strike: I have no personal experience with this one in my tanking loadout, but it can be useful during boss encounters that remain stationary for extended periods of time.

Encounters

Primal Fury: This encounter never leaves my bar. What’s not to love about a hard-hitting AoE with increased threat? Coupled with Blood Fury, you will heal yourself for the damage you deal and exit Unstoppable on demand, rather than waiting for your rage to drain.

Punishing Charge: This encounter is also a staple for me, and is mostly used for mobility, however when combined with Challenger’s Charge, it also allows you to immediately grab aggro on a target, while dealing damage.

Indomitable Battle Strike: Single target damage dealer – my go-to for single targets in most situations. Keep in mind, this encounter can miss if positioning isn’t right, or if your target moves away from you. Bloodletter can be an alternative attack here, as it’s a faster cast and won’t miss, however it does deal less damage (and thus, less threat).

Takedown: Alternative single target damage dealer. I will use this along with Disarming Takedown if I’m in a group with mostly physical damage dealers.

Not so Fast: Multi-target damage dealer that synergizes well with Trample the Fallen and can provide some extra mobility when using On the Move. This is my go-to when not fighting a boss.

Come and Get It: Multi-target hard taunt to grab aggro. Note that since this doesn’t deal damage, it needs to be followed up with a Primal Fury in order to actually keep threat. I rarely use this, but it can be useful from time to time.

Ignore Weakness: I have no experience with this one, myself, however it can be useful if you’re in a situation where you need to immediately restore your stamina and either don’t have enough or any stamina regeneration or can’t afford to wait for it to regenerate on its own.

Dailies

Savage Advance: This is my primary daily. It serves as a source of mobility, single target damage, and single target threat. Furthermore, when combined with Crushing Advance, it serves as a source of damage reduction. This damage reduction can have a very high uptime due to the high rate at which we can cast Savage Advance, thanks to the large AP gain we get through Sentinel’s Slash.

Battle High: I use this daily significantly less often than Savage Advance, however it is a very important source of emergency healing.

Class Features

Steady Rage: Pretty self-explanatory, but this provides a constant source of rage to fuel the Unstoppable/Primal Fury combination.

Mighty Vitality: Also self-explanatory. Gives us more health and staying power, at the cost of some power.

Trample The Fallen: Increases damage from Punishing Charge and Not so Fast and also increases damage from all sources (including party members) when the target can be controlled. Unfortunately, this secondary damage boost does not work on most bosses.

Challenger’s Charge: This gives some additional utility to Punishing Charge. Without charging, it acts as a hard taunt, immediately placing you on top of the threat list. Alternatively, allows you to charge up Punishing Charge, allowing you to use the encounter without immediately taking aggro. This charging ability can be handy in scenarios with multiple tanks, when you want to use the encounter without overriding the other tank’s threat.

Threatening Presence: This is more efficient for threat generation than Trample the Fallen in most cases, so very useful when threat is a concern.

Feats

Frustrating Slash: This feat is crucial for this build, as it gives a threat component to Sentinel’s Slash.

Indomitable Might: Makes Indomitable Battle Strike hit harder. The damage boost is lessened as your health decreases.

Disarming Takedown or On the Move: You can’t go wrong with either of these options. Disarming Takedown provides a nice damage boost to physical damage dealers in your party, while On the Move provides some additional movement speed utility to yourself and nearby allies when using Not so Fast. My personal pick here was Disarming Takedown, as I found the situational additional damage to be more appealing.

Crushing Advance: This is another crucial feat to grab. This removes the knockback component from Savage Advance and in its place gives the target a debuff that reduces damage dealt by 5% for 12 seconds. This uptime ends up being very high, since our AP regeneration is extremely fast.0

Blood Fury: The third crucial feat for this build. This removes the rage cost of Primal Fury while under Unstoppable, healing you for the damage dealt. In addition, it allows manual termination of Unstoppable, providing you a means to terminate it on-demand, giving you much finer control over your stamina regeneration and rage generation.

LOADOUTS

Single Target (Boss)

At-Wills: Sentinel’s Slash, Bounding Slam

Encounters: Punishing Charge, {Indomitable Battle Strike or Takedown}*, Primal Fury

*Alternatively, Bloodletter or Ignore Weakness can also be used here if desired

Dailies: Savage Advance, Battle High

Multiple Targets (Trash)

At-Wills: Sentinel’s Slash, Bounding Slam

Encounters: Punishing Charge, {Not so Fast or Come and Get It}, Primal Fury

Dailies: Savage Advance, Battle High

Class Features: Single Target (Boss)

Different combinations of class features can have value in different scenarios when it comes to bosses. Below is one recommended set of combinations, but feel free to adjust accordingly to your liking.

Steady Rage, {Trample the Fallen or Mighty Vitality} when threat is not a concern, but survivability may or may not be

Steady Rage, Threatening Presence when threat is a concern and survivability is not

Challenger’s Charge, Mighty Vitality when both threat and survivability are a concern

Class Features: Multiple Targets (Trash)

Trample the Fallen, {Steady Rage or Threatening Presence} depending on if threat is a concern.

SPECIFIC ITEMS

Tanner’s Leather Ring: We have a lot of health and we get to cast a lot of dailies. Let’s put that to use with dealing half of our maximum health as additional damage on daily use!

Electric Defense (Trobriand’s Ring set): We use our dailies a lot, so let’s get 5% less damage taken and 5% more damage dealt from it, too!

Elven Battle Enchantment: Stamina regen? Yes, please!

Refreshing Breeze (Gas Spore mount). This one gives us 20% more stamina regeneration, which I like. I realize some folks would rather have the HP from a legendary mount. I might very well be in that position, too, however I don’t have a legendary mount. As far as epic mounts go, this one is hard to beat.

Mount Insignia Bonuses: Personally, I use 1x Gladiator’s Guile for the movement speed and stamina regeneration, 2x Barbarian’s Revelry for a heal on crit of 1.5% of my max health, and 2x Survivor’s Blessing for a heal on deflect of 1.5% of my max health. These are mostly because of the mounts I have available to me, but I also like the combinations. Feel free to use what you’d like.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Thanks for reading! I hope this provides some sort of value to you. A big thanks goes out to Maku (https://www.twitch.tv/makunouchi_tv/), as much of the information above came from me asking him questions or picking his brain on things. Without his willingness to share knowledge, this wouldn’t exist. I’d also like to thank anyone else I’ve had the pleasure of talking game mechanics with, and Alleykate for fixing my crappy formatting and giving us a place to host this!

Wizard Build for Mod 16 + Level 80 Build

Thanks to the hard work of our alliance member, Lord Willow. Make sure you check out his M18 Wizard build video.

Basic Build Notes: These guides are not meant to be comprehensive “bibles” on how you must build your class, but offer solid alternatives to get started in the new mod. Each of these builds should offer a solid foundation for you to start playing the new mod, but do not necessarily represent “BiS”, as that can depend on your preferred playstyle, gear, and stats. These level 80 builds, however, are intended to optimize the Wizard for dps.

Wizard Notes: The wizard offers solid play, decent survival with the right stat allocation, and probably does the best “all around” DPS. The Wizard is not the top single target, nor AOE DPS, but when you combine the both the Wizard offers probably the best balance. 

Level 80 Wizard build

For level 80 Wizard build information, check out Lord Willow’s Wizard build video. This video is a very comprehensive review of the Wizard. If you want a Module 18 Wizard build, but less comprehensive, check Lord Willow’s M18 Wizard video. He covers both Thaumaturge and Arcanist loadouts. While the concepts below, such as Thaumaturge for AOE and Arcantist for Single Target, still hold true, the video contains the post recent level 80 Wizard build information. Check out the Lord Willow Wizard gameplay video for tips on how to play the Wizard.

Over on Janne’s website, Sharp has published his Wizard mechanics guide for Mod 17. This is still arguably the best documentation of the Wizard class in M18.

Wizard AOE Concepts

This build is all about smoldering everything. You can switch to Chilling Cloud at level 71, but you’ll have to take Magic Missile to start. Every time you apply a Chill stack to a target with Smolder, Rimfire damage is added. Also, to maximize damage with Scorching Burst, tap the mouse button (don’t hold it down to expand, unless you need to apply smolder to a wide range of targets because Fireball is on cool down). If you use this for Mad Mage, put Ray of Enfeeblement on Tab, and replace Conduit of Ice with Icy Rays for boss fights. Your go to At Will is Ray of Frost. This build can kill mimics. You should be at or close to crit cap to maximize this build. You shouldn’t need to worry about applying Smolder at all (Smolder happens).. spam out you encounters, then pick a target to melt with Ray of Frost while waiting for encounter cooldowns.

AOE Thaum

This build works well for both AOE and Single Target (an Arcanist focused on arcane stacks has an edge in single target, but this build performs well all around).

AOE Rotation is: Fireball > Icy Terrain > Conduit of Ice > Icy Rays > Chilling cloud x 3 > ‘tap’ Scorching burst. Repeat (you can also use daily Furious Immolation as an opener instead of Fireball). Honorable mention for artifacts for this AOE build: Staff of Flowers, Envenomed Story Teller Journal

Single Target Rotation is: ‘tap’ Scorching burst >  Ray of Enfeeblement > Icy Terrain > Conduit of Ice > Icy Rays > ‘tap’ Scorching burst (repeat until encounters come off cool down). Repeat rotation. Remember to mix in Daily Ice Knife (try to use only when the target has Smolder, as well as Chill stacks already applied to maximize). Honorable mention artifacts for Single Target: Staff of Flowers, Envenomed Story Teller Journal, Soul Sight Crystal (this doesn’t last long so time it well).


Boons (Applies to pretty much every DPS loadout for every class):

Boons for Wizard

Boons for Wizard


Ability Scores (Applies for ALL Wizard loadouts):

Ability Scores Wizard

Ability Scores Wizard

.

Mount bonuses suitable for all Wizard builds

AOE Arcanist (designed for group play):

This build DOES NOT perform as well as the Thaum build, but it is a LOT of fun for me to play, and it is still viable.

Rotation: Icy Terrain > Lightning Bolt > Ray of Enfeeblement > Steal Time > Storm Pillar charged to at least 50% > tap Storm Pillar until powers of cool down.

AOE (Arcanist, designed for Party play):

Single Target Arcanist:

This build is all about getting as many arcane stacks as possible, which means everything you do is Arcane damage. Be sure to mix in Daily Arcane Empowerment only when you have a good tank keeping aggro attention away from you so you can fully leverage. Use Storm Pillar only to refresh arcane and chill stacks. Your go-to at will is Ray of frost. Your Daily is Arcane Empowerment. With the right stats, good timing, and a disciplined rotation, this build will put out more damage on a single target than any other class in the game – NOTE: this concept is weak in AOE. Assailing Force is not working correctly right now, once that bug is fixed, then the DPS should go up more.

Arcanist Single Target

A quick comment on gear: Radiants in ALL offense slots. You want to stack as much Power as possible, but remember that the damage increase from Power isn’t as effective as a % damage increase from gear like Hags rags. These items (Demo Set included) are without a doubt best in slot.

If you want, you can always check out our old Wizard M16 blog entry.

Basic Build for Warlock Mod 16 + Level 80 Build

Basic Build Notes: These guides are not meant to be comprehensive “bibles” on how you must build your class, but offer solid alternatives to get started in the new mod. Each of these builds should offer a solid foundation for you to start playing the new mod, but do not necessarily represent “BiS”, as that can depend on your prefered playstyle, gear, and stats.

Warlock Notes: For level 80 Warlock build information, make sure you check out Lord Willow’s new Warlock build video. For Hellbringer leveling, use the Level 80 Build Hellbringer information screenshotted below and discussed in the Warlock build video.

Soulweaver Warlock Heals

Level 80 Build

DPS Warlock build

For information on the principles behind the build, plus information on gear (the Lostmauth set plays a big role), boon and companion information, make sure you check out the video by Lord Willow.

Soulweaver heals Warlock build


Basic Barbarian Build for Mod 16 Preview (archived)

As of the writing of this blog, the tank path for the Barbarian, the Sentinel, will be undergoing changes in the next patch. Therefore our coverage of the Sentinel will come at a later time.

The following selections are for the DPS path for the Barbarian, the Blademaster.

The idea behind the basic build is to build rage as quickly as possible and then to use your encounters while raging.

Basic Build Choices as of March 10th, 2019

At Wills: Sure Strike and Brash Strike
Encounters: Punishing Charge, Frenzy and Axestorm
Dailies: Savage Advance, Crescendo
Class Features: Steadfast Determination, Steel Blitz
Feats: Mighty Blade, Rampage, Steel Reaper, Overpenetration, Offensive Recovery

Thanks to Lord Willow for contributing information for the entry.

Basic Wizard Build for M16 Preview (archived)

Note, this is taken, almost entirely from Sharpedge, so….  credit where credit is due here.  This is based on the current build and may not be valid once this hits Live as there are bugs to be fixed.

Single Target Arcanist:

  • Entangling Force on Mastery
  • Ray of Enfeeblement
  • Disintegrate
  • Imprisonment
  • Passive: Storm Spell
  • Passive: Arcane Power Field
  • At-will: Magic Missile
  • Daily: Arcane Empowerment

Start with Imprisonment then Arcane Empowerment, Ray of Enfeeblement, Entangling Force, then Disintegrate. Try to cycle encounters as quickly as possible, then use Magic Missiles when they are off cool-down.

Area of Effect Thaumaturge:

  • Entangling Force on Mastery
  • Fanning the Flame
  • Icy Terrain
  • Conduit of Ice
  • Passive: Critical Conflagration
  • Passive: Evocation
  • At-will:Chilling Cloud
  • At-will:Oppressive Force
  • Daily: Furious Immolation

Most of the damage from this build comes from smolder, The goal is to trigger Critical Conflagration as much as possible. The order you use powers in is not so important, so long as you group as many enemies together as possible and play aggressively. The more enemies you pull, the more damage you will deal.

Single Target Feats:

  • Spell Twisting
  • Assailing Force
  • Chaos Magic
  • Striking Advantage
  • A Step above Mastery

Area of Effect Feats:

  • Smoldering Recovery
  • Glowing Flames
  • Shatter Strike
  • Critical Burn
  • Directed Flames

5 Known Bugs (as if this writing):

  • Elemental Reinforcement only working on the first hit.
  • Storm Pillar dealing excessive damage.
  • Chaos Magic – Quick Action giving half of the intended action points.
  • Striking Advantage does not scale.
  • Directed Flames deals 50%, not 75%.
  • Empowering Flames does not function.

**Mod 16 is still being tested and subject to change at any given moment

 

Basic Rogue Build M16 Preview (archived)

Single Target Assassin:

  • Lashing Blade
  • Assassinate
  • Deft Strike
  • Oppressive Darkness
  • Tactics
  • Duelist’s Flurry
  • Gloaming Cut
  • Shocking Execution

Whenever you use stealth, you want to use it to buff Lashing Blade. The rotation with this build is to wait for Skullcracker to trigger, then use Deft Strike, Stealth, Shocking Execution, a few Gloaming Cuts until stealth is almost depleted, then Lashing Blade and Assassinate. When your encounters are on cool-down, simply hold down Duelist’s Flurry.

Area of Effect Whisperknife:

  • Smoke Bomb
  • Blitz
  • Path of the Blade
  • Tactics
  • Razor Action
  • Whirlwind of Blades

Use stealth on Blitz, in order to lower cooldowns. As a result of this it is usually the last power used. Path of the Blade, Smoke Bomb, Stealth, Blitz, then at wills when your powers are on cool-down.

Single Target Feats:

  • Assassin’s Target
  • Knife’s Edge
  • Skullcracker
  • Hastily Sharpened Blades
  • Shadow’s Flurry

Area of Effect Feats:

  • Shady Preparations
  • Dark Reimbursement
  • Shadow of Demise
  • Shadowy Opportunity
  • Last Moments

Known Bugs:

  • Duelist’s Flurry Bleed does not deal damage if you hit enemies who are on a different level of terrain elevation to you.
  • The hit that triggers Shadow of Demise counts 50%, not 30%.
  • Shadow of Demise double benefits from debuffs.
  • Shadow of Demise counts damage dealt to all enemies, to the single enemy.
  • Back Alley Tactics significantly reduces your damage, as it is not capped to the domain and thus leads you to deal on average 40% less damage.
  • Knife’s Edge triggers per target hit, for example, it reduces your cool-downs by 20 seconds if it triggers off of 5 targets hit by Whirlwind of Blades.
  • Knife’s Edge does not trigger on Bloodbath.

**Mod 16 is still being tested and subject to change at any given moment

Basic Ranger Build for M16 Preview (archived)

Hunter was tested by @viraaal, not me, so if you wish to field any questions for this class, direct them at him, including if you should live stream Owlbear before your NDA has ended.  🙂

Single Target Hunter:

  • Longstrider’s Shot
  • Marauders Escape
  • Commanders Shot
  • Rapid Shot
  • Careful attack
  • Disruptive shot
  • Aspect of the Falcon
  • Aspect of the Pack

The rotation is Disruptive shot, Longstrider’s Shot, Gushing Wound, Marauders Escape (while jumping to remove the movement effect but keep the damage), Marauders Rush, Commanders Shot, Disruptive shot, Careful attack, Rapid Shot until Longstrider’s Shot is 1s off cool-down, and then repeat animation cancelling Disruptive shot with Longstrider’s Shot

Area of Effect Warden:

  • Throw Caution
  • Boar Charge
  • Marauders Rush
  • Storm Strike
  • Clear the ground
  • Snipe
  • Seeker’s Vengeance
  • Aspect of the Pack

The rotation is Split the Sky, Marauders Rush, 4 at-wills, Throw Caution, 4 at-wills, Boar Charge, Snipe, 2 at-wills. Repeat with Marauders Rush and using Split the Sky only at the start of a new rotation when its off cool-down (the at will you use depends on either single target or Area of Effect).

Single Target Feats:

  • Commander in Chief
  • Stillness of the Forest
  • Predator
  • Longshot
  • More than Disruptive

Area of Effect Feats:

  • Focused
  • Storms Recovery
  • Blade Hurricane
  • To the Wind
  • Enhanced Conductivity

**Mod 16 is still being tested and subject to change at any given moment

Basic Paladin Build for M16 Preview (archived)

This was written by @greyjay1 as he tested OP, so if you have any questions, I recommend fielding them his way.

Solo (Oathkeeper):

  • Valorous Strike
  • Radiant Strike
  • Smite
  • Sacred Weapon
  • Circle of Power (optional)
  • Divine Judgement
  • Justicar’s Charge
  • Composure
  • Divine Justice

Smite all the way, Sacred Weapon + Radiant Strike for AoE, Circle of Power to regain Divinity.

Tanking:

  • Shielding Strike (Oath Strike for AoE)
  • Radiant Strike
  • Smite (Templar’s Wrath for AoE)
  • Sacred Weapon
  • Absolution
  • Divine Justice
  • Divine Shieldberer

Smite (TW) all the way, Sacred Weapon + Oath Strike for AoE, block to regain Divinity.

Healing:

  • Cure Wounds (rarely used)
  • Radiant Strike (or Divine Fulmination)
  • Divine Touch
  • Divine Shelter
  • Circle of Power
  • Lay on Hands
  • Healing Font

Divine Touch as standard Power, Divine Shelter to counter pressure and after the Feat procced, CoP for +healing and +Divinity, Healing Font as HoT.

Solo Feats:

  • Free Blessing
  • Divine Weapon
  • Keeper’s Wrath
  • Guarded Prayers
  • Radiant Banner

Keeper’s Wrath is the important Feat here.

Tanking Feats:

  • Sacred Shield
  • Absolute Shield
  • Bound to the Land
  • Vigilant Defender
  • Bulwark of Faith

Tanking Feats are not so important
Healing Feats:

  • Free Blessing
  • Divine Weapon
  • Lasting Bond
  • Guarded Prayers
  • Intervening Light

Free Blessing is the important Feat here.

**Mod 16 is still being tested and subject to change at any given moment

Basic Barbarian Build for Mod 16 + Level 80 Build

Basic Build Notes: These guides are not meant to be comprehensive “bibles” on how you must build your class, but offer solid alternatives to get started in the new mod. Each of these builds should offer a solid foundation for you to start playing the new mod, but do not necessarily represent “BiS”, as that can depend on your preferred playstyle, gear, and stats.

Barbarian Notes: Forget your old GWF altogether, the Barbarian in many regards is a completely new class. The class is reasonably balanced, does great damage, and is a fantastic tank due to its threat pull capabilities.

Make sure you check out Lord Willow’s Barbarian build video for a deeper understanding of the build information presented below.

Blademaster DPS Barbarian for leveling
Barbarian Sentinel Tank for leveling

Barbarian build for level 80

Notes: This build is focused on the DPS Blademaster Barbarian. You can check out Lord Willow’s video for some discussion on the Barbarian tank. Lord Willow and others tested the At-Wills and found that Relentless Slash, even for single target, outperforms the other At-Wills, especially with Steel Blitz slotted. He thus slots single target Encounters and uses Relentless Slash instead of Axestorm for AOE damage. Make sure you check out his video to understand more about the viable variants of this build, including the pros and cons of the Bloodspiller/Bloodletter variant or the combination of Not So Fast/Relentless Speed/Relentless Slash.

DPS Barbarian build for level 80

If you want, you can always check out our old Barbarian basic build blog for M16.

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