The High Elf Swordmaster
This tank relies on Elven agility and combo moves combined with their enchantable Great Sword to battle their foes and protect their friends. Starting in normal Balance, the Swordmaster can use special attacks to progress to Perfect Balance where they can unleash some of their most powerful moves.

In addition to their Balance moves, the Swordmaster can also enchant their Great Sword with various effects including:
  • a 25% chance to steal random stats points from the enemy and grant them to the Swordmaster for 10 seconds
  • a 25% chance to remove 50 Morale from your target (morale is built by being in combat and can unlock certain abilities during combat)
With the Wrath of Hoeth ability, the Swordmaster can also release the enchantment on their blade in "a staggering explosion that deals damage to all opponents within 30 feet and reducing their Spiritual resistance for 10 seconds." Considering most of the Swordmaster's special attacks are Spirit-based, it's quite the combo effect.

The three Mastery paths for the Swordmaster are Khaine (offense), Vaul (defense) and Hoeth (magical attacks.) The Path of Khaine unlocks, among other things, a Career Tactic that increases your crit chance by 10% while you have Improved Balance and 20% while you have Perfect Balance. The Ether Dance ability allows you to strike five times in three seconds if you already have Perfect Balance.

The Path of Vaul unlocks a similar Career Tactic, but this one grants +5% to Block and Parry while in Improved Balance and +10% for Perfect Balance. Another Career Tactic unlock is Vaul's Buffer:

On a successful Block, Parry, Dodge or Disrupt you will absorb x amoung of damage over the next 10 seconds. This effect will not trigger more than once every 3 seconds.

The Path of Hoeth's Career Tactic unlock will increase the chances of your Blade Enchantments to trigger to 50%. You also get access to the Aethyric Armor buff which extends your Greatblade's enchantment to your armor, increasing your armor and your chance to Disrupt (resist a spell).

An overview of the first few levels of the career shows some of the basics of the Swordmaster and a deeper explanation of their Balance chains.

A word on Order tanks
Tanks are generally rare compared to other classes and well loved in most MMOs as the key figure in groups. However, if you want a special level of endless attention and adoration, we recommend flying directly to the Empire (Human) starting area from the nearest RvR Warcamp. The Empire race doesn't have a tank class and will welcome you with open arms.
Warhammer Online Coverage Did you enjoy this? Make sure to check out our other exclusive Elves of War features and all of our previous Warhammer Online features. Plus, don't miss any of our ongoing coverage as Massively goes to WAR!

This article was originally published on Massively.
Basic team dynamics in City of Heroes