Spikelord of Diagna
Main Role: Tank
Health, Magicka, Stamina
|30000+ w/food, 0 points in||9000, 0 points in||29000 w/food, 64 points in|
Weapon 1: One Handed And Shield
Assault SkillRazor Caltrops
Fighters Guild SkillSilver Leash
Templar SkillBiting Jabs
One Hand And Shield SkillPierce Armor
One Hand And Shield SkillDefensive Stance
Fighters Guild SkillDawnbreaker of Smiting
Weapon 2: One Handed And Shield
Assault SkillResolving Vigor
Templar SkillExtended Ritual
Undaunted SkillSpiked Bone Shield
Undaunted SkillInner Beast
One Hand And Shield SkillDefensive Stance
One Hand And Shield SkillSpell Wall
|Light Armor||Medium Armor||Heavy Armor|
Gear and Item Set Info
As a PvE-focused tank, we take Heavy Armor ito get the most mitigation, Max Health, and Health Recovery we can. We want all three armor types so we can get the +3% bonus to all of our stats from Undaunted Mettle in addition to all the other bonuses we get. This loadout uses dual 1H+Shield, to maximize our survival time.
On our body, we want to set five pieces of crafted armor, preferably Orgnum's Scales for the emergency Health Recovery modifier and all the Max Health it grants.
You want Heavy chest, legs, and boots, while your belt should be light, and your gloves medium. Your gloves, belt, and boots should be Divines, while your chest and leg slot should be Infused. Max Health on everything.
On our weapons and jewelry, we'll be using the Twin Sisters set from Auridon - our blocks will be empowered with a bleed effect that will help to shorten fights, and it also grants favorable stats for our offense.
We get a good Stamina Recovery and Stamina modifier from being a Redguard, so we can make one of our jewelry slots grant Health Recovery, while our weapons are either enchanted with Drain Stamina, Crusher, or Shock (for Minor Vulnerability) to your tastes. I prefer to use dual Drain Stamina, because I'm a safecracker, but that's just me - Crusher and/or Shock are probably superior choices. Your front-bar weapon should be Sharpened or Nirnhoned, with a Divines or Infused shield, while your back-bar should be a Defending weapon with a Divines or Infused shield. Whatever you choose as a trait for one shield should be on the other, just to preserve the integrity of your stats. Enchant the shields with Max Health.
In our head and shoulders set, we're going to take Mighty Chudan. This will grant us superior resistances, and ensure that we always have our Major buffs up at any time, without needing to resort to Rune Focus being on our bar. It also grants some Max Health as a 2-piece bonus. Both of these pieces should be Divines.
If you don't like Orgnum's Scales, a better option on the body slots might be either Ebon Armory from Crypt of Hearts I, or a crafted Twice-Born Star set from Craglorn.
Ebon Armory is a strong replacement for Orgnum's Scales, though you can't get a light or medium piece of this armor - you'll have to downgrade your Chudan slots to light and medium. What it does do, is grant your party some Max Health, which is always nice!
Twice-Born Star is a 9-trait set, so either you'll need to master crafting yourself, or otherwise have an arrangement with a master crafter to get...but the results are quite impressive and are well worth the effort. Normally, we would just take the Lord stone, but with TBS, we can take an additional stone - good candidates are the Serpent for Stamina Regen, the Steed for Health Regen and move speed, or the Warrior for Weapon Damage. Just bear in mind - TBS grants no regeneration, so choose that second stone wisely!
In PvP, things seriously change. Tanks are more of a support character in PvP, so we need to alter the build accordingly.
I recommend replacing your Twin Sisters set with Darkstride from Rivenspire (yes, seriously.) This does grant some Stamina, but more importantly it reduces the cost of Sprint and Sneak by 50%. This is particularly important for Battlegrounds, where you can't mount, but still need to get to the action, but also helps in Cyrodiil where you will spend time under Sneak.
Specifically, I recommend replacing your front bar with a Sharpened Darkstride Bow enchanted with Drain Stamina, so that you can recover resources while supporting your teammates, and having your back-bar be a Defending Darkstride one-hander paired with either a Reinforced or Well-Fitted Darkstride Shield.
If you find it against your religion to take Darkstride for PvP, another useful set would be Powerful Assault from the Imperial City - it grants more health, but also makes your Caltrops and Vigor into attack buffs for your team.
Farming the relevant jewelry and weapons might be a bit involved, though, so another useful set that might be a bit easier would be Jailbreaker from Banished Cells. This grants some Stamina, more Stamina Recovery, but more importantly Minor Expedition, which means you always move 10% faster.
Lastly, if Mighty Chudan isn't what you want, Lord Warden from the Imperial City Prison can be good for the resistances it grants you, while also summoning Shadow Orbs that grant defense to nearby teammates.
You could also take Tremorscale from Volenfell. It grants more Stamina, a great AoE proc and a huge Movement Speed reduction when you Taunt enemies - and best of all, it works in PvP too!
Finally, Swarm Mother. It's undoubtedly good for Templar tanking, but we have good control skills. Take it if you feel you need it, but I don't recommend it, necessarily.
The Spikelord of Diagna is an aggressive Redguard Templar tank based on using a few different types of spikes to contain, control, and crush our team's opponents! What you might not expect, though, is that this build - while having relatively good attack power for a Templar tank - is really awesome at supporting our allies.
We run as a Redguard Templar. This might seem very counterintuitive given that as of this build's writing, as Templars are strongly biased towards being Magicka healers, but Redguard ensures we have the attack power and Stamina sustain we need to remain in the battle, while Templar gives us some unique capabilities that people used to Dragonknight and Warden tanks might not notice very well.
All points go into Stamina, to maximize our resources for Blocking, and our offensive potential.
For our food - and, as a Redguard we do use foods due to the extended duration we get on them - we use Braised Rabbit with Spring Vegetables for more Health and Stamina. It's reasonably easy to get the recipe to, and by farming fixed food harvest points in Rivenspire and Auridon, you can reliably obtain the ingredients to make these.
For our potions, our Main Battle Potion is a HP/Sta/Unstoppable potion made with Columbine / Mountain Flower / Namira's Rot. Our Assault Potion is WDmg/WCrit/Sta, made with Blessed Thistle / Dragonthorn / Water Hyacinth. Lastly, our GTFO Potion is Speed/Unstoppable/Stamina, made with Blessed Thistle / Columbine / Namira's Rot. I recommend carrying no less than 100 of each on you at a time.
I like to start by triggering my Resolving Vigor from my Backbar, and using Defensive Stance to stun the first mage that tries something funny, then swapping to my front bar to drop my Caltrops on the largest concentration of enemies I can. This usually causes the enemy AIs to draw battle lines - their melee fighters will come straight for me (and continue standing in my spikes), while the casters and archers will usually line up at the max distance they can.
I want to immediately taunt the most dangerous opponents first, which are usually melee. Pierce Armor will grant a debuff that helps my team kill them first, and ideally I want to bring the melee fighters under my control as soon as possible. That just leaves the ranged enemies. Taunting the most dangerous melee opponents is usually top priority.
On our front bar, we take Silver Leash, which was changed in Summerset to be a Stamina-based 'pull'. We can use this with our Caltrops to draw in the casters, and I recommend doing this whenever you can. Leashing ranged enemies into your spikes, and establishing control, is usually a very close second.
Once control is established, we can loose some Biting Jabs to give us Major Savagery, that way we can swap to our back-bar and use Vigor again to heal ourselves and nearby teammates. Immeidately after this, use Spiked Bone Shield; not only will it help our Vigor win the healing war if only for a moment, but the synergy from Spiked Bone Shield can help our temamates survive anything that isn't under our control, or any patrols that happen along. Buffing yourself and allies is your close third priority.
By this point, we probably need to re-establish spikes, and re-evaluate what needs to happen next. Are our teammates in trouble? Have we lost control of anything? If the answers are 'no', drop a Inner Beast taunt on the most dangerous enemy - this provides another Synergy to your team that deals nice damage - and start Jabbing the formation down. Don't neglect your other priorities, though!
Using your Ultmates is a more complex matter. I recommend Dawnbreaker for clearing weakened trash out of a formation, leaving you unhindered visibility of greater threats. However, when your Stamina gets low, using Spell Wall is a good idea - any mages will find their projectiles bounced at them, while you have a few seconds of free power-attacks with which to regenerate Stamina.
Keep this up, and you should handily have the enemy formation under good enough control that your allies can literally pick off enemies as they see fit, while you keep the true threats engaged with you.
Most tanks prefer to take War Horn and Barrier morphs. If you want to replace Dawnbreaker with Aggressive Warhorn, and/or Spell Wall with something like Replenishing Barrier? Go for it, they're solid Ultimates. That being said, I would keep Dawnbreaker on the front-bar, and choose which one you want for your back bar. Remember - this is a more aggressive build!
The main abilities I don't recommend are the Nova morphs - due to our abysmal Magicka stat - and the Crescent Sweep morphs. The Radial Sweep morphs are all underwhelming; Empowering Sweep deals Magic damage which will be terrible, but gives some nice damage reduction, while Crescent Sweep deals more damage, but only a little more - the scaling is absolutely terrible.
As to more standard abilities, Circle of Protection - unmorphed - can be useful for the improved Stamina Regen and the Minor Protection buff. I'm not terribly fond of either Turn Undead or Ring of Preservation.
In PvP, I recommend taking Power of the Light on your front bar, and Magnum Shot to replace the two 1H+Shield abilities. Power of the Light applies the Minor debuffs, as well as being able to deal some OK damage if the maximum absorb amount is achieved. Magnum Shot might seem like a poor man's Piercing Javelin, but what's notable is that it also knocks you back. So, you can use this as an 'Oh Crap!' button, as well as dealing some damage, knocking an enemy back, and giving them a brief stun. In PvP, we take the Bow so we can focus on supporting allies.
Speaking of Piercing Javelin, though, I recommend that for PvP as well - it replaces Silver Leash on the front-bar. It's got a great knockback, and has a good duration on the stun. The damage is also quite adequate.
Champion Point Tips
Due to the nature of the build, I like the points to pan out roughly as below. Bolded trees are ones to prioritize, while unbolded trees either have a limited amount of points, are second-tier, or can be ignored entirely in the case of the Apprentice.
- Lord: 10pts in Heavy Armor Focus (~1000 Armor).
- Lady: Any number of points in Thick-Skinned, Elemental Defender, and Hardy
- Steed: Any number of points in Iron Clad, possibly points in Spell Shield
- Ritual: Any number of points in Precise Strikes, Piercing, and Mighty
- Apprentice: None, this tree doesn't help me much.
- Atronach: Any number of points in Master-at-Arms and Physical Weapon expert
- Tower: Any number of points in Bashing Focus and Warlord
- Lover: Any number of points in Healthy, Mooncalf, and Tenacity
- Shadow: Any number of points in Shadow Ward and Tumbling