The Keeper- Arcanist Tank PVE Build

Written guide updated for Necrom Chapter: Q2 2023

It’s finally here! The tank you’ve all been waiting for…The KEEPER!

This is an Arcanist tank and are you in for a treat today!

Ever had that one idiot in your group constantly get at you for “your build” (note this is usually a dps player that doesn’t tank) complaining about how you are a “selfish tank” for keeping people alive? Yeah i know, it makes NO sense what so ever, that is flawed logic, because the last time i checked, “saving people” is not selfish. Expecting everyone to do everything FOR you is selfish right?

I digress…The point is, people want to scratch that itch. They want to DO everything because they are told they MUST do everything. Let’s face it, generally speaking it is not possible. There will always be SOMETHING missing on YOUR setup that someone else EXPECTS while never looking at themselves or the other 3-11 people in the room.

It’s all on YOU right? Well while that is technically an incorrect way to look at overall composition, i appreciate people want to cover as many areas as they can. Well this build does SO much all at once…while sacrificing NOTHING!

You can debuff and support buff to your hearts content WITHOUT sacrificing any survival for you or the group what so ever! That’s right, you can do it ALL!

That’s not to say there are not other buffs and bonuses the GROUP cannot bring, but you do have a LOT of the “expected” basics covered and it is incredibly easy to apply! You even have bonuses on tap that people wear entire sets for! Which of course you do not need to. SO we can easily take advantage of other sets, while OTHERS may not be able to.

Example: “That dk tank should be wearing Yolo bro!” (not accurate in the slightest but people DO say it). An entire 5 piece set to give minor courage…yet we have a skill for it! Congratulations, you have 5 slots SPARE while others do not!

We have a LOT of that stuff in this build/class!

This build has a combination of high health and high resistances. This pushes all of it’s health based skills (some skills scale off of higher health much like dps skills off of higher offensive stats) and pushes OVER the resistance cap to apply some much needed debuffing due to scaling of a set!

While your mitigation does NOT improve over the 50% mitigation cap for 33000 resistances, you can go OVER the resistance stat cap in order to boost sets/skills etc if they require it. And we have deliberately done that. Not only is that a major benefit of doing so but if something goes wrong and your forget a buff, it’s not the end of the world for you. All swings and roundabouts but it works! The higher our resistance statistics regardless of mitigation bonuses, the higher the proc from Tremorscale, meaning more resistance debuffing. This has been calculated precisely for the build so the setup variables are important for the sake of optimizing it’s performance. BUT if you have a  couple of off traits or lower qualities, i have allowed for wiggle room!

We can in AOE easily provide Minor Courage, Minor Endurance, Minor Fortitude, Minor Intellect AND a 20second heal from just ONE skill! And that’s without talking about the other 9 with have slotted!

Applying these minor buffs with ONE skill allow for FULL control of Crimson Oath which also (much like tremor scale) removes resistances from targets! Again, calculated carefully for easy application and optimization.

Along side this we have the ability to access our own UNIQUE (first time this has been done outside of Temporary taunts introduced recently for chains) CLASS TAUNT! Yup we can taunt from our own skill line and get loaded passives for doing so! We get to build up the new Arcanist stacking system of power called Crux, and for building it up that helps boost our performance whie we maintain them, at the same time as offering us STRONGER damage shields and heals!

Crux building is basically the ability to utilize skills to stack up 3 ticks so you can then empower a skill or passive to your own benefit. While this takes time generally, and people need to figure it out. This build actually has it on tap by default. I have designed and constructed this setup in such a way that If you TAUNT you get a crux, if you get HIT you get a crux, and due to a buff running if we do DAMAGE (taunt hurts) you get a crux. Basically i can make it so you can build up all 3x max crux in 1 second.

That allows us easy access to stronger skills!

As well as all of the above! We also have the ability to grant ourselves and “OH NO” moment heal! This is a buff that stays with us and if we dip below 50% it will POP and emergency heal us! You can also activate this if it is not present AT low health to take the heal also. BUT during the buff uptime whether you take the heal or not, it provides the group with Minor Resolve! That’s right, YOUR tanky skill, makes OTHERS tanky! No need for Combat Prayer in the group, which means people can utilize other skills (unless they want minor berserk of course).

This setup just with a couple of skills opens up SO many opportunities for composition! All of the basic set in stone expectations of skills and sets are out of the window and choices for YOUR GROUP have been busted wide open!

I haven’t even gotten to the good stuff yet! Did i forget to mention Minor Breach happens for just being hit? Oh well there is that too, technically AOE minor breach is ALSO tied to a 5 piece set normally. We don’t need that!

We give the WHOLE group, Minor Evasion (10% reduction to AOE damage) 24/7 just by applying Arcanist Skills! Our healing skill line buff on our front bar allows for a passive that REDUCES the cost of damage shields and INCREASES their strength…which means?

Our ultimate is both CHEAPER and it is STRONGER! I should probably mention what it does right? Well while you can read it down below for yourself, or infact try it. Basically it is a HUGE damage shield way over 100k for you, which allows you to absorb 60% of all damage. This means that if you get hit for 10k you only take 4k damage…meaning? The damage shield has to take a lot MORE damage before it completely goes away…In the mean time, ANY damage you take IN that shield, throws out a 20-24k damage shield for your group once a second!!! Your group basically cannot die!

But wait there’s more! We are using the Akavari Dragonguard set…so we got the cost down even more!

The build while being able to taunt, chain, immobilize, debuff and all that jazz, can fully protect your entire group! There is a lot more detail and explanation about how it all works effectively IN the video of course, but this is a very exciting time for tanking in the Elder Scrolls Online! Finally something that can quite literally “Do it all!”.

Debuffing, control, buffing, protection!

Here are some important points about the build overall.

  • Minor Courage, Minor Intellect, Minor Endurance, Minor Fortitude, Heal over time, from ONE skill!
  • Minor Resolve, Minor Protection (for you), Emergency Heal (for you), AOE Immobilize from ONE skill!
  • Minor Evasion for the entire group on tap from ANY skill you cast from the Arcanist!
  • High health to take advantage of higher performing tanking skills based on stat scaling!
  • High resistances (over capped) to have full calculated control over resistance debuffing on target!
  • CLASS taunt, allowing for class PASSIVES to contribute towards it!
  • Minor Breach for being HIT!
  • Massive unmatchable damage shields to the group from a fast building CHEAP ultimate!
  • Emergency ultimate on the back bar with the ability to channel heal through it if the group are in trouble!
  • While heavy attacking your recovery is REALLY high(not blocking) so your feel like you gain a lot more during those periods for resource management!
  • Magicka recovery is insanely high meaning we can utilize our utility skills WAY more often than most!

There is SO much more in the build i could go on about BUT i guess that is what the video is for!
Get hyped and go try it out! You may be surprised!



Fashion First!

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

Head: Medium Apostle
Chest:  Medium Arkthzand Armory
Shoulders:  Heavy Arkthzand Armory
Legs:  Medium Arkthzand Armory
Hands:  Medium Arkthzand Armory
Belt:  Light Dro-M’athra
Feet:  Medium Arkthzand Armory
Front Bar Weapon:  Arkthzand Armory Mace
Front Bar Shield:  Arkthzand Armory Shield
Back Bar Weapon:  Scribes of Mora Mace
Back Bar Shield:  Scribes of Mora

 The colors we are using are:  Dominion Yellow and the rest is the equipment default.


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?


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?

  • Enduring Resolve
  • Duelist’s Rebuff
  • Unassailable
  • Ironclad


  • Rationer
  • Liquid Efficiency
  • Treasure Hunter
  • Steed’s Blessing
  • Boundless Vitality
  • Fortified
  • Rejuvenation
  • Bastion

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 pots depending on how comfortable you are with your resources.

Columbine + Mountain Flower + Bugloss + Lorkhan’s Tears

Max health and Max Stamina Food
      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)

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

Below is a chart showing the overall gear set-up, noting the optimal set requirements in terms of weight, enchants & traits!

We are using the Atronach Mundus stone, 

All 64 Attribute points go into Health.

We are a Nord but other races are also usable. The choice is 100% up to you but understand the minor variables you are altering and adjust accordingly if need be.

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Original Setup
Resistance Remover

SlotGear SetWeightTraitEnchantment
HeadTremorscaleHeavyInfusedMax Health
ShouldersTremorscaleHeavySturdyMax Health
ChestAkaviri DragonguardHeavyInfusedMax Health
WaistAkaviri DragonguardHeavySturdyMax Health
HandsAkaviri DragonguardHeavySturdyMax Health
LegsAkaviri DragonguardHeavySturdyMax Health
FeetAkaviri DragonguardHeavySturdyMax Health
Ring 1Crimson Oath’s RiveJewelryHealthyMag Recovery
Ring 2Crimson Oath’s RiveJewelryHealthyMag Recovery
NecklaceCrimson Oath’s RiveJewelryHealthyMag Recovery
Weapon 1Crimson Oath’s RiveMaceDefendingLife Drain
Weapon 2Crimson Oath’s RiveShieldInfusedMax Health
Weapon 3Crimson Oath’s RiveMaceDefendingLife Drain
Weapon 4Crimson Oath’s RiveShieldInfusedMax Health

This setup is allows you to apply so many buffs and bonuses to the group in the skills area of the build AND allows full control of penetration debuffs and ultimate usage! We have a great balance of debuffing and reduction to ultimate cost so neither should ever be an issue. Along side all of the front loaded buffs we have from the skills, simply applying those will make the sets work for you.

The ability to remove resistances with this setup is second to none! Simply apply your skills and you will debuff the enemy effectively of 18648 resistances if you consider the average player would have the passive champion point node allowing them to have a BASE of 700. Meaning if they HAVE that passive, you are over pen cap (18200) and if they don’t..well they are only JUST under it!

Literally everything you need in one tidy build. Next to no micro management because it is controlled by procs applied by your every day role application (taunts and buffs).

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Alternate Setup
Ultimate Spammer

SlotGear SetWeightTraitEnchantment
HeadTremorscaleHeavyInfusedMax Health
ShouldersTremorscaleHeavySturdyMax Health
ChestBloodlord’s EmbraceHeavyInfusedMax Health
WaistAkaviri DragonguardHeavySturdyMax Health
HandsAkaviri DragonguardHeavySturdyMax Health
LegsAkaviri DragonguardHeavySturdyMax Health
FeetAkaviri DragonguardHeavySturdyMax Health
Ring 1Blessing of the PotentatesJewelryHealthyMag Recovery
Ring 2Blessing of the PotentatesJewelryHealthyMag Recovery
NecklaceBlessing of the PotentatesJewelryHealthyMag Recovery
Weapon 1Akaviri DragonguardMaceDefendingLife Drain
Weapon 2Druid’s BraidShieldInfusedMax Health
Weapon 3Akaviri DragonguardMaceDefendingLife Drain
Weapon 4Druid’s BraidShieldInfusedMax Health

IF you find yourself in a situation where you have LOTS of penetration bonuses on individuals in your group (perhaps lots of light armour wearers, lots of Arcanists with their Herald of The Tome passives etc, then of course you don’t need so much in the way of penetration bonuses. So we have removed 3541 of that debuffing in THIS variant to allow for that. In the mean time while you still play the build 100% exactly the same with no changes to style, instead of benefitting from pen stripping, you benefit from far cheaper ultimates! Meaning your role stays the same, the effectiveness for buffs and debuffs is EQUAL to the above, BUT now you can spam your ultimate! Your damage shield becomes 130 ultimate and the block ultimate becomes a mere 98!

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Gear Locations

Other Arcanist Builds