Welcome to this article about ESO Tank Resistances

Tank Resistances are an important part of being a Tank and mitigating damage in The Elder Scrolls Online.

Resistances make very little difference for a lot of the older content such as Craglorn Trials and some of the older DLC trials such as vMoL. The same can be said for the base game dungeons and the earlier DLC dungeons. The reason Tank Resistances are not vital for this content is because generally the damage output in these Trials and Dungeons is very low because this content was designed many years ago, originally when the average player base had sub 300 Champion Points. You can easily Tank most of this content in a DD setup with lower Health and Resistances.

For newer and more difficult content Tank Resistances become a lot more vital to how a Tank deals with damage.

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When Are Increased Resistances Needed?

When moving into some of the more tanking-intensive content where the incoming damage is much more significant, resistances become much more vital. The amount of damage that your resistances mitigate do eventually start to outweigh the increased efficiency of your personal Health-based Heals/Shields from increasing your Stats/Health.

Example Fights:

  • When you are low level or have low Champion Points.
  • Kynes Aegis Hardmode last boss Main Tank.
  • Cloudrest Hardmode solo Main Tank and portal Tanking.
  • Sunspire Hardmode.
  • Halls of Fabrications quick burn strategies.
  • Any situation with strategies with added risk.
  • Any of the newer DLC Dungeon Hardmodes.

How Can We Increase Resistances?

In group related content it’s extremely important to use vital support Tanking sets for the group benefits.
Using a 5-piece set to increase Resistances for the situations mentioned above is not an appropriate method and you would not want to give up a 5-piece set for a selfish Resistance based set. Increasing resistances can be done in a number of ways including:
  • Nord – The most efficient way to increase resistances.
  • The Lady Mundus Stone – The best option for none-Nord races such as Argonian or Imperial.
  • 6 or 7 Heavy Armor Pieces rather than 5
  • Golding all gear
  • Reinforced Chest
  • Lord Warden or 2x 1 Piece Resistance Monster Set pieces
  • Defending trait 1 Handed Weapon on your Front Bar
These are some of your options for increasing resistances. It is not vitally important if you are not doing the really hard content mentioned in the list above. If you are taking a lot of damage and struggling to cope with that then you should consider optimising your Tank and adjusting your resistances to do that.

Mitigation Example

Many people claim stacking mitigation is not effective since they don’t stack additive, but this isn’t the case for every situation.

Mitigation Example:

  • Dragonknight Tank with 1 Hand and Shield has a base of 65% damage mitigation.
  • With CP in Ironclad, Hardy and Elemental Defender you would be somewhere near to 75% damage mitigation.
  • If you have maximum resistances (50% mitigation), that would apply to the remaining 25% damage you are taking. So you have mitigated 75% damage before we consider resistances and your resistances will mitigate the 25% damage we are left with. This basically would give an extra 12.5% mitigation which overall is 87.5% mitigation in total.
  • You also have other sources of mitigation to consider such as Minor Protection, Defensive Posture, etc.

Many people claim the extra resistances do not amount to much which in some cases is true but it really all depends on how much damage you are actually taking.
It’s more valuable to think of incoming damage values in what I call shifting baselines.

I’ll make a contrived example here to demonstrate my point:
Z’Maja’s Nocturnal’s Favour Heavy Attack does 200k damage unmitigated.

  • DK Tank Blocking with 1 Hand and Shield (-65% damage): 200k * 0.35 = 70k damage
  • Elemental Defender at 12% jump point: 70k * 0.88 = 61.6k damage
  • Ironclad at 18% jump point: 61.k * 0.82 = 50.5k damage
  • Maxed Spell Resistance (-50% damage): 50.5k * 0.5 = 25k damage

In total we managed to mitigate the damage by a huge 87.5%

If we take into consideration including Minor Protection into this which gives 8% mitigation via Ransack, it would only be providing an effective 12.5*0.08 = 1% extra mitigation. However, that is 1% mitigation of 200k damage, or 2k damage. No typical tank would go up against Z’Maja with zero mitigation. For a standard, fully-specced tank, the shifted baseline damage Nocturnal’s Favor does to you every time is 25k. And Minor Protection would mitigate 8% of this shifted baseline damage, or 2k.


You should try to consider the mitigation benefits your resistances provide for the content you are going to be in and optimise for that particular situation. There is no standard baseline for Tanks Resistances, for easier content you will safely be able to Tank with Resistances of 20-25k depending on your experience, for harder/newer content 30-33k is going to make a considerable difference. If you don’t have a lot of Champion Points then your Resistances will be far more important than someone who is at the Champion Point maximum. Always consider adjusting Resistances whenever you are struggling to deal with high amounts of incoming damage.

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