ESO Tank Gear, Traits and Enchants

In this article we are looking at the gear used by a Tank in The Elder Scrolls Online along with the best weights, traits and enchants to use.

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ESO Tank Gear

As a Tank it’s common practice to use at least 5 pieces of Heavy Armor, the rest is really up to you.

By using 1 Medium and 1 Light you’ll open up your character to more max stats and a selection of new passives from the Light and Medium Armor skill lines that will improve your sustain slightly.

If you go down the route of using 7 Heavy you’ll make yourself more Tanky and benefit from more mitigation, health and resistances.

You could also go with 2 Light or 2 Medium to focus into one particular stat. Lets say you are in vCR and want more Magicka and Spell Resistance then 2 Light might work. If you want to switch your gear to Divines rather than Sturdy, you might decide to use 2 Medium Pieces to reduce the cost of your roll dodge and block cost.

The fact is, it’s up to you.

7 Heavy is the most Tanky setup you can use. You get the additional Max Health, Resistances, reduced Martial Damage and more Block Mitigation. The constitution passive will give you 757 Magicka and Stamina very frequently and Heavy Attacks will generate more resources also, it’s not a terrible option from a sustain perspective. The downside is the increased cost to block, lower max stats, a slight decrease in Magicka recovery and an increase in Magicka and Stamina skill cost. You become bulky but at an expense where you move slower, and things just cost more to do.

5 Heavy, 1 Medium, 1 Light

This is the most commonly seen gear setup. You get more Max Stats from the Undaunted passive. You unlock additional passives, bonuses and penalties from the Medium and Light Armor trees including reduced damage, increased recovery, skills cost reduction, more spell resistance, increased movement speed, reduced block and roll dodge costs.

It’s very well balanced and unlocks a lot of additional benefits that you wouldn’t have if you use 7 Heavy.

Using 5 Heavy with 2 Medium or 2 Light can be a good option. Rather than getting the balance of 5/1/1 you instead focus entirely into Magicka or Stamina. If you want to move faster, reduce block, roll dodge and stamina skill costs then you use Medium. If you want more Magicka Recovery, spell cost reduction, spell resistances, reduced break free cost and Magic damage, then you could opt for 2 Light Armor.

There are some situations where you can use 5 Medium Armor. It’s not as common nowadays to see a Medium Armor Tank, simply because there are now so many good Heavy sets to use. But it is possible to Tank in 5 Medium, however it’s not advised typically. You gain a lot of block cost reduction and benefits to Stamina sustain but you suffer with a lot more increased incoming damage, which is not a huge issue in older content or for Off Tanks in trial content that doesn’t require the full effort of 2 Heavy Tanks.

Tanks are no longer bound to having to use 5 Heavy to get the Heavy Armor Passives. You can use 4 Heavy, 2 Medium and 1 Light if you really want to. You gain benefits for each individual piece of gear rather than being forced to use certain weights to unlock the armor passives. The only thing to remember is that you still need to equip a piece of gear to reach the bonuses and it’s often unavoidable to use 5 Heavy Armor because of that.

ESO Tank Gear – Traits

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 classed 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” slot.

Trait Value Comments
Sturdy Reduces the cost of blocking by 4%. One of the most common and useful traits used by Tanks.
This is basically a sustain trait, as a Tank you’ll typically block a lot and therefore you use this to reduce the cost of blocking. This is especially useful for newer players and when going into new content when you might block more. When you are experienced within content this becomes less valuable as you don’t need to permanently block, and the less you block, the less valuable this trait becomes. You can avoid using Sturdy gear even more nowadays by using Harmony Jewellery for huge sustain gains, and replacing full Sturdy gear with 1 Bracing Jewellery enchant almost achieves the same results.
Divines Increases the power of your Mundus Stone effects by 9.1%. When you become efficient in blocking less and timed blocking then switching away from Sturdy becomes an option. This leads you to the next most valuable trait which would be Divines in combination with the Atronach Mundus Stone. This provides you with additional Magicka sustain which allows you to adjust your build in other ways such as potentially using different food or jewellery enchants to gain additional benefits to your build. This also works well with niche builds using The Steed Mundus in certain trials.
Reinforced Increases this item’s Armor value by 16%. The resistance cap is 33,000 and that needs to be considered when using this trait. Generally, it’s completely not worth using this trait on the majority of gear slots as the number of additional resistances it provides simply cannot be justified. Resistances in general have a very minimal impact especially when you’re buffed, the enemy is debuffed and you are blocking. In content where there is unblockable damage, damage over time, bleed damage or situations where you take unblocked damage, hitting the resistance cap is much more essential which is when you’ll consider using it. Hitting the resistance cap is not that difficult especially if you are a Nord, for none Nords is much harder, but a Nord Tank with Resistance CP and Major/Minor Resolve would typically hit the resistance cap.
Well Fitted Reduces the cost of Roll Dodge and Sprint by 6%. This is a very niche trait. You have to weigh up whether it’s worth losing the block sustain from Sturdy or Magicka Recovery sustain from Divines in order to be able to reduce the cost of your Roll Rodge or Sprint. When you are in combat situation which you’re expected to sprint or roll then you can use some gear with this trait, so in Cloudrest when Tanking the Gryphons, it’s better to roll dodge every hit and to be able to do that you need to roll dodge a lot and use this trait.
Infused Increases your Armor enchantment by 25%. This trait increases your stats via your enchants, but it doesn’t appear as valuable nowadays. In the Flames of Ambition patch the devs introduced a new value of base stats for every character which means we already have bigger stats. When we have our CP, gear, enchants, food and attributes all taken into account, every character has more than enough stats already without the very minor gains offered by this trait.
Unused Traits Nirnhoned – Not really used – only on gear slots where the gain is more than 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.