Update – Harrowstorm DLC (Last Updated 1st May 2020) build being refined and making gradual formatting changes.
Here is my Warden Healing PvP Build and Guide!
This Guide is currently focused on small/large scale Cyrodiil PvP. In future, it will be updated with Battlegrounds specifics.
Here are my various builds. If you’re more comfortable having the abilities in different spots, then go for it. Just make sure they correlate with the right weapon.
Large Group/Zerg Build
Front Bar Flex Spot – On my front bar I have one flex spot. Typically I’ll slot Radiating Regeneration for more heals. Alternatively, you could use Time Freeze or Frozen Device for group utility. Other options could be Inner Light or a healing ability (Living Trellis or Healing Ward) if you prefer (see Flex Spots list below).
Back Bar Flex Spots – On my back bar, I have one flex spot. I usually use Siege Shields or Arctic Blast depending on zerg makeup.
Ultimate – Healing Thicket on the front bar and Permafrost on the back bar.
Key Abilities List
Flex Spots List
- Arctic Blast – Arctic Wind Morph (Winter’s Embrace – Warden)
- Radiating Regeneration – Regeneration Morph (Restoration Staff – Weapon)
- Siege Weapon Shield – Siege Shield Morph (Support – Alliance War)
- Nature’s Embrace – Nature’s Grasp Morph (Green Balance – Warden)
- Living Trellis – Living Vines Morph (Green Balance – Warden)
- Frozen Device – Frozen Gate Morph (Winter’s Embrace – Warden)
- Time Freeze – Time Stop Morph (Psijic Order – Guild)
- Shimmering Shield – Crystallised Shield Morph (Winter’s Embrace – Warden)
- Healing Ward – Steadfast Ward Morph (Restoration Staff – Weapon)
- Energy Orb – Necrotic Orb Morph (Undaunted – Guild)
- Inner Light – Magelight Morph (Mages Guild – Guild)
This gear set up works for both small scale and large scale Cyrodiil and Imperial City PvP.
|Sword or Axe
Alternative back bar
I run 5 Heavy, 2 Light. Alternatively, you can run 5 Heavy, 1 Light, 1 Medium. As long as you’ve got 5 Heavy, you’re good to go.
If there are others in your group running Transmutation, you can swap it out for Jorvald’s Guidance, Sanctuary or Spell Power Cure (while keeping Kagrenac’s as your other set). I’d highly recommend working towards getting at least one of these sets to have in addition to Transmutation. My personal recommendation out of all these sets would be Jorvald’s Guidance.
For Weapons, when I’m Zerging, I use Sword and board. When I’m not Zerging and just Pug surfing, I sometimes use a Destro Staff for easier off-DPS capability.
Transmutation – Elite Gear Vendor (Unidentified Elite Gear Containers – 20k AP each) in Cyrodiil at your faction’s Gate or Guild Stores.
Kagrenac’s Hope – Crafted (8 Trait – Earth Forge (Fighter’s Guild Instance)) or Guild Stores.
Earthgore – Veteran Bloodroot Forge Dungeon (Horns of the Reach DLC), Urgarlag Chief-Bane’s Undaunted Chest or rarely on the Golden Vendor in Cyrodiil.
|Armor of the Seducer
|Crafted 3 trait (Deshann, Grahtwood or Stormhaven)
|Scalecaller Peak Dungeon (Dragon Bones DLC)
|Banished Cells I & II Dungeons
|Spell Power Cure
|White-Gold Tower Dungeon (Imperial City DLC)
In PvP how you distribute your stats works differently than in PvE. Here are my Stats in Cyrodiil with food (see below for food I use).
The key stats you want to aim for in PvP (Cyrodiil) is:
- 29-30k health (minimum)
- 2500+ (ideally 2700) Crit resistance
To get my Health to 29k, I use a Health Enchant on my Head and two Prismatic Enchants (Chest and Legs). To get your Critical Resistance above 2500 your trait on all your armour should be Impenetrable.
In theory, I could reduce my Magicka Recovery by swapping to the ‘Increase Magicka’ Mundus and then use another Health Enchant to get my Health up a bit more while still staying at 30k Magicka. However, as a Warden, I should have Minor Toughness (more on that below) up almost constantly which brings my health up to 31.2k. So at this stage, I’m quite happy to stay where I’m at plus I like having high Magicka Recovery.
I like running with high Stamina for the obvious utility (sprinting, roll dodging, blocking, breaking free etc.), but if you prefer you could use one Health and one Magicka Enchant instead of the two Prismatic Enchants to increase your Health and Magicka.
Stats are going to vary slightly depending on Race. So you also have to take that into consideration as well when sorting out your stats and determining which Enchantments to use.
Attribute, Mundus Stone and Race
All points Magicka.
Atronach (Increase Magicka Recovery)
Honestly, you can be whatever Race you like. Personally, I’m a Nord. But if you wish to BiS for healing, Bretons and Argonians are currently the strongest races for healing.
Here are the key racial passives for Nords, for reference, to give you an idea on how they affect my build.
- Reveler – Increases the duration of any consumed drink by 15 minutes.
- Resist Frost – Increases Max Health by 1000.
Passive Skill Points
- All Warden Passives
- All Restoration and Destruction Staff Passives
- One Hand and Shield Passives – Fortress, Sword and Board, Deflect Bolts, Battlefield Mobility
- Light Armour Passives – Grace, Evocation, Spell Warding (or ALL if you run 5 light, 2 heavy)
- All Heavy Armour Passives (or just Resolve, Constitution, Juggernaut if you run 5 light, 2 heavy)
- All Alliance War Passives
- All Racial Passives
- All Undaunted Passives
- All Psijic Order Passives
- Alchemy – Medicinal Use, Snakeblood
- Provisioning – Gourmand
- Medium Armour Passives – Wind Walker, Improved Sneak, Athletics
- All Mages Guild Passives
- Provisioning – Connoisseur
Champion Points – 810 Setup
- The Tower – 101
- Sprinter – 35
- Warlord – 66
- The Lover – 85
- Arcanist – 85
- The Shadow – 84
- Tumbling – 61
- Shadow Ward – 23
- The Apprentice – 240
- Blessed – 100
- Elfborn – 100
- Elemental Expert – 40
- The Atronach – 830
- Master-at-Arms – 30
- The Ritual – 0
- The Steed – 102
- Resistant – 36
- Ironclad – 66
- The Lady – 168
- Thick Skinned – 56
- Elemental Defender – 56
- Hardy – 56
- The Lord – 0
Potions and Food
- Food – Longfin Pasty of Melon Sauce
- Potions –
- Essence of Spell Critical
- Essence of Immovability (Magicka, Health)
- Essence of Immovability (Stamina, Speed)
I prefer Longfin Pasty with Melon Sauce (or Capon Tomato-Beet Casserole) over Witchmother’s Potent Brew simply for the Stamina. It is better to have increased Stamina for sprinting, roll dodging, blocking, breaking free etc. in PvP. If you feel like you need more Magicka recovery though, feel free to use Witchmother’s or if you can afford it, Clockwork Citrus Filet.
How to use your Pots
Use the Spell Crit Pot to boost your Magicka or when low on health. Save you Immov (Mag) Pot for when you’re going through breaches or turtling with your group inside a keep (just keep popping it off cooldown). Use the Immov (Stam) Pot for keeping up with your group travelling between Keeps or scroll running when stuck in combat.
Guide – How to Play
Healing Rotation / Priorities
Your primary heals are Enchanted Growth and Illustrious Healing. Pretty much all of your other abilities, including your healing ones, are used as ‘buffs’ or for emergencies.
Enchanted Growth buffs you and allies resource regen so do try to keep it up. It comes in most handy to spam on scroll carriers and turtling.
Use Ice Fortress every 15-20 seconds rather than waiting 24 seconds for it to end (as it’s going to hit different people each time). Ice Fortress gives you and 11 allies a Physical and Spell Resistance buff so be sure to keep it up.
Keep Blue Betty and Deceptive Predator up as much as you can (remember Blue Betty is a free personal purge (you have to refresh it obviously!). Deceptive Predator is used more defensively and/or as a slight speed boost. Blue Betty you should try to get into the habit of always keeping up. This does take a little getting used to.
Use Purge throughout the group when moving about as needed. You’ll find yourself using Purge most often at doors/breaches/flags when multiple oils are being dumped. Use it every 3 seconds or so between Healing Springs/Enchanted Growth or wait even longer if there are other Purges going out. You’ll also use it frequently turtling a Keep to cap it or farm. Again, use it every few seconds.
Corrupting Pollen is used more as an offensive ability against ball groups. When they’re stacked tight and/or your group is pushing into them with Ultimate’s and Proxy Dets, spamming it every couple of seconds on the enemy adds a defile reducing their heals and gives friendlies a healing synergy if they need it. Another good situation for using Corrupting Pollen is on enemy R when you and/or friendlies are dumping oils on them.
Healing Ward (if being used) is used as more of an ‘oh shit’ heal if someone is low on health. Usually, I reserve it for when Crown is getting focused. If you prefer, you can use Living Trellis as your ‘oh shit’ heal instead. Nature’s Embrace while primarily used more for its movement utility can also be used to help to give a low health player extra heals. Just be ready to roll dodge (and use Deceptive Predator to get) out of the group.
Since Healing Thicket has a pretty low ultimate cost (92), you can use it pretty liberally, But typically, I use it on rams, pushing through breaches, Keep flag cap turtling (cause oil dumps and high incoming damage) or when a bomber or group is pushing into my group. So basically when you know there’s going to be a lot of incoming damage. You’ll be able to predict this better with experience.
Heal and Buff Placement
You should be placing your heals and using your buffs on Crown 80-90% of the time. This should, in theory, help encourage DPS to stack on Crown. Don’t waste your time healing stragglers who can’t be bothered to stick to Crown.
Illustrious Healing placement varies depending on the situation but for the most part, it should be placed slightly ahead of the group when you are moving or directly on Crown (as that’s where most of your group should be).
Since Enchanted Growth and Ice Fortress aren’t placeable abilities and hit random people, using them will require you to be in the middle of the group or on Crown for maximum effect. Enchanted Growth is a conal AOE heal that will heal friendlies in front of or next to you at random. Fortress hits up to 12 random friendlies around you.
Siege Shield is typically placed on Rams or other friendly Siege depending on how you and the enemy are Sieging. Just place it where most of the enemy Siege fire is concentrated. You should also use them on flags when flipping a Keep to help mitigate damage from enemy O.
Understanding how your key Passives work will help you better heal and use your abilities. Here are the key passives to keep in mind.
- Animal Companions
- Savage Beast – When you cast an Animal Companion ability while you are in combat you generate 4 Ultimate. This effect can only occur once every 8 seconds.
- Flourish – Increases your Magicka and Stamina recovery by 12% if an Animal Companion ability is slotted.
- Green Balance
- Accelerated Growth – When you heal yourself or an ally under 40%, Health with a Green Balance ability you gain Major Mending Increasing your healing done by 25% for 3 seconds.
- Nature’s Gift – When you heal an ally with a Green Balance ability, you gain 250 Magicka or 250 Stamina whichever resource pool is lower. This effect can only occur once every second.
- Emerald Moss – Increases your healing done with Green Balance abilities by 2% for each Green Balance ability slotted.
- Maturation – When you activate a heal on yourself or an ally you grant the target Minor Toughness, increasing their Max Health by 10% for 20 seconds.
- Restoration Staff
- Essence Drain – You gain Major Mending for 3 seconds after completing a fully-charged Heavy Attack, increasing your healing done by 25%. You also heal yourself or a nearby ally to the target for 45% of the damage inflicted by the final hit of a fully-charged Heavy Attack.
- Cycle of Life – Restores an additional 30% Magicka when you complete a heavy attack.
Maturation is the most valuable of all these passives. Minor Toughness is the most important buff you can give your group and it is granted when you use ANY heal (not just Warden ones). So yes, it works with Illustrious Healing.
Your other Green Balance Passives are why you shouldn’t be too reliant on Illustrious Healing. While it is one of your primary heals, be sure to use Enchanted Growth as your secondary main heal so you can take full advantage of these passives.
The Savage Beast Passive is why you should keep up Blue Betty and Deceptive Predator as much as you can especially when you’re in combat. It will speed up your ultimate regen significantly.
Your Restoration Staff Heavy Attack passives are also important to keep in mind. When there are plenty of enemies about there really is no excuse not to weave in the odd Heavy attack to help manage you Magicka and take advantage of the Essence Drain Passive.
Positioning and Movement
You should be positioned on the outskirts of your group, avoiding the centre or front, for the most part. Think about it this way. When there’s a sizeable number of people taking a resource, you never stand right on the flag of a resource when it’s being capped right? You stand on the outskirts to avoid bombers. This is how you should generally position yourself whether in a Zerg or just hanging out with pugs.
When you do have to move into the group to Buff or Purge, just be sure to do so quickly. Ideally, you should be weaving in and out of the group fairly regularly to buff the group. You’ll get the hang of this with practice. If you find yourself on Crown and see a ball group barreling towards your group roll dodge out of their way so you can heal your group.
One important thing to remember about positioning is to always try to stay within range of Crown as that, again, is where you’ll be placing 80-90% of your heals. It is good to get into the habit of staying near Crown if your new to running in large groups though.
The key to effectively dodging zergs and keeping yourself alive is learning to predict their path. This comes from experience not just from going against zergs but also running in zergs. The number one thing to keep in mind with zergs is they’ll generally go where the biggest clump of players are. As a healer, you generally should not be with the big clump of players but rather on the outskirts. This typically makes it a lot easier for healers to get out of the way of Zergs and survive longer. Also, roll dodge, Deceptive Predator and Race Against Time are your friends. Keep Deceptive Predator and Race Against Time up as much as possible
When Zergs move around, balled up, in the inner Keep, they are trying to gradually cap the flags. So try to move to the opposite flag they’re at to prevent them from capping it. This works better when there are other players around though.
Magicka management shouldn’t be too much of a problem, for the most part, there’s usually a decent supply of enemies around for a quick resto heavy attack. But there will always be times when your Magicka runs low especially when sieging Keeps and there are fewer enemies to Heavy Attack (since they’re hiding behind the wall). In these situations, you have to be extra careful not to spam your key abilities too much since you’ll be refreshing your Siege Shields regularly as well as Purging. Be wary of using a Pot to bring your Magicka up though since you need to have an Immov Pot up for when the Keep is breached. If you think you’ll have enough time, then go for it, if not, then wait.
Remember to Heal and Buff yourself and friendlies when repairing doors/walls as bombers love to target repairers in large clumps. If not in combat, you can also do this on the Transitus. Be wary of spamming heals and buffs if stuck in combat around a Transitus, though, as this will likely increase the amount of time you and friendlies are stuck in combat. Instead, just be ready to buff and spam heals in case a bomber appears before you and friendlies can use the Transitus.
If you find yourself not being able to cast Illustrious Healing at all due to lag (or from spamming it too much), switch to using Enchanted Growth instead and Weapon Bar swap a couple of times in between casts. Once you’ve done that, you should be able to start using Illustrious Healing again. Try to avoid spamming Illustrious Healing too much. Wait 6-8 seconds before casting it again and spam Enchanted Growth if absolutely needed (you’ve got plenty of other buffs to keep up on your group mates). The only time you should be regularly spamming Illustrious Healing is to place it ahead of the group if you are moving around together in a tight ball group.
You can heal through doors of Keeps using Enchanting Growth to help out friendlies retreating from enemies. Illustrious Healing does not work this way. But it can be helpful to place it at the door as well to help top up those who make it inside. Also, be ready to give those who make it inside a Purge as well.
That completes the guide (for now)! This was fun to put together and I’m still getting the hang of a lot of the stuff I put in here. If you have any questions, comments or concerns feel free to give me a holler in the Comments, on Discord (Xam Xam#5102) or in-game @XamXam777!
I’d like to thank my <Army of the Pact> Guild Mates and (former) GM Crow for teaching me so much about Cyrodiil PvP back in the day. I’d like to thank my Guildmates again for letting me tag along as I’ve returned and relearnt the game after my year-long break.