Resistances are hard capped at 33,000 so once you reach 33k Spell or Physical, anything extra that you have does nothing to benefit your character. At 33k you gain 50% mitigation and for each 660 resistances, it’s equivalent to 1% mitigation.
Spell Resistance mitigates magic attacks including Flame, Shock, Ice and Magic damage. If you have separate Flame, Shock, Ice or Magic Resistances this is added on top of your Spell Resistances. For example, if you already have 33k Spell Resistances then the individual resistances offer nothing extra. If you had 25k Spell Resistances & 1k Flame Resistance this would be the same as 25k Spell and 26k Flame Resistances.
Physical Resistance mitigates physical attacks including Disease, Poison and Bleed damage. If you have separate Disease, Poison and Bleed Resistances this is added on top of your Physical Resistances. For example, if you already have 33k Physical Resistances then any individual resistances offer nothing extra. If you had 25k Physical Resistances & 1k Poison Resistance this would be the same as 25k Physical and 26k Poison Resistances.
Collectively all of these are also known simply as “Armor”.
How Resistances Work
You can find a detailed mitigation calculator on The Tank Club Discord if you’d like to calculate your incoming damage based on a wide range of mitigation options.
Resistances will reduce your incoming damage. If you have 33k Resistances and you are being hit by an enemy and you are not blocking, you will reduce the incoming damage by 50%. So, an unblocked hit of 10k incoming damage would now only be 5k incoming damage with 33k resistances. This does not include any other buffs to you or debuffs to the enemy hitting you.
If we now consider a blocked situation to understand everything further, basically when you block you reduce incoming damage straight away by 50%. So now you receive only 50% of the enemies’ damage, your resistances are then calculated from the remaining 50% incoming damage. Your 33k Resistances are now 50% mitigation off the 50% remaining damage so you reduce damage by a further 25%. By blocking with 50% Block Mitigation and 33k resistances that 10k incoming damage would become a 2.5k incoming damage hit.
- Boss does a heavy attack which hits for 100,000 damage.
- You have 75% Block Mitigation – this hit becomes 25,000 damage.
- You have 33k Resistances – this hit becomes 12,500 damage.
- If you only had 30k Resistances – that hit would have been 13,625 which is only 1125 more damage.
- At 25k Resistances, that would have been a 15,525-damage hit.
There are also a number of other things you can add to this:
- If we say that the 100k hit is a Single Target Direct Magicka attack from a boss like Z’Maja.
- We are blocking and have 33k Resistances.
- We are using 5 Heavy, 1 Medium, 1 Light and we have Minor Aegis from using a set such as Claw of Yolnahkriin.
- Using all mitigation Blue Champion Points.
- We’re a Dragonknight with the Iron Skin passive.
- We have Major & Minor Maim applied and a healer is using a Weakening enchant.
- This hit would now become 11099.
- If we would have had 25k Resistances instead this hit is only 13212 which is 2113 more incoming damage.
- At 28k Resistance, it would be 12,420 which is 1321 more incoming damage.
- Adding Bracing Anchor CP to this at 25k Resistances takes the 100k hit down to 8062 incoming damage.
Why Increase Resistances?
Resistances are useful for Tanking in The Elder Scrolls Online but it’s far from essential to cap them at 33k in most cases.
The main areas where it’s valuable to use higher values of resistances is when you are experienced at Tanking, and you take a lot of unblocked hits meaning you are not benefitting from Block Mitigation, you want to reduce the amount of damage you receive and not block when it’s not essential to do so.
It’s also valuable to utilise resistances when battling enemies that use strong damage over time attacks, that’s because when you’re blocking, it doesn’t mitigate a damage over time attack, and therefore the only way to reduce the damage from this kind of attack is by buffing your Resistances and utilising Champion Points, skills and passives.
If you block for prolonged periods of time, you probably don’t need more than 25,000-28,000 resistances unless you are dealing with high DoT damage, this is typically only noticed in the newest content such as Rockgrove and Dreadsail Reef and some of the newer dungeons.
Resistances are something you should make use of as a Tank but don’t fret over trying to cap out at 33k.
For virtually any content when you intend on blocking the majority of the incoming damage you will be fine with any number of resistances but without even trying you should be able to hit 25k-28k when you’re buffed with Major Resolve. Blocking is the number one way to reduce your incoming damage but there are so many things reducing the damage you take, and resistances only equate to a tiny fraction of that.
When dealing with those high damage over time environments, it’s more than possible to work in the Master Weapons – the Puncturing Remedy 1 Hand and Shield which not only will it easily take you to the resistance cap, but it also heals you and this is my personal preferred method to deal with those situations for both dungeons and trials.