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Tanking is a tactic commonly exploited in PvE. It takes advantage of the AI to focus damage on a character with higher defense than the rest of your party. This is done to prevent damage taken by soft targets, like a monk, elementalist or mesmer. A nice second effect, is that in a succesful tanking action, your party healer has only the tank to focus on, making his job a lot easier.

How to tank

  • Tanking on it's most basic level is simple. You should just charge in and attack the melee characters, so they'll stick on you. This will also cause the spellcasters to waste a cast or two on you before they turn to your backline.
  • It is best to attack melee characters, as spellcasters aren't limited by range anyway, and melee AI tends to rush back to your "squishy" characters. By stopping them before they get there, you are reducing a large amount of damage to your team.
  • Strafing quickly left and right will cause you to body-block multiple enemies, and the resulting stopping of them will cause them to attack and hopefully stick on you.

Advanced tanking

  • High end areas, like the Deep and Domain of Anguish sometimes use an dedicated tank without any damaging skills.
  • His bar is focused on staying alive until all foes are grouped together so the team can spike them fast, instead of killing everything one by one.
  • This type of tanking is not preferred in general PvE.

Extremely High Defense Tanks

  • For areas with obscene amounts of damage, (for example, some areas in Hard Mode) protective enchantments, stances, or armor boosting skills are used to channel it into 1 character, since pure heals are often too clunky to use to prevent the damage.


Invulnerable Tanks

  • For areas which can not be tanked normally by just high armor, there are two tanks which are commonly used to deal with the issue of the huge amounts of damage that would normally be taken.

Terra Tank

  • Is a build combining Obsidian Flesh from the Elementalist's Earth magic line with Stone Striker, Mantra of Earth and Stoneflesh Aura, using Armor of Earth if the others aren't enough.
  • Capable of withstanding extreme amounts of damage, though it is susceptible to non-spell enchantment removal and interrupts.
    • Interrupts can be countered with Mantra of Resolve, however you will need someone else to maintain Balthazar's Spirit on you.
    • Also is very hard on energy without energy management skills.
  • Can dish out respectable damage via Sliver Armor, Wastrel's Demise, Wastrel's Worry and various other skills in the Earth Magic line.

Perma Shadow Tanks

  • Permanent Shadow Form is what this is all about.
  • Combines Shadow Form with Shroud of Distress, other Assassin enchantments for damage reduction, Protective enchantments, blocking Stances and armor-boosting skills.
  • Can prevent interrupts with Mantra of Resolve and Signet of Mystic Speed
  • Can dish out damage with Sliver Armor, Wastrel's Demise and Whirling Defense

Monk Tanks

  • Although not used much, a 55 (or 600) monk can tank quite efficiently.
  • Read more here.


Pulling is a tactic to make sure you don't get overwhelmed by too many monsters at once. Pulling is often done to separate a mob from others in the neighbourhood, or to get a certain mob into a position more favorable to you, like into traps for example.

There are 2 ways to perform a pull.

  • The first method, is to let your edge of your aggro bubble go over 1 monster, and then back away from it. The monster you went over with your aggro bubble, and his mob, will become aware of you, and start attacking. By backing away slowly, you can therfore seperate it from its environment. This type of pulling is often done by a tank, or someone who is protected by a protection monk.
  • The second method, which is sometimes more preferred, is to use a long ranged weapon like the longbow, to fire a single shot a the nearest monster of the mob you want to pull. This will also make the mob agro and rush towards you. Again, slowly backing away, makes you able to separate the mob from its normal surroundings. This type of pulling can be done by anyone with a bow.

When playing with henchmen and/or heroes, you may want to flag them somewhere backwards. You really need to flag your henchmen and/or heroes when pulling with the 2nd method, because when you shoot your first projectile, your henchmen and heroes will rush into the fray, and this might not be what you want. By flagging them distance away from you, when you perform a pull, prevents this most of the time.

  • Pulling is the art of holding as much "aggro" as possible.
  • Pulling to corners is a common tactic, as enemies are usualy not smart enough to walk around you, and casters tend to move up into the AoE.
  • In some cases, running right into the group of casters is a very effective tactic, as you ball the melee with the casters, so your friends can nuke them to hell.