; edited by: Michael Hartman
; updated: 4/17/2012
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The meat shield. The sword-and-board wielder. The guy everyone else has to stay behind. Yes, that's you, the Templar of Aion. You've got what it takes to withstand huge amounts of damage, and you can deal out quite a bit of your own, as well.
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No ordinary mortal
Once you have completed the quest for Ascension and gained your wings, you'll find some big changes in your abilities. You can now equip plate armor and greatswords as additional gear.
You can still make great use of manastones and gear offering boosts to your Attack, Physical Crit, and Accuracy. Physical defense and Block are both useful for when you are tanking. Just the transition to plate will reduce your incoming damage noticeably, and stacking extra stats that further bulk up your defense will make you even more resilient.
As a Daeva, actively participating in combat will now build Divine Power (DP). This resource can be used for Morphing substances or for the faction-specific "Chastisement" ability. Knowing when to unleash your DP in combat can help you pull victory from the very jaws of defeat in certain battles.
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Rotation, Levels 10-12
With great power comes great responsibility, and as such, level 10 brings you some new abilities that will help you regain and hold your target's attention. Provoke is a taunt, useful in saving your healer or over-zealous Sorcerer. Shield Bash does just what you'd expect it to, and the "stagger" effect is great for interrupting both runners and healing mobs. You will also get a passive Winged Defensive ability and an upgraded Ferocious Strike.
When soloing mobs for questing and grinding, lead off with Weakening Severe Blow and Ferocious Strike; if Rage is not on cool down and procs from FS, use that ability to generate extra attack power. Otherwise, use Robust Blow as your chain skill. Trigger Shield Defense while your offensive abilities are on cool down and watch for Shield Counter to proc. Make sure to interrupt any attempts by your target to heal with your Shield Bash.
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Rotation, Levels 13-15
Level 13 brings you two passive abilities that boost your HP and your ability to generate threat, or enmity, on your targets. You will also gain an upgraded Robust Blow, and a new chain skill called Provoking Shield Counter that is triggered by your successful block. Your rotation will not change during these levels, and the same advice from Level 10 holds true here: start with your offensive abilities, use Shield Defense while they cool down, and watch for chain skills to become available.
Once you start leading parties, you may have situations where you have to tank 2 or more enemies at once. In this situation you will want to make sure to generate enmity with each target, and make good use of your Provoke ability if you need to stop a mob from attacking your less-armored party member. Marking your targets with a kill order will help your dps to stay on the right target and make the battle go smoother for everyone involved.
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Rotation, Levels 16-19
Sixteen is a big level for Templars, with the addition of 1 passive ability, 2 upgraded skills, and 2 brand-new ones. Boost Shield Defense improves your blocking. Rage and Weakening Severe Blow both get better, while Provoking Severe Blow and Shining Slash are added to your arsenal.
Now that you have two additional offensive abilities, you can try switching to a greatsword while soloing and ignoring the abilities that require a shield. You will undoubtedly burn through mobs faster, but you may find the trade off of increased incoming damage is not to your liking. You can also try utilizing the Switch Weapon ability (hot-keyed or clicked from your skill bar), leading off with a greatsword through the opening offensive moves, and then switching quickly to your 1h and shield in order to take advantage of Shield Defense. If you are tanking for a group, however, you should always have on your one-handed sword (or mace) and shield. Your healer will thank you for it.
Level 19 brings only one upgraded ability, and a new offensive chain skill in Wrath Strike. This one is new, however, in that also chains from a chain skill. You've seen how using Ferocious Strike gives you a choice between Rage and Robust Blow, but Robust Blow, when chosen, now will proc Wrath Strike.
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Leading a group
There is a well-known axiom among MMO players that says, "If the tank dies, it's the healer's fault. If the healer dies, it's the tank's fault. If the dps dies - it's their own damn fault."
While this is a pretty accurate general statement, there will always be situations where party members are lost even with the most heroic of efforts. Also, keep in mind that a wipe or difficult pull is rarely just one person's "fault," and throwing blame around will not make your party try harder in the future. It will only foster resentment and slow you all down.
Whenever possible, try to be a good group leader by encouraging people to relax, have fun, and develop their skills during these early levels. Admitting your own mistakes and following up with a revised strategy sets the tone for other players to do the same.
Beyond Ascension, your Daeva will choose a specialization. Excelling at your new party role requires attention to gear, manastones, stat boosts, and a solid rotation. This series of guides will give you the information you need to dominate the battlefield and succeed in your chosen party role.