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Magicka Templar PvP Build Guide: Elder Scrolls Online Morrowind

This article is the result of a long process of building and tweaking and is a build guide for my PvP Magicka Templar in The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind. If you’ve played a Templar or read any of the more recent patch notes (within the past few months), you’ll note that we’ve had a bit of a rough time of it. First with the nerfing of our most sacred skill: Radiant Destruction and second by the removal of Major Mending from our Restoring Light skill line. Despite those things, I still very much love my Templar and I don’t think I could ever play any other Class and feel as much “myself” while playing. Let’s get into the guide and I’ll show you why Templars are still a force to be reckoned with in Cyrodiil.

Magicka Templar PvP Build Skills and Abilities

First let’s take a look at the skills and abilities used by Magicka Templars while PvPing in Cyrodiil and let’s try to build around those. On our offensive bar we will be running the following Skills:

Offensive Bar (Dual Swords)

Dark FlareDark Flare – Simply put, this is your go to damage dealing ability for this build. Not only is this ability extremely powerful, but because of its very high arc, you can have a second Dark Flare en route before the first one lands, making it possible to two shot enemies before they even realize you are there. This ability also applies Major Defile to the target and ALL nearby enemies, effectively debuffing the healing of a tight group if landed. It also empowers your next direct damage attack, so you can chain Dark Flares for massive Magic Damage.

Puncturing SweepPuncturing Sweep – What Templar would be complete without this ability? This provides us with a good melee range option, that deals significant Magic Damage, heals us when we attack and is a decent AoE for clearing pins or taking on 3+ mobs. You’ll be using this on people who try to melee often. It also has the added benefit of increasing our Critical Strike damage by 10% simply for being slotted…hooray!

Inner LightInner Light – This ability increases our Max Magicka by 5%, and since we have a lot of it, we get a huge benefit out of this ability. It will also grant us Major Prophecy, which is something we could do ourselves, but will no longer need to with this slotted. This can also be used to pull enemies out of stealth or prevent them from re-stealthing, and let’s face it, there are a lot of Nightblades out there these days. You will get 2% Max Magicka and Magicka Recovery from having this slotted if you have the Mages Guild passive Magicka Controller.

Aurora JavelinAurora Javelin – This is our long range knockback/down that deals surprisingly good Magic Damage. You can use this to knock players off walls during sieges, often netting you easy AP because the knockback range is farther than most players expect. On top of that, this ability can proc Burning Light, just like Puncturing Sweeps, netting you some extra Magic Damage.

Radiant OppressionRadiant Oppression – No Magicka Templar anywhere runs without this ability, because even with the nerf to its damage, it still is a very strong skill, especially in PvP. This is your execute ability and you’ll want to use it on anyone around 30% ~ health. A couple of the great things about this ability, besides it’s potential to do massive Magic Damage, is that it is undodgeable and can’t be reflected. This means that it gives you a fighting chance against Stamina builds that roll a lot, making it hard for you to hit them.

Soul AssaultSoul Assault – This is your Ultimate ability for your offensive bar. It is a fantastic, cheap single target Ultimate that deals tons of Magic Damage and also reduces the movement speed of the target by 70%! Players cannot dodge roll or stealth out of it, and all you really need to worry about is them getting out of range or moving out of sight, which is hard to do when they’re slowed 70%. Use this wisely when you need to take out a specific target.

Defensive Bar

On the defensive/utility bar we have three possible setups depending how you wish to play. I currently have a Frost Staff here, but I sometimes also use a Restoration Staff or Sword and Board. It really depends on your play style, and you can play around with all three. This is because the Templar doesn’t need a Resto Staff to heal you can get away with a Frost Staff or S&B.

Frost Staff

Structured EntropyStructured Entropy – This ability deals a modest amount of Magic Damage over time, heals you a modest amount, as well as increases your Max Health. But most importantly this is your Major Sorcery buff and is the only way Templars can gain this buff through abilities. Icing on the cake, is that if you have the Mages Guild passive: Might of the Guild, it can empower your next direct damage attack, and the Mages Guild passive: Magicka Controller will increase your Max Magicka by 2% and Magicka Recovery by 2% just for having it slotted.

Destructive ReachDestructive Reach – On a Frost Staff this will not only deal decent Frost Damage, but will also root your target for 4 seconds. I cannot tell you have valuable being able to constantly root a target is! This ability alone will net you some kills you couldn’t have otherwise gotten. This is really all we use this ability for. Keep rooting your target until you drain them of Stamina and then unload with a Dark Flare barrage. It also has the added benefit of blocking with Magicka and costing less to block. Preserving your valuable, and extremely low, pool of Stamina for breaking out of CCs.

Channeled FocusChanneled Focus – What’s not to love about this ability? Gives you Major Ward, Major Resolve, Minor Mending and grants your 120 Magicka per 0.5 seconds, which is effectively 480 more Magicka Recovery. Even better, is that you will still gain this Magicka while blocking with a Frost Staff, as it isn’t considered Magicka Recovery. Try to stay in this circle when you can, so as to keep these buffs up as often as possible. This ability costs almost nothing, so don’t worry too much about spamming it.

Extended RitualExtended Ritual – At first glance Ritual of Retribution seems a better fit for this build because it also does Magic Damage, which as you might have noticed by now is sort of the theme of this build, but unfortunately you will need to cleanse more than 2 negative effects fairly often. This can be the difference between you living and dying in some cases and one of the huge advantages Templars have over other classes. We don’t need to expend Stamina to get out of a root, so we cannot be perma-rooted like other Magicka classes can be.

Breath of LifeBreath of Life – This is an amazing ability that drives other players insane, since we can heal up to nearly full health almost instantly. Honor the Dead is also an acceptable choice here if you tend to solo, but Breath of Life is much better for group/small group play. Don’t leave home without this skill!

Elemental RageElemental Rage – This is really the most powerful Ultimate ability in the game, and the Elemental Rage morph allows you to use it at range, in the safety of your group or keep. What’s fantastic about the Frost Staff version of this ability is that it roots enemies caught in it. Defending a keep, and enemies are about to burst in? Drop that in the doorway under some oil and now they are stuck in the oil and you are dealing massive damage on top of it. This ability won’t deal the same damage as a Flame Staff or some other builds, because we focus primarily on Magic Damage with this build, but it will give you a great AoE damage option and one that will help complement playing in a group.

Restoration Staff

(Replace Destro abilities)

Healing SpringsHealing Springs – This is your bread and butter heal for group play, and the Healing Springs morph will ease the Magicka burden that spamming this ability tends to create. Spam it often and use Breath of Life only when someone is desperately low.

Light's ChampionLight’s Champion – This is an excellent complement to this build, as you have high crit chance and damage and it’s all about huge spike damage. Find yourself in trouble, jumped by 2 or more players? Pop this and start spamming Dark Flares without fear of dying. You should be able to kill one or both before it expires.

One-Handed and Shield

(Replace Destro abilities)

Elusive MistElusive Mist – This is a must for 1 vs. Xing and is excellent in a variety of situations. If you plan to play solo or in a small group this ability will allow you to survive when it shouldn’t be possible. You can also slot this on your Frost Staff in place of Destructive Reach if you want.

Devouring SwarmDevouring Swarm – This is an excellent survival ability for 1 vs. Xing and allows you to get a few kills unexpectedly. I say unexpectedly because generally when you are jumped by 2 or 3 guys they go full DPS and try to burst you down ASAP and neglect healing, often until it’s too late. With Bat Swarm you can deal damage while you heal, freeing you to Puncturing Sweep for more damage and healing, catching may people off guard and killing them. Since so many people run with Eye of the Storm these days, this catches more people by surprise than it used to.

Magicka Templar PvP Build Champion Points

Next we’ll have a look at the Champion Point setup up I use for this Magicka Templar PvP Build. These can vary a bit, and they are not 100% fixed, but there are some very important ones for this build as you will see.

Champion Points

The Apprentice – I have 40 points in Elfborn, 40 in Elemental Expert and 40 Spell Erosion. This allows me to get the 120 point passive ability which grants Magicka. The Critical Strike from Elfborn is excellent for Templars, as it applies to both healing and damage. Spell Erosion will give us some much needed Spell Penetration and Elemental Expert is very useful to this build if you use a Destro staff on your defensive bar as it will increase the damage of not only all Magic Damage abilities, but also the few Frost ones as well. If you decide to run a Resto on your back bar, or are at least running it more often than not, I suggest dropping some points from Elemental Expert and putting them into Blessed.

The Atronach – I have 45 points in Master-at-Arms. This increases the damage of your direct damage abilities, which are Dark Flare and Aurora Javelin. Because all your other abilities are damage over time, I wouldn’t suggest going any higher than this, and you might be better off putting a few more points into Elemental Expert, especially if you decided to use a Resto and put points in Blessed.

The RitualThaumaturge is very important to Templars because of Puncturing Sweep, Vampire’s Bane and Radiant Oppression are all damage over time. You should consider putting as many points here as you can. 60 is a very good number, but I’m running 45 here because I decided to put a few extra points in The Apprentice. Feel free to play around with these numbers and see what works best for you. Anywhere in the 45-75 range is good.

The Steed – I have 45 points into Iron Clad and 45 points into Resistant here. One of the benefits of being a Templar is you have access to the best purge in the game in Extended Ritual. Because of this damage over time effects are not really a problem for you, and this frees you up to focus on what you really need to worry about: burst damage. Since these are direct damage abilities, getting as many points into Iron Clad is a very good idea. 45 is actually the very lowest I would put. 60 is probably a better number or even 75. Resistant also helps against spike damage, but countering the effects of Critical Strikes, so it’s a good idea to have some points into it. I would recommend 30 or more.

The Lady – I have 30 points into Light Armor Focus, 30 in Hardy and 30 in Elemental Defender. Putting points here helps to eliminate the overall damage you take, and Light Armor Focus helps you take a bit less Physical Damage. Since we’ll be wearing Light Armor, you will gain quite a bit of Spell Resistance from the Light Armor passives.

The LordQuick Recovery gets 30 points to help facilitate larger heals on yourself, which you will need if you play with the Destro on your back bar. Consider putting these points elsewhere if you have a Resto instead.

The Tower – 35 points into Warlord helps us Break Free from CCs for less Stamina, which is important because we don’t have a lot and don’t have a lot of Stamina Recovery. Consider even adding more points here if you can spare them.

The Lover – 42 into Arcanist and 33 into Mooncalf help us gain some Recovery, albeit not a whole lot. I like to keep this at 75 total so I can loot materials on the landscape faster.

The Shadow – 70 points into Befoul and 30 into Shadow Ward. Befoul makes your Dark Flare even more potent by further reducing the incoming healing (and Health Recovery once Horns of the Reach goes live) by an additional 15% for a total of 45%. Shadow Ward is simply good for keeping your Block costs down so you can conserve resources.

These are rough guidelines for where to put your Champion Points for this build and there will never be one combination that is perfect. I encourage you to start at or around the values I have listed and change it up as you have played it a bit until it matches more closely with your play style. There are 30 more Champion Points coming with the next update in August, and I would recommend putting these into Thaumaturge, Iron Clad, and Warlord.

Magicka Templar PvP Build Gear (Weapons, Armor and Jewelry)

When it comes to gearing your Magicka Templar for PvP there are really several avenues and paths you can go. There are many different Sets you can utilize to maximize your potential and I’ll show some screenshots below of some different combinations so you can get an idea without having to acquire all the gear yourself. I generally like to run a balanced Templar in PvP, and what I mean by this is wearing 1 offensive Set and 1 defensive Set, but I will also show a fully offensive Templar stats and setup as well. Let’s take a look at some of the combinations:

Dual Swords / Sword and Board Setups (solo and small group play)

Kagrenac’s Hope + Wizard’s Riposte + Willpower (2 swords) + Valkyn Skoria  – This is about the most balanced setup you can get for a Magicka PvP Templar and with this setup you’ll be running dual swords of Willpower on your offensive bar and sword and shield of Wizard’s Riposte on your defensive bar. You’ll need Wizard’s Riposte jewelry and you’ll wear Kag’s on your body. The fact that Kag’s is crafted makes it fairly easy to acquire in the right traits, although it’s 8 traits to make. It also adds flexibility in your armor, allowing you to get the 5 light, 1 medium, 1 heavy we’re after if you don’t have the optimal Valkyn pieces.

Wizard’s Riposte is a phenomenal PvP set because there is no cooldown and it can affect multiple targets at once, giving you a fighting chance at surviving multiple enemies or one enemy with really high DPS. This will also help you in a group setting as it will debuff bombers and enemies targeting other players after critically striking you. Previously I had run the Transmutation Set in this slot, but I find that the Max Health of Wizard’s Riposte is a better bonus than Spell Critical. Since Magicka Recovery and Spell Damage can be managed with jewelry enchants, these didn’t impact my decision here.

War MaidenWizard’s Riposte + Willpower (2 swords) + Valkyn Skoria – A slight variation of the above setup, but this time using War Maiden in place of Kagrenac’s Hope. This will net you an increase in overall DPS at the expense of some healing and some Max Health. What I really like about this set is that since the 5 piece bonus isn’t affected by Major Sorcery, you can Dark Flare from stealth without losing too much DPS, making this an ideal set for players who like ganking. I would run this in a group where you are not the healer, to increase your kill speed.

War Maiden will affect the following abilities: Dark Flare, Puncturing Sweep, Aurora Javelin (or Toppling Charge), Radiant Oppression, Soul Assault and Structured Entropy.

AmberplasmWizard’s Riposte + Willpower (2 swords) + Valkyn Skoria – This setup you’ll gain much needed Stamina Recovery that will allow you to Break Free more often, at the expense of some Max Health. Because Heavy Armor isn’t the meta anymore, this will solve your problem of running out of Stamina and just getting CCed to death. If you are big into dueling or like to solo in PvP then this setup will serve you best. It’s still really good all around, but it will be more effective in solo or small group situations.

Cyrodiil’s LightWizard’s Riposte + Willpower (2 swords) + Valkyn Skoria – This is the most defensive setup you can get, and is listed under sword and board because it’s nearly impossible to find Cyrodiil’s Light swords. Ideally you’d be running with 2 Cyrodiil’s Light Swords and Cyrodiil’s Light Resto or Destro Staff because this will allow you tons of defense while you attack. This means you that you can Puncturing Sweep like a motherfucker and probably never die. As is, using sword and shield it’s still very good as you will most likely get hit while casting Structured Entropy and you may have given them Minor Maim before you swap bars.

Cyrodiil’s light applies when using the following abilities: Dark Flare, Puncturing Sweep, Radiant Oppression and Soul Assault.

You can even use Sets like Transmutation, Shacklebreaker, Armor of the Seducer and Shroud of the Lich in this sort of setup to go effect. There are really a lot of options and you’ll just have to find that works best for the way that YOU play.

Dual Swords / Destro or Resto Setups (small or large group play)

SoulshineWar Maiden + Grothdarr – This is your high DPS setup for PvP, and sacrifices defensive effects for pure damage. Only with Burning Spellweave can you achieve higher DPS, and that is sporadic and harder to achieve in PvP than PvE. In this setup you will be using 2 Soulshine Swords (which aren’t as hard to get as you’d think), a Soulshine Resto and Soulshine Jewelry, with War Maiden on your body. Since Soulshine comes with Max Health on it’s jewelry you will need to switch Monster Helm sets to something with Max Magicka, like Grothdarr. This is an ideal setup for someone off healing as well, since Destro doesn’t synergize well with these sets.

Soulshine affects the following abilities: Dark Flare, Puncturing Sweep (although the tooltip will not show the damage increase), Radiant Oppression and Soul Assault.

Soulshine + Kagrenac’s Hope + Grothdarr  – This is a more balanced setup where Kag’s will still benefit a Destro as it is straight Spell Damage, but works better with a Resto, since Soulshine still doesn’t. In this setup you will have extremely high Health, so this is a more tanky setup than you will usually run, but being in light armor, you really can’t get enough Health.

Cyrodiil’s LightSoulshineGrothdarr – What I like about this setup is that Cyrodiil’s Light has 2 Max Magicka bonuses and Soulshine has 1 Max Magicka bonus and 3 Max Health from the Jewelry traits, so you’ll come out really balanced. With this setup you’ll need all Magicka Recovery enchants on your jewelry to compensate. I feel this setup is, however, slightly less effective than using Wizard’s Riposte since you don’t get the damage reduction unless you are attacking.

You could also use Burning Spellweave, Spinners or Julianos in this sort of setup. In Horns of the Reach, Spell Penetration will be halved on Sharpened weapons, so this Spinners will be even more helpful than it is now.

Magicka Templar PvP Guild Races, Weapon/Armor Traits and Mundus Stones


My character is an Altmer (High Elf). I picked this race because of the increase to Max Magicka as well as Magicka recovery and I think it works best rather well for me as I PvE with this character as well, but admittedly nothing too difficult. Argonian is also an excellent choice as it has many things that benefit PvP: Max Magicka, Max Health, Incoming Healing, Outgoing Healing and extra resources when you use a potion. These two are probably the best two choices for a PvP focused Magicka Templar and it just really comes down to preference. Breton is probably a solid third choice, but not as good as these two.

Weapon/Armor Traits

Traits in PvP run a bit differently than PvE and Impenetrable is a must for nearly every build. There are a few distinct builds that can get away without it, namely gankers, bombers, shield sorcs and some niche medium armor stamina builds. Just about everyone else will be running most or all Impenetrable on their gear to reduce Critical Damage and keep themselves from getting bursted down in two seconds. I recommend shooting for at least 2600 Crit Resistance, but getting to 3000+ is ideal.

Sharpened has been the best Trait for PvP for a very long time on your offensive bar, but it’s getting nerfed in Horns of the Reach to half it’s current value, which makes other Traits somewhat compelling. You really can’t go wrong staying with Sharpened, but Precise, Nirnhoned and even Infused may out perform it in certain scenarios and with certain builds. It’s really hard to recommend an exact Trait, but with the build we are using, Sharpened or Precise are both choices. I would get whichever is easier to acquire. Defending is also getting cut in half, so you should consider taking Powered or Precise on your defensive bar (especially if it’s a Resto staff).

Mundus Stones

The Thief – for as long as I can remember for the extra Critical Strike chance (+11% ~). Since healing benefits from this as well, it has added benefit. However, with Horns of the Reach, this Mundus Stone is getting nerfted to 9% and nearly every other Mundus Stone is being increased so it’s worth considering others. Still a solid choice.

The Mage – will now increase Max Magicka by a little over 2000 in Horns of the Reach, and if you have Precise weapons then you’ll effectively be swapping 2600 Spell Penetration for 3000 ish Max Magicka after all your Max Magicka increasing passives kick in. This makes it a great choice for Altmers who will make the most of it.

The Shadow – swapping Critical Chance for Critical Damage may actually increase your damage, but I have yet to test it. It will give you more burst when it hits targets who aren’t blocking or have a damage shield, so it’s definitely worth considering, because burst is good…

Magicka Templar PvP Build Final Tips

I have been playing a Templar since Beta, I’ve played both a Stamplar and a Magplar, I’ve watched more build guides than I can count, however, this is my first Templar Build Guide, so please don’t take everything I say as the word of law. If you’ve seen enough guides, you’ll start to realize there is not “One Guide to Rule Them All” so instead of looking for that, focus on playing YOUR build. PvP in Elder Scrolls Online is not an exact science and you learn a LOT by simply playing, dying and eventually succeeding. Do not expect immediate success from following this guide, only a foundation to build off of over time.

Resource Management – is key to surviving intense battles and 1 vs X scenarios. If you run out of Stamina or Magicka you’re in trouble, so learn to manage both and quit focusing on huge Spell Damage or high tooltips. I don’t like having less than ~2000 Magicka Recovery and I’ll take more Stamina Recovery if I can get it. Amber Plasm is an excellent set for resource management, so consider getting it if you have Shadows of the Hist and some spare time. The only people who don’t need resource management are gankers and bombers who either kill you in 2 hits and vanish (or don’t kill you in 2 hits and vanish) or bombers who aren’t planning on surviving anyway. This isn’t either of those types of builds.

Read the Situation – fighting unwinnable battles isn’t going to make you learn or get better. Learn when to engage and when to wait for back up. As you get better at PvP (which will take a bit), you’ll get much better at this and you’ll start winning more scenarios and eventually you’ll find yourself turning the tables from sure loss to sure victory.

Soul Assault – is amazing at taking out single targets that are hard to kill and it’s cheap so use its liberally. Got a stamina nightblade who keeps stealthing? Soul Assault him and end his reign of gankery. This is your go to against Stamina builds that are out solo or in a small group. Use this also when you need a quick kill to help even the odds in an unbalanced scenario. Sometimes, just downing one guy quick can give you the momentum you need to come out on top. And, if not, at least you can nab a kill before you eat it yourself.

Play the Map – For the best PvP experience play the map and set your gear to mimic what is happening. Defending or sieging keeps? Perhaps Toppling Charge should be replaced by Aurora Javelin or maybe you swap out sword and board and put on Elemental Rage. Maybe there are huge battles and no one is healing, so put your Resto on and get some easy AP. Magicka Templars are extremely versatile and this guide shows you how to change setups so that you can be the most effective in different scenarios.

Overall this is a gratifying build to play if you’re willing to put in the time and work to master it. It’s my hope that the guide has helped illuminate and demystify the build proccess and that you learned a tip or two. This entire build should not change much with the upcoming Horns of the Reach DLC and where it will, I have noted those changes in the guide so that you can adapt. With that said, let’s watch it in action:

Be sure to check out our other ESO Guides!

About the Author



1 response to “Magicka Templar PvP Build Guide: Elder Scrolls Online Morrowind”

  1. Excellent post, thank you. Well-written and with pictures!

    I don’t 100% agree with the setup BUT there are definitely some things I did not consider. Like Extended Ritual. I’ve been running Retribution for so long I forgot about the “other” morph with the 5 negative effect removal. And I was not aware of the Ice Staff rooting witch clench. I am SO crafting a Juli ice staff tonight!

    As for SS +WM + Grothdarr…totally agree. I just need those dern sharpened SS swords. Keep farming baby! Or pay $15k each in the guild store….

    Anyway, thanks again. I like your style; more please!

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