I like to be the big guy defending the team and dealing pretty good damage,
The main question is what Sword, Shield, Helmet, Armor, and Gun should I use?
Tanking isn't particularly viable. There's no method of taking hits for your team, and taking hits becomes a worse idea as you go further down. Partly because things hits hard, and partly because there's no good armor that helps you take damage better. The absolute best way for you to defend your team is to kill everything that threatens them. Or constantly shieldbumping everything. But that gets annoying.
If you would still prefer to stay in a support role without doing big damage, a support-esque bomber is good. You'll want ctr, either from sprite, armor, or uvs. Volcanic demo set is a good, defensive set. You get fire resist and vh ctr, which bumps all level 10 bombs to max ctr. Mad bomber is also a choice, albeit with negative status resists in exchange for vh damage for bombs. But if you want to play with mad bomber, you might as well get the chaos set. You tack on negative curse resists in exchange for vh ctr/damage for all weapons.
For support bombing, you'll want an assortment of electron vortex, voltaic tempest, venom veiler, stagger storm, and shivermist buster. Not necessarily in that order for your first bombs, but if you have all of it, that's how I would rank them. The vortex allows you to group mobs so your team can dump on them; the others are mist bombs that apply status, weakening the monsters to make them easier to deal with.
Having a gun is always good. Polaris is nice, since bombers don't have many long range methods for dealing with turrets. Swords are not a huge deal, but any of the heavy 2 swing swords can serve as a personal defence weapon. They apply a good amount of knockback to give yourself some breathing room. The sealed sword lines and the troika lines will give you those swords. Otherwise, you can go with the brandish weapons, being much more mobile in exchange for tighter swings and less immediate knockback.
Swiftstrike buckler helps bombing, but it's hardly necessary. Make a shield for each of the damage types, preferably with relevant status resists. Grey owlite is popular for a good reason. Skelly shield is good for a shadow shield, giving poison and freeze resists. The favored piercing shield is barbarous thorn shield, because it grants med sword damage. I suppose savage tortoise is an alternative? But you'll need the ancient shell material.
We've had many threads like this over the years. You can find them by searching Google (not the forum's built-in search) for something like "tank site:forums.spiralknights.com" (without the quotation marks).
As Demonicsothe said, tanking is not a viable strategy in this game. The reason is that even the most defensive armor blocks only slightly more damage than the least defensive armor. This game's rules are heavily tilted toward dodging, not tanking.
The closest we get to tanking is a support role that protects the party while still dodging. A supporter can use heavy swords (such as the Sealed and Troika lines) to knock back enemies. A supporter can use Blast-line bombs to knock back or haze-style bombs to spread status. A supporter can use Pulsar-line guns to knock back or various guns to spread status.
As I've gone through some older threads it seems like the game doesn't favor the heavy defense strategy.
Kinda killed my spirit, but I'll move on.
I'll try and make due with what I get, and use Divine Avenger/Troika *5 variants, The Ancient Armor Set, and the Iron Slug? (Or some piercing/shadow guns)
Types of Shields are relative so I'll look more into that.
I'm not a huge fan of bombs as I usually forget to even use them, I'm more of a heavy sword-weilding gunner (and am gaining an interest in shield-bashing)
I'm kinda dissapointed defensive play doesn't get much love in this game, though considering it's a dungeon-styled beat-em-up, with healthpacks and health-extentions, I guess it's alright.
So far I'm looking forward to what you think, and what matches my playstyle.
By any chance is any of the Spiral Plate Mail family viable? 'Cause I love the way it looks
I mean, you could equip it as a costume, but that's a very expensive costume.
Dodge don't tank.
There's a reason why people are OK with Lumbers but despise Devilites with all of their utmost rage.
The heavy swords are not a bad idea. The Magnus-style guns are a great idea. Alchemers and Autogun-style guns would also work. Maybe also Pulsar-style guns, if you're good at using them. (Most players aren't.)
I wouldn't bother with Ancient Plate armor. It's hard to get and not great as an armor. Maybe you'd like to read my armor guide.
If you want a shield that tanks, then get Grey Owlite Shield and Dread Skelly Shield. Use the former in fire and shock levels, and the latter in poison and freeze levels. In shields, native status resistance is more important than damage protection. (But most players consider offense even more important, so also consider Barbarous Thorn Shield and Swiftstrike Buckler.)
Ze-Epik's comment about lumbers and devilites is exactly right.
Finally, many novice players ignore bombs, but many experienced players use them heavily. For example, in a recent thread I selected Dark Briar Barrage as the one weapon that every knight should have. So you should look at them more seriously, especially for your tank idea.
Thanks for the insight,
I'll do my own looking around to match my playstyle.
And I'll learn to get used to bombs in the future.
Of course, this is all based on how good a loadout is. You can still build the heavily defensive sets and do decent in them. The side effect would be that you do less damage than most anyone else. But it's your knight, and your playstyle.
If you plan on getting two heavy swords, grab the gran faust along with the divine avenger to cover your damage types. Bopp has a guide on damage types. An iron slug is still good for a sidearm.
The general guide for choosing shield applies well though, for both the defensive playstyle and the hyper offensive one.
use the ancient plate shield, ancient plate helm and ancient plate mail and heart pendants. and try to use either fast or slow swords not medium. slow is probably the best. if u are in lockdown do it with defender and u will be undefeatable.
if u really want to tank, use the ancient plate shield, ancient plate helm and ancient plate mail and heart pendants.
Equip this in a Tier-3 Elite level filled with fiends, try to tank the damage, and watch your knight die. The armor doesn't stop any of the shadow damage, so you get chewed up. The same goes for most other monsters --- any monster with lots of non-normal damage.
A better idea is to choose defensive armor specifically for the level. But even that won't work, because defensive armor protects you only slightly more than offensive armor. Your fancy armor keeps you alive for 4 or 5 hits, instead of the usual 3.
A better idea is to dodge.
Here's the closest I can come up with that would actually be useful.
Battle Sprite: Drakon for damage, or Seraphynx for invincibility, defensive orbs and hearts.
Perk: Healthy Boost.
Helm: Any offensive set, such as Wolver lines, gunner armor, Bombastic, or Chaos or Black Kat with a lot of status UVs.
Armor: Same as Helm.
Shield: Any Tortodrone shield, Ancient Plate, or Volcanic Plate. Possibly Omega Shell, never used it personally.
Swords: Sudaruska, Triglav, Divine Avenger, or Gran Faust.
Guns: Iron Slug, Callahan, Winter Grave, or any Pulsar or Tortofist.
Bombs: Nitronome, Big Angry Bomb, or Irontech Destroyer.
Trinkets: 2 Penta-Heart Pendants/True Love Lockets. Possibly damage boosters as well.
Costume: Any Plate armor.
if u can doge a little and use that tank with the pendants you could do well but if u try that with cat cowls and stuff then you can move faster than normal but still be tanking. I use a better one of jus donging. not that hard and you still can take into battle like a wolver line. use maskeraith cloak to doge really well...
Yes, you can use that loadout if you dodge. You can use just about any loadout, if you're good at dodging.
The point is that you survive by dodging --- not by having your armor block all of the damage, which is tanking.
tfw Bopp compliments your comment
I too am a defensive player, my playstyle actually helps others out while not taking too much damage. I like to use the kiting and charging method of playing, usually with fast weapons like acheron etc. , yes slow weapons like triglav do more dmg, but trust me weapons like shivermist buster and combustor/acheron/glacius etc. all work wonders.
My usual gear is 5* Azure Guardian Armour and Helm with Combustor and either piercing gun like blitz needle/guilded griffen or shadow like a dark chaingun/winter grave (yes it's slow but it freezes enemies while dealing shadow dmg, only exception for me) and seraphnx lvl 95 with health buff. I can take on pretty much everything no problems, and because I have a lot of weapons can switch out with ease to suit a particular level, my build is not the best but it is the way I play that means I was able to take on Ice Queen in Shadow Lair using only one spark to revive, I mean that's pretty good for a shadow lair and my armour set.
Acheron does the most raw damage per hit out of any sword in the game, even beating sudaruska.