Welcome to The Tank Club Ultimate ESO Beginner Tank Guide!

This ESO Beginner Tank Guide has been created for PvE Tanks, to help coach you on your way to becoming a successful Tank in The Elder Scrolls Online. 

Before you get started with Tanking, please take a little time to have a read through this guide to hopefully give you an idea about what Tanking is all about in The Elder Scrolls Online.

This guide is basically a summary of everything you need to know, whether you are new to ESO or just new to Tanking, you should find all the basic information you need to start Tanking.

For a good starting build for a Tank, make sure you also check out our Beginner Tank Build.

What is a Tank?

In the Elder Scrolls Online – A Tank is someone who is the heavily armoured shell of a group, the first one into battle and the front-line of combat to protect and defend everyone else against any threat.

A Tanks main job is to aggro and control enemy targets forcing them to attack you and ensure as little damage as possible is passed onto Damage Dealers and Healers. Once aggro is achieved the next task of the Tank is to position enemies safely where allies are as protected as possible to perform their respective roles. As a Tank it is vital to learn fights quickly and efficiently, know mechanics and tactics for each fight as you are the frontline and you will deal with mechanics more than most other roles in a group. Tanks in ESO, similar to the military vehicle, need a very strong defence and good battlefield manoeuvrability: You take a lot of damage as a Tank so the priority is to boost your Max Health and Resistances so you are able to deal with all incoming damage.

The biggest obstacles for a Tank are self-sustaining and survivability. Tanks usually aim for a high Magicka Recovery stat to help with in combat abilities. Stamina sustain can be difficult, when you block – you lose Stamina and Stamina cannot be regained through regeneration while holding Block. With good sustain, you’ll be able to heal yourself if needed and surviving becomes a lot easier, but experience is key to surviving and learning all areas of your class, race, role and each particular fight is a must.

Once you have mastered the basics of Tanking, you will be expected to support your group by setting up in a particular way. This is where you begin to help your group with certain buffs and gear sets, which increase the group damage output (or survivability and sustain) and also begin using further debuff skills and sets which increase the damage your enemy targets take. The reason why buffing and debuffing is important for the Tank is because you are always on the front-line and close to the enemy so it is far easier for a Tank to maintain certain buffs and debuff. Also, the more damage your group can do, the quicker fights will end which benefits everyone in a group especially a Tank who is having to balance sustain, fight management and more.

Choosing a Tank Class

You can Tank using any class in The Elder Scrolls Online. Each class has its own skills and passives that will benefit you as a Tank.

Dragonknights are the best performing Tanks for beginners but every class is able to Tank. Each class has a certain set of group buffs and utilities, and generally you would use these other classes as and when they are needed because you are missing these particular unique buffs and debuffs in your group.

This tier list has the beginner perspective in mind. This is not a tier list based on what is the most optimal class for group content.

Best Tank Class (Jan 2021) | Elder Scrolls Online | Markarth

The Dragonknight is the absolute best class for beginner tanks.

DK’s as they are also known are typically the easiest Tank class to play due to the self-sustain available to them via their class passives.

Sustain on a DK is great as you can get all resources back when using an Ultimate and you can get Stamina while blocking thanks to the passives Battle Roar and Helping Hands. Early on in the levelling process they have access to Magicka based crowd control with Choking Talons and Unrelenting Grip, both which are superior to every other Tank classes crowd control abilities.

They have two excellent healing skills; one burst heal that scales with Max Health called Coagulating Blood and one heal over time called Cinder Storm. They also have a group spam-able shield called Igneous Shield which scales with Max Health.

The DK has access to a unique group damage buff called Stagger which places a debuff on enemies via the Stone Giant skill which causes the target to take increased damage. Stagger is more common in the later stages of the end game due to its difficulty to maintain and sustain but is a requirement by most groups in harder content and trials.

DK’s also have a group buff called Minor Brutality which is often applied from the Mountain’s Blessing passive by casting a Earthen Heart skill.  Other groups buffs provided by a Dragonknight include Engulfing Flames and Igneous Weapons.

The Warden is an easy to play Tank especially at lower CP due to their powerful Healing, Shields and Defensive Group Buffs.

The problem with Wardens is that you only need one Warden in a group and typically this would be a Healer. If you are in a group without a Warden, they are extremely useful as Tanks.

Group buffs from a Warden include Minor Toughness which increases everyone’s Health by 10% via the Maturation passive. They can provide Major Resolve to a whole group by using Expansive Frost Cloak. They can also provide Minor Vulnerability debuff on enemies with the Fetcher Infection ability. They also have easier access to the Chilled Effect which creates the Minor Brittle enemy debuff.

Wardens are generally good at generating Ultimate, have high Magicka Recovery, have a strong self-heal with Polar Wind which also heals 1 other ally and then you have Shimmering Shield which absorbs 50k+ damage from projectiles as well as giving Major Heroism.

In Light Armor group compositions with no other Sorcerer then a Sorc Tank is a great option.

If there is one other Sorcerer then using one as a Tank can be instantly pretty useless as they have very little to offer the group. A Sorc brings a group buff with Minor Prophecy from the Exploitation passive which can add around 1-2k DPS to each Damage Dealer, and they can also provide Minor Intellect by casting Empowered Ward. Sorcerer Tanks are sometimes expected to use Crystal Weapon to reduce the enemy resistances to increase group damage.

They have a very strong self heal with the Unstable Clannfear as this scales with Max Health. Sustain is quite easy by using Dark Deal which swaps Magicka for a burst of Health, Stamina and Stamina over time making sustain almost as easy as a DK although this skill does make you drop block for a second.

Bound Aegis can be used for huge damage mitigation as a panic button during heavy mechanics and makes surviving as a Sorcerer very easy.

Sorcs have a very easy way to achieve Major Vitality with Restraining Prison even on bosses and elite targets meaning they can both take a lot of damage and also be healed easier through big damage situations.

Templar Tanks are not very desirable in most groups but they are decent for 4-person content and not bad for beginners.

They bring the group buff of Minor Sorcery via the Illuminate passive which is pretty much the only useful group buff a Templar provides.

Templars do have other utilities like Extended Ritual, Power of the Light and both morphs of Restoring Aura

Templars don’t posses a good burst heal but they can stack a range of very strong healing over time with Living Dark, Extended Ritual and Restoring Focus which also gives them additional Stamina sustain and Major Resolve.

Sustain in 4-person content is extremely easy thanks to Repentance and there is additional survival thanks to Radiant Ward which is a Magicka costing, Health scaling damage shield that also provides Minor Protection.

The Necro is generally a situationally used Tank, they are very difficult to use as a beginner player because they are the worst class in the game for sustaining.

If you are in a group with no Necromancers or anyone using gear sets such as Turning Tide or Archdruid Devyric then using a Necro Tank is very useful to increase group damage thanks to the Major Vulnerability offered by using either morph of the Frozen Colossus skill.

One of the strongest points of a Necro Tank is their Ultimate regeneration, ther