Last updated on November 28th, 2018
In this Elder Scrolls Online Build Guide I am going to cover a Dragonknight Tank Build that is focused on self and team heals, and is very effective for most content because it makes you extremely hard to kill to the point of immortality. The role of the Tank is to Taunt Enemies, Buff Self & Allies and Debuff Enemies. There are lots of ways how to build any Tank in ESO, but it is dependent somewhat upon Sets and other factors. Additionally, some Builds may work better in specific PvE content and some might be better in PvP then in PvE. This build is good for most PvE content, and is updated for the Murkmire DLC.
Immortal Dragon Build Concept
The Immortal Dragon Tank is built around the concept of healing itself and allies while maintaining aggro on hard hitting enemies and bosses. This ticks both tanking boxes: survivability and support. A Tank without great survivability is useless, and a Tank without support abilities is not going to be very effective in a group. Immortal Dragon does both and does them to great effect. Not only will you “out-heal” damage done to you, but the whole group will love you for granting them AoE heals and Damage Shields. It is a win-win proposition.
Immortal Dragon Attributes & Skills
Attribute spread should focus heavily on boosting Stamina, because if you run out of stamina you die. It is simple as that. Your spread should have 44 Stamina, 10 Health and 10 Magicka. Magicka and Health are also important for a Dragonknight Tank, so the slight boost that we get by putting 10 points into each resource is definitely worth it.
On your front bar go the abilities that last for a shorter period of time and are “spammable”, while on your back bar you are going to use abilities with longer duration. This Build focuses on utilizing some traditional taunting and supporting abilities, combined with the Healing abilities Green Dragon Blood and Cinder Storm. Inner Light is there to help with Magicka pool since it is not high with this Build. We will combine that with the Magicka Controller passive that increases Max Magicka and Magicka Recovery depending on the number of Mages’ Guild abilities slotted, which in this case amounts to 2%.
Front Bar Skills
Pierce Armor – The most important Skill for any Tank. It taunts an enemy for 15 secs and applies Major Fracture and Major Breach, reducing the target’s Physical and Spell Resistance. Morphed from Puncture.
Igneous Shield – Provides your Allies and yourself with a Damage Shield that absorbs a decent amount of damage. With this morphed version your own Damage Shield will absorb an additional 200% damage. Igneous Shield is a perfect skill for a Tank since it protects you and your allies and that is the definition of Tanking. Morphed from Obsidian Shield.
Heroic Slash – Heroic Slash puts Minor Maim on an enemy (-15% Damage Done debuff), reduces its movement speed and gives you Minor Heroism (gain 1 Ultimate Point every 1.5 secs for 9 secs). This is a very useful ability because of the Ultimate Points generation and reduced damage dealt by the enemy. Morphed from Low Slash.
Echoing Vigor – Stamina based AoE heal over time with increased radius if this upgrade is chosen. This is a fantastic ability for this build since it heals everyone in the party if in range, and those heals will be significant thanks to the Precise Strikes Champion Skill, and all the other Healing Done improvements. Morphed from Vigor.
Inner Light – Inner Light increases Spell Critical and Max Magicka by 5% while slotted. Spell Critical Chance affects Green Dragon Blood and increases Magicka, which is important for Dragonknights since the abilities we use are primarily Magicka Based. Morphed from Magelight.
Your Ultimate Ability should be one of these 2 (slot the second one into Back Bar):
Magma Shell – An amazing Ultimate that limits incoming damage to 3% of your Max Health pool and provides a Damage Shield to your allies equal to 100% of their Health. It lasts for 9 secs and almost makes your teammates and you immune to damage during that time. Morphed from Magma Armor.
Aggressive Horn – Increases Max Magicka and Stamina for 30 secs and also grants Major Force which increases Critical Strike Damage by 15% for you and your allies for 8 secs. This Ultimate is most commonly used by Tanks since it buffs both resources and increases DPS of the whole party. The faster you kill everything, the better is the motto of this Ultimate. Morphed from War Horn.
Back Bar Skills
Inner Beast – This is a ranged Taunting ability that also grants a Synergy which does AoE Damage. A very useful Skill for taunting enemies far away that would otherwise require you running around trying to Taunt them with Pierce Armor. With this morph it becomes a Stamina-based ability, which works better for this build because our Magicka pool is limited. Morphed from Inner Fire.
Green Dragon Blood – If shit hits the fan Green Dragon Blood will save the day by healing you for 33% of your missing Health and granting Major Fortitude (increased health recovery), Major Endurance (increased stamina recovery) and Minor Vitality (healing received increased by 8%) for 20 secs. This skill is especially useful when doing Dungeons with random people with questionable ability. Morphed from Dragon Blood.
Hardened Armor – A fantastic defensive ability that gives you Physical Resistance, Spell Resistance and a Damage Shield equal to 15% of your Health pool. It also returns a small amount of damage to the attacker. Morphed from Spiked Armor.
Your last back bar ability should be either Inner Light, Igneous Weapons or Choking Talons. I would recommend Inner Light because having so many Magicka abilities can be really hard to sustain. Your Rotation of abilities with this setup should look something like this:
- Hardened Armor
- Inner Beast (if needed to taunt enemies that are far away)
- Cinder Storm (when in position)
- Igneous Shield
- Pierce Armor
- Heroic Slash (on tougher enemies)
- Echoing Vigor
Immortal Dragon Races
If you want to max out this Build then Argonian and Orc are the best choices. Argonian, in addition to other great tanking passives, increases Healing Done and Received by 5% at max rank, making heals more effective. Orc comes with 20% Health Recovery and 5% Healing Received at max rank, making it great second choice for this build.
- Argonian: Passives increase max Magicka, additional resource restoration upon drinking Potion, max Health, Disease Resistance, Healing Done and Healing received
- Orc: Passives increase Max Health, Max Stamina, Healing Received and Health Recovery
If you do not want to play either of these races, Imperial and Nord are also good choices for a tank. Imperials have increased Health and Stamina, with a chance to restore Health with melee attacks. Nords come with increased damage reduction, cold resistance, Health Recovery and Stamina (all great passives for a tank.
Immortal Dragon Champion Skills
There are plenty useful Skills you can have but points are limited. Percentages behind the decimal point are not accounted for when adding points to Champion Skills. For example, Elemental Defender at Rank 60 reduces damage taken from elemental attacks by 12.57%, but your gain is actually 12%. Now that you know this you can save points and put them elsewhere where gains would be more beneficial. Try to round up numbers to get the most out of these Champion Skills.
Here is my recommended setup for the Immortal Dragon Build:
The idea behind these choices is to try to find good balance between healing and survivability through various resistances. There is wiggle room here to adjust things as you like, but the most important skills that need a lot of investment are Shadow Ward, Blessed, Elfborn, Precise Strikes, Arcanist, Quick Recovery and Bastion.
This build revolves around blocking and healing so Shadow Ward and anything that increases healing is a sound investment. Precise Strikes affects Echoing Vigor, making it a powerful AoE heal over time with this setup. Bastion increases damage shield effectiveness from Hardened Armor, Igneous Shield and any other passive effect, making it a logical choice. Quick Recovery is an important skill for this build but other Fighter Skills are also quite important to increase your survivability so not maxing Quick Recovery is probably for the best. Although Mighty won’t help you in any way, combined points from it and Precise Strikes unlocks the Last Stand passive that grants Major Heroism if you fall below 20% Health.
Immortal Dragon Gear (Weapons, Armor and Jewelry)
For this to work, we need 2 Heavy Sets.
- Battalion Defender – Battalion Defender is a Rewards of the Worthy Set. It is fantastic when built around it (like this). With this build, the heal that occurs every second upon blocking can go close to 4000 with Major Mending and Minor Vitality buffs. Major Mending is granted through Igneous Shield while Minor Vitality is granted when Green Dragon Blood has been used.
- Knight Errant or Leeching Plate – Knight Errant is obtained in the Blackheart Heaven Dungeon. It heals every time you use Pierce Armor or Heroic Slash. With this setup (Major Mending and Minor Vitality buffs) it can go up to 2000 per ability used. Leeching Plate is obtained in Imperial City Prison Dungeon. This set grants 8% chance upon receiving damage to spawn a poisonous pool that heals you a significant amount (with Major Mending and Minor Vitality buffs).
Ideally with these 2 sets you can heal yourself close to 6000 every second. The problem with Battalion Defender is that it affects allies in a 15m range so you cannot rely on this heal to save anyone specifically. Instead it is great support heal that helps everyone on top of some more reliable heals. That is why we have Green Dragon Blood to save ourselves if things get tough while others are benefiting from Battalion Defender and Echoing Vigor. Obviously, when playing solo you are the sole recipient of the Battalion Defender heal.
There are many Monster Sets that work great for all sorts of tanks. My top choice for this build would be Scourge Harvester. Considering the fact that we are in melee range all the time, this works amazing for tanks because it steals Health from enemies and grants Major Vitality while its beam is active. It fits perfectly for this build. The following are some other monster sets that are worth considering, but keep in mind there are many more that can be used with this build.
Traits and Enchantments
It does not matter what Weapon you have in your primary and secondary slot (as long as you have a Shield in the off-hand). One should have Glyph of Crushing and the other one Glyph of Weakening. Crushing reduces enemy Physical and Spell Resistance for 5 secs and has 10 sec cooldown, while Weakening reduces damage done by the enemy for 5 secs with 10 secs cooldown. Both debuffs stack with Major Breach/Fracture and Maim from skills such as Pierce Armor and Heroic Slash. The Infused Trait on Weapons is always a good choice but in this case we want Powered on at least one weapon. It increases Healing Done by 4%, and Healing Done is extremely useful to this Build.
For Armor Enchantments what you want is Health. Health is extremely important for any Tank and you already have lots of Stamina so it is the best choice to balance things out. The Divines Trait is recommended on armor pieces to increase the effect of The Ritual Mundus Stone.
On all Jewelry pieces you want Glyph of Shielding to reduce the cost of blocking even further. More reduction, the longer you can Block and use abilities before running out of Stamina. If you can get Triune that would be ideal, but otherwise go for the Healthy Trait.
Do not forget that Block is the most important thing here and that everyone in your group benefits from the Battalion Defender set. Only from Sets you can you achieve 4k-6k healing every second if you Block, so make sure you are able to Block as much as you need. Add healing from Cinder Storm and Echoing Vigor and that number can climb up to almost 10k per second.
Igneous Shield is an important ability because it grants Major Mending that increases healing done by 25% for 3 secs, and that is why it should be used often. Not only will your allies benefit from the Shield that the ability grants them, but they will also benefit from increased heals coming from you thanks to Major Mending.
The last thing to mention here is The Ritual Mundus Stone. It increases Healing Done by 10% and that is why we want this specific one. With all Divines Traits from armor pieces that bonus goes up to 15%, which is not a small amount!
By playing this Build everyone will love you due to the amount of supporting heals and buffs provided. Not only are you helpful, but also incredibly durable and tough to kill. Be sure to check out our other ESO Guides!