Sorcerer: Deadric TankIntroduction
This is not a complete build. It still needs minor tweaks and a bit more flexibility on the bar. However it has been tested multiple times now since beta and once refined could be a great build for 1.6 beyond with all the wonderful changes to the deadric summons tree. Please feel free to drop any advice or comments as you see fit!Lore
The idea was simple: You find yourself in a plane of oblivion, your soul ripped from your very being; not everyone walks the hero’s path with their sanity intact. Some heroes go feral, but they bring with them those tiny bits of savory knowledge from their past life. This is in essence what happens when a summoner begins to act like one of their summons…
10 Magicka, 15 Stamina, 37 Health
Argonian (read notes), Imperial, Orsimer, Nord
Main Tanking Bar:
This build is mostly about damage mitigation and keeping as much focus on what you do as the tank. The logic is to aggravate the boss and leave additional mobs to your summons. Even before the ability to order pets around, this worked well enough that just being near the pet would cause a monster to lose interest in other players and simply focus on the tank and his (begrudgingly) loyal summons.Weapon
Sword and Shield is the bread and butter of this build. You get your taunt, extra armor slot, and some nice buffs to keep the badness away. I prefer a weapon with the shielding enchantment and the infused trait. Getting more SR on your shield too is always attractive unless you aren't meeting your armor caps.Ransack
– is the preferred taunting option here for 2 reasons: give yourself an armor boost, and keep major boss agro off your summons. Stamina is rarely a problem with this option if you're only blocking heavy attacks and keep dodge rolling to a minimum.Empowered ward
– This morph believe it or not is preferred over Hardened Ward
because of it’s utility. The bottom line is you’re going to be casting this spell a lot, a lot a lot. It’s usually good enough to absorb a few “light” attacks from a boss or 1 heavy. It also allows you to sneak in a bit more DOT from your summons AND keep them alive so you don’t have to focus on micromanaging them so much. The practical benefits are numerous enough to write an essay, but we’ll just leave this open for Q&A.Summon Clannfear
– This (relatively) little guy will be a lifesaver. It’s true for the sorcerer who isn’t tanking he’s a nuisance, but for one that is you will love him, and so will your group. He soaks up a very surprising amount of damage, he’s not too costly to recast, and he keeps damage off of you if you need to break off for any reason at all! Of all the summon abilities this is the second most important.Summon Twilight Matriarch
– It never did much damage, it goes down like a balloon in a needle factory if focused too much and it’s tricky to re-summon. None of that matters when you are healed from 30% HP to full. Yes you have a healer, and no it’s not something to 90% rely upon; but good positioning (or timely recasting) takes strain off of your healer and provides the sorcerer’s most powerful self-heal.Bound Armaments
– This is the most important spell on your bar. Simply cast and forget. Not much else to say.Summon Greater Storm Atronach
– Still feeling lonely out there with only 2 pets? Drop a third! This is where Empowered Ward shines through again as it boosts the big guy’s damage even more. That may not mean much as a tank, but keep in mind that incinerate passive DOES work on your summons. There are several good reasons to keep him on your tank bar though, to name just a few: You can drop him on over whelmed team mates to stun additional monsters, add a bit of dps and soak up agro (1.6).Alternate Tank load out:
As a recent addition, there are some times (hard to believe) where you just don’t want your summons out, or maybe you’d be happy with just the Clannfear. Here is my own personal recommendation.Puncture/Inner Fire
– You may at times want both of these for those bosses which have no adds but need to be kited or you can’t get too close to and need to simple “shout them down” from afar. Either way, so long as you get agro when you need to hold it one of these should obviously always be on the bar.Thundering Presence
– Is everywhere and for good reason. The only reason it’s not on the primary bar is because the of the Winged Twilight. Make no mistake though, if you feel you can keep up a buff and a shield feel free to change her out. That being said once casted this spell should max out your armor if you are already running Bound Armaments.Summon Clannfear/Encase
– This is more of a play style/situational decision. Sometimes you want to wait for the right moment to drop your poor Clannfear into a pool of mobs, other times you want to just exorcise crowd control. Either option will buy you roughly the same amount of time, the only difference is ranged enemies can’t be deterred by encase, but they can be distracted by the Clannfear. Choose wisely.Structured Entrophy
– It heals you, does damage over time, and is incredibly cheap to cast. If you have the space, there isn’t a reason not to have it.
Bound Armaments – Once again unless you go ranged DPS or something silly it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever not want this on your bar. Not to mention that as a Summoning Tank you want to take advantage of all the passives the tree offers and no spell last longer or puts in more work than this one. Not to mention that heavy attack bonus plus a little light attack weaving between blocks isn’t hurtful to your entrophy.Bound Armaments
– It can never be stressed enough how important this spell is. Sure there are times where you can get around it but use it for a while and you'll miss it more than you'll want it off the bar. This also frees you up to not always have 5 heavy armor pieces or more on at any time.Negate Magic
- Either of these morphs is fine, it just depends on what you use them for and possibly what your racial/active passives are. This is just another great utility spell to have on the bar, but since you aren't DPS it will take a long time to fill up so if another sorc in your party wants to run it, don't volunteer over them.Final Notes:
My personal experience with this build stemmed from how I reacted when I read the original racial passives in beta. I knew I wanted to play an Argonian, and I knew I wanted to have the option
to cast spells. Pretty much like every other ES game. Logically though the Amphibious
and Quick to Mend
struck me as very "tanky" passives more so than simply 'bonus health'. It seems to me that since you're going to get a ton of healing thrown your way, why not make it count more? Also I took Alchemy as my consumable crafting trade so this just worked out even better. Lastly, sorcerers are severely lacking in self heals; but hey every class needs a weakness right? Right?
I’m going to hold off on adding my own personal DPS bars because I’m still tweaking those heavily. I’m not as deep into PVP as I’d like to be and PVE has been pretty interesting (I take on world bosses/dolmens my own level or a bit higher by myself without having to use my tank bar. With my tank bar they are just kinda too easy). That being said I’ve gone level 1 - VR1 Two-Handed (prefer axes/maces) but took up the staff at VR1.5 to see if I could make it work even with my low magicka. Surprisingly my dps has been good enough for solo PVE but I still feel I could do better as ranged DPS in group PVE. Either way, I will hold on to these bars because I’m still not sure if I prefer to use my 2H for AOE and staff for single target or vice versa. It seems like 1.6 will give me a significant buff though as I aimed to keep crit out of my damage equation (I know I’m crazy, but like I said it works for solo PVE, and pen/spell power seems to be getting buffed in 1.6 so…. Yeah).
Thank you for reading this all the way, and feel free to tear my build apart and tell me how (but most importantly why!) it sucks/rocks.