Warden strengths

One of the main reasons I decided to start this blog was to try to dispel the rumors that warden’s are a useless class.  I’ve seen quite a few posts and heard a number of podcasts absolutely rip wardens apart, and I’ll have to say it is quite frustrating.  I started playing this class in Moria beta and totally fell in love with it – I think I had at least 5 wardens during beta plus my current main, so I’ve spent a fair amount of time on the class.

I think the main reasons we have a bad reputation:

  • lotta folks PL’d their wardens and never learned the class
  • it is an advanced class and takes some practice
  • ToT mechanics aren’t as responsive as traditional snap agro
  • ego issues (guards and champs feeling slighted)
  • we wear medium armor and tank

So with all that out there, we do have some work to do to gain acceptance.  I think one of the main things is to set expectations up front – I usually ask when joining a group (I do PUG a LOT) if they’ve grouped with a warden before, and if so how was it?  It really helps if you know the content as well such that you can do the pulls – but it isn’t critical.  I feel it comes down to being a good player and doing the following “general” things: (in no particular order)

  • know your class
  • have confidence
  • know the area/instance/quest
  • start slow with pulls
  • learn gambits (I’ll focus on this on another post)
  • being prepared (pots, food, scrolls, etc.)
  • define roles
    • puller
    • tank
    • off-tank
    • corrpution/interrupter (more a Moria suggestion, but REALLY important)
  • IMO, wardens are by far THE best AOE tank in the game.
    • Instances and areas where there are lots of mobs are where wardens shine – we can lock mobs down, suck agro, transfer morale, heal the group, and buff all our defenses such that we can survive it all.
    • Places like Fil Gashen, Skumfil, 16th Hall, and the Halls of Crafting are all classic examples of places where wardens not only shine but make the runs MUCH smoother.
  • We are also quite capable as single mob tanks but usually those mobs do hit harder and as such guards tend to handle them better.
  • We can be good off-tanks in certain cases but where we have issues is when the off-tank needs to snap-agro – example being the archers in the Grand Stairs last boss fight.
  • We’re really good at corruption/interrupt duty.
    • possibly the best class for these tasks
  • we can keep agro without having to do damage
    • not as big of a deal at lower levels, but higher up this can become important
    • one example of this helping are the archers in the Grand Stairs final boss
  • surviving fights without a true healer, or when yours goes down
    • this becomes important as there now is a lot of 3-man content available

In addition to what we do well, it is also important to know our weaknesses:

  • our DPS isn’t all that hot, unless we full out trait for it.  But at that point if you need DPS – grab a Hunter/champ/RK
  • no real snap agro skills or forced taunts
    • there is our legendary, but it takes a while to build and doesn’t last terribly long
  • not much else 😉

I think the warden boils down to AOE agro, and living through it.  We’re much sturdier then champs and can pull WAY more agro when we really try.  My philosophy is pull as much as possible, grab all the agro, and trust your mini to keep you alive through it 😉  I routinely will have 6+ mobs on me and with all our leaches am rather easy to heal.  Resolution with leach ~160 morale per mob and is spam-able, so with lots of mobs we can really maintain our health quite well.

Really the biggest key when playing a warden boils down communication with your group as our mechanics are a bit different.  Voice chat is huge for this, and if you don’t have a mic or can’t talk (I have wife-agro issues) you can still enable voice to hear and type responses.  Voice really does make  a difference and even if only a couple people have it, you’re better off using it for just those people.  If you don’t have voice, just take an extra few seconds to coordinate things with your group – it will make a big difference.

Sorry for the wall’o’text (I actually pulled out 2 topics), hopefully it is helpful and happy hunting!


8 responses to “Warden strengths

  1. I think this is very helpful! I saw that wardens were melee range class and passed on them because I know that’s not really what I enjoy. As a result I didn’t know much else about Wardens. I didn’t have any prejudices against them, just didn’t know where they fit in. This is a good explanation of what to expect from a Warden in your fellowship. Thank you!

  2. glad I could help, they are quite a different class and take a bit to get used to – both playing them and grouping with them.

  3. Nice post 🙂 i think of it like this –

    Things Wardens can do:

    – Self-heal
    – Aggro Leech
    – Cap B/P/E
    – Morale Transfer
    – Interrupt
    – Corruption Remove

    Things Wardens can’t do:

    – More than one of those things at one time
    – Snap Aggro
    – Sop up large quantities of boss-damage before they have their self-heals + b/p/e gambits running.

    The problems come because players are used to Guardians as tanks, and *expect* the bottom three things (as they’re all things guards can do). Warden excel in target-rich environments (as it were) such as, well, pretty much every HM instance – Hall of Crafting and 16th Hall are my current favourites to tank on my warden.

    However, many players expect a tank to tank like a guard: to take hits from the boss and survive, to be able to interrupt/ corrupt remove at the same time as build aggro, and most importantly, to be able to snap aggro.

    Personally, i can snap aggro off any char except a hunter in strength mode who gets a head-start on their mob (ofc, they shouldnt be in strength mode and shouldn’t be off the assist target, but thats a different matter) – but *my* snap takes 3-5 secs, whereas a guard’s is 1 button. mostly, fs members dont complain about my aggro abilities (and indeed, i rarely see any hate against wardens) – but i suspect while ppl were learning how to play wardens, there were a lot of times that aggro *couldn’t* be snapped, thus explaining some of the warden hate.

    the real problem, for me (apart from the only-4-class-trait-slots issue i’ve just commented about on a different post here 🙂 ) is that wardens can only really do *one* thing at a time: if im corruption removing or interrupting, im not aggro leeching, aggro building, self-healing, fs healing or avoidance capping.

    HoC last boss and those damn wargs in HoM all need corruptions removed and the bounty drake needs constant interrupting – but if im doing corrupt remove or interrupts, im at risk of losing aggro, because warden dps is just so poor that corrupt remove and interrupts generate tiny amounts of aggro.

    This isnt an issue on the Turtle or Watcher: in those cases i have an assigned role, tank or interrupt or corrupt remove, and i just do that; but on many HM bosses, im supposed to hold aggro *and* do melee attacks to corrupt remove or interrupt, and if the interrupt/ remove is required when im halfway thru a gambit (and the gambit clear is on cooldown…) then i just cant get it done in time.

  4. yeah, doing multiples at a time gets tough – especially when those things must be done immediately. I struggle with tanking and doing corruptions/interrupts as it always seems right when I need to do something is when i’m one gambit from a tier 5 gambit I really need to hit 😉

  5. Awesome blog!

    I thought about starting my own blog too but I’m just too lazy so, I guess Ill just have to keep checking yours out.

  6. Good info about a class I didn’t know a lot.
    Your blog made me start this game again and with a warden of course 🙂

    ps. I almost fell from my chair about the mention of wife-agro issues… we surely do have some snap aggro skills in real life 🙂

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