Easy Tank - Dragonknight PVE Tank Build

Written guide updated for the Deadlands DLC: Update 32 Q4 2021

Older video but still relevant.
Written guide updated with altered sets, traits, and/or skills.

WELCOME TO EASY MODE!

  Most popular “tank” builds require you to have lowish HPs (about 10k more than a DPS role) alongside very high stamina so you can block for ages while trying to do backflips with awkward combinations of sets to be “effective”. This is not strictly a “tank” in the sense that the word means. This is a “support” role, with the ability to taunt and take SOME damage. Although they usually require additional help to take big hits (usually guarded by a squishier player depending on the content).

This has many excuses behind it but, the fact is people chose to squish down their health because they force their healers to ALSO not be a full “role” they are claiming to fill, and are instead playing “support” and/or “hybrid” role.

If you have a fully focused and designed tank + healer, it is easy peasy. But if you have Support + Support…that is an entirely different playing field.

With this in mind, for the healer, they put on sets that do not support their “healing” ability, rather just make the DPS do more damage.

Which is, of course, fine if you want to play that way, (yes I said it is “fine”, these are facts not digs) BUT their HEALING lacks tremendously, because they simply are not built for it. So their capability of that said role is reduced significantly so they can add something else instead (again FINE if you chose to play that way, I’m merely explaining).

Instead of just adding an “extra heal cast” or two to fill the health bar of the target they are helping, they force the “tanks” to go squishy so that they can get them to full faster (due to weaker heals filling less health per cast)… Also so inside some mechanics where 100% health is required fast, they can manage it because they are simply not built to heal well enough to do that vs a proper “TANKY” character but they CAN vs something small and risky.

This doesn’t mean you cannot heal big targets, a fully spec’d “healer” can do that all day long EASY, but some people choose not to play that way. Which again is fine, however, that will create a domino effect where sacrificing one role’s effectiveness to satisfy another with “everyone go squishier because the support did” strategy DOES open up for more opportunity to fail since you take more damage than you COULD handle had your prepared for more survival as a group, and you can find it hard to recover when things go wrong. And in this game things always do.

HOWEVER… Let’s just say two things:

1) That type of tank (squishy) is a SUPPORT role not strictly a TANK (which is your choice, of course, 100% OK if you like that kinda thing).

2) It’s not necessarily for EVERYONE…Some people like to be traditional TANKS. Big chunky aggro holding buffers with huge shields for their group! Rather than 100% relying on someone else to protect them, while they are the “protector” role? … This build is designed for THOSE “traditional” straight-up hard ass gorilla tanks 😉
If that is what you are looking for, keep reading.

Support doesn’t mean “just make people do more deeps” it could be “help the group stay alive”. In construction work, supports are used to keep the buildings up, right? Just saying…

I have played MMORPGs to an extreme level on countless games for over 20 years, believe me, I know what a “tank” is, vs someone holding aggro and playing a “support” role, they are two very different things.

Either is FINE depending on your playstyle, but understand the definitive difference between the two. Just because they both have a taunt, doesn’t mean they are the same when you say the word “tank”. Remember a taunt can be used by ANYONE in this game, it is not tied to a class. Just like any player can slap on a heal.

This game is designed and built on the foundation of CHOICE.

Almost ALL “tanking skills” are based on your maximum health, so it makes sense to stack it and be chunky to be a pure TANK if that is the goal you are trying to achieve.

This build is designed to be a simple and effective TANK…The “protector! The one that gets hit on PURPOSE and can stand up to it! Nothing more, nothing less.
You are beefy as hell, have PLENTY of resources, and high mag recovery to spam those group protecting skills for your group!

Our protective skills for the group AND our own abilities that benefit us in terms of damage shields and heals etc, SCALE (yes this is 100% accurate) off of our MAXIMUM HEALTH!

This means the more health, the more EFFECTIVE those skills are for us and/or our group.

If you are a DPS, you scale for high max resources that benefit your skills, to do more damage right? Well by that simple logic we also do the same, we take advantage of the high resource pool that benefits our skills for the purpose of our role. All of our skills that are not CC or taunt-based are boosted ONLY by maximum health.

So with that in mind, the only resource pool that needs to be boosted is our health. However the game is about balance too, so we must make sure we have a good amount of resources for other things.

Stamina is needed NOT for the strength of our skills but for the usage of them (costing stamina) and of course blocking! Blocking is also using stamina (with sword n board) so long as we can maintain it.
A good-sized stamina pool means we can block more often if necessary. Remember high recovery for blocking is ONLY useful if we are NOT blocking right now, and since we block a lot. It is pretty useless most of the time. However, we can recover EASILY between mechanics with a simple heavy attack. So resource usage and recovery are pretty chilled if you pay attention to the basics.

The magicka pool however is different. It is a common misconception that tanks (specifically Dragonknights) by default need a “big pool” you most definitely do not. If you have a large pool, you spam and run out, then you have nothing left…now what?

The magicka pool itself does NOT benefit the strength of the skills we utilize. Our heals and shields do NOT, I repeat do NOT, get stronger with high magicka. BUT, we do want to use them a LOT, and the heals + shields scale off of health. So how do we approach this in a problem-solving manner?

Simple. We have as much health as we can get to be able to push the effectiveness of the skills higher, and instead of having a large mag pool (which is not useful) we stack magicka RECOVERY!

 This now means that we have the high health for the strength and the high recovery for the faster-repeated use! This is a win-win all around.

Important: NO I am NOT, using “balance” from the mages guild. For a very simple reason (yes this makes sense)…
We stack high health to increase our health-based skills (heals and damage shields)…
IF we use balance, to gain back magicka per cast… the problem is not ONLY are we casting a skill to be able to cast a skill, which wastes extra time in emergencies…

But you are forcing your heals and damage shields to be 50% LESS effective for 4 seconds every time you cast the skill! That’s completely counterintuitive to the skills in the first place!

So, you spend all that time and energy making your health high to push the skills, then you NUKE their effectiveness by HALF just because you have to spam another slot wasting skill due to your inability to sustain /FACEPALM!

It’s a waste. High magic recovery alters all this mess you really don’t need to overcomplicate things with. By default, you will be able to recast the skills when you want and not have to flap about using skills that make your build less useful.

As a dps, would you spam a skill that HALVES your damage output for 4 seconds per cast? I didn’t think so…

The Dragon knight skill lines (specifically Earthen Heart and Draconic Power) actually focus on healing received and MAX health. Green Dragon Blood heals based on the % of “missing health”, meaning the more hps you have missing, the bigger the heal and this scales not just to low HP tanks but BIG ONES too.

The more health you have, the lower you can go and save resources over time, for that one-time huge heal, rather than panic spam because you are too squish and need a heal every 2 seconds. Which in turn gives more recovery to be used for shield spamming for the group’s survival/protection.

ALSO, Igneous Shield (and Bone Shield) are based on % of your max health (30% to be exact for bone shield depending on bastion champion points if you chose to alter them).

With the above in mind, it only makes sense that tanks SHOULD have high HPS.

BUT! you do need to block. Some experienced capable tanks can read the fight and survive on low stamina by managing their own resources with heavy attacks, potions, and timing their ultimate…others not so much and need the extra pool of stamina to hold that shield up for longer…

That is NORMALLY a problem, however with this build…PROBLEM SOLVED! Huge HP pool, great stam pool combined, and plenty of balancing resource gain to keep in the fight. Igneous feeds stam pool, and ultimate gives free block if in trouble!

 The plague doctor set focuses on giving us massive health, and the Death Wind set gives us huge forgiveness and survival by allowing us a quick break from pressure should you for any reason get overwhelmed in a crowd.

Not to mention Chudan gives us PERMANENT major resolve meaning that buff is NEVER down we DON’T need the skill slotted (freeing up a slot) and we are capped out resistance 100% of the time with zero effort.

What’s great too is that it requires ZERO trial loot to get the gear. Apart from the monster set, everything can be acquired via the market and ONE of the sets can even be crafted with the LOWEST crafting requirement in the game! 2 trait set 😉

This has been stress tested in many situations both in dungeons and trials and performs VERY well. 5+ axes in AA, no problem… the warrior in Hel Ra…no problem…vHOF and vCR?? ALSO no problem! And as for dragons? Well, they need to hit you harder if they are going to take you down! The list goes on, but the more aware of mechanics you are, the easier this gets. You won’t hear “tank down” and constantly have to be ressed, YOU are the protector and YOU keep OTHERS from dying, not the other way around.

This is a tank for all levels ESPECIALLY beginners! I ANY group content!

Just remember if you DO run low on stamina, HEAVY ATTACK! it gives you resources back. Be sure to block the big heavy attack stuff coming in at you, and use the gaps in the bosses’ attacks to take advantage of it and hit back!

You have so much health you can take a decent amount of damage with your guard down if you need to. Just don’t get stunned 😉

Things to remember:

  • Igneous Shield is for you AND your group, the bigger your HPS the bigger the shield, keep that shield coming and spam it as much as you comfortably can, to protect you AND the group!

  • Understand your earthen heart passives, every time you press igneous shields you get 990 stamina back, EVEN while blocking!!

  • Bone surge stacks with igneous shield, use them both, and take a lot less damage but watch your resources!

  • Block ulti is your “oh sh*t” button, it is cheap and ridiculously powerful! But Magma Shell protects your group! Chose which one to use when, wisely

  • Advanced tip, IF you see a window of opportunity…do a heavy attack…heavy attack gives you stamina back, you don’t have to run out of resources. And of course, because you have loads of health, you can get away with it so long as you time it right between the bosses’ big hits.

  • keep Green Dragon Blood active as much as possible, it Isn’t just a heal, it’s a buff too…which makes the heals you receive larger!

  • Igneous Shield first, heal second! Remember igneous shield comes with major mending…25% increased healing DONE! So, hit igneous first, you get a 3-second buff, use that window to heal inside of. Dragon Blood can heal you to full from almost nothing if you apply your skills correctly.

  • Taunt stuff, Hold it still, and protect your group! You are NOT a DPS in Maelstrom Arena, stop running around in circles, you are MEANT to be getting hit by stuff, it’s your job! 😉

Fashion First!

ESO Fashion, easy tank, best armour, best armor

As demonstrated in the video, our fabulous ESO fashion setup and dress choice for this character is as follows:

Head: HATLESS!
Shoulders: Heavy Daedric
Chest: Heavy Pyre Watch Cuirass
Legs: Heavy Pyre Watch Greaves
Hands: Medium Mercenary Bracers
Belt: Light Dro’mathra
Feet: Heavy Ebon Sabatons
Front bar: Nord 4 Mace and Ancestral Nord Shield
Back Staff: Soul Shriven Sword and Thieves Guild Shield

The two colors we are using are Legate Black (any black will do, a new one is coming soon) and also Craftmaster Gold

Skills

Champion Points 2.0

The NEW Champion Points 2.0 introduced in the Q1 2021 DLC: Flames Of Ambition is quite possibly the BIGGEST change/addition to The Elder Scrolls Online since One Tamriel! And these were further altered in the Blackwood Chapter, giving us a lower base for capping out some of the essentials and also adding some more slotables!

Before it was a case of “I have limited points as a CP, so HOW should I spend them”? Now that is NOT the case as SUCH! Now, it is a case of, buy ALL the things, but which SLOTABLES should you take?

Everything before was a passive bonus with huge diminished returns, awkward calculations, and was messy to all players for the most part. The new system underlines NO diminished returns, no majorly confusing passives, and the ability to buy EVERY single passive available for tanking, DPS, and healing on the SAME character with enough points to spare for buying slotables. Being able to slot 4x special slotables from each tree when there is an abundance of them means you are only limited by your CHOICES, not by your CP.

Buy all the passives, CHOOSE which slotables to take vs the situation, and the rest of the points are spare. Or are they? Well here is the crunch…Once you go over 1800ish (depending on slotable choices, some are more expensive in the Craft tree) you basically have every single passive available PLUS 4 slotables per tree…

If you JUST wanted to focus on combat alone (all red and blue passives and 4 slotables for each one) you only actually need around 1600cp to be completely maxed in those areas. And if you wanted to go FULL glass cannon, only really focusing on one damage type you can achieve your max potential for that as low as 900 or so! You won’t have any resistances or healing bonuses from the Warfare (blue) tree doing this, but you can at least cap out the hard-hitting stuff, right? And this is considering slotables too so there is no harm in actually deliberately specing for a couple of damage resistance slotables instead even at THIS stage.

For tanking it is even easier! Push for your slotables and stack your resistance passives and it is game over! The rest are just a bonus!

So what’s next? Well, if you have higher champion points you can buy more slotables and switch stuff per situation as and when needed. If you don’t, then if you want to swap it will cost you gold for respecing. So in a nutshell, 1650-1800 (depending on build) is you’re pretty much done! Anything else is convenient due to not needing to spend gold swapping things you already have access to! How cool is that?

SLOTABLES!

No matter what, THESE are the most important parts of the Champion Points 2.0 system. So this is your main FIRST goal when pushing for the build. You need to slot these even if they are not max level. However, there are swap-outs for situations as explained in the video.

BLUE (Warfare) are important for resistance, heals, and damage. Red (Fitness) are important for resources, health, and Crowd Control counters. Green (Craft) are literally quality of life! (aka your choice so not THAT important for combat).

It doesn’t matter what level you are at anymore, you can play ALL content regardless of your champion points level because during Flames of Ambition all players/characters had their base stats improved to make everyone somewhat more balanced at lower levels.

However, as mentioned above, the slotables are your main goal. Unlock the prerequisite passives to unlock access to your slotables if there are any…fill them up, and then just grab the remaining passives as you go.

300, 600, 900 champion points are not really important as checkpoints anymore for optimization. Just fill as you go, because ALL characters can have ALL passives with NO negative effects unlike before!

What should I aim for with this build?

  • Ironclad
  • Duelist’s Rebuff
  • Bulward / Enduring Resolve
  • From The Brink

Maximizing the main focus of the build making it REALLY tough early on!

  • Rationer
  • Liquid Efficiency
  • Treasure Hunter
  • Steed’s Blessing

These really are up to you but these are most useful IN content for loot and movement if not in combat.
What you do with this tree is NOT make or break for mechanics or combat in general just quality of life.

  • Boundless Vitality
  • Fortified
  • Peace of Mind
  • Rejuvenation

Pushing for armor and health bonuses alongside high recovery. You can of course switch to survival instincts instead if you don’t want the Peace of Mind bonus but that is up to you.

The video below explains how the changes work in more detail. Of course, over time, additions will be and have already been made to the system but the main BASE of it is the same.

Poisons, Potions, & Food

Potions really are up to you but they do offer recovery/sustain while giving a burst of stamina/mag/health back at the same time depending on the choice of potion. I would highly recommend using Tripots if you can afford them BUT you can of course use trash magicka or stamina pots depending on how comfortable you are with your resources.

Food is very simple, in stressful high block situations you can use HIGH max stat food (max health and max stam). The rest of the time if you can manage your sustain you can go with max health and mag recovery food in order to keep up HIGH mag recovery and more ability to spam your shields to protect the group and get back stamina.

Poisons: 
Alkahest + Bugloss, Columbine, Cornflower

Tri-pots: 
Columbine + Mountain Flower + Bugloss + Lorkhan’s Tears

Food:
Max health and max stam
          Sticky Pork And Radish Noodles – White Meat(1) + Radish(2) + Flour(3)
          Garlic Cod with Potato Crust – Fish(1) + Potato(2) + Garlic(3)
          Braised Rabbit with Spring Vegetables – Small Game(1) + Greens(2) + Seasoning(3)

Max health and mag recovery
            Orzoga’s Red Frothgar  – Clear Water(1) + Comberry(1) + Honey(1) + Mint(1)

If you would like to make your own potions, I now have a fully functioning potion maker on the website. Here you can TEST any combination of potion or poison you like and check the outcome without having to know the combinations in-game! Check here for the App, working on Android and IOS – Potion Maker

Gear Setup

We are using the Atronach Mundus stone and 64 Attribute points into Health…however, if you are struggling with your sustain you can split the attributes more into stamina, but bear in mind your heals from your procs and all-round shielding for you AND the group will take a hit since everything is based on “max hps”. But whatever suits you best.

We are a Nord but other races are also usable. Orc, Argonian, or Imperial are good substitutes BUT you will have to alter your stats to counter the loss of some specific passives, especially resistance.

Optimal Setup

SLOTGear SetWeightTraitEnchant
Headmighty chudanheavysturdyhealth
shouldersmighty chudanheavysturdyhealth
chestdeath windheavysturdyhealth
waistdeath windheavysturdyhealth
handsdeath windheavysturdyhealth
legsdeath windheavysturdyhealth
feetdeath windheavysturdyhealth
ring 1plague doctorjewelryhealthymagicka regen
ring 2plague doctorjewelryhealthymagicka regen
necklaceplague doctorjewelryhealthymagicka regen
weapon 1plague doctor1 handeddecisivepersonal preference
weapon 2plague doctorshieldreinforcedhealth
weapon 3plague doctor1 handeddecisivepersonal preference
weapon 4plague doctorshieldreinforcedhealth

Gear Locations

Death’s Wind 2 Trait Crafted Set
Plague DoctorDeshaan
Mighty ChudanVeteran Ruins of Mazzatun

Alternate monster set while farming Chudan
(will require major resolve buff slotted)

Pirate SkeletonBlack Heart Haven

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