ESO Tank Weapons, Traits and Enchants

In this article we are looking at the weapons used by a Tank in The Elder Scrolls Online along with the best traits and enchants to use on both the front and back bar weapons.

Tanks also have the option of using certain Ability Altering Weapons which may be a reason to use a certain type of weapon for Tanking.

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ESO Tank Weapons

The main choice of weapons for Tanks in The Elder Scrolls Online are the One Hand and Shield combined with the Ice Staff. Both of these weapon types work as both a defensive tool for the user as well as offering the most beneficial group benefits with a range of buffs and debuffs.

One Hand and Shield is the fundamental weapon chosen for Tanking. It doesn’t matter if you use a Dagger, Sword, Axe or Mace, they all function identically when combined with a Shield.

By using a shield, you are able to block more damage and will unlock various passives and CP passives that will assist you in the ability to Tank and take damage. You are able to taunt with this weapon which also causes a huge enemy debuff of Major and Minor Breach. You unlock a number of other buffs using a 1H & Shield but often a lot of the skills are situation aside from Pierce Armor.

Using 1H & Shield on both bars is very limiting and not advised at all since you only really need two One Hand and Shield abilities for almost all content it holds no extra benefit by using it on both bars. It’s advised to switch to using a back bar Ice Staff as soon as possible to open up your options on both useful abilities and group buffs and support.

Destruction Staff is extremely important on a Tank and it’s actually more useful than a One Hand and Shield if you look at the number of useful skills and passives.

The main reason this is used is because of the Elemental Blockade ability and the weapon glyphs. When you use a Staff, the weapon glyphs you use have double the value that they do on a 1 Handed weapon.

You should almost ALWAYS use an Infused Staff with Crusher Enchant since it provides a large enemy debuff extremely easily.

When you place your Blockade it will activate the Crusher debuff on the target that is closest to you. The enchant will stay on the enemy for 4 seconds and because the duration of Blockade is 15 seconds, even when you are on your front bar Blockade will automatically continue to proc the Crusher Enchant multiple times over the duration of its ability and you need to try and recast Blockade on cooldown to keep the Crusher enchant automatically reactivating itself on the target.

There are other abilities that you will need from the Destruction Staff skill line for various content such a Crushing Shock for Ranged Interrupting, Elemental Drain for debuffing and helping your Magicka DDs sustain via the Minor Magickasteal.

You should use a Frost Staff as they are the most useful.

Frost Staves: These are the most useful weapon to use as they offer you actual defence as a Tank and there is very little difference to using a Frost Staff compared to a One Hand and Shield. You get increased block mitigation, reduced block cost when using a Frost Staff for starters, and you have a unique debuff  provided by a Frost Staff called Minor Brittle which increases the enemy critical damage received by 10% which is a big DPS boost for your group.

Frost Clench and Frost Pulsar are incredibly useful skills for a Tank. Clench offers a Taunt, Major Maim, Minor Maim and Minor Brittle as a single target and is great for boss fights. Frost Pulsar causes AoE chilled, AoE Minor Maim, AoE Minor Mangle, AoE Minor Brittle and AoE Minor Protection. When you also combine Frost Pulsar and Frost Blockade you gain AoE Minor Breach.

Some builds like to use the Tri-Focus passive but generally it’s advised not to use it until you are experienced with Tanking to utilise it properly. When using a double frost staff setup you might use it.

Using a Bow is a viable option in certain situations. It can be used anytime where you are ranged Tanking such as the vSS Ice Dragon.

As with the Destruction Staff, your Bow must be an Infused Crusher Bow. You could also use a Bow in a Medium Armor build to push some extra damage in score pushing teams. The main reason for using a Bow is because your Crusher Enchant will proc on the target that is in the very centre of your Endless Hail, compared with Elemental Blockade which causes your enchant to hit the target at the very front of the ability.

Both abilities have the same duration so both are viable options depending on the situation. Using a Bow would also be good to increase your DPS as an Off Tank or hybrid tank with the correct group setup. The Bow can also be useful for it’s ranged Interrupt with Venom Arrow and the passive Hasty Retreat which gives you Major Expedition when you Roll Dodge.

There is very minimal use for Dual Wield on a Tank. You could use it on an Off Tank or hybrid tank in situations where you receive low amounts of damage, if it works in your group and you are looking to do additional damage. You have access to an AoE interrupt with Dual Wield which is one of the few times you might see some people use it for Tanking.

Only really useful for a Off Tank looking to do extra damage. Could be worked into a Hybrid Tank build or used for solo play/questing/farming as a Tank so you can kill things quicker.

The healing output of a Tank is very low due to your low Spells Damage and Max Magicka so you usually would not use a Resto Staff. A Resto Staff can be a little useful for some of the passives and some healing abilities in 4-Man content where you are using 1 Tank and 3 DD’s, and in trials like vKA Hardmode it might be an option for the Off Tank to switch to a kind of 3rd Healer to help the group and Main Tank deal with all of the Incoming damage.

Some of the abilities you might use as a Tank are Combat Prayer for Minor Berserk and Minor Resolve, Siphon Spirit for Minor Lifesteal and Magickasteal and Healing Ward as well as the passives.

ESO Tank Weapons – Traits