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Necromancer Tank PvE Build ESO – Anubis

Necromancer Tank PvE Build ESO – Anubis

Build Written By: DoctorSarge – PS4 NA

Role: Tank

Patch: Update 39

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Setup
    1. Gear
    2. Attributes
    3. Skills
    4. Vampire vs. Mortal
    5. Champion Points
    6. Other Important Info (Food, Mundus, Race, Potions, Passives)
  3. Resource Management & Rotation
  4. Contact Info
  5. Update Log


Welcome to Dottz Gaming’s Anubis PvE Necromancer tank build for The Elder Scrolls Online! This build is great for all kinds of content: vet dungeons, off-tank or main tank for normal trials, and main or off-tank for veteran trials. Tankros have a ton of self-healing as well as a ton of ultimate generation through smart corpse play. Mix that with Nord and a Decisive 1H, and you can be popping off ultimates in no time!



Necromancer Tank PvE Build – Dungeon Gear
Gear Slot Set Weight Trait Enchant Acquisition
Head Magma Incarnate Heavy Sturdy Prismatic Vet Dread Cellar
Shoulders Magma Incarnate Heavy Sturdy Prismatic Undaunted Chest
Gloves Turning Tide Heavy Sturdy Prismatic Shipwright’s Regret
Legs Turning Tide Heavy Sturdy Prismatic Shipwright’s Regret
Chest Turning Tide Heavy Sturdy Prismatic Shipwright’s Regret
Belt Turning Tide Heavy Sturdy Prismatic Shipwright’s Regret
Boots Turning Tide Heavy Sturdy Prismatic Shipwright’s Regret
Necklace Powerful Assault Jewelry Infused Magicka Recovery Imperial City or Guild Trader
Ring Powerful Assault Jewelry Infused Magicka Recovery Imperial City or Guild Trader
Ring Powerful Assault Jewelry Infused Magicka Recovery Imperial City or Guild Trader
Weapon 1 Puncturing Remedy 1 hand Decisive Absorb Stamina Vet Dragonstar Arena
Shield 1 Puncturing Remedy Shield Sturdy Prismatic Vet Dragonstar Arena
Weapon 2 Powerful Assault Ice Staff Infused Crusher Imperial City or Guild Trader

Gear Explanation

  • Magma Incarnate
    • Gives the same buff as Yolnahkriin at a good enough uptime that allows us to free up that 5 slot set.
  • Turning Tide
    • Great source of Major Vulnerability and easy to use.
  • Powerful Assault
    • A very powerful buff set that’s easy to use and gives you great stats as well.
  • Master’s SnB
    • Powerful Assault can be one barred if you’re comfortable keeping it up that way, so this is basically just free healing.
Necromancer Tank PvE Build – Trial Gear
Gear Slot Set Weight Trait Enchant Acquisition
Head Archdruid Deyvic Heavy Sturdy Prismatic Vet Earthen Root Enclave
Shoulders Archdruid Deyvic Heavy Sturdy Prismatic Undaunted Chest
Gloves Turning Tide Heavy Sturdy Prismatic Shipwright’s Regret
Legs Turning Tide Heavy Sturdy Prismatic Shipwright’s Regret
Chest Turning Tide Heavy Sturdy Prismatic Shipwright’s Regret
Belt Turning Tide Heavy Sturdy Prismatic Shipwright’s Regret
Boots Turning Tide Heavy Sturdy Prismatic Shipwright’s Regret
Necklace Crimson Oath’s Rive Jewelry Infused Magicka Recovery Dread Cellar
Ring Crimson Oath’s Rive Jewelry Infused Magicka Recovery Dread Cellar
Ring Crimson Oath’s Rive Jewelry Infused Magicka Recovery Dread Cellar
Weapon 1 Crimson Oath’s Rive 1 hand Decisive Absorb Stamina Dread Cellar
Shield 1 Crimson Oath’s Rive Shield Sturdy Prismatic Dread Cellar
Weapon 2 Crimson Oath’s Rive Ice Staff Infused Crusher Dread Cellar

Gear Explanation

  • Crimson Oath’s Rive
    • With the changes to Alkosh, this will generally be better on a typical tank build if your group needs the penetration. 
    • This could be potentially not needed for several reasons, including but not limited to:
      • 1) A DPS is running Alkosh
      • 2) Your DPS are in mainly light armor
      • 3) You look at the penetration buffs that you can provide specifically as an Arcanist and determine those are enough for your group to reach the penetration cap
      • 4) You look at the other sets you or another person are wearing (such as Tremorscale) and determine those are enough for your group to reach the penetration cap
    • Please, please, PLEASE evaluate your group composition and needs beforehand and swap this out if needed.
  • Archdruid Devyric 
    • Allows us to keep up 100% uptime on Major Vulnerability pretty easily when combined with Turning Tide.

Alternative Gear (Regular Sets)

  • SaxhleelAllows for a longer burst phase from warhorns as well as still giving offensive buffs when you use a defensive ultimate.
  • Worm’s Raiment – Great if you have magicka DPS and/or healers that need help with sustain.
  • Pearlescent Ward – Must have for non-top end trial groups. Either provides a decent weapon and spell damage buff if everything is going good or a massive damage debuff if everything *isn’t* going good. Could get pushed out for other debuff sets if your group is not dying at all or is very quick at recovering, but most groups will want this
  • Claw of Yolnahkriin – If the Arcanist skill that provides Minor Courage isn’t being utilized, then this is a vital set to have

Alternative Gear (Monster Sets)

  • Bloodspawn – Good for ultimate generation and for keeping resistances up.
  • Symphony of Blades – Great set to help allies’ sustain if you swap in a skill that can heal others. Best used on a healer now that Blood Altar no longer procs it, but you can still use it as long as you can actively keep up other skills, such as Energy Orb.
  • Stonekeeper – Amazing self-sustain. Really good in situations where you need to block a lot.
  • Lady Thorn – Mainly used as a self-synergy for Alkosh. The Major Maim *can* be nice if you time it correctly, but the uptime on the debuff is very short and the cooldown for being affected by it is very long.
  • Tremorscale – Potentially useful for medium armor-heavy groups due to the powerful penetration debuff it gives.
  • Vykosa – Good set to use if you need to temporarily reduce the incoming damage of a boss, such as the breath in vSS or Olms jumping/sending out storms in vAS.
  • Encratis’s Behemoth – Great set for magicka groups and easy to proc. Just throw on a flame skill or inferno staff.
  • Nazaray – Good set if you can coordinate it with your group. Mainly used to extend the duration of Major Vulnerability.
  • Engine GuardianA little unreliable, but overall a good self-sustain set.

NOTE ON JEWELRY TRAITS: These are what work for me. You can play just fine with the default traits or with a different setup.

Beginner Gear

  • Armor: Torug’s Pact
  • Jewelry & Weapons (SnB/ice staff): Akaviri Dragonguard
  • Monster set: Bloodspawn
  • Traits
    • Armor: All Sturdy
    • Jewelry: Healthy
    • Weapons: Decisive front, infused back
  • Enchants
    • Armor: Health big, stamina small
    • Jewelry: 1 shield-play, 2 mag recovery
    • Weapons: Absorb Stam front, Crusher back

Note about Gear Weight & Traits

Full heavy and sturdy will give you the best sustain and survivability, but 5-1-1 and infused on big pieces is fine as well. Well-fitted can also be nice depending on the fight.


What your attribute distribution is going to look like is based on the race you choose. You should have at least 38k health, but no more than 45k health unless you’re in a fight that needs high health. After that, dump the rest into stamina and magicka (just make sure to have more stamina than magicka). I personally try for around 38-40k health depending on the setup and situation.


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Main Bar – 1h/Shield

  • Pierce Armor
  • Unnerving Boneyard
  • Hungry Scythe
  • Mortal Coil/Flex
  • Deaden Pain
  • Ultimate: Reviving Barrier

Back Bar – Ice Staff

  • Elemental Blockade
  • Inner Fire/Destructive Clench
  • Agony Totem
  • Summoner’s Armor
  • Spirit Guardian
  • Ultimate: Aggressive Horn

Skill Explanations

  • Pierce Armor
    • Our main taunt. With the nerf to Minor Protection and the buff to this skill and the debuffs it provides (just under 9k penetration!!), this is now a must have and way better than Ransack.
  • Unnerving Boneyard
    • Applies Major Breach on all enemies in the area, making this an amazing skill for add pulls. The synergy also heals you so it helps you as well.
  • Mortal Coil/Flex
    • Mainly just used as a passive slot 
  • Spell Symmetry
    • Helps with magicka sustain and can get it back to you immediately in a pinch. If you’re fine with just the recovery, you can replace this with another skill. 
  • Deaden Pain
    • Small HoT, unique damage reduction, gives ultimate from the skill for using a corpse, gives us a source of Major Protection for added defense, and uses a corpse so you can proc the Corpse Consumption passive. Amazing skill that is a big factor of your high ultimate generation. Especially good in places like vBRP where you can often max out the duration. With the nerfs to Major Protection, this may not be worth it to your group. If you find the Major Protection doesn’t make a big difference to you or you need to maximize your ultimate gen, swap to Necrotic Potency.
  • Reviving Barrier
    • A good defensive ultimate, but it’s more of a flex spot. I mainly have it slotted for the Magicka Recovery and almost always use Warhorn. Can swap out for other ults if wanted.
  • Elemental Blockade
    • Used to keep up Crusher
  • Destructive Clench/Inner Fire
    • Our range taunt options. Both are fine to use, with pros and cons. Clench provides Major Maim, but also immobilizes small enemies. In contrast, Inner Fire doesn’t provide anything super useful, but can also be used if not using an ice staff. Use what is right for you.
  • Agony Totem
    • Minor Protection for anyone in it, a pulsing fear for adds, and a synergy for AoE Minor Vulnerability. Overall a great skill.
  • Summoner’s Armor
    • Creates a corpse for us to use, gives us our Major Resistances, and reduces the cost of our Spirit Guardian. Because we use this over the other morph, make sure to slot in Silver Leash if you need to chain in adds
  • Spirit Guardian
    • Gives us 200 extra magicka recovery while active through the Undead Confederate passive, gives us a small HoT that can also heal an ally, gives a unique damage reduction effect, and creates a corpse for us to use.
  • Aggressive Warhorn
    • Our main ultimate, and for good reason. It increases ally’s magicka and stamina pools by 10% for 30 seconds and gives Major Force for 9 seconds, which is a big DPS boost.

Alternative Skills

  • Glacial Colossus
    • This ultimate is the only non-set source of Major Vulnerability in the game, which is one of the most powerful debuffs. Due to the changes to it though, only 3-4 need to be present in a group to get the max uptime. Less if you coordinate Turning Tide, Nazaray, or Archdruid Devyric.
  • Ravenous Goliath
    • Only use in a pinch, but makes you basically invincible and gives you more healing from the Healing Avarice passive. Also is one of the coolest animations in the game.
  • Spell Symmetry
    • Alternative source of magicka management
  • Silver Leash
    • Needed for chaining adds
  • Heroic Slash
    • Consistent source of Minor Maim as well as Minor Heroism. Great skill if you have the bar space for it.
  • Invasion
    • Good if you need a gap closer
  • Shield Discipline
    • Good for tanking the axes in vAA if you need a guaranteed point where you can heavy attack. I wouldn’t recommend it anywhere else though
  • Elemental Drain
    • Healers should be running this but it’s nice to have just in case
  • Ring of Preservation
    • AoE Minor Protection, AoE Minor Endurance, and a small bit of healing. Good in places where your team stacks and needs the extra protection.
  • Overflowing Altar
    • Heals all allies attacking enemies in the radius and provides a great synergy if someone drops to low health. No longer procs sets such as Symphony though, so be weary if that’s what you want to use it for.
  • Shadow Silk
    • Great synergy if DPS are far enough away from the placement
  • Bone Surge
    • Mainly used for the synergy
  • Energy Orb
    • Would mainly be used for the option to heal others as the synergy should already be present from healers and magicka DPS
  • Efficient Purge
    • Necessary in some fights
  • Mystic Guard
    • Can be good in some strats where one person is taking a lot of damage.
  • Reviving Barrier
    • Would mainly be for a passive slot for the magicka recovery, but it can also help group survivability if they need it.

Vampire vs. Mortal

Neither vampire nor werewolf is recommended for this build, as they do not give us any benefits that we need.

Champion Points

Champion points were updated in the recent Flames of Ambition patch. The list below showcases the order in which the points should be acquired, the number of points you need to place into that perk and whether or not it needs to be slotted in the new CP bar. The Warfare CP perks increase your damage and mitigation and are the most important, the Fitness tree has some miscellaneous sustain and defensive perks and the Craft tree has crafting and non-combat bonuses. The Craft CP points are entirely customizable to however you want, or you can follow the list below.


  • Tireless Discipline (10)
  • Quick Recovery (10)
  • Preparation (20)
  • Hardy (10)
  • Elemental Aegis (10)
  • Duelist’s Rebuff (50) (Slotted)
  • Enduring Resolve (50) (Slotted)
  • Unassailable (50) (Slotted)
  • Ironclad (50) (Slotted)
  • Hardy (10)
  • Elemental Aegis (10)
  • Tireless Discipline (10)
  • Eldritch Insight (20)
  • Quick Recovery (10)
  • Blessed (20)
  • Piercing (10)
  • Flawless Ritual (40)
  • Precision (20)
  • Focused Mending (50) (Flex Slot)
  • Preference past this point


  • Boundless Vitality (50) (Slotted)
  • Fortified (50) (Slotted)
  • Rejuvenation (50) (Slotted)
  • Sprinter (10)
  • Hasty (8)
  • Tireless Guardian (10)
  • Fortification (30)
  • Tireless Guardian (10)
  • Hasty (8)
  • Hero’s Vigor (20)
  • Strategic Reserve (50) (Slotted)
  • Nimble Protector (6)
  • Sprinter (10)
  • Tumbling (30)
  • Defiance (20)
  • Expert Evasion (50) (Flex Slot)
  • Mystic Tenacity (10)
  • Survival Instincts (10)
  • Tempered Soul (25)
  • Spirit Mastery (50) (Flex Slot)
  • Tempered Soul (25)
  • Preference after this point


  • Gilded Fingers (10)
  • Fortune’s Favor (10)
  • Wanderer (15)
  • Steadfast Enchantment (50)
  • Rationer (30) (Slotted)
  • Steed’s Blessing (50) (Slotted)
  • Professional Upkeep (50) (Slotted)
  • Liquid Efficiency (75) (Slotted)
  • Breakfall (50)
  • Soul Reservoir (33)
  • Gilded Fingers (40)
  • Fortune’s Favor (40)
  • Wanderer (60)
  • Preference past this point

Other Important Info

Buff Food

Bewitched Sugar Skulls – a ton of stats in all 3 resources, which is just what we need


Atronach – Significantly boosts our magicka recovery, making it even easier to manage. Can also use the Steed if you need speed. 


  1. Nord is #1 for sure. Nice health + Stam stats, ultimate regeneration, and 2.6k resistances combined are amazing. Resistances aren’t exactly needed, but make hitting the cap easier and you don’t have to spend as many resources to get there.
  2. Orc is amazing too. Again nice health + stamina stats, the Sprint passives are great, and a little passive healing.
  3. Imperials are good too. Highest health + stam and some sustain help. The stat difference between them and Nords are 1k health though, and the resistances and ult gen out match the sustain.
  4. Argonian is ok. They have some extra healing and sustain help through their potion passive. Great for beginners but other races are better for higher skill players.


Essence of Health (Restore Stamina, Magicka and Health)
(Bugloss, Columbine and Mountain Flower)


  • Class (all)
  • One Hand and Shield (all)
  • Destruction Staff
    • All EXCEPT Tri-Focus (if using ice staff)
  • Heavy Armor (all)
  • Fighter’s Guild
    • Slayer
    • Banish the Wicked
  • Mages Guild (if using spell symmetry)
    • All EXCEPT Might of the Guild
  • Undaunted (All)
  • Racial (All)

Resource Management & Rotation

Because it’s a tank build, there really isn’t a rotation. You’ll just want to make sure you keep up your buffs up, taunt on bosses and dangerous adds, and Elemental Blockade up and positioned correctly to proc Crusher on priority targets. Use corpses smartly to generate ultimate fast. After Beckoning Armor and Spirit Guardian are halfway done, you can recast them and still get a corpse so take advantage of that when you can. Also, you pretty well always use Warhorn. Only use Ravenous Goliath if absolutely necessary.


If you have any questions about the build, join our discord server and ask @DoctorSarge about the build!

Update Log

5/23/2019 – Build created.
7/5/2019 – Skills overhauled and some other minor changes
8/15/2019 – No updates for scalebreaker
10/22/2019 – no updates for dragonhold
2/25/2020 – skills, gear and food changed
6/1/2020 – removed vampire from build
8/27/2020 – dungeon gear changed, CP changed, alternative sets added
11/18/2020 – ransack changed to pierce armor, skill descriptions updated, minor brittle discussion added
3/23/2021 – build updated for flames of ambition
6/10/2021 – cp updated
9/14/2021 – changed gear/cp
11/9/2021 – removed vamp
3/29/2022- changed description for Encratis
6/27/2022- alt sets changed
9/5/2022 – no changes for lost depths
11/13/2022- no changes
3/28/2023- no changes needed
7/5/2023- updated gear
8/31/2023- no updates for update 39