The most important objective of a Tank is to maintain taunt on enemy targets to focus their damage onto you and position them correctly so your group can safely kill them. You need to be able to learn and remember many different fight mechanics as you are the front-line of the group so you will always be dealing with fight and boss mechanics. Being a Tank means you require a larger Health pool and Resistances than other Roles so you are able to survive while keeping hold of multiple enemies and perform a variety of tasks. #tank-sustain plays a huge importance with Tanking and your ability to successfully Tank usually relies on how well you are able to sustain.
ESO is not like other MMO games where a Tank just stands blocking enemies. Once you have mastered the basics of Tanking you are expected to spend as much time as possible using abilities and gear sets to debuff enemies and buff your group. The reason for this is because you can Tank in more or less any combination of sets. The support members of a group use the support and buff sets and skills so that the damage dealers are able to play more offensively and maximise damage. This means damage dealers apply more effect into attack focus gameplay over buffing and debuffing so that enemies will die faster. It is in the Tanks best interest for fights to end as quickly as possible as sustaining and surviving is much easier with a shorter duration of combat.
You can Tank using all classes, the main reason to choose a particular class is down to your group needs and composition.
Dragonknight – One of the most vital Tanking classes. Easy sustain due to the Helping Hands and Battle Roar passives, so a good choice for beginners. You need to have a DK in every group for the Stagger buff from the Stone Giant ability that will increases all of the groups damage. Also important for Stamina groups for the Minor Brutality buff. They provide the best and easiest crowd control with Chains and Talons that are both Magicka abilities.
Nightblade – A must have for Stamina group compositions for their Minor Savagery buff. The NB Tank is very good at dealing with high damage mechanics due to its increased damage mitigation which is superior to other Tank classes. Other things the NB Tank brings to a group include AoE Minor Vulnerability.
Warden – The Warden is an easy to play Tank especially at lower CP, but you do not need more that 1 Warden in a group. They have a Minor Vulnerability skill Fletcher Infection and they brings Minor Toughness to the group but both of these are usually achieved by the healers. Wardens have the super strong Shimmering Shield, and a great heal with Polar Wind which is what makes them so good to play at lower CP as you can avoid all damage from projectiles and give yourself and a group member a really big heal making them great for things like vCR Portals.
Sorcerer – In Magicka group compositions with no Sorcerer DD then a Sorc Tank is a viable option. They bring a group buff with Minor Prophecy which can add around 1-2k DPS to each Magicka DD. In a Stamina group they bring Crystal Weapon which provides an extra 1000 Physical Penetration. They have a strong self heal with the Clanfear and Dark Deal which also swaps Magicka for Stamina and Health. Bound Aegis can be used for big damage mitigation during heavy mechanics and is close in comparison to the NB in terms of mitigating damage. Sorcerer Tanks are very limited on bar space and while they are very easy and simple to play, there is not a lot for them to do during fights.
Templar – Only worth using in a Magicka group composition that has no Templar Healer or DD which won’t happen very often. They bring the group buff of Minor Sorcery which is quite a large group buff as well as other utilities like Extended Ritual and Power of the Light. The biggest problem with the Templar Tank is self healing, the only real option available during boss fights for a guaranteed self heal is Ritual of Rebirth which is a very expensive AoE Heal or Vigor which requires you to do PvP. They also lack class skills for chaining and rooting meaning you have to use expensive alternatives from the Fighters Guild and Psijic Order skill lines.
Necromancer – The Necro bring Major Vulnerability to the group, these really are situationally used as a Tank. If you have no Necros in a group then it would be useful to have one as the Tank but they are relatively complicated to and self healing is generally slower and more expensive to achieve compared with other classes. You would need quite a specific group setup to make a real benefit for a Necro Tank so other options might work better but its very group dependant.
The preferred option for Attributes are 64 into Health. However attributes are one of the few things you get to choose on a Tank – the distribution of them is entirely up to you. Gear and Skills usually have certain requirements for specific content that you can’t really change. Just always try to at least aim for 36k+ Health and have your Stamina higher than your Magicka on your front bar.
As a Tank the main priority is Max Health. Things such as self healing, damage shield and thing scales based on your Max Health. It also means you can deal with more damage and higher Max Health gives you less risks and more room for error especially if you are doing new content. For example: as a Dragonknight your Igneous Shield is scaled on your Max Health and the bigger Health pool you have the bigger heal you will get with Green Dragon Blood.
Spreading your resources into Magicka and Stamina does not = better sustain, it just means it takes longer for sustain issues to begin. During a fight but if you are not able to sustain you will still have the same problems no matter what your Magicka and Stamina pools are.
The Glyphs you use on your gear are completely up to you. The only must have glyphs are on your weapons but everything else can be customised to whatever it is you need. Depending on what Attributes you decided to use will vary what gear enchants you want, if you went all Health then you might need some Tri-Stat or Stamina/Magicka. If you split points into Stam/Mag then you’ll likely need some health glyphs. A popular option is 64 Point into Health with all Tri-Stat, or Infused/Tri-Stat on the Head/Chest/Legs and Stamina/Magicka/Health on the others. Depending on your group you may need to use a Shock Glyph on your front bar Weapon or Fracture/Breech poisons. If you don need either of those then you can use Decisive/Infused with Absorb Stamina/Magicka or whatever you like. You will always use a Infused/Crusher on the back bar unless you are in a top tier advanced level group and asked to use something else. Jewellery Glyphs again use whatever you like, I would advise no more than 1 Bracing if it’s needed, Magicka Recovery is a good option, Reduced Stamina Cost and Potion Timer Reduction also have their place.
If you are perma-blocking then full Sturdy will be needed. If you are more comfortable with fights then 3 Infused large pieces are a great option. If you are an experienced Tank or doing trials where little blocking is actually needed the Divines or Well-Fitted gear also becomes pretty good. Using Sturdy or Well-Fitted on Shields is preferred as it gives you additional benefits where as Infused only boosts your Shield Enchant which you lose when on the Back Bar. Front bar weapons you’ll want Decisive or Infused with Absorb Stamina/Magicka for sustain, Charged/Shock in a Stamina group or if you need extra concussion, Decisive if using Poisons or Infused for everything else. Back Bar should always be Infused/Crusher, rarely this might be Charged/Shock. Jewellery is kind of optional but some setups perform better than other, check out the individual trials builds for this information.
The main reason for using a 2 handed weapon is because of the weapon enchantments. Using an enchantment on a 1 handed weapon yields half the effect of the exact same enchant on a 2 handed weapon. Both Bows and Staves have a long duration ground AoE weapon ability Elemental Blockade and Endless Hail. We can place these abilities on the ground and switch to our front bar with a 1H and Shield where we play the majority of a fight. While those abilities are active they will maintain our back bar enchant and keep proccing it when it ends for as long as the AoE ability is still on the ground. The most common back bar weapon is an Infused/Crusher, we can keep a really high uptime of this so our group can benefit from the target having less resistances and taking more damage and we do that by using the ground AoE abilities. Both the Bow and Staff also have a ranged interrupt which is very important for some fights and they provide some nice passives for both us and our group. Destruction Staff skills also include Elemental Drain which is sometimes expected from the Tank.
Simple answer: Shock Staff – Always use in groups with any Stamina DDs or with Magicka DDs who use 75 CP into Thaumaturge for the Exploiter Passive. Shock Staff will increase off-balance and boost group damage. Ice Staff – Use in really difficult fights (vCR+ with Relequen/Bar Swaps) as it is the better Tanking weapons than Shock due to the Destruction Staff passives or in groups where it is all MagickaDDs and no one is using 75+ Thaumaturge/Exploiter Passive.
So first of all it’s up to you how you setup. Resistances are not absolutely essential above 28,000~ so the damage mitigation you get above that is very small and often seen as a waste. For very hard fights with a lot of damage 7 Heavy is going to maximise your damage mitigation as long as you don’t go above 33k resistances. If you are using the Heavy Armor Skill Immovable you need to use 6/1 to optimise the use of the Skill but also make it so that you can still move but are still very Tanky. For anything else 5/1/1 would most likely be the best balanced setup overall because it will improve your sustain in a range of different areas. 5/2 is good if you just want to focus in on a certain armor weight passives that you feel are better than another and this is a valid option for certain situations. As a Tank you always need to have at least 5 Heavy Armor pieces or you lose the Revitalise and Rapid Mending Passives and Tanking becomes more difficult so it’s not advised unless you are running easier content and are specing as a hybrid tank.
When using 7 Heavy you essentially make yourself the most Tanky as possible.
1806 more resistances with 2 Heavy Pieces compared to 5/1/1
Resolve Passive: 2536 Resistances.
Constitution Passive: 28% Health Recovery & Restore 757 Magicka and Stamina every 4 seconds when you take damage.
Juggernaut Passive: Increased Max Health by 14%.
Undaunted Mettle: Increase Max Health, Stamina and Magicka by 2%.
5 Heavy/1 Medium/1 Light:
Using 5/1/1 unlocks a lot of small passive gains which means you will be a little less Tanky but you’ll increase your sustain in a lot of different areas by doing so.
Lose 1806 Resistances compared to 7 Heavy.
Resolve Passive: 1811 Resistances
Constitution Passive: 20% Health Recovery & Restore 541 Magicka and Stamina every 4 seconds when you take damage.
Juggernaut Passive: Increased Max Health by 10%.
Undaunted Mettle: Increase Max Health, Stamina and Magicka by 6%.
Light Armor/Grace Passive: Reduce effectiveness of snares applied to you by 4% & Reduce Sprint cost by 3%
Light Armor/Evocation Passive: Increased Magicka Recovery by 4% & Reduce Magicka cost of spells by 2%.
Medium Armor/Dexterity Passive: Increase Weapon Critical by 328.
Medium Armor/Wind Walker Passive: Increased Stamina Recovery by 4% & Reduce Stamina cost of abilitites by 2%
Medium Armor/Athletics Passive: Increased sprint speed by 3% and Reduce Roll Dodge cost by 4%.
6 Heavy/1 Medium or Light:
You would only really use this setup for situations where you will use the Immovable skill but you still want to be able to Roll Dodge and move slightly.
Resolve Passive: 2174 Resistances.
Constitution Passive: 24% Health Recovery & Restore 649 Magicka and Stamina every 4 seconds when you take damage.
Juggernaut Passive: Increased Max Health by 12%.
Undaunted Mettle: Increase Max Health, Stamina and Magicka by 4%.
You get the same Medium or Light Passives as the 5/1/1 setup depending on if you use a Light Piece or Medium Piece. A Medium piece will give a very tiny amount more resistances but the Light Armor Passives look more appealing than the Medium ones from a Tank perspective.
5 Heavy/2 Medium or Light:
If you really like the Light Armor more than the Medium Armor passives or visa versa and you are willing to sacrifice a little Max Stats you could use 5/2 and just take the extra few % from the passives of the armor weight you prefer.
The stats from 5 Heavy will be the same as the Heavy Passives in the 5/1/1 setup.
Undaunted Mettle: Increase Max Health, Stamina and Magicka by 4%.
Light Armor/Grace Passive: Reduce effectivness of snares applied to you by 8% & Reduce Sprint cost by 6%
Light Armor/Evocation Passive: Increased Magicka Recovery by 8% & Reduce Magicka cost of spells by 4%.
To learn more check out our Tank Monster Set page or our YouTube Video on this topic. Currently there are no MUST use Monster Sets for Main Tanking. You have a range of options which depend on your group or personal situation. Monster Sets should be considered based on 1 of 4 categories.
1. Sustain Sets – If you are struggling with sustain, it’s important to use a sustain 2 piece Monster Set – this is the first priority over using a sustain 5 piece set and sustain the the most vital part of Tanking – a lack of sustain means you are likely to die or be able to perform your duties effectively and efficiently.
2. Healing Sets – Every Tank class has multiple methods of self healing, if you need extra Healing then using a Monster Set is a much better option than wasting a 5 piece gear set just to heal yourself. If you use a Sustain Set you might also be able to use Healing abilities more efficiently and reduce the need for a Healing Set.
3. Utility Sets – These are sets that have a range of situational use and will be more useful to some more than others. Everything is dependent on Race/Class and the general functions are not vital but are an alternative way to do tasks that some classes have built in with class abilities.
4. Group Support Sets – These are the most useful sets for a group, but should only be considered once you are comfortable not using a Monster Set from the other categories. All very situational and it depends on what other support players in your group are using, but if you are looking for the best way to support your group these are the ones to use.
Yes they should work properly now, for you and your whole group.
There were attempted fixes that didn’t work with: 2.7.5 (Update 13) and 5.2.5 (Update 24)
They were finally fixed properly with: 5.2.7 (Update 24, Incremental #2) Auras will now properly update for everyone in their respective area through bar swapping. For real this time. Thanks @code65536 for the information.
The Resistance Cap is 33,000 Resistance for each Spell and Physical.
– For older basegame content such as Dungeons and Craglorn Trials they can be easily Tanked at 20-25k Resistances. – For some older DLC content such as vMoL, and Dungeons such as Imperial City DLC, Shadows of the Hist DLC, etc can be Tanked with 20-28k Resistances. – For newer Max CP orientated content and especially the Hardmodes such as vKA, vSS, vCR Portals and Trial “Burn” strategies, plus any new DLC Dungeons packs you often want to have Maximum Resistances around 30-33k.