nightblade tank
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Nightblade Tank

Defender is a Nightblade Tank PVE Build for ESO. The build is sturdy and flexible enough to complete every PVE content. Defender has many tools to protect your group, crowd control enemies and even heal you. Based on the secondary Armor Set you are using you can offer to your group different types of support.

If you are a new player, you can take a look at my Nightblade Beginner Guide. If you are looking for a Solo PVE Build for Arenas like the Maelstrom Arena and Vateshran Hollows, take a look at my Magicka Nightblade Solo Build. You can find more Builds in the Nightblade Builds page.

Table of Contents

Nightblade Tank Build Setup

Below you can find different Setups for harder but also easier group content. The Setups will help you tank Trials or Dungeons and allow you to assist Stamina or Magicka(Encratis’s Behemoth) based Groups! A few good alternative Sets you can use include Claw of Yolnahkriin, Pearlescent Ward, Nazaray, Archdruid Devyric, Brands of Imperium.

Trials Build

This is a Tank setup for harder Group content.

HeadTremorscaleMediumDivinesPrismatic Defense
ShouldersTremorscaleLightDivinesPrismatic Defense
HandsTurning TideHeavyDivinesPrismatic Defense
LegsTurning TideHeavyDivinesPrismatic Defense
ChestTurning TideHeavyDivinesPrismatic Defense
WaistTurning TideHeavyDivinesPrismatic Defense
FeetTurning TideHeavyDivinesPrismatic Defense
NecklacePowerful AssaultJewelHarmonyPrismatic Recovery
RingPowerful AssaultJewelHarmonyPrismatic Recovery
RingPowerful AssaultJewelHarmonyPrismatic Recovery
One Handed WeaponPowerful AssaultSwordInfusedWeakening
Off-HandPowerful AssaultShieldDivinesPrismatic Defense
StaffPowerful AssaultLightning/Ice/FireInfusedCrusher

Easier Group Content

A Tank setup for easier Group content and less organized parties.

HeadLord WardenHeavy/Medium/LightDivinesPrismatic Defense
ShouldersLord WardenHeavy/Medium/LightDivinesPrismatic Defense
HandsDrake's RushHeavyDivinesPrismatic Defense
LegsDrake's RushHeavyDivinesPrismatic Defense
ChestDrake's RushHeavyDivinesPrismatic Defense
WaistDrake's RushHeavyDivinesPrismatic Defense
FeetDrake's RushHeavyDivinesPrismatic Defense
NecklaceCrimson Oath's RiveJewelHarmonyPrismatic Recovery
RingCrimson Oath's RiveJewelHarmonyPrismatic Recovery
RingCrimson Oath's RiveJewelHarmonyPrismatic Recovery
One Handed WeaponCrimson Oath's RiveSwordInfusedWeakening
Off-HandCrimson Oath's RiveShieldDivinesPrismatic Defense
StaffCrimson Oath's RiveLightning/IceInfusedCrusher

Armor Sets for Nightblade Tank Build

Skills for Nightblade Tank Build

The following Skills will allow you to hold aggro and Tank effectively almost every PVE content.

Pierce ArmorInner RageMirageDefensive StanceRazor CaltropsBolstering Darkness
Unstable Wall of ElementsSilver LeashDark CloakSiphoning AttacksTurn EvilSoul Tether
  • Pierce Armor(Puncture): Our main Taunt attack that also debuffs enemies.
  • Inner Rage(Inner Fire): Our Taunt for enemies far away.
  • Mirage(Blur): Defensive buff to boost resistances.
  • Defensive Stance(Defensive Posture): Essential skill for tanking. It gives us a shield, increases the amount of damage we can block and reduces the cost of blocking.
  • Razor Caltrops(Caltrops): Debuffs enemies and triggers Powerful Assault.
  • Bolstering Darkness(Consuming Darkness): Your Primary Ultimate that provides Major Protection.
  • Unstable Wall of Elements(Wall of Elements): Use this ability to deal damage and apply the Crusher debuff to enemies.
  • Silver Leash(Silver Bolts): Use it to pull enemies to you.
  • Dark Cloak(Shadow Cloak): Defensive buff that provides Minor Protection and heals.
  • Siphoning Attacks(Siphoning Strikes): Powerful Sustain ability.
  • Turn Evil(Circle of Protection): Crowd Control ability that also provides Minor Protection.
  • Soul Tether(Soul Shred): Secondary Ultimate to deal damage or use as an additional CC ability.

Passive Skills for Nightblade Tank Build

Very important passive skills that can help you maximize the potential of your Nightblade Tank Build

  • All Passive Skills from your Class’ Lines
  • All Passive Skills from Weapon Lines you are using
  • Passive Skills from Armor Lines you are using
  • Passive Abilities from Guild lines(Fighters Guild, Mages Guild, Psijic Order) that affect your skills/Build
  • Fighters Guild Passives: Intimidating Presence, Slayer, Banish the Wicked, Skilled Tracker
  • Undaunted Passives
  • Your Racial Passives
  • Medicinal Use Passive from Alchemy to boost the effectiveness of Potions

Champion Points for Nightblade Tank Build

Below you will find the best Champion Points setup for the Build. If you would like to learn more about Champion Points and how they work, you can read my ESO Champion Points Guide.


  • Slottable Stars: Unassailable, Bulwark, Reinforced, Duelist’s Rebuff
  • Passive: Eldritch Insight, Tireless Discipline, Piercing, Flawless Ritual, War Mage, Battle Mastery, Mighty, Quick Recovery, Hardy, Elemental Aegis, Preparation, Precision, Blessed


  • Slottable Stars: Rationer, Liquid Efficiency, Master Gatherer, Steed’s Blessing
  • Passive: Gilded Fingers, Fortune’s Favor, Wanderer, Steadfast Enchantment, Treasure Hunter(slottable, required for path)


  • Slottable Stars: Rejuvenation, Boundless Vitality, Fortified, Celerity
  • Passive: Sprinter, Hasty, Tireless Guardian, Fortification, Hero’s Vigor, Mystic Tenacity, Tumbling, Defiance, Nimble Protector, Savage Defense, Bashing Brutality

Consumables for Nightblade Tank Build

We are using Longfin Pasty with Melon Sauce or Bewitched Sugar Skulls and crafted Tri-Stat Essence of Health.

Info for Nightblade Tank Build

Several important info for the Nightblade Tank PVE Build. What Mundus to use, the best race for the build and how to assign your attribute points.

Attribute Points

24 points to Magicka, 6 to Health and 34 to Stamina

Mundus Stone

The Atronach for better Magicka Recovery.

What Race is Best for Nightblade Tank Build

Nord – Imperial – Orc – Argonian is the best race for a Tank Build. You can find more about the playable races in my ESO Race Guide!

Vampire or Werewolf

Neither is necessary.

Rotation for Nightblade Tank Build

Buff yourself with Mirage, Dark Cloak. Taunt enemies with Pierce Armor, Inner Rage and attack with Unstable Wall of Elements to apply the Crusher debuff. Use Razor Caltrops to debuff enemies and trigger Powerful Assault. Use Silver Leash to pull enemies to you, Turn Evil to CC them, Siphoning Attacks if you need to restore Resources. Activate your Ultimates when ready. Bolstering Darkness to provide Major Protection and Soul Tether to deal damage, crowd control.

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