[ -] [vid] The Root and the Crown | Lightning Retaliation Grasping Vines Warder | SR75+, ~13s MQ, Mogdrogen, Lokarr, etc

The Root and the Crown:

Lightning Retaliation Grasping Vines Warder


I threw darts at the list of items that add retaliation damage to skills until I landed on one that sounded fun to build around, and then I put this together. Unlike what usually happens when I do that, I ended up with a decent build instead of hot garbage, so now I’m posting a build guide for it.

Hat tip to mad_lee, who did it before it was cool (with acid instead of lightning). updates:

  • No major changes, build is still strong.
  • I decided I liked the Ikrix Scale medal option best, so that’s now the main variant.
  • Less points in Overguard required to hit 100% block recovery than in previous versions. This allows swapping out Mythical Anchorite’s Seal for Mythical Open Hand of Mercy to complete the Judicator’s Seals set, as well as shuffling a few skill points to more useful places.
  • I stopped being lazy and ground out the last 10 shards of SR, so now we have an SR 75-76 video.



Tooltip DPS is Savagery with stacks up but no procs build variants:

Videos videos: videos:


This is an endgame build, not intended to be played in this form until level 94+

I personally leveled this build as ranged Primal Strike, using twink gear and Ugdenbog Sparkthrowers to carry me through the campaign. Here’s what my character looked like at a few key points along the way:

The twink gear and Lokarr set are not necessary for this build; using random self-found greens will work perfectly well, you just won’t get the XP bonus from Lokarr and friends.

Other viable setups for leveling a Warder include:

If you’re truly desperate to play your character as retal Grasping Vines as early as possible, you could put together a scuffed version of the build at level 40 using the Perdition set, or at 65 using the lower level version of the Dawnguard set. However, this isn’t recommended; I’m guessing that without the item skill mods from the shield and amulet, the build will feel pretty bad.

For general leveling advice, check out these resources:

Thanks for reading!


Hey, man, that’s an interesting take on Grasping Vines, good job. Can you explain why you skipped full Judicators set? Also, why that medal?

Other than that, pretty cool take on a retal Warder. I would recommend sticking Ruby somewhere - it’s a huge component for any retal build.

I went with those choices because I really wanted to fit 100% reduced shield recovery time into the build.

In the end, I had to compromise enough on block stuff that my block chance and block amount ended up being lower than I wanted. I’m not sure whether it’s worth keeping the remaining block investment in the build (very possible it’d be stronger abandoning block recovery entirely and using 2x Judicator plus a well-rolled Ikrix Scale), but that’s why it’s there.

What would you replace to fit in a Ruby? I skipped them because hitting OA and DA targets was a struggle on this build, and I thought main type retal from Lodestones was better than secondary type from Rubies. Would you take the fire retal and extra health instead?

Block chance is actually mostly there to proc Anvil and Obelisk more consistently - well at least that’s my experience with Retal builds. So you gotta test and figure out which block chance is enough to comfortably do it for this build.

One of the Lodestones. Hard capped slow resistance is such a huge QoL on slow casting cumbersome retal builds. Hp boost from that component alone is pretty amazing too. I even use it on non-retal builds because of how much value it actually has. For retal builds it’s just nuts.

Did you consider the Oathkeeper Absolution relic and Dawnbreaker amulet? The difference looks dramatic on paper though I have no experience playing this kind of build. https://www.grimtools.com/calc/dVbypaQ2

When I was originally theorycrafting this build I was very tempted to use that amulet, because it lets you get the big flat retal bonuses from both sets.

The reason I didn’t is that the duration mod on Conduit of Wild Whispers is sneakily also a damage mod. Damage ticks from multiple overlapping Grasping Vines stack, which means that the spell lasting 50% longer (6s instead of 4s) is really a 50% more damage multiplier (since half again as many instances of the spell are ticking at once while you’re at max Vines).

Vines tick every 0.5 seconds. With 4s duration, you’re hitting with an average of 3.33 instances of the spell at once, so 6.67 damage ticks per second on average. With 6s duration, it’s 5 spell instances and 10 damage ticks per second.

The damage boost per tick for using the 2-piece Dawnbreaker is big, but I don’t think it’s worth losing a third of your damage output in prolonged fights.

Why the Absolution relic? It looks to me like they provide similar amounts of retal, but Eye of the Storm is in my main damage type and has a skill bonus I can use.


It gives you shield recovery, so you might be able to swap it in and then change another piece, perhaps the ring. Anyway that’s just my theory.

I’m getting ready to start trying out some of this feedback and making alternate versions of this. What are y’all’s thoughts on this version, which deemphasizes block in favor of much better resist overcaps, the Judicator set bonus, and picking up Ghoul?


Obviously that MI or another one that would work as well is going to be non-trivial to farm :\

Hi. This is how it should look to work properly)) Defeating all super bosses except the box.

this what i run still not finished

This is a completely different build that doesn’t use Grasping Vines as its main skill.

please explain how to level skill points by level, attributes and devotions…thanks

You find another two Warder builds in Beginner build guides Compendium (for AoM + FG expansions)

For general advice on devotion please see Devotions: A how-to on maximizing them


Thanks for your attention, I learned a lot of things in various constructions and leveling…thanks.