So I've made a tank build before, listing the gears and skills that can be used for a pure tank, but I feel like I can make a more comprehensive guide on tanking, given the new updates ranging from gears, higher level cap and more bosses that I've stumbled across, some are quirky, and some are straight up deadly. I'm not satisfied with the bare minimum of what a tank is supposed to do/capable of. So here I am, making a brand new thread for it. A more general tank guide can be found in the forum, one of them being @Zezusa 's guide here. I'll be focusing on the content of my tank concept, which is mostly based around a pure mtl vit sword and shield tank. You will become a tank that could laugh at e Ivery enemies you're up against. Spoiler: Introduction Tank, a class/role of toram that have succeeded in breaking through the dps-centric META of toram and having a stable place in toram society. The role in which very simple to make a work of, with the lowest minimum requirement out of all playable roles for their practical purpose. All you need to do is to bait enemies and keeping yourself/teammates alive, thats it. There's no need to worry about damage optimization and stuff, with just you being there, battles can be fought way easier. There are a lot of ways you can build your tank character, with various differences in gears, combos and playstyle as long as you can fullfill the main role, which is an aggro holder. With that being said, what is the ceiling of this simple, yet diverse class? What can be improved on? How to optimize the performance? With how high the level cap we currently have and the stats of the gears which have gotten better with every new boss/gears releases, a tank can be expanded with interesting direction. A lot of people opting to get more damage by making a semi-dps tanks which is great and all, but that's a bit of a stepback for me imho for a class that can thrive completely out of the dps meta. At one point I'll be touching upon dps with a tank character but for now there are lots of stuff you might be missing out if you go full blown on dps direction by trading it off for damage output. I'll be focusing on the main role of tanking itself and what can you improve on based off it. Spoiler: Chapter 1: The basics There are 4 main aspects of tanking that you should pay attention to when creating and playing a tank character, in which I will list it based on the priority: 1) Damage mitigation/death prevention Why is it number one? Isn't your main job to bait the enemies? Why not aggro? The answer is that a dead tank is a useless tank. Even after you're revived, your. Aggro will be lost and it will be harder to get them back the longer the battles have been going on. There are multiple ways in keeping yourself from becoming a dead meat, such as counter skills, defensive stats/skills and so on, which I'll explore more in the later chapters. 2)Interrupts/cc skills It goes hand in hand with damage mitigation/death prevention. Pattern recognition is also needed to interrupt enemies with corresponding interrupt skills. You can avoid deathly pattern to save you and your party mates in battles. The main cc skills would be skills that inflict flinch, tumble and stun, but there's also knockback and other ailments which would be useful for certain situations. 3)Aggro generation The next one is the aggro generation. You have to be able to generate reliable amount of aggro regardless of the situation you're in(except for connection problem). While its simple enough as aggro can be generated by any skills with their own mp cost there are certain things that needs to pay attention to. One of them would be the next point. 4)Proration management Proration is shared amongst your party. Dps members usually use alternating skills of physical/magic/neutral. Some may do a little too much certain type and lowering their damage either for a short burst or overtime. As a tank you have the leeway of doing normal attacks without having to deal damage, you can counter balance the offset of the proration for some extent. Of course you also need to pay attention to the proration you generate yourself. With this in mind, buff skills that deals no proration are more ideal compared to physical/magic skills. These are the base of tanking. You want to build your tank that fulfills these criteria as to become the best tank you could be. Spoiler: Chapter 2: If you hate pain, max out your defense! Well, Maple is a freak of nature. If you want to be a walking fortress like her, the first thing you do is to enhance your defensive capabilities. There are multiple ways of getting beefy and hard to kill. It's been explained multiple times in other threads with the refinement, physical/magic/elemental resist, guard and other stuff so I won't be going too much into the details. 1)Gear refinement As much as it gives you the damage reduction, its capped at 45% reduction for mag/phys/fract damage so there isn't that much of a scalability with it. +B is fine, +A is good and +S is perfect. Getting to +A costs medium amount of budget whilst +B have the least amount of cost and effort to do. +S is for the perfectionist, I don't even refine my gears to +S and i'm content with +A. There are so many things thats better to be put into consideration other than flexing your +S gears. 2) Magic & physical resistance(also elemental) I'm not going to mention about the actual DEF/MDEF stats too much since they have very limited scalability in damage mitigatiom due to how the formula works. If you can get 250 DEF/MDEF that should be good enough, as it gives you 20% damage reduction, 1250 would give you an extra 10% but more than that is just a waste of effort. But physical and magic resistance... Get them as much as you possibly can! Resistance works in steps of 50%. For avery 50% the effective increment is reduced. If you can reach 100% resistance it would be a good 75% effective damage reduction (after refinement and def/mdef are applied). While its gradually have low return, its so much better than DEF/MDEF formula. So what are the perks of getting high amount of resistance? You get the damage reduction but there's more to it. 3)The power of Sanctuary Nuff said, its a life-saving skill for tanks. It reduces the damage taken by 90% if the original damage is below 10% of your maxHP. You can't be using p. Def for every attacks you get hit, p. Def costs you 1mp bar and you're just defending without being able to do anything else. Sanctuary allows you to ignore small fractional attacks and most magic/physical. You can then freely do other stuff like interrupts, prorating with auto attacks and so on. 4)The Highest Maxhp You Have, the Laziest You can be Now onto the maxHP. Why is it great to have it as high as possible? Don't you afraid of fractionals? The old way of tanking is to have good enough amount of maxhp to get the most out of p. Def's heal while keeping low enough hp to mitigate fractional attacks. This is too outdated way of thinking. You might get away with low difficulty bosses but you will have some trouble in higher difficulty, magic and physical attacks are stronger and they will exceed sanctuary's threshold easily. You would need to either dodge or p. Def a lot of aoes to stay alive. You will also find yourself having your mp drained on constant moving bosses your decoy wont give you an off hand mp reserve. Its also worth to note that except bow and bowguns, decoy shot staggers when hit by aoes. P. Def is a great skill but its not an all powerful skill to mitigate damage. I've mentioned some of p. Def weaknesses, its a necessary skill to have, but not a skill to rely upon. Sanctuary+high resistance+high hp on the other hand, offers a greater advantage in the big picture. It offers you a freedom of action to deal with higher level of adversity. You want to be able to get lazy and be free of having to raise your shield for every single incoming attacks. So what's next? 5)Gotta Heal yourself if you get hurt too much There are several ways of healing in toram, such as p. Def, bless&advanced bless and of course, healing potions. But what are the best way to heal? With high max hp in mind, potions lose their effectiveness, advanced bless growth depends on INT, and healing skill that heals with certain constant such as p. Def, bloody bite and buster blade are also ineffective the higher maxhp you have. The best way to heal are skills that heals proportional ro your maxhp, two of which are heal and nature wonder. Both heal and nature wonder are able to heal about 20% of your maxhp, with heal it also have a fixed constant of hp at 3k If you have 40k maxhp, you'd get at least 10k of healing, that's 5 times worth of healing of p. Def with the cost of 3mp bar. What about the damage taken whilst healing? Thats why you want to always have your sanctuary intact. 6) How about Guard? Is it necessary to have it at high rate? New guard system! Now guard is less of a liability and more of a really versatile defense mechanism. The first thing you want to do is to have 100+ guard power, which allows you to reduce incoming damage by % of your current guard power. Guard protects you from magic, physical, AND fractional attacks, with the exception of floor(like spikes) and meteor aoes. One thing to note, guard depletes with every use and can only protecy you from frontal attacks. Then regarding guard rate, now it becomes guard recharge, which increases the rate of recovery of your guard gauge. One more thing, a perfectly timed guard reduces the guard gauge usage by 50%, so you can preserve it better if you time it right. Well, that's about it. The key of this defensive mindset is to maintain a high heal to damage ratio by reducing the damage taken and having high amount of HP. As for fractionals attacks, I will explain it more on the next chapters. Spoiler: Chapter 3: How to cheat the death People die if they're killed. Even with all the previous defensive measures, there are certain scenarios where it will all be futile. The main culprit are fractional damage, the other would be obscenely high magic/physical damage. The best example of it are Hero potum's 50% fractional damage sword wave and Seele zauga's spirit bomb. The most common are fractional spike aoes with > 10% damage. Even fractional spikes below 10% might caught you off guard when you don't have your sanctuary intact, or when youre locked in a combo. There are several ways to deal with them. 1)Recognize the patterns Bosses will have some set of patterns and movements when they're about to unleash certain attacks. The AoE warning are relatively easy to predict. If you can forecast what about to come, you can either interrupt them or just dodge them. 2)Backstep your way out of troubles! (Plus evasion) Backstep skil from assassin tree, would be your primary movement skill in case things get awry. You might find yourself on death's door when you get caught off guard. The example would be when. multiple aoes stacked on the floor while you don't have sanctuary intact. Some floor aoes have a long duration, its not feasible to use the invincibility frame combo. As the new evasion system being implemented, evasion adds extra mobility with multidirectional movement, although it has shorter range than evasion. Light armor is good to use to enable the evasion. You can also opt to not take backstep to save 6sp. How about the guard? Even with light armor you'd still be able to get 100+ guard for damage reduction. With sanctuary you can instead just take trivial damage and use the guard for fractional attacks when needed. 3)Guard save lives Another feature of the guard system, is that it could prevent death. For guardable attacks, one hit ko damage can be nullified leaving your hp at 1. This works for physical, magic and fractionals. The guard will break and it will take some time until you can use it again. Floor and meteor aoes are also unguardable, as such its not a foolproof way to cheat death, but still nice to have nevertheless.