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Lvl 50 5-Man Warrior Tanking Spec


Caomhnoir de na Iomproidh Corcra

Caomhnoir de na Iomproidh Corcra
GW2: Shadeflayer.8906

Posted On: 02/19/2012 at 06:31 AM

After numerous questions from players on my tanking build I have decided to post my 5 man tanking spec here, along with macros, to help any new 50 warrior tank get started. This is at T2 gear levels (T2 drops and plaq gear). At higher gear levels I am quite certain it will do even better.

Note: I found this several months ago and I'll be dammed if I can find the original link again. If you have questions of why I didn't do this or that in the build, I probably can't answer them. All I know is it just works, and works well...

The Zam link: Paladin (32) / Warlord (13) / Reaver (21)

This is a heavy Paladin and Reaver build with some Warlord thrown in for some extra goodness.


The key to this build is to open with your ranged AOE Diseases (Pull macro), then once in range of the mobs hit your AOE macro. This will lock down aggro for all but the most top geared players, in which case you hit the AOE macro a second time. Sometimes Marksmen will get some high crits right away and you will have to focus taunt that mob. All in a days work.....

Keybind Sergeant's Order to a secondary mouse button so you can use it quickly. This allows you to grab a mob, usually a ranged mob, and pull them too you. Please note that the mechanics of Sergeant's Order will cause it to fail if there is even the slightest terrain/physical structure (blocking) between you and the mob. The mob may be able to cast at you but you won't be able to pull it. Simply manuver the melee mobs to a position where you can grab the ranged mob.

Always remember that AOE is your strongest snap threat generator you have. If mobs get lose and are in the party, a quick AOE taunt and they are yours again. Use your Pull macro again and continue tanking.



Grab some Gravemaker Steaks from the vendor in Stillmore for a nice endurance buff, and I like to use either Metamorphic Runes or Wrathful Flames, depending on the situation.

While only a cosmetic thing, I suggest you do it. How you 'look' as a toon can add some bonus confidence (too both you and your party's initial impression of you). Sounds silly, I know. But if you show up in a dungeon with the stock gear on your going to look like a dork for the most part. Mixed gear sets look like crap. Use a Wardrobe. Find a gear set that makes you look decent and just leave it on. Vanity, I know... It's a human thing!


Aspect of the Fallen Hero
Battlefield Awareness
Aegis of Salvation
Binding of Affliction
Shield of the Hero
Crest of the Abyss
Battlefield Distraction



Pull (AOE Diseases)
#show Soul Sickness
cast Plague Bringer
cast Soul Sickness
cast Necrotic Wounds
cast Infestation

Builder (to three stacks)
#show Empowering Strike
cast Retaliation
cast Disarming Counterblow
cast Light's Decree
cast Aggressive Block
cast Empowering Strike

#show Dire Blow
cast Dire Blow
cast Disarming Counterblow
cast Retaliation

AOE (damage & taunts)
#show Paladin's Reprisal
cast Paladin's Reprisal
cast Concussion
cast Sweeping Strike
cast Light's Decree
cast Scales of Justice
cast Judgment


Any questions or comments please send me in-game notes to either Bruiser or Kashan.

Happy Tanking!


» Edited on: 2012-02-19 06:34:01


Member Response:


Caomhnoir de na Iomproidh Buí

Caomhnoir de na Iomproidh Buí
ESO: @Berkanna

Replied On: 02/19/2012 at 02:53 PM

omg thank you!


Fili de na Griobhta Dearg

Fili de na Griobhta Dearg
GW2: Donaliam.8325 ESO: @Donaliam

Replied On: 02/19/2012 at 10:46 PM

That's the Tank spec that I use whenever I tank every 3rd purple moon followed by a red comet. ;) I don't as often as I used too.


Saighdiuir de na Capall Donn

Saighdiuir de na Capall Donn
GW2: Shagrotten.5082 ESO: @shagrotten

Replied On: 03/01/2012 at 10:19 AM

Do you have any recommendations on how to build this... build... while leveling?

Like go up this tree until x level then do this one until y level, etc...

I'm not looking for a level by level guide, just general direction.



Ard Tiarna de na Iomproidh Bán

Ard Tiarna de na Iomproidh Bán

Replied On: 03/05/2012 at 11:07 AM

51 VK > All (For raids) 'Nuff Said
Pally/WL/VK (For solo 20+mob pulls)
Vals build for DPS.
VK/WL/Reaver for Plant tanking in GSB.

Got all I need !


Caomhnoir de na Iomproidh Corcra

Caomhnoir de na Iomproidh Corcra
GW2: Shadeflayer.8906

Replied On: 03/26/2012 at 10:42 AM

Just keep in mind that this build, while viable as an OT in raids, is primarily for 5-man dungeons.

As for Vandlyl's comments, he is stuck on VK. Does not seem to matter that all the forums tank leads in the game say so, he is still stuck in the past. The new king of tanking is the hybred tank, RV/Pal/War.

The only two things VK is good for anymore is GSB plant tanking and massive aggro generation. The above hybred had far better mitigation and only slightly less aggro generation. However, play what you feel comfortable playing. Trion devs have balanced all warrior tanks specs to be farily playable, with few exceptions outside of HK. So Van will continue to VK it, and I will continue to hybred it. We work well together as a team despite the fact that I am more hansom then him.



Ard Tiarna de na Iomproidh Bán

Ard Tiarna de na Iomproidh Bán

Replied On: 03/26/2012 at 12:32 PM

Ha! I D K about the forum leads: or the math (mitigation blah blah blah). I know for a fact - My VK doesnt need 10 secs to get aggro in a raid, I have no trouble keeping aggro and I can mitigate magic dmg like a BOSS.

AND - I plant tank in GSB using LOW VK spec, High WL Spec to give CMD Buffs, Furthermore I plant tank in GSB because I know how to do it and YOU refuse to get a VK spec because its a gimmack (yet you use an HK build, or Gimmack Hybrid Build - - -when we arent in HK)

AND - No WAY are you more handsome than me!


Curadh de na Capall Buí

Curadh de na Capall Buí
GW2: vesper.2015 ESO: @ashendare

Replied On: 03/27/2012 at 01:14 PM

tip for sergeant's order. JUMP and cast it when you're at the top of your jump, that will take care of most of the "bumps" in the ground.

as for vandyl's vk build vs bruiser's hybrid build. Play what you like, those 2 and a few others are close enough in performance that if you are a little bit overgeared, it won't make a noticeable difference. a hybrid build would be the best bet for somebody that's not geared quite enough for the content they're at.

for stuff I'm VERY overgeared for, I run a dps tank build that is a lot of fun :) reaver/riftsblade/vk. High dps, great aggro except at start, has fairly nice mitigation/block (nowhere near as good as a full tank, but still pretty good)

My suggestion for tanks, and really anything else - have 2 specs at least for what you want your main role to be. one that is "fotm best current build" and one that is what you WANT to play. And know when to use which build.

We'll drink the wine till the cup is dry, And kiss the girls so they'll not cry, And toss the dice until we fly, To dance with Jak o' the Shadows.


Caomhnoir de na Fhiaigh Corcra

Caomhnoir de na Fhiaigh Corcra
GW2: Altone Argith.5129

Replied On: 03/28/2012 at 02:19 PM

I need some Builds here lets go! :D


Ard Tiarna de na Iomproidh Bán

Ard Tiarna de na Iomproidh Bán

Replied On: 03/28/2012 at 07:06 PM

51 Vk 7 WL 8 Pally = Usually in this spec
5 RV 29 VK 32 WL = Plant tanking in GSB
10 WL 44 Pally 12 VK = Solo/Onslaught Farming etc
2 RB 38 Para 26 Champ (Vals build) 2h DPS


Caomhnoir de na Iomproidh Corcra

Caomhnoir de na Iomproidh Corcra
GW2: Shadeflayer.8906

Replied On: 03/30/2012 at 04:29 AM

Van, either put up or go to your room. Make the effort to provide the actual builds, macros, rotations, and how to play the defined spec. Otherwise there is no value to anyone in what you have posted.

Notice the thread heading... "5-man". Didn't think so.

*sigh* The impatience of youth....


Ard Tiarna de na Iomproidh Bán

Ard Tiarna de na Iomproidh Bán

Replied On: 03/30/2012 at 08:23 AM

Ok Bruiser - Ill put up, but put DOWN your dukes man! Ill explain the VK build, not the pally/Plant/DPS build.

I can provide ALL the information you need to spec the VK and I can provide all the macros (That I use, some may use different setups) but, I cannot give you the SKILL to play the class.

1. I know personally, when I 1st started doing 5 - man content, I was stuck on the Pally build. Look at all those shield throws, a charge, a shield for the ENTIRE group, and a buff you can give another player that heals them when they take dameage. Who can forget the heals on block, life returned on retaliation and so on. So, off I go tanking 5-man in my pally/wl spec .... and not doing so great. Ive tanked in every game all the way back to DAOC.I know how to do it, but here I am not doing the job well. I even tried full WL on the advice of another tank. Still - didnt go so well.

2. Why? Why VK? After a few DH runs, I inquired what spec the MT was using because our gear was nearly the same and yet he could stand up to bosses and I was having trouble. 51VK 7 WL 8 Pally. Look at the VK tree and see, he says, youll understand.

3. VK is a bit confusing at first, and I for one didnt understand what it was all about. But I tried it. Got the buttons all conduffled the first few times, then it started to work. I remember the 2nd boss in DSM just destroying me in pally spec before, and here I am in VK doing MUCH better.
Taking less damage, making it easier on the healer etc.

I am not a Dev, not the VK Lead or any such thing. I just use it, and it works. It works because its the magic buster tank - you can spout physical mitigation numbers at me ALL day, but nearly ALL the bosses in the game have some form of magic attack, and so many pulls deal with at least 1 caster, maybe more (CR anyone?) So, I use VK to mitigate all that magic damage. NEver once, since i made the switch has any healer, new or pug heals EVER said to me "you are so hard to heal!" In fact, ive heard the opposite.


51 VK (Fill all the skills)
07 Warlord 5/5 Powerfull Countenance (Armor) and 2/5 Defensive Experience (Moar Block Please)
08 Pally 5/5 Stalwart Shield for 5% BLock, 2/2 Aggressive Guardian (added threat, and 1/1 shield of the hero (because buffs are good)

Lets break this down now, in this Role using the spec above, I receive the following (this is not a complete list as you can see the entire list on zam)
But here are the highlights

**VK** Below are highlights of the spec, I am not including the Pally/WL Abilities Granted, as any tank should be able to see the buffs and abilities and understand the use.

Pacts are king - they are what drives the VK spec. WIthout them, you may as well be in some hybrid spec.....

VOID - Thrive on primal energy, absorbing 3% of incoming damage. Magical energy absorbed is converted into Pacts. Lasts 1 hour.

AIRBURST - (AOE THREAT) Quickly release a burst of pent up energy to deal 646 to 654 Air damage to up to 10 nearby enemies. Affected enemies are forced to attack the Warrior for 3 seconds.

RAGESTORM - (AOE THREAT) The Warrior attacks up to 5 enemies within 7 meters, dealing weapon plus 259 Physical damage, in addition to 8 Air damage per Pact. Generates additional threat. This ability grants 1 Attack Point

Tempest - (AOE THREAT)Release a torrent of unstable energy, striking up to 10 targets for 645 Air damage, in addition to 16 Air damage per active Pact. This ability generates significant threat. This ability grants 1 Attack Point.

UNSTABLE REACTION - (Ranged Silence) Focus a torrent of unstable energy into the target, dealing 3284 Air damage over the next 6 seconds, in addition to draining Mana equivalent to 50% of the damage done. The enemy is silenced for 6 seconds. Gain 1 Pact each second this ability is active. This ability grants 1 Attack Point.

SHOCK BURST - (AOE SILENCE) Inflicts silence on up to 8 nearby targets:
1 Point: 3 seconds.
2 Points: 5 seconds.
3 Points: 8 seconds.

FUSION OF FLESH - (SELF HEAL) Protects the Void Knight for 20% of their maximum Health for each Pact consumed for the next 5 non Physical hits over 30 seconds. Each Non Physical hit heals the Void Knight for 20% of their maximum Health. Consumes up to 5 Pacts.

SINGULARITY - All incoming damage is reduced by 35% for 10 seconds.

ACCORD OF EMPTINESS - (Keeps Pacts full all the time, refreshes summon) The cold darkness of the void is bound to the very flesh of the Void Knight, granting a Pact every 3 seconds, in addition to causing incoming damaging spells to have a 50% chance of refreshing Rift Summon. Lasts 1 hour.

RIFT SUMMON - (Ranged Pull) Planes Shift the selected enemy to the Warrior. The disorientation roots the enemy for 1.5 seconds, and forces them to attack the Warrior for 3 seconds. This ability grants 1 Attack Point.

RIFT SHIELD (Shield self or grp member) Shield an ally from the next 130 non-Physical damage per Pact unleashed, for 30 seconds. Consumes up to 5 Pacts.

SPELLBREAKER - (Cleanse) Drains the negative magical energy from an ally, removing 3 Curses. Adds 2 Pacts per effect drained.

SPELL SUNDER - (Purge) Drain the beneficial magical energy from an enemy, removing 3 positive spell effects. Adds 2 Pacts per effect drained.

RIFT TAP - (Ranged Caster MAnagement) The next spell that hits the Warrior deals damage back to the caster. Generates additional threat. Lasts 30 seconds:
1 Point: 635 Air damage.
2 Points: 697 Air damage.
3 Points: 756 Air damage

Below are the passives for the ENtire spec.

Improved Rift Summon Reduces cooldown on Rift Summon by 20 seconds.
Replenish Heal 6% of your Endurance when a Pact is gained.
Residual Absorption You become immune to negative magical effects for 6 seconds after casting Spellbreaker.
Power Leech Increases number of Pacts gained through Devouring Blow, Spell Sunder, Spellbreaker, and Soul Pillage by 1.
Quality Care When receiving a single target heal, you have a 30% chance of gaining a Pact. This will not be triggered by Branch based heals such as Replenish, and will only trigger off of the first hit of a heal over time spell.
Ravenous Defense Reduces incoming non-Magical damage by 0.3% per application. This bonus applies while a Pact is active. Can be applied up to 10 times.
Blood from a Stone When you hit a target that does not have Mana with a melee attack ability, you gain a 25% chance of getting a Pact.
Efficient Conversion Abilities that unleash Pacts cost 15 less Power.
Surge Increases all threat generated by 30%. Generates additional threat to up to 10 nearby enemies based on Endurance whenever a Pact is gained.
Ravenous Strength Increases Strength by 2.5% per application, in addition to 0.12% per application for every point spent in Void Knight past level 30. This bonus applies while a Pact is active. Can be applied up to 10 times.
Energy Retention Pact duration is increased by 15 seconds.
Aggressive Guardian Increases threat generated by 20%. Increases threat from Retaliation, Disarming Counterblow, and Paladin's Reprisal further based on Endurance.
Stalwart Shield Increases your Block by 5%.
Defensive Experience Increases Block chance by 2%.
Powerful Countenance Increases Armor by 5%.

Macros - I only use 3 macros and they are on my qbar1 in this orde: ST MAcro = #1 AOE Macro = #2 Finisher Macro = #3 Rift SUmmon = #4
All other skills are on my qbars to be used on CD or As needed.

ST Macro =
#show pacifying strike


cast aggressive block

cast pacifying strike

cast retaliation

AOE Macro =

cast tempest

cast ragestorm

cast aggressive block

cast power sink

cast empowering strike

cast retaliation

FInisher Macro =
#show Spotter's order


cast spotter's order

cast retaliation

My Current, self buffed stats are:

Armor: 11545 = 63.98% Physical damage reduction
BLock: 1143 = 48.15% chance to block
61.32% Damage Absorption
Parry: 735 = 11.89% Chance to parry
Hit Points = 16547

Armor and HP are NOT as high in full VK as they are in say, Pally or another spec, but those specs DONT have the utility the VK has, or the magic mitigation.

Most trash pulls I use #2, ALOT. I do 1 rotation with the ST macro on my target and right back to AOE Macro. Its nearly the same for bosses but usually have to mix a few ST rotations in to keep Aggressive Block active.

IF a mob breaks loose a quick target and button 4 brings em back.

I use the ranged silence and spark or Rift Tap to either draw a caster in, or keep him aggrod until Rift summon is back up.

Fusion of Flesh if Im taking alot of damage from caster mobs or caster boss OR the group needs attention from the healer more than me.

Touch of Life - Same as FoF except it gets used for any situation

Sigularity - TO deal with Big Spike Magic Damage (IE Uru in GP)

Spell Breaker - Help with Grp cleanses, or cleanse myself (so healers dont have to), this also works alot like Break Free for self use (SO I have 2 Break Frees)

Spell Sunder - Stip Damage shields off bosses mostly, Glacial Shield, Jagged Ice Shield etc. but I use it on trash in CR/DH/GP etc too.

Passives that really stand out:

When your buffs are up, and Accord of Emptiness is up you will maintain 10 Pacts - so the following passives are ALWAYS at the max they can be

Ravenous Defense Reduces incoming non-Magical damage by 0.3% per application. This bonus applies while a Pact is active. Can be applied up to 10 times.

Ravenous Strength Increases Strength by 2.5% per application (STR = BLOCK!!!!) in addition to 0.12% per application for every point spent in Void Knight past level 30. This bonus applies while a Pact is active. Can be applied up to 10 times.

Next time you are in a dungeon, or raid, pay attention to the mobs that are physical dmg and the mobs that are magical damage. Compare the bosses too - how many bosses have ONLY physical damage attacks? So a build with High Physical mitigation might take less damage from that form of attack and take ALOT more during magical damage.

Lets try some very simple math ( I am not a math magician, so...)

Pally/Reaver Spec VS. Average Joe Boss (who does magic damage, or magical damage is part of the encounter - which is like...every boss)

Pally Takes 5000 LESS Physical damage
Pally takes 10000 MORE Magical Damage

VK takes 1000 more Physical Damage (Believe it or not, the VK ISNT that gimped at physical damage mitigation)
VK Takes 10000 LESS Magical damage - Because of singularity and passives etc

As a healer, I would rather heal the VK because he WONT spike so much after big magic hits (unless its a baseline dmg of a % of health pool (ie Soul Fracture))
As a healer, I would rather heal the VK because He can cleanse himself, mitigate magic damage better, Heal off Magic dmg, Heal with ToL and shield himself.

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