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ESO Dragonknight Tank Build

Welcome to The Talons Tank [now The Tava’s Tank] a Dragonknight Tank Build for ESO.  In this guide we will cover everything you need to know about DK tanking.  This will be the permanent updated home for T3 so make sure to bookmark and check back for updates.

Table of Contents


Objective

[Last Updated – June 17, 2016]

Unlisted video showing the sustain and self healing that this build possess.

I wanted to do something different with my tank with an offensive focus, ultimate generating, group utility juggernaut.  The idea behind T3 (The Tava’s Tank) for the Dark Brotherhood is generating ultimate with the Tava’s Favor set.  Additionally, we will be using many buffs in our rotation to help the overall team.  This build is designed for group dungeon PvE content, 4 player dungeons and 12 player trials, not solo or leveling but end game tanking.  I’ve tanked with this build through nearly every challenge in the game, Vet White Gold Tower / Prison, the new Trial Maw of Lorkhaj, Dragonstar Arena Vet Sanctum and more.  If you’re looking for something different than you’re old typical Blocknight, give this a try.

+ Ultimate generation like crazy

+ Group utility with buffs/debuffs

+ Massive resource pool and regeneration with Battle Roar

– Not good for solo play

– Not easy to play with many buffs


Skills

T3 Skills for Dark Brotherhood

Sword and Shield Bar One – Meant for “Chains & Bang,” control, taunting and debuffing.

  1. Unrelenting Grip (morph of Fiery Grip | Ardent Flame skill line) – A 22 meter range pull that refunds magicka if it doesn’t pull.  Basically a free spammable ability on bosses or recently pulled targets.  I consider Chains and Bang a must have for any DK tank unless tanking a solo boss.  This morph is great due to the nature of magicka refund and can be spammed if all your buffs are up.
  2. Ransack (morph of Puncture | One-Hand and Shield skill line) – I switched morphs this patch because there’s a bug with Elemental Drain.  Basically when you use a similar buff, it removes the previous effect and applies the new duration.  Meaning, it sometimes drops Elemental Drain magicka return and this hurts the group.  The added amount of armor does help out, but the advantage of not removing Eley Drain is helpful.
  3. Choking Talons (morph of Dark Talons | Draconic skill line) – I still love Talons because of it’s control, damage reduction on mobs and the synergy hits extremely hard.  Considering the new Trial Maw and it’s sets focus on synergies, it’s a must have still.  If you have extra magicka, consider using this on a boss too.  While they my not be “Talons” in place, the debuff will still persist.
  4. Absorb Magic (morph of Defensive Posture | One-Hand and shield skill line) – A block reduction cost and damage mitigation is a must have on my main Taunt bar.  I switched morphs to the self healing one this patch because the stun can be counter productive when you’re chaining mobs.  Make sure to cast this pre-fight for a very long duration buff.
    1. Stalwart Guard (morph of Guard | Support Alliance War skill line) – When I’m not doing hardcore mitigation Trials (SO Vet/Hard Mode), I go with this for protection and a monster amount of damage for the person guarded.  The trick with this is to swap it to low targets when you can and guard a high DPS melee magicka.  Why?  Well most stamina builds use trap beast and get the minor crit bonus anyways.  Ideally I guard magicka DPS NOT a healer unless they are in trouble.
  5. Heroic Slash (morph of Low Slash | One-Hand and Shield skill line) – Another ultimate generation tool plus a damage debuff that last 9 seconds (twice as long as Choking Talons).  You can also spam cast this for a little bit of extra damage, just make sure you’re over 25% stamina for next encounter.  The ultimate generation is very noticeable and you’ll be casting Horn left right and center.
  • [Ultimate] Aggressive War Horn (morph of War Horn | Alliance War Assault skill line) – This is a must have tank Ultimate, “horny time fun time” as Parfax would say.  The amount of damage this provides the party is absurd and it’s what we focus our build around for that reason.  Note, it will not show up on your individual DPS counter, but if you want dungeon clears to go from hard to easy mode, cast this on boss encounters.  With a 250 ultimate cost and our Dragonknight Battle Roar passive this acts like a Tri-Pot on steroids giving us near full resources (from empty).  In a four player dungeons, a healer and I can keep this 100% of the time during a boss fight, making the encounter go much faster thus much smoother.  You really really really want Aggressive not Sturdy Warhorn.  The extra critical hit damage at the start provides a dramatic increase in damage.  Lastly, don’t use this on meaningless trash pulls.  It’s meant for burning bosses and mini-bosses not a 200 HP spider.  Only cast if you’re about to die for resources, otherwise save it.

Sword and Shield Bar Two – Meant for buffs and healing along with ranged taunt if needed.

  1. Igneous Shield (morph of Obsidian Shield | Earthen Heart skill line) – A useful shield that scales of Bastion in Champion Points, procing Major Mending and it helps everyone in the group.  Additionally it procs our Earthen Heart passives giving your group Minor Brutality, stamina back and ultimate.  This is a juggernaut skill and is so useful I can’t see using something else right now.  I cast pre-fight and spam cast it to turn my magicka into stamina and generating ult every 6 seconds.
  2. Inner Rage (morph of Inner Fire | Guild Undaunted skill line) – A ranged taunt that is also very powerful considering the Synergy can do upwards of 100k damage!  As I play an Orc DK for my tank, I take the stamina based taunt and find it valuable.
  3. Elude (morph of Evasion | Medium Armor skill line) – We must have some sort of dodge chance to proc our Tava’s Blessing gear enabling us to gain massive ultimate, well this is the skill.  The choice for morphs is on you, for PvP I love shuffle for removal of snares.  However, if you plan on using medium armor (I prefer light on stamina race) then extra duration mean less stamina usage.  Keep this up 100% of the time, you’re character should always look grey like a shadow.
  4. Volatile Armor (morph of Spiked Armor | Draconic Power skill line) – Our major source of spell/physical resistances that also does a slight bit of AoE damage on cast.  I like to use this in combination with Choking Talons during AoE trash pulls to gain a lot of aggro at the start.  Consider this the second most important buff to maintain 100% of the time.  Your character should now look grey and have spikes on their back at all times.
    1. Stalwart Guard (morph of Guard | Support Alliance War skill line) – It’s worthwhile to double bar otherwise it will turn on and off.
  5. Resolving Vigor (morph of Vigor | Alliance War Assault skill line) – An AoE self/group heal from the PvP skill line.  I consider self-healing an important part of tanking and to NOT being reliant on a healer when in a pinch.  I do swap this out on back bar and use the combo with Igneous Shield then Vigor without the bar swap.  Reason why, bar swap will drop block for a slight second even if you’re holding it.
    1. Deep Breath (morph of Inhale | Draconic Power skill line) – A great magic based self-heal is Deep Breath.  The real benefit of using it is the AoE interrupt.  After tanking Veteran Maw of Lorkhaj, one must have the interrupts during the second boss.
  • [Ultimate] Magma Armor (Magma Shell | Earthen Heart skill line) – Sometimes you need to survive and this is the reason we can solo nearly anything.  Plus the morph gives allies shields and is very useful in the Sanctum Ophida Oraz fight.

Buffs

  1. Elude – 20% dodge chance 20 seconds
  2. Volatile Armor – major resistances 20 seconds
  3. Igneous Weapons – 20 seconds for minor brutality.
  4. Heroic Slash – 9 seconds for more ultimate generation.

Debuffs

  1. Pierce Armor – taunt so mobs beat on you not your allies 15 seconds
  2. Heroic Slash – damage debuff 9 seconds / or Choking Talons for AoE

Rotation

  • As you can see, we got a lot of buffs/debuffs above that we maintain.  Keep in mind priorities, if you have 10% stamina it’s more important to keep Elude and Pierce Armor up than Defensive Stance and Heroic Slash, prioritization makes this build work. So here’s how I go about doing it.
  • As soon as I get into the tick of things, I Talons, Volatile Armor and Pierced Armor individual targets (usually I pot a potion at this time as well)
  • Next up is get massive ultimate generating with Heroic Slash on the most threatening mob

Then you’ve come to the point of prioritization.  Need stamina? First option is potion, next is spam cast Igneous Weapons.  Ask  yourself, am I grey appearance with spikes on my back? If not, Elude/Volatile Armor.  Do I have extra stamina? Heroic Slash and rebuff Defensive Stance.  It takes some time, when in doubt taunt targets and keep your basic buffs up.  Warhorn at the beginning of boss fights and possibly another time (I can do 3x during Lord Warden).


Gear

T3 Gear Picture for DB

Key Numbers to Hit

T3 Gear Chart with Dark BrotherhoodNOTE: I sacrifice mitigation for healing.  The basic tanking formula is below though I dip below this in my current form for more utility.

27,500 health (you don’t need 60k to be a good tank) > 20,000 stamina > 30-33,000 Physical and Spell Resistances buffed (Volatile Armor / Blood Spawn) > Rest in magicka

  • Blood Spawn – Obtained in Spindleclutch (helm only) and shoulder via Undaunted Pledges.  This gives a heap of ultimate for getting beat on which we will.  The extra resistance is also nice combined with our Major Resolve and Ward for over 10,000 physical and spell resistance.
    • You shouldn’t be struggling with resources but if you are, Engine Guardian is another option.  However, you’ll be sacrificing a great deal of ultimate generation which is what the build is hinged on.  Stick with Blood Spawn if at all possible.
  • Tava’s Favor – A 5 trait craftable set found in Hew’s Bane the new Thieves Guild area.  This is an absolute monster combined with Major Evasion and there’s really no substitute.
  • Ebony Armory Set – This is a must have for group utlity in hard Trials like Vet Maw and Vet Sanctum.  There’s so many intensive trash pulls and the DPS character can’t sacrific stamina or magicka to boost their health, but we can do it for them.  Not that I swap to the below armor in 4 player group dungeons, DSA and clearing easy trash.
    • ALTERNATE SETS – Bahraha’s Curse – Seems like a strange set and there are a lot of options for a good five piece since Sanctum gear is updated along with Maw.  However, until you get access to these new powerful gear sets, the cheap and easy to find Bahraha’s Curse from the Thieves Guild gives us tremendous self healing and AoE damage.  Try it, seems weird but effective.
    • Many different combos work here, like Knightmare, Eternal Yokuden, Footmans, PvP Set for reduce Ultimate, etc.  I’m working towards my Alkosh and Lunar Bastion setup.
  • Armor Traits – Traits are rather simple for PvE, Infused on your main (Head, Chest, and Legs) pieces to ensure maximum enchant efficiency, and Sturdy on your small (Belt, Shoulders, Gloves, Boots) pieces to help manage Stamina easier while blocking.
  • Weapon Traits – Ideally you want to run Infused on your Crusher enchanted weapon, and either Decisive or Defending on your other.  If you can manage heavy bar swaps (every 6-10s) then run your Infused on back bar.  Defending helps reach the mitigation cap of 33,000 a little bit easier, but isn’t mandatory.  Decisive really shines with this build since it’s all about Ultimate generation.  Remember that each source of Ultimate gain has a chance to proc Decisive (Major Heroism, Minor Heroism, Mountain’s Blessing, Tava’s Blessing, Dodging, and Bloodspawn leaves us at ~5-6 chances to proc every 2 seconds)
  • Glyphs –  Make sure to run the Prismatic enchant on all of your Infused pieces, and then go from there.  Try and reach benchmark stats and enchant based on what you’re missing.  On my weapons I go with the Crusher enchant on my main taunt bar because Pierce Armor can proc this every 5 seconds and a Weakening glyph on my back Sword that reduces targets weapon damage. Lastly don’t forget the important of reduced block cost enchants on your jewelry.  Remember we aren’t regenerating stamina while block so there’s little put in running that.  You may also opt to run a Magicka Recovery jewelry glyph if you’re going to be main barring the Absorb Magic ability.
  • Food – Since we are going for max stats on all there resource pools, purple quality tri-stat food only makes sense.
  • Potions – You guessed it, tri-potions.  No it’s not cheap but you’ll hardly ever run out of resources.
  • Attributes – It’s going to be different on nearly every person.  Truly worry about max numbers NOT attributes.  As an Orc, with Undaunted max I have 32/0/32 split.  That will be much different than a Bosmer or an Imperial.

Champion Points

T3 DB Champion PointsRED

Steed – Now that the block passive is RIP, I don’t spend any points into here.

Lord – Since the Heavy Armor passive isn’t percentage based, I don’t pump this up and go for more self healing with Quick Recovery.

Lady – Next I do a two way split between Elemental Defender and Hardy.

BLUE

After I figure out the CP for my Stamina DK DPS Build, then I’ll post here.  Until then, I pump up Blessed and Elfborn though that’s not optimal especially if you’re off tanking and need to provide DPS.

GREEN

REMEMBER, we do not regeneration stamina while blocking.  It’s important to have some, but I prefer reduced stamina cost and Magicka recovery because we can regenerate that while blocking.

Tower – 30 reduced stamina cost, 50 into reduced Magicka cost.

Lover – 67 into Arcanist  for Magicka recovery.

Shadow – 20 into Shadow Ward to help lower block cost even further.


Mundus, Race and More

  • Mundus Stone – I highly prefer the Atronach as I play as an Orc and have zero benefit to Magicka.  Additionally, 5/2 heavy to light ratio will help you being able to cast more.  I don’t go wild with health so this is the only option for me as I can hit hard cap in resist when buffed.
  • Racial Choice – 1) Nord, damage mitigation and health, it’s meant for a tank period.  2) Imperial a heap of massive stats please self healing off melee attacks. 3) Argonian self-healing, great resource return on potions and max health.
  • “Deltia, can I be X race and tank?” Yep, I do it on a Orc and it works just fine.  You need to find what your races strengths are and work around your weaknesses.  A High Elf can make a fine DK tank, just need to spec more into magicka, health and change abilities.
  • Werewolf or Vampire – I don’t really see a benefit to either for PvE tanking so I don’t use it.

That concludes the The Talons Tank – Dragonknight Tank Build for ESO.  Leave me a comment on what you think and if you’re using it, how is it working?  This took a very long time to produce because I wanted to center it on something different but effective.  I hope you enjoyed this build, thanks for reading.

 

That concludes our ESO Dragonknight Tank Build.  Thanks for reading and make sure to check out some videos on my YouTube for gameplay.


Hybrid Build

[Last updated October 28th, 2016 for Update 12 One Tamriel]

FULL BUILD VIDEO

Objective

The purpose of this build is to create a unique tanking build that can be effective in a variety of situations, dueling, open world Cyrodiil, dungeons and even Veteran Maelstrom Arena.  I was able to beat VMA with two deaths and 470k score, plus I do just fine in most PvP applications.  If you’re looking for something different for One Tamriel, this is it.

Skills

t3-for-one-tamriel-skills

Sword and Shield – Main damage ability bar.

  1. Stun Ability flexed in and out depending on situation
    • PvE Dungeons – Unrelenting Grip (morph of Fiery Grip | Ardent Flame skill line) – A 22 meter range pull that refunds magicka if it doesn’t pull.  Basically a free spammable ability on bosses or recently pulled targets.  I consider Chains and Bang a must have for any DK tank unless tanking a solo boss.  This morph is great due to the nature of magicka refund and can be spammed if all your buffs are up.
    • Dueling – Reverberating Bash (morph of Power Bash | One-hand and Shield skill line) –
    • VMA – Invasion (morph of Shield Charge | One-hand and Shield skill line) –
  2. Ransack (morph of Puncture | One-Hand and Shield skill line) – I switched morphs this patch because there’s a bug with Elemental Drain.  Basically when you use a similar buff, it removes the previous effect and applies the new duration.  Meaning, it sometimes drops Elemental Drain magicka return and this hurts the group.  The added amount of armor does help out, but the advantage of not removing Eley Drain is helpful.
  3. Venomous Claw (morph of Searing Strike | Ardent Flame skill line) –
  4. Dragon Fire Scales (morph of Reflective Scale | Draconic Power skill line) –
  5. Heroic Slash (morph of Low Slash | One-hand and Shield skill line) –
  • [Ultimate] Shield Discipline (morph of Shield Wall | One-hand and Shield skill line) –
    • FLEX – Dawnbreaker of Smiting (morph of Dawnbreaker | Fighters Guild skill line) –
    • Or Take Flight if you’re leveling Fighters Guild.

Two-Hand – Buffs only.

  1. Volatile Armor (morph of Spiked Armor | Draconic Power skill line) – Our major source of spell/physical resistances that also does a slight bit of AoE damage on cast.  I like to use this in combination with Choking Talons during AoE trash pulls to gain a lot of aggro at the start.  Consider this the second most important buff to maintain 100% of the time.  Your character should now look grey and have spikes on their back at all times.
  2. Rally (morph of Momentum | Two-handed skill line) –
  3. Shuffle (morph of Evasion | Medium Armor skill line) – We must have some sort of dodge chance to proc our  gear enabling us to gain massive ultimate, well this is the skill.  The choice for morphs is on you, for PvP I love shuffle for removal of snares.  However, if you plan on using medium armor (I prefer light on stamina race) then extra duration mean less stamina usage.  Keep this up 100% of the time, you’re character should always look grey like a shadow.
  4. Igneous Shield (morph of Obsidian Shield | Earthen Heart skill line) – A useful shield that scales of Bastion in Champion Points, procing Major Mending and it helps everyone in the group.  Additionally it procs our Earthen Heart passives giving your group Minor Brutality, stamina back and ultimate.  This is a juggernaut skill and is so useful I can’t see using something else right now.  I cast pre-fight and spam cast it to turn my magicka into stamina and generating ult every 6 seconds.
  5. Resolving Vigor (morph of Vigor | Alliance War Assault skill line) – An AoE self/group heal from the PvP skill line.  I consider self-healing an important part of tanking and to NOT being reliant on a healer when in a pinch.  I do swap this out on back bar and use the combo with Igneous Shield then Vigor without the bar swap.  Reason why, bar swap will drop block for a slight second even if you’re holding it.
  • [Ultimate]
    • PvE Dungeons – Aggressive Warhorn (morph of Warhorn | Alliance War Assault skill line) –
    • Dueling and Open World PvP – Corrosive Armor (morph of Magma Armor | Earthen Heart) –
    • VMA – Standard of Might (morph of Dragonknight Standard | Ardent Flame skill line) –

Self-Buffs

  1. Rally – 33 seconds for healing and major brutality.
  2. Shuffle – 23 seconds 20% dodge chance
  3. Volatile Armor – 20 second for major resistances
  4. Igneous Weapons – 20 seconds for minor brutality.
  5. Heroic Slash – 9 seconds for more ultimate generation.

Enemy Debuffs

  1. Pierce Armor – 12 second debuff in armor.
  2. Heroic Slash – 12 second damage debuff.
  3. Reverberating Bash – 10 second healing debuff.

Kill Shot

Fully charged heavy, into Ransack (with Tremor scale proc available), Dawnbreaker.

Gear

t3-gear-chart-for-one-tamriel

t3-gear-picture-for-one-tamriel

  • Monster Helms
    • PvE Dungeons – Blood Spawn for ultimate generation Aggresive Warhorn.
    • All else – Tremorscale massive burst and snare provide with low cool down.
  • Body 5 Piece set
    • Knight-Errant’s – Found in Blackheart Haven dungeon.  This allowing us to heal using our primary damage abilities.   Ideally you’d spend time getting the Sharpened sword and sturdy shield with jewelry, but I hate running that dungeon so I just use it on the body.
  • Other 5 Piece set
    • Seventh Legion – Found in Bangkorai overland. An undervalued 5 piece that doesn’t have a cool down and provides massive healing in AoE damaging situations.  You can swap th is out for a proc set like Red Mountain, Viper, or Widowmaker in PvP for more burst, but I like the healing.

 

  • Armor Weight – 5 heavy 2 medium for reduced stam cost.
  • Traits – In a perfect world, three sturdy including shield, the rest impenetrable.
  • Glyphs – Go with Prismatic on heavy pieces for all around build, head, chest, and legs.
  • Mundus Stone – I go with Warrior for PvP since I don’t have any regen.
  • Werewolf – Is a great option for back bar ultimate and more regeneration.
  • Poisons – Damage health, and increase cost of magicka and stamina cost.
  • Food – Tri stat food (CP 150 max magicka, stamina and health).
  • Potions – Immovability, speed and stamina.
  • Race – #1 Orc, #2 Nord, #3 Imperial.  Can I play this build as an Argonian? Sure, but not as effectively.
  • Attributes all stamina.

 

Champion Points

t3-cp-chart

 

 

 

 

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