ESO Necromancer Tank Class Overview, Skills, Passives & Information

ESO Necromancer Tank Class Skills and Passives

Grave Lord

Frozen Colossus
If you are using a Necro Tank this is one of the reasons why – because your group requires more Major Vulnerability that comes from this Ultimate. This is no longer as important as it was in the past because some groups now choose to use Turning Tide and Archdruid Devyric so it’s not as essential as it used to be.

Flame Skull
(Not Needed)

Stalking Blastbones  → Morph of Blastbones
The reason you would use this skill is for “farming” corpses. Either morph will work, typically it would be Stalking for a Tank since it’s Magicka costing but if you are playing a Hybrid setup then you might use Blighted Blastbones. This skill is used primarily so you can create a corpse which you can then absorb with Necrotic Potency. When you combine this with other other corpses it will increase the speed with which you gain back your Ultimate, which is very valuable with a setup designed for doing it.

Avid Boneyard → Morph of Boneyard
This is the selfish morph that creates a synergy that you can use yourself. This is only worth using if you don’t need the AoE Major Breach provided by the other morph and you want to give yourself the synergy for increasing your personal Alkosh uptime.

Unnerving Boneyard → Morph of Boneyard
Applies Major Breach as an AoE, plus provides your group with a synergy which does damage and heals you for the damage caused. This is the group morph, it’s good for trash fights for the Major Breach and it’s good for supplying a synergy to your group if it’s needed.

Skeletal Mage
This again would be used in a similar way to Blastbones and either morph could be used. The primary function is for creating corpses to absorb with Necrotic Potency for gaining back Ultimate faster. It will provide some additional DPS which would be good for a Hybrid setup. If you cast this skill halfway through its duration it will generate a corpse, so you don’t have to wait for it to die.

Mystic Siphon → Morph of Mystic Siphon
This skill can be used for the additional recovery but is a bit of a wasted skill slot just for 150 recovery. Might also be used when using Elemental Catalyst as this will be your source of Area of Effect Shock Damage. Using EC is generally not advised for a Tank.

Reusable Parts
This is the only passive that’s really needed by the Tank but only if you are using Blastbone, Spirit Mender or Skeletal Mage.

Death Knell, Dismember & Rapid Rot
(All Unnecessary)
The of these passives are damage focused and you do not need them for Tanking although you could pick them up if you have spare skill points to give you a small damage increase.

Bone Tyrant

Bone Goliath Transformation
This isn’t something you’ll really use, more of a PvP skill. Could use for a real desperate situation but for PvE you’d be better off slotting Colossus, Aggressive Horn or Renewing Animation.

Hungry Scythe → Morph of Death Scythe
This is the Necro Tank’s main heal. It’s a Magicka damage ability which heals based on how many targets it hits and also give you a heal over time. It scales on your Max Health. When dealing with multiple targets it provides a large heal, the only downside is you need to actually hit a target to get healed so if you are out of range or in a transitional fight where you move a lot and you need a heal, you could really struggle.

Ruinous Scythe → Morph of Death Scythe
This is the Stamina morph and generally wouldn’t be used. It does offer a potential group buff with Off Balance, but this is only something worth considering if the damage dealers in your group are using the Exploiter Champion Point passive, otherwise it’s not worth using it.

Beckoning Armor → Morph of Bone Armor
Armor buff that grants Major Resolve and will pull in 1 ranged enemy that is attacking you every 2 seconds. This can pull in ranged enemies quicker than once every 2 seconds if you just recast the ability, it also resets the pull in timer so you can actually pull in a target every second. Not as reliable as using an actual instant pull ability such as Silver Leash and utilising a set like the Void Bash set would be far superior to relying on this skill. Also, not essential for the Armor buff since you can use Balance which gives you great Magicka sustain plus Major Resolve.

Summoner’s Armor → Morph of Bone Armor
This is the other morph, and it is very useful when you are trying to gain Ultimate back faster by summoning and absorbing corpses. It will reduce the cost of your summoning skills plus create a corpse when it ends. If you recast this once it reaches half of the duration it will also create a corpse, so this is another useful skill to combine with other corpses and Necrotic Potency for generating Ultimate much faster.

Necrotic Potency → Morph of Bitter Harvest
This is a fantastic skill for a Tank. Along with the heal and damage reduction you also gain 6 Ultimate per corpse consumed. This makes it fantastic for 4-person content where there are many adds you can use your Ultimate much more frequently and also in some trials where you have lots of add phases it helps to boost your Ultimate uptimes easily by consuming all the corpses. You can also combine its use by slotting a range of summoning skills to create corpses and then absorb them to get huge Ultimate gain in almost any fight. The other morph Deaden Pain is not worth using since you can just slot Revealing Flare for a more consistent Major Protection if needed.

Agony Totem → Morph of Bone Totem
A nice skill for add control and also a nice group synergy. Minor Protection is a nice group buff but would mostly be used in add pulls for the AoE Minor Vulnerability which increases the damage your group do to enemies by 5%. The crowd control is a Fear which means any enemies that are pulled or chained won’t be affected by the Fear so it’s not as useful as an Immobilisation.

Empowering Grasp → Morph of Grave Grasp
This is no longer as useful due to the changes to Empower but it was previously one of the main reasons why a Necro Tank was useful for group content. It summons 3 patches of skeletal claws from the ground in front of you which snare the enemy, cause Minor Maim and immobilise them, so its a crowd control skill first of all althought not a very good one. This is also a group buff, it will give up to 6 members Empower who are stood inside each patch.

Death Gleaning
Useful sustain passive.

Disdain Harm
Pretty vital skill in certain DoT heavy fights.

Health Avarice
You’ll likely have at least 1 and sometimes multiple Bone Tyrant Skills slotted which will give a healing boost.

Last Gasp
More Max Health always very helpful for a Tank.

Living Death

Renewing Animation → Morph of Reanimate
This is a good skill to have slotted if you are Tanking in progression or pick up groups as you can quickly resurrect 3 people. You’ll also gain the Near-Death Experience passive even if you don’t use this skill, but having it slotted can be useful in high damage situations to get yourself some stronger self-healing.

Render Flesh
(Not Needed)

This will basically purge negative effects from you. You have the option of the morph Expunge and Modify that gives you resources each time you remove negative effects or the other Hexproof that removes more negative effects. You also gain reduced ability cost for having it slotted. If you’re in a purge and sustain heavy fight, then this could be an option but generally wouldn’t be used.

Life amid Death
(Not Needed)

Spirit Guardian → Morph of Spirit Mender
A heal over time ability that also takes 10% of your incoming damage. The potential problem with the heal is it will heal other people so it’s not reliable as a self-healing skill unless you are away from your group or constantly the lowest health, but still worth using if you have the bar space. It links up to whoever has the lowest health so it can help to keep others in your group alive. In high damage situations its worth using just so you can transfer some of the damage off you and onto the spirit, it’s capable of receiving 30,000 damage meaning you can take 300,000 damage and 30k will get transferred to this Guardian. You will also benefit from an increased Magicka Recovery when you have this active via the Undead Confederate passive and the additional corpse which can be absorbed with Necrotic Potency.

Intensive Mender → Morph of Spirit Mender
Similar to the Spirit Guardian it just has a much shorter duration and a bigger burst heal. It won’t absorb any of your damage either and would be used because the heal is much bigger than the other morph however, the other morph is generally better.

Mortal Coil → Morph of Restoring Tether
You can use this on a corpse to heal you and allies, the heal won’t be great as a Tank but it also restores Magicka and Stamina every 2 seconds so it will add a little extra sustain if you need it, along with the heal plus a slight healing done increase. If you have problems sustaining on a Necro Tank you could use this but it’s not as good as some of the other Classes alternatives.

Curative Curse
Very helpful passive which increases the healing done if you have a negative effect on you which is a pretty common thing for a lot of PvE content.

Near-Death Experience
You need to have a Living Death ability slotted for this passive. If you do then you’ll get an increase to your crit healing with all healing skills based on how low health you have.

Corpse Consumption
Vital skill for even more Ultigen especially good if you are using it with Necrotic Potency.

Undead Confederate
Really nice passive to increase you Magicka Recovery mostly when you have a Spirit Mender active, or any summon for that matter.

ESO Necromancer Tank Overview

Necromancer Tanks are a popular choice for Tanks in The Elder Scrolls Online, especially as Off Tanks.

Necromancers are a fairly new class that was introduced to the Elder Scrolls Online 5 years after initial release in the Summerset Chapter. Generally, it’s not advised for new Tanks to play as a Necro because they are quite difficult to play compared to other classes, however they have been the best class for Off Tanking Trials for a while up until the Lost Depths update.

In the current game the Necromancer provides virtually no group buffs or benefits anymore. Major Vulnerability from Colossus is often replaced now with Turning Tide or Archdruid Devyric since they provide a much more sustainable and higher uptime. The recent change to the Empower buff also made Empowering Grasp something that you no longer need.

Best & Worst Tank Class - Lost Depths Patch | Elder Scrolls Online

When you combine these changes along with the sustain difficulties a lot of people have with the Necro means they are no longer as important or vital.

Necromancer Tanks while not offering as much group utility as they didn’t previously are still incredibly good at generating Ultimate which now is probably one of their biggest strengths. The Necrotic Potency skill means Necro Tanks can build their Ultimate incredibly quickly and this is a factor to consider in a wide range of situations. A Necro being able to create their own corpses with skills such as Blastbones, Skeletal Mage, Beckoning Armor and Spirit Guardian means even when in combat situations like boss fights where there are no corpses for long periods of time, a Necro can make their own.

Necromancer Tanks have two good class-based Ultimate’s with Frozen Colossus and Renewing Animation. Colossus provides Major Vulnerability, which was once a Class buff, but is now easily obtainable from other sources such as Turning Tide and Archdruid Devyric gear sets. Some groups might not use these sets however and then suddenly there is a requirement to have 3 Necromancers in a 12-person Trial group. If those sets are being used, then this Ultimate is not really needed anymore. Renewing Animation is a great help in beginner progression groups because sometimes it just means you don’t have to wipe a fight and start again; you can resurrect 3 people and potentially continue. This works especially good in those progressions and when doing random groups for dungeons, if your whole group is dead, you can resurrect them with 1 skill.

Groups buffs that you can provide with a Necromancer Tank include Area of Effect Minor Vulnerability which means that enemies take 5% increased damage, this can be achieved in many other ways in the game also. As a Necro you can also supply your group with Empower via Empowering Grasp, but this is no longer as strong since it buffs Heavy Attacks by 80% rather than Light Attacks meaning the Necro Tank has lost a really big part of its usefulness in group content.
When it comes to healing, the Necromancer Tank has a decent self-heal. Scythe heals based on enemies hit meaning the more enemies hit, the bigger the heal. This can be a big problem also when you are 1vs1 with a boss and it moves such as in Cloudrest, during the transitions you have no way to heal effectively. There is a heal over time with the Spirit Mender but again it’s unreliable due to the fact it can heal someone else and not you.

Mitigation is a strong part of Necro. You have access to the Spirit Guardian which absorbs 10% of your incoming damage and it has 30k health. There is also the Disdain Harm passive which reduces your damage take from damage over time skills and a lot of the newer content is very dot heavy so reducing that by 15% is so helpful in some of the really difficult Hardmode Trials where incoming damage is extremely high especially from DoTs.

Sustain has improved for Necro Tanks but is still way off compared to every other Class. You have Mortal Coil which will supply you with a small number of resources every 2 seconds but that’s more or less it’s only function, so it takes up a valuable skill slot for a tiny amount of resource gain when compared to something like the Templar which has Restoring Focus which offers large amounts of healing, Major Resolve and resources every second, it’s seeming a waste to even slot it. The Death Gleaning passive is also useful but only really effective on add pulls.

The Necromancer Tank was once the most requested Off Tank for trial content has become quite ineffective and unnecessary with recent updates. From a beginner point of view, it’s hard to play compared to most other Classes mostly because of the sustain issues. Although a lot of people find them fun to play there is very little reason to do so at the moment, even for 4-person content they are not quite as good as other Classes.


  • Strong DPS buff if group isn’t using Major Vuln sets.
  • Good mitigation with Guardian and DoT reduction.
  • Great Ultimate regeneration with Necrotic Potency.


  • No useful group buffs that are supplied only by a Necromancer.
  • Difficult to sustain Stamina especially for beginners.
  • Self-healing can be difficult in transitional fights.

Group Buffs

ESO Necromancer Tank Videos

'Soul-Eater' Necromancer Tank Build | Elder Scrolls Online | High Isle