Polar Express - One Bar Magicka Warden Build

Written guide updated for updated for The Scribes of Fate DLC: Q1 2023

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if the Warden Class was EASY!?…

Stop ‘wondering’ you are in the RIGHT PLACE!!

This build “Polar Express” has been carefully designed to consider players of ALL skill levels, from the very beginner to the extreme to allow you to perform flawlessly in ALL PVE content as a SOLID and VIABLE dps/dd option for those that want to play with a ONE BAR and SIMPLE style! Just because you like playing with ONE BAR doesn’t make you a BEGINNER, but it IS “beginner friendly”.

There are thousands of players in the world, MANY of which struggle to maintain high/decent damage (subjective perspective but still we all like to “do the deeps”) INSIDE mechanics, because sometimes it can be overwhelming having too many things to focus on at once. Not to mention of course many people suffer from mobility issues especially when it comes to hands (using keyboards, mice or controllers).

This becomes a problem for some, and a divider amongst players who want to “do the harder stuff” because people find things far too complex of physically difficult to perform in or FEEL like they are restricted if they don’t or can’t play specific builds and/or playstyles that their friends may try to encourage them to play. Fear of “not being good enough” is not really something that HAS to be a thing. There is something for everyone in ESO. It’s about what you personally can play, and preference. There is no best…only what’s best for YOU.

MAYBE you are really good at mechanics but just cannot hit the numbers you want to at the same time? Maybe the build you are using is too complex? Or outside of your physical ability? Don’t worry! Today we FIX that!

With a SOLID set in stone easy to use setup, you now have FAR more time to pay attention to mechanics if they are tricky, slow down the pace of the fight if things are too overwhelming, and ALLOW you to pump out MORE than enough dps for all content at the same time! No button smashing, no complex timers, no 360 no scope required! You can perform just as well as someone with crazy APM output (actions per minute) with less than HALF the effort!

The Warden on the surface can be considered quite straight forward but tends to be split into two types of players. Nature users and ICE users. The warden is designed to take advantage of BOTH and that is exactly what has been done. Best of both worlds!. This has a SOLID balance of everything the warden brings to the table!

I have designed this to consider, application of damage, survival, ease of use, accessibility (all gear on normal difficulty or traded) and of course THEME! It’s no good being an “easy build” if you negate or ignore what the class is all about. That means YES, even though i have given you only 5 skills and a heavy attack, ALL of the above HAVE been considered to allow you to still be a full ice wielding nature loving Warden (class identity is in tact) even though we are limited to skills. Sometimes less is more though right?

The build is setup in such a way that you realistically have to simply maintain a wall of elements and heavy attack. That’s IT! However, i have also worked in Winter’s Revenge and Arctic blast, allowing for solid amounts of aoe ice damage, control, buffs/bonuses/passives from ice AND insane amount of healing!

With you only having access to 5 skills and an ultimate, one bar builds can FEEL restricting. But making the right choices changes that dramatically. This build is a prime example of what you should be doing if you want to be successful in harder content with one bar.

The combination of sets and skills allow for constant healing, constant damage and constant high resistances/survival along side one CRUCIAL factor…Infinite sustainability of resources!!

We also benefit massively from the most BASIC mechanics in the game and it boosts your damage output so much just by building for that and taking advantage of it. We are utilizing heavy attacks but also supplying off balance, AND have constant empower!

What does this mean? Off balance has a 7 second up time and 15 second down time per target. During this time your heavy attacks do 70% more damage AND give you back double the resource vs the basic amount you would normally receive. Your heavy attacks also do splash damage for 100% of the damage done, being aoe that also stacks with the 10% increase to aoe (lightning staff passive), pushing your single target and aoe damage through the roof!

While these times are ones to be taken advantage, there is another bonus (empower) that CONSTANTLY gives you 80% increase to all heavy attack damage! So yes that means, ALWAYS doing high dps with your heavies with HUGE bonuses during off balance when it happens. And it will, a LOT.

The sets have been mixed to allow for MORE heavy attack damage along side flat damage bonuses to boost both that and other skills at the same time AND adding heals, defeating the “but i don’t have crit surge” issue most people out side of the Sorcerer class have! Our ability to heal especially in BURST is off the chart!

Important Points:

  • Easy to acquire gear with no veteran content or trials required! All base game and/or tradeable!
  • HIGH resistances
  • HIGH health
  • Constant healing
  • Free damage from heavy attacks boosted by a combination of sets, basic mechanics and passives!
  • VERY simple rotation, maintaining 3 duration skills ONE of which HEALS!!
  • Capable of ALL content with NO bar swapping required!
  • Less time worrying about complex rotations and more time to LOOK around the room and understand/apply mechanics!


Fashion First!

Elder Scrolls Online Santa Costume

As demonstrated in the video, our fabulous setup and dress choice for this character is as follows:

Head: Light Frostcaster 
Chest: Light Frostcaster
Shoulders: Heavy Frostcaster
Legs: Light Frostcaster 
Hands: Light Frostcaster 
Belt: Light Frostcaster  (different in the video but try it 😉 )
Feet: Heavy Frostcaster 
Staff: Frostcaster 

The colors are Julianos White, Thalmor Black and Cardsharp Crimson


Champion Points 2.0

The NEW Champion Points 2.0 introduced in the Q1 2021 DLC: Flames Of Ambition is quite possibly the BIGGEST change/addition to The Elder Scrolls Online since One Tamriel! And these were further altered in the Blackwood Chapter, giving us a lower base for capping out some of the essentials and also adding some more slotables!

Before it was a case of “I have limited points as a CP, so HOW should I spend them”? Now that is NOT the case as SUCH! Now, it is a case of, buy ALL the things, but which SLOTABLES should you take?

Everything before was a passive bonus with huge diminished returns, awkward calculations, and was messy to all players for the most part. The new system underlines NO diminished returns, no majorly confusing passives, and the ability to buy EVERY single passive available for tanking, DPS, and healing on the SAME character with enough points to spare for buying slotables. Being able to slot 4x special slotables from each tree when there are an abundance of them means you are only limited by your CHOICES, not by your CP.

Buy all the passives, CHOOSE which slotables to take vs the situation, and the rest of the points are spare. Or are they? Well here is the crunch…Once you go over 1800ish (depending on slotable choices, some are more expensive in the Craft tree) you basically have every single passive available PLUS 4 slotables per tree…

If you JUST wanted to focus on combat alone (all red and blue passives and 4 slotables for each one) you only actually need around 1600cp to be completely maxed in those areas. And if you wanted to go FULL glass cannon, only really focusing on one damage type you can achieve your max potential for that as low as 900 or so! You won’t have any resistances or healing bonuses from the Warfare (blue) tree doing this, but you can at least cap out the hard-hitting stuff, right? And this is considering slotables too so there is no harm in actually deliberately specing for a couple of damage resistance slotables instead even at THIS stage.

For tanking it is even easier! Push for your slotables and stack your resistance passives and it is game over! The rest are just a bonus!

So what’s next? Well, if you have higher champion points you can buy more slotables and switch stuff per situation as and when needed. If you don’t, then if you want to swap it will cost you gold for respecing. So in a nutshell, 1650-1800 (depending on build) is you’re pretty much done! Anything else is convenient due to not needing to spend gold swapping things you already have access to! How cool is that?


No matter what, THESE are the most important parts of the Champion Points 2.0 system. So this is your main FIRST goal when pushing for the build. You need to slot these even if they are not max level. However, there are swap-outs for situations as explained in the video.

BLUE (Warfare) are important for resistance, heals, and damage. Red (Fitness) are important for resources, health, and Crowd Control counters. Green (Craft) are literally quality of life! (aka your choice so not THAT important for combat).

It doesn’t matter what level you are at anymore, you can play ALL content regardless of your champion points level because during Flames of Ambition all players/characters had their base stats improved to make everyone somewhat more balanced at lower levels.

However, as mentioned above, the slotables are your main goal. Unlock the prerequisite passives to unlock access to your slotables if there are any…fill them up, and then just grab the remaining passives as you go.

300, 600, 900 champion points are not really important as checkpoints anymore for optimization. Just fill as you go, because ALL characters can have ALL passives with NO negative effects unlike before!

What should I aim for with this build?

  • Thaumaturge
  • Biting Aura
  • Deadly Aim
  • Weapon’s Expert
  • Rationer
  • Liquid Efficiency
  • Treasure Hunter
  • Steed’s Blessing

    These really are up to you but these are most useful IN content for loot and movement if not in combat.
    What you do with this tree is NOT make or break for mechanics or combat in general just quality of life.

  • Boundless Vitality
  • Bloody Renewal
  • Fortified
  • Siphoning Spells


The video below explains how the changes work in more detail. Of course, over time, additions will be and have already been made to the system but the main BASE of it is the same.


The Rotation is SO simple you do not have to stress with too many complications at ALL with this build!

Keep the bear up if you can.  If not, it’s not the end of the world.  And keep up Wall of Elements.  Watch the timer.  As it runs out, or nearly runs out, reapply.  Make sure the enemy is inside of that.

On top of Wall of Elements, make sure Winter’s Revenge is down.  Make sure the shards stack on top of each other and maintain them.

During that time, heavy attack ALL the time and maintain Polar Wind.  You can use Polar Wind whenever you want to if you need a heal but it lasts 20 seconds and it is not hard to maintain.

Make sure your ability timers are on under the Combat section.  If you do that, you can see when the abilities are about to run out and you can easily reactivate it.

Here is the actual order of rotation:

  • activate Polar Wind before the fight
  • drop your shards on the ground (Winter’s Revenge)
  • drop Wall of Elements
  • hold heavy attack

Watch your timers while holding heavy attack and reapply skills as they are about to run out.  That’s it!  Look at how much time you have to think about mechanics!  That’s your rotation.  It’s as simple as that!

Obviously, your mileage may vary but if you just maintain Wall of Elements and heavy attack while your bear is slapping stuff you can get 60K dps with so much less effort than if you were using two bars.  If you were struggling with dps in the past, this build will give you that output and allow you the time to see and understand what is going on in the fight and ultimately make you a better player.


Poisons, Potions, & Food

For this build since we have MANY buffs and bonuses that potions already apply we do NOT need expensive potions! You can use trash pots OR if you are feeling a little flush you can use Tri-Pots all day long. NO spell pots, NO weapon pots ever required! Also since we have infinite resources we can take advantage of the flattest strongest bi stat food! Flat magicka flat health all day long with no down sides!

Columbine + Mountain Flower + Bugloss + Lorkans Tears

Minstral Banana-Bunny  Hash – Small game(1) + Bananas(2) + Seasoning(3)
Melon-Baked Parmesan Pork – White Meat(1) + Melon(2) + Cheese(3)
Solitude Salmon-Millet Soup – Fish(1) + Tomato(2) + Millet(3)

If you would like to make your own potions, I now have a fully functioning potion maker on the website. Here you can TEST any combination of potion or poison you like and check the outcome without having to know the combinations in-game! Check here for the App, working on Android and IOS – Potion Maker

Gear Setup

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

Note you can use a crafted staff on the back bar if you don’t have a Maelstrom weapon,

We are using the Thief mundus stone alongside 64 points into Magicka We are a High Elf but other races are also usable. Dark Elf, Khajiit or Breton are great substitutes.

Gear Sertup

Flip horizontal on mobile device

SlotGear SetWeightTraitEnchantment
HeadDeadly StrikeMediumDivinesMagicka
ChestSergeant’s MailHeavyDivinesMagicka
WaistDeadly StrikeMediumDivinesMagicka
HandsDeadly StrikeMediumDivinesMagicka
LegsDeadly StrikeMediumDivinesMagicka
FeetDeadly StrikeMediumDivinesMagicka
Ring 1Sergeant’s MailJewelryBloodthirstySpell Damage
Ring 2Oakensoul RingJewelryBloodthirstySpell Damage
NecklaceSergeant’s MailJewelryBloodthirstySpell Damage
Weapon 1Sergeant’s MailLightning StaffPreciseShock/ Weap+Spell dmg

NOTE: YOU are the one bringing Off Balance to the group, meaning you should utilize the shock glyph and wall of elements in order to MAINTAIN this due to it’s high status chance and control, both pushing your heavy attack damage and resource gain for YOU and the group.

However, if someone else already can guarantee full control of this in your group, you can change your glyph to weapon and spell damage. This WILL give you more damage but ONLY in this situations. This is very important to note, if you have no off balance you WILL get less dps.

Don’t be fooled by dummy numbers, the dummy already has it! The build is designed  for CONTENT!

Enjoy and don’t forget to share and/or hit that YouTube sub button!

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