The Abrams – PVP Stamina Tank

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    Imperial Nightblade

    Introduction: This is my second build for ESO I am posting here. As with the Strider this is more of a working narrative on application. You will get specifics (mundus stone, gear etc.) but my builds are not the normal structure as others here at foundry. I don’t link to external pic hosting sites, I type it out. If you don’t like to read you should stop now. This can be read through in sections, I do understand most like the visual but that’s not how I do it, proceed at your own risk.

    The name is taken from the U.S. militaries M1 Abrams tank. This tank was named for Creighton Abrams the army chief of staff during Vietnam. The Abrams went into service in 1980 and is still being deployed today. Its first real test was the gulf war 1991, and more recently the invasion of Iraq. Whatever your political views may be on war, the point of the references above is to illustrate its uses in corollary to the build. The Abrams is a front line tank that leads the assault. This build can work solo, I’ve done it with mixed results. Most effective in an organized group, pugs work but the intent is to be the first in, be the focal point of the enemy, absorb damage and output enough damage to not be ignored.

    Class: Stamina Templar. I don’t know if this can work with other classes I didn’t test it. Templars are unique as they have so much magicka based skills and utility that you generally lean that way. I have a magicka Templar as well and I love it great heals, good sustain, decent dps and can tank. Templar has a lot of good passives on top of its superior heal skills. We can variate the build to accommodate heals if need be but that’s more for a solo situation. Specifically, you can stick breath of life in this build really anywhere and with the magicka pool pull of 2-3 and your back on your feetI mean what else is there to say about BOL? It’s perhaps the best heal in the game.

    Class Passives:  So we aren’t going to do an item by item listing here only the ones we need I am also going to present this with the assumption all passives are maxed, this is an end game build narrative. Remember you must have a skill of that line slotted to get the benefit of the passive.

    • Aedric spear: Piercing Spear: +10% bonus crit damage and +10% damage to blocking targets. Now the 1<sup>st</sup> part is 10% bonus ON THE CRIT, not a 10% increase in crit. A lot of people get confused by this. The second part is +10% damage to blocking targets. They are not the same thing and that’s what makes this a unique passive as both parts of the passive can proc on one target if it’s blocking.
    • Aedric spear: Spear wall: +15% increase in the amount of damage you can block from melee targets. Now that’s on top of what you normally block, from what I have seen (someone correct me if I am wrong) its additive AFTER your CP allocations. This is wonderful for the NB gank teleport-surprise strike-incapacitating strike. Assuming you get a pot off for stun immunity you can block a boat load of damage.
    • Aedric spear: Burning Light: Gives you a 25% chance to cause extra damage at any time you hit with an aedric spear skill. This is just bonus damage, it procs off of weapon or spell damage so this should proc physical damage for you. We’ll be using sweeps on our main bar and this can proc on any one of the multiple hits.
    • Aedric Spear: Balanced Warrior: Increases your weapon damage 6% AND increases spell resistance by 2640. There isn’t much to elaborate on here.

    “But Thor you said you wouldn’t be listing every item, but you listed all the aedric spear line passives?” All of them are not only useful but critical. This one Templar line is a must have for a Templar tank, get it maxed, if you are short on skill points when in doubt put them to aedric spear unless you are healer. If possible have an aedric spear skill slotted on both bars.

    • Dawns Wrath: Restoring spirit: Reduces magicka, Stam and ultimate costs 4%. This is a great, great passive but you need to have a dawn’s wrath skill slotted. One of the variants of the build has radiant oppression (Jesus beam) simply because it’s the best (or 1a next to BOL) skill a Templar has and a great finisher. This passive makes it a better option to slot.

    There really isn’t much else in the dawn’s wrath line I use. My Templar has ample points and all passives are maxed. If you have the skill points, I mean go ahead max all your passives what the hell else are you going to do with your points? If you are a fresh VR toon though and sparse on points, you don’t need to go into dawns wrath at all as a stam build unless you want radiant then get restoring. Quick note on Dawn wraths ultimate’s, they aren’t bad but there are better ultimate’s out there IMHO.

    • Restoring light: Mending: Increase the healing effects of your healing light abilities up to 10% in proportion to the severity of the targets wounds. First, I’ve never been able to discern exactly what the last bit means, it infers that if the wound has taken more health the ability procs more. Or perhaps it means it caps, I don’t honestly know. What I do know is the “target” can mean you. Another great passive for BOL or purifying ritual (I use this).
    • Restoring light: Sacred ground: Now this is an interesting passive I’m not going to write it all out but let’s get the simple part out of the way. When you use cleansing ritual or Rune focus (this build can accommodate either) you get major mending which increases your healing by 25% (this includes stam based heals rally and vigor) you get this for 4 seconds after you leave the circle as well. It also procs a debuff on enemies decreasing their movement speed by 30% when they come into ritual or rune focus. Now ritual is a pretty big circle and as we will discuss later in single combat you want to stay in that circle, group play you’re going to need to be more fluid.
    • Restoring light honorable mentions: Light weaver and Master ritualist. Both are solid, again if you have the points max them. Ritualist affects your resurrection speed and what your target revives with. I’m not spending a lot of time reviving people in this build I’m in front taking damage or being resurrected.

    Why so much on passives?

    Passives are the second half of the “heart and soul” of a class, the heart being the skills the soul being the passives. Passives are potent and ZOS to their credit has created some nice complimentary passive skills to make each class unique. Given that we all use the same weapons and armor skills, class and race passives play a large role in making your build unique. A DK tank is going to be vastly different than a Templar tank with the same armor with the same weapons. Read the tool tips, take the time on your passives. One of the things that’s easy to do in ESO is run from one thing to the next and never taking the time to look at outcomes, consider the fight you just had and what worked (or didn’t and why). Do that, and think about passives.

    Race: This is a stamina tank, this eliminates several races right off the bat. For this build we want a red guard its hands down the best for what you are supposed to be doing.  Why? Because of the adrenaline rush race passive. This gives you stam back when you damage an opponent. As you will see in the gear and stats section our stam is going to be around 20-22K low by cyrodiil standards. Every opportunity to get it back is needed here. Red Guard also gives you a bump to stam recovery and increases your base stam pool. The 4<sup>th</sup> passives helps you increase 1h and shield which we use, it’s a nice have but not needed. Overall its 3 main passives support a stam tank build. Imperial would be my second choice as red diamond works similar to adrenaline rush but we would need to make adjustments to gear to configure the stam. Race is important, and while you can do this with any race I wouldn’t do it without the Red Guard passives.

    Mundus:  The serpent. We need to increase stam regen. In the stats section I can get 2K+ stam regen (on purple gear). 2k+ regen on or about is the goal, and you’ll need to do divines on two pieces and those have to be med armor to get it. Along with your race passives 2K should be obtainable. This is a critical stat because our stam pool is going to be lower than normal. Many will be tempted to go with undaunted mettle and use one light for the increase in the pools. I’m not going to tell you not to, it will work with this build but when the stam pool is gone you’ll wish you had that regen.

    World Skills:  There is a lot here and all of it can work. Soul magic and legerdemain are easy. Soul magic we aren’t using skills here the passives are fine if you have the points. Soul magics ulti is a nice have for a magi Templar build with radiant, not for our stam tank. Legerdemain is critical though because of the passive improved hiding which lowers your sneak stam cost by 40%. Must have passive, level ASAP you get the benefits all the time. Vampire and Werewolf I don’t use either in this build but you can. Vampire gives you myst and bats both are exceptional skills in the right build. Werewolf is an offensive morph that changes your skill bar. You also get a nice 15% stam regen passive while its slotted did you go imperial? This might be a nice ult to have to make up for the loss of the Red Guard race regen passive. Neither is going to harm you to a great degree, both might help but for vamps that flame damage is rough around keeps given the siege damage. I don’t like either here but both can work.

    Objective of the armor sets: This is an important section because it’s important to talk about what we want out of a set before listing set options. The sets here have to give you base health from the glyphs. All the major pieces have health glyphs. Let me say right away that Prismatic glyphs aren’t a bad way to go, that’s your call but don’t fudge here, your major pieces (head, chest, legs) should have health. Remember I mentioned 20-22K stam? That’s because you should be in or around 45K+ health. You’re going to get that from 5 pieces (3 major) all with health glyphs and heavy armor. The heavy armor passives kick in here (we will go over this below) with +10% health from juggernaut. Now we come to one of the weaknesses of the build, its stamina based and we aren’t using 5 Med armor pieces for the regen bonus. We discussed briefly the undaunted mettle passive of going 5-1-1 for the increased pools, you can do that I don’t. I use two minor pieces (waist & boots) of armor as med armor so I can get the benefits from the wind walker passive (+8% regen -6% stam skill costs based on two pieces). This along with the heavy armor passive constitution AND your red guard passive with adrenaline rush and your mundus choice, and divines on the two med armor pieces and weapon glyphs, this makes the low stam build viable. You’ll still get decent damage, have a lot of health and be armored well.

    Jewels:  IC sets provide the best set bonuses. The endurance set is a great great choice here. Now it’s critical to get health out of your 3 piece jewel sets. You should be able to get “healthy” trait pieces in the endurance or agility set cheaper. Of course there are weapons and shields and armor in these sets as well you can mix and match if you like but I’m only using jewels for the 3 piece bonuses. I replace the enchants with stam recovery gold glyphs, do it if you can afford it. This is going to help you get to that 2K stam regen we talked about. You can go weapon damage here too, particularly if you went werewolf and are getting the +15% regen from that. You’re going to have to decide but remember we always have to be mindful of our weakness a low stam pool. When in doubt take stam regen.

    • For a cheaper alternative to the IC set you can go Fasalla’s Guile. These should run you 1500-2000 per piece on most trading guilds and the 2-3 piece bonus is + health. If you have the cash you should have these in your bag anyway, and have a 4<sup>th</sup> piece as an armor piece you can throw on for PVE as the 4<sup>th</sup> bonus is +4% incoming healing. Of course there are other sets but this set is a good value and drops plenty.

    Let’s look at armor passives: “Passives again Thor really?” Yes really, it’s critical to read the tool tips and take time to think about application. You might be running out of stam a lot because you played a med armor build and could spam skills, you can’t do that here solo. You will have repentance and that’s going to give you resources back but in a 1v1 if it’s a resource war you have to be careful. Heavy armor has improved over time, it’s in a decent place now I’m happier with it. It’s at the heart of our tank build so we are going to expand on it below.

    • Resolve passive increases your resistances for each heavy piece slotted, pretty straight forward not much to elaborate on.
    • Constitution: This is critical to the build, further down the line you’ll see via armor choice why but even using generic Heavy armor drops this is a great passive. A 20% health recovery increase (based on 5 pieces) and a magicka and stamina return once every 4 seconds (while you are being hit) which increases with each armor pieces. Critical passive that supports our low stam pool.
    • Juggernaut: A flat +2% increase to health per piece (+10% for our 5 pieces) did you go imperial? You might end up with 50K+ health.
    • Wrath: One of the great improvements to heavy armor, it increases your weapon damage +20 for 6 seconds when taking damage and can stack up to 10 times. Each “stack” resets the 6 seconds. So this helps overall damage, which even though we are a tank our damage can’t be ignored outright. It can be healed through sure but you’ll be outputting enough damage that you won’t be ignored and that’s part of your value.
    • Rapid mending: nice +8% healing increase but critical here is the +50% stam restore of heavy attacks. LA and HA weaving is part of life in Cyrodiil, you have to do it. I’m not perfect at it, it takes a lot of practice but you’re going to want to HA weave at some point to increase stam. This passive, again, supports our low stam build.
    • Medium armor in brief: You should have two pieces slotted. I’m not going to list out every med armor passive but needless to say they directly improve stam based issues. Cost reduction, regen, crit rating, sneak cost reductions…. I mean I know undaunted mettle is a great passive but I am always mindful of the Abrams stam pool, you have to manage resources and 2 med pieces makes it easier. I’m going to assume you are taking my advice to heart and reading the passives tool tips, if you do get in game and read the med armor passives.

    Armor Sets and bonuses: This may seem out of order to traditional builds where you talk about weapons and skills first. This build is a little more specific than my last one the strider. That was interchangeable, in the sense you could flex a lot from range to melee and most crafted med armor sets complimented the build. Let’s talk about crafted sets, drop sets, earned sets and purchased sets. Obviously crafted sets are the easiest quickest to obtain, assuming you or someone you know has the crafting ability raised. You can now buy monster sets in cyrodiil for AP or cash but it’s dependent on the NPC availability as to what set you get. Drops are drops, they can happen at any time and earned sets mean you have to grind something. When I can I always go crafted. You control the output in this scenario and you always get what you want. I am a casual player in the sense I play 2-3 times a week. I always go to cyrodiil now but I have been playing since beta my toons are leveled. I don’t want to grind anymore. You’re going to have to decide what’s best for you. For this build we are using the Black Rose set from IC and the crafted night silence set for 2 Med armor and weapons. Black Rose you’re going to have to grind Telvar stones, it’s not hard but you can lose them in IC.  There are certainly other sets you can use, death wind, histbark and whitestrake come to mind (all craftable) but Black Rose has a critical passive we will discuss below. Night silence has the 3 set bonuses I want Max stam and stam regen, with a 4<sup>th</sup> increased crit rating which is nice. I’m not going to run through all the med armor sets you can craft, mix and match but which ever you choose you’ll want to craft your WEAPONS in that set as well.  

    TLDR the sets: 5 piece Black Rose (Head, Chest, Shoulder,Legs,Wrist) Heavy armor set

    • (2 items) Adds 1064Max Health
    • (3 items) Adds 967Max Stamina
    • (4 items) Adds 967Max Stamina
    • (5 items) Increases the Magicka and Stamina restoration benefit from the Constitution Passive by 40% and increases Weapon and Spell Damage by 154.

    Look at that 5 piece bonus, that’s the only reason we use this set because of the constitution passive increase. Getting a weapon damage bump is a nice “6<sup>th</sup>” passive. Increase our stam pool and gives us a 1k more health. Here’s the other nice part, the set only comes with health enchants and only comes in Impen. Now make sure you get the V160 versions. This is the backbone of our gear, yes there are crafted heavy sets that can be used in lue of this Whitestrake would be my alternate if I had to go crafted because the 5<sup>th</sup> bonus on that is a nice shield proc. Lamae would be a close second for crafted. Now Black Rose REQUIRES the IC DLC, if you don’t have that then you’ll need another set. Get Impen on your 5 heavy pieces, slot health glyphs and pick good 5 set bonuses. The buff to the constitution passive isn’t critical but it’s important to have some way to get stam back. Maybe pick a regen set if you don’t have access to IC. Last, I got this set pretty soon after IC dropped and shelved the Abrams and played something else. The means to obtain the set might be different, I don’t know if it’s BOA, or if you can get it from regular AP boxes. I had to grind telvar stones for it. If you can get, get it.

    TLDR the sets: 2 piece Night Silence Med armor, 1 two handed mace, 1 One hander, 1 shield. So when slotted you will always have the 3 piece bonus sometimes 4.

    • (2 items) Adds 967Max Stamina
    • (3 items) Adds 129Stamina Recovery
    • (4 items) Adds 688Weapon Critical

    So divines on the 2 armor pieces (2K+ regen remember) Impen on the shield, with stam glyphs on those 3 pieces (you can drop a health glyph here on them if you want more health) On the weapons you can glyph either absorb stamina or weapon damage. I use absorb stam. I like maces for weapon type, if we were doing a DW build we would use sword but I simply like the look of maces. That is an aesthetic choice as a player it is not a performance based choice. The one handed weapon is going to be sharpened that’s our offense weap, the two hander is the defensive weapon (seems counter intuitive right?) I use powered to increase healing done.

    Sets Conclusion: The net of all this is you want 5 heavy impen pieces with health glyphs, 2 med pieces with stam glyphs and divines and one shield with stam or health glyph with impen. Weapons and jewels see above.

    Interlude: “Are we there yet, I mean you’re droning on and on and on and on.” Ya I know but this is how I do build, it’s a dossier of cumulative experiences. I like the simple build threads I just don’t do them. We still have skills to cover, application of skills, group play, solo play, consumables, more passives, extras and CP, so THOUSANDS of words still to go, lol.

     Skills:  Finally right? Front bar = 1h & shield. Back Bar = 2H

    Front Bar:

    1. Shielded Assault: This is a gap closer, gives you a stun and gives you a damage shield. A lot of people use the invasion morph instead. That gives you a longer stun, and in PVE that has value. In PVP players are breaking CC as quickly as they can 1-2 more seconds doesn’t matter in my experience. Both do the same damage.
    2. Reverberating Bash/Ransack: Either or, Bash has a nice healing debuff and a stun so you should be using this to stun people in 1v1’s every chance you get. In addition to that you can lower its cost and improve its damage through CP. Ransack actually does pretty solid damage on its own, debuff’s the target and gives you minor resolve buffing your physical resistance. PVE, ransack is a taunt and you’ll need it to tank. This is a PVP build but PVE applications is a nice “have”.
    3. Biting Jabs: This gives us all our Aedric spear passives. The best part about jabs isn’t the damage or the multiple spamming hits, it’s the fact this is an AOE ranged skill. A lot of Templars don’t use it that way. They PVE with it stand in one spot and spam it. In PVP? You can move around with this. It functions similar to a “cone affect” in front of you and you don’t have to be right up on someone either.
    4. Heroic Slash/Radiant Destruction:. Heroic slash is underused IMHO, I don’t see it a lot. It reduces enemies movement speed, it causes them minor maim reducing their damage output by 15% and gives you Minor Heroism netting you more ulti gain for 9 seconds. Radiant Destruction is a Magicka based skill, but it’s a dam good finisher perhaps the best in the game. It scales off of Max Magicka so it’s an issue for us but it’s nice to have. Often you’ll be in large fights and the other side is beginning to break and run, if they are low health hit them with this and even for our Tank build it’s almost always a guaranteed kill.
    5. Repentance/or immovable brute/rune focus: This gives us our restoring light passives, which is important because when you weapon swap from the back bar after casting heals there you will hold onto the passive “sacred ground” which gives you major mending, which increases healing on HOT’s (we’ll have rally up). It also increases regen when slotted and gives you resources back from corpses. As I mentioned BOL and Jesus beam were the best skills for a Templar IMHO, this might be 2<sup>nd</sup> or 3<sup>rd</sup>. Immoveable Brute is a flex option, I use it but sometimes it’s on the back bar. Brute gives us a 15s increase in resistances which is spectacular but at a high stam price. We are also getting IMMUNITY for knockbacks disabling affects for 5s. That’s not a chance, that’s immunity. The nice thing with this skill is while slotted break free costs are reduced, you will be CC’d in cyrodiil a lot. Restoring Focus gives us the same buffs as Brute but also increases healing taken and decreases incoming damage. Rune Focus can be slotted on the back bar preferably but this is one of those situations where you wish you had a 6<sup>th</sup> skill slot. Shuffle from Med Armor would work here too.
    6. ULTI: Dawnbreaker/Werewolf/Flex: I like flawless dawn breaker because of the increase to weapon damage. We need help there but for Templars there isn’t a superior ultimate. Empowering sweeps works here, it’s cheap and reduces damage to you but the damage done is minimal dependent on your CP spread which would require us to go into magic damage instead of physical. The dawnbreaker ultimate’s each one is fantastic, and does good damage. Werewolf will give you the stam regen bonus, that’s a nice have and going werewolf gives you a great offensive option.

    Front bar notes:

    • Biting jabs is where you start your weaving. Start with LA weaving, so jabs procs you tap your left mouse for a LA hold it a bit longer for HA. This is a great place to practice weaving then apply it elsewhere in the build.
    • Animation canceling: Let me say this right off the bat. I believe an animation is in the game for a reason. I believe devs put them in to increase the game play experience. I do not understand how or why they can be cancelled from a game devs point of view, I mean why have it in at all if it can be canceled? However to get the most out of the build and be competitive you are going to have to learn how to do it. Particularly with Ransack and Heroic Slash both can be ani cancelled with a block. So you hit the skill and immediately right click your mouse after. It’s going to take practice, learn how to do this.
    • 1H & Shield Passives: YES MORE PASSIVES! Every one of them is useful. Now I’m not going to list them all out but you need to max these as its going to increase your damage output but more importantly allow you to block more damage. Get in game and read these passives, there is nothing you have to commit to memory but non maxed 1H & Shield passives is going to gimp you.
    • Block: It’s a tank build and only now am I coming to block. What do you want me to tell you? You are a tank with a shield, use your block. There isn’t any need for a long discussion on application or why, it should be intuitive to you at this point. When in doubt put your shield up!
    • Movement debuff’s: multiple skills on this bar slow enemies. They will over write each other they do not stack. Frankly I am okay with that, none of these were selected for the movement speed debuff but keep in mind it’s there.

    Back Bar: This is going to require some notes up front. First, my back bar is also used as an offensive bar in the sense that I can be in the middle of zergs and stay on this bar exclusively and do decent damage. Traditionally your back bar is your heal, defense and buff bar and that’s still the case here but this is used offensively as well once you are in the fight. To make my back bar work I have to invest heavily into the Bastion from the CP system. Yep I use shields. Now your back bar might be different, that’s fine. Consider this a support bar, if you can get skills that support and do damage all the better IMHO. This bar is where the Abrams shines because it’s unique, you don’t see this a lot.

    1. Extended Ritual or Ritual of Retribution: Class skill and you need one of them. Extended ritual gives you a longer proc and 5 harmful effect cleanses. Retribution gives you have the time, 2 harmful effect cleanses but also damages enemies in the circle. Both have a synergy skill allies can proc. I like them both, this is a spot you can make up some damage with retribution it adds up over time.
    2. Resolving Vigor Breath of Life: Vigor is from the assault line in alliance war and you’ll need to earn it. It won’t take long but you’ll need to PVP to get it, It’s a stam based heal over time. Breath of life is a magicka based skill and 2 maybe 3 of them will wipe out your magi pool. Not that you need it for much but it will happen. BOL is a great heal I find myself using it here more than vigor as vigor is a stam drain. With Vigor you are going to get the assault line passives, I mean they are okay but they are mostly offensive so you aren’t going to net a lot out of them on the back bar. Still, as we have talked about extensively in the narrative, passives are what helps to make build unique and are the little things that add up to a lot. I still like BOL here but that’s more a solo option. Vigor is a nice have in a group, either one works just be mindful of resources.
    3. Blazing shield: This is in the aedric spear line and thus gives you all of our aedric spear passives. Remember we want that for both bars. This is going to give you a 30% of your health shield AND +4% for enemies around you AND absorbs the damage. When it expires it gives back 53% of the damage absorbed. Again this isn’t a DPS build but a shield that procs damage back and you’re sitting on 45K health? This is a magicka based shield though, you are not going to be able to spam it especially if you just hit BOL.
    4. Spiked Bone shield: Very similar to Blazing above but stam based and it stacks with Blazing. It returns damage back 33% so if both shields are running you are hitting back 86% of the damage done (in total not at one time) by the enemy, not too shabby. It lasts 6 seconds, and I find myself cycling. Bone shield, Blazing, bone…. I know it’s not glamorous but it works. Bone shield also gives a synergy to allies so they can pick up the bubble as well, it’s a nice have.
    5. Rally: Everyone knows rally, it’s here for major brutality which for a Templar you can’t get unless you are in WW form, or use a potion. Now a potion is fine and if you go that route you can put something else here. Rally is the only reason we are using a 2H so you could get another piece into the build as well. I like the hot as well as brutality. I pop this, drop my ritual I have two hots going, the zerg is on me shields are up, I get a BOL off. It’s not glamorous but while I’m doing this, hopefully some NB with soul thether slotted, and the vicious death set takes advantage of the zerg mechanic, he pops them (this has happened to me more than once, lol). I’m standing there bubbled up and he winks and stealth’s away we both get the AP.
    6. ULTI Reviving Barrier or bats: Reviving what? It’s a shield that can absorb up to 21K damage. Not only that but it’s an AOE effect for your allies so they get the bubble too AND you get a 15K heal over time (30 s). This is a powerful ultimate this will save your ass because that bubble and heal stacks. Yes, it can stack with your rally HOT, your ritual HOT, your Blazing shield bubble and your Bone shield bubble. Now it’s expensive but it will buy you time and if you think holding on will net you AP use it. Bats are the vampire ultimate, cheap and wonderful AOE that give you health and do damage (albeit magic damage which we are not geared for). The key with bats is, in the Abrams, this would best be used with the two shields up and proxy detonation if you have it. Now I don’t build this way but it’s a viable, potent variant to the build no doubt.

     Back bar notes:

    • Champion points Bastion: I’ll do a section on CP later but Bastion is the lynch pin for the back bar application of the shields. It’s not only going to keep your ass alive it’s going to increase the damage.
    • Vampire: I didn’t go Vampire, had I this would be the place I would put it (myst and bats both are too good to exclude). Bats is a great ultimate, and contingent with vampire would be proxy det. So if you went Vampire you want to slot proxy det here and the shields. That’s one hell of an AOE and it’s a viable legit variant to this build. I don’t play the build that way, but it wouldn’t be a hard flip. Werewolf precludes you from vampire you can only have one. Myst would probably replace rally BTW and id slot another 1h and shield.
    • A little bit on Barrier: This the epitome of an “oh shit skill” it’s a massive bubble (remember Bastion?) that also gives you a heal over time. This one skill has saved my ass many times because it allows me to heal back up and restart the back bar rotation (will discuss this below). It’s also an AOE meaning allies near you get the bubble to, it’s a very underrated skill in the sense that it is extremely potent for survivability. It’s expensive, you aren’t going to be able to spam it AND it’s an alliance war skill you’re going to have to PVP a bit to get it, but the sooner you have this available the better.
    • Undaunted Bone Shield: Special mention here because you are going to have to grind for this skill. It’s a level 4 undaunted and that means you’re going to have to run some pledges. It’s a stamina based shield, the only one you can get as a Templar (except for the small one on the invasion 1h/s morph). The nice thing about this shield is it’s based on 30% of your max health, so remember all those health glyphs? Ya so at conservatively 40K health that’s a 12K shield (edit: I think this is lowered now in Cyro need to test). The point here is this is a harder skill than normal to attain due to the undaunted grind.

    Application of the Skills: “So what the hell does all the descript mean? How do I use it.” There is the simple version and the situational ones. The simple version is you are running around bar one up, gap close front bar damage and debuff rotation (with block ani canceling) and get into biting jabs. Ideally you are the lead and there are healers, DPS and support behind you. Ideally you are gap closing on a healer, always hit the healer first and make them heal themselves. This will garner the attention you seek then you bar swap and begin the defensive rotation. Don’t be afraid to alter approach, for this fight maybe you gap close from target to target until help arrives. Remember these simple 4 rules

    1. Rally has to be up
    2. When confused shield up
    3. Get ritual down if you plan to stay and fight
    4. Use your skill bubbles and spam them if needed until you can grasp your situation


    1. Keep door just went down, you are pugged up or solo but leeching pugs. Rally goes up, both shields gap close a target BEYOND the entry (avoid the oils). Throw a biting jabs let the NPC’s or players know you are there, swap throw down your ritual and put your shields back up. At this point the pug either followed in or is dying at the door. Often it takes one person to fly in to inspire everyone else to follow. That usually means lag, skills, death, wipe. It can go eitherway but you’re the tank if you died in the keep alone that means they didn’t do their job you did yours.
    2. Organized group. You are in team speak raid leader is decent enough. If you are in a well organized group chances are he’s going to ask you to slot certain skills and change the build, do it. If he isn’t you let him know you are a tank build, he (or she) should understand how to use you correctly. Follow orders, do your job and don’t bitch about deaths and wipes. Its real easy to lead after a wipe, everyone is an expert as to why they died. Raids need soldiers, don’t worry someone will pop up who thinks they know how to run the group better than the leader, don’t be that guy.
    3. You’ll be spending a lot of time on your back bar because you want them to wail away and burn resources. Keep stunning them and debuffing. Now if they start heavy attack weaving you are going to have to be more offensive, create space, gap close ransack, slash, jabs. If you have reverb bash even better, as that stun needs to be procd on them as often as possible. Make them continually break CC if possible. If they are ranging you and creating a mobile situation that’s okay, keep gap closing.

    Food/Potions & Misc: I use tri stat food, I like the pool increases I’ve got enough regen. On the regen remember its 2K on a reduced pool. I haven’t looked at new stuff (food)in a while. All the food items I crafted a butt load and am just using it up if there is better version go that route. Don’t make a lot of different foods because it can get expensive. Find the recipe you like, get the mats and craft a lot.

    1. Long fin pastry with melon sauce: 4252 max health, 3912 stam and magicka. I use this when I am soloing I want a little more magicka for BOL.
    2. Braised rabbit with spring vegetables: 5132 max health 4695 max stam. I use this for groups when I’m getting heals. I can use this solo as well, great value.

    Potions are where I invest money (I have a maxed crafting alt but all the mats I don’t have) you should too. I can craft most of these, I do realize this can run into serious gold over time.  Here is what you should have on your quick bar slot:

    1. Restore Stamina: This is a cheap potion and can be obtained via drops. Use this if you were sneaking for a while and just need a refresh. You can get stam back from our higher end potions too but we don’t want to guzzle those. This one go ahead. (Remember the CD’s on your potions!)
    2. Invisibility potion: Sometimes you need to get the hell out of there. I don’t use these often but it’s a nice trick to have in your bag.
    3. Increase speed: we have no way in this build to get major expedition, unless you went vamp and slot myst form. You can put rapid maneuver in your build but get the potions you shouldn’t need this often but sometimes you are going to need to run fast.
    4. Immovability potion (I can’t remember the names, lol): This will give you CC immunity and it’s a great have. Remember our shields and health allows us to survive unlike a light armored caster you can survive CC but have some of these in your bag as well.

    Misc: Make sure you level up your provisioning skill line as the passives (yes again) increase potion and food duration. This is a perfect example of one of the little things you can do to move your play into a higher level. All the best PVP players pay attention to these details, do it.

    Champion points: I have 553 CP so I am above the current CAP. The CP system (along with passives) are how you make your toon unique. I am going to tell you what I do, but the variants in the CP system are vast. I STRONGLY urge you to test, test, test and test some more. There are certain absolutes in the CP system, as an example if you are a physical based damage toon (like the Abrams) you will be investing into the ritual. I’m not going to give alternatives or go over the passives  from the point investment (yes again) here but my spread is pretty basic as the CP system I am using for 3 main functions:

    1. Increase my damage
    2. Increase the potency of my shields
    3. Increase my regen

    Maybe you went vamp and want to do more magi based damage with a proxy det alternative? Maybe you want to ramp up bash damages? Maybe you want more healing output? Look the CP system, I feel, it’s a fantastic add to ESO. As a player from BETA I remember it didn’t exist, and grinding out VR ranks…. Ugh. Because there are so many variants here this magnifies my point earlier in the narrative about thinking about outcomes, thinking about build application, scenarios, and really reading tool tips. This is where you make the Abrams YOUR build.

    THIEF -177

    • The lover- Mooncalf 100 points. Increases Stam recovery 25%
    • The Shadow – Tumbling 13 points. 5% cost reduction to roll dodge and break free
    • The Tower – Warlord 64 points reduces stam cost of abilities 12.2%


    • The Ritual – Mighty 100 points. Increase physical damage by 25%
    • The Ritual – Precise Strikes 27 points. +10% increase to crit damage of your physical attacks
    • The Ritual – Piercing 50 points. Increases the amount of armor your physical attacks ignore


    • The Lord – Bastion 100 points. Increase damage absorbing effects (shields) by 25%
    • The Lady – Elemental defender 27 points. Reduces flame, frost, and shock damage dealt to you by 10%
    • The Lady –Hardy 27 points. Reduces poison, disease, and physical damage dealt to you by 10%
    • The Lady –CRITICAL PASSIVE. SHIELD EXPERT Increases your armor and spell resistance of shields by 75% so you need at least 30 points in the lady for this.
    • The Steed – Resistant 23 points. Reduces the amount of damage you take from critical hits.


    Summary: This is an exhaustive dossier on a stamina PVP tank build. I don’t post pics, I don’t post videos I go out and play the game. I simply don’t have the game time to invest in all of that. This is an accumulation of several notes I made over multiple months. It’s by no means the best tank build, I’ve played it and it works for me. You will note I don’t do the normal numeric builds. I know most want that and that’s why this build and narrative are not for everyone. If you want hard numbers, I don’t have them. I can get them but that requires me to be in game and taking time away from actually playing, which I’m not willing to do. If you follow this guide it will work, on that you have my personal assurance. If you want to know the max health number and total potential crit %? Get in game and test it for yourself.

    Thanks for the read.

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    Total Posts: 7873

    Orc Nightblade

    Holee sheep-dip, now that’s what i call a Tanklar!  outstanding work, Mal!


    [just spotted this in your sig.]

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by Profile photo of Psiberzerker Psiberzerker.

    Everything above is likely Opinion, and/or subject to change. 

    I mostly play ”Gofasta” Orcish berserkers in Red armor.  (Alluding to WH40K.)

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    Total Posts: 742

    Imperial Nightblade

    Thanks for the reply. I just had a lot of time invested into the tank build and thought I would put out what I had. It’s by no means the best but there should be something in there for anyone really.

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    Total Posts: 4

    I’m currently levelling a stamplar, and I really like this build. That being said, I wanted to ask a question about your crafted gear. Since you stress the importance of stam recovery, have you considered the eternal hunt set?  Using that, you’d give up the crit on night’s silence for an additional stamina recovery bonus.

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    Total Posts: 742

    Imperial Nightblade

    DaddySkoal said on October 5, 2016 :

    I’m currently levelling a stamplar, and I really like this build. That being said, I wanted to ask a question about your crafted gear. Since you stress the importance of stam recovery, have you considered the eternal hunt set? Using that, you’d give up the crit on night’s silence for an additional stamina recovery bonus.

    An even better option, I was able to get my recovery to 2K+ without it. Using that would enable you to throw a weapon damage glyph on a jewel piece. The beauty of crafted gear is you have a lot of options, drops require time and good RNG. I honestly had a few night silence pieces from my NB and used what I had.

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