The Secret World column

Tanking with Chaos and Blade in The Secret World

Tanking with Chaos and Blade in The Secret World

Published on: Dec 7, 2012 at 16:01
Updated on: Dec 10, 2012 at 16:06
By TJSonntag | More infos about the MMORPG The Secret World

In this week’s build article, we’ll talk about how to put together an easy tanking build in The Secret World that will grow along with your character, eventually enabling you to tank even the hardest Elite and Nightmare dungeons in the game.

To get started, make sure you have the best possible Blade and Chaos weapons for your skill level. You may need to run a couple of dungeons as a dps character for the mats to make those weapons, or you might get lucky with some world drops. Regardless, rank up those weapon skills using the Survivability row for each weapon. While you’ll always want to focus on ranking up your Talismans first, ranking up your weapons will help you keep from glancing and missing with your attacks.

Spend your AP on three Blade actives: Balanced Blade as an AoE consumer, Stunning Swirl for a longer cool down AoE ability that applies Impaired, and Martial Discipline for its damage mitigation. Next you’ll want to grab passives that benefit these; Regeneration improves your Martial Discipline with an added HoT, while Fluid Defense puts the glances you’ll be getting to better use by adding the Minor Ward effect. Sharp Blades increases all your Blade damage for a bit of extra threat generation.

Your Chaos support weapon also offers some great tanking abilities. The active Call for Eris is a great consumer for tanking with its AoE Burst, and Escalation is a must-have for Chaos tanking. This ability builds resources for both weapons and generates lots of threat. Illusion, your third Chaos active, gives extra mitigation in the form of the Major Evade Chance  effect.

Passives that benefit your Chaos abilities should be chosen next; we recommend Intensity to improve Escalation and added the Weakened effect, Master of Illusions to boost your Evade Chance percentage and duration, and Chaos Adept for a flat 10 percent additional damage from Chaos abilities.

You may have noticed that we’ve only selected six each of the actives and passives. That’s because we’ll be taking one choice each from the tanking-specific miscellaneous tree, Turbulence. You’ll need Provoke for a taunt so you can pick up adds or any monster that decides to go after one of your party members, and Agitator to make all your abilities generate 300 percent more hate. That will help you keep all eyes on you.

For your talismans, you’ll want to concentrate on picking up talismans with bonus Health and then using Block and Defense glyphs. If you simply don’t have enough runes to make those glyphs, pad them out with Physical and Magical Protection until you managed to collect the runes you need. Don’t forget, you can disassemble potions, gear and talismans to get runes, just watch for those unneeded items with the bonuses you want.

All told, your selections will cost you 72 AP — that’s easily earned by the time you’re ready to complete the first Kingsmouth Town zone and head into dungeon number one: Polaris. Now, let’s look at the abilities you’ll want to pick up as you continue to gain AP.

As soon as possible, you’ll want to replace Balanced Blade with Clearing the Path for your Blade consumer ability. Counter-intuitively, your next upgrade will come from the Fist tree. Don’t worry; you don’t have to have a Fist weapon equipped to use the passive Bloodsport. This will replace Regeneration in your passives to apply Afflicted to your targets. However, Bloodsport relies on avoiding glancing blows, so make sure you’re stacking the Hit you need to make that happen. Replace Chaos Adept with Inevitability, and replace Master of Illusions with Fuel to the Fire from the Turbulence miscellaneous tanking tree. With that bonus 200 hate, you won’t have to worry about threat generation.

With these changes, you should now be able to tank every normal-difficulty dungeon in the game. That doesn’t mean it’s time to rest on your laurels, however! Instead, we’ll continue to gain AP so we can upgrade even more abilities. If your immediate goal is to tank Elite dungeons, make the following changes in your build:

  • Replace Clearing the Path with Crimson Theatre
  • Replace Call of Eris with Reality Fracture in the Chaos tree
  • Replace Stunning Swirl with Art of War

Your new Elite Active provides the same AoE attack and Impaired application, but does it much more viciously. You’ll also need to switch out a couple of Passives for the optimal Elite dungeon tanking build.

  • Replace Fluid Defense with Flight of Daggers
  • Replace Master of Illusions with Hardcase, found in the Shotgun tree

Your new Elite Passive applies an Afflicted effect and causes your attacks to deal considerably more damage.

If you feel you’re ready to try tanking some Nightmare mode dungeons, you’re going to need a few more changes to your tanking build. Make sure you have Mass Provoke to switch out with Provoke when the situation calls for an AoE taunt. You can choose from several different abilities for your seventh active; prepare to switch out Illusion for Helter Skelter, Trial of Swords or Chaotic Pull, depending on the situation. Replace Bloodsport with Shoot ‘Em Up in the Rifle tree, and have Fever Pitch prepared to switch out with Fuel to the Fire when the fight calls for it.

Are you done improving? Never! Don’t forget, one of the most important qualities in a good tank is the ability to quickly analyze a situation and act accordingly. No amount of AP or stats will help you with that. Instead, good tanking requires lots of practice. If you’ve been tanking your way through The Secret World from the very first normal level dungeon, you’ll have that opportunity. If you’re choosing to try your hand at tanking later in the game, you’ll probably want to take a couple of steps back and get your feet wet in the earlier dungeons.

In The Secret World column, our writers ...

About the author:
TJ Sonntag has owned various Nintendo, Sega, Sony, and Microsoft consoles, most of which were purchased for an exclusive survival horror game or RPG. She has been playing World of Warcraft since July of 2006, as well as dabbling in several other MMOs such as Guild Wars, Lord of the Rings: Online, Dungeons and Dragons Online and Warhammer: Age of Reckoning. TJ has participated in the closed and open betas for Aion, Rift, and several WoW expansions. She also participates in several FTP MMO betas, and has been leveling a member of each Secret Society in The Secret World.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of

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