ESO Tank Gear Traits

Here you will find a list of all Tank related and useful gear traits along comments on each trait.

All of the numbers listed here are to bonuses provided by using Gold level gear.

The traits of your gear as a Tank are important to help you in a range of situations. Some traits will help with sustain or  improve damage mitigation among other things. To figure our what is the best traits for you, its a good idea to figure out what your biggest issues are and utilise your gear traits to help overcome those issues.

As a Tank, your gear traits are one of the few things you get to choose within organised group content. With organised groups you are usually expected to use specific things that they request you to use with regards to gear sets and skills. With gear traits this is one of your freedoms where you can utilise things for your own benefit.

Head, Chest, Legs and Shield all class as being “Big” slots of gear. When you apply a glyph to these slots, you get the full value of your glyph. These slots also typically give you more resistances than the “Small” slots of gear.

Shoulder, Waist, Hands and Feet are classes as “Small” slots of gear. When you apply a glyph to these slots, it will always be much smaller value than the same glyph applied to a “Big” slots.

When it comes to your front bar you will typically use a One Handed Weapon and Shield. The traits of these are mostly up to you.

For back bar weapons for 99% of content you will need to use a Staff, either Ice or Lightning and it must be an Infused/Crusher staff.

Jewellery is always another optional slot where you can use whatever benefits you the most.

Sturdy: Reduces the cost of blocking by 4%.
One of the most common and useful trait used for Tanks.
Using Sturdy gear has even more benefit now with the Flames of Ambition DLC. With the changes to CP, the increase in base stats, and the new Armor bonuses/penalties this has led to a even more increased use for going full Sturdy on all 8 possible gear pieces. Things like roll dodge and break free have increased in cost, and the Block Reduction CP has a very minimal effect, combine that with the huge max stats you’ll likely have now and this makes reducing the cost of block much more important to help with sustain.

The less you block the less useful Sturdy is, so you might not go with all Sturdy if you don’t block very often.

Infused: Increases your Armor enchantment by 25%.
This is especially useful on the big Armor slots which are the Helmet, Chest, Legs and Shield because it will increase the amount of resources you gain from the Glyph being used. This used to be the most frequent trait used on big armor slots but it’s far less useful nowadays. It only adds a few extra hundred stats, and max stats were increased by a lot for the Flames of Ambition, so it just seems better now to improve sustain with reduced block or reduce roll dodge than increasing max stats a tiny amount.

Well Fitted: Reduces the cost of Roll Dodge and Sprint by 6%.
Very useful for any content where you have minimal levels of blocking and a lot of sprinting occurs or you have to frequently dodge roll. You wouldn’t use a full set of Well Fitted usually. Use what you need for each individual situation, possibly using 1-4 pieces. A few situations where this works well include Off Tank in vAS+, Tanking the Gryphon in vCR, Main Tank in vCR and vKA. If you are using a lot of Heavy Armor this will be especially useful for situations where you roll dodge a lot.

Divines: Increases the power of your Mundus Stone effects by 9.1%.
If you don’t need the sustain from Sturdy/Well-Fitted then you could use Divines. Some of the Mundus Stone that are generally used with this include – The Atronach and The Steed so you would get even more increased Magicka Recovery or Increased Speed/Health Recovery. Other Mundus Stone could also be used, and Divines is a good option if you intend to play as a Tank/DD Hybrid where it’s viable to do so.

Reinforced: Increases this item’s Armor value by 16%.
The increased Armor value is basically the resistances you gain from your armor and with Reinforced this is increased. On Gold Heavy Armor pieces this equates to +443 on Chests, +388 on Legs/Head/Feet/ Shoulder, +221 on Hands, +121 on Waist and +275 on Shields. You generally won’t need this trait if you are a Nord. It’s not often that you would really require this trait as you can comfortably Tank most content with around 25k resistances and the resistance cap is 33k in PvE. In really hard content, on non-Nord classes, or when using Medium Armor you might consider using a Reinforced Chest piece. To find out if this trait is worth using for you check out our Resistances Article. With the Flame of Ambition patch, damage mitigation and reduction is extremely high, even at lower resistances you might not need this and would get better value via a sustain trait.

Unused Traits:
Nirnhoned – Better to use Reinforced.
Impenetrable – PvP Trait no use to PvE Tanks.
Training – Gives no benefit to Tanking. If you are low CP consider using a crafted Training/Levelling set but don’t Tank using it.
Invigorating – Such a low amount of recovery even on Gold level gear it’s simply not worth it, Divines/Atronach mundus outperforms it, Stamina recovery is not important on a Tank and the Health recovery is not essential.

Charged: Increases chance to apply status effects by 110%. (Gold 1H Weapon)
This is very important for increasing group DPS if you are responsible for maintaining Minor Brittle with an Ice Staff. You would only use this weapon trait along with a Ice Staff as it will help to proc the Chilled effect and Minor Brittle. The chance to cause this status would increase from 20% to 42%. If you are using a Double Frost setup for Brittle then you should use an Infused/Frost Glyph/Frost Staff back bar and Charged/Any Glyph/Frost Staff front bar to maximise your uptime with Elemental Blockade. If you use Frozen Watcher then just hold block using a Charged/Frost Staff and you will AoE proc it instantly.

Decisive: When you gain Ultimate you have a 27.5% chance to gain 1 additional Ultimate. (Gold 1H Weapon)
You are gaining Ultimate all the time as a Tank so the effect will happen quite often. In situations where you need to build Ultimate faster or you are Tanking in a solo situation this will be the best option, especially on a DK where you can use your Ultimate to gain back resources. If you are using Poisons then you would want to combine it with this Weapon trait as it’s the most effective.

Infused: Increases weapon Enchantment effect by 30% and reduces Enchantment cooldown by 50%. (Gold Staff/Bow Weapon)
This will almost always be used on your back bar weapon which will usually be a Staff, and it will be combined with the Crusher Enchantment to increase the amount of Resistances that are removed from the target to increase your groups DPS, this is absolutely essential. You can use Infused on the front bar 1 Handed weapon also (be aware that the strength of the enchantment is reduced by half when used on 1 handed weapons). You could use Absorb Stamina/Magicka/Health or Weakening on the Infused 1H. You can also use a Flame enchant to proc Encratis’s Behemoth monster set with this trait and because it’s Infused that means it will cause the effect to proc more often.

Defending: Increases Physical and Spell Resistance by 1638.
This was designed as a Tank trait but generally Tanks have outgrown it and it’s unnecessary for most things because the other traits are much more useful and valuable. At lower levels and low CP this could be used to help increase your resistances and damage mitigation until you can safely cope with fights. For non-Nords and extremely hard content you might consider using this on your front bar One Hander if nothing else is needed. Check out our Resistances Article to help you decide if this is something you might need.

Sharpened: Increases Physical and Spell Penetration by 1638.
Not really needed by a Tank but you might use this to boost your DPS as a Hybrid Tank.

Unused Traits:
Powered – Increases healing, other traits are generally much better for a Tank.
Precise – A Damage Dealer trait, could use this in a Hybrid Tank build but otherwise not a Tank trait.
Training – Gives no benefit to Tanking. If you are low CP consider using a crafted Training/Levelling set but don’t Tank using it.
Nirnhoned – A Damage Dealer trait, could use this in a Hybrid Tank build but otherwise not a Tank trait.

Arcane/Healthy/Robust: Robust/Arcane/Healthy: Increases Maximum Health by 965 Increases Maximum Stamina/Magicka by 877.
These are the standard traits that jewellery will drop in, sometimes it can be useful to have these traits. Robust is good for balancing your Stamina higher than Magicka if needed with some Races, also for Off Tanks or Tank/DD Hybrids looking to push extra damage or maintain Stamina heavy abilities such as Stone Giant. Healthy can be used for high damage fights to increase your Health easily without needing to switch Gear or Mundus but this is generally not needed with CP2.0. Arcane works nicely on an Double Ice Staff setup but generally not a Tank trait but it can be nice for 4-Man content where you are Chaining, Rooting and Self Healing a lot, or situations where you are away from the group and Tanking without a Healer.

Triune: Increases Maximum Magicka/Stamina by 439, and Health by 482.
This is a very nice Tank trait because we can use it to spread our resources especially if you are using Prismatic Defence Glyphs on your gear you can build a very well balanced Tank. This is particularly nice for resource intensive fights. It’s a good stable trait that will be helpful for virtually everything, so if you only have one set of Jewellery then this would probably be the safest choice.

Infused: Increases jewellery enchantment effectiveness by 60%.
One of the best situational traits to use for a Tank. This can be used with a range of glyphs to give you some real nice boosts such as Infused Magicka Recovery, Bracing, Alchemical Acceleration, Reduce Stamina Cost, Reduce Prismatic Cost and more. These glyphs will be 60% stronger and can be utilised well in a lot of situations. The gains are not essential but when used well are a great way to give yourself an additional boost in areas that you may be struggling.

Protective: Increases Spell Resistance and Physical Resistance by 1190.
This is basically a Tank designed trait but it’s not really worth using for most situations. We are able to reach the Resistance cap of 33000 without the need for this so it can be seen as of a bit of a waste especially when you have to spend transmute crystals to get this trait, as none of the usual Tank gear comes with this trait already. Even if you are under the 33000 Resistance Cap its not worth using this as Tanking with Resistances of 25000 has very little difference from the cap and there are other traits which will improve the ability to Tank more effectively.

Swift: Increases movement speed by 7%.
A great trait for Tanks, and almost essential for any trials with add pulls. It allows you to run into adds, pull and stack them quicker. Its also very useful for keeping up with your group and staying ahead, especially when you are pushing for speed runs. Some trials really benefit from you having this trait like the Off Tank in vAS+, it is much easier to stack the Mini Bosses efficiently when you use some Swift.

Harmony: Increases damage, healing, resource restore, and damage shield strength of synergies for activate by 20%.
Pretty good trait for Tanks especially for increasing sustain and other specific situations. As a Tank we use a lot of synergies since we are at the forefront of all combat. When you use an Orb or Shard you will get increased resources, plus an increase in Heal/Damage from Orbs. Other common synergies include Bone Shield where you will gain a bigger shield and Blood Altar where you will get a bigger heal. A really specific situation where this is good is for the Execute Main Tank in vCR where they get Baneful Mark and need to heal up to full health, this is achieved easily by using Harmony Jewellery and using the Blood Altar synergy.

Unused Traits:
Bloodthirsty – A Damage Dealer trait, could use this in a Hybrid Tank build but otherwise not a Tank trait.

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