Dragonknight Beginner Tank: Apprentice

author image by Woeler | 0 Comments | October 27, 2017

General info

Patch: 4.1 Wolfhunter
Class: Dragonknight
Purpose: Normal Dungeons, Veteran Dungeons, Normal Trials, Exploration

So you have decided you want to become a tank in The Elder Scrolls Online. Starting out as a tank can be difficult. There are quite a few builds out there, but most of them are aimed at endgame content, using gear you can’t possible get at your level or stage in the game. Well, this build is for those who just started to tank. All gear is crafted (and the jewels are overland drop), so you can be up and running within an hour. Read on, and begin your tanking journey with a solid basis.



Hover over set names to see their tooltip. Remember that you can swap the pieces around to suit what items you may have available.

Armor PieceSetEnchantTrait
HeadAlessia's Bulwark (H)HealthSturdy
ShoulderAlessia's Bulwark (H)StaminaSturdy
BodyHist Bark (H)HealthSturdy
HandsHist Bark (M)StaminaSturdy
WaistHist Bark (L)StaminaSturdy
LegsHist Bark (H)HealthSturdy
FeetHist Bark (H)StaminaSturdy
NecklaceOrder of DiagnaShield PlayHealthy
RingOrder of DiagnaShield PlayHealthy
RingOrder of DiagnaShield PlayHealthy
Main Hand 1Alessia's BulwarkCrusherInfused
Shield 1Alessia's BulwarkHealthSturdy
Main Hand 2Alessia's BulwarkCrusherInfused
Shield 2Alessia's BulwarkHealthSturdy

Hist Bark

Hist bark is a beginner friendly set. I have always enjoyed using it when I started the game. It gives you some decent tanky stats, but the main thing about it is that it gives you a 15% chance to dodge a hit. Which means you will automatically dodge some hits, giving you a more forgiving fight, allowing you to learn mechanics.

– Craftable in Greenshade -> Rootwatch Tower
– Craftable in Rivenspire -> Trader’s Rest
– Craftable in Sahdowfen -> Hatchling’s Crown

Click the maps to enlarge (images taken from here)

Alessia’s Bulwark

This set gives a large amount of tanky stats. Since a tank has a total of 9 armour slots that can be used for craftable gear, we need to look for a good craftable 4-piece set. Alessia’s Bulwark is this set.

– Craftable in Malabal Tor -> Chancel of Divine Entreaty
– Craftable in Eastmarch -> Hammerhome
– Craftable in Alik’r Desert -> Alezer Kotu

Click the maps to enlarge (images taken from here)

Order of Diagna

Health, health, health, that is what this set gives. Jewels cannot be crafted in this game, meaning we should go and loot some. This set drops in Alik’r Desert. You will get the jewels when you do dolmens (dark anchors) in that zone.

Traits and Enchantments

Sturdy: To help you sustain your resources. Block cost can be a pain in the ass for many players. Going with sturdy will allow you to manage your stamina more easily.
Healthy: A good health pool is essential for beginners. Making mistakes is going to be part of the learning curve, more health means more forgiving fights.
Infused (weapon): Will buff your crusher enchant. More info about that you will find below.

Stamina & Health enchants: A mix of both to give you good, solid resource pools. Theoretically prismatic enchants (that give magicka, stamina and health) are best for tanks, but beginners usually do not have access to this.
Crusher: Reduces the armour of your enemies. This is one of the few enchants that are useful on tank weapons. It will come in handy in all group content.

General Stats

Best race choice

1. Argonian -> Extra healing output and input, plus a built in resource management system and a health bonus.
2. Imperial -> 12% health is still a massive bonus that cannot be neglected.
3. Nord / Orc -> Both have good tanking traits, but are not as strong as the ones listed above.

Note: You’re looking at a beginner build. Do not get frightened by this. In theory, any race can do a good tanking job. I would advise you to take the race you enjoy the most. If you would like to change it later, the crown store offers that option.

Note: Why isn’t Imperial number 1? Because max resource pools, especially on the stamina side don’t matter anymore. They do not scale your Battle Roar or Helping Hands anymore.

Stats & Supplies

You want a decent health pool. I would feel comfortable with anything above 35k health. This is including food buff. Generally I put 60 points into health and the remaining 4 into stamina. I put these points into stamina because I want to get stamina back when I use a mystic orb or a spear shard synergy. This makes use of your highest resource, and stamina is a little higher than magicka if we do this.

In terms of food you always want to use the purple quality food of your level that gives magicka, stamina and health. Potions can be crafted, these are usually the ones that give you all three stats, though you can try and play with drop potions first. Alchemy can be expensive, and for the normal content you do not need to waste expensive potions.

Atronach Mundus StoneMundus stone -> The Atronach (magicka recovery). You will see that a lot of utility skills cost magicka. To keep our pool at a decent level we use this mundus stone.

You can find the Atronach mundus in the following zones:
– Greenshade (Dominion)
– Shadowfen (Pact)
– Rivenspire (Covenant)
– Cyrodiil

Click the maps to enlarge (images taken from here)

Be a vampire. Yes, the 10% magicka regen is worth it. The extra fire damage is a joke. Just have a look at the passives Supernatural Recovery and Undeath. The easiest way to become one is to ask your friends or guildmates for a bite. Dominion players can find the vampire shrine in Reaper’s March, Covenant players in Bangkorai and Pact players in The Rift.

Champion Points

Champion Points – 160 CP

Warrior Constellation

Elemental Defender -> 15 points
Hardy -> 15 points
Ironclad -> 23 points
Heavy Armor Focuss -> 1

Thief Constellation

Shadow Ward -> 21 points
Arcanist -> 32 points

Mage Constellation

Blessed -> 23 points
Melee Weapons Expert -> 30 points

Champion Points – 300 CP

Warrior Constellation

Elemental Defender -> 32 points
Hardy -> 32 points
Thick Skinned -> 7 points
Ironclad -> 28 points
Heavy Armor Focuss -> 1

Thief Constellation

Shadow Ward -> 68 points
Arcanist -> 32 points

Mage Constellation

Blessed -> 70 points
Melee Weapons Expert -> 30 points

Champion Points – 450 CP

Warrior Constellation

Elemental Defender -> 32 points
Hardy -> 32 points
Thick Skinned -> 44 points
Ironclad -> 40 points
Heavy Armor Focuss -> 2

Thief Constellation

Shadow Ward -> 75 points
Arcanist -> 75 points

Mage Constellation

Blessed -> 100 points
Elf Born -> 20 points
Melee Weapons Expert -> 30 points

Champion Points (720)

CP 720

Warrior Constellation

Elemental Defender37
Thick Skinned48
Quick Recovery5
Heavy Armor Focus1

Thief Constellation

Shadow Ward100

Mage Constellation

Elf Born100
Physical Weapons Expert40


Active Skills

Hover over skill names to see their tooltip.

Heroic Slash Pierce Armor Hardened Armor Absorb Missile Fragmented Shield Magma Shell
Unrelenting Grip Inner Rage Green Dragon Blood Choking Talons Deep Breath Aggressive Horn

Bar 1:

Heroic Slash: Debufs the enemy with minor maim, making sure they do 15% less damage. Will also give you minor heroism, increasing your ultimate gain.
Pierce Armor: Melee taunt that runs 15 seconds. Also debufs the enemy for 12 seconds with major fracture and major breach.
Hardened Armor: You major armor buffs that you need to keep up at all times. Will also give you a small shield.
Absorb Missile: Will give you 8% block cost reduction and 8% damage mitigation by having it slotted. You can also use this to absorb projectiles. Be careful though, it is not a cheap skill.
Fragmented Shield: A shield that scales with health (this is the essence of this build!) that goes on you and allies. Casting this will also give alies Minor Brutality and it will return stamina to you if you have unlocked the Helping Hands passive. This is a skill that you will constantly use.
Ultimate -> Magma Shell: This ultimate will save your life in times of need. Using this will basically give you godmode for 10 seconds. Use it wisely, and only use it when absolutely needed.

Bar 2:

Unrelenting Grip: Chains, pull enemies to you. A must have for every tank. Makes fights go way faster.
Inner Rage: A taunt that you can use on range to initiate encounters. It will cost magicka, but it also has a stamina morph. Which one you chose is a matter of personal preference.
Green Dragon Blood: A self heal that can come in handy from time to time.
Choking Talons: An AoE root that works extremely well in large groups of enemies. Also reduces the damage affected enemies do.
Deep Breath: An area of effect interrupt skill. Very handy when you are tanking a big amount of enemies, especially the smaller ones that are hard to bash.
Ultimate -> Aggressive Horn: An ability that will increase your group’s crit damage for 9,5 seconds and it will increase all their stat pools by 10% for 30 seconds. This is by a clear mile the strongest ultimate to use for tanks.

The last two slots on the back bar are flex slots. Here you can use skills you would like to have availble during certain encounters. Options could be:

Passive Skills

If you have any questions leave them on my Twitter @WoelerGaming.


  • August 20th 2018, Wolfhunter update
  • March 6th 2018, Dragon Bones update
  • October 27th 2017, Clockwork City update


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