ESO Dragonknight Tank Class Skills and Passives

Ardent Flame

Dragonknight Standard
This skill is not required for tanking but might be used in solo content.

Lava Whip
(Not Needed)

Burning Embers → Morph of Searing Strike
This can be used to proc Encratis’s Behemoth or Elemental Catalyst when you already have a DK in group using Engulfing Flames since this skill is about 1k Magicka cheaper to cast. It is single target so if you need AoE flame weakness for EC then use Engulfing.

Venomous Claw→ Morph of Searing Strike
A cheap damage skill for doing damage as an Off Tank or Tank/DD Hybrid Tank build. This skill is used in the Tribute Tank Build for solo content.

Engulfing Flames → Morph of Fiery Breath
If you are in a Magicka group with no other DK then this is a vital skill that must be used.
With the Flames of Ambition patch, Engulfing Flames became a lot easier to do as a Tank. For 4-man content you can typically expect to hit a bonus of about 8% extra Flame Damage for your group and in Trial situations 10% is easily obtained. To get 10% you need 3900 Spell Damage and 25,000 Max Magicka but you can have less Magicka and more Spell Damage and vice versa. When you use Igneous Weapons, Eldritch Insight CP have Minor Sorcery from a Templar, Major/Minor Courage from SPC/Yolnahkriin and the War Horn resource buff you are easily at 10%, if you are not at 10% also try Triune Jewellery.

Noxious Breath → Morph of Fiery Breath
This causes Area of Effect Minor Breach which is really handy for add pulls and dungeons. You can use this to debuff a whole stack of enemies very quickly so you should consider using it when you are stacking enemies using chains and range taunt and dealing with multiple enemies. This skill is used in the Tribute Tank Build for solo content.

Unrelenting Grip → Morph of Fiery Grip
A very important ability for stacking enemies and one of the few Magicka pull abilities in the game. This will chain any none elite target to you but it will not work on a target that was recently crowd controlled or any Boss or Elite target, it will refund the cost if this is the case so can be used as a free speed boost if you use it intelligently on those targets. This ability can be combined with Talons for great crowd control, its possible to chain and the immediately talons an enemy. When chaining an enemy, if there is no active taunt on that enemy, this skill applies a 2 second taunt called “Fiery Grip Taunt” which means you will gain aggro of any enemies that you chain. This chain is removed if anyone activates a normal taunt skill such as Puncture or Inner Fire.

Cauterize → Morph of Inferno
You might possibly use this for a certain Dungeon builds if you run in a group without a Healer and want an effortless heal that can hit you or people in your group.

Flames of Oblivion → Morph of Inferno
Scales with your highest offensive stat so it’s a good damage skill for Off Tank or Tank/DD Hybrid builds.



Searing Heat

World in Ruin

None of these passives are really vital for Tanking. If you occasionally play solo or as a DD or Tank/Hybrid then these passives are mostly damage dealer passives, or if you use Engulfing Flames you will need Warmth and Combustion passives.

Draconic Power

Dragon Leap
This skill is not required for tanking but might be used in PvP or Solo content.

Spiked Armor
This is your main source of Major Resolve to increase your resistances until you are able to get the Mages Guild ability Balance. Balance would be a better option but does require Mages Guild 9 to unlock, this will be fine as a placeholder until then. Hardened Armor is the better Tank morph as it provides a small damage shield but Volatile Armor is use in the Tribute Tank Build to add a bit of AoE damage.

Choking Talons → Morph of Dark Talons
When using this crowd control ability, you hold up to 6 enemies near you rooted to the ground. It works well in combination with Unrelenting Grip where you pull enemies to you then root with Talons making it easier for your allies to use area damage to kill grouped up enemies. This does not root elite or boss targets but it will still cause the Minor Maim even if it doesn’t root which means this is a good ability to do area of effect Minor Maim if it is needed.

Green Dragon Blood → Morph of Dragon Blood
This is the main heal for a Dragonknight Tank. It’s an emergency heal and not intended to be spammed or used at high health, and it scales based on the amount of Health you have missing. To get the most benefit from this you want to have as much Max Health as possible, generally you should have over 40k and then you need to use this skill when you are as low health as possible. When you use it when you are higher health it will heal very little, so it performs most effectively at lower Health, try to always use it when under 30% Max Health or less. This can also critical heal which will heal you from very low health to full in one cast.

Protective Plate → Morph of Protective Scale
A very important skill for very certain situations. When you are taking heavy projectile damage you can cast this to reduce the incoming damage by 50%. It also removes and makes you immune to snares and immobilisation which again is useful for certain situations. A few good places to use this include vHoF after Spider Boss to get through the beams, vCR when Tanking Z’Maja heavy attack and vMoL when dealing with Dark Barrage from Rakkhat.

Deep Breath → Morph of Inhale
Not a commonly used ability as there are not many situations where it is necessary, but when you have multiple targets that channel an ability that needs to be interrupted then this is a great skill as you can use this to cause an area of effect interrupt. A few places where this is useful include vKA adds after the 2nd Boss, vHoF adds and Blackrose Prison.

Iron Skin
Very important passive for a Tank as it adds additional Block Mitigation so you can block more damage.

Burning Heart
Another important passive for Tanking, healing received is vital for survivability and this makes healing intensive situations easier on a DK.

Elder Dragon

The Health Recovery is a minor boost which will give you a little extra healing every 2 seconds and will stack with other sources of Health Recovery such as the Bewitched Sugar Skulls food, the Steed Mundus and Major Fortitude from Health Potions. You will also get increased melee range on bosses which is really helpful for some content.

Scaled Armor
Adds a large amount of Spell Resistances and makes it very easy for a DK to reach the spell resistance cap of 33k.

Earthern Heart

Magma Shell → Morph of Magma Armor
This is an Ultimate ability that you might use for very high damage or emergency situations especially if you are a newer Tank. There are some situations with a lot of damage and this basically makes you unkillable for 12 seconds.

Stone Giant → Morph of Stonefist
A very important ability. For any group content you should attempt to maintain this as much as you physically can. It adds approximately 3-4k DPS per Damage Dealer to a target. Effectively if you can maintain this 100% in a 12-person group with 8 damage dealers this would increase you group damage by 24-32k+ DPS. The way this works is you have to cast this 3 times on a target at the start to reach the max of 3x Stagger stacks which lasts for 6 seconds. Then you need to recast it to refresh the timer every 5 seconds, if you don’t the stagger runs out and you need to restart the stacks by casting 3 times. The first stomp/cast will make you drop block so make sure not to do this during a heavy attack or big mechanic. The first stomp is also an Area of Effect so you can hit multiple nearby targets with at least 1x stagger which would increase damage in add pulls with a lot of stacked targets even if you only cast it once. Learn more about this skill in the video tutorial on our YouTube.

Igneous Weapons → Morph of Molten Weapons
You can use this when running in beginner groups to make sure they are getting Major Sorcery/Brutality as sometimes in these groups they don’t use the correct potions. It can also be used for top groups who use different potions such as Ultimate regeneration potions to unlock other benefits but still need a source of Major Sorcery. If you are trying to get a 10% Engulfing Flames setup then you would ideally use this also.

Fragmented Shield → Morph of Obsidian Shield
This ability gives a much smaller shield than Igneous Shield but you are compensated with double the time that your Major Mending lasts. Typically its not worth using it over the other morph.

Igneous Shield → Morph of Obsidian Shield
A very strong multi use ability. It gives you a damage shield which scales off your Max Health so you can get quite a large shield. It also gives you Major Mending which increased your Healing so it’s good to cast this before casting a healing ability so you will heal for more. It also gives a group shield which is smaller than the shield you get for yourself but can be helpful to use in group content to increase survivability. You can also use this skill to proc the Helping Hands passive which will restore 990 Stamina each time, while blocking and using Magicka to trade for Stamina.

(Not Needed)
This is typically only used in PvP situations.

Cinder Storm → Morph of Ash Cloud
If you want to give yourself a long duration heal over time, you could place this under yourself so you spend less Magicka on burst heals from Green Dragon Blood. This skill can be used at the start of combat by being thrown in front of the enemy to snare them, slowing them down by 70% which gives you more time to close the gap, gain aggro of the enemies and stack them well for your damage dealers to kill them. This skill can also be used to proc certain gear sets such as Olorime, Symphony of Blade, Sentinel of Rkugamz.

Eternal Mountain
Very important passive to increase the duration of your Igneous Shield and Stone Giant most importantly but adds duration to other Earthen Heart abilities also.

Battle Roar
This is the difference maker between Tank classes. You will almost always use an Aggressive Warhorn as your Ultimate at a cost of 250 Ultimate which means you will also gain a huge amount of resources when you do so. This makes the DK sustain very easy and the ideal class for most people as a Tank.

Mountain’s Blessing
This is a group buff that will benefit Stamina Damage Dealers so it is important to have this in a group which has any Stamina DDs. This is also a way to build extra Ultimate by casting an ability once every 6 seconds for the 3 Ultimate, generally you will cast Igneous Shield and Stone Giant a lot for this to return the Ultimate as much as possible.

Helping Hands
You can gain Stamina while blocking thanks to this passive by casting Igneous Shield frequently. This is why Balance is a good ability to use and also high Magicka Recovery so you can cast Igneous Shields as much as possible then use it to sacrifice Magicka for Stamina and doing this also maintains the Ultimate generation from Mountain’s Blessing passive.

ESO Dragonknight Tank Overview

Dragonknights (aka DKs) are the most commonly used Tanks in the Elder Scrolls Online.

DK’s are typically the easiest Tank class, and they are the absolute best class for beginner Tanks. One of the main reasons for this is due to the self-sustain available to them via their class passives Battle Roar and Helping Hands, which allows DKs to generate Stamina resources while maintaining block.

Early on in the levelling process DKs 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. Any skill that is Magicka costing is a huge benefit to the Tank to help with sustain especially CC abilities like Chains.

Dragonknight Tank Skills & Overview | Elder Scrolls Online | Waking Flame

DKs have some excellent healing skills; one burst emergency heal that scales with Max Health called Green Dragon Blood and one heal over time called Cinder Storm. They also have a group shield called Igneous Shield which scales with Max Health, this also restores Stamina while blocking via the Help Hands Passive and gives the caster Major Mending which boosts the healing they can do.

The DK has access to 3 unique group damage buffs called Stagger and Engulfing Flames. Stagger places a debuff on enemies via the Stone Giant skill which causes the target to take increased damage. Engulfing Flames can make an enemy take up to 10% more Flame Damage from your group. DK’s also have a Stamina group buff called Minor Brutality which is often applied by casting Igneous Shield. 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 can also offer groups Major Brutality and Major Sorcery with Igneous Weapons, which is a great skill for all groups since players in lower tier groups are unlikely to be consistently using strong potions, and in higher tier groups it gives them the option to run alternative potions such as Ultimate gaining potions to boost damage even further. The DK also has another unique buff with Engulfing Flames which increases the amount of fire damage an enemy takes. This buff is better maintained by a DK Magicka Damage Dealer, but of you are the only DK in a Magicka Group you would likely need to use it.

A few things to remember is that if you are trying to optimise a group, the DK Tank should only be considered if the person playing the DK Tank is maintaining  Stagger with Stone Giant if no other DK is doing it, maintaining Engulfing Flames if they are the only DK in a Magicka group, providing Minor Brutality in a Stamina group or if the person using the DK is doing so because they need help managing their sustain. If none of these things are applicable then you should consider a more beneficial class for optimising your group.

Overall the DK is a very strong class to play as a Tank. If you are new to Tanking then a DK would be the best option by far, purely for the sustain benefits. They are top tier for 4-person content due to their CC abilities and they have a lot to offer in group content.


  • Great sustain – able to gain Stamina while blocking.
  • Good beginner class.
  • Good self healing.
  • Excellent Magicka based CC (crowd control) class skills.
  • Decent range of group buffs and utility.
  • Strong Tank class due to extra Resistances and Mitigation.


  • Stone Giant drops block on initial cast and is hard to sustain and manage.
  • Sustaining can be difficult when using Stone Giant.
  • Magicka abilities are all really high cost.
  • Not very useful to a group if Stone Giant or Engulfing Flames are not used.

Group Buffs

ESO Dragonknight Tank Videos

Charged 1H & Poison Glyph - Great For DK Sustain? | Elder Scrolls Online | Deadlands
Stone Giant & Stagger - Why, How & When To Use It | Elder Scrolls Online
Engulfing Flames - How To Get 10% | Elder Scrolls Online | Flames of Ambition

ESO Dragonknight Tank Links