Warden Main-Tank: Guardian

author image by Woeler | 0 Comments | 01 Mar 2018

General info

Patch: 3.3 Dragon bones
Class: Warden
Purpose: Trials Main-Tank

With the Dragon Bones patch two important changes have been made for Tanks. First off, the block cost formula has changed. Running block cost enchants in combination with shadowward/sturdy has become less effective. This will increase the viability of magicka recovery enchants. Second, synergies have been greatly improved. Activating them is no longer a pain, meaning that one of my favourite sets, Alkosh, is making a comeback.



Monster sets

This patch is all about sustain. And to be honest there are quite some interesting two-piece monster sets. However, using two one-piece sets that give magicka recovery will boost your sustain by quite a bit. I would say this is the superior option for now. It is a strong combination. You can farm Shadowrend in Banished Cells I and you can farm Chokethorn in Elden Hollow I.

Our setup will look like this:

Gear – Standard setup

Hover with your mouse over the set names to see their details.

Armor Piece Set Enchant Trait
Head Shadowrend (H) Prismatic Defense Sturdy
Shoulder Chokethorn (H) Prismatic Defense Sturdy
Body Ebon Armory (H) Prismatic Defense Sturdy
Hands Ebon Armory (H) Prismatic Defense Sturdy
Waist Alkosh (M) Prismatic Defense Sturdy
Legs Ebon Armory (H) Prismatic Defense Sturdy
Feet Ebon Armory (H) Prismatic Defense Sturdy
Necklace Ebon Armory Magicka Recovery Healthy
Ring Alkosh Shield Play Robust
Ring Alkosh Shield Play Robust
Main Hand 1 Alkosh Crusher Infused
Shield 1 Alkosh Prismatic Defense Sturdy
Main Hand 2 Alkosh Crusher Infused
Shield 2 Alkosh Prismatic Defense Sturdy


Chokethorn -> Elden Hollow I
Shadowrend -> Banished Cells I
Ebon Armory -> Crypt of Hearts I & II
Alkosh -> Maw of Lorkhaj (requires Thieves Guild DLC)

We are using the medium Alkosh belt to benefit from the Undaunted Mettle passive. This gives us two percent extra resources. Just make sure that the belt is your only medium piece, as it is the armour slot that gives the least resistances.

As for the enchants. Running 3 block cost enchants with maxed out sturdy and shadow ward will give you a block cost of 337 stamina. Swapping one enchant out for magicka recovery gives you a block cost of 398. In my opinion this 61 increase in cost is a good trade-off for some extra magicka recovery. Letting more block cost enchants go increases your cost quickly. I personally didn’t feel comfortable in heavy fights with less than 2 block cost enchants, though your mileage may vary. The magicka recovery comes in handy for other things, like igneous shield for more stamina return.

Alkosh is making a comeback. Dragon Bones has fixed most issues with synergy activation, and activating synergies, even with the ping from EU to the PTS is a lot smoother. It’s easier to time your synergies and get respectable uptimes on Alkosh, proving it once again stronger than Torugs. You can read more about this here.

Can I run a frost staff on my off-bar and use blockade of frost?

Yes, you can, just make sure that you remove your medium piece Alkosh from your armour and use Alkosh sword and shield / frost staff. This way you do not lose Ebon Armory on weapon swap. I know that some people prefer to keep crusher up with blockade instead of light attacks and sword/shield skills. This is an option.

Gear – Setup if you do not have Alkosh

Hover over set names to see their tooltip. Remember that you can swap the pieces around to suit what items you may have available.

Armor Piece Set Enchant Trait
Head Chokethorn (H) Prismatic Defence Sturdy
Shoulder Shadowrend (H) Prismatic Defence Sturdy
Body Torug’s Pact (H) Prismatic Defence Sturdy
Hands Torug’s Pact (M) Prismatic Defence Sturdy
Waist Torug’s Pact (L) Prismatic Defence Sturdy
Legs Ebon Armory (H) Prismatic Defence Sturdy
Feet Ebon Armory (H) Prismatic Defence Sturdy
Necklace Ebon Armory Magicka Recovery Healthy
Ring Ebon Armory Shield Play Healthy
Ring Ebon Armory Shield Play Healthy
Main Hand 1 Torug’s Pact Crusher Infused
Shield 1 Torug’s Pact Prismatic Defence Sturdy
Main Hand 2 Torug’s Pact Crusher Infused
Shield 2 Torug’s Pact Prismatic Defence Sturdy


Chokethorn -> Elden Hollow I
Shadowrend -> Banished Cells I
Ebon Armory -> Crypt of Hearts I / Crypt of Hearts II
Torug’s Pact -> Crafted (Grathwood, Stormhaven, Deshaan)


1. Argonian -> Extra healing output and input, plus a built in resource management system.
2. Imperial -> 12% health is still a massive bonus that cannot be neglected.
3. High Elf -> Extra magicka and magicka recovery is a strong bonus for a warden.

Stats & Supplies

In this patch tanks will play way more health oriented. This has one big reason: barely anything useful scales with max magicka or stamina. Health on the other hand does have some skills that scale with it. For the warden that is the Polar Wind heal skill. Making it extra strong. For this reason we generally go for about 35k health. That is a minimal amount, more can always an option. Whatever attribute points you have left should be divided over magicka and stamina, but make sure your stamina is a little higher than your magicka. We want a little more stamina because the resource return of Spear Shards and Mystic Orbs will now be based on your max stat.

As for supplies we will use purple cp150 food that increases all our max stats. As for potions we will use the tri-stat potions that give back stamina, magicka and health (cp150 of course). In some fights it is still nice to use major vitality/lingering health pots, but you will have to see which ones suit you best.

Mundus stone -> The Atronach (magicka recovery). It is still important to keep magicka recovery up. Most of your utility skills cost magicka and you will be able to regen this while blocking.

Be a vampire. Yes, the 10% magicka regen is worth it. The extra fire damage is a joke. Just have a look at the passives Supernatural Recovery and Undeath.


Champion Points (690)

Warrior Constellation

Skill Points
 Elemental Defender 43
 Hardy 43
 Thick Skinned 66
 Ironclad 66
 Quick Recovery 20
 Heavy Armor Focus 2

Thief Constellation

Skill Points
Shadow Ward 100
Tumbling 48
Arcanist 75
Sprinter 17

Mage Constellation

Skill Points
Blessed 100
Elf Born 100
Physical Weapons Expert 40




Hover with your mouse over the skill names to see their details.

Bar 1:

Heroic Slash: Debufs the enemy with minor maim, making sure they do 15% less damage. Will also give you minor heroism, increasing your ultimate gain.
Pierce Armor: Melee taunt that runs 15 seconds. Also debufs the enemy for 12 seconds with major fracture and major breach.
Ice Fortress: Your major resistance buffs, plus you will also gain Minor Protection, reducing incoming damage by 8%. This skill will also give the major buffs to up to six allies, which is extremely powerful. Now, this version has less range, but that is actually better. Because this way you make sure that you always protect the people in melee range and those are the ones that need it the most. Can be replaced with Balance if you prefer that.
Absorb Magick: Will give you 8% block cost reduction and 8% damage mitigation by having it slotted. Also handy to spam in heave projectile fights, like Rakkhat in Maw of Lorkhaj.
Leeching Vines: A heal in front of you. This skill in itself is not that special, but the passive from this tree called “Nature’s gift” states “When healing with a Green Balance ability, gain Magicka or Stamina. Restores your lowest resource pool. “. Meaning you will be able to regain resources through healing allies. Note: This does not proc when you heal yourself only.
Ultimate -> Eternal Guardian: We DO NOT use this skill. Due to the Animal Companions passive ‘Flourish‘ you will gain 12% magicka recovery for slotting this ability.

Bar 2:

Efficient Purge: A powerful cleanse that is useful in most trials to cleanse poison or bleed debuffs off allies and yourself.
Frozen Device: An interesting skill that lets you place a portal. Once triggered the enemy will be teleported to you, and receives Major Maim for 4 seconds. This can be useful, though it needs to be placed carefully and you can only have three active at a time. It could theoretically replace the chains of a DK, but in practice it is much slower.
Inner Rage: A taunt that you can use on range to initiate encounters. It will cost magicka, but it also has a stamina morph. Which one you chose is a matter of personal preference.
Bull Netch: A free cast skill that will summon a netch. This netch will restore stamina to you via a beam. A very handy way of restoring stamina while blocking.
Polar Wind: A self heal that scales of health, but more importantly, also heals an ally based on your max health. Meaning that you can create poweful heals by using a health build. Which we are doing right here.
Ultimate -> Aggressive Horn: An ability that will increase your group’s crit damage for 10 seconds and it will increase all their stat pools by 10% for 30 seconds. This is by a clear mile the strongest ultimate to use for tanks

Important passives

If you have any questions leave them on my Twitter @WoelerGaming.


March 1st 2018 Dragon Bones Update

October 27th 2017 Clockwork City update

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