Templar Class Impressions

Templars are incredibly versatile and stalwart fighters.

Templars are incredibly versatile and stalwart fighters.

Hello Tamriel Foundry, I am Erlex, officer in Entropy Rising, and your host for my wonderful guide through the Templar Class. I have been given the (very awesome) privilege to share my impressions of the Templar class in the Elder Scrolls Online. During my time playing, I have tried various builds quite extensively. There are plenty of tools in the Templar class skill lines to do just about any role you can imagine (and quite well), however, one role stands out among the rest. You guessed it; Templars are the very best healers.

What makes the Templar better than every other class at healing? If you guessed that they had better heals, you would be wrong! In fact, templar heals aren’t better than other heals that other classes can get. Templars are the best because they have the most options available. Most of the other classes have access to around 6-7 possible healing abilities. Templars have easily double that number. Granted, you can’t use them all at once, but having access to the tools you need are what will set a good templar apart from the pack.

Disclaimer: Other classes do bring their own unique “support” abilities to healing that give them their own strengths as well; it is simply my opinion that the Templar is the best at straight “healing”.

 

Races, Racials, and Stats

To follow my fellow officers’ lead on their respective guides, I would like to speak shortly on the race and stats of the Templar.  If you read the previous article by our fearless leader @Atropos , you already know much about the races and their impact on various roles. For healing, we would look at the Spellcasting races selected; Altmer, Breton, and Dunmer.

At this point, it is really a tossup of personal opinion. All 3 of these races are a great and viable choice. When it comes to straight up, hard support, carebear, extreme healing, the Breton to me is the winner. When it comes to being a bit more “well rounded” and able to do a little more melee and magical DPS, the Dunmer wins out. If you think you’ll be focusing on both magical DPS and healing the Altmer is the slight leader. In a lot of ways, ZoS did a great job with balancing these racials (at least as far as us Templars are concerned). There is a great option available no matter which alliance we choose to pledge.

All of that being said…I chose Altmer. With the melee, mage, and healing builds I had in mind, I thought the Altmer magical dps and healing benefits would serve me best.

When it comes to attribute points, each character starts off the same no matter what race you choose (150 health, 100 magicka, and 100 stamina).  Each level, you gain 20 points in all three attributes for simply leveling up, and also are awarded 1 attribute point.  This attribute point can be spent to gain +10 magicka or stamina, or +20 health. Similar to my views when selecting a race, I feel like investing points heavily into magicka is the best route in almost any build. If you’re tanking, you can focus on your gear having +health in the early levels. The magicka bonus will serve you well to increase kill speed, decrease downtime, and help survivability. At higher levels you can always respec, so no worries if you make choices to support the early game instead of the late game.

 

Weapons and Armor

Breton Shrine

The Magicka regeneration of Light Armor is incredibly useful.

When it comes to armor, I feel that the bonuses provided by Light Armor are too good to ignore. While spell penetration doesn’t do much for healing, the magicka regeneration, spell critical chance (yes, heals can crit!), and reduced ability cost are amazing for most Templar builds. I did choose to use a couple of pieces of heavy armor, but using 7 pieces of light is still a great idea for the extra regen and ability cost reduction. My opinion is that light armor is best armor – so get your robes and wizard hats ready!

When it comes to choice of weapon things really start to get interesting! Welcome to the area of ESO where lines get blurred and anything is possible. For the sake of healing, I chose the Restoration staff as my main weapon because of the various passives (such as bonus healing when wielding it) as well as the very powerful HoTs the line provides. Both regeneration and Grand Healing often have a home on my action bar. I won’t go too far into the morphs during this guide, but I find that Mutagen and Healing Springs morphs to be the best. Mutagen gives a decent burst heal when the effected target reaches 20% health (canceling the rest of the HoT) and Healing Springs give a small amount of Magicka back for each player hit by the heal.

For my secondary weapon, I chose a different one on every character I made (yep, I made a bunch of characters). I didn’t choose different weapons because I couldn’t find one I liked, quite the opposite actually. I kept choosing different weapons because I liked them all. With enough skill points, I don’t see why the Templar couldn’t rotate through roles with nothing but a simple weapon exchange.

 

Restoring Light

Let’s go ahead and get the tree everyone is waiting on out of the way. No skipping to the end of the article needed!  Restoring Light is the home of your class healing abilities. Restoring light also has some abilities later in the tree that look like they could be quite useful for tanking as well.

Passive Abilities
Before we get into the active abilities, let’s go over the passives quickly. In short, they are all awesome. Seriously, every passive is good; get them all as often as you can. From increased resurrection speed to bonus healing, you really can’t say anything bad about the passives here. Hunt down those Skyshards because you sure will want the skill points!

Rushed Ceremony (Active) is an instant cast smart direct heal. That’s right, it’s an instant heal that automatically heals the lowest health target in range; Do I need to say more? It is awesome. If everyone is doing their job, you may never need this heal (as it does have a high magicka cost) but when you, or someone else, makes a mistake – there is nothing better than an instant life saver. What’s better than Rushed Ceremony? The morphs are of course!

Upon Achieving level 5 in the skill you are able to morph it to either give 60% of the magicka cost back over a few seconds when healing a low health target, or, you can choose to make it heal 2 other targets for half the original value in addition to its original function. The low health condition only applies to healing targets below 20% health, and therefore, I decided that as long as I never let anyone get to that point, the better choice was the multiple target heal instead.

Healing Ritual (Active) is the bread and butter of my healing templar build. Although this skill has a 2 second cast time, and forces you to only heal nearby targets (thus putting you in more personal danger) this heal is just awesome. In addition to being a powerful aoe heal, it also heals you for an additional 30% (which helps to counteract your compromised positioning). This was the heal I used for sustained healing and to keep my group (and tank) from dying in most situations. If I had to pick my favorite heal in the game, this would be it.

When morphed, you get the option to make it heal you for an additional 20% more (for a total of 50% additional healing) or have a secondary delayed heal (8 seconds later) on all targets effected. The latter is the clear choice in my eyes.

Rite of Passage (Ultimate) is an ultimate I do not recommend. Despite it sounding quite nice as a channeled damage reduction and heal, I feel like the fact that you are locked into the channel and unable to cast or move is simply not worth it. This is not an Ultimate I recommend at all, especially in the early game. Perhaps it would have some awesome uses in a larger scale fight (Adventure Zones?), but from what I have seen; I don’t like it.

Templars can unleash pretty ferocious ranged DPS.

Templars can unleash pretty ferocious ranged DPS.

 

Dawn’s Wrath

Dawn’s Wrath is where you will find the ranged offensive abilities for the Templar. If you have ever felt like you wanted to channel the raw power of the sun to obliterate your enemies…this is the skill line for you!

Passive Abilities
You might start to see a pattern here…but once again, you will want to pick up all the passives you can in this tree. If you are using any Dawn’s Wrath abilities, the passives are great. Enduring Rays will increase the duration of all of your abilities (of which they all have a duration), and Prism will give you free ultimate. Yep, that’s not a type, free ultimate! You really can’t hope for a better passive than free ultimate every time you cast a spell!

Sun Fire (Active) is a direct damage instant cast nuke that also has a nice little damage over time (4.5 second duration) effect attached to a 40% snare. The DoT does about 80% of the dmg of the initial direct hit. If you’re a healer that’s looking for a nice ability to use every now and then when you get the spare time or magicka, this is a great choice. Once you level it up, you get 2 interesting morph options.

On one hand you get Vampire Bane, increasing the duration and dmg of the DoT effect by 2 seconds. On the other hand, you get Reflective Light. Reflective light turns Sun Fire into a 3 target AoE effect. The 2 additional targets will take the initial direct damage and will be snared for 4.5 seconds (but will not receive the DoT). Although both of these abilities are very good, I feel that the increased single target duration is better for adding focus fire dmg (and needing to cast it lass on your target).

Solar Flare (Active) is a casted single target direct damage attack that also increases the damage of the next attack on the target and other nearby enemies. This is where the whole “obliterating” part comes in. Not only does this spell hit hard, it makes the next spell (that isn’t Solar Flare) hit even harder (including power attacks!). This is another ability with 2 very good morphs.

You have the option of choose Dark Flare or Solar Barrage. Dark flare adds a 30% reduction to healing abilities received for  6 seconds (in addition to all other effects) on the target.  Solar Barrage turns the spell into an instant cast point blank AoE with about 70% of the original damage. If you are going for a single target mage build, Dark Flare is a great option for single targets, but if you want to really pump up that DPS on the multi target fights, Solar Barrage is your skill. Despite Solar Barrage losing some damage when switched to be an AoE, I feel like this is the better ability in many ways. Solar Barrage is my pick, but for single target PvP, you could really cause some hurt with Dark Flare.

Nova (Active). Remember that bit about obliterating your enemies with the power of the sun? Yea, Nova is your path to retribution. Nova literally drops a sun from the sky at a ground target to decimate all things around it with direct damage every second for 8 seconds. Nova also makes all monsters within its area deal 40% less damage. Just in case that wasn’t enough, Nova also has a synergy that deals massive damage and stuns everything within its radius. I can’t recommend Nova enough. It is the premier Templar ultimate. Get it, trust me, you won’t regret it.

 

Nova brings the fury.

Nova brings the fury.

Aedric Spear

The Aedric Spear skill line focuses on sustained damage and mobility. It has a strong range of passives as well as some active abilities that really start to shine later in the skill tree. This skill line is good for tanks and melee builds who want to transform their templar into a mobile skirmisher capable of sustaining strong DPS.

Passive Abilities
Despite the passives in Aedric Spear not quite being as good as the others, I still recommend getting them if you have the spare points. Piercing Spear will give you some extra crit chance with your spear abilities, and Spear Wall will help with dmg mitigation while blocking. All in all these first passives are a bit lack luster (in most situations), but still do have their occasional uses. If you are hard up on skill points, here is the places to save.

Puncturing Strikes (Active) is a cone, semi AoE, channeled, melee attack, with an added push back effect on a single target. The reason I call is “semi” AoE is that it does increased (double) damage to your single closest target, and less damage to anything else within its short melee range cone. Despite the description sounding rather lackluster, this ability is actually quite strong. The rapid succession of hits within the short (1.1 second) channel duration makes this ability quite good. With the added effect of its sort of “splash” AoE damage and its knockback (that doubles as an interrupt to spells and power attacks), Puncturing Strikes is really a must have for any melee Templar build.

This is an ability that I feel only has one morph worth choosing. You can either choose to add a 70% crit chance on targets at low health (YES PLEASE!) or increase the area of the cone effect. To be honest, I had a VERY hard time telling any difference in the size of the area of the cone effect with the second morph. To me, without any doubt, the crit chance is by far the better choice.

Piercing Javelin (Active) is a ranged direct damage attack with moderate damage that knocks the target backwards. While this ability does do a decent amount of damage, its real use is as a ranged knockback (that doubles as an interrupt). This is a very good spell if you find yourself against something that you need to stay away from (great to combo with Sun Fire). I really like this ability when I am fighting single powerful enemies (Such as at Daedric Anchors).

Once you reach the morphing options you get the choice of either a progressively increasing damage on the ability based on the range you are from the target (50% more damage at max range), or an additional 3 second stun after the knockback effect.  As I already mentioned, I feel like this abilities primary focus is to CC a target, and thus I feel like the 3 second stun is much more useful. There are other ways to kill things, and when I throw my Javelin I am using it to create distance; a stun furthers this goal. Side note, it has the added benefit of making you feel awesome as you throw a spear like some kind of super Olympian and knock an enemy on its rear for 3 seconds.

Sweeping Strikes (Ultimate) is a very inexpensive ultimate that is frequently available and fun to use, but overall for AoE damage output Nova is a superior choice.

Have Questions, Ask!

Now that I have provided my impressions, I am going to open up the comment section of this article to answer any questions you may have regarding the Templar.  Keep in mind that I can only answer questions that pertain to the early levels of ESO (1 to 15). As a special bonus for those of you reading the article today (Monday, February 17) you can catch my live stream this afternoon at 6pm EST / 3pm PST / 23:00 GMT. I’ll be taking viewer Q&A regarding the Templar class and more as I show some gameplay footage, so tune in at http://twitch.tv/erlexx.