The Templar class in Elder Scrolls Online calls upon holy light and the power of the sun to heal their allies and smite any who dare challenge them. The Templar is your stereotypical “champion of justice” character. Their abilities call on Aedric and Divine energy, but don’t draw from a specific deity from the pantheon of the Divines.
The Templar can perform well with any race, but certain races in ESO give stronger advantages at the highest levels of play. There are also many groups of people in Tamriel that fit perfectly into what the Templar class is focused on, making creating lore-friendly strong Templar characters very easy.
In this guide, we’ll go over the best races for Templar ESO has to offer for meta gameplay. We’ll also check out a few off-meta options and talk about how to craft the most lore-appropriate Templar character.
Best Race for Templar ESO: The Top Picks
Let’s work our way through the list to uncover all the top options.
The Best Race for Templar Healers
Breton is always a strong choice for healers, and works for the Templar Healer role perfectly. The Breton provides you with an extra 2000 magicka, 130 magicka recovery, and 7% reduction in the cost of magicka abilities. Templars can perform other roles well, but Templar Healers take the crown for the best healers in ESO altogether.
Templar skills can cost hefty amounts of magicka, and sustaining multiple uses of your restoration staff abilities alongside your templar abilities can drain your magicka bar quickly. When playing a Breton, each magicka spell cast is reduced in size — you already have an increased magicka pool and recovery, so healing is a breeze with this race. Not having to worry about sustain also allows you to experiment with a wider range of builds, giving you many options to switch out sets when challenged with a fight that calls for more complex strategy.
Templar healers utilize all of the bread-and-butter restoration staff abilities you’d expect to see on other builds, but boast some very good burst healing skills built into their class trees. Breath of Life is one of the stronger burst heals in the game, and can help you get your tank out of difficult situations while also providing utility heals to other nearby players. Luminous Shards is a great utility skill to give your tank or DPS extra resources back (depending on what they’re missing), and better allows your tank to block through damage or help your DPS pump out more damaging spells.
Being a Breton means you can use your skills more sparingly, and your group will definitely appreciate being able to get back more of their own resources through synergy with your skills. Don’t forget to cast a Dawn’s Wrath ability regularly to give you and your group Major Sorcery for twenty seconds, with the passive Illuminate. Templar healers are a staple on most high end veteran trial groups, so it’s not a bad idea to have the class mastered and ready to use for your veteran group play.
The Best Race for Magicka DPS Templars
High Elves are a perfect choice for magicka DPS Templars, as their passives work really well with magicka in general. The High Elf provides you with an extra 2000 magicka, 258 spell and weapon damage, and 625 magicka/stamina back every six seconds from activating a skill (depending on which resource is lower).
High Elves also take 5% less damage when using an ability with a channel or cast time, meaning your key damaging Templar skills Puncturing Sweep, Crescent Sweep, and Radiant Oppression will passively increase your survivability while you use them. Having the extra magicka and spell damage will increase your damage output by a good amount — in min/maxing scenarios, this can be the difference from you being on the DPS leaderboard or not.
Everyone recognizes the Aedric Spear skill Puncturing Strikes, commonly referred to as “jabs,” but the Puncturing Sweep morph will be your preferred spammable. It’s not a hard requirement to use Puncturing Sweep, but it’s such a strong ability in damage and self-healing that most every magicka DPS Templar will have this skill cast on cool down.
If you don’t want to use Puncturing Sweep, Elemental Weapon is a fine replacement, but make sure to have Aedric Spear abilities slotted on both your weapon bars for the passive Piercing Spear and its extra 10% critical damage. Templars have a passive called Restoring Spirit that reduces ability cost by 5%, meaning all magicka, stamina, and even ultimate costs are cheaper. This will help you sustain spamming your abilities a decent amount, but a magicka recovery food item can be used if needed.
The Best Race for Stamina DPS Templars
Khajiit are a great choice when it comes to choosing ESO‘s best race for Templar DPS. You’ll usually want to boost your critical chance, and the extra critical damage with Khajiit is a great combo with Templar abilities.
The Khajiit provides you with an extra 915 health, stamina, and magicka, a bonus 100 health recovery, and a bonus 85 in stamina / magicka. Khajiits also gain a bonus 12% increased critical damage and healing, helping your Templar abilities to hit even harder. The extra sustain and overall larger resource pools for Khajiit help keep them balanced and not dependent on sets with built-in recovery or resource management skills, letting you focus on outputting more damage.
Biting Jabs is the Stamina Templar’s signature ability, dealing great AOE damage in the area you strike, and also gives you Major Savagery to increase your weapon critical. This means you will be more likely to crit and activate that nice 12% damage bonus from being a Khajiit.
The Burning Light passive procs from dealing damage with Aedric Spear abilities four times in a row, and will account for a lot of your damage over a long boss fight. This is another reason why spamming jabs is such a common Templar trope — all of the initial and passive damage really add up. Power of the Light is another skill you want to have up all the time, as it’s your strongest nuke ability. Once placed on an enemy, all damage you deal to the enemy for six seconds is copied, and they take 20% of the built-up damage (this is unfortunately capped at a certain amount). These two abilities will deal the lion’s share of your damage, so getting a good rotation with all of your skills will benefit you a lot.
The Best Race for Tank Templars
As you might expect, Imperial takes the trophy as ESO‘s best race for Templar Tank. You could potentially run a Nord to get the extra 2600 physical and spell resistances and be a hair behind the Imperial in terms of meta playability, but the Imperial is currently too good to pass up.
The Imperial provides you with an extra 2000 health and stamina, and reduces the cost of all of your abilities by 6%. It’s nice enough having your stamina and magicka costs reduced, but having your ultimate, blocking, roll-dodging, and sprinting costs reduced as well is just amazing. Imperial Templar tanks make the overall build feel much easier to run, and allow you to cast more abilities to keep yourself and your group alive.
The Templar tank has always been a difficult role to pull off, and is known for being one of the harder tank classes to play well. Templars are geared towards healing others and dealing damage, and really lack in tank-oriented abilities. This is not to say it can’t be done — with the new patch, tanking as a Templar is much more viable given the changes to Restoring Focus (the area heal over time now scales off of max health), and Living Dark (heals you when hit based off of your max health). Repentance is another great skill for sustain, giving you 10% increased recovery for each resource, healing your allies for 3000 health, and giving you back 3000 stamina for each corpse in the area. This helps with sustaining through big ad pulls, and makes keeping your resources topped off while tanking much easier.
The Best Race for ESO Templar Lore
When searching for the best race for Templar ESO offers in regard to lore, you’ll want to focus on embodying the Paladin-type character, fighting for justice and smiting down others with righteous magic and flame.
Many races have priests that worship the divines (Aedra), and Templar skills do not have direct reference to a specific Divine. That being said, the divine that most closely matches the Templar class identity is Stendarr, the god of mercy and justice. We have chosen the Nord as a Resolute of Stendarr to more closely match the Templar lore, but feel free to align your Templar with the other Divines.
In Eastmarch, you can find the set called Stendarr’s Embrace, solidifying some Nords as definitive Stendarr advocates. Much later in the Elder Scrolls timeline (800 years in the future after the Oblivion Crisis), the group of warrior-priests known as the Vigilants of Stendarr would emerge in Skyrim, smiting down Daedra with their holy magic. The Aura of the Righteous skill book can be found in ESO, and gives you information about Stendarr that increases your Templar skill line upon reading, so there are some definitive ties here.
The Nord provides you with an extra 1000 health, 1500 stamina, 2600 physical and spell resistance, and 5 ultimate gain every ten seconds when you take damage. You also gain 4620 cold resistance, which can help you situationally. These passives set you up to be much tankier than many other races, and work well on tanks and solo plays. You can choose any direction for your Nord Templar, but you might find the most success as a tank or a stamina DPS due to the passive bonuses you gain to your stamina pool.
The Best Race for PVP Templar (Magicka)
Using a magicka Templar for PVP will give you the versatility to deal massive damage to other players while still healing yourself constantly. Stamina Templars are strong, but the burst potential of a magicka Templar is a lot of fun to play with. The High Elf racial passives are perfect for a PVP Templar, as the additional sustain you get on channeling abilities (which Templars use so frequently) makes you a strong contender in any PVP battle.
As mentioned above, The High Elf provides you with an extra 2000 magicka, 258 spell and weapon damage, and 625 magicka/stamina back every six seconds from activating a skill (depending on which resource is lower). This will help your PVP burst deal more damage, and might make the difference between overwhelming an opponent and giving them space to heal. High Elves also take 5% less damage when using an ability with a channel or cast time, which actually makes a huge difference in PVP, as every additional amount of damage dealing and mitigation counts.
Puncturing Sweep will give you health back for a percentage of the damage you deal, whereas Stamina Morph simply increases your weapon critical. Having your spammable also constantly heal you is very strong in PVP, and as you master your combos, you can become unkillable.
All of your High Elf passives synergize really well with your Templar abilities, helping you smoothly enter PVP for the first time or min-maxing your character as a veteran. Take care to keep your stamina pool up, as Magicka Templars can have a difficult time maintaining it between breaking free of crowd control and sprinting around terrain.
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Templar is a great class to play in ESO, particularly when paired with the best races. Check out our other ESO guides and gaming content here at High Ground Gaming, and stay up to date with our newsletter.
Late to the article but I think you missed out on a race that is more lore-oriented to the Templar than the Nords: Redguard.
To begin, all lore books that give a Templar skill bonus related to Stendarr.
The Temple of Stendarr is a major group dedicated to the worship of Stendarr and they are located in Illiac Bay, where the Alik’r desert dwells and most Redguard live.
The Crusaders are the militant arm of the Temple of Stendarr. In “real history”, Templars and the Crusaders go hand-in-hand. The Crusades where generally created and lead by the Templar knights.
It is also mentioned that Stendarr is the favorite god of the Redguard “gallants” (knights).
Sai Sahan, the Redguard swordmaster in ESO also worshipped Stendarr and even dedicated the wards that protected the Amulet of Kings to Stendarr. Sai Sahan was also trying to revive the Sword-Singers, ancient Redguard warriors.
The Sword-Singers were legendary and could produce the Shehai, spirit sword. The Shehai was a product of the Sword-Singers devotion to their gods and their own willpower. The Aedric spear of the Templars are very similar in their creation to the Shehai and function pretty much the same way.
Redguard skills also go perfectly with a Stamina based Templar (Tank or DPS). Honestly, I think Redguard beats out Imperials when it comes to the best race for a Stamina based Templar, which gives another reason that they should have been included in your list.
Conditioning bumps up Max Stamina by 2000.
Adrenaline Rush significantly helps out with sustain by giving back 1005 stamina every 5 seconds when doing direct damage.
And finally Martial Training reduces the cost of ALL weapon abilities by 8%!
Alain thank you for the great run down! I actually just made a Redguard stamina templar to try out recently which has been really fun. Their passives work quite well with Stamplar builds, especially if you are specializing in using those weapon abilities. Redguards still aren’t meta in terms of parsing with DPS in vet arenas/dungeons/trials, but they are great sustain-wise for solo or PvP play.
I feel like lore-wise, the Redguards are caught between being extremely Templar oriented and vehemently anti-Templar. My reasoning is because Redguards as a whole are so anti-magic that most of the Templar skills go against their beliefs. There are indeed Redguards who do employ magic, and Templars certainly fit their style more so than Sorcerers and Necromancers, but I’m not sure Templars are even a perfect fit. Templar skills seem to exude magic, whether it’s channeling the power of the sun into enemies or using beams of holy light to heal companions. But again at least it’s not summoning up Daedra or worse dead people.
I really like your connection of the Aedric spear to the Shehai spirit swords. While the Sword Singers did indeed materialize swords from their mind/souls, which definitely rings of magic to me, I don’t think they would actively admit to that. I’ll admit that Redguards should have gotten a larger shout-out for this Best Races for Templars, so thank you for calling attention to it! Cheers!