Blade / Hammer Tank Build by Rhyse
Blade/Hammer: A Versatile Approach to Dual Weakness
Nightmare Dungeon Tank Build
- Blade Torrent – AOE Frenzy with an immense aggro modifier.
- Crimson Theatre – Fire and forget PbAOE ability with a large aggro modifier.
- Aftershock – Strike ability that gives Minor Ward if the enemy remains close to you.
- Art of War/Stoicism – AoE Impairand guaranteed glances/Defensive CD with aggro generation buff.
- Beatdown (Replaceable)- Basic impair.
- Trial By Swords (Replaceable) – Basic impair (be aware of its actual activation being ~1 second after the animation starts).
- Provoke (Replaceable) – Panic button for losing aggro after a transition.
- Shoot Em Up – Sets afflicted and the DoT gives more hate than one would expect.
- Punisher – Allows Aftershock to also Debilitate enemies, doing 3% less damage per stack, up to 30% less.
- Shadow Play – Gives you an additional 10% glance chance for 8 seconds after activating Crimson Theatre.
- Hardcase – Anytime you apply weakened, you gain 30 Physical and Magical Protection rating, up to 150.
- Breakdown – Allows Hammer and Sword abilities to apply Exposed, causing attacks to do 3% more damage per stack, up to 30% more.
- Agitator – 300% aggro gain rate on all abilities.
- 7. Flight of Daggers – AoE damage and a DoT every 5 abilities.
What is the rotation for this build?
The rotation begins with a Blade Torrent -> Crimson Theatre -> Aftershock. Following this, it is all Blade Torrent spam using Aftershock and Crimson Theatre on cooldown, with priority going to Aftershock to both maintain Minor Ward and stack more Debilitate.
If Stoicism is your choice for Elite Active, then activate it before your 1st Blade Torrent and use it religiously every time the cooldown recycles.
Art of War doubles as both a great asset for when surrounded by 5+ enemies (guaranteeing 10 glances), and also acts as your fastest recycling impair, meaning it should be used 1st when impairing a spell/ability, as it will return to you the quickest.
Beatdown and Trial by Swords, in that order, serve their purpose as backup impairs when AoW is on cooldown or Stoicism was included.
Finally, Provoke is your panic button incase things go wrong, as it instantly puts you in the lead on aggro by 110% making it more valuable than most Snap-Aggro abilities, as it allows you to keep the instant aggro past a few seconds, maintaining aggro control on the mob.
Are there any specific gear requirements for this build?
This build does not require any special gearing needs beyond the standard tank expectations.
I, myself, 1st built to 600+ block to push penetrates off the table, and then gearing evenly between defense rating and physical protection. On my attack rating pieces I included some hit rating to make sure I was getting the most out of my Blade Torrents, and to make sure Aftershock connects for Debilitate.
What makes this build ‘tick’?
The beauty in this build is in the amount of passive damage mitigation you are getting fueled entirely by your own abilities, while at the same time freeing up 4 active slots to customize basically as you please.
Every Blade Torrent and Aftershock will stack Exposed, leading to 10 stacks in no time (usually 11 to 12 GCDs). At the same time, Aftershock will give you Minor Ward for 8 seconds, provided you stay within melee range of the enemy you hit with it after 3 seconds (and are you ever not in melee range when not dodging an ability/mechanic?), while still stacking Debilitate, causing the damage coming from the enemy to fall further and further.
Along with this, you can put on 3 impairs for interrupt heavy fights, or several defensive CDs, a mix of the two, or some utility abilities for specific encounters (for example, I use Surging Blades, Stoicism, Martial Discipline and Brick Wall with Machine Tyrant).
Using Aftershock as your 1st priority after every 4 second cooldown allows you to completely debilitate the boss within 45 or so seconds, and that along with its innate Minor Ward allows you to have a straight 37.5% damage reduction from all sources, before counting in your own physical/magical protection, and the additional amount from Hardcase, and all of this without relying on another player.
Blade Torrent with its 400% modifier (1200% with Agitator), along with a fire and forget Crimson Theatre, and the DoTs from Shoot Em Up and Flight of Daggers is plenty of aggro for all but the most outgeared tanks in all NM situations. Even in this case, an early Stoicism and then further Stoicisms either on cooldown or directly after a Provoke will keep you in the lead.
One final note, at the cost of Minor Ward, it is possible to run with First Blood, a Strike Builder, instead of Aftershock to speed up the stacking of Debilitate (with Stoicism just incase, First Blood can max both Exposed and Debilitate within 11 to 12 seconds), which is useful for highly mobile fights/those that have long periods of disengaging the boss, such as Machine Tyrant, Ur Draug, Dr Klein (2), and so forth.