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Full Blown AIDS: The PVP Warden Tank

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New: Armor Sets

Introduction

This build will probably get a lot of criticism, but that’s ok, it is meant to piss people off. This build is not for everyone but for those who enjoy supporting the team and are tired of healing it is a fun change. If you have read my Madgod Nightblade Healing Guide (click if you haven't) then you know that I like to make builds that are outside the norm, and you won’t be disappointed with this one (or you might be…I can’t read your fucking mind). What I have learned from running a Nightblade healer is that the faster enemies die the less healing and buffing you have to do, and this is no less true in PVP. The AIDS build is named such because it does not kill anyone, yet it debuffs the enemy so much that they are simple for the dps players to kill. This build can work for both small group or big zergs, but I personally prefer zerging. It is also great for sewers runs because you can taunt enemies (lookin at you bitch ass flag bosses) and help your team take down players). The goals of this build are to:

1. Distract and debuff enemies.

2. Buff and offheal your allies.

3. Stay alive.

Strengths

  1. Debuffs the enemy making them less survivable and far easy to kill while also limiting the damage they are able to give out.
  2. Excellent resistance buffs for the group as well as shields and sometimes dps advantages.
  3. Provides decent off heals for the group.
  4. High survivability

Weaknesses

  1. Cannot kill anything.
  2. Must be backed by damage dealers and maybe one healer.
  3. Most effective in the middle of a group of enemies.

Race

 

AD: High Elf, because high mag and mag recov are important for this build, and the other 2 races are for stam and have a wasted passive on stealth. We also do a bit of cold damage with this build so the high elf’s last passive isn’t wasted. This is what I run.

DC: Breton, because the max mag, cost reduction, and spell resistances are great for this build. Orc, because high health and recovery would be nice as well.

EP: Personally I would prefer the Dark Elf for Max mag, stam, and elemental resist and damage, but Argonian is a great choice as well as it is the tankiest race. Nord wouldn’t be a bad class either, but the Dark Elf and Argonian are so much better.

Imperial would be ok, but there are better classes.

Food

 

Any and all purple tri-stat food.

Potions

 

Personally I just use trash mag and stam pots as I barely ever run out of resources with this build, but there are some great combinations you could come up with if you wanted to be optimal: immovable, tri stat restore, etc.

Mundus

 Atronach-Mag Recovery. If recov is higher than you want then The Lady for resistances or Ritual for healing.

There are 2 ways I have found to run this build and I’ll cover both with skill bars and gear.

Setup  1

 This setup is for up close and personal buffing and debuffing.

Bar 1: Sword and Board (or Ice Staff)

 Subterranean Assaunt (Morph of Scorch): Normally a great DPS skill, but we use it mostly just for the Major Fracture and Defile. Popping this into a group of hostiles can be a game changer because it really takes away a huge chunk of resistances.

Shimmering Shield (Morph of Crystalized Shield): Huge projectile damage shield and gives mag back, but sadly only lasts for 6 seconds. The most important benefit is that you get Major Heroism for 6 seconds if hit with a projectile so that we can keep that ulti up as much as possible.

Gripping Shards (Morph of Impaling Shards): CCs enemy, immobilizes them, deals a bit of cold damage, and almost guarantees the enemy will get hit with Minor Maim and slowed movement thanks to the Glacial Presence passive (200% chance to inflict Chilled. Goes up to 300% if using ice staff).

Corrupting Pollen (Morph of Healing Seed): This is one of our most important skills because it puts Major Defile on the enemy so they receive 30% less healing and cuts their health recov. Also heals allies, so all in all this skill is a must have. Popping one of these in a group of enemies can quickly ruin their day.

Flex: Arctic Blast, Polar Wind (Morphs of Arctic Wind), or Wall of Elements (Ice Staff only): 

Arctic Blast of Polar Wind: I use Blast for the extra chance to chill enemies, but Polar isn’t bad either since 35% of your health should be a pretty decent heal to your ally.

Wall of Elements: Only use if you have Ice Staff. This is an extra snare and chance to chill enemies. (If I have this I backbar Arctic.

Ulti: Flex: Permafrost (Morph of Sleet Storm) or Healing Thicket (Morph of Secluded Grove):

 Permafrost: Costs 200 ult but really powerful. Gives all allies around Major Protection, has chance to chill enemies, has chance to CC enemies, and does damage. All in all pretty legit.

Healing Thicket: Costs 90 ult and is a huge burst heal. Can really be a lifesaver and if you have major heroism you can almost spam it.

Bar 2: Sword and Board

Leaching Vines (Morph of Living Vines): HoT. Cast it on yourself or an ally. Any enemy that damages them gets Minor Lifesteal put on them, so can be helpful for the whole group.

Bull Netch: This build runs really high mag recovery so we need to make up for our shitty stam recovery, which is exactly what the Bull Netch is for. There is a ton of sprinting, roll dodging, CC breaking, and blocking in PVP so constant resources are really important!

Ice Fortress (Morph of Frost Cloak): One of our most important skills! It gives everyone within 8 meters Major Resolve and Ward and you Minor Protection for about 20 seconds. I sometimes cast this in a cluster of allies, then quickly move to another cluster and recast. You can go with Expansive Frost Cloak as it increases the range to 28 meters (fuck that’s a long ways) but I prefer the little extra survivability with protection buff.

Flex: Frozen Device (Morph of Frozen Gate), Defensive Stance or Absorb Magic (Morphs of Defensive Posture), or Heroic Slash (Morph of Low Slash): I really can’t make up my mind here. I am constantly switching things around, though I am really keen on Frozen Device.

Frozen Device: Puts a rune on the ground which is instantly armed, anyone who steps in is chained to you (like DK chains), Given Major Maim so their DPS is fucked, and CCed. Only issue with this skill is that it is dodgeable so if they have evasion, roll dodge it, or have been too recently CCed it won’t work.

Defensive Stance or Absorb Magic: Arms for 30 seconds, passively allows you to block better, and blocks one projectile. I like Stance because fucking sorcs get hit by their own crystal frags. Absorb heals you when projectile hits. Just pick whichever you like better. Only thing is we already have a projectile shield on frontbar, so sometimes this is kind useless.

Heroic Slash: Only there for Minor Heroism. With this up along with Major Heroism you are droppin ultis nonstop. Just have to be really close to a target and I found myself forgetting to use this skill in the heat of it all.

Nature’s Embrace (Morph of Nature’s Grasp): Used for pulling yourself in on a struggling ally or just using them to get into the heat of battle. Really helps when your ally behind you just got knocked off his mount by a ganker. This could be a flex spot for the skills mentioned above as well.

Ulti: Flex: Aggressive War horn (Morph of War horn) or Reviving Barrier (Morph of Barrier): Just ask your group which one they prefer you to run.

 Aggressive War Horn: Gives everyone more resources and increases DPS.

Reviving Barrier: Puts a big ass damage shield on everybody and heals them with it. You can choose other ult if you want for extra mag and ult, but I think the high mag recov and Heroism uptime is more than enough.

Possible Skill: Mystic or Stalwart Guard (Morphs of Guard): This lets you absorb 30% damage dealt to a specific ally. Mystic gives you both Minor Vitality, Stalwart gives you both Minor Force, I don’t know which would be better. Maybe one day I’ll trade Nature’s Embrace for it, but for now I haven’t used this yet. I probably wouldn’t if I ran Setup 2 since with that setup you maybe already be taking 100% extra damage from whoever you taunt.

Gear setup 1:

Luckily all the gear for this build can be super fucking cheap! Only issue maybe with getting monster sets, but that’s always a bitch. Combine two of the 5 piece sets below as you want. Just don’t use helm or shoulders.

Livewire: We use this set because whenever we take damage it automatically throws Concussion on the enemy which can throw them off balance and give them minor vulnerability, which is something so destructive in PVP! The cooldown sucks a bit, but I think it is worth it. This is what I’m currently running.

Fasalla’s Guile: Used for the sole purpose of applying Minor Defile. Fasalla’s automatically puts it on anyone around 5 meters of you but only for 2 secs and only costs a max of about 20k for a full set. This is what I'm currently running.

*Durok's Bane: Applies Major Defile to anyone that does damage to you which is a much more reliable way of putting Major Defile on enemies than Corrupting Pollen, so if you run this set I wouldn't run that skill. Personally, I prefer to run Fasalla's and Corrupting Pollen so that both Major and Minor Defile can be applied.

*Jorvuld's Guidance: Increases all Major and Minor buffs and Damage Shield duration by 40%. Why? Because it buffs Major Resolve, Ward, Mending (from passive), Minor Toughness (from passive) and Protection, and ALL the buffs of Aggressive War Horn! Sadly, it doesn't work on Major and Minor Defile nor Major Protection, but I find this to be a great set. Now for the bad news. This set is light armor, therefore only 1 body piece can be used and the rest must be a mix of 1h weapon, shield, and/or jewelry and it drops in Scalecaller Peak which is a bitch of a dungeon so grinding this set can be a real bitch. Nevertheless, this is what I'm currently running.

Hand of Mephala: A possible set which reduces movement speed up to 5 meters of you and then explodes for poison damage and applies Minor Fracture; could be useful since we are already applying Major Fracture. Only problem, farming this set maybe a bitch since Cradle of Shadows is a cunt of a dungeon.

Possible Monster sets. Pick one or combine a couple for added resources management:

 Bloodspawn: This is what I am currently running. Gives ulti and increases resistances. Very helpful.

Ice Heart: I think this could be a great set to use for the damage shield and increased chance to chill enemies. Only issue is I don’t see the need for extra spell crit, nor do my hits crit very often so this may not proc a lot.

Lord Warden: Increases you and your allies resistances.

Scourge Harvester: In case you don’t trust your healer.

Sellstrix: Will proc off your cold damage and CCs enemies around you.

Swarm Mother: Chains someone to you if you block their projectile, which would also instantly cripple them with all the bad shit you’ve got going on around you.

Traits:

 Jewelry: Healthy (unless using Jorvuld's Guidance)

Small Pieces: Impen or Reinforced as you want. I run all Impen.

Big Pieces (including shield): Reinforced or Infused.  I run all Reinforced.

Weapons: Decisive, Infused, or Defensive. I run Decisive fb, and Defensive bb.

5/1/1 with heavy dominance.

Enchants: 

Body and shield: All Prism

Jewelry: 2 Mag Recov and 1 Reduced Mag Cost

Weapons: Crusher frontbar, Reduced Damage backbar

Setup 2

 This setup I created along the ideas of pve tanking. Basically it is about forcing opponents to attack you, but clearly taunts don’t work in pvp, so I have created this to make taunts feasible. This was also the first setup I ran.

Front bar Sword and Board:

 Subterranean Assaunt (Morph of Scorch): Normally a great DPS skill, but we use it mostly just for the Major Fracture and Defile. Popping this into a group of hostiles can be a game changer because it really takes away a huge chunk of resistances.

Shimmering Shield (Morph of Crystalized Shield): Huge projectile damage shield and gives mag back, but sadly only lasts for 6 seconds. The most important benefit is that you get Major Heroism for 6 seconds if hit with a projectile so that we can keep that ulti up as much as possible.

Gripping Shards (Morph of Impaling Shards): CCs enemy, immobilizes them, deals a bit of cold damage, and almost guarantees the enemy will get hit with Minor Maim and slowed movement thanks to the Glacial Presence passive (200% chance to inflict Chilled. Goes up to 300% if using ice staff).

Corrupting Pollen (Morph of Healing Seed): This is one of our most important skills because it puts Major Defile on the enemy so they receive 30% less healing and cuts their health recov. Also heals allies, so all in all this skill is a must have. Popping one of these in a group of enemies can quickly ruin their day.

Inner Rage: The only taunt we use as it is a ranged taunt and is magicka based, which allows us to save our previous stam. I tried puncture too, but trying to taunt a bomber up close isn’t always the best idea.

Ulti: Flex: Permafrost (Morph of Sleet Storm) or Healing Thicket (Morph of Secluded Grove):

 Permafrost: Costs 200 ult but really powerful. Gives all allies around Major Protection, has chance to chill enemies, has chance to CC enemies, and does damage. All in all pretty legit.

Healing Thicket: Costs 90 ult and is a huge burst heal. Can really be a lifesaver and if you have major heroism you can almost spam it.

Bar 2: Sword and Board

Leaching Vines (Morph of Living Vines): HoT. Cast it on yourself or an ally. Any enemy that damages them gets Minor Lifesteal put on them, so can be helpful for the whole group.

Bull Netch: This build runs really high mag recovery so we need to make up for our shitty stam recovery, which is exactly what the Bull Netch is for. There is a ton of sprinting, roll dodging, CC breaking, and blocking in PVP so constant resources are really important!

Ice Fortress (Morph of Frost Cloak): One of our most important skills! It gives everyone within 8 meters Major Resolve and Ward and you Minor Protection for about 20 seconds. I sometimes cast this in a cluster of allies, then quickly move to another cluster and recast. You can go with Expansive Frost Cloak as it increases the range to 28 meters (fuck that’s a long ways) but I prefer the little extra survivability with protection buff.

Flex: Frozen Device (Morph of Frozen Gate), Defensive Stance or Absorb Magic (Morphs of Defensive Posture), or Heroic Slash (Morph of Low Slash): I really can’t make up my mind here. I am constantly switching things around, though I am really keen on Frozen Device.

Frozen Device: Puts a rune on the ground which is instantly armed, anyone who steps in is chained to you (like DK chains), Given Major Maim so their DPS is fucked, and CCed. Only issue with this skill is that it is dodgeable so if they have evasion, roll dodge it, or have been too recently CCed it won’t work.

Defensive Stance or Absorb Magic: Arms for 30 seconds, passively allows you to block better, and blocks one projectile. I like Stance because fucking sorcs get hit by their own crystal frags. Absorb heals you when projectile hits. Just pick whichever you like better. Only thing is we already have a projectile shield on frontbar, so sometimes this is kind useless.

Heroic Slash: Only there for Minor Heroism. With this up along with Major Heroism you are droppin ultis nonstop. Just have to be really close to a target and I found myself forgetting to use this skill in the heat of it all.

Arctic Blast or Polar Wind: I use Blast for the extra chance to chill enemies, but Polar isn’t bad either since 35% of your health should be a pretty decent heal to your ally.

Ulti: Flex: Aggressive War horn (Morph of War horn) or Reviving Barrier (Morph of Barrier): Just ask your group which one they prefer you to run.

 Aggressive War Horn: Gives everyone more resources and increases DPS.

Reviving Barrier: Puts a big ass damage shield on everybody and heals them with it. You can choose other ult if you want for extra mag and ult, but I think the high mag recov and Heroism uptime is more than enough.

Gear setup 2

 The important part of this setup is using sets that benefit from taunts on players. Vanguard’s Challenge is a must. Shadowrend is advised. Then combine it with a set of your choice.

Vanguard’s Challenge (Must Have): When you taunt an enemy player they deal 50% less damage to other players and 100% more to you for 15 seconds. Basically, this takes the wind out of everyone’s sails because players don’t know that they are taunted and don’t know who they are supposed to attack. With this set I prioritize bombers. Taunt a bomber and they basically just commit suicide. You can use your taunt as much as you want and on as many people as you want, just don’t overdo it or you will definitely die.

Beckoning Steal: You have a 40% chance to intercept any projectile cast at an ally around you. This is great for our Crystalized Shield and if you run this I advise also running Defensive Stance. Not always the best set, but it follows the ideal behind this build of intercepting enemy damage from allys.

Other possible sets include Fasalla’s Guile, *Durok's Bane, Jorvuld's Guidance, and Hand of Mephala as described above.

Monster sets:

Shadowrend (recommended): Taunting summons a clanfear to attack the enemy and apply Minor Maim. It is great to have a pet to distract the enemy and you can pretty much have constant uptime on it should you desire.

Other possible monster sets are described above.

All enchants and traits are the same as described above.

Rotation

 Always keep up your buffs, especially when lining up at a keep. Ice Fortress first, then Bull Netch, Defensive Stance if you have it, then Leaching Vines on you or an ally. Keep all that up forever unless mounted.

 Never just run in, we want at least one dps (preferably more) with us. We are tanky, but we can’t kill shit and there is nothing stopping enemies from just running past us. 

 When you see enemies automatically start by putting up Arctic Blast and Shimmering Shield, then put down a Corrupting Pollen. As enemies get close, or if you swung over to an ally using Nature’s Embrace, start popping all debuffing skills starting with Sub Assault because it has a cast time. Then Gripping Shards and Wall of Elements if you have it. If you see someone wrecking one of your allies, doing too much dps, or you just don’t like his face, put a Frozen Device under him and see if he gets pulled towards you (you can have 3 of these on the ground at any time). 

 If running setup 2 be sure to taunt bombers first, then anyone that you deem as a major threat. Also, try not to get too close to that person, and focus on debuffing others with defile and resistance debuffs. Reapply taunt as desired.

 With all of this going on the dps should have no issues putting down enemies. This can be a lot to remember in the heat of it and you must be very reactive, with your shields, heals, and debuffs. It takes some getting used to but is really fun once you get it down!

Champion Points

Blue: Blessed-75, Elfborn-80, Shattering Blows-30. Split the rest as you want between Elemental Expert, Spell Erosion, and Weapons expert.

Why? Healing. We want to stay alive, we want our crit heals to hit harder on the off chance that you do crit. Blessed and Elfborn are the best way to go for that. Shattering blows just helps burn people with shields but more importantly it gives us 2 passives in the Atronach tree.

Red: First put enough points into Resistant to give you a minimum of 1700 Crit resist. Our other resistances are already great so don’t worry too much about hitting 2500+ crit resist like other builds. Next, put enough points into Heavy Armor Focus and Spell Shield so that your resistances hit at least 20k unbuffed.

Make sure you have at least 30 points into The Steed and The Lord trees so that you get the 2 first passives of each tree. Then, split your points amongst Hardy, Elemental Defender, and Thick Skinned so that you have all the perks in The Lady tree. Any leftover points just put wherever you want.

Green: Arcanist-75, Warlord-30 (minimum), Tumbling-30 (minimum), then do whatever you think is best with the rest.

Be sure to put 45 more somewhere into The Lover tree to get that last passive. I don’t get the chance to heavy attack much on my build so I personally don’t put anything into Tenacity. I put quite a few into Befoul because of all the Defile we are putting out, and Siphoner because it synergizes with this build. More Warlord and Tumbling wouldn’t hurt though.

Passives Needed

 Animal Companions-All

Green Balance-All

Winter’s Embrace-All

One Hand and Shield-All

Destruction Staff-All only if you run an ice staff

Light Armor-Spell Warding, Prodigy, Concentration

Medium Armor-Wind Walker, Improved Sneak (not super useful but needed if traveling alone to meet up with your team and you see a big ass zerg headed your way)

Heavy Armor-All

Fighter’s Guild-Banish the Wicked (If going into Imperial City or Sewers)

Undaunted-All

Assault-All

Support-All

Racial-All

Alchemy-Medicinal Use

Provisioning-Gourmand

Group Communication

 I think PVP is usually better about communication than pve so this isn’t a huge worry, but just make sure to inform them about how you work so that they can best use your class to their advantage. If people don’t know what you are doing then they probably won’t stack on you or focus on enemies that are around you. Inform them when you’re about to drop an ulti especially so they know to come in closer.

Closing

 I have had a blast creating this build and improving it, and it really does make a difference for my group. Many may criticize because this build does no dps, but that is clearly the point, it is full on support. It isn’t a permablock build, nor is it just a unkillable one, everything has a specific purpose designed to benefit the group. I have tried similar setups with other classes and it just isn’t as perfect. The Warden simply offers the perfect amount of AoE debuffs and buffs that make them perfect for this classes. Other classes have more CCs and snares, but no other can throw out as much Defile and Maim as this class, and I am happy to exploit that shit all over Cyradiil.

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1 Reply
  1. #1

    Rooster89

    Member1 Posts

    Have you considered leeching plate with duroks and thorvokun?

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