This guide will give you an idea on where it may be worth spending points in the Templar skill line. The morphs are given a 1-5 ranking (1 poor, 5 excellent) and I try to briefly explain why the score. Skills with an (S) represent the fact it is a Stamina morph. (Note: While I may make reference to PvP at times, the reality is I am casual at best when it comes to PvP and this guide is really done with PvE as the focus)
Puncturing Strikes – Four quick strikes, doing damage to all in small area and knocking back a target). Does 140% extra damage to closest target and reduces their movement speed by 7-% for 2 seconds.
Puncturing Sweep (5) – This adds a heal of 35% of the damage done. This can be useful for solo or maybe even tank types allowing you to mix damage and survivability in one, can also be good in PvP for the same reason. For pure “mageplar” builds, this is still the bread and butter DPS ability for spamming.
Biting Jabs (S)(5) – This morph makes it Stamina based and grants the critical buff (Major Savagery. This is an obvious choice for a stamina build and does some serious damage.)
Note: This is the bread and butter DPS spammable skill for Templars. The rating of 5 stands for both because it is the skill to choose and the choice of morph depends entirely on if you are primarily stamina or magicka because the damage of each morph is determined by those stats.
Piercing Javelin – Throw a spear to knock back target 5 meters, stunning them for 1.8 seconds, and deal some damage.
Aurora Javelin (2) – Increases damage up to 40% based on how far away you are from the target. Not a big fan of this morph, this spell is expensive to cast and the base damage is mediocre. While an increase is nice, due to its cost the only reason to use this spell is for the Crowd Control it offers, you wouldn’t use it for actual DPS, for that reason this seems a poor skill. If it had the knockdown effect of the other morph, I would say this was handy for a Bow user as it would offer good CC for your rarely used magicka, still can be used for that if desperate.
Binding Javelin (S)(4) – Adds a 3 second stun and knock down, scales off stamina. Damage is low so scaling not that relevant. However, the reason I rate this generously is if you run Bow and need it for the Piercing Spear passive or need a knockdown/stun for PvP with a bow.
Note: One of the key things about being a Templar comes from our passive skill Piercing Spear. This ability gives us a bonus 10% to our critical damage as long as you have an Aedric Spear on our bar. If you are rolling bow, the stamina morph might be a good option to benefit from that passive while still having a usable skill on your bar.
Focused Charge – Charge to enemy and do damage, will interrupt and stun a casting enemy for 3 seconds.
Toppling Charge (3) – Charge to enemy, stun them for 1.5s, casters are off balance for 5s. This is a nice morph for chasing down people, especially in PvP. The hidden cool down on this ability has thankfully been reduced, but unless you are Dual Wield and in need of a charge, I wouldn’t use it much.
Explosive Charge (2) – This turns the charge into an AoE, can be useful if a tank,one of the only AoE charge in the game and soloing tends to face against 3 mobs together and tanking there is always a chance to use this, but in reality despite the fact I like it for the AoE factor, you are not really going to get much use out of it – PvP wise the above morph would be better, and in reality, for PvE how often do you really slot a charge?
Spear Shards – Ground target AoE, the spear can be grabbed by ally to provide Stamina. Also disorients one target for 6 seconds.
Luminous Shards (5) – This adds Magicka to the Synergy effect and increases the Stamina portion. Offering support, this skill is fantastic, unfortunately the damage loss over the other morph is significant. So, pure DPS or healers who want a little more support DPS should take the other morph, but if you play a healer/support Templar, this is a winner.
Blazing Spear (3) – This now stuns a target for 2s and also adds a 6 second DoT to the AoE. Now, the DoT is pathetic to be honest. So why give this a score of 3? Well, while the DoT is lousy, it CAN proc our passive Burning Light which has a 25% chance to do significant damage. This would have been rated higher but the frequency of the tick has been reduced in favor of having the tick deal higher damage (which still sucks!). This lowers its overall damage because the DoT (even when buffed) isnt that powerful and the only real reason to use it being the Burning Light passive now has fewer chances to proc.
Sun Shield – Creates a 30% max health shield for 6s. Also does minor damage on activation.
Radiant Ward (2) – Slightly increases Shield strength to 6% per hit and reduced cost. Not enough of a shield gain for what you give up. Even as a tank I would take other morph. Though cheaper cost can make it a good option if magicka is in short supply for your build.
Blazing Shield (5) – Adds AoE damage to the spell. Upon ending, the shield does AoE damage to nearby mobs equal to 52% of the damage the shield absorbed. Very nice morph, deals decent damage on trash packs and against bosses helps mitigate some damage while also dishing out some damage.
*ULTIMATE* Radial Sweep – Decent AoE damage at a cheap cost, also applies a DoT.
Empowering Sweep (5) – adds a 15% damage reduction (increases by 4% per mob hit). Brilliant for soloing or tanking.
Crescent Sweep (3) – Increases damage done to targets in front of you by 33%. Not a big fan of this, the perk of the spell is the wide radius and 360 degree AoE, the fact that only mobs in frontal cone will get the extra damage is a shame, but more importantly, if you are not using this Ultimate for the defensive perks that Empowering Sweep offers, there are better Ultimate skills to take.
Sun Fire – Ranged damage + DoT and Snare and applies Major Prophecy (Spell Critical Buff).
Reflective Light (5) – Turns the spell into a limited AoE hitting up to 2 targets, reduced DoT duration. This morph is quite nice, but losing some seconds on the DoT means less damage overall as part of a rotation, but as your main spam attack, this morph actually comes out ahead.
Vampire’s Bane (4) – Increases the DoT damage and has a longer snare effect. This is a strong single target attack usable at range and with an effective snare, perfect for a ranged based Templar if this is part of a rotation, but if it were your spam attack, I would take the other morph.
Note: Currently, if you are playing a “mageplar” build, the Vampire’s Bane has fallen out of favor due to the sheer amount of damage that comes from Puncturing Sweeps! Most people pick up Reflective Light for the AoE capabilities and keep it on their AoE bar along with Magicka Detonation.
Solar Flare – 1.1s cast to do high damage and grants major Empower which increases next attack by 20%.
Dark Flare (3) – Applies major Defile (30% heal reduction) to the target. Very powerful single target spell, great for ranged Templars and very useful in PvP. The trick to this spell is to not weave light attacks with it, as the 20% damage boost does apply to itself.
Solar Barrage (3) – Turns the spell instant cast and large AoE, however significantly reduces the damage done. For a Dual Wield magicka Templar, this morph is excellent, that said, for AoE, Magicka Detonation (from Alliance War Assault Skill Line) is more than adequate, so you will likely find yourself better off with Dark Flare.
Backlash – Debuffs the target so that all damage over 6 seconds is remembered, then at end of 6 seconds, 33% of that damage is done again to mob.
Power of the Light (S) (2) – Max damage applied is calculated using Stamina, also applied minor fracture (reduces targets armor by 10%). This now does Physical damage but it still has a maximum damage cap rendering this almost completely useless for Stamina DPS.
Purifying Light (3) – Adds a minor heal to those very close to the target. Obvious choice for any magicka based Templar, other than that, it suffers the same as the other morph in that you are better off using your main attack again in most cases.
Eclipse – Casts a 6.5 second bubble on mob, any single target spells reflect back on them. Also deals damage when effect is broken.
Total Dark (3) – Caster is healed for each reflected projectile. Not bad as a tank or soloing, but would rather take the damaging morph personally, especially in PvP where Break Free will occur.
Unstable Core (3) – Deals more damage upon effect ending (even if target Breaks Free or Cleanses). Great morph for PvP, not too shabby for PvE for shutting down a mob and hurting it too.
Radiant Destruction – Single target spell that channels for 2.9s. Deals more damage the lower health the target has. Templar ranged execute baby!
Radiant Glory (3) – Heals for 20% of the damage done. Can be great for soloing or PvP, but for actual DPS the other morph is the real winner, after all, it is an execute, damage is the name of the game.
Radiant Oppression (5) – Deals up to 20% additional damage based on amount of magicka left in your pool. High damage execute with added damage! For end game DPS this is the morph of choice.
*ULTIMATE* Nova – AoE damage, enemies deal 30% damage for duration (10.4 seconds), allies can activate damage synergy.
Solar Prison (2/5) – Gains the more powerful synergy Gravity Crush which deals damage and stuns all enemies in the area for 5 seconds. Solo wise this is a pointless morph as it allows a more powerful synergy to be used by allies. But if teamed up with anyone this is an excellent morph.
Solar Disturbance (2) – Adds a snare that reduces movement speed by 62%. Can be handy in PvP, also useful to keep mobs in the AoE for PvE, though hopefully your allies stunning with the synergy will do that.
Rushed Ceremony – Instant powerful Heal.
Breath of Life (3) – Adds an AoE component to the heal. Heals 1 additional target for half the main heal. This used to be the go to heal for Templars, but being nerfed down to just one additional person instead of two reduces it’s effectiveness.
Honor the Dead (2) – Adds 60% of the spell cost as magicka restoration over time 8 seconds if you use it to heal a target under 75% health. The first tick of regen occurs upon cast, however I am still not a huge fan of the morph mainly due to the games smart target healing and the huge range this spell has, there is very real chance that even as a solo player you end up healing someone else with it – as this is an emergency heal if that happens you are likely dead. Unless you are truly a pure solo player I would not consider this morph.
Healing Ritual – 1.5s cast for group heal which heals you 30% more.
Lingering Ritual (2) – Adds an additional heal after 8 seconds. Radius is too small for my liking, given how big the heal is on this spell, I am not sure an extra heal in 8s is needed compared to reducing cast time the other morph offers.
Ritual of Rebirth (3) – Reduces cast time to 1.3. Not the biggest reduction in the world, but every little helps.
Restoring Aura – Gives 10% Stamina, Magicka and Health Regen when slotted. Gives 20% Health and Stamina regeneration when activated for 18 seconds.
Repentance (4) – Same passive effect but can now be activated for free and upon doing so you instantly gain health and stamina for you and your allies based on how many corpses are around. Brilliant for AoE farming, handy for some boss fights that have adds and marvelous in PvP. Only doesn’t get a 5 because in fights with no adds, the morph is worthless (admittedly a harsh judgment due to how amazing the spell is at all other times).
Radiant Aura (1) – All this does is increase the area of effect of the activated ability. It already has a pretty decent area so this morph is really questionable. Biggest issue with this is the fact that when activating it, the regen passively gained from the skill stop and also the activated version won’t stack with regen from potions, making this pretty lackluster.
Cleansing Ritual – Casts wide radius AoE on ground which heals every 2s, removes 2 detrimental effects from caster and allows others to use Purify which heals and removes all negative effects on them.
Ritual of Retribution (4) – This morph changed with Dark Brotherhood replacing the old Purifying Ritual. This ability now cleanses 2 harmful effects from yourself and heals every 2 seconds for 12 seconds. It now also deals a DoT every 2 seconds for 12 seconds. This is GREAT for PvP to keep stealthers away and also gives you a nice small HoT and DoT. This might be a good thing to slot on your bar regardless if you are stamina or magicka and want an additional HoT and DoT.
Extended Ritual (4) – This increases the duration all the way up to 18 seconds. I love this, increasing duration enough to make it suitable for your second bar is the real winner for me, that and casting less frequently means being able to cast heals more often. As a healer or soloing, you really appreciate the extra space on the main bar.
Rune Focus – Cast a small circle on ground around you. Applies Major Resolve and Major Ward buffs which increase armor and spell resist, these buffs last for 8 seconds after leaving the area.
Restoring Focus (3) – While in this area of protection you get Minor Vitality increasing heals on you. Good for a tank to now have max armor and resists and receive even stronger heals, but I would never take this over the alternative morph.
Channeled Focus (5) – Regain Magicka every half second for 15 seconds. Reduced cost. Pretty much the go to spell for Magicka builds who need some sustain.
*ULTIMATE* Rite of Passage – Channel a heal for 4s, you cannot move during this time and cannot be interrupted.
Remembrance (4) – Damage to players is reduced by 20% 4 seconds. With the changes to Ultimate gain and therefore less ‘on demand’ damage reduction Ultimates being placed, the 20% reduction here is pretty awesome. Just wish it lasted longer.
Practiced Incantation (3) – Increases duration by 2s. Extra 2s of a powerful heal is fantastic, however, without the damage reduction it won’t necessarily keep up with damage being dealt.
*PASSIVES* For Passives, I will mark them as either an O for Optional (meaning take if you are using a skill that the passive effects) or N for Necessity to take regardless of what skills you use.
(O) Piercing Spear – Increases the damage bonus for your critical strikes by 10% and your damage against blocking targets by 10% when Aedric Spear spell is slotted. If you have an Aedric Spear skill on your bar, take this passive!
(O) Spear Wall – 15% block mitigation vs melee attacks when Aedric Spear spell is slotted. If you have an Aedric Spear skill on your bar, take this passive!
(O) Burning Light – 25% chance when using an Aedric Spear skill to do X magic damage. This now does Physical Damage and scales with Weapon Damage, or deals Magic Damage and scales with Spell Damage, based on whichever is higher! This is a MUST HAVE PASSIVE if you use an Aedric Spear ability to DPS even if it is just a Blazing Spear from a support/healer character!
(N) Balance Warrior – Increase weapon damage by 3/6% and increases your spell resistance.
(O) Enduring Rays – Increases the duration of your Sun Fire, Eclipse, and Nova abilities by 30%.
(O) Prism – While gaining Ultimate, Activating a Dawn’s Wrath ability grants 3 additional Ultimate. This can occur once every 6 seconds. If you have a Dawn’s Wrath ability on your bar, take this passive!
(O) Illuminate – Applies Minor Sorcery increasing Spell Damage to you and your group for 10/20s when activating a Dawn’s Wrath ability.
(N) Restoring Spirit – Reduces Magicka, Stamina, and Ultimate ability costs by 2/4%. Just take this passive!
(O) Mending – Increases the healing effects from your Restoring Light abilities by 10%, in proportion to the severity of the target’s wounds.
(O) Sacred Ground – While standing in your own Cleansing Ritual, Rune Focus, or Rite of Passage area of effects and for up to 4 seconds after leaving them you gain Major Mending, increasing your healing done by 25%. Enemies standing in your spells area of effects have their movement speed reduced by 30%
(O) Light Weaver – Increases the duration of Restoring Aura by 20%, Healing Ritual grants 2 Ultimate to allies under 60%, and Channeling Rite of Passage grants a X bonus to your Armor.
(N) Master Ritualist – Increases Resurrection speed by 20%, Resurrected allies return to 100% more Health, and gives you a 50% chance to gain a soul gem after each successful resurrection.
If you PvP heavily, please leave your PvP notes in the comments below! I would love to add a purely PvP perspective to this article. I will cite your name as a reference to the PvP material.