2022 has been a big year for The Elder Scrolls Online and although not a huge amount has changed directly for Tanks in regard to skills, passives, and all-round tanking – we have seen a lot of changes to Healer and Damage Dealers most notably with the hybridisation changes and update 35 damage and healing adjustments. Combining those changes along with the many new Tank gear sets that have been added to the game over the past year has seen a big swing in the most useful Tank Classes.
Throughout 2022 we’ve seen the DK tank become less useful when hybrid DK damage dealers became meta and capable of using Stone Giant and we’ve also seen the Necro Tank go from vital Off Tank to losing all of its class identity and usefulness.
What do you think is the best Tank class? and what is your favourite Tank class? Let us know on The Tank Club Discord.
We’re going to start off with the worst Tank Class in ESO and this decision is made simply on the basis that this class has absolutely no group buffs to provide whatsoever that can’t be obtained in some other way, their class identity has virtually disappeared over the past 12 months and so many people reach out to me because they struggle with both stamina sustain and healing in transitional combat scenarios.
So, in my opinion the worst Tank Class is currently the Necromancer. It’s a hard decision to place the Necromancer bottom of the list because they do have strength in some areas – they are the best in the game as generating Ultimate thanks to Necrotic Potency and the fact you can create your own corpses means you can build a 250 Ultimate in 20 seconds if you setup to do so.
They do have decent mitigation with Disdain Harm which reduced damage received from damage over time abilities by 15%, there’s also the spirit guardian which will absorb 10% of your incoming damage while its active, so they are very strong at mitigating damage and then you’ve got something like the Reanimate Ultimate can be extremely useful for progression groups.
The drawback is Necro Tanks are the hardest class to sustain, they are now the worst class at self-healing, and they have no useful group buffs. Colossus has been replaced by gear sets such as Turning Tide and Archdruid both of which are more reliable and capable of pushing a higher uptime more easily. Empower is no longer useful because Light Attack rotations are still better than using Heavy Attack rotations so Empower is no longer needed. Agony Totem’s AoE Minor Vulnerably and Unnerving Boneyards AoE Major Breach again can be obtained easily by every other class.
Necromancer Tanks are fun to play but unfortunately, they have slipped to bottom of my Tank Class Tier List.
Coming in next is the Templar Tank. This class slots in next and above Necro because they have at least something to offer a group and over the past 2 years they have become much easier to play as a Tank. It’s becoming more infrequent to see Templar Damage Dealers in ESO which is why the Templar Tank becomes more of an option, however if there is one other Templar in a group, using one as a Tank is virtually useless in terms of optimisation.
Tanking on a Templar isn’t as easy as some other classes, but they do have some decent self-sustain from Restoring Focus and if stood still the healing from that skill is also very good. Other useful utility you get from a Templar is Extended Ritual which is a group heal, synergy and purge which can be a big help in certain fights. Radiant Aura is also a nice skill for providing your group with Minor Endurance, Fortitude and Intellect and then you have the unique group buff of minor sorcery from Illuminate if your group are stacking Spell Damage.
In 4-person content the Templar works very well being able to heal allies with both Extended Ritual and Repentance and surviving those environments is much easier thanks to Living Dark.
The next class on the list is the Nightblade. This has been the lowest rated class for Tanking for quite a while and it moves up one spot thanks to the recent updates bringing in some new utility with damage reduction enemy debuffs, increased healing capability and the hybridisation changes.
Nightblade Tanks are useful in groups that are stacking weapon damage, these groups require the Hemorrhage passive to provide Minor Savagery. The only downside to this is, if there is any other Nightblade in this group then this buff already gets provided and suddenly the Nightblade Tank loses virtually all of its usefulness for a group.
The things that have boosted the Nightblade up slightly are Mass Hysteria and Power Extraction combined can inflict Major and Minor Cowardice which reduces an enemies Weapon and Spell damage by 645. They also had a buff to Refreshing Path which offers AoE Major Expedition along with Minor Endurance and Intellect – this isn’t vital since it’s also obtained in multiple other ways but it’s another buff none the less.
The sustain for a Nightblade is easier than the Necro thanks to Leeching Strikes which does require some higher tier Tanking with Light Attack weaves to benefit fully but it also gives a burst Stamina gain. The Necro’s main offering was Ultimate gain and the Nightblade competes on that front with the Catalyst passive dropping 20 Ult with each Potion used and then we have the buff that happened recently with Dark Cloak that gives an additional 150% healing when stood still, which is not always useful, but it does provide a huge amount of healing.
Combine this with all of the damage mitigation you can get with a Nightblade and they are actually a solid class for Tanking.
The next class is here thanks to its simplicity to play and the fact that you can have some use for this class even with other people using them. This class is the Sorcerer Tank, and using the Sorcerer is quite common to see, especially Sorcerer Damage Dealers so the main unique group buff of Minor Prophecy from the Exploitation passive is usually covered however the Sorcerer also has Crystal Weapon which reduces the armor of an enemy by 1000 and this is not always a skill that a Damage Dealer will use.
Now for Off Tanking certain content it will be possible to maintain this and the reason it’s quite useful now is thanks again to those hybridisation changes, and if you can benefit from Crystal Weapon and Tremorscale this usually means you don’t need to use gear sets such as Crimson Oaths Rive and Alkosh which means additional sets can be used instead to buff damage in alternative ways. Self-healing of the Sorcerer is great with the Clannfear, one of the best Tank heals in the game which can be buffed even further due to the easy access of Major Vitality from Restraining Prison.
Next you have Dark Deal which is a slight problem because it drops block for a second, but it provides you with a burst of health and stamina and additional stamina over time, so sustaining a Sorcerer Tank is not a problem.
The Sorc has the option of becoming very Tanky quite easily with Bound Aegis giving you both Minor Resolve, Minor Protection and 40% Block Mitigation.
The next class is great for both 4-person content and Trials due to the survival buffs if offers to a group.
This class is the Warden. Wardens have always been a great option for Tanking, they are useful within a group even if you have Warden Damage Dealers because there is very little crossover of skills so you still have some group benefit, Warden Healers are quite common however and so if you have a Warden healer you typically wouldn’t also need a Warden Tank. The benefits of a Warden Tank are mainly survival, the group buff of Minor Toughness increases max health and combined with the AoE Major Resolve means you increase your groups survivability by quite a lot.
To proc your Minor Toughness, you need to heal your group members which means you’ll use a skill such as Enchanted Growth or Corrupting Pollen which provide even more buffs and debuffs with Minor Intellect and Endurance from Growth and Minor Cowardice applied to enemies from Pollen. Swarm will apply Minor Vulnerability which is something that is easily obtained but this is also a good and easy way of maintaining that debuff.
The sustain on a Warden is pretty good and the survival is nice thanks to Shimmering Shield, the nice self-healing from Polar Wind and you apply Major Maim to enemies if you pull them in with Frozen Device.
There is no surprise here that the Dragonknight is the top Tank Class again in The Elder Scrolls Online.
You cannot compete with the DK for its unique group’s buffs, its survival and its sustain. DK healers are virtually never seen and even when DK damage dealers are used, a DK Tank still offers a wide range of group buffs and benefits. DK’s offer Minor Brutality increasing Weapon Damage for the group, but they also have Stagger from Stone Giant which can increase a damage dealers DPS from anywhere to 1-3k.
There is Igneous Weapons which provide Major Brutality and Sorcery which is both ideal for PUGs and beginner groups where people might not be using potions, or they forget and in top groups who use Ultigain potions or something else instead. You have engulfing flames which increases the flame damage enemies take but then you also get the added utility of things like Igneous Shield which provides you + 5 people in your group with a damage shield.
Combine those buffs with the DKs ability to survive thanks to the potential to spam Igneous Shield and things like Magma Shell making you unkillable and the sustain you get from your Combustion and Earthern Heart passives making the DK Tanks sustain unbeatable, along with the self-Healing of both Cinder Storm and Dragon Blood and the DK is quite simply the best class to Tank on in the Elder Scrolls Online.
Stone Giant can be hard to maintain and sustain and the Engulfing Flame bonus can be challenging to maximise but even without those the DK reigns supreme as the #1 for Tanking.