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Best "tanking" companion?

Good afternoon.

I've been reading a number of forums and guides (mostly old), in the hopes that I can choose the right companion for soloing content.

I'm a ranger now, and I LOVE the class. I was hoping to stick with animal companions, but there's plenty that would benefit my class.

What are your opinions on the best "tanking" companion? Beast-type or otherwise? I'm curious to know your thoughts.

Thank you in advance.

Comments

  • plasticbatplasticbat Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 9,816 Arc User
    Many do not use a real companion but augment ... for solo content.
    The game can read your mind. If you want it, you won't get it. If you don't expect to get it, you will.
  • sandukutupusandukutupu Member Posts: 2,272 Arc User
    @plasticbat I own augments but don't use them. Maybe I should say, I use them less than companions.

    The best tanks I have found are the following;

    Skeleton
    Rimefire Golem
    Cold Iron Warrior
    Blacksmith
    Dragonborn Brawler
    Dread Warrior
    Wandering Scarecrow
    Zhentarim Warlock
    Honey Badger
    Galeb Duhr

    These companions at rank 40 take a real beating in battle and seldom fall.
    wb-cenders.gif
  • rikitakirikitaki Member Posts: 773 Arc User
    I have no idea what you expect from the "tanking" part. The Cave Bear and Owl both have taunt. I have no idea if it works though.
  • mithrosnomoremithrosnomore Member Posts: 674 Arc User
    I used to have a Galeb Duhr for the ranger I regret deleting to this day.

    I can not speak on them being "best" by any means, though.
    That was a long time ago. A lot has changed in the game since then.

    Not a beast, but an earth elemental, so I felt that it was still on-theme.
    The Honey Badger used to be popular. I never used it, and again, that was a long time ago.

    There is going to be a 100% off companion coupon coming along and a change in companion pricing in the market, though, so I suggest waiting before making a C-Store purchase. This could affect AH prices as well, but if I wanted a companion right now I would go the AH route until the price change happens.
  • kemnimtarkaskemnimtarkas Member Posts: 824 Arc User

    Good afternoon.

    I've been reading a number of forums and guides (mostly old), in the hopes that I can choose the right companion for soloing content.

    I'm a ranger now, and I LOVE the class. I was hoping to stick with animal companions, but there's plenty that would benefit my class.

    What are your opinions on the best "tanking" companion? Beast-type or otherwise? I'm curious to know your thoughts.

    Thank you in advance.

    So this guide:

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1fP_cUugHdsObvQDzLFijGA-mVm_qLmSy0MI62aTLkDM/edit#gid=1786749120

    referenced elsewhere in the forums gives the best overview I've found on all possible companion options.

    If you're soloing, I've found the high DPS companions worked well for a ranger build - though some are a little too aggressive still and manage to pull mobs when you don't want the attention.

    But if you need a tanky companion - just pick a fighter that you like and try it out.
  • sandukutupusandukutupu Member Posts: 2,272 Arc User
    Well here is a video I made with my Honey Badger "Stoffel" just now. I took him to Vallenhas and you can see in the first clip he lasted 48 seconds versus 2 bad guys. I dance with the third just to show I am not helping him in any way what-so-ever. In the next clip we see he can clearly attack and damage a boss for several seconds.

    Download Video Here or watch on YouTube


    Honey Badger is beast type. They are very AD expensive but you can buy them from the AH in a companion choice pack or listed under Honey Badger.
    wb-cenders.gif
  • greywyndgreywynd Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 6,206 Arc User
    I normally have the Zhent Warlock active on my ranger.
    I'm not looking for forgiveness, and I'm way past asking permission. Earth just lost her best defender, so we're here to fight. And if you want to stand in our way, we'll fight you too.
  • sandukutupusandukutupu Member Posts: 2,272 Arc User
    greywynd said:

    I normally have the Zhent Warlock active on my ranger.

    That is what I use on my ranger as well. My guild leader uses the Earth Archon on his ranger. But he hasn't been online playing lately.
    wb-cenders.gif
  • drartwhodentdrartwhodent Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 251 Arc User
    Ranger here.
    I used the Earth Archon for a long time before the big changes to the companion system. It can be a little slow to attack but as has been stated, sucker could take a pounding and keep going, as well as being immune to several types of attacks.
    I've used a few other 'tank' types over the years as well and have to say that one of the best for getting in there quick was the Man-at-Arms (or Shieldmaiden, they seem to act/attack the same) and if you upgrade him to 40 he doesn't die real quick.
    Lately tho I use Xuna when soloing. Yes, she can aggro extra mobs at times but she also often kills them all in the blink of an eye. I turn around and there are dead bodies and loot on the ground. :) The Shadow Demon was another good dps companion that I used quite a bit, that puppy has a wicked left hook that can do some major damage to a single target.
    Bulette pup for groups. Deepcrow hatchling is good too.
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  • rikitakirikitaki Member Posts: 773 Arc User
    edited August 2020
    Well, mentioning Xuna... there are just 2 companions atm that do noticeable damage: Xuna and Abyssal Chicken. The rest... you are usually better off with augments.

    The M16 rework removed most of the taunts, so companions usually do not grab the aggro or hold it if you join the fray. As I said, Cave Bear and Owl still have "taunt" in the tooltips, but I gave them a try and ended up as the main mob target anyway.
    From the other point of view, Owl is fun to watch and somehow suits the ranger role-play.
  • greywyndgreywynd Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 6,206 Arc User
    Augments can't provide Combat Advantage.
    I'm not looking for forgiveness, and I'm way past asking permission. Earth just lost her best defender, so we're here to fight. And if you want to stand in our way, we'll fight you too.
  • rikitakirikitaki Member Posts: 773 Arc User
    True, but the regular companions are doing their best to not provide it as well. =)
  • tribbulatertribbulater Member Posts: 179 Arc User
    Something else to consider with Ranger tanking is whether you are a melee(ish) ranger or an archer. If you prefer to stay at range, it's important to have a companion who gets in there fast and starts aggroing, both for aggro and for setting up combat advantage for your ranged attacks. Shield Maiden/Man at Arms and other companions with a 'charge' type attack is one way to go. I also like companions like Mercenary, Phase Spider and Blink Dog because they often teleport right to the other side of the group and set up combat advantage right away.
  • hustin1hustin1 Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 3,318 Arc User
    I have a keen interest in this topic since I have quite a lot of alts and therefore I can't build them up to the same level. Only a small handful, the strongest ones, use augments and the others rely on various companions. I used to consider the Frost Mimic the best tanking companion in the game, but since Mod 16 it doesn't seem to be the case. I think it lost its ability to taunt enemies. Ever since I've been using the Vicious Dire Wolf with my weaker alts, not because of any ability to taunt, but due to its ability to interrupt, knock back, and knock down enemies. It can't pull an enemy's attention away, but it can grant me some breathing room.
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  • sandukutupusandukutupu Member Posts: 2,272 Arc User
    @rikitaki I have Xuna and while she provides a bloodbath burst every 3 times per minute, she is not "worth" the asking price. As @greywynd stated companions provide combat advantage, but companions also distract and (assuming you view the video) they can hold back 2 enemies while you are killing the others. My Zhentarim Warlock can perform a Hellfire Eruption about 6 times per minute and it always nukes the mob for 35K or more damage per hit. The bondings on her are only rank 9 and the items are low budget as well, so I am sure she can do better. I like Xuna, but she is not worth the millions of AD when I can buy the warlock and upgrade her from Sybella questing.

    The only time I use augments is for stealth. If I am not on a mount, sneaking around, and avoiding combat. I don't play that way very often. If the people reading this are looking for a cheap (free) augment, they do drop out of the Juma Bags o' Chicken. It is a shame they are account bound, I would have given mine away. So far I got 2 bear cubs, polar bear cub, and bulette pup from those bags.
    wb-cenders.gif
  • rikitakirikitaki Member Posts: 773 Arc User
    edited August 2020
    @hustin1 if you seek a breathing room, give a try to the Intellect Devourer. The green variant is usually really cheap (well, you would be really lucky to come across the purple rarity) - and it does exactly what you mentioned: disrupts the enemy attack on a regular basis.

    @sandukutupu I use augments on everything except the tanks. For tanks, the Abyssal Chicken is a blessing, because it really hits hard. Compared to Xuna it is more moody (the main attack targets 1-2 enemies and stops if they die - if they were the weakest guys of the group, you have half minute till the next burst)... but as you said, Xuna is rare and too expensive.
    For the augments, it is a question of the stats - if you miss 100k combined stats, it hurts DPS more than losing the CA. Tanks have, however, a really crippled damage output, so the Abyssal Chicken/Xuna can make you a tactical nuke compared to swinging your sceptre around.
  • wintersmokewintersmoke Member Posts: 1,629 Arc User

    Good afternoon.

    I've been reading a number of forums and guides (mostly old), in the hopes that I can choose the right companion for soloing content.

    I'm a ranger now, and I LOVE the class. I was hoping to stick with animal companions, but there's plenty that would benefit my class.

    What are your opinions on the best "tanking" companion? Beast-type or otherwise? I'm curious to know your thoughts.

    Thank you in advance.

    While not in the traditional "tank" categories, I find two of the healers are very good kite tanks. The Lillend and the Angel of Protection are excellent at drawing aggro and pulling enemies off of you when you get dogpiled. The Angel of Protection can be gotten for free... BUT it takes 1 year of daily logins to earn the Ardent coins in the vault of Piety. Also, both are available on the AH. I should mention, when I solo i typically use an AOE build. The lack of high value hits may be the reason these companions are able to work as the do for me.
  • zimxero#8085 zimxero Member Posts: 876 Arc User
    The Intern guy is a pretty good tank. Every once in awhile he multiplies and does some good damage too.
  • thefiresidecatthefiresidecat Member Posts: 4,486 Arc User
    edited August 2020
    dread warrior isn't a beast but is a pretty good tank also gives a few heals. my favorite (though probably not a better tank than some of the others is the yeti. that said for survivablility having a good attacker will still let you get combat advantage on the bad guys and will help kill quicker. I think bis of affordable attackers is the abyssal chicken (Although xuna really is best)
  • wintersmokewintersmoke Member Posts: 1,629 Arc User

    dread warrior isn't a beast but is a pretty good tank also gives a few heals. my favorite (though probably not a better tank than some of the others is the yeti. that said for survivablility having a good attacker will still let you get combat advantage on the bad guys and will help kill quicker. I think bis of affordable attackers is the abyssal chicken (Although xuna really is best)

    ugh... i have been trying to find a Scooby snack for that silly Yeti. It doesn't like ANYTHING. I will deffinately NOT be naming it "Mikey."
  • thefiresidecatthefiresidecat Member Posts: 4,486 Arc User

    dread warrior isn't a beast but is a pretty good tank also gives a few heals. my favorite (though probably not a better tank than some of the others is the yeti. that said for survivablility having a good attacker will still let you get combat advantage on the bad guys and will help kill quicker. I think bis of affordable attackers is the abyssal chicken (Although xuna really is best)

    ugh... i have been trying to find a Scooby snack for that silly Yeti. It doesn't like ANYTHING. I will deffinately NOT be naming it "Mikey."
    just... buy one.. only 24k...
  • thefiresidecatthefiresidecat Member Posts: 4,486 Arc User
    @butterkisses2019#1220 just to be clear, i answered along the lines of the question you were asking but for end game uses you will be wanting a fully levelled augment comp. they fill your stats out and let you do far more damage than you will do with a comp. just clarifying because I see I didn't put that in my comment like I normally would.
  • regenerderegenerde Member Posts: 2,924 Arc User
    Well, normally i'm running around with an augment on my Fighter in Avernus, but i switched to the Abyssal Chicken for those 3 Blood War quests runs, and the little fellow just rips through demon or devil groups within moments.

    I was thinking about upgrading it to legendary, but i'm pretty sure Cryptic will mess this companion up in some way in the near future as well, therefore i'll just keep it as it is and enjoy the fun with it while it lasts...

    Anyway, i tried several "tank" companions before, but it just felt like a waste of time in the end, even when they were more or less designed to "tank", they can't even hold the aggro of a few regular enemies, and die pretty quickly against bosses with AoE damage abilities too. So, chicken up if you want a cheap but pretty usefull companion, or go full augment for boosting your stats, but be carefull with spending any AD on other "regular" companions.
    I do believe in killing the messenger...
    Want to know why?
    Because it sends a message!
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