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Alanarre's Invincible DK ShieldTank

Alanarre's Invincible DK ShielDTank

Changelog

21 May 2017 - Updated gear, skills, and champion points for Morrowind

21 Feb 2017 - Updated skills and champion points for Homestead

5 Dec 2016 - Updated throughout to maximize group shields per second

 

Shield Tanking in Morrowind

Somehow, ZOS decided the Morrowind would be a great time to buff the strongest tanking build in the game and significantly nerf all of the others. There has never been a better time to be a shield tank.

  • Helping Hands now restores significantly more stamina whenever you use Igneous Shield.
  • Blocking is now 2x as expensive, so letting attacks hit your shield instead is more attractive.
  • Minor Toughness from Warden heals / Warrior-Poet set increases max health by 10% for even bigger shields.
  • Essentially all sustain mechanics now return flat values instead of percentage-based, so this build gets more resources than before.
  • Champion points are now front-loaded, allowing for more mitigation before damage hits the shields.
  • Healing potency was significantly nerfed (Blessed, Major Mending) but shielding stayed the same.
  • Armor from item sets was significantly buffed, making it easier ever to hit armor cap with insanely high health.
  • Resource sustain for DPS / Healers were significantly reduced, making group shields more attractive for survivability.
  • ZOS has finally acknowledged the Igneous Shield bug (Igneous Shield removes shields cast by others ), if they fix it, this build will be even stronger.

 

Overview

Ok, this build isn't actually invincible (no cheat engine required), but it makes you feel invincible, and it can survive most one-shot mechanics with ease. The core idea here is to get 70-75k Max Health and then use shield abilities that scale off of your health. In particular, Igneous Shields can shield you for 30k per cast and shield the group for 13k, giving insane individual and group survivability. This is a build for No Death runs and extremely hard content, with modified versions that trade survivability for more group damage.

 

Strategy

Any build has a ton of trade-offs. To guide our decision in this build we'll focus on maximizing group damage shielded per second, by increasing Max Health for larger Igneous Shields, and Magicka Recovery / Magicka Cost Reduction for more shields per second.

 

Race

Best choice for Maximum Health is Imperial with +12% Max Health, honorable mentions for Nord (9% Max Health, 6% Damage Reduction), and Argonian (9% Max Health, 5% Healing Taken). Imperial gives the largest group shields, Nord gives more individual survivability, since the 6% damage reduction applies to your own shields, and Argonian makes life a little easier for your healers when you do take damage.

 

Attributes

Everything in Health

 

Mundus

The Atronach (more magicka recovery)

The Lord (more max health)

I generally run the Atronach, but if you have great group resources sustain and just don't need that extra recovery, you can run the Lord for larger shields.

 

Vampire / Werewolf

I like to run this as a vampire for extra magicka recovery, damage regeneration, and invigorating drain.

 

Gear

Maximum Group Shields

5x Plague Doctor (weapon / shield / armor / jewelry)

5x Ebon Armory (weapon /shield / armor / jewelry)

1x Max Health Undaunted Monster Set (shoulder)

1x Max Health Undaunted Monster Set (head)

Weapons should be Infused, Armor pieces should be Divines (more recovery with Atronach). If you can't get Divines, Infused is second best. If you're running the Lord, Infused is best in for large pieces (Head, Chest, Legs, Shield) and Divines for small pieces.

Max Health enchants on the armor, Magicka Recovery on the jewelry, Crusher enchant on the front weapon, Weakening enchant on the back weapon.

I use Ebon now instead of Green Pact because the 5-piece bonus for Green Pact boosts personal shields but does NOT boost group shields. The extra group health from Ebon is also nice.

If you do not have a Warden Healer in the group, you can consider Warrior-Poet instead of Ebon, but ideally you'll get the Minor Toughness buff from a Warden rather than giving up a 5-piece set.

I light light/medium for the head/shoulders to get the undaunted bonuses, but heavy works great too.

 

Moderate Group Shields, Moderate Group DPS

5x Ebon Armory (armor)

5x Alkosh (jewelry / weapons / shields)

2x Mighty Chudan (head / shoulder)

This variant is very popular for veteran trials as it provides higher group dps support while still providing a significant amount of survivability. You should expect to have 45-55k Max Health in this version and should focus on getting synergies to proc Alkosh as well as keeping shields up and building ultimate. Since the health for this version is lower and the shields are smaller, I like Mighty Chudan for the extra armor when the shields go down. If you really want to cast your own major armor buff on rotation (Balance or Hardened Armor), you can use 1x Mighty Chudan and 1x Pirate Skeleton instead.

 

Maximum Group DPS

5x Torug's Pact (armor)

5x Alkosh (jewelry / weapons / shields)

2x Mighty Chudan (head / shoulder)

If dying is not an issue, you can increase DPS even further by swapping out Ebon for Torug's Pact, giving that Infused Crushing enchant an extra ~500 penetration and allowing you to keep 100% uptime instead of 80%. Recommended only for content that your team is already clearing easily.

In this version, make sure you still have 5x heavy between the Torug's and Mighty Chudan pieces. Ideal would be a light sash, medium bracers, and heavy on everything else.

 

Champion Points (best guess before live patch, extremely subject to change)

 

Red Tree

Bastion - 72

Quick Recovery - 4

Heavy Armor Focus - 2

Elemental Defender - 15

Hardy - 15

Thick Skinned - 51

Ironclad - 51

Quick Recovery - 10

This distribution is a starting point, you can certainly shift champion points around to give better mitigation for the specific fight (more Elemental Defender for Maw of Lorkhaj, more Hardy for Sanctum Ophidia. Bastion will increase shield strength for yourself and everyone else against all types of damage, so that's priority. Thick Skinned and Ironclad now give more mitigation per point that Elemental Defender and Hardy, which is why I have them higher by default.

 

Green Tree

Tenacity - 75

Arcanist - 75

Shadow Ward - 28

Tumbling - 2

Warlord - 28

Bashing Focus - 2

 

Blue Tree

Blessed - 75

Elfborn - 13

(for Vengeance and Foresight perks and bigger self-heals)

Mighty - 75

Precise Strikes - 44

Piercing - 3

(for Last Stand perk)

 

Food / Potions

Orzorga's Red Frothgar for Max Health and Magicka Recovery, dropped Magicka and Stamina potions for most content, tri-pots for challenging content.

 

Stats

With everything optimized, you should have 70-75k Max Health, 10k Max Magicka, 10k Max Stamina, and 2k+ Magicka Recovery

 

Abilities

Main Bar

Pierce Armor - primary taunt, provides Major Fracture and Major Breach

Heroic Slash - generate ultimate, provides Minor Maim

Stalwart Guard - give a dps Minor Force and take 30% of their damage on your shields

Igneous Shield - main spam ability, shield yourself for 30k, shield the group for 13k

Structured Entropy - +8% Max Health

Magma Armor - shields the group for 125% of their Max Health.

Off-Bar

Inner Rage - range taunt / magicka taunt

Unrelenting Grip (keep enemies close) or Invigorating Drain (heal for 20% of missing health three times).

Stalwart Guard - give a dps Minor Force and take 30% of their damage on your shields

Spiked Bone Shield - shields you for 30k, returns damage to melee enemies, synergy shields group for 75% of Max Health

Structured Entropy - +8% Max Health

Aggressive Warhorn - boost group DPS, +10% Max Health

 

Strategy

This build is strange and awesome. You function as a healer without ever healing and you function as a tank but rarely block. Spam Igneous Shields every 3-6 seconds, keep taunts, light attack and use Heroic Slash for ult gen, use heavy attack as filler to refill stamina, use dropped magicka potions to refill magicka. Only block knockdown and CC effects, avoid blocking normal effects since it doesn't reduce damage to shields. Stay close to allies and have them stay close to you, Igneous only has a 15m range. When you are low on magicka and need a shield, swap bars and use Bone Shield. When you are low on stamina and need a taunt, swap bars and use Inner Rage.

 

Results

With this build, you can easily heal/tank veteran dungeons with pug dps and get no-death runs. I've run this through all of the hardest veteran dungeons and veteran DSA with great results, though for the DLC last bosses on hard mode and vDSA you really do need a healer as well. With this build you can stand in the red almost everywhere with no ill effects. Typical one-shot attacks like Selene's bear barely hurt you if you have a shield up.

Most fights in veteran trials are easy with this build. I have not yet tanked HRC Hard Mode, and I haven't main-tanked Rakkhat, but it's worked everywhere else. Tanking the axes in AA is quite difficult and requires careful stamina management with all of the blocks, but tanking the Atronachs on HM is a piece of cake. Off-tanking in Maw is amazing, on Rakkhat my shields absorb 50% of the total group damage, including for the main tank (after factoring in guard).

Some bosses have attacks that seem to scale based on your Max Health, such as Rakkhat, the Warrior, and the first boss in Hel Ra. Those are difficult fights for this build, but can be tanked if you are skilled and careful. Keep shields up, block the big hits, and run more passive mitigation (such as 2x Mighty Chudan).

About Alanarre:

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248 Replies
  1. #1

    Malic

    Member743 Posts

    Nice build, ive been starting to think about a max health build off my abrams base that would be templar based. Gratz its a unique build for sure

    The Strider: Old Build (thieves guild) A dossier on how to be an Archer in Cyrodiil (Night Blade)

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    The Abrams: New (08/16) Stam Tank/Survive in Cyrodiil (Templar) 

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  2. #2

    kwin

    Member56 Posts

    love out of the box build like that!

    did you tested it in vet trial? maybe as an off tank it could be usefull... your main issue will be ressources left to actually taunt trash maybe?

  3. #3

    kwin

    Member56 Posts

    questions: for head shoulder:

    what is best head medium + shoulder light for + 4% max stat?

    also is grochudan a correct option?

    you loose 1 PC bonus max healt against 1380 spell/weap resist + free major resolve /major ward =>not so usefull for max shield spec but you know: shit can happens and the additional damage mitigated after breaking your shield might still be usefull?

  4. #4

    Alanarre

    Member125 Posts
    kwin wrote on October 21, 2016

    love out of the box build like that!

    did you tested it in vet trial? maybe as an off tank it could be usefull… your main issue will be ressources left to actually taunt trash maybe?

    I haven't tested in a vet trail yet, though our 4-man normal maw run actually felt a lot like a vet maw run, so I bet it would do great, especially since a 30k shield doesn't care if your armor is broken. I really have no resource trouble with this build. Every igneous cast gives back stam, you don't have to block, and you can weave a lot of heavy attacks, so there's almost always enough resources around for as many taunts as you need.

     

  5. #5

    Alanarre

    Member125 Posts
    kwin wrote on October 21, 2016

    questions: for head shoulder:

    what is best head medium + shoulder light for + 4% max stat?

    also is grochudan a correct option?

    you loose 1 PC bonus max healt against 1380 spell/weap resist + freemajor resolve /major ward =>not so usefull for max shield spec but you know:shit can happens and the additional damage mitigated after breaking your shieldmight still be usefull?

     

    I like light/medium for the head/shoulders to get the undaunted bonuses, though heavy gives +2% Max Health as well, so you're good either way. There are tons of other interesting options for alternative undaunted sets. The one's I'm considering are

    Infernal Guardian

    Mighty Chudan

    Lord Warden

    Pirate Skeleton

    Malubeth

    Swarm Mother

    Tremorscale

    Blood Spawn

    I think the pirate set in particular could be interesting if the damage reduction applies to shields, since the shield doesn't care about healing reduction.

  6. #6

    kwin

    Member56 Posts
    Alanarre wrote on October 21, 2016

    kwin said on October 21, 2016 :

    questions: for head shoulder:

    what is best head medium + shoulder light for + 4% max stat?

    also is grochudan a correct option?

    you loose 1 PC bonus max healt against 1380 spell/weap resist + freemajor resolve /major ward =>not so usefull for max shield spec but you know:shit can happens and the additional damage mitigated after breaking your shieldmight still be usefull?

    I like light/medium for the head/shoulders to get the undaunted bonuses, though heavy gives +2% Max Health as well, so you’re good either way. There are tons of other interesting options for alternative undaunted sets. The one’s I’m considering are

    Infernal Guardian

    Mighty Chudan

    Lord Warden

    Pirate Skeleton

    Malubeth

    Swarm Mother

    Tremorscale

    Blood Spawn

    I think the pirate set in particular could be interesting if the damage reduction applies to shields, since the shield doesn’t care about healing reduction.

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    This reply was modified 29 seconds ago by Alanarre.

    need to test pirate set you are right... it could be amazing! need to check if it can proc for damage on shield only + if shield is affected or not

     

  7. #7

    Liofa

    Member197 Posts

    Hey ! Nice build . I did the same in PTS as a PvP Blazing Shield Templar ^^ Here is my suggestion : I was suffering from the bar-swap bug as well so what I did was getting Endurance 1h/s instead of Green Pact . I still have 5 Plague and 5 Green Pact in body/jewelry and Endurance weapons . This way , the suffering from bar-swap is nearly gone . Of course , there is a bit of Health loss (around 600?) due to giving up 2 monster pieces but it worked better for me . Using Ferocious Leap to get insane shield is an amazing idea . Very good theorycrafting right there ^^

    I certainly don't know how this build would be holding up in a veteran trial where you get lots of damage . Rakkhat's Gatling Gun in veteran hits really hard unless you have lots of points into Elemental Defender for example . Warrior in vHel Ra is the same . Each of their attacks hit for at least 40k if you don't block which is the mitigated versions the the pure damage . So , your shields would get probably 1-shot even if you have 100 Bastion because , as far as I know , shields are the first thing that mitigates incoming damage . They don't have any resist values also which means they will get 100% of the damage and you will have to mitigate the extra damage yourself . Since you have a lot of Health already , putting your points into Elemental Expert or Hardy instead of Bastion should be a much better choice in those specific fights .

    Again , it is really nice to see original builds like this . Thanks for sharing and good luck !

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  8. #8

    Alanarre

    Member125 Posts
    Liofa wrote on October 21, 2016

    Hey ! Nice build . I did the same in PTS as a PvP Blazing Shield Templar ^^ Here is my suggestion : I was suffering from the bar-swap bug as well so what I did was getting Endurance 1h/s instead of Green Pact . I still have 5 Plague and 5 Green Pact in body/jewelry and Endurance weapons . This way , the suffering from bar-swap is nearly gone . Of course , there is a bit of Health loss (around 600?) due to giving up 2 monster pieces but it worked better for me . Using Ferocious Leap to get insane shield is an amazing idea . Very good theorycrafting right there ^^

    I certainly don’t know how this build would be holding up in a veteran trial where you get lots of damage . Rakkhat’s Gatling Gun in veteran hits really hard unless you have lots of points into Elemental Defender for example . Warrior in vHel Ra is the same . Each of their attacks hit for at least 40k if you don’t block which is the mitigated versions the the pure damage . So , your shields would get probably 1-shot even if you have 100 Bastion because , as far as I know , shields are the first thing that mitigates incoming damage . They don’t have any resist values also which means they will get 100% of the damage and you will have to mitigate the extra damage yourself . Since you have a lot of Health already , putting your points into Elemental Expert or Hardy instead of Bastion should be a much better choice in those specific fights .

    Again , it is really nice to see original builds like this . Thanks for sharing and good luck !

    I agree, it probably wouldn't work for vet Rakkat or the Warrior, attacks that scale based on the target's health are not kind to this build. Still, it might work as an off-tank. In any case will be fun to try.

     

  9. #9

    DavidTheNomad

    Member106 Posts

    I love everything about this. Going to get this gear and respec my tank (or have a guildmate do so) to test in AA and MoL this week.

    The bursty nature of damage in vAA HM and the nasty heal debuff in vMoL HM are both very effectively neutralized by good shielding rotation.

    Having a tank kicking out shields at a rate which a healer never could is absolutely ingenious.

    Esp vAA HM where the atros/boss really don't have any CC (meteors - barred) having a debuff/shield tank holding everything near the center would probably drastically increase our survival. Not sure how exactly the armor shatter works via Hulk during Rakkhat fight, but I am curious if this build could hold one even after your armor has been reduced to zero. Could be an excellent crutch for newer guilds who have low AOE burn during that fight.

    Can we also talk about PVP viability? Blaz-Plar builds are too easy to ignore to be fun to play. With this build you could easily be kicking out 7K+ shields almost nonstop in a small area...enough to "outheal" many healers while still being completely immune to being focused.

    Very interested to hear more as you test this out! Great idea!

  10. #10

    Alanarre

    Member125 Posts
    DavidTheNomad wrote on October 21, 2016

    I love everything about this. Going to get this gear and respec my tank (or have a guildmate do so) to test in AA and MoL this week.

    The bursty nature of damage in vAA HM and the nasty heal debuff in vMoL HM are both very effectively neutralized by good shielding rotation.

    Having a tank kicking out shields at a rate which a healer never could is absolutely ingenious.

    Esp vAA HM where the atros/boss really don’t have any CC (meteors – barred) having a debuff/shield tank holding everything near the center would probably drastically increase our survival. Not sure how exactly the armor shatter works via Hulk during Rakkhat fight, but I am curious if this build could hold one even after your armor has been reduced to zero. Could be an excellent crutch for newer guilds who have low AOE burn during that fight.

    Can we also talk about PVP viability? Blaz-Plar builds are too easy to ignore to be fun to play. With this build you could easily be kicking out 7K+ shields almost nonstop in a small area…enough to “outheal” many healers while still being completely immune to being focused.

    Very interested to hear more as you test this out! Great idea!

    Glad you like it! Let me know how this works as a trials tank if you get a chance to test it out before I do. I'm excited to see the results.

  11. #11

    Lexifer452

    Member47 Posts

    Wow man. You come up with some of the most out of the box thinking on builds I've ever seen. First the sock knight now this. Didn't even think that much health was possible let alone playable.  Would try this one out if I could stand to play as a tank/was any good at playing a tank.

    Gamertag: Lexifer452

    XBOX NA Server

    Magicka DPS on multiple tons.

     

  12. #12

    zbzszzzt123

    Member92 Posts

    Amazing build, I had a similar idea with my DK healer on health stacking to gain shield but never managed to quite reach this amount of health without large sacrifice in my healing or DPS department. Glad to see it done properly as a tank

  13. #13

    averya

    Member163 Posts

    This build looks very interesting.

    How would you tweak it for leveling purposes?

     

    I have a DK I am leveling for this, wondering how to make it efficient.

  14. #14

    zbzszzzt123

    Member92 Posts
    averya wrote on October 21, 2016

    This build looks very interesting.

    How would you tweak it for leveling purposes?

    I have a DK I am leveling for this, wondering how to make it efficient.

     

    I am not the OP, but I myself don't recommend this for leveling since it doesn't do a whole lot of damage. You could always just level as a stamina character and repurpose it at endgame

  15. #15

    Alanarre

    Member125 Posts
    averya wrote on October 21, 2016

    This build looks very interesting.

    How would you tweak it for leveling purposes?

    I have a DK I am leveling for this, wondering how to make it efficient.

    If I were to level into this build, I'd go full out dps (magicka or stamina, doesn't matter) and level to 50, with a couple of the skills needed for the build on the bar at all times. This isn't a great build for damage, so you wouldn't want to level wearing this build.

  16. #16

    MisterDMC

    Member88 Posts

    This looks really cool.  I main tank mostly but do off tank sometimes as well.  Bookmarked and I'm going to try this once I farm the gear.  The only shitty thing about playing a tank is carrying around the now 7 different sets in my inv depending on what the group needs.

  17. #17

    chaomera888

    Member121 Posts

    Like everyone's been saying, really like this idea. Out-of-the-box builds are exactly what i hoped OT would bring out!

  18. #18

    tkviking2

    Member214 Posts

    I was wondering if swapping Green Pact for Armour master might be worth it? If you are already at 50K health, the Armour Master passive buff gives you another 2500 Health - which is pretty close to what Green Pact provides. Additionally, you will get some extra resistances and you could stack the light armour shield on top of igneous to keep the Armour master buff going.

  19. #19

    Alanarre

    Member125 Posts
    tkviking2 wrote on October 23, 2016

    I was wondering if swapping Green Pact for Armour master might be worth it? If you are already at 50K health, the Armour Master passive buff gives you another 2500 Health – which is pretty close to what Green Pact provides. Additionally, you will get some extra resistances and you could stack the light armour shield on top of igneous to keep the Armour master buff going.

    Very interesting idea. I've run armor master on a lot of tanks, but I hadn't considered it for a health build. Without having tested, my guess is you'd end up with something like 5k less health with armor master and 7k more resistance, so that's 6-7% smaller shields and 10-11% less damage taken when the shield goes down. The light armor shield would be tiny (about 3-4k), so I'd probably run Shuffle (Major Evasion) and/or a morph of Immovable (moar armor), swapping them out for Shielded Assault and Choking Talons. Shuffle would be stronger for anything that can be dodged, Immovable would be stronger for undodgeable hits. If you also swap out the Undaunted pieces for Mighty Chudan, you could get the major armor buffs permanently and run Shuffle for maximum survivability. I think all of that together would get you to around 31k spell resist and 28k physical, so close to cap with around 68k health.

    So, the trade-offs would be less group utility (smaller group shields) and more individual resilience. I'd probably recommend the high-health version for heal-tanking and the high armor version for trials tanking with a healer.

     

  20. #20

    tkviking2

    Member214 Posts
    Alanarre wrote on October 24, 2016

    Very interesting idea. I’ve run armor master on a lot of tanks, but I hadn’t considered it for a health build. Without having tested, my guess is you’d end up with something like 5k less health with armor master and 7k more resistance, so that’s 6-7% smaller shields and 10-11% less damage taken when the shield goes down. The light armor shield would be tiny (about 3-4k), so I’d probably run Shuffle (Major Evasion) and/or a morph of Immovable (moar armor), swapping them out for Shielded Assault and Choking Talons. Shuffle would be stronger for anything that can be dodged, Immovable would be stronger for undodgeable hits. If you also swap out the Undaunted pieces for Mighty Chudan, you could get the major armor buffs permanently and run Shuffle for maximum survivability. I think all of that together would get you to around 31k spell resist and 28k physical, so close to cap with around 68k health.

    So, the trade-offs would be less group utility (smaller group shields) and more individual resilience. I’d probably recommend the high-health version for heal-tanking and the high armor version for trials tanking with a healer.

    With Mighty Chudan + Armour Master - you will be well above armour cap - even in purple gear. Running Shuffle might be a challenge with the very low stamina of this build. But with tripots - you can get pretty close. Even if you don't cast Shuffle, you still get the benefit of the 5% health bonus just by having shuffle on the bar. If you run Armour Master - you can run light+medium on gloves+belt - which further increases your armour while maintaining the benefits of the Undaunted passive.

    Even though you may get a small health loss (if you test it out, please let me know your stats as compared to Green Pact) - I think the added resistances once the shields are down makes it worth it. With capped resistances and >55K health - you should be able to take the hits from the Warrior in Hard more Hel Ra without much trouble.

    An alternative setup would be to maintain hardened armour to keep Armour Master going and use a defending sword (to get to cap). This also provides you with the immovable buff. Buffed with Immovable and at Armour Cap - you should be able to take the hits like a man (i.e. no blocking) even when the boss does CC effects. If you add Chokethorn and keep Entropy up - you can even add healing to your group on top of the already powerful shields.

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