Permafrost: ESO Set Guide – A Healthy Lifestyle

Permafrost: ESO Set Guide – A Healthy Lifestyle

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 Permafrost Set which raises Health Recovery when a Damage Shield ability has been used.

Set that focuses on Health Recovery

Introduction To Permafrost Set

This set was added with Orsinium Expansion that launched in November 2015. It added a lot of new content, including 18 new Sets, and Maelstrom Arena. The Permafrost Set drops from normal and veteran Maelstrom Arena, and each set item is bind on pickup, meaning you will have to run the Arena to obtain it. Set items come in the Snowreach Motif Style. This motif cannot be obtained in any way at this time.

Weapon and Armor Traits are random, meaning you are likely to have to farm pieces for different Traits. It 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 to change Traits on Jewelry, along with 50 Transmute Crystals.

Permafrost increases Max Health by 1206, Max Magicka by 1096 and Magicka Recovery by 129 with 4 pieces equipped. The 5 piece set bonus increases Health Recovery by 885 when a Damage Shield ability has been used.

Resource Recovery

Health, Stamina and Magicka are all complimented with same named Recovery stat. This stat indicates how much of that particular resource you can regain over time. Recovery ticks every 2 seconds and the amount you recover is displayed in character sheet. Base recovery (without anything that would increase it further) depends on your character’s level.

These Recovery stats can be increased in many ways. Note that increasing Max Health, Stamina and Magicka does not affect Recovery at all. Every Recovery stat has their own methods of how to increase it. It can be through Champion Skills, Sets, Abilities, Buffs, Traits…etc. Set Jewelry almost always comes with a Recovery stat Enchantment. Light Sets come with Magicka Recovery, Medium with Stamina, and Heavy with Health. The Invigorating Amor Trait increases Recovery for all 3 resources at once, though by a very low amount.

Health Recovery

Health Recovery is a stat that is more important for Tanks but it is rarely utilized in PvE Builds, while it can be more effective in PvP. Healing Done, Healing Taken, and Healing Received do not impact Health Recovery in any way. Minor and Major Defile, however, reduces Health Recovery by 15/30%.  The following are all the ways to increase Health Recovery:

  • Glyph of Health Recovery: Jewelry Glyph that increases Health Recovery by 169 at most.
  • The Steed Mundus Stone: Increases Health Recovery by 363 if you have 7 Legendary Divine Traits.
  • Minor/Major Fortitude Buff: Minor increases Health Recovery by 10% while Major increases by 20%. This buff comes from abilities, passives and Health Potions.
  • Healthy Champion Skill: Increases Health Recovery by 15% while at highest level.

Stamina Recovery

Stamina Recovery is a stat that is most important for Stamina DPS roles. Most tanks have little use of it because Stamina Recovery is 0 when holding block, which they almost always are. In addition, you can regain Stamina by hitting an enemy with fully-charged Heavy Attack when using any weapon besides Staves. Here are all the ways to increase Stamina Recovery:

  • Glyph of Stamina Recovery: Jewelry Glyph that increases Stamina Recovery by 169 at most.
  • The Serpent Mundus Stone: Increases Stamina Recovery by 363 at most if you have 7 Legendary Divine Traits.
  • Minor/Major Endurance Buff: Minor increases Stamina Recovery by 10% while Major increases by 20%. This buff comes from abilities, passives and Health Potions.
  • Mooncalf Champion Skill: Increases Stamina Recovery by 15% while at highest level.

Magicka Recovery

Magicka Recovery is a stat that is most important for Magicka DPS roles and some Tank builds. Besides Magicka Recovery you can recover Magicka by hitting an enemy with a fully-charged Heavy Attack when using Staves. Here are all the ways to increase Magicka Recovery:

  • Glyph of Magicka Recovery: Jewelry Glyph that increases Magicka Recovery by 169 at most.
  • The Atronach Mundus Stone: Increases Magicka Recovery by 363 at most if you have 7 Legendary Divine Traits.
  • Minor/Major Intellect Buff: Minor increases Magicka Recovery by 10% while Major increases by 20%. This buff comes from abilities, passives and Health Potions.
  • Arcanist Champion Skill: Increases Magicka Recovery by 15% while at highest level.

What You Need To Know About This Set

How this set works is whenever a Damage Shield is activated, Health Recovery increases by the number listed on the tooltip for this Set, and it lasts only as long as Damage Shield is active. That means if the Shield breaks through damage, the increase is lost. The unfortunate thing, is that there is no special icon that indicates if the buff is active or not, so you just have to “know” it’s working. The only way to verify it is by activating a Damage Shield and then going into inventory to check your Stats. Tooltip Health Recovery cannot be increased in any way except by upgrading Armor quality. With Gold quality items set bonus goes up to 885 Health Recovery.

Health Recovery is increased for as long as Damage Shield is present

The great thing about Permafrost is that you can have increased Health Recovery as long as Damage Shield is active, so activating it again and again when it is about to expire or break, can lead to having that buff active at all times (since there is no cooldown on it).

The Health Recovery bonus can proc from other Sets that have chance of granting a Damage Shield as well, so Sets like Brand of Imperium and Whitestrake Retribution can proc the buff which will last until that Damage Shield has been broken (or ends). It also procs from the Reinforced Champion Skill that provides a Damage Shield when blocking, as well as the Glyph of Hardening Weapon Enchantment. Having the Infused Weapon Trait will reduce the cooldown of this Glyph by up to 50%, and increase the Damage Shield value by up to 30%. This is great combination for Permafrost builds since it guarantees more Damage Shields, which in turn increases surviveability and the frequency of the Health Recovery buff from Permafrost.

Notes for PvE Players

The Permafrost Set is meant for Tanks only. Stamina tanks like Dragonknights and Templars still need Magicka to keep their surviveability up so having increased Max Magicka and Mag Recovery works quite well for them, and this is especially true if using Permafrost. To have that Health Recovery buff active at all times you will likely have to spam a Damage Shield every few seconds, which uses lot of Magicka. So these bonuses of Magicka and Magicka Recovery work quite well here.

In most cases high Health Recovery can serve you rather well

Health Recovery builds for Tanks are plausible, mainly because of this specific Set. In some cases it will almost double Health Recovery you already have, and there are ways to make Health Recovery extremely high. The following is the setup I used to reach very high Health Recovery numbers.

  • Major Fortitude increases Health Recovery by 20%. This can come from simply drinking Healing Potion and lasts for about half a minute so it could be active at all times.
  • Nord racial passives grant 20% increased Health Recovery.
  • The Steed Mundus Stone offers around 360 Health Recovery with 7 legendary Divine Traits.
  • Divines Trait on Armor to increase effectiveness of The Steed Mundus Stone.
  • PermafrostBeekeeper’s Gear and Troll King sets.
  • Health Recovery Enchantments on Jewelry.
  • 100 Points into Healthy Champion Skill.

I managed to get my Health Recovery up to around 6200 with this setup when all buffs were active which is quite high. Dying is highly unlikely with such high Health Recovery, especially when playing with Permafrost where you need to keep a Damage Shield up most of the time anyway. Another option instead of Beekeeper is Orgnum Scales which increases Health Recovery by 50% when under 60% health. With that setup and all buffs active Health Recovery goes to about 7500 – 8000 which is extremely high, but this is only when you are below 60%. For the toughest content, however, it might not cut it because there is the possibility of high burst damage that can kill you in one hit, and you will chew through Stamina with no Block Reduction Glyphs on your Jewelry.

A must have ability for a Permafrost Build is Bone Shield. It grants a Damage shield equal to 30% of your Max Health and it costs Stamina to cast. If playing with classes that have Damage Shield abilities, they cost Magicka to cast. Now you have 2 damage shields that cost different resource so keeping that Permafrost buff active at all times becomes easier.

Bone Shield is particularly useful for builds that use Permafrost

That being said, running a full Health Recovery build can be detrimental. As tank you still need to take care of your team besides only tanking and still have decent Resistances. Health Recovery happens every 2 seconds, so in between you can take a lot of punishment on the toughest veteran content, which can be difficult to sustain if relying only on Health Recovery. So set like Brands of the Imperium would be ideal since it grants a Damage Shield to allies and yourself, and the Shield itself activates your Permafrost Health Recovery buff. Adding on top of that Troll King Set would improve Health Recovery further, and with it survivability a lot. If you feel like Troll King would be detrimental to the build and that such high recovery is unnecessary, then switch to something like Engine Guardian or Lord Warden.

For such builds, Bastion and the Healthy Champion Skills are very important. Bastion increases the effectiveness of Damage Shields, and the longer you have them, longer the buff will last. The Healthy Champion Skill increases Health Recovery by up to an additional 15%.

Notes for PvP Players

Health Recovery can be useful in PvP, and especially so when resources have been drained and you do not have means of healing. It is also great counter to DoT effects like Bleed and Poison. With damage output and healing reduced in PvP, Health Recovery can play huge role in sustainability. Players looking to PvP with Permafrost will likely be in the tank role, with the job of harassing enemies and drawing fire, while their teammates take out other players. Consider pairing this Set with something like Troll King, and Fasalla’s Guile in order to put Defile on enemies while you are in the middle of them, reducing their healing.

Final Verdict

Permafrost has its uses in PvE and PvP, and although it isn’t the most impressive Set in PvE, it can make tanks quite independent and hard to kill. In PvP it will be used more often because Health Recovery is much harder for players to counter, since it happens even when CCed, although Defile is a concern.

It is best to move around a bit for Health Recovery to start kicking in

Overall it is a mediocre Set for some peculiar builds that can be easily replaced with other ones that would make Tanks more useful to the team and more durable. Health Recovery is all well and good, but it is only just another heal over time in the end, and so it requires further optimization. This in turn can lead to detrimental effects, and in toughest content you can still be one-shotted easily, nullifying this sort of setup completely.


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

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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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