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Score : 4933

Genn's How to tank with Pandawa

By Enceladon - MEMBER - July 01, 2018, 16:42:34
A) Introduction
A friendly welcome to my guide “How to tank as a Pandawa?“.
First, I have to say that I still learn english so if I do big mistakes, please correct me, if they aren't that big, please ignore.
Second, maybe some information about me, my name is Genn, I am a Pandawa main for approximately 3.5 years now and enjoy this class, especially as a tank, but a lot as an allrounder too. I was a tank Pandawa already in Moon meta, where people told me that I was just an idiot to don't take a Feca, but well, it worked well enough for me, besides one boss on Moon, but I will talk about that later.


 Some warnings:
  • I still try to improve my Pandawa and I think there is all the time room to improve, so I don't claim to be correct with my way of tanking, if you find something to definitely improve in my guide, just tell me.
  • I didn't played high stasis in Zinit and Moon yet, so I can't say how good that work, maybe if you get some experience with it, please tell me.
  • This won't be a full guide for Pandawa, I won't explain all spells and passives, only what I think is necessary. Hopefully if you read that, you already know some basics of Pandawa, so this won't be only a giant block of text for you without any meaning. This isn't enough for a total beginner of Pandawa.
  • Sorry, if I get sometimes too offtopic …
  • I am really sorry because of the wall of text, I will try to update it and maybe I will make a short version, who knows...
  • This isn't fully updated yet, because of the recent changes with the boss affixes, but I try to take them in this guide as much as possible.

What Pandawa offers as a tank?
  • FUN: ok, maybe only my personal point of view, but it never gets boring, you have to manage your WP, manage your armor, do some positioning, decide when to change states in the cycle (especially from worn-out to sobber) and play with the map, the mechanics of the boss and especially with the team
  • relatively team independent tanking after the first critical turns (especially the first turn, where you will probably get the most damage for the whole fight)
  • a big variation of tools to tank bosses like stabilize, damage mitigation, armor, selfheal, positioning (if the boss is carryable)

Is Pandawa better as a tank than Feca?
It is probably (!!!) not, maybe they are on par (I don't think so), but probably (really sure!) Feca is a more powerful tank, because a tank, which can still buff a lot while investing only a small amount of AP for it's tankyness is really strong, if he can support the team really well. Besides that Feca have options to remove MP efficiently and directly reduce the Final damage of the boss, which are both big weak points of Pandawa. The only part where I think Pandawas can be on par with Fecas is their permanent selfhealing and the big amounts of armor and damage mitigation on themself. In most cases when I tank with a Pandawa, I don't need healing from other players and on some bosses, I regain more HP than I lost each turn (after the point where the tank mechanics of Pandawa stabilize), so Pandawa is good as an independent tank, which only need support in the first rounds. Another good points are the option to give the team backstab while changing the rotation of the boss, if he don't want to give backstab, and the ability to position boss and other mobs/allies in same turn while tanking.So let's start!

B )Basics

What stats to prefer?

Well, this question is first pretty obvious, take as much resistance as you can, take some barrier in skillpoints, as much as you think you get hit per turn from a boss, so approximately 3 – 5. Try to improve your Health Points pool as much as possible (Rock passive is an option but not necessary). WP are really helpful too, but because of the slow regeneration of WP, you don't have extremely use of improving your WP pool, but you definitely shouldn't decrease your WP pool.
Melee mastery is pretty helpful for tanking, because it improves your six roses armor (only influenced from earth, melee and single target mastery). If you can go full general mastery (only elemental masteries) without big drawbacks (only really available with 200 gear) that is a really good alternative too. You will need a lot of lock and dodge, at best both in huge amounts. Block is really useful too, but remember that you get 20 block for free in worn-out. Force of will is for everyone always a bit useful, because of the chance to resist AP/MP remove, but for own removing, only Lactic Acid is an option to use this stat, but because of some reason, this spell is not really useful for that, better bring another class that can help you removing MP, if you need it.For AP and MP, I think 12AP is a must have, because you need to stack a lot of dizzy, best options in my opinion are 12AP/6MP or 13AP/5MP in my opinion.

What passives to use?
(passives that aren't that valuable in my opinion, aren't in the list)

Master of Merriment (must have): The bonuses for becoming merry and worn-out first time after changing the merriment state, are really useful (2AP(merry), 2MP(worn-out), only 1 for unevolved passive), but the most interesting thing for us is: If the Pandawa consumes 15 lvl of dizzy, get 1WP and 5% max HP heal (2% unevolved). This is one of two ways to regenerate WP and both are not that fast, keep that in mind.

Aggressive Barrel (sometimes useful, especially in 13AP/5MP build): Even if the 10% damage (5% unevolved) inflicted while carrying a barrel is not the most needed for a tank, the cost reduction of Karchamrak on barrel to 1AP can help to get the nice amount of lock from the spell and the additional 1 range of Karchamrak's throw ability is nice to have.

Bottomless Barrel (must have): The increased liters of barrel (50%, 25% unevolved) is extremly useful, if you use Pandemic passive for damage reduction. Additionally they help if you have a barrel on the field for the passive dizzy from Milky Instinct. Besides that, the passives offers that if you are facing the barrel at end of turn, while you don't carry something, you carry the barrel. Notice that this don't trigger bonus resistance by Pandemic (I have to recommend my several complains about Pandawa bugs at this point). Best part is the 12% heal of lost HP (6% unevolved), if you carry the barrel.

Milky Instinct (must have): Every time the Pandawa consumes dizzy, for each level consumed they get a specific amount of Preparation, which is a plain final damage buff for the next used spell.
More interesting for us Pandawa tanks is that barrels on the battleground applies dizzy in a 2 range AoE around the barrel at Pandawa's start of turn (8 dizzy, 4 dizzy unevolved). This is pretty useful to generate armor with Pandawhack/Six Roses. Besides that it offers the second way to generate WP. You get 2WP every time you get sobber after having a worn-out turn. Super cool on us WPholics.

Rock (really useful for full tank): (165+ version) 60% additional base health points are a huge amount and work really good together with Bottomless Barrel and Pandemic, because it increase the liters of the barrels and it increases the armor of Bamboozle active spell. Besides that it offers 25% heals received. Downside: -25% damage inflicted and -50 heals performed … you are a full tank now, nothing besides that and positioning.

Pandemic (really useful/maybe must have): 60resistance (20 unevolved), if you carry something (ally, enemy, barrel). Additionally 20% of damage get redirected to the carried barrel, while carrying a barrel. Downside: -10% damage inflicted
FUN Fact: The 20% damage that pandemic transfers on the Pandawas barrel is transferred before using the Pandawas resistance and instead take the barrels resistance.

 The lock passive Interception is an option, but because of the already a lot needed passives, I don't often use it myself. Bambottle is an option, but I personally don't like to use it, because the -180 dodge or -180 Lock can sometimes be really annoying and only for casting Ether for 1WP instead of 2AP 1WP, I don't think it is worth it.

What spells are really useful for tanking ?
(spells I can't justify much, aren't in the list)

Water

Splash of Milk (4AP, 4 dizzy, single target): useful to apply dizzy on a target and has decent damage, besides that it offers a heal glyph that heals at start of turn, if you cast it on a barrel, which should stabilize the barrel (BUGGED: don't stabilize), the heal occurs at start of turn if you (yourself, ally, enemy) are on the glyph.

Milk Fountain (5AP 1MP, 6 dizzy, AoE): Useful to get dizzy on more than one target, can be cast on a target even with allies around, because it don't hurt them; can pull if cast on barrel in a big cross shape, the extra dizzy for the MP is nice to have, but I rarely use this spell because of limited space.

Fire

Flaming Burp (2AP, consumes dizzy, AoE): Consumes dizzy and reduce resistance of hit targets by 7 per dizzy on level 200. This can be used for regenerating WP and support damage turn of allies. Not often used while tanking, because you will need your dizzy for Pandawhack/Six Roses.

Dairy Springer (2AP, 2 dizzy, AoE): A jump that let you teleport 2 cells away in all directions without line of sight that apply dizzy and has some damage, why should anybody don't want something like this? And it applies scalded, not sure if anybody cares about that, especially on a tank.

Explosive Flask (4AP, 4dizzy, 6 dizzy while throwing, AoE): This spell don't seem to be that useful on first view, but it has some awesome effect, because it give 2 dizzy while throwing a target. So you can reposition the boss with it(if he can get carried) without losing the loved 1 dizzy per AP. It is awesome, because every dizzy can sometimes matter. Well, maybe more my point of view, it isn't really needed.
 
Earth (our obvious tank spell-tree)

Triple Whammy (2AP, 2dizzy, single target): Applies dizzy, good damage, can push 2 cells without carrying barrel and has 2 range more with barrel and then can pull 2 cells. Pretty useful, but if you can carry the boss, it is not really needed.

Pandawhack/Six Roses (4AP, consumes dizzy, if barrel is carried; if not 4 dizzy, single target): Great spell, your main armor generating spell and your main WP generating spell. On level 200 it armors for 15HP earth per level of dizzy consumed, which is a HUGE amount. It generates WP with the Master of Merriment passive. Besides that it applies flaming on you. By the way, you can use dizzy on allies to generate armor, but ask polite before.
 Bash Barrel (2AP, 2 dizzy, AoE): This spell is one of our must have tank spells. For 2 AP, you get once per turn a buff called Bash Barrel that add to you your character level in lock and a scaling amount of resistance up to 40 once per turn, if you cast Bash Barrel while carrying the barrel. Besides that it has a better damage/AP ratio than most other AoE spells. It applies scalded too. Additionally applies dizzy and has a handy circle melee AoE, are there reasons to advertise it more? ( spin to win … spin … to … win) 

Lactic Acid (4AP, 4 dizzy): This spell looks good at start, but this spell was so often not useful for me while tanking that I got a broken heart and don't use it anymore. No bonus dizzy or damage while throwing a target, 6AP cost to remove average 1MP( Karchamrak+Lactic Acid), which is really not much. Well, the shape is cool and it can be useful for damage with carried barrel, but that is not really useful for us Pandawa tankers.

Blisskrieg (6AP 1WP, 7 dizzy, huge AoE): Applies scalded (who cares?), has a huge amount of damage in a big AoE (+10% when the barrel is carried) and it applies a teleport to the center of the attack if the barrel is carried, because of the WP cost, it is not really good for tanking, but if you need a huge amount of dizzy on several targets and some teleport besides that, this spell is cool to have.

Active spells

Barrel (2AP): 20% of Pandawa's max HP = liters
Cannot be healed and are limited to 2 barrels per Pandawa.Take no matter what. The reasons should be obvious until now.The barrel gets your resistance at summoning, so you can create more tanky barrels if you have higher resistance at that moment. Your barrel don't get your block and cannot lock. Barrels are linked to Pandawas. You can't carry a barrel of another Pandawa. You don't need control for them.

Karchamrak (2AP/1AP with passive, 0 AP throwing): Take no matter what. Reasons should be pretty obvious. I don't think a whole explanation is needed.

Bamboozle (2AP 1 WP): I am in love with this spell, in the same way like Pandawhack/Six Roses. If cast on yourself, you gain 10% of your max HP as a temporary armor for a turn and -20% damage suffered in close combat, this is a lot, if you have a huge HP pool and can be enough with good resistances to don't get broken, if your resistance is high enough, but the WP is costing a lot. So if you want to regenerate a WP with Pandawhack for which you need 15 stacks of dizzy, which you can only generate and consume in two turns, you need sometimes an armor for the turn building up dizzy, so Bamboozle is best choice there. If used correctly, you can create a self sustaining system with cycling it.
On allies this spell can apply a 10% max HP heal triggering in 3 consecutive turns at start of the allies turn. Cast on barrel, it pushes 3 cells away everything 1 tile away from the barrel, this is only useful if all planets align, maybe used it myself 3 times in the last 2 years for that.

Ether (2AP 1WP, 1WP with Bambottle passive): Cast on an ally, stabilize the ally and give 2MP for 1 turn. Additionally cannot be locked. Same for yourself, but you don't get the „can no longer be stabilized“ effect, which can be useful.
On enemies, it stabilizes and the enemy can't lock.
Really useful, I often use it, if I know that I could need it.

Barrelhop (1WP): teleports to a cell in a circle around the barrel, but needs line of sight. It additionally applies scaled in AoE to enemies and give your character level in dodge. Why should anybody don't want it?

How to generate more lock in fight?

There are three ways to get more lock in the fight:
1.) Bash Barrel (2AP Earth spell): give once per turn up to 200 lock (scaling with level) and up to 40 resistance once per turn. Bread and butter spell.
2.) Flaming (from Pandawhack/Six Roses and Light my Fire (don't think about using it, because it don't generate dizzy)): Flaming give some lock, but it is normally a really small amount and scales poorly with level.
3.) Karchamrak: Using Karchamrak to carry a target (barrel, ally, enemy) give you your character level in lock once per turn. Pretty useful.

C) Strategies

Where to place additional barrel?

The advantage of having a barrel in 2 range to a boss is that it give at start of turn 8 dizzy (4 under level 150) with the must-have passive for Pandawa tanking Milky Instinct (must have only with level 2 of this passive), which let you have a lot easier control of your armor of Pandawhack/Six Roses and your WP regeneration. (If you wonder, why I wrote Pandawhack/Six Roses, it is the same spell but different names, I prefer the old Six Roses, but this goes too far away from the topic.)
With the newly introduced boss affixes, we have the situation that bosses remove all summons in a 5 tiles circle around the boss every 6th turn starting on turn 7 so turn 7, 13, 19, 25, ... , when the boss start his turn. That includes carried barrels so if we want to have the option to have a barrel in that turns while we stay in the 5 tiles circle around the boss, we shouldn't summon a barrel in the previous turn because of the cooldown, so better not summoning a new barrel in turn 6, 12, 18, 24, ... ,if we say that the boss has more Init than the Pandawa, which should be nearly always the case. Moreover, this results in the boss destroying additional placed barrels, so we consider it to not waste barrels.
Well, there are different situations, which decide, where to put your additional barrel, if you have one carried barrel, and can summon another one, without needing to exchange your carried barrel because of low life of the barrel.
  • Boss that can't target the cell behind you or reach this cell with an AoE: Put the barrel behind you. Advantage: It makes you immune to pushs in this direction too.
  • Boss that usually don't attack barrel: Behind you, if you want or you can even consider blocking his walking path with it. Keep in mind that the barrel block line of sight for allies, but for the boss too.
  • Else: Better don't waste barrels for trying to get some extra dizzy on the boss. You can put it far away if you need to use sometimes Barrelhop to help team and then run back to the boss to tank (should happen not often).


When to use WP and how to regenerate WP?

First of all, the two ways to regenerate WP on Pandawa are both bound to passives. To sum it up, if you have Master of Merriment passive and if you consume 15 stacks of dizzy, you regenerate one WP, for example with Flaming Burp or Six Roses/Pandawhack. The other way is changing from worn-out to sober give you 2 WP.
WP is one of our strongest resources. Planning with it give you big advantages. Always try to not spend much of them, if you are not sure that you can regenerate them fast. Having no WP left is definitely not good(if you can't regenerate a WP this turn).
If you are tanky enough to can change every turn a state in merry, worn-out and sober cycle without a risk, do it for WP regeneration. You then additionally have most of the advantages of Master of Merriment passive.If you have a continuously drain of WP each turn for example because you need to be permastabilized with ether, try to plan ahead when you can go in sober to get WP regenerated.
For the WP regeneration of Six Roses/Pandawhack, there are some strategies to use it efficiently.If you can't consume 15 dizzy this turn to regenerate a WP and get a huge armor with Six Roses/Pandawhack, you can use a WP for Bamboozle, which give you an ok amount of armor this turn, but offers you the possibility of a 15 dizzy Six Roses/Pandawhack next turn, so you nullify the WP cost of the Bamboozle in the previous turn and you get a big armor for that. An alternative to that would be to use a Pandawhack every turn resulting in always same strong armor, but you can't generate armor spikes with 15 dizzy this way, if you want every turn some armor. If you can take some hits even without armor, you can use the consumption of 15 dizzy not only to compensate the bamboozle WP cost instead to get WP back for other uses.

 When to change spot in merry, worn-out and sober cycle?

For decisions about changing spot in the merry, worn-out and sober cycle, we have to consider two different factors: WP regeneration and Pandemic passive
First obvious question to this topic is „Why even change from worn-out to sober?“, if you don't have to do it. The Milky Instinct Passive give you 2WP back if you go from worn-out to sober, which is already a big enough reason to consider it sometimes, because WP are one of our most valuable ressources, giving us free tanky turns with Bamboozle spell, a really handy teleport (Barrelhop) or Ether for stabilizing. Pandemic only let us transfer damage to our barrel, if we carry a barrel, so some state changes can be tricky, because they sometimes need you to not carry the barrel at end of turn.
SIDENOTE: You can be infinitly long in sober and you only change to merry if you carry the barrel at the end of turn. You can stay at maximum 5 turns in merry until you get worn-out. You can get worn-out because of not carrying a barrel at end of turn too in merry state. Then you can only stay 5 turns in worn-out too until you go to sober automatically.
In this topic I will try to suggest some strategies to give you better control of the merry, worn-out and sober cycle.
1.) Try to always carry a barrel at the end of a sober turn. Tank Pandawas don't profit from the range buff, so obvious decision.
2.) The AP buff of merry can be sometimes helpful and if you don't need to have maximum resistance or the extra MP to survive easily or be in another way useful, you should expand your time in merry until WP regeneration let you chose to go fast through worn-out and sober. Especially/Mainly if you are one of those tank Pandawas without rock that can do decent damage while tanking.
3.) If you change from merry to worn-out with not carrying the barrel, keep in mind that you lose the 20% damage mitigation of Pandemic to barrel and the resistance bonus of that passive (if you don't carry something), but get enough resistance to compensate that and some bonus block for this state change, so this isn't your weakest spot in the cycle. In this turn it can be useful to plan where you put your barrel to get as much advantages from it as possible. Maybe look in the „Where to place additional barrels?“ part of this guide for some ideas.
4.) If you plan to change from worn-out to sober before it goes naturally from turn 5 worn-out to sober even carrying a barrel, for example for WP regeneration. Then you will notice that your tankyness will go down a lot. You lose the 20% damage reduction by Pandemic, the resistance bonus of that passive (if you don't carry something) and the 100 resistance from worn-out, so you should at best have a full charged Six Roses/Pandawhack armor at the end of this turn. Bash barrel's 40 resistance as every turn too.

How to get backstab for allies?

Let's get into a scenario. You are a Tank-Pandawa and there are some allies behind you in the turn order. Suddenly, the boss don't want to give them backstab (so less damage from the allies on the boss). How dare he?
No problem, you have a tool against that: Karchamrak. If an ally/enemy is carried by the Pandawa, it don't lose its facing direction. If you then rotate around your axis (looking directly in the opposite direction is still a rotation) the carried ally/enemy rotate with you. So for example if you pick up the boss and then turn around and put him on the ground again, he is facing the opposite side. Although easy in theory, it can be tricky and confusing sometimes. If you need your ressources (AP/MP) for tanking, then you better shouldn't use them for just giving backstab, besides that some classes like Osa or Masq can do that just with damage spells.

Because a (maybe) confusing explanation is not enough, here is a picture to show how it works.
(upper side from left to right, then bottom from left to right)

Classes that in my experience work very good with Pandawa tank (I don't know all good supporters for Pandawa tanks):
- Ecaflip, because of the Fleeflee spell, the additional WP regeneration can help the Pandawa a lot and give him more freedom in investing his WP.
- Eliotrope, because it give the Pandawa with boss more distance to the team with portals, but this is obviously a good choice for all versions of tanking.
- Pandawa, because another ranged Pandawa can target the boss and the Pandawa both with Milk Fountain, giving dizzy support for Pandawa. Additionally if there are enough stacks of dizzy on the Pandawa, you can heal him a lot, if you don't use Poisoned Chalice Passive. Other spells to give the boss more dizzy is helppful too, so the tank can regenerate faster his WP or get higher armors from Six Roses/Pandawhack.
- Eniripsa, because of the Regeneration spell that give resistance to the Pandawa while getting hit, overall is every form of resistance support welcomed that helps to reduce the low res spikes when you are forced to go in sobber or merry or can't carry something to get the pandemic resistance bonus.
- … other classes ...

 Bosses for Moon and Zinit that work well with tank Pandawa and bosses that don't work well from my personal experience (lower dungeons are excluded because they don't need a tank that much):
(not update for the boss affixes yet!)

Surprisingly good and/or fun to play:
Kanniball (Kannilooni)
Koko Rico
Gengas Kin

Good to OK:
Tropical (Koko the Nutt)
Crocs (Nyl King)
Ethernals (Ashdragon, but really, here is a tank not that needed, but Pandawa with high Init helps a lot for the team)
Dreggon (Ancient Egg/Minibulia)
most Zinit archbosses
Dandy Mos Croc

OK to bad:
Sham Moon
Badgers (Badgewitch the Furiox)


Extremly bad (maybe doable with some teleport positioning support (I envy Feca for that!, let us take her by the root and throw her)):
Carnivore (Grozepin)

D) Last words

I hope I could excite you like me for Pandawa tanking, if you don't think about making one, then at least give Pandawa tanks sometimes the chance to proof that they can be useful, if they ask for the chance to tank. I hope you didn't need much booze to survive this wall of text. If you have questions, I will try to answer them (if I missed a really important question, I try to add it to the main post).

Have a nice day.
Genn


1st july 2018

Update log:
3rd july 2018: added Bash Barrel, how could I forget it?!!
4th july 2018: threw a dictionary on the post, added backstab part
9th august 2018: filling of most TODO's like merry worn-out sober cycle, barrel placing and WP usage and regeneration - complete until other considerations
2nd october 2018: included the fixed bugs and changed some of the tactics, because of that
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Reactions 9
Score : 60

Here I go tanking again!

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Score : 2211

Really great guide, would love to read the rest!
 

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Score : 4933

I still plan to expand and finish it, after some real life super time consuming stuff is done. I am already excited to have more time to work on my pandawa and this guide.

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Score : 189

I have been playing panda since some 7 months, and I never used a dd panda, it is an amazing class and I never play without it, if I do I feel like it is snowing and I'm without clothes, I never actually used it to tank a boss, mostly mobs, and to place them the way I want it, to aoe them, I didn't take bosses with it in moon, at all, on high statis you need a 90% resist beastly feca to tank a kannivore boss or a kanniball boss, and if you asks me about a nyl dung to tank boss there, I would say it is kinda nice idea, cause of the self stabilize always, so you don't prevent yourself from falling into troubles, it is a secondary way to tank that big croc if the feca is having some problems in that, the only zinit dung I actually tank the boss in with a panda *not exactly tanking* is ethernal dung, if you want to know how I can explain by a video, or pics if I do the dung any soon, over all it is an amazing class

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Score : 4933

Yeah, there are some really nice different ways to not directly tank with a Pandawa, but still create a situation that work with mobs similar like tanking. Positioning is a main key to control a fight and I have to give my biggest respect to some awesome pandawa players which do amazing stuff, especially with really tanky full positioners. I myself enjoy my alrounder so much, that I could never specialize me enough for this kind of gameplay, but it offers me a variety of ways between nice support/DD and full tank, while I really enjoy the way a Pandawa can tank. All in all, there are different ways to play it and I definitly play one of the more special builds with reduced efficiency in comparison to the rocklike positioners, but I enjoy it so much that I wanted to share my experience.

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Score : 4933

I am happy to say that this guide is now finished until I have to add new stuff because of patches or if someone ask for more special topics.

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Score : 3644

Proud of you as a fellow Panda tank.
F Grozepin. So ridiculous. I did it with my huppermage transporting. but it was pretty annoying that she removed my barrel if I put it too close which ended up just making the run really WP intensive.

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Score : 4933

Wow, respect that you did Pandawa tanking on Grozepin, I only tried it once and just got so salty and we just did it with another tank.

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