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Frost Warden Staff Tank!

Author: Snibbers

Frost Warden Staff Tank!

Class: WARDEN

Race: Altmer (High Elf)

Main Role: Tank

Health, Magicka, Stamina

HEALTH MAGICKA STAMINA
40000 (with food, unbuffed) 18000 1250

 

Skills

 

Bar 1

Weapon 1: Destruction Staff

Polar Wind

Warden Skill

Polar Wind

Impaling Shards

 

Elemental Blockade

Destruction Staff Skill

Elemental Blockade

Wall of Elements

 

Winters Revenge

Warden Skill

Winters Revenge

Arctic Wind

 

Leeching Vines

Warden Skill

Leeching Vines

Living Vines

 

Shimmering Shield

Warden Skill

Shimmering Shield

Crystallized Shield

 

Permafrost

Warden Skill

Permafrost

Sleet Storm

 

Bar 2

Weapon 2: Destruction Staff

Elemental Drain

Destruction Staff Skill

Elemental Drain

Weakness to Elements

 

Lotus Blossom

Warden Skill

Lotus Blossom

Lotus Flower

 

Ice Fortress

Warden Skill

Ice Fortress

Frost Cloak

 

Blue Betty

Warden Skill

Blue Betty

Betty Netch

 

Inner Rage

Undaunted Skill

Inner Rage

Inner Fire

 

Permafrost

Warden Skill

Permafrost

Sleet Storm

 

Armor Types

Light Armor Medium Armor Heavy Armor
2 0 5

 

Gear and Item Set Info

 

General

Using 5 heavy and 2 light is more valuable for increase in magicka and spell resistance than any bonus given from 1 light and 1 medium. This is due to it being a full magicka build.

The Battalion Defender set can easily be replaced with e.g. Cyrodiil's Crest for more self-healing or Syrabane to gain more magicka recovery.

Jewellery enchantments can be replaced with health recovery as well, but I don't find healing to be an issue.

For soloing purposes, one can replace a lot of the sets to grant more magical damage and healing to go faster, but the build presented here is intended for group content.

Traits and Enchantments

Head - Blood Spawn (Infused, Magicka Enchantment)

Shoulder - Blood Spawn (Sturdy, Health Enchantment)

Chest - Grave Guardian (Infused, Magicka Enchantment)

Legs - Grave Guardian (Sturdy, Health Enchantment)

Waist - Grave Guardian (Sturdy, Health Enchantment)

Hands - Grave Guardian (Sturdy, Health Enchantment)

Feet - Grave Guardian (Sturdy, Health Enchantment)

Necklace - Battalion Defender (Healthy, Spell Damage Enchantment)

Ring - Battalion Defender (Healthy, Spell Damage Enchantment)

Ring - Battalion Defender (Healthy, Spell Damage Enchantment)

Weapon One - Ice Staff of the Battalion Defender (Life Drain or Crushing Enchantment)

Weapon Two - Ice Staff of the Battalion Defender (Life Drain or Crushing Enchantment)

 

General Info

 

This is a fun build that aims to go full magicka tank, utilizing the frost staffs ability to taunt fo 15s and turning block cost into magicka. This is a different and fun way of tanking and it works really well. It is heavily focused on survival and protecting the team.

How you distribute your enchantments, mundus stone and attribute points isn't as essential as reaching around 40k health and 25% spell and physical resistance unbuffed. Recovery stats aren't as important as ressource management happens through skill use and heavy attacks.

Strengths

  • Great Survivability.
  • Protects the team for 9555 Physical and Spell resistance (while buffed and blocking).
  • Protects the team with 30% damage reduction while using ultimate.
  • Continuous healing for the team.
  • Rapid ultimate generation.
  • Easy ressource management.
  • Decent damage for a tank-focused build.

Weaknesses

  • Sometimes you end up blocking less due to taking aggro with heavy attacks.
  • Frost staff heavy attack taunts are slow and takes practise to manage.
  • Low Stamina for Break Free.

Skills and Skill Rotation

  • Run around with your second skill bar ready, once running into battle, use Blue Betty, followed by ice fortress and Lotus Blossom. Doing them in that order, lets you know that they need to be reused once your blue betty disappears. These skills increases your magicka recovery, spell critical which helps your AoE and defence. Lotus Blossom is great for ice staff tanking as you use many heavy attacks to taunt, which then heals for 4700.
  • Using Leeching vines after shifting to main weapon is useful, but can be used after arctic blast (further down).
  • Elemental Drain helps you and your team manage resources. If the healer uses it, it can be replaced.
  • Inner Rage is nice to keep at hand if you need to get aggro on something swiftly.
  • When going into a fight, rush into the middle of as many mobs as possible and use Gripping Shards, immobilizing (3s) and slowing as many as possible. The Glacial Presence passive gives this skill a 200% chance to apply chilled to these mobs. Follow up with Blockade of Frost, aiming it to hit as many as possible. Chilled enemies (from gripping shards) hit by blockade of frost are immobilized for another 4 seconds. Quickly use Arctic blast to increase self-healing and suddenly you have AoE damage from three sources.
  • Use leeching vines to apply life steal to all the mobs hitting you. This can suddenly add a lot of healing.
  • Shimmering shield is useful to keep up if ranged mobs are shooting at you. Along with the Blood Spawn set you can gain ultimate quite fast. Especially because you can reapply shimmering shield immediately. It also negates the ranged damage.
  • Permafrost adds even more AoE and crowd control. It can be used differently, sometimes it's nice to use it immediately, if you're running into an already packed up group. Due to its large radius, you can often reach ranged mobs as well, stunning them for a while and taking their aggro. More often you'll want to pop it once you've gathered up a whole bunch of mobs, rendering them even more useless.
  • Use heavy attacks to taunt ranged mobs and regain magicka.
  • Due to so many mobs being immobilized, you can also move away from the main bulk of them, if you don't have any close ranged group members, they can't do anything.

Food

  • Orzorga's Red Frothgar (+ 5000 health, + 457 Magicka Recovery).

Potion

  • Essence of Spell Critical (Major Prophecy, major fortitude, major intellect, restore 9373 health, restore 7582 magicka) - Made from: Lorkhan's tears + Bugloss + Lady's Smock + Water Hyacinth.

Mundus Stone 

  • The Lord (Flat Health)

 

Champion Point Tips

 

The Lover

  • Tenacity - 55 (You heavy attack a lot, so an increase in the resources given back is nice.)
  • Arcanist - 60 (Magicka Regen is always nice)
  • Healthy - 55 (Health Regen is always nice!)

The Shadow

  • Shadow Ward - 100 (Lowers the cost of blocking more! - Remember that it costs magicka)

The Apprentice

  • Blessed - 75 (An increase in healing is helpful for leeching vines and lotus Blossom)
  • Spell Erosion - 75 (You do a lot of AoE damage, this increases it!)
  • Elemental Expert - 75 (You do a lot of AoE damage, this increases it!)

The Atronach

  • Staff Expert - 45 (More heavy damage and it unlocks retaliation and Riposte for blocking)

The Steed

  • Spell Shield - 100 (More spell resistance to round up the numbers!)

The Lady

  • Hardy - 15 (Better defence and reach Bulwark)
  • Elemental Defender - 15 (Better defence and reach Bulwark)

The Lord

  • Bastion - 40 (Increases shield to heavy ice staff attacks and when blocking)
  • Heavy Armor Focus - 100 (Resistance good!)

 

 

 

Build Rating

Rating: 4.2. From 34 votes.
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34 Comments

  • Arbit
    Jun 24, 2017

    Do you mean blessed instead of elf born for healing champion points?

    Also how does this build fair against strong attacks, like chudan poison spit. Do you find you have enough mana to block?

    Reply
    • Snibbers
      Jun 24, 2017

      I did mean blessed, yes! Thank you! I’ve only done Mazzatun in normal so far, but I was able to block the spit then! I should try in veteran mode! It, of course, works fine against large single burst attacks and against something like the Chudan poison spit or the Daedroth flames in white gold tower does drain magicka fast, but you can recover it quickly after with blue betty and heavy attacks after.

      Reply
  • Arbit
    Jun 24, 2017

    I tried out a similar build on chudan, and it worked perfectly. Thanks for the tip about shadow ward, that saved tons of mana investing heavily into that.

    Reply
    • Draqone
      Jun 24, 2017

      Chudan’s spit is a projectile. It can be reflected, hitting him for 200k to 400k dmg per hit or absorbed by spamming Warden’s Shimmering shield.

      Reply
      • Arbit
        Jun 25, 2017

        Thanks for the heads up, ya tried it out and completely negated his spit.

        Reply
  • Aisaatana
    Jul 14, 2017

    Sounds quite fun and original! Which boon do you use btw?

    Reply
    • Snibbers
      Jul 14, 2017

      Thank you! I’ve actually been using the steed to up my health regen and the extra movement speed is always nice, but the atronach is an excellent alternative also.

      Reply
  • Danny
    Jul 30, 2017

    I’m now rnning with plague doctor set infused with magicka enchants and 1 monster piece.
    Jewelry staffs and 1 armor piece are ysgramors birthright set. that gives you more cold spelldamage. Its really fun, i really hlep out iwth the dps while still be able to tank solid. I managed to do rifts in craglorn solo easely with that setup. further i use max hp max magicka food and got 15 points only in health getting me to a nice number with food of 31k
    I also use the atronarch as mundus. I do not have alot of health recovery. but it isnt really needed with all the heals. still need to put some cp in it.

    Reply
    • Snibbers
      Aug 8, 2017

      I’ve actually been running plague doctor instead of Hist Bark as well. It’s been working well! I still quite like Blood Spawn for the Ultimate gain and the resistance. So long as the DPS do their job, I like being extra tanky. I can certainly see how the damage increase from Ysgrammor’s Birthright could be useful though! If they ever add a possibility for an off-hand item for staves, I’d probably go for that.

      Reply
  • Bryson
    Aug 8, 2017

    Any Idea if the Defending trait will still be the one used in HotR update next week? Just wondering what your thoughts are

    Reply
    • Snibbers
      Aug 8, 2017

      Yeah. I’ll still be using Defending on my frost staves. We’re going to lose 2408 spell and physical resistance, which is sad, but I think it’s still the superior choice out of the options. It’s still quite a lot of resistance for a tank not to take.

      Alternatively you could take powered for extra healing, but with this build at least, you already do quite a lot of that. Could do Nirnhoned to boost damage and make up the resistance loss with CP or alike, but… I’d still just keep with the defending trait. Don’t really see a better alternative and 2700 physical and spell resistance is still significant.

      Reply
      • Bryson
        Aug 8, 2017

        Now what about the change to the Lady’s 30 CP unlock Shield Expert I notice you have nothing into the Lady tree but it’s changing to allow Ice Staves to benefit from it by 1500 Resistances

        Reply
        • Snibbers
          Aug 8, 2017

          Ooo. I hadn’t seen that. That’s probably a good way to go! I think I’ll look at a CP overhaul once the update hits!

          Reply
          • Bryson
            Aug 22, 2017

            Hey, did you end up making a CP overhaul?

        • Snibbers
          Aug 22, 2017

          I have tried updating it now, yeah =) With the trait nerfs and overall nerfs, I do believe it’s necessary to get the 30 points in The Lady. It’s starting to suffer a bit on the healing received part, but this has been working for me still. I’ve replaced Fasalla’s Guile with Warrior-poet to regain some resistance as well, at the cost of 1000 health and 4% healing recieved. I still need to play around a bit, but I feel like it’s important to keep the resistance numbers decently rounded.

          In terms of CP, it’s especially the numbers in The Lord that I might move around a bit, depending on how things play out.

          Reply
  • Bryce
    Aug 30, 2017

    I love the skill sets listed here–those ice AoEs really come in handy, as do those magicka-restoring abilities.
    However, I wouldn’t say this tank build is REQUIRED to wear a big health buff set at all, if you wanted to pull a bit more damage or have more magicka resource. You could reverse the enchantments vs. armor sets entirely.
    I’ve recently geared up my breton warden tank with 5-piece heavy Kragenac’s hope on front bar (for some resources+a decent amount of spell damage), 5-piece lich (jewelry, one piece, and weapon on backbar; for quick boost to resource when you don’t have to block), and 1 heavy, 1 light Valkyn Skoria monster set. They are all purple, some impen, some divines (Lady mundas now, though i might switch to Lord or Mage), and health enchanted.
    It runs beautifully, with 30k+ health when combat/food buffed, 25k+ magicka, and enough magicka resource (with lich set and many of the skills listed here) to sustain my health and damage without having to block except for the occassional heavy hit by a boss/melee add.
    When you constantly have 3 ice AoEs down (shards, wall of elements, and arctic blast) and can keep those AoEs active, Valkyn Skoria procs A LOT, dealing a good amount of damage on top of what you are dishing out. I don’t know if it is the best monster set, but I like it, especially for the added health.
    This setup is MOST useful for dungeons in which adds are plentiful and dps is in high demand (i.e. Direfrost or City of Ash 2), but, as long as you can handle the rotation and remember to block, I think it can also handle the “real-deal” things like trials and more strenuous dungeons (I’ve even used it to complete Maelstrom Arena, because of the amount of damage it can pull).

    Reply
  • Snibbers
    Dec 30, 2017

    Updated the CP points to the “new” 690CP level!

    Reply
  • NemNem
    Jan 27, 2018

    Maybe Plague Doctor + Necropotence would also work well for maximizing ressources

    Reply
  • Keith
    Jan 27, 2018

    How do you get the two light armor with only heavy sets above?

    Reply
    • Snibbers
      Jan 27, 2018

      Hello Keith,

      The undaunted monster sets that you get from veteran dungeons (Head) / Undaunted chests (shoulder), come in both light, medium and heavy versions. Thus, Blood Spawn’s Guise and Blood Spawn’s Epaulets are the two light armour pieces. The stamina boost from the set isn’t the most powerul for the build, but the 2-set bonus, giving more resistance and ultimate is very powerful.

      Getting the undaunted 2-piece monster sets in the right armour type (heavy, medium, light) and the right trait can be a bit of a pain, so happy hunting!

      Reply
  • Suse
    Mar 24, 2018

    Sorry newb question here: Could this be viable for soloing group bosses and still be able to do enough dps to kill it?

    Reply
  • Masamune
    Apr 11, 2018

    Hey,

    If this is for pve, dungeon and trial enemy NPCs don’t crit. So it may be better to put the critical resistance points in something else. I tend to see better results with a higher number of points in elemental defender, Hardy, and thick skinned and less points in spell resistance, expert defender and heavy armor focus. And no points in quick recovery since there is more benefit in blessed.

    And with skills, it mite be better to use the green balance ultimate on the back bar and northern storm on your main bar. I have also seen and heard good things with structured entropy to help with Max health.

    Hope this helps:)

    Reply
    • Snibbers
      Apr 14, 2018

      Oh! I didn’t know about the crit thing in PvE, that’s good to know! Thanks. I shall address this.

      As for putting points into balancing out the resistances, my trial guild told me to be around the 25k+ mark for spell resistance and physical resistance, so I’ve used the champion points to get to it.

      Suppose green balance could work fine as a second ultimate to carry. I rarely find healing to be the issue though. Between the healing from Lotus blossom, arctic blast, leeching vines and the healer, health is rarely a big issue. I almost always pop Permafrost for the defence, the stuns and damage when piling up massive amounts of mobs! But I do agree that having it on two bars is superfluous and you could use the other one for an oh-fuck situation.

      I didn’t know about Entrophy either! Think I’ll give that a try.

      Thanks for the tips!

      Reply
  • Gwapo
    Apr 14, 2018

    So all points into health??

    Reply
    • Snibbers
      Apr 14, 2018

      It’s not as important to think in attribute points specifically. The important thing is to land around 40k when you are buffed up in combat. So if you do that through attribute points, enchantments or skills isn’t as important.

      Some people are okay with 30k – 35k health and more damage. I just like being a bit more beefy with my health.

      Reply
  • MacNinjaMac
    May 6, 2018

    This build is the basis of my full ice staff tank build that is actually more fun to use than a traditional stab board tank.

    I use a 5 4 2 setup and went for a more group buffing for pve and it can take a hit from anything and laugh it off. Plus I haven’t even legendary any of the gear yet.

    For PVP I change the monster set and the 5 piece set to go little more dps and it annoys any large and small groups as it locks them down but you do hope that your group take advantage of the lock downs though.

    Summerset update is going to make this build even better for staff counting as a two piece item set so you will have 5 5 2 setup but the changes to subterranean assault is going to hinder the pve debuffing that I provide to my stamina dps group members and even may have to be removed from my bar and any stamina based dps will have to provide their own fracture based debuff.

    But want to say thank you for the starting point of a great build.

    Reply
  • jdyilehi
    May 11, 2018

    This build need to be updated I have been using it for some time and it is still fun but to make it handle trials you need to run block cost reduction on jewelry make sure to hit the armor cap. your gear sets just don’t work out I would recommend torag’s pact and ebon instead with pirate skeleton 2 peice helm for update 18. combine this with immovable potions and the skill for special situations like the axes in AA and ya it is completely viable. Also they buff the ice gate so it is very viable now. I have also been debating on running necro on jewelery/ weapons and the bear for a massive blocking pool. instead of torags for general runs. Thanks for making the build this was a good starting point but now it need to be updated.

    Reply
  • osman
    Jun 9, 2018

    we are waiting update for summerset please.

    Reply
  • MacNinjaMac
    Jul 11, 2018

    Ok so it’s been a month of Summerset so it’s time for an update to this build, these are my choices and not bis and I am not claiming to be the best tank in the game. So after that disclaimer these are 3 builds for different play types.

    5,5,2 – 5 Heavy 2 Light or 6 Heavy 1 Light

    PVE Trial
    Ebon
    Torag pact (Crafted set so Light can be Waist and Gloves)
    Lord Warden or Bloodspawn

    Traits
    Infused Head Chest Legs Healthy or Tristat
    Sturdy Shoulders Waist Gloves Feet Healthy
    Ice Staffs Infused x2 Crusher and Weakening
    Jewelry Block Cost x3 Healthy or Infused Block Cost x2 and Healthy x1

    PVE Vet Dungeons
    Ebon
    Plague Doctor
    Lord Warden or Bloodspawn

    Traits
    Infused Head Chest Legs Healthy or Tristat
    Sturdy Shoulders Waist Gloves Feet Healthy
    Ice Staffs Infused x2 Crusher and Weakening
    Jewelry Block Cost x3 Healthy or Infused Block Cost x2 and Healthy x1

    PVP
    Plague Doctor or Warrior Poet or real tanky Brass
    Ysgrammor Birthright (Jewelry and Staff)
    Bloodspawn or Iceheart

    Traits
    Infused Head Chest Legs Healthy or Tristat
    Impenetrable Shoulders Waist Gloves Feet Healthy or Magicka
    Ice Staffs Infused or Defending x2 Crusher and Weakening or Posions
    Jewelry Spell Damage x3 Healthy or Infused Spell Damage x2 and Magicka Regen x1

    Hope this gives room for thought and like I said this is my choices of sets but you can play with the setup and transmutation where you think would help your play style

    Reply
  • DaFunnyMan165
    Oct 7, 2018

    This build is the best, I’ve been using for about a year now and it is still viable. Well I’ve tweaked it a bit when I started. I’m using 5 piece plague doctors, 5 piece fortified brass and ice heart monster set. It works so much better now after that update for the staves. I even completed nmol solo tanking with a solo healer, no wipes. I got a loooot of heckling for being a mag tank but I showed them lol. And I’m only cp 602 so it’s not even complete to what this builds max capabilities are lol. I also swapped some skills around too, made it more comfortable to my play style. Amazing lol even got praises from a pug in vet black heart haven lol

    Reply
  • Dagoaer
    Jan 27, 2019

    Great build, i love To use and and really different from all copy/paste alkosh tank builds

    Reply
  • Twin
    Feb 10, 2019

    Love this build this tempest island and spindleclutch solo with little to no trouble at all

    Reply
  • EyelessCZ
    Apr 21, 2020

    Very good. I am using double Ice staff tank for decent period of time myself. Magicka build Nightblade Argonian. When run gets heavy, I put on Mighty Chudan, Plague Doctor and Hatchling’s Shell. When group need little help with damage, thx to Alpha Gear I can quickly change to something like Red Mountain, Grothdarr and Sunderflame. Mundus: Thief.
    Frontbar agressive:
    RazorCaltrops FrostyWallofElements TwistingPath Shadowsilk SilverLeash Barriera
    Backbar Sustain:
    SiphoningAttacks Timefreeze SwallowSoul DarkCloack SapEssence SoulTether

    All is focused on slow or freeze entire groups of mobs, reducing their ressistances, taunting while magicka restore. I can hold 7 daedroths in final bossfight in Banished Cells II no need of any assistance from healer.

    Reply
  • yooo
    Apr 29, 2020

    would you be able to put in the passives and what not? im not sure where to put them..

    Reply

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