Lycanthropy in the Elder Scrolls Online adds another approach of playing the game in an engaging and interactive way, giving the player customization that can be turned on or off depending on the circumstances. To be sure, taking on Hircine’s curse of Lycanthropy gives the player some major buffs to their character.
With great roleplay potential and the ability to have its effects on the character completely unnoticeable outside of the transformation, there’s a lot of versatility in terms of when and how to use the werewolf skill line in ESO. Moreover, all of the werewolf abilities can be used to great benefit, and this is important as you only have access to werewolf skills while you are transformed into one.
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When you change into a werewolf in ESO, you need to lean into it completely for the duration, and with some customization, it can be extremely powerful both in PVE and PVP content. That’s why we’ve created this ESO werewolf guide — to help you start your prowl!
ESO Werewolf Guide: How To Become a Werewolf in ESO
The quick and easy way to become a werewolf is by simply purchasing the “Werewolf’s Bite” from the crown store for 1,500 crowns, which will grant you character the werewolf skill line immediately.
However, there are two other options that are more involved which can add to the adventure of becoming a werewolf that do not require you to pay any money.
Other players who are already infected with Lycanthropy gain a passive skill called Blood Moon that allows them to inflict other players with Lycanthropy once every seven days. This needs to be carried out at a specific Werewolf Ritual Site which can be found in each zone corresponding to their alliance, those being Bangkorai (Daggerfall Covenant), Reaper’s March (Aldmeri Dominion), and The Rift (Ebonheart Pact).
Once you are at one of these ritual sites, try asking in the zone chat for a werewolf bite and often a player in the area will come over to give you the curse, allowing you to start the werewolf quest.
If you can’t seem to get any bites following this ESO werewolf guide, you can also seek out werewolves at nighttime, but they must be in these specific zones as other werewolves in the game do not spread the disease. You’ll want to get hit by these werewolves as many times as you can to increase your chances of getting the disease from one. This can take awhile and does not guarantee you to contract it even after being harmed by werewolves in these zones, so you might be better off waiting for a friend, guildmate, or a kind stranger.
Remember, you don’t have to pay other players for this and should not as it is mostly taboo to ask for money in return for a werewolf or vampire bite. In the past people would camp the areas with werewolf NPCs so only they could be counted on to transfer the disease to other players for a high price, so the community came together and ended this by offering these bites out for free.
The quest Hircine’s Gift will start after you are bitten by a werewolf at the shrine and contract Sanies Lupinus, where you will read an ancient scroll on the altar to enter The Hunting Grounds. If contracted from an NPC, you will need to speak to Thoreki to start the quest and gain the werewolf skill line.
Once inside of Hircine’s Hunting Grounds, you must slay a beast worthy of Hircine’s praise, which will be any of the larger creatures in the area. Once you finish up the quest, you’ll gain the ability to transform into a werewolf, which you can decide to keep on either your front bar, back bar, or not at all.
Keep in mind that unlike vampirism in ESO, Lycanthropy does not have permanent effects on your character while you are not transformed, so you can choose to play as one as you feel like it. Now that you have Lycanthropy, you’ll need to level up the werewolf skills when you are transformed. We suggest trying out both morphs to see which fit your playstyle better, as their usefulness depends on whether you are playing as a DPS, tank, or in PVP.
Explaining the Werewolf Skills and Which To Use
When you transform into a werewolf, all you have access to using during the duration are other werewolf skills. Keep this in mind if you are using sets that call for the use of a specific skill, as you won’t be able to cast them after you transform. Because of this restriction, most werewolf skills are balanced to be pretty useful regardless of the scenario. In this next section of the ESO werewolf guide, we’ll explain each skill and detail their main uses below.
1. Werewolf Transformation: Pack Leader / Werewolf Berserker
The werewolf ultimate is very strong, working as an AOE fear initially for three seconds. You stay as a werewolf from the ultimate for thirty seconds, but this duration can be extended by other skills and passives we’ll discuss later. While transformed your max stamina is increased by 30%, and for simply having it slotted, your stamina recovery is increased by 15%. Sets that give a lot of extra stamina like Hulking Draugr (from Direfrost Keep) synergize really well with this bonus.
The morph Pack Leader is more tank oriented as you take 10% less damage, summon two direwolves that fight for you and grant you and nearby allies minor courage, increasing their weapon and spell damage by 215. Werewolf Berserker is the other morph that is focused for DPS, giving your light attacks a high damaging bleed and also causes your heavy attacks to deal 50% splash damage.
2. Pounce: Brutal Pounce / Feral Pounce
This skill is your initiation tool, allowing you to leap towards enemies from 5–22 meters away. After the first cast, you may cast again as another skill called Carnage, that causes the enemy to bleed over ten seconds, but it deals 450% more damage to enemies below 100% health.
The more useful morph, Brutal Pounce, deals additional damage to nearby enemies, and the second cast deals damage in a cone, increasing your weapon damage every time you apply it to an enemy. Feral Pounce is the other morph that isn’t quite as effective, but it has the nice bonus of restoring stamina and extends your werewolf transformation everytime they deal damage.
3. Hircine’s Bounty: Hircine’s Rage / Hircine’s Fortitude
The only werewolf skill that costs magicka, Hircine’s Bounty heals you scaled off of your max health. At full health the ability changes to give you a flat amount of stamina instead. The other added bonus of this ability is that it gives you Major Brutality when it’s slotted, increasing your weapon damage by 20% at all times.
The morph Hircine’s Rage is the more dangerous choice, giving you Major Berserk, increasing your damage by another 10% but also causes you to take 5% more damage. Taking 5% more damage from all sources can be devastating, so be careful if you choose to go for that morph. The other morph, Hircine’s Fortitude, is more useful in most cases, as it increases the initial heal amount and also increases your health and stamina recovery by 5%, up to a maximum of 333 additional recovery for each.
4. Roar: Ferocious Roar / Defeaning Roar
The werewolf’s crowd control ability other than the initial fear on the ultimate, Roar fears up to six nearby enemies for four seconds, setting them off balance as well for seven seconds. You also gain Major Savagery while slotted, increasing your weapon critical by 2629.
The morph Ferocious Roar increases the speed of your heavy attacks, while Deafening Roar reduces enemies physical resistance by 5280 with Major Fracture and reduces their damage done by 5% with Minor Maim for 10 seconds. If you do not have access to a group member that applies Major Fracture, Deafening Roar is probably the morph you’ll want to pick.
5. Piercing Howl: Howl of Despair / Howl of Agony
The werewolf’s spammable deals a great amount of damage and 10% more damage to enemies that are facing you.
Howl of Despair grants a synergy to allies that give them Empower which increases their damage done with light and heavy attacks by 40%, which is a great option for tanking. The other morph Howl of Agony deals 25% more damage to enemies who are facing you or who are feared, which will be aimed towards getting you the best DPS possible.
6. Infectious Claws: Claws of Anguish / Claws of Life
Dealing AOE cleave damage in front of you, you cause both physical damage initially and disease damage that persists over ten seconds. Enemies struck with the initial hit receive the diseased status effect which places Minor Defile on them, decreasing their healing received by 8% for four seconds.
The Claws of Anguish Morph also place Major Defile on enemies, reducing their healing received by an additional 16%. Claws of Life is the better sustain option as it heals the player over time for 100% of the damage over time it causes, meaning you will heal for ten seconds for each enemy being hit with the disease DOT.
Next up in our ESO werewolf guide, let’s discuss the passive skills and abilities.
All of the werewolf passives come together to make the werewolf a force of nature. All passives other than Blood Moon (which allows you to turn other players), need you to be in werewolf form for them to be active. The only benefit you will ever get from being a werewolf outside of being transformed is by having the ultimate on your bar, giving you that 15% stamina recovery bonus.
Their first passive, Pursuit, increases your movement speed by 30% and increases the stamina return of heavy attacks by 50%. Chasing down enemies is very easy due to this as well as just generally getting around. Keep in mind that if you are spotted by a friendly NPC, you will gain a bounty as the residents of Tamriel are not very accepting of werewolves.
Devour gives you the ability to devour corpses to increase the duration of your transformation as well as restores your health. Each corpse can be eaten for four seconds, and every second gives you three additional seconds of werewolf time along with restoring 8% of your max health as well. After each fight, you’ll want to be devouring at least one or two corpses to keep up your werewolf form.
The Blood Rage passive increases the duration of your werewolf transformation as well by four seconds when you deal damage, and can be activated every five seconds.
Blood Moon allows you to infect other players with Lycanthropy every seven days, which must be carried out at the specific ritual sites.
Savage Strength increases your weapon damage by 18% and gives you Major Resolve, increasing your physical and spell resistance by 5948, helping you deal high damage while taking much less of it.
Finally the last passive, Call of the Pack, reduces the cost of your werewolf transformation by 10% for each transformed werewolf in your group, including yourself, up to a maximum of 40%.
Overall, these passives come together to make werewolves both strong and sturdy, giving them ability to stay in werewolf form for long durations of time.
The only provisioning item that affects werewolves specifically is the drink called Pack Leader’s Bone Broth, which is a delicacy that can be obtained during the Witches Festival that occurs during October.
It can also be bought from a guild trader or traded for by another player. Increasing your stamina by 4620 and health by 5051 for two hours, the transition of turning into a werewolf is also reduced by 5%. With no other reductions applied, the werewolf ultimate costs 325, so this drink helps reduce the cost by around 16 points, making it easier to transform. That being said, this is not the most useful drink, and there are other food options that give you better resources such as Braised Rabbit with Spring Vegetables (or equivalents) that give you 4936 stamina and 5395 health.
Drawbacks of Lycanthropy
This wouldn’t be a complete ESO werewolf guide if we didn’t also discuss the drawbacks to Lycanthropy.
The main drawbacks to consider when considering Lycanthropy mainly revolve around the inability to use skills other than the ones available through the werewolf skill line.
While all of the werewolf skills are powerful, some armor sets call for the use of specific abilities that cannot be performed while transformed. You can always cast those skills before transforming, but they eventually wear off and it can be frustrating to be in the werewolf form when you really need to use one of your normal skills. Luckily you can keep your werewolf ultimate on either your front bar or backbar to get the extra 15% stamina recovery bonus, and none of the other werewolf skills take up space because they only appear once you transform.
You’ll gain the most benefit out of being a stamina based DPS from being a werewolf, as there aren’t as many essential skills you’ll need to be casting as a tank or healer might need access to.
For werewolf tanks, you will not have access to a taunt while in werewolf form, so you may want to consider getting the Tormentor set from the Banished Cells. Whenever you deal damage with a charge, leap, teleport or pull ability, you gain 3642 physical and spell resistance and taunt the enemy to attack you for 15 seconds. This works great with Pounce, and especially its morph Brutal Pounce, as it counts as a leap and also deals AOE damage, taunting entire groups to attack you. This can be very useful because not even normal tanks have access to AOE taunts, so the tormentor set is the only one that can give you this bonus of quickly taunting large groups of enemies to you.
There are minimal options to play as a magicka-based werewolf, and a healer would be nearly impossible, which is a sad drawback, but it also wouldn’t make much sense lorewise to see a werewolf toting a restoration staff either.
Before you go curing the Lycanthropy you gained following this ESO werewolf guide, remember that you can simply take the ultimate off of your skill bars, and you won’t receive any negative effects from having it. Unlike vampirism, Lycanthropy does not have any passives that affect you by simply having the disease, so there’s no incentive to remove it unless you are planning on turning into a vampire instead.
The mages guild in the zones you obtain Lycanthropy from will have a member named Prelate Sabinus who gives you an option to cure your Lycanthropy, similar to the way you would cure vampirism. You pay a small fee (it will cost 693 gold if you are fully leveled into CP) and then will be cured.
Do not worry about losing your skill points, as any invested into skills/passives will be returned. The experience on those leveled skills will remain, allowing you to become a werewolf again with all of your skills already maxed out if you choose to take on Lycanthropy again.
Unfortunately ESO doesn’t allow you to simply reactivate your Lycanthropy when you want to, so you’ll have to go through the same methods you did earlier to obtain it initially. There is also an option for the cure in the crown store for 800 crowns, but it’s so easy to obtain the cure otherwise and for so little, we suggest not going for this option.
Werewolf Race / Class Suggestion
Werewolves are strongest on stamina characters, and excel on DPS focused ones. Tanking is also a very viable option given the Pack Leader ultimate is used and you use the Tormentor armor set to help keep enemies taunted to you. Races that give you extra stamina and weapon damage are optimal for werewolves focusing on DPS, such as: Wood Elf (2000 stamina), Redguard (2000 stamina), Imperial (2000 stamina), Dark Elf (2000 stamina, 258 weapon damage), or Orc (1000 stamina, 258 weapon damage).
ESO Werewolf Guide Recommended Race: Orc
My personal choice for the best werewolf race is Orc.
The weapon damage, small stamina bonus, 2125 health back every four seconds when dealing damage, and 10% increased speed bonus while sprinting along with its 12% cost reduction come together to make a fearsome and agile hunter. For tanking you’ll want to aim for either Imperial or Nord for their health and stamina bonuses.
ESO Werewolf Guide Recommended Class: Sorcerer
Choosing a class for a werewolf can be difficult as many of the class passives are deactivated when you don’t have them on your skill bar. The best one to go for is Sorcerer as they have more passives that still affect your character in werewolf form.
Power Stone reduces the cost of ultimate abilities by 15%, which is very useful for getting your expensive werewolf ultimate off. Unholy Knowledge reduces the Stamina and Magicka costs for all abilities. Energized increases your physical and shock damage by 5%. Amplitude increases your damage done against enemies by 1% for every 10% health they have. Finally Capacitor increases your magicka recovery by 10% which is helpful for casting Hircine’s Bounty.
All of these passives together help your werewolf form hit for harder, and give you more ability to cast skills without worrying about your resources as much.
Current State of Werewolves in ESO (2021)
Werewolves are in a decent spot in the Flames of Ambition patch even if they have been nerfed to have lower resistances and heal for less from Hircine’s Fortitude. Even having been nerfed, they still feel very strong in both PVE and PVP due to their high damage, high defence, and ability to fight both single targets and large groups of enemies with their diverse kit.
Also having the flexibility to be able to fully operate normally without using the werewolf ultimate and then switching into using it can be very effective depending upon the situation. Because you do not have to worry about any negative passives when you are outside of werewolf form, you can more easily navigate tough situations without having to readjust your whole playstyle whenever a difficult fight comes up like you would have to as a Vampire.
You’re likely to see large packs of werewolves in PVP still despite the nerf mentioned earlier, as they are quite powerful in numbers with their combined damage and beneficial group passives to one another.
Overall Lycanthropy in ESO is in great shape overall, but should primarily be used when the situation calls for it. It’s very powerful in the right hands in PVP, and can help speed up fights in PVE.
Become a High Grounder
Werewolves are a true menace when used correctly, fending off large groups in PVP scenarios as well as crushing wave after wave of enemies in PVE. We hope you can see for yourself after following this ESO werewolf guide.
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