Need some advice about NightBlade.

Purity7667
Purity7667
Soul Shriven
Hello everyone. I finally get the forum account. I'm a new player now I got 300 CP. I want to build a nightblade tank first. So some friends in the game already give me many useful advice. I would like to ask what lesson you guys could teach me. Thank you very much.
  • fred4
    fred4
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    Perhaps the first thing to say is that, if you only have base game, the need for tanking is limited. If you play overland, public dungeons, delves, normal mode group dungeons, I would just have fun and make it up yourself as you go. Don't be an outright tank, because it's simply not needed. Do some damage as well, because you may become frustrated if you can't do so yourself. Have some self-healing, such as from Swallow Soul and Sap Essence. Play a magicka nightblade for that matter. Slot a taunt, such as Frost Clench, in a normal non-DLC group dungeon. You can basically fill the tank role that way.

    Basically the game is so easy that you only need to be a true tank in veteran DLC content. Everything below that level is fair game for all manner of outright DD (damage dealer) to tanky / self-healing DD builds. That said, you can get caught out, because it's hard to judge what difficulty level a particular dungeon is. One way of gaining experience in judging that is by trying to solo some.

    With that out of the way, I am a long-time PC EU player who has one character on PC NA, a nightblade. I have limited CP (around 1K) and resources on PC NA, which makes me somewhat like yourself on that platform. I found myself making a tank recently. This is what I came up with:

    https://en.uesp.net/wiki/Special:EsoBuildData?id=617644

    I'm pretty happy with it. I've only tested it in a vet DLC dungeon so far, but the build is intended to be good enough for vet DLC trials. I tank those on PC EU, by the way, so I should know what I'm doing.

    There's a lot of boilerplate to building an endgame meta tank. Let's go over everything:
    • The combination of 1-hand + shield on the front bar, and ice staff on the back bar, is standard. Both weapons offer block cost reduction and increased block mitigation. Make sure to not take the destro staff "Tri Focus" passive. It would convert block cost to magicka on the back bar. You do not want that. You want to block with stamina on both bars. Your stamina regen should be "whatever", whereas your magicka regen should be reasonably high (1.5K at the very least) to cast utility skills. Note that, while you are blocking, your stamina regen is cut off. This is why we don't invest in it.
    • Pierce Armor is mandatory on the front bar. You hit the main boss with that, you breach their armor by about 9K. This is one of your main jobs as a tank, besides that skill being a taunt. Note that we're wearing just a two-piece of Seducer on the front bar, which gives us magicka regen. In the long run this should be replaced by the Master's 1H+Shield set from Dragonstar Arena, a very powerful tanking option that heals you when you use Pierce Armor.
    • By the same token, Elemental Blockade on the back bar is standard. Due to the exact mechanics of ESO and the gear we're wearing, this increases penetration against one target, usually the boss, by another 2K while the Blockade lasts and the boss stands in it. Every detail matters here. It must be a frost staff. It must be Infused. It must have a Crusher enchant on it. Finally, without access to trial nor dungeon sets, we're wearing a crafted set, Torug's Pact, that is completed (5-pieces) on the back bar. This increases the penetration obtained this way from 2K to 3K.
    • Frost Clench is arguably also mandatory. You don't need it in every fight, but it's a ranged taunt to get unruly beasties under control from range. It's also a (boss) debuff.
    • Dark Cloak is your main self-heal. Tanks tend to self-heal quite a lot in trials. This skill and the brand new version of Siphoning Attacks are your main nightblade tanking skills. Siphoning Attacks costs health, but with all the healing you have rolling in as a nightblade, that's not an issue. What's far more important as a tank, especially as an inexperienced one, is to keep your stamina up, so you can stand there, blocking. Siphoning Attacks allows you to do that without dropping block. It is a damn strong skill, possibly OP for (new) tanks in my opinion. Also note that Dark Cloak is a Shadow skill and keeps Major Resolve activated to boost your resistances from a nightblade passive.
    • Healthy Offering is just a bigger instant heal. Only use in emergency, since it's expensive. Tanks generally have such a skill in their arsenal.
    • Silver Leash allows you to pull trash mobs together so they can be cleaved by AOE (area of effect) damage from the DDs. It costs stamina, so you have to be a bit careful with it, but it's the tank's job to do this quite often.
    • Aggressive Warhorn, the ultimate on the front bar, is very standard, especially in coordinated groups. It gives the DDs a buff. Since you'll have to PvP to get this, maybe just slot the 1H+Shield ult in the meantime.
    • Mirage, on the back bar, is a strong skill for all it does. Perhaps the most important reason I'm not taking it off the bar is the Minor Resolve. You want to be at resistance cap as a tank, which is 33K armor. This skill helps us get there. The Major Evasion and dodge roll cost reduction are also very good.
    • The remaining skills on the back bar are somewhat filler. Only Refreshing Path is intended to be used actively, but that's optional. One of it's uses is to catch up with the DDs when they're sprinting ahead. That said, all of these skills have passive utility. Revealing Flare passively gives you Major Protection on the back bar. Refreshing Path, like every Shadow skill, increases your health and, thereby, balances with Dark Cloak on the front bar, keeping your health the same on both bars. Soul Siphon, being a Siphoning skill, increases your magicka by being slotted. Since this is a relatively low magicka / stamina build, we want to fill in those resource pools in every way we can.
    • Let's talk about the remainder of the gear. Cyrodiil's Crest is a "selfish beginner" set I like. It heals you while you stand there, blocking. It somewhat puts you on par with people who have the Master's 1H+S from Dragonstar Arena. You could and probably should wear something else long term. You might want Pearlescent Ward in place of Cyrodiil's Crest and Crimson Oath Rive in place of Torug's Pact in the long run. However those are a trial and DLC dungeon sets respectively, whereas Torug's is craftable and Cyrodiil's Crest, although not ultra cheap, is obtainable in guild stores. A crafted set has the advantage that you can put the optimum armor weights in the correct places, e.g. a light sash and medium bracers. Wearing 5 heavy, 1 medium, 1 light, optimises your Undaunted passives, and using light/medium on the optimal pieces gives you the most resistances. The remaining two pieces are just something I had. The monster helm and shoulders I'm using give a high amount of extra stats, but you could wear something else here.
    • The gear enchants and the drink I'm using (Orzorga's Red Frothgar) go together. This gives you a lot of magicka regen at the expense of having lowish (~20K) magicka and stamina pools. I prefer this option, however you want tri-stat (health/magicka/stamina) enchants on the gear in this case. Those enchants are made with Hakeijo runes, which come from PvP (Imperial City) and are very expensive. You might choose to use only 3 of those enchants for Chest, Legs and Head, where they are most effective, or you could go with health/magicka/stamina food and regular enchants instead. The latter is what most people do. You're shooting for ~40K health as a trial tank, by the way, and as much magicka and stamina as you can get.
    • Note that, whatever you do, your stamina pool must be higher than your magicka pool! One of the main ways to sustain your stamina, while blocking and stamina regen is cut off, is other players (the healers) throwing you synergies. Those synergies will typically give you the resource that has the higher maximum pool. Therefore, your stamina pool should be higher than your magicka pool.
    • My jewelry is Swift. I also use Celerity CP. This is a personal preference. Most tanks use Infused jewelry. However I find speed underrated, even on a tank. There are certain trials, vDSR and vCR spring to mind, where speed - or at least not being snared by Bracing Anchor CP - is genuinely needed. However it also just feels good to play in general.
    • In terms of jewelry enchants you have a lot of room to play around and compensate for other aspects of the build. All things being equal you want all magicka regen or possibly 1x magicka cost reduction. I prefer 1x all skill cost reduction (Indeko), because it is a high value / efficient enchant that also reduces the cost of Pierce Armor, which the Dragonstar Arena 1H+S turns into a heal, once you get that. Other than that, low block cost doesn't hurt, so I tend to spread my enchants as I have done. This, however, is a luxury I have due to using the expensive Hakeijo enchants and Red Frothgar. Otherwise you may well want all Magicka Recovery enchants and possibly Infused jewelry.
    • I am a Breton purely for role-playing reasons. Breton is arguably not a good tanking race. It has an excess of magicka and you tend to end up with (slightly) insufficient physical resistance to reach the 33K resistance cap, as has happened with my character. No matter. Keep the race you have, but be aware that some of my attribute and CP choices have come about to reach the resistance cap and balance my stamina and magicka, so stamina is higher. Depending on your race, you'll have to do things differently while aiming for the same result. That result being: Resistance cap when buffed (33K physical and spell resistance), ~40K health, magicka and stamina 19K at least, stamina > magicka.
    PC EU (EP): Magicka NB (main), Stamina NB, Stamina DK, Stamina Sorcerer, Magicka Warden, Magicka Templar, Stamina Templar
    PC NA (EP): Magicka NB
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  • El_Borracho
    El_Borracho
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    Just a handful of things to add to @fred4's sage advice:

    Mass Hysteria is a great CC. Love it.
    I use Merciless Resolve on dungeon tank builds as it contributes decent damage.
    I use Incap when I am using Nazary as its a cheap ultimate and the two work well together. When paired with Turning Tide as your non-trial set, you can up the group damage significantly.

    I normally like Nords or Argonians for my tanks, but I run a Dark Elf for my NB tan. Yes, it did start out as a PVE and PVP DD, but the magicka & stamina buffs and the flame resistance work really well as a tank, and with the versatility of that character

    I agree that most tanks should run Aggressive Warhorn, but if you expand into tanking trials, make sure you have 2 alternative ultimates available. Some healers will run Powerful Assault, so their trigger for that set is Warhorn, and you don't want to double up the warhorns. Same goes for Barrier, as that is an option. One of the Consuming Darkness morphs is a good option. I don't particularly like the 1H/Shield ultimate for tanking, but Spell Wall is a good ultimate for PVP.

    Last thing, level up the tank skills as a DD. If you level as a tank, it will take forever
    Options
  • Purity7667
    Purity7667
    Soul Shriven
    fred4 wrote: »
    Perhaps the first thing to say is that, if you only have base game, the need for tanking is limited. If you play overland, public dungeons, delves, normal mode group dungeons, I would just have fun and make it up yourself as you go. Don't be an outright tank, because it's simply not needed. Do some damage as well, because you may become frustrated if you can't do so yourself. Have some self-healing, such as from Swallow Soul and Sap Essence. Play a magicka nightblade for that matter. Slot a taunt, such as Frost Clench, in a normal non-DLC group dungeon. You can basically fill the tank role that way.

    Basically the game is so easy that you only need to be a true tank in veteran DLC content. Everything below that level is fair game for all manner of outright DD (damage dealer) to tanky / self-healing DD builds. That said, you can get caught out, because it's hard to judge what difficulty level a particular dungeon is. One way of gaining experience in judging that is by trying to solo some.

    With that out of the way, I am a long-time PC EU player who has one character on PC NA, a nightblade. I have limited CP (around 1K) and resources on PC NA, which makes me somewhat like yourself on that platform. I found myself making a tank recently. This is what I came up with:

    https://en.uesp.net/wiki/Special:EsoBuildData?id=617644

    I'm pretty happy with it. I've only tested it in a vet DLC dungeon so far, but the build is intended to be good enough for vet DLC trials. I tank those on PC EU, by the way, so I should know what I'm doing.

    There's a lot of boilerplate to building an endgame meta tank. Let's go over everything:
    • The combination of 1-hand + shield on the front bar, and ice staff on the back bar, is standard. Both weapons offer block cost reduction and increased block mitigation. Make sure to not take the destro staff "Tri Focus" passive. It would convert block cost to magicka on the back bar. You do not want that. You want to block with stamina on both bars. Your stamina regen should be "whatever", whereas your magicka regen should be reasonably high (1.5K at the very least) to cast utility skills. Note that, while you are blocking, your stamina regen is cut off. This is why we don't invest in it.
    • Pierce Armor is mandatory on the front bar. You hit the main boss with that, you breach their armor by about 9K. This is one of your main jobs as a tank, besides that skill being a taunt. Note that we're wearing just a two-piece of Seducer on the front bar, which gives us magicka regen. In the long run this should be replaced by the Master's 1H+Shield set from Dragonstar Arena, a very powerful tanking option that heals you when you use Pierce Armor.
    • By the same token, Elemental Blockade on the back bar is standard. Due to the exact mechanics of ESO and the gear we're wearing, this increases penetration against one target, usually the boss, by another 2K while the Blockade lasts and the boss stands in it. Every detail matters here. It must be a frost staff. It must be Infused. It must have a Crusher enchant on it. Finally, without access to trial nor dungeon sets, we're wearing a crafted set, Torug's Pact, that is completed (5-pieces) on the back bar. This increases the penetration obtained this way from 2K to 3K.
    • Frost Clench is arguably also mandatory. You don't need it in every fight, but it's a ranged taunt to get unruly beasties under control from range. It's also a (boss) debuff.
    • Dark Cloak is your main self-heal. Tanks tend to self-heal quite a lot in trials. This skill and the brand new version of Siphoning Attacks are your main nightblade tanking skills. Siphoning Attacks costs health, but with all the healing you have rolling in as a nightblade, that's not an issue. What's far more important as a tank, especially as an inexperienced one, is to keep your stamina up, so you can stand there, blocking. Siphoning Attacks allows you to do that without dropping block. It is a damn strong skill, possibly OP for (new) tanks in my opinion. Also note that Dark Cloak is a Shadow skill and keeps Major Resolve activated to boost your resistances from a nightblade passive.
    • Healthy Offering is just a bigger instant heal. Only use in emergency, since it's expensive. Tanks generally have such a skill in their arsenal.
    • Silver Leash allows you to pull trash mobs together so they can be cleaved by AOE (area of effect) damage from the DDs. It costs stamina, so you have to be a bit careful with it, but it's the tank's job to do this quite often.
    • Aggressive Warhorn, the ultimate on the front bar, is very standard, especially in coordinated groups. It gives the DDs a buff. Since you'll have to PvP to get this, maybe just slot the 1H+Shield ult in the meantime.
    • Mirage, on the back bar, is a strong skill for all it does. Perhaps the most important reason I'm not taking it off the bar is the Minor Resolve. You want to be at resistance cap as a tank, which is 33K armor. This skill helps us get there. The Major Evasion and dodge roll cost reduction are also very good.
    • The remaining skills on the back bar are somewhat filler. Only Refreshing Path is intended to be used actively, but that's optional. One of it's uses is to catch up with the DDs when they're sprinting ahead. That said, all of these skills have passive utility. Revealing Flare passively gives you Major Protection on the back bar. Refreshing Path, like every Shadow skill, increases your health and, thereby, balances with Dark Cloak on the front bar, keeping your health the same on both bars. Soul Siphon, being a Siphoning skill, increases your magicka by being slotted. Since this is a relatively low magicka / stamina build, we want to fill in those resource pools in every way we can.
    • Let's talk about the remainder of the gear. Cyrodiil's Crest is a "selfish beginner" set I like. It heals you while you stand there, blocking. It somewhat puts you on par with people who have the Master's 1H+S from Dragonstar Arena. You could and probably should wear something else long term. You might want Pearlescent Ward in place of Cyrodiil's Crest and Crimson Oath Rive in place of Torug's Pact in the long run. However those are a trial and DLC dungeon sets respectively, whereas Torug's is craftable and Cyrodiil's Crest, although not ultra cheap, is obtainable in guild stores. A crafted set has the advantage that you can put the optimum armor weights in the correct places, e.g. a light sash and medium bracers. Wearing 5 heavy, 1 medium, 1 light, optimises your Undaunted passives, and using light/medium on the optimal pieces gives you the most resistances. The remaining two pieces are just something I had. The monster helm and shoulders I'm using give a high amount of extra stats, but you could wear something else here.
    • The gear enchants and the drink I'm using (Orzorga's Red Frothgar) go together. This gives you a lot of magicka regen at the expense of having lowish (~20K) magicka and stamina pools. I prefer this option, however you want tri-stat (health/magicka/stamina) enchants on the gear in this case. Those enchants are made with Hakeijo runes, which come from PvP (Imperial City) and are very expensive. You might choose to use only 3 of those enchants for Chest, Legs and Head, where they are most effective, or you could go with health/magicka/stamina food and regular enchants instead. The latter is what most people do. You're shooting for ~40K health as a trial tank, by the way, and as much magicka and stamina as you can get.
    • Note that, whatever you do, your stamina pool must be higher than your magicka pool! One of the main ways to sustain your stamina, while blocking and stamina regen is cut off, is other players (the healers) throwing you synergies. Those synergies will typically give you the resource that has the higher maximum pool. Therefore, your stamina pool should be higher than your magicka pool.
    • My jewelry is Swift. I also use Celerity CP. This is a personal preference. Most tanks use Infused jewelry. However I find speed underrated, even on a tank. There are certain trials, vDSR and vCR spring to mind, where speed - or at least not being snared by Bracing Anchor CP - is genuinely needed. However it also just feels good to play in general.
    • In terms of jewelry enchants you have a lot of room to play around and compensate for other aspects of the build. All things being equal you want all magicka regen or possibly 1x magicka cost reduction. I prefer 1x all skill cost reduction (Indeko), because it is a high value / efficient enchant that also reduces the cost of Pierce Armor, which the Dragonstar Arena 1H+S turns into a heal, once you get that. Other than that, low block cost doesn't hurt, so I tend to spread my enchants as I have done. This, however, is a luxury I have due to using the expensive Hakeijo enchants and Red Frothgar. Otherwise you may well want all Magicka Recovery enchants and possibly Infused jewelry.
    • I am a Breton purely for role-playing reasons. Breton is arguably not a good tanking race. It has an excess of magicka and you tend to end up with (slightly) insufficient physical resistance to reach the 33K resistance cap, as has happened with my character. No matter. Keep the race you have, but be aware that some of my attribute and CP choices have come about to reach the resistance cap and balance my stamina and magicka, so stamina is higher. Depending on your race, you'll have to do things differently while aiming for the same result. That result being: Resistance cap when buffed (33K physical and spell resistance), ~40K health, magicka and stamina 19K at least, stamina > magicka.

    First, thank you very much, you write a lot that are very useful. Yeah, sometimes I feel useless in the trash mobs, they don't need me to taunt. A skill I often use at the moment is Lotus Fan, it could improve 5% team damage. Is that useful? Also how much resistance should I have, someguys said the healer will give you resistance so you don't need to be 33k.
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  • Purity7667
    Purity7667
    Soul Shriven
    Just a handful of things to add to @fred4's sage advice:

    Mass Hysteria is a great CC. Love it.
    I use Merciless Resolve on dungeon tank builds as it contributes decent damage.
    I use Incap when I am using Nazary as its a cheap ultimate and the two work well together. When paired with Turning Tide as your non-trial set, you can up the group damage significantly.

    I normally like Nords or Argonians for my tanks, but I run a Dark Elf for my NB tan. Yes, it did start out as a PVE and PVP DD, but the magicka & stamina buffs and the flame resistance work really well as a tank, and with the versatility of that character

    I agree that most tanks should run Aggressive Warhorn, but if you expand into tanking trials, make sure you have 2 alternative ultimates available. Some healers will run Powerful Assault, so their trigger for that set is Warhorn, and you don't want to double up the warhorns. Same goes for Barrier, as that is an option. One of the Consuming Darkness morphs is a good option. I don't particularly like the 1H/Shield ultimate for tanking, but Spell Wall is a good ultimate for PVP.

    Last thing, level up the tank skills as a DD. If you level as a tank, it will take forever

    Thank you too. A skill I often use at the moment is Lotus Fan. Is that useful? I love Mass Hysteria too. But seems no slot to put those three(include Merciless Resolve) in. How did you solve this problem, or which skill you repalced.
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  • fred4
    fred4
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    Purity7667 wrote: »
    First, thank you very much, you write a lot that are very useful. Yeah, sometimes I feel useless in the trash mobs, they don't need me to taunt. A skill I often use at the moment is Lotus Fan, it could improve 5% team damage. Is that useful? Also how much resistance should I have, someguys said the healer will give you resistance so you don't need to be 33k.
    Lotus Fan is indeed useful. However it drops block, e.g. if you hold block and cast that skill, and the boss does a poorly telegraphed heavy attack that you didn't see coming, you may be one shot (in content where bosses hit hard enough). This is why I'm not using that skill at the moment.

    Warden healers will give you Major Resolve = ~6K resists. However (a) I wouldn't rely on that as a tank and (b) you get that passively from casting Shadow skills anyway, e.g. Dark Cloak or Refreshing Path in my build. Dark Cloak should be part of every tank build and you will cast it often. In other words you already have Major Resolve. Warden healers won't give you anything extra.

    Arcanists may have some skills that give you extra resistances, but Arcanist healers are not common. Wardens are the most common.

    Furthermore a healer may wear a monster set called Ozezan. However (a) this only gives you resistances for a very short time (1.1 seconds) while they are overhealing you and (b) it is merely one of the options that a healer may or may not use. It's situational and you can't rely on it. As a tank you should bring your own resistances up to 33K, e.g. when you are fully buffed with Dark Cloak and Mirage (or Resolving Vigor instead of Mirage).

    That said, I can't stress enough that it all depends on the content that you play. In most of base game content tanks matter little and healers matter even less, at least when you have competent DDs. You don't need to be at resistance cap (33K) for base game.
    PC EU (EP): Magicka NB (main), Stamina NB, Stamina DK, Stamina Sorcerer, Magicka Warden, Magicka Templar, Stamina Templar
    PC NA (EP): Magicka NB
    Options
  • Purity7667
    Purity7667
    Soul Shriven
    fred4 wrote: »
    Purity7667 wrote: »
    First, thank you very much, you write a lot that are very useful. Yeah, sometimes I feel useless in the trash mobs, they don't need me to taunt. A skill I often use at the moment is Lotus Fan, it could improve 5% team damage. Is that useful? Also how much resistance should I have, someguys said the healer will give you resistance so you don't need to be 33k.
    Lotus Fan is indeed useful. However it drops block, e.g. if you hold block and cast that skill, and the boss does a poorly telegraphed heavy attack that you didn't see coming, you may be one shot (in content where bosses hit hard enough). This is why I'm not using that skill at the moment.

    Warden healers will give you Major Resolve = ~6K resists. However (a) I wouldn't rely on that as a tank and (b) you get that passively from casting Shadow skills anyway, e.g. Dark Cloak or Refreshing Path in my build. Dark Cloak should be part of every tank build and you will cast it often. In other words you already have Major Resolve. Warden healers won't give you anything extra.

    Arcanists may have some skills that give you extra resistances, but Arcanist healers are not common. Wardens are the most common.

    Furthermore a healer may wear a monster set called Ozezan. However (a) this only gives you resistances for a very short time (1.1 seconds) while they are overhealing you and (b) it is merely one of the options that a healer may or may not use. It's situational and you can't rely on it. As a tank you should bring your own resistances up to 33K, e.g. when you are fully buffed with Dark Cloak and Mirage (or Resolving Vigor instead of Mirage).

    That said, I can't stress enough that it all depends on the content that you play. In most of base game content tanks matter little and healers matter even less, at least when you have competent DDs. You don't need to be at resistance cap (33K) for base game.

    Sure, thank you. I will follow these suggestions. No more questions, I think I should build first.
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