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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    HalflingRogueGuy

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    Default Re: Juggernaut Application: A guide to Tanking (updated)

    Sword and Board is obviously the most defensive style suited to tanking but imo Great Weapons aren't exactly red. Two-handed weapons:
    A) Increase your regular attack damage, making you a bigger priority.
    B) Make your OAs more punishing and thus make you stickier.
    C) Reach weapons, with the Sentinel+PAM combo, allow one of the stickiest builds in the game.

    Sure your own defenses aren't quite as strong but for a barbarian who prefers HP tanking to AC tanking and whose class features promote larger weapon dice or a fighter with extra feats to spend, upping your damage through Great Weapons is an extremely viable way to tank.

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    Default Re: Juggernaut Application: A guide to Tanking (updated)

    Quote Originally Posted by Malisteen View Post
    I'd argue against the statement "frightening people isn't good".
    You make a good argument, and frightening people is a great debuff to have. Unfortunately, it's a debuff, not something a tank needs to focus on. If you had debuffs and used it, great. That doesn't increase actual tanking ability. It's battlefield control.

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Jette View Post
    *snip*
    Again, a good argument for why frightened is a good condition to impose on others. Again, however, that's a debuff, not a tank's specific job. This is a wizard/other battlefied controller/debuffer's job.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nidgit View Post
    Sword and Board is obviously the most defensive style suited to tanking but imo Great Weapons aren't exactly red. Two-handed weapons:
    A) Increase your regular attack damage, making you a bigger priority.
    B) Make your OAs more punishing and thus make you stickier.
    C) Reach weapons, with the Sentinel+PAM combo, allow one of the stickiest builds in the game.

    Sure your own defenses aren't quite as strong but for a barbarian who prefers HP tanking to AC tanking and whose class features promote larger weapon dice or a fighter with extra feats to spend, upping your damage through Great Weapons is an extremely viable way to tank.
    This is true, I hadn't thought of it this way. I will promote two handed weapons.
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  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: Juggernaut Application: A guide to Tanking

    Quote Originally Posted by Crgaston View Post
    (Note: Iím on my phone so I donít know how to change text color. Please consider the following as mostly blue.)


    Lucius Threvor (the Nameless Kingís name) cannot be killed, so of course he is the ultimate tank! Silly mortal!

    Pretty sure Blood Magic is homebrew in 5e. Donít know about prior editions.

    Iím most intrigued by the Taint Score mechanic. Is there a Department of Taint Evaluation? I wanna join. Or at least get a hat and a badge.
    Wrong, It's from Heroes of the Orient book. It's an official suplement 5.0.

  4. - Top - End - #34
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    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Juggernaut Application: A guide to Tanking (updated)

    Quote Originally Posted by Twizzly513 View Post
    the only thing to really gain from attacking with Str over Dex is Rage damage.
    Hardly.

    Reckless Attack requires attacking with strength and it's one of the best tanking abilities in the game. It's a huge "Hit me instead of the Wizard!" button.

    I also think you're undervaluing the Zealot. A Zealot can tank even when he has 0 hitpoints and has failed all 3 death saves.

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    Default Re: Juggernaut Application: A guide to Tanking

    Quote Originally Posted by Texugo View Post
    Wrong, It's from Heroes of the Orient book. It's an official suplement 5.0.
    Or... a published third party content anyways, not by WotC

  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Default Re: Juggernaut Application: A guide to Tanking

    Quote Originally Posted by Naanomi View Post
    Or... a published third party content anyways, not by WotC
    Wrong again. It official 5E supplement, Created for
    Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition by Wizards of the Coast

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    Marc A.
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    Inspired by the original supplements
    Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Oriental Adventures by Gary Gygax (1985)
    Dungeons & Dragons Oriental Adventures by James Wyatt (2001)
    Created for
    Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition by Wizards of the Coast

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    Artwork
    The artwork in this handbook is all created by the artists below. A huge
    thanks goes out to them, for allowing me to include their illustrations herein.
    Each illustration has its copyright information attached to it.
    If you find their artwork intriguing, you should check out their galleries,
    which are linked below. If youíd like to commission either of them, youíll
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  7. - Top - End - #37
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    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Juggernaut Application: A guide to Tanking

    Quote Originally Posted by Texugo View Post
    Wrong again. It official 5E supplement, Created for
    Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition by Wizards of the Coast
    It's not official. It's not AL legal. Even in the part you had bolded it's clear that it's "Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition" that was created by Wizards of the Coast, not this supplement.

    it's a well reviewed Third Party product, but that doesn't make it official.

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    Default Re: Juggernaut Application: A guide to Tanking

    Quote Originally Posted by GlenSmash! View Post
    It's not official. It's not AL legal. Even in the part you had bolded it's clear that it's "Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition" that was created by Wizards of the Coast, not this supplement.

    it's a well reviewed Third Party product, but that doesn't make it official.

    Well, I was a bit confused, where I found it was reported as 5e supplement.
    Thank you anyway.

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    Default Re: Juggernaut Application: A guide to Tanking (updated)

    Quote Originally Posted by GlenSmash! View Post
    Hardly.

    Reckless Attack requires attacking with strength and it's one of the best tanking abilities in the game. It's a huge "Hit me instead of the Wizard!" button.

    I also think you're undervaluing the Zealot. A Zealot can tank even when he has 0 hitpoints and has failed all 3 death saves.
    Actually, you don't need to use Strength to use Reckless Attack. The passage reads: "When you make your first attack on your turn, you can decide to attack recklessly. Doing so gives you advantage on melee weapon attack rolls using Strength during this turn, but attack rolls against you have advantage until your next turn."

    No Strength requirement whatsoever, actually. You just don't get advantage. You still get all the tanky benefits, however. You don't really need Advantage anyways, and AC is better than advantage on attack rolls if you're tanking.

    Zealot does have a nice capstone at 14th level. However it's not as useful as other subclasses, and an overall poor pick when compared to other barbarians' tanking capacity. They last a few turns longer at 14th level and can come back from death with less gold. Those are the main draws, and are nice in other situations. It's pretty meh when held next to the other barbarians.
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  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: Juggernaut Application: A guide to Tanking (updated)

    A different take on the tanking can come from a magic feat : Inspiring Leader.

    I mean... boosting the overall level of hp of your allies is some sort of tanking on the short and long run.

    I'd definitely take a better look at Inspiring Leader with a 16 Charisma to start with as a feat, it gets really insane fast

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    Default Re: Juggernaut Application: A guide to Tanking (updated)

    Quote Originally Posted by Gardakan View Post
    magic feat : Inspiring Leader
    "magic" feat? There's nothing magical about Inspiring Leader
    My 5th Edition D&D Homebrew:
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    Default Re: Juggernaut Application: A guide to Tanking (updated)

    Quote Originally Posted by Twizzly513 View Post
    Actually, you don't need to use Strength to use Reckless Attack. The passage reads: "When you make your first attack on your turn, you can decide to attack recklessly. Doing so gives you advantage on melee weapon attack rolls using Strength during this turn, but attack rolls against you have advantage until your next turn."

    No Strength requirement whatsoever, actually. You just don't get advantage. You still get all the tanky benefits, however. You don't really need Advantage anyways, and AC is better than advantage on attack rolls if you're tanking.

    Zealot does have a nice capstone at 14th level. However it's not as useful as other subclasses, and an overall poor pick when compared to other barbarians' tanking capacity. They last a few turns longer at 14th level and can come back from death with less gold. Those are the main draws, and are nice in other situations. It's pretty meh when held next to the other barbarians.
    Fair points about Zealots and reckless Attack.

    However as a DM what will stop me from just going around the High AC Dex Bear Barbarian? Even if attacks against him have advantage, why would I waste it against High AC, Resistance, and buckets of HP? It works better with an Ancestral Guardian because it has a built in reason to target it, but on others, I'll just wait to target the Barb until Last.

    A Strength based Recklessly Attacking Barbarian is a problem. He's bad news if you fight him, bad news if you ignore him. That's what I want a tank to do. Even better with PM and Sentinel. He becomes a major monster locking down a good portion of the battlefield.

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    Default Re: Juggernaut Application: A guide to Tanking (updated)

    Here's a breakdown of Barbarian subclasses by order of tanking efficiency:

    Ancestral Guardian - this was built to tank. L3, 6 and 14 features all revolve around protecting allies and thwarting attacks. If you want to be a dedicated tank, you need a good reason not to take this.

    Frenzy - A bonus action attack, even without a greataxe, immediately marks you as a priority in the field. Not needing Resilient (WIS) is also aces.

    Totem - this works, even though the L 6 and 10 abilities give you nothing good for combat. And contrary to popular belief, you want Wolf, not Bear, at level 3; enemies don't want to attack someone who resists everything,and most non-B/S/P damage will come from range anyway, so you can't effectively draw that to you. On the other hand, a manwho is giving his allies advantage on attacks must be shut down immediately. Save Bear for level 14, as that's a prime tanking ability.

    Storm Herald - The auras mostly make enemies want to be away from you, except for the L14 feature that harasses enemies.

    Zealot - the only tanking feature I can see is the pseudo-advantage on saving throws.

  14. - Top - End - #44
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    Default Re: Juggernaut Application: A guide to Tanking (updated)

    Quote Originally Posted by Specter View Post
    Here's a breakdown of Barbarian subclasses by order of tanking efficiency:

    Ancestral Guardian - this was built to tank. L3, 6 and 14 features all revolve around protecting allies and thwarting attacks. If you want to be a dedicated tank, you need a good reason not to take this.

    Frenzy - A bonus action attack, even without a greataxe, immediately marks you as a priority in the field. Not needing Resilient (WIS) is also aces.

    Totem - this works, even though the L 6 and 10 abilities give you nothing good for combat. And contrary to popular belief, you want Wolf, not Bear, at level 3; enemies don't want to attack someone who resists everything,and most non-B/S/P damage will come from range anyway, so you can't effectively draw that to you. On the other hand, a manwho is giving his allies advantage on attacks must be shut down immediately. Save Bear for level 14, as that's a prime tanking ability.

    Storm Herald - The auras mostly make enemies want to be away from you, except for the L14 feature that harasses enemies.

    Zealot - the only tanking feature I can see is the pseudo-advantage on saving throws.
    Frenzy also has the ability to take the (underutilized) Dodge action and still attack in the same turn, that can be useful in and of itself on a Tank.

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    Default Re: Juggernaut Application: A guide to Tanking (updated)

    Quote Originally Posted by GlenSmash! View Post
    Fair points about Zealots and reckless Attack.

    However as a DM what will stop me from just going around the High AC Dex Bear Barbarian? Even if attacks against him have advantage, why would I waste it against High AC, Resistance, and buckets of HP? It works better with an Ancestral Guardian because it has a built in reason to target it, but on others, I'll just wait to target the Barb until Last.

    A Strength based Recklessly Attacking Barbarian is a problem. He's bad news if you fight him, bad news if you ignore him. That's what I want a tank to do. Even better with PM and Sentinel. He becomes a major monster locking down a good portion of the battlefield.
    Grappling and sentinel are good options for this, although this could very well happen, even if one made use of both. Strength leads to better offense, dexterity leads to better defense. Given it was a tanking guide, I went with Dexterity, although the validity of your argument is undeniable. I'll add in a sentence or two in favor of Str builds.

    Quote Originally Posted by Specter View Post
    Here's a breakdown of Barbarian subclasses by order of tanking efficiency:

    Ancestral Guardian - this was built to tank. L3, 6 and 14 features all revolve around protecting allies and thwarting attacks. If you want to be a dedicated tank, you need a good reason not to take this.

    Frenzy - A bonus action attack, even without a greataxe, immediately marks you as a priority in the field. Not needing Resilient (WIS) is also aces.

    Totem - this works, even though the L 6 and 10 abilities give you nothing good for combat. And contrary to popular belief, you want Wolf, not Bear, at level 3; enemies don't want to attack someone who resists everything,and most non-B/S/P damage will come from range anyway, so you can't effectively draw that to you. On the other hand, a manwho is giving his allies advantage on attacks must be shut down immediately. Save Bear for level 14, as that's a prime tanking ability.

    Storm Herald - The auras mostly make enemies want to be away from you, except for the L14 feature that harasses enemies.

    Zealot - the only tanking feature I can see is the pseudo-advantage on saving throws.
    Berserker path is right out in most builds due to exhaustion. You could just not frenzy (even though that would go against what you said). Although in that case, why did you even take berserker?

    Totem - Wolf is good for being a support since it gives advantage, and people do like to target supports. The sheer survivability of bear makes it a top choice, and I believe it will continue to reign the (apparently mostly) unchallenged champion of the totem paths for tanking. To each his own, however you choose to be targeted.

    Storm Herald - That's why I specifically said tundra is the only option. No damage on the aura, just temp hp to teammates.

    Everything else I agree with.
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  16. - Top - End - #46
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    Default Re: Juggernaut Application: A guide to Tanking (updated)

    Quote Originally Posted by Twizzly513 View Post
    Berserker path is right out in most builds due to exhaustion. You could just not frenzy (even though that would go against what you said). Although in that case, why did you even take berserker?

    Totem - Wolf is good for being a support since it gives advantage, and people do like to target supports. The sheer survivability of bear makes it a top choice, and I believe it will continue to reign the (apparently mostly) unchallenged champion of the totem paths for tanking. To each his own, however you choose to be targeted.

    Storm Herald - That's why I specifically said tundra is the only option. No damage on the aura, just temp hp to teammates.

    Everything else I agree with.
    You don't need to frenzy in every fight, and that's okay. You have other stuff to make up for it. Berserker gets combat abilities in all levels, while Totem gets only two. This should be making up for all the fights you're not frenzying.

    Furthermore, Berserker can invest in one more feat (like Tough or Alert) that other Barbarians wouldn't.

    About Totem, I was talking about tanking. As in, making opponents target you or suffer some nasty effect from not doing so. You can have 900HP if you want, and it still won't make a difference if your enemies just choose someone else to attack because your buddy will go down more easily than you.

    A barbarian in general can lock foes in melee well, but if an enemy is sending a Fireball or a Chain Lightning towards the party, they can probably target anyone they please, which is why these bonus resistances are good for keeping yourself alive, but not tanking.

    In short, Bear L3 will make you last longer, while Wolf L3 will make not targeting you a mistake, which is what tanking is all about.

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    Default Re: Juggernaut Application: A guide to Tanking (updated)

    Quote Originally Posted by Specter View Post
    You don't need to frenzy in every fight, and that's okay. You have other stuff to make up for it. Berserker gets combat abilities in all levels, while Totem gets only two. This should be making up for all the fights you're not frenzying.

    Furthermore, Berserker can invest in one more feat (like Tough or Alert) that other Barbarians wouldn't.

    About Totem, I was talking about tanking. As in, making opponents target you or suffer some nasty effect from not doing so. You can have 900HP if you want, and it still won't make a difference if your enemies just choose someone else to attack because your buddy will go down more easily than you.

    A barbarian in general can lock foes in melee well, but if an enemy is sending a Fireball or a Chain Lightning towards the party, they can probably target anyone they please, which is why these bonus resistances are good for keeping yourself alive, but not tanking.

    In short, Bear L3 will make you last longer, while Wolf L3 will make not targeting you a mistake, which is what tanking is all about.
    Berserkers are nice in that they got combat abilities at all levels, but they don't help nearly as much.

    Frenzy doesn't have to be used every fight, but given the other amazing features barbarians get at 3rd, it feels lackluster in comparison with such a heavy drawback.

    Mindless rage I feel doesn't quite live up to proficiency in Wis saves. Charmed would suck, frightened is quite common, and immunity is obviously superior to proficiency in the save. The problem is that I'm also thinking of Wis saves against spell effects like Hold Person, Command, Bestow Curse, Slow, Confusion, etc. Mindless Rage is definitely helpful, but I don't think it gives you a pass on Resilient (Wis). Just a limited bonus.

    Intimidating Presence frightens, which makes you a lot less likely to be targeted or hit, which is a terrible thing for a tank to do. It does have some situational debuff/control use, though. Nice, but not really what we came here for.

    Retaliation makes you deal more damage, and it's a great ability. The problem with it is two things, specifically with tanking (most of the time it's awesome): 1) It punishes people for actually hitting you. 2) It uses up your reaction, which is the main thing keeping people from simply walking away from you. It would negate entirely taking the Sentinel feat, which is a popular tanking choice for a reason.

    Overall, berserker wasn't made to tank. They were made to hit people and to make them scared.

    As for your argument in favor of Wolf totem, by that logic the best way to be a tank would be to play a buffer/striker so that people would have to kill you. This doesn't actually work for a reason. If you'd like to buff a group as well as tank, wolf would be your best bet. For straight tanking, though, I stand strong that bear is the best way to go. If someone is going to target the group with spells, many tank features in the first place won't help you be targeted over a cleric or a rogue. People aren't going to want to hit you, they'll want to hit others over you. This is a fact of any game where you're not the one dealing damage or dispensing heals and buffs. Pretending to be a buffer or a striker would make you a worse tank and a bad buffer/striker. If you want to give your buddies advantage, walk in the middle of a group of monsters and go for flanking. The only extra thing you gain from the wolf effect is that your allies can attack from other places near a monster that's next to you instead of on the opposite side of the monster from you. It just feels like it's not actually giving a huge bonus over flanking.
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    Default Re: Juggernaut Application: A guide to Tanking (updated)

    Secondary Strategies
    Keep in mind here that for all of these, you can take your first level in the secondary class to bypass multiclassing ability score prerequisites then multiclass into your primary class, which you likely fit the bill for.
    "To qualify for a new class, you must meet the ability score prerequisites for both your current class and your new one, as shown in the Multiclassing Prerequisites table. "

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    Default Re: Juggernaut Application: A guide to Tanking (updated)

    Quote Originally Posted by MagneticKitty View Post
    "To qualify for a new class, you must meet the ability score prerequisites for both your current class and your new one, as shown in the Multiclassing Prerequisites table. "
    People often forget this.

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    Default Re: Juggernaut Application: A guide to Tanking (updated)

    Quote Originally Posted by GlenSmash! View Post
    People often forget this.
    Or, choose to ignore and then forget, because they don't like it. (not me though, perish the thought!)
    Last edited by Arkhios; 2018-01-04 at 01:26 PM.
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    Default Re: Juggernaut Application: A guide to Tanking (updated)

    Quote Originally Posted by Arkhios View Post
    Or, choose to ignore and then forget, because they don't like it. (not me though, perish the thought!)
    Right.

    I'm all for houserules, but at least be aware that you have made a change.

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    Default Re: Juggernaut Application: A guide to Tanking (updated)

    While this guide is mostly very good, I've got a few issues with it.

    First of all, having some sort of ranged option is quite useful for tanks. It can be quite difficult to draw enemy fire if you're too far away to pose a valid threat to them, so having a moderately effective ranged weapon can help keep those pesky archers from hitting other, squishier party members. While being far away from enemies is suboptimal for tanking, if the enemies have ranged options you can bet they don't want to get anywhere near you.

    Second, I find some of your summaries to be overly brief and/or dismissive.

    Spoiler: Wall of text alert
    Show
    Champion starts out about as good as the base fighter, but gives some advantages at tenth level (another fighting style, so you can have both protection and defense without multiclassing) and it gives what in my opinion is the tankiest feature of all at 18th level. Combining that with a likely AC of at least 20, probably higher, and the few times when you do get hit will be wiped away fairly quickly. While I admit it doesn't work terribly well with multiclassing, you can already regenerate HP about as well as most species of undead. Champion in general is a passive tank, while most of the other fighter archetypes have to actively tank, i.e. by using maneuvers, spells, or other limited-use class features. Overall, it's not weak so much as it is overshadowed by other fighter archetypes.

    I would recommend giving samurai a dark blue or blue/black rating rather than just black, since fighting spirit is a pretty potent tanking ability, with the stipulation that it's most effective for sticky builds. Could multiclass well with paladin, or for that matter with rogue.

    I'd note that monks are quite good at dodging, but they are by no means tanks. A couple levels of monk could be viable in a multiclass build, especially for a druid, if only for unarmored defense.

    Bards, if they can choose their spells well, can do fairly well at "active" tanking, that is, spending resources to avoid damage. Additionally, as a secondary class it can give access to some good buffs and the ability to heal yourself. Plus, there are very few things that draw fire better than aggravating the opponents with singing and insults.

    Warlocks can tank, but they generally burn through spell slots at a quick pace to do so. Hexblade gives some tanking ability, but overall the choice of invocations matters more. Tomb of Levistus gives a lot of temporary HP, while Grasp of Hadar, Lance of Lethargy, and if you're willing to go 7 levels instead of just 2, relentless hex allow warlocks to be the stickiest of classes. should they choose.

    As for wizards, the best way for a wizard to tank is probably abjuration, and an abjuration wizard is quite tanky indeed (especially if spell mastery is involved) but if they want to get a tank instead of being a tank, conjuration is fairly viable.
    Last edited by Squiddish; 2018-01-04 at 03:23 PM.
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    Default Re: Juggernaut Application: A guide to Tanking (updated)

    Quote Originally Posted by Twizzly513 View Post
    Berserkers are nice in that they got combat abilities at all levels, but they don't help nearly as much.

    Frenzy doesn't have to be used every fight, but given the other amazing features barbarians get at 3rd, it feels lackluster in comparison with such a heavy drawback.

    Mindless rage I feel doesn't quite live up to proficiency in Wis saves. Charmed would suck, frightened is quite common, and immunity is obviously superior to proficiency in the save. The problem is that I'm also thinking of Wis saves against spell effects like Hold Person, Command, Bestow Curse, Slow, Confusion, etc. Mindless Rage is definitely helpful, but I don't think it gives you a pass on Resilient (Wis). Just a limited bonus.

    Intimidating Presence frightens, which makes you a lot less likely to be targeted or hit, which is a terrible thing for a tank to do. It does have some situational debuff/control use, though. Nice, but not really what we came here for.

    Retaliation makes you deal more damage, and it's a great ability. The problem with it is two things, specifically with tanking (most of the time it's awesome): 1) It punishes people for actually hitting you. 2) It uses up your reaction, which is the main thing keeping people from simply walking away from you. It would negate entirely taking the Sentinel feat, which is a popular tanking choice for a reason.

    Overall, berserker wasn't made to tank. They were made to hit people and to make them scared.

    As for your argument in favor of Wolf totem, by that logic the best way to be a tank would be to play a buffer/striker so that people would have to kill you. This doesn't actually work for a reason. If you'd like to buff a group as well as tank, wolf would be your best bet. For straight tanking, though, I stand strong that bear is the best way to go. If someone is going to target the group with spells, many tank features in the first place won't help you be targeted over a cleric or a rogue. People aren't going to want to hit you, they'll want to hit others over you. This is a fact of any game where you're not the one dealing damage or dispensing heals and buffs. Pretending to be a buffer or a striker would make you a worse tank and a bad buffer/striker. If you want to give your buddies advantage, walk in the middle of a group of monsters and go for flanking. The only extra thing you gain from the wolf effect is that your allies can attack from other places near a monster that's next to you instead of on the opposite side of the monster from you. It just feels like it's not actually giving a huge bonus over flanking.
    ABOUT FRENZY:
    - The worst thing to worry about is not spellcasters, but natural enemy abilities that give you nasty conditions. A Berserker can charge a dragon any day, the others not so much. Not that it's not good to have Resilient (WIS), it's just not fundamental as it is for the others.
    - Frightened is disadvantage not only against you, but anyone the enemy attacks, and no forward movement. It's great for a tank, especially against enemies you can't reach.
    - Agreed on Retaliation.

    ABOUT TANKING:
    I feel like we're talking about two different things here.

    Tanking, as I've understood from a decade of D&D and MMORPG's, is discouraging enemies from attacking others, and encouraging them to attack you. Having high HP, AC, saves, or whatever else doesn't make you a tank, simply because if the enemy has any brains they'll just go for easier prey. Due to the nature of D&D, an enemy with 1HP is as effective as one with 100HP, so you need a tank to harass foes and draw attention to himself. Whether he does that with good HP, good AC, resistances or all of those it's up to him, but the fundamentals are: be the center of attention.

    A tank gives an enemy the devil's choice, where none of the outcomes are particularly good. Example: A Paladin and a Wizard venture into the mountains to kill a giant. As the giant sees them battling their foes, he notices the Wizard is the one who can shape the entire battle with a single spell, but he's also flimsy and not particularly tough. If the paladin uses Compelled Duel and the giant fails the save, he will either attack the high-AC, high-HP paladin without much of an impact, or attack the Wizard with disadvantage. Whatever happens, you're blocking the giant's strategy. You are now a tank.

    Now let's pretend a L3 Wolfbarian, a Rogue and a Fighter are venturing down these mountains for the same reason. The enemy quickly sees that with the Wolfbarian leading these guys into battle, they can breach his defenses quite easily and do a lot of damage. He will either attack the sturdier Barbarian, which cares less about being attacked than his friends, or attack the others while still being attacked with advantage. Win-win. Tanking.

    Now, Bearbarian at L3 is exactly the opposite of that: the giant will simply murder the Rogue or the Fighter first, because a) they will take full damage from his attacks, and b) the Bearbarian's death doesn't bring any advantage to the combat other than one less enemy.

    Obviously, anyone can be a prime target in the field with enough damage, debuffing, etc. But the tank wants to be the prime target, whereas the others don't.

    So if you want to tank as Totem, yes, take Wolf at L3 and then Bear at L14. Otherwise, enemies will leave you to be finished last.

    PS: Flanking is optional and I've never seen it in use.

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    Default Re: Juggernaut Application: A guide to Tanking (updated)

    Quote Originally Posted by Specter View Post
    *snip*
    Frightened is good as a debuff. If you would like to use debuffs, you shouldn't focus on a tank. Much of what you're talking about is buffing and debuffing. Perhaps we do fundamentally think of tanks differently. I think it's also a large difference in each of our playstyles. For instance, you say you've never seen flanking in use, while I see it in most encounters (99% of them when we had a rogue in the party). A tank also holds the front line well. An enemy, if proper tactics are used, must get past the tank. Grappling, movement, distances, battlefield control, and all that good stuff should keep an enemy away from the back line (wizards, rogues, etc.). I suppose much of the guide and many of my opinions are based around that idea that you'll have a proper party with you to buff, debuff, and battlefield-control as necessary. Either way, I think the base difference in views (specifically flanking) is the main cause of disagreement. In the way that my group plays, advantage is often given from flanking, and both allies and enemies will utilize the tactic if they can, thus advantage from an ability like that has a much smaller value to me than someone else who doesn't use flanking in combat.

    Also, you've clearly never played with a devious DM with a flair for spellcasters
    Last edited by Twizzly513; 2018-01-04 at 04:29 PM.
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    Default Re: Juggernaut Application: A guide to Tanking (updated)

    Looks good overall. Well done.

    Quote Originally Posted by Twizzly513 View Post
    Aasimar overall (no rating here): So Charisma isnít great unless youíre taking levels in paladin, in which case bump up all scores by 1, but they all get a nova ability thatís nice and some okay features overall.
    Protector: You get a +1 Wis which isnít bad, but it doesnít get it a higher ranking.
    I'd bump Protector Aasimar at least up to Black. The +1 Wis helps your saves, which is good. But more importantly the once per long rest fly speed is amazing for a tank. Remember the part about not being ranged? If you're fighting a flying creature (dragons, etc.) you become a worthless tank the second they start flying. This lets you get up in their stupid face.

    For the same reason, I'm surprised Aracokra (sp) aren't on the list as a Dex build.

    EDIT: Also, Bear-barian 3 / Moon Druid 4 is arguably the best damn tank for Tier 2 and early Tier 3. Raging while a Giant Octopus with 8 tentacles, auto-grapple, and a 15 foot reach is damn good. I can vouch for it personally.

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    Default Re: Juggernaut Application: A guide to Tanking (updated)

    Quote Originally Posted by MagneticKitty View Post
    "To qualify for a new class, you must meet the ability score prerequisites for both your current class and your new one, as shown in the Multiclassing Prerequisites table. "
    Good word catch, didn't notice. I'll switch that around.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squiddish View Post
    While this guide is mostly very good, I've got a few issues with it.

    First of all, having some sort of ranged option is quite useful for tanks. It can be quite difficult to draw enemy fire if you're too far away to pose a valid threat to them, so having a moderately effective ranged weapon can help keep those pesky archers from hitting other, squishier party members. While being far away from enemies is suboptimal for tanking, if the enemies have ranged options you can bet they don't want to get anywhere near you.

    Second, I find some of your summaries to be overly brief and/or dismissive.

    Spoiler: Wall of text alert
    Show
    Champion starts out about as good as the base fighter, but gives some advantages at tenth level (another fighting style, so you can have both protection and defense without multiclassing) and it gives what in my opinion is the tankiest feature of all at 18th level. Combining that with a likely AC of at least 20, probably higher, and the few times when you do get hit will be wiped away fairly quickly. While I admit it doesn't work terribly well with multiclassing, you can already regenerate HP about as well as most species of undead. Champion in general is a passive tank, while most of the other fighter archetypes have to actively tank, i.e. by using maneuvers, spells, or other limited-use class features. Overall, it's not weak so much as it is overshadowed by other fighter archetypes.

    I would recommend giving samurai a dark blue or blue/black rating rather than just black, since fighting spirit is a pretty potent tanking ability, with the stipulation that it's most effective for sticky builds. Could multiclass well with paladin, or for that matter with rogue.

    I'd note that monks are quite good at dodging, but they are by no means tanks. A couple levels of monk could be viable in a multiclass build, especially for a druid, if only for unarmored defense.

    Bards, if they can choose their spells well, can do fairly well at "active" tanking, that is, spending resources to avoid damage. Additionally, as a secondary class it can give access to some good buffs and the ability to heal yourself. Plus, there are very few things that draw fire better than aggravating the opponents with singing and insults.

    Warlocks can tank, but they generally burn through spell slots at a quick pace to do so. Hexblade gives some tanking ability, but overall the choice of invocations matters more. Tomb of Levistus gives a lot of temporary HP, while Grasp of Hadar, Lance of Lethargy, and if you're willing to go 7 levels instead of just 2, relentless hex allow warlocks to be the stickiest of classes. should they choose.

    As for wizards, the best way for a wizard to tank is probably abjuration, and an abjuration wizard is quite tanky indeed (especially if spell mastery is involved) but if they want to get a tank instead of being a tank, conjuration is fairly viable.
    1) With the equipment, I meant what your main weapon should be. I'll specify that you should always have a ranged backup, just in case it caused confusion with others.

    Spoiler: 2)
    Show

    Champions get absolutely no tank features until 18th level. Just the hit die and armor. This makes it a bad option compared to other fighter subclasses, and if you're banking on getting to be a real good tank at 18th level, I'd say you've done something wrong with tanking.

    Samurai's fighting spirit alone isn't good enough to put it up to blue, being a mediocre tank feature in the first place, and I probably won't bother putting it up to blue. It's just not as good.

    Unarmored defense isn't good. It's a feature that stays on par with light armor (bad). You shouldn't dip into monk for an ability that hinders your tanking ability at the cost of further decreasing your tanking ability by giving up features (and probably HP). Monk simply doesn't offer you anything.

    What you are calling "active tanking" is just buffing, healing, and supporting. That's a different role altogether. (?)

    Warlocks get the shield spell if they're a hexblade, but other than that nothing. You get temp hp from a couple things, but it's unreliable at best. Tomb of levistus does give loads of temp hp, but you don't get to do anything during that time. No opportunity attacks keeping people near you, no grapples, no moving, and no attacking. It's a panic button, not a strategic decision. In contrast to taking 7 levels in warlock, you could instead choose to take the sentinel feat, which makes you incredibly sticky while allowing you to keep people where you want in contrast to going where the enemy wants.

    I do actually say that abjuration is the way you should go if you take wizard... They have the spell ward, but that, at best, negates a spell and maybe a bit of another, with some luck. Also, if you take 18 levels in wizard for spell mastery, you really shouldn't be looking at this guide. Again, if you are waiting until 18th level to become a (with this one, however, a bad) tank, you have done something wrong for 18 levels. Also, why are you saying anything about if you get a tank instead of being one? The whole point of the guide is to be a tank. Although, you are correct about something. Conjuration is, in fact, a solid subclass choice if you intend to play a wizard.
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    Default Re: Juggernaut Application: A guide to Tanking (updated)

    wow, what a great guide. if i was a tank or had the motivation to play better D&D, i'd definitely read it. unfortunately, i fit none of those categories.

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    Default Re: Juggernaut Application: A guide to Tanking (updated)

    Quote Originally Posted by Oramac View Post
    Looks good overall. Well done.



    I'd bump Protector Aasimar at least up to Black. The +1 Wis helps your saves, which is good. But more importantly the once per long rest fly speed is amazing for a tank. Remember the part about not being ranged? If you're fighting a flying creature (dragons, etc.) you become a worthless tank the second they start flying. This lets you get up in their stupid face.

    For the same reason, I'm surprised Aracokra (sp) aren't on the list as a Dex build.

    EDIT: Also, Bear-barian 3 / Moon Druid 4 is arguably the best damn tank for Tier 2 and early Tier 3. Raging while a Giant Octopus with 8 tentacles, auto-grapple, and a 15 foot reach is damn good. I can vouch for it personally.
    Thank you!

    True, I'll change it. And that sounds absolutely epic.
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    Default Re: Juggernaut Application: A guide to Tanking (updated)

    Quote Originally Posted by Twizzly513 View Post
    Good word catch, didn't notice. I'll switch that around.



    1) With the equipment, I meant what your main weapon should be. I'll specify that you should always have a ranged backup, just in case it caused confusion with others.

    Spoiler: 2)
    Show

    Champions get absolutely no tank features until 18th level. Just the hit die and armor. This makes it a bad option compared to other fighter subclasses, and if you're banking on getting to be a real good tank at 18th level, I'd say you've done something wrong with tanking.

    Samurai's fighting spirit alone isn't good enough to put it up to blue, being a mediocre tank feature in the first place, and I probably won't bother putting it up to blue. It's just not as good.

    Unarmored defense isn't good. It's a feature that stays on par with light armor (bad). You shouldn't dip into monk for an ability that hinders your tanking ability at the cost of further decreasing your tanking ability by giving up features (and probably HP). Monk simply doesn't offer you anything.

    What you are calling "active tanking" is just buffing, healing, and supporting. That's a different role altogether. (?)

    Warlocks get the shield spell if they're a hexblade, but other than that nothing. You get temp hp from a couple things, but it's unreliable at best. Tomb of levistus does give loads of temp hp, but you don't get to do anything during that time. No opportunity attacks keeping people near you, no grapples, no moving, and no attacking. It's a panic button, not a strategic decision. In contrast to taking 7 levels in warlock, you could instead choose to take the sentinel feat, which makes you incredibly sticky while allowing you to keep people where you want in contrast to going where the enemy wants.

    I do actually say that abjuration is the way you should go if you take wizard... They have the spell ward, but that, at best, negates a spell and maybe a bit of another, with some luck. Also, if you take 18 levels in wizard for spell mastery, you really shouldn't be looking at this guide. Again, if you are waiting until 18th level to become a (with this one, however, a bad) tank, you have done something wrong for 18 levels. Also, why are you saying anything about if you get a tank instead of being one? The whole point of the guide is to be a tank. Although, you are correct about something. Conjuration is, in fact, a solid subclass choice if you intend to play a wizard.
    Ah, okay. I was kinda baffled at first. Interesting edge case, if you're going for a dexterity-based tank and have a feat to spare crossbow master might be a good choice. Not only does it allow you to viably use a ranged weapon as your primary weapon, it also allows you to use viably use nets.

    Spoiler: Re-responses
    Show

    Good point about the champion, the only time I can think banking on being a good tank at 18th level is an option is if you're starting at 18th level.

    I'd argue that fighting spirit is a good tank feature, if and only if you can find something productive to do with advantage. Nets might be a good choice... Either way, I can see your point in not making it blue.

    Unarmored defense is on par with light armor for most classes, but if you already need a good wisdom for other reasons it's substantially more potent. However, now that I think about it, there are about three classes that need wisdom and dexterity and one of them is the monk. Like most of the ones I had an issue with, it's a niche multiclassing boon rather than a solid base class. I'd definitely consider it with druid if the DM rules that it works while wildshaped.

    What I'm referring to as active tanking isn't buffing, healing, and supporting but employing active defenses, i.e. spending resources other than HP to avoid taking damage, or in some cases to heal yourself. An example of active tanking would be casting a buff on yourself to give temporary HP, or a temporary AC increase.

    Bards can certainly pull off some tanking, but they're certainly not the most effective at it. However, they make a good secondary class for paladins and an okay one for fighters, since it allows the paladin to get more spell slots without having to multiclass into the much frailer sorcerer, and allows them to better irritate their enemies.

    Warlocks in general get a fair number of defensive spells, but I now realize that most of them are designed to make the enemy not want to attack them. With that in mind, I think their best role is similar to that of the bard, as a multiclass for paladin. I can see two levels of warlock greatly adding to a paladin tank, and at the cost of approximately 2 HP and some class features.
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    Default Re: Juggernaut Application: A guide to Tanking (updated)

    Quote Originally Posted by Specter View Post
    ABOUT TANKING:
    I feel like we're talking about two different things here.

    Tanking, as I've understood from a decade of D&D and MMORPG's, is discouraging enemies from attacking others, and encouraging them to attack you. Having high HP, AC, saves, or whatever else doesn't make you a tank, simply because if the enemy has any brains they'll just go for easier prey. Due to the nature of D&D, an enemy with 1HP is as effective as one with 100HP, so you need a tank to harass foes and draw attention to himself. Whether he does that with good HP, good AC, resistances or all of those it's up to him, but the fundamentals are: be the center of attention.

    A tank gives an enemy the devil's choice, where none of the outcomes are particularly good. Example: A Paladin and a Wizard venture into the mountains to kill a giant. As the giant sees them battling their foes, he notices the Wizard is the one who can shape the entire battle with a single spell, but he's also flimsy and not particularly tough. If the paladin uses Compelled Duel and the giant fails the save, he will either attack the high-AC, high-HP paladin without much of an impact, or attack the Wizard with disadvantage. Whatever happens, you're blocking the giant's strategy. You are now a tank.

    Now let's pretend a L3 Wolfbarian, a Rogue and a Fighter are venturing down these mountains for the same reason. The enemy quickly sees that with the Wolfbarian leading these guys into battle, they can breach his defenses quite easily and do a lot of damage. He will either attack the sturdier Barbarian, which cares less about being attacked than his friends, or attack the others while still being attacked with advantage. Win-win. Tanking.

    Now, Bearbarian at L3 is exactly the opposite of that: the giant will simply murder the Rogue or the Fighter first, because a) they will take full damage from his attacks, and b) the Bearbarian's death doesn't bring any advantage to the combat other than one less enemy.

    Obviously, anyone can be a prime target in the field with enough damage, debuffing, etc. But the tank wants to be the prime target, whereas the others don't.

    So if you want to tank as Totem, yes, take Wolf at L3 and then Bear at L14. Otherwise, enemies will leave you to be finished last.

    PS: Flanking is optional and I've never seen it in use.
    Wow, so you fundamentally misunderstood Tanks in the last 10 years?

    High HP, AC, Saves, and all that good stuff absolutely makes you a Tank.

    That is more or less the exact definition of a Tank. Now you could be a Tank that can't hold Aggro, or a Tank with Bad Aggro, but you're still a Tank.
    In the exact same way that a person with Low HP, AC, Saves... Let's just call this Tankiness...
    In the exact same way that a person with Low Tankiness and Excellent Control is NOT a Tank. They are arguably a Controller or a CCer.

    and just being the Center of Attention doesn't make you a Tank. Exactly why that Rogue that keeps sneaking behind the line, becoming the center of attention, and dying... isn't a Tank. *

    Altho you're right a Tank tries to create a 'devil's choice', most of the time a Tank just tries to hold the line for as long as possible. It's arguably inevitable that enemies will get thru when you're playing in a Non-"Hard Aggro" system. So you can't expect Tanks to be able to Hold Aggro, but you absolutely can expect them to be able to Survive. (or else they aren't Tanks).

    Most of the Aggro comes from more or less a 'Proximity' thing. In that if you're the closest and enemies can't just freely walk away from you without any punishment, then you're probably drawing a fair amount of natural Aggro. Now, you may argue that it's worth it to take that Punishment, but now you're arguing advanced Tactics.

    As far as the Wolfbarian goes. The enemy may see that the Wolfbarian is encouraging his allies to new heights, but they still see the Squishy Rogue* and Fighter next to the Wolfbarian. The Wolfbarian has done NOTHING to encourage that enemies attack him. If anything, since the damage from his Allies are even higher, he has encouraged that his allies die even harder. Not to mention the Wolfbarian always wants to be by allies. Which means that the Proximity Aggro will be inherently spread out. As well as it heavily encourages that allies group up for a juicy Fireball to their faces.

    The Bearbarian tho doesn't care about all that, he goes in, he goes deep, and he stays there causing Chaos. If the Bearbarian has his positioning set, then the Giant's choice will be to attack the Bearbarian, or to walk away from the Bearbarian and hit no other ally because they are too far away.

    So yea, the Wolfbarian isn't more of a Tank than Bearbarian. He is less of a Tank and more of a Supporter. Which is perfectly fine, Support is AMAZING in all games. Just don't try to claim that he has stolen the Bearbarian's Tank Throne.

    * This is an RPG Classic, I understand in 5e Rogues can be Tanks.

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