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A Comprehensive Guide To The Riftstalker Tank

By: Willrei

In part one of this series, I introduced the basic principles of tanking as a RS. Here I will talk more about the specifics as well as suggest macros and rotations for successfully tanking all instances up to T1 (where I am currently.)

Suggested Builds

Bard (0) / Riftstalker (51) / Bladedancer (15)
Bard (8) / Riftstalker (51) / Bladedancer (7)
Bard (0) / Riftstalker (51) / Bladedancer (15)
Bard (7) / Riftstalker (51) / Bladedancer (8)
Bard (7) / Riftstalker (51) / Ranger (8)

All of these builds are played in almost exactly the same way. The main differences we are concerned with are the stats gained from passives.

Personally I run 51RS/15BLD/0BD. I find the 15% dexterity gained from BLD is more useful than the 10% HP gain from Bard, but this is personal preference and I can find just as many people out there who would argue against it. I keep Bard as a 0 point skill for 'Cadence' which is a fast combo point generator.

51RS/7BD/8RNG has more health while the BLD heavy builds have more avoidance. It comes down to a matter of personal taste.

Rotation


Before combat begins:

Planebound Resilience
Guardian Phase
Combat Pose (6 points in BLD)


Shadow Blitz ---> Phantom Blow ---> Planar Strike x2

Rift Guard

Generate 5 more CP. You can use Phantom Blow ---> Planar Strike x4 or Cadence ---> Planar Strike. You can even shift in to generate CP if you want.

Guarded Steel

Keep RG, GS and PB up and fill in the middle with builders, Annihilate, False Blade or Compound Attack. (The latter is useful for groups of trash mobs as it generates AoE aggros so long as GS is up.)



Macros


Single Targe DPS

#show Phantom Blow
suppressmacrofailures
cast Phantom Blow
cast Planar Strike



AoE Threat Generator

#show Planar Attraction
suppressmacrofailures
cast Planar Attraction
cast Planar Disturbance



Blinker

#show Shadow Stalk
suppressmacrofailures
cast Shadow Blitz
cast Shadow Assault
cast Shadow Stalk

Remember Shadow Stalk is a CC remover!




Oh **** Moments

For those times when things just aren't going as planned (don't act like it doesn't happen to you.) The RS is a party hat of tricks.

Planar Refuge provides us with 10 secs of 30% damage reduction while Defer Death absorbs ALL incoming damage up to 50% of our total health for 15 seconds. Terms and conditions apply - See the skill description.




Tricky Pulls


Those tricky LoS pulls warriors and clerics cry home about are a doddle for the discerning RS. Simply cast Memory Capture behind a large obstacle, shift to the beasts and cast Flashback. Bam! Suddenly you're safe behind that large rock where all your friends are waiting to jump those nincompoops! Problem solved.




Other Useful Skills


In the past heated debates were had about whether or not 12 points in BLD was absolutely necessary for Weapon Barrage which is a interrupt. With 1.5 RS received our very own interrupt, aptly named 'Rift Disturbance'. I keep 15 points in BLD for the avoidance and not for Weapon Barrage but it certainly can't hurt to remember that you have 2 interrupts in your arsenal!




Augments/Runes


RS benefits from endurance the most. Although we are not avoidance tanks, we also benefit from dodge. I stack Endurance first followed by dexterity/dodge. However, if you run a RS/RNG/BD then you may want to stack endurance and nothing else since your dex/dodge would be pretty low anyway.



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