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11:19 pm, October 14, 2014

ESO Tanking Guide


Hey ESO Community,

Wanted to shared my ESO Tanking Guide with all of you. You can check out the video here http://youtu.be/9BckI5VHHLA or the written guide here http://deltiasgaming.com/2014/10/14/eso-tanking-guide/.


Are you ready to take on the hardest job in Elder Scrolls Online (ESO)? Well than welcome to our ESO Tanking Guide where we show you everything you need to know regarding tanking. This is a broad guide and for specific tank guides, make sure you check out our class guide section. Lets get started!

Whats a Tanks Job?

The most important job for a tank is taking on the most deadly single enemy in a group. Other games have you taking on ALL the enemies, not ESO. To be a great tank in ESO, youll have to pick and choose your targets carefully. Generally, Ill take on the target that can one-shot or insta **** someone. Its usually pretty obvious who this is based on size, amount of HP, or just appearance.

Damage Mitigation Simply put, youre suppose to soak up damage so other players dont have to. Your damage dealers and healers are optimize fully towards their roles. Essentially, theyre going to be very squishy or easy to ****. Thats okay, because as tanks, we embrace the hard to **** attitude and shine when the odds are against us. What this means is, youll need to find a way between using your skills, gear, and play-style to mitigate damage. Most do this by avoiding hits, having heavy armor rating to lessen the damage, or shielding themselves with spells. Either way, youre suppose to take damage so others dont.

Priority Targeting Deltia, how do I mitigate or lessen damage? You do this by targeting that one enemy whod ruin your day if let lose. Take this picture for example. Youll see about eight mobs or enemies all looking to **** you. However, the Frost Giant is not only larger, but look at its health bar. Youll see a little square indicating its a higher threat mob (elite or boss). This is your visual indicator that this needs to be your main priority out of the group.

Positioning Our endless mission for mitigation doesnt stop there. Now that weve got the attention of the boss, its time to position our team correctly. Most enemies have a cleave mechanic (or area AoE damage). This is usually in the shape of a cone BIG RED and yes get out of it. After we get aggro meaning the enemies attention, turn that mob away from the group. That way when it does a big area or cleave attack, youre allies are safe. Turning the mobs is a huge part of tanking that I see people missing all the time. With that being said, the group also needs to understand to not be in your way either.

Resource Management Deltia, why is tanking so hard? Not only is there so much going on and youre responsible for, throw in the fact that youre going to be using ALL resource pools and this gets very hard. Most roles either using magicka or stamina to do their jobs, not tanks. We have to use stamina to block, dodge roll, sprint, and taunt. We need magicka for shields, buffs, and healing. And if we run out of health, well everyone dies. I cant give any better advice than this, when build your character heres what you need to focus on stamina regeneration > everything else. Blocking is our primary source of damage mitigation and a constant drain on our stamina. If you cant block you die, if you die, everyone dies. The point is, stamina recover, regeneration, or reduction is the priority over all else.

Damage Yes we as tanks still need to do damage. You dont want be the main focal point of DPS, but your ultimates and some class abilities can really help add some needed DPS. Each class has their own strengths and weakness, and you should be relying on these advantages to take down enemies. Templars can drop a Nova on a crowd while Nightblades and drop a Veil of Blades on a boss. Dragonknights can throw down a needed Standard of Might while Sorcerers can lock everything down with a Negate. The faster things die, the easier your job will be.

How to Tank

Pre-Fight Make sure everyones ready to go. Weapons are charged, people have ate food to get more stats, and were buffed up and focused. Get your mind right too, think positive and embrace your inner tank. Youll need to react quickly to changing group dynamics. Our group constantly ask each other these questions. Also be prepared with consumable potions. These can make or break fights and have many benefits. In essences, get prepared.

Taunting Using taunts or gaining aggro as some call it is nothing more than getting the bosses attention. Currently, there are two specific abilities for taunting, Inner Fire a ranged taunt using magicka from the Undaunted tree, and the bread and butter taunt Puncture using stamina from the One Hand and Shield tree. Ideally, youll want to use Puncture over Inner Fire because the debuff Puncture provides is powerful. Additionally, Inner Fire has a chance of procing a terrible synergy which will lower DPS. However, I highly recommend having both taunts on your bars somewhere. Youre not always going to be in range for a Puncture and will need a range taunt at some point.

Blocking Now that weve got a mob or twos attention, the hard work starts. Blocking provides massive damage mitigation at the cost of stamina. The more targets beating on you, the more stamina it will drain. Thats why its important that you dont over taunt. Take on what your stamina can handle. While blocking you can, cast spells, continue to taunt, move slowly, and bash. Dont be the tank that just stands and blocks, youll need to be active even while blocking and at least looking around watching for enemy actions.

Interrupts Since I brought up bash, lets talk about interrupts. Generally mobs cast or channel their big attacks. This registers a warning sign above their head saying if you dont interrupt me, youll die. Thus, your job is to keep them at bay by bashing over and over. Just remember, this takes stamina too and at some point, a DPS or a Healer will need to help you interrupt. Additionally, your bash is only near targets so range members of your party are responsible for those interrupts. You can do a lot as the tank, but not all.

Weaving Attacks -One of the finer points on tanking is weaving in between blocks. The most advantages weapon glyph Ive found for tanking is the Hardening Enhancement. This grants a small damage bubble on you and can be procd often. So yes, dont just stand there and block keep on procing this bubble. Once youve become experience, youll understand the timely of each boss. Some take more time to charge up heavy attacks thus giving you the time to charge your own heavy. Others rapidly strike so youll need to get in a light attack here and there. Remember this, the less damage you take, the less healing youll need. The less healing youll need the more the healer can do damage. The more damage the group has, the faster stuff dies. The faster mobs die, the easier your job. On the surface this doesnt seem very important, but truly it separates the good from the average.

Resources So what separates the good from the great? Resource management. Every class, armor, and build has its own strengths and weaknesses. For instance, Dragonknights Green Dragons Blood offers tons of stamina regeneration but it takes constant magicka to cast it. Templars have a passive ability Repentance that increases stamina regeneration without casting. The One Handed Sword and Shield skill line offers Absorb Magic which lessens the burden of blocking and increases mitigation. So, make sure you take abilities that tune up your resources otherwise you cant block, cast, interrupt, and will be an ineffective tank.

Tanking by Classes If you havent been following my guides, Ive played every class to at least Veteran Rank (VR) 10. Ive tanked, healed, and DPSd every single one of them. So each class has its own unique set of strengths and weakness and also easier to tank with. This list is my opinion, not the definitive answer. And I rank each class tanking with the best to worst.

Dragonknight The King of tanking. The Dragonknight (DK) can reflect projectiles, self-heal on command, and pull enemies at range. Their Iron Skin passive of an additional 10% blocking damage makes them the number one choice.

  • Made for blocking and crowd control (CC)

  • Massive group utility and self-sustaining resources

Limited range

Very slow with class specific abilities


A VERY close second is the Templar. I cant tell you how powerful these two classes are and Templar is an absolute riot. Their the only class that can burst heal without a Restoration Staff, they can harvest corpses for endless stamina, and have the best damage shield in the game with Blazing Shield. Another amazing choice for tanking.

  • Healing and stamina regeneration King

  • Class ultimate and leap made for tanking

Little DPS

High magicka cost for spells


While I did beat Dragonstar Arena with my VR 8 Sorc tank, it was a challenge. The Sorc has some great bubbles but lacks healing unless stacking critical stat in conjunction with Critical Surge. This isnt a usual tank stat and doesnt seem that effective though the speed is amazing.

  • Speed to zoom around

  • Massive damage even when tanking

Class abilities lack tanking needs

High magicka cost group CC


Ive seen and tried many Nightblade tanking builds, but still find them a bit lack luster. They have some good speed and utility the problem is they lack a burst self-heal. Moreover, they have limited group CC or slow besides Lotus Fan and I just didnt find them effective as tanks. Though the beauty of this game is someone will show me a build after publishing this that proves me wrong.

  • Great speed

  • Passive healing with siphoning

Dependent on healers in crunch time

Lacks group CC

Setting Up Your Bar

Above is a sample tanking build without any class specific abilities. Yes, youll need to swap in some class stuff but I wanted to give you a picture of a setup and why I take specific things. Lets talk about each slot and the concept behind it. Bar One | Melee

Group Crowd Control Youll need some way of slowing down enemies or neutralizing them completely. Volcanic Rune in this spot is something everyone can get and a good CC.

Melee Taunt The debuff provided by Pierce Armor is a powerful one and I recommend it as the go-to taunt in ESO. Be careful with stamina usage however, because it does take stamina needed for blocking.

Self-Heal or Shield Every class has some type of defensive ability, and Harness Magicka is a good one everyone can get. I like Green Dragons Blood for the DK or Breath of Life for the Templar. Something here that is your oh **** button.

Defensive or Passive I just love Absorb Magic here and use it on nearly every character. Some ability that gives a passive boost to tanking. Another example would be Repentance for the Templar.

Ranged DPS Youll need some range whether a class ability, or a leap to close the distance. I like Structured Entropy because its a small heal and it boost our health by a large margin.

Defensive Ultimate Whats a good tank without a defensive ultimate? Barrier is the beast mode ultimate though each class has something similar. Take it here for when things get tough. Bar Two | Range

Ranged Taunt Every tank needs something with range in my opinion. Too often are fights covered with massive red circles of *****. Not only does this ability get us some range taunt, but if were out of stamina, we can use this as a substitute while building up resources.

Group Heal or AoE DPS This slot I use for group utility, damage or healing. You can swap in another Sword and Shield, a Destruction Staff, or even a Two-Hander. I just like Restoration since Im a more defensive minded tank.

Stamina Buff Since we have tons of stamina, well need a group buff in case were overflowing with it. This ability adds a lot to your tanking bar and can pump up that mitigation to a whole another level. Just make sure you have stamina in reserve for blocking.

Emergency Heal Since your the tanking, using bar two can be risky. If youre not using two Sword and Shields, youll take massive damage on a weapon swap if not timed correctly. Therefore, I suggest having a oh **** button on this bar as well. Preferably one that can benefit the group as well.

Stamina Buff Similar to our previous stamina ability though this one is for speed and breaking roots. This is a must have in Dragonstar Arena (DSA).

DPS Ultimate Everyone needs to do damage, and this ultimate is reserved for that. Drop it like its hot and nuke down an enemy.


Well our wall of text is over and now youre a tanking expert! Okay maybe not, but at least we got the basics down. Now comes the hard part, working at it. Dont be afraid to give it a try, go in and embrace the tanking experiences. Its not easy thats why people dont do it. Though if done right, youll be the Captain of every Raid/DSA team out there.

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