Ajax the Great, Bulwark of Achaeans - A Main Tank Build in Wolcen

Greetings, traveler!
Please come closer, take a seat near fire and serve yourself with food and beer as much as you like. A long road deserve a long rest, shame on me if you leave my home without being treated as a friend. Plus you're joining us at the perfect time... The story is about to begin.

Have you ever heard of Ajax the Great, hero of Trojan War and Bulwark of Achaeans?

[Introduction - An historical Tanking]

Ajax the Great, son of Telamon, was known amongst all Greek to be the strongest and the bravest after Achilles. He was the tallest man of all Greek army, exceeding his allies by the height of a head, and wearing the largest shield amongst the battlefield in order to protect his fellows. The same shield earned him the name of "Bulwark of Achaeans". It is said that in ten years of endless war, he was the only one to never receive any help from any god and goddess, and still he was never injured nor knocked down. Quintus of Smyrne sing a praise on his name "The spear does not pierce the delicate skin, although it strikes it in full swing. Fate does not want an enemy spear, heavy with sorrow, to soak its blood on the battlefield". Despite his tragic end, Ajax marked the Trojan War with the name of an unkillable soldier that none can hurt. In a way, we can say that Ajax was the first tank of history, and so he inspired me for this build.

About myself, I might say that I'm a main tank player i most of my games, from Overwatch, League of Legends, World of Warcraft, Diablo, Titan Quest... To even Hearthstone and it's Control Warrior deck, the closest way to be tank in a card game. I find no pleasure higher than staring and laughing at enemy face while taking no damage, I find no honor higher than taking shots in place of my allies, so I just want to share my vision of tanking in Wolcen. This build is made in order to be as most unkillable as possible, even if it mean lacking some damages. It's a viable build for solo, but it takes all it's meaning if played in multiplayer, I just do not recommend it for speedrun (hey, guess why!?). It's now time to bring boring, annoying and never ending fights to this game!

PLEASE REFER TO THIS LINK WHILE READING THIS GUIDE: https://wolcen-universe.com/builds/gMPDVG-ajax-bulwark-of-achaeans-main-tank-build



[Equipment - First step in a Tank Journey]

1)All Resistance Score

Now that you're a young student along the Tank way, you need to be thinking about one word only: Resistance.
Resistance in Wolcen is given by All Resistance Score, or RScore, that split into three: Physical Resistance; Elemental Resistance; Occult Resistance. Those three can be improved separately by different equipment, passives in Gate of Fates, skills etc, and can also be improved as one with All Resistance Score. For each point of Resistance Score, you will gain a certain % of reduced damage. For example, 500 Resistance Score reduce damage by 13% while 20.000 Resistance Score reduce damage by 85%.

Improving this score is your main goal in the game as well as a landmark for your progression, since it's a good proof of how much you can endure without being forced to heal yourself. There is actually no cap to Resistance Score, meaning you can theoretically reduce damage taken by 100%, and this Resistance Score is mainly given by: "Heavy Armors". As it is, Heavy Armors are no matter what your best stuff option since it basically reduce incoming damage from all sources, meaning you want Heavy for each pieces of your stuff, seeking for the highest possible RScore for each of them. The more RScore you have, the less damage you take, the more damage you can do.

2) Shields

Question: What is a tank without a shield? A dead man. Shield will be your best friend in Wolcen, since it will reduce huge amount of damage for such few efforts, and since this damage reduction will also work in synergy with your RScore.
In Wolcen, shields works with three different stats: RScore ; Block Chance ; Block Efficiency.
We've talk about RScore just above, so let's focus on:
-Block Chance: your chance to actually block an attack. 50% Block Chance mean you will block one attack out of two, 66% mean you will block two out of three, etc. This stat cap at 100% Block Chance.
-Block Efficiency: the amount of damage you reduce by blocking an attack. 40% to Block Efficiency, with 50% Block Chance mean you will, one attack out of two, reduce damage taken by 40%. This stat cap at 75% Block Efficiency.

Both of those stats can be found on shields, in Gate of Fates, and with few others item like weapons that may increase Block Chance as well.

3) Weapons

For a tank build, weapon importance come after shield. There is few rules that you need to respect when choosing your weapon, in order to optimize your build, and the most part of it is: having Life Leech as affixes on it. Life Leech really become your second (or even third) tanking capability, just by the fact that you take less damage than you heal and you do not have to spam potions all the way around.
What Life Leech allow you to do is running in packs full of mobs and just crushing them without taking any care, since you're just gaining back the very few of health they took from you.
Against bosses as well, Life Leech allow you to facetank a lot of attacks even if your mains tanking cooldowns are not up.

Two more things that are useful on weapon: +X% Block Chance, obviously, and also "+X to +Y Aether damage with Attacks" in order to proc Which Time Cannot Heal (please refer to Gate of Fates section).

4) How to build?

What does all of this mean? It mean that you can have 100% Block Chance, 75% Block Efficiency, and 20.000 RScore (or more!) for 80% damage reduction (OR MORE!). If you take a hit that deal 1.000 damage, you have 100% Chance to reduce damage by 75% --> 250 damage, that are now reduced by 80% --> 50 damage in total, instead of 1.000 without all of those.
This is theory. In practice, you will improve your build as following:

1- Cap your Block Chance to 100% so you ALWAYS reduce damage taken. You increase this score mainly by your shield, being your most important stuff piece.
2- Cap your Block Efficiency to 75%, it will now reduce effective damage taken. This score increase mainly with shield as well.
3- Increase your RScore as much as you can. This increase through Heavy Armors mostly, so be sure to prioritize those ones.
4- Be sure to have at least a few Life Leech on weapon (+5% Life Leech for example), and maximize Aether damages on it.

For Affixes on your stuff, you will search for:
1) RScore, BCha, BEff, Toughness.
2) Critical Score, Critical damage, Ferocity, Health.
3) Occult Ailment Score, Physical Ailment Score, Rage Generation, Time decrease between Willpower and Rage.

5) The Art of Gems

How to use Gems on your Character and which one you need isn't an easy question. Here you'll find some answers, as well as some tips.

Weapon Gems:
Should be used to increase Aether Damage with attacks, in order to proc Stasis on enemies. Be sure those deal enough Aether damage, as well as your basic weapon damages, to make Stasis proc on attacks & on Bleeding Edge!!!
--> Offensive I x3 with Amber in it.


Rings & Amulets Gems:
Those Gems should be used to facilitate your life through fights, meaning generating resources such as Rage mainly. Since we have a lot of nodes in Gate of Fates that already generate Rage, and since we can generate it easily with just basics attacks, I use those Gems to increase Transfer Time between Rage and Willpower. This prevent me from having a grey resources bar, and allow me to keep generating more and more rage.
--> Support III with Amethyst in it.


Armors & Shields Gems:
Those are a little bit more tricky, due to a bug. First, your shield need to have 3 Green sockets, and no Blue sockets. You're a tank, not a Mage. And for those Green Sockets, we will only use Alexandrite since they increase Block Chance, Block Efficiency, and RScore.
As we already said, your first goal is to reach 100% Block Chance, and the 75% Block Efficiency. So Green sockets should be rerolled for a mix between Defensive I and II until you've reached those cap, and then everything left should be Defensive III for RScore.

BUT, there is a BUT. You'll see that on Alexandrite, Def I is +X BCha and Def II is +X BEff, where X is the same number. So you might think "Well, no matter if it's Def I or Def II, those are the same numbers!"
And here come the little trick. In fact, BChance work as multiplicative, and BEfficiency work as additive, as explained below:

Block Chance work: X% + ( * X%) --> For example, 20% base BCha with a T12 Alexandrite (+10% BCha) will be 30% BCha total. It add BCha as a direct percentage, it's multiplicative.
Block Efficiency work: X% + ( + X%) --> For example, 20% base BEff with a T12 Alexandrite (+10% BEff) will be 22% BEff total. It calculate 10% of your base BEff and add them to this base. So it take 10% out of 20, meaning 2%, and add them to the first 20% for a 22% total. It's additive.
What does this mean? It mean that, when choosing your Shield, you should aim mostly for BEff high base rather than for BCha high base since the first one is harder to increase with Gems.


[Gate of Fates - The Tank Apotheosis]

This section will only be used to explain choices and routes of Gate of Fates.
To have the Gate of Fates overview, please follow the link: https://wolcen-universe.com/builds/gMPDVG-ajax-bulwark-of-achaeans-main-tank-build

1) Ring 1, Red: Soldier

Basics stats for a melee warrior, such as Crit Chance, Health, Ferocity.
The Wild Card: - Overall buff to Critical Chance.
The Heat of Battle: - Rage Generation source, allow you to generate more Rage by tanking.

Not taking Second Wind : too much points to invest for a poorly relevant reward. Your tanking enough to not need any Health Regen, potions should be enough combined to Life Leech.

2) Ring 2, Red: Praetorian

Core tanking tree. Offer all the basics stats for a tank, such as RScore, Health, Block Chance or Efficiency.
Selfless Courage: - Increase RScore after Blocking, meaning with 100% Block Chance this node is just a +25% RScore without restriction.
Kingless Aegis: - Is used to increase Block Chance & Block Efficiency, and is a straight line to Ring 3.
Sacred Oath: - Proc Weakness on enemies after a Block (so, 100% of the time). Weakness reduce damage enemies deal, purely meaning the more they hit you, the less they deal.

Not taking Blessed Manna, we do not have 4 points to invest and Health Globes isn't a stable stat we can be sure to use. With a few changes on the build you might want to take this node, but be sure to play Rallying Cry as a modifier on Sovereign Shout for more Health Globe generation.

3) Ring 3, Red: Siegebreaker

Salvatory Anchor & Elevated Gain: - Hugest tanking node. Basically double your RScore on Chest and Helmet, and is the main reason you're searching for very high RScore on both those stuffpieces.

4) Ring 3, Red: Child of Fury

Furious Appetite: - Transform Willpower into Rage. You're only using Rage. Must have for any Melee only build.

5) Ring 2, Red: Warmonger

Is used for melee quality of life.
Feast for the Crows: - is a Life Leech node, instantly taken without any question.
Bestial Frenzy: - As a tank, you'll be packing enemies a lot. The more there is, the more they die!
Manic Slaughter: - Increasing damage, but mostly increasing Rage Generation.

6) Ring 2, Blue: Cabalist

Is your main damage Tree that mostly allow you to smooth Boss fights.
Grievous Affliction: - Makes your Attacks proc 2 Ailment type instead of one. Must have, in order to allow Bleeding Edge not to proc only Bleed but also Stasis, and then synergize with Time Weaver Tree.
Primordial Insight: - One point only to allow Ailment to be Criticals.
Power of the First Men & Immortal Offering: - Basically increase your damage overtime. The longer is the fight is, the more you deal, and since you're a tank... Fights will be long, trust me.

7) Ring 3, Blue: Time Weaver

Is a Tree that synergize very well with our build, by two different nodes:
Which Time Cannot Heal: - is the main reason we're searching for Aether Damage on weapon, and is the reason we took Grievous Affliction on Cabalist Tree. Every enemy affected by your Stasis take your attacks damage a second time after a short delay. Main damage node.
Dire Juncture: - actually decrease your max Health by 15% (we're not using Force Shield) BUT allow you to mitigate damage taken overtime. With this node, combined with some Life Leech, enemies will have a hard time taking you down.

8) Quality of Life Nodes

Those are secondary nodes, that you can go for whenever you feel the need of it. It does not improve tanking nor damage, but is only, as said, quality of life and smoothing gameplay.
Duty to Exterminate: - in Ring 2, Blue, Warlock: Increase Rage by 200 + 100 +100 = 400 in total.
Slipping Shadow: - in Ring 2, Green, Assassin: Allow dodgeroll to pass through enemies, preventing creep block.

9) Currently in Test

Proud Reprisal: - in Ring 3, Red, Arms Maester: deal damage when you block. This is irrelevant in term of pure damage since weapon do not deal anything in Wolcen, but might be useful to generate more Rage since it's counted as an counter-attack. Also, there's few minor nodes around that give Block Chance or Efficiency, and this is what we're looking for.


[A Skilled Tank is a Tank able to kill without his Skills]

This section will be dedicated to Skills & Modifiers, and why you're running those instead of others.

Skill 1 - Wings of Ishmir

This is your main mobility spell. It allow you to jump in, out, or between fights, as well as procing different buffs.
Lightspeed - Increase jump speed, mostly comfort of play.
Stunning Apparatus - Now grant buff of damage.
Relentless Pursuit - Now use Stamina Points instead of CD, allowing you to spam the skill and proc multiple buff. Must have.
Meritorious Crew - Is a buff to damage as well, very good coupled with Relentless Pursuit
Bird of Prey - Inflict stun. Is useful since you can spam Ishmir, and then proc multiple stuns on multiple targets.

Skill 2 - Warpath

Come as your secondary mobility spell, to be used off-fight mostly. It deal very low damage, and is almost impossible/not worth to use in a middle of a fight.
Sprinting Strides - Increase move speed. As an off-fight mobility, this is just a must-have.
Inflexible Stance - Not much we can use for this skill, so...
Overwhelming Impact - Create a shockwave when charge end, useful to agro packs of enemies AND to destroy decor and earn money (hehe).
Forge A Path - is the reason why we play this skill. Allow you to cross all map in a few seconds.
Vexilloid - I see Resistance Buff, I'm a tank, I click.
Mania - Generate some Rage, balance a little the high cost of Warpath.

Skill 3 - Sovereign Shout

Sovereign Shout is our buff skill as well as a Rage generator. To use on Cooldown whenever you can.
Hold the Line - Love isn't always on tiiiime, tadadadaaa! Must have modifier, basically a very huge buff to our RScore based on how many enemies are hit by the Shout.
Dawnbreaker - proc Weakness on every enemy hit, meaning they will deal less, meaning you will tank more... What else?
Infectious Determination - increase buff duration, so you're more often on steroids.
Raging Berserker - generate more Rage on use, and then Generate more for the buff duration, allow you to spam more Bleeding Edge.
A Princeps' Lead - Crit Chance. Not much to say.
Hostile Inspiration - We already have longer buff, why not make them stronger as well?
Enemy's Pallor - Give some Life Leech that is important for our build, is a buff for you so proc with other modifiers. Can be switched for Red Earth Tracks to increase move speed.

Skill 4 - Juggernaut

Juggernaut is our main tanking skill, that turn our character into a tanking godmode as well as dealing insane burst damage. Damages DO NOT depend of how much Juggernaut blocked incoming attacks. It need to be re-used before it end/break in order to deal maximum damage.
Beast of the Battlefield - Generate more threat. Can be switch with Grudges Collected - if playing Solo only.
Standing Rock - Increase total absorption, meaning Juggernaut will hold longer and you'll spend more time with it active.
Flies in Bevvies - More tanking against projectile.
Halted Momentum - Give a chance to stun attacking enemies, and so give a short "free time".
Cold Steel - Reduce Cooldown, you'll be more often with active Juggernaut, you'll tank more... Must have.
Banners Held High - More tanking based on your BCha, that is 100%. Basically, more tanking.
Vibrations Internalized - I said MORE TANKING!

Skill 5 (Right Click) - Bleeding Edge

Bleeding Edge is our main and "only" damage source, since we can't really rely on Juggernaut to deal damage. Bleeding Edge (aka BE) is an AoE skill you can spam, and that proc "Bleed" on enemies. With our stuff & Gems, it also proc Stasis to synergyze with "Which Time Cannot Heal" from Gate of Fates.
Wicked Swing - Increase AoE, so you will hit more packed enemies with less efforts, and then kill packs faster.
Upright Fury - Reduce Rage cost, making you able to spam more, and more, and more.
A Taste for Blood - Life Leech, must have for our build. As said, Life Leech is really our secondary tanking way.
Orbital Strike - Basically increase damage. Not much to say. Can be switched for any other modifier you like.
Astral Orbit - Is. Our. Best. Modifier. Not only it make the axe follow you, but also increase its duration by 1sec, making it able to do more than 1 circle only, so it proc more ailment, it deals more damage, it proc more Life Leech... It could even make some coffee.
Evisceration - Increase Crit damage. Can be switched as well.


[A few words for the end...]

We've reached the end of this Guide, I hope you enjoyed reading and I hope it will be useful for new & confirmed player on the long way of tanking. May the Boredom be with you!
This is my first Guide ever on Wolcen, so please leave a comment or a feedback, any new idea is welcome as well as any critics, any question, etc.
Also do not forget to make a donation on my Tipeee, leave a like, subscribe... Do you know Twitch Prime?

Replies: 6

Created: 2 months, 1 week ago

Category: Gameplay

> There is actually no cap to Resistance Score, meaning you can theoretically reduce damage taken by 100%, and this Resistance Score is mainly given by: "Heavy Armors".

Hmm. On my toon, it looks like 90% is the cap (at least, the character sheet stops there).

Anyhow, very interesting write-up, thanks! :) I run a staff mage with heavy armor and all spells, that can clear 187, and despite a similar damage and defense strategy, I liked seeing the differences in the passives.

Created: 2 months, 1 week ago

> There is actually no cap to Resistance Score, meaning you can theoretically reduce damage taken by 100%, and this Resistance Score is mainly given by: "Heavy Armors".

Hmm. On my toon, it looks like 90% is the cap (at least, the character sheet stops there).

Anyhow, very interesting write-up, thanks! :) I run a staff mage with heavy armor and all spells, that can clear 187, and despite a similar damage and defense strategy, I liked seeing the differences in the passives.

reepicheep Original Comment

Hey!

As far as I've heard, there is no EndCap on Resistance, but there is a SoftCap at 75% and a HardCap at 90%.
I'm not certain of the validity of this information, but it's the only thing I found about RScore Cap. I remember watching a streamer who had 91.5% Physical Resistance, too, but it was on release and maybe it has been patched yet? Or maybe does my memories fail me again. I'll try to figure by myself if you can go over 90% Resist.

Thanks a lot for your reply mate! You've been so fast, I posted that and by the time I made some visual adjustment, there was your comment xD
I would be glad to see some of your build as well! ;)
Good game & have fun, my friend!

Created: 2 months, 1 week ago

Looks really interesting moving away from Bruiser gear, think I will start a collection of all heavy and see how it goes.

Created: 2 months, 1 week ago

what attribute distribution would you recommend for this build?

Created: 2 months, 1 week ago

@Genadine
Would be a pleasure to have your feedback, my friend! Hope you'll like the build ;)

@l2eaper.1
I'm going full Toughness atm, and have no problem dealing enough damages to clean high level expedition. Since our stuff is Heavy Armor mostly, we lack Health base stats on those for RScore instead, and can only rely on affixes to up Health. Toughness balance this by upping max health, so I recommend it for leveling and pushing expeditions. It's especially true since they nerfed Regeneration and Resistant passives on Bosses, we need less DPS to down them. The idea with the build was also to go full tank, even if it mean lacking DPS.

In order to be 100% optimized, tho, it might be better to run 2/8 or 3/7 between Ferocity/Toughness. Still need to do some test on this to know if it's better than full Toughness. More than 3/7 would probably down too much of our tanking capacity, the only question is to know if those 3 in Ferocity will be relevant or not.
And if you wonder, I do not find Wisdom important to up since having 25% Ailment Score or 35% won't make a huge difference, we're a tank that anyway make fight last very long, not a Mage that need to proc ailments fast to burst. On a 2 minutes Boss fight, it does not matter a lot if you fully proced your Ailments in 5 seconds or in 20 seconds.

(Edited 2 months, 1 week ago)

Created: 2 months, 1 week ago

Build is solid. I have been playing with it for a week or so now and I really enjoy it.
After I unlocked my 5th slot, I wondered what could I place there that makes sense and maintains the spirit of a Tank. I landed on Blood-For-Blood. I have had some great success with that and now have started to branch out a bit in the passives and actives to tweak based on my group's needs.

I just wanted to comment and say thanks for the build. I am now the Tank of my group and love the playstyle and pacing.
-grom

Created: 1 month, 3 weeks ago

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