Best Elden Ring Tank Build Guide (2024)

How to Play a Tank Build in Elden Ring

The Elden Ring tank build maximizes defensive stats to trivialize boss fights.

This build can take some time before you start to hit hard because you will need to acquire many items to complete the build, but once it is complete, boss fights become the easiest part of the game.

We will be discussing the best leveling strategy to get through the game, the best Weapons and Shields, the best Armor, Talismans, Summons, and what consumables you can use.

Explore our other Elden Ring build guides here.


  • It trivializes most bosses and almost removes the need to roll or react to them.
  • Incredibly high defense, paired with exceptional damage output.
  • Simple and easy play style.


  • Weak to enemies that deal non-physical damage.
  • Can be weaker against larger bosses as they can hit you over your block.

Leveling and Stats

We will choose the Hero as our starting class for our Elden Ring tank build. This class will give us the most optimal stat distribution compared to the other starting classes and a decent early-game weapon.

StatsStarting StatsLevel 25Level 50Level 100Level 150

The first major breakpoint when it comes to leveling is level 25. At this point, you begin to be able to utilize the weapons in this build. The priority will be to get 20 Dexterity, as this will reach the requirements to use the Cross-Naginata, which will be one of the most powerful weapons in this build.

The second breakpoint of level 50 will require us to invest in Arcane and Vigor, as these are some of the more important stats for our build. Arcane will increase the damage we deal and Vigor will increase our survivability.

The third breakpoint of level 100 is where you will see a sizable increase in your damage negation. At 48 Strength, you will have the required stats to one-hand the Fingerprint Stone Shield. This shield has the highest guarded damage negation and guard boost in the game and is a perfect match for our tank build. I will explain what damage negation and guard boost do in the next section.

At the last breakpoint, which is level 150, we stop the build. 150 is the perfect level for people who want to PVP. We will invest more points into Arcane and Endurance, as the increased stamina will allow us to guard for longer, and the Arcane will allow us to deal more damage.


When choosing a shield for your build, you should consider two main qualities: guard boost and guarded damage negation.

Every attack you block while guarding takes away some of your stamina. How much stamina you lose depends on how strong of an attack you are hit with and the guard boost of your weapon/shield. The higher the guard boost, the lower the stamina consumed on each hit.

Guarded damage negation determines what percentage of damage is blocked while guarding with a weapon/shield. The higher the number, the larger the percentage of damage negated.

Brass Shield

The Brass Shield is one of the strongest early-game shields in the game, and it has the highest guard boost out of all the medium shields. It can be acquired as a rare drop from Godrick Soldiers holding the shield.


  • Strength 16

It has 56 Guard Boost, and the Weight is 7.

Fingerprint Stone Shield

The Fingerprint Stone Shield is a Greatshield with the highest damage negation and guard boost out of all Shields. It is the best Greatshield for guarding but has one major drawback: it weighs a ton.

It can be found on a body deep within the Subterranean Shunning Grounds after defeating Mohg, the Omen King, and finding the secret passageway in his room.


  • Strength 48

It unfortunately weighs 29, but has 77 Guard Boost.

Visage Shield

The Visage Shield is a Greatshield with the Ash of War, Tongues of Fire. This Ash of War spits flames out of the face of the shield while you remain in a guarded position. The flames can deal considerable damage and stance damage to enemies.

It can be found in a chest after defeating the Mad Pumpkin Head Duo in the Caelem Ruins in Caelid.


  • Strength 44

It has 75 Guard Boost, and its Weight is 24.

One-Eyed Shield

The One-Eyed Shield is a Greatshield with the Ash of War, Flame Spit. This Ash of War launches a fireball from the barrel of the shield that can deal very high damage.

It’s acquired by defeating Chief Guardian Arghanthy in the Guardian’s Garrison on the Mountaintop of the Giants.


  • Strength 36

It weighs quite a lot, 20.5, and has 67 Guard Boost.

Jellyfish Shield

The Jellyfish Shield is a Greatshield that can increase the damage you deal with the weapons and shields in this build. It can be found on a broken wagon surrounded by Jellyfish on the west side of Liurnia of the Lakes.


  • Strength 20
  • Dexterity 14

Its weight is 8, and it has 52 Guard Boost.

Great Turtle Shell

The Great Turtle Shell is a medium shield that increases your stamina recovery speed while equipped. It is a great option to have on your back if you plan on using a Shield as your main weapon.


  • Strength 14

It has 49 Guard Boost, and its Weight is 5.5.

Spiked Palisade Shield

The Spiked Palisade Shield is a Greatshield with innate bleed buildup. While it does not have 100% physical damage negation, it can deal large amounts of damage when using the Shield Crash Ash of War.

It can be found on a dead body under a Golem near the Deep Siofra Well in Caelid.


  • Strength 20

The Guard Boost is 59, and the Weight is 11.5.


Thrusting weapons, such as Spears, Great Spears, Thrusting Swords, and Heavy Thrusting Swords, will be the best weapons for this Elden Ring tank build.

It is best to use a thrusting weapon because these weapons have the unique property of allowing you to attack while simultaneously blocking. Thrusting weapons also have the advantage of being able to counter-hit.

Counter-hits occur when striking an enemy while they are in the middle of an attack. If done successfully, the attack will deal bonus damage. It is very easy to get counter-hits with this build as you are able to block and attack at the same time, so you will not need to worry about dodging.

Cross Naginata (Occult)

The Cross Naginata can be equipped with the Ash of War Sepuku and occult infused to become a powerful weapon that can apply bleed extremely quickly.

It can be found on a corpse near a Giant Land Octopus in the Gael Tunnel in Caelid.


  • Strength 16
  • Dexterity 20

Mohgwyn’s Sacred Spear

Mohgwyn’s Sacred Spear is a great spear with the unique Ash of War Bloodboon Ritual. Bloodboon Ritual can apply bleed to a large number of enemies extremely quickly while also buffing the weapon with fire damage.

Acquired by trading in Mohg’s Remembrance to Enia at the Roundtable Hold.


  • Strength 24
  • Dexterity 14
  • Arcane 27


Golden Vow(Ash of War)

This spell increases your damage by 11.5% and decreases the damage you take by 7.5%.

Golden Vow is a very solid buff that can be utilized almost immediately at the start of a run and is used in many different builds.

  • It is dropped by a mounted Godrick Knight roaming around the cliff above the Deathtouched Catacombs in the north of Limgrave.


Shield Grease

Reduces stamina damage taken by 35% and decreases damage taken while blocking by 20% for 60 seconds.

  • It can be crafted after acquiring the Glintstone Craftsman’s Cookbook [4] and collecting 1 Root Resin, 1 Silver Tear Husk, and 1 Crystal Bud.

Boiled Crab

Decreases physical damage taken by 20% for 60 seconds.

It cannot be used with Golden Vow.

  • It can be purchased from Blackguard Big Boggart for 600 Tunes after he moves to the Capital Outskirts in the Altus Plateau.

Pickled Turtle Neck

Increases stamina recovery speed by 10 per second.

  • It can be crafted after acquiring the Nomadic Warrior’s Cookbook [3] and collecting 3 Rowa Fruit, 1 Turtle Neck Meat, and 1 Herba.

Flask of Wondrous Physick

Greenburst Crystal Tear

Boosts stamina recovery speed by 15 per second for 3 minutes.

  • Acquired by defeating the Putrid Avatar found at the Minor Erdtree in Caelid.

Opaline Hardtear

Boosts all damage negation by 15% for 3 minutes.

  • Acquired by defeating the Putrid Avatar found at the Minor Erdtree in Greyoll’s Dragonbarrow.

Strength-Knot Crystal Tear

Increases strength by 10 for 3 minutes.

  • It can be found in a bowl northeast of the Stormhill Shack site of Grace in Limgrave.

Flame-Shrouding Cracked Tear

Boosts fire damage by 20% for 3 minutes.

  • Acquired by defeating the Putrid Avatar found at the Minor Erdtree in Caelid.


Green Turtle Talisman

The most important Talisman in this build. This will help you recover your stamina bar significantly quicker, which you will quickly learn is necessary for this build.

It is found in a chest surrounded by turtles in a room sealed by an imp statue in Summonwater Village in Limgrave.

  • Raises stamina recovery speed by 8 per second.

Spear Talisman

Useful if you use a thrusting weapon, which can be found in a chest inside the Lakeside Crystal Cave in Liurnia of the Lakes.

  • Increases counter-hit damage by 15%.

Lord of Blood’s Exultation

Useful if you use the Cross-Naginata with Seppuku. It can be acquired by defeating Esgar, Priest of Blood in the Leyndell Catacombs in the Subterranean Shunning Grounds.

  • Increases damage dealt by 20% after blood loss occurs in the area.

Shard of Alexander

It is useful if you use the Visage Shield or the One-Eyed Shield.

It can be acquired at the end of Warrior Jar Alexander’s questline in Farum Azula.

  • Increases skill damage by 15%.

Great-Jar’s Arsenal

Acquired by completing the Great-Jar’s challenge in the north of Caelid.

  • Raises maximum equip load by 19%.

Dragoncrest Greatshield Talisman

You can find it in a chest surrounded by pests in the building above the Haligtree Roots site of Grace in Elphael, Brace of the Haligtree.

  • Decreases physical damage received by 20%.

Pearldrake Talisman

A situationally useful Talisman, depending on what enemies you are fighting. Other “Drake Talismans” can also be useful if you are preparing to fight a specific boss that you know does a certain type of elemental damage.

  • Decreases elemental damage received by 5/7/9%.

Ritual Sword Talisman

It can be found in a chest after defeating Demi-Human Queen Gilika in the Lux Ruins in the Altus Plateau.

  • Increases damage dealt by 10% while at full HP.

Ritual Shield Talisman

It can be found just outside the door of the Colosseum in Leyndell, Royal Capital.

  • Decreases damage taken by 30% while at full HP.

Greatshield Talisman

It can be found in a carriage chest by the Erdtree-Gazing Hill site of grace in the Altus Plateau.

  • Decreases stamina damage taken by 20% while blocking.


The armor used in this Elden Ring tank build is not particularly important as most attacks from bosses will not damage you.

I recommend using the White Mask, Blaidd’s Armor, Blaidd’s Gauntlets, and the Night’s Cavalry Greaves paired together. This set looks stylish and gets you over the 51 Poise threshold while also providing decent resistance.

The most important piece of this set will be the White Mask. This Helmet will increase your damage output by 10% after blood loss occurs near you. This effect can be triggered by using the Ash of War, Seppuku.

White Mask

Bloodstained faintly grinning White Mask. Worn by War Surgeons who effectively mercy killers.

  • Poise: 5

Blaidd’s Armor

Well-worn Black Armor of the man-wolf Blaidd. The pelt serves as a Cape, protecting from cold.

  • Poise: 28

Blaidd’s Gauntlets

Well-worn Black Gauntlets of the Man-Wolf Blaidd.

  • Poise: 6

Night’s Cavalry Greaves

Best Elden Ring Tank Build Guide (30)

Pitch-black greaves, thinly painted with dried blood. It is worn by the Night’s Cavalry who ride Funeral Steeds.

  • Poise: 15

Flask Distribution

At the maximum amount of Flasks, I recommend going for a 12 Crimson flask and 2 Cerulean Flask split.

If you use the Visage Shield, you may want more FP Flasks. In this case, I would split the Flasks into 10 Crimson and 4 Cerulean.


Other than the obvious summons, such as Mimic Tear and Black Knife Tiche, I have some recommendations that can go well with this Elden Ring tank build.

Omen Killer Rollo

Omenkiller Rollo summons the spirit of Omenkiller Rollo. This summon is incredibly good at taking boss agro from you as it is very aggressive and deals very high damage. He also has a good amount of HP, so he can take agro for longer while you spam your weapon skills.

Although he costs 113 FP, you can summon him using the Cerulean Hidden Tear for infinite FP.

It can be acquired by defeating the Fell Twins at the Capital Outskirts.

Greatshield Soldier Ashes

Greatshield Soldier Ashes summons five Greatshield Soldier Spirits. These soldiers have high defense and can keep bosses agro very well as they tend to swarm immobile bosses from all sides.

They can even stunlock some smaller bosses with lower poise, and they serve as a good distraction for you to use your weapon skills and spells safely.

Found on a corpse in a graveyard in Nokron, Eternal City.

In Conclusion

Thanks for reading our Elden Ring tank build guide! Head to our other Elden Ring build guides here.

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Best Elden Ring Tank Build Guide (2024)
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