Rift Justicar Tanking Guide



Rift Justicar Tanking Guide by bombasy

Prologue:
Most of the content in this guide is the brainchild of Radak (Alovnek in game). His introduction to his last guide is as follows:

First a small note: the name of my own cleric is not Radak but Alovnek (Blightweald-EU) the name of my account was from before I decided to fully play my cleric.

First something about me and the tanking I did so far.
I started tanking somewhere around beta 5 after having only healed. I came to like the way cleric tanks worked and this only increased since they fixed some annoying points like the old way we used to manage our threat.
And as of this latest update I have now main tanked all 10man bosses, Greenscale blight bosses, RoS bosses and 6/10 in HK.

As for my introduction, I am bombasy in the forums, I’ve had two names in game: Mandulis (Belmont/Milrush) and Hedonism (Deepwood). I will offer the caveat that I am not the best cleric tank in the game so I may make mistakes in this guide but I felt that Radak’s guide needed an update to bring it up with the most recent changes to cleric tanking. As of this update I have tanked every boss in the game before ID and am 2/8 in ID.

As a note, I used Radak’s guide as the base to this one, only rewriting what needed to be rewritten to keep up with the times so in many places where the pronoun I is used might be referring to Radak’s opinion or my own, I tried to read through and remove any ambiguity in the term as much as I could.

And to get things started let’s first discuss a couple of different tanking builds that you will often find.

Stats and tanking
As a cleric tank there are a lot of stats that are usefull to you and here I will show you what each stat does assuming you have at least picked up the basic tanking spec (see below).

Toughness: Reduces bonus crit damage taken from non player sources. 1 Toughness gives a 2% crit bonus reduction.
Endurance: Increases you health by 9 per point. We get a 90% endurance buff from MoL and as a result 1 endurance on your gear will give you 17.1 health. (Note: MoL does not affect endurance gained from Planar Attunement or buffs)
Wisdom: Increases your block and parry by 1 per point, max mana by 4 per point, spellpower by 0.75 per point and also some mana regeneration.
Intelligence: Increases your dodge by 1, max mana by 5 per point, spellcrit by 1 per point and spellpower by 0.25 per point,
Strength: Increases your Attack power by 0.5 per point, block and parry by 1 per point.
Dexterity: Increases your Attack power by 0.5 per point and dodge by 1per point.
Focus/Hit: Increase the chance to hit with spells/melee hits by 0.2% per point. (1 focus also increase hit by 1)
Attack Power: Increases the damage of your melee attack.
Spellpower: Increases the damage of your Spells.
Parry: Increases your chance to parry an attack by 0.01618% per point resulting in 0 damage taken.
Dodge: Increases your chance to dodge an attack by 0.02369% per point
Block: Increase your chance to block an attack by 0.04854% per point (subject to soft caps and hard caps, see below) and also effects the amount you block for (for blocked amount see diminishing retuns).

The caps
Some stats have caps that effect how high the priority of each stats is.

Experts:
Toughness: 100
Focus and Hit: 120

T1 Raids: (DH, GP, GSB and RoS)
Toughness: 150
Focus and Hit: 220

T2 Raids: (HK, RotP)
Toughness: 200
Focus and Hit: 320

T3 Raids: (ID, PF)
Toughness: 250
Focus and Hit: 420

General:
Parry: 20% (1236 parry rating)
Dodge: Unknown (anecdotally it’s 40% from a dev conversation)
Block Chance: Soft cap at 45% (927 block rating) and hard cap at 60% (1957).
Block Reduction: Soft cap at 60% (1081.5 block rating) and hard cap at 70% (10068).
Armor: No known cap atm

The Priority
The stat priority assuming a raid environment (but even in a non raid buffed situation this is the stat order you should gear for)
Toughness (until cap) > Focus (until cap) > Endurance > Wisdom > Strength > block rating (until caps) > Intelligence > Dexterity > Dodge > Parry > Spell Power

Toughness, focus and block are as a result the stats you should be looking for the most on gear.

Block as a stat has these priorities:

  • Below 927 block rating: it’s the absolute avoidance king.
  • Above 927 but below 1081.5 block rating: It’s still a really good stat and you will still want it
  • Above 1081.5 but below 1957 block rating: The value is about equal to parry and lower then dodge (at this point a lot of gear with block + dodge/parry are really well itemized).
  • Above 1957 block rating: It’s not really useful anymore and is worth about 1/5th of parry.
  • Above 10068 block rating: Stop hacking the game.

For more information regarding stat priority and stat values I advice looking at the thread for the spreadsheet.

The Priority 2.0: Attune Harder
For planar attunements, the order shifts slightly since endurance is not affected by MoL (this list only takes into account stats you can gain via PAs):
Wisdom > Endurance > Intelligence

Magic damage and Resistance
First of mitigation talents stack additive and resistance stacks multiplicative with that reduction.

1.8 brought cleric closer in line with other tanks so currently cleric tanks can get 50% magic damage mitigation:

  • Thorvin’s Law: 32%
  • Shield of Faith: 15%
  • Thick Skinned: 3%

As a result our magic tanking capabilities are no longer much lower than that of warriors but is instead around the same level (depending on the build warriors can get anywhere between 39% and 63%, their most often used build is around 55%).

How to take less magic damage
To lower overall magic damage taken it is possible to stack resistance of the type you are encountering.
There are a couple of places where you can pick up resistance.

  1. Dark harbor from the cabalist tree provides 40 earth, water, air and fire resistance.
  2. Bard/Archon buff provides 52 resistance to everything.
  3. Planar protection guild perk that can be used to grant up to 30 resistance.
  4. Resistance runes for chest and shoulders they come in a 21 and 27 resistance version for a total of 42-54 resistance.
  5. Resistance runes for your source machine add 20 of one resist to your source machine and can be found on the planar vendors in Meridian/Sanctum.
  6. The World Event merchant has a variety of resistance gear that can be used to boost your resistances.
  7. Water Resist:The World Event merchant has the Barnacle Encrusted Source Machine that offers a further 20 water resistance.
  8. Lesser essences up to 6 in total (if you make a resistance sigil/foci don’t use greaters)
    Ordered from best to worst.

    1. 50 Inscribed Sourcestone Resist essence provides 24 resistance + 17 endurance
    2. 20 Inscribed Sourcestone Resist essence provides 26 resistance
    3. 100 Inscribed sourcestone essence provides 19 resistance + other stats
    4. T2 Raid rift essence provides 18 resistance + other stats
    5. 50 Inscribed sourcestone essence provides 16 resistance + other stats
    6. Raid rift essence provides 15 resistance + other stats
    7. Crystal Sourcestone essences provides 12 resistance + other stats
    8. The collector’s edition weapon rune provides 10 resistance of one kind

Then one last note about resistance, it does not scale linearly but like armor and blocked amount it got a built in diminishing return. (see below)

Diminishing returns
There are currently 3 stats that have a build in diminishing return these are armor, blocked amount and resistance.
The formula for these 3 stats are as followed
Armor:

Damage % reduction = Armor / ( Armor + 6500 ) * 100%

Resistance:

Damage % reduction = Resistance / ( Resistance + 600 ) * 100%

Block:
Changes with the different softcaps:

Block rating =< 927
    Block chance = block rating * 10 / 206
    Block reduction = block rating / ( block rating + 721 ) * 100

Block rating is between 927 and 1081.5
(block chance soft cap of 45%)
    Block chance = (block rating - 927) * 15 / 1030 + 45
    Block reduction = block rating / ( block rating + 721 ) * 100

Block rating is between 1081.5 and 1957
(Block reduction soft cap of 60%)
    Block chance = (block rating - 927) * 15 / 1030 + 45
    Block reduction = ( ( block rating / ( block rating + 721 ) - 0.6 ) * 0.3 + 0.6) * 100

Block rating is between 1957 and 10068 (rounding takes it to 70% at 10068)
(block chance hard cap of 60%)
    Block chance = 60%
    Block reduction = ( ( block rating / ( block rating + 721 ) - 0.6 ) * 0.3 + 0.6) * 100
Block rating > 10068
    Block chance = 60%
    Block reduction = 70%

The reason they have a built in diminishing return is because otherwise the stats become better the more you have of it making you want more resulting in it become even better etc.
However if you look at your survivability the diminishing return isn’t as bad as it looks.

For example if you have 5000 armor and go to 6000 armor you go from 43.5% to 48% so a 4.5% increase. Now if you go from 10000 armor to 11000 armor you go from 60.6% to 62.9% only a 2.3% increase.
This will only go lower and lower the more armor you have.
However the amount of damage you actually take scales a lot better (some say it stays the same however this is not true there is still a diminishing return just not as bad).

Lets go back to those examples and say you take a hit that would to 10000 damage at 0 armor.
At 5000 armor you take 5650 damage and at 6000 you take 5200 damage.
That’s (5650-5200)/5650*100=7.96% less damage taken from the original 5650 hit.
Now at 10000 armor you take 3940 damage and at 11000 you take 3710 damage.
That’s (3940-3710)/3940*100=5.84% less damage taken from the original 3940 hit.

As you can see the actually damage you take has a far lower diminishing return but it still exists and they work the same way for blocked amount and resistance.

A easy way to think about this that has been said before is this:
If you go from 0% reduction to 1% reduction you now take 1% less damage.
If you go from 50% reduction to 51% reduction you now actually take 2% less damage.
If you go from 75% reduction to 76% reduction you now actually take 4% less damage.
And if you go from 98% reduction to 99% reduction you now actually take 50% less damage.

If you have any question about this part feel free to ask them in the thread.

Tanking Builds
The basis to tanking: 38 Justicar / 3 Shaman

This is the spec that has all the mandatory talents though a few points can be switched around. All tank builds should have at least all these talents picked up.
The remaining 21 talent points can be changed up, but will heavily impact your mitigation (see MoL and Thorvin’s Law)

51 point builds
The following builds will all have 51 points in justicar which will give you DoA, this can be very helpful in experts due to the relatively high healing and threat (it is some of the highest threat that you can get in a 5 man) it provides. 51 point builds also provide the greatest amount of armor, 1% per Justicar point above 26. The base to all 51 Justicar builds is the powerhouse of 51 Justicar / 3 Shaman

Basic with Inquisitor: 51 Justicar / 3 Shaman / 12 Inquisitor or 51 Justicar / 5 Shaman / 10 Inquisitor
This is one of the most basic tanking builds. It has all the points in justicar which gives you Doctrine of Authority. It has the mandatory talent in shaman, inquisitor adds 5% spell crit and 20% more crit effect, 50 endurance plus 215 armor from Armor of Treachery and both versions have purge, an important tool in many raids/experts. The 12 inquisitor version also has perseverance which is a gimmick that works in few fights in the game, but is sometimes useful and the tradeof of 2% extra melee crit is not that big. This is currently our max overall survival build in many different gear sets.

Basic with Purifier: 51 Justicar / 3 Shaman / 12 Purifier
In this case 12 points are spend in purifier to pick up 5% wisdom, 6% armor and 5% crit on heals. Also a thing to note about the 6% armor is that it’s based on your base armor before MoL and talents, the result is that it only gives about 200-300 armor depending on your gear. The shield absorb 831 damage which isn’t that much but it’s more then a DoB and can be used before a pull to save a gcd or used when at full health but not taking damage. This is the spec that will give you the highest amount of armor that is possible but the difference is minimal. This is the max overall survival build when wearing almost BiS gear, but the difference in survival is minimal with the above.

Basic with Cabalist: 51 Justicar / 3 Shaman / 6 Cabalist (the rest of the points can be arranged however you want)
By spending 6 points in cabalist you can pick up Dark Harbor which will increase your elemental (water/fire/earth/air) resistance by 40 and stacks with the resistance provided by a bard or archon. This can be helpful when tanking magic heavy bosses. However since it does not provide life and death resistance you won’t benefit from it in GSB or RoS or bosses that deal death damage like Gregori Krezlav in DSM. With this spec you also get Tyranny which can be useful for aoe pulls. As a general note, if you get Obliterate you can use it on cooldown since you have no talents to reduce it’s CD.

44 point builds
These build change a few points from justicar to pick up different thing in other trees. However they lose some armor and DoA as a result but keep the new AoE taunt Rebuke. (There are a few variations possible with the 44 points in justicar where you drop different points. However all possible combinations will drop Humility. And the remaining points can mainly be removes from DoB, Hammer of Virtue and Supremacy but you can also remove some from Light Makes Right, Commitment or Healer’s Creed).

I (Hedonism) will be reviewing these builds and posting them eventually, if anyone has any suggestions let me know, personally I don’t use any of them as I prefer to have the mitigation of 51 Justicar.

38 point builds
These talents builds give up a decent amount of armor, Rebuke and DoA to pick up ability’s deeper into certain trees. With the change to the justicar tree in patch 1.3 I wouldn’t advice a 38 point build anymore as have to give up a decent amount of stuff (In most of these builds a lot of variations are possible so if you want to switch something around feel free to do so)

I (Hedonism) will be reviewing these builds and posting them eventually, if anyone has any suggestions let me know, personally I don’t use any of them as I prefer to have the mitigation of 51 Justicar.

Unconventional builds
Under this part are specs that are special and will mostly be useful for a special task. I think there is a possible build that can be used for the Rusila fight in ID to tank the snipers, but I’d have to check.

Essences
One of the most important pieces of gear is your Planar Focus. And making sure you have the best essences in there can help your tanking a lot. So here I will list what you are looking for in essences and a few possible options.

Lesser Essences
Lesser essences gives you pure stats and in most cases some resistance of the corresponding type. If you can, use a Barnacle Encrusted Source Machine as your source machine/sigil, as it allows you to trade them to other characters in your account if you want. This is important for players that may have a warrior tank with a tanking machine full of epic lessers because they can send it to the cleric and have a starting advantage.

A good starting lesser is the Iron Foresight from the rare planar good verdor in Whitefall for some Planarite. It gives 16 block, 8 wisdom and 11 endurance. They are not unique so you can start with a set of 6 of these. You can then upgrade these by doing expert and raid rifts to get better ones just remember the stat priority.

For a full list of lessers take a look at Radak/Noshei’s spreadsheet.

The things you are looking for on a lesser essence are mostly Block, Endurance, Wisdom and Strength in that order. Once you are above the first block softcap you might benefit from getting lessers with more parry and dodge, so consult the spreadsheet to see which lessers benefit you the most with your current gear.

Greater Essences
Greater essences will help you by giving you a buff that is not done by pure stats but by a proc that gives you something. I personally would not use these, but they are available to you. This is an outdated list and does not include all the t2 raid rift drops.

Bought ones:
Crystal Vine: For just 1 Ancient Sourcestone and 2500 Planarite you can get this beaty that gives your heals a chance to proc a 750 Heal over 8seconds. This one proc of both Salvation and Reparation. If you want to make sure you are the only one getting the hot make sure to turn of reparation but this might cause some threat issues.
Frozen Deep One Tear: For the same cost as the Crystal Vine you can get this one that gives your heals a chance to proc a 564 shield on the person healed. This one also procs of Salvation and Reparation so the same thing is true as for the Crystal Vine. But remember that this one give slightly less healing but will never overheal if reparation is turned off as you will always take damage in those 15seconds it’s up.
Honorbound Soulstone: Spending 50Inscribed Sourcestones gets you this: Your Strike of Judgment has a chance to heal you for 436. This might look nice but the proc rate is unfortunately to low at only 10%. So I would not advice getting this one.
Glowing Stone Heart: Again the same cost as the Crystal vine. This one gives you a chance to proc a 200 damage shield when you are hit. I don’t know the cd and proc rate but my guess is the crystal Vine and Frozen Deep One Tear will be superior in any circumstance.

Drops:
Hailstone Tideshard: A upgraded version of the deep one tear which absorbs 686 damage and drops from the water raid rift.
Celestial Flameshard: Give a chance on block to increase block rating by 80 and generate a high amount of threat. It is at about a equal level as a lesser but the threat would make it slightly higher. However when dealing with any form of magic damage a lesser is better because of endurance.
Primordial Faeshard: Give a chance when dodging to increase threat and increase armor by 5% for 10sec. However with out low dodge chance you won’t see this proc often until something is changed. Drop from the Life raid rift.
Screaming Stormshard: Give a chance on physical damage to deal 100air damage to 5targets and generates a high amount of threat. Unfortunately we don’t have many attack that deal physical damage (mostly only PoR and white hits) and as a result you won’t see many procs. Drops from the Air Raid rift.
Corrosive Faesource: Give a chance on block to heal for 650 health. Unfortunately it has a icd of a few seconds and most heal over time on heal essences will be better. Drops from the Expert Life rift. (a lower version is also available from all life rifts that heals for 500)
Grasping Faesource: Near Identical to the Crystal vine but heals for 730 instead of 750. Drops from the expert Life rift. (can be used next to the Crystal vine to have 2 hots on yourself. And a lower version is also available from all life rifts that heals for 550.)
Tempest Stormsource: Gives you a chance when hit to increase your endurance by 68 (612 health) for 15seconds. It does not heal you for the increase is health and is limited in use as a result. The uptime is very high though. Drops from the expert Air rift (a lower version is also available from all air rifts that gives 55 endurance)

Runes
Using the correct runes can boost your stats by a large amount. Here I have listed the different one in order of usefulness. So if you don’t have the reputation for one or don’t want to spend 7p50g just look at the one below it. (the order is based on avoidance and effective health and not on threat)

Helmet:
Icewatch Pardoner’s Rune: +11 Wisdom, +9 Endurance
Blazing Sagacious Rune: +13 Wisdom
Radiant Sharp Rune: +18 Focus, +5 SP (use if not focus capped)

Shoulders:
Blazing Tough Rune: +9 Dodge, +9 Endurance
Brilliant Tough Rune: +7 Dodge, +7 Endurance (cheaper alternative)

Chest:
Blazing Resolute Rune: +11 Endurance
Brilliant Resolute Rune: +8 Endurance (cheaper alternative)
Incandescent Indomitable Runeshard: +20 Toughness (use if not toughness capped)
Blazing Indomitable Runeshard: +15 Toughness (cheaper alternative)

Belt:
Mathosian Celebrant’s Rune: +10 Wisdom, +6 Endurance
Ironbound Runeguard Emblem: +8 Endurance
Arcane Runeguard Emblem: +5 Wisdom, +5 Intelligence

Legs:
Devout Dragonslayer’s Rune: +12 Wisdom, +9 Endurance
Blazing Tough Rune: +9 Dodge, +9 Endurance
Blazing Potent Rune: +13 Strength
Brilliant Tough Rune: +7 Dodge, +7 Endurance (cheaper alternative)
Radiant Sharp Rune: +18 Focus, +5 SP (use if not focus capped)

Boots:
The Order of the Eye’s Exemplar Rune/The Unseen’s Retributor Rune: +12 Wisdom, +8 Endurance
Blazing Resolute Rune: +11 Endurance
Brilliant Resolute Rune: +8 Endurance (cheaper alternative)

Gloves:
Radiant Elusive Rune: +6 Parry

Weapon:
Blazing Wisdom Rune: +10 Wisdom
Incandescent Savvy Runeshard: +13 Focus (use if not focus capped)
Blazing Savvy Runeshard: +9 Focus (cheaper alternative)

Shield:
Blazing Deflection Rune: +19 Block, + 9 Endurance
Blazing Thwarting Rune: +23 Block (cheaper alternative)
Radiant Thwarting Rune: + 16 Block (cheaper alternative)

Wand:
Blazing Wisdom Rune: +10 Wisdom
Incandescent Savvy Runeshard: +13 Focus (use if not focus capped)
Blazing Savvy Runeshard: +9 Focus (cheaper alternative)

Consumables
Shield Buffs:
Razor-Sharp Spikes: Deals 29 damage to attackers when you block. Lasts 4 hours.
Sharp Spikes: Deals 23 damage to attackers when you block. Lasts 4 hours. (cheaper alternative)
Earth t2 planar attunement Spikes: Deals 23 damage to attackers when you block.

Weapon Buffs:
Wind Glyph: Air Planar attunement (t2) which provides +30 Wisdom
Collector’s edition weapon rune: provides 3 endurance and 10 resistance of one kind
Burning Powerstone: provides 200 spell power, useful when you’re having threat issues
Flaring Glyph: Fire Planar attunement (t2) which provides 120 spell power, useful when you’re having threat issues

Vials (usually only one of these can be active at a time):
Heroic Enduring Vial: +40 Endurance
Heroic Brightsurge Vial: +40 Wisdom and Intelligence
Mighty Endurance Vial: +30 Endurance (cheaper alternative)
Vial of |ELEMENT| Resistance: +40 |ELEMENT| Resistance

Food (only one of these can be active):
Ember Steak: Increases Maximum health by 435, Dodge by 16 and Parry by 16.
Feast of Aptitude: Increases maximum health by 215 and spell power by 23
Gravemaker Steak: Increases Endurance by 10.

Actual tanking, or how I learned to stop worrying and love the DoL
Let me get something out of the way first: NEVER START A PULL WITH A TAUNT.

With the advent of overhealing threat in 1.6, cleric threat has become much easier to maintain and generate than before, even so our threat generation is much more nuanced than a warrior or rogue’s. Our biggest advantage, by far, is our ability to generate aggro on an unlimited amount of targets via overhealing.

Now one of the first things you have to notice is that when using a lot of AoE heals to assist a healer or generate extra threat your mana can go down fast. In this case getting the most out of your Purpose is very important.
So here are a few tips:

  • Use it at a time that the need to heal is a lower priority or is unneeded if your healer is on TS having him use a cd works very well. This way you can maximize the efficiency of your Purpose.
  • Another thing which should be quit obvious is do not use your Sovereignty or Bolt of Radiance while active as they return no mana (Of course if it is really needed for a taunt use it).
  • Then a small warning Doctrine of Autority is a melee attack however it seems to be bugged and is not considerd a melee attack for Purpose and does not return mana so try to avoid using it.
  • Also try to use it at precisely the same time as a melee attack is this case it will also return mana from that attack and you should be able to get a total of 7 attacks out of your purpose for a 70% mana return.
  • Time it correctly after getting back from a knockback if the mobs/boss has one.
  • Do not pop it the moment your at 50% mana or when it comes of cd but look at the above points and time in wisely.
  • When all else fails, carry heroic mana tonics. (Note: at some point everything else will fail, so always, alwayscarry heroic mana tonics.)

Threat and you.
All Justicar abilities generate more threat than abilities in other souls even if the tooltip does not state it, always keep this in mind . Cleric threat is different than warrior or rogue threat in that it is not based off of our endurance or other factors and as such is more nuanced in how effective each ability is. Our healing threat is our single most powerful ability in raids, but also our greatest weakness in experts.

What is Mien of Leadership
Mien of Leadership’s tooltip has been, in my opinion, oversimplified, this is what I understand is it’s latest meaning:

  • Increases threat generation by 500%
  • Increases Endurance by 90% (Note: only applies to gear and runes)
  • Increases Armor by 100%, plus an additional 1% per point spent in the Justicar soul. (Note: only applies to gear and runes)
  • Reduces all healing done by non-Justicar abilities by 40%.
  • Reduces all damage done by non-Justicar abilities by 40%.

Threat from abilities
In raids (10+ people in line of sight and range of your heals), the order of threat/GCD of abilities is roughly:
Doctrine of Loyalty
Doctrine of Authority
(Even Justice if >2 targets)
Sovereignty
Precept of Refuge
Bolt of Radiance
Strike of Judgment
Sanction Heretic (initial hit, the full damage for the duration might be slightly higher than SoJ, but I have not tested it)
Bolt of Judgment

In experts (<=5 people in line of sight and range of your heals), the order of threat/GCD of abilities is roughly:
(Even Justice if >3 targets)
Doctrine of Authority
(Even Justice if < 4 targets)
Doctrine of Loyalty
Sovereignty
Precept of Refuge
Bolt of Radiance
Strike of Judgment
Sanction Heretic (initial hit, the full damage for the duration might be slightly higher than SoJ, but I have not tested it)
Bolt of Judgment

Single target tanking.
In the case of single target tanking it will mostly be boss encounters so I will assume it is one.

The pull
We lack a charge and as a result I will 90% of the time open with Sovereignty while running in immediately followed by Doctrine of Loyalty then Bolt of Radiance or Sanction Heretic. When you make contact with the boss and immediately use Precept of Refuge.
From here on it is just a keeping up your Precept of Refuge. If you know there will not be any adds spawning in the fight use your Sovereignty and Bolt of Radiance on cd as they deal more damage then a Strike of Judgement. Whenever you have more than 1 conviction make sure to DoA or DoL to generate threat. If you know there’s a point in the fight where you’ll be taking a spike of damage, save DoA for right before a big hit if you have the 4 piece T2 Raid Synergy Crystal.

Multi-target tanking
Now one of the biggest problems a cleric tank has is initial AoE threat. One advantage we have is that Rebuke is a decent ranged silence and taunt in a package, it’s biggest disadvantage is that it has a relatively long cooldown, so the ranged pulls below explain how you can deal with pulling packs with ranged in them while rebuke is down.

Note: In the following cases I offer using sovereignty and bolt of radiance for pulling to accomodate the most generic case. In the usual case a Justicar is ideally using a build with Sanction Heretic, in which case you want to pull with Sanction Heretic, which will grant 2 or 3 convictions (1 (2 if crit) from the initial hit, and 1 on the first tick of damage), and do two Doctrine of Loyalty with those two convictions.

Group with some casters:
Corner pull.
Try to see if there is any way to do a corner pull even if this is a small walk from the trash pack. In case of a corner pull most mobs won’t be coming in at the same time so use a even justice every time a mobs comes around the corner. Sometimes this means you have to wait half a gcd doing nothing because a new mob is still incoming. Only once all mobs have been picked up you will use your precept of refuge and start a normal AoE tanking rotation.
One of the things you have to learn your group is that is you do a corner pull they stand together with you this way even if they get aggro in some way (bard seems to have a habit of this) they still go around the corner where you are waiting with your Even Justice.

Non-corner pull
If a corner pull is not possible things get a bit more tricky. For example lets look at a group with 2 ranged and 2 melee mobs which is a pretty common pull. In this case the way the group stand effect the way I do the pull. Most of the time they will be standing all 4 next to each other which will be my pull setup.
So lets see. “R” will the the ranged mobs and “M” will be the melee mobs.

The most important thing in all pulls is that you need to be hit/focus capped because missing the mob you will meet in the run in will mostly result in failing to pick it up correctly. (But even if you miss with the way I do the pulls you will always have your taunt available to pick it up)

So the easiest pull is a M R R M pull.
Just use Sovereignty on the left mob while running in toward the right mob. Pick up this mob using precept of Refuge and continue walking toward the 2 ranged mobs while using healing breath to heal the damage the melee mob did on contact. This part is pretty important as it generates healing threat on all 4 adds (if you have a purifier healer ask him to not pre bubble you as you will lose this threat). Once you arrive at the 2 ranged mobs (stun of Sovereignty will have worn out now) walk through them and turn around and use a even justice. At this point you should have threat on all 4 targets and you can use a the normal AoE tank rotation. However if your mages couldn’t wait to start there aoe attacks until you arrived don’t be afraid to use your AoE taunt to get aggro back. (You can change left and right depending on what is easier with the surrounding area)

A little bit harder is a R M R M or M R M R pull
In this case use your Sovereignty on the center melee mob and run straight in. When the outer melee mob reaches you use your Precept of Refuge on him while still running. Depending in the distance when your gcd is free again use your Doctrine of Loyalty if your still at range from the ranged adds or a Even Justice if you are close. Again walk through them and quickly turn at which point you can start the normal AoE tank rotation.

The hardest pull is the R M M R pull.
Having the 2 ranged stand that far apart makes it very hard to keep aggro on both and the only good way to deal with this is having someone in your group with a silence.
In case you have a silence in your group handle it as followed: Mark one of the ranged that needs to be silenced after the pull. Start the pull with a Sovereignty on that ranged mob while running toward the second ranged mob. When you meet the 2 melee mobs use your even justice to get threat on both followed by a healing breath again. Now a small difference here is that you will want to turn around and walk backwards toward the second ranged mob. The marked ranged mob should now be out of it’s stun and run toward you because of the silence. Keep using even justice until you arrive at the second ranged mob and use your precept of Refuge on it. After that you can start the normal AoE threat rotation.
If you do not have a silence it is a little bit different Do the pull exactly the same as with a silence however the ranged mob will not walk toward you in this case. Your normal threat rotation should provide enough threat on this target to keep it on you, unless someone in the party is directly attaking it, in which case just Provoke it back onto yourself. However in this pull there is some serious chance of losing aggro so really check of there is really no corner pull possible which will make a a lot easier. (trash doesn’t reset very fast so you can actually pull and run toward where a corner is available)

Standard AoE rotation
The standard aoe rotation isn’t really hard but I see one thing a lot of people forget to do.
After everything is together you can basicaly spam Even Justice while keeping Precept of Refuge up. If the dps isn’t very high this is perfectly fine. However if you got some very high aoe dps players with you a small extra stap really needs to be added that for some people is very obvious and by some people is 100% forgotten. This extra step is called using your Doctrine of Loyalty, with MoL your overhealing will generate the same amount of threat as your regular healing (which is boosted 5x by MoL and is thus much higher than a regular healer’s).

Cooldowns
Lets take a look at the defensive cd’s and when to use them

  • Just Defense: Don’t be afraid to use very often it only has a 1min cd and will be available pretty quickly again. I myself use it every time I see myself drop below 20-30% hp and it’s off cd.
  • Reprieve: This one is a bit harder to time but using it at a moment your healer is incapacitated is the most logical option. Another option I regularly use it for is only to heal the target of my Righteous Mandate which is most of the time the healer but I might switch it mid fight if I see a person taking large amounts of damage for some reason. In 5 man experts it’s useful to do ridiculously giant pulls and generating enough threat to keep all of them on yourself while getting healed.
  • Resplendent Embrace: This one is probably the hardest one to time correctly and with a cd of 2 min it’s available less often then Just Defense so timing it is more important. One of the moment I myself use it is if there is a party wide aoe and everyone needs to be healed up again. Using it at such a time allows your healer to focus on his AoE heals and less on your because those AoE heals will heal you for 50% more. It’s useful to know that the increased health also increases your just defense shielding amount, so if both are down and you know a big hit is incoming, you can use them in tandem to avoid a significant amount of damage.

Brief Glossary
BoR: Bolt of Radiance – a Justicar root ranged attack, decent threat on a cooldown
DoA: Doctrine of Authority – a Justicar root damage ability that heals upto 5 party/raid members.
DoL: Doctrine of Loyalty – a Justicar root AE heal that heals 10 party members.
EJ: Even Justice – a Justicar root ability that hits multiple targets in an arc in front of you
PoR: Precept of Refuge – a Justicar talented attack that gives you a 30 second 20% block buff (this should always be up unless you’re fighting a boss that deals purely unblockable damage (Guurloth comes to mind))
SoJ: Strike of Judgment – Justicar 0 point single target melee attack, your basic attack
Sov: Sovereignty – Justicar root ranged attack with a 2s stun component

BoJ: Bolt of Judgment – Inquisitor 0 point ranged attack, a spell with casting time that can be used at range, useful to include in macros so that you do something at range if the mob isn’t close enough to you (as long as you’re not moving).
SH: Sanction Heretic – Inquisitor root attack, it’s a direct damage attack with a DoT component, it’s important in that it can give you two chances to generate convictions, once on the initial hit and once on the first DoT tick as long as you don’t use another conviction generating ability between them. This is very useful when you’re at range and need to throw DoLs to grab aggro, specially nice for pulling: throw a SH, DoL, PoR the first mob that reaches you.

Thanks:
First of all thanks to Radak for all his work and research into cleric tanking and all the testing he did so that we could become not only a viable but a great and unique tanking class.

Further I’d like to thank Noshei for helping me with the guide and for taking over Radak’s Justicar Spreadsheet.

A shoutout to the many healers that have kept me alive through my tanking career. And specially those who laughed with me when I did very silly stuff (like pull everything between arcanist and plutonus and murder the entire group): Nadir, Vert, Vandee and Eiderann.

And last but not least the cleric tanking comnunity as a whole.

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