Heavy Damage: Jedi Guardian overview

It’s a week of column launches and the next cab off the rank is Heavy Damage, devoted to everything tanking. Our own Alec Bailey will bring you tips. guides and strategies for what’s arguably one of the hardest roles in any Operation. First up, and overview of the Jedi Guardian.

Hi folks, it’s your resident tank expert, Alec. And I don’t mean those big metal war machines with a howitzer and tracks, I mean a MMO tank. Tanks come in several varieties and flavors. Such as: melee tanks, ranged tanks, mitigation tanks, and avoidance tanks.

Star Wars: The Old Republic has three paths a tank can pick from. First there is Jedi Guardian, a traditional melee tank relying on mitigation from heavy armor and shield generators. Next we have the Trooper Vanguard which is a ranged mitigation tank wearing heavy armor and using shield generators. The third choice is the Jedi Shadow, a melee and semi-ranged, force-using tank that wears light armor and shield generators. Most people who know anything about tanking would look at the Shadow and think that it was a avoidance tank. It’s not. It’s also a mitigation tank using “Techniques” or “Stances” to raise its armor rating to be on par with the Trooper and Guardian.

Today I will be going into detail on the Jedi Knight’s tanking advanced class, the Guardian, talking about what to expect and even a little theory-crafting on some builds I’ve made, and some made by fellow tanks.

The Jedi Knight will start his journey on Tython as a damage dealer. All early characters( pre-advanced class) will be damage dealers. At level 10 or when you complete your starter world storyline, you will have the chance to go to the Republic Fleet. This is the place where you pick your advanced class. Now that you’re a Guardian you’re going to need to get some heavy armor and a shield generator. Heavy armor can be bought at vendors on the Republic Fleet or on the Galactic Market. Your first shield generator you’ll get for free when you pick the Guardian AC.

Tanking with a Guardian is fun and a bit challenging. They have a lot of abilities you will use, so get used to a full quickbar. After you have your advanced class, you’ll be able to put points into three trees, or paths that a Guardian can take. The three trees are Defense, Focus, and Vigilance. Now don’t let the names fool you – Defense is the tank tree, but Vigilance has a lot of great tanking abilities and bonuses.

Jedi Guardians use “Focus” to fuel or use their abilities. Some abilities use focus, some grant focus, and a few are free (meaning they use no focus). For example, Sundering Strike can be upgraded to have a 100% chance to build one focus as well as lowering the target’s armor five percent. It can be stacked up to five times making it a great ability to build focus and debuff an enemy. Sundering Strike can also be upgraded to apply the sunder debuff twice per activation, furthering it’s usefulness.

The build that I am currently leveling on my Guardian was created by SWTOR forum member Seraphimm. Seraphimm’s build is very close to what I had already planned on rolling but, with more talents in the Vigilance tree than I originally planned, so far it is working out great. Here’s a link to the build.

His build has more points in the Vigilance tree than the Defense tree. If you read the abilities and perks the Vigilance tree is excellent for a Guardian path. Here’s the rotation  Serphimm listed in case you’re using his build or a similar one.

BELOW level 50
1- Pick one of the ranged Fighters and Force leap to him, hit him with Blade storm.
2- Issue a challenging Call (15meter range).
3- Drag the melee you picked up over to the other group who are also focused on you (Challenging call either reaches them or they are outside agro range and they aren’t an issue anyway)
4- Once you have the melee over by the other ranged mob Drop your Force Sweep (You have now hit everyone before your challenging call wears off.)
5- Begin sundering strikes and ripostes as cool downs allow. You only have to hold threat for 24 seconds before your Challenging Call is available again.
6- Use Force Push to knock primary target away, use Challenging call and force leap to the mob you just knocked away.

After level 50
1- Pick one of the ranged fighters and force leap to him.
2- Issue a Challenging Call
3- Drag the melee over to the other ranged mob
4- Drop your Force sweep and macro target your healer/dps
5- Guardian Leap to said healer/dps then immediately Force Leap back to the group you created (You will now have protector and Unremitting on you for 3 seconds)
6- Begin your sundering strikes/ripostes as available
7- As soon as Challenging call is available, use it then Guardian Leap Back to Healer/dps then immediately Force Leap back to the Pack and drop Force Sweep.”


Here’s a couple other builds I’ve found that are popular:

Guardian Defender submitted by Firean1

Ckren’s Accuracy Build submitted by ByroGyro

This is a great guide for anyone who wants to be a Jedi Guardian:

Seraphimm’s Guide to Guardian Tanking

 Over to you: are you levelling a Guardian, and if so, what’s working for you?