Skip to main content

The Elder Scrolls Online Beginners' Guide

Templar 

The Templar is a warrior of purity burning with holy light and powered by a righteous fervor. These wandering warriors mix a good amount of martial capability with holy magics to achieve their goals. In more D&D oriented terms, these guys are Paladins. They can fight, they can draw an enemy’s attacks and they can use their magic to harm their foes or heal their allies. I’ve not had the most time to tinker around with the Templar class but in many ways they are the ideal tanks for any party. They excel at keeping their allies alive no matter the cost.

There are three paths for a Templar to choose skills from:
Aedric Spear: If you want your warrior-priest to inflict damage and drop status ailments on enemies, this is the path for you.
Dawn’s Wrath: This path is all about damage control – both in controlling how much damage you can deal and how much damage your foes can deal.
Restoring Light: The healer path, this is all about healing allies, removing negative status effects and protection.

Aedric Spear 

Puncturing Strikes – Unlocked at Aedric Spear Rank 1

The Templar lashes out four times, striking enemies within 8 metres in front of you for magic damage. The closest target takes 100% damage and the last target hit is knocked back.
Biting Jabs
Four consecutive attacks for magic damage to enemies in front of you. The closest target takes 100% damage and is knocked back on the last hit. Enemies with low health have an increased critical hit chance for up to 70%.
Puncturing Sweep
Four consecutive attacks for magic damage to enemies in front of you. The closest target takes 100% damage and is knocked back on the last hit. Damage is dealt in a large cone instead of to individual targets.

For a starting skill the Templar isn’t messing around. While the individual strikes aren’t too impressive it’s nice for both dealing damage to a whole group and dealing a lot of damage to one target. The knockback is icing on the cake. Both of the morphs are incredibly worthwhile although I have a preference for Puncturing Sweep thanks to the damage being dealt to more enemies.

Piercing Javelin – Unlocked at Aedric Spear Rank 4

Calling upon the power of the Aedra the Templar hurls a spear that causes magical damage and knocks the target back up to 5 metres.
Aurora Javelin
Hurls a spear that causes magic damage and knocks back the target 5 metres. Deals additional damage the further the player is from the target, up to 30%.
Blinding Javelin
Hurls a spear that causes magic damage and knocks back the target 5 metres. Knocks the target down for 3.5 seconds.

This is the bread and butter of any damage dealing Templar--Piercing Javelin is one of those skills that you’ll use the rest of the game once you learn it. Every passive that you pick up, every other ability you learn will be thought of in terms of “How can I make this work with Piercing Javelin?” This owes more to the utility of the skill than how powerful it itself is.

It does fair damage but the knockback can be used to control enemies, knocking them into elemental hazards or off ledges and the like. If you upgrade it to Blinding Javelin it will knock targets flat on their back for 3.5 seconds.

Piercing Spear – Unlocked at Aedric Spear Rank 8. Passive skill

While using Aedric Spear skills your critical strike chance is increased by 5% per rank and your damage inflicted against blocking targets is increased by 5% per rank.

This is a skill that’s helpful against multiple regular enemy types but it really shines in PvP. Players are much more apt to block than enemies and with this you can punch right through it with an increased chance to land critical hits. Even better this block piercing seems to work for both melee and magical attacks so Piercing Javelin will deal a solid bit of damage, and knock people back, even if they block it.

Radial Sweep (Ultimate Skill) – Unlocked at Aedric Spear Rank 12

A mystical surge of light energy deals magical damage to all enemies in a 5 metre radius.
Empowering Sweep
Deals magical damage to all enemies in a 5 metre radius. Gains 10 armour for each enemy hit by the attack for what seems to be 20 seconds.
Crescent Sweep
Deals increased magical damage to all nearby enemies. Enemies in your front arc take extra damage.

On paper this skill doesn’t really look like much and I have to admit that the damage isn’t much to write home about, but the utility of the two morphs make this skill incredibly worthwhile. If you’re a tank then Empowering Sweep is immensely useful for surviving in a tough horde of enemies. However, if you’re not taking enemies and are going for raw damage dealt Crescent Sweep will do a solid amount of damage to anyone in front of you while weakening those to your sides.

Spear Wall – Unlocked at Aedric Spear Rank 14. Passive skill

Increases the damage reduction when blocking melee attacks by 7% at rank 1, 15% by rank 2.

Since this only applies when you have an Aedric Spear ability equipped the usefulness of this skill only shines through if you’re using said skills and actually use a shield. While you can block without a shield your damage reduction just isn’t up to snuff, you’re better off focusing on attacking at that point.

Focused Charge - Unlocked at Aedric Spear Rank 20

Rushing forward the Templar charges into them, dealing magic damage, interrupting any special abilities they may have been activating and stunning them for 3 seconds.
Explosive Charge
Rush into the target; dealing magic damage, interrupting abilities and stunning for 3 seconds. Deals magic damage to all nearby enemies.
Toppling Charge
Rush into the target; dealing magic damage, interrupting abilities and stunning for 3 seconds. Targets in the process of using abilities are set off balance for 5 seconds.

During my time experimenting with the various abilities I’ve always found that it’s best to focus on one skill tree for the most part. With that in mind this skill is definitely the sort of thing that you’ll want if you have so much as even a passing interest in stunning your enemies or knocking them off balance. However keep your play style in mind when picking your skills / skill morphs. Explosive Charge does great damage but it’s probably not worth taking if you’re expecting to stay at a distance while throwing spears.

Burning Light – Unlocked at Aedric Spear Rank 22. Passive skill

When using an Aedric Spear ability you have a 25% chance on hit to deal magic damage. However at rank 2 it also increases the damage dealt by the attack.

From my testing this bonus only works when using the Aedric Spear direct damage abilities, most notably Piercing Javelin. If you’re using this path enough to have reached rank 22 then you’re probably okay with that so go for it.

Spear Shards – Unlocked at Aedric Spear Rank 30

Calling upon his magical reserves the Templar causes a number of mystical spears to emerge and inflict magic damage upon all enemies within an 8 metre radius. One target is disoriented for 6 seconds. The spears last for 10 seconds and an ally may pick them up granting both you and them increased damage.
Luminous Shards
Deals magical damage to enemies within the targeted area. Disorients 1 of the enemies for 6 seconds. Allies may pick up a spear, granting a damage boost, 25% stamina boost and an additional 10 stamina over 10 seconds. Restores magicka while restoring stamina to those who pick up spears.
Blazing Spear
Deals magical damage to enemies within the targeted area. Disorients 1 of the enemies for 6 seconds. Allies may pick up a spear, granting a damage boost, 25% stamina boost and an additional 10 stamina over 10 seconds. The spear ignites the ground on impact and stuns enemies instead of disorienting them.

While this is a nifty skill it requires a good bit of communication with your party. They have to know that you’re using the skill and who is going to try picking up the spears. The ability itself isn’t that impressive but when a good warrior picks up the spear it gets much more impressive especially if you have the Blazing Spear version of the ability. But due to the communication requirement this is only a skill to take if you’re working with a group you know. Don’t take it if you’re going solo or working with randoms.

Balanced Warrior – Unlocked at Aedric Spear Rank 39. Passive skill

Increases weapon damage by 2% per level and spell resistance by 2 per level.

For a useful skill like this it’s awfully gimped by the fact that it comes so late in the skill tree. I’d honestly prefer that it and spear wall swapped places but alas, it is not to be. Complaining aside I’m personally of the opinion that any skill that boosts your spell resistance rating is well worth taking.

Sun Shield – Unlocked at Aedric Spear Rank 42

The Aedric Spear user conjures up a mystic shield to protect him from damage. Upon activation it deals magic damage to all nearby enemies. The shield has health equal to 27% of your maximum health that lasts for 6 seconds. Each hit against the shield increases its strength by 4% but you cannot regenerate magicka while the shield is activated.
Radiant Ward
Creates a damage shield for 30% of your maximum health that lasts for 6 seconds. It deals magic damage to nearby enemies on activation. Each successful hit increases shield strength by 4%. You do not regenerate magicka while the shield is activated. Deals extra damage upon skill activation.
Blazing Shield
Creates a damage shield for 30% of your maximum health that lasts for 6 seconds. It deals magic damage to nearby enemies on activation. Each successful hit increases shield strength by 4%. You do not regenerate magicka while the shield is activated. Returns 50% of the damage you take back to nearby enemies when the effect ends.

This skill is why the Templars have such a reputation for being the ultimate tank. It starts off as a damn good skill but once you morph it to Blazing Shield it becomes one of the best skills in the game. Repeated strikes will only make it rise in power so it truly shines when fighting large groups although it’s nothing to sneeze at in any fight. The goal here is to put you in harm’s way, take a whole lot of damage and then knock it back at the enemy.

Dawn’s Wrath 

Sun Fire – Unlocked at Dawn’s Wrath Rank 1

The Templar hurls a bolt of fire, dealing flame damage to the target and dealing additional fire damage over the following 4.5 seconds. It also ensnares the target by 40% for the duration.
Vampire’s Bane
Inflicts fire damage and leaves the target burning for 6.5 seconds, inflicting additional fire damage and ensnaring them by 40%
Reflective Light
Inflicts fire damage and leaves the target burning for 6.5 seconds, inflicting additional fire damage and ensnaring them by 40%. Two nearby enemies are caught by the effect, ensnaring them and afflicting them with fire damage for 4.5 seconds.

Even for a starter skill Sun Fire always felt a bit underwhelming. The range is nice and the ensnaring effect leaves the enemy with little to do but burn. But once I had access to better skills I found little reason to bother with this skill beyond when my other, better, skills were recharging. Morphing it into Reflective Light helps with this by making it a decent way to deal with a group of enemies but even for that limited role I’m rather unimpressed by it.

Solar Flare – Unlocked at Dawn’s Wrath Rank 4

A mystical burst of energy deals magic damage to the targeted enemy. The next attack against the target and all nearby enemies has increased weapon and / or spell power with the exception of the Solar Flare line of abilities.
Dark Flare
Inflicts magic damage to a targeted enemy. The next attack gains bonus weapon power and spell power against the target and nearby enemies. Bonus doesn’t apply to the Solar Flare line of abilities. All affected enemies receive 30% less healing for 6 seconds.
Solar Barrage
Inflicts magic damage to a targeted enemy. The next attack gains bonus weapon power and spell power against the target and nearby enemies. Bonus doesn’t apply to the Solar Flare line of abilities. The casting time is removed. Magic damage inflicted is increased.

The language on Solar Barrage confused me for the longest time. Then I realised it’s basically a skill that’s designed to not be stackable with itself, but beyond that weird language choice it is a fairly standard skill. Make use of this skill before attacking with another, stronger, skill. Use this and then use your strongest offensive ability, like an Ultimate, or just use it and then attack normally.

Enduring Rays – Unlocked at Dawn’s Wrath Rank 8. Passive skill

Increases the duration of all of your Dawn’s Wrath abilities for 10% per rank

This is a great ability on paper but like many of these duration increasing skills most of the skills in this tree have a duration of less than 8 seconds. This means that any increase will be fairly infinitesimal with the possible exception of Nova. Even with the 20% boost you get less than a second of extra time for all but two skills.

Nova (Ultimate Skill) – Unlocked at Dawn’s Wrath Rank 12

Calling on the suns power the spell caster causes all enemies nearby to deal 30% less damage for 8 seconds and take magic damage for every second the ability runs. The key to this ability is its synergy ability – an ally can activate the Supernova synergy, dealing more damage and stunning all enemies in a very wide radius.
Solar Prism
All enemies in a large radius will deal 30% less damage and take magic damage every second for 8 seconds. Your allies may activate the Gravity Crush synergy effect, dealing greater damage and stunning enemies for longer than the Supernova synergy.
Solar Disturbance
All enemies in a large radius will deal 30% less damage and take magic damage every second for 8 seconds. Allies may activate the Supernova synergy, dealing damage and stunning all enemies in a wide radius around the caster. Enemies are ensnared by 60% for the duration of this ability.

While I’ve always thought that Radial Sweep was a damn good skill its place is as that of an aid for a tank. Nova is a skill for someone who wants to deal raw damage to their foes. However it only really shines when you can activate the synergy ability with your allies. For a solo character it’s just not all that impressive but get an ally to activate the synergy and it shoots up through the roof. Keep that in mind when you’re trying to figure out what skills to take.

Prism – Unlocked at Dawn’s Wrath Rank 14. Passive skill

Bestows 1 additional ultimate per rank upon activation of a Sun ability.

Experimentation has led me to believe that this means Sun Fire and Solar Flare will give you the bonus. Some of the other skills haven’t triggered it, notably Eclipse. So if you’re using those two skills this is a passive you should take. It’s especially nice since you get it so soon after getting access to your ultimate ability in the first place.

Backlash – Unlocked at Dawn’s Wrath Rank 20

Enchant a targeted enemy with a particularly vicious curse. Any damage dealt to the enemy stores up for 6 seconds. When the effect ends they receive an additional 33% of the damage previously inflicted.
Purifying Light
The targeted enemy stores up damage take for 6 seconds. When the effect ends they receive an additional 36% of the damage inflicted. While the effect runs a pool of healing light appears for 6 seconds, healing your allies for 6 seconds, healing the enemy every 2 seconds.
Power of the Light
The targeted enemy stores up damage take for 6 seconds. When the effect ends they receive an additional 36% of the damage inflicted. The first five successful hits increase the damage of the power by 2% per hit for 10 seconds. This adds up to a 10% increase if the enemy is hit 5 times in 10 seconds.

I love this skill. It’s such a deceitful, evil thing. The victim most likely won’t even know what’s exactly wrong with him until the effect has ended. Then, when the effect ends, they’re suddenly slapped with a near 50% damage burst (if you have the Power of Light morph) and they almost certainly go down immediately if not moments after.

Illuminate – Unlocked at Dawn’s Wrath Rank 22. Passive skill

Spell resistance is increased by 5 per rank if the attacker is affected by any Dawn’s Wrath ability.

As I’ve stated numerous times I’m a sucker for increasing your Spell Resistance. However this skill is a bit trickier since you need to affect them with an ability first. That means this isn’t as much of a “must have” as Restoring Spirit below. But if you’re using the Dawn’s Wrath tree then this is a skill to use. Once you have it you’ll want to prioritise hitting enemy spell casters with your skills so that you gain the SR boost.

Eclipse – Unlocked at Dawn’s Wrath Rank 30

The spell caster surrounds himself with a protective barrier that reflects back hostile single target spells back at their caster for 4 seconds.
Total Dark
An anti-magic aura around the caster reflects back hostile single target spells for 5 seconds. When the aura dissipates the target’s Spell Power is reduced by 15 for 6 seconds.
Unstable Core
An anti-magic aura around the caster reflects back hostile single target spells for 5 seconds. The aura explodes when the effect ends dealing magic damage to nearby enemies.

This barrier does a hell of a job protecting you from hostile magic users. Not only does it stop them from affecting you for 6 seconds but it actually reflects them right back at the caster, giving him a taste of his own medicine. Morphing it should be based upon how you plan to fight--if you’re playing a Templar who focuses on using his magic’s to impair his enemies then take Total Dark but if you’re probably in the process of charging down that spell casters throat you’ll want Unstable Core to help with killing him.

Restoring Spirit – Unlocked at Dawn’s Wrath Rank 39. Passive skill

Reduces magicka, stamina and ultimate skill costs by 2% per rank.

This is a no-brainer skill. Even if you’re not using Dawn’s Wrath skills this can be used effectively so purchase Sun Fire, use it or let it sit in the bar and work your way up to nabbing this if you want the passive skill cost decrease.

Blinding Light – Unlocked at Dawn’s Wrath Rank 42

The spell caster emits a blast of Blinding Light that impairs enemies with a 5 metre radius, imposing a 50% chance for them to miss attacks and set them off balance for 3 seconds.
Searing Light
All nearby enemies in a 5 metre radius have a 50% chance to miss and are set off balance for 4 seconds. All affected targets take additional magic damage.
Blinding Flashes
All nearby enemies in a 5 metre radius have a 50% chance to miss and are set off balance for 4 seconds. A pulse of light flares every 2 seconds causing all nearby enemies to have a 50% chance to miss or be set off balance for 4 seconds.

I’m not very fond of this skill since it’s such a high level skill but manages to be only somewhat useful. While the imposition it applies by making enemies miss is a pretty big issue it’s only very helpful when you get it to Blinding Flashes. It’s very easy to miss enemies with the initial hit if they happen to be just a bit too far away but you can chase down enemies with the repeated flashes and catch them. So if you want to take this skill them be sure to go for that skill morph.

Restoring Light 

Rushed Ceremony – Unlocked at Restoring Light Rank 1

Calling upon the holy energies that are their bread and butter the Templar can heal a wounded ally.
Honour the Dead
Heals a single nearby ally. When healing a target with low health recover 9 magicka every 2 seconds for 8 seconds.
Breath of Life
Heals a trio of allies in a 28 metre radius.

As a Templar this is the first spell that I like to pick up. Since a Templar is always at his best when travelling with others it’s a good idea to be able to keep your allies standing. However since you can’t heal yourself with this it’s of no use if you’re riding solo.

Healing Ritual – Unlocked at Restoring Light Rank 4

Acting as an upgraded version of Rushed Ceremony this spell not only lets you heal nearby allies but to actually heal yourself. The healing that you gain is increased compared to what your allies receive.
Lingering Ritual
Heals nearby allies as well as yourself. Nearby allies have their maximum health increased after 8 seconds.
Ritual of Rebirth
Heals nearby allies as well as yourself. Reduced casting time.

Healing Ritual can’t be used as more often than Rushed Ceremony on the basis that it has a lower magicka cost and they both seem to recharge just as fast as the other. But even better than that is that this actually heals you and, if you take the Ritual of Rebirth skill morph, you cast this incredibly fast. This allows you to heal up mid-fight without breaking your stride in combat itself.

Mending – Unlocked at Restoring Light Rank 8. Passive skill.

Using a Restoring Light skill increases the chance for allies to deliver a critical strike by up to 15% per rank. The critical strike chance increases as your allies health goes down.

While I don’t like skills like this, where they rely on you using entirely unrelated skills to get a passive boost, this one is actually pretty nice. Since most Dragonknights and Nightblades will naturally have a passive boost to critical strike add that to this and it can really add up. It even lets you help out in fights when you’re using your ultimate skill and stuck channelling.

Rite of Passage (Ultimate Skill) – Unlocked at Restoring Light Rank 12

Channelling holy energy the Templar heals all allies within a 12 metre radius. This heals them every second for four seconds but it prevents you from moving while you are doing so.
Remembrance
Stay immobile while channelling holy magic, healing allies within a 12 metre radius every second for four seconds. When this effect ends all allies take 30% less damage for 4 seconds.
Practised Incantation
Stay immobile while channelling holy magic, healing allies within a 12 metre radius every second for six seconds.

This is pretty lame for an Ultimate ability. The healing aspect is pretty good but being stuck in place while your allies could move away or enemies could move in on you just renders it kind of useless. As a Templar you should be in combat at all times, drawing attention away from the squishier types and not just standing around. If you do find yourself taking this skill then you’ll want to take Remembrance since it allows you to start moving sooner while also granting your allies damage reduction. That’s the best outcome you can ask for here.

Focused Healing – Unlocked at Restoring Light Rank 14. Passive skill

This increases the healing power of all allies standing in the areas of protection created by Rite of Passage, Cleansing Ritual and Rune Focus. This bonus goes from 15% at rank 1 to 30% at rank 2.

I’m actually not terrible impressed by this skill since you can’t always rely on your allies staying in those areas of protection. Even when they know to stay in the area the bonus is actually fairly small for the fact that it locks people from being able to move. I’d rather my mages and archers stay all the way away from me instead of huddling in a few areas for some increased healing.

Restoring Aura – Unlocked at Restoring Light Rank 20

While the ability is passively slotted in your quick bar it passively increases the Templars stamina and health regeneration. But when it is actively used it massively increases the health and stamina regeneration of nearby allies for 6 seconds.
Radiant Aura
Nearby allies gain a massive health and stamina regeneration for 9 seconds. The radius for the skill increases considerably.
Repentance
When activated heal stamina and health a small amount for each corpse in the vicinity. Each corpse can only be affected by this once. The skill is now free.

This is a hell of a skill without even skill morphing it. The passive bonus that it provides is great and the ability to pass an improved version of that on to your allies is a huge boost. Morphing it into Radiant Aura only makes it more effective. Repentance is interesting but ultimately useless in most situations since it becomes completely unusable against individual large bosses.

Light Weaver – Unlocked at Restoring Light Rank 22. Passive skill

Increases the duration of the Restoring Aura ability by 10%. Healing Ritual grants allies under 60% health 1 Ultimate skill. Gain 14 armour and spell resistance while channelling the Right of Passage ability. This goes up to 20%, 2 Ultimates and 25 armour and spell resistance.

If you’ve gotten this far down the skill tree you’re probably using at least two of these skills so you’ll definitely want to take this. The armour and spell resistance bonus makes the Right of Passage ability suck a good deal less, Healing Ritual and Restoring Aura are just great abilities in general so making it better works out well.

Cleansing Ritual – Unlocked at Restoring Light Rank 30

By channelling holy magic the caster instantly removes a negative status effect from himself. Over the next 12 seconds the casters nearby allies are healed. Allies may activate the Purify synergy, removing all negative effects and healing them.
Extended Ritual
This instantly removes a negative status effect from the caster. Allies may activate the Purify synergy, removing all negative effects and healing them. Over the next 22 seconds allies in the area around the caster are healed.
Purifying Ritual
This instantly removes 5 negative status effects from the caster. Allies may activate the Purify synergy, removing all negative effects and healing them. Over the next 12 seconds allies in the area around the caster are healed. The cost is reduced by 15%

Another fantastic ability in a skill tree full of them, Cleansing Ritual’s ability starts off removing a negative status effect which is already a great bonus. But the fact that it continues on to heal your allies and then allow them to activate the synergy to gain a massive boost. From there you’ll really want to take the Purifying Ritual skill morph--while Extended Rituals healing boost is nice the ability to remove a whole bunch of negative status effects is amazing. It can really help against some of the meaner boss fights you’ll face.

Master Ritualist – Unlocked at Restoring Light Rank 39. Passive skill

The spell casters resurrection speed is increased by 20%. Allies affected by this resurrect with 50% more health. Upon successful resurrection there’s a 50% chance to gain a soul gem.

I love this skill for its simplicity. Not only does it help you with reviving faster but it provides you with Soul Gems every now and again which is great for keeping your magical equipment powered up.

Rune Focus – Unlocked at Restoring Light Rank 42

The Templar conjures up an area of protection for 12 seconds which increase the armour and spell resistance for all within it by 25.
Channelled Focus
Conjures up an area of protection for 15 seconds which increases the armour and spell resistance of those within it by 25. Recovers magicka for those within its radius in addition to the above.
Restoring Focus
Conjures up an area of protection for 15 seconds which increases the armour and spell resistance of those within it by 25. Bestows a bonus to all healing effects for allies within the radius.

This is a pretty good ability but it suffers from the fact that there are no good abilities that synchronise with it. Take the Channelled Focus morph to recover magicka for you and your allies which will allow you to stay in the fight longer before having to rely on potions. But honestly this is a fairly weak ability to cap off one of the better skill trees in the game.

Jump to Section: