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Dodge Tanks - Basic Build Requirements?

hemslordhemslord Posts: 141 Arc User
I've played with most of the tanking passives (Defiance, Invulnerability & Regen) but haven't even looked at Lightning Reflexes as I'm aware that a good LR tank would ideally have 100% dodge chance.

I'm just wondering what the requirements are in order to reach this, i.e. Dex or Con Primary, how much Dex should I aim for, and what powers are considered staple powers (I'm guessing Thundering Kicks, Parry w/Elusive Monk & BCR).


  • flowcytoflowcyto Posts: 10,102 Arc User
    Pantagruel has some good experience tanking w/ this. He could prob give you some guidelines if you're really interested in trying it.
    <CO docs> .: Petco :. // Base DPS Sheet (older power data) // PSA on Power Activation Delay // Ayonachan's Gift Horse (misc stat data)
    - Be safe and have fun, champs - for science!
  • bluhmanbluhman Posts: 2,338 Arc User
    I'm no expert on the subject (i.e. I haven't tried it out myself), but to the best of my understanding:

    Normal tanks usually facilitate blocking to resist massive attacks, whereas a well-equipped dodge tank can, and should, keep striking through enemy attacks.
    This is due to how Avoidance works, as unlike most other sources of Damage Mitigation, the percentage avoidance is directly the amount of damage that is mitigated. In other words, having 90% avoidance does actually mean that a successful dodge would only have you take 10% of damage, and ignore the other 90%.
    To put that in perspective, most R3 blocks grant ~300% Damage Mitigation, or roughly 12.5% damage taken - normally, each 100% of damage mitigation equates to incoming damage being halved. In short, Dodge+Avoidance is extremely powerful if you are built up to it. The issue is getting there, since Avoidance and Dodge do have their own softcaps they run into fairly hard with equipment. There's also amount of damage you will take if you fail a dodge... Ouch.
    Consequentially, dodge tank builds also have almost no flexibility in what they can build with, because only a few power choices have attacks an abilities that boost dodge chances. They also won't hit nearly as hard as normal tanks if taking all the optimal dodge-tank choices, but this does make them fair candidates for support-tanks.
    • CON Primary is the SS of choice, with extremely strong DEX secondary buffering it. The specs of choice for this would include Tough (extra HP from Secondaries), Resilient (Much needed KB resist), Deflection (DEX = Extra dodge rating), and Adrenaline Rush (Crit = HP Restoration). The spec choices here all reflect the nature of the build I described above (almost always attacking while maximizing dodge stats and survival).
    • I think there's probably a very solid case for the opposite as well (DEX Primary with very high CON Secondary), as this can provide very high Avoidance with the Evasion spec. Overall I feel like this setup spreads itself a bit thinner over stats you need to balance, and also doesn't benefit from any boosts to knock resistance, as well as a lack of functional specs for the first-tier (Brush It Off has been confirmed to be broken in how it adds dodge chance).
    • Almost pure MA attack rotation is the easiest to pull off. Thundering Kicks is a staple, as completing this combo boosts dodge chances passively. Since I haven't specifically built a dodge tank, I couldn't possibly tell you which of the possible choices is the best for it (R3 vs Floating Lotus Blossom vs Storm's Eye Prana). There's probably a good rationale for each to work, but in any case I'd heavily push for a dodge tank to have this attack.
    • Elusive Monk and BCR + RR are key. Monk will further drive down your damage output, but that increased chance will generate even more openings through which you can continue fighting. Reiki is important since just having BCR up will help leverage that dodge chance into increased healing. Should be noted that RR always triggers a rank-2 heal upon dodge, so if you felt like it you could use Gifts of the Storm to potentially create support-based tanking.
    • Properly-prepared dodge tanks are probably the only case in which Fluidity is usable, but I'd still consider it overall inferior to Parry/Deflect. Having a guaranteed mitigator on a build otherwise dependent on chance is still very important for cases where required blocks are used.
    • Dragon Kick + Lashing Dragon Tail is also quite important, and serves as the Avoidance Mirror of Thundering Kick's dodge buff. Crashing Wave Kick can also work but it does get its stacks stripped upon a successful dodge, which makes it a bit more situational for really maintaining high dodge stats.
    • Swd Cyclone's probably the best attack with a dodge-boosting advantage for a setup like this that leverages the dodge mechanics right now. Other candidates include Lead Tempest and Shuriken Storm, but Cyclone's got the benefit of melee (meaning it triggers Elusive Monk) and higher base damage.
    • Especially after the ICD nerf of Tempest form, Form of the Master is the toggle of choice for this build since each application of a dodge buff stacks it essentially. If you're going to go support-style, there isn't much problem with doing Compassion either, though that might draw your stat selections a bit thinner than pure Dex.
    • Evasive Maneuvers: Absolutely not worth it for a dodge tank. Duration is too short and cooldown is too long, and displacing yourself each time you use it is just asking for trouble concerning attack positioning. Eversion on the Archery EB and the Swingin' Advantage are very minor in the grand scheme of things as well, but at least for the TP advantage every little bit helps I guess.
    • Upper-level trees would likely be Warden/Protector for typical tanking (maximize crits on your combo, which you'll be using a LOT, and get as much defense as possible from protector, with mastery potentially allowing you to trigger MD ASAP). A support tank would probably get the most out of using Sentinel somewhere with that ability to throw out a dodge-boosting stun so rapidly with CWK, with Arbiter possibly also being a good choice (dodge-tank with CON would be the best candidate for using Arbiter Mastery, but it's still a pretty seemingly underwhelming mastery....)

    Everything else is fairly self-explanatory/expected. Masterful Dodge and Lightning Reflexes are givens, get dodge gear, keep on kicking.
    How to block a user with μblock:
  • hemslordhemslord Posts: 141 Arc User
    Thanks Bluhman, that's great!

    I did a very brief bit of tinkering on the PTS and couldn't see any easy way to maintain 100% dodge without using Thundering Kicks which is a shame (I'm sure there might be a way but I only had about 10 mins to test). I considered looking at Evasive Maneuvers but as you pointed out, there are too many draw backs.

    Between the high end gear requirement and the need for specific powers I'm not surprised that there are so many more Defiance & Invulnerability tanks! Still, I'm definitely going to have to throw a build together, I might even retcon an old lvl 40 who already has GCR & VT gear to avoid having to slowly grind out the dodge gear.
  • I use dex primary , con mods and dex mods and i do supurb when im tanking. Eve use a dps passive as well so i can effectivly dps when tank role isnt needed rather go into hybrd and vasically be useless.
  • pantagruel01pantagruel01 Posts: 6,506 Arc User
    The best dodge tanks, which I am not, are capable of blocking while retaining 100% dodge. The essential build requirements for dodge tanking at an endgame level are:
    • 100% dodge (103.3% for Kigatilik), with whatever combination of buffs you use to get that. Usually that's via LR, Lithe, and Elusive Monk/Elusive Swordsman. Dodge bonuses that rely travel powers are unreliable vs cosmics. This will usually involve gcr gear (possibly with Legion dodge gear) and a Cosmic secondary defense with a dodge core.
    • Sufficient avoidance to survive an unblocked hit for around 160k base, or being really really good at blocking.
    Then for the hard part: actually using it. They key things are:
    • Elusive monk/swordsman triggers on making a melee attack that hits a target. Once applied it lasts a couple of seconds
    • Lithe triggers on the third hit of your combo, and lasts 12s.
    • The game decides certain things (such as whether to apply debuffs) at the start of power activation; whether you will dodge is one of those things. This is not the same as damage is applied
    • Attacks that apply knocks or CCs have to be blocked, but remember the timing issues above, you have to break your block to refresh your buffs before the next attack starts. Also, dino breath debuffs dodge if not blocked, though its hits are small enough that it's okay to not have 100% dodge.
    • Masterful dodge is for when you simply can't do the other options.
    • It's possible to use both blocking and dodging, but your timing has to be perfect; block too soon and elusive monk wears off, block too late and, well, you didn't block.
  • flagpole#4268 flagpole Posts: 38 Arc User
    No offense citizen, but... Not only do I not see you tank often, when I did see you, you were awful
  • hemslordhemslord Posts: 141 Arc User
    I'm currently at 98% dodge chance, just need to finish getting the rest of my gear now.

    Thank you all for the tips, they've been very useful!

    The only thing I wouldn't recommend is taking Dragon Kick & Lashing Dragon Tail. To me it just doesn't seem worth it as I'm only getting an additional 2% avoidance.
  • darqaura2darqaura2 Posts: 924 Arc User
    Something for this really should be stickied.
  • morigosamorigosa Posts: 698 Arc User
    "Only 2% avoidance," you say. Important question: 2% from where? If your base avoidance is 50%, 2% avoidance is a 4% reduction in damage taken. If your base avoidance is 90%, 2% avoidance is a 20% reduction in damage taken.

    I'll also note that - for a dodge tank only - Fluidity can actually be a very useful block replacer; my dodge tank has Parry (for normal use), and Fluidity (on a separate build and swapped in for certain cosmics).

    For example, consider Teleiosaurus. There are an enormous number of things that you have to block - knocks, holds, and breaths; oddly, for a tank, the green bubble dot is probably the least dangerous of her attacks. For a dodge tank who relies on Parry to hit 100% dodge chance, blocking can be fatal.

    Enter Fluidity. At rank 2 with the Flowing like the River advantage, it increases dodge chance by a flat 25% while blocking. Which means that, as long as your base dodge chance is at least 75%, you can block - and just hold it as long as you need to without any risk of dodge dipping below 100%. That bonus decays over time once you stop blocking, but if you always follow blocking with a refresh of Thundering Kicks, you can then get in a decent charge attack or two before you have to block again to refresh FltR.

    For me, this works much better than trying to perfectly time blocking with Parry to get the knock/hold/debuff immunity while still keeping up dodge chance.
    Footnote1: Not that blocking -usually- grants knock immunity - but Teleiosaur's stomp is special, and won't knock if you were blocking early enough.
    Footnote2: Dino breath is the really dangerous one, here. You have to block early or each tick hits you with a stacking debuff that - among other things - reduces dodge chance; if you mess up and get the debuff, that's a good place to use Masterful Dodge. I have no idea how Parry-based dodge tanks deal with this; presumably they block it and hope that the occasional un-dodged breath tick doesn't kill them?
  • pantagruel01pantagruel01 Posts: 6,506 Arc User
    morigosa wrote: »
    "Only 2% avoidance," you say. Important question: 2% from where?
    Most dodge tanks will be in the mid 80s avoidance. Note that avoidance bonuses are (internally) treated as an increase in a divisor, so the more avoidance you already have the less additional gives you.
    morigosa wrote: »
    I'll also note that - for a dodge tank only - Fluidity can actually be a very useful block replacer; my dodge tank has Parry (for normal use), and Fluidity (on a separate build and swapped in for certain cosmics).
    Hm. I suppose I can see uses for that, but it's pretty rough to hit base dodge 75% and that's a power slot and 4 attribute points down for a block that doesn't do anything at all against some attacks because they cannot be dodged (for example, Grond's fire patches and green orb detonations at Eidolon).
    morigosa wrote: »
    Footnote2: Dino breath is the really dangerous one, here. You have to block early or each tick hits you with a stacking debuff that - among other things - reduces dodge chance; if you mess up and get the debuff, that's a good place to use Masterful Dodge. I have no idea how Parry-based dodge tanks deal with this; presumably they block it and hope that the occasional un-dodged breath tick doesn't kill them?
    Individual breath tics are pretty small, they're not going to kill you through block.
  • luumina#2431 luumina Posts: 324 Arc User
    what about PFF for the tank passive? does it work ?
  • pantagruel01pantagruel01 Posts: 6,506 Arc User
    what about PFF for the tank passive? does it work ?
    Short answer is 'no'. Slightly longer answer is that you can make it work sort of, but for the most part if you can tank with PFF you can tank without a passive at all.
  • citizenzero#3567 citizenzero Posts: 171 Arc User
    To the person who mentioned my bad dodge tanking. Ive tsnked several cosmics in passed 4 weeks did fine. But on a side note..try playing hen u have one good arm. Ao u may have been there when i was just learning. So such a comment was unnecessary...when my advice was sound
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