Table of Contents
Block, Standard of Might (Standard), survive. T3 premise is to target the biggest threat, while controlling the battlefield with CC’s, stuns, and taunts. Once mastered, people will be begging you to tank. The build centers on Talons, Standard of Might, and Green Dragon Blood. These abilities allow for control, self-sustaining heals, and a monster Ultimate.
Using a combination of the below abilities, you should be able to keep up near max armor, tons of stamina regeneration, and enough magicka to self-heal when your healer needs a break. The major limitations of T3 are speed and high DPS in exchange for an off healer. I prefer the Restoration Staff on my secondary bar as I’m defensive minded, watching health bars, positioning, etc. Now let’s check out each ability and how they function.
Bar 1 | Sword and Shield
- Volatile Armor – Keep this buff up at all times for near max armor. I also use this entering a fight in a group since it does a small amount of AoE damage and it attracts mobs attention.
- Ransack – Another debuff/buff you’ll need to maintain during fights. This along with Volatile Armor will put you near the hard cap of armor, though you can switch to bar #2 if you’re out of stamina and need to taunt the priority target.
- Burning Talons – Run in, grab mobs attention with Volatile armor and Ransack, then use this when they’re in a cluster. After the root wears off, the DoT will start ticking, so wait just another second or two before reapplying. I’ll let my group know when I’m locking them down and peel for DPS or healer if they need help.
- Absorb Magic – Make sure to have this ready prior to a boss fight as it last 30 seconds. I also keep a stamina potion handy if I’m fighting a Mage. If you run out of stamina, swap to bar #2 and use Harness Magicka. One way or another, Mages won’t kill us.
- Green Dragon Blood –Always keep around 300 magicka laying around for a cast around 10-15% health. If you have magicka, you’ll have life with this spell. Additionally, you can block and still cast without removing your blocking defense. Block, rotate your buffs and debuffs, and it’ll be very hard to kill you (unless you stand in red).
- Magma Shell (Ultimate) – The only time I use this is in an emergency situation where everyone in my group is about to die. 9 times out of 10 Standard is a better choice, but every once in a while we just need to survive and the Magma Shell synergy helps the entire party survive.
Bar 2 | Restoration Staff (or Destruction and/or Bow for added DPS)
- Harness Magicka – This ability is similar to Absorb Magic but uses magicka to cast. Since most dungeons involve one or two more Mage bosses, I just keep it on the bar. Though I sometimes swap this out for Extend Chain because it helps pull in targets to nuke (typically trash pulls).
- Inner Beast – Really the only time this is effective over Ransack is at range or if I’m out of stamina. It places a weak synergy on the boss, but the extra range can make or break a dungeon run. I consider this a must have in boss fights.
- Cinder Storm – Generally I stack this with talons to root, slow, and add a miss chance. It’s especially helpful if you have a melee DPS in your party. Combine this with Hist Bark passive set bonus (20% dodge while blocking), enemies won’t be hitting you very often. It also deals damage so it can generate some ultimate.
- Retreating Maneuver – The major downside to the DK’s class, speed, can be countered by using Maneuvers. I pop this if I have extra stamina or when I know a boss is about to cast a red circle of death. It cost a lot of stamina so be sure to a potion if you’re empty on stamina afterwards. This also removes roots from group members too, using it to help a healer run is common.
- Healing Springs – I really only use this if our our healer is behind or dead. Green Blood is a much better self-heal, so only spam this in emergencies.
- Standard of Might (Ultimate) – The mother of all ultimate’s is on my secondary bar so I can drop it offensively. Drop this, Cinder Storm, then lock them down with talons and watch enemies burn. I often times save this instead of using it liberally, considering it has just as much defensive power as offensive. Healer needs a peel, cinder, talons, standard. We are about to burn a boss, cinder, talons, standard. You get the idea, it’s god mode!
The premise behind my tank gear setup is maximizing regeneration, health, and armor, and making it easier for my healer to heal. Oh, and the whole dodge chance, miss chance thing helps too.
Health 2500 > Armor 2000 base > Stamina 2000 > Magicka 2000
Armor Weight – 5 Heavy \ 2 Light, since I use so much magicka I go for the two light pieces though I can see swapping in some medium if you wanted better stamina regeneration. I think the 5 heavy is a must for its passive bonuses and of course it looks amazing! I get all the passives for all the armor skills just in case.
Jewelry – I use the blocking cost reduce jewelry considering I’m blocking 90% of the time. If I can’t block and mitigate damage, I die, so it’s priority to keep my stamina up.
Traits – I use infused (more stats) traits on all my “large” set so I can maximize my glyph effect. Obtaining overcharged health, magicka, and stamina is priority and this along with food helps me reach that goal. The Divines trait is my second choice since it makes it easier to keep my up healing.
Set Bonuses – 5 piece Hist Bark (20% dodge chance while blocking) and 3 piece Twilight’s Embrace (10% more healing when healed)
Glyphs – For armor glyphs, I recommend buying some cheap common from the Arcane vendor in Craglorn, eat food, and check your numbers. Once you’ve reached the soft cap on an attribute (say health), start putting stamina onto another item until that’s reached. My recommendation is max health, stamina, then magicka. Keep in mind, Cyrodiil or PvP bonuses can effect this number drastically. It’s best to “home” at your faction dominated server.
Attributes – full 49 points into health (you get 15 points per 1 point spent in health verse 10 for magicka and stamina). It’s just a more efficient way to spend ones points (DPS, tank, or healer).
Mundus Stone – the Ritual for increased healing (this pairs well with Twilight’s set bonus)
Food – VR5 Consummate Pudding (increase health, magicka, and stamina by 271 for 2 hours)
There’s a million different ways to build a DK tank, but this is the best I’ve found. After spending 400+ hours, I can say this build works. Let me know what you think and please share your builds!