Basic Warden Guide
a Warden? Wardens are a well-rounded melee class that also has group
buffs, self buffs, speed, healing, resurrect and most of all blade
turn. Playing a Warden is a lot of fun. If you're starting a Warden,
here's a plan for specing your character to be effective for both PvE
and RvR. As a caveat, there are more ways than one to play a Warden;
some people prefer to focus more on damage and others prefer to focus
on healing abilities. I fall somewhere in the middle. I selected skills
and abilities that I believe can best benefit a group as a whole:
Here's how I'm speced at Level 50
sections below detail a list of how to spec a Warden over time. But to
summarize, here's an overall view on the most important lines in this
spec. Nurture is the primary line. Spec this high as your key abilities
are in this line. Spec a weapon second. Keep your weapon spec as high
as possible after Nurture. You'll want a little into Regrowth for some
better heal spells, but not a lot. Later on you won't be able to be
both healer and hold the Blade Turn chant on the group effectively with
the mana you have. Wardens can spec their healing line and can heal
well, but those skills are better suited to the Hibernian primary
healing class, the Druid. Parry comes last. You get 5% block by
default. Every point you put into parry gives you a half percent more
chance to block. So putting a few points into parry is cheap and
increases your blocking chance some while specing higher uses points
you could spec better other places.
Your role as a Warden will
change over time. How you spec and play your warden at the low levels
will change several times as you get some of your various key
abilities. Detailed below are some suggestions on how you can spec your
Warden as you level to maximize effectiveness.
on you'll be a melee character. You don't get any of your main
character abilities until level 18 so spec high into your weapon line.
The higher your weapon spec is the more overall damage you'll do.
You'll do well soloing as a Warden. Pick either blades or blunt. Both
work well. I choose blades because there just seem to be more blades in
the game. Swing time with blades is faster than blunt but you'll do
more damage with a single blunt hit. For more information on specing
blades or blunts there is a discussion at the bottom of this page.
main thing you want to do is make sure is you plan to have Nurture at
your level when you hit level 18 so you can get your first group Blade
Turn spell. Here's how I'd recommend specing up to level 18:
like this you'll do decent damage as a tank, you'll have a decent heal
spell, and you'll get Blade Turn (bubble) for your group as early as
possible. What you may notice early on is groups asking you to perform
different roles based on the group make up. You may find yourself doing
melee or being a healer. You'll do both well.
When you reach
level 10 spec in Nurture you'll get Nature's Fend. This is a single
blade turn you can cast on any member of your party. Before battle
always bubble up your tanks and make sure your healers still have a
bubble on them too. Blade Turn blocks a single hit from a mob. If you
don't take damage, you don't need to be healed and Blade Turn does just
that. This is your most important spell line as a Warden. In situations
where you don't have enough healing power in a group you have two
choices; you can stand back and repeatedly cast Nature's Fend on the
main tank, preventing a lot of damage, or you can heal him/her as they
take damage. Turn on your group zeal chant (Nature's Revenge, Vendetta,
Vengence) as soon as you get it. This boosts the melee damage for all
the members of your party. You'll use this a lot up until level 26 and
then you'll very rarely use it from then on out. Being speced highly in
Nurture also gives you the Warden's speed spell. It's no Bard speed,
but it will get you around town faster. You have the ability to have
one "chant" on at a time. Speed and zeal are your two main group chants
at this point. Use zeal in battle, and speed if you don't have a bard
in your group or are solo when not in battle. You've got buffs too!
Cast those on the members of your party to increase their stats. You
have the same buffs as bards and druids. Use them whenever possible.
level 18 you'll get your first group Blade Turn. Your role will change
the most dramatically during levels 18-25. Much of the time you
probably won't be meleeing, but instead healing or casting bubble on
the group. At this point in the game you're probably heavily into the
Parthenon farm or other area where in groups you're being faced with
mobs that come in groups instead of the singles from earlier levels.
With three mobs on three of your party members, group Blade Turn
(Nature's Shield) is your best friend. Stand back and cast repeatedly
on the entire party. This can use your mana up quickly so in some cases
you may be casting just the single Blade Turn on your main tank. Keep
zeal on the group while in battle. As you level add the next few levels
put some more skill points into Regrowth for better heals. Here's how
I'd recommend specing up to level 26:
at level 26 spec in Nurture you now have your group blade turn chant.
Turn on Nature's Guard whenever in battle. This negates a damage hit
every 10 seconds for all members of your party. This is, by far, the
most useful feature Wardens have. Forget zeal from here on out. If you
have two Warden's in your group, stack bubble. Cast them five seconds
apart and now you have a combined five second bubble. Very nice. You'll
be able to go with much less healing power if necessary simply because
bubble will negate a lot of damage. Get back into melee. You'll melee
more and more from here on out. You may be asked to be a healer. You're
not a super healer, but not a terrible one at this point either.
Holding the bubble chant on takes mana, but not that much, so you can
be a backup healer easy. Later on, this won't be the case. Your days as
a healer are numbered. Note that your weapon spec is falling way behind
here. That's okay, the Nurture line is your most valuable asset. Your
weapon spec will catch up later and you'll eventually have your weapon
at close to your level. One thing you may have noticed at this point is
that you're not holding aggro in most of the battles and you're not
doing nearly the damage those tanks and casters keep talking about. A
Warden is a hybrid class, don't ever expect to do the damage a tank or
caster will do. You've got other assets that make you highly valuable.
Here's how I'd recommend specing up to level 36:
level 36 Nurture spec you get a better bubble chant, Nature's Barrier.
This negates a hit on your party members at eight seconds rather than
ten. If you get this at level 36, groups will love you. Definitely a
must have over all other specs in my opinion. With the eight second
bubble chant on you're going to be using a lot of mana just to hold the
chant on. It may not look like it because you'll have your mana maxed
in battle all the time, but be assured, you're using 157 mana every
minute while it's active. If you heal during battle and then don't sit
after battle you'll notice your power barely regens (unless you have
the Bard mana song on or the Mentalist's mana buff.) If you've been in
the battlegrounds and have some Realm Skill Points to spend get Mystic
Crystal Lore and/or Serenity. MCL will give you a 25% instant mana
regen every three minutes out of combat and Serenity helps you
regenrate mana a bit faster for each level. At this point you should be
a last ditch healer in groups. Getting your mana down to nothing every
battle because you're healing is bad for everyone's downtime. Most
people know Wardens can heal, but many don't realize the mana cost of
keeping bubble on at the higher levels. If you have to be a healer,
take bubble off and on when meding so your mana will come back faster.
For healing, spec regrowth a little higher for better heal and
resurrect spells. Here's how I'd recommend specing up to level 45:
you have your key ability, six second blade turn. Nature's Wall is the
best feature Warden's have. You will be a very desirable member of
groups simply because of this ability. You may be even asked to stay
logged in for free XP when you need to go because it will hurt the
group if you leave. But the six second bubble has a price. You're using
210 power every minute just to keep on the blade turn chant. Over time
your power bar will go down if you don't have the mana buff, mana song
or the Serenity realm ability. Let your mana drop, don't worry about
it. At some point take a med break with bubble off to get it back up
and/or cast MCL if you have it. It's well worth a little power being
used for the benefit you get from this ability. Because lots of your
power is going to blade turn you will be an emergency healer only. Stop
meleeing if people are going to die and heal heal heal. But, when you
heal, make sure you keep a bit of mana in reserve so blade turn will
stay on. You're a melee class from here on out. Spec your weapon as
high as possible. At this point you should have weapons with +skills to
them and hopefully you've been in RvR and gotten a few realm ranks.
With that, you should be able to get your weapon close to your level.
Here's how I'd recommend specing up to level 50:
this final spec at level 50? Several reasons. First, specing to 47
Nurture gets you a self attack speed buff of 38%. You'll be swinging
even a slow weapon quickly with this buff. This buff is more than
double what most Druids can give you and definitely helps your damage
over time. Keep this buff on all the time. Second, specing to 49 in
nurture gets you the top three group resist buffs: body, energy and
spirt all at 24%. In PvE situations, resists are important only if the
mob type you're killing uses that type of Damage. However, in RvR, you
group will be faced with all kinds of damage and effects thrown at you
all at once. The higher the resists on your party, the better. You also
get the top group damage add spell specing this highly in Nurture as
well. There are some situations where you will still use zeal and
having the best helps your party.
High Nurture - Buffing Benefits
thing to mention that Wardens get by default when specing high Nurture
is better baseline buffs. By going 49 in Nurture you will have better
baseline buffs than Bards or Druids who have selected to spec low in
Nurture for other features of their class. There is some very specific
math behind how all this works but the bottom line is that by specing
almost to 50 in Nurture, you will be handing out the best basesline
buffs available (without ToA gear taken into account.) If you're
interested in the math on this here's a page written by Darcstar with
all the specifics including Druid buffs.
Blades or Blunts - The Debate
is better, blades or blunt? At the time I created Pharaoh there was
really no difference between the two. You just picked the one you liked
the best and went for it. Mythic has changed their damage tables
several times and has tried to balance out weapon damage across the
board. When choosing what weapon to spec consider the following:
have a self melee speed buff (Ferocity of Nature through Reckoning of
Nature.) This buff significantly increases the swing time of your
weapon. That coupled with high quickness will get you swinging fast.
The minimum swing time for any weapon is 1.5 seconds. With faster
blades, self buffs, druid buffs and capped gear you can easily cap your
swing time and do less damage over time than you could with a slower
weapon. Because blunts in general swing more slowly you may have a
better selection of weapons from which to choose without overcapping
your swing time. From one test I did moving to a much slower weapon I
found that over a 40 second time period I was doing close to 500 more
damage. Go for slow weapons where possible.
I personally use a
slow blades weapons to cap my attack swing time at 1.5 seconds. I like
blades for the great style combination of Fire Blade / Spectrum Blade.
Fire Blade is an anytime style and Spectrum Blade is a follow-up to
Fire Blade. Spectrum blade adds an attack speed reduction on your enemy
which is perfect with your blade turn. A slower attacking enemy will
hit you less often.
High or Low Parry - The Debate
heard and read a lot of different thoughts on how warden's should spec
parry. I intentionally didn't put many points into parry and I wanted
to explain my rationale. First, warden's only get 1.5 spec points per
level and we've got to divide those across four main lines (weapon,
Nurture, Regrowth and Parry.) I believe strongly in having the Nurture
line highly speced. If you're not specing in Nuture as a Warden you're
most likely playing the wrong character. At the higher levels you'll
spend all your time meleeing with bubble on, so specing highly in your
weapon also makes sense. Some points in regrowth will give you a better
resurrect and lower mana cost spec line heals. With those specs, you
don't have much left over for parry. However, is parry even that useful
for a warden?
Parry is only useful if you're being attacked.
From my experience as a warden this happens a very small percentage of
the time. When you're XPing if you're pulling a single mob the most
powerful tank will have aggro. Parry isn't doing you a bit of good in
these situations unfortunately. Later on in higher level groups you may
have multiple mobs at once and you may be responsible for holding aggro
on one of those. Parry is useful in these cases but since Parry is only
helping you and your other lines help the group, I think Nurture is the
more important line. In RvR you will be engaging the enemy. However,
parry isn't nearly as effective against styles as it is against mobs.
Your chance of parrying against a style is significantly lower. So,
parry for a warden isn't nearly as useful as it sounds like it could be
simply because you're not in a position to parry much of the time like
a tank would be.
Overall, parry does have application in some
cases as you XP and RvR, but the price is far to high for the relative
benefit you get. I would much rather have a better group blade turn
chant and higher resist buffs for my group members in RvR than the
possibility of parrying one or two attacks. Bottom line, my advice is
to spec low in parry to get an inexpensive boost to your blocking
percentage and spend the rest of your points in the other lines.
about a healing-based Warden? More and more lately I'm seeing this from
other Wardens I talk with. While a Warden will never have the amazing
healing powers of a Druid, you can heal very well if you spec highly in
Regrowth. The Warden's I've seen do this usually still go to 49 in
Nurture as preventing damage with bubble is more desirable to having to
heal for it. However, in lieu of a weapon spec they go for as much
healing as possible. With this spec the Warden takes on a healing role
in RvR groups primarily and melees in PvE when there isn't as much
danger of deaths. This is a more difficult spec to manage well while
you level as it requires RAs that focus on mana pool and regeneration
so that you have the power to utilize those high heals such as
Serenity, Augmented Acuity, Mystic Crystal Lore and Raging Power.
the release of 1.70 this became a bit easier as single target heals
take much less power to cost. As long as you're not using your group
heal repeatedly you can be a fairly effective. In RvR. You won't do the
damage a weapon speced Warden will but it's a good spec for a Warden
who wants to focus more on supporting their group.
have speced my realm abilities to help the group and force I'm battling
with in RvR. Here are abilities I have and why I selected them:
Crystal Lore: At level one you get a 25% instacast mana boost,
recastable every three minutes. Great in XP or RvR, Get this first and
as soon as you can. MCL will help you get in those extra heals or that
resurrect you need when you're low on power. I have MCL2 and use it in
RvR all the time to resurrect that third person or get more mana for
Thornweed Field III: This is your key RvR ability.
It's used all the time field RvR and keep/tower battle. Armor of the
Gods, the other Warden specific RA is nice but in my opinion there is
no way it can beat 255 points of damage plus snare every three seconds
for 30 seconds no matter what kind of tank group you have. Level three
is 30 points which is expensive. This would still be the second ability
I went for. While you're working on those 30 points and have an RA
respec, select other abilities and then respec for TWF III when you
have the total points.
Long Wind I: Sprint forever with your
self endurance regen buff. Great for getting away as needed RvR and
very useful in some PvE situations. Grab this when it's convenient. I
don't use it a lot but I'm glad I've got it when I need it. At one
point it's an easy RA to fit in.
Purge II: A must have for any
Warden serious in RvR. If you are mesmerized or stunned your blade turn
is off and your entire party suffers. Get this and cast it in any
situation where it will help you or your party. Bards will hopefully
unmez you quickly if possible but don't be afraid to use your purge. I
rarely regret casting it.
Ignore Pain II: Venehment Renewal and
Fury of Nature are great RA's a Warden has to heal their group. But if
you're dead, you can't heal anyone and since these RAs don't heal you,
IP was a requirement for me.
Serenity II: Better mana
regeneration. Serenity two would be even better but there are things I
wanted more so I held off until after Ignore Pain. MCL helps a lot in
Vehement Renewal: A very nice group insta-heal
ability. I have level one and plan to eventually get level two. I use
it all time and it's a great health booster in the middle of battle.
It's also a great way to heal your group and not use any power.
Being able to carry two diminutive siege weapons and not be encumbered
if I get debuffed is important to the play style I have. For one point
Lifter one was very economical and I would consider higher than level
one at a later point.
Wardens in RvR
In RvR you have
several things you should focus on. First, remember, you're not a tank!
Don't run straight into battle and whack the first enemy you see. This
is a sure recipe for death. When you die it hurts your party. You will
have buffs on people. Losing those hurts them. You'll have bubble
protecting them as well. Your main job is to stick back a bit to let
the tanks get into melee first. I usually stick somewhere between the
casters in the back and the tanks in front so hopefully I can keep the
bubble on as many as possible. You will engage the enemy, just do so
carefully. Assist the person designated as the target picker or "Main
Assist" where possible. Remember that it's better for you to stay alive
than for you to do some damage on an enemy and die straight up.
are lots of things a Warden does in RvR that are tremendously helpful
for their group aside from running into battle and meleeing. Here are
the main things I find myself doing in RvR with the spec above:
the Main Assist: Assist, assist, assist. This is my pet peeve and a
requirement for players in the groups we run. The assist train works,
it's very hard to counter and an excellent tactic for single groups.
You select a tank Main Assist and when you encounter enemies you
/assist that character and help them take out the targets they select.
Healers can't keep a character alive when three or four people are all
doing damage on them at the same time.
Stay in Range: It's so
tempting to run of and kill that one weak caster that's running away.
Think twice and don't. Your bubble is ranged such that you need to stay
in proximity of your group. Let him get away, you'll get another chance.
Druids are the main healing class and their mana should be reserved to
do those heals. Wardens, with a melee spec have a full bar of mana a
lot of the time in RvR. With low Regrowth spec, let's be honest, you're
not going to keep someone alive most of the time. Let the Druids and
Bards do that. But, your mana is tremendously useful. You can rez two
people easily, cast MCL if you have it and get up a third person. It's
a great way to use your mana and it helps out your realm mates. Not to
mention that you get bonus realm points for the resurrect.
Wardens are great at working siege. Because of the blade turn and scale
armor usually a Warden can take hits from oil or enemies and be able to
survive and get out of the way in time not to die. With capped strength
and one Realm Skill Point in Lifter a Warden can carry two diminutive
siege pieces easily. I always carry siege with me and how often it's
needed in battle.
Infinite Sprint: Need to get away? With your
Attack Unending instacast chant and the Long Wind I realm ability you
can sprint forever. But before you use this think about your party.
Sure you can get away, but you're leaving them and dropping the blade
turn chant from them as well. Appropriately used this can get you away
to resurrect your downed members after the battle. Switching to this
chant for a few seconds out of battle is also a great way to quickly
regenerate your endurance too.
Point Blank TWF to Escape:
Overrun? Cast Thornwood Field at point blank range after sprinting away
a bit. The enemy will get snared in it giving you a better chance to
get away. But make sure you're be a bit away before casting as the
first tick of TWF isn't instant.
Trials of Atlantis Master Levels
selected the Perfector line as the choice for Pharaoh because of all
the group beneficial master level abilities in the line. I think it's a
great compliment to the skills and abilities a Warden has. I use the
healing and power fonts in PvE and RvR all the time. In RvR the
Dissonance Ward, or power penalty field is superb in tower and keep
bottleneck situations and is something many Perfiectors don't think to
cast. I also use the Determination Field, or croud control reduction
field a good bit when attacking on the edge of a keep or tower. Cure
nearsight and group cure disease are also great abilities in RvR and
the Restore the Soul resurrect sickness cure is very important when
getting that key damage dealer back up and in action after a death.
Overall, I am very pleased with the Perfector master level line for a