The Warden class, despite race, revolves around nature magic in ESO. They can have animals fight for them, use frost spells for massive AOE damage, and heal themselves and others with plant magic. These abilities are reflected in their skill trees — Animal Companions, Winter’s Embrace, and Green Balance, respectively.
Certain races in the Elder Scrolls lore fit the Warden class more closely than others, which you’ll see doing well in the highest levels of play. Still, with so many potential paths to go down, it’s hard to pick one best race for a Warden in ESO. In this guide, we will be focusing on the most suited race for each type of Warden gameplay.
Looking for more ESO tips and tricks? Click to view all our Elder Scrolls Online guides.
The major group roles are Magicka DPS, Stamina DPS, Healer, and Tank. We’ll dive into each of these below, going over what you need to know to make the best Warden character in ESO. Whether you’re looking to make the strongest Warden possible or the most lore-friendly character out there, we’ve got you covered.
Let’s get started!
Best Races for Warden Class (META)
We’ll start with our meta picks. These races will be your top picks if you’re building the absolute strongest Warden you can.
High Elf — Best Race for Magicka DPS Warden
When going for a Meta Magicka DPS Warden, you’ll want to go for the raw Magicka benefits of the High Elf. With an extra 2000 Magicka, 258 extra spell (and weapon) damage, and 625 Magicka (or stamina, whichever is lower) recovery every six seconds after activating a skill, you’ll hit much harder with your Magicka-based abilities. High Elves top the DPS charts when it comes to Magicka characters (as long as they don’t have to worry about sustain, which is where the Breton comes in).
The Warden has naturally great Magicka sustain with the Blue Betty skill, which gives back Magicka over twenty-five seconds while granting major sorcery and brutality, increasing your weapon damage. If sustain is still an issue, try using the Ghastly Eye Bowl, a food that grants 4592 Magicka and 459 Magicka recovery.
Dark Elf & Khajiit — Best Races for Stamina DPS Warden
For a Meta Stamina DPS Warden, you have one of two choices. The first is Dunmer (Dark Elf), which boasts an extra 1950 stamina and Magicka, 258 weapon (and spell) damage, and 4600 flame resistance. The second is Khajiit, which has an extra 915 health, stamina, and Magicka, along with a bonus 100 recovery in each resource and 12% increased critical damage and healing.
Both choices are great for the Warden, with the Dark Elf having better sustained damage and the Khajiit having better burst damage. The stamina sustain from Bull Netch allows for you to pick a race that does not have built in stamina sustain to their racial passives. However if sustain is an issue, use the food Lava Foot Soup-and-Saltrice, which gives 4936 stamina and 493 stamina recovery.
Breton & High Elf — Best Races for Warden Healer
The best choice for a meta Warden Healer would be Breton or High Elf for their naturally high Magicka and recovery. Being able to spam more healing spells without worrying about sustain is important. The Breton wins out in this particular case, allowing you to focus less time on regaining your resources.
Having your skills heal for more so that your group members can outlive any fight will be the High Elves’ strong suit, as they will have higher raw Magicka and spell damage for the Magicka healing spells to utilize. Argonians trail behind with slightly less raw Magicka, but they make up for it with their bonus healing passive. If you find that your sustain is lacking, try to get your hands on the Grand Rejuvenation restoration staff from the Dragonstar Arena in Craglorn. This item will give you and your group members a buff of 117 Magicka and stamina sustain every second for four seconds on the initial heal of grand healing, which adds up a lot over an extended fight.
Imperial — Best Race for Warden Tank
For the best meta Warden Tank, you’ll want to run the Imperial, as they’ve recently received a great buff to their passives. Imperials gain an additional 2000 health and 2000 stamina, and all of their abilities cost 6% less. Having the extra health allows for easier tanking in general and the stamina makes blocking over a long battle much easier.
With each ability having a reduced cost, the Imperial can use their skills more freely. The cost reduction also applies to more than just skills. Blocking, roll dodging, anything that “costs” you resources will be reduced, allowing you to tank those difficult fights for even longer without breaking a sweat. You’ll want to be using tri-stat food (such as Longfin Pasty) and tri-stat potions for your sustain, as you will be drawing from all of your resources consistently.
Best Lore-Appropriate Warden Races
These races make for a strong Warden, but also fit well into the lore of the Elder Scrolls world.
Breton: Wyress Gwen
The most lore-appropriate race for the Magicka DPS Warden will be the Breton. Bretons are naturally a great Magicka choice with an extra 2000 Magicka, 130 Magicka recovery, and 7% reduction in the cost of Magicka abilities. The Breton is not only just a strong pick for making a min/maxed Magicka character, it is also lore-friendly.
Not all Bretons have a keen connection with nature, but the Beldama Wyrd Witch Coven has a particularly strong one. The Bretons that live near the Wyrd Tree in Glenumbra actually fear the Beldama Wyrd Coven, who are actually misunderstood, peaceful protectors. Their role is to protect the forest surrounding the Wyrd Tree, and worship the god of nature, Jephre the Storyteller (more commonly known as Y’ffre in ESO).
Wood Elf: Eveli Sharp-Arrow
For the Stamina DPS Warden, the Bosmer (Wood Elf) wins out as the best lore-friendly choice. Wood Elves come with an extra 2000 stamina, 258 stamina recovery, 5% increased movement speed, and 950 physical and spell penetration. Wood Elves have a natural connection to the forest, their most important god being Y’ffre the Storyteller, also referred to as the spirit of “the now.”
Being the god of nature, Y’ffre became known as the Storyteller by helping the Bosmeri people establish themselves in the world and teaching them how to understand it and survive. In return for Y’ffre’s help, the Wood Elves established the Green Pact, in which they agreed to never harm or eat any plant life, only sustaining themselves off of the animals that live in the forest.
Bosmeri priests known as Spinners record all events past and future, and are the chief enforcers of the Green Pact. Through this connection with Y’ffre, the Wood Elves became protectors of the forest, making them natural Wardens.
Argonian: Tree-Minder Pavu
With a natural affinity toward healing and a lore-based connection to nature, the Argonian doubles as the best meta healer and the most lore-friendly Warden healer. They have an extra 1000 health, stamina, and Magicka, a 6% increased healing done, and 3125 restoration to all resources whenever they drink a potion, making Argonians passively well-rounded and efficient healers.
Argonians are considered “people of the root,” referencing the Hist Trees they were born from and return to in death. Argonians are linked tightly with nature and the Hist Trees, allowing them an affinity towards magic relating to nature and the natural order. The Tree-Minders, which tend to the Hist and keep it safe, are highly regarded in Argonian communities due to their importance as caretakers. The Green Balance skill tree uses many different types of healing plants — its ultimate is a growing area of healing trees, which ties in nicely to the Argonians’ racial identity.
Nord: Old Mjolen
Nords were considered the best tanks in this past patch and are still doing well despite the recent nerf. In ESO lore, Nords aren’t thought of as being accepting of magic, but there are some exceptions to this rule, especially when it relates to Nature magic. Nords gain an additional 1000 health and 1500 stamina, gain 5 extra ultimate every ten seconds from taking damage, and gain 2600 physical and spell resistance. Nords are notoriously linked with the frigid cold, and the Warden’s frost abilities fit perfectly into this.
Nords who practice the old ways and magic are known as the “Clever Women,” who work closely with nature and listen to old animal spirits for guidance. This fits the Warden class identity perfectly and helps break Nords out of the hard stereotypical mold of always being anti-magic.
Become a High Grounder
That closes up our best race for Warden class ESO list — thanks for reading! Check out some of our other articles here at High Ground Gaming to boost your gaming experience further. If you enjoyed this article and want to stay up to date with the best insider gaming knowledge, subscribe to the HGG newsletter.