Welcome to the Magicka Warden Beginner Guide. Wardens are very versatile and they can be utilized as Damage Dealers, Healers or Tanks. Their playstyle is challenging and can be a lot of fun. If you decide to level as a Magicka Warden, these skills that I chose here are the priority. You can pick up any skill along the way that you like, but this will be the ideal route for survival, damage and support.
If you don’t understand something and it isn’t covered here you might find it in the general New Player Beginner Guide, otherwise join the Discord where you will find a helpful community!
Table of Contents
- The Start
- Level 2 (Attributes & Skills)
- Level 3 (Gear & Skills)
- Level 5 (First Milestone, Skills, Weapons & Gear)
- Level 6 (New Skill Line)
- Level 8 (Morphs & Lore Books)
- Level 9 (Skill Morph & Reward)
- Level 10 (Passives)
- Level 11 & 12 (Ultimate Ability)
- Level 13 (Passive Ability)
- Level 15
- The Road to Level 50
- What’s next?
This Magicka Warden Beginner Guide is here to help you with understanding how the class works and getting used to playing with both bars which is essential for all classes. I will help you guide through the first 15 levels and then help you reach level 50 and what to do once you hit it.
Level 2 (Attributes & Skill)
- The first attribute point is assigned at level 2 and goes into magicka. All other points will go into this attribute as well, as you don’t have to worry about health or stamina.
- The first skill point should go into Dive in the Animal Companions tree in your Class skill line and will be your first “spammable”, meaning that you can use this skill repeatedly in any rotation. It’s a Single Target ability, so always read the tooltip carefully how many targets are actually afflicted.
Don’t worry about the passive abilities yet. They are nice to have while you are leveling, but you want to maintain a good balance between skills you are using, and passive abilities that help you with resource management, survival or damage.
You will also most likely not be able to constantly cast a skill and will use a lot of light attacks. That is perfectly fine.
Try making a Light Attack and then a skill. You might find that this is a good way to inflict damage, and it will help you in the long run (a lot!).
Level 3 (Gear & Skills)
In the tutorial you can already find lots of random gear and other items by looking into urns, cupboards, chests and any container you can find. You want an inferno staff early on, as that is your main weapon, but you can use your class skills even without the ideal weapon.
With level 3 you will receive a reward box that contains gear and other goodies which we can utilize for this Magicka Warden Beginner Guide.
- You will receive buff food for the first time. It will increase your primary stats and is an essential part of the game as an always available buff. Double click on it, or hover with your mouse over the item and press E.
- You will also receive some training gear and weapon. Make sure to wear it, as it increases the experience you gain per enemy killed. You can find more information on how to increase experience gain in the Power Leveling Grind Guide.
- Upon reaching level 3, you will also receive 2 additional skill points, 1 should go into Fungal Growth in the Green Balance tree and 1 into Frost Cloak into your Class skill line Winter’s Embrace. You should now have the following skills on your first skill bar:
- Fungal Growth
- Frost Cloak
For every ability slotted you will receive experience in their respective skill lines/trees. Which means it is imperative to have an ability for every skill line on your skill bar that you intend to level. The more skills, the faster the skill line levels, but that just as a side note. There is no reason to rush any first.
Level 5 (First Milestone, Skills, Weapons & Gear)
You want to morph your first skill now, which is going to be Dive into Screaming Cliff Racer (Animal Companions). Morphing is the further stage of a skill and changes the way it is being used. You don’t always have to morph a skill because sometimes we only need the base skill in order to level the skill lines, but usually you morph a skill to get the more advanced version.
Now you probably see why it is important to have a skill on your bar, as you need to reach and fill Rank 4 of each skill in order to be able to morph it.
Simply select the icon next to the skill and choose between two options. This will make you consume a skill point.
- Dive (Animal Companions) into Screaming Cliff Racer. It will automatically replace the skill on the action bar
- Put 1 skill point into Wall of Elements in the Destruction Staff skill line (Weapons)
- Spend 1 more skill point into getting Scorch (Animal Companions)
With level 5 you should have found a destruction staff by now, or, if you didn’t find one, bought one from a Woodworker. You can find them in towns and villages, and they will sell you a staff for 480 gold. I recommend the Maple Inferno Staff, as you will only ever be using inferno staves with this Magicka Warden Beginner Guide.
There is one in the second weapon racks in the Elsweyr tutorial though and you will receive one as a reward from finishing the first quest in the reward box.
If you can’t find a restoration staff on your own, buy a Maple Restoration Staff.
Don’t forget to equip it and kill an enemy with either, as that will unlock the skill line.
You can also ask in zone chat if someone has the time to quickly craft you both (type /z in the chat and hit enter to write in zone chat). It isn’t guaranteed that you will find someone that has the time or knowledge to craft you one, but that is at least an option.
If you have unlocked the Destruction skill line with your inferno (or ice or lightning) staff don’t be tempted to put a skill point in it. You would be leveling the skill line faster, but at this point it isn’t necessary. Keeping the weapon equipped will level the skill line, too.
It’s also important to mention that staves are considered magical damage and will not benefit from weapon damage buffs.
(The skills shown in the following pictures are just examples)
Buff Food & Drinks
I do recommend saving some money to buy the “Witchmother’s Potent Brew” drink in a Guildstore, or ask a guild member if they can craft/give you some (if you are in a guild already). This will increase your character stats by a lot and this will also help you better with regenerating magicka (which is called “sustaining”).
- Witchmother’s Brew Drink
- Increase Health, Magicka and Magicka Recovery
- Can be used at any level
- Not that expensive in the guildstore
If you want to level up as fast as possible, you would want gear that has the trait Training (or so called “training gear”). If you want to check out all the experience boost options available I recommend checking out the Power Leveling Grind Guide.
If you are already in a guild, ask a guild member of yours to craft you some training gear. You can get it crafted at any level, but the higher the quality, the less often you need it crafted:
- 5 Light Armor with training trait
- 1 Heavy Armor with training trait
- 1 Medium Armor with training trait
- 1 Destruction Staff with training trait
- 1 Restoration staff with training trait (will be used later)
Level 6 (Weapon Skill Line Leveling)
- 1 skill point goes into Grand Healing (Restoration Staff) in the Weapon tree
Even though we will put a skill point here, we will not put it on the bar yet. With level 10, when you can queue for dungeons (I will explain more in a bit), you want to use this skill when queueing as a healer for these dungeons.
But you will also notice that you can’t use Grand Healing with an Inferno Staff, or Wall of Elements with a healing staff. Which is why we don’t bother with this skill right now.
These skills are weapon bound and can be utilized fully when we get two weapon bars with Level 15 and you follow this Magicka Warden Beginner Guide.
Level 8 (Morphs & Lore Books)
- Morph Fungal Growth (Green Balance) into Enchanted Growth
- Morph Wall of Elements into Unstable Wall of Elements (Destruction Staff) as soon as possible
Depending on how you level (quest, grind, etc.), you should have found your first lore book by now. These are books spread throughout the world and shimmer blue. They will help you level a new skill line called Mages Guild. You will need that for this build. Best would be maximum (Rank 10), but it can be a bit tedious, so don’t worry if you haven’t reached maximum rank by reaching Level 50.
Level 9 ( Skill morph & Reward)
- Morph Scorch (Animal Companions) into Deep Fissure
Also choose the Prophet’s Inferno Staff from the rewards and continue choosing this reward, unless you find something better, of course, or get something crafted/craft something yourself.
Congratulations, you have reached your first game changing milestone with the Magicka Warden Beginner Guide!
We have to cover some ground now, so read carefully.
These are the things you will receive and get access to:
- 3 Skill Points
- 3 Attribute Points
- Dungeon Finder that also includes Player versus Player (PvP), namely Battlegrounds (arena) and Cyrodiil (open world)
With the Dungeon Finder you can now replace a skill on your skill bar for Healing Springs and your Inferno Staff for a Healing Staff, so that you can queue as a healer (you have to pick your role from the interface of the Dungeon Finder). Best is when you replace either Screaming Cliff Racer or Deep Fissure.
First off, the skill points:
- 1 point into the Passives Tri Focus and Penetrating Magic (Destruction Staff) under Weapon
- 1 point into Evocation (Light Armor)
Passive Abilities are secondary to skills in the beginning. You want to acquire a skill in order to level that tree and the skill itself first. The more you play the game though, the more you want to look into helping you inflict more damage, survive longer or help you control your resources.
Try to always prioritize an active skill over a passive while leveling.
Careful! If you have an ice staff equipped or intend to equip one, a fully charged heavy attack will taunt an enemy. That doesn’t matter much when you play solo, but when you join a group or especially a dungeon, you will accidentally take aggro away from the tank and you don’t want that!
So, either don’t equip one (I recommend sticking to a flame staff all the way), or don’t heavy attack while you have one equipped in a group.
Your bar should look like something like this now:
You will probably want to assign a hotkey to the horse. Mine is H (default). You can do so in the keybindings. You also have to activate it from your mount collection under U (default). Now, every day you are able to, feed the horse at the stable master. This increases either the speed, stamina or weight capacity. My recommendation is speed first.
The Dungeon Finder (default key is P to open it) is a tool to help you find a group regardless of whether you ask around, or have a guild or friends to ask. It will queue you randomly with other people that are looking to run the same dungeon. The first random dungeon of the day will reward you with a lot of EXP upon completion and I recommend you do that every day. You will have to specify a role, so you can either go as a damage dealer, or a healer, as long as you have the healing staff equipped to actually heal.
Remember, you can still use your class skills, so you can inflict damage and heal at the same time. This only works well though in early dungeons. The further you level up, the harder the content will become and you will want to specialize on being a damage dealer.
Player versus Player:
Battlegrounds and Cyrodiil will let you best yourself against other players, and the first successful Battleground of the day will award you with a lot of EXP, too. You can do it, but you don’t have to. It is a good way to get a lot of experience points, but it is not guaranteed that you can get either first or second place with your group in order to complete the quest.
Another important mechanic of the game are Mundus Stones and Guilds.
A Mundus Stone will increase your stats by a lot. I recommend to get this as early as possible, as you will notice the difference. They are spread all over the world and you can decide between 13 different Mundus Stones.
I recommend either The Lover or The Mage. The first increases your Physical and Spell Penetration and makes you inflict more damage, whereas the second increases your Maximum Magicka so that you can use more spells.
Glenumbra – The Lover
Stormhaven – The Mage
Auridon – The Lover
Grahtwood – The Mage
Stonefalls – The Lover
Deshaan – The Mage
There are three important guilds in the game, the Fighters Guild, Mages Guild and Undaunted. It is imperative to start with all three of them early on, especially Mages Guild as you will need a couple of skills from there, so start collecting the lore books early on.
In the Fighters Guild, Mages Guild, Undaunted Video it is showcased how to get those skill lines.
Fighters and Mages Guild will let you enter upon talking to a specific NPC, for Undaunted you will have to do a little quest.
Each skill line is leveled up in a different way.
- Fighters Guild: Kill Undead and Daedra or complete a daily quest
- Mages Guild: Collect lore books or complete a daily quest
- Undaunted: Complete dungeon achievements or daily quests
Level 11 & 12 (Ultimate Ability & Morph)
- 1 skill point into Feral Guardian (Animal Companions) and with Level 12 1 skill point either into morphing Grand Healing (Restoration Staff) to Healing Springs OR into the Passive Ability Savage Beast (Animal Companions)
Ultimate Abilities require a special resource called Ultimate before they can be used and isn’t available immediately. You gain Ultimate by engaging in combat over time. Once you have enough Ultimate, you can use it, but don’t have to. Sometimes it is worth waiting until you either engage against a strong enemy, or have multiple enemies to use it against.
The Feral Guardian is a so called “pet”, a combat companion that will fight by your side until you either unsummon it, or it dies. There are other summoned pets which you can utilize as a Warden, but they are only temporary.
Don’t be afraid to use your Ultimate Ability, or wait for the right moment. It is a rarer resource than a normal skill, but will not have such an incredible high impact on your gameplay that you would want to use it in only the rarest circumstances.
Level 13 (Passive Ability)
- 1 skill point into Spell Warding (Light Armor)
Level 15 (Passives & Weapon Swapping & Skill Setup)
- 2 skill points into Racial Passives and 1 into Evocation (Light Armor)
Weapon Swapping will now become available with Level 15.
It is something that not many new players like, but it is incredibly important and an essential gameplay mechanic and I can’t stress this enough.
I recommend you to have your Inferno Staff equipped on your first bar and your Healing Staff on your second. Just open your inventory and drag and drop the second weapon onto the second weapon slot.
You will notice that on the second bar with your Healing Staff you won’t be able to use Unstable Wall of Elements, just as you can’t use Healing Springs on your Inferno Staff bar.
So, if you want to heal, you have to switch to your so called backbar, or second bar. That way though you can also queue as healer for dungeons.
By having and using both bars, you can also equip two different Ultimate Abilities. So far we have only the Warden Standard, as that is the only one you will need, but you would be able to equip two different ones.
Keep in mind though that you will only gather experience on the bar that is active at the moment you receive experience.
Level 15 Skill Setup
Frontbar (Destruction Staff)
1. Screaming Cliff Racer
2. Enchanted Growth
3. Deep Fissure
4. Unstable Wall of Elements
5. Frost Cloak
6. Ultimate: Feral Guardian
Backbar (Healing Staff)
1. Grand Healing
2. Enchanted Growth
3. Screaming Cliff Racer
4. Frost Cloak
5. Unstable Wall of Elements
6. Ultimate: Feral Guardian
The Road to Level 50
From now on I will not guide you through levels anymore, but what you have to do upon reaching skill line rank, as everyone progresses slightly differently, depending on how strict they follow this guide, what you might have already noticed.
I will nonetheless list the ranks that you already unlocked for the sake of completeness.
The passives unlock at specific ranks, but won’t be fully available yet. Insert the next skill point as soon as you can and continue leveling the passives that you already unlocked. To make sure you won’t miss them, I will include the rank they unlock at again.
You can always take other skills, of course, as long as you remember to put one of each skill line unto your bar. You will most likely not have reached Rank 50 in all skill lines upon reaching Level 50. That is normal and on the road to Champion Points 160 you have plenty of time to get them to max rank.
Also, you can reset your skills or morphs at any given time in either the major cities of the alliances, or in Vivec City, Alinor or Rimmen at the Shrines, and if you don’t need a skill anymore, especially when you have unlocked all the skills you need for the Minimum or Ideal setup.
The following is a list of the must haves for the Ideal setup. You can neglect the Mages Guild maximum ranks if you just want to go with the Minimum setup for now.
- Rank 1 – Dive (Morph: Screaming Cliff Racer)
- Rank 8 – Bond with Nature (Passive)
- Rank 12 – Feral Guarding (Morph: Eternal Guardian)
- Rank 14 – Savage Beast (Passive)
- Rank 20 – Swarm (Morph: Fetcher Infection)
- Rank 22 – Flourish (Passive)
- Rank 30 – Betty Netch (Morph: Blue Betty)
- Rank 39 – Advanced Species (Passive)
- Rank 4 – Impaling Shards (Morph: Winter’s Revenge)
- Rank 8 – Glacial Presence (Passive)
- Rank 14 – Frozen Armor (Passive)
- Rank 39 – Piercing Cold (Passive)
- Rank 8 – Accelerated Growth (Passive)
- Rank 14 – Nature’s Gift (Passive)
- Rank 20 – Living Vines (Morph: Leeching Vines)
- Rank 39 – Maturation (Passive)
- Rank 4 – Wall of Elements (Morph: Unstable Wall of Elements)
- Rank 5 – Tri Focus (Passive)
- Rank 10 – Penetrating Magic (Passive)
- Rank 25 – Elemental Force (Passive)
- Rank 28 – Ancient Knowledge (Passive)
- Rank 41 – Destruction Expert (Passive)
- Rank 2 – Grace (Passive)
- Rank 6 – Evocation (Passive)
- Rank 14 – Spell Warding (Passive)
- Rank 22 – Annulment (Morph: Harness Magicka)
- Rank 38 – Prodigy (Passive)
- Rank 42 – Concentration (Passive)
- Rank 2 – Resolve (Passive)
- Rank 6 – Constitution (Passive)
- Rank 14 – Juggernaut (Passive)
- Rank 4 – Supernatural Recovery (Passive)
- Rank 7 – Undeath (Passive)
- Rank 8 – Unnatural Resistance (Passive)
- Rank 1 – Soul Trap (Morph: Soul Splitting Trap)
- Rank 4 – Soul Shatter (Passive)
- Rank 5 – Banish the Wicked (Passive)
- Rank 2 – Magelight (Morph: Inner Light)
- Rank 7 – Magicka Controller (Passive)
- Rank 6 – Undaunted Command (Passive)
- Rank 7 – Undaunted Mettle (Passive)
- Rank 8 – Medicinal Use (Passive)
- Rank 3 – Gourmand (Passive)
- Rank 5 – Connoisseur (Passive)
Skill Setup (100 Skill Points)
Frontbar (Destruction Staff)
- Soul Splitting Trap
- Blue Betty
- Screaming Cliff Racers
- Fetcher Infection
- Inner Light
- Eternal Guardian
Backbar (Destruction Staff)
- Unstable Wall of Elements
- Winter’s Revenge
- Harness Magicka
- Leeching Vines
- Inner Light
- Eternal Guardian
By now you should have learned that weapon swapping is one of the most essential game mechanics. In a lot of build videos, you will see that pretty much all classes barswap a lot to reapply their buffs and debuffs, and to get the maximum out of their DPS.
You will also have noticed that light attacking has a lot of benefits. It will help you regenerate Ultimate, increase your DPS, work with your skills and more. The Elder Scrolls Online has a specific game mechanic which is called Light Attack Weaving. It means that you are cancelling the animation of a light attack with a skill in order to be faster in your rotation and therefore put out more damage. It is one way to cancel an animation, there are others, going to be explained in a future guide.
For now, the most important thing to learn about it is that you will have to learn to use a Light Attack in between each Skill. Don’t worry about the animation cancelling yet.
You might also want to respec (reset your skills) back to a pure Damage Dealer (DD) by now, using the Skill Setup, if you haven’t done it already. The dungeons will get harder, especially the DLC dungeons, and people don’t appreciate Hybrids very much.
Also, don’t worry about a specific gear setup yet.
If you have found a guild or friends that offer to help you out with gear, then you can ask them to craft you gear suggested in other guides, but it isn’t necessary and usually a waste of resources/money.
The next big and last milestone gear wise will be Champion Points 160. This is when you can start with collecting the gear you want or need, upgrade it and grind trials, dungeons or overland activities. It might seem like a big step, but you will get Enlightenment for being logged out of the game, which will give you a bonus to the Experience Points that you earn. That way you can earn Champion Points at an accelerated pace.
I will also not get into a rotation yet, that will be covered in a different guide. Just get to know your skills for now and concentrate on the things you will need to learn with this guide.