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NB Tank Advice

Hi Guys,

I dabbled some years ago... highest char I got was a 36 Templar Tank... wanted that Paladin feeling. But I left the game when Morrowind came out.

Some RL friends recently decided to play. So, there's 4 of us and I got the tank role. Really VERY new to the game with little understanding of anything really. A lot of it feels overwhelming. Looking at the forums seems like a different language as everyone uses so many initialisms that I can't even understand what advice people are giving to others or discussing.

What I am doing:
Dark Elf Nightblade Tank
25% of the time soloing
75% of the time I am teamed with my 3 friends

What I want to do:
Kill some big mobs that spawn in the maps with the little skull and cross bone icons on the map
Run dungeons

What I will not be doing:
Larger than 4-man content

I was thinking of using a sword and shield for tanking and switching to a 2hander when I want to be more damage focused such as when soloing quests.

Skill tree wise, I been thinking of a few skills from the weapon trees and some from the siphoning tree and shadow tree. I like the idea of siphoning hp and stamina from the enemy and also noticed that dark cloak can be very good for hp regen. I found this build that was similar to what I was already thinking: but at the same time I might alter it with skills I find myself more drawn to.

I am only level 10 but am worried about if I am on the right path or if I am totally missing something absolutely essential. Also, a lot of advice I find is about end-game max-level builds and not still-leveling builds. I'd assume that I could do one thing while leveling up and running through content and then at max level respec in a way that better reflects end-game content.

Any and all advice would be appreciated!

For reference, the others in the team I am with are:
a warden healer (played by someone that loves maximizing healing and being the best healer they can be)
a necro dps (very new player that mixes his armor types and uses whatever weapon he loots at the time)
a dragonknight dps (also very new player that wants to do dps but hates dying and basically wants to gear himself like a tank but not actually tank)

I love my friends... I really do... but I am not expecting miracles in the team's dps department. So, any suggestions on helping my NB tank pump out some extra damage would be absolutely wonderful!
  • Fennwitty
    My direct experience with Nightblade tanks is limited, but I main tank and also have a couple Nightblades.

    General consensus is Nightblade tanks don't have it easy, but they still work.

    I'd read Alcast's guide on basic tanking to understand what types of abilities you're going to want to focus on. You're right most builds are aimed for late-game characters, leveling up you should just follow what you want and try to learn the game I'd say. Respeccing is very easy at any time, and you get a freebie respec at level 43.

    General rules, you need a taunt (1-h and shield or Undaunted skill line for you, but Frost Staff is kind of an option now). You need mainly heavy armor, and self-heals.

    Tanks provide crowd control and take hits so the rest of the team doesn't.

    Leveling 2-h weapon for damage is good on stamina, because otherwise you'll have trouble soloing if you only have 1-h and shield trained. If you go magicka you may use a staff instead of a 2-h weapon.

    Taunt, keep enemies pointed away from the group, and don't die!
    PC NA
  • MirandaSharp
    I main an NB stamina tank and it's a lot of fun, but probably requires a bit more work to use for tanking than other classes.
    Here's what I do:

    Always keep up:
    Mirage(Major Evasion and Minor Resolve)
    Dark Cloak(~2500 heal per second with 40K health)
    Relentless Focus(boosts healing and damage crits and gives a burst heal if released)
    Dark Shade(Minor Maim and better CC)
    Leeching Strikes(~1500 health and ~110 stamina per light attack)

    Inner Beast on backbar
    Pierce Armor on front bar

    AOE debuff and crowd control:
    Razor Caltrops

    Front bar ulti: Incapacitating Strike(100 Stamina and Magicka for every light/heavy attack)
    Back bar ulti: depends on content

    I keep one slot on front bar and back bar open for some utility/spammable that I change to fit the content I'm playing. Front bar weapons are sword and shield, back bar is whatever works best for the content... (I carry different back bar weapons in case I need to switch for a particular boss fight).

    As an NB tank I need to keep swinging(Relentless Focus, Leeching Strikes) while keeping up self heals and protection buffs, which may be a bit too hectic for some play styles. I Only block or roll dodge when necessary. Most of the time I can just heal through the damage which also works well with heavy armor passives/procs which are usually based on taking damage.

    My build is more of an off-tank that also does damage. NefasQS has a great guide for those who seek more defence/support based tanking with NBs and it's a great starting point for making your own build. Check it out here:
    Edited by MirandaSharp on December 30, 2020 11:21PM
  • Calm_Fury
    You can definetely do it. Just have separate setups for tanks and DPS. The DPS doesn't even need to be that good. A 1 bar with 2H or Dual Wield is more than enough for questing. I usually just craft one set of Hunding's Rage and just replace one of my tank sets to do quests or overland.

    I love my NB Tank. It is not as good as a few patches back but still pretty nice, even in vet DLC dungeons. Sustain sometimes can be annoying, but an NB Tank can do anything other tanks can (maybe DKs and Wardens will have it a little easier, but still).

    If you are just playing with friends and don't want to do the really hard content, just go with selfish sets for tanks. Seducer is good for sustain, as is Shackebreaker. I absolutely LOVE Leeching Plate for not optimized 4-man content as well. It really saves you a lot.

    Bahara's + Leeching + Engine Guardian is a very good NB beginner combo. You will have a lot of healing to learn all fights.

    There are other very good sets for beginners that allow you to play safe, giving you lots of sustain.

    But if you eventually want to do endgame or harder stuff, don't worry. A good NB Tank can still tank anything. Only Templar Tanks are more limited in that regard.
  • Calm_Fury
    Forgot to say... If you add Sap Essence skill to Bahara's + Leeching you can do up to 10k DPS without even speccing for it. You can even play with some other monster sets to add some DPS to help your friends as well.
  • MirandaSharp
    DanaDark wrote: »
    any suggestions on helping my NB tank pump out some extra damage would be absolutely wonderful!

    To increase damage make sure you have plenty damage based resource sustain(stamina/magicka recovery) and slot a spammable damage skill, for example "surprise attack". Use gear/mundus that improves your weapon damage.
  • thadjarvis
    If you're only level 10:

    Don't worry about gear and sets at this point. You will level out of them by the time you put a set together. Gear doesn't matter at all until level 50 CP 160, which is the max gear level in ESO. Note getting to 160 CP takes I think less time than getting to level 50.

    You friend that uses a random weapon he picks actually has the right idea. Level up various skill lines.

    I'd suggest trying multiple classes at some point. Generally speaking out the six classes NB and Templar are the least used for various reasons (for tanking).

    Just have fun and experiment with all skills: level them to morphable and figure out what they do.
    Edited by thadjarvis on January 7, 2021 8:12PM
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