Hagraven’s Garden: ESO Set Guide – Circular Safeguarding

Hagraven’s Garden: ESO Set Guide – Circular Safeguarding

Welcome to another installment of a segment where we dive into one Elder Scrolls Online’s many Sets, and explore what sort of Builds you can make. Not only will we show you how to get the most from these Sets, but we’ll explain where to get them, what requirements there are to obtain them (if any), and everything else you could possibly want to know about them. In this article we will take a look at Hagraven’s Garden set which summons an AoE circle that reduces damage taken from enemies outside and knocks them back upon entering.

This set has a strange 5 piece set bonus that can be used in specific scenarios

Introduction To Hagraven’s Garden Set

This Set was added in the game with Horns of the Reach DLC, which launched in August 2017 and introduced 2 new Dungeons: Bloodroot Forge and Falkreath Hold. The Hagraven Set drops from Bosses in Bloodroot Forge and is bind on pickup. You can acquire Heavy Armor, Weapons and Jewelry of this set in the Bloodforge motif style. Motif drops from Earthgore Amalgam, the last boss in Bloodroot Forge, on Veteran difficulty.

Weapon and Armor Traits are random, meaning you are likely to have to farm pieces for different Traits. This is a Heavy Set so enchantments on Armor and Weapon pieces are Max Health and Absorb Health. Jewelry comes with Healthy Traits and Health Recovery Enchantments. Keep in mind that you can use Transmutation to change Traits if you wish, however the Summerset expansion is needed, along with 50 Transmute Crystals.

the first 3 bonuses of the Hagraven Set add 1206 Max Health, 129 Health Recovery and 4% Healing Taken. The last set bonus spawns an AoE circle when taking damage and if below 50% Health. This circle reduces damage taken from enemies outside of it by 50% and it knocks them back 5m upon entering for the first time. Tanks will have most use from this set because of the bonuses and damage reduction effect of the circle.

Resistance and Damage Mitigation

Physical and Spell Resistances

In Elder Scrolls Online players have two types of  Resistances: Physical and Spell. Inside each are sub-types. Physical includes Poison and Disease and Spell includes Frost, Shock and Fire. At 33,100 Physical or Spell Resistance (662 = 1%), players reach a cap of 50% mitigation and they cannot mitigate any additional damage done with Resistances. For the purposes of calculation, specific Resistance to Shock, Frost, Poison etc, are simply added to your Physical or Spell Resistance when taking damage of that type. If that number would take you over the 33,100 threshold then you would NOT receive any additional Resistance.

However, this does not factor in any sort of Penetration used by the enemy. In PvP, many players will have between 5000-15000 Penetration, which will subtract directly from your Resistance. In this case having higher than 33,100 Resistance will actually mitigate damage and you would need somewhere over 45k Resistance to ensure you never took more than 50% damage.

The Lover ESO

A picture of The Lover Mundus Stone that increases Spell Penetration by 2752

Let’s do an example: If you have 40,000 Spell Resistance and a player with 10,000 Spell Penetration attacks you, you will have an effective Spell Resistance of 30,000 vs their attacks. If you had only 33,100 Spell Resistance when they were attacking you, you’d only have 23,100 Spell Resistance vs their attacks. In this case, having above the 50% threshold is actually useful and encouraged.

Things that increase Physical or Spell Resistance are as follows:

Critical Resistance

Critical Resistance operates a bit differently and comes into play when someone scores a Critical Strike against you. Since enemies in PvE cannot Critically Strike, this is only necessary for those who PvP. Every 68 = 1% Critical Resistance. Players come with a default Critical Multiplier of 1.5x damage when they strike you. This means, in order to completely negate the extra damage that a default player does to you from a Critical Strike, you would need 3400 Critical Resistance. Most players will have somewhere between 1.6x and 1.8x Critical Multipliers. So, in order to make sure you almost never take any additional damage you would need somewhere around 4550 Critical Resistance.

Players can gain Critical Resistance in several ways, which are listed below:

Damage Mitigation and Calculations

Putting it all together and connecting the dots can be confusing at first glance, but is actually rather simple once you get the hang of it. The calculation for Damage Mitigation is as follows:

MITIGATION=100-(100*(1-((Resistance/662)/100))*(1-(Mitigation #1)/100)*(1-(Mitigation #2)/100)*(1-(Mitigation #3)/100))*etc etc)

I know that seems overwhelming, so let’s do an example:

Let’s say you have 25000 Physical and Spell Resistance and you have Minor Protection (-8% incoming damage) and your a Nord (-6% incoming damage) with 20% reduced damage to direct attacks and 7% reduced damage to Poison Attacks and let’s say someone attacks you with a Poison direct damage Skills. To calculate the percentage you would mitigate is as follows:


This gives you roughly 60% damage mitigation. Not as high as you thought? That’s because damage mitigation is multiplicative and that means that each source of protection is only giving a percentage of a percentage. The more percentages you add, the less useful each becomes. Think about it like a pie. If you have 50% resistances then that means you have half a pie left. If then you have Major Protection (30%) damage reduction, then you’re taking 30% of the remaining half of the pie which as not as good as if you took 30% of the whole pie. It is done this way to prevent a player from reaching the point they are simply immune to damage, which would be game breaking. Also remember that you gain a 50% damage reduction while in PvP, so be sure to factor that into your calculations.

For more information on damage mitigation and calculations, please see this thread on the ESO Forum. It was posted by a user named Paulsimonps and it has a ton of information and is the source of this section.

What You Need To Know About This Set

How this set works is whenever you take damage and are under 50% Health, a green circle will spawn. The circle is quite large and it reduces damage taken from outside attackers by 50%. It also knocks back anyone trying to enter the circle for the first time. The circle lasts for 5 secs but has a huge cooldown of 45 secs. It is also immovable, meaning if you move around it will not follow so staying inside of it is a priority to reap the benefits.

This is how Ring of Preservation looks like

Enemies trying to enter the circle for the first time will be knocked back and stunned for a brief moment. The “first time” tooltip description means enemies that are entering every spawned circle for the first time, this means they can be knocked back more than once if they enter a second circle.

If the circle spawns and enemies are already inside it, it does not count as an entry, and to knock them back they must exit the circle and reenter. Melee enemies can be made to follow you out and back in the circle, but you must be quick because the circle only lasts 5 seconds.

Notes for PvE Players

Hagraven’s Garden won’t find much use in PvE environment, even for Tanks, which is the only role that could utilize it. The reason for this, and what completely kills the Set, is the long cooldown of 45 secs. It just is not worth it just to reduce damage that comes from the outside, when most of the enemies you are already facing are located inside it to begin with. Add on top of that the fact that the knock back effect is practically useless in PvE. To make some use of it you need to run outside of the circle and then back in to have enemies follow you. And it only lasts 5 secs to do so. The knock back effect also does not work on boss type enemies, which is really detrimental overall. This circle also spawns only when taking damage while under 50% health.

Kiting enemies around just to knock them back defeats the purpose of the whole set

The only use of this Set in PvE could be in Blackrose Prison and Maelstrom Arena where there are many enemies shooting at you from far away. Having 50% damage reduction is good in this case but sticking to the usual suspects like Ebon Armory, Leeching Plate and Roar of Alkosh is recommended in traditional tanking scenarios, because there is no gain in wearing Hagraven’s Garden when compared to these sets.

Notes for PvP Players

This set has some use in the PvP environment, especially in large scaled battles where the circle can appear, knocking back and stunning everyone who tries to enter. Also damage reduction plays a big role here since enemy players will try to shoot you down from afar when they see others getting knocked back and stunned.

Hagraven’s Garden will find most use in defending and taking positions, where you can predict where large groups of enemies will be. Knocking back enemies can give you potentially a couple of seconds more to defend or take a point of interest, when paired with substantial damage reduction.

Final Verdict

Hagraven’s Garden Set is not very well thought out one because of the long cooldown for the 5 piece set bonus, because you more often than not get hit from inside the circle as a Tank, and because it only triggers when you are below 50% Health. If the set had much lower cooldown it would be far better, and also removing the under 50% Health requirement would benefit the set much more because by the time the circle appears enemies will be most likely on you which removes any potential knock back chance.

It can be useful to some extent in Blackrose Prison but cooldown is just too long

In PvE this set is completely useless. Stick to usual tanking sets because you will get absolutely nothing from this one. The first 3 set bonuses are present on most other Heavy Sets as well but they have far more useful 5 piece set bonuses.

In PvP this set can definitely be used to some effect because the AoE circle provides protection from outside threats, and knocks back enemy players, giving you a moment of respite. The best use is for holding position versus large groups of enemy players, buying time for teammates to drop oil, counter-siege or Ultimates on your location.

Stay tuned as I’ll be covering the rest of the ESO Sets, and be sure to check out our other ESO Guides!


Senior Editor at Fextralife. I enjoy gaming, playing and watching sports, cooking yummy food, watching a good movie and hanging out with Fex.

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