Friday 17 December 2021

Titan Quest Anniversary - DEFENSE Mastery guide for beginners!

 There is a video version of this text guide, if you'd like to watch it, please CLICK ME!


This is one of the most useless skills in the game, especially for low level characters. The chance to stun enemies is very low and it works only with club type of weapons and axes. The best way to utilize this skill would be first to have very fast attacking speed because the faster you attack, the more chances you get to trigger this one in less time and second to use area of effect attacks with your melee weapon such as Thunder Strike of Rune mastery or Phantom Strike of Dream e.t.c. 

Also, this skill can benefit by items that provide more duration to stun effects in the form of "+% stun duration" which would increase the time enemies remained stunned. If you have other items such as weapons that provide a chance to stun enemies, they will not stack with this passive skill for example, if you get 5% chance to stun enemies for 4 seconds from a weapon and 5% chance to stun enemies for 4 seconds from the skill, now you don't have 10% chance to stun enemies for 8 seconds, so trying to stack multiple sources of this stat would be a waste. But still, the +% stun duration of this skill will increase the stun duration you deal with other skills or items. It is better to use this skill much later but in general you can forget about it. One more detail, big bosses do not get stunned/frozen/immobilized.


This is a nice skill which provides some flat health regeneration. The amount that it provides is not good enough to keep you from dying especially in higher difficulty levels but the good thing is that it can be combined with other sources of health regeneration and that way you can get up to huge numbers that can truly keep you alive no matter what. It is a good idea to spend only a couple of points on this skill when you level up a new character, do not rush to max it out yet because it is more important to max out its first addon before the base skill.
At level 12/12 the amount of regeneration will be +33 flat and the duration will be 15.5 seconds. 


This addon provides recharge reduction to the base skill. This means that it reduces the cooldown period of the skill and it can be triggered more frequently. The maximum cooldown reduction for skills ingame is -80%. This skill at level 6/6 provides -64% which is pretty good. If for any reason, you'd like to use Adrenaline at its best, then first you would need to max out this one first.
One detail to remember is that you can also use items that provide reduction to cooldowns of skills and those items would reduce even more the recharge time of the base skill. So, in the beginning you won't have any items reducing cooldowns so maxing out this one would be a good idea but later if you can find some items providing recharge reduction, then you will be able to go to a Mystic npc and remove some skill points from Resilience and spend them elsewhere.


This one provides 3 types of buffs to your character. Percentages to Physical damage, Bleeding damage and Total Speed. If your character uses these types of damage or needs more speed of a kind, then it is a good idea to invest to this skill. The best time to max out this one would be only if your character couldn't deal good amounts of damage of its own and it needed many buffs and this is because this skill is not constant, it has a limited time of duration and it triggers by chance.
An example of such a character would be a Guardian class which consists of Nature and Defense masteries. That class has great survivability but usually it doesn't deal big damage so using this skill tree (of Adrenaline plus addons) and maxing out everything would be a good idea. One important detail to remember is that the Total Speed stat doesn't include Projectile speed, it increases only Attack speed, Casting speed and Movement speed.


One of the skills that came with Atlantis dlc. This is a very powerful skill but it is stationary. This means that when you cast it, you get a line of ghostly heroes standing at the spot where you clicked on and they hit enemies in front of them or behind them. For them to attack though the enemies should be exactly inside the range of attacks of the skill.
There are pet skills in this game but this one is not a pet, it is a Guard and it can not benefit from items that provide Bonus to all pets. But, it can benefit from other skills that provide buffs to allies and parties such as Battle Standard of Warfare mastery. So, there is still a way to increase the performance of this skill even more that its own capabilities allow.
This skill can save your life if a big pack of enemies is coming after you and it can also deal huge amounts of damage to big bosses and totally destroy them. Investing at least 1 skill point as you level up to this one, is always a good idea. If you want to see a very powerful build based around this skill, take a look at the NECROMANCER build guide video on the epic Youtube channel "The Line of Epic Heroes". 


The great thing about this skill is that it has multiple functions and it also affects your allies and pets! It also works as a second potion because every time we use it we restore some health which at maximum level 12/12 will be 4860! A very good amount of health restored! The skill also provides a percentage to Health regeneration which will be at 150% at level 12 and at the same level 40 flat armor.
The health regeneration effect is very good but for it to really matter you first need to have a very good amount of FLAT health regeneration otherwise it will not really save your life, at least not against very tough enemies like bosses.
The FLAT number of Armor will affect by its full amount each one of the four armor slots of your character so your Helm/Boots/Arms and Chest armor will all receive this number of Armor. Armor mitigates physical damage from all sources and attacks and it is very crucial especially to builds that do not use Strength based armor items. It is especially good for Mages since they use Intelligence based items and those have the lowerst numbers of Armor. The skill is very good and you should use it almost at all builds that use this mastery.


This addon is pure perfection. First it increases the duration of the base skill. Rally has a fixed 10 seconds duration and this addon can add up to 16 more seconds if you take it up to the maximum level and plus 4, at level 10! So, in this case your Rally will last for 26 seconds instead of 10 which is amazing!
You could also have Rally skill running at 100% of playtime if you could get some items that provide reduction to recharge of skills. One more effect of this addon is that we get 10% Total Speed, this is a fixed number and will not go up by leveling up the skill. This can be useful if we lack of speed in general and let's not forget that it also affects our allies and pets, so it is very good for many cases. Finally the Energy regeneration is a good thing but maybe not that necessary to have depending on your build. At level 10/6 we get 10 FLAT Energy regeneration which of course works at the same time with the Energy regeneration that we get from other sources.


This is a great addon as it provides three types of resistances and damage reflection. Elemental Resistance includes all three types which are Fire/Cold/Lightning and it is a good buff that can help with survivability. The Damage Reflected stat is also nice to have, it means that enemies that attack you directly and they hit you or even they miss you, they receive back the full amount of their own attack as damage and they hurt themselves (If you have 100% damage reflection they will receive their full amount of damage but they may not get affected by it fully  depending on their resistances e.t.c.).

This effect is not really good enough to destroy enemies on its own, but it can help as a secondary type of effect to kill them faster sometimes. This is one of the skills that should be maxed out only if the circumstances require it. For example, if you have a character that has all 3 Elemental resistances maxed out then you shouldn't spend any points on this one, not even for the damage reflected stat, unless you've got points to spare and don't have other skills you need to spend points on.


This is an aura type of skill, you activate it once and it remains active until you die or some enemies dispel it. The great thing about it is that it is useful to 100% of characters in this game so no matter what class you use this mastery in, you always benefit from this one. But, if you play Intelligence based classes or builds then this skill becomes even more important as it can provide the super important Defensive Ability and Armor.
Intelligence based classes usually have low armor on the armor items and getting the buff from this skill is crucial to surviving through out the game. The armor numbers of this skill applies its full amount to each one of the 4 armor item slots of the character, the Helm, the Bracers, the Chest and the Leggings.
As you level up a new character it's always a good idea to spend a couple points on this one in the beginning but you don't need to rush maxing it out, just make sure you will get it to maximum level by the end of normal difficulty if you play builds that have low base armor items equipped. Finally, the great thing about this one is that it affects allies and pets so it is a very powerful skill that can help greatly with survivability of whole multiplayer parties too.


This addon is only useful when you use shields or if another player in multiplayer use shields and you don't have your shield block chance maxed out without the use of this one. The good thing is that this number of percentage to shield block stacks with other sources that provide it and it is not hard to take shield block to high or even maximum levels.
The shield block chance affects only the chances for your shield to block attacks, not how much damage it can block. There are other stats for the amount it can block. If you get the shield block chance up to 100%, then every time you receive an attack that can be blocked and your blocking ability is not on cooldown, then you will block that attack.
If you want to play a new character based on Defense mastery with a shield as the main focus then maxing out this skill as soon as possible could increase your survivability by a good amount.


This addon is great because it provides important secondary resistances which do not receive any difficulty penalties as primary resistances do. The maximum to all resistances is 80% and this skill can easily reach the cap and solve the problem of having to deal with some annoying and very dangerous effects such as stunning our characters or mind controlling our pets.
The reduction to duration of mind control works on our pets and traps of Rogue mastery that works like pets. There are a few occasions were enemies will mind control our pets and turn them against us so this skill can deal with this problem. Another way to deal with it would be to instantly resummon your pets when they get mind controlled by enemies.
This is a great skill but you will need it only if you don't have items providing the same stats or when you play with pets and need to protect them.


This is a very good skill which provides amazing survivability. Leveling up this one, increases the duration of the skill, the Shield Recovery Time and the chance to block with the shield. The shield recovery time is the stat of the cooldown to the block effect. All shields have a specific period of a block cooldown, many shields have 2,5 seconds of cooldown before they can block another attack whereas other shields have 3 seconds of cooldown.

You can stack up this cooldown reduction stat from different sources and reach the maximum cooldown reduction which is 90%. If you max out this skill at level 8/8 it will provide -74% Shield Recovery Time which can stack additively with another source, for example if you use a shield that already has -20% of this stat on, then it will be -74% plus -20% = -94% which becomes -90% as this is the cap. This is a powerful mechanic which will save you many times through out the game.
The percent to shield block goes up to +18% at level 8/8 and it also stacks additively with other sources. For example if you get +5% Shield Block from the skill Focus and +18% from this one, then you have +23% which can reach +100% which is the maximum.

The Armor absorption stat of this skill doesn't change by level, it is fixed. This one is different from Armor protection. If you have 2 sources of Armor Absorption they will stack together multiplicatively so a source of 66% plus another source of 10% would provide 72,6 percent instead of 76%.
Without going into details for this one, Armor absorption helps negate a bigger amount of physical damage so if you can use it without losing any other important stats for your character, just use it. We will have another guide for this mechanic to explain it in detail.


This one happens to be one of my most favorite skills ever in video games. You use the shield to charge to enemies from a distance and hit them! The +% movement speed means that your character will charge based on this speed which will make it run to the enemies much faster than your character's speed can do. The speed of your character doesn't affect at all the speed of this skill, when you use it, your character moves at this speed instead of its own.
This attack hits a single enemy and the stun effects duration can be increased by using items that provide a percentage to stun duration or by leveling up the Concussive Blow skill of this mastery. The most important detail to remember about shield attack skills in general is that these skills always use your main weapon too to attack with so you can use the skills only with melee weapons or with bare fist and a shield! 


This skill is pure perfection as it increases the enemies that get hit by it and it also increases the duration of skill disruption. It prevents enemies to cast their powerful skills against you and kill you including bosses. So, this one turns Shield Charge to an area of effect skill and this is how it becomes my favorite! At level 6/6 you will hit 4 targets maximum and if you take it to level 10/6 you will hit 6 targets which makes this skill super powerful. If you want to use Shield Charge all the time, it would be better to max out this one as soon as possible.


Many people would find this skill to be weird and useless which is not. At least not useless. It comes with Atlantis dlc and provides immunity for the duration of 1.1 second! Leveling up the skill, only provides more movement speed and reduces the recharge time of the skill thus the cooldown.
The idea behind this one is to use it under certain circumstances, for example you are fighting against many enemies that surround you and you feel you are going to die, so to survive a bit more you use this one and it negates all incoming damage for 1.1 second.  

When you gain movement speed to this one, you can actually use it while moving because initially the skill is a stationary one. It is possible to reduce the cooldown of this skill down to 1.9 seconds in which case you will be able to cast it so frequently that it could keep you alive no matter what but this would become annoying as you would need to be clicking the hotkey of this skill all the time.
The stun retaliation works only against melee enemies and it is a fixed number, it doesn't change by leveling up the skill. In general this skill could also be very useful to damage reflection builds, at least against non melee enemies and bosses that don't get stunned. For beginners though, i would not suggest it.


This skill uses our shield to attack with. Shields are weapons too and we can use them to attack only with active or passive shield skills. One of the active skills is this one. It hits a single enemy and it deals the damage that we see in the description of the skill and it also slows the attack of enemies for some time. There are a couple of details to remember. First, shields have a base number of damage which is always physical. This one gets converted to Elemental damage as well exactly as other weapons do. 

Also, this skill has a percentage to physical damage which increases by level. If you have a main weapon that has pierce ratio on, and you attack with Batter, then this percentage of the skill will also increase the pierce damage you will apply by your main weapon's conversion to pierce (pierce ratio). This is an advanced mechanic so we won't say more to keep things simple. Just remember this detail.
This skill is very good since all shield attacking skills use the main melee weapon in the attack as well, so you hit with the shield and the main weapon's stats apply too. Starting a new character is a good idea to invest to this one, maybe a couple of points but the skill really becomes powerful when you activate its addon.


What this addon does is to add an arc of attack to batter so that now the skill becomes Area of Effect which means it hits multiple targets in an area. As we can see in the description, it hits 3 targets maximum which doesn't increase by level. It also reduces a flat amount of Armor of enemies so you can deal more physical damage to them. This addon is a must but there is this impression that if you increase the level of the skill then it will not hit 3 targets most of the time, so it feels like it is buggy. So, it is better just to spend a couple of points only to it or max it out and see how it works for you.


This is a very powerful skill and this is why it has a 6 minutes cooldown period! It turns you into a giant which looks fantastic and provides some great buffs. From the buffs, only the Damage Absorption, % to Health and % to Strength get increased, the other stats are fixed and never change. The % Damage Absorption stat in the game affects all primary types of damage, not just physical so this one is a very powerful stat. The fixed percentage to Physical Damage is also very powerful and of course it can also increase your pierce damage that comes from the pierce ratio conversion only. 

Lastly, there is also a debuff that reduces your Total Speed. Total Speed affects only Attack, Cast and Movement Speed so it is a minor downside of the skill but in general this one is very powerful. As a new player it is a good idea to spend only a couple of points as you level up and use this skill against bosses or tough enemies in general. To get the most out of it you would need to find items that would provide reduction to cooldowns of skills and max it out, so this would be awesome for endgame.


This one is pretty much self explanatory, it helps very much equipping heavy armor items and also increases Armor Absorption. Armor Absorption is different from Armor Protection but both essentially reduce the incoming Physical Damage, only physical no other type of damage (details about how these 2 work will come in another guide).
This skill would be mostly useful to dual wielding/ranged/staff  builds that wouldn't have the ability to equip a shield to get good defenses or even to mage builds because it would allow those to equip items with more base armor and get better survivability. This skill is a must and as a beginner it's a good idea to spend a couple of points in the beginning of your journey and max it out later depending on the build you are making.
At maximum level 6/6 the stats will be -20% Reduction and +16% Armor Absorption and at level 10/6 they will be -30% Reduction and +24% Armor Absorption.


This is a passive skill that when triggers it uses the shield as a weapon to hit the enemy and at the same time it also uses the main weapon. This attack is different than other attacks with shields in that its animation first hits with the weapon and then with the shield so you will not (for example) have the same effect as you would with the Batter skill and its Physical damage buff that increases the pierce damage of the main weapon.
The skill adds a small amount of physical damage to the shield's damage and it reduces the Defensive ability of the enemy by a big amount. You have to keep in mind that shields are also melee weapons so if you don't have enough Offensive ability to be able to hit your target then you will miss and your shield attacks will not be very good. But if you have enough Offensive ability and you hit with this skill the enemy then you will also increase chances to deal critical damage. 

The only downside of the skill is that it is a passive one based on chance and you can not use it whenever you want. In this case, to get the most out of these skills based on chance to trigger (we call the skills proc skills) you will need the fastest attack speed possible. As you level up as a beginner, if you want to play with shield attacks, spend only a couple of points on this one because there will be more important skills to reach, unlock and level up first.


One more passive skill like the previous one, the main difference is that its animation uses only the shield so it works like Batter skill and takes into account your main weapon too. This one slows down the attacks of the enemy for some time and hits a single target. Between this and Shield Smash, Smash is better because it reduces Defensive ability of enemies and especially against tough enemies it could be very helpful. More or less the same things we said about Shield Smash, apply here too.


This is certainly one of my top favorite skills ever! It is a proc skill that again uses the shield including the main weapon, to attack with but what makes it awesome is that it can hit up to 3 targets maximum, reduce their offensive ability and cause skill disruption to them. It is truly a powerful skill and it feels great when it hits multiple enemies and destroys them!
If you want to use your shield as a weapon in your build then this one is one of the top choices you should make. A final tip for shields: Some stats on shields can not be used unless you attack with the shield, for example if a shield provides a flat number of Life leech over time, the only way to apply this stat to enemies is by hitting them with one of the passive or active shield attacks. Now imagine applying such stats on multiple enemies at once by using some of the AoE shield skills!

The End (Thank you for reading, remember to Subscribe to my YouTube channel for more video and livestreaming content)!

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