Hey TF Community!
I wanted to post my latest tank build T3 Reborn. This one is what I used on ESO Live last Friday so hopefully you’ll enjoy!
Full build is on my site: http://deltiasgaming.com/2014/11/06/eso-dragonknight-tank-build-t3-reborn/
The previous version of T3 can be found HERE.
The T3 build has manifested into a self-sustaining oasis of tanking awesomeness. I wanted to create a tank that could not only hold enemies attention, control the environment, but one that is self reliant as well. You’re not going to replace the healer anytime soon, though when one goes down you can stay alive for a very long time giving yourself an advantage over other builds.
The character I’m using for this build is Deltia. He’s a mean looking Nord with the defensive passives to boot. I decided to go back to Werewolf (WW) with the new changes in patch 1.5. More passive stamina and ultimate generation equals better tanking. Ideally, you can morph and change this build as you see fit, but that racial combination with WW seems best for a front line tank.
Like all builds, you strengthen one thing only to sacrifice another. The main thing you want is a sturdy tank, but one that can do more than hold block and swing once every 30 seconds. The down side is, you’re not going to top the charts in DPS and you can’t provide secondary healing. Your role is to survive and keep pressure away from your team and T3 excels at that.
+ Tough as a nails
+ Self sufficient
+ Resource management
– Lacking damage
Bar One | Sword and Shield
“Lock and block!” Bar one is where we spend most of our time tanking. Generally, you’ll be blocking, keep up buffs and taunts while maintaining aggro on mobs. You can also self heal and control the crowd (CC) so if worst comes to worst, you can almost do everything within this bar alone.
Volatile Armor (morph Spiked Armor | Draconic Power skill line) – Yes I have Razor Armor in the picture but I just went back. I like the Volatile Armor morph for the obvious reasons and one subtle one. It buffs our armor, returns physical damage AND does and AoE damage on cast. While that AoE doesn’t hit very hard and look spectacular, it does generate a decent amount of ultimate throughout the fight. So when in a group or even opening a fight, try to pop this to get a ultimate boost.
Pierce Armor (morph of Puncture | One Hand and Shield skill line) – The standard taunt with the spell resistance debuff. I’m honestly not a huge fan of massive armor but I am a fan of killing things quickly. This does the latter and helps the DPS burn down bosses quickly. Key to this is to taunt the highest priority target on you and to not use this as a replacement DPS tool. Taunt and debuff, but don’t spam.
Burning Talons (morph of Dark Talons | Draconic Power skill line) – Our main crowd control ability that comes with a high magicka cost. This doesn’t control bosses nor flying mobs, but does work on about everything else. Not to mention Talons does a combination of physical and spell damage which can rack up a steady stream of ultimate. Watch your casting because you’ll be out of magicka quickly and also keep a reserve for a emergency Green Dragon Blood.
NOTE: In a single boss fight that can’t be CC’d, you may want to swap this out for another debuff. An example would be the final boss in City of Ash or Dragonstar Arena. Typically a better ability would be Deep Slash to prevent more damage and lighten the load on the healer.
Absorb Magic (morph of Defensive Posture | One Hand and Shield skill line) – I’ve tried both morphs and Absorb Magic seems superior because it works on all mobs and provides self healing via stamina. You can replace this ability on bosses that can be reflected with Reflective Scales, though the passive block reduction and mitigation are had to pass up.
Green Dragon Blood (morph of Dragon Blood | Draconic Power skill line) – What can you say about the blood of titans? Well, it’s amazing. Keep the buff up for massive health and stamina regeneration and an emergency heal. I typically only use this under 30% since it scales off the amount of health LOST and the amount that you have. You should be the tanky beating heart DK so when you stop seeing that, make sure you cast it ASAP.
[Ultimate] Pack Leader (morph of Werewolf Transformation | World Werewolf skill line) – I’m back to howling and loving it! They slightly buffed the ultimate generation of the WW via Blood Rage. Now for merely having this on my bar I generate six ultimate every three seconds while taking damage. I consider this a must for serious tanks because our ultimate generation is lacking. I rarely use this to morph into a WW since it’s hard to hold aggro as a rabbited beast (though it does look sweet). The only time I’d suggest using it is for a massive resource boost via the a Earthen Heart passive Battle Roar. Hit the ability, get resources back then hit your ultimate again to morph bank into your normal tank form.
Bar Two | Destruction Staff
Everyone needs to do some form of damage. Everyone. That’s what bar two is for. This has our range taunt, a pull, and some buffs. Consider rotating to bar two when pulling in mobs, buffing, and burn or DPS boss phases. Be careful not to get one-shot since you’re not using Sword/Shield.
Extended Chains (morph of Fiery Grip | Ardent Flame skill line) – The ONLY class with a decent pull, “chain them and bang’em.” I consider this a must for trash pulls or Dragonstar Arena. Watch your magicka as you can blow through it fast. Also, do your best not to pull a wondering rabbit
You can swap this ability out on single target boss fights that can’t be pulled. A good alternate ability is Fragment Shield (morph of Obsidian Shield). This procs a 800 damage shield that does damage. Plus you can help your healer via the 400 HP shield on nearby allies.
Inner Beast (morph of Inner Fire | Undaunted skill line) – Our range taunt that should be saved for an opener or red circle crazy death time. There WILL be a time where you can’t reach the target for a Pierce Armor. Switch to bar two, BLOCK and cast. And tell your allies STOP using that dang synergy. It’s a DPS and HPS loss so when you see “Radiate” don’t click it.
Cinder Storm (morph of Ash Cloud | Earthen Heart skill line) – I love me some Storm. Miss chance, damage and snare. Consider this marking our spot as a tank. Keep the boss in this area along with Hist Bark passive and you’ll be saving massive stamina and you’re healer precious magicka.
Pulsar (morph of Impulse | Destruction Staff skill line) – “OMG Pulsar you’re such a noob!” I love Elemental Ring as much as the next PvP meatball spamming Fire Ring and bats. BUT the HP debuff that I can provide is powerful one. Some suggest that this stacks with different elements for a 30% HP loss (lighting, frost, fire). Now image fighting that 200k HP boss with 140k HP. As I tank, casting this every 30 second isn’t hard to maintain and can really help the overall team.
Igneous Weapons (morph of Molten Weapons | Earthen Heart skill line) – I consider this a mandatory Dragonknight group ability. If you bring in a DK as healer, tank, red circle lover, anything they need to keep this up. Plus it builds ultimate out of combat via the Earthen Heart passive Mountain’s Blessing. So while listening to your raid leaders 15 minute monolog on boss tactics that you’ll forget within five seconds of fighting, keep casting this until you have enough for a big dog ultimate.
[Ultimate] Standard of Might (morph of Dragonknight Standard | Ardent Flame skill line) – “STANDARD ON ME!” This is T3’s battle cry, war call, or Horker horn. Damage reduction, beast mode damage, and restores resources I consider this a must have. For extremely challenging fights, I do swap this out for Magma Shell (morph of Magma Armor). For level 10 of DSA, I’ll pop this on the fire phase and do a gangster walk through the fire laughing. Though 90% of the time Standard is a better choice.
But what would a Deltia build be without phat loots? Let’s check out what keep this monster rolling.
GOAL = 3,200 health > Armor soft cap > stamina, magicka and health near soft cap > stamina
The idea here is to be tough but not totally dependent on the healer. For that we need a lot of health and resource generation. Some of these sets, gear, glyphs, etc take a long time to get so be patient.
Armor Weight – 5/2 split (5 light 2 heavy) gives me the resource generation I need to cast spells and keep up buffs/debuffs. With Green Dragon Blood skill and my gear I can completely avoid medium armor or the five piece heavy passive for blocking. Thus this tanking setup does more than your standard Blocknight that isn’t capable of anything else but mindless blocking. That ain’t how we tank!
Engine Guardian – This is a brand new set that just dropped. It gives 12 health recovery and a Dwemer Sphere proc. Not only does this sphere look incredible, it is a complete game changer for resource management and at two pieces a must have. I found the Shoulders on the last boss in Darkshade Cavern and the Helm from a purple key for the Undaunted dailies.
Hist Bark – This crafted set provides some great bonuses, but the five piece dodge chance really helps out our stamina. Since enemies have a high miss chance with this and Cinder Storm, yet another way to avoid medium armor or five pieces of heavy.
Dominion’s – This set can be obtained from Cyrodiil via mail or bought with Alliance Points. Stamina recovery for two pieces while I’m tanking. This is a no brainer for me when combined with constant Green Dragon Blood nearly soft caps my stamina regeneration without using a single piece of medium armor.
Footman’s – I had some leftover jewelry from Dragonstar Arena and I put it good use providing a decent stat boost for three pieces.
Traits – You want the most out of your stats via infused on large pieces plus the divines for the Mundus Stone. We can’t change the drop sets, but they are generally okay not amazing.
Mundus Stone – I rock the Atronach on this build for big time magicka regeneration. With all of these passives, abilities, and gear I can hold nearly all resources at soft cap. I can block, cast, dodge, heal where other tanks can’t. T3 FTW.
I could make a spreadsheet saying at this very second use X, Y, or Z, but that never works. You need to focus on priories rather than a stagnate ineffective series of skills. This is what I focus on.
Neutralizing the most deadly enemy – ESO doesn’t allow for a one-button mashing tank that pulls all the mobs. So we’re going to have to find the most deadly one. This is typically obvious with the giant spider boss or a towering troll. Only taunt what you can handle. If that’s a boss and two adds, great. If not, you’ll run out of stamina, get knocked down and die. You can’t take everything but you can lock down slow, stun, and irritate those little NPCs.
Interrupts – I’ve noticed that most tanks don’t interrupt. You know, the big circle telegraphed icon above the enemies head. Sometimes it’s three seconds, sometimes it’s a split second. Either way, our responsibility is to stop that deadly cast that can make our break our boss run.
Buffs – Another responsibility is to keep our buffs and debuffs up for mitigation and added DPS. Bar one has most of our buffs, but wait for a time when your healer is ready so you can swap bars and use bar two’s buffs quickly. Adding a Cinder Storm or Igneous Weapons here and there can have a major impact on the overall groups performance over time.
Damage – “Wannnn I’m a tank I don’t need to DPS.” BS, everyone needs to do some type of damage. I do this two ways, the typical Impulse (Pulsar) spam and/or dropping my Dragonknight Standard when needed. My problem is I try to do too much DPS and forget priorities one, two, and three. If the boss is at one percent, everyone’s dead, you can’t block the boss to death.
For those that love scripted actions, here’s what I normally do.
Bar two – buff Igneous Weapons, range taunt, bar swap
Bar one – buff Armor, Blood, and Absorb Magic taunt, now wait
I use Talons on a large group, potion, then bar swap for Cinder Storms
Now it’s priority mode watching, waiting, and surviving
I’ve been getting a lot of questions about early on leveling, builds in so forth. I know it’s hard to play T3 at level 17, but you just have to do what works until you can.
From levels 1-15, I almost always go with a Restoration Staff. I can do damage via my class abilities so I don’t have to rely on non-class skill lines. With Healing Springs alone, I can take on nearly anything until I get my second bar.
15-Green Dragon Blood, I pretty much Resto/Destro until I get Green Dragon Blood. You can do a million different things, but you need to be able to have some healing while soloing around and Healing Springs is a simple cost effective heal. Destro fire staff on a Dk is just two powerful not to wield and light up enemies left and right. Everything about this class changes once you get Green Dragon Blood (GDB).
Post GDB, now we have two bars unlocked plus the mac daddy of self-heals. No more staff and a skirt. Time to rock some light and heavy combo and go sword and shield. At this point, you’ll really start to feel powerful and defensive. Until then, it’s very hard since you can’t heal yourself.
Now go grind Craglon and get that lowbie to VR 14 and join me questing for the Queen. Thanks for reading and I look forward to your feedback.