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Royal Poet's Guide to Traditional Tanking in Veteran Dungeons

BejaProphet
BejaProphet
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Introduction: Welcome to Boot Camp

How do I tank and really get the job done? What do I do if I'm not just queuing as a tank to skip long que times? What if I really like the idea of tanking, I seriously want to do well? How do I build my character? More importantly, when I'm in the dungeon, what exactly do I do to be successful? What even determines what a successful tank is?

If you are asking these questions then strap in, my man! We are about lay a foundation for greatness. We aren't going to accept anything less from you.

Most tanks in eso are in one of two ditches: (or you are just now dreaming of tanking and haven't had a chance to get into one of these ditches)

1. They are a fortress of tankness and the mobs weep over the task of attempting to kill them, yet if there were perfectly honest they feel useless in 90% of the content. Unless there is a monster that can cave in mountains so that they can show off their tankiness they aren't sure what their purpose is. But the real rub is that they have a terrifying suspicion that the role of tank is completely unneeded in ESO outside of trials. So they walk around with an inferiority complex complaining about game design. To cement their fears, elite DPS laugh about tanks and actually tell them that they aren't even needed in all but a few dungeons. Well chin up little fellow! I'm going to show you how to be the most important person in the fight, every fight, every mob, every dungeon, from big nasty bosses to the most random of trash packs!

2. The second group finds themselves trying to build a hybrid tank/dps so that they can be more useful. They are very excited and certain that they are the greatest thing that could grace a group casual gaming peasants, and could even be hitting 10k+ DPS as they lead the charge! Nice parses, pal! Heck, they are probably singing "You're Welcome!" from Moana while they run the dungeon. But aside from the way the hardest content treats you like a rag doll, the real problem is your group never pulls their weight, am I right? PUG after PUG your damage dealers are a pile of crap, and you probably laugh and joke with your friends about how you out do their damage half the time, ya? I know, its like I'm reading your mail. What if I told you there is a common denominator in all your groups? Yeah, I'm going to let you in on something every person in your group but you knows. The reason your group's DPS sucks is because of you. You aren't carrying your group, you are killing your group. You've sacrificed The Job, for your own personal parsing goals.

Both these groups of tanks, no matter how great the difference may seem, struggle because they don't understand the job of tanking. Well to be fair, some of them don't care about The Job, they just want faster group finder times. But I'm talking about the ones of you who are serious about being a tank. You wish you knew why this wasn't working and bit by bit you are starting to assume the problem is ZOS.

So here is what this guide is going to cover, in general and then a summary of the sections. First, there are always, no matter what role you choose, three aspects of being good. 1.) Build 2.) Skill using your particular build. 3.) Knowledge of the specific content you are playing. This guide is going to be about the first two. I'm not going to give you a build though, you didn't want treated like a baby, right? No, I'm going to teach you the WHY's of builds. And then you get to be a big boy, or lady, and decide how you want to get The Job done. We are going to talk about "skill." By skill, I mean the exact job you as a tank are trying to do, and exactly how to get it done. We will not talk about number three. We won't cover specific dungeons. Though you need to understand that knowing the dungeon will be a real component of tanking well and you should consult sources and learn from experience. @xynode has a really fun video dungeon guide library he is building. But there are plenty out there.

Section breakdown:
Part 1: Understanding The Job of Tanking. Getting firm in your mind what you are trying to do.
Part 2: Going above and beyond. How do I add to the group's damage in a big way?
Part 3: Getting ridiculously tough. Time to put the tank back into tanking.
Part 4: Getting off the regen crack. Why striving for high mana regen is killing your potential. (yeah, this one will *** people off)

HEADS UP: There is now a giant additional section in post 22 (I think) of this thread.

This is a guide to "traditional" tanking. Some of you guys come up with crazy unorthodox builds and you still get The Job done. I respect that. As long as you do the job well, you and I are friends. But this guide will be on making what most of us think about when we think an MMO tank. And I believe following these principles will out perform the outside of the box builds ultimately.

I'll be making some place holder posts for each of these sections and then adding the content. Stay tuned...
Edited by BejaProphet on June 30, 2018 7:23PM
  • xynode
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    very interesting indeed, and of course thank you for the mention! :)
  • erlewine
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    unfortunately all the effective health stuff doesn't matter much because everything in the game can be tanked very easily with a support build. a tanks job on harder fights in the game is to basically be able to keep themselves alive without much intervention needed, debuff the boss, and buff the group. why stack super high defense when you can easily do this with less and a support set?

    tanking in this game isn't quite like tanking in other games. it's not like everquest where you are getting smashed for 80% of your health every second. i assure you, there is a reason why the top tier tanks in the game build and play the way they do - and it's not because of a misunderstanding
    eisley the worst
  • BejaProphet
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    @erlewine Thanks for taking the time to read something so extremely long.

    First, I'm certainly not saying we do something like go out and stack sets like eternal warrior and armor master. I wear Alkosh and Ebon armory. And while I do not personally use it, I do recommend Lord Warden as the first place a new tank look. (For personal reasons I wear a non optimal monster set.) What I am suggesting is not so very far away from the current meta. It mostly just impacts little tweaks.

    But yes, from listening to some of the best tanks. I truly think many of them miss this whole concept of effective health. I chose to use minor protection as my example for a very specific reason. I've heard many top end trial tanks say that minor protection is LESS valuable for a tank because of diminishing returns on mitigation. So I tried to show that they are completely backwards because things like minor protection have an INCREASED value because of being a tank.

    Minor protection is going to give ~8.7% increase to effective health, no matter what your effective health is. (Previous Effective health / 0.92= 1.087*prevEffecHealth). So who will that boost more? The higher your effective health the higher the 8.7% of that health will be. That is not complicated math. It is not theoretical. The mitigation in this game compounds on its self becoming more and more valuable. And yes, from many many statements by end game tanks in this game, I think the majority of them are completely unaware of the math behind this, or the implications of the math haven't sunk in.

    Now all that being said. Yes, there is certainly a point where you should stop stacking tankyness and instead get your group support. Get the Alkosh/or other group boosting set.

    EDIT NOTE: My real point in that section of the guide is to say that we must get our effective health high enough to set us free from Perma blocking, shield spamming, spamming self heals, and all the endless active defense actions so that we can be free to do our jobs. Because in veteran dungeons we have a lot of things we should be doing other than trying to keep ourselves alive.
    Edited by BejaProphet on June 8, 2018 12:38PM
  • TankHealz2015
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    Wow, fantastic read.

    I always play a tank and this was very helpful.

    Thanks!
  • AcadianPaladin
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    I'm still fairly new to tanking and my Imperial DK main tank is pretty in line with Woeler's stuff. Your reasoning and explanations for your views are superbly (and entertainingly) presented. You've given my Seducer-wearing with 1700 mag regen much to think about. Thank you!
    PC NA (PvE)
  • BejaProphet
    BejaProphet
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    @TankHealz2015 @AcadianPaladin

    Thanks for the encouragement! And I'm very glad it was helpful. And for the record I'm not so much a turd as the guide would suggest. I was actually trying to make such a long read a little more entertaining by writing from a little outside my normal personality.
  • idk
    idk
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    @erlewine Thanks for taking the time to read something so extremely long.

    First, I'm certainly not saying we do something like go out and stack sets like eternal warrior and armor master. I wear Alkosh and Ebon armory. And while I do not personally use it, I do recommend Lord Warden as the first place a new tank look. (For personal reasons I wear a non optimal monster set.) What I am suggesting is not so very far away from the current meta. It mostly just impacts little tweaks.

    But yes, from listening to some of the best tanks. I truly think many of them miss this whole concept of effective health. I chose to use minor protection as my example for a very specific reason. I've heard many top end trial tanks say that minor protection is LESS valuable for a tank because of diminishing returns on mitigation. So I tried to show that they are completely backwards because things like minor protection have an INCREASED value because of being a tank.

    Minor protection is going to give ~8.7% increase to effective health, no matter what your effective health is. (Previous Effective health / 0.92= 1.087*prevEffecHealth). So who will that boost more? The higher your effective health the higher the 8.7% of that health will be. That is not complicated math. It is not theoretical. The mitigation in this game compounds on its self becoming more and more valuable. And yes, from many many statements by end game tanks in this game, I think the majority of them are completely unaware of the math behind this, or the implications of the math haven't sunk in.

    Now all that being said. Yes, there is certainly a point where you should stop stacking tankyness and instead get your group support. Get the Alkosh/or other group boosting set.

    EDIT NOTE: My real point in that section of the guide is to say that we must get our effective health high enough to set us free from Perma blocking, shield spamming, spamming self heals, and all the endless active defense actions so that we can be free to do our jobs. Because in veteran dungeons we have a lot of things we should be doing other than trying to keep ourselves alive.

    Health is not the issue with Perma-blocking tanks in PvE, it is not knowing the mechanics to know when one can drop block.

    As for the rest, how doe Minor Protection increase effective health by ~8%? It does not truly reduce damage by 8%, maybe 4% if we are lucky. It is really the same reason Footman is a poor set to use.

    Personally, I did not read the entire set of posts, TLDR and much ad lib vs getting to the point.
    Really, idk
  • BejaProphet
    BejaProphet
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    idk wrote: »
    @erlewine Thanks for taking the time to read something so extremely long.

    First, I'm certainly not saying we do something like go out and stack sets like eternal warrior and armor master. I wear Alkosh and Ebon armory. And while I do not personally use it, I do recommend Lord Warden as the first place a new tank look. (For personal reasons I wear a non optimal monster set.) What I am suggesting is not so very far away from the current meta. It mostly just impacts little tweaks.

    But yes, from listening to some of the best tanks. I truly think many of them miss this whole concept of effective health. I chose to use minor protection as my example for a very specific reason. I've heard many top end trial tanks say that minor protection is LESS valuable for a tank because of diminishing returns on mitigation. So I tried to show that they are completely backwards because things like minor protection have an INCREASED value because of being a tank.

    Minor protection is going to give ~8.7% increase to effective health, no matter what your effective health is. (Previous Effective health / 0.92= 1.087*prevEffecHealth). So who will that boost more? The higher your effective health the higher the 8.7% of that health will be. That is not complicated math. It is not theoretical. The mitigation in this game compounds on its self becoming more and more valuable. And yes, from many many statements by end game tanks in this game, I think the majority of them are completely unaware of the math behind this, or the implications of the math haven't sunk in.

    Now all that being said. Yes, there is certainly a point where you should stop stacking tankyness and instead get your group support. Get the Alkosh/or other group boosting set.

    EDIT NOTE: My real point in that section of the guide is to say that we must get our effective health high enough to set us free from Perma blocking, shield spamming, spamming self heals, and all the endless active defense actions so that we can be free to do our jobs. Because in veteran dungeons we have a lot of things we should be doing other than trying to keep ourselves alive.

    Health is not the issue with Perma-blocking tanks in PvE, it is not knowing the mechanics to know when one can drop block.

    As for the rest, how doe Minor Protection increase effective health by ~8%? It does not truly reduce damage by 8%, maybe 4% if we are lucky. It is really the same reason Footman is a poor set to use.

    Personally, I did not read the entire set of posts, TLDR and much ad lib vs getting to the point.

    I explain in detail how it does so, but here is the cliff note version.

    Effective health= The raw unmitigated damage a mob must throw at you to kill you.

    Example: If I have 20k health and I have a total of 33.3% mitigation. Then the monster must do 30k damage prior to mitigation to kill me. Because I will mitigate one third of it.

    You calculate effective health by dividing your actual health by the fraction of the damage getting through your mitigation.

    In our example this would mathematically be represented as 20,000 / 0.667 = 30,000

    This works cumulatively for each source of mitigation you have, each time working on the previously calculated effective health.

    Now for minor protection

    The fraction of damage getting past that 8% mitigation is 0.92.

    Formula would be: PreviousCumulativeEffectiveHealth / 0.92= New effective health.

    That turns out to be about 8.7% increase in effective health.

    You can see that by see what it does to a flat 100.

    100 / 0.92 = 108.69565


    Here is the take away. The higher your effective health, the higher the benefit from a % increase to it. Tanks have higher effective health. So minor protection benefits them more.
  • pat_thetic
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    Very well thought out and well put! Let the nay sayers nay. Sure the top tier tanks mentioned can sacrifice a bit of "tankiness" for means of more group support, as they are "top tier" but as you mention enjoying pugging dungeons and the more difficult ones at that, I'd say this is spot on the kind of support upcoming tanks need to look at opposed to the end game geared tanks. It's great to aspire to want to be end game worthy and namedropped with the likes of Liofa, but the ambition must first be there and this my man, is a great stepping stone I believe for those that would like to look at tanking more seriously and hopefully stop the QQ and plague of non tanks opting for the role to get through the queues faster. Awesome job!
  • TankHealz2015
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    Tank "meta" questions (sincere questions):

    I totally understand the powerful group benefit of Ebon Armory set. Good tank stats and good group stats. win/win.

    but... why is the second set preferred for the tank to wear Roar of Alkosh / Torug's Pact?

    Both of these sets are perfect as a second set for a melee DPS. Are there no melee DPS in Vet HM Trials (only ranged?)?

    (with so many DPS in a trials run, surely one of them could run these sets as a second set?)

    Roar of Alkosh and Torug's Pact are great, but.... if a melee DPS wore them instead, then the tank could slot one of these other great TANK SETS:


    note: obviously these secondary sets would be jewelry/weapons (not body pieces)

    Hand of Mephala = AoE snare and AoE minor fracture

    A Warden tank could slot: Knightmare = AoE minor maim (larger AoE than DK talons skill)

    Twilight Remedy: minor aegis (5% less damage from trial monsters) and every time someone hits my talons synergy, they get minor force (+12% crit damage) --- DK spamming talons and a melee DPS activating the synergy...

    Brands of the Imperium: grants a powerful AoE damage shield on allies -combined with CP points, this is quite a powerful shield... and if someone else (off tank?) slots Warhorn, than main tank could also slot the Barrier ulti --- for double dose of shielding.

    Akavari Dragonguard: reduced ultimate cost! combined with Bloodspawn is really tight ulti uptime.

    note: Imperium + Dragonguard + Bloodspawn = super awesome when running PUG dungeons.. non-stop damage shields for the group: undaunted bone shield, DK igneous shield, barrier ulti shield, and Imperium shield - PUG groups love it.

    Powerful Assault: grant allies +weapon power

    Meritorious Service: grant allies +3k physical and spell resist for 2 MINUTES (wow 2 minutes buff !!!) and it stacks with minor and major buffs

    Livewire: (my personal favorite) AoE concussion (off balance)

    Sanctuary: and interesting option -- entire group will get +12% healing received! Huge!



    That is a lot of variety and options.

    If you were going to build your perfect Vet HM Trials team and select the primary, secondary, and monster sets for each member --- wouldn't you rather a melee DPS slot the Roar of Alkosh and Torug's Pact and have the Tank (s) slots one of these other great options?

    note: i play as a DK tank and never played a DPS or Healer. I have tanked many normal and vet trials and off-tanked some Vet HM Trials.. but not any of the newer ones...


    Please, looking for sincere discussion/ explanations.

    Thanks!!!!
  • BejaProphet
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    The shortest answer is simply that the trial team will have the highest group DPS doing it that way.


    But I suspect you want to know why this is the case. Its a combination of facts really.

    1.) With 12 organized people, all the "normal buffs" are covered with just a little planning. By normal buffs I mean all the buffs that are found within the Major/Minor buffing system that ESO contains. Because of this, buffs that are "outside" that system are seen as unique and incredible valuable. For example, the +10% damage from all flame sources on engulfing flames is highly prized. Not because it is more powerful than the major/minor buffs, but rather because it is something else that can be added on top of the major minor buffs. The point is, Alkosh must be included for maximum trial DPS. You can not leave such a unique buff behind. This is true for trials in a way its not true for dungeons. Because in a trial, you are boosting the DPS of 8 dedicated damage dealers. So Alkosh must be used.

    2.) Who is going to use it? This is answered by what gives the team the highest total DPS. What will give the team the highest DPS? The tank is able to survive wearing it, so the tank is an option.

    Damage Dealer wearing it means they loose personal DPS while helping the other damage dealers.

    Tank wearing it means that only the tank's personal DPS suffers while helping EVERY damage dealer do more DPS. And in trials, tanks literally spec for ZERO personally damage, so there is no cost.

    This is pretty much the whole story. Most DPS for the team that way.
  • Noldornir
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    Hello Bejaprophet, we met on another thread and I found this awesome one u made.

    Especially sets discussion 'cause IMHO some "musts" are "must" only depending on what you are doing (Ebon and alkosh scales real good with 12 ppl not so much with 4; on normal Trials 1k life for group is not so necessary and so on).

    I've tried many sets and some works good when combined or in some specific situation (I use resilient yokeda on last boss in Vdsa for instance cause it allows me to heal 10k or so when tanking the 4 bosses alone for instance greatly reducing the need for cure/shields and thus making it a piece of cake; the extra resistances are good since there's no healer casting cokmbat prayer on me and i'm too far away to give benefits to the team with alkosh/Ebon).

    Only question are you sure about that calculator?

    It gives me strange returns if I play with it.

    I migh be wrong but AFAIK the only way to get a reduction greater than 100% is possible only if your damage shield is bigger than the initial hit.

  • BejaProphet
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    @Nodornir

    Almost all the calculating I do is with the calculator on my phone. So I'm confident concerning the times I used it for this guide. Are there some combinations on it which you can click that will make it bug out? Perhaps, I don't know.

    In my guide, I really really did not want to try to tell people you must have certain sets. I wanted to teach what we were trying to do as a tank and then let people pick the sets for the job. But since you bring them up, I'll explain my thinking behind the two sets I use.

    Ebon/Alkosh. They do have a diminished value in 4 man content. Particularly Alkosh. I still am persuaded that Ebon is extremely valuable.

    Ebon Armory This set in my opinion is best in slot for a tank. First, I am persuaded that a tank needs to have one major health boosting set. You can not be tanky in the way I described in this thread without a respectable max health. Because all the progressive mitigation I described functions as a multiplier to max health. Effective health = Max health / fraction of damage getting through.

    Of the big max health boosting sets, only Ebon Armory contributes to the various tasks the tank is trying to accomplish. It raises the threshold for what will one-shot your team mates. And while it is not a tremendous amounts, it is part of a combination that is extremely effective. For my DK that combo is heroic slash+ebon armory+igneous shields. The combination raises the one shot threshold a tremendous amount.

    So...I'm for sure picking a max health boosting set, Ebon Armory is the only one helping me to do my job. Ebon Armory is what I choose. But I'm more interested in people seeing how my understanding of the tank role is determining that. I want a very high effective health so I can be focused on doing my job rather than surviving, and I want to protect my group by increasing one shot threshold. Therefore, I choose Ebon Armory.

    Roar of Alkosh

    The value of this set is greatly diminished in 4 man content. This is because in a trial it is buffing the DPS of so many people that it becomes not only best in slot but a virtual requirement.

    In a dungeon its boosting far less people, and other choices become competitive. So I do not think dungeon tanks should stress all that much about whether they have Alkosh. First of all, your biggest contribution to the groups DPS is going to be in how your control the fight in keeping the fight stacked and keeping the fight still. Even after that Alkosh is only a part of how you debuff the monsters. And even then you could run powerful assault and make up for well over half of what you are missing from Alkosh (probably). So don't overly stress Alkosh in dungeons.

    That being said, I still think it is probably my favorite choice. It helps me continue to have a high passive DPS contribution to the group, thus letting me to happily contribute to group DPS while remaining 100% focused on tanking.

    But Alkosh does not have the same "must have" status in a dungeon.

    Edit note: Corrected the math formula in this post.
    Edited by BejaProphet on June 20, 2018 12:34PM
  • Sophocles1
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    Wow.....
    A lot to take in here For a beginner tank but amazingly helpful. I wonder if you’d be willing to map out an appropriate build with attributes and skills to develop along the way? I have been backwards engineering from some of the more popular build sites and they seem to be doing different things than The Job. I haven’t for instance seen caltrops In any of those builds I am working toward. But I definitely want to be the kind of think you described, so any DK Leveling advice appreciated!
    Edited by Sophocles1 on June 29, 2018 9:25PM
  • BejaProphet
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    I'll shoot you a private message later when I have a bit more time. It will probably be tomorrow. I'm not wanting this thread to turn into a, "here is the exact build you should use." My hope is to give people an understanding of what they should be trying to do, and a general guide to what type of choices facilitate that. But I'm happy to get into more recommendations in another venue.
  • Sophocles1
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    I'll shoot you a private message later when I have a bit more time. It will probably be tomorrow. I'm not wanting this thread to turn into a, "here is the exact build you should use." My hope is to give people an understanding of what they should be trying to do, and a general guide to what type of choices facilitate that. But I'm happy to get into more recommendations in another venue.

    Awesome, thanks!
  • BejaProphet
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    @Sophocles1

    As I think through what to say to help you, I've realized it could possibly help others, so I'm changing my mind and I'm going to post in the actual thread.

    Disclaimer 1: He has asked about it as a DK, so some of the advice here will be DK specific.
    Disclaimer 2: Every word of this assumes a person is aiming for what I describe in this guide, if you are not aiming for that then there are no right or wrongs on these things.


    Advice Tid-Bit 1: Appreciate where you are

    At level 35 it is very difficult to truly make a "build." This is because you are constantly out leveling your gear. That's ok, you can still be tanking and learning, but be ok with the fact that you aren't ready to completely put it all together yet. I would compare it to the Harry Potter movies. In those movies Harry was nowhere near the best wizard around. People out did Harry constantly in those films. They were more powerful, more experienced, etc. Harry was not really so great as he was destined to be great. That's where you are right now. And that is ok. If you want to be a great tank badly enough to continue the journey, you will one day be a great tank. But accept you are on the road and not at the destination.

    Advice Tid-Bit 2: Learn the dungeons

    The most understated point of tanking in all my guide was just how tremendously important it is to know the fights. Just as you are patient with yourself in leveling and gearing up and learning techniques, you will also need to be patient with yourself as you learn the dungeons. Knowing what the monster is throwing at you so that you are ready to counter it, and having your muscle memory tuned to that particular fight is a massive part of tanking. That's a journey. Go into each new dungeon willing to wipe and learn. But make sure you learn.

    Advice Tid-Bit 3: When asking any build question, remember our objectives

    Our goal is to have a build that is passively boosting our survivability and passively boosting DPS so that all your active effort is spent on doing the job of tanking. And the job is to prevent one shots, prevent overwhelming damage, and to control the fight to maximize every other role in the group.

    So for example, sometimes I hear some tanks back bar a restoration staff to use combat prayer. How do I evaluate that? Combat prayer is an extremely powerful group buff. It multiplies in a compounding way with every other group buff that is on the group. It is such a big deal. But the question I ask myself is how will it impact me doing the job of tanking if I need to refresh a buff every 8 seconds? That isn't passive. That's me constantly focusing on buffing my group. And I will find myself doing that instead of chaining, rooting, taunting etc. So combat prayer will never be in my build for that reason. On the other hand, Igneous weapons I can cast before entering the fight and it stays up for a full 40 seconds. Maybe in a long fight I have to recast it once, but its not robbing from my full attention being on tanking. So Igneous weapons is totally what I'm looking for. But what I want you to see is that you can reason through these decisions yourself, if you just hold the abilities up to our objectives.

    Side note: Priorities are a bit different in Trials. When you have 8 dedicated damage dealers, doing something to boost the entire groups' damage is dramatically more powerful such that you will want to be actively boosting group DPS some.

    Advice Tid-Bit 4: Skills I love and encourage you to try

    So here are some actual skills that I love because they fit what I am looking for to help me do The Job.

    Pierce Armor: Taunting of course is fundamental to both preventing one-shots and controlling the fight. Plus, this is single biggest source of debuffing a creatures resistance. And the debuff is completely passive in that its just a byproduct of taunting. You do nothing extra.

    Heroic Slash This applies minor maim, which as I explained in my guide is a major tool for raising the one-shot threshold. Just the other day I was fighting Vet Wayrest sewers hard mode boss. The boss suddenly teleport attacks a random player and it was dropping some of my teammates down to 15% health or less. No question, it would have been one shooting them if I wasn't keeping this on the boss. Now there are other ways to apply maim, but this is a mainstay for me.

    Absorb Magicka This one gets a lot of crap. But its a great ability to have on your primary bar. Everybody focuses on the stamina cost reduction part, which is ok but with how much we reduce block cost its not crucial. But they completely ignore that you can block more damage. Guess what? Increase to damage blocked compounds in the same way as I explained in the guide. People totally underestimate this. That being said I do not personally use this skill. I like it, but it gets edged out by other skills.

    Igneous Weapons Major group DPS boost which you only have to cast every 40 seconds and it interacts with your resistance debuffing in a compound way, which is a really big deal. Completely fits what we are looking for. I personally cast it before every fight, and if I'm seeing my magic at full and I have nothing that needs done, I go ahead and refresh it.

    Green Dragon Blood In a dungeon crazy happens. You need to be able to be ok if the healer gets tied up. We want to be able to do some active survival if needed and this is a cornerstone of it. Our version of "going defensive" is a combination of blocking and GDB. The trick to using this is to let your life get low. If you try to heal every scrape or bruise with it then your magicka will not be able to sustain. I prefer to let my life drop below half. If you are tanky enough, you can comfortably do that. Now if I'm standing around at full magicka then yeah, I might go ahead and heal before then.

    Igneous Shield This shield is one of the DK's true advantages. It does so many things. But I want you to think of most of those things as perks. The real reason you use this is to raise the one shot threshold of your team. You see the big AOE coming, cast this, they live, you win. NEVER use this as your means of personal survival. DO NOT use the igneous shield+GDB combo. Yes, it is a powerful combination. But the primary skill challenge of this kind of build is to manage your magicka well. That combo is 8k magicka. You will survive and sustain longer if your self heal strategy is to let your health drop below 50%, use GDB, then be ok with the fact that you are not full life. Let your health drop again to below 50% and use GDB again. You will live longer, your magicka will last longer. The only other time I use igneous shield is when I'm refilling my stamina and I alternate Heavy Attack and Shield a couple times. And I only do that if I have the magicka to spare.

    Razor Caltrops PvP on a tank sucks. Getting this will suck, but I personally think its worth it. The reason you want this is to grab initial ago in a crowd. Recall that our job in those trash packs is to 1. create an initial cluster 2. add to the pile 3. keep them in the pile. To create the initial cluster you want to throw out an AOE. An AOE with a snare is ideal. Ash cloud works for this too, but the reason I love caltrops is the 8m radius. That lets your initial hit grab dramatically more creatures. Use Ash cloud or some other AOE snare until you get it so you can learn the technique.

    Gripping Talons Whichever one has the maim on it. We've created the pile, we are adding to it, this is the one that keeps them there. I like to keep my pile in place by alternating talons and caltrops. Razor caltrops has 3 seconds for which the snare is 70%. That's almost as good as a root. Alternate them because it eases the pressure on your magicka if you aren't rotating two magicka abilities.

    Unrelenting Grip IMO you can't tank right without this. This is how we add to the pile.

    Inner Rage Ranged taunt from the undaunted line. I personally use the magicka version. There are just too many times you are going to want this even if its not part of every fight. When there is a fight with a big trash pack containing something that is a true threat to my team mates, I will use Ignaous weapons before pull, throw my caltrops and then use inner rage to range taunt the threat before the caltrops even land.

    Equilibrium and its morphs If you are going to go for an extremely low magicka regeneration build, you will want this. It can be dangerous, you will have to think in how you use it. But you MUST get your major resistance buffs. The times this is most beneficial to me personally is during trash fights. When I'm rooting and chaining large packs, this gives me the magicka I need to get it done. And if you are tanky enough, its not too dangerous. If you don't use this you'll want to grab volatile armor because you do need the resistance buffs, and the spikes from it will help you hold aggro.

    Aggressive Warhorn There are three ultimates you should have your eye on. This is the one you want to be using. For tanks, we very typically will have warhorn on our back bar to buff our groups DPS, and then we have something on our front bar that we don't actually intent to use. But for starters you are going to want warhorn. This is because boosting your group DPS passively is the route we want to go. You remember the objectives of course. When solo'ing I replace this with banner.

    Temporal Guard This is the ultimate I slot on my front bar. I never use it. I activate Warhorn. It is there to give me minor protection. You might catch crap from the people who think minor protection isn't good. But I mathematically proved them wrong in part 3 of this guide. This makes me passively tanky, and thus fulfills our goals.

    Shield Discipline This is what I recommend you place on your front bar until you reach the point where it is a complete waste because you never use it. This ability is amazing for a tank. Things out of control and you need infinite taunts? Activate this and get to spamming pierce armor for FREE for 7 seconds. Fail to manage your stamina properly? Activate this and start heavy attacking WHILE blocking. Group wiped and hateful monsters interrupting your rezz? Cast this and be interrupt proof for 7 seconds to rezz your healer! Not only all this but thanks to battle roar, when you cast it you are going to be given enough magicka to cast a Green Dragon Blood if you need it. This ultimate is the ultimate training wheels for a new tank. I can't recommend it enough. I would still be using it, but it finally got to the point that I could manage things well enough that I hadn't used it in weeks and just cast warhorn. That's when you know you are ready for Temporal Guard.

    Ok, these are skills I personally love. But make your own build! Just evaluate them by our objectives. Does this fit the pattern of passive survival, passive DPS contribution, or does it actively help me to prevent one shots, prevent overwhelming damage, and to control the group so as to maximize every other role?

    Focus on your objective, and then feel out the changes you make, is there an appropriate rhythm of stamina and magicka abilities such that you don't too rapidly crash your resource pools?

    Advice Tid-Bit 5: Atributes

    Remember that you want to survive by having an extremely high effective health. You simply can not have an extremely high effective health if you aren't starting with a solid actual health pool. For this reason, I recommend putting whatever points you must into stamina to get it to be the highest of your two resource pools, and then every other point into health. If you are an imperial, nord, or orc then you can probably put all 64 into health. If you are an argonian you will likely need to put 4 or 5 into stamina.

    You can get your magicka and stamina pool sufficiently high by using tri-stat enchants and tri-stat food. Expensive, but the best is the best. Obviously, you do NOT want to waste super expensive tristat enchants on gear that you will out level.

    Advice Tid-Bit 6: Gear

    Once again, you must get a high health pool if you want a high effective health. For this reason you really NEED to make one of your five piece sets a major health boosting set. Some that fit the bill would be Plague Doctor, Lord Warden, and Warrior Poet. There are others, but of all of them only one also helps us do our job. Ebon Armory. This raises our teams health and as a result makes them a touch less vulnerable to one shots. You do NOT want Ebon weapon or shields. There is a bug in weapon swapping that messes with group buff.

    Eventually, you are going to want to choose your second set to probably buff your groups DPS. Roar of Alkosh, Powerful Assault, Torig's are all good options. In truth ZOS needs to expand that list with some new sets. But I highly advice you to not start there.

    Where do I want you to start? Desert Rose. No build can be great at everything. I think what I'm describing is the very best way to be good at almost everything. But the thing you must learn to overcome with this type of build is the magicka sustain. If you are super tanky and know the fights, stamina sustain is going to be easy. You just heavy attack and problem solved. I just fought veteran Bloodroot forge last night and the boss was fine on my stamina sustain because I didn't need to permanently block. I watch the heavy attacks and blocked them, then refilled my stamina. Magicka is going to be the thing you have to learn to manage when building like this. Nothing will help you better than desert rose. When you feel like you know fights well, you know your build well, you know how to do your job well, then throw on the extra stress of traiding that last magicka sustain for a passive group dps boost. In the mean time you'll be boosting group DPS on a boss by 35% instead of 46%. Darn. The biggest handicap to using this set will be that the jewelry comes in Magicka. You don't want that. So I would try to get them transmuted to triune asap. If you MUST wear them magicka, then I personally wouldn't try to move my attributes that far into stamina to make it higher. I'd just accept that shards and orbs were going to restore magicka and I'd heavy attack more. But I leave that to you to decide.

    I do recommend 3x Shield Play enchants. We are going to be incredibly tanky, but sometimes you are going to be in a giant pile of ridiculousness so nasty that we must ACTIVELY protect ourselves. For the build theory I am describing, our active defense is blocking. (NOT IGNEOUS SHIELDS). Our entire build theory has aimed at minimizing how often that happens, but happen it will. You will want to be able to put up a sustained block in those moments.

    Mundus stones. Again, we want passive survivability via an extremely high effective health. The two you are looking at are the Lord and Lady stones. If you are below 30.3k resistances with your major buffs active, then you are going to be in a weird spot where the Lady will actually do more for your effective health than the Lord. (if you are low in resistances and health pool then Lord will be higher there, but if you are in that zone then you aren't listening to anything I'm saying.) But long term, what you are really after is to have your resistances up super high without the Lady stone, and use the Lord stone.

    Weapon enchants is a given for any serious tank. You want an infused weapon using a crusher enchant. This is one of your major sources of passively boosting your groups DPS which is one of our objectives. Make sure your weapon is charged before you start dungeons! I suck at that btw.


    And Now for the Big Deal: You convinced me to get tanky, but you didn't tell me how!


    So in part 3 of my guide I spent a long time trying to persuade the reader to get seriously tanky. I defined tanky as a high effective health. I explained how to calculate your effective health. I shared enough that you could guess at a lot of it, but I didn't actually lay out a detailed plan for getting tanky. So here it goes...

    Having a high effective health is going to come from three things.
    1. A high actual health pool
    2. High resistances
    3. Other sources of mitigation

    Now obviously we could ramp up our effective health incredibly high by throwing on something like Ebon+Plague Doctor, and tacking on major protection from something like the Pirate monster set. But although that would give us an insane tankiness that is not what we are after. We are after being both incredibly tanky WHILE wearing those awesome group boosting sets. I'm at 142.5k effective health while wearing Ebon and Alkosh. We are going to discuss how to pull that off. One of the major reasons I catch crap when I talk about tankiness is that everybody just assume I mean go grab selfish sets. But what we are going to do is wear these good group benefiting sets, and we are going to become incredibly tanky by making a series of seemingly minor choices that do not simply add up, they compound on each other in a multiplying way. Every choice you make is going to make the next choice more powerful than it should have been until you are a bloody snowball of tankdom.

    But let's lay some first principles.

    Principle 1: The start of the snowball is your max health.

    Everything we do with our mitigation is going to be a multiplier impacting the starting point which is our actual health pool. The bigger that starting point, the bigger your effective health is going to be.

    Principle 2: Extra sources of mitigation beyond your resistances are really effective health multipliers in disguise

    Recall that the way we calculate effective health is that we divide your actual health by the fraction of damage that is getting through your resistance source. We can see what each one does to our effective health by just dividing a flat 100 by the fraction getting through.

    So minor protection: 8% mitigation. 100 / 0.92 = 108.695 It boosts effective health by 8.7%

    Nord racial passive: 6% mitigation 100 / 0.94 = 106.38 It boosts effective health by 6.4% (this one needs to seriously be re-evaluated. It is an awesome tank passive)

    We could go on and list every source of mitigation like this, including the ones from champion points. But what I really want you to see is that it doesn't merely add, it compounds. So if you have both of them, it does not boost your health by 8.7% + 6.4% = 15.1%

    Rather it works like this: 100 / 0.92 / 0.94 = 115.63 You didn't get 15.1%. You got a 15.6% Because it compounds. Now yes, this seems small, but as you layer on CP points, resistances and begin stacking other things, it compounds more and more and more.

    Extra sources of mitigation are really effective health MULTIPLIERS in disguise. And the higher you get your effective health, the more powerful they become.

    If I take minor protection off of my build my effective health drops from 142.5k to 131.1k effective health. That one buff makes a 11.4K difference in my effective health because its value has COMPOUNDED with every other tanky choice I have made. Because extra sources of mitigation are MULTIPLIERS in disguise.

    Principle 3: As you approach 100% in any one individual mitigation source, you are approaching infinite effective health

    Time to blow your mind. 1% mitigation is not always 1% mitigation, not when it comes to impacting your effective health. That is because as you increase it becomes increasingly powerful. Want proof?

    (This first pair of examples is merely proof of concept, I know you can't get the numbers I'm about to state.

    Example 1: A guy with 20,000 actual health. He has zero mitigation. His effective health is 20k.

    Let's give him 1% mitigation What's that doing to his effective health?

    20,000 / 0.99 = 20,406.08

    1% mitigation gave him an extra 406 effective health.

    So 1% mitigation is worth 406 effective health for a guy with 20k life, right? No.

    Example 2: A guy with 20,000 actual health with 98% mitigation. His effective health is 20k / 0.02 = 1 million
    (that alone should scream something to you but...)

    Let's go ahead and give him that extra 1%. Now he's at 99% mitigation.

    20k / 0.01 = 2 million. Now 1% is worth 1 million effective health to the guy with 20k actual health. His EffHealth jumped from 1 Illinois to 2 million from 1% mitigation increase.

    Let's give him that last 1%. What's his effective health now? 100% mitigation, his effective health is infinity.

    Here is the point. In this kind of math, as you approach 100% in any individual source, you are nearing infinity. Because of this as you stack it higher and higher it begins to be exponentially more powerful in its impact on your effective health. This is why the developers MUST cap resistances at 50%. Because beyond 50% it is actually TWICE as powerful and it only increases exponentially from there.

    BIG IDEA: YOUR HIGHEST SINGLE SOURCE OF MITIGATION IS YOUR MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL, AND IN ESO THAT HIGHEST SOURCE IS YOUR RESISTANCES. THEY ARE OVERWHELMINGLY IMPORTANT FOR TANKINESS AND WHEN YOU STOP AT 27-29K YOU ARE MISSING THE MOST IMPORTANT RESISTANCES YOU COULD HAVE POSSIBLE GOTTEN IN YOUR ENTIRE BUILD.



    First principles have been laid, now lets talk about choices...

    Alright, so I know for certain I want to max my resistances (whether I can or not I want to), but I know I want a seriously high max health also because that starts the snowball of effective health. So I want to try to get my resistances maxed without utilizing the choices that could instead be higher health, and I want to do all that without giving up my group boosting stuff. Fun huh? Let's get started.

    First, lets discard the options where we could get mitigation, but we are going to pass because we want the health or something else.

    Jewelry Traits. Nope, the triune stat is too nice.

    Weapon Trait. Nope, infused crusher is a MAJOR factor in our ability to buff our groups DPS.

    Armor Master or Pariah sets. Nice but no thanks. I need to have a super high health set, and I want the other boosting my group. (Eventually when we are done with our Desert Rose training wheels).

    So where on earth do we find all this mitigation? All over the place, my man!

    1. We start with 7 heavy. The resources you gain from undaunted passives is so unbelievably minuscule it hurts me to think about it. In to purchase those flimsy passives, you give up not merely the armor amount showed on the item, the heavy armor tree also has a passive that gives you bonus mitigation for each heavy piece you wear. If you don't get 7 heavy you won't make cap without sacrificing our DPS buffing goals.

    2. Gold out your armor. Its expensive, you shouldn't do it while leveling, but it will be huge in getting you to the cap.

    3. Throw in some armor traits. Remember how being tanky lets you block less? Leverage that for even more resistances. I personally run six sturdy with two reinforced. You want to make sure your chest is one of the reinforced pieces and the other one needs to be a major armor provider (legs, head, shoulder.) If I needed it I would be totally comfortable going 5 sturdy 3 reinforced, but I'm at 33,059 with just two, so I'm good.

    4. Champion Points. Here is where DK and Templar are going to have a bit of advantage. Our passives give us around 3.3k spell resistance, so we can catch up on Physical by champion points. Should you actually choose that instead of more of the other mitigation? Yes, because remember that the highest mitigation source is the one approaching infinity. Now don't get me wrong, I have 24% from ironclad, 20% from thick skinned, and 9% from both elemental defender and hardy. I'm not gimping the other once. But yeah, I get around 3.3k in my physical resist from red champion points to catch up with my spell resist for being a DK. How can I afford to do it all? I don't waste points in bastion or healing received. Remember, we are shooting for high passive survivability. And all the choices in that are compounding with each other.

    5. If your resistances are below 30.3k, and you have a high max health, the Lady mundus stone is going to be what you want. But truly, what we really want is for you to max your resists without the lady stone, so that you can use the Lord to get a bigger actual health pool to start the snow ball of effective health even higher.

    6. Finally, you want to stack on other sources of mitigation. Champion points, minor protection if you are ready to give up shield discipline. If you are a Templar or Warden it can come from your armor buff. But as a DK that means Temporal guard for me. And this is where your Nord passive would come into play. (A note on Nord passive: If I converted to Nord, my extremely high effective health would turn that 6% passive into a 9k boost to effective health. You Nords should stop listening when people laugh at your race, they are wrong, at least they are if you build with high effective health.)

    Every one of these choices compound on each other until you are a hoss. I wear Ebon and Alkosh and I have 33k in both resistances magnifying 45.4k health pool, 24% ironclad, 20% thick-skinned, 9% Ele and Hardy, with minor protection, and I still have 19.2k magicka and 19.3k stamina, still using infused crusher, etc. You really can have it all if you don't chase magicka regeneration, huh?
    Edited by BejaProphet on July 6, 2018 4:46PM
  • Sophocles1
    Sophocles1
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    This is super incredible - I had NO idea before and now with some study I think I might be the tank I want to be! You rock!
  • Sru
    Sru
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    This is the single most useful thread I have read on these forums in many years. Awesome work @BejaProphet , thank you for taking a huge amount of time and effort to help improve tanking.

    I run with one of the most effective tanks I've yet to meet and it only highlights the huge gap between average players and the best. PUG'ing with most tanks if so painful I cringe; as you allude to, they often confuse DPS with their role or believe the "common" view that tanks only taunt and aggro the boss - everything else is for others to deal with.

    The need for effective CC seems to be lost in ESO; something that we all learned in other MMOs.
  • LuckyLuke
    LuckyLuke
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    Inspirational! I wish I was tank! Added to my favs!
  • BejaProphet
    BejaProphet
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    Ok, time to finish the last bit of advice for an aspiring tank. With this post, my tanking manifesto should be finished. (fingers crossed)


    It's Time to Talk Monster Sets


    Let me start by saying that this, if you have followed everything else in this thread then you are probably going to be fine. Choosing your monster set is not make or break. There are so many choices, pick what you feel helps your personal play the best.

    That being said...there is a reason I could not resist writing this section. There is one particular monster set that has been completely demonized by the community, and ironically its probably the best for the specific goals we have been talking about.

    I have watched people mocked and laughed into silence when they say they use this set. I have literally watched it discussed on the Tank feedback discord, and people tell new tanks that literally every monster set in the game is ok to use except this one set. What a statement! But hidden away from the light of day there is a secret handful of tanks willing to think for themselves. They live in caves and communicate via HAM radio. And they have figured out the secret I'm about to let you in on.

    Mighty Chudan is a great set for tanking.

    I just lost you, huh? I thought so. Half the readers are snickering, the other half are trying to figure out how I could say that when all the leet dudes have mocked this set relentlessly and told them never to use it. And three or four of you are are vigorously nodding your head and relieved that somebody finally said it. But for the vast majority of you who have decided I've lost my marbles, why not stick around and listen to an old tank ramble? If you are reading this guide you are either quite the researcher into tanking or, more likely, stuck at work and killing time anyways. Who knows, you might learn something.

    I particularly want to discuss this set because not only is it a solid set, it is actually seemingly custom designed for the specific goals we talk about in the rest of this guide. But before we talk about why its great, lets first talk about why people are so against it.

    Why do people hate the Mighty Chudan set?

    Basically there are two reasons...

    People hate Mighty Chudan because because one of its primary benefits is readily available by using skills.

    I mean just look at it. The main event on the set is that your major resistance buffs are constantly active. So if you simply keep your resistances up via balance or whatever class skill you have, then you've already gotten almost the entire benefit of the set, right? As a result of this, they look at the set and all they really see is 2,975 spell/physical resist and 1,200 health. Nice things, but how on earth can that compare to the dramatic things that all these other sets do? Lord Warden raising your groups armor, Blood Spawn increasing your ultimate regeneration, and on and on we could go. They look at these other sets and they quickly conclude that those often unique benefits is greater than a little mitigation and a sliver of health.

    People hate Mighty Chudan because it is categorized as "selfish"

    You've all heard people talk about "selfish" and "non-selfish" sets. And none of us want to be self-ish, right? But you need to know that these terms are being used in a very technical way in ESO. They do not have any of the moral implications that these words normally have. Now to be fair, there are a lot of dummies on an ego trip that do use them in an overbearing way. But the people who really know what they are talking about simply don't mean it that way. In ESO, a set that is "selfish" is a set that only modifies you. A set that is "unselfish" is a set that is doing something to your group. That's it. That's all it means. Ebon Armory is unselfish technically speaking because it gives a buff to your group. Torig's is unselfish because it applies increased armor debuff on the monster for your groups DPS benefit. Desert Rose is technically a selfish set because it doesn't do anything like that. It only impacts you.

    So according to these technical definitions, yes, Mighty Chudan is a selfish set. And as a general rule, groups will thrive more when everybody benefits everybody. This is not always true. But it is a fair principle.

    So now you know, that's primarily why Might Chudan is hated. Now I get the chance to show you why they are wrong.

    Currently, monster sets are one of the few places that the "selfish" argument is bull

    One thing you should know, there is no Meta when it comes to monster sets. Almost every top end trial tank will carry around multiple monster sets and swap them out as a particular fight suits a particular set. If there is anything resembling a meta in trials on monster sets, swapping them is it. This alone should tell you something. There is no bonus on any monster set that the group needs. Your group does not need you to wear a particular monster set. And if that is true in trials, it is a dozen times more true in dungeons.

    But let me give you the biggest proof of all that there is no buff your group needs. Meet one of the trial favorites of several high end tanks. Chokethorn + Shadow rend. That's right, they don't even use a 2 piece, they go after stacking two individual 1 piece bonuses, both magicka regeneration. Tell a group of trial tanks that you wear Mighty Chudan and you'll be laughed at. Tell them you gave up every possible bonus that the group could have so that you could get more magicka regeneration and they'll accept it. Stop and soak that up for a minute. Its hypocrisy is what it is. All that pressure they will put on you about being selfish is completely embraced on another choice which does absolutely nothing for the team. And what's more! The trials where tanks use that combination do just fine. Wait....what!? You gave up Bloodspawn in exchange for regeneration and they were fine? You gave up Lord Warden in exchange for regeneration and they were fine?

    Forget the "selfish" bull crap when it comes to monster sets, currently as of summerset there is no monster set in the game that will significantly benefit your group. Not in trials, and certainly not in dungeons. I'm not saying there is none that will benefit you group, I'm saying there is none that matter to the extent where we should be having the "selfish/unselfish" discussion.

    Therefore...monster sets should be evaluated purely in terms of how they help you do your job. I'm even going to write that twice, monster sets should be evaluated purely in terms of how well they help you do your job. And the job, is preventing one shots and overwhelming damage, and controlling the fight so as to maximize every other role in the group.

    Now, there are several sets that will be a benefit to that goal. Use whichever you like. But since Mighty Chudan has become the black sheep of the tanking community, let me tell you why I personally choose it.

    Mighty Chudan: Mightier than we First Thought


    Alright, let's recall what we established in our guide.

    First, our job is preventing one shots and overwhelming damage, and controlling the fight so as to maximize every other role.

    Second, and more to the point right now, we established that one of the biggest ways to help you do your job is to make everything else passive. We want to have an extremely high effective health so that we are almost never thinking about survival. We want our DPS to be passive so that we are never thinking about our damage contribution.

    We are aiming at laser-like focus on The Job. This is crucial, we are not just valuing things that do The Job, we also value choices that free us up to do The Job. With that being said...let's see three ways that Mighty Chudan gives big results.

    Mighty Chudan makes us way way more tanky than you first thought

    Ok, so 2,975 resistances and 1,200 health. How much difference could that actually make? Well, I had a notion that it was a bigger deal than we might think. But to write this I had to be sure. So I calculated my effective health as taught in part 3 of this guide. Then I swapped out to my Bloodspawn shoulders. Both monster sets are gold. (I use to wear blood spawn). Next, I made sure I was calculating with my major resistance buffs ON. They both had the exact same enchantments. So we are not factoring anything at all except the 2,975 resistances and 1,200 health. Just that. No other variables.

    My effective health dropped by 18,250.

    Wait....what!? Let me write it again just so you know it wasn't a typo. My effective health changed by 18,250. Now keep in mind that a well designed magicka DD will probably have about 27-30k effective health total. Its like I just grabbed my magicka team mate and strapped them on as a kevlar vest.

    How on earth can less than 3k resistance and 1,200 health make that huge of a difference? Two reasons that we won't cover in detail because we already have.

    First, you've just grabbed the most important mitigation in your entire build. That last mitigation moving from 29k to 33k resistance is stronger than anything else you can get. Remember how in the last post we discussed how as we near 100% we are approaching infinity? Yeah, that math is working for us now.

    Second, I've been trying to persuade you that all these tanky choices are compounding on each other rather than adding to each other. Every bit of my effective health prior to Chudan is being multiplies by that new boost to mitigation. And also every bit of my mitigation that I chose prior to Chudan is multiplying that 1,200 health. Mighty Chudan is compounding with every other tanky choice you've made in your build.

    So perk one, Mighty Chudan is playing a HUGE roll in making you tanky. This means less worrying about health, less chance that you have to go "defensive" with a sustained block. Less need to crank self heals. Being tanky helps you tank. It sets you free to do your job.

    Mighty Chudan lets you stop thinking about maintaining buffs so you can focus 100% on doing The Job.

    Now first let me say, I don't know how appealing this aspect of it is to PC players. You guys probably have some kind of add on that screams in giant red letters when you let your armor buffs drop. Probably a big shiny count down before that. But down in the gutters we console players have to take care of our own crap. So for you PC players this aspect of its benefit may be lessoned but its not completely gone.

    So first, and most obviously with Chudan we have no risk of our armor buffs ever dropping. Now as you skip along in your average dungeon, this really won't seem like too big of a deal. 99% of the time, I could keep these buffs up manually with no problem, and if they did drop a second, then no big deal. But here is the catch. The most difficult time to keep your buffs up is always when you need them the most. Keeping them up in casual stuff is simple. But when you get into the craziest hardest fights. That is when you are seriously distracted. Its going to be in fights like the gargoyle in Veteran Scalecaller and you are trying to simultaneously tank, taunt adds, dodge orbs from turning you to stone, keep an eye on the boss' one shot strike, and break your team mate free from the petrify all at once, THAT is when you are going to not be able to pay attention and you let your armor buffs lapse. It will ALWAYS be when you can least afford it to happen.

    But lets say that you are Captain Multi-Tasker and you can always spot it. Its not always as simple as spotting it. Because sometimes you know they are lapsing and yet its just not a safe time to use Balance. Not a good idea to crank it when that boss is streaking yellow lines and all. And yet, again, that's when you need it to be up the most.

    But does it really matter? How big of a deal is it if your armor buffs drop? Well, lets geek out and do some math!

    5,280 / 66,200 = 0.07975. So basically that is an 8% armor buff. But wait! It gets better!

    The actual difference is between having 50% mitigation and 42% mitigation. But we need to flip that and talk rather about what damage is getting through. You were taking 50% of the damage, and now you are taking 58% of the damage. We need to divide the difference, by the beginning amount of 50.

    How much of an increase is that?

    8 / 50 = 0.16 You are actually now taking 16% increased damage from ALL sources.

    And you will be taking that 16% increased damage from all sources in the moment when you most needed to be tanky, when everything has gone nuts.

    But lets be fair, actually its worse than that. Because since you didn't wear chudans, that momentary lapse is not just you not having the armor buffs missing. You opted out of that teeny weeny 2,975 bonus to resistances. So really in that moment when your armor drops you are down a total of 2,975 + 5,280 = 8,255.

    8,255 / 66,200 = 0.12469 You are missing 12.5% resistances. So now rather than taking 50% of all damage, you are taking 62.5% of all damage. How much of a difference is that actually though? Remember take the difference between the two and divide by the norm.

    12.5 / 50 = 0.25 You are taking 25% more damage from all sources when you needed to be the tankiest.

    My man, 25% extra damage when fighting the hardest dungeon content is enough to tip you from doing your job to having to save your own butt. Suddenly you are perma-blocking and self healing rather than doing your job.

    But more than this, the best case scenario is that you are constantly having to keep an eye on buff timers. Mighty Chudan will set your free from that, so that you can be 100% focused on doing The Job. And if you have read this guide, you know that's what I'm after.

    Finally, Mighty Chudan helps with Magicka Sustain

    So if you have been following this guide, you know I have a low view of magicka regen. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have 3,000 magicka regeneration. But the trade isn't worth it. I run a build that has 565 magicka regeneration. So it should surprise nobody that magicka sustain is one of the tricky aspects of this build theory.

    Now don't get me wrong. You can tank anything in the game with 565 magicka regeneration. ANYTHING. But that being said, it is definitely true that managing your magicka is one of the stress points. That's where you have to learn to be skilled with this build type.

    Now if you aren't using the mage guild skill balance to get your armor buffs, then Chudan is going to help sustain dramatically right off the bat since you no longer need to spend magicka for your buffs. But I'm saying that it will help you even if you are using balance.

    When I tank, most of my magicka management comes from simply being smarter about what I cast and when I cast it. Against a boss its not an issue 98% of the time. The real time it comes into play is on trash fights when you are constantly chaining and rooting to control the fight. And in a big group you aren't going to have a magicka pool high enough to completely finish. That's where the mage guild skill comes into play. But since I have Might Chudan, I get an extra advantage over everybody else. I get to use Spell Symmetry. I don't need the resistance buffs from balance. Instead I get 25% off the next spell I cast. Now as a DK pretty much every spell I use costs 4k magicka (roughly). That means I get a 1k magicka reduction for whatever I need to cast. The skill normally gives me 3k magicka every time I cast it. But now for me it has a 4k magicka value. I just took my primary source of "crunch time" sustain and boosted it by 33%.

    So lets sum up what my personal build gets from Mighty Chudan. I get a boost of 18,250 effective health. I get to stop juggling buffs so that I'm focusing 100% on tanking, and I get help with the biggest stress point of my build. The leet dudes can keep laughing and I'll keep tanking. With my Mighty Chudan.

    But choose what helps you the most. There is no meta in monster sets.
    Edited by BejaProphet on July 6, 2018 6:26PM
  • munster1404
    munster1404
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    An insightful read. It’s strange really that most players have ignored another two so called “selfish” sets that might help with sustain namely Shacklebreaker and and the one piece bonus from Domihaus. Shacklebreaker grants resources, spell and weapon damage plus recovery. Domihaus stack even more resources. I run only one piece mighty Chudan for my Warden tank, as I’m still recasting Ice Fortress so group can benefit from major resolve/ward. With Meditate from the psijic skill line, I heavy Attack even less now. Basically it’s just taunt/debuff —> meditate or occasionally quaff a potion during more intense encounters.
  • Ogou
    Ogou
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    @BejaProphet After all this time, what's your thoughts on Deep Thoughts I personally find it hard to use but I wonder how it fits in your style of tanking.
  • BejaProphet
    BejaProphet
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    I think equilibrium/spell symmetry is more effective for my DK in magicka sustain. This is because the only time I ever require magicka boost is spamming CC. In which case I need the magicka instantly. However, using deep thoughts is still what I’m trying. It has further taught me to rely on good management verses regen, and I find simply slitting trash magicka potions to be sufficient for instant magicka demands. During tough vet DLC bosses I swap to Tri stat to be safe. The one advantage to deep thoughts is that it functions both as regen and high quality survival. Hence I’ve not returned to the balance line yet, and I might not. Plus with Chudan I don’t need balance for the armor buffs.
  • Joxer61
    Joxer61
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    @BejaProphet Wow...just wow. Just what a new tank (to eso) needed and this falls in line with a lot of what I have learned from another guy you mention (Xynode) at the start of this wonderful novel!
    Question.....how do you think this way of thinking/tanking/etc. would apply to a Warden tank? I am playing a Warden tank and its fun and different and all that but at times I feel I am just a glorified healer with a taunt? I am looking for active ways to be "more tanky" so reading this has shined some new light on my thought process. Thanks heaps!!! ;)
    Edited by Joxer61 on October 22, 2018 9:58AM
  • BejaProphet
    BejaProphet
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    @Joxer61 Hey joxer, I'm glad the guide as helpful to you. I've seen you asking questions in a lot of tanking threads and that is great. Its the people who keep learning who are going to make great tanks, not necessarily the ones with the most natural talent. But that's true in most things in life.

    To answer specifically about being "more tanky." Post 22 in this thread discusses that in detail and it should totally apply to your warden. Keep in mind when I say "tanky" I am specifically referring to the concept of effective health as explained in part three of this guide. It was part 3 right? Been too long.

    However, you asked a far more comprehensive question as well. You asked how this thinking about tanking applies to the warden. You may not like the abstractness of the answer. The answer is that it applies not at all to the warden, and 100% to the warden. Buckle up...I'm feeling another excessively long winded answer coming on...

    Why it has nothing to do with the warden

    In one sense it has nothing to do with the warden. I'm talking about a task, not a class. I know you realize this, but stick with me. My goal has always been your thinking, not your build. I'm talking about how I believe we should do a specific job in specific content.

    I'm talking about what I believe makes a group thrive

    I believe that tanking that makes a group thrive is a tank that protects his groups from one shots both by preventing some from happening in the first place and also by causing some not to be fatal because the tank raised the threshold of the one shot such that they were just really nasty hits rather than fatal. In addition, the tank controls the fight to maximize the DPS and healing of the group, and the tank does this by keeping the mobs stacked in one place without moving any more than the mechanics force you to.

    I believe that is the kind of tanking that makes a dungeon group thrive. Have I persuaded you of that? If not, these things have nothing to do with your warden. I can only say something is good and something else is bad to the extent that we agree on what good and bad is. Otherwise who am I to say what works for radically different goals.

    I'm talking specifically about dungeons

    In a trial, because of radically more DD classes, different things will make the trial thrive than what makes a dungeon thrive. Specifically trials thrive when tanks excell at managing extremely small duration debuffs. We are talking about 5 second duration enchants here. Trying to perfectly manage 5 second enchant uptimes in a veteran DLC dungeon is a great way to screw up tanking. In Trials, that is how tanks measure their junk. So here we are talking about what I personally think makes a dungeon group thrive. Is that what you are wanting to know about specifically? That's rhetorical, who doesn't want to know that!?

    I'm advocating there is a best strategy for that goal in a dungeon

    Finally, I'm saying that there is a best way to accomplish that in a dungeon. And that best strategy is to make your survival 95% passive so that you aren't thinking about it; and to make your DPS contribution 95% passive so that you are not thinking about it, and as much as possible you put 100% of your constant attention to doing those things for your group.

    So here we are...are when we talk about your warden are we on the same page? Are we talking about how to use your warden to make your survival and DPS passive, so you can spend 100% of your attention protecting your team from one shots and controlling the fight to maximize every other group? If so then now I can give you good news...

    The whole guide is about the warden

    The whole guide is about the warden, the DK, the nightblade, the templar, and the sorc. Because its about a goal, a task, not a class. Its about a Job that we sign up to accomplish. And no matter which class I might choose to play, I'm thinking about tanking as that job and what tools I have to accomplish it. Let's think through those aspects of the Job we have to answer in our build, and forget class. Think about tools. You as a warden may have some different tools, but at the end of the day you still are simply picking a tool for a the same job.

    You've Got to Taunt to prevent one shots

    Most fundamental think you need to prevent one shots is that you need the big nasties to hit you. You are going to want taunts. You have three choices. The pierce armor, the ranged inner fire, and the frost heavy attack. In my opinion I could not tank without pierce armor and inner rage. The frost staff takes too long to be useful but if it works for you go for it. No class advantages for anybody here.

    How are you going to protect your team from one shots you can't taunt?

    Sometimes there are aoes and other crap that just cant be taunted, but they can one shot your team. A lot of times the team just needs to not stand in stupid, but I think a lot of times its on you as the tank to help. Which tools will you choose for that? Maim helps a lot. I like heroic slash because usually that type of stuff is only coming from one big nasty anyways, but wardens' have some tools for that too, no? Maybe you like thurvokin. Pick your tools. I like Ebon armory, it is up 100% of the time and constantly makes my team less likely to be one shotted. Some people hate it because they think over the duration of a huge fight it couldn't matter. But that's on the healer, your role is to make them not insta drop so the healer gets the chance to heal. And for that ebon armory is great. My DK uses igneous shields for this...but hey, doesn't the warden have the chance to give major armor buffs to the whole group? That directly increases the one shot threshold by a nice amount! Again, what tools are at your disposal (regardless of class) to raise the one shot threshold?

    How do you plan to control the fight?

    What is your opening move? You want to hit as many mobs as possible so that they are coming at you to create an initial cluster. That is what a DK tank wants. That is what a templar tank wants, that is what a sorc tank wants. That is what a warden tank wants. Which tool do you choose for that? I choose razor caltrops for its 8m radius. What's your choice? If I was a templar I'd definitely try out the ritual that heals and damages mob. If I was a sorc...screw you sorcs, you have too many tools for this! =P

    How are you going to drag more mobs on the pile? One of the things I've learned is that this isn't about just chains? What if I cast caltrops just past the closest two guys and then tag them with pierce armor as I'm moving to my cluster? I just added to the pile before I got there. But now I am at the pile? How am I going to add to it? As a DK I have chains....but....I also can choose leash. Laugh all you want, but I'm testing that option now. GASP! A DK using leash!?! Worked just fine when I successfully pugged vetbloodforge four days ago. And since I run 565 magicka regen and can fill my stam with heavy attacks all I want (because I don't perma block) it works well. Not sure yet if I'll go back to chains. The tool isn't the point! Its the task of adding to the pile. Focus on your task and pick what gets it done. You have gates, you have leash, which works for you? But think even bigger, you only really NEED to chain ranged mobs. Throw inner fire on a melee and he's coming to the pile too!

    How are you going to keep them there and not let them scatter? I usually use either talons and the few seconds of 70% snare on razor caltrops, or if I really have everything well in hand I might even spam pierce armor some. If I wasn't a DK I'd test out tools. I'd try out time stop, how good would a frost staff ice blockade work if I was a warden? Can I keep my resources and spam razor caltrops every 4 seconds? The point being, no matter your class, you want the mobs to stay ni a pile. Use ANYTHING that keeps them there.

    NO MATTER YOUR CLASS IT IS THE SAME THINGS THAT CAUSE A DUNGEON GROUP TO THRIVE AND THEREFORE YOU ARE TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH THE SAME OBJECTIVES DURING THE FIGHT

    Every class needs to be tanky to free them up to do these things

    Post 22 in this thread lists many things to do to make yourself tankier that are open to every class.

    Every class needs to be ready to actively survive

    You want as much as possible to be ignoring your own survival because you are just so dang tanky. But if you are going to run vet DLCs, especially pug, you are going to hit moments where passive survival can't cut it. Its on YOU to survive that in a dungeon. It is not on your healer. When those moments come, if you have built like I advocate I promise you crap has gotten real for your healer as well. In this build theory are active survival has two parts. First, prolonged blocks. Not permablocking, but perhaps as much as 15 seconds of it as you manage crap. With the kind of tankiness I advocate almost nothing can kill you when you shield up for a minute. You need to be able to do that and that's why, even though 95% of the time I only block key attacks, I still want to be able to go defense. So I'm using three shieldplay, 6sturdy. I'd be fine going 5 sturdy if I needed another reinforced to top off my resistances. So have a a good block game even though the goal is not to use it. Again...not class specific.

    Second, our active survival needs to consist of a very solid self heal. For me that is GDB. Now here we are definitely going to have to get class specific, but the request is the same. You need a good self heal. Unless you are running a 3 DPS group then SCREW YOUR GROUP. This is for you so they don't loose their tank in the hardest moments of the fight. IT IS NOT YOUR JOB TO HEAL THEM. You are keeping them from one shots so the healer can heal them, and they can heal their own self. You are the LAST person that should be healing them. Healing them means you are being pulled away from your job. The Job comes first. Now if your best self heal comes from a tool to heal them as well, fine. But be selfish here. Don't think because you are a warden you need to load up on multiple healing tools. Pick one good one for YOU. So that when crap is insane, your healer is dead, and DD's are reviving the healer....you shrug and say well, just another PUG....and then you get the job done. That's what they NEED from you whether they know it or not. If you stack up on multiple heals for other purposes, you are going to end up doing a different style of tanking than we discussed.

    Every Tank has to manage resources

    Let me say most resource management is not class specific.

    Use your abilities smarter, not spam happy. Not class specific and might be the biggest factor.
    Heavy attack a crap ton because you don't have to perma block and its free. Not class specific and might be biggest factor.
    As you test your tools feel out if you have overloaded one resource or the other. Not class specific.
    Figure out which potions best suit your personal "oh crap" moments. Not class specific.

    Finally, figure out which skills that refuel your resources best help YOU. Might be class specific.

    I'm not going to lie, when your build is running with 565 magicka and stamina regen, this is the real art. I am constantly fiddling with it to see what is best. But I'd rather be an unstoppable tanking machine that has to skillfully handle his resources than to be hidding behind a shield praying to god that my permablocking holds and wondering why I'm so dang bored.

    Finally, how are you going to passively boost your teams DPS?

    I list this last because this isn't actually part of tanking. I personally think you should try to incorporate this into your build. Your groups will love it. But in veteran dungeons you could actually not do this and you could do the JOB. We just don't want to actively be focusing on DPS because we have too much other stuff to do. Always remember, there is no ability or set that will help your group DPS more than you doing your job well. But that being said, if you and I can both get the job done, and I buff my group 40% dps and you don't, which group will thrive more? Right. So the more you are learning, the less you worry about this task. The more comfortable you get, the more you branch out in this task. So how are you going to do it? Alkosh? Torigs? Powerfull assault with all that caltrops spamming? SPC if you are a templar that keeps ritual of retribution up? Warhorn? You DEFINITELY want to be defuffing with pierce armor and infused crusher. Choose your tools, get what you can with your experience level, then don't stress it. Your job is going to help your groups DPS more than any of it.


    So there you go future tank gods. Forget what class you are. Focus on what we are trying to accomplish. Because it will be the same exact things that make a group thrive. If you root a giant pack of mobs in place, I promise the DD's melting it doesn't care what you dragged them in with or what tool you are using to stick them there without moving...they are just loving all those numbers flying on their screen.
    Edited by BejaProphet on October 22, 2018 3:13PM
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