Welcome to the ESO General Tank Skills section.

Here we will list all of the none class based skills that are useful for Tanking.

For individual class based skill information please see our Tank Class Overviews section and our YouTube channel.

Weapon Skill Lines

For more information on which weapons to use as a Tank and why, please see the Tank Weapons page.

Two Handed

There is no real use for using a 2 Handed Weapon as a Tank other than for solo overland content.

Executioner → Morph of Reverse Slice
Could be used by the Off Tank with a Decisive Perfected Asylum 2H for very high Ultigen in some particular situations.

Rally → Morph of Momentum
Major Brutality, Minor Endurance and a Heal over Time for when you’re using Executioner.

Balanced Blade
Reduce cost of your abilities, needed if using any Two Handed abilities.

One Hand and Shield

Spell Wall → Morph of Shield Wall
This is cheap cost Ultimate that auto-blocks for you. This might be used for Solo Tanking situations, critical situations where your teammates have died and you need to auto-block and resurrect, or as a beginner or low level Tank in situations where you need to auto-block so you can heavy attack to regain resources.

Shield Discipline → Morph of Shield Wall
This morph adds an extra layer of sustain as you can recast your One Hand and Shield abilities for free for a brief period.

Ransack → Morph of Puncture
This is a melee Taunt and an easy source of Minor Protection and Major Breach. Some classes such as Nightblades and Templars have Minor Protection built into their class already so this would not be needed. On other class Tanks you could use this to try and reduce your incoming damage when struggling in content however it will have a huge negative impact on your groups DPS for a very tiny buff/damage reduction.

Pierce Armor → Morph of Puncture
This again is a melee Taunt but it does not offer Minor Protection, instead you gain the addition of Minor Breech along with the Major Breech. This is a large increase to group DPS.

Heroic Slash → Morph of Low Slash
This debuffs enemies so they do less damage which is useful in high damage environments, but most importantly is the Ultimate gain which is the main reason to maintain this skill during combat.

Defensive Stance → Morph of Defensive Posture
This is a skill that can be slotted for the additional damage mitigation and damage shield which can be really useful in high damage environments. This ability will also reflect one projectile back at an enemy, when doing so you don’t need to be blocking. The best combat situations for this are where you are Tanking at range and the enemy has a reflect-able projectile such as Lokkestiiz in Sunspire, you can simply cast this and return the damage back at the boss. Not all boss projectiles can be reflected so you need to be careful. Things such as Dark Barrage by Rakkhat in Maw of Lorkhaj cannot be reflected and it will heal the boss if you reflect it.

Absorb Missile → Morph of Defensive Posture
This skill will absorb projectiles and heal you for a portion of the amount you absorbed. You will have to block when using this skill and it won’t save you from a heavy projectile if not blocking since it will not always absorb a whole projectile only a certain amount of the damage. This is sometimes a good option as it will work against projectiles that Defensive Stance does not work with. You can use this to help dealing with the Heavy Attack from Z’Maja in Cloudrest and for surviving the Dark Barrage from Rakkhat in Maw of Lorkhaj.

Shield Charge
A skill you might use for very certain mechanics in fights where you get knocked back or need to close the gap quickly on the enemy. Something like Halls of Fabrications last boss, you get punched to the middle of the room and need to get back to the boss fast and this would be a method of doing so.

Power Bash
If you are using the Vateshran One Hand and Shield, then you will need this skill. This skill is also used in the Dungeon Tank Build.

All One Hand and Shield Passives are vital for Tanking.


Sword and Board

Deadly Bash

Deflect Bolts

Battlefield Mobility

Dual Wield

There is no real use for using Dual Wield Weapons as a Tank other than for solo overland content.

Quick Cloak → Morph of Blade Cloak
There are not many situations where you will use Dual Wield as a Tank, if you do however then you would need to use this skill. The main reason to use this is because in a similar way to Elemental Blockade and Endless Hail, this skill will keep your Weapon Glyphs active on the enemy. If you are using an Infused/Crusher on a 1 Handed Weapon you will only have half of the value that you would of had with any 2 Handed Weapon. You would also benefit from Major Evasion with this skill which would help for Tanking.

Shrouded Daggers → Morph of Hidden Blade
This skill could be used on all classes other than a DK if you need some method to do an AoE Interrupt. DKs have Deep Breath but other classes do not have a skill that Interrupts multiple enemies with 1 skill so this could be used. The most common place you might see this used is on an Off Tank in Sunspire Hardmode Last Boss when dealing with multiple statues.

Controlled Fury
This would be needed if you are using Dual Wield Skills.


Focused Aim → Morph of Snipe
This is a method of causing ranged Minor Breach if you are range Tanking for some reason and using a bow.

Endless Hail → Morph of Volley
This is only Vital if using a Bow and in general using a Bow is highly situational. Endless Hail would be used to place your Infused/Crusher enchant on a ranged enemy. Using Endless Hail actually works a little better than Elemental Blockade, especially in combat situation with multiple enemies. The reason for this is because the enemy that is stood in the middle of the Endless Hail is the enemy that your Crusher will proc on, so you can choose a more precise target.

Venom Arrow → Morph of Poison Arrow
There are very few situations where this might be needed but if you are using a Bow and need a ranged interrupt then you would use this skill for doing that.

Only needed if you are using a Bow to reduce the skill cost.

Hasty Retreat
When using a Bow and Roll Dodging this passive gives you a speed boost which can be nice to use.

Destruction Staff

Crushing Shock → Morph of Force Shock
(Situationally Vital)
Sometimes you will need a ranged interrupt and you will use this skill for doing that, in things like vAS+ and vCR as an Off Tank. It’s can also be useful skill for maintaining Elemental Catalyst when Tanking.

Elemental Blockade → Morph of Wall of Elements
This is the main reason you use a Destruction Staff. This is a 2 Handed weapon so you would get a maximum possible Crusher proc on an enemy. When your Blockade is cast it will run for 15 seconds and will keep activating your Crusher enchant on cooldown on an enemy that is stood inside your Blockades path. This is actually a little unreliable compared to Endless Hail because it’s such a wide and distance AoE that other enemies near to the Blockade will end up getting the Crusher applied to them. A Bow provides no protection however so we would use this because as a Tank it’s a good idea to use an Ice Staff. When casting Frost Blockade you provide yourself and some group members with a Frost Safeguard damage shield which will protect them against some projectile damage. You also get the benefit of being able to chill enemies, immobilise chilled enemies and cause AoE Minor Maim and Minor Brittle with this skill.

Elemental Drain → Morph of Weakness to Elements
There are some situations where this is vital such as Cloudrest portals, you would ideally use this to debuff the crystals for the Damage Dealers. There are other areas where it can be used to help your group, but that will vary with each group, just make sure you are prepared to use this if its needed.

Pulsar → Morph of Impulse
The main function of this skill is to cause AoE Minor Brittle, it has triple the chance to apply a Status effect so when using a Frost Staff this would be triple the chance to activate the Chilled effect as an AoE which then provides Minor Brittle and Minor Maim. This is great for add pulls and it will also reduce the Max Health of any non-Elite or Boss enemy by 10%. When using Frost Pulsar this gives you and group members Minor Protection. If you combine the Chilled effect from using this skill along with the immobilisation from Elemental Blockade, you are able to utilise those as a method of crowd control on all classes.

Destructive ClenchMorph of Destructive Touch
Read More: Frost Clench Article
This is now your important range/Magicka taunt when using a Frost Staff. When a Frost Staff is equipped, the range of this skill increases to 28 metres. It’s far superior to Inner Fire since it taunts, guarantees a chilled proc on the enemy which means it procs Minor Maim and Minor Brittle. It also inflicts Major Maim so in total you reduce the targets damage by 15% along with increasing the amount of critical damage they take by 10%. The downside to this skill is the immobilisation, which makes no difference to bosses or elite enemies, but if you use a range taunt on normal adds it will immobilise them away from you which is the opposite of what you want to achieve when dealing with adds.

This is a passive you need to be very careful with. It can be very powerful and also make life impossible for you. For general Tanking – do not use this passive.
By using this passive, when you switch to your Staff and you Block, you will block with Magicka and you will lose your Magicka Regen but you will gain Stamina Regen in place of it. For most Tanks, losing your Magicka Recovery is pretty devastating as you will lose your ability to heal, you won’t be able to cast almost any of your abilities and it can be fatal. For Tanks who know how to manage this, it could be a powerful way to regain Stamina while blocking.

Penetrating Magic
You can use this passive if you want but it will make very minimal difference so if you are short on Skill Points, skip this one.

Elemental Force
One of the main reasons we use a Staff is for the status effects we can inflict with them, so absolutely pick up this passive.

Ancient Knowledge
This is especially vital with an Ice Staff. If you don’t take this passive then your Frost Staff won’t provide you with any Tank related benefit. This makes Tanking with a Frost Staff almost the same defensively as Tanking with a One Hand and Shield.

Destruction Expert
Frost Blockade provides you and some of your group with a projectile damage shield, by using this passive you’ll gain back some Magicka if that shield absorbs any damage.

Restoration Staff

As a Tank you won’t use a Restoration Staff due to have too little Max Magicka and Spell Damage that it’s just not very effective. You might sometimes be required to perform as an additional Healer when Tank related duties are not required such as Off Tank in Kyne’s Aegis. You might also opt to use a Resto Staff in 4-Man content when you don’t have a Healer for the buffs and passives rather than the Healing.

Illustrious Healing → Morph of Grand Healing

Radiating Regeneration → Morph of Regeneration

Combat Prayer → Morph of Blessing of Protection
Used for applying Minor Berserk to your group.

Healing Ward → Morph of Steadfast Ward
The shield size from this depends on your allies Health and how low Health they have so it could provide some use as a Tank.

Siphon Spirit → Morph of Force Siphon
This applies Minor Magickasteal and Minor Lifesteal built into 1 skill so it would be a good way to get both of those if they are not being applied by Elemental Drain and Blood Altar.

All passives are unnecessary unless you are actually using a Restoration Staff, in which case they would all be Vital.

Essence Drain

Restoration Expert

Cycle of Life


Restoration Master

Armor Skill Lines

As a Tank you will often use a range of gear weights. For more information on the benefits of using different armor weights please check out the Gear Weight page.

Heavy Armor

Immovable → Morph of Unstoppable
This skill provides an immunity to knockbacks and increases amount of damage you can block. It’s a really strong skill in fights where you take a lot of damage and don’t have to move a lot, you take less damage however you are almost stuck to the floor for 6 seconds so it’s a difficult skill to use and needs to be timed for very specific moments.

You ideally use this skill along with 6 Heavy Armor, this is so you can reach the maximum buff while also still able to roll dodge and move a little. If you use 7 heavy, you are stuck in 1 spot for 6 seconds and this is not advised. It’s also worth noting that block mitigation is capped at 90% so this may have very minimal effect if you are already close to 90% block mitigation.

Each piece of Heavy Armor does the following:

  • Reduces damage taken from Martial attacks by 1%
  • Increases the amount of damage blocked by 1%
  • Increases damage done with Bash by 3%
  • Reduces your damage taken while immune to crowd control by 1%

Each piece of Heavy Armor does the following:

  • Increases damage taken from Magical attacks by 1%
  • Reduces the Movement Speed bonus of Sprint by 1%
  • Increases the cost of Roll Dodge by 3%
  • Increases the size of your detection area while Sneaking by 10%

All Heavy Armor Passives are vital for Tanking.





Rapid Mending

Medium Armor

Shuffle → Morph of Evasion
If you are Medium Armor Tanking in some level of content that has some kind of immobilization or snare mechanic then you would use this morph of the skill to help prevent it from happening.

Elude → Morph of Evasion
This would typically be the morph you would use when Medium Armor Tanking to reduce the incoming AoE damage by 25% which is a considerable amount when Tanking in Medium Armor. This Morph of the skill will increase the duration depending on how many Medium pieces you are using.

Each piece of Medium Armor does the following:

  • Reduces the cost of Sprint by 1%
  • Reduces the cost of Sneak by 5%
  • Reduces the cost of Block by 3%
  • Reduces damage taken from Area of Effect attacks by 2% for 2 seconds after you use Roll Dodge
  • Increases Movement Speed by 2% while immune to crowd control

This is not a vital passive for Tanking, it will increase your damage/healing slightly and would be needed for something like a Nightblade Tank that relies on causing crit damage to proc their group buff or when using a Crit based set such as Grundwulf.

Wind Walker
With this Passive you benefit with a very minor Stamina Cost Reduction of your skills such as Puncture and Heroic Slash, so it is worth picking up as a Tank for some minor sustain support if you are using any Medium Armor pieces.

Improved Sneak
(Not Needed)

You can use this if you want but it’s not vital for Tanking.

Reduced Roll Dodge cost and increased Sprint Speed is just a nice little extra bit of help with sustain if you are using any Medium pieces.

Light Armor

Not really ever needed by a Tank as you need to use 5 Light Armor pieces to be able to use the skill.

Each piece of Light Armor does the following:

  • Reduces damage taken from Magical attacks by 1%
  • Reduces the cost of Roll Dodge by 3%
  • Reduces the Movement Speed penalty of Sneak by 5%
  • Reduces the cost of Break Free by 5%
  • Reduces the cost of Bash by 3%

Each piece of Light Armor does the following:

  • Increases damage taken from Martial attacks by 1%
  • Increases the cost of Block by 3%
  • Decreases damage done with Bash by 1%

Vital skills are only vital if using Light Armor pieces.

Reduce Sprint cost an reduce the effectiveness of Snare applied to us, well worth having.

Magicka Recovery and Reduce Magicka Cost both very important for Tanks as most of our abilities are Magicka costing.

Spell Warding
Not a huge boost to Spell Resistances but worth having since we need this as a Tank anyway.

Damage passive, not very effective for a Tank.

Damage passive, not very effective for a Tank.

World Skill Lines

All of the World Skills and Passives are more or less optional. It is NOT advised that you choose to be a Vampire as a Tank. Werewolf is also not a good choice if you are looking to be a Tank but they can be used for some fun setups for none serious content.

Soul Magic

Consuming Trap
This is not really needed but if you are having a hard time sustain in situations where you have adds or Bosses with adds that die frequently then you could use this skill. You would have to cast this on an enemy just as they are about to die to benefit from the incoming Stamina gain because the enemy needs to die with this skill applied to them for it to give you back the resources. Requires a reasonable amount of effort to benefit and you would likely be better off learning to time Heavy Attacks.

None of these passives are going to effect your ability to Tank or give any Tank benefits but they are passives you can use if you really want to.

Soul Shatter

Soul Summons

Soul Lock