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Stamina Dragonknight The Best Tank in ESO

Stamina Dragonknight The Best Tank in ESO

Sturdy Dragonknight build which is well-suited for tanking PvE content

PvE Tank ESO build
[Wrathstone/Update 21]

You can find all our Pocket ESO Builds right here: Best ESO builds


Sorcerer Icon ESO

Dragonknight Class

Build Overview

Many of the Dragonknight's abilities and passives are just made for increasing survivability, and survivability is the most important aspect of any solid Tank build. Tank Dragonknights are able to shield themselves from even the strongest Boss hits, and their self-heal abilities just can't be overvalued. They do not run out of resources either. All of this makes Dragonknights best Tanks in Elder Scrolls Online and a great (or even necessary) addition to any Dungeon and Trial group. Important note: Argonian is the suggested race for running a Tank Dragonknight build.

We have decided to feature only one item set based on the best items for general usage. There are better setups for certain encounters and tweaks for either Boss fights or AoE clearing. If you would like alternative gear options included please let us know in the comments section below.

 Pros  Cons
 Very good Survivability  Not suited for Solo play
 Great Defensive capabilities Playing as a Tank generally requires a lot of game experience
 Very good Sustain  
 Strong group support toolkit  


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Attributes Priority

  1. Magicka -boosts the strength of your Magicka- based abilities, and increases your total Magicka pool. Your aim is to have around 14-16k Magicka when geared and buffed up; just remember that this stat should be lower than Stamina in order to secure Stamina gains from synergies. (Our suggestion: 20)
  1. Health - Boosts your total Health pool, and increases your Healing received. Health gets a bit less important when you upgrade your gear. You should aim to have at least 35k Health fully buffed up if you plan to run Trials as the main Tank.  (Our suggestion: 10-20)
  1. Stamina -  boosts the effectiveness of your Stamina-based skills and abilities, and increases your Stamina pool. Stamina also increases your Damage Done with Swords, Daggers, Axes, Maces, and Shields. This is your primary stat, and as such, it should be prioritized over Magicka. Your aim is to have at least 18k Stamina. (Our suggestion: 24-34)


Primary Skillset
[One-Handed Weapon and Shield -  Control/Defensive Bar]

Unrelenting Grip Unrelenting Grip (Dragonknight: Ardent Flame, morphed from Fiery Grip) - you pull your Target towards you with a Fiery Chain dealing Moderate Fire Damage. Using this increases your movement speed by 30% for 4 seconds. If your Target is immune to this effect, you restore 100% of the ability's cost as Magicka. Great for pulling Targets, and very helpful when a Monster is attacking a DPS or a HEaler and you have to react quickly.
Pierce Armor Pierce Armor (Weapon: One-Handed and Shield, morphed from Puncture) - taunts the enemy, forcing him to attack you for 15 seconds, decreases his Psychical and Spell Resistances by 5280 for 12s, and Deals Moderate Psychical Damage. Great Single-Target taunt which doubles as a nice debuff. This is one of your primary abilities.
Heroic Slash Heroic Slash (Weapon: One-Handed and Shield, morphed from Low Slash) - deals High Physical Damage reducing Enemy's Movement Speed by 60% and Damage Done by 15% for 12 seconds; also grants you 1 Ultimate per 1.5s for 9s. Very good for incoming Damage reduction, and Ultimate generation - great, flexible ability overall.
Hardened Armor Hardened Armor (Dragonknight: Draconic Power, morphed from Spiked Armor) - increases your Spell and Physical Resistances by 5280 for 20 seconds, and shields you for 15% of your maximum Health for 6s; any Direct Attack against you reflects 146 Magic Damage to the attacker when this is active. Very strong defensive Cooldown which will help you shrug off unbelievable amounts of incoming Damage.
Absorb Magic Absorb Magic (Weapon: One-Handed and Shield, morphed from Defensive Posture) - when activated, it absorbs up to 4372 Damage from the next Magic Projectile cast at you and heals you for 12% of your maximum Health after the absorption. This also reduces the cost of Blocking by 8% and increases the amount of Damage you can Block by 8%. Solid passive and active ability, that increases your survivability considerably.
Magma Shell Ultimate: Magma Shell (Dragonknight: Earthen Heart, morphed from Magma Armor) - when activated, it limits your Damage Received to 3% of your Maximum Health, deals 119 flame Damage to all nearby Enemies every second, and shields up to 5 of your allies for 100% of their maximum Health for 9 seconds. The Ultimate defensive ability, it lets you and your group survive unbelievable amounts of punishment.


Secondary Skillset
[One-Handed Weapon and Shield - Support/AoE Taunt/Heal Bar]

Inner Rage Inner Rage (Guild: Undaunted, morphed from Inner Fire) - forces an Enemy to Attack you, and deals Moderate Magic Damage. Ranged attacks against your Target have a 35% chance to activate the Radiate Synergy dealing Magic Damage to the Taunted Target and additional Magic Damage over 2 seconds to all nearby Enemies. A ranged Taunt ability combined with very strong RNG-based AoE proc, very useful for forcing Targets attention from a distance.
Igneous Shield Igneous Shield (Dragonknight: Earthen Heart, morphed from Obsidian Shield) - Shields up to 5 of your allies for 702 Damage and you for 702 + additional 150%, and also increases your Healing Done by 25% for 2,5 seconds. Nice Damage mitigation ability, very helpful when there is a lot of incoming AoE Damage. Thanks to the Healing boost, this synergizes well with your Green Dragon Blood ability.
Green Dragon Blood Green Dragon Blood (Dragonknight: Draconic Power, morphed from Dragon Blood) - instantly heals you for 33% of your missing Health, increases your Health and Stamina recovery by 20%, and Healing Received by 8% for 20 seconds. This is your emergency button; the lower your Health, the better it gets. It also synergizes with your Sanguine Altar and Igneous Shield.
Sanguine Altar Sanguine Altar (Guild: Undaunted, morphed from Blood Altar) - applies Minor Lifesteal to all enemies in the area; Damaging affected enemies will restore 600 Health per second to the Attacker. Allies can also heal themselves for 40% of their Maximum Health by activating the Blood Funnel synergy. A group healing ability which boosts your and your team's survivability greatly.
Balance Balance (Guild: Mages Guild, morphed from Equilibrium) - you sacrifice 6000 Health to get 3000 Magicka. Using this reduces your Healing Done and your Shield Strenght by 50% for 4 seconds, but increases your Physical and Spell Resistances by 5280 for 20 seconds. Your resource generating ability with an obvious downside of damaging you significantly; the Resistances that it provides somewhat compensate Health loss, but still, this should be used with caution; it can be used ~4seconds before telegraphed Damage for the Resistance buff - just remember to consult slotting/using this with your Healer).
Aggressive Horn Ultimate: Aggressive Horn (Alliance War: Assault, morphed from War Horn) - increases Magicka, Health, and Stamina of all Group members by 10% for 30 seconds, and Critical Strike Damage by 15% for 8s. Very strong Group-wide Damage increase cooldown, and one of the strongest Ultimates overall. This ability is especially great for execute phases because it increases your Group's Damage output massively. Don't forget that the 10% stat increase also greatly affects your Survivability.


Notable Passive Skills

Below you will find a list of the notable Passive Skills for this build. Please keep in mind that there are dozens of good passive skills for Tank Builds available in the game, which provides a lot of space for customization, and tweaking. You should view the below-described passive abilities as rough guidelines that should be followed in order to optimize your character.
Iron Skin Iron Skin (Dragonknight: Draconic Power) - You Block an additional 10% Damage. Very good survivability booster.
Burning Heart Burning Heart (Dragonknight: Draconic Power) - Increases your Healing received by 12% when you have a Draconic Power ability active. This synergizes with your Green Dragon Blood and Hardened Armor, making you even harder to kill.
Elder Dragon Elder Dragon (Dragonknight: Draconic Power) - increases the range of your instant melee attacks by 2 meters, and increases your Health recovery by 5% for each Draconic Power ability slotted. Slight boost to HP recovery is always welcome, and range increase can come in handy.
Scaled Armor Scaled Armor (Dragonknight: Draconic Power) - Increases your Spell Resistance by 3300. Very good for mitigating incoming Magic Damage.
Eternal Mountain Eternal Mountain (Dragonknight: Earthen Heart) - Increases duration of your Earthen Heart abilities by 20%. This synergizes with your Igneous Shield and Magma Shell abilities, and increasing their uptime is great.
Battle Roar Battle Roar (Dragonknight: Earthen Heart) - Each Ultimate point spent on your Ultimate Abilities now restores 46 Health, Stamina and Magicka. Additional Healing and Sustainability whenever you use an Ultimate - Solid.
Mountain's Blessing Mountain's Blessing (Dragonknight: Earthen Heart) - Casting Earthen Heart ability now also increases Weapon Damage of all friendly Targets within a 30-meter radius (including you) by 5% for 30 seconds; you also gain 3 Ultimate if you are in combat (this effect has 6-second internal Cooldown). A minor group-wide Damage buff that can be maintained pretty much endlessly.
Helping Hands Helping Hands (Dragonknight: Earthen Heart) - your Earthen Heart Abilities now also restore 990 Stamina. Very strong Sustain-related passive, pretty much mandatory.
Fortress Fortress (Weapon: One-Handed and Shield) - reduces the cost of Blocking by 36% and the cost of your On-Handed and Shield abilities by 10%. This passive will help you preserve your resources.
Sword and Board Sword and Board (Weapon: One-Handed and Shield) - increases the amount of Damage you can Block by 20%, and your Weapon Damage by 5%. Survivability and Offense booster in a form of one passive.
Deflect Bolts Deflect Bolts (Weapon: One-Handed and Shield) - increases the amount of Damage you can Block from Ranged Attacks and Projectiles by 15%. Another solid survivability booster.
Constitution Constitution (Armor: Heavy Armor) - increases your Health recovery by 4% per piece of Heavy Armor equipped, and restores 186 Stamina and Magicka per piece of Heavy Armor equipped when you receive a hit (this effect has 4-second internal Cooldown). This helps with your Sustain massively and improves your Survivability by a bit.
Juggernaut Juggernaut (Armor: Heavy Armor) - increases your Maximum Health by 2% per piece of Heavy Armor equipped. Mandatory passive for every Tank; it will massively contribute to your Health Total.
Rapid Mending Rapid Mending (Armor: Heavy Armor) - your Heavy Attacks restore 25% more Stamina or Magicka, and your healing received is increased by 8%. Solid Sustainability and Survivability booster.
Undaunted Command Undaunted Command (Guild: Undaunted) - restores 4% of your Maximum Magicka, Stamina, and Health each time you activate an ally's Synergy. Nice Sustain boost combined with some Healing.
Undaunted Mettle Undaunted Mettle (Guild: Undaunted) - increases your Maximum Stamina, Health, and Magicka by 2% per type of Armor equipped. This will boost your Resource pool, improve your Sustain by a bit, and increase your Survivability by improving your Health total.



Recommended Items and Sets:
Chest: Ebon Armory Set
Type: Heavy Trait: Infused Glyph: Tri-Stat Enchant
Legs: Ebon Armory Set
Gloves: Heavy Trait: Infused Glyph: Tri-Stat Enchant
Gloves: Ebon Armory Set
Type: Heavy Trait: Sturdy Glyph: Tri-Stat Enchant
Boots: Ebon Armory Set
Type: Heavy Trait: Sturdy Glyph: Tri-Stat Enchant
Belt: Ebon Armory Set
Type: Heavy Trait: Sturdy Glyph: Tri-Stat Enchant
Head: Lord Warden Set
Type: Medium/Light Trait: Infused Glyph: Tri-Stat Enchant
Shoulder: Lord Warden Set
Type: Light/Medium Trait: Sturdy Glyph: Tri-Stat Enchant
Necklace: Roar of Alkosh Set
Type: Jewelry Trait: Infused Glyph: Block Cost Reduction
Ring 1: Plague Doctor Set
Type: Jewelry Trait: Infused Glyph: Block Cost Reduction
Ring 2: Plague Doctor Set
Type: Jewelry Trait: Infused Glyph: Block Cost Reduction
Weapon 1: Roar of Alkosh Set
Type: One-Handed Weapon Trait: Infused Glyph: Crusher Enchant
Secondary 1: Roar of Alkosh Set
Type: Shield Trait: Infused Glyph: Health Enchant
Weapon 2: Roar of Alkosh Set
Type: One-Handed Weapon Trait: Decisive Glyph: Weakening Enchant
Secondary 2: Roar of Alkosh Set
Type: Shield Trait: Sturdy Glyph: Health Enchant
Sets used in this build:

Ebon Armory: Jewelry, Weapons and Heavy Armor, bound on pickup Dungeon set. A very solid choice for any Tank who wants to Support his group members more. As a part of the Base Game, it can be obtained from Crypt of Hearts I and II in Rivenspire.The set grants the following bonuses:

  1. (2 items) Adds 1206 Maximum Health
  2. (3 items) Adds 1206 Maximum Health
  3. (4 items) Adds 4% Healing Taken
  4. (5 items) Increases your Max Health by 1118 for you and up to 11 other group members within 28 meters of you.

Lord Warden: A Helm and Shoulder Light, Heavy and Medium Armor Monster set. It requires the Imperial City DLC and can be obtained from the last Boss of the Veteran mode Imperial City Sewers (Helm), and from the Urglarg Chief-Bane's Chest by using Undaunted key on it (Shoulder). Traits and Weight of these set items are RNG-based. The set grants the following bonuses:

  1. (1 item) Adds 2975 Spell and Physical Resistance
  2. (2 items) When you take damage, you have a 50% chance to summon a shadow orb for 10 seconds that increases the Spell and Physical Resistance of you and your allies within 8 meters by 3870. This effect has a 10-second internal Cooldown.

Roar of Alkosh: a Stamina-based Medium Armor, Weapons and Jewelry Trial set. Despite being a Medium Weight it is one of the best PvE sets for Tanks (because a 5-item set bonus is best suited for a person who stands in front of a boss all the time). The Roar of Alkosh is a part of the Thieves Guild DLC and can be acquired from the Maw of Lorkhaj Trial. Wearing this set will grant you:

  1. (2 items) Adds 833 Weapon Critical
  2. (3 items) Gain Minor Slayer at all times, increasing your damage done to Dungeon and Trial Monsters by 5%.
  3. (4 items) Adds 129 Weapon Damage
  4. (5 items) When you activate a synergy, you send a shockwave from your position that deals 1720 Physical Damage and an additional 12040 Physical Damage over 10 seconds. Reduces the Physical and Spell Resistance of any enemy hit by 3010 for 10 seconds.

Plague Doctor: an Overland Heavy Armor, Weapons and Jewelry set, which provides a very high Health boost to both beginner and experienced Tanks. As the Overland drop in Deshaan and a part of the base game, it can be acquired quite easily by farming or alternatively just bought from other players. Wearing this set will grant you:

  1. (2 items) Adds 1206 Maximum Health
  2. (3 items) Adds 1206 Maximum Health
  3. (4 items) Adds 4% Healing Taken
  4. (5 items) Adds 4000 Maximum Health


Champion Points

High priority
The Apprentice: Blessed
The Tower: Warlord
The Shadow: Shadow Ward, Tumbling
The Attronarch: Master-at-Arms
The Steed: Ironclad
Medium priority
The Lady: Elemental Defender, Hardy, Thick Skinned
The Attronarch: Physical Weapons Expert
The Lover: Tenacity
The Ritual: Precise Strikes
Low priority
The Lord: Bastion, Heavy Armor Focus
The Ritual: Piercing

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This is the premiere version of our Tank Dragonknight Pocket Build for Elder Scrolls Online. We believe that this is one of the Best Tank setups in the game. If we missed a piece of information which is important to you, please let us know in the comments section below. We plan to expand this guide by adding customization options for certain encounters and alternative gear options in the foreseeable future.

Pictures used in this article are the intellectual property of Bethesda Softworks