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"Cryomaniac" Sub-Zero themed Mag Warden PvE dps bu


Sub-Zero themed build for Morrowind


Background: This build is something that I have been working on since Orsinium was launched with a Mag Sorc. With the recent addition of the Warden class I decided to resurrect the build with some tweaks and I've been getting great results considering how lackluster Mag Warden dps is currently. This build is an Ice damage focused build and utilizes the Winterborn set. The Warden's passives and class abilities allow this build to shine more than it ever has. This build has both flawlessed Vet Maelstrom and completed all non-hardmode vet trials short of vHoF and vMoL. It has decent single target (dummy/boss) dps, fantastic AoE damage, and a fun and unique feel.


Race: High Elf - far and away best choice because: 4% increase Ice/Lightning (our main) damage, best max Mag boost and Mag recovery boost

Argonian or Breton would work as well but when the dps margin is so thin for a Mag Warden already, race is VERY important for raid qualifying


Attributes: All Magicka


Food: Solitude Salmon-Millet Soup or equivalent CP150 max Mag and Health blue food


Mundus: Thief


Vampire/Werewolf: Vamp stage 2


Champion Points (630 point spread):


Blue CP: 37 Elfborn, 8 Spell Erosion, 56 Elemental Expert, 34 Master at Arms, 75 Thaumaturge

This distribution is the best that I've been able to use so far, it's based off a trial group focused build by a guildmate of mine who does great theorycrafting on PC. I reduced Elfborn and pumped up Ele Expert and Master at Arms because the Winterborn procs are a good chunk of our dps and cannot crit so I tried to boost the proc damage as much as possible. If doing VMA exclusively, take 2-3% out of Thaumaturge and pump up Spell Erosion.

Red Cp: 48 Ironclad, 49 Hardy, 49 Elememental Defender, 40 Thick Skinned, 13 Bastion, 11 Quick Recovery

Green CP: 15 Warlord, 56 Arcanist, 64 Tenacity, 40 Shadow Ward, 35 Tumbling

Red and Green CP distribution is much more flexible, again this is based of my guildmate's recommendation with some personal tweaks so feel free to tweak to your liking.



5 pieces Winterborn (body all divines w/ Magicka glyphs)

3 pieces Infallible Aether (Jewelry all Spell Damage glyphs) *Moondancer/Master Architect would be slightly better but I do not have a set

2 pieces Valkyn Skoria (1 heavy, 1 medium, divines w/ Magicka glyphs)

1 VMA Lightning Staff sharpened with poison *if you don't have this then a non-set sharpened Lightning Staff with Spell Damage glyph

1 VMA Ice Staff sharpened *if you don't have this then a non-set sharpened Ice Staff with Frost Damage Glyph or precise VMA Ice Staff


Valkyn provides the second highest range dps for a monster set behind double Ilambris procs but since we are not using any flame damage we do not use Ilambris.  

Winterborn is a set that I've been trying to get to work consistently since it came out with Orsinium DLC. This build really maxes out its effectiveness because it uses 3 ice DoTs (4 when using Destro Ult) that reliably proc Winterborn within 1-2 seconds after its 2 second cooldown. Wardens also have a passive that increases all Ice damage by 4%, which stack with the High Elf passive to further bring this set closer in line with the meta (Julianos and Necro). Although it is still about 2k less single target dps than Necro from my comparisons.

NOTE: The 60% snare from the Winterborn proc snares bosses and otherwise unslowable enemies, so that's kinda neat.


Stats (self buffed no major intellect): 



Skill Bar:

(Lightning Staff) Deep Fissure - Inner Light - Harness Magicka - Fetcher Infection - Force Pulse -- Northern Storm

(Ice Staff) Blue Betty - Inner Light - Destructive Reach - Elemental Blockade - Winter's Revenge -- Elemental Rage


The only thing I change for VMA is I switch out Living Trellis (Green Balance) for Destructive Reach. This provides the self healing I need with a nice HoT as well as a burst heal at the end (or if recasted early).


Rotation: LA>Winter's Revenge>LA>Destructive Reach>LA>Elemental Blockade>(If Betty is down)LA>Blue Betty>Bar Swap>LA>Deep Fissure>LA>Fetcher Infection>LA>Force Pulse>LA>Deep Fissure>Full Lightning Heavy>LA>Deep Fissure and REPEAT


The reason for a Light Attack between the Full Lightning Heavy and the last Deep Fissure is explained here. Instead of waiting an extra half second, I was suggested to use a LA in between and that is what I have found to be best. Any questions on rotation leave below.

NOTE: This build does not require spell power pots OR MAX MAGES GUILD. We get Major Sorcery from Blue Betty, and Major Prophecy from Inner Light (which only requires Mages Guild Level 2). So for anyone like me who is either low on cash for pots, or really hates lorebook hunting for the 5th time, no worries, this build has you covered.


Dummy Parse Video: 


This video shows the rotation at full speed, end result is 28.5k dps. This is about average, highest I've pulled is 29.5k but that was probably due to some unusually lucky crits/procs. The only buff applied to me is ele drain and this is with trial CP (75 Thaum). Other videos may appear artificially high because of things such as lightning wall, bear ult, spell power cure, or combat prayer but the current average dps for this class with a similar setup using necro/ilambris is about 31-32k, so this is only slightly behind the meta in single target situations. This dps is high enough for VMA and non-hardmode vet trials besides vMoL and vHoF, however until the class receives a slight buff, it will consistently be behind every other class by at least 3-5k.


My rotation and CP for this build were built off of that of my guildmate Dark_Shadow459. He spent a lot of his own time doing hardcore mathematical theorycrafting for his Warden DPS which I then used to create the best version of this build I could. Credit to him for his work.

About JXNwarrior:

JXNwarrior hasn't shared anything about themselves.

26 Replies
  1. #21


    Moderator1308 Posts
    VilniusNastavik wrote on July 30, 2017

    Inner Light, if you get Mages Guild to 10, and take both Might of the Guild passives, will grant a 20% damage buff to the next attack, so you could situationally use it when you are about to proc an ability you know is going to deal a lot f damage (e.g Ultimates, if you run ice comet instead of one of the other ulties, or right before you do Force Pulse. Bit of playing around. Generally though, yeah, no need to use it.

    Meteor/Ice Comet self empowers, and it is consumed by the initial damage. Using Inner Light before it does nothing.

    You also have to determine whether the potential dps gain is worth the resource and global cooldown costs.

    e pluribus unum

  2. #22


    Member17 Posts

    @VilniusNastavik Arctic Blast isn't good for a few reasons: it scales off of Max Health, we are almost never in melee range, and the heal is pitiful. And Force Pulse's ability to bounce isn't really significant since you would use a Lightning Staff Heavy instead of Force Pulse for AoE damage. And unless you're running around solo a lot I wouldn't take off Deep Fissure or Fetcher Infection for a heal because they do a large chunk of our damage. If you want more self healing just take off Destructive Reach on your Ice Staff bar and replace it with Living Trellis.

  3. #23


    Member29 Posts

    Seems like warden hasn't gotten any changes with the patch. Maybe change to the apprentice stone and infused weps like everyone else?

  4. #24


    Member1 Posts

    Good looking build sir!  Couple of questions:

    1. For the HotR changes, is this still viable?
    2. Would you change Sharpened to Infused for both weapons?
    3. I assume Moondancer Lightning and Ice staffs would work also, correct?
  5. #25


    Member1 Posts

    I like your build. Any updates for CWC?

    Why VMA staff on front if you're not using blockade?

    Winterborn doesn't ever seem to proc for me. Ever try using iceheart?


  6. #26


    Member17 Posts

    @everyone I will not be updating this PvE build until Mag Warden gets a buff in PvE, right now it is so depressingly behind Magblade and others that I haven't played it PvE in awhile. I will be putting up a fun PvP build for those interested. 


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