Tera is a great game for teaming up with a friend to take down great big nasty things, and the Lancer is one of the best classes for doing so. With a self heal and the tremendously powerful ability to block, the Lancer makes an incredible soloer, and the Lancer becomes better still with a partner. This guide is intended for those Lancers looking to tank for small groups. Keep in mind that, while some of this may be adaptable to larger group content, our Tera expertise is zilch in that aspect.
A Lancer and a healer with enough patience can take on pretty much anything that doesn’t have an enrage timer. If your preferred partner would rather play a damage dealer, you’ll be more limited in that you won’t be able to take on quite as many of the world bosses or the hardest hitting BAMs. With a damage dealing partner rather than a Priest or Mystic, your goal is to avoid enemies whose damage beyond your Lance block amount you can’t heal back.
Blocking on a Lancer
It’s easy to get ahead of yourself and become overzealous with damage in a small group because, without a myriad of DPSers backing you, things can be slow. At the end of the day, though, your job is to be the tank. You need to prioritize your play so that blocking always comes first, followed by aggro management, and finally throwing out damage attacks.
Lots of Lancer guides out there encourage you to Stand Fast, Challenging Shout, and Combo attack to regain mana. However, this advice is needlessly gimping your potential, at least in small group content. Yes, it’s probably easier to stand around not doing much, but where’s the fun in easy? This is Tera! True. Action. Combat! Let’s be active and have some fun.
Your most important skill as a Lancer is and will always be Stand Fast. You need to block, block, and block some more. Ideally, though, you won’t sit idly behind your shield and wait for your partner to kill the beast that’s wailing on you. Practice your timing on your blocks. When BAMs are enraged, some of their swings can be unexpectedly fast, and the better your reflexes are, the better you’ll fare.
Normal mobs can be great practice for block timing. Don’t underestimate them. As you get higher level, normal mobs are going to hit harder and harder. Starting out with a mindset toward defending against them will put you in better shape down the road. Plus it will give you tons of practice to prepare for those tougher fights.
For this kind of grouping there are a few Lancer glyphs that are pretty much mandatory. Spirited Combo Attack will improve the mana you receive from Combo Attack, Influential Stand Fast will reduce the mana cost of the next Shield Counter chained after blocking, Threatening Shield Counter improves the aggro generation of Shield Counter by 100%, and Lingering Debilitate improves the duration of Debilitate, your endurance lowering debuff. Without a healer, you need Energetic Second Wind to improve your self heal.
Glyphing for Lancer is pretty forgiving since there are so many great choices. Go for what suits your playstyle.
You could consider Resounding Shield Bash to increase your stun’s duration. You could also consider glyphing more toward aggro if you’re struggling with the Shield Counter method that we’ll go over in the Skill Prioritization section below.
For more damage, Stand Fast has glyphs, Pumped Stand Fast and Powerlinked Stand Fast, that can increase your power and your next Shield Counter’s power.
Lancer Skill Prioritization / Rotation
Your priority is Stand Fast. Your priority is always Stand Fast. If a swing is coming in, cancel whatever you’re doing and block.
While blocking, your bread and butter is going to be Shield Counter. When glyphed for aggro and used as often as possible, this virtually negates the need to Challenging Shout, as tested separately against a Sorcerer and a Priest. You can also glyph Stand Fast to reduce the mana cost of the next chained Shield Counter. Be sure to activate Shield Counter with your chain button (spacebar by default) to get this great benefit.
Since you’ve, hopefully, glyphed to improve the duration of your Debilitate, this is a must use ability, especially for a small group. Reducing the endurance of your enemy will improve the damage of everyone in your group, and it is a very important debuff to keep on the mob. Ideally, you won’t let your three stacks of Debilitate drop, but remember that, in a bad situation, saving yourself with a block is always more important.
Shield Barrage is another great attack that you should use as often as you can. This ability offers decent damage, the chance to stun your enemy, and the ability to chain into Charging Lunge.
Shield Bash is an excellent situational stun. Use it when you need a breather, especially if you don’t have a healer. Also use it to interrupt enemy attacks. You can also use it to hold the mob still while you reposition yourself to avoid an uncomfortable you-move-I-move-we-move situation with your mob.
Additionally, for aggro and interrupting enemy attacks, Leash is an excellent tool.
Iron Will is an interesting ability that you don’t get until 36. This could become a must use ability for those groups that don’t have a healer. Keep in mind though, that it is a mana shield. This ability could drain your ability to do anything, including Stand Fast. Be careful when using this one.
Remember, everything, including your ability to block, is powered by mana. You need to find the right balance of using your Combo Attack, which gives you back mana, and all your other abilities in order to maintain all throughout the fight.
Your best bet is to stack Brilliant in your weapon crystal slots (red crystals) for mana regeneration. At times where your mana is running lower and lower, and you can’t stop blocking to attack at risk of death or damage, you’ll be glad when you can get more blocks out of your mana bar instead of getting walloped because you wanted to be able to do a pinch more damage. If you’re having trouble managing your aggro, feel free to pick up some Threatening crystals in place of a Brilliant or two. Some people also might like a Swift crystal in their weapon crystal slots for slightly easier moving around in combat.
In your blue armor crystal slots, Relentless crystals, which add to your maximum HP, sound like a good idea, but they aren’t really needed when the goal is not to get hit at all. If you’re working without a healer, you need to stack all Vigorous crystals, which give you HP regeneration at all times, in your blue slots. The Vigorous crystals will further stretch your abilities to tackle harder content. Vigorous crystals are also nice for unfortunate circumstances like your healer taking a dirt nap or being crowd controlled when you need a heal. Other options include the Poised crystals, which decrease damage when attacked by enraged monsters which is great for lessening hits that would land for more than your Lance’s block value and Inspiring crystals, which provide an HP regeneration if you’re knocked down.