Table of Contents
This guide is currently being updated with new information. Last updated [3/22/2019]
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 is directed at players who’re new to the role. We cover several different methods for tanking the bosses that require this mechanic.
The assumption is that you have a good understanding of all the boss mechanics before hand. If you don’t I 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. Several classes can fill this role, so don’t fret if you don’t tank on this class.
Keep in mind that your groups overall damage accounts for positioning on a lot of bosses. It’s highly possible that some mechanics happen sooner or later than expected.
Special Thanks: Jojo, Joy and Marcus who helped compile this guide.
Standard tanking on this boss puts a lot of pressure on the tank. Even though your primary goal is to control the boss positioning, you also control where there Disturbed Magic spawns. Poor boss control will result in this spawning in a bad zone.
Unlike some bosses, this one has a lot of movement and positioning throughout the fight.
During this phase you will keep Vale Guardian by the Blue or Red Pylon (depending on the tanks preference). Throughout the phase you want to keep the boss as still as possible so the group can inflict as much damage as possible (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.
There are two ways to tank in phase 3. One is to keep Vale Guardian moving behind the floor AoE (green markers). The alternative is to hold the boss at the blue markers and change between the active floor sections (blue markers).
The last phase of Vale Guardian can be a little hectic. There are many breaks where he will stop to do 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) spawns in the arena. You want to control them so they will always spawn in a safe place. This requires the tank to sometimes
push a little further ahead into a lit up area, avoiding the Distributed Magic from spawning behind the group.
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 earlier breaks this may happen a lot sooner, just be ready for them.
No Greens Tanking
Unlike standard tanking on this boss, this method will allow the group to inflict damage and ignore the Disturbed Magic mechanic.
For this method you will hold the boss on the side of the arena for the first two tanking phases. You will use the same method mentioned in the standard guide by stepping between the tiles in phase 3. For this method to work your healers need to heal through the Disturbed Magic. Using barrier before the AoE explodes will greatly reduce the pain of this mechanic.
Good seeker control is required for this to work. Players should not be teleported by the Unstable Magic (blue teleports). If players fail to avoid this mechanic they may be teleported to their death.
For the last phase of this boss you will rotate the arena like you would in the standard tanking method. The key here is to break the defiance bar and heal through each Disturbed Magic by staying on the boss. If the Disturbed Magic does happen to spawn close to the boss, standing in it to negate the mechanic will reduce some pressure on the group healers.
The following tanking positions cover using the updraft mechanics. The alternative method for no updrafts is listed below the updraft 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. Players with range 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 do his Ghastly Rampage. Here it’s optional to do 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 time and he will warp to the middle (#9).
It’s up to the group leader, but you may do 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 may be used if needed. You will use the same stacking spots as the earlier 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 do 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.
The alternative tanking technique for this fight involves no updrafts. Unlike the previous walkthrough, the tank can stay in the middle of the platform. For this method to work, the group needs higher than average damage. A decision will also need to be made to slow or fast break bar phases.
If the damage is slightly lower, slow break bar phases allow for extra damage. If there is extremely high damage, fast breaks will work in the groups favor.
For this to work, hold the boss in the center of the platform and phase as fast as possible. As long as the group damage is high enough you can ignore the updrafts and phase the boss before you’re killed by the World Eater.
Out of all the bosses that need a tank, Slothasor doesn’t require a single player. Instead the mechanic “Fixate” is applied randomly. You will also see this type of tanking mechanic on other bosses.
This fight is dependent on group damage being within 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 lower, you may find that you need to move far sooner to the next stack location.
There are multiple ways to deal with this encounter, but all of them involve moving the boss in a counter clockwise rotation around the room. The paths you take will depend on which mushrooms are eaten and in which pattern.
This method of tanking is fairly common with LFG groups. The pattern slublings will eat resembles an hourglass. Your goal is to keep sloth in the center of the arena to cleave all hostile sublings, along with control any unwanted conditions from being applied to the group.
Even though this path is simple enough, the majority of players should be very mindful of the Volatile Poison. Rarely are there safe spots to join the poison so you will have to enter the active toxic floor segments to drop off this hazard.
Mush like any other path you may follow with this boss, moving up to safe points as soon as possible is extremely important. Failure to do so will leave sloth sitting in some really awkward situations where he may sleep and the floor surrounds him making it difficult to break the bar. Along with killing players who don’t move out fast enough.
Modified Inside Path
This method is a path developed more towards less experienced groups and players learning the fight.
Your goal here is to keep sloth in the center of the arena so dealing with slublings is easier. The eating pattern gives players more room to move around and deal with mechanics. This may not be something you see too often, but there are groups who use it.
At the start the group will hold sloth close to the start and inflict as much damage as possible until the fixation swaps. Around this time the first Volatile Poison will also be applied to a random player.
From here the group keeps sloth at arrow, heart, star, triangle and cross. As each path opens up you move the boss and hold until the next set of markers are open. Circle,square and swirl are where mushrooms spawn.
Even though this path is a modified version of the standard inside path, there is still plenty of room to make mistakes, The group should always be mindful of the floor creeping up on them.
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 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 happens randomly, and will show up instead of the phantasm mechanic. 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, 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. 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 Elementalists you have
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 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 the defiance bar phases a lot sooner.
The phases for this boss are simple, hold in the center, then move out to the edge when the red orbs spawn. Shard clearing will also be a priority for some groups more so than others.
The fight starts out with you pulling the boss in a counter-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.
With each marker on the edge of the platform you will hold Xera until the orbs have passed and move her back to the center of the platform. Take care while moving her as highly possible for her to cleave the group with blurred frenzy.
The higher the damage, the faster she will phase resulting in less gravity well mechanics. A group with extremely high damage will be able to holder her in the center and not move.
Markers 2 and 4 are where you hold Xera during the orb phases, then return to the middle to clear shards. The only area that should need clearing is the right side of heart. If damage is lower, returning to the middle will be an option with the group needing to possible clear circle for the next stack point.
Most groups will phase the boss at heart or before.
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.
In this phase you will be pulling the boss in a clockwise motion around the platform.
There is a slight variation during this last half of the fight. You will continue to hold the boss at the edges of the platform during the orb phases. One big alteration to this pattern is at heart. Instead of going back in to the center, hold Xera at 4 and move to 5 once the gravity well passes.
As the group will be moving counter-clockwise, always clear shards from left to right.
Heart will normally be where the second group of players are teleported. This may happen sooner or later depending on the overall damage on the boss. Just be prepared for it.
The hardest tank spot is usually square. If players are teleported later in the fight, there will be less people to clear marker 7. At this point you may need to make the decision of moving Xera out early.
The player who chooses this special action will need to keep on top of claiming the active tiles around the room. Doing so clears a path for players to stand along with freely moving without being killed by the floor.
Tiles become active as Scout and Soldiers enter the titles. The soldiers fixate on the off player carrying the “Protect” special action. You can think of this a secondary tanking mechanic where players control which titles may be re-activated by these enemies.
Overall the Mursaat Overseer’s tanking pattern requires the group to bounce between three different tiles in the center of the room. There is a set pattern which the spikes spawn, the higher the damage the less tiles you will need to deal with.
Generally the group can bounce between the four tiles in the center of the room and kill the boss fairly quickly if damage is high enough.
The map on the right details which tiles you will prioritize, arrow, heart and circle are the three main tiles you will use. Square is where most groups will kill the boss is the damage is on the lower side. You won’t enter this tile unless you need to.
As previously mentioned, the pattern for the spikes depends heavily on the group damage. Whoever is controlling the boss potion should be very aware of the group damage and make quick decisions of the group needs to move as they will follow the statue and not the fixate.
Tanking on this boss is fairly simple, it doesn’t work quite the same way as any other boss, but you want to keep Samarog in the center of the arena. To pull the boss fixate you will need to be the furthest person from the group. Every 10% of the bosses health he will start to attack the fixate with a defiance bar.
This the perfect time for the off fixate to move out of the group so they can pull the second fixate.
Out of all the bosses, Samarog is the most straight forward to tank due to his set phases. Anyone can pull the fixate on this boss. The biggest threat here is having the fixation and your group failing the defiance bar mechanic resulting in your death.
If you have fixate a purple diamond will appear above your characters head.
Even though there is a primary tank in this fight, there are also two other tanking mechanics that work off proximity in this fight. It is extremely important that these roles are executed properly or the fight can become extremely difficult, or even fail.
As the below information relates to the melee strategy for this boss there is a high level of personal responsibility in this fight. The whole group will effectively be dealing with the oil mechanic.
For melee tanking, the main tank will move the boss between three points normally marked by the commander. You’re effectively moving the boss in a large circle on half of the plat form. You do this to keep him away from the grabby hands that the hand kiter has to deal with. If he eats these hands Deimos gains a damage buff per stack he consumes.
This generally results in a bad time for the group so avoiding it should be a priority. The other mechanic that should also be avoided at all costs are the black tar patches that appear on the platform.
The oil will form under the second closest person to the boss.
Much like Hand Kiting, this role is extremely important to the fight. One player will stay with the tank at all times, this is generally a healer as Deimos has a rather punishing aura. Your goal is to stay on the platform and move with the tank to each position. Every time the tar spawns the tank, boss and yourself will move to the next marker.
You want to control the oil as much as possible and make sure it spawns in areas away from the center. This role will also want to bring some kind of block for Mind Crush. The tank will block themselves, but they may not block for you. This is extremely useful in tight situations where you have to move due to oil spawning.
If anyone happens to touch the oil, the group needs to act quickly and get away from it due to the large AoE it turns into.
This role even is one of the least engaging in the fight. One play will pull hand fixate by being the furthest person from the boss. The hand spawn in groups of five, inexperienced players learning this role should stack 3 hands, then 2. This will allow you to heal and get a feel for how much damage they inflict.
Your goal is to stack them around the edge of the southern part of the platform on the edge. Most kites will go back and forth between the east and west statues. When the group returns to finish off each Saul the hands will be pulled towards the boss.
The kite will also need some kind of block for Mind Crush a long with lots of sustain to soak up the damage from this mechanic. There is a multitude of classes that can perform this role but some are easier than others.
This boss has a very unique set of tanking mechanics. Two players will need to collect Runes near the ruined building. After the runes are collected you can enter the arena. The first player to land on the platform who has a rune will pull the boss fixate. This role normally falls on the Chronomancer, also bringing higher toughness will work in your favor.
While the boss is fixated on one tank, they will stack a unique debuff called necrosis. With each stack of necrosis the player will gain 10% extra damage on top of all the other mechanics.
Tank fixates will usually swap between 3/4 stacks of necrosis, allowing the current primary tank to activate the cooldown on the debuff.
The off tank on this fight while primarily in the group, will also pull fixate from the Tormented Dead, a unique enemy that spawns in the center of the arena. The off tank can use their positioning to an advantage to control how close the Tormented Dead gets to the boss. Good positioning will avoid this mechanic causing issues for the group.
When swapping fixates, the off tank should move into position while taking fixate to avoid the boss turning around and cleaving the group.
This is a very hectic fight with lots of movement due to the walls. There are no set tanking patterns, but a lot of spacial awareness is required.