Trying to decide between making a Warrior or a Lancer in Tera? I’ve got some insights you might be interested in!
In the spirit of full disclosure, this information is coming to you second-hand. My delightful husband is the resident Tera tank, but blogging really isn’t his thing. He’s passed some words of wisdom on to me, however, for me to pass on to you now. In addition to that, we’ve not yet seen end-game on either the Warrior or Lancer, but we have seen far enough with both to get a good understanding of the classes and how they handle content from tanking world bosses to running around doing quests. This will not be a PvP guide unfortunately; it is aimed at choosing what you want to play in PvE.
The Basics: Introduction to the Classes
The Warrior is an evasion tank. Your goal will be to use Evasive Roll, Death from Above, and other tricks of the trade to physically avoid all enemy attacks. This is more easily done once you’ve learned an enemies tells (the actions or signs that an attack is about to happen), particularly bosses and BAMs that have very obvious tells.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Lancer uses Stand Fast to actively negate the damage an enemy attack does. Damage is mitigated based on the amount your lance and shield combination weapon says it blocks, and you will take damage if you block an attack that does more damage than your shield can block. If you neglect to activate Stand Fast before that hit comes in, you take full damage.
The Basics: Ask Yourself This
The first thing you need to ask yourself is whether or not you want to use the Instance Matching System to find random dungeon groups as a tank. If you want to do that ever, your only choice is Lancer. Warriors cannot queue as a tank. That said, there are rumors that this may change in an upcoming patch, but we won’t know until that comes to be.
Next you need to decide how much random tanking you want to do with members of your own server. If you’re interested in PUGing once in a while, you also might consider leaning toward Lancer, especially if you’re looking toward end-game tanking. Being in a group with an unfamiliar Warrior tank can be a challenge for both the DPS members of your group and your healer, but we’ll get to the specifics of that in a bit.
The Specifics: Warrior
The Warrior has a very flashy playstyle. You get to dance around your enemy dodging and whirling to your heart’s content. But, at the same time, that’s part of the Warrior’s problems with tanking. Because you’re moving so often, your healer might have trouble landing heals on you or your DPS members might have trouble timing their evasive abilities. Other times, you might accidentally turn the mob so that it does a frontal AOE right on an unsuspecting member of your party.
Under perfect circumstances, these problems are entirely avoidable. If you can learn the perfect 180 degree dance to avoid turning or moving the mob too much, as demonstrated in this More Advanced Warrior Guide on YouTube, you and your party could have the same success (if not more) as one with a Lancer tank.
The problem for Warriors comes in when circumstances are not perfect. There are times when a boss is attacking too frequently or with too little notice to pull off the perfect Warrior dance, particularly when they’re enraged and attacks are most crucial to avoid. Sometimes swings will come in so frequently that Evasive Roll and Death From Above just aren’t enough due to cooldowns. Besides, while moving around so much, it can be easy to miss a boss’ signature tells, especially if you’re spending any time behind the enemy unable to see the front-facing tells like glinting eyes. That leaves you with significantly less time to prepare your evasion than you might have had with a stationary Lancer. It can be mentally exhausting trying to time enemy attacks while choosing the best possible way to evade.
Warrior tanks need to glyph for aggro and remember to switch into their Defensive Stance to be successful as a tank. A Warrior can also be a nice addition to a party as a damage dealer in Offensive Stance, which a Lancer can’t really do effectively.
The Specifics: Lancer
Unlike the Warrior, the Lancer can hold still through enemy attacks. This gives the Lancer a front row seat for the tells signifying an incoming attack, and they’re much easier to see and subsequently learn. Unfortunately, because of the nature of blocking, aggro management can be a little harder for a Lancer. Where the Warrior can dance around continuing to attack, a Lancer has to release their Stand Fast ability at the risk of being walloped by an attack in order to increase their aggro. The Lancer is also more gear-dependent than the Warrior; the better your Lance, the better your ability to tank.
A Lancer can be an easier tank for its party mates. Healers don’t have to scramble with lock-on and aimed heals like they do with the Warrior. Damage dealers can be a little more secure in their positioning and attack evasion and might even be able to do more damage because of that.
Because blocking is currently activated with mana as a resource (this may change to a new resource called Stamina in a future patch), it can be helpful to socket crystals that improve your mana regeneration.
Unless your goal is to master the Warrior as a tank, I recommend going Lancer, especially if you’re new to Tera tanking. Most players are more comfortable with a Lancer tank than a Warrior tank, and, from a Priest’s perspective, the Lancer isn’t as challenging to heal. A Restorative Burst circle is easier to land on your tank if he or she isn’t leaping out of harm’s way right before the circle lands. Lock-on heals in a dire situation can even be a challenge if the target is moving around too much.
The Warrior and Lancer are both excellent classes and worth trying out, but you may find your opinion on the Warrior changing in the mid-30s when lock-on spells that you cannot avoid start weighing down more heavily on you.
You might also be interested in our Lancer Tanking Guide.