ESO Beginner Tank Build

Updated: Flames of Ambition (March 2021)

Information

Welcome to The Tank Club: ESO Beginner Tank Build for The Elder Scrolls Online!

The main objective of these builds are to find easy to obtain, useful Tank gear that will help you on the road while you learn how to Tank.

These builds focus entirely on the Tank and have little to no group benefit. This is an absolutely fine situation when you are a beginner going into content for the first time. It’s much more important that you are alive, have enemies taunted, and have sustain to perform your Tank duties.

Once you have developed some experience within the content you are doing it is highly advised to follow the builds we have in the Main Tank Builds, Off Tank Builds and Dungeon Tank sections of the site.

As a Tank it is your responsibility to assist your group by using group buff and enemy debuff gear but you need to obtain the required experience before you need to worry about that!

Check out our Beginner Tank Guide, our Tank Guide section and YouTube channel for information on how to start out with Tanking in the Elder Scrolls Online.

Race

Argonian
Imperial
Nord

Mundus

The Atronach

Attributes

64 Health

Food

Longfin Pasty with Melon Sauce

Potions

Essence of Health Potion More Info

Equipment

PieceSetWeightTraitEnchantment
HeadEngine GuardianHeavySturdyHealth
ShoulderEngine GuardianHeavySturdyHealth / Stamina
ChestArmor of the SeducerHeavySturdyHealth
HandsArmor of the SeducerHeavySturdyHealth / Stamina
WaistArmor of the SeducerHeavySturdyHealth / Stamina
LegsArmor of the SeducerHeavySturdyHealth
FeetArmor of the SeducerHeavySturdyHealth / Stamina
NecklaceCrest of CyrodiilJewelleryHealthyMagicka Recovery
RingCrest of CyrodiilJewelleryHealthyMagicka Recovery
RingCrest of CyrodiilJewelleryHealthyMagicka Recovery
Main HandCrest of CyrodiilAny 1HDecisiveAbsorb Stamina
Off HandCrest of CyrodiilShieldSturdyStamina
Main Hand BackupCrest of CyrodiilIce StaffInfusedCrusher

This is a very good, affordable way into Tanking for dungeons. This would be a build you use to begin farming other useful Tank sets from dungeons, and also doing your daily pledges for Undaunted Keys for more monster set shoulders. This setup is capable in both Normal and Veteran dungeons.

The strengths of this build are sustain and survival, both are vital components to Tanking and work well when combined with each other. Crest of Cyrodiil will give you a reliable burst Heal when you block damage every 4 seconds. The reason why this is important at this stage is because you are likely to be blocking often and if provides you with a safety net just to help if you end up without a healer or in situations where you are taking extra damage. It also helps a lot because not all classes have a burst heal skill that works well for Tanks.

With the self heal from Crest of Cyrodiil you will have more room for error because you have the option of blocking a hit to gain a burst heal. We have our self heal and survival covered, so the other two gear sets we use are sustain based sets because we will die no matter how much healing we have if we run out of Magicka and Stamina. Armor of the Seducer is our first sustain set and this is great for our sustain and survivability.

Magicka Recovery is an extremely important stat for a Tank, since we really need a high Health pool to be able to absorb lots of damage we rely on Magicka Recovery over Max Magicka to help us to sustain our casting of abilities. Magicka is needed for most Tank skills but mostly for our self-healing, our self-armor buff and our self-sustain abilities. Using Armor of the Seducer also reduces the cost of all of our Magicka abilities by 10% meaning we can cast even more because we will have good Magicka Recovery and cheaper Magicka based abilities.

Our final set is Engine Guardian and this is the best sustain set in the game. You want to get whatever weight you can for the Helmet and Shoulder and then you can simply craft the Armor of the Seducer in whatever pieces you have missing but the overall aim is to have 5 Heavy, 1 Medium, 1 Light so just work your crafted gear around whatever monster set you can get. Engine Guardian is such a highly active set, it will be with you in combat nearly 100% of the time meaning it is always giving you some kind of resources. It heals or gives you Magicka or Stamina, the set is random and you can’t choose what resource you want to receive but since its such an active set, it will help you a lot over the duration of a fight.

For some classes this is better than others, for a DK and Sorcerer for example they have abilities that cost Magicka and give back Stamina. DK has Igneous Shield which costs Magicka and will give back Stamina via the Helping Hands passive. Sorcerers have Dark Deal. All classes have access to the Mages Guild skills Balance or Spell Symmetry which costs Health to give back Magicka. So effectively on some classes whichever resource you get from Engine Guardian it can be converted back into Stamina which is the hardest resource for Tanks to sustain and obtain.

Engine Guardian Looted: Veteran Darkshade Caverns II – Helmet. Shoulder buy with Undaunted Keys via Maj.

Armor of the Seducer Crafted: 3 Traits research needed.

Plague Doctor Looted: Deshaan – Buy cheap from guild traders or loot Jewellery from Dark Anchors, Weapons from Public Dungeon Bosses, both looted from Chests.

PieceSetWeightTraitEnchantment
HeadEngine GuardianMediumInfusedStamina
ShoulderEngine GuardianLightSturdyHealth
ChestEbon ArmoryHeavyInfusedHealth
HandsEbon ArmoryHeavySturdyHealth
WaistEbon ArmoryHeavySturdyHealth
LegsEbon ArmoryHeavyInfusedHealth
FeetEbon ArmoryHeavySturdyHealth
NecklaceThe Worm's RaimentJewelleryArcaneMagicka Recovery
RingThe Worm's RaimentJewelleryArcaneMagicka Recovery
RingThe Worm's RaimentJewelleryArcaneMagicka Recovery
Main HandThe Worm's RaimentAny 1HDecisiveAbsorb Stamina
Off HandThe Worm's RaimentShieldWell-FittedStamina
Main Hand BackupThe Worm's RaimentAny StaffInfusedCrusher
This is a nice build for starting Normal Trials and even Off Tanking in Veteran Trials when you are experienced enough. The gear used is all dungeon gear so you should use the dungeon setup and get yourself into the dungeons to farm this gear. The sets used here are all Tank sets you are going to use at some point as a Tank in all content so it’s worth picking up as early as possible.

The reason these sets have been chosen is because they are all “aura” based sets which means that you are going to be providing your group some nice buffs but they require no effort for you to give or maintain them, they are automatically applied to you and your allies just by being in the same group. You should look at trying to get into trials such as Maw of Lorkhaj (Roar of Alkosh) and Sunspire (Claw of Yolnahkriin) as these Trials have gear that is extremely important for Tanks. Other useful sets are listed on the Important Tank Gear page.

Normal Trials are incredibly basic and you should have no major issues Tanking in this content using this gear. Mechanics can virtually be skipped and the damage is very low, the main priority for you is just holding taunt of enemies and staying alive. This build will get to started with learning

Ebon Armory is our main Tank set here. This set provides us with some nice Max Health benefits but also gives all of our nearby group members an extra 1k Health which helps the Damage Dealers to stay alive.

This set is the natural replacement of Plague Doctor which is also a Health boosting set but only for you, when entering group content you should always look to add any suitable group buffs that you can and with Ebon being so incredibly easy to apply to your group and helping the group to survive it is an excellent set to use.

The Worm's Raiment might look like a strange “Tank” set initially but as it was mentioned already in the dungeon build, Magicka recovery is extremely important for Tanks to sustain their casting, self-healing, self-armor buffs and self-sustain skills. This set once again is applied just by being in the same area as group members and they will all benefit from additional Magicka Recovery. The reason we have to use this set on the Jewellery and Weapons is because it is a Light Armor set so we cannot use it on the body as a Tank.

With sticking to the “Group Buffing” mentality here you can use the Bloodspawn monster set. This will help you to generate your Ultimate faster and the reason this is so important is because you want to be using the Aggressive Horn skill which makes your group do more damage. By using this monster set you will gain additional Ultimate occasionally meaning you’ll be able to do more Ultimates. You do not have to use this set, you could also use Engine Guardian if you need extra self-sustain or Earthgore if you are not being healed very well by the healers.

You can use a number of sets rather than The Worm's Raiment for normal trials however other sets won’t buff your groups as easily and will require you to actively cast and monitor when the buff is active and when to reapply so it doesn’t run out. Other sets could include: Claw of Yolnahkriin, Roar of Alkosh, Torug's Pact, Livewire, Powerful Assault.

Bloodspawn Looted: Helmet from Spindleclutch II & Shoulder buy with Undaunted Keys from Maj.

Ebon Armory Looted: Crypt of Hearts I & II.

The Worm's Raiment Looted: Vaults of Madness.
PieceSetWeightTraitEnchantment
HeadLord Warden / VykosaMediumInfusedStamina
ShoulderLord Warden / VykosaLightSturdyHealth
ChestEbon Armory / Claw of YolnahkriinHeavyInfusedHealth
HandsEbon Armory / Claw of YolnahkriinHeavySturdyHealth
WaistEbon Armory / Claw of YolnahkriinHeavySturdyHealth
LegsEbon Armory / Claw of YolnahkriinHeavyInfusedHealth
FeetEbon Armory / Claw of YolnahkriinHeavySturdyHealth
NecklaceCrest of Cyrodiil / Bani's TormentJewelleryHealthyBracing
RingCrest of Cyrodiil / Bani's TormentJewelleryHealthyMagicka Recovery
RingCrest of Cyrodiil / Bani's TormentJewelleryHealthyMagicka Recovery
Main HandCrest of Cyrodiil / Bani's TormentAny 1HDecisiveAbsorb Stamina
Off HandCrest of Cyrodiil / Bani's TormentShieldWell-FittedStamina
Main Hand BackupCrest of Cyrodiil / Bani's TormentIce StaffInfusedCrusher
This setup is another simple and easy setup to introduce you into your first Veteran Trial. This is a build that you could use when going into Veteran content for the very first time and potentially your first few attempts. When you are going into new, hard content for the first time, you need to prioritise staying alive over everything else.

Often groups will expect you to use certain gear sets but this can prove to be a big challenge when doing these things for the first time. The group sets you might be asked to use are often sets that require high levels of management and interaction which can be distracting when in a new environment when taking large amounts of damage and trying to learn mechanics. You will eventually need to move over to those sets but for your first couple of clears using a build like this one will help you out a lot with staying alive and doing your basic Tank duties.

Ebon Armory is our first set which is useful to us as a Tank because we get the benefit of extra Max Health. This is also actually going to give us one group buff since its easy to maintain and we just need to be in the same area as our group members to give them the Health boost also. This is a very Tank orientated set which provides a buff so its perfect when going into your first Veteran content.

If you wanted to progress on from this set the best option is Claw of Yolnahkriin. Yolnahkriin is a easy set to maintain since you just need to taunt and enemy and all your group members get a damage buff. Its a very good Tank/Buff set which is a rarity in ESO.

Crest of Cyrodiil is an extremely cheap set and a good safety option for Tanking bosses for the very first time. It is possible that if you are entering Veteran content at this level, then you will potentially have healers who are in a similar situation and learning also. We use this set to guarantee ourselves a regular heal, in this case every 4 seconds, when we block an attack we get a good heal. This will help us to maintain our Health for the most part when taking regular light damage. It will not save us in a situation where we are hit by back to back hard mechanics/attacks or by failing to perform a certain action during a mechanic. In these cases you need to be able to react quickly to deal with mechanics and with a burst heal if required.

If you do not need this particular set because you receive sufficient healing or if you use a healing monster set you could switch to something more group focussed. The first set to consider would be Torug's Pact this is a crafted set which will cause you to remove armor from enemies making them easier to kill, and since its a crafted set its the easiest one to get.

The best piece of gear for this slot is Roar of Alkosh. Alkosh is by far the best Tanking set for group content such as Trials as it pushes the Damage Dealers to the penetration cap of 18200 meaning they are hitting an enemy with no armor and are maximising their damage. Alkosh requires very active monitoring and application so it’s is a more advanced set but one that you need to learn how to use eventually.

Lord Warden is the monster set of choice here. This is both a self-buff and a group buff if you are in close combat and proximity to your group. The reason for choosing this set is because, you really want to have a high level of resistances in Veteran Trials especially if you are a beginner and not max CP and you would have lower damage mitigation so you make up for that with extra resistances.

The resistance cap is 33000 so if you find you are going above this then you really need to switch your monster set to something else. Other good monster sets would be Earthgore for a an emergancy heal, Engine Guardian for a sustain set or Shadowrend if you wanted to apply a debuff to the enemies which decreases the damage they do.

Abilities

Dragonknight

Pierce Armor Heroic Slash Igneous Shield Green Dragon Blood Hardened Armor Shield Discipline
Inner Rage Choking Talons Elemental Blockade Cinder Storm Unrelenting Grip Aggressive Horn

For other useful skills and passive check out the Dragonknight and General Skills pages.

Necromancer

Pierce Armor Heroic Slash Mortal Coil Hungry Scythe Beckoning Armor Shield Discipline
Inner Rage Agony Totem Elemental Blockade Spirit Guardian Silver Leash Glacial Colossus

For other useful skills and passive check out the Necromancer and General Skills pages.

Nightblade

Pierce Armor Heroic Slash Leeching Strikes Dark Cloak Mirage Shield Discipline
Inner Rage Mass Hysteria Elemental Blockade Refreshing Path Silver Leash Aggressive Horn

For other useful skills and passive check out the Nightblade and the General Skills pages.

Sorcerer

Pierce Armor Heroic Slash Dark Deal Summon Unstable Clannfear Boundless Storm Shield Discipline
Inner Rage Restraining Prison Elemental Blockade Summon Unstable Clannfear Silver Leash Aggressive Horn

For other useful skills and passive check out the Sorcerer and General Skills pages.

Templar

Pierce Armor Heroic Slash Radiant Aura Radiant Ward Restoring Focus Shield Discipline
Inner Rage Turn Evil Elemental Blockade Extended Ritual Silver Leash Aggressive Horn

For other useful skills and passive check out the Templar and General Skills pages.

Warden

Pierce Armor Heroic Slash Bull Netch Polar Wind Expansive Frost Cloak Shield Discipline
Inner Rage Gripping Shards Elemental Blockade Leeching Vines Frozen Device Aggressive Horn

For other useful skills and passive check out the Warden and General Skills pages.

Tank Guides

For more guides please see our Tank Guide section and our YouTube channel.