Stamina Warden PvE "Nature's Commander"
What is the Point of this Build?
This build is not going to give you the highest dps scores you’ve ever seen, that’s not the point. It’s designed to help people move from beginner to intermediate level. What I want to stress the most about this build is that gear and skills are not the most important thing to improving dps. I’ve seen countless people running around in BiS gear but who can’t hit 15k. What matters most is rotation, rotation, rotation. This build has a very simple rotation that will help you reach some bigger numbers. It’s well suited for the average player who does not want to farm dungeons or trials to get their gear. To keep it simple, I’ve stuck to an easy-to-get monster set and crafted/overland gear. I’ve also designed the build around the ability to offer a lot of utility in either solo play (you can do vMA with this build) or running with a PUG group that is say... clueless. However, if you run with a group that you trust and what you want to do is farm trials, I have advanced sections in this build as well but it won’t be the main focus.
While practicing on the target skeleton, I hit 24k dps (this was with purple armor, no Maelstrom Bow and 450cp, if you use what the advanced section of this build recommends you will easily hit that magic 30k number) once I practice it more, I will definitely be at 25k. I also tried to keep as many Warden class skills as possible just to see what the class is capable of doing, but I will recommend alternatives where applicable. Hope you enjoy!
Anything that is geared towards advanced players will have a * next to it.
I believe that Wardens are the best class for the average player because they are able to do everything relatively well while remaining relatively simple. As a stamina warden, you get access to both major brutality, and major savagery in your kit. So, you don’t have to run expensive potions to get those buffs, which is a huge advantage in this build. The fact that you don’t have to spend your limited time farming gold is also definitely an added bonus. You also get to boost your group’s dps as you can inflict enemies with major breach and major fracture, making everyone in the group do more damage to them. Wardens also have a very simple and cheap ultimate that doesn’t require a lot of planning. And, you get access to amazing self-healing that is unmatched by any other stamina class. Stamina Wardens, unlike many other stamina classes, also don’t have to do PvP to get access to a heal like Vigor, because it has something better. So, if PvP is not your thing you don’t have to do it. Plus, wardens just have really cool animations.
Most optimal - Khajiit and Redguard
Secondary - Orsimer (Orc), Imperial and Bosmer (Wood Elf)Khajiit
What makes Khajiits strong is their 8% extra weapon critical rating, which will serve to increase your dps even further. Something to keep in mind though, is that weapon critical is a percentage based scaler, which means that the less efficient your rotation is the less critical hits you will be getting off reducing the effectiveness of the Khajiit passive, if you can pull off the rotation really well a Khajiit will pull ahead of all other races, this is because percentages get stronger the bigger the base number they’re affecting.Redguard
What makes Redguards strong is their unmatched stamina sustain. Every three seconds, on either a light or heavy melee attack, you will restore extra stamina, this can make it so that you never run out of stamina with this build. However, if you can’t weave properly in between attacks, you will see no benefit whatsoever to playing a Redguard and you would be better suited playing something else.Other
The two optimal races are reliant on you being able to properly execute the rotation of the build. If you find yourself having trouble with it, you would be better off playing one of the secondary races since they offer flat stat increases rather than percentage based ones, like maximum health, maximum stamina, and stamina recovery, and those bonuses will always be felt regardless of how well you can play.
The best mundus stone to run is by far the Thief, it gives extra weapon and spell critical (we only care about the weapon critical). This will turn more of your attacks into critical strikes which will give you more overall damage. Fairly simple stuff.*Shadow
If you’re playing a Khajiit and running the advanced gear set-up and skills, you may find that you deal more damage using the Shadow stone rather than the Thief stone, since it increases critical damage done. I have not tested these numbers and would love to hear from anyone who would want give it a try. If you’re playing any other race, stick to the Thief since Khajiits get the 8% weapon critical.
As a stamina dps, you want to put all points into stamina. However, you want to make sure that you have sufficient health when buffed so you may have to put some points into health depending on what race you’re playing. I like to have between 17k-17.5k health. Place your points accordingly.
I’m not going to claim to have come up with this champion point layout on my own, I’ve based it off of what other people have done. This will be what it should look like when you’re at 630cp, the max currently allowed in the Morrowind patch. If you’re below that be sure to get as close as you can to just over a whole number because there are jump points. What are jump points? Hypothetically, say you have a node that reduces incoming damage. If you put points in it and it says “reduces by 15.9%,” the game will count it as 15%, so be sure to either get it to just over 16% or remove points to get it closer to 15% and place those points elsewhere.Red Tree
- 56 Hardy
- 56 Elemental Defender
- 28 Thick Skinned
- 61 Ironclad
- 9 Expert DefenderBlue Tree
- 61 Thaumaturge
- 56 Precise Strikes
- 56 Mighty
- 37 Master-At-ArmsGreen Tree
- 100 Tenacity
- 100 Mooncalf
- 5 tumbling
- 5 Warlord
Buff Food -> Use Braised Rabbit with Spring Vegetables
2x Kra’gh (Head and Shoulder)
5x Hunding’s Rage (3 body pieces and 2 daggers + bow)
5x Spriggan’s Thorns (2 body pieces and 3 jewlery)*Advanced Gear Setup
2x Velidreth (Head and Shoulder)
5x Two-Fanged Snake (Body Pieces)
5x Vicious Ophidian (Jewlery and Daggers)
1x Maelstrom BowGear Explanation
You should use a 6 medium / 1 heavy setup to maximize the damage and recovery you get from the medium armor passives, all while ensuring that you get your health bonus from using a piece of heavy. Use divines on the armor pieces to maximize the bonus from the mundus stone, enchant them with maxima stamina. Don’t hesitate to run your monster set, even if it’s with bad traits, you’re better off using it than not. Use sharpened on your weapons because it deals more damage than any other trait, enchant them with berserker, poison and disease. I like to run 1 (one) monster set (Kra’gh), 1 (one) flat damage set (Hunding’s Rage) and 1 (one) scaling damage set (Sprrigan). More explanations below.
Kra'gh Set (Found in Veteran Fungal Grotto I and Maj al-Ragath's Undaunted Chest)
“Why are you using Kra’gh? [Insert ESO pro name] said that Velidreth is better!”
Well, [insert ESO pro name] would be correct. However, this is an average player guide and Kra’gh has some distinct advantages. For one, Velidreth requires the Shadow of the Hist DLC, while Kra’gh only requires the base game. Since not everyone will have all the DLC I decided to leave it out. Also, while both shoulder pieces are RNG, obtaining the helms are significantly different. Kra’gh requires you to complete the (arguably) easiest veteran mode dungeon, Fungal Grotto I, whereas Velidreth requires you to complete (arguably) the hardest veteran mode dungeon Cradle of Shadows. The average player would much rather farm Fungal Grotto I. This set offers some extra physical penetration as well as those dreugh limbs that deal extra damage, just be sure to be in melee range for them to deal their damage.
Hunding's Rage Set (Craftable)
This is your bread and butter basic flat stat increase set, the set gives you max stamina, weapon critical and weapon damage. You will only have the 5 piece bonus active on your front bar, but that’s where it matters anyways. The other benefit is that it’s very easy to obtain and gets the job done well.
Spriggan's Thorns Set (Bangkorai Overland Events)
This set is great as it gives you max stamina and some extra weapons damage, but the most important thing it offers is the 5 piece bonus which gives a bunch of extra physical penetration. Physical penetration is a percentage scaling bonus meaning that the more efficient your rotation is the more damage you will be able to deal, this is great because you will see a large benefit as your practise and get better with this build.
If you have access to one, use it. If not, just use a Hunding’s bow until you one day get one. This build will get you through vMA though, so don’t give up you’ll get it one day. It will add a ton of damage and it’s a must for any true endgame stamina build.
- Cutting Dive: This is your source of basic damage, it will take some getting used to because there is a delay between when you use the ability to when it actually hits the enemy since there is travel distance. It’s also a very cheap ability to use. It triggers the Bond with Nature passive so every time it’s used, you’ll restore 1260 health. What makes this ability better than what other stamina classes have to offer is that it’s ranged so you can hit far away enemies.
Alternative: Rapid Strikes, if you would rather play a more traditional stamina build use Rapid Strikes from the dual wield tree. Just note that you will be losing out on the range but gaining dps on enemies below 25% health.
- Rending Slashes: The only DoT you have on your front bar. It’ll deal initial damage, as well as damage over 9 seconds. Use this ability after switching over from your back bar. Since this is a DoT it’s important that you try and maintain this 100% of the time.
- Steel Tornado: This is what you want to use during trash fights and when you’re being overwhelmed by adds during a boss fight. This allows you to kill the trash mobs extremely quickly because the ability itself has a built in execute, and it uses the Slaughter passive from the dual wield line. Just be sure not to spam this ability too much since it’s costly.
- Subterranean Assault: A truly spectacular and unique ability to the warden. It has a learning curve, since after using the ability there’s a three second delay before it goes off. This allows you to position this ability properly, or even change targets if there’s something more important to hit. It also deals poison damage so it has a chance of poisoning enemies and making them take extra damage over time. It will also inflict enemies with major breach and major fracture, which is not that important in boss fights since your tank will (hopefully) already be applying these debuffs. This ability shines in solo play where you would otherwise not have access to the debuffs. It’s also useful in trash fights where your tank will not be able to hit all enemies with the debuff. Overall an amazing ability.
- Soothing Spores: The only burst stamina heal in the game. This is useful to have since you can’t always trust PUG healers and, in solo play, it’s very helpful. If you’re low on health when you use it, you’ll gain major mending, making it heal you right back up. It also grants you minor toughness, which will give you 10% extra max health. While it may seem strange to run a heal on a dps, it’s better to stay alive. After all, a dead dps deals no dps.Back Bar
- Poison Injection: A staple of stamina builds, this deals initial damage upon impact and also acts as a DoT afterwards. The DoT also acts as an execute, gaining strength after enemies fall under 50% health, and dealing up to 260% more damage, the less health they have. You want to make sure you keep this up 100% of the time.
- Endless Hail: This is your most important skill, doubly so if using a Maelstrom Bow. This will deal more damage than any other skill you have and will also hit enemies in a circular area.
Alternative: Arrow Barrage, this is the other morph of the same ability, it offers a larger area that it hits, I don’t like to use it since it has a shorter duration and costs more to use, but it’s up to you. I like to block cancel the animation of this ability.
- Rearming Trap: Another very powerful skill, it deals initial damage as well as acts as a DoT afterwards. It will also immobilize enemies who get caught in it, except for bosses. What makes this ability truly powerful is that when the trap is triggered, it grants you minor force, which will make your critical hits deal 10% more damage.
- Green Lotus: This is a really cool and helpful buff that gives wardens a lot of survivability. It grants you major savagery, which increases your weapon critical. It also makes it so that your light and heavy attacks restore health to either you, or, if your health is full, a member of your group. It will also heal your bear if it needs healing.
- Bull Netch: This great skill doesn’t require any resources to cast. Every warden should be running either the stamina or magicka version of this skill. This skill counts as a pet, but you only need to have it on one bar and it won’t disappear if you change bars. While it’s active, it will restore stamina and grant you major brutality, increasing your weapon damage by 20%. Something to note, even though the skill has a very long animation, you don’t need to watch the animation. The netch appears immediately when you activate the skill. So, you can use this skill, then bar swap to cancel the animation.Ultimate
- Wild Guardian: You have to have this skill on your front and back bars or else the bear will disappear when you swap bars. The bear excels at single target damage. In AoE fights, it won’t preform as well, but you can keep it focused on the most important target since it will attack whatever you heavy attack. Since this build uses heavy attacks, you’ll have good control over the bear. For 75 ultimate, you can recast the ability and the bear will do a special attack, which will deal a ton of damage. This special attack also deals extra damage on enemies under 25% health, making it an execute ability as well. The bear can also help in solo play since it will sometimes get aggro, keeping enemies away from hitting you.Passives
- Everything from all class skill lines: Animal Companions, Green Balance, Winters Embrace
- All Dual Wield Passives
- All Bow Passives
- All Racial Passives
- All Medium Armor Passives
- Heavy Armor: Resolve, Juggernaut, Constitution
- Fighter’s Guild: Intimidating Presence, Slayer, Banish the Wicked, Skilled Tracker
- Undaunted: Undaunted Command, Undaunted Mettle
- Alchemy: Medicinal Use
- Provisioning: Gourmand*Advanced Skill Setup
- Rapid Strikes
- Rending Slahes
- Blade Cloak
- Subterranean Assault
- Green Lotus
- Ultimate: Flawless Dawnbreaker
- Poison Injection
- Endless Hail
- Rearming Trap
- Razor Caltrops
- Bull Netch
- Ultimate: Ballista
Before Fight -> Bull Netch -> Green Lotus
Fight Begins-> Rearming Trap -> Light Attack -> Endless Hail -> Light Attack -> Poison Injection -> swap -> ^ Rending Slashes -> Heavy Attack -> Subterranean Assault -> Heavy Attack -> Cutting Dive -> swap -> Endless Hail -> Light Attack -> Poison Injection -> swap -> Rending Slashes -> Heavy Attack ->Subterranean Assault -> Heavy Attack -> Cutting Dive -> swap -> Rearming Trap -> Light Attack -> Endless Hail -> Light Attack -> Poison Injection -> Light Attack -> Green Lotus -> Light Attack -> Bull Netch -> swap -> Repeat from ^
Use your ultimate whenever it's available on your front bar.
Thanks for reading my build. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, I would be more than happy to hear them. Hope you have fun trying out this build. If you liked this build stay tuned, I'm working on a Magicka Warden for no-cp PvP and Battlegrounds, look for it in the coming weeks.