Build Spotlight: Iron-Clad Tank
An Iron-clad tank is designed for disrupting foes and controlling the pace of a battle. Whether large-scale, small-scale, having an Iron-clad on your side is typically advantageous. If you enjoy rendering rival healers useless, harassing enemy backlines and forcing them out of position, all while being as sturdy as a brick wall, then this may be just the build you were in search of.
For starters, let’s establish the armor set and weapon of choice utilized in this build.
1) Medium Plate Helmet
2) Heavy Cloth Chest
3) Heavy Cloth Boots
4) Iron-clad Staff
Choosing medium helmet may come as a surprise, but bear with me as there is good reasoning for the decision. Let’s discuss the skills we will want to forge onto our armor and weapon before heading out into the open world.
Medium Helmet Skill:
Medium Helmet is a personal favorite in Albion, as it offers a multitude of skills that are very useful on most builds, depending on what form of PvP you are involved in. For most intents and purposes, your choice of skill for this build would be Meditation – a versatile skill which reduces all currently active cooldowns by 10 seconds. This essentially means that your skills will be available again faster so you can do your job even more effectively.
Although you will usually want to have meditation for most team fights to increase your availability of crowd control (CC) cooldowns, another option primarily for small-scale ganking would be Defenseless Rush. This skill offers a 72% movement increase that will allow you to catch and hold your opponents in place, while your allies catch up to finish them off.
Medium Helmet Passive:
Since your job is to be the primary crowd control player in your group, the best passive to take would be Authority, which increases all CC duration by 5%, furthering your disruption capabilities.
Heavy Chest Skill:
The primary skill we will want to take for this build would be Root Prison – you guessed it, another CC oriented skill that roots any opponents surrounding you for 4 seconds. Root prison is one of the strongest CC skills in the game, and often times sets up your team to land critical area of effect (AoE) damage on your opponents.
Although the cooldown of root prison is rather extensive (30 seconds), this is one area where meditation comes into play, and effectively reduces the cooldown of root prison by 10 seconds. You’ll have it off cool-down and ready to go before you even realize it.
Heavy Chest Passive:
The passive we will want to take here would be Toughness – increasing your armor and magic resistance by a considerable amount. This is the bread and butter of your survivability, and will allow you to rampage behind enemy lines for extended periods of time while mitigating the damage you receive.
Heavy Boots Skill:
For our heavy boots, the skill we will want to grab is Defensive Sprint – increasing your movement speed by 100%, like most sprints, while also increasing your armor and magic resistances tremendously for 3 seconds. The effectiveness of this skill is self-explanatory; simply rush into enemy lines with defensive sprint, receiving a huge bonus to your resistances that make you nearly un-killable. In the case that your enemy tries to focus-fire you down, it is highly unlikely that you will die with such high resistances and a competent healer on your side.
Heavy Boots Passive:
Similar to your heavy chest passive, you will also want to forge Toughness onto your boots, which will further strengthen your armor and magic resists. I think you understand the point I’m trying to make here: build as tanky as humanly possible.
Finally, we have our choice of weapon: Iron-clad Staff.
In order to unlock your Iron-clad staff, you will first want to begin by unlocking fame through the archery branch in the destiny board. After you master Journeyman’s Bow, you’ll want to pick up an Adept’s Quarterstaff which will lead you directly into unlocking your Iron-clad Staff. It’s a very simple process to achieve and is more than worth your time-investment when you realize how much fun it is playing ping-pong with your rivals!
Now, let’s briefly discuss which 3 weapon skills will optimize your role of crowd-control and tanking with Iron-clad staves.
Concussive Blow: Generally speaking, this is an extremely useful ‘Q’ skill that comes with a variety of utilizations. To begin with, it does fairly solid damage to your enemy, while applying a slow to them at the same time. As if a slow wasn’t already handy enough, after landing this skill 3 times in succession on your opponent, they are briefly stunned and vulnerable to any damage your allies throw at them.
Stun Run: Another key skill in your CC rotation, stun run also offers a ton of utility. After casting the skill, you receive a 38% movement speed increase. During this duration, the next auto-attack you land will stun your enemy. This serves as a critical skill for canceling enemy casts, and interfering with the enemy healer’s ability to keep their allies alive.
Hurricane: Easily considered the most important skill in this build, we have Hurricane. Spinning in a frenzy for 5 seconds, knocking back any enemy in your path, canceling their casts and throwing them out of position… It is hard to deny the value of this skill. Paired with Meditation, you are nearly capable of casting this skill back-to-back with little delay, which would easily leave any group of enemies devastated.
Playstyle & Combos
The playstyle of a CC/Tank build such as this one is very straight forward: play aggressively. With the amount of defensive utility you have to offer, conjoined with the heavy crowd-control that Iron-clad staves offer, this is a build that will be a challenge for any group to take down. If you are left alone to attack your enemies freely, you have the utility to essentially make healing for the enemy a living nightmare by continuously stunning and knocking back their healers. If the enemy decides to focus-fire you, you have the defensive utility and damage mitigation to soak their damage, basically making them waste cooldowns. In either scenario, you have a distinct advantage.
A very common combo used in most Iron-clad builds starts off by using defensive sprint and stun run. The speed increases stack between these two skills, so this easily allows you to follow up with an auto attack on the focus target, in order to secure a solid stun. While the enemy is stunned, you can freely land a concussive blow which will keep them slowed even after your stun has finished. The most important part of this rotation is the finisher: hurricane. While the enemy is stunned, you can then run behind them, cast hurricane, and repeatedly knock them back towards your allies to secure the kill. This is essential, as it forces them out of position and is nearly impossible to recover from unless they have mobility such as blink to escape.
Check out a combo in action!
Pros: The pros of our build are limitless. You offer a wide variety of utility to any team composition and you’d be hard-pressed to find a group that wouldn’t be interested in what you have to offer in terms of PvP. The build offers high defenses, considerable crowd control and even moderate mobility. You have complete control over the pace of the fight and are the determining factor towards which enemies are focused down.
Cons: A con of this build is that it doesn’t fare well in solo-play. Offering very little in terms of damage, it doesn’t excel at 1v1 nor is it optimal for solo-grinding for PvE fame, however, that isn’t really your job when playing this build. It’s entirely devised for team fights and ensuring that your enemy is disrupted as much as possible. If you are passionate about tanking for your group and would enjoy playing a well-rounded tank that has a tangible influence on the outcome of a team-fight, then this build is certainly worth checking out.
A sturdy tank is always needed on the battlefield, so it’s time to head out and give those enemy healers an experience they’ll never forget. With hurricane at your disposal, you’ll send your enemies flying back into town without any gear before they even realize what hit them.
Well, what are you waiting for? Your guild awaits their newly-found tank in Albion.