Templar is perhaps the most diverse class in The Elder Scrolls Online. They are the “paladins” of TESO, able to heal themselves and their allies with powerful spells, as well as be a dangerous threat to anyone in PvE or PvE combat. Templar isn’t confined to being a supportive healer though, as they have a variety of other spells in the arsenal which make them formidable tanks and even damage dealers. This beginners guide will give you a basic overview of the Templar class, which should help you decide whether the play style suits you.
Templar Skill Trees
Like the other three classes in The Elder Scrolls Online, Templar also has access to three different skill lines (trees): Aedric Spear, Dawn’s Wrath and Restoring Light. You can choose to focus on improving skills in one category, or mix skills, spells and abilities from different skill trees to create a character that better suits you.
Below is an overview of the three skill lines, including the spells you can unlock within them.
This skill line mostly includes offensive spells based on holy and light magic. Majority of spells here are focused on damage dealing as well as stunning and interrupting your enemies. TESO doesn’t have a spear weapon type, instead (some of) the spells in Aedric Spear conjure a magical spear of light. Below is a list of all spells in this skill line:
- Radial Sweep – AoE spell that damages all enemies around you.
- Active Abilities:
- Puncturing Strikes – unleashes a series of four attacks that damage multiple targets in front of you, and the last hit knocks your closest enemy back.
- Piercing Javelin – you throw a spear which deals damage and knocks back a single target.
- Focused Charge – you charge to a target enemy and interrupt them, dealing magic damage.
- Spear Shards – AoE spell which deals magical damage and disorients one target. An ally can pick up the spear which grants both of you additional damage.
- Sun Shield – conjures a magical shield that hits all nearby enemies and absorbs incoming damage.
- Passive Abilities:
- Piercing Spear – increases your critical strike rating with all spear spells, in addition to making your spear spells more efficient against enemies who block.
- Spear Wall – increases your block amount against melee attacks if you have a spear ability on your action bar.
- Burning Light – your character has a chance to deal additional damage every time he hits an enemy with a spear ability.
- Balanced Warrior – increases the power of your weapons and your resistance to spells.
Spells in Dawn’s Wrath skill tree for the most part consist of offensive spells and debuffs to make your opponents weaker. This skill line is amazing for both solo players and those who prefer to group up, and the spell include the following:
- Nova – deals massive AoE damage and decreases their damage. By using synergy system an ally can active the super nova to deal additional damage and stun all enemies caught in the area.
- Active Abilities:
- Sun Fire – snares the target and deals fire damage, as well as additional fire damage over several seconds.
- Solar Flare – deals magic damage to your enemy, and the next attack made against the same target and other nearby enemies will deal additional damage.
- Backlash – stores damage over a short period of time, and when the effect ends nearby enemies take additional damage.
- Eclypse – targeted ally reflects negative single-target spells. Each subsequent cast has an increased magicka cost.
- Blinding Light – enemies affected miss all attacks and have a chance to be set off balance when they miss.
- Passive Abilities:
- Enduring Rays – increased the duration of your Sun abilities.
- Prism – when you activate a Sun ability you gain additional Ultimate Points.
- Illuminate – enemies afflicted with your Sun abilities deal less damage to you.
- Restoring Spirit – whenever you activate an ability you gain a small amount of magicka.
This skill tree is focused on enabling you to more effectively heal yourself and your allies, remove negative effects from them and otherwise support your groups. Below is a full list of spells and abilities in the Restoring Light Templar skill tree!
- Rite of Passage – significantly decreases incoming damage for all nearby allies except you — you simply get healed. It also immobilizes you while channeling this ability.
- Active Abilities:
- Rushed Ceremony – heals a nearby wounded ally for a set amount of health.
- Healing Ritual – heals nearby allies and yourself.
- Restoring Aura – when on your action bar it passively gives you stamina and health regeneration, and when activated it increases the regeneration of nearby allies by an additional 60%.
- Cleansing Ritual – removes a negative effect from your character and heals allies in an area. With synergy allies can activate Purify which removes all negative effects.
- Rune Focus – creates an area that increases your armor and spell resistance while standing in it, as well as giving you immunity to interrupts.
- Honor the Dead – heals a wounded ally, and restores 15% of the spell cost every 2 seconds for 8 seconds if you heal a low health target.
- Battle of Life – heals a nearby ally, and two other nearby allies for a lower amount.
- Passive Abilities:
- Mending – increases critical strike chance of Restoring Light abilities on allies who are on low health.
- Focused Healing – increases healing done by your Restoring Light spells if an ally is standing inside of your area of protection (Rite of Passage, Cleansing Ritual or Rune Focus).
- Light Weaver – improves your abilities; Restoring Aura has an increased duration, Healing Ritual has its cost reduced, and Rite of Passage decreases damage taken while channeling.
- Master Ritualist – increases resurrection speed, resurrects players with more health, and gives you a chance to gain a soul gem when you successfully resurrect an ally.
Remember, you are limited by your action bar and can only use several abilities at any given time. It’s important to carefully plan your character for whatever playstyle you prefer and make sure you morph the right abilities.
Damage-dealing Templars often go for two handed weapons, but a one-handed weapon and shield is also a very good (if not better) choice. Dual-wield is viable, but not as popular. Templars focused on healing powers would assume to go for a Restoration Staff, however the spells in Restoring Light skill tree aren’t being constrained by the use of this weapon so you are not as limited by weapon choices.
The weapon choice for Templars is generally a player’s choice as there are various options and pros and cons of each one. We suggest you to experiment and see which ones you prefer using. For leveling, dual wielding is likely the most popular option, closely followed by 2H or 1H+shield setups.
Templars can easily wear any type of armor, and most commonly it’s either Light or Heavy. Tanks of course go for heavy armor to provide them the highest damage reduction and defense, while offense-based caster Templars or healers generally aim to get light armor to improve their magicka and spell power.
Certain stamina & magicka builds like Aedric Spear Templars also sometimes use Medium Armor and bow or dual-wield weapons.
Templars are considered a hybrid class and as such they often have a mixture of different base attributes, with the least skill points spent into stamina. Blocking, dodging and interrupting are all important parts of the combat in ESO, however for a ranged caster those are not nearly as important as for other play styles. Tanks will generally want to place a majority of their skill points into health with a sprinkle of stamina, while healers and those who rely on class spells to deal damage will predominantly spend points into increasing their magicka pool to allow for continuous healing or damage dealing.
High Elves, Bretons, Redguards, Orcs, Nords, Dark Elves are very popular choices for Templar players. Basically, anything but Argonians and Wood Elves, as they have almost no benefit regardless of your class build. Choosing a race doesn’t however restrain you in a particular play style so feel free to play whatever you’re comfortable with.
Personally I think Breton’s racial passive giving a reduced magicka cost for spells is best for any Templar build, as that particular stat is very hard to come by otherwise and is immensely useful in any situation.
Why play a Templar?
With proper spell choices and itemization Templars can be amazing tanks when needed of them, making them a welcome addition to any group. Additionally they are hands down the best healers in the game and are unmatched in their restoration powers and support abilities. If you prefer to have a supportive role and play with others then a Templar will always find a place in every group. Despite their group utility, Templars are more than capable of standing on their own feet during leveling or PvP.