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Stam Sorc Tank Build Guide - The Bringer of Rain

MrSausage
MrSausage
Soul Shriven
Hi all. I've played Stam DK, Stam NB, and Stam Sorc tanks at Champion Level 531, and I've found that the Sorc is actually the most fun and effective in the tank role. I thought I would share my build. It is geared towards PVE, but I've been able to play effectively in PVP also, given one of the key focus areas of the build. There are two focus areas of the build:

First, I wanted to be able to add a decent amount of damage with the goal of making dungeon runs go quicker. Out of all the various stamina based tanks that I've tried, the Sorc accomplishes this objective to the best degree, with the large amount of AOE skills available.

Second, I wanted to be able to generate and use as many Ultimates as possible, which also helps with the first the objective.

My disclaimer is that I've only used the build for soloing, pledges, and occasional PVP. I've never actually tried a raid, but I'm sure this build would make an excellent support tank for that purpose.

Race, Stat Allocation, Mundus Stone:

For Race, I use Imperial which inherently makes a great tank, but any stamina based race could work. Khajiit is an interesting choice due to Critical Surge, but you'll need to allocate some points to health.

For point allocation, I allocated all points to stamina. Imperial, plus gear bonuses, plus health/stamina food gets me to around 27.8 K health, so I didn't feel the need to allocate points to health.

For Mundus Stone, I use the Thief, which works great with Critical Surge and Camouflaged Hunter, but others are probably good also.

Gear:
This build makes effective use of three sets, plus 1 monster helm or shoulder. Here is what I'm using:

Helm: Mighty Chudan's Visage - Infused Health
Shoulder: Pauldron of the Dragon - Infused Health (Divines probably better, but this is what I have)
Chest: Cuirass of the Dragon - Infused Stamina
Legs: Greaves of the Dragon - Infused Stamina
Boots: Sabatons of the Dragon -Divines Stamina
Gloves: Gauntlets of the Dragon - Divines Health
Belt: Werewolf Hide Belt - Divines Stamina

This setup results in 6 heavy and 1 medium for the purpose of the undaunted bonus and other stats.

Ring: Ring of the Potentates - Healthy - Stamina Recovery enchantment
Ring: Werewolf Hide Ring - Robust - Stamina Recovery enchantment
Necklace: Werewolf Hide Necklace - Robust - Stamina Recovery enchantment
Bar1 Weapon: Werewolf Hide Sword - Defending - Weapon Damage Enchantment
Bar1 Shield: Werewolf Hide Shield - Infused Stamina (I'd like Reinforced, but I've never seen one.)
Bar2 Weapon: Mace of the Potentates - Sharpened Befouled Enchantment
Bar2 Weapon: Mace of the Potentates - Precise Poisoned Enchantment

If you're comfortable with less stamina recovery, you can enchant one or two pieces of jewelry with weapon damage instead.

The purpose of this setup is to allow the tank to quickly build ultimate with the Werewolf Hide Set while the sword and shield are equipped, and then switch to the dual wield bar which combines the Blessing of the Potentates and Akaviri Dragonguard set bonuses to cast an Ultimate. The Sorc is amazing for this setup due to the Power Stone passive it receives. Warhorn only costs about 165 Ultimate in a group setup and Dawnbreaker of Smiting costs 66 (although that is going to increase next update). The Ultimate cost reduction appears to be 40% on paper, but it ends up being a little less than that due to some hidden math (not sure if that is intended). Regardless, it is still great and even better if you're a former emperor which comes with a little more Ultimate cost reduction.



Skill Bars

Sword and Shield:

Pierce Armor
Heroic Slash
Razor Caltrops
Camouflaged Hunter for critical bonus (Although there is flexibility to use whatever you want here)
Bound Armaments

Ultimate: Werewolf, for Stamina Regeneration (Costs only 219 Ultimate as an added bonus if you want to use it)

Dual Wield:
Critical Surge
Hurricane
Deadly Cloak (Primary Reason for going dual wield instead of another sword and shield)
Resolving Vigor
Bound Armaments (so it doesn't drop when switching bars)

Ultimate: Aggressive Horn or Dawnbreaker of Smiting (Suppression field is useful too).

Alternatively, if you don't mind dealing with a pet, you could swap out Camouflaged Hunter and Resolving Vigor if you need more health as generated by the Expert Summoner passive.

How to Play

Before a pull, cast Critical Surge, Hurricane, and Deadly Cloak. This builds up your defense and self healing, and also builds up your main sources of AOE damage. Then switch to other bar and use Razor Caltrops to pull and create another small source of AOE damage that lasts a long time. Razor Caltrops is very useful due to its long range. It can be used to pull the next room of enemies while finishing the current room.

After pull, use Pierce Armor for Taunting, Heroic Slash (reduces enemy damage and provides another great source of Ultimate) and weave in light attacks for more Ultimate or heavy attacks for stamina as needed.

Switch to dual wield to recast Hurricane and Deadly Cloak, if needed. You probably won't need to recast Critical Surge unless you're in a longer boss fight. You can also cast your Ultimate. I don't worry about saving Aggressive Horn for boss fights as the build generates so much cheap Ultimate that it can be used just about every other pull.


Champion Point Allocation:

This is probably not optimal, but here is what I use at 531:

27 Spell Shield
60 Hardy
60 Elemental Defender
30 Heavy Armor Focus

75 Warlord
75 Mooncalf
27 Shadow Ward

100 Mighty
60 Piercing
10 Precise Strikes
7 Thaumaturge

Stats:

This includes Hurricane, Bound Armaments, and Health/Stamina Food, but not Warhorn (which will boost you quite a bit higher). It also reflects Sword and Shield equipped.

Physical Resistance: 32,140
Spell Resistance: 30,659
Health: 27,793
Stamina: 37,138
Health Recovery: 444
Stamina Recovery: 1623
Magicka and Magicka Recovery: Low, but doesn't really matter. The only thing you need the Magicka pool for is Critical Surge, and the low pool is sufficient to refresh it when needed.
Weapon Damage: Only 1899, but there are three sources of dot damage that are all AOE, so the overall damage being done is significant.
Weapon Critical: 46.9% (With Camouflaged Hunter and The Thief Mundus)

PVP:

The build is designed for PVE. The set pieces don't come in Impenetrable, so the build isn't optimized for PVP. However, I did need to run some PVP to get Warhorn and Caltops and had fun doing it because I could spam Dawnbreaker of Smiting (sometimes multiple times in a fight). Thus, the build can be fun and effective from a PVP standpoint, and is also versatile for Imperial City/Sewer action.


Pros and Cons:

Pros:

Builds Ultimate quickly and skills are cheap to cast.

Aggressive Horn can be kept up fairly regularly.

Enough health and resistances to Tank hard content like vICP and vWGT easily (haven't tried this in trials though).

A lot of the Silver Pledges can be done solo due to strong self healing over time and large AOE damage. It does take a while given that it is group content, so I don't recommend it unless you're bored and looking for a challenge.

Not ideal for PVP, but still decent given the versatility of not needing to switch gear.

Deadly Cloak serves a dual purpose of AOE damage reduction and AOE damage, so this skill offers great synergy to the overall build. With Deadly Cloak and the strong self healing afforded with Critical Surge, you can often stand in boss AOE attacks and it doesn't really matter if you move or dodge.

Because of the solo capability, you can sometimes finish boss fights if the rest of your group wipes

Cons:

Limited range capability - This makes certain ranged bosses difficult and you might need to bring a bow. It also makes vMA very difficult once you get to the ice stage.

Hurricane duration - the primary source of Major Resolve and Major Ward only lasts 15 seconds, so the build requires a lot of bar switching and takes some time to get used to. Other tanks often have a longer duration source of these defenses, but Hurricane is also an offensive source so this drawback isn't too bad.

Bound Armaments requires a slot on each bar, but that isn't too bad for this build. We need to take time to refresh Hurricane and Deadly Cloak. Refreshing another skill often would make it more difficult to manage.


Summary:

This is by far the most fun tank build I've used because the screen "rains" with damage numbers on the three AOE dots (hence the build name). Ultimate spam is also a huge plus. I'm sure others have come up similar builds, but I wanted to share this given that it takes some of the boredom out of tanking.
  • Waffennacht
    Waffennacht
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    Is cloak really worth it?

    Can you explain this usefulness of it?

    Just considering your build, i may steal ideas
    Gamer tag: DasPanzerKat NA Xbox One
    1300+ CP
    Battleground PvP'er

    Waffennacht' Builds
  • MrSausage
    MrSausage
    Soul Shriven
    Is cloak really worth it?

    Can you explain this usefulness of it?

    Just considering your build, i may steal ideas

    Thanks for the response! I'm glad someone expressed interest in a few ideas. I don't post much, but I felt like I had to in this case because I'm very passionate about this build.

    I've found Deadly Cloak it to be worth it. It seems to have some level of impact of reducing damage taken and allows me to be lazy by standing in a lot of AOEs. I haven't done extensive testing on how much it actually helps though.

    However, the primary reason why I think it works great in this build is that its duration is exactly the same as Hurricane. I know that every time I need to switch bars to recast Hurricane, I'll cast Deadly Cloak immediately after and then switch back to my shield bar. After the second expiration of Hurricane and Deadly Cloak, I'll recast Critical Surge, Hurricane, and Deadly Cloak. Critical Surge lasts for 33 seconds, so it lasts approximately two casts of the other two. I probably wouldn't recast Caltrops (unless I'm starting a pull of the next room) since it is more expensive and the trash is probably already dead by this point anyway.

    In other words, even though I need to switch bars every 15 seconds, the mathematically matching duration of skills makes this switch very easy and efficient to manage. Furthermore, with 1623 stamina regeneration and a pool of 37,138, I needed to find another good use for stamina. Sure, I could equip Whirlwind instead, but then I wouldn't be using Pierce Armor or Heroic Slash like I should be.

    Finally, because I am the tank, a lot of mobs are close to me. If I'm hitting 7-10 mobs at once, I'm doing substantially more overall damage than my Imperial DK tank which has nearly 2,000 more weapon damage than my sorc. The DK might do better overall damage to a single target (such as a boss), but the DK also can't reliably use Aggressive Horn multiple times in a single boss fight. Taking frequent use of this Ultimate into account, the Sorc may still be contributing more to the overall damage of the group in boss fights, but I'm not sure how that could be tested. This only speculation on my part.

    Overall, I would agree that Deadly Cloak is a fairly underwhelming skill that could better substituted for something else, but this is an instance in which it actually shines.

    I did forget to mention one weakness of the build in my first post. It causes the gold pledges which require mobs to be kept alive to become more annoying. If I cast my AOE skills, the mobs will eventually die. For those fights, I replace Hurricane with Immovable and Deadly Cloak with Turn Undead, so I can tank those without killing them.
  • Asmael
    Asmael
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    Interesting take on tank stam sorc.

    3 points:
    • I'd swap Resolving Vigor & caltrops for trials, since those tend to be much less forgiving and riskier on weapon swaps. You should also give Echoing Vigor a try in a group, since I find it much easier to keep other party members alive without needing to have a walk around the room with the boss / adds.
    • Regardless, it is still great and even better if you're a former emperor which comes with a little more Ultimate cost reduction. - Former emp passives have been removed quite some time ago.
    • I would suggest slightly reworking your CPs. Heavy armor focus and Spell shield are very underwhelming (I'm not at home, so can't quite give you the exact numbers), but you're better off redistributing those in Hardy & Elemental Defender.

    Otherwise, sounds like a very solid dungeon setup.
    PC EU - Zahraji of the Void, aka "Kitty", the fluffiest salmon genocider in town.
    Poke @AsmaeI (last letter is uppercase "i") on PC EU or Asmael#9325 on Discord and receive a meow today.
  • Waffennacht
    Waffennacht
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    Thanks a bunch for the response. I understand where you're coming from and like the ideas. Pretty cool build, I haven't tanked before and have been thinking of giving it a shot. I only have sorcs so I've been interested in your build. Thanks
    Gamer tag: DasPanzerKat NA Xbox One
    1300+ CP
    Battleground PvP'er

    Waffennacht' Builds
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