Table of Contents
Welcome to our Guild Wars 2 Raid Tanking Guide. If you’re reading this guide, you have an interest in filling the role of raid tank. The following guide, compiled by myself and my guild will assist newcomers to the tanking role.
The assumption is that you know the boss mechanics, and how the encounters work. You should have a good understanding of all the boss mechanics before hand, if you don’t, we highly recommend not filling this role until you do.
There are multiple ways to tank in raids, but the most commonly requested class is a Chronotank. Many classes can fill this role, so don’t fret if you don’t tank on this class. This guide references where you should be doing at a given time.
Keep in mind that your groups overall damage accounts for positioning on a lot of bosses. It’s highly possible that some things happen sooner or later than expected.
Special Thanks: Jojo, Joy and Marcus who helped compile this guide for you the reader.
During this phase you will keep Vale Guardian by the Blue or Red Pylon (depending on the tanks preference). Throughout the whole phase you want to keep it in the same position so that the most damage can be applied without any complications (orange marker on the map below).
You will need to block and dodge Vale Guardians attacks and make sure you don’t get teleported by the Unstable Magic that the boss throws at the ground below. You should be able to phase the boss by around 6:50 -7:10 minutes on the timer.
There’s two ways to go about doing this phase. One is to keep Vale Guardian moving behind the floor AoE (green markers). The alternative is to hold the Vale Guardian on green and blue sections of the floor between active status (blue markers). This second method may be useful if the groups damage is a lower than usual.
Both methods work just fine, it just depends on the tank and how they want to go about pulling the boss in this phase.
The final phase of Vale Guardian can be a little tedious at times. There’s a lot of breaks where he will stop to perform Magic Storm. These attacks need to be stopped instantly by breaking the defiance bar.
You will be responsible for where the Distributed Magic AoEs (green circle) spawn in the arena. You want to control them so they will always spawn in a safe location. This requires the tank to sometimes
push a little further ahead into a lit up area to avoid the Distributed Magic from spawning behind the group in a lit up zone. Invulnerability skills are extremely useful in this situation to avoid dying from the floor.
This map is the most common rotation for Vale Guardian. The “CC Phase” indicators are based off where the most regular defiance bar phase locations happen. Depending on your group positioning and previous breaks, this may happen a lot sooner, just be prepared, and break the bar as soon as it appears.
Markers 3 & 5
If you’re having difficulty with the Distributed Magic (green AoE) spawning in a lit up zone, your tank can use invulnerability to negate the floor damage and holding the boss slightly ahead. This will cause the Distributed Magic to spawn in the next safe zone for your group. These are marked on the map with blue markers and the same phase numbers.
The following tanking positions cover using the updraft mechanics. There is an alternative which does not use the updrafts, but most general groups won’t use this method. You will be repeating the same positions for each marker, just be mindful of where you’re going after each phase.
At the start of the fight you will hold Gorseval in the middle of the platform (#1) until he goes into his Ghastly Rampage. From here his defiance bar will be broken, you will then move to arrow for the first updraft (#2).
After the updraft you will return to the edge of the platform and hold Gorseval in place (#3) until he warps to the middle. You will repeat this on every updraft you use.
From here you will break his defiance bar, then proceed to push him into the spirit phase (#4).
After completing the first spirit phase, you will continue to hold Gorseval at (#4) until his second Ghastly Rampage is over. Break his defiance bar, then quickly move to circle (#5). From here you will repeat what you did for the first phase at (#6 & #7).
During this phase, orbs will start to spawn and spread their AoE across the arena. Tempests in the group should be clearing orbs to make sure the path is clear to circle and heart. They will then continue to clear through the rest of the fight.
This phase will end after the second round of spirits are killed.
This phase a new mechanic is introduced. The phase will start the same with a swipe and ground pound. Directly after however, Gorseval will spawn Ghastly Prisons. These will be marked by orange AoE markers on the ground. For reference, you will want to keep moving while these spawn to avoid being imprisoned. Side stepping and dodging works to avoid this mechanic, just be mindful of them while running between points.
After the Ghastly Prison mechanic, Gorseval will perform his Ghastly Rampage. Here it’s optional to perform slow defiance bar breaks to fill in any extra damage your group may be missing.
From here you will run to (#8) and repeat the usual. On your run to (#8), be careful as more Ghastly Prisons will spawn on your way to the wall.
As you return from the updraft, you will hold him for a short period of time and he will warp to the middle (#9).
It’s up to the group leader, but you may perform one more slow defiance bar break. At this point you should be able to kill Gorseval where he stands.
If the group decides not to push for slow break bars, the fourth updraft will be used. You will use the same stacking spots as the previous three markers. This will only happen if your group has good damage, with plenty of time left to push for the kill (#10).
These markers are highlighted as an indication of Gorsevals phase change. You will hold him at these points until he warps into the center of the arena. From here he will perform his Ghastly Rampage.
At these points you will hold Gorseval in the center of the arena until the spirit phase starts. You want to make sure he’s facing away from the group so they’re not hit by his swipe attack. The group should be stacked behind him.
Out of all the bosses that require a tank, Slothasor doesn’t require a single player. Instead the mechanics “Fixate” a random player. You will however see this mechanic used while fighting the Keep Construct. It doesn’t have the same purpose, but the mechanic is still present.
There are two methods to tanking with Slothasor, one is the outside path, the other is the inside path. This all depends on your group, and what they feel comfortable doing. The most commonly used would be the inside path.
This fight is dependent on group damage being in a certain bracket. If you have high damage, you will push Slothasor into his defiance bar phase just before each imbued mushroom. If your groups damage is slightly lower, you may find that you need to move far sooner to the next stack location.
You will start at #1, and hold until the fixation changes. From here you will move Slothasor around the room in a counter-clockwise rotation between the points. As fixation is random, everyone needs to know where to go, you will always hold Slothasor at Arrow, Heart, Star, Triangle and finally Cross. Circle, Square and Swirl are where your imbued mushrooms will spawn, the first mushroom doesn’t have a marker as there aren’t enough icons.
At the very start, the fixated player will hold Slothasor against the wall until the fixation changes. From here, your group will move to arrow which should be cleared by the first mushroom eater.
The group will hold Slothasor at arrow until the imbued mushroom is active. Once active, the mushroom eater should eat heart, and clear the area up to square.
After heart is clear, the group will move and stay at heart until the next mushroom is ready. Here you may need to move slightly towards square if the floor starts to refill with poison.
While waiting at heart, the mushroom eater will clear a path from star to triangle, then finish by swirl. They should also eat up to the wall in one or two places to give the group room to move. While the group is waiting, you can move from heart to star until triangle is clear. Once clear, move Slothasor all the way down to triangle.
Once the 4th mushroom eater is transformed, they will eat towards cross, and clear the area back towards where the group started. Once the path is clear, the group will move up to cross and hold here for the next mushroom clear.
By the time you get to cross, Slothasor should have fairly low health. The next mushroom eater will clear up the side of the area, clear arrow and circle. Your group will then continue to follow the path like before of stacking at arrow.
If you need to, another mushroom can be consumed and the path can be cleared up to square including heart.
By the time you reach heart for the second time, Slothasor should be almost dead. At this point you can kill him if you have enough damage and the area is clear.
If your group lacks damage and you can’t kill Slothasor at heart, you will need to move up further. Just continue along the path as before. By the time you reach triangle Slothasor should be at the point of dying. if you proceed past this point you may run into issues with the Evolved Slublings, or the enrage timer.
I consider the outside path an alternative method to the inside path. You don’t see many groups using this path, but it is common enough to see in pug runs. You will start at arrow and hold there until the second fixation. This whole run is reliant on Slubling players eating all the way to each wall.
Much like the inside path, you will hold Slothasor at Arrow, Heart, Star, Cross and Triangle. Whoever is fixated will move Slothasor to the next marker once the path is clear.
Unlike the inside path, your group will need well placed pulls to cleave the Slubling mobs. Doing this method you will have a large gathering of Slublings following you around the room.
Using this method you will be moving Slothasor far more around the room. But you will beholding him in one place for more time to inflict damage. Once you reach heart for the second time Slothasor should be in the final phases of dying.
Hold at arrow until the path is clear to heart. Once heart is clear, the group should move up to the wall as soon as possible.
The group will hold at heart, allowing some of the poison floor to fill in before the next mushroom is eaten. Once ready, the mushroom eater will clear a path all the way to the vine wall and slightly to their right.
You will repeat the same for star as you did at heart. Wait for the mushroom to spawn, then delay slightly on someone eating the mushroom. Once ready, the mushroom eater will eat all the way down to the wall at cross.
Repeating the same process, hold Slothasor on the wall and continue damage. From here the next mushroom eater will eat all the way to the starting point at triangle.
After the path is clear, the group will move up to triangle and hold here until the next mushroom is ready. From here your mushroom eater will eat arrow, then all the way up to heart. Unlike the other paths, the group will move up to arrow and hold there for a short period until the rest of the path is clear. Once the path is fully cleared to heart, the group can move Slothasor up to heart for the second time.
At this point Slothasor should be close to dying. If he is not, you can make one last push to star and kill him there. If you’re struggling to kill Slothasor at or before heart, your group may not be meeting the damage check.
This fight is made up of three main phases. The tanks job is to pull Keep Construct to various statues that will glow bright orange/red/white when a fixation is about to spawn. Once spawned you need to move Keep Construct to where the fixation has spawned. Generally you will start on either east or the west side of the room. So you will move him to the closet one that spawns.
Your job as the tank is to manage Keep Constructs position so he’s always in range of the fixations. Fixations sometimes have a habit of stopping to perform their attacks. So pulling the boss closer to them can make this a little easier on the group.
After every orb phase (also known as the hungry hippo phase), you need re-position the boss at either wall again. Before this happens, he will first lock onto a group member and perform the tower drop. He will launch himself high into the air, and slam down on anyone who misses a dodge. From here you just resume holding him near the closest fixation.
Xera’s Fury (AoE Blast)
This seems to happen randomly, but it could also be on a timer. Every so often, all players in the arena will have a large AoE at their feet. This results in the group splitting up to avoid killing each other.
When this happens, the tank, and the fixated player must stay near the boss. If either of these players moves it can cause issues with the rest of the run.
When fixations spawn in the area a secondary tank mechanic comes into play. Two players will become fixated randomly at the same time. Your job will be to pull the fixation to the boss if you’re fixated. One thing to keep in mind is that you do not want the fixations to merge. Doing so will spawn an insidious spirit who will corrupt your groups boons, and kill any Tempests you have quickly.
Killing a fixation on top of Keep Construct will remove a boon called Xera’s Embrace. This boon stops the boss from taking excess damage. Once both Xera’s Embrace stacks are removed, you can break his defiance bar to phase him.
The core phase focuses on the fixated tank players to keep the fixations apart and kill them so they don’t merge and cause the group problems. This will repeat throughout the fight.
Fixations will always spawn on opposite sides of the room. So keeping track of their spawn locations as it is important for green circle split phase. On the map below you will see three markers. These markers are related to the green AoE that spawns after breaking Keep Constructs defiance bar. You will need at least two players in each circle. If you have a fixation before this phase, it will switch to someone else, your group needs to make sure that you keep that fixation on the side of the room it spawned to avoid merging.
The orange line on the map denotes the split in the room. You will always have fixations spawn on either the east or west side of the room. They will never spawn on the same side, but they can spawn at the same time.Most of the issues with this fight come down to the player fixations crossing. The map below will assist in the layout of the room.
Out of all the boss fights, Xera is probably the most demanding on the tank. There’s a lot to keep track of, and you’re reliant on your groups shard clearing. If your path isn’t clear for each stack point, then your group will have a difficult time completing this fight.
Keep in mind that the stack points in this section are there for reference. You do not need to stand on each point directly. Just make sure your the group isn’t in any danger, and clear of the gravity wells.
Most of this fight is dependent on your damage towards Xera. If your group has high damage, you will push her through phases faster. You will also trigger Ambient Magic and defiance bar phases a lot sooner. The same goes for if your damage is lower.
The fight starts out with you pulling the boss in a clockwise motion around the platform.
This phase is fairly straightforward. As long as all stack locations are clear, the only real concern will be the orb phase that spawns periodically.
Point #1 (90% Health)
You will hold Xera here until 90% health. You should have a defiance bar appear just before, or during the giant AoE gravity well. Your next location will be to stack near arrow, to the south of the platform.
At this location you will have to wait for the orb phase to finish. The next AoE gravity well will also spawn. Once this happens and everything is clear, head to the third stack point.
Point #3 (80-70% Health)
Once on point 3, stay here and prepare for the Ambient Magic Reflect. This will then lead into breaking Xeras defiance bar. Tempests should be clearing your heart marker at this point (north east
corner), ready to move for stack point 4.
This should be your last spot for this phase. Your group will need to deal with another orb phase. Everyone should be focusing on damage at this point. If your group is on point, you will push Xera to 50% health and start the tower mini event.
Common phase times are between 6:50 and 7:10 at this phase.
This should be considered an emergency stack point only. You will only move to this point if your groups damage isn’t quite high enough to phase Xera at point #4.
During this phase, things get a little hectic at times. There is a new mechanic where half of the group will be teleported to a platform to complete a mini event. This happens twice, once around 40%, the second at 20%. At this time you will not be teleported as the player with the highest toughness always stays on the platform.
During this phase, you will be pulling the boss in a counter-clockwise motion around the platform.
At the very start, you will hold Xera on the east side of the platform and wait for the AoE gravity well to finish. Everyone should focus damage on the boss at this point, including the Tempests.
Point #2 (40% health)
On your way to circle, five players will be teleported to complete the platform mini event. Your healer may need to come back if teleported, they should be aware if Ambient Magic reflect has happened or not. Returning early will result in death. You will hold Xera in position at point #2 to complete the Ambient Magic reflect. You will also have to deal with the orbs and the Gravity Well AoE before moving to point #3.
Your teleported group should be returning at this point. Xera should go into her defiance bar state here. Break the bar and wait for her to do the Blurred Frenzy attack. At this point Tempests should be clearing the heart marker for the next stack point.
Move to this point after defiance bar phase and she attacks with blurred frenzy. Then hold for the Gravity Well AoE. Once the well has passed, make your way to point #5 as soon as possible. Move quickly as the orb phase will start as soon as the Gravity Well AoE clears.
Once you reach this point, the orbs will have started to fill the platform. You need to hold at this point until the Gravity Well AoE has finished. After it’s clear, move to point #6. The floor will light up in the previous area you were standing. So be careful and move quickly.
Hold at this point until the orb phase is clear. Once clear, head to point #7
Point #7 (20% health)
During this last stacking phase 5 players will be teleported again while holding Xera in the middle. There should also be another Ambient Magic reflect phase. At this point you may also have to break her defiance bar again. Tempests need to start clearing square as soon as possible. While all this is happening, another Gravity Well AoE will spawn.
Once everything is clear, move Xera to point #8 for the final damage phase.
Point #8(10-5% health)
If your Tempests are on top of everything, square should be safe to move to. If it’s not, have them clear this spot quickly You will have one last Ambient Magic reflect to perform at this point. The five players who were teleported will rejoin the group just after the reflect. You will also have to deal with one last orb phase.
Depending on your group, and how high the damage is. You can choose to finish her off at the edge of the platform if she has around 5% health. If she’s in the 10% health range, you can move her directly to point #9 after the orbs have finished spawning. You can then proceed to kill her in the center of the platform.
During this last holding spot, you should be able to kill Xera and complete the encounter. You will need to break one last defiance bar, and push for the kill. At this last point the last Gravity Well AoE will spawn on the north east side of the platform.
If you’re at this final stacking spot and Xera has more than 10% health, have the Tempests clear arrow and move her one last time.