Sunshine Daydream's Guide to ESO

Guide to Wardens


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Wardens are defenders of the Green, master storytellers whose nature tales become magical reality. They wield frost spells against enemies and summon animals to aid them. (ESO's character creation text)

The class skills for Wardens are Animal Companions (DPS), Green Balance (healing), and Winter's Embrace (defensive with some frost/magic damage).

Magicka-based

A character seeking to deal significant DPS would consider the standard Magicka-based options which are recommended here again: Altmer have both boosts to frost damage and general magicka utility with boosts to Max Magicka & Magicka Recovery, Bretons while not offering anything warden-specific have wonderful magicka utility with boosts to Max Magicka & Magicka cost reduction, while a Pact-based Dunmer offers boosts to Max Magicka and a slight boost to frost damage.

For a Healer, an Argonian with its boosts to healing done and to healing received would be the top choice although the Breton's Max Magicka boost and utility with Magicka cost reduction make them a strong selection as well. Altmer would again be the preferred option from the Aldmeri Dominion, both for Magicka Recovery and Max Magicka, even without considering the bonus to elemental damage that was weighed for their selection in the role of DPS.

A Magicka Tank might well seek a Breton's balance of spell resistance and magicka utility. Enough defensive options exist in the Warden's skill lines to make Altmer a solid option from the Aldmeri Dominion even without more specialization than their Magicka utility/boosts. Another possibility would be to benefit from Argonian healing boosts, but an Imperial's superior Max Health would make them the top choice.

Stamina-based

Warden skills of interest to a Stamina build present solid options for DPS but show few skills to benefit a Healer or Tank:

DPS builds would shine as a stamina-based Warden. Here the Redguards, Dunmer, or Khajiit could hope to shine, although perhaps none as well as Orc from within the Daggerfall Covenant.

Wardens make excellent healers and tanks, but they are vastly better suited to a Magicka-based builds for these roles. I see little hope for realistic build options suited to a Stamina-based Healer in these skill lines.

To make a workable "Stamina-based Warden Tank," one could balance stamina-based Tank skills found in other skill lines (Armor/Weapon/Shield) with magicka-based Warden skills for self-healing, defense, and crowd control. If pursuing this path, I would suggest a Khajiit, an Orc, or probably best of all, a Nord for its unique ultimate generation boost as well as other bonuses. If the Imperial Edition was purchased, the Imperial would present a solid option as well with its boosts to Max Health and Max Stamina as long as one chose a melee weapon to Restore Health with melee attacks.



It should be noted that values shown below reflect the ability and/or morph once it is fully trained which sometimes differs from earlier costs, durations, or damage values. All costs and damage values here are without attribute points placed, without equipment, without passive skills acquired or active skills slotted and without champion points spent to make it easier to compare skills regardless of gear/build differences.

Since Mundus buffs can be changed but not removed, either no mundus buff was in place (template character on PTS) or the Lover mundus (which only alters penetration) was used.

Remember that if a skill costs Magicka, it scales with your maximum Magicka (and Spell Damage) while if a skill costs Stamina, it scales with your maximum Stamina (and Weapon Damage). Ultimate abilities and Synergies scale with the combination that provides you with the best offensive stats.




Animal Companions Skill Line

(DPS)
Required Skill Level Skill Name Benefit Cost
1 Dive
(range: 28 meters)
Call forth a cliff racer who dive bombs the enemy target for 821 Magic Damage. 2430 Magicka
Morph Option 1 Cutting Dive Converts to a Stamina ability with 849 Physical Damage. 1859 1823 Stamina
Morph Option 2 Screaming Cliff Racer The base damage increases to 849 Magic Damage and also increases damage up to 15% against more distant enemies. 2430 Magicka
4 Scorch
(AoE: 20 x 7 meters)
Stir a group of shalk that attack after 3 seconds, dealing 1109 Magic Damage to enemies in the AoE in front of you. 2430 Magicka
Morph Option 1 Subterranean Assault Converts to a Stamina ability with 1146 Poison Damage. Those damaged also suffer Major Fracture for 5 6 seconds. 2066 Stamina
Morph Option 2 Deep Fissure The enemies who take damage also suffer Major Breach for 5 6 seconds. 2430 Magicka
8 Bond with Nature If an animal companion is killed or unsummoned, its final breath heals you for 630 Health. Passive
12 Feral Guardian (cast time: 2.5 seconds) A loyal grizzly fights at your side. The grizzly's swipe deals an enemy 248 254 Magic Damage and sometimes mauls all enemies in front of it for 1001 1017 Magic Damage as it Stuns them for 2 seconds.

While summoned, you can activate Guardian's Wrath for 75 Ultimate, causing 1201 1150 Magic Damage plus 100% additional damage to targets under 25% Health.
no cost to summon

Guardian's Wrath costs 75 Ultimate
Morph Option 1 Eternal Guardian The bear companion now respawns if killed (cooldown: 60 seconds). Also, its swipes now deal 262 Magic Damage and its mauling AoE causes 1050 Magic Damage.

Guardian's Wrath instead deals 1187 Magic Damage plus 100% additional damage to targets under 25% Health.
Guardian's Wrath costs 75 Ultimate
Morph Option 2 Wild Guardian Swipes now deal 275 Physical Damage to single targets or sometimes mauls 1103 Physical Damage in a AoE that also Stuns victims for 2 seconds.

The special ability changes to Guardian's Savagery which instead causes 1375 1247 Physical Damage plus 100% more damage to enemies below 25% Health.
Guardian's Savagery costs 75 Ultimate
14 Savage Beast Activating an Animal Companion ability while in combat grants 2 Ultimate. (cooldown: 8 seconds) Passive
18 Bond with Nature II If an animal companion is killed or unsummoned, its final breath heals you for 1260 Health. Passive
20 Swarm
(range: 28 meters)
Unleash a swarm of fetcherflies to relentlessly attack your target for 1620 1740 Magic Damage over 10 seconds. 2430 Magicka
Morph Option 1 Fetcher Infestation Now causes 1800 Magic Damage over 10 seconds. 50% more damage is dealt on alternate casts (2nd, 4th, etc). 2430 Magicka
Morph Option 2 Growing Swarm
(radius: 10 meters)
Now causes 1800 Magic Damage over 10 seconds then the fetcherflies infect up to 6 additional targets who are nearby. 2430 Magicka
22 Flourish If an Animal Companion ability is slotted, then your Magicka Recovery & Stamina Recovery increase by 6%. Passive
27 Savage Beast II Activating an Animal Companion ability while in combat grants 4 Ultimate. (cooldown: 8 seconds) Passive
30 Betty Netch Call a betty netch to restore 4800 Magicka over 24 seconds and to grant you Major Sorcery for those 24 seconds. none
Morph Option 1 Blue Betty It now restores 5376 Magicka over 27 seconds instead and when called forth it also removes 1 negative effect. none
Morph Option 2 Bull Netch It instead restores 5376 Stamina over 27 seconds and while by your side also grants Major Brutality for 27 seconds. none
36 Flourish II If an Animal Companion ability is slotted, then your Magicka Recovery & Stamina Recovery increase by 12%. Passive
39 Advanced Species Each Animal Companion ability slotted increases your damage done by 1%. Passive
42 Falcon's Swiftness The spirit of agility grants Major Expedition for 4 6 seconds. and Major Endurance for 10 seconds. 3511 3240 Magicka
Morph Option 1 Deceptive Predator While slotted, also gain Minor Evasion at all times. 3241 2700 Magicka
Morph Option 2 Bird of Prey While slotted, also gain Minor Berserk at all times. 3241 2700 Magicka
50 Advanced Species II Each Animal Companion ability slotted increases your damage done by 3%. Passive



Green Balance Skill Line

(healing)
Required Skill Level Skill Name Benefit Cost
1 Fungal Growth
(cone to 20 meters)
Seed a large area of mushrooms in front of you that heals you & all allies within the AoE for 821 Health. 4590 Magicka
Morph Option 1 Enchanted Growth Now heals for 849 Health and also grants Minor Intellect and Minor Endurance for 20 seconds. 4590 Magicka
Morph Option 2 Soothing Spores Converts to a Stamina ability that heals for 849 Health in the AoE plus 15% more healing for allies within 8 meters. 3901 Stamina
4 Healing Seed
(range: 28 meters, radius 8 meters)
Plant a field of flowers which bloom after 6 seconds to heal you & allies in the area of effect for 1232 Health.

Allies near the center of the field (within 3 5 meters) can use the Harvest synergy to heal for another 1188 Health over 5 seconds.
2430 Magicka
Morph Option 1 Budding Seeds The field's flowering now heals 1273 Health. While the field grows, casting again makes the field instantly bloom. 2430 Magicka
Morph Option 2 Corrupting Pollen Also afflicts up to 6 enemies who enter the field with Major Defile for 4 seconds while they're within the AoE. 2430 Magicka
8 Accelerated Growth When healing a target who is under 40% Health with a Green Balance ability, gain Major Mending for 1.5 seconds. Passive
12 Secluded Grove
(range: 28 meters, radius: 8 meters)
Instantly swell a healing forest in a targetted area which heals the most injured friendly target for 985 Health. The forest then continues to heal you & all allies in the area for 328 Health every 1 second for 6 seconds. 90 Ultimate
Morph Option 1 Enchanted Forest Also gain 20 Ultimate if the instant heal of 1018 Health affects an ally under 50% Health. The HoT now heals you & your allies for 338 Health each second for 6 seconds. 90 Ultimate
Morph Option 2 Healing Thicket Now instantly heals for 1018 Health then you & your allies heal for 338 each second for 6 seconds. You & your allies also continue to heal for 4 seconds after leaving the forest. 90 Ultimate
14 Nature's Gift Upon healing an ally with a Green Balance ability, restore 125 Magicka or 125 Stamina (whichever is more depleted). Passive
18 Accelerated Growth II When healing a target who is under 40% Health with a Green Balance ability, gain Major Mending for 3 seconds. Passive
20 Living Vines
(AoE: 28 x 12 meters)
Vines embrace you or the lowest health ally in front of you for 10 seconds. They heal their target for 245 Health each time the target takes damage (cooldown: 0.9 seconds). 2700 Magicka
Morph Option 1 Leeching Vines The vines now heal for 254 Health each time their target takes damage. In addition the vines afflict the attacker with Minor Lifesteal for 10 seconds. 2700 Magicka
Morph Option 2 Living Trellis The vines now heal for 254 Health each time their target takes damage. As the vines expire they also heal their target for an additional 615 Health. 2700 Magicka
22 Emerald Moss Each Green Balance ability slotted increases the healing from any Green Balance ability by 1%. Passive
27 Nature's Gift II Upon healing an ally with a Green Balance ability, restore 250 Magicka or 250 Stamina (whichever is more depleted). Passive
30 Lotus Flower
(radius: 12 28 meters)
Embrace the lotus blessing, causing your Light Attacks to heal 1320 Health and Heavy Attacks to heal 3960 Health to you or a nearby ally for 20 seconds. 2970 Magicka
Morph Option 1 Green Lotus At reduced cost also grants Major Savagery for 20 seconds. 2700 Magicka
Morph Option 2 Lotus Blossom At reduced cost also grants Major Prophecy for 20 seconds. 2700 Magicka
36 Emerald Moss II Each Green Balance ability slotted increases the healing from any Green Balance ability by 2%. Passive
39 Maturation Those you heal also gain Minor Toughness for 10 seconds. Passive
42 Nature's Grasp
(range: 28 meters)
Swing to an ally, healing 2695 Health over 10 seconds (this now scales with your highest offensive stats rather than only Magicka & Spell Damage).

If you are in combat when the effect ends, gain 3 Ultimate.
4050 Magicka
Morph Option 1 Bursting Vines Instantly heal 1130 Health instead of healing more health over 10 seconds (this now scales with your highest offensive stats rather than only Magicka & Spell Damage).

Instead gain 10 Ultimate if you heal an ally under 60% Health while you are in combat (cooldown: 4 seconds).
4050 Magicka
Morph Option 2 Nature's Embrace Both you & your target now heal for 2794 Health over 10 seconds (scaling with your highest offensive stats rather than only Magicka & Spell Damage). 4050 Magicka
50 Maturation II Those you heal also gain Minor Toughness for 20 seconds. Passive



Winter's Embrace Skill Line

(defensive with some frost/magic damage)
Required Skill Level Skill Name Benefit Cost
1 Frost Cloak
(radius: 8 meters)
Ice crystals form around you to grant you & your 11 nearest allies Major Resolve and Major Ward for 21 20 seconds. 4050 Magicka
Morph Option 1 Expansive Frost Cloak
(radius: 28 meters)
Reduces the cost and increases the radius to 28 meters. Also increases the duration to 24 seconds. 2700 Magicka
Morph Option 2 Icy Fortress You also gain Minor Protection for 24 seconds. Increases the duration of the other buffs to 24 seconds as well. 4050 Magicka
4 Impaling Shards
(radius: 6 meters)
Icy shards deal 234 Frost Damage every second for 12 seconds (this DoT scales with your Max Health). Enemies hit are also Snared by 30% for 3 seconds. This ability and its morphs have a higher than normal chance to apply the Chilled status effect. 3510 Magicka
Morph Option 1 Gripping Shards Reduces the cost and enemies in the area are Immobilized instead of Snared for 3 seconds. The base damage increases to 241 Frost Damage each second for 12 seconds. 3240 Magicka
Morph Option 2 Winter's Revenge
(range: 28 meters)
Now forms at a target location and scales with Max Magicka & Spell Damage instead of Health, but the base value is 205 Frost Damage every second for 12 seconds. 3510 Magicka
8 Glacial Presence Winter's Embrace abilities have double the chance to apply the Chilled status effect. Passive
12 Sleet Storm
(radius: 10 meters)
Twist a violent storm around you, causing nearby enemies to be Snared by 70% 40% and to suffer 410 Frost Damage every 1 second for 8 seconds. The icy covering also grants you & nearby allies Major Protection. 200 Ultimate
Morph Option 1 Northern Storm While slotted, your Max Magicka increases by 8% as well. The storm now causes 424 Frost Damage each second for 8 seconds instead. 200 Ultimate
Morph Option 2 Permafrost If the storm damages an enemy 3 times then they also become Stunned for 3 seconds. The storm now causes 424 Frost Damage each second for 8 seconds instead. 200 Ultimate
14 Frozen Armor Increase Physical & Spell Resistance by 250 for each Winter's Embrace ability slotted. Passive
18 Glacial Presence II Winter's Embrace abilities have triple the chance to apply the Chilled status effect. Passive
20 Arctic Wind Winter winds instantly heal you for 1354 Health (15% of your Max Health) plus an additional 10% Health over 10 seconds 270 Health (3% Max Health) every 2 seconds for 10 seconds. 4320 Magicka
Morph Option 1 Polar Wind
(radius: 8 12 meters)
Reduces the cost and both you & a nearby ally instantly heal for 1398 (15%+ of your Max Health) plus an additional 278 (3%+ Max Health) every 2 seconds for 10 seconds. 4051 4320 Magicka
Morph Option 2 Arctic Blast
(range: 28 meters)
Reduces the cost and also Stuns the target for 3 seconds. The winds then heal you for 1398 (15%+ of your Max Health) plus an additional 278 (3%+ Max Health) every 2 seconds for 10 seconds. 4050 Magicka
22 Icy Aura Reduce the effectiveness of snares applied to you by 7%. Passive
27 Frozen Armor II Increase Physical & Spell Resistance by 500 for each Winter's Embrace ability slotted. Passive
30 Crystallized Shield Create an ice shield which absorbs up to 13548 (150% 155% of your Max Health) in damage from projectiles. The shield breaks after 3 projectiles or 6 seconds.

Each projectile absorbed restores 578 831 Magicka.
3240 3780 Magicka
Morph Option 1 Crystallized Slab Each time the shield absorbs a projectile the casting enemy also suffers 410 636 Frost Damage. Also, the shield now absorbs up to 13995 Damage (160% of your Max Health) 3240 3780 Magicka
Morph Option 2 Shimmering Shield Each time the shield absorbs a projectile you also gain Major Heroism for 6 seconds. Also, the shield now absorbs up to 13995 Damage (160% of your Max Health) 3240 3780 Magicka
36 Icy Aura II Reduce the effectiveness of snares applied to you by 15%. Passive
39 Piercing Cold Increases Magic Damage and Frost Damage by 3%. Passive
42 Frozen Gate
(range: 28 meters, radius: 5 meters)
Summon an ancient portal that arms after 1.5 seconds and lasts for 30 seconds. When triggered, the enemy teleports to you and is immobilized for 3 seconds as well as suffering 636 615 Frost Damage. (can have up to 3 portals at a time) 2701 2970 Magicka
Morph Option 1 Frozen Device The enemy now suffers 636 Frost Damage from the trap then is also afflicted with Major Maim for 4 seconds. 2701 2970 Magicka
Morph Option 2 Frozen Retreat The enemy now suffers 636 Frost Damage from the trap.

Also allows an ally to use the Icy Escape synergy to teleport to you and to gain Major Expedition for 8 seconds.
2701 2970 Magicka
50 Piercing Cold II Increases Magic Damage and Frost Damage by 6%. Passive


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