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Confused and Disappointed with the Warden Winter's Embrace Skills

Androrix
Androrix
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I would love to play a frost mage, and have always been disappointed with the winter's embrace line. Almost every skill seems geared to the player being in close combat...so a tank, I guess. But now you can get a 12% damage bonus with an ice staff. So...does that mean this is supposed to be a mage tank only tree?

Is a non-tank frost mage at all viable? I enjoyed the ice mage line in the Dragon Age games, and I am surprised we don't have something comparable here. Or maybe we do and I am just missing it...
Edited by ZOS_Hadeostry on January 24, 2023 4:30AM
  • ArchMikem
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    Frost Damage in ESO appears to be intended toward magicka Tanking and Group Support via debuffing enemies. Yes you can still DPS with a Frost Mage build, I have one, but you're not going to be clearing Dungeons very easily, and I hope your Trial group is real patient.
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  • OBJnoob
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    Yeah even for PvP it's pretty meh. I've got a gold set of Frostbite gear and I never get to use it because there just arent enough frost abilities to make an offense out of. I mean there's some funky niche dots and stun/immobilize/damage utility. There's even an ulti or two, but there's nothing resembling a spammable.

    I guess if you have the VDSA staff you kinda can, but still not really, and sadly I don't have that. Anyway from a magden pvp perspective I really anticipated going full blown frost when the frost staff change happened, but I'm using beetles, arterial burst, and dawnbreaker instead. Meh.
  • CP5
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    My forst damage centric warden was probably my favorite one to bring into trials back when my guild was running them. Since then, ZOS has actually buffed the playstyles damage output, and overall it isn't entirely about the number of skills. Winter's Revenge is just a solid ground dot and I also found the masters frost staff with frost reach a very good addition.

    The utility though is where frost shines, I don't remember my exact gear but the Baron Zaudrus monster helm was one I was dabbling with in a lot of areas and on my wardens it worked really well. Play into procing the chilled status effect so you can both apply maim and brittle to enemies. The shield from frost blockade actually got me on top of the "healing done" list duing some of the trash pulls in Rock Grove because of those exploding shields firing off projectiles. Baron Zaudrus self recharging off of Permafrost as well as Shimmering Shield which provides an easy way for you to both easily protect yourself and get ultimate for whatever you may need it for.

    For raw damage, fire is best because ZOS loves their unique "target takes more fire damage" debuffs, but frost offers strong group utility, both in terms of keeping people alive and heavily debuffing enemies.

    And yes, frost reach is a perfectly usable spammable, because while the direct damage is less than other spammables it's 100% proc chance will always apply chilled to make up for it, and whenever you break from using it to do other things the lingering dot will add even more on top of it. It isn't meta, but it is most certainly viable.
  • flizomica
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    These responses are making me feel like I'm taking crazy pills? You can parse 100k+ in all frost RP sets (e.g. frostbite + iceheart + whorl). A normal magden setup is still going vDSA ice staff front bar with typical meta sets and parsing 120k+. In no way will going for a more dedicated frost mage build hold you back from completing non-hardcore content with ease.

    In PvP, I'm not using any frost damage sets, but I still have frost wall + frost reach + arctic blast + frost cloak + northern storm, so it still feels extremely frost-y. Magden PvP absolutely rules this patch.

    Yes, the frost damage abilities are more geared towards defense and support, but that helps carve out a niche between the other elemental damage types - fire (single target) and lightning (AoE). I really enjoy the extra defense in solo content, and being in charge of bringing a critical debuff (minor brittle) can help secure your place in coordinated group content.

    I do still hope we see positive balance changes for frost wardens, like were suggested probably hundreds of times during the U35 PTS (e.g. make deep fissure deal frost* damage).
    Edited by flizomica on January 22, 2023 7:50PM
  • OBJnoob
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    Some good points were made... It is perhaps more viable than I thought. It would be amazing if deep fissure did frost damage though. That would make it more viable for pvp, where it isn't quite as good as PvE.
  • Agenericname
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    Theyre definitely viable. I run whorl and frostbite with the master front bar. There are probably better choices for gear. There isnt a dungeon, on any mode, or any achievement in them, that it couldnt do.

    They have reasonably good damage. I think the reason that they're not as popular is because they arent really bringing a unique buff to trials other than brittle, which can be gotten elsewhere.

    Viable? Certainly. Optimal? Situationally perhaps.
  • ArchMikem
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    flizomica wrote: »
    These responses are making me feel like I'm taking crazy pills? You can parse 100k+ in all frost RP sets (e.g. frostbite + iceheart + whorl). A normal magden setup is still going vDSA ice staff front bar with typical meta sets and parsing 120k+. In no way will going for a more dedicated frost mage build hold you back from completing non-hardcore content with ease.

    In PvP, I'm not using any frost damage sets, but I still have frost wall + frost reach + arctic blast + frost cloak + northern storm, so it still feels extremely frost-y. Magden PvP absolutely rules this patch.

    Yes, the frost damage abilities are more geared towards defense and support, but that helps carve out a niche between the other elemental damage types - fire (single target) and lightning (AoE). I really enjoy the extra defense in solo content, and being in charge of bringing a critical debuff (minor brittle) can help secure your place in coordinated group content.

    I do still hope we see positive balance changes for frost wardens, like were suggested probably hundreds of times during the U35 PTS (e.g. make deep fissure deal frost* damage).

    If Shalks or the Cliffracer is in your bar then it's not a true Frost Mage, I've seen a few supposed Frost Warden builds still use an animal skill as their spammable or burst dmg. Plus I've noticed, on my setup anyway, sustain is horrendous to manage.
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  • Jarl_Ironheart
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    Androrix wrote: »
    I would love to play a frost mage, and have always been disappointed with the winter's embrace line. Almost every skill seems geared to the player being in close combat...so a tank, I guess. But now you can get a 12% damage bonus with an ice staff. So...does that mean this is supposed to be a mage tank only tree?

    Is a non-tank frost mage at all viable? I enjoyed the ice mage line in the Dragon Age games, and I am surprised we don't have something comparable here. Or maybe we do and I am just missing it...

    Check out Deltia and Hack the Minotaur on YouTube. They both have a frost mage warden build that are really strong. Hacks is more tank and Deltia is more damage if I'm remembering correctly
    Push Posh Applesauce, Pocket Full of Marmalade.
  • Naftal
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    OBJnoob wrote: »
    Some good points were made... It is perhaps more viable than I thought. It would be amazing if deep fissure did frost damage though. That would make it more viable for pvp, where it isn't quite as good as PvE.

    Deep Fissure is better in pvp than pve.

    Sub assault is for pve.
  • Androrix
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    ArchMikem wrote: »
    If Shalks or the Cliffracer is in your bar then it's not a true Frost Mage, I've seen a few supposed Frost Warden builds still use an animal skill as their spammable or burst dmg. Plus I've noticed, on my setup anyway, sustain is horrendous to manage.

    On this exact point, I checked out Deltia's frost warden (thanks to Jarl for pointing that out). It is amazing, no doubt. But the front bar is: deep fissure, blue betty, growing swarm, bird of prey, destructive reach, and wild guardian. So, although he uses a frost staff, the build seems much more like an animal summoning warden. Also, he specifically says not to use the winter armor sets and suggests things like order's wrath and pillar of nirn. Like I said, definitely an amazing build, but for role-playing does not at all feel like a frost mage.

    That said, lots of the suggestions in this thread are really interesting and helpful though. Thanks everyone!

  • Urzigurumash
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    To me the Frostbite set is all about Ice Comet. Built squishily FrostDen has been one of my hardest hitting classes for a long time on account of that combination. Sure it's easily blocked but if it weren't it wouldn't have such a high tooltip.
    Xbox NA AD / Day 1 ScrubDK / Wood Orc Cuisine Enthusiast
  • SilverWF
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    OBJnoob wrote: »
    Yeah even for PvP it's pretty meh. I've got a gold set of Frostbite gear and I never get to use it because there just arent enough frost abilities to make an offense out of. I mean there's some funky niche dots and stun/immobilize/damage utility. There's even an ulti or two, but there's nothing resembling a spammable.

    Wut?
    Aint frostmage warden considered as omg crazy OP in PVP?
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  • OBJnoob
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    @SilverWF yes warden with a frost staff is very strong in pvp right now. To be clear I'm not asking for a buff. I'm just piggybacking on the PvE thought that it'd be kinda cool to have more frost damage options.

    Most of wardens true damage (animal companion abilities,) is of the magic type. I think it's always been pretty dumb that sorcs, nightblades, and Wardens all do so much magic damage.

    Sorcs should have more shock damage and Wardens should have more frost damage.

    Crystallized Slab does decent frost damage but you can't control who it hits. It's a good part of defense but has next to nothing to do with offense. In a 1v1 it can be very strong... But then again, if you're fighting someone that doesn't use projectiles, it's also literally useless. Gripping Shards and Wall of Frost are nice for the immobilize, but in PvP abilities like this don't do any real damage. Northern Storm and Ice Comet are very good, but that's literally the end of the list, and it's hard to "build around" or kill someone with just an ultimate.

    It all just feels very loosely knit and like an afterthought. My pvp Magden uses Hrothgar's Chill, because it's just less of a sacrifice to let my gear inflict chilled and brittle on enemies than to load my bars up with crappy skills.

    And I suppose it would be pretty lame for every warden to be using the Frostbite set... But it's even more annoying for 3 entire classes to be using War Maiden. There are lots of damage types in this game that are underutilized.
  • ESO_Nightingale
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    Androrix wrote: »
    I would love to play a frost mage, and have always been disappointed with the winter's embrace line. Almost every skill seems geared to the player being in close combat...so a tank, I guess. But now you can get a 12% damage bonus with an ice staff. So...does that mean this is supposed to be a mage tank only tree?

    Is a non-tank frost mage at all viable? I enjoyed the ice mage line in the Dragon Age games, and I am surprised we don't have something comparable here. Or maybe we do and I am just missing it...

    frost warden took a long time to become viable, but it finally hits very hard now in pve and does good enough damage to be considered good, even great in pvp as well! it's only become so in the last patch after several years of begging for more skills and passive effects to help the playstyle out

    you want to build your damage around chilled status effect procs since they have no cooldown and glacial presence now increases it's direct damage by a very large amount, this means using a lot of frost damage sources! using frost reach as your spammable with the master ice staff is highly recommended, along with using the charged weapon trait on your frontbar to get more procs of status effects, you want to be using unstable wall of frost, winter's revenge and arctic blast. you also want to be using wild guardian as your ultimate to proc a lot of hemorrhaging.

    my only issues that remain is we still lack a couple of frost damage skills and a really good frost damage monster helmet. but the first issue could be solved by spell crafting or 1h and rune if either of those are released this year.
    Edited by ESO_Nightingale on January 23, 2023 2:19PM
    PvE Frost Warden Main and teacher for ESO-U. Frost Warden PvE Build Article: https://eso-u.com/articles/nightingales_warden_dps_guide__frost_knight. Come Join the ESO Frost Discord to discuss everything frost!: https://discord.gg/5PT3rQX
  • ESO_Nightingale
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    Androrix wrote: »
    I would love to play a frost mage, and have always been disappointed with the winter's embrace line. Almost every skill seems geared to the player being in close combat...so a tank, I guess. But now you can get a 12% damage bonus with an ice staff. So...does that mean this is supposed to be a mage tank only tree?

    Is a non-tank frost mage at all viable? I enjoyed the ice mage line in the Dragon Age games, and I am surprised we don't have something comparable here. Or maybe we do and I am just missing it...

    Check out Deltia and Hack the Minotaur on YouTube. They both have a frost mage warden build that are really strong. Hacks is more tank and Deltia is more damage if I'm remembering correctly

    not gonna lie, i think Skinny Cheeks has the best information out there for players who really want to go into trial content, his frost warden video is insanely in depth and lasts for an hour. it has pretty much all of the information you could want including set combinations that eek out the most damage.

    Deltia, Alcast and Hack all have easily accessable builds but they don't perform as well as builds from frequent raiders and hardcore pvpers. Xynode is one i'd recommend to avoid if at all possible.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPl8tXuFpjs&t
    Edited by ESO_Nightingale on January 23, 2023 5:07PM
    PvE Frost Warden Main and teacher for ESO-U. Frost Warden PvE Build Article: https://eso-u.com/articles/nightingales_warden_dps_guide__frost_knight. Come Join the ESO Frost Discord to discuss everything frost!: https://discord.gg/5PT3rQX
  • Androrix
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    Some really great ideas and information here. Thank you everyone!
  • ESO_Nightingale
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    Androrix wrote: »
    Some really great ideas and information here. Thank you everyone!

    if you want to join a discord about frost warden dps, you can click on the link in my signature!
    PvE Frost Warden Main and teacher for ESO-U. Frost Warden PvE Build Article: https://eso-u.com/articles/nightingales_warden_dps_guide__frost_knight. Come Join the ESO Frost Discord to discuss everything frost!: https://discord.gg/5PT3rQX
  • ZOS_Hadeostry
    Greetings,

    After further review we have decided to move this thread to a category we think is more appropriate for this topic.

    Thank you for your understanding
    Staff Post
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