Warden Beginner Guide
Warden is the Class of Nature and Ice in The Elder Scrolls Online! An excellent option for Damage Dealers and Healers in PVE or PVP gameplay. Wardens can also fulfill the role of Tank in ESO with great success.
The Warden Class is available for purchase and does not come with the base game. Despite this fact, it is one of the easiest classes to begin with and very beginner friendly for almost every role.
Table of Contents
- Why Choose Warden
- Important Skills
- Mundus Stones
- Champion Points
- Vampire or Werewolf
- Build Examples
- More Beginner Guides
Why Choose Warden
The Warden is a very flexible Class with several offensive and defensive spells at its disposal. This gives it the opportunity to create strong Magicka or Stamina DPS characters in PVE and PVP gameplay. At the same time the Warden Class is one of the best for healer roles but also Tank roles.
An excellent option for new but also veteran players, no matter the type of gameplay you wish to complete. One more detail that make Wardens unique is their ability to deal Ice Damage! It is the only class with an entire skill line dedicated to Ice/Frost damage in the game.
Thanks to these skills, Magicka Wardens can make pure Ice damage mage builds, while Stamina based Wardens can create Frost Tank setups with ease. For their offensive capabilities, they rely too much on the Animal Companions skill line and the truth is that they need as many skills from this line as possible to be effective.
They are also not available with the base game, which means that a player will have to buy the class. Overall, a Warden is an excellent option for DPS characters, Magicka or Stamina, Healers and very good Tanks!
Before we go through the most important Warden skills, you have to decide what kind of Warden you wish to create! A Magicka based or Stamina based one. This will determine the type of gameplay and the morphs of skills you should choose as you level up.
To create a Magicka based Warden(DD or Healer) allocate all your available attribute points to Magicka. To create a Stamina one, allocate your points to Stamina. You can also mix them up if you wish to make a Tank character.
Leveling a Templar and its skills is similar to leveling any other class in the game. There are several methods you can follow to level up fast and efficiently, like grinding XP at specific locations, clearing Dolmens and completing group content. You can find a lot more info on how to level up a character fast and efficiently in my ESO Leveling Guide.
There are several important skills you should unlock and level up as soon as possible. Class, Weapons and Guild Skills that will help you create the build of your dreams! To level up skills and skill-lines, always have one or more of their skills in your active bar, even if you are not using them. More info on unlocking and leveling up skills and their lines here.
So let’s start with the most important Warden Class skills.
The Warden has three unique skill lines with abilities suitable for every role in the game. Both Magicka and Stamina Wardens rely a lot on the Animal Companions skill line for DPS Builds.
The Warden Skill lines are:
- Animal Companions, with their offensive skills based on Morrowind animals
- Green Balance, focusing mostly on Healing and support
- Winter’s Embrace, dedicated to Ice damage
The most important skill line for Magicka and Stamina DPS Wardens!
Eternal Guardian and Wild Guardian Morphs of Feral Guardian, offer a Stamina and Magicka based strong Ultimate for both types of Warden DPS. This is going to be your most important Ultimate when playing a Warden DPS. Like most other permanent Pets in the game, it has to be slotted on both bars.
Dive offers two ranged spammables for both Magicka and Stamina. Cutting Dive is more useful for Stamina Builds while Screaming Cliff Racer can assist some Magicka builds. Scorch is the most important offensive Warden skill! This skill again offers a Magicka and a Stamina version. Subterranean Assault is a must have for Stamina DPS thanks to its great damage, while Deep Fissure assists Magicka DPS by debuffing enemies.
Swarm and its two morphs, Fetcher Infection and Growing Swarm are also very important thanks to the additional debuff they offer. Blue Betty and Bull Netch(Betty Netch Morphs) offer better sustain and boost damage. Finally Bird of Prey(Falcon’s Swiftness morph) boosts passively damage and should be always slotted. The other morph, Deceptive Predator, assists with defense and is a great option for Warden Tanks.
The more skills from this line you have slotted on your main bar, the better your damage, thanks to the Advanced Species Passive.
Dedicated to Healing and support.
Secluded Grove offers two strong Healing Ultimates that can assist your group and keep them alive. Enchanted Forest and Healing Thicket. Enchanted Growth(Fungal Growth morph) is the Class’ main Healing ability that can also restore stamina and magicka.
Healing Seed offers two ground based Heals while Living Vines and its morphs offer a heal over time to you or an ally. Lotus Flower is another very important Warden skill, mostly for DPS characters and for solo gameplay. Its Green Lotus and Lotus Blossom morphs heal you with every Light or Heavy attack and boost Critical Chance.
The skill line that makes Warden a truly unique Class! This line offers access to several offensive, defensive and support skills, based on Frost/Ice damage!
Sleet Storm and its morphs, Northern Storm and Permafrost, deal Frost damage and boost defense. Excellent options for solo gameplay or when you want to crowd control enemies in PVE or PVP.
Ice Fortress(Frost Cloak morph) is an important self buff ability that boosts resistances and defenses. Important for Solo PVE or PVP. Winter’s Revenge(Impaling Shards morph) is a powerful Frost damage AOE ability that empowers Magicka Wardens.
Arctic Wind offers two Healing spells that also deal damage and are great for PVE and PVP gameplay. Crystallized Shield and its morphs, protect you from projectiles and will be more useful against enemies in PVP. Frozen Gate finally, and its two morphs, Frozen Device and Frozen Retreat, give Warden Tanks the ability to pull enemies closer and assist with crowd control.
Both Magicka and Stamina Wardens rely mostly on Animal Companions Skills to create strong DPS Builds. There are of course a few Weapon Skills they can also utilize.
From the Destruction Staff line the Wall of Elements and its morphs are important for AOE attacks for Magicka Wardens while Elemental Drain(Weakness to Elements morph) will assist in solo gameplay. Finally the Elemental Storm Ultimate and its two morphs are strong enough to use in PVE or PVP.
For Stamina Warden some weapon skills can be useful as well. Depending on you favorite Weapon, Dual Wield, Two Handed or Bow, you can use a few of their skills as a spammable or to further boost your damage.
Dizzying Swing for PVP and Wrecking Blow for PVE can work as spammables if you are using a Two Handed Weapon. Cleave and its morphs are great for dealing with lots of enemies while Reverse Slash and its morphs are an amazing execute ability. Stampede is another excellent skill you can use in PVE or PVP.
Rapid Strikes or Whirling Blades can again work as spammables if you are using Dual Wield. Deadly Cloak and Shrouded Daggers will also assist you if you wish to focus more on the Dual Wield play style.
Finally Endless Hail(Volley’s Morph) from Bow is important for every build that is using the bow as a support weapon along with Poison Injection(Poison Arrow Morph).
If you wish to play as a Tank, then you will also need the Pierce Armor Taunt skill(Puncture Morph) to draw aggro and Heroic Slash( Low Slash Morph) to boost your Ultimate generation.
For Healers, Grand Healing, Regeneration, Blessing of Protection and their morphs are very important to fulfill their role successfully. The Light’s Champion Ultimate(Panacea Morph) from this line can also be helpful when healing in PVE or PVP gameplay.
Barbed Trap(Trap Beast Morph) is the skill you must unlock as soon as possible from the Fighters Guild, for your Warden, Stamina or Magicka. The reason for this is because it provides the Minor Force buff, increasing your Critical Damage done. It is mostly a PVE skill. The alternative to this would be Accelerate and its Morphs from the Psijic Order line but this is harder to get and unlock.
Dawnbreaker is a powerful Ultimate with morphs for PVE and PVP gameplay. Silver Leash(Silver Bolts Morph) is rather important for Tank Builds, since it can pull enemies to you and can replace Frozen Gate and its morphs.
The Mages Guild offers a few potent skills for Magicka Warden, including a powerful Ultimate, Meteor and its Ice Comet morph. Inner Light can boost Spell Critical and Max Magicka while Entropy and Fire Rune offer great offensive spells with their morphs.
The Undaunted skill line offers mostly support spells for all roles but also two powerful passives. The two passives should be your priority from this line. Inner Fire offers two ranged aggro abilities that are a must have for Tanks.
Finally the Psijic Order has the best Spammable in the game for Magicka Characters in general, the Elemental Weapon(Imbue Weapon Morph) ability, which is strictly a PVE skill.
Alliance War Skills
Vigor and Morphs are great healing abilities for Stamina characters while Razor Caltrops(Caltrops Morph) can debuff enemies when solo and make it easier to kill them. The Continuous Attack passive will provide Major Gallop when mounted, making travel easier and faster.
Purge and its morphs can be very useful to a PVP focused Warden Healer.
Unlocking and leveling up your Class active skills and passives, should be your number one priority. This will unlock the potential of your Class and allow you to combine them for better results. Weapon and Guild Skills should follow after. Of course everything depends on your goals and preferred play style.
Getting a strong spammable and a good AOE ability early will allow you to level up faster and more efficiently.
Regarding Passives, i always recommend getting everything from skill lines you are using. Again Class Passives, along with Racial ones, should come first, followed by Weapon and Guild ones.
Mundus Stones offer strong buffs to your character that can help you complete content faster. They are located all around Tamriel and based on their offered buff are more suitable for PVE or PVP gameplay.
When you are leveling up you should get the Atronach Mundus that boosts Magicka Recovery or the Serpent Mundus that boosts Stamina Recovery. This will assist you with sustain and will allow you to use your skills for longer.
As you are getting more experienced and can sustain better, switch to the Lover Mundus. The Lover boosts your Physical and Spell Penetration, making it easier to kill enemies. A great option for early gameplay but also Solo content.
For group PVE you want to switch to the Thief (better Critical Chance) or the Shadow(better Critical Damage). For PVP get the Warrior(more Weapon Damage) or the Apprentice(more Spell Damage).
Tank characters can benefit from the Atronach Mundus while Healers can use the Atronach, the Apprentice or even the Ritual(better Healing).
After level 50 you will start earning Champion Points. These allow you to unlock Passive and Slottable Stars in the Champion Points tab, that can further empower your character. You can earn Champion Points by simply playing the game and leveling up.
In total there are three constellations in the Elder Scrolls Online:
Each constellation offers different Stars that can help with different roles and activities. Warfare is the constellation that is focusing more on combat and provides bonuses to Damage Dealers, Tanks and Healers. Allocating your Champion Points appropriately and unlocking the right Stars for the role you wish to fulfill is rather important.
You can find more info on Champion Points and the right Passive and Slottable Stars for every Role in my Champion Points Guide.
Vampire or Werewolf
Being a Vampire or Werewolf is not necessary to fully enjoy your Warden. You can find a lot more info on Vampires and Werewolves in my ESO Vampire vs Werewolf Guide.
There are more than one ways you can setup your Magicka or Stamina Warden. It all depends on your favorite play style and the content you wish to complete. Some setups are better for Solo PVE, other for Group Trials content and other for Battlegrounds or Open World PVP. Here are some Builds you can use, depending on gameplay.
Magicka Warden PVE Build – Ice Queen(Frost Mage)
Stamina Warden PVE Build(Dual Wield) – Force of Nature
Stamina Warden PVE Build(Two Handed) – Claymore
Stamina Warden PVE Build(Bow) – Archer
Magicka Warden Solo PVE Build – Setup
Stamina Warden Solo PVE Build – Setup
Warden Tank Build – Protector(Frost Tank)
Warden Healer Build – Lifeline
Magicka Warden PVP Build – Frozen
Stamina Warden PVP Build – Destroyer
Stamina Warden PVP Build(Bow) – Longbow