Following on from our Stalker class guide, here we’ll provide you with all the information you need to load out your Stalker and maximise your Tanking potential. Stalkers might wear medium armor and it might feel odd to tank with a class that's capable of stealthing, but rest assured the Stalker makes a formidable tank. Stalkers are difficult to tank with effectively in comparison to an Engineer or Warrior but that's primarily because they are very reliant on gear and choosing the right skills and AMPs. It isn't uncommon to see some very poor Stalker tanks that aren't exactly sure what they're doing which wrong leads people to believe they can't excel at looking after a party.
Punish can only be used when your critically hit your opponent but because it deals damage to 5 foes and generates Suit Power, it's a skill well worth taking to ensure your Suit Power remains high.
A must have skill for any tanking Stalker, Nano Field has no cooldown and provides a damage over time to the enemies in its area. The best thing about Nano Field is that it also heals you for a percentage of the damage dealt (25%) and if you press the skill a second time, it deals further damage and heals you for 50% of the damage dealt instead of 25%. When Tiered it costs no Suit Power on second press and heals for more.
This is your bread and butter skill that has no cooldown and no cost. Use it when nothing else is available as it is your main source of threat generation.
Decimate weakens foes and reduces the damage they deal by 18%. Unfortunately this skill can only be used after you've deflected a skill but when combined with Steadfast that offers a 60% Deflect chance, it's fairly easy to trigger the skill.
As mentioned above, Steadfast provides you with a 60% chance to Deflect attacks. It's quite a significant amount and will reduce the damage you take significantly for 4 seconds. You can only trigger Steadfast though when you've deflected an attack first, but then have a window of 6 seconds to use it.
Razor Storm is your large taunt for up to 10 targets. Its cooldown is lengthy at 30 seconds but it allows you to gain enemy attention back on you almost instantly. At Tier 4 it also grants 10 Suit Power and has its cooldown reduced by 5 seconds. I'd only use this when you're struggling to maintain aggro.
Stagger is incredibly useful because it destroys 1 Interrupt Armor, deals physical damage to 5 foes and stuns them for 2.5 seconds. It’s great at preventing foes from running away or interrupting them so you can continue to hurt them.
Collapse is an incredibly powerful skill. By default it pulls foes towards you while destroying an Interrupt Armor. It’s incredibly useful from a team perspective as it allows your party to focus their fire where you are to melt enemies down quickly. Although I haven’t taken it to Tier 4 here, it certainly is a variable. The root at Tier 4 is amazing in PvP.
The primary purpose of the points spent on these Tiers is to improve your survivability or to maintain your Suit Power. Nano Field is expensive to use at 20 Suit Power so it's important to ensure you can use it constantly as it's your primary source of heals and area affect damage.
As you might expect the vast majority of the points for a Stalker Tank are spent in the Support tree, with some points in Hybrid A/S, Hybrid S/U and Utility. Most of the AMPs taken allow you to deflect more or provide you with invulnerability/mitigation when you're low on health. As a tank it's incredibly important to know that when you're low health you've got an extra life or two in the tank in the event your healer can't keep you up.
- Lifesteal III - Increases Lifesteal by 6% (total)
- Deflect III - Increases Deflect chance by 3% (total)
- Support Power III - Increases Support Power by 7.5% (total)
- Deflect Critical Hit III - Increases Critical Hit Deflect chance by 6% (total)
- Empowered Attack Mastery - Landing a hit while in Nano Skin Evasive has a 20% chance to restore 36% shield
- Regeneration - When dropping below 35% health you restore 150% health (30 second cooldown)
- Forbearance - Deflecting an attack grants a stack of Forbearance for 6 seconds. When the stack reaches 6 Forbearance is consumed and you're healed for 51% health
- Last Stand - When dropping below 1% health you gain invulnerability. For 3.5 seconds you cannot be killed and you recover 70% health every 0.5 seconds for 3.5 seconds.
- Amplification Spike - Create a field, lasting 8 seconds, which grants a defense to allies
- Maximum Shield Capacity - Increases Shield Capacity by 9% (total)
- Dash Regen III - Increases Dash Regen by 21% (total)
- Cooldowns III - Reduces cooldowns by 15% (total)
In terms of rotation it's actually really easy with this build. Some of your skills can only be triggered on a critical hit or deflect so you should aim to use them as and when they are available. For the remaining skills:
- Use Whiplash repeatedly to retain aggro from the enemies you're tanking
- When Decimate/Steadfast are available utilise them to reduce the damage you receive
- Utilise Razor Storm if you're failing to hold aggro from multiple enemies
- Use Collapse to gather enemies together at the start of the fight or if they're separating
- Use Stagger to Destroy Interrupt Armor and to stun any enemies that are potentially launching a heavy telegraph
The only variables I would really recommend with this build is to replace Stagger with Pounce (a leap that snares enemies when you land on them) because it's useful for escaping from heavy telegraphs. Alternatively replace Razor Storm with Reaver. Reaver is a great skill because it reduces the damage your party receive by 25% and ensures enemies are taunted and attack you.
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