In this Elder Scrolls Online Build Guide I am going to cover a Templar Tank Build that is focused on mitigating damage that the team receives by ways of reducing the damage that enemies do, and also providing the team with protection buffs. 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.
The Mitigator Build Concept
The concept of this build is to reduce as much as possible damage done by enemies, and to protect and buff allies. It is a fantastic team-based Tank Build that everyone will want to have in their group because it makes everyone’s job much easier, including yourself. Not only will normal attacks from bosses be far less dangerous, but instant kill attacks might not kill you or teammates outright, giving you a fighting chance in case mistakes were made.
The Mitigator Attributes and Skills
Attribute spread should focus on Stamina while putting the rest of the points into Magicka. We still need Magicka to continuously cast some defensive templar spells. Health for this build does not require any attributes in it because enemies are doing much less damage then they usually do, so health loss won’t be as significant. The Sets we are using and food, such as Braised Rabbit with Vegetables boosts Health to around 33k anyway, which is enough with such powerful mitigation.
On your front bar are 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. Bars consist of typical tanking one hand and shield abilities while the rest are more or less Templar abilities that compliment the build.
Ultimate plays a huge role in this build, as Nova puts Major Maim on enemies and with the Automated Defense Set whenever an Ultimate is used, our team is granted Major Aegis. Major Maim reduces damage done from enemies by 30% and Major Aegis reduces damage received by 15%. In addition, enemies around you will be affected by Minor Maim because o the Thurvokun Set all the time which debilitates them even further.
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.
Sun Shield (any upgrade) – Grants a Damage Shield that is 30% of Max Health, and this can be improved via the Bastion champion star. Both upgrades are good, with Radiant Ward having the stronger Damage Shield and Blazing Shield dealing more damage.
Backlash (any upgrade) – A great ability versus Bosses. It stores damage done to bosses over 6 seconds and releases it with a 20% increase in additional damage. The Power of the Light upgrade converts it to a Stamina ability and puts Minor Fracture and Minor Breach which stacks with Pierce Armor’s Major Fracture and Major Breach. The Purifying Light upgrade puts an AoE healing effect around your enemy that heals you and all nearby allies. Both upgrades are great.
Defensive Posture (any upgrade) – While slotted, the amount of damage you can block is increased by 8% and the cost of blocking is reduced by 8%. This is great for helping out your Stamina sustain and reducing the damage you take.
Repentance – Lets you consume corpses to restore Health and Stamina. A great ability against large groups of tough enemies. While slotted it increases Health, Magicka and Stamina recovery by 10%.
Restoring Focus – Puts a rune on the floor that regenerates Stamina every second, increases healing received and increases physical and spell resistance while standing in that small circle. This upgrade increases armor and physical resistance by additional 50%. Morphed from Rune Focus.
Inner Rage – 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 upgrade there is 35% chance to grant a synergy that deals additional damage upon activation. Morphed from Inner Fire.
Puncturing Sweep – A great ability to do additional damage and heal yourself at the same time. Can be used when you feel safe enough to increase the overall DPS of your group or while in a bad situation to heal up quickly.
Silver Leash – This ability is used to pull enemies at range to you which helps to keep enemies close to you to increase the effectiveness of group AoE damage. It costs a good bit of Stamina so use it only when you must.
Deep Thoughts – Puts you into a meditative state that restores Health, Stamina and Magicka. With the Deliberation passive you get Major Protection when channeling this ability. Use this when you need a quick top up between encounters, or use it mid fight if you can time it properly.
Solar Disturbance – One of the most important abilities for this build because it puts Major Maim on enemies that stacks with Minor Maim from Thurvokun Set. That is a 45% damage done reduction from enemies when both are active! In addition, whenever Nova is used (due to Automated Defense), Major Aegis is put on the whole team which reduces damage from Dungeons and Trial monsters. Using Nova basically provides your whole team with a brief moment of respite when no one should die due to mitigated damage.
Empowering Sweep – Empowering Sweep is a great alternative choice for this Build because it only has a 72 Ultimate cost and grants Major Protection for usually around 8 or more seconds. This should allow you to keep Automated Defense up nearly permanently if you do not need a big boost of damage reduction from Solar Disturbance.
The Mitigator Rotation
The rotation for this build is quite simple and the only thing you have to pay attention to are buff and debuff timers. Rotation:
- Restoring Focus before running in
- Pierce Armor on primary target
- Sun Shield for defense
- Pierce Armor any other targets you need to
- Restoring Focus again once planted
- Sun Shield again
- Purifying Light
- Silver Leash (if needed)
- Restoring Aura
- Inner Rage if needed
First buff your defenses with Restoring Focus, then you need to get to the Boss and enemies and taunt them. Use Sun Shield after primary target is taunted, and it lasts for 6 secs which is enough to grab the rest of the enemies or debuff boss. Then place Restoring Focus under you to get the additional bonus Resistances, and recast Sun Shield. Pull enemies to you with Silver Leash if needed or taunt with Inner Rage if needed.
The Mitigator Races
Argonians are always a good choice for tanks because whenever they use a potion they restore 4% of all resources on top of the initial restoration from potions. They also get increased Max Magicka, Max Health, Disease Resistance, Healing Done and Received. All of that is good for this build except Healing Done. Orcs are a great second choice since they come with 20% Health Recovery and 5% Healing Received at max rank.
- 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).
The Mitigator Champion Skills
There are plenty useful Champion 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 Mitigator Build:
These are mostly typical Tanking Champion Skills. I have left out Quick Recovery due to lack of points but you can use that instead of something else like Spell Shield. Your choice. 120 points into The Ritual Skills are a must due to Last Stand skill that grants Major Heroism (3 Ultimate Points every 1.5 sec for 8 secs) when you fall bellow 20% Health.
Thaumaturge and Elemental Expert increase Solar Disturbance damage as well as other Magic Damage abilities. Bastion increases the effectiveness of Sun Shield by 6% so it will provide a damage shield that is 36% of total Health Pool instead of usual 30%.
The Mitigator Gear (Weapons, Armor and Jewelry)
This build revolves around the concept of reducing the damage that enemies do and reducing the damage your team receives. The Thurvokun Monster Helm works great in PvE, even though one of its benefits is Minor Defile, which is not particularly useful. Taunting Bosses and multiple enemies while having them in melee range guarantees Minor Maim and Disease Damage at all times because the cloud is of decent size and they are likely to stay in it forever. If Thurvokun is not to your liking, or is too hard to get, Lord Warden is another great choice.
Automated Defense is my second Set here because whenever we cast Solar Disturbance, 2 of our allies gain Major Aegis for 10 secs (in addition to us), which is a fantastic team based defensive buff. So not only we put Major Maim on the enemy that is already debilitated by Minor Maim but we also provide Major Aegis for ourselves and 2 allies. That basically means no one is dying in that period.
Having Solar disturbance or Empowering Sweep available as much as possible is a priority so the last set should aim to help in that regard. Champion of the Hist is the best option since it grants Minor Heroism at all times during combat, and it also adds over 2k Stamina which is really helpful.
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. Traits on Weapons should be either Infused to increase the effectiveness of Glyph of Crushing/Weakening, or Decisive to give yourself a 20% chance to get another Ultimate Point whenever you receive from any source.
Heavy Armor Sets come with the Healthy Enchantment and it should stay that way as a high Health pool is needed for every Tank. We are using our attributes to increase Magicka and Stamina so Health is gained through gear. As for Traits they should be either Divines, Sturdy, or a mix of both. Divines increase the effectiveness of Mundus Stones and Sturdy reduces block cost.
On all Jewelry pieces you want Glyph of Shielding to reduce the cost of blocking even further. The 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.
The Mitigator is great Tank Support Build that will make any team’s life easier by preventing a lot of incoming damage. Templars work best for this particular build because of Solar Disturbance or Empowering Sweep, which are both amazing abilities when paired with Automated Defense and Thurvokun.
To finish up the build, use The Lord or The Tower mundus stone to get increased Max Health or Max Stamina. Both are fine choices. I went with The Tower to block more, but if you go with The Lord then the Sun Shield ability with 56 points into Bastion will be even more powerful.
Summing everything up, in a perfect situation when Solar Disturbance has been cast, your enemies should have Minor Maim + Major Maim debuffs that reduce damage done by 45% and lasts in total of 6 secs. 2 of your closest allies will have Major Aegis that reduces damage done in Trials and Dungeons by another 15%. You simply cannot die with this setup as long as your healer is not asleep. Even so there are Puncturing Sweeps and Purifying Light that can help you and your teammates to some extent. Make sure to recast Blazing Shield whenever it is down and Purifying Light every 6 seconds to get 3 Ultimate Points.
Templars make great mitigators and are fun to play. Your teammates will appreciate you more than anything, because mistakes won’t kill them outright, making for more relaxed Trial and Dungeon runs. Be sure to check out our other ESO Guides!