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 take a look at Thews of the Harbringer which damages enemy while Blocking.
Introduction To Thews of the Harbringer Set
This set was introduced to Elder Scrolls Online in August and September of 2015 with the addition of the Imperial City DLC. It is purchased from the Tel-Var Vendor in the Imperial City and is bind on equip. You can acquire Heavy Armor, weapons and jewelry of this Set, and they are in the Xivkyn Motif style. This Style is divided into several motif book chapters and all of them can be found in Trophy Vaults.
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 to change Jewelry Traits, along with 50 Transmute Crystals.
Thews of the Harbringer increases Max Health by 2412 and Max Stamina by 1096 with 4 pieces equipped. The 5 piece set bonus deals damage to attackers whenever you Block direct damage. This set is meant for Tanks due to its bonuses which increase Health and Stamina, while the 5 piece set bonus could only be effective when continuously Blocking.
Reducing Your Block Cost
If you are a player focusing primarily on PvE, the first thing you’re going to want to do when using Trappings of Invigoration is reduce your Block Cost since you will need to Block a lot in order to make full use of this Set. The cost of Blocking is 1730 Stamina every .25 seconds currently (assuming you are being hit) and you will need to reduce that number significantly or you will not be able to Block more than a couple of seconds tops. Luckily there are many ways to do this.
For PvE players (tanks) you’ll want to have the Sturdy Trait on just about every piece of Armor you can, and since this Set is crafted, that will be extremely easy to do. PvP players will want Impenetrable, or else they will die quickly from Critical Damage, and they do not need to Block as often.
Secondly PvE players will want to invest heavily into the Shadow Ward star of The Shadow Champion Tree. There is no hard and fast rule here as to just how much you need to invest, but it is not difficult to get -20% Block Cost reduction from this star. PvE players will also want to have the passive skill: Fortress in the One-Handed and Shield Skill Line. Maxed out, it will reduce your Block Cost by 36% when you have a Shield equipped.
Finally, and most importantly, PvE players should put Glyph of Shielding on your Jewelry. If you play around with Blocking at all, you’ll find there is no way to make it sustainable without them. You don’t need to put them on all your Jewelry, but at least 1 or 2. It isn’t necessary to go for a “perma-block” build, but you will need to reduce Block Cost significantly for this Build to work. However, blocking effectiveness got nerfed in Dragon Bones DLC. With all factors affecting Block cost maximized it would cost around 250 Stamina more per block after the patch, which is quite a significant increase. For more information on Blocking please see this video.
What You Need To Know About This Set
How this set works is whenever you block a direct damage attack, the enemy will take damage equal to 4% of your current Health. The Health in question is your current Health, not your Maximum Health. If your Health starts going down, damage done from this set will be lessened proportionally. So the two goals are: 1) have Max Health as high as possible, and 2) to have it close to that value at all times to maximize damage done from this set.
Although the tooltip says its 4% of current health, that is all before applying bonuses from Mighty, Master-at-Arms and Piercing. Damage reflected is considered direct Physical Damage and benefits from all those champion skills. With 100 points into Mighty and Master-at-Arms, 51 points into Piercing and total of 58.2k Health, damage done per block was roughly 3k. The great thing about this set is that it does not have a cooldown of any kind, meaning you are not restricted in doing damage in any way. So against groups of enemies it is very useful because everyone that is attacking you will take damage. Note that damage cannot crit because it comes from a set, but damage from this set procs bonuses from other sets that have requirement of dealing damage. Selene, for example.
Notes for PvE Players
This set can be used in PvE if optimized and for certain builds only and the only ones that could use it are Tanks. I also see this set used mostly in solo play because the damage dealt in Dungeons is so low that it’s not worth it.
This set also has one glaring issue: to get to highest possible damage you need huge Max Health. The problem is that in order to deal damage you need to block, which requires Stamina. So if you are going for highest damage output then you are limiting the amount you can block, and vice versa. That means choosing between Health or Stamina, Sturdy or Divines, The Tower or The Lord. It depends on what kind of build you want to run. You lose in one aspect no matter what you go for.
Templars, for example, can be great with high max health setup due to Blazing Shield ability and Puncturing Sweep to add damage and heals in between blocks. Blazing Shield provides damage shield equal to 30% of your Max Health, which in case of having high Max Health becomes massive. In solo play this build can out-sustain any boss.
The 2 Sets that works best with Thews of the Harbringer are Plague Doctor and Warrior-Poet. Plague Doctor adds roughly 6k Max Health, which is massive, and Warrior-Poet can add the same or more depending on your setup. Also adding Selene Monster Helm can provide a significant DPS boost because it procs from damage done from the set. It also scales with same Champion Skills that are used to increase Thews of the Harbringer damage.
Notes for PvP Players
This set won’t find much use in PvP simply because the damage done is reduced by 50%. So even if you go for a build that would do around 3k damage per block, in PvP that damage would be only 1.5k which is simply too low. In addition, you will not be at Max Health often, which means that number will be lowered yet still. The upside is that you can proc other sets from doing that damage, like Selene’s.
If you’re going to use this set in PvP, which I advise against, then you will need a way to sustain Blocking and Health, so consider adding something like Crest of Cyrodiil or Battalion Defender in order to keep you Health topped off while you Block. This will ensure maximum damage is returned, and that you don’t need to lower your Block. Remember that you can cast spells and Block at the same time, potentially making this set viable if you can sustain it.
Thews of the Harbringer is a set that won’t see much use in any environment. The damage from it is too low to justify it in group content or PvP, so the only real usage is in solo play. Upsides are no cooldown and that it procs other sets, and that is the only reason why it would be ok choice in solo play. The damage of this Set would have to be roughly doubled or even 2.5xed for it to make much sense to use it with regularity.
This set is one of the weaker ones that can be used in niche builds which would’t work in any competitive environment. It’s for solo play to change things up a bit and try something else.