ESO Empire

Dungeon Necromancer Tank

Markarth Patch

Build Introduction:
Welcome to the Dungeon Necromancer Tank build “Undead Knight” for The Elder Scrolls Online! Necromancers have a wide variety of Class skills that they can use to allow them to become highly effective Tanks. They have amazing and yet easily accessed sources of damage mitigation, Crowd Control, and self sustain. The “Undead Knight” build is specifically designed to utilize some of the key strengths available only to Necromancers like the ability to gain Ultimate much more quickly while also sharing some of that benefit with your entire Group.

This build has been tried and tested extensively, just like the rest of the builds you can find on ESO Empire have been. Here you will find everything you will need to know about Tanking Dungeons with a Necromancer, including Beginner and End Game Setups. You will also find some of the best skills that you can use and when you would use them as a Tank. Bare in mind that Tanking in ESO is different from many other MMORPGs because there is no threat level to maintain and you are more than just a Health sponge. You must also be able to reasonably sustain your own resources without total reliance on the Healer as well as maintain your buffs and enemy debuffs. The path to becoming a great Tank is long, and it starts here.

Divider_Tank

Race

Argonian

Increase your Max Magicka by 1000. Whenever you drink a potion you restore 4000 Health, Magicka, and Stamina.

Increase your Max Health by 1000 and your Poison and Disease Resistance by 2310. Gain immunity to the diseased status effect.

Increase your Healing Done by 6%.

Nord

Increase your Max Stamina by 1500. When you take damage, you gain 5 Ultimate. This effect can occur once every 10 seconds.

Increase your Max Health by 1000 and your Cold Resistance by 2310. Gain immunity to the Chilled Status effect.

Increase your Physical and Spell Resistance by 3960

Imperial

Increase your Max Health by 2000.

Increase your Max Stamina by 2000.

When you deal Direct Damage, you restore 333 Health, Magicka, and Stamina. This effect has a 5 second cooldown. It also will reduce the cost of all abilities by 3%.

Argonians make great Tanks for beginners that may be having trouble with sustaining. The passive unique to Argonians that provides 4,000 of each resource on top of the base restore from drinking a potion allows for a Tank to Iron Man with no Healer in an organized group much easier as well. Be aware that Argonians gain a bonus to Max Magicka so you may need to shift your enchantments around to get your Max Stamina value to exceed your Max Magicka if using the exact setup found below.

Nords are highly recommended for all Tanks in ESO. They gain a huge increase to both Physical and Spell Resistances allowing them to reach soft cap and even hard cap for damage mitigation much easier than the other Races. Simply taking damage will grant you Ultimate which is almost all the time while in any form of content. If you choose Nord you will also receive nice boosts to both your Max Health and Max Stamina.

Imperials are a very well rounded Race for Tanking. You will receive a small cost reduction for all non-Ultimate skills and good boosts to both your Max Health and Max Stamina. They also get a unique form of sustaining. Dealing Direct Damage will give you a small amount of all three resources back every 5 seconds. This can be easily activated by Light or Heavy Attacking, however, this sustain is not very noticeable. Choose Imperial only if you want the extra Max Health and Max Stamina.

Divider_Tank

Attributes

Magicka

14

Health

43

Stamina

7

The current allocation of Attribute Points are to reach a value of about 40,000 Health, 21,500 Magicka, and 22,000 Stamina as a Nord at CP300 using the gear and enchantments found in the End Game Setup section of this guide. You may need to shift Attribute Point accordingly if you are using a different Race or different gear. From this, just know that it is important that your Maximum Stamina exceeds the value of your Maximum Magicka at all times so that you will always receive Stamina upon using an Energy Orb provided by your Healer. Tanks use all resources, so try to find a healthy balance that best suits your needs.

While at first the bonus you receive from Attribute Points may not seem like much, it is important to note that the value per point will increase until you reach CP300.

Divider_Tank

Mundus Stone

The Lord

Deshaan
Stormhaven
Grahtwood
Divider_Tank

Consumables

Purple CP150-160 Food

Purple CP150-160 Food is crafted food in ESO, and can only be found otherwise in Guild Stores crafted by another player. This food is best used if you want large resource pools. If you are in a Dungeon that has a Healer providing you with an Energy Orb on cooldown, you may find this food more useful.

Bewitched Sugar Skulls

Bewitched Sugar Skulls is crafted food in ESO, and can only be found otherwise in Guild Stores crafted by another player. This food is best used if you want large resource pools and you can afford it. If you are in a Dungeon that has a Healer providing you with an Energy Orb on cooldown, you may find this food more useful. This is a min/max food and does not offer much more than Purple CP150-160 Food.

Witchmother's Potent Brew

Witchmother’s Potent Brew is a crafted drink in ESO, and can only be found otherwise in Guild Stores crafted by another player. This food is best used if you do not yet have access to the Balance skill from the Mages Guild. Relying on food and passive Magicka Recovery is not the best form of Magicka sustain as a Tank, but it will do for now.

Essence of Magicka

Essence of Magicka potions are generic potions found in ESO as they can drop from a variety of sources. You will often come across plenty of these during a regular play session. Use these if you require a quick bump to your Magicka and don’t have other crafted options. These will also activate the bonus granted by the Arkasis’s Genius set.

Essence of Health

Essence of Health potions are crafted potions in ESO, and can only be found otherwise in Guild Stores crafted by another player. These potions are highly recommended if you can afford buying or crafting them as they give a nice bump to your Health, Stamina, and Magicka upon use.

Essence of Stamina

Essence of Stamina potions are generic potions found in ESO as they can drop from a variety of sources. You will often come across plenty of these during a regular play session. Use these if you require a quick bump to your Stamina and don’t have other crafted options. These will also activate the bonus granted by the Arkasis’s Genius set.

Divider_Tank

Gear Setup

End Game Setup
Set Name Trait Enchantment Weight/Type

Head

Infused

Increase Max Health/Stamina/Magicka

Medium

Shoulders

Sturdy

Increase Max Health/Stamina/Magicka

Light

Chest

Infused

Increase Max Health/Stamina/Magicka

Heavy

Hands

Sturdy

Increase Max Health/Stamina/Magicka

Heavy

Waist

Well-fitted

Increase Max Health

Heavy

Legs

Infused

Increase Max Health/Stamina/Magicka

Heavy

Feet

Sturdy

Increase Max Health/Stamina/Magicka

Heavy

Necklace

Robust

Reduce Block Cost

Jewelry

Ring

Infused

Reduce Potion Cooldown

Jewelry

Ring

Infused

Reduce Potion Cooldown

Jewelry

Front Bar
(Main Hand)

Decisive

Reduce Damage

One Handed

Front Bar
(Off-hand)

Sturdy

Increase Max Magicka

Shield

Back Bar

Infused

Reduce Armor

Lightning Staff

Lady Thorn is quite a powerful Monster Set in late game content. Every 10 seconds that you use the Balance skill you will summon a blood ball that will apply Major Maim to all enemies within range once activated. This also means that when you activate it, you proc Roar of Alkosh, meaning you are a bit more self sufficient in groups that may not be reliably supplying you with synergies.

Arkasis’s Genius is the perfect support set for a Dungeon Tank. Every time you drink a potion while in combat, whether it be a random potion that you found on a corpse or a crafted one, you will give your entire group 44 Ultimate. This will allow everyone to use Ultimates more frequently throughout the Dungeon, resulting in faster boss kills. Pair this with two Infused Potion Speed enchantments on your Jewelry pieces and you will have a much easier time sustaining as well. You MUST be in combat before drinking a potion or you and your group will not receive Ultimate.

Roar of Alkosh is a required set for all Tanks, however, if you are not receiving synergies from your group it is completely useless. This is why you combine it with Lady Thorn. Combining these two sets allows you to activate a synergy that you provide and control. Alkosh is needed to reduce enemy resistances to nothing in Dungeons, but keep in mind that Alkosh only hits enemies in front of you, so be sure to aim it properly. The lower you get the resistances of your enemies, the more DPS that your group will do, so it is suggested that you use Elemental Blockade with a Crusher enchantment first, taunt the more threatening enemies with Pierce Armor, then activate a synergy afterwards to get the most out of Alkosh. Since it is a Medium set though, you will need to wear it on your Weapons and Jewelry.

Just Starting Setup
Set Name Trait Enchantment Weight/Type

Head

Infused

Increase Max Magicka

Medium

Shoulders

Sturdy

Increase Max Health

Light

Chest

Infused

Increase Max Stamina

Heavy

Hands

Sturdy

Increase Max Health

Heavy

Waist

Well-fitted

Increase Max Health

Heavy

Legs

Infused

Increase Max Stamina

Heavy

Feet

Sturdy

Increase Max Health

Heavy

Necklace

Robust

Reduce Block Cost

Jewelry

Ring

Robust

Reduce Potion Cooldown

Jewelry

Ring

Robust

Reduce Potion Cooldown

Jewelry

Front Bar
(Main Hand)

Decisive

Reduce Damage

One Handed

Front Bar
(Off-hand)

Sturdy

Increase Max Magicka

Shield

Back Bar

Infused

Reduce Armor

Lightning Staff

Sentinel of Rkugamz is an easy to obtain Monster Set for beginning Tanks. It will proc from your Spirit Guardian and when it activates, a Dwemer Spider will heal you and all group members standing in the area as well as restore both Magicka and Stamina.

Ebon Armory is a great Tank set for Dungeons and is can obtained rather easily as well. The 2-4 piece set bonuses provide nice boosts to your stats and the 5 piece set bonus is shared with the entire group. The added Health will increase survivability to everyone. Hunting for this set early on will better prepare you for the Off Tank role in Trials.

The Worm’s Raiment offers some nice benefits but of course it is the 5 piece set bonus that makes it stand out. It will increase the Magicka Recovery of everyone in your group, and even if both of your Damage Dealers are Stamina based, it will still help you and your Healer. Much like Ebon Armory, this set is easy to get when you are just starting to hunt for your end game gear and it is also used by an Off Tank in Trials a lot of the time. However, if you have a group with Stamina based Damage Dealers or a Healer who is also using Worm’s Raiment, you may need to swap. Below you will find other options to use instead.

Divider_Tank

Alternative Sets

Easy to obtain | Challenging to obtainHard to obtain

Torug’s Pact is another great set for beginner Tanks that may not have access to Roar of Alkosh yet. It has solid 2-4 piece set bonuses and increases how much resistances you can remove from enemies. This set is a good replacement for Worm’s Raiment if your Healer is running it instead.

Plague Doctor will increase your Health significantly but offers no benefit to your group members. Only use it if you feel like you absolutely must to survive as being a Tank is more about buffing your group and debuffing your enemies than it is about having a really high Health value.

Powerful Assault can be very expensive to obtain but it offers great group damage bonuses that stack with other sets such as Spell Power Cure that is often used by Healers. Combining this set with the Echoing Vigor skill will also allow you to help heal your group members and the durations line up perfectly with each other. Be aware that some Healers also use this set, so be sure to communicate with your group. Because Powerful Assault is a medium armor set, you are best off wearing it on your Weapons and Jewelry.

(Perfected) Claw of Yolnahkriin is a a great alternative set that is the only source of Minor Courage available in the game. The 2-4 piece set bonuses are very solid for a Dungeon Tank, especially the Minor Aegis buff being activate at all times. This set is easy to proc since you will always have something that you can Taunt.

Lord Warden increases the Physical and Spell Resistances for you and your group members while standing within range of the orb. Because this bonus is not a named Minor or Major Buff, it will stack on top of them.

Divider_Tank

Skills

Front Bar

Heroic Slash applies Minor Maim to the enemy you hit, decreasing their damage dealt by 5%. Also grants you Minor Heroism for the duration, allowing you to generate 1 additional Ultimate every 1.5 seconds. During boss fights, keep this skill active at all times and when you can during add fights.

Deaden Pain is one of the best skills available to a Necromancer Tank. You must have a usable corpse in order to activate the skill but the more you have, the longer the duration will be. The duration is capped at 10 seconds, however, you can use it as long as you have corpses. For each corpse that you consume, you will be granted 2 seconds of a powerful self heal and 2 Ultimate. While the heal is active, you will also have the Major Protection buff. Having the skill slotted will also reduce your damage taken by 3%. You can also use Deaden Pain to make use of the “Corpse Consumption” passive in the Living Death skill line.

Pierce Armor is your main taunt. It applies Major Breach to the enemy, reducing their resistances significantly.

Agony Totem provides you and group members within the radius of the totem with Minor Protection, decreasing your damage taken by 5%. It also deals damage to enemies inside and fears them. Group members can activate a synergy that deals decent damage.

Balance is your source of Major Ward. Each time you activate this skill, you also receive Magicka, so it is also your primary source of Magicka sustain as well. If wearing the Lady Thorn Monster Set, you will summon a blood ball every 10 seconds that you activate this skill. Be sure to synergize with it on cooldown so that you can also activate Roar of Alkosh.

Ultimate: Pestilent Colossus is the only source of Major Vulnerability in the game which increases group DPS significantly. If there is another Necromancer in the group using Colossus, communicate to prevent double use, or use Aggressive Horn.

Back Bar

Silver Leash may be an expensive gap closer, but it can often be more reliable than Beckoning Armor. Use it only when you must, such as pulling in ranged enemies during boss fights or at the beginning of add pulls. Range taunt melee enemies with Inner Rage to save Stamina as they will just come to you.

Spirit Guardian summons a ghost that will heal the lowest Health group member and leave a corpse for you to use when the duration runs out. This allows you to be more self sufficient during boss fights that may not spawn adds so you can still activate Dean Pain or Mortal Coil if you require more Stamina sustain. While this skill remains active, the ghost will mitigate 10% of all damage dealt to you. You can also activate it again early if you need a corpse.

Elemental Blockade will help apply the Off Balance status effect to enemies while using a Lightning Staff on your Back Bar, increasing the damage they will take. Keep this skill active at all times as it will proc your enchantment for you even while on your Front Bar.

Empowering Grasp is a great Crowd Control skill that is best used on add pulls. Each patch of skeleton claws applies a different Crowd Control effect as well as the Minor Maim debuff to all enemies hit. If group members are in the area, they will be granted the Empower buff. To use this skill most effectively, pull in ranged enemies first so they can be immobilized closer to you.

Inner Rage does not reduce the resistances of your enemies, so it should be considered your secondary Taunt. It does, however, allow you to Taunt enemies at a fair distance and provides a member of your group with a synergy that deals damage. Only one group member at a range can activate this synergy though.

Ultimate: Aggressive Horn increases the Max Magicka and Max Stamina of your group by 10% as well as apply the Major Force buff which increases Critical Damage dealt by 20%. In Dungeons, both you and your Healer will have this Ultimate, so make sure you discuss with them beforehand about who will use it first, as it does not stack.

Divider_Tank

Alternative Skills

Renewing Animation

Renewing Animation (Morph of Reanimate) from the Living Death skill line is a great Ultimate to have on your Back Bar if you find that your group is unable to stay alive during more intense encounters. However, this Ultimate can lead to some bad habits such as hording Ultimate and never using it. You and your group will be much better off if you use a different Ultimate that increases group DPS rather than saving it for a “Just in case” moment.

Reviving Barrier

Reviving Barrier (Morph of Barrier) from the Support skill line grants a massive Damage Shield for you and all nearby group members that also heals for half of the duration. The shield persists for 30 seconds provided it is not broken, allowing you to get out of a near death or group wipe. Slotting this Ultimate on your Front Bar will increase your Magicka Recovery by up to 10% depending on how many skill points you have invested in the “Magicka Aid” passive.

Ravenous Goliath

Ravenous Goliath (Morph of Bone Goliath Transformation) from the Bone Tyrant skill line can help you get out of a sticky situation such as your Healer falling in combat during a more intense encounter. Upon use, you will gain an additional 30,000 Health, heal for that amount, and you are cloaked in an aura that drains Health from nearby enemies for 20 seconds. Your Light and Heavy Attacks will also heal you in this state, making you almost invincible as long as you are dealing damage.

Crushing Shock

Crushing Shock (Morph of Force Shock) from the Destruction Staff skill line is used when you require an interrupt that can hit an enemy at range.

Efficient Purge

Efficient Purge (Morph of Purge) from the Support skill line is a high cost skill that allows you to remove Negative Effects from yourself and your group. While this skill is not run often, it is recommended to have available due to being irreplaceable in the areas it is needed. It has use in Dungeons where you will need to remove strong Flame and Poison DoT effects.

Overflowing Altar

Overflowing Altar (Morph of Blood Altar) from the Undaunted skill line applies Minor Lifesteal to all enemies in the area as well as provides a synergy, allowing your group to choose when they may need a burst heal. Best used on large add pulls.

Mortal Coil

Mortal Coil (Morph of Restoring Tether) from the Living Death skill line can be used if you are having trouble sustaining your Stamina. Stamina is unable to recover naturally while you are Blocking, however, Stamina gained through Mortal Coil is not considered Stamina Recovery. It also heals you for the duration and can make use of the “Corpse Consumption” passive just like Deaden Pain can.

Beckoning Armor

Beckoning Armor (Morph of Bone Armor) from the Bone Tyrant skill line is another source of Major Resolve if you do not yet have access to Balance. It will also pull in enemies for the duration that attack you at a distance as long as they are not immune to Crowd Control. However, this skill can be unreliable compared to Silver Leash. When the duration ends, it will create a corpse for you to use and can be activated again early to get a corpse sooner.

Divider_Tank

Champion Points

Below is a general overview for CP810

The Mage Constellation

The current allocation of Mage Champion Points is optimized for a higher value of resistance shredding while using the Roar of Alkosh set. Alkosh reduces enemy resistances equal to how much damage is dealt by the initial hit, so heavily investing in Master-at-Arms, Piercing, and Mighty is highly recommended. Even if you do not yet have the set, these values will still increase damage dealt by your Pestilent Colossus and allow you to provide some healing to your group.

The Thief Constellation

The current allocation of Thief Champion Points is optimized for very cheap Blocking and Roll Dodging as you will end up doing this a lot during combat. Points are invested in Arcanist and Tenacity to better your sustain while Mooncalf remains at zero due to Stamina not being able to recover while while you are Blocking. Instead you will increase the value of Stamina you get back for Heavy Attacking. As you continue to learn more encounters, whether it be adds or bosses, you will be able to time when you can and when you can not fit in a Heavy Attack without taking too much damage or taking a fatal blow.

Divider_Tank

Rotation

Tanks do not typically follow a rotation except in longer boss fights. Below you will find a general step-by-step guide to tanking both add pulls and boss fights.

Step 1:    Activate your Spirit Guardian and Balance (or Beckoning Armor) before every fight. This will save you some time once you begin combat. You can activate the synergy spawned by Lady Thorn now if you wish to start combat against enemies with already lowered resistances. If you do this, you will not be able to activate the synergy again for another 20 seconds.

Step 2:    Range Taunt the most threatening enemy with Inner Rage and summon your Agony Totem to fear everything in place and apply Minor Protection to group members within the radius. If entering a boss fight, you can instead use Pierce Armor to Taunt and further decrease resistances. It is important that the Tank always initiates combat to gain immediate aggression. While it may not be guaranteed that you will get aggression from every enemy in the pull, this can still help out a lot.

Step 3:    Rotate enemies so that your group does not take directional cleave damage. 

Step 4:    If you are fighting adds, cast AoE Movement Speed debuff skills such as Razor Caltrops if using. This will also apply Major Breach to all enemies in the area. If you are not using that skill, begin pulling in ranged enemies with Silver Leash. If you are fighting a boss, skip to Step 5.

Step 5:    Apply all AoE buffs and debuffs. This includes Elemental Blockade which will help apply the Off Balance status effect while using a Lightning Staff and decrease enemy resistances by activating your enchantment. Now is also the time to use Empowering Grasp to increase group Light Attack damage and apply AoE Minor Maim to enemies.

Step 6:    Taunt any threatening adds right away. Any bigger or more deadly enemy on your Damage Dealers is likely going to get them killed. Use Pierce Armor to remove the resistances of enemies so that they die much quicker, eliminating the threat sooner.

Step 7:  Be sure that your self buffs are active and enemies remain Taunted throughout the fight, though you should not have to Taunt every enemy in the pull. If you have time before everything is killed or you are in a boss fight, activate Heroic Slash to gain Minor Heroism and debuff the enemy targeted with Minor Maim. It is best to use this skill on a more threatening enemy, as Minor Maim will decrease the damage that they deal.

Notes

Deaden Pain should be used to clean up all remaining corpses when you have finished an add pull. This will give you plenty of Ultimate to use in the next boss fight or sooner if you need it. If there are more threatening enemies in the fight, you can use the skill to grant yourself Major Protection and a strong self heal.

Be sure to communicate with your group. Coordinate your Ultimate usage to avoid doubling up on skills that don’t stack. If your Healer has an Aggressive Horn ready, you can instead use Pestilent Colossus. If you have a Necromancer Damage Dealer with a colossus Ultimate ready, you can use Aggressive Horn. Or you can instead wait to use your Ultimate after others already have.