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The Templar is the core defensive class in Aion, and thus usually by default assumes the role of party leader. It is your responsibility to ensure the safety and survival of your group as you navigate them through countless dangers. As a Templar, you are allowed to wear all armor types, but will generally outfit yourself in Plate Mail and a Shield.
In Aion, "hate" or "threat" is referred to as enmity. As the only person in your party who welcomes blows to the head, you will have to generate emnity towards your enemies for them to want to target you.
Working with you, working against you
Templars truly shine when in a solid party, but just as you are working to hold the enemy, your party is working on healing themselves and trying to kill the enemy. This brings into play a never-ending tug-of-war with enmity. Clerics/Chanters generate enmity with their heals, Sorcerers/Spirit Masters with their high damage and crowd control, and Assassins/Rangers with their high damage. It's important you know how to keep aggro while in groups with other classes.
Core Enmity Abilities
Provoking Severe Blow I
Provoking Shield Counter I
-Stigma- Doom Lure I
-Stigma- Provoking Roar I
-Stigma- Incite Rage I
-Stigma- Terrible Howl I
Obviously, keeping aggro increases in difficulty as you add more and more enemies into the mix. When fighting one enemy, it's usually a simple as fighting them as any normal mob. When facing elites with a party, you will likely have to throw in a few of the above Enmity moves in order to ensure that your Cleric's heals, your Sorcerer's CC, or your Assassin's DPS doesn't take it from you.
Being a Templar isn't as simple as just convincing your enemy to dent your armor instead of your Sorcerer's head. You are essentially the leader of your group and it is your job to not only protect them from the obvious, but from any surprises as well. Surprises can include spawned adds, aggro from patrols, bad mob links, or anything else that puts you up against more than you'd originally plotted out. The important thing to do is keep a level head and know when to fight and when to run. Remember that the more CC your casters put out and the more heals your Priests put out, the harder it will be to control the enmity.
Your team needs to know what you're thinking. Marking targets is a fast and effective way for your group to understand the battle plan. This is especially important if you're not using any voice communication. Be sure to designate to your group which symbols mean what as each Templar has a different method for marking and controlling mobs.
My personal method is as follows:
Primary Target- Focus all damage on this target.
Tank 1- Main-tank should hold this target while the group works on another.
Tank 2- Off-tank should hold this target while the group works on another.
CC Target- Primarily used for Sleep and Curse: Tree.
CC Target- Usually used for root or snare.
Fear Target- Fear is not a CC you want use lightly and is very situational, so it is important to separate fear from your standard CC markings.
DO NOT DISTURB- This marking has many uses but is especially important for when you finish one mob and have another CC'd. You may want to gain enmity over your target before the group attacks it and breaks it's CC so you don't spend the entire fight chasing after it while it chases your caster.
For example, in the above image, your Sorcerer would sleep/tree the Ettin on the left, your Main Tank would hold the middle Ettin and the rest of the group would attack the primary target on the right. As a tank, I would attempt to keep aggro on both the middle and right if there were no off-tank.
One benefit to being a Templar is being able to take a hit, but why put the extra burden on your healer if you can avoid the blow? These are your primary interrupting skills to stop the more powerful attacks your foe can unleash while they're still winding up.
Your traditional shield bash. - This has a high chance to stun a normal target but loses much of it's effectiveness against elite mobs.
Triggered Shield Bash. This is much more situational and much harder to time with an enemy's ability but it's stun is much more affective against elite class mobs.
Bind and Relocate (stigma). It may not seem like it, but this is the most effective interrupt you will get as a Templar. Every Templar knows this move repositions their foe, but if your target relocates, its casting is also interrupted! The best thing about Doom Lure is it remains very effective against Elite class mobs and it has a short recharge time. Also, next time you're out solo-grinding, try taking those few extra steps towards your mob and saving Doom Lure to prevent those hard-hitting specials. You'll save yourself a few Odella Power and some rest time.
Shield Bash/Body Slam. This skill has a low chance to proc whenever you use any other shield counter but has a chance to stumble your target, which will effectively interrupt any current ability.
Attack/Stun. This is a greatsword-only ability but can stun your target. This skill also has a low proc rate, but an interrupt nonetheless.
Ranged Attack/Stun (stigma) One of your few ranged attacks with the benefit of a 2 second stun. It has an unfortunate 2:00 cooldown but helps make up for that with decent damage.
Attack/Stun (stigma, Elyos Only) Decent damage and 2 second stun. It also has an unfortunate 2:00 cooldown. The Asmodian equivalent absorbs 50% of the damage as HP instead of stunning.
Keeping yourself alive
You're a Templar, protecting yourself is what you do. That said, there are a few core abilities that offer that extra boost to keeping your head attached to your shoulders.
Empyrean Armor I - Self heal, raises max hp, and lowers incoming player damage- Empyrean Armor does it all. Some people choose to use this immediately when going into PvP combat but I generally prefer to take a few hits before to gain full benefit of the 25% heal.
Steel Wall Defense I - Your shield is your first line of defense and this ability will increase it's greatly effectiveness as well as raise your state change defense. If you find your enemy charging up a knockdown, knockback, rotate, or stun and you can't interrupt it, use this ability to greatly increase your chance to avoid the state.
Rage I - This ability can absorb a lot of damage over the course of a fight. Use it in rotation with shock-absorption scrolls to increase this effectiveness. You also gain a nice little attack bonus while this skill is active.
Charge I - When all else fails, RUN! To maximize your survival abilities, raise your Steel Wall of Defense ability immediately after hitting charge but note that you cannot jump or glide while in the shield defense state.
Unwavering Devotion I - This is a very important Stigma to have as a Templar. This, much like Steel Wall of Defense, greatly increases your ability to resist state changes, which is essential for PvP.
Iron Skin I - Removes your debuffs and reduces all damage by 50%? Yes, please!
Aether Armor I - Greatly increased Magic Resistances for fighting those pesky casters.
Prayer of Resilience I - Instant self-heal.
Divine Chastisement I - Blocks all incoming attacks for 15 seconds, 2000 DP cost.
Hand of Healing I - Instant full self-heal, 3000 DP cost.
Nezekan's Shield I - Removes all states, immunity to states, immunity to physical damage for 30 seconds, 4000 DP cost.
Keeping your Healer alive
Healers are your ticket to staying alive so it is essential to protect them if they steal aggro from you with their heals. Stack enmity as much as you can on your targets. Be aware that your healer has the ability to take a few hits while healing themselves, but also know that each heal raises the enemy's enmity against them. Stay calm, interrupt specials with your Doom Lure, and use your full arsenal of enmity abilities until you regain control of the mob. When all else fails, employ Bodyguard.
Keeping your Caster alive
The best preventative measure you can take to keep aggro off your caster is to gain control of a mob before the CC on them breaks. If a target has been slept or tree'd, target them every so often and use your taunt. The CC on the mob will NOT break while using skills such as taunt, incite rage, and provoking roar. If your target has been under CC for a while, they've been building up a LOT of hate against your caster and your healer so if you've got a patient group, cycle through your taunts a few times while the target is CC'd before you start attacking it. Make good use of the Do Not Disturb marking in this situation so your party knows not to attack it until you give the OK. When all else fails, employ Bodyguard.
Keeping your Scout alive
Assassins and Rangers can do massive damage and with attack speed buffs and high crit ratings, it can be very difficult to hold aggro with them in your party. If you find yourself losing aggro to your scout, begin the fight with Incite Rage and Taunt- before your scout attacks and continue to use them each time they recharge. If you still cannot keep aggro, much of their survival is in their hands. They can employ Calming Whisper, Aethertwisting and Focused Evasion to avoid big hits and you can use your Inescapable Judgment to pull enemies off them and interrupt high damage specials until you can regain the aggro. When all else fails, employ Bodyguard.
These values determine your character's stats.
Hit Points: Your health determines how much damage you can take before you cease to live.
Physical Defense: Ability to mitigate melee and ranged physical damage. The more PD the less physical damage you take.
Block: Ability to block and reduce damage from attacks. To block you must have a shield equipped. The amount of damage absorbed is dependent on your shield's stats only, not your block rating.
Parry: Ability to defend yourself with a weapon. Like block, parrying will reduce damage of an incoming attack by a certain amount.
Magical Resistance: Ability to resist incoming damage and debuff spells. Resisted spells have no affect.
One Handed Sword: One-handed sharp weapons. These weapons have high accuracy and parry rating, in addition they have moderate physical crit rating.
Mace: One-Handed blunt weapons, usually designed for classes with magical abilities. They have high accuracy, moderate parry rating, and low physical crit rating. To counter those low stats they offer magical boost and magical accuracy.
Greatsword: Two-handed sharp weapon, usable only by Templars and Gladiators. They have moderate accuracy and parry rating, low physical crit hit rating and slower attack speed.
Shield: a Templars shield is not only a defensive tool, but also an offensive weapon. It gives damage reduction and allows for blocking which in turn activates certain Templar abilities.
Plate Armor: Strongest armor available for any class in the game. Plate armor is usable only by Templars and Gladiators. It offers high defense rating but low evasion and magic resist ratings.
Chain Armor: Second strongest armor available, Templars will use this type of armor early on in the game. It is generally designed for spell users as it offers not only evasion, but boost to magical abilities as well. It offers a moderate Magic Resist boosts.
Leather Armor: Second weakest armor available, leather is designed for light defense and great evasion and mobility. It offers a moderate Magic Resist boosts.
Cloth Armor: Weakest armor in the game, cloth armor is designed for magical users since it offers high magical boost, in turn it has very low defense. It offers a high Magic Resist boost.
Pros and Cons
It is obvious due to the nature of the Templar having Heavy Armor like Plate and skills and abilities that increases their defense and even hit points that they are very durable in combat. In PVP this will make you survive longer not only because you suffer less damage, but also because you are not a primary kill target.
The true goal of the Templar is to tank. If you love tanking this is the class for you. But take note as a Templar you are expected to be expert at tanking.
Having high defense means Templars do less damage. It is why, while leveling especially, it will take a longer time to kill mobs. In PVP you are more useful as a tool rather than a damage dealer, using stuns and interrupts to harass the enemy. You will have difficulty in 1v1 PvP against most classes, especially early on.
Templars have very few ranged attacks. This means Templars are forced to often close the gap and head into melee range in order to perform at their best. After level 33, you should always use speed enhancing boots and keep a supply of Run Speed and Raging Wind scrolls for that extra boost.
Some of the Templar skills differ depending on which race you choose:
Elyos: Divine Chastisement I
Asmodian: Chastisement of Darkness I
Elyos: Shield Retribution I
Asmodian: Slash Artery I
Elyos: Ancestral Holy Punishment I
Asmodian: Ancestral Righteous Punishment I
Elyos: Holy Punishment I
Asmodian: Righteous Punishment I
Elyos: Punishment of Light I
Asmodian: Punishment of Darkness I
Elyos: Nezekan's Shield I
Asmodian: Zikel's Shield I
Everyone has their own preference for Stigma builds so I'm not going to go into these much. You can visit the AionArmory Stigma Calculator and check out community builds or submit your own.
The most important manastones you can put in your gear for a defensive build are shield block and HP. This is because most of your important skills are activated when you block, so increases the chance of passive block chance is important.
When leveling, going offensive sure is much better for the obvious reason that enemies dies faster. This also allows you to tank mobs easily since you should in theory generate much more threat aswell. You should then use manastones that provide Physical Crit. Templars can deal very decent damage while using a crit build, so if you wish to be more offensive, reach the 440 crit soft cap then stack HP or Physical Attack for your remaining slots.
*Thank you to Aetius' Templar guide for providing a base template for me to work from*
**Renamed "Fellow Soldier Protection" to it's English form "Bodyguard"
**Added Steel Wall of Defense to the "Protecting Yourself" list
**Fixed the text for Empyrean Armor
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