The Atronach - Warden Tank PVE Build

This is the new PVE tank build for the Warden class. He is build around survivability and group support with a mixture of popular gear without the need for ANY trial loot what so ever. This tank is capable of holding agro, taking a serious amount of damage and at the same time capable of buffing and “saving” the group members.

The tank has the usual traditional traits, high health, high magicka recovery(for buffs) but of course you must heavy attack for sustain. The high magicka recovery is primarily to keep up the vital warden buffs and have the freedom to throw in a couple of heals if need be. The main buffs are of course lotus blossom (if heavy attacking you heal you or the closest low health ally…we heavy attack a LOT) and of course ice fortress. Ice fortress gives us minor protection further reducing any damage we take by 8% but also buffs near by members with major ward and major resolve (almost 5k resists across the board). This resist buff for the group is the first of it’s kind in ESO and in my opinion should have been in the game a LONG time ago, however we have it now so this has finally added a bit of a game changer, allowing dps to not slot the buff because it is already supplied by the Warden (so long as the player keeps the buff up).
Our healing passives/buffs grant minor toughness to whoever is healed by you (10% max HP, same buff as warhorn) and also our ground based ice attacks are amazing for pinning adds/mobs on the spot to control them while you get all the agro. Although this is a tank with low magicka etc and traditionally higher magicka creates large heals (which of course is true) this still performs REALLY well and adds enough support to keep people up between healers skills and also inside emergency situations. The healing support is surprisingly strong.

The main method of tanking is similar to other tanks and that is that you heavy attack and taunt of course to keep agro, while keeping a close eye on your buffs. Heavy attacks are VITAL but of course they do come with a price. While heavy attacking, your shield is DOWN, so you take full damage. With this in mind, you must TIME your attacks. The fact you are taking more damage than if you were blocking means you need more health to take the punch to the face, hence why we have so much HP…BUT the trick with timing is, you MUST block the heavy attacks from a boss. Heavy attack through normal passive attacks etc and then block anything that would one shot, knock down, count as a heavy etc.
In between those, you of course have the freedom to use bone shield to protect you and the group (if they take the synergy) if your sustain is at a high. Above all I cannot stress enough, don’t just block because you “can”…you will run out of juice, block when you MUST!

The ice staff on the back bar is incredible for tanking. Your heavy attacks taunt, and gain back magicka. This means instead of taunts COSTING magicka, it actually replenishes it (heavy attacks restore resources). Your warden’s Winter’s Embrace skill line adds 500 resist per skill slotted so the back bar actually has very high resists even without a shield. Your requirement of slotting ONE destruction staff ability (need one skill slotted for the ice staff to work as intended) adds lots of utility. This means you can slot wall of elements for more cc (immobilize/stun enemies), elemental drain (magicka return to the group) and even crushing shock (ranged interrupts). Finally the big one, the frost staff works like a sword and board, meaning you can block with it and the passive destro skills actually reduce the amount of damage you take AND the cost of blocking while doing so on that bar… block with “magicka!” instead of “stamina!”.
While you block with magicka your stamina recovers, and while you block with a sword and board (stamina) your magicka recovers, see where I am going with this? If you run low on resources on your sword and board, you can SWAP to your back bar and block with magicka instead!! you have two bars of resources to block with instead of one.

Some valuable points for the build:-

  • Heavy attack to keep your stamina up

  • Block the big stuff, not everything else

  • Really cheap ultimate oh SH*T buttons (block ulti, enchanted forest) only 90/135 ulti cost!

  • Keep your buffs up (your buffs and heals protect you, the group AND your heals from these keep up minor toughness, 10% max hps)

  • Caped resists with no effort even on your back bar (ice staff)

  • Range taunts are free with the ice staff heavy attack and you get magicka BACK for it!

  • Lots of CC with the ground based ice aoes which immobilize and stun normal enemies and apply minor main reducing their damage done.

  • group protection and/or group healing ultimates!

  • Leeching plate…proc based of course, but so long as you TAKE damage, you can heal from it, adding a LOT to survivability AND this activates minor toughness giving you almost unlimited 10% max hps.


1Hand and Shield

1) Blue Betty
2) Polar Wind
3) Piece Armour
4) Absorb Magicka
5) Bone Surge
Ultimate – Shield Discipline / enchanted forest

Ice Staff

1) Lotus Blossom
2) Elemental Blockade – flex slot destruction staff skill
3) Expansive Frost Cloak
4) Frozen Gate
5) Gripping Shards
Ultimate – Permafrost/Warhorn/enchanted Forest

Champion points

  • 81 Thaumaturge
  • 75 Blessed
  • 48 Elfborn
  • 2 Physical Weapons Expert
  • 64 Mighty
  • 64Tenacity
  • 75 Arcanist
  • 56 Warlord
  • 9 Tumbling
  • 66 Shadow Ward
  • 19 Quick recovery
  • 64 Hardy
  • 64 Elemental defender
  • 51 Thick skinned
  • 72 Ironclad

Lower Champion Points

If you are lower than maximum champion points do NOT worry! This will work no matter what and of course the more cps you get the more effective it will be, however some hints on what to do at lower cps. I get questions about 300cps, 401 cps, 12 cps? we could be here all day but here are somethings i personally would recommend to prioritize in your damage areas..

Firstly be sure to get 30 points into Blessed, this will allow you access to the 9% critical chance passive and give you a push to your heals. Then get push to finish blessed and elfborn evenly. Finally evenly split Thaumaturge and Mighty to boost the strength of the leeching so your heals from it are stronger.

As far as the resists are concerned (red trees) get 11 points into quick recovery asap for the res bonus passive and then from there BALANCE your resists between hardy, elemental defender and thick skinned until you have a good even base and just drip them in boosting it as you go until you are maxed.

For the green trees be sure to spread tenacity and Arcanist evenly as possibly and boost them both to the amount above, then after work on block costs before pushing to break free and dodgeroll

Poisons, Potions & Food

Potions really are up to you but they DO offer recovery/sustain while give a burst of stamina/mag/health back at the same time depending on the choice of potion. I would highly recommend using Tripots if you can afford them BUT you can of course use trash magicka or stamina pots depending on how comfortable you are with your resources.

Food is very simple, in stressful high block situations you can use HIGH max stat food (max health and max stam). The rest of the time if you can manage your sustain you can go with max health and mag recovery food in order to keep up HIGH mag recovery and more ability to spam your shields to protect the group and get back stamina.

Tri-pots – Columbine + Mountain Flower + Bugloss + Lorkhan’s Tears


Max health and max stam
          Sticky Pork And Radish Noodles – White Meat(1) + Radish(2) + Flour(3)
          Garlic Cod with Potato Crust – Fish(1) + Potato(2) + Garlic(3)
          Braised Rabbit with Spring Vegetables – Small Game(1) + Greens(2) + Seasoning(3)

Gear Setup

Below is a chart showing the overall gear set-up, noting the optimal set requirements in terms of weight, enchants & traits!

We are using the Atronach mundus stone with this also to make sure we get as much magicka recovery as possible while using this particular set-up.
We are an Imperial but other races are also usable. Orc, Argonian or Nord are other good choices.


Gear Locations

Monster set choices
As explained in the video there are many options for monster sets. The above is a solid choice for balanced stats and resists but if you want to add more utility then these options below were also noted as possible viable and tested options.

Troll kingBlessed Crucible
Bogdan The NightflameElden Hollow II
Lord Warden Imperial City Prison