Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Team Play - The PK Bomb Group - The Main Tank

In part 1, I gave the template for the PK bomb group. Here it is again.

Main Tank
Melee Focus
AoE DD 1
AoE DD 2

In this part, I'll go into the Main Tank's role.

The Main Tank has a couple roles in the PK bomb group. First and foremost, his job is to help keep the group alive through use of Guard, Challenge, and other tools. Go listen to my Low level SM guide for more information on that. Secondly, he weakens his enemies, making them more vulnerable to the group's attacks. Any of the 3 tanks can perform this role, depending on the DPS makeup. I will go over the Knight and SM roles for Main Tank. I do not have an Ironbreaker, so I will not comment on that class.

The first consideration for the SM in being Main Tank for this group is Whispering Wind. Which class of DPS do you have with you? Do you have DPS that is helped by WW or do you not? Consideration number two is what kind of damage are you dealing primarily? Are you dealing magical or physical damage? (Yes, you can do the PK bomb group with melee, although you'd typically use a ranged focus instead of a melee focus, but that will be covered in a later post.) Assuming you are using 2 BWs, BW and Engineer, or BW and SW, you have at least one DPS helped by WW and you are primarily doing magical damage. You will want WW and you will be using Heaven's Blade to reduce enemy resists. If the SM is not yet RR60, he will not be able to get both WW and Ether Dance, so he'd likely want to put on a shield and play support with debuffs. See the SM and group utility part 3 for different specs to use in this role. If the SM is RR60+, he still needs to consider that he's probably going to be taking massive guard damage in this group. I would not look down at a fellow SM who chooses to wear a shield in this case.

The Knight has a couple different options here as well. The classic commands used are Press the Attack! w/ Encouraged Aim, To Glory!, and Gather Your Resolve! If you are using magical damage and you are not capable of doing enough damage to kill someone quickly (very few Knights are, mine is not), I recommend taking a different approach. The approach I take is to use Stand Strong!, Gather Your Resolve!, and Now's Our Chance! I also take and slot Dirty Tricks.

Strength doesn't help your ranged DPS bombers do more damage. Press the Attack! would only decrease damage taken in melee and give the 10% critical chance w/ Encouraged Aim. Stand Strong! decreases damage taken from all sources as well as increases the damage enemies take from all sources. It does not have the critical bonus, but that can be made up for by using Dirty Tricks. Gather Your Resolve! obviously further improves magical damage done by the group. The reason behind using Now's Our Chance! goes back to the basic strategy of the PK bomb group. Force the enemy to rely solely on group heals with our bombers then use single target burst to pick off the enemy one by one. Now's Our Chance! furthers this by reducing the effectiveness of the enemy group heals making it even easier to pick off the enemy one by one. If the enemy healers are really bad or the enemy is short of healing, it might drop the group heals enough that just the bombing can overcome the enemy group.

Next time, I'll go over the melee focus and why it's the key to this group working properly.


  1. Really liking these posts Ted.

    You obviously know that the SMs get a bad press but in your hands it's clear the SM can be as good as it's supposed to be.

    I enjoyed your 20min SM guide too, are you planning to do a T4 one?

  2. That would be a several hour seminar Aeo.

    Actually, that sounds like fun. I might just do it. You could do your thing about stats. You do that so much better than I do.

    What do you think?

  3. Interesting idea that Ted, although quite a bit of work, but I would be up for trying. I'll be summarising "the story so far" for my stats stuff soon which could be useful for something like this. We'll have to keep in touch.