If you know you want to play a tank in Rift Planes of Telara, you may be surprised at just how many options you have. In this article, I will be describing all of the tanking classes available as well as the strengths and weaknesses of each one.
If you are not yet familiar with the soul-system in Rift, just know that each calling (Rogue, Warrior, Mage, and Cleric) have multiple souls to choose from when building their character. Each soul is almost as complete class in and of itself, so there are many technically there are many different “classes” in Rift.
It turns out that three of the four callings have tanking trees: Warrior, Rogue, and Cleric. The only class in the game which cannot become a tank is the Mage.
With that said, the Warrior has 4 “defensive” souls whereas the Cleric and Rogue have only 1 “real” tanking build. In other words, while 3 callings can be tanks, Warriors have several different tanking classes to choose from whereas Rogue and Cleric only have one.
As mentioned, Warriors have the most options out of all the Rift tanks. Warriors can choose from the Paladin, Void Knight, Reaver, and Warlord. All four of these souls have taunts and other threat-generating abilities and talents.
With that said, each one functions slightly differently:
- The Paladin is the most well-rounded tanking soul, being good at all tasks
- The Void Knight specializes in handling casters
- The Reaver specializes in tanking multiple enemies
- The Warlord specializes in tanking and providing buffs for allies
Note that in my experience, the Void Knight is actually not an awesome PvE tank. Rather than specializing in mitigating damage, it seems to excel at destroying mages in PvP! Many of the talents allow the Void Knight to deal massive amounts of damage to mana-using classes.
As far as the best build for a main tank, I suspect actually a Paladin/Reaver/Warlord hybrid will be ideal by level 50. This allows you to pick up the following talents:
Crest Mastery (Reaver), Reverent Protection (Paladin), Figurehead (Warlord). Additionally, you would grab all mitigation talents (ones that reduce damage in some way) along the way. With these 3 specs, the Warrior will have a huge chance to block, -18% spell damage, generous -% damage talents, and experience 15% more healing.
In short, this is likely to be the best Main Tank build in game, among all the callings.
Warlord is also an interesting branch. While a fully-talented Warlord would not be ideal as a main tank, it does really seem to excel as an off-tank. For example, the 38 point talent reduces all magic damage for the whole raid by 10%. This makes Warlord very viable as the #2 tank in any raid.
As a Cleric, I think the best build is definitely 51 Justicar / 15 Shaman. You take every talent available in Justicar and grab -5% damage and +15% healing by putting 15 points in shaman.
Across all of these talents, the Cleric will be able to tank both single and AoE enemies. The advantages of a Cleric tank are that a fully-specced Justicar has a lot of powerful group buffs (+10% haste and +10% damage abilities are excellent abilities).
Additionally, the Justicar is able to put out a decent amount of group healing. Another interesting thing about the Justicar is that one of its abilities increases its endurance by 80%. Justicars might actually have the most health in the game at level 50; we will have to see how end-game gear plays into this however.
I see Justicars as being a great 5-man tank and definitely a viable off-tank in raids due to the group buffs.
Rogues should opt for Riftstalker, Blade Dancer, and Bard as their soul choice. Riftstalker is “the” tanking tree, and you will need to get the following talents:
Toughened Soul, Great Fortitude, Phantom Blow, Boosted Recovery, Rift Guard, Cautious Stalker, Planar Refuge, Hardened Stalker.
In Blade Dancer, you need to pick up: Quick Reflexes, Improved False Blade, and Disengage. You get a lot of other nice bonuses along the way, but the +5% to dodge, +6% to parry, and 4 second stun are key.
In Bard, get at least 8 points for Good Health and Invigorated Soul. You can then either put your final skill point in Anthem of Glory or Rift Prison, depending on situation.
Your final Rogue tank build will be either (31 Riftstalker / 26 Blade Dancer / 9 Bard or 32 Riftstalker / 26 Blade Dancer / 8 Bard).
This Rift tank will have more dodge and parry than any other tank. It will also have the best mobility of the tanks, allowing it to teleport between many targets.
The other unusual thing about this tank is that between Rift Prison, Disengage, Cadence, Rift Guard, and Planar Refuge, this tank could theoretically practically solo elite mobs for long periods of time. It would be a great off-tank and perfect in 5-mans.
I am not sure if Rogues will be amongst the regular Rift tanks in raiding. I am sure some people will make it work, but that does not mean it will be optimal. Theoretically the bonus 70% to armor and 30% to health should make it somewhat viable. The lack of a shield does lead to some concern however.
Rift Tanks Conclusion
Any calling but the Mage can be come one of the many Rift tanks. Based on talents, many of these tanks appear to be viable. If nothing else, this means that players should never have a problem finding a tank – they can always build gear for an off-spec should the situation arise!
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