[PVE] The Sorcerer Stamina Healer - Flames of Ambition

Dotsham
Dotsham
Soul Shriven
DISCLAIMER
The following build is not considered META and does not pretend to be. Without any respect for any kind of lore or logic in the videogame industry, ESO enables any player to create magic with Stamina. As if you could make a train fly only by clenching very hard your fists, this game has uncloaked a ridiculous and yet marvelous potential. You will find in this build a study of my own - strictly subjective - that hopefully will give you more insight in terms of Stamina healing.

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Welcome to this place fellow companion ! First of all, I would like to thank you for clicking on this post. Whatever your first motivation was, giving me some of your time means a lot to me. For those who know me well, I'm always taking a great pleasure at building weird guides that could stay as effective as possible. I've been maining a great amount of healing specs from several games in my whole life, following with very close attention their evolution for many years. Today, META is boring me and I try to bring some fresh thoughts on ideas I had left aside for years.

What is Stamina Healing and what are the risks included with ?
Stamina healing is a concept born a few years ago when some players decided to make use of the Warden's stamina morph of Fungal Growth. Outside from this morph, very few skills enable oneself to scale its healing with Stamina... but want it or not, they're existing. These weird players have been systematically kicked from groups since they could not provide the precious buffs Magicka based healers could bring to the table.

With the next patches, ZOS has clearly proved Stamina healing would get its own voice, untill Flames of Ambition launched and offered this :

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Sure, these changes sound like they were made towards PVP since that's a clear increase of StamDDs' survivability. But for people like me, this also proves some gates have been opened for weird Stamina healing builds like mine.

What you need to know is that even though Fungal Growth is the only direct Stamina heal ever designed in this game, Wardens are not the only class that can perform well under Stamina circumstances. Among other guides I will post on this forum, the following one will show you how a Sorcerer can compete, if not outclass Wardens on that subject.

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I. HOW DOES IT WORK ?

Outside from Fungal Growth, other healing skills scaling with Stamina actually are HoTs, which means that you can say bye bye to strong instant burst heals with that kind of build. Does it make it difficult compared to classic Magicka healers ? Yes. Is it impossible ? No. The only difference is that your gameplay must be much more proactive and in phase with your teammates. If one of them misses a tick, they can die a few seconds later.
Very important to read : Stamina or Magicka doesn't change this : every class can heal properly, especially since players often have their own self-heal just in case. What makes a good healer is his/her faculty to provide buffs, debuffs and a full toolbox in combat WITH the healing. Do not focus solely on the green numbers on your friends, you'd rather take this role more as a dungeon facilitator.

The Sorcerer Stamina healer works with one main synergy (enhanced by gear, passives and race) : Power Surge and Echoing Vigor. Power Surge procs a 18 meter wide AoE heal if you've critically healed yourself or an ally previously (the effect occurs every 3s minimum). Since Echoing Vigor is a 10s HoT, each critical tick within 3s will proc Power Surge and add power to your overall group healing. In other words, as long as you keep the uptime on your HoTs you are a pulsating healing tower on a 18 meter radius.

Three other sources of healing will enable you to stack HoTs on targets, which is useful since you'll sometimes need to stay far from them because of a boss aptitude, an AoE, ... These are the Energy Orb (mainly for resource management), Ring of Preservation (small HoT granting Minor Protection and Minor Endurance) and Overflowing Altar (for lifesteal and a major 65% Max Health burst heal on synergy). We'll get down there later.

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II. SKILLS DISCUSSION

Even though you do not use the classic Resto Staff on main bar and the Lightning Staff on back-up, you will still have the equivalent "Healing Bar/Support Bar".

Main Weapon - Dual Wield Axes
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This build revolves around your ability to align as many critical heals as possible, but also to make those numbers as juicy as possible. Thus the double axes, which will grant a total +8% Critical Healing (Twin Blade and Blunt) and +6% off-hand damage as Weapon Damage (Dual Wield Expert). Dual Wield is prefered to Two Handed since it adds the Dual Wield Expert Weapon Damage.

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Ring of Preservation : A rune set on the ground for 8s granting you and allies Minor Protection, Minor Endurance and a very small HoT. It's best placed on the tank, especially when he/she has settled a spot where he/she will be staying for a while. But the best benefit from this skill lies in its healing frequency of 0,5s. Power Surge doesn't imply any healing threshold, only a critical one which means someone standing in your rune will have two chances per second to trigger Power Surge healing wave. Do not consider this skill as a reliable healing skill in itself but more as a smoothing one.
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Hurricane : This skill mainly gives you Major Resolve and Minor Expedition. That 15% Movement Speed bonus is amazing since as a Stamina Healer, your moves are much more important than in classic builds (in which movement already is a key to success). Be very careful about body pull since at stage 3, the Hurricane will aggro mobs at 9m. It also contributes to your Weapon Damage increase through the Storm Calling passive Expert Mage.
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Echoing Vigor : As mentionned earlier, this is one of the most important skills of your toolbox. It is a 15 meter wide HoT which lasts 10s (with a quite high Stamina scaling). Be smart when using it, contrary to Magicka skills like Grand Healing, there is no initial heal followed by the HoT, it will be useless to spam this button if you panic. Make sure every ally always gets its HoT since four players have greater chances to trigger Power Surge than three or two (or one but then.. c'mon xD).
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Power Surge : The keystone of your build. It must have 100% uptime, all the time like... always ! And it's not only because of it's AoE healing mechanic, but also because it gives you Major Brutality for 33s. This skill is a massive increase of all your HoTs and must never be forgotten. It finally also contributes to the Expert Mage passive for a total of +4% Weapon Damage.
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Camouflaged Hunter : Used as a slotted effect only since it increases your precious Weapon Critical by 2629 and adds some more damage when hitting from flanks. This skill is only on your main bar, which means when you truly need to heal others, you must always swap to your main weapon bar otherwise Power Surge will have less chances to trigger. Contributes to the Slayer passive with Ring of Preservation for a nice +4% Weapon Damage increase.
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Greater Storm Atronach : Gives a very nice 20% Stamina and Health recovery thanks to Daedric Protection but also synergies pretty well for a Major Berserk buff. As it's a Sorcerer ability, it finally contributes to the Expert Mage passive, granting a total of +6% Weapon Damage. Use it when the tank has already used a Horn (if he/she slotted it). [Many thanks to Juhasow for this amazing advice. This skill is edited from my previous choice (Werewolf Bersrker) which unfortunately only added less Stamina recovery on self]

Back-Up Weapon - Bow
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As I said earlier, The Camouflaged Hunter can't be slotted on both bars and since you will often need to swap for support, Bow is an interesting skill line since it offers 1314 Critical Chance through its Accuracy passive. It's not as much as a Major Savagery but it's better than nothing. Using a bow also enables you to support your team through Crushing enchantment and Minor Breach.

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Energy Orb : The only classic healer tool that you'll find here. It's useless to remind how amazing this skill can be for resource management. Even though it will not scale with your stat since you're full Stamina, its heal will still get you somewhere. Don't worry about Magicka since you have Dark Conversion to manage it on demand.
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Arrow Barrage : This skill is the Stamina equivalent of Elemental Blockade, minus the concussion. With a Crushing Weapon enchantment on your Bow, this skill will provide the same level of support than a classic healer.
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Crystal Weapon : This skill gives a unique 1K penetration buff alongside its physical damage that can proc Minor Breach since this patch. It also procs Exploitation passive and decreases non-Ultimate skills costs by 10% within 3s. It contributes as well to the Expert Mage and enables you to keep with Dark Conversion a total of +4% Weapon Damage even though you're not on your main bar. [Thanks again to Juhasow since my previous choice was Focused Aim, applying Minor Breach for sure but lacking the class included benefits of Crystal Weapon.]
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Dark Conversion : This skill is the only way to save you from a tragic lack of Magicka in combat. Most of your skills cost Stamina, but Power Surge and Energy Orb are quite expensive and will drain your whole Magicka in hard times. Having Dark Conversion is a must since you can quickly get back Stamina with heavy attacks and the very nice recovery you already have. You should even use this skill at least every 20s since it triggers the Exploitation passive, granting Minor Prophecy to your allies.
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Overflowing Altar : The lifesteal this skill offers is a must and will provide a nice smoothing heal over time even though it won't trigger Power Surge. It mainly is used for its synergy, giving back an instant 65% Max Health to the ally who activated it. Trust me, if your teammates are reactive, this can be the reason you end a dungeon or not.
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Aggressive Horn : This is the only Ultimate you will use, granting Major Force to your allies for 10s (and 10% Max Magicka and Stamina for 30s). With the Power Stone passive, its cost will be 213 (down from 250) so do not hesitate to blow in it often.

List of passives
Dark Magic : Unholy Knowledge, Persistence and Exploitation all maxed out.
Daedric Summoning : Power Stone maxed out.
Storm Calling : All maxed out.
Dual Wield : Dual Wield Expert, Twin Blade and Blunt all maxed out.
Bow : All maxed out.
Medium Armor : All maxed out.
Werewolf : All maxed out and do not forget to help people by biting them FOR FREE.
Fighters Guild : Intimidating Presence, Slayer, Banish the Wicked all maxed out.
Undaunted : All maxed out.
Racial : All maxed out, duh.

The rest is at your own appreciation.

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III. GEAR DISCUSSION
Gear in this kind of build is extremely subject to the user, depending on his/her true motivations. Some people like to see that kind of build like a DD with some nice off heal, others see it as a nice way to solo the game... and people like me want to make it as useful as possible for a GROUP. If you only heal, you'll do it untill everyone's dead. The following armor sets were chosen for their group contribution while still rising my own stats. One last time, there are many other choices that could fit the job.

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Powerful Assault
This set is amazing for us since Echoing Vigor is our main healing skill which lasts exactly the same amount of time than the proc. Of course, the allies benefit less damage than with Olorime but it's still better than a Minor Courage (especially since it's gonna be permanent for them). Health and Stamina added are very nice and the 129 Weapon Damage will increase our healing potential.

Kinra's Wrath
When you compare Stamina with Magicka healing, the most frequent argument is about the lack of Minor Berserk since you can no longer provide any Combat Prayer. Well this set is the solution. Not only does it give you 258 Weapon Damage and 657 Weapon Critical but it also gives a permanent Minor Berserk aura to your teammates as long as you manage to keep 5s with light/heavy attacks on a row. It's even better than Combat prayer that needs to be correctly targeted since this one's a 12 meter aura.

Stone Husk
This set offers 833 Weapon Critical above its tethering effect which in large groups will only increase your healing potential. As long as you keep the rythm of the group (which won't be hard since your placement makes it mandatory), you'll heal more.

Here you will find a sum-up with traits and enchantments :
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IV. STATS, STONE, RACE AND CPS
You should get all your points into Stamina since most of your healing skills scale with it. Add some into Health if you lack survivability on special and undodgeable boss skills.

The choice between Thief and Ritual Stones is not that easy. Since your Power Surge heal does not scale with your max stats, the Ritual sounds like the best choice you could make. But at the same time, you need critical chance to make it proc. If you feel the need to "secure" those healing procs, go for the Thief. My personal point of view is that Ritual will always be better since having a very high Critical Chance will be a kind of waste as Power Surge has an internal 3s cooldown.

Race is Khajiit, hands down... 12% Critical Healing, bonus to all three Max stats and recovery, this race was made for this build.

As for the Champion Points, ony a few are mandatory : Tireless Discipline, Precision, Fighting Finesse, Soothing Tide, Swift Renewal and Rejuvenator are the most important.

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V. STANDARD HEALING COMPARISON
As mentioned earlier, Stamina healers tend to be automatically kicked from groups since they lack too much of the support normally provided by standard Magicka based healers. Let's now make a comparison between them and this build.

Standard Magicka Healers --> Stamina Sorcerer Healer equivalent
  • Orbs for resource management --> Orbs too.
  • Minor Berserk through Combat Prayer --> Minor Berserk through Kinra's Wrath.
  • Elemental Blockade with Crushing glyph and concussion --> Arrow Barrage with Crushing glyph (no concussion)
  • Major Breach through Weakness to Elements --> Minor Breach through Focused Aim
  • Aggressive Horn --> Aggressive Horn too.
  • Cleansing --> Nothing.

As you can see, this obvious and dramatic lack of support is not really justified anymore. But I totally agree with the fact that cleansing harmful effects is the dark beast of such a build.


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VI. OVERTURE
Healing with Stamina is counter intuitive for lots of people and that is quite legitimate, especially when, lorewise, it looks like a non-sense. This build is a proof among many others that above this observation, it can be quite effective even at high levels. By effective, heal is of course the biggest criteria, but such a build can show a great amount of support to whom will have the open-mindedness to watch and learn.

It's pretty challenging, and I'm not trying to undervalue the hard work of Magicka Healers. But it's hard, really. And the hardest is to lack listening.

If you've made it so far, thank you so much for giving me some of your time. Hopefully this will give you plenty more ideas for your own projects !
Edited by Dotsham on March 23, 2021 10:50AM
  • Araneae6537
    Araneae6537
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    Thank you for sharing! :smiley: I do admire people who are able to pull of unique and creative builds! I have a friend who plays a stamina warden healer and is quite excellent!
  • Dotsham
    Dotsham
    Soul Shriven
    Thank you for sharing! :smiley: I do admire people who are able to pull of unique and creative builds! I have a friend who plays a stamina warden healer and is quite excellent!

    Thank you so much for your words, they are much appreciated. Does he find his place in a guild ? :smile:
  • Runefang
    Runefang
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    Can you proc curse eater with any of the heals? Potentially a way to cleanse for fights where its really needed.
  • Juhasow
    Juhasow
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    I would change Focused Aim to Crystal Weapon. Tank is providing minor breach anyway with taunt (one of the morphs applies both major and minor breach) plus since this patch physical dmg also have a chance to apply minor breach as a status effect. Crystal weapon on the other hand applies unique 1k penetration debuff and can proc explioitation passive same as dark conversion. It also passively increases weapon dmg by 2% from expert mage passive. Crystal weapon also makes next non ultimate ability used within 3 seconds 10% cheaper so it's a good way to lower the cost of orb and surge that You've said are big magicka drain for You.

    As for front bar ultimate I would go with atronach. Thanks to daedric protection passive it gives 20% stam and HP regen and thanks to expert mage passive another 2% wep dmg. Synergy from the atronach also have some uses like for example in short fights where tank used horn anyway You can buff up some DD even more plus add some DPS.
    Edited by Juhasow on March 23, 2021 12:29AM
  • Dotsham
    Dotsham
    Soul Shriven
    Runefang wrote: »
    Can you proc curse eater with any of the heals? Potentially a way to cleanse for fights where its really needed.

    Hi, thanks for your comment ! Curse Eater sounds pretty neat for t hat matter yeah. Unfortunately, those stats do not go well with the Stamina overall build. I guess this set would fit perfectly in the inventory, used exactly when needed on special encounters. This definitely is a good inspiration.
    Juhasow wrote: »
    I would change Focused Aim to Crystal Weapon. Tank is providing minor breach anyway with taunt (one of the morphs applies both major and minor breach) plus since this patch physical dmg also have a chance to apply minor breach as a status effect. Crystal weapon on the other hand applies unique 1k penetration debuff and can proc explioitation passive same as dark conversion. It also passively increases weapon dmg by 2% from expert mage passive. Crystal weapon also makes next non ultimate ability used within 3 seconds 10% cheaper so it's a good way to lower the cost of orb and surge that You've said are big magicka drain for You.

    As for front bar ultimate I would go with atronach. Thanks to daedric protection passive it gives 20% stam and HP regen and thanks to expert mage passive another 2% wep dmg. Synergy from the atronach also have some uses like for example in short fights where tank used horn anyway You can buff up some DD even more plus add some DPS.

    Thank you so much for this feedback. Those changes are indeed much more rewarding than the previous choices I had made. I edited the guide and did not forget to mention you. Thanks a lot, this build looks more well-rounded !
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