Updated: Scalebreaker DLC, Elsweyr Chapter
Type: Dungeon, Trials & Overland

Table of Contents for the Dragonknight Tank Build PvE

Introduction to the Dragonknight Tank Build PvE

Welcome to the Stamina Dragonknight Tank Build PvE “Catalyst” for Elder Scrolls Online. Make sure to bookmark the link as I will keep updating the build for each new Update of ESO.

The Stamina Dragonknight Build Catalyst is optimized for Dungeons, Arenas & Trials. Keep in mind there is a huge variety of different tank builds out there that synergize well depending on your group setup. Remember, each Trial, Dungeon or Arena needs some small adjustments to the build. So if you for example feel that you need more health, then go for it!

Dragonknights are by far the most popular tanking class. Naturally because of their skills and passives Dragonknights are just truly made for tanking. They have a lot of good shields that they can apply to themselves and the group which helps with survival. They also have strong self healing and very good resource management through passives, which I will explain in more detail in the resource management section. More resistances and increased amount of damage that you can block are also included in the passives. If you go through the Draconic Power & Earthen Heart Class skill line you will notice that fairly quickly. Dragonknights also have a very unique Unrelenting Grip that they can use to pull enemies towards the groups, whereas other tank classes have to use sets for this.

  • Trial, Dungeon & Arena
  • Tank/ Support Build
  • Heavy Armor
  • Great sustain
  • Great survivability
  • Great self healing
  • Great shielding

In case you don’t know what what weaving light attacks is, make sure to check out the “Weaving Beginner Guide” which explains how to weave light attacks between abilities, aka animation canceling. If you want more information about tanking, I can also recommend reading the Advanced Tanking Guide.

Changes from the previous version

Defensive Posture:

  • Reworked this ability and its morphs into a Damage Shield, rather than a weird buff. These abilities no longer passively reduce the cost of block or increase the amount of damage you can block while they are slotted.
  • Reduced the duration of the bonus from this ability to 6 seconds from 30 seconds.
  • Increased the cost to 4320 from 2430.
  • The Damage Shield scales off 30% of your Maximum Health, similarly to other damage shields like Bone Shield or Sun Shield.
  • This ability will continue to reflect once, but will now reflect any projectile rather than only spell projectiles. Reflecting an attack does not consume the shield.
    • Absorb Magic (morph):
      • This morph is now called Absorb Missile, because it can absorb any ranged attack instead of just magical ones!
      • Reduced the damage shield size to 30% from 50%.
      • Increased the heal granted from an absorbed ranged attack by approximately 29%, and will no longer remove the shield.

Resource Management

Dragonknights have insane resource management compared to other tank classes. Battle Roar and Helping Hands passive outperform other classes already by a huge margin. Healers can also support you with Energy Orb and Luminous Shards (Templar) to give you around 4000 Stamina back, that is also the reason why we have more Stamina than Magicka, because you gain resources depending on your higher resource stat. So our Stamina should be about 2000 higher than our Magicka pool, which means we will always get Stamina back from the Spears or the Orbs! Also, you do not always need to permablock, so when you have time, do some heavy attacks to restore some resources! Potions are also a key to manage your resources well, use the right potions to really get the edge on your resources!

I usually recommend tanks to go with an Argonian due to the Resourceful racial passive, it is by far the best race to manage your resources easily.

Trials & Dungeons Setup


Remember that there is a ton of good Tank sets to choose from, especially when you are going into a Trial! Here are a few good sets to list them up:

Gear Setup

Lightning vs Frost Staff: You can use both options, a frost staff is better if you want to go the save route and get all the block mitigation on the backbar as well. The Lightning Staff is used in combination with Elemental Blockade to apply Off-Balance to the enemy, that way you can support your group and increase the overall damage output.

  • Monster Sets: There are various Monster sets that you can wear along with this combination, you can use Mighty Chudan, Pirate Skeleton, Bloodspawn, Vykosa etc.
ChestEbon ArmoryHeavyReinforcedTri Stat Enchantment
BeltEbon ArmoryHeavySturdyHealth Enchantment
ShoesEbon ArmoryHeavySturdyHealth Enchantment
PantsEbon ArmoryHeavyInfusedTri Stat Enchantment
HandsEbon ArmoryHeavySturdyHealth Enchantment
HeadLord WardenLightInfusedTri Stat Enchantment
ShoulderLord WardenMediumSturdyHealth Enchantment
NecklaceRoar of AlkoshJewelryInfusedBlock Cost Reduction
RingRoar of AlkoshJewelryInfusedBlock Cost Reduction
RingRoar of AlkoshJewelryInfusedBlock Cost Reduction
Weapon 1 S&BRoar of Alkosh1H-WeapDecisiveWeakening Enchantment
Weapon 1 S&BRoar of AlkoshShieldInfusedTri-Stat Enchantment
Weapon 2 DestroRoar of AlkoshLightning StaffInfusedCrusher Enchantment

Beginner Gear Setup

This beginner setup is here for people that do not have access to the other setup now. You can ask a friend to craft Fortified Brass and Torug’s Pact for you. You could also use Plague Doctor instead of Torug’s Pact as it is very cheap available in the Guild Stores.

ChestFortified BrassHeavyReinforcedStamina Enchantment
BeltFortified BrassLightSturdyHealth Enchantment
ShoesFortified BrassMediumSturdyHealth Enchantment
PantsTorug's PactHeavyInfusedStamina Enchantment
HandsTorug's PactHeavySturdyHealth Enchantment
HeadNight's SilenceHeavyInfusedStamina Enchantment
ShoulderNight's SilenceHeavySturdyHealth Enchantment
NecklaceTorug's PactJewelryHealthyBlock Cost Reduction
RingTorug's PactJewelryHealthyBlock Cost Reduction
RingTorug's PactJewelryHealthyBlock Cost Reduction
Weapon 1 S&BFortified Brass1H-WeapDecisiveWeakening Enchantment
Weapon 1 S&BFortified BrassShieldInfusedStamina Enchantment
Weapon 2 DestroFortified BrassLightning StaffInfusedCrusher Enchantment

Where can I get the gear?

Ebon Armory: Crypts of Hearts
Roar of Alkosh: Maw of Lorkhaj
Bloodspawn: Spindleclutch 2
Claw of Yolnahkrin: Sunspire
Lord Warden: Imperial City Prison
Mighty Chudan: Ruins of Mazzatun
Fortified Brass: Craftable
Torug's Pact: Craftable
Night's Silence: Craftable
Plague Doctor: Deshaan, Guildstore


Make sure to adjust your skills to your needs, this setup is not maced into stone, make sure to adjust skills depending on the situation of a fight.

  • Green Dragon Blood: While active, you receive a 12% healing boost due to the Burning Heart passive. Also gives you an insane burst heal if needed.
  • Absorb Missle: Gives you a big shield, plus if you get hit by a projectile you also get some health back!
  • Pierce Armor: Your main taunt, also debuffs the enemy with Major Fracture and Major Breach, reducing Spell and Physical Resistance by 5280.
  • Igneous Shield: Big Shield that can Absorb a lot of damage and also gives you Major Mending, increasing your healing by 25% for the next 2,5s.
  • Heroic Slash: Debuffs the enemy with a 15% damage reduction debuff and also gives you Minor Heroism, increasing your Ultimate generation.
  • Magma Shell: Basically godmode for the next 10 seconds.
  • Sanguine Blood Altar: Should be placed on the ground all the time, gives option for a nice Synergy and also heals.
  • Elemental Blockade: If you are using a Shock staff, this can proc off balance on the enemies which increases the damage output of your group.
  • Inner Rage: This is your ranged taunt, in case you can not get to a mob fast enough.
  • Unrelenting Grip: This is your chain to pull enemies to you, very reliable and helps killing mobs faster.
  • Balance: One of the most important skills for this setup. If you use Balance you restore 3000 Magicka and you gain Major Resolve and Major Ward. IMPORTANT: Be aware that when you use the skill, that all shields and healing will be cut in half for the next 4 seconds.
  • Why no Volatile Armor? The Balance skill gives you the same armor buffs as Volatile Armor, it is also very essential to the build, as it literally gives you INFINTE sustain.
  • Engulfing Flames? If you want you can replace Blood Alter with Engulfing Flames. Engulfing can be a very powerful tool to increase fire damage for the whole group.
Green Dragon Blood Absorb Missile Pierce Armor Igneous Shield Heroic Slash Magma Shell
Sanguine Altar Elemental Blockade Inner Rage Unrelenting Grip Balance Aggressive Horn
S&B MainbarDestro bar
Slot 1: Green DragonbloodSlot 1: Sanguine Blood Altar
Slot 2: Absorb MissleSlot 2: Elemental Blockade/ Choking Talons
Slot 3: Pierce ArmorSlot 3: Inner Rage
Slot 4: Igneous ShieldSlot 4: Unrelenting Grip
Slot 5: Heroic SlashSlot 5: Balance
Ultimate: Magma ArmorUltimate: Aggressive Warhorn


Championpoints for Dragonknight Tank Build PvE “Catalyst”

If you need optimized defensive Champion Points for a specific trial I recommend checking out my Maximize Damage Mitigation in Trials Article.

Championpoints [810]

The Ritual
40 Precise Strikes, 10 Piercing
The Attronarch
47 Physical Weapons Expert, 73 Master-at-Arms
The Apprentice
100 Blessed
The Shadow
81 Shadow Ward, 63 Tumbling
The Lover
43 Tenacity
The Tower
83 Warlord
The Lord
18 Bastion, 12 Heavy Armor Focus
The Lady
56 Hardy, 56 Elemental Defender, 56 Thick Skinned
The Steed
72 Ironclad

Championpoints [600]

The Ritual
26 Precise Strikes, 1 Piercing
The Attronarch
73 Master-at-Arms
The Apprentice
100 Blessed
The Shadow
100 Shadow Ward, 50 Tumbling
The Lover
The Tower
50 Warlord
The Lord
The Lady
56 Hardy, 49 Elemental Defender, 23 Thick Skinned
The Steed
72 Ironclad

Championpoints [300]

The Ritual
The Attronarch
The Apprentice
100 Blessed
The Shadow
44 Shadow Ward
The Lover
43 Arcanist
The Tower
13 Warlord
The Lord
The Lady
27 Hardy, 27 Elemental Defender, 2 Thick Skinned
The Steed
44 Ironclad

Important Info for Dragonknight Tank Build PvE “Catalyst”


Longfin pasty with Melon Sauce (Max Health+Max Stamina+Max Magicka)

Longfin pasty with melon sauce

Mundus Stone

The Lord (Max Health)


Nords: Please keep in mind, if you are a Nord you have more resistances than on other races because of your passives.

Nord (Recommended, fastest ultimate generation)
Argonian (Recommended, best sustain)


Tri-Stat Potion
(Health, Stamina, Magicka)
(Bugloss, Columbine, Mountain Flower)

Tri Stat Potion



You have to make sure to have a bit more Stamina than Magicka. Because of the Synergies you pick up give you back whatever stat is higher. You can change this to your liking, if you do not need that much health, get more stamina.

15 Magicka, 10 Health, 39 Stamina

Blackrose Prison Arena

Make sure to check out the full Blackrose Prison Arena Guide where I also talk about tank specific tips for the Arena.

Your main job in the Arena is to position the monsters correctly so your damage dealers can focus on AoE damage. Therefore you will need your Spell Symmetry and Unrelenting Grip a lot. Spell Symmetry helps regain magicka quickly and reduces the cost of your next chain cast. (Please keep in mind in the normal setup we use Balance, so you might want to change to this morph in this arena)

To optimize the time that you can spend on using Spell Symmetry and chaining, we are using the Mighty Chudan Monster Set. Having permanent Major Ward and Major Resolve (Increased Spell and Physical Resistance by 5280) is good, because that way we do not need to use another skill (such as Volatile Armor like usually) that costs magicka to keep those two very important buffs up. Therefore you can focus more on chaining. In addition, Mighty Chudan also gives you even more resistances (2975 extra Spell & 2975 Physical Resistance and another health bonus (1206 extra health).

Ebon Armory is the standard set that you should use in the Blackrose Prison Arena to boost overall health of you and your group members. The second set is up to you. I can recommend Battalion Defender which really boosts your overall heals for the whole group or Akaviri Dragonguard to get reduced ultimate cost or sets like War Machine or Powerful Assault. You might wonder if Alkosh is a good choice for the Arena, I can not recommend it as with a team of four players, synergies are rare and it is hard to keep up the Alkosh debuff on the bosses, therefore War Machine or Power Assault are the better choices.

ChestEbon ArmoryHeavyReinforcedTri Stat Enchantment
BeltEbon ArmoryHeavySturdyHealth Enchantment
ShoesEbon ArmoryHeavySturdyHealth Enchantment
PantsEbon ArmoryHeavyInfusedTri Stat Enchantment
HandsEbon ArmoryHeavySturdyHealth Enchantment
HeadMighty ChudanLightInfusedTri Stat Enchantment
ShoulderMighty ChudanMediumSturdyHealth Enchantment
NecklaceBattalion DefenderJewelryInfusedBlock Cost Reduction
RingBattalion DefenderJewelryInfusedBlock Cost Reduction
RingBattalion DefenderJewelryInfusedBlock Cost Reduction
Weapon 1 S&BBattalion Defender1H-WeapInfusedWeakening Enchantment
Weapon 1 S&BBattalion DefenderShieldInfusedTri-Stat Enchantment
Weapon 2 DestroBattalion DefenderShock StaffInfusedCrusher Enchantment


  • If you are using Mighty Chudan as Monster Set make sure to use Spell Symmetry instead of Balance to benefit from the cost reduction to use more chains.
  • If you want you can also slot a Destruction Staff on the backbar to interrupt enemies from far away.
Green Dragon Blood Absorb Missile Pierce Armor Igneous Shield Heroic Slash Magma Shell
Sanguine Altar Choking Talons Inner Rage Unrelenting Grip Spell Symmetry Aggressive Horn

Update Log

11.08.2019 Updated Build for SCALEBREAKER DLC, Elsweyr Chapter for the Dragonknight Tank Build PvE.

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