What does Gallant Defense do? It gives anybody in a certain range "guarded." I know that much. But I'm not sure what it does besides that. Is it worth using in battle?
--Fallon & Fiona
It's the easiest way to get yourself killed ( especially using it around musketeers ). Gallant Defense causes the attacks that are intended for the ones that you're guarding to be directed at you. Seeing how bucklers get this talent before we get first strike or riposte, its really not a good idea to use it - until you get first strike at least. In a situation where every enemy seems to be targeting one crew member, then gallant defense will protect them but at your cost.
Hi Fiona! Gallant Defense directs all attacks on your companions to you. For example, if an enemy tried to melee attack someone you've Guarded, instead they'd attack you. This is useful for your squishy companions because odds are, since you're a Swash with naturally high dodge the enemy will miss you anyway. Not to mention trigger any Riposte epics you may have. It keeps your companions in the fight and will more than likely trigger your epics. At least this is my understanding. Hope this helped!
Gallant Defense protects those adjacent to the person who used Gallant Defense. For instance, say you use Gallant Defense with Contessa Argento. Old Scratch is right next to Contessa. After you use Gallant Defense on Contessa, Old Scratch is then guarded from any epics or regular attacks (not guarded from attacks such as assassin's strike. Also not guarded if the attacker is melee and is not next to Contessa as well as Scratch). These attacks are then used on Contessa instead. It functions similar to Privateer's Focus Fire, in a way.
Greetings Fiona - despite being a good way "to get yourself killed" as Esperanza puts it , I use 'gallant defense' frequently. For a swashbuckler, it lets you be the 'gallant' fighter of many a story, taking the risk for others, and it is truly an act of reckless daring.
Gallant defense allows you to stand next to vulnerable companions and take the hits intended for them (not perfect, as an enemy can go around and strike them on the other side). You are hoping that your excellent dodge will protect you from getting hit, or if you get hit, your better health will absorb what might have killed your companion. It is very useful to protect your vulnerable musketeers and Old Scratch, though it means you have to hold back and stay with them. If you notice a companion is in danger of being killed, either because she looks to being mobbed or her health is low (Sarah Steele is particularly vulnerable to both), move the companion to you, and give her (or him) a breather from being attacked while you have gallant defense.
What I have said so far is applicable at low levels. For a high level pirate, gallant defense can be an excellent tactic against the enemy, as they will trigger your epics. Say an Armada marine comes to bash Bonnie Anne. Gallant Defense makes him attack you, which triggers your First Strike. Often, your dodge will cause him to miss, and you will Riposte. Other abilities, such as Bladestorm (in this case, via a pet) can also be triggered. He now has been clobbered likely several times, and Bonnie Anne is still alive and in play.
Against musketeer enemies, it's a lot trickier -- your dodge protects less against their high accuracy, and of course, your epics will not come into play. Against mixed melee and musketeer foes, I have to decide whether Gallant Defense will really save the day or not. Often I will take the risk.
However, I so far have not had the Contessa use her gallant defense. She's too vulnerable a companion for that, at least for me.