Today is an update about my Juggernaut's progress! I'm level 31, and I've so far tanked every flashpoint I've had access to. The difficulty on the flashpoints has so far been rather tame, but I have gone up against a few challenging encounters. I've mostly been running these with my spouse, who is playing a Sith Sorcerer, and a good friend who is playing a Sith Assassin. We've been pugging healers and so far we've had good luck. With that in mind, I've drawn some conclusions about Flashpoint tanking, and Juggernaut tanks generally:
- Flashpoint tanking requires more concentration than in some other games. In the most recent Flashpoints I've run (Cademimu and Mandalorian Raiders), there were a lot of enemies (and some bosses) that drop threat completely at certain points, and need to be picked back up immediately. Stay on your guard!
- Sometimes, you need to prioritize. Most groups won't be marking kill targets for trash, so you'll need to watch your group's damage dealers and grab targets accordingly. Make sure you always grab all the strong/elite enemies. Sometimes your enemies will be very spread out over a large area. If a random normal enemy is firing a blaster at someone, don't panic. Grab it only if you can be sure you won't lose aggro on a stronger enemy, preferably using an ability with some range like Force Scream, Force Push, Force Choke. Your Taunt is on a 15 second cooldown, so you need to use it only when appropriate.
- Juggernauts are active tanks. My point here is that you can prevent a lot of damage with a Juggernaut by using the right ability at the right time. Smash and Force Scream will stun normal enemies, preventing them from attacking you. Force Choke can be used to prevent damage from a Strong (and sometimes Elite) enemy with the added benefit of granting you rage and doing some damage. Retaliation, once improved via Blade Barricade, grants you extra defense, and should be used on cooldown.
- Juggernauts have powerful survival cooldowns. Make sure your cooldowns are somewhere accessible, because you'll want them handy. Juggernauts get Endure Pain, Saber Ward and Invincible. Which one you will use at a given time depends on the situation. I'll write a more in-depth article on cooldown use a little later on.
- Initial Juggernaut Area Threat is lacking. You will receive Threatening Scream (AoE Taunt) at level 30, and Sweeping Slash at level 32, but before these, all you will have is Smash. Just do your best, and as I said above, prioritize your targets.
I hope these initial thoughts help you when deciding if a Juggernaut is the tank for you. I've had a blast so far, and look forward to seeing our performance in Operations, as well as in Warzones. Have some thoughts on the Juggernaut tank that you'd like to share? Feel free to start a discussion or ask a question in the comments.