ESO Nightblade Tank Class Skills and Passives

ESO Nightblade Tank Class Skills and Passives


Incapacitating Strike → Morph of Death Stroke
This is a good passive Ultimate to use on your front bar. If you tie it in with Siphoning Strikes then each Light and Heavy Attack will return a lot of resources. You need to know fights reasonably well for this however since you need to know exactly when it’s safe to use Light and Heavy Attacks. If you are experienced enough then this is a good additional resource tool you can use for a Nightblade.

Assassin’s Blade
This could be used as a Nightblade Tank/DD Hybrid for doing damage otherwise not needed.

Lotus FanMorph of Teleport Strike
This is a gap closer which are rarely needed, but the main use of this skill is the Area of Effect Minor Vulnerability, you can Lotus Fan into an add stack to cause them all to take 5% more damage. This is a very good skill for add pulls, if you don’t have any other source of Minor Vulnerability in your group then you would need it on boss fights also but you have to be careful as it will cause you to drop block during the teleportation animation.

Mirage → Morph of Blur
This gives you Major Evasion which is great for any fights where you have to deal with Area of Effects it will reduce AoE damage by 25%, you also get Minor Resolve to increase your resistances which will help for some high damage fights. You would use this morph when you need the additional resistances.

Phantasmal Escape → Morph of Blur
This is the other morph of Mirage, you lose the Minor Resolve which you sometimes really don’t need anyway, plus you can get Minor Resolve from Combat Prayer provided by the Healers. You gain immunity to snares and immobilisation and it will remove any that are already applied to you which makes this really strong for a lot of fights where these things may happen.

Mark Target
This can be used in any fights where you are range Tanking or want to pre apply Major Breach, but you’d benefit more from Weakness to Elements.

Grim Focus
This would be used as a Nightblade Tank/DD Hybrid for doing damage otherwise not needed.

Master Assassin
Increased Weapon and Spell Damage is hardly noticeable as a Tank as you have such a low base starting value and you’ll rarely ever be flanking.

This is a sustain passive which would be useful in add pulls or bosses with adds.

Pressure Points
This is needed to help towards proccing the Hemorrhage passive.

This is the group buff you are expected to bring to a group. This is only useful for DDs who stack Weapon Damage, and it will increase your groups Weapon Critical. To proc this passive, you need to cause Crit damage which shouldn’t be too difficult when you have all of your abilities ticking on the target. If you have another Nightblade in a group, then the NB Tank loses a lot of the functionality as this passive is one of the main and only reasons to use one.


Bolstering Darkness → Morph of Consuming Darkness
This is a passive Ultimate slotted for gaining an extra 2% Health. It can be good for emergency situations, reduces damage taken by 30% for everyone stood inside but you will usually be using Aggressive Horn.

Veiled Strike
(Not Needed)
Not used for Tanking.

Dark Cloak → Morph of Shadow Cloak
This is the Nightblade Tanks main heal. It gives a heal that is based off your Max Health and you get a huge increased heal upon standing still meaning its quite good for a lot of situations as a PvE Nightblade Tank. You also gain Minor Protection reducing your damage taken by 5% when using this, and you also proc your Major Resolve via the Shadow Barrier passive by using this skill.

Refreshing Path → Morph of Path of Darkness
This skill is really nice for giving you and your group a speed boost at the cost of Magicka. It also does an AoE heal over time and it gives an increase in sustain with Minor Endurance and Minor Intellect.

Mass Hysteria  → Morph of Aspect of Terror
This is your main Crowd Control ability that will fear enemies. Fearing is not as strong as immobilising as there is a period of CC immunity when you chain or fear an enemy so you won’t be able to do both actions quickly and smoothly like some other classes but it’s still a good way to stop adds or none Elite/Boss enemies doing any damage.

Dark Shade → Morph of Summon Shade

A nice skill to use when you have multiple targets as it causes AoE Minor Maim debuff which reduces enemies Damage by 5%. The spin attack that this does occurs around every 4 seconds and this is what causes the Minor Maim as an area effect. It’s also Magicka costing so you can use this rather than Heroic Slash if you are struggling for sustain.

Refreshing Shadows
Important Tank passive, the Magicka Recovery is nice, Health Recovery is ok and Stamina is generally useless.

Shadow Barrier
Basically a free way to obtain Major Resolve, when you cast a Shadow ability which is usually Dark Cloak, you gain Major Resolve and the time it lasts depends on how many Heavy Armor pieces you are using.

Dark Vigor
This is quite an important passive because it will boost Max Health. It’s important to reach high Max Health on the NB so that the Dark Cloak heal will do more healing as it is scaled with Max Health.

Dark Veil
Increases the duration of the heals coming from Dark Cloak and Refreshing Path and also increases the fear from Mass Hysteria so it’s a very important passive.


Soul Shred
Could be slotted for the Magicka Flood and Soul Siphoner Passives but overall not really that useful.

Swallow Soul → Morph of Strife
The heal is not as strong from this as you get from Dark Cloak since it scales with Magicka but it will add to that incoming healing. As a Tank you might be able to heal around 2k with this, when combined with other sources its fine because you don’t have a burst heal you are relying on a variety of heals over time if they are needed. It provides some damage and the main use would be the Transfer passive which will help you generate quicker Ultimate.

Malevolent Offering
You could use this as a self-heal, but you would need to face away from any allies to ensure it hits you. You can also use it as a way to heal allies in content with no healer such as dungeon groups potentially as you lose a tiny amount of your own Health over time and in return you give out a burst heal.

(Not Needed)

Leeching Strikes → Morph of Siphoning Strikes
This is one of the best methods of sustain for a Nightblade Tank. It is quite difficult making full use of this, especially if you are a newer player since you need to Light Attack to get the most benefit. It also buffs your Heavy Attack resource gain so its worth having this skill running so you can benefit from the incoming Heavy Attack sustain when you get chance to do them. You also get a 4.2k Stamina restore when the ability ends so you should always try to let this run its full duration. In some rare situations you may want the other morph Siphoning Attacks if you lack Magicka sustain but you could just use Balance for that.

Power Extraction → Morph of Drain Power
This is an area of effect damage and debuff skill. The main issue is it costs Stamina to use it but it provides a small enemy debuff with Minor Cowardice so if you are struggling with certain adds you could use this.

Sap Essence → Morph of Drain Power
This is the other morph of Power Extraction but this morph heals rather than debuffing. It’s a decent skill since it does area of effect damage, the more enemies you hit, the more healing it does and it is an area of effect heal that heals your team so it can be a nice extra heal during add pulls.

One of the big reasons to use a Nightblade Tank is because of this passive. It helps you generate Ultimate extremely quickly and you need to make sure you are always using potions on cooldown with a NB Tank. You can boost the productivity of this passive by also using Reduce Potion Cooldown glyphs on Infused Gold Jewellery meaning you’ll be able to use some kind of potion every 21 seconds.

Magicka Flood
You have quite a lot of Magicka abilities on a NB and you’ll usually gain this passive anyway.

Soul Siphoner
This is a small healing boost, you might as well use this passive and you’ll benefit from it just by slotting a Siphoning ability.


Another Ultimate generating passive. You need to be casting a Siphoning ability every 4 seconds to gain the Ultimate from this, usually it would be Swallow Soul on Boss fights and Power Extraction/Sap Essence in add pulls.

ESO Nightblade Tank Introduction

Nightblade Tanks (NBs) are a rather unpopular choice of Tank in The Elder Scrolls Online.

The reason for this is because the NB offers one small unique group buff. Every other buff/debuff or group benefit applied by the NB can be obtain by some other source usually in a much easier way. Nightblades have a class passive buff, however this is only useful to in specific groups that are stacking Weapon Damage and its usually very unlikely to see a group without another Nightblade member already who could apply the group buff more easily.

The good thing about Nightblades Tanks is their damage mitigation, they have easy access to some mitigation tools. They have very good self-healing in stationary fights and are good at building Ultimate quickly.

Nightblade Tank Skills & Overview | Elder Scrolls Online | Deadlands

From a defensive perspective the Nightblade Tank performs well. You can obtain Major Evasion and Minor Resolve from Mirage and then Minor Protection and Major Resolve with Dark Cloak. This means you gain a good amount of damage mitigation quite easily. Nightblade Tank skills can also apply some interesting enemy debuffs with Major Cowardice with Mass Hysteria and Minor Cowardice with Power Extraction to further reduce the damage they receive.

When it comes to self-healing Dark Cloak works well as a heal over time, it becomes very strong when you are in stationary fights and don’t need to move which makes up for the fact the Nightblade Tank doesn’t have a burst heal skill. You can pair this healing with multiple other skills to stack large amounts of healing over time with the addition of Refreshing Path, Leeching Strikes, Swallow Soul and Malevolent Offering all of which offer additional benefits not just healing.

Sustain for the Nightblade Tank is good but only if you are capable of dropping block frequently for Light and Heavy Attacks. Leeching Strikes is great as it heals and gives you resources with every Light and Heavy attack along with a burst of resources once this skill ends, you could also combine that with the Reave buff from slotting Incapacitating Strike. When you tie that in with the extra recovery from Refreshing Path you have some good sustain. The only problem is this is not ideal for newer players and is more suited to an experienced player.

Nightblade Tanks also benefit greatly from Ultimate regeneration, the Catalyst passive gives a big chunk of Ultimate each time you use a potion which you can manipulate for your own benefit by using Infused/Potion Cooldown jewellery so you can use potions even quicker than the usual 45 seconds. You also have the Transfer passive for more Ultimate.

In the current game meta there is no real use for the NB Tank. In 4-person content you’ll get much more benefit from Dragonknights or Wardens and in Trials, if you have no Nightblade you’d usually see a Nightblade Healer, but you could use a Nightblade Tank then if your group wants one. Aside from that Nightblade Tanks are a challenge for inexperienced Tanks but they can be fun to play.


  • Great damage mitigation with built in buffs.
  • Good sustain for experienced players.
  • Nice healing over time especially in static fights.
  • Fast Ultimate regeneration
  • Good for AoE debuffing


  • Hard to sustain for beginners.
  • No burst heal.
  • Lack of useful buffs.
  • Only group buff is easily replaced by having one other Nightblade in a group.
  • All buffs and debuffs are obtained easier by other sources.
  • Harder to play than other classes.