I'm making this because I end up repeating it over and over again, this way I can just link to this thread. About this template: I've done a lot of theory crafting and testing out weapons/skills in the past 2 years. This is hands down the strongest all-around tank template in the game. People will argue, their template is better or whatever, every template can be tailored to specific encounters. This template is an all-around tanking template. There will always be encounters that you can adjust your skills for and be more effective. For example, you don't need Resisting Spells fighting Unbound Energy Vortexes. You can stone off Resist and put on Anatomy for extra damage. Quick note on damage increase: There is a 300% damage increase cap for dexers in PvM. Your suit, weapon and any buffs you have are included in the 300% damage cap. Anatomy, Tactics and Lumberjacking are not subjected to the 300% damage increase cap. For more information on damage formulas: http://www.uoguide.com/Damage_Calculations FAQ (more to come): Q: Whammy's can do a lot of damage, especially with throwing and can leech more life, so why use Vampiric Embrace? A: Whammys are in wraith form. If you're in wraith form you can't use a swamp dragon. If you're not using a swamp dragon you're missing out on some great damage mitigation. Many of the new encounters have extremely hard hitting abilities that can take someone down in 1 shot. For tanking purposes, damage mitigation is more important that leeching life. The less damage you take, the less life you'll need to recover. Vampiric Embrace + armor ignores will leech plenty of life. Q: Why not go higher with chivalry to do more damage with Enemy of One? A: Enemy of One is a buff. Any buffs are subject to the 300% Damage Increase cap. Your suit should be 100% Damage Increase, Super slayer will add 100%/Lesser slayer will add 200%. Perfection will add up to 100% depending on consecutive hits. With all that in mind, you really don't need too much more. Enemy of One is more of a backup damage increase for those encounters that don't have slayer vulnerabilities. -------------------------------------- Skills: 120 Fencing 120 Tactics 120 Bushido 120 Parry 100 Resisting Spells 99 Necro 80+ Chivalry Suit: Head: Mace and Shields (preferably Blackthorne's so you can reinforce) Neck: crafted - studded or bone only Tunic: crafted - studded or bone only Arms: crafted - studded or bone only Gloves: crafted - studded or bone only Legs: Animated Legs of the Insane Tinker Talisman: Conjurer's Trinket, Primer on Arms (pref VvV) Cloak of Life Crimson Cincture (pref VvV) Corgul's Enchanted or Lt. Sash Unicorn Mane Wooven Sandles (damage eater) Jewelry: Ring and Bracelet: 15% Hit Chance Increase (must) Ring and Bracelet: 25% Enhanced Potions (must) Ring and Bracelet: +15 Chivalry (must) Ring or Bracelet: +10 skill (I did parry) Use the rest of the space to cap out whatever you're lacking in this order of importance: Resists, Damage Increase, Lower Mana Cost Crafted Gear: You need to cap your resists (don't forget you need to overcap fire resist for vampiric embrace), get max hit points (+25) and add to any stats (str, int/mana, dex/stam.) Regens are nice but are not necessary. Whether you reforge, imbue or are lucky enough to find some nice loot that you can use, doesn't matter. All that matters is that it's studded or bone and you reach your resist and hit points cap. Bone and Studded armor will add +3 LMC and goes over the 45% cap. It's a nice trade-off for wearing armor that is not medable. Since you're using tinker legs and mace and shields, you can't get to the 55% LMC cap. Your LMC cap will be 53%. Weapons: Leafblade: This is our main weapon for solo encounters. Properties in order of importance: Mana Leech, Slayer (if neccessary), Damage Increase, Life Leech, Hit Lower Attack Lajatang: This is our secondary weapon for AoE (area of effect, attacking all monsters around you.) Properties in order of importance: Mana Leech, Slayer (if neccessary), Damage Increase, Life Leech, Hit Area Attack *Note on weapons: If you're making your first weapon, it'll just be a regular physical damage weapon. Later on you're going to want to make more weapons for each type of spawn you're doing. Using a Shadow Runic Hammer will get you 100% Elemental Damage. You'll learn more about what kind of weapons you need when you start playing and get a feel for what you're doing. *Note on 2 handed weapons: With 2-handed weapons we actually have a higher chance to parry an attack (with this template) over a 1-handed weapon (without a shield.) However, we can't drink any potions. Balanced is an item property allowing a player to drink potions with a 2-handed weapon. Unfortunately the trade-off is that, if you have a 2-handed Balanced weapon, you will not parry an attack. For this reason, you never want to use a 2-handed balanced weapon with this template. Abilities/Rotation: Armor Ignore / Feint Counter-Attack / Evasion / Confidence Enemy of One / Consecrate Weapon If you're reading this guide and already have a sampire, but never used Counter Attack then you're in for a treat. Counter attack will use whatever ability you have que'd (armor ignore, for example) on a successful parry. In other words, you can get a double armor ignore. Since we did our best not to put any DCI on our suit we will be parrying as much as possible. This will result in more damage done and more life leeched. In instances where you are killing many monsters at the same time (AoE) using your Double Axe (whirlwind) counter attack will go off almost constantly. The beauty of it is that if you start to miss with your regular hits, counter attack has your back and will go off when you need it most. Ever since I started using counter attack I've noticed that in big packs when I get really low on health and I'd normally die, a counter attack will go off saving my life. Use evasion at 50% health. If you're not using Evasion then Counter Attack should be up 100% of the time with an armor ignore ready to go off. If you start to drop below 50% health, back off and use confidence if you have the option to. If you're tanking something that hits like a truck, try to keep Feint up as much as possible. If you hear a dragon breath, or know some strong ability is coming, go ahead and use feint. Advanced Tactics (soulstones required): Anti-Life Leech Encounters: You have no choice here but to switch to whammy. Take off Vampiric Embrace and switch to Wraith form. Possibly switch your melee skill in favor of archery so you can kite. More than likely if you are a new player and you are at an encounter that has anti-life leech, then there will probably be other people with you. Healing also gives people looting rights. Be nice to those around you and they will heal you We don't run spirit speak on this template and I'm making these template variations as quick and easy as possible. Encounters with no spells: If you're not getting cursed, corpse skinned or blood oathed, it's more than likely you're in an encounter that doesn't require Resisting Spells. If you're going to be farming this for quite some time, you may want to stone off Resisting Spells and put on Anatomy in favor for more damage. I'm sure there's stuff I forgot so I'll probably be editing this later.