Hammer and Blades - Impair - Inner Ring Only - Tanking Build
This is my first attempt at building a low-level tank for running Polaris (QL3). I wanted to try something a little different to the usual Hammer and Chaos combination. As I was planning on working towards the Witch Hunter deck anyway, I decided to try building a tank based on Hammer and Blades instead. One of the great things about the ability system in The Secret World is its flexibility and how easy it is to play around with different ideas.
The build only contains one direct taunt, which is primarily used for emergency situations, and relies on hate-building abilities as it's primary mechanism. It is designed for area-of-effect tanking rather than single-target tanking, though it can be used for both. It only utilises abilities from the inner tier of skills (plus two from the miscellaneous Turbulence section), meaning it is possible to build with only 94 ability points.
It does have the disadvantage in that the main builder is an AoE attack, so you may need to be careful not to aggro any nearby mobs whilst using it, and it can cause issues with crowd control. However, it's a lot of fun to play and works well (in conjunction with health talismans).
Cool, Calm & Collected
Hell to Pay
Opening: Stonewalled > Shockwave > Balanced Blade > Haymaker
Normal: Blade Torrent until all resources are built > Hell to Pay > Opening Rotation when Stonewalled is up
Use Provoke as required to grab mobs in emergencies.
Mont Bleu - Light Survival
Fist and Blades - Penetrate and Affliction - For The Blue Mountain - Survival Build
Things get tough once you reach The Blue Mountain in The Secret World. The game is far from easy before then (certainly when compared to most MMOs), but there is a definite step up in difficulty when you reach the game's third progression zone. You have to start paying a lot more attention to your surroundings and to mob buffs and debuffs, as well as being much more mobile in combat.
I found my original tanking build just wasn't cutting it any more. I could survive most fights, but my health was dropping alarmingly against some mobs, and the time-to-kill them went way up. So, I started on a new build, based on on Blade and Fist (the blade because I already had a good grounding in Blade from my prior build, and the Fist for a mix of dps and self-healing).
The great thing about TSW is that I can switch back to my tanking build at any time, and continue to work on improving it as I go. However, this new build, which I am christening "Mont Bleu" has allowed to me to complete all of the content in Blue Mountain without too much difficulty so far, including the final encounter in the main story quest.
The build is great for AoE combat against multiple mobs as both builders and the main finisher have some area effects (though this of course means you have to watch out for adds). There is a nice heal ability (which can be used to heal others as well if necessary), a rush attack to get back into melee range quickly, an AoE stun (good for interrupts, which I found started to be useful in this zone) and a dps buff for emergencies.
The use of Blade Torrent, Perfect Storm and Clearing the Path means I can both Afflict and Penetrate any mobs that are hit. The build can be obtained with 145 Ability Points.
Lick Your Wounds
Out of the Woods
Clearing the Path
Normal: Blade Torrent > Hog Wild > Clearing the Path > Nurture
Use Surging Blades and Nurture as required as a heal.
Use Stunning Swirl as required as an AoE stun or interrupt.
Use Pack Leader to buff groups dps as required.