ESO Empire

STAMINA NECROMANCER TANK PVE BUILD

Writer: xGamx
Designer: xGamx
Role: Tank
Patch: Blackwood – Gates of Oblivion

Build Introduction:
Welcome to the Necromancer Tank build Undead Knight for The Elder Scrolls Online! Necromancers are extremely versatile with 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, resource sustain, Crowd Control (CC), as well as the ability to gain Ultimate very quickly. Necromancers are also the only source of Major Vulnerability, making them even more valued in any group. The Undead Knight build will cover all of this and more, including recommended armor sets, skills, and many alternatives to meet a variety of needs. Be sure to read the guide in its entirety and bookmark the page as the build will be updated with each new patch.

Below, you will find plenty of information to begin tanking as a Necromancer. Tanking in ESO is different from other MMORPGs for many reasons. You need to be able to react quickly in combat, as blocking everything is not always an option. There is no threat level to maintain and you are more than just a Health sponge. You must be able to reasonably sustain your own resources without complete reliance on a Healer while also maintaining group buffs and enemy debuffs.

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Race

Imperial

Increases your Maximum Health by 2000.

Increases your Maximum Stamina by 2000.

Reduces the cost of all your abilities by 6%.

Nord

Increases your Maximum Health by 1000 and your Frost Resistance by 4620.

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

Increase your Physical Resistance and Spell Resistance by 2600.

Argonian

Increases your Healing Done by 6%.

Increases your Maximum Health by 1000 and your Disease and Poison Resistance by 2310.

Increases your Maximum Magicka and Maximum Stamina by 1000. Whenever you drink a potion you restore 3125 Health, Magicka, and Stamina.

Imperials are highly recommended for Necromancer Tanks. They benefit from high stat increases to Maximum Health and Maximum Stamina, two very important resources for all Tanks in ESO. The cost reduction passive covers all costs, including roll dodge, block, bash, break free, and even your Ultimate abilities. This further increases your sustain and allows you to have better uptimes on any Ultimate you choose.

Nords are highly recommended for Necromancer Tanks. They gain an increase to both Physical Resistance and Spell Resistance, allowing them to reach damage mitigation cap much easier than other Races. Simply taking damage will grant you Ultimate, which is almost all the time while in any form of content. Choosing Nord will also grant great boosts to both your Max Health and Max Stamina.

Argonians are another great option for beginner Tanks that may be having trouble with self-sustain. The method of sustain provided by Argonians is unique as it is tied to the usage of potions. While you may not have a great consistent recovery, the burstiness of this method is very effective. Argonians gain a bonus to Maximum Magicka, so you may need to shift your enchantments or Attribute Points to ensure that your Maximum Stamina exceeds your Maximum Magicka.

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Attributes

Magicka

22

Health

8

Stamina

34

You may need to shift Attribute Points accordingly depending on which Race you chose. It is important to note that you must have around 36,500 Maximum Health and that your Maximum Stamina exceeds the value of your Maximum Magicka at all times. Doing this means you will always receive Stamina upon synergizing with an Energy Orb or Luminous Shards provided by your Healers. Tanks use all resources, so find a balance that best suits your needs.

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Mundus Stone

The Lady

Stonefalls
Glenumbra
Auridon
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Consumables

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 increases your Maximum Health, Maximum Magicka, Maximum Stamina, and Health Recovery. This food is expensive; if Gold is an issue, try Capon Tomato-Beet Casserole instead. Using this food means you must rely on Heavy Attacks to sustain your Stamina.

Clockwork Citrus Filet

Clockwork Citrus Filet is a crafted food in ESO and can only be found otherwise in Guild Stores crafted by another player. This food increases your Maximum Health, Maximum Magicka, and Magicka Recovery. This food is expensive; if Gold is an issue, try Witchmother’s Potent Brew instead. Only use this food if you struggle with Magicka Recovery as it will significantly decrease your Maximum Stamina.

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 to buy or craft them, as they provide you with a quick boost to your Health, Stamina, and Magicka upon use.

Essence of Magicka

Essence of Magicka potions are generic potions found in ESO and they can drop from a variety of sources. You will often find plenty of these potions during a regular play session. Only use if you have no other options to sustain Magicka.

Essence of Stamina

Essence of Stamina potions are generic potions found in ESO and they can drop from a variety of sources. You will often find plenty of these potions during a regular play session. Only use if you have no other options to sustain Stamina.

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Trial Setup

Trials are endgame content in The Elder Scrolls Online, designed for groups of 12.
Each Trial has a Normal and a Veteran mode, this portion of the guide will focus on Veteran Trials.

Main Tank

Set Name Trait Enchantment Weight/Type Acquired

Head

Infused

Increase Max Health / Stamina / Magicka

Medium

Veteran Black Drake Villa

Shoulders

Sturdy

Increase Max Health / Stamina / Magicka

Light

Undaunted Enclave

Chest

Infused

Increase Max Health / Stamina / Magicka

Heavy

(Veteran) Sunspire

Hands

Sturdy

Increase Max Health / Stamina / Magicka

Heavy

(Veteran) Sunspire

Waist

Well-fitted

Increase Max Health / Stamina / Magicka

Heavy

(Veteran) Sunspire

Legs

Infused

Increase Max Health / Stamina / Magicka

Heavy

(Veteran) Sunspire

Feet

Sturdy

Increase Max Health / Stamina / Magicka

Heavy

(Veteran) Sunspire

Necklace

Infused

Potion Speed

Jewelry

Maw of Lorkhaj

Ring

Infused

Potion Speed

Jewelry

Maw of Lorkhaj

Ring

Infused

Potion Speed

Jewelry

Maw of Lorkhaj

Front Bar
(Main Hand)

Decisive

Flame Damage

One Handed

Maw of Lorkhaj

Front Bar
(Off-hand)

Sturdy

Increase Max Magicka

Shield

Maw of Lorkhaj

Back Bar

Infused

Crushing

Ice Staff

Maw of Lorkhaj

Off Tank

Set Name Trait Enchantment Weight/Type Acquired

Head

Infused

Increase Max Health / Stamina / Magicka

Medium

Veteran Frostvault

Shoulders

Sturdy

Increase Max Health / Stamina / Magicka

Light

Undaunted Enclave

Chest

Infused

Increase Max Health / Stamina / Magicka

Heavy

Stone Garden

Hands

Sturdy

Increase Max Health / Stamina / Magicka

Heavy

Stone Garden

Waist

Well-fitted

Increase Max Health / Stamina / Magicka

Heavy

Stone Garden

Legs

Infused

Increase Max Health / Stamina / Magicka

Heavy

Stone Garden

Feet

Sturdy

Increase Max Health / Stamina / Magicka

Heavy

Stone Garden

Necklace

Infused

Potion Speed

Jewelry

Imperial Sewers or Guild Stores

Ring

Infused

Potion Speed

Jewelry

Imperial Sewers or Guild Stores

Ring

Infused

Potion Speed

Jewelry

Imperial Sewers or Guild Stores

Front Bar
(Main Hand)

Decisive

Weakening

One Handed

Imperial Sewers or Guild Stores

Front Bar
(Off-hand)

Sturdy

Increase Max Magicka

Shield

Imperial Sewers or Guild Stores

Back Bar

Infused

Crushing

Ice Staff

Imperial Sewers or Guild Stores

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Dungeon Setup

Dungeons feature large groups of enemies that are typically tougher than others found in Overland content.
Each Dungeon has a Normal and Veteran mode and many bosses have unique mechanics that need to be managed by the whole group.

Set Name Trait Enchantment Weight/Type Acquired

Head

Infused

Increase Max Magicka

Medium

Veteran Darkshade Caverns I

Shoulders

Sturdy

Increase Max Health

Light

Undaunted Enclave

Chest

Infused

Increase Max Magicka

Heavy

Crypt of Hearts I and II

Hands

Sturdy

Increase Max Health

Heavy

Crypt of Hearts I and II

Waist

Well-fitted

Increase Max Health

Heavy

Crypt of Hearts I and II

Legs

Infused

Increase Max Magicka

Heavy

Crypt of Hearts I and II

Feet

Sturdy

Increase Max Health

Heavy

Crypt of Hearts I and II

Necklace

Robust

Potion Speed

Jewelry

Imperial Sewers or Guild Stores

Ring

Robust

Potion Speed

Jewelry

Imperial Sewers or Guild Stores

Ring

Robust

Potion Speed

Jewelry

Imperial Sewers or Guild Stores

Front Bar
(Main Hand)

Decisive

Weakening

One Handed

Imperial Sewers or Guild Stores

Front Bar
(Off-hand)

Sturdy

Increase Max Magicka

Shield

Imperial Sewers or Guild Stores

Back Bar

Infused

Crushing

Ice Staff

Imperial Sewers or Guild Stores

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Beginner Setup

Whether you are leveling up a new character or just reached CP160, the setup below will help you get started!
This setup contains only Crafted sets and little to no expensive materials.

Set Name Trait Enchantment Weight/Type Acquired

Head

Infused

Increase Max Stamina

Medium

Crafted

Shoulders

Sturdy

Increase Max Health

Light

Crafted

Chest

Infused

Increase Max Magicka

Heavy

Crafted

Hands

Sturdy

Increase Max Health

Heavy

Crafted

Waist

Well-fitted

Increase Max Health

Heavy

Crafted

Legs

Infused

Increase Max Magicka

Heavy

Crafted

Feet

Sturdy

Increase Max Health

Heavy

Crafted

Necklace

Robust

Potion Speed

Jewelry

Crafted

Ring

Robust

Potion Speed

Jewelry

Crafted

Ring

Robust

Potion Speed

Jewelry

Crafted

Front Bar
(Main Hand)

Defending

Weakening

One Handed

Crafted

Front Bar
(Off-hand)

Sturdy

Increase Max Magicka

Shield

Crafted

Back Bar

Infused

Crushing

Lightning Staff

Crafted

Your options for beginner gear are typically limited to Craftable Sets or something very cheap on Guild Stores. Adept Rider, Torug’s Pact, and Spectre’s Eye all increase the core stats needed by a Tank. Torug’s Pact will also buff the enchantments on your weapons greatly while Spectre’s Eye will decrease damage taken from enemy Area of Effect (AoE) abilities. These additional bonuses are significant while learning the Tank role. The configuration laid out above is not required, however, it will provide the most optimal path of progression. Once you have obtained this setup, you should be ready to start hunting for a Monster Set to replace your helmet and shoulder pieces. Sentinel of Rkugamz is a solid option that is rather easy to obtain. It works very well in both add fights and boss encounters.

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Skills

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Front Bar

Pierce Armor is your main taunt. It applies both Minor and Major Breach, reducing the enemy’s Physical Resistance and Spell Resistance significantly.

Deaden Pain reduces your damage taken by 3% while slotted and requires corpses to consume. Each consumed corpse grants you 2 Ultimate, a Heal over Time effect, and Major Protection for the duration. The more corpses you consume, the longer the duration, capped at 10 seconds. Spending skill points in the Corpse Consumption passive from the Living Death skill line causes Deaden Pain to provide an additional 10 Ultimate every 16 seconds.

Balance is your primary source of Magicka sustain. It also grants Major Resolve for the duration. Because it costs Health, you can cast Balance multiple times to quickly regain Magicka. However, relying entirely on Balance for Magicka sustain has some drawbacks. Each time you cast it, your healing done and damage shield strength is reduced for 4 seconds.

Agony Totem provides Minor Protection to you and all group members while also fearing enemies for 4 seconds. Group members can activate a synergy that applies Minor Vulnerability to all enemies hit for the duration. Spending skill points in the Disdain Harm passive from the Bone Tyrant skill line will reduce the damage you take from DoT abilities by 15% while Agony Totem is active.

Heroic Slash applies Minor Maim to the enemy and grants you Minor Heroism for the duration. Try keeping this skill active on at least one enemy at all times during all encounters. Because Heroic Slash is a weapon ability, it will continue to trigger the front bar weapon enchantment while active.

Ultimate: Ravenous Goliath provides you an additional 30,000 Health when activated. While active, you gain an AoE that heals you 100% of the damage dealt to enemies around you. Your main Ultimate is Pestilent Colossus though Ravenous Goliath could save you in a pinch.

Back Bar

Beckoning Armor provides Major Resolve and allows you to pull in ranged enemies to your location when they damage you. Taunting ranged enemies with Inner Beast and allowing Beckoning Armor to pull them to your location is much cheaper than Silver Leash. When the duration runs out or the skill is activated early, it leaves a corpse for you to use. Spending skill points in the Disdain Harm passive from the Bone Tyrant skill line will reduce the damage you take from enemy Damage over Time (DoT) abilities by 15% while Agony Totem is active.

Elemental Blockade is used to trigger the enchantment on your Ice or Lightning Staff, even while on the front bar. It will also help apply the corresponding status effect associated with each staff.

Inner Beast does not reduce the resistances of your enemies, so it should be considered your secondary taunt. However, it allows you to taunt enemies at a distance and has a chance to provide a synergy to a ranged group member.

Spirit Guardian takes 10% of all damage dealt to you and heals the lowest Health group member. When the duration runs out or the skill is activated early, it leaves a corpse for you to use. Spending skill points in the Undead Confederate passive from the Living Death skill line increases your Magicka Recovery and Stamina Recovery by 200 while Spirit Guardian is active.

Razor Caltrops is a staple skill for any Tank. Enemies inside the radius are slowed and have Major Breach applied to them for 4 seconds each time they take damage for a total of 14 seconds.

Ultimate: Pestilent Colossus is your main Ultimate. It applies Major Vulnerability to all enemies in the area and can not be dodged, increasing their damage taken by 10%. Both Necromancer Tanks and Necromancer Healers primarily use this Ultimate. Be sure to discuss rotation with other support roles before engaging to avoid two or more players using it at once, as it does not stack.

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Alternative Skills

Empowering Grasp
ESO-Hub Skill icon

Empowering Grasp applies Minor Maim to enemies. Though the main reason to use Empowering Grasp is to provide Empower to your group, increasing Light Attack and Heavy Attack damage by 40%. This skill can be difficult to keep up as you must hit your group members with the skeletal claws to grant Empower.

Reviving Barrier
ESO-Hub Skill icon

Reviving Barrier grants a massive damage shield to you and all nearby group members that heals for half the duration. The shield persists for 30 seconds provided it is not broken, allowing you to potentially avoid a group wipe. Spending skill points in the Magicka Aid passive from the Support skill line will increase your Magicka Recovery by up to 10% while having this Ultimate slotted.

Aggressive Horn
ESO-Hub Skill icon

Aggressive Horn grants Major Force and a 10% increase to Maximum Stamina and Maximum Magicka to all group members. Both Tanks and Healers could primarily use this Ultimate. Be sure to discuss rotation with other support roles before engaging to avoid two or more players using it at once, as it does not stack.

Ruinous Scythe
ESO-Hub Skill icon

Ruinous Scythe provides a strong burst heal that increases with each enemy hit. Every third cast of the skill also sets enemies Off Balance.

Spell Wall
ESO-Hub Skill icon

Spell Wall automatically blocks all attacks at no cost and reflects all projectiles cast at you. This allows you to Heavy Attack to gain back resources for short time.

Silver Leash
ESO-Hub Skill icon

Silver Leash allows you to pull enemies to your location. Even though it is a very expensive option, it is more direct than Beckoning Armor.

Mortal Coil
ESO-Hub Skill icon

Mortal Coil 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.

Efficient Purge
ESO-Hub Skill icon

Efficient Purge removes up to three negative effects from yourself and the group. It is needed most in content with strong DoT effects. Spending skill points in the Magicka Aid passive from the Support skill line will increase your Magicka Recovery by up to 10% while having this Ultimate slotted.

Crushing Shock
ESO-Hub Skill icon

Crushing Shock is a great skill to have in case you ever need a ranged interrupt.

Defensive Stance
ESO-Hub Skill icon

Defensive Stance would primarily be slotted for the passive benefits to block cost and damage mitigation while blocking. The damage shield can be useful in content with hard-hitting ranged enemies.

Overflowing Altar
ESO-Hub Skill icon

Overflowing Altar applies Minor Lifesteal to enemies in the area and provides a synergy to your group members that instantly gives them a burst of Health.

Renewing Animation
ESO-Hub Skill icon

Renewing Animation is great to have if your group is struggling to stay alive. However, this Ultimate can lead to bad habits such as hoarding Ultimate and never using it. You are much better off using a more offensive Ultimate to increase group DPS.

Proximity Detonation
ESO-Hub Skill icon

Proximity Detonation is used to trigger the effect provided by the Powerful Assault set due to the duration of both the skill and the set lining up well. Activate on cooldown for the best uptime. If you are having trouble with Magicka sustain or would like additional healing, try Echoing Vigor instead.

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Champion Points

The Craft Constellation
The Warfare Constellation
Mastered Curation
Staving Death
Extended Might
The Fitness Constellation
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Rotation

Tanks do not typically follow a traditional static rotation. There is no single rotation for Tanks that covers all situations. Instead, you must be able to adapt to meet the needs of whatever situation you find yourself in. Below, you will find a general guide on how to fulfill the Tank role effectively during both add fights and boss encounters. Every Dungeon and Trial has different mechanics and it is important that you understand your build and why you use the armor sets and skills that are recommended. Be sure to read this guide entirely.

Pre-buffing

Get in the habit of pre-buffing yourself before starting combat. This is important for a variety of reasons and will help you get ready for late-game content. One such reason is to save time that could be otherwise used more effectively. Skills such as Balance, Beckoning Armor, and Spirit Guardian should always be used before initiating combat to ensure that your group also has time to apply their own pre-buffs. Applying as many as possible will allow you to primarily focus on taunting and grouping up enemies. The Tank must initiate combat to have as much control as possible.

Positioning

To successfully Tank, positioning is everything. Before initiating combat, choose a location that you can easily group enemies. The best location is often the most populated area. This is because it prevents you from needing to pull in more enemies than necessary. After you have decided on your position, now is the best time to use a skill such as Razor Caltrops or Empowering Grasp to slow enemies down in the area. Slowed enemies are much easier to control and debuff. Provided you were the one to start combat, melee enemies will generally target you right away without issue. Although, you may still need to pull in some ranged enemies with Silver Leash or Beckoning Armor. Get in the habit of placing yourself on the opposite side of your group. This prevents them from taking potentially fatal cleave damage.

Control

Knowing how to properly group enemies for your Healers and Damage Dealers (DPS) is very important. This allows them to place AoE skills on you and switch their focus to the more threatening enemies. The more threatening enemies should be taunted as soon as possible. Tanks commonly have two taunts slotted, Pierce Armor and Inner Beast. Pierce Armor should be considered your main taunt as it will also reduce enemy Physical Resistance and Spell Resistance while Inner Beast does not. Inner Beast is great to use in situations where you must keep enemies separated, or if an enemy is at a distance and is immune to your Silver Leash or Beckoning Armor. While it is certainly not required that you taunt every enemy, try to keep them in AoE damage skills with your own CC skills, such as Agony Totem. If it is your first time in a Dungeon or Trial and neither you nor your group knows which enemies to focus on first, it is often safe to assume the biggest enemies or the fewest of a named enemy will be the most threatening.

Buffing and Debuffing

Your main goal as a Tank is to provide your group with as many buffs and your enemies with as many debuffs as possible. If you chose to follow along with the armor sets and skills laid out above, much of your build will revolve around doing both of these things. For example, Tanks can utilize an enchantment on a Destruction Staff by simply activating Elemental Blockade on the back bar. Even while your One Hand and Shield are equipped in your hands, as long as that skill is active, the enchantment will continue to activate. Because of this, you can use a Crushing enchantment to lower enemy Physical Resistance and Spell Resistance while they are standing in the AoE. Heroic Slash should be kept active on a boss at all times to reduce damage dealt to you and increase your Ultimate regeneration. Fulfilling the Tank role in ESO means much more than just having high Health and blocking. Sets such as Fortified Brass, Plague Doctor, and Battalion Defender are great for a beginner, but eventually, you will feel like you no longer require them. You can swap to something that buffs your entire group and not just yourself, such as Ebon Armory, Powerful Assault, Arkasis’s Genius, etc. To see a full list of sets that a Tank would find useful, click the link below.

Ultimates

Tanks have some useful options when it comes to Ultimates, however, the most commonly used is Aggressive Horn upon entering and during boss encounters. Necromancer Tanks also have access to Pestilent Colossus. Healers will primarily use Aggressive Horn as well, often at the same time that a Tank would. The buff from Aggressive Horn does not stack, so be sure to coordinate with your group on who should use it first. Try to get in the habit of rotating your Aggressive Horn with the rest of your group. This will benefit you greatly in late-game content. You have other options as well, such as Reviving Barrier, Ravenous Goliath, Renewing Animation, and Spell Wall. These Ultimates will not buff group DPS but they can still be very useful. Spell Wall can buy you some time to gain back resources. Renewing Animation can be used to instantly revive up to 3 allies. Ravenous Goliath can be used to bolster your own survivability. Reviving Barrier grants your group a massive damage shield and is best used if your group is having trouble staying alive. Remember, the Healers are not always at fault here! Check your positioning and be sure that you and your DPS are not standing in enemy AoE damage.