Heavy Damage: What’s your poison?

Now that I have reviewed all three Tank specs, I’ll be pitting them against each other to decide what Tank is the “best” for certain situations. I have played all three tank classes to 25. From my experience I would have to say for any situation, the best all-round Tank is going to be the Vanguard.

The Vanguard has very good mitigation and is very versatile – I love its ability to go from ranged to melee in its Tanking. Even though most of its hard tanking mechanics are up close (about 4-10 metres) it still has a wide array of damage abilities that can be used from afar. One such ability is Mortar – it is devastating to trash mobs and is a great opener (before you get Storm as a distance closer) to generate some decent threat on a harder mob. I use Mortar for clearing the way of those trash mobs that like to block paths to quest objectives.

The Vanguard does have some pitfalls – I’m not a huge fan of the “Ammo” pacing mechanic. I find it’s much easier to run out of Ammo than it is to run out of Focus on my Guardian. The other thing that the Vanguard is missing is an early-level closing ability. By closing ability I’m referring to an ability that closes the distance between you and your target – it could also be called an opener.

Some people might think I’m contradicting myself because a bit higher in this article I spoke of how the Vanguard was great at range, well he is, but when your group is needing a Tank like a Wookiee needs a comb, the Vanguard has to be up close and personal.

The Shadow has my vote for second best tank on the grounds that it’s probably the most versatile tank I’ve ever got to play, not to mention it’s up there in the fun factor. Having stealth on a tank doesn’t seem like a big deal, other than when you don’t feel like fighting a bunch of trash mobs on your way to an objective. Stealth in PvP is an entirely different beast altogether.  On the Alderaan Warzone it’s very useful for stealthing and capping the turrets. On HuttBall your force sprint is great. In Voidstar it’s a decent ability to pop off when playing offense to plant the bomb, if your team can distract the opposing force on the other side.

The cons on the Shadow are few but pretty big from my point of view. Being another mitigation Tank, they have substantially lower armor than the Guardian and Vanguard. The Shadow doesn’t have a distance closer other than Force Speed which only gets you close – it adds no hate or damage. Project isn’t bad but it’s no Mortar or Force leap.

The Guardian is your standard melee tank. Good mitigation and threat on a single target, and has probably the best opener of the three: Force Leap. Once you obtain Force Push, the combo of the two is extremely effective in both PvE and PvP. Another great attribute of the Guardian is that they can go from Tank to DPS with the click of a button. Switching stances can take you from a tank to an off-Tank DPS . The Guardian is also the class I recommend for any beginner Tanks, for the simple fact that it’s your most traditional tank, doesn’t involve all the focus and involvement that a Shadow does, and its ability to be a damage dealer with relative ease compared to the Vanguard. Riposte is a really big part of Guardian tanking after you start in the Tank tree of the Guardian Advanced Class, as it gives you a defensive buff that helps a lot.

One big thing about Tanking in SWTOR that you’ll have to learn (or if you’ve played other MMO’s, forget) is that DPS players are responsible for the adds and trash mobs. Your focus is the big guys. Hold their hate and keep their focus. As long as your team knows that the DPS players should be picking up the adds and burning them down, you’ll stay alive and be able to keep your team alive. In PvP, make sure you have Guard on the Huttball runner, and Guard on any healer you can talk into healing you during the Warzone.




  1. Force pull for Assassin tanks is like a close/open you can cry out GET OVER HERE even while you do it..