There are two weapons you’ll need to master as a tank. These are 1 Hand and Shield, and Destruction (Lightning) Staff. Whilst there are some that might consider Bow or 2-hander, I believe that these weapons are sub-optimal and will not be covering them here. Let’s have a look at the passives that will contribute to your tanking…
1 Hand and Shield
This passive both reduces the cost of your staple tanking abilities and reduces the stamina drain on blocking. Take it.
Whilst the weapon damage is insignificant for a tank, increasing your damage blocked is a boon to you are your healers.
The damage bonus is now irrelevant (remember bash-spammers in Cyrodil?) but the cost reduction is amazing. You will be required to bash to avoid all sorts of mechanics for your group over the journey. As it drains your blocking resource the 40% cost reduction is a huge boon.
Decreasing damage taken from projectiles and ranged attacks will only benefit you and your healers. Take it and move on (slowly) as you block your way to victory.
You will be required to shift position constantly when tanking. Reducing the movement speed debuff whilst doing so is a worthwhile boon so snap this one up.
I do not take this. You really should be rocking a Lightning Staff for the off-balance debuff for monsters. However, if you insist on wielding an ice staff, you might want to consider this passive if you are having trouble managing your stamina whilst blocking. Even when I have wielded an ice staff (when I was using training wheels learning the ins and outs of back-barring a Destruction Staff, I did not take this passive.
Not required but a nice little bonus as you’re laying down Blockade.
When using your Lightning Staff, this allows you to reliably apply the Concussed status effect, then capitalise on that via Blockade of Storms to set your enemies off-balance for increased group damage. Very worthwhile.
Whilst I do take this for the extra damage as I’m already laying down Blockade, it is not required. If you have a Frost Staff equipped the block cost reduction and reduced damage when blocking is nice, however.
In theory if you deliver the killing blow on monsters with your Blockade then this is great. In practice the chances of this actually happening are quite low. Take it anyway…can’t hurt.
Wrapping it up
All 1 Hand and Shield passives are required for effective tanking. The Destruction Staff passives…not so much. Make informed decisions and adjust your play-style appropriately.