How does this look for covering all tank bases?

With the additional classes and mythic abilities, it’s a new era for building an absolutely indestructible tank.

I feel like minimum conditions include:

  • High enough AC that ordinary mobs should only be able to hit on a 20, or close to it;

  • Good fortitude and will saves to avoid serious save-or-suck effects (I think freedom of movement and elemental resistances tend to make reflex saves superfluous);

  • Concealment (unless you’re soloing you can usually get blur or displacement from another party member, but mirror image is personal only and can’t be infused by an alchemist); and

  • Some type of protection against sneak attacks and / or crits (maybe it’s just PTSD from the end of Kingmaker and getting melted by the Wild Hunt).

After much tinkering with the available options in beta, I think I’ve hit on an optimal mix: 3x Paladin / 16x Primalist / 1x whatever.

In particular, pick Serpentine Bloodline as the first bloodline and then get Draconic (any, but one with fire resistance seems best so far) as your mythic second bloodline (as well as the permanent rage ability, obviously). Using the Primalist feature, exchange one of your bloodline powers for two rage powers, and then use a feat for a third rage power, so you end up with Animal Totem and Guarded Stance.

With all of this in place, your character should (before even counting any other feats or all the rest of your mythic goodness) get:

  • Outrageous, consistent AC: +X from heavy armor (yes it adds failure chance to your bloodrager spells, but those should only be used to buff out of combat); +7 from dragon and serpent bloodlines’ natural armor; +3 from dragon wings; +5 from animal totem natural armor; +5 from guarded stance; +Y or +4 from either wearing a shield (see above re: spells) or using the spell “Shield” from your own list

  • Relatively high saves through Divine Grace and decent charisma, and immunity to fear and disease in any case

  • Mirror image from your own spell list (just take off your heavy armor / shield to cast it outside of combat)

  • Improved uncanny dodge to avoid getting flanked or getting much sneak attack damage.

From what I’ve tested so far, this all seems to stack, but curious if anyone has thought of anything potentially tankier?

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This is very well thought out but there’s no need and limited tools for tanking in this game. Instead you want each character in melee to be reasonably hard to hit while still presenting a threat themselves and contributing to the strength of the team.

Tank, spank, and heal isn’t really what the game is designed around.

A discussion in Discord enlightened me to the new drawbacks of blur/displacement and Mirror Image that come with Wrath. Most of the higher tier demons come with True Seeing making these spells useless. You can’t rely on the miss chance that was normally afforded by these abilities anymore. At least, not at the higher levels/later acts.

Straight AC stacking will likely be the best way to go. So, focus on massive dex, monk wis or cha to AC, or int to AC with a duelist dip. Granted, the other buffs given by a chosen mythic might help counter some of this. But, you’ll want a decent HP pool to absorb those natural 20’s. Anything that will give you immunity to crits will be a lifesaver on higher difficulties. On the plus side, touch attacks are rare in Wrath. You’re getting hit by natural or martial weapons for the most part. That, and spells. Luckily a lot of the new gear is tweaked to deal with that.

Regardless, it’s going to make for some interesting new tank builds. That’s for sure.

I looks good.
You have high AC and saves and you should do good damage, even if it is not as high as a bloodrager focussed on damage.

I just looked at character creation.
Bloodragers get mage armor. With the mystic upgrade you get high AC and you can choose an armor that has a good magic effect, even if it does not have the highest AC.

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I agree it’s less important to have a “real” tank a la MMOs, given that there’s no threat or taunt system, but I think there’s still a lot of value in having a couple of very high defense characters who can body block for your squishies and survive doing so. Also I feel like a build like this, which can have high Strength and use two-handers w/power attack and the whole dazzling display line, can still push out some good damage.

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I was also thinking you could also go for elemental as one of your bloodlines and get the mythic ability that gives you your level-20 bloodline power - so you end up immune to crits and precision damage.

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By higher levels you have tricks of your own. This isn’t new to Wrath:

No reason to have flat out squishies (Nenio with no Image up = embarrassing), and body blocking doesn’t do much if they’re determined to attack someone else.

But yes with smart tactical play you can absolutely use a well-built tank to good advantage when you have too.

The question is how much you really have to once you get rolling.

The best tank is expendable and replaceable—animal companions and summons. Erastil Monster Tactician is the go-to class for this.

If you want a real tank in this game, I suspect mage armor will be the go-to ability because, with archmage armor, you’re looking at +14 end game. That is effectively heavy armor +5. Unless there’s a comparable set of mythic talents to scale armor ac, I do t see why you’d ever prefer plate over a dex tank.

I’d also add that a good tank will convert more than one attribute to AC, so you’re looking at SS, duelist levels, or a monk dip.

If conceal/displacement etc. aren’t effective endgame—and I don’t know that—then That is a plus factor for classes (like vivisectionist) who can reduce their crit chance through other tools, like preserved organs or classes with mirror image.

I wouldn’t be surprised if a dex scion or vivi with a 1 lvl trad monk/scaled fist dip isn’t top dog. Mage armor, dex and wisdom/charisma to AC, mirror image.

Man the easy Bracers and all the Monk splashes really messed people up in P:K.

a) you spend 95% of your playtime with Mage Armor giving you 7 or less.

b) if you’re talking endgame then equipment gives you way, way, way more than raw AC. See Chainmail of Comradery for instance, and that’s only Chapter 2. They even added a slot where you can wear clothes AND armor.

Don’t give up your Proficiencies and Equipment slots unless they’re torn from your cold, dead hands.

I agree that the tank doesn’t really exist in a traditional sense since there aren’t taunts and holding aggro.

I still find it necessary to have a guy thats near impossible to hit though. Initiative makes it necessary. You want one guy to draw everyone’s first attack and you want that guy to have 45 + ac. Charging a monk into a group will win you a lot of fights.

The animal companions have ended up being the most effective tanks in my experience. The fact that they can stack natural AC sky high on top of massive stat bonuses is hard to beat. Buff them up and let them go. I’ve mentioned in other threads that I’ve really started to like the Mastadon. You can overrun into a crowd of enemies and knock them prone. And, your party goes to town on the group. This will be more interesting once mounted combat gets fixed (if it ever does…). Being able to use mobility checks to negate hits with the mounted combat feat adds even more tankyness.

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I don’t see where you’re getting the 95% of your time with 7 AC or less mage armor comment from. Act 4 you’re mythic 6ish making it +10 and we have 2 more acts to go. My party was level 17 I believe and that was without having most of the companion quest xp completed and several big quests.

There seems to be plenty of game left and we’ll likely hit the level cap before we cap out on mythic levels. That’s still a pretty steady progression of AC.

Most people (including me) restart a ton.

Playing a Monk in this setting is a high price. Just decent AC and Image will do the trick or better yet a Summons.

I play a Sensei for the bard songs, mass true strike, no mats restoration, barkskin, and aoo crit fishing for my big hitters.

I was very familiar with the d and d 3rd edition rules. Real life took over and I stopped playing table top, so now I’m not as familiar with all the pathfinder rules and changes from the old editions. I’m about 20 years behind.

I know the meta has changed though. Dexterity is the king now.

Why is the monk a bad choice in this setting? It seems like being nearly impossible to hit, with bard songs, true strike…is pretty handy to me.

By the way, I play with 5 mercs on core rules, so I’m definitely not the best. By launch that will be hard. I finished kingmaker on hard.

For me though, singing the courage bard song, charging my sensei in, surviving the first round of attacks while popping true strike for my party, wins about 80 percent of the fights in one or two rounds. It even works on the boss fights most of the time. I save true strike for boss fights.

Its not the tank roll that Wow created, but its still pretty handy having a guy that can volunteer for the first round of enemy attacks and then let the big hitters eliminate the threats.

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DEX isn’t king in the cRPG. STR is. But yeah Sensei is great.

Monk in general has some problems since for one thing I don’t think Crusader’s Edge or Magical Weapon, Greater work on Fists. They don’t on pets.

Yeah if you’re using Mercs to build around you Monk that’s different than trying to fill the gaps in the companions with one.

It depends on what you want.
Dex based (aka without armor) has it easier to get max AC but you need several feats to do some damage (unless you are rogue). I made this mistake in Kingmaker where I made a char with very high defense but damage was close to zero.

Str is the easiest way to deal damage, especially since enlarge/legendary increase both str and weapon damage while reduce person reduces your weapon damage and there is no dex equivalent to legendary proportions. But str has is harder to get max AC later.

Lets compare a sword saint19/monk1 with a fighter in armor+shield.
The first one adds his full dex, int and wis bonus plus bracer and shield spell to AC.
The later gets heavy armor+shield and those limit the max dex bonus.
All other effects can be obtained by both characters.

One thing is that AC is only useful up to a certain point (enemy AB +20) while your damage can never be too high. If the enemy has 40AB it does not matter if you have 60 or 100 AC, but it matters if you do 60 or 100 damage per hit and your AB can never be too high because later attacks use lower AB.

note: When I say “tank” I do not mean it in the World of Warcraft sense. I mean any char that has AC in the range of enemy AB+20 and hopefully some other defensive abilities (e.g. mirror image, uncanny dodge, things that prevent crits and so on). Of course the “tank” should do some damage and have some other utility for the party.
At least when I was playing kingmaker I was unable to give ALL party members AC that is high enough to survive enemy attacks for long. So I had 2-3 party members (animal companions included) who had very high AC to engage the enemy while the other chars acted from the second row or even further behind.

For example Ekun (single class ranger) had a bad AC because I gave him items that maxed out bow damage+hit chance instead of AC. He was a damage monster and he focussed on enemy casters/rangers first so they do not shoot at backrow characters.

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Crusader’s Edge works on Smilodon’s bite or claw’s I can’t remember which. Didn’t work on mastadon, but it’s missing it’s gore attack on top of everything. You can use magic fang though for the magic weapon improvement.

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Yeah we thought this was the case but Haplo proved us wrong. There are plenty of sources of AC/defenses without worrying about DEX-based. Your commentary is generally perspicacious.