Introduction:
This guide introduces a new Nightblade DPS/Tank hybrid build. Audience assume to know passives and skills of nightblade as well as basic tanking mechanics. If you are not familiar with nightblade tank, this video made by Gilliam the rogue is very good as reference and supplement.

Title: TESO: Bloodletting the Meta (Nightblade Tank, Summerset)
Accredited to: Gilliam the rogue
https://youtube.com/watch?v=7O2FGuMU9RE&t=2722s

The build should be capable of tanking all 4-man contents, some of which require a bit tweaking, of course. Specifically, the build does 12k-17k single target DPS while maintaining 38k-40k health, 15k resources and 1.5k magicka regen. You might play such build for carrying new players through dungeons or simply for fun. The guide also appends a trial version of this build, a bit less fun but good enough for DLC non-hardmode trials. Yet I haven’t tested my trial build in DLC hardmode trials.

Part 1: DPS/Tank Hybrid

Skill & Passive Highlights:

Assassination:
Blur->Mirage: Must-have, evasion, minor resistance.

Shadow Skills:
Consuming Darkness->Bolstering Darkness: Optional, damage reduction.
Shadow Cloak->Shadowy Disguise: Must-have, main self-healing.
Summon Shade->Dark Shades: Must-have, minor maim, major resistance.

Siphoning Skills:
Soul Shred->Soul Siphon: Great-to-have, burst healing, major vitality.
Strife->Swallow Soul: Optional, slot for minor vitality.
Malevolent Offering->Healthy Offering: Great-to-have, equivalent to Breath of Life but cost 250 health/s per use only, very good burst healing(~8k/13k crit) on allies, can’t heal yourself.
Siphoning Strikes->Siphoning Attacks(or Leeching Strikes): Great-to-have, very efficient means to generate health and resources, require light attack waiving.
Drain Power->Sap Essence: Optional, mob clearing.

Sword & Shield:
Pierce Armor: Must-have.
Absord Magic: Great-to-have.
Shield Charge/Ambush: Very situational.

Destro:
Ice Blockade: Great-to-have, means of proc absorb stam while blocking.
Ancient Knowledge: Must-have.
Tri Focus: Don’t level this unless you know what you are doing!!!

Fighters Guild:
Dawnbreaker->Flawless Dawnbreaker: Optional for fun XD.
Silver Bolts->Silver Leash: Optional, chaining.

Mages Guild:
Equilibrium->Spell Symmetry: Optional, alternative to Siphoning Attacks.

Undaunted:
Inner Fire: Must-have.
Orb, Bone Surge, Blood Altar: Optional.

Psijic Order:
Meditation->Deep Thoughts: Great-to-have, replace siphoning strikes.

Sets, Stats, Food, CP and Trivia:
1.Relequen
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2.Viper
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3. What if you throw this tank alone at vet Saint Olms?
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As I said, the build has standard tank stats so this tank isn’t crispy like a chip. However, he can’t do max dps, due to relequen stack loss and lower ice blockade uptime.

4. Relequen VS Viper,
If your relequen dps is below 15k, grab viper. It’s much easier to keep viper up.

Important Tanking Mechanics: 

Infused Ice Staff and blockage:

Spoiler

1. Infuse weapon is important for getting significant proc rate. More proc also means more dps.
2. Overall, ice blockade is a very cost-efficient resource balance skill.
PS: not only for NB tanks, that update made sustain better but also for all tanks.

Light Attack Waiving:
Light attack animation can be completely cancelled by blocking. While light attack procs your main hand enchantment, regenerates health and resources through siphoning attacks, keeps up your relequen/viper dot, you can cancel light attack any time you need to block. To get a sense of this, check 13:00 – 14:22 of Rogue’s video. Note when he light-attacked, the stam regen came from his auto regen.

WHY CAN I TANK *** WHILE DOING DEEEEEPS?
This build maximizes stat-independent damage under the constraint of obtaining stats the same as an torgue-alkosh tank. Proc damage is independent of stats, thus maximizing proc damage doesn’t sacrifices much tank stats. Given 7 PC heavy armor requirement, I don’t have many choices on body armors.
Torgue: BIS, boosts stamina regen and damage, common tank set.
Morkuldin: alternative, a bit less dps, uncommon tank set.
I didn’t consider any set with “when you take damage” effect, for they are too situational. Maybe you can try Leeching Plate or Hand of Mephala.

Relequen is the No.1 choice for its highest proc dps. Selence synergizes well with relequen and light attack. With siphoning attacks, light attack becomes means of healing, regen and damage at the same time. Maelstrom ice staff further increases light attack damage while maintaining absorb stam proc consistently.

Part 2: Trial Tank

Sets, Stats, Food, CP and Trivia:
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You can replace leeching strike with siphoning attacks or deep thought.

Nightblade VS Dragon Knight?
All the time, people say DK OP. Yes. DK is the best tank period.
Still, getting buffed again and again after summerset, nightblade tank is viable for any 4-man contents and end game raiding. Literally, nightblade gets cloak as one of the best self-healing, mirage with unique damage reduction, shade as a combination of low slash and reactive armor, ice blockade as a very efficient regen. Nightblade has more than enough survivability for any raid, BUT nightblade can’t go as offensive as DK. Engulfing flame is way too OP for leaderboard runs, when offensive abilities get heavily-weighted. Defensive healing is the advantage of nightblade. Malevolent offering is the only spammable healing; soul siphon is OP in cloudrest, and generally effective against raid wise AOE.



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