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Rook 101 - Basics of Support and Tanking

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    Rook 101 - Basics of Support and Tanking

    Rook 101 - Basics of Support and Tanking

    Originally started when Rooks first came out, I’ve been slowly adding to this guide and now feel it’s complete enough to share. Subject to change as the class is still (relatively) new, but here’s everything you need to know about playing Rook for the time being.

    Disclaimer: baseline knowledge of how to play Soldier may be required for this guide. You’ll notice a lot of similarities and references to Soldiers, because Rooks are essentially just an alternate (and better) tank class with some really unique skills. Also keep in mind that when I say “Soldier,” I’m really talking about the defensive tank kind of build, and not a bruiser kind of build with high attack and/or rage slash. If you need a refresher on Soldiers, take a glance at Mirabelle's Soldier Guide.

    Table of Contents
    [I.] Class Overview
    [II.] Abilities Overview
    [III.] How to Play
    [IV.] Armor and Monsters
    [V.] Weapons
    [VI.] Afterword to Clerics

    [I.] Class Overview

    Rook is a class that excels at having extremely high defenses and survivability, along with several ways to support the rest of your team both in PvE and PvP. Their damage isn’t the highest, but their survivability is much higher than Soldier’s due to not having a class disadvantage and being able to stack defense stats much higher.

    In general, your main goal is to put out a slow but steady stream of damage with your two attacks, while being situationally aware enough to make the most out of the small healing they give. The rook-exclusive utilities you have are great for lots of different types of content, and mesh well with the role you’ll be fulfilling. You don’t have much burst damage, but in prolonged fights you can sustain a decent amount of damage while helping to keep your party alive.

    As far as utility goes, Rook looks at Soldier and says “how can I take this to the extreme?” Instead of reducing damage by lowering enemy attacks, Rook just stuns them so they can’t attack you. Instead of taking some of the damage received by your teammates, you just take all of it. This leads to your utility skills being very powerful, but also less versatile and harder to use effectively. Being a new class, you'll also have a much smaller pool of abilities to work with, but they more than make up for that with what they bring to the table.

    [II.] Abilities Overview

    Protection of Faith
    10s cooldown, 13 cost

    Skill description: Ability Power 120. Damages 1 enemy 2 times with a physical attack that uses DEF and MDEF.
    Added effect: Recovers 20% of your HP.
    Combo effect: When used after Balance of Life, increases the recovery percentage of additional effect to 30%.

    Balance of Life
    10s cooldown, 15 cost
    Skill description:
    Ability Power 120. Damages 1 enemy 2 times with a magical attack that uses DEF and MDEF.
    Added effect: Recovers the HP of all allies excluding yourself for 10% of their max HP.
    Combo effect: When used after Protection of Faith, increases the recovery percentage of additional effect to 20%.

    These are your main attacking abilities, with some nice healing utility on top. The cooldown is rather lengthy much like Soldier’s Dual Sword, but it takes quite a bit less cost to use. Do note that Balance of Life requires slightly more cost and hits with magical damage instead of physical.

    Keep in mind that you can combo one of these attacks into the other to increase the heal effect by 10%, making a fairly substantial heal for what is mainly an attacking skill. They both have the same cooldown, so you should be able to perfectly rotate these two skills to keep getting the combo bonus. The small heals are not necessarily going to replace a dedicated cleric, but it certainly will help them manage cooldowns, especially if you have more than one Rook in the party.

    Devoted Sacrifice
    20s cooldown, 15 cost
    Skill description: You receive the damage inflicted on all allies for 5 seconds.As only you take damage from both all-party and multiple-unit attacks, the damage received will increase with the number of targets the attacks are originally intended to hit.While this is in effect, your HP will not be reduced to 0.

    In PvE, this move shines in very difficult quests, especially if the monsters use % attacks or other heavy-hitting, party-damaging moves. If you react to those attacks, you can save your entire party from being one-shot. This is made somewhat redundant by ward/res, but if the content is hard enough that you need even more survivability, this ability has your back.

    In PvP, this skill is actually pretty useful for keeping your teammates alive. The best use I’ve found so far is in Colosseum, where you can use this skill right when your teammate is about to die or at the beginning of a round. Doing so gives your DPS teammates some extra time to pick off the opponents, since they’ll tend to die fairly quickly if their defenses aren’t up to snuff. This can hugely shift the momentum of a round, and if you have a cleric that knows what they’re doing (most don’t, sorry) they’ll be able to time their heal correctly after your invincibility runs out.

    If you have a few rooks in a party, you can chain this ability one after the other for a pretty huge window of nobody being able to die (even infinitely), but that requires some decent teamwork.

    White Charm
    60s cooldown, 20 cost

    Skill description: Applies your buffs to all allies (with exceptions to buffs that cannot be removed with balancing).

    This skill is odd because it can really rely on your teammates bringing a buff for you to share, but there are a few ways to make it useful on your own. It has some wacky uses in PvP, such as giving everyone massive hp buffs or life steal to help with survivability without actually using heals. It can also be used to share opening skill effects such as ATK up, which is fantastic if you have good opening skills on your armors or weapons. Probably not worth using in normal quests, though.

    Blunt Stun
    6s cooldown, 10 cost

    Skill description: Ability Power 180. Damages 1 enemy with physical damage.
    Added effect: Stuns the targets at success of 60 points.

    Blunt stun is in the weird position of being a ATK-scaling ability on a class that really doesn’t care about their ATK stat. Even if you did build ATK, it’s going to do significantly less damage than your other attacks would with a proper build.

    The main draw is in the 60% stun chance, which when applied causes the enemy to fail the next skill they use. As a utility, it seems to be fairly useful in PvE for fighting big bosses. With low cost and low cooldown, you can easily spam it and block half of the opponent’s attacks. Just keep in mind that a lot of big bosses (such as raid monsters) have higher resistance to status effects, or can’t be affected by the stun at all.

    In PvP, I doubt this ability will ever see use except as a joke.

    If Rook ever gets solid abilities that scales with ATK, I can totally see people running this as one of their main attacks, but as of now I feel that it’s more of a gimmicky utility. Powerful, but unreliable and with fairly niche uses.

    [III.] How to Play

    The main point I’d like to stress is that Rook is not a pure damage dealing class. They are first and foremost a support/tank hybrid, with some decent but very slow damage output on the side. It’s very important to not mindlessly spam Protection of Faith and Balance of Life, as doing so wastes the valuable healing effects that make them worthwhile.

    To maximize the healing on your attacks, you need to play somewhat like a cleric, seeing what attack is coming up and then pre-casting your healing move (which happens to also be an attack). The easiest way to do this is to use Protection of Faith as your main attacking skill (as it has lower cost), and then patiently wait for the monster to use a party-hitting attack before following up with your Balance of Life. You should be able to heal the entire party after about half of the monster’s attacks by doing this, and if you’re extra smart about it you can keep yourself topped up at the same time. In general though, you’re going to have the highest defenses in the party, so be sure to look out for the rest of your team!

    It’s also very important to watch what your Cleric does and act accordingly. Supplementing their heals is worthless if they’re going to max heal everyone anyways, so be smart about it. Know when dignity is on cooldown so you can heal your party in times of crisis. If it’s a fast-hitting boss, recognize that the cleric probably can’t keep 5 people healed for extended periods of time, so top yourself up and rely on your high defenses to keep you going while your Cleric focuses on the rest of the party. They have a much harder job than you, so play around them instead of making them guess what you’re going to do next.

    Rook healing is especially useful for handling Ether Exchange use, status effects such as bleed (Berserkers!) and poison, as well as any party with more than 5 people in it (raids!). It may not be much, but don’t underestimate it. Your cleric will thank you… or, more likely, ignore you and uselessly heal everyone you worked so hard to protect anyways.
    Last edited by Desperer; 05-17-2018, 04:36 PM.
    Des | 2132847289

    [IV.] Armors and Monsters

    Because your main attacks scale exclusively with DEF/MDEF, defensive gear is going to be your best friend as a Rook. Max out your defensive slots and wear as many pieces as you can. Unlike other classes, Rooks can freely wear all four types of defensive gear (Hats, Helmets, Clothing and Armor) without any drawback. Feel free to mix and match with whatever your best equipment is.

    The armor skills you want are generally the same as other classes, and I strongly advise you to read SciSensei's phenomenal Defensive Gears Guide. If you don't have time for that, here's a quick summary taken straight from the guide:

    Originally posted by SciSensei View Post
    • Physical and Magical Null Damage are great and one should be placed in each Main slot (Subslot as well if Skill 7)
    • Damage Down is stronger than Reflect due to the abundance of Barrier Based Defenses
    • Damage Down is even more powerful when Constants, Barrier, and specifically Guard are active
    • Reflect is stronger than Damage down if you use Mirror Guard
    • Constant Defensive Gears are Overpowered and should always be used, HP UP is mediocre at best
    • Opener effects should be used in PvP
    • The “Best” way to obtain a 5-Infused Weapon is through having 7 Ethers and 1 Duplicate
    • If you use Barrier or Guard, use Damage Down Gear
    • If you use Mirror Guard or Reflect Openers, use Reflect Gear
    In addition to the above, keep in mind that opening skills such as Health Regen and HP Boost can be passed to your teammates with White Charm, making them solid options for supportive PvP builds.

    Monsters are the same deal - aim for DEF/MDEF monsters only, unless you’re bringing them for their utility. You’re generally going to want to max out your monster slots for maximum defenses, but it might be worth replacing a monster or two with a weapon slot for more weapon procs. I don’t recommend it since it can reduce your defensive stats significantly, but if you have a lot of good Rook weapons, feel free to try it.

    [V.] Weapons

    As you may know, the Rook class has great passives that boost the stats of Book and Sword type gear by 20%. Sounds great, right?

    Now that you’ve got that piece of information in your brain, lock it away and completely ignore it. Those passives exist solely to boost your gear score on the stat screen and show off. The only real benefit you get from higher ATK/MATK stats is slightly higher unison damage, but if you’re playing Rook then you probably shouldn’t be expecting much damage there anyways.

    Instead, we’re going to focus on what DOES matter for Rook - and that is procs. Don’t be afraid to use weapons that are not swords or books, because regardless of what weapon the skill is on, the proc works the same. In fact, most of the best Rook skills are found on bows.

    Below is a list of every weapon skill that I deem useful for a Rook, in a somewhat loose order of importance:

    Almighty Seal - Split AP boost + cost recovery.
    This is Attack Testament and Cost Recovery rolled into one, and both of those procs are great for Rooks. If you have these, use them without question.

    Assault Blessing - Split AP boost + cooldown reduction.
    Cooldown on your attacks is REALLY long. This skill helps a ton for pumping out more damage and heals.

    Assault Testament (Reliance) - Split AP boost, with an extra AP boost for your two main attacks.
    This is basically a straight upgrade of Attack Testament.

    Attack Testament - Split AP boost.
    The baseline of a good Rook proc. Identical to Physical/Magical testament, but procs on both of your attacks.

    Fatal Testament - Guarantees a crit.
    Works for both of your attacks, and can be worth having one of if you’re short on other skills. Don’t use more than one, because getting a double fatal proc is useless and your weapon slots are precious.

    Cost Recovery - Recovers 5 cost.
    Rook abilities use up a lot of cost, so these help keep you from running out. Low stats on these aren’t an issue for Rooks. Definitely keep them at SSR to save cost, since the skill doesn’t get any better when reforged. However, keep in mind they can get in the way of damage procs.

    Opening ATK Up XL- Increase ATK and MATK by 20% for first 30 seconds of battle.
    Situational, but can be very good in PvP when paired with White Charm.
    Below are a couple notable omissions that you should not be using if you can help it:

    Fatal Psalm - Guarantees a crit + 5k heal
    This skill is just a lower proc rate version of Fatal Testament with a very minor heal attached. Your attacks already heal you, and 5k hp is nothing, so don’t bother with it.

    Attack Testament (Constant) - Slightly increases all damage done
    These do benefit you a little, since your attacks are multi-hit and this will proc on both of them, but… it’s a pretty small increase in damage, and you probably won’t have very many weapons equipped, so active procs are much more important. I don’t recommend this one.

    Physical/Magical Testament - Physical/Magical AP boost.
    These will only proc on one of your attacks, since you’re attacking with either magical and physical damage depending on which attack you use. They’re not absolutely horrible as filler weapons if you have nothing better, but it effectively cuts your proc rate in half. Replace these ASAP.
    Because Rook is so focused on high DEF/MDEF, you probably won’t equip very many weapons, so make the skills on them really count. Weapon skills make or break this class, and the really good skills are hard to get. On the upside though, Rooks don’t equip many weapons, so you won't have to get too many of these somewhat rare gear pieces.

    [VI.] Afterword to Clerics

    One of Rook’s main jobs is to make the Cleric’s life easier, but it’s very hard to do so if the Cleric isn’t aware of how to play around a Rook. Here’s some advice for the clerics out there, from an exasperated Rook who has to deal with too many uninformed Clerics.

    Please learn how to time your heals when a Rook uses Devoted Sacrifice. It lasts five seconds. Watch for the Rook to use it, wait about four seconds, and then time your heal to go off right before Devoted Sacrifice runs out. It’s usually not worth healing the Rook before it runs out, because they’ll just take more damage and go back to 1hp anyways. If you don’t heal them when Devoted Sacrifice runs out… well, I hope you appreciated their noble sacrifice, but they’ll be very pissed off.

    Next, don’t always feel the need to heal small scrapes, poison/bleed damage, or ether exchange usage. This stuff will naturally heal as the Rook attacks, especially if they’re paying attention to their healing. Sometime it’s okay for you to save your cooldowns and cost for damage that actually matters, and let us handle the little stuff. Use your best discretion for this one, it’ll come naturally to you if you practice.

    Finally, be observant! This really applies to you even without a Rook in the party, but don’t just watch health bars and be done with it. Watch for what skills your teammates are using. Be aware of when they use utility skills, especially Devoted Sacrifice. It takes a little extra effort on your part, but it will make you a better healer in the long run.
    Last edited by Desperer; 05-17-2018, 04:34 PM.
    Des | 2132847289


      Nemurerumori for guidance on how Rook is used in GvG and general info
      SciSensei for teaching me the confusing world of Archer (and now Rook?) procs

      If you have any questions or suggestions, post 'em!
      Des | 2132847289


        Great guide, thanks for taking the time to make it! One thing I’m curious about, what do you think of the vol Rena blessing? On one hand it’s +20% to the attack stats which definitely sounds op but on the other it takes up main slots for subpar phys test and dmg down L. Im wondering how good it is on a scale of “always equip” to “trash”.
        Moon • 2106132572
        F2P Rook/Cleric/Soldier


        • Desperer
          Desperer commented
          Editing a comment
          I don't think it's really worth using. The physical testament in mainslot is a real hit to your procs, and defensively you're almost certainly better off using null gear.

        Thanks Desperer for taking your time to write the guide. It's well written and really helpful.
        Could you possibly sticky this thread like with all the other class guides Ateam Admin?


          Heart of Vitality proc and Heaven's Breath is my personal favorite.
          With these, Rook that boast highest HP pool will even get higher maxHP.
          Adding White Charm and whole party got the maxHP buff too, the drawback is you takes up an ability slot(or two if using white charm too).

          Last colo i'm running HB, Charm, PoF and BoL, it looks weird but surviving party member instantly got really high hp pool thanks to HB+Charm.
          And sometimes in a quest, i'm running Blunt Stun, HB, White Charm and 1 utility if i know my party member is already hits hard to help their survivability.
          Agaim, there's ofc a drawback with this. HB and Charm has ridiculously long CD, and max HP can be balanced.

          Reason i'm not a big PoF and BoL in a quest is first because mostly other people only have 90~120k hp. means BoL only heals for 18~24k.
          Sure it can cover 2/3 of Fanatic Soul or EE, but well, it's just my personal taste. Second is because i don't have slot(yet) to bring more than 4 weapons to max out my Elemental Advantage, so my damage is quite low.

          Lastly, i found out that Rook is really good bringing party support ability like Cheer, Balance, Refresh, PL etc, because we know many people don't like bringing it for some reason.
          So i given up my damage stuffs and let them do the damage while i become the support bringing cheer, blunt stun, and 2 skill that i always change depending on quest like
          Devoted Sacrifice, Mass Refresh, Balance, HB+Charm, PL, etc.
          Last edited by Greape; 05-20-2018, 04:51 PM.
          | ID: 2038031708 |

          PS : Will steal ur cookies while u r asleep :3


          • Cherif
            Cherif commented
            Editing a comment
            Have fun at mobius :>

          • Exifea
            Exifea commented
            Editing a comment
            Since you're running Vitality procs I'd suggest running Life Up over Heaven's Breath. Similar HP Boost, shorter cooldown and less hp 'lost' in case of a double-proc.

          • HotMessExpress
            HotMessExpress commented
            Editing a comment
            This is especially nice since the rook heals are percentages. With 600% of a normal hp bar you do 6x as much healing

          In regards to PvP as a rook, I do want to bring up that using Sacrifice does prevent unison use and should be used with consideration. I've used it at the start of a round that someone used unison on and it didn't end soon enough for me to trigger my own unison in time.