Stamina Warden Warden

Welcome to my Stamina Warden guide! This is a basic guide to harvesting the power of animals and nature to vanquish your foes

This guide is mostly designed for PvE group play but can work to some degree for solo play as well. (For extensive solo play, you may need to make a number of adjustments for survivability)

For a nontraditional but incredibly effective and easy-to-use alternative build, check out my Heavy Attack Build guide as well!


Starting Gear

See Leveling Gear below for a detailed example setup. These sets are all craftable! Ask for help in guild chat or Discord if you'd like someone to make them for you. You will want:


Skills and Passives

Skills

I'm listing way more skills than will actually fit on your bars, just to emphasize how many good options there are. See Example Bar Setups below for specific examples of bar setups, but ultimately you can just pick whatever skills you like best!

Choose a spammable

This is the skill you'll be casting most often, while your DoTs are still running

  • Cutting Dive  Cutting Dive (Class → Animal Companions → Dive)
    • A conveniently ranged spammable that also applies a nice stacking DoT to the enemy
  • Silver Shards  Silver Shards (Guild → Fighters Guild → Silver Bolts)
    • Also ranged, and does some decent cleave damage to nearby enemies
    • (If you've slotted the Deadly Aim CP node, you can leave this skill unmorphed to benefit from that node for slightly more damage. Or use the Shards morph for the cleave damage; either option is good)

Choose a high-damage core class skill

This will make up a significant portion of our damage and will essentially define the rhythm of our rotation

  • Subterranean Assault  Subterranean Assault (Class → Animal Companions → Scorch)
    • Provides two huge damage bursts, making up a significant portion of the warden's damage. Be careful not to re-cast this skill early, since it does a big damage burst at the end of its cooldown
    • For optimal damage, cast this consistently every 6th cast
  • Deep Fissure  Deep Fissure (Class → Animal Companions → Scorch)
    • Slightly more damage than Sub Assault, but on a longer cooldown. Also applies the Major and Minor Breach debuffs. Can be useful for sustain since it costs magicka
    • For optimal damage, cast this consistently every 9th cast

Choose some DoTs

Fill up the rest of your skill slots with DoTs, and optionally utility skills (see below)

  • Fetcher Infection  Fetcher Infection / Growing Swarm  Growing Swarm (Class → Animal Companions → Swarm)
    • Nice DoT. Also provides the Minor Vulnerability debuff to make the enemy take more damage from everyone. Use Infection for extra single-target damage (or if you need a magicka skill for sustain), and Growing for AoE damage
  • Stampede   Stampede (Weapon → Two Handed → Critical Charge)
    • Great AoE DoT, also a gap closer to bring you into melee range
  • Barbed Trap  Barbed Trap (Guild → Fighters Guild → Trap Beast)
    • Provides Minor Force to increase your crit damage, as well as applying a DoT
  • Winter's Revenge  Winter's Revenge (Class → Winter's Embrace → Impaling Shards)
    • Another AoE DoT. Also applies a snare to slow enemies down, and helps maintain the Chilled debuff, which does lots of damage via our Glacial Presence passive
  • Carve  Carve (Weapon → Two Handed → Cleave)
    • Another AoE DoT. Gets an extra-long timer if you re-cast it before it finishes. Also provides a damage shield
  • Deadly Cloak  Deadly Cloak (Weapon → Dual Wield → Blade Cloak)
    • Good AoE DoT that also protects you with Major Evasion
  • Rending Slashes  Rending Slashes (Weapon → Dual Wield → Twin Slashes)
    • Decent single-target DoT
  • Mystic Orb  Mystic Orb (Guild → Undaunted → Necrotic Orb)
    • Decent AoE DoT that also restores resources. Useful for getting a little extra sustain
  • Arctic Blast  Arctic Blast (Class → Winter's Embrace → Arctic Wind)
    • Only a mediocre DoT, but helps maintain the Chilled debuff, which does lots of damage via our Glacial Presence passive
    • Also an excellent burst heal

Choose some utility skills (optional)

Miscellaneous skills you can use for buffs, recovery, and extra damage

  • Resolving Vigor  Resolving Vigor (Alliance War → Assault → Vigor)
    • Powerful heal skill. Also protects us with Minor Resolve
  • Bull Netch  Bull Netch (Class → Animal Companions → Betty Netch)
    • Useful sustain skill; also provides Major Brutality and Sorcery for some stat boosts, and purges negative effects
  • Bird Of Prey  Bird of Prey / Deceptive Predator  Deceptive Predator (Class → Animal Companions → Falcon's Swiftness)
    • Slot this passively for Minor Berserk or Evasion. I prefer Deceptive for group content and Prey for solo, since group healers normally already provide Berserk. Also useful as a utility skill for the Major Expedition movement speed boost
  • Camouflaged Hunter  Camouflaged Hunter (Guild → Fighters Guild → Expert Hunter)
    • Another skill you can slot passively for the Minor Berserk and Major Savagery and Prophecy damage buffs
  • Shrouded Daggers  Shrouded Daggers (Weapon → Dual Wield → Hidden Blade)
    • Mostly useful as a ranged interrupt. Also cleaves to multiple enemies and provides Major Brutality and Sorcery

Choose ultimates

Very high damage skills you can cast when your Ultimate meter is full. Slot one on each bar (either two different ones, or the same one on both)

  • Wild Guardian  Wild Guardian (Class → Animal Companions → Feral Guardian)
    • Summons a bear pet to fight with you! Cast it while summoned for an extra attack, especially when the enemy is at low health for the execute bonus
    • Needs to be slotted on both your bars, or else the bear will un-summon when you swap

Using the bear is a great way to put out easy, passive damage, but some people find pets inconvenient and obtrusive. If you don't want to use the bear, some other good ultimate options are:

  • Shooting Star  Shooting Star (Guild → Mages Guild → Meteor)
    • The next best ultimate choice, though requires the daunting task of leveling the Mages Guild skill line
  • Flawless Dawnbreaker  Flawless Dawnbreaker (Guild → Fighters Guild → Dawnbreaker)
    • Another good ultimate if neither of the above works well for you. Alternatively, if you're using Shooting Star, you can optionally slot this on your frontbar for the Slayer passive in Fighters Guild, with Shooting Star on your backbar

Example Bar Setup

Skills marked "Flex" in particular can be replaced with other skills. You may want to swap out a damage skill for a sustain or heal skill, a magicka skill for a stamina skill, or simply a skill you don't like for one you enjoy more

Bar Setup

Cutting Dive Subterranean Assault Barbed Trap FlexWinter's Revenge FlexCamouflaged Hunter    Wild Guardian

Stampede FlexCarve Fetcher Infection FlexBull Netch FlexResolving Vigor    Wild Guardian

  • Front Bar: Cutting Dive, Subterranean Assault, Barbed Trap, Winter's Revenge (flex), Camouflaged Hunter (flex) || Ultimate: Wild Guardian
  • Back Bar: Stampede, Carve (flex), Fetcher Infection, Bull Netch (flex), Resolving Vigor (flex) || Ultimate: Wild Guardian

Priority Passives

All passives are useful for something, but these are the passives that will be most relevant to combat

Animal Companions

  • Everything: Bond With Nature Bond With Nature / Savage Beast Savage Beast / Flourish Flourish / Advanced Species Advanced Species

Green Balance

  • Maturation Maturation

Winter's Embrace

  • Everything: Glacial Presence Glacial Presence / Frozen Armor Frozen Armor / Icy Aura Icy Aura / Piercing Cold Piercing Cold

Dual Wield

  • Everything: Slaughter Slaughter / Dual Wield Expert Dual Wield Expert / Controlled Fury Controlled Fury / Ruffian Ruffian / Twin Blade And Blunt Twin Blade And Blunt

Two Handed

  • Forceful Forceful / Heavy Weapons Heavy Weapons / Balanced Blade Balanced Blade

Light Armor (only if wearing some light pieces)

  • Evocation Evocation / Spell Warding Spell Warding / Prodigy Prodigy / Concentration Concentration

Medium Armor

  • Dexterity Dexterity / Wind Walker Wind Walker / Agility Agility / Athletics Athletics

Fighters Guild

  • Slayer Slayer / Banish The Wicked Banish The Wicked / Skilled Tracker Skilled Tracker

Undaunted

  • Everything: Undaunted Command Undaunted Command / Undaunted Mettle Undaunted Mettle

Assault

  • Continuous Attack Continuous Attack

Racial

  • Everything

Alchemy (if using potions)

  • Medicinal Use Medicinal Use

Example Rotation

You can use this "static" rotation to practice the basic 6-second rhythm of a warden's rotation, as well as light-attack weaving. Once you're comfortable with these ideas, you can consider switching to a "dynamic" rotation (i.e. casting your skills on their individual cooldowns, instead of in a specific order), which will tend to be more optimal and yield higher damage if you can perform it well

Skill casting has a cooldown of one second, so your goal should be to cast a skill (and then a light attack!) roughly every second. Casting a bit slower can also be helpful while you're learning to weave and do your rotation

Light attacks are marked with LA, and weapon bar swaps are marked with WS

Note: Remember to weave a light attack between every skill to maximize your damage

Rotation

Using this bar setup. (Substitute any alternative skills in as needed):

Cutting Dive Subterranean Assault Barbed Trap Winter's Revenge Camouflaged Hunter    Wild Guardian

Stampede Carve Fetcher Infection Bull Netch Resolving Vigor    Wild Guardian

  • We're using a 12 second rotation to sync with Subterranean Assault's 6 second cooldown, and since a number of our DoT skills last for around 12 seconds
  • Cast Sub Assault every 6 seconds. In between, cast your backbar DoTs, then your frontbar DoTs, and then spam Dive for the rest of the rotation
  • Since our Feral Guardian ultimate is so cheap, it will be ready approximately every second rotation; make sure to cast it when it's ready

Subterranean Assault Light Attack + Weapon Swap Stampede Light Attack Carve Light Attack Fetcher Infection Light Attack Bull Netch Light Attack + Weapon Swap Barbed Trap Light Attack

Subterranean Assault Light Attack Winter's Revenge Light Attack Cutting Dive Light Attack Cutting Dive Light Attack Cutting Dive Light Attack Cutting Dive Light Attack

For a more optimal dynamic rotation, you can use a similar format. Cast Sub Assault every 6 seconds, and in between, cast either (1) a DoT if one has just expired, or (2) your spammable otherwise.

The framework below works as a basic semi-dynamic rotation that should be an improvement over the static one. For the skill casts marked "F," cast a skill on your frontbar: simply cast a DoT (Trap or Revenge) if one has run out, or your spammable otherwise

Subterranean Assault Light Attack + Weapon Swap Stampede Light Attack Carve Light Attack Fetcher Infection Light Attack Bull Netch Light Attack + Weapon Swap Frontbar Light Attack

Subterranean Assault Light Attack Frontbar Light Attack Frontbar Light Attack Frontbar Light Attack Frontbar Light Attack Frontbar Light Attack

Subterranean Assault Light Attack Frontbar Light Attack Frontbar Light Attack Frontbar Light Attack Frontbar Light Attack Frontbar Light Attack


Character

Race

Racial differences are relatively minimal, so I advise simply picking a race you like. But if you're wanting to optimize, the best options are:

Attributes

All 64 points belong in Stamina. This will maximize our stamina resource pool, which also increases our damage

Attributes

Mundus Stone

  • The Lover  The Lover
    • Gives you extra penetration to shred through enemies' defenses. This is a great option for (1) when you're leveling, or (2) when you're not with a particularly organized group. When in doubt, Lover is likely the way to go
  • The Thief  The Thief
    • Increases your critical chance, which is another excellent stat for maximizing damage. This is the best option when you have skill points, Champion Points, and group support invested into maxing out your penetration already

Consumables

Foods/Drinks

Potions

  • Crown Tri-Restoration Potion Crown Tri-Restoration Potion (free option if accumulated from daily rewards)
    • Max Health/Magicka/Stamina, Health/Magicka/Stamina Recovery
  • Stamina Potion Stamina Potion (cheaper craftable potion)
    • Max Stamina, Stamina Recovery
    • Only practical at CP150+
  • Weapon Power Potion Weapon Power Potion (most powerful but more expensive craftable)
    • Max Stamina, Stamina Recovery, Major Brutality/Savagery
    • Only practical at CP150+

Champion Points (level 50+)

A rough progression of what CP nodes to start with once you hit level 50. You'll be able to use more and more of these nodes as you gain experience and accumulate more Champion Points. Fill each node completely before moving on to the next one

Warfare Warfare

  • Start with Precision and (in the Extended Might sub-tree) Piercing
  • Then add these four slottables: Deadly Aim, Wrathful Strikes, Thaumaturge, Exploiter (in the Extended Might sub-tree). (Make sure you add them to your Champion Bar or they'll have no effect!)
  • Next grab Tireless Discipline, and also the non-slottable CP from the Extended Might sub-tree (i.e. skip any CP with the "Add to Champion Bar to activate" note)
  • Finally add the rest of the non-slottable CP throughout the Warfare tree

Fitness Fitness

  • Take these three slottables: Rejuvenation, Boundless Vitality, Fortified. (Make sure you add them to your Champion Bar or they'll have no effect!)
  • Grab Sprinter, Hasty (in the Wind Chaser sub-tree), and Hero's Vigor
  • Take the rest of the non-slottable CP throughout the Fitness tree, including those in the three subtrees
  • At some point during the above step, take one more slottable CP of your choice (Celerity (in the Wind Chaser sub-tree), Bloody Renewal, Spirit Mastery are some of the most useful ones)

Craft Craft

  • Use whatever you'd like here; these points mostly don't affect your combat skill. There are lots of options for crafting, stealth, movement speed, and more in this tree
  • Some early nodes I find good for very general usage include Steed's Blessing, Breakfall, and Wanderer

Gear

Note: There are many great options for gear. These are some of my favorites that I've found to do especially high damage, but experiment with other sets and find what works best for you!

Leveling Gear

Try this setup until you reach CP160 (the gear cap). It uses all crafted sets, which you can get made for you by guild members. The Training traits will get you a bunch of extra XP, and Heartland Conqueror will boost those traits even further

Gear Slot Type Set Trait Enchant
Medium Head Head Medium Night Mother's Gaze Training Training Max Stamina Max Stamina
Medium Shoulders Shoulders Medium Night Mother's Gaze Training Training Max Stamina Max Stamina
Medium Chest Chest Medium Heartland Conqueror Training Training Max Stamina Max Stamina
Medium Hands Hands Medium Heartland Conqueror Training Training Max Stamina Max Stamina
Medium Waist Waist Medium Heartland Conqueror Training Training Max Stamina Max Stamina
Medium Legs Legs Medium Heartland Conqueror Training Training Max Stamina Max Stamina
Medium Feet Feet Medium Heartland Conqueror Training Training Max Stamina Max Stamina
Necklace Neck Order's Wrath Robust Robust Weapon Damage Weapon Damage
Ring Ring Order's Wrath Robust Robust Weapon Damage Weapon Damage
Ring Ring Order's Wrath Robust Robust Weapon Damage Weapon Damage
Dagger FB Main Hand Dagger Order's Wrath Training Training Poison Poison
Dagger FB Offhand Dagger Order's Wrath Training Training Flame Flame
Greatsword BB Weapon 2H Sword Order's Wrath Training Training Weapon Damage Weapon Damage


See Starting Gear above for some additional set options that can give you running speed or a fun fire-breathing proc. If you want one of these other sets, simply swap out either Heartland or Order's for a full five pieces of that other set

Intermediate Gear

Once you hit CP160, swap off your training gear and set up for pure damage! This gear will serve you well through the vast majority of content throughout the game

Gear Slot Type Set Trait Enchant
Medium Head Head Medium Night Mother's Gaze Divines Divines Max Stamina Max Stamina
Medium Shoulders Shoulders Medium Night Mother's Gaze Divines Divines Max Stamina Max Stamina
Medium Chest Chest Medium Hunding's Rage Divines Divines Max Stamina Max Stamina
Medium Hands Hands Medium Hunding's Rage Divines Divines Max Stamina Max Stamina
Medium Waist Waist Medium Hunding's Rage Divines Divines Max Stamina Max Stamina
Medium Legs Legs Medium Hunding's Rage Divines Divines Max Stamina Max Stamina
Medium Feet Feet Medium Hunding's Rage Divines Divines Max Stamina Max Stamina
Necklace Neck Order's Wrath Robust Robust Weapon Damage Weapon Damage
Ring Ring Order's Wrath Robust Robust Weapon Damage Weapon Damage
Ring Ring Order's Wrath Robust Robust Weapon Damage Weapon Damage
Dagger FB Main Hand Dagger Order's Wrath Precise Precise Poison Poison
Dagger FB Offhand Dagger Order's Wrath Charged Charged Flame Flame
Greatsword BB Weapon 2H Sword Order's Wrath Infused Infused Weapon Damage Weapon Damage


I recommend the above gear for the simplicity in acquiring it, but here are some additional options. These options require farming from overland and basegame dungeons but may be a little bit more powerful than Hunding's Rage. Order's Wrath on the other hand is quite powerful and should generally not be replaced

If you're ready for vet dungeons, consider swapping out your Night Mother pieces for a monster set. These basegame monster sets are some of the easiest ones to get but are still quite powerful

Note that if you're not looking for maximal damage, the sets listed in the Starting Gear section can still be very useful too!

Advanced Gear

Consider this setup once you have some trials and veteran dungeons under your belt. This setup uses very optimized sets and traits but will require significant trial and dungeon farming

The Intermediate Gear listed above is entirely adequate for most content in ESO. The gear listed below will often provide noticeably more damage, but crafted gear will be plenty for anything short of seriously dedicated veteran content. If you're not interested in vet content and you're not interested in farming, you can skip this section!

Gear Slot Type Set Trait Enchant
Light Head Head Light Slimecraw Divines Divines Max Stamina Max Stamina
Medium Shoulders Shoulders Medium Ansuul's Torment Divines Divines Max Stamina Max Stamina
Medium Chest Chest Medium Ansuul's Torment Divines Divines Max Stamina Max Stamina
Medium Hands Hands Medium Ansuul's Torment Divines Divines Max Stamina Max Stamina
Medium Waist Waist Medium Ansuul's Torment Divines Divines Max Stamina Max Stamina
Medium Legs Legs Medium Harpooner's Wading Kilt Divines Divines Max Stamina Max Stamina
Medium Feet Feet Medium Ansuul's Torment Divines Divines Max Stamina Max Stamina
Necklace Neck Pillar of Nirn Bloodthirsty Bloodthirsty Weapon Damage Weapon Damage
Ring Ring Pillar of Nirn Bloodthirsty Bloodthirsty Weapon Damage Weapon Damage
Ring Ring Pillar of Nirn Bloodthirsty Bloodthirsty Weapon Damage Weapon Damage
Dagger FB Main Hand Dagger Pillar of Nirn Nirnhoned Nirnhoned Poison Poison
Dagger FB Offhand Dagger Pillar of Nirn Charged Charged Flame Flame
Greatsword BB Weapon 2H Sword Merciless Charge Infused Infused Weapon Damage Weapon Damage


A wide variety of additional options listed here

Alternative Setups

Here are some other good options for weapons and gear setups:

  • Switch the backbar 2H for a bow
  • Switch both bars for bows to make a fully ranged setup
  • Switch the backbar 2H for another pair of DW daggers

Some additional possible gear setups are displayed below, including different mythic and monster set configurations. I'm using Relequen, Pillar, and Maw sets throughout these presentations, but these sets can easily be replaced with alternatives. You can also replace the weapons with different options like bows as mentioned above

Harpooner's Kilt + Maelstrom 2H Monster Set + Maelstrom 2H Monster Set + Kilt + Maelstrom 2H Kilt with no Arena Weapon Oakensoul One-Bar Setup


Build Summary

Summaries of the Leveling Gear and Advanced Gear setups from above. (Note that perfected and gold gear are completely unnecessary to the build; they're just what I had handy for the screenshot)

Leveling Build Advanced Build

Written by @IIIlIlIIlllIIlllIIll (Updated 10/2023 - U40)