Table of Contents:

  1. Intro

  2. Setup

    • Gear

    • Skills

    • Attributes

    • Consumables, Race, and Mundus

    • Champion Points (CP)

    • Rotation

    • Misc Information

  3. Tips



Sustain is a breeze between Battle Roar and Helping Hands.  Being an Argonian, using Block Cost Reduction, and/or Meditate makes sustain a worry of the past.


The beefiest tank class out there thanks to amazing passives and skills.  You are hard to take down.

40% Complete (success)

Self Healing is reliable enough to live through punishment, but your main benefit is healing received bonuses, making you immortal when paired with a good healer.

This build’s damage production definitely isn’t its main point.  However it still has some decent abilities it can slot to help clear through content.

40% Complete (success)

As many tanks, there’s a lot here to master if you’re trying to be great.  However the DK tank definitely feels easier to pick up than other classes.

40% Complete (success)

Undoubtedly the best PvE tank in the game, this class just has so much raw power in its kit that makes it applicable in any group content in the game.  Solo however, don’t expect to do much.


Beginner Setup

Ultimate Generator

Health Stacker

Resistance Shredder


Refer to the Misc tab to find where to find the sets and where they fit in.

One Hand and Shield – Main Bar

  • Pierce Armor (Taunt & Debuff | morph of Puncture) – A must have as any tank build, this ability places Major Fracture and Breach on the target and Taunts them for 15 seconds.  Keep this up on any target that may pose a threat to your group, or any target you want to take additional damage.  If more than one player uses a Taunt, be careful about casting this too quickly.  If 3 taunts are casted within 15 seconds of each other from two ore more players, the target will become immune to taunt and run amok.

  • Green Dragon Blood (Heal & Buffs | morph of Dragon Blood) – When activated this ability heals you for 33% of your Missing Health, making it a great tool to cast when you get low health.  However, even casting it at full health can help, since it activates a slew of passives.  While active you gain 20% bonus Healing Received (Burning Heart and Minor Vitality), 20% Health Recovery (Major Fortitude), and 20% Stamina Recovery (Major Endurance).  You also get 5% Health Recovery for slotting.

    • If you don’t need healing you can instead run Engulfing Flames (DoT & Debuff | morph of Fiery Breath) to help your group deal 10% more Flame damage to any target you hit.  This is redundant if there is a Magicka Dragonknight in group however.

  • Igneous Shield (Shield & Buff | morph of Obsidian Shield) – Granting you and 5 nearby allies a damage shield that is based off of your Max Health, this shield is increased for yourself to help load off damage.  It also grants you Major Mending for 2.5 seconds (25 % Healing Done) to help heal up in dangerous situations.  On top of this it grants you a small amount of Stamina return every cast (Helping Hands), and procs 3 Ultimate every 6 seconds (Mountain’s Blessing) and grants 24 nearby allies Minor Brutality (5% Weapon Damage).

  • Heroic Slash (Debuff & Buff | morph of Low Slash) – Applying Minor Maim (15% reduced damage dealt by the target you apply to) upon cast for 12 seconds and granting Minor Heroism (1 Ultimate every 1.5 seconds) for 9 seconds, this is a staple ability for any tank.  Place this on targets such as bosses or elites that do a lot of damage to you or your group.

    • If fighting larger groups of enemies, try using Choking Talons (morph of Dark Talons) instead.  This applies Minor Maim and Immobilizes up to 6 enemies instead of only 1.

  • Resolving Vigor (AoE HoT | morph of Vigor) – Even as a tank this ability can help you and your group stay alive.  Especially when paired with Igneous Shield’s Major Mending, this ability comes in clutch.  Cast this whenever you notice you or your allies starting to take a little bit of pressure.

  • [Ultimate] Reviving Barrier (Shield & HoT | morph of Barrier) – A solid passive slot that unlocks 10% additional Magicka Recovery for slotting, it also acts as a last stand ability for up to 6 allies.  Casting it grants a sizable damage shield, and an incredibly potent heal over time.

    • You may also slot Magma Shell (Shield & Damage Mitigation | morph of Magma Armor) if you want an “oh shit” button.  This gives you and 5 nearby allies a damage shield  of 100% of their Max Health.  It also caps most incoming damage on the caster by 3% of their Max Health for 9 seconds, making them incredibly hard to kill.  Keep in mind many one shot mechanics that are intended to be avoided ignore this mitigation.

Destruction Staff (Lightning) – Debuff & Utility Bar

  • Blockade of Elements (AoE DoT | morph of Wall of Elements) – A fantastic ability that will help our enchants proc on either bar, meaning we can have a 100% uptime of Crusher.  This helps group DPS skyrocket.  We use a Lightning Staff so this becomes Lightning Wall so it has an additional chance to proc Concuss and Off Balance.

  • Unrelenting Grip (Pull | morph of Fiery Grip) – An ability that helps the Dragonknight control groups of enemies, and pull in pesky ranged mobs.  If the target has CC immunity or cannot be pulled, this skill has its cost immediately refunded.  It also grants you Major Expedition (30% bonus Movement Speed), helping you reposition or keep up with a boss.

    • Not every fight requires this, so you’re free to treat this as a flex spot.  Efficient Purge (Debuff removal | morph of Purge) – A costly ability that removes 2 negative effects from up to 6 allies and reduces the application of any other debuffs by 50%.  This also grants us a 10% Magicka Recovery bonus from slotting, so even if you aren’t going to use it you can keep it on.

  • Hardened Armor (Buff | morph of Spiked Armor) – This skill grants us Major Ward and Resolve (8% damage mitigation) for 20 seconds and activates our Burning Heart passive (12% Healing Received, does not stack with other sources of this passive), making it very potent for keeping us alive.  It also grants us a damage shield based on 15% of your Max Health for a short bit, and causes melee attackers to take minor Magic damage.  It also grants us 5% Health Recovery for slotting.

  • Deep Breath (AoE Interrupt | morph of Inhale) – A fantastic interrupt ability that hits up to 6 targets in an 8 meters area around us.  Dealing Magic damage upon cast and healing for 100% of the damage it causes, it will detonate again after 2.5 seconds if it hit an enemy.  This is also nice for AoE control in dungeons.  Also grants us 5% Health Recovery for slotting.

    • Not all content requires an AoE interrupt, so you can treat this as a flex spot in some situations.  Cinder Storm (morph of Ash Cloud) can provide a bit of AoE healing in an area where you cast it, making it a decent self preservation choice if you have the room and resources to use it.

  • Inner Rage (Ranged Taunt | morph of Inner Fire) – A very nice ranged taunt ability that also has a high chance of granting our ranged DPS a synergy called Radiate, which does immense damage over time on the target, and then detonates for even more damage in an area after a short while.  If the target is already afflicted with Major Breach and Fracture, try and use this taunt instead to help your group’s damage go up.

  • [Ultimate] Aggressive Horn (Group Buff | morph of War Horn) – Arguably the strongest ultimate in the game, this thing enables so much damage it’s absolutely mind boggling.  Increasing all party members’ stats nearby by 10% (Health, Magicka, AND Stamina) for 30 seconds, and granting everyone 15% more Critical Hit Damage/Modifier for 9.5s at rank IV, this is easy to fail to see the importance.  The main power of Aggressive Horn is the 15% CHD modifier, as it applies to any damage done or healing done, taking the character’s current CHD modifier and adding 15%, offering insane amounts of damage or healing done on crits.  The best groups in the world are able to keep up Major Force (the 15% CHD part) upwards of 60% in 5 minute + fights.  Strive to communicate and keep this up to help melt through content.


Keep in mind this is just a guide line.  There is no perfect setup of Attributes, instead focus on hitting base lines.  You want a minimum of ~18k Stamina, 16k Magicka, and 35k  Health for most Veteran content.  Reach this number from enchants, gear, consumables, and attributes.

Food Options: Tri Stat (Health, Magicka, and Stamina) is definitely the go to food for this build.  You can play with a lot of different things if you’d prefer, but this’ll get you the most for what you need.


Potion Options: “Tri” Healing Potions (Columbine, Mountain Flower, and Bugloss) is definitely ideal with this build, and will allow for fantastic resource management.  You can also build potions with Minor Protection or Major Vitality as well if you need a huge defensive potion, but they can get very pricey.  Experiment as a tank!


Race OptionsThe order for races in terms of holistic power is as follows;

Argonian (best overall performance) > Imperial (solid stat pool) > Nord (decent stats and minor damage mitigation) > Breton (nice Magicka boost and Spell Resistance) > Orc (decent stats and healing received).  Keep in mind as a tank that any race can work, and each offers their own unique advantages.


Mundus Stone Options: If you’re struggling with sustain, try out The Atronach (Magicka Recovery).  The Lord (Increased Max Health) can also work out quite well with making you tankier.


Poisons Or Enchants: 

  • Front Bar; Crusher is the ideal enchant here, offering a great amount of Physical and Spell Reduction to your target, helping your group’s damage skyrocket.

  • Back Bar; Weakening or Absorb Magicka glyphs here.  Weakening offers damage mitigation for the group, while Absorb Magicka helps if you’re struggling with sustain.

Much of CP allocation for tanks is completely preference based, so the below section is not “optimized”, since that term is redundant in this application.

The Mage (Blue)

  • Elemental Expert – 34

  • Elfborn – 100

  • Blessed – 100
  • Spell Erosion – 6

The Thief (Green)

  • Tenacity – 49

  • Arcanist – 49

  • Warlord – 40

  • Sprinter – 33

  • Tumbling – 23 (least important as a tank)

  • Shadow Ward – 56 (this can go higher if you want)

The Warrior (Red)

  • Elemental Defender – 37

  • Hardy – 37

  • Ironclad – 81

  • Thick Skinned – 61

  • Free 34 points

    • Keep in mind that each encounter has its own different damage types.  Some dungeons, trials, or boss encounters don’t deal Physical damage; so Hardy may become useless.  If you’re trying to optimize your mitigation always learn what sort of damage bosses deal, and change your CP accordingly.

Tanking isn’t necessarily about following a rigid rotation, it’s more about reacting to your environment and meeting check marks.  Below will go through the thought process you should enforce in most encounters in the game.

Priority #1) Taunt the scary enemies.  Any enemy that has the potential to do a lot of damage in a short amount of time, is your main focus to taunt.  Usually Mages, Archers, and Two Handed users are the priority targets for taunting.  Elite mobs, and bosses also fall under this category.  Taunt those suckers with Inner Rage or Pierce Armor (15s duration).

Priority #2) Buff up!  You can even do this before you engage in combat.  Make sure things like Major Ward/Resolve are running for damage mitigation (Hardened Armor, 20s) as well as other amplifications like your Burning Heat passive (Dragon Blood, 20s).

Priority #3) Empower your allies, and enfeeble your enemies.  Now that enemies are taunted and you’re buffed, you should be looking to bring utility to your group.  Have a large group of enemies in place for your allies to drop Ultimates on?  Choking Talons them in place to prevent them from running and apply Minor Maim on them (4s).  Debuff a heavy hitting mob with Heroic Slash (12s) for Maim and ultimate generation for yourself (9s).  Cast Igneous Shields to protect your allies during periods of high damage (7s), or throw out some Healing with Vigor (5s).

Times to use your Ultimate) Any time you’re pulling a large group of enemies or a boss you should try and cast Warhorn (30s).  You can also opt to save it for moments when you need resources, or hold onto Magma Shell (9s) for moments where bosses might try to kill your allies.

Set Locations


Where to get;

Requires 3 Researched Traits and crafted at these locations

  • Grahtwood – Temple of the Eight

  • Stormhaven – Fisherman’s Island

  • Deshaan – Berezan’s Mine

How it performs;  This set is meant to offer beginner players a few extra set bonuses without costing too much.  Ease off this set as soon as you’re comfortable.


Fortified Brass

Where to get;

Requires 4 traits to crafted at these locations

  • Clockwork City – The Brass Fortress

How it performs; Offers a solid amount of Spell and Physical Resistance, helping load off damage and reach the 33,000 mitigation cap easier.


Torug’s Pact

Where to get;

Requires 3 Researched Traits and crafted at these locations

  • Grahtwood – Fisherman’s Isle

  • Stormhaven – Hammerdeath Workshop

  • Deshaan – Lake Hlaalu Retreat

How it performs;  When paired with Crushing and Weakening enchants, this offers immense group utility.  One of the better trial tanking setups out there.


Tava’s Favor

Where to get;

Requires 5 Researched Traits and crafted at these locations

  • Hew’s Bane – Forebear’s Junction

How it performs;  If you have access to Major Evasion, or can manage to dodge roll enough, this set offers insane Ultimate generation.  This helps through out more group utility like Aggressive Warhorn.


Monster Sets

Shoulders come from the chests at the Undaunted Enclave.  Helmets drop in their respective dungeons.  Play around with configurations you like.



Where to get;  Comes from treasure vaults inside Imperial City Prison.  Also drops from doing Random Daily Dungeons in the Group Finder.

How it performs;  Mainly meant for beginner players who don’t have access to Jewelrycrafting, or dungeon sets, it won’t help you break any records but it’s a nice and easy to obtain BoE set that will help your survivability.


Plague Doctor

Where to get; Comes from Deshaan overland events such as quests, treasure chests, delves and dungeons, world bosses, and Dolmens.

How it performs;  Adds a huge amount of Max Health, helping us become incredibly hard to take down.  Good for soaking up a lot of damage if you’re newer.


Akaviri Dragonguard

Where to get; Comes from Eastmarch overland events such as quests, treasure chests, delves and dungeons, world bosses, and Dolmens.

How it performs;  Reduces the cost of Ultimates by 15%, helping very expensive ones like Aggressive Warhorn become cheaper, allowing them to be cast more readily.


Aegis of Galanwe

Where to get;  Comes from Normal or Veteran Cloud Rest, the weekly Veteran leaderboards of Cloud Rest, or the weekly coffer inside the raid.

How it performs;  Blocking attacks has a 50% chance to apply Major Empower to 3 allies, giving them a huge boost to Light Attack damage.  When in a trial with a tank in Alkosh and Torug’s, this could  be paired with Ebon on the other tank for the highest damage production for super optimized groups.


Bahraha’s Curse

Where to get; Comes from Hew’s Bane overland events such as quests, treasure chests, delves and dungeons, world bosses, and Dolmens.

How it performs;  Offers immense healing and damage potential when it procs, which thanks to the high proc thresholds, is all the time.  If you want to feel invincible in dungeon content, this is your set.


Roar of Alkosh

Where to get;  Comes from Normal or Veteran Maw of Lorkhaj, weekly Veteran Maw of Lorkhaj trial leaderboards, and the weekly Maw of Lorkhaj trial coffers.

How it performs;  Applies a huge amount of Physical and Spell Reduction to any target in an area after hitting a synergy, this set gives your DPS the largest damage gain in the game as a tank set.  This requires at least two unique synergies in group to get a high up time with, but realistically you want at least 3-4 unique synergies.


Ebon Armory

Where to get; Comes from Normal or Veteran Crypt of Hearts I or II.

How it performs;  Offers a sizable amount of Health to up to 12 party members, making it a perfect tank set in a trial environment to help people die less.  Keep in mind only one person needs to wear this set.

Tips & Tricks

  • The Dragonknight Tank’s main strengths are their immense resource management capabilities and raw utility output.  If you love making your allies stronger and leading the flow of combat, this build is for you.

  • This build is highly reliant on managing a lot of different duration based abilities, I highly recommend familiarizing yourself with the buff tracking system from base game, or an addon if you’re on PC.

  • Your group will be relying on you to keep up powerful status ailments and abilities.  Be keen to take in constructive criticism or high load communication, but don’t forget you can ask for help too!

  • Since there are so many different abilities and sets you can run, be ready to change your bar and gear setups quite a bit!  If you’re on PC I highly recommend looking out for an addon to help do that all quicker.

  • Don’t hesitate to experiment!  If something doesn’t work for you, try something else.  You can always revisit specific interactions or suggestions I’ve referenced when you feel confident.