Ward - Path of Exile

Introduced a new defence type, Ward, found on Expedition items. Ward protects you from all damage types, taking damage from a hit before your life or energy shield up to the amount of Ward you have. Ward is broken when any damage is taken from it, even if the damage taken was lower than the amount of Ward you have. Ward is instantly restored after 5 seconds.

Ward is a new defensive property. For Expedition base type items, instead of Armour, Evasion and Energy Shield, these items have Ward.

When you’re hit, your Ward is completely depleted and reduces the damage dealt to you by that amount. A few seconds later, your ward replenishes itself and you’re protected from the next hit.

As the right example shown, Runic Greaves Runic Greaves of Raiding grants Ward and can get mods that improve it.

For the undead enemies you unearth in Expedition encounters, they also have Ward rather than traditional defenses.

PoE Ward

Ward Uniques

Image Name Stats Notes
Cadigan's Crown Cadigan's Crown
  • Never deal Critical Strikes
  • Nearby Enemies cannot deal Critical Strikes
  • Battlemage(Gain Added Spell Damage equal to the Damage of your Main Hand Weapon)
Base Type: Runic Crown
Requires Level 68, 66 Str, 66 Dex, 66 Int
Ward: 137
Elixir of the Unbroken Circle Elixir of the Unbroken Circle
  • Restores Ward on use
  • (20–40)% increased Duration
  • 0% reduced effect
  • Recover 4% of Life per Endurance Charge on use
  • Lose all Endurance Charges on use
  • Gain 1 Endurance Charge per Second during Flask Effect
Base Type: Iron Flask
Requires Level 40
Lasts 3 Second
Consumes 40 of 60 Charge on use
Currently has 60 Charge
+200 to Ward
Faithguard Faithguard
  • +(20–30) to Intelligence
  • (25–35)% increased Ward
  • (20–30)% faster Restoration of Ward
  • (15–25)% increased Light Radius
  • Increases and Reductions to Maximum Energy Shield instead apply to Ward
Base Type: Runic Helm
Requires Level 25, 30 Str, 30 Dex, 30 Int
Ward: 43
Medved's Challenge Medved's Challenge
  • 800% increased Attribute Requirements
  • (30–50)% increased Ward
  • +(15–25)% to all Elemental Resistances
  • 80% less Flask Charges gained from Kills
  • Flasks gain 1 Charge per second if you've Hit a Unique Enemy Recently
  • (Attributes are Strength, Dexterity, and Intelligence)
  • (Recently refers to the past 4 seconds)
Base Type: Runic Gauntlets
Requires Level 69, 342 Str, 342 Dex, 342 Int
Ward: 114
Nightgrip Nightgrip
  • (33–48)% increased Ward
  • +(17–23)% to Chaos Resistance
  • Gain Added Chaos Damage equal to 25% of Ward
  • 75% of Damage bypasses Ward
Base Type: Runic Gages
Requires Level 48, 31 Str, 31 Dex, 31 Int
Ward: 73
Olroth's Charge Olroth's Charge
  • (50–80)% increased Ward
  • (30–50)% slower Restoration of Ward
  • 20% increased Movement Speed
  • Gain Adrenaline for 3 seconds when Ward Breaks
  • (Adrenaline grants 100% increased Damage, 25% increased Attack, Cast and Movement Speed and 10% additional Physical Damage Reduction)
Base Type: Runic Sollerets
Requires Level 48, 37 Str, 37 Dex, 37 Int
Ward: 86
Olroth's Resolve Olroth's Resolve
  • Restores Ward on use
  • (40–50)% increased Charges used
  • Ward does not Break during Flask effect
  • 70% less Ward during Flask Effect
Base Type: Iron Flask
Requires Level 40
Lasts 3 Second
Consumes 40 of 60 Charge on use
Currently has 60 Charge
+200 to Ward
Starlight Chalice Starlight Chalice
  • Restores Ward on use
  • (20–30)% increased Charge Recovery
  • Inflict Fire, Cold and Lightning Exposure on nearby Enemies when used
  • (20–30)% increased Effect of Non-Damaging Ailments you inflict during Flask Effect
  • (Each Exposure applies -10% to the matching Resistance for 4 seconds)
  • (Ailments that do not deal Damage are Scorched, Chilled, Frozen, Brittle, Shocked, and Sapped)
Base Type: Iron Flask
Requires Level 40
Lasts 3 Second
Consumes 40 of 60 Charge on use
Currently has 60 Charge
+200 to Ward
Vorana's March Vorana's March
  • Has no Sockets
  • Triggers Level 20 Summon Arbalists when Equipped
  • 25% increased Movement Speed
  • Summoned Arbalists have (10–20)% chance to inflict Cold Exposure on Hit
  • Summoned Arbalists have (10–20)% chance to Intimidate for 4 seconds on Hit
  • Summoned Arbalists Convert (30–50)% of Physical Damage to Fire Damage
  • (Cold Exposure applies -10% to Cold Resistance for 4 seconds)
  • (Intimidated enemies take 10% increased Attack Damage)
Base Type: Runic Sabatons
Requires Level 69, 46 Str, 46 Dex, 46 Int
Ward: 85
Vorana's Preparation Vorana's Preparation
  • Restores Ward on use
  • (-10–10)% reduced Charges used
  • Debilitate nearby Enemies for 2 Seconds when Flask Effect ends
  • Flask Effect is removed when Ward Breaks
  • Culling Strike during Flask Effect
  • (Enemies that are Debilitated have 20% less Movement Speed and deal 10% less damage)
  • (Culling Strike means enemies that are on 10% or lower life after your Hit are Killed)
Base Type: Iron Flask
Requires Level 40
Lasts 3 Second
Consumes 40 of 60 Charge on use
Currently has 60 Charge
+200 to Ward

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Ward Guide

To clarify, the livestream used imprecise language to get the general idea across without making it sound overcomplicated. Ward does not modify damage taken, it changes how/where you take damage . For example, a skill supported by CWDT will still count damage that breaks ward.

Damage breaks Ward before being taken from your life or energy shield, and breaking Ward is treated the same as taking an amount of that damage up to the value of your ward (thus that much damage from the hit doesn't get taken from life/mana/es). Aegises, Guard Skills, etc get at the damage first, so if all damage is taken from "external" things like those, there will be none left to break ward, and thus ward will not break.

However unlike all the other things that damage is taken from, Ward is not a pool that can be depleted. The value of ward is always the same, that value just doesn't do anything while it's broken. There is no "Maximum Ward" with a current value that changes to zero, there's just "Ward", and whether or not it's broken, which is a boolean state.

Ward is restored (stops being broken) after a set delay from when it was broken (default 5 seconds). As you correctly surmised, taking more hits while ward is broken has no effect on this.

Ward Unique Item Example

Faithguard Faithguard is a unique Runic Helm. This unique helmet allows you to go all-in with Ward as a defensive option for your character. It causes all increases to Energy Shield to affect your Ward instead, grants you a bunch of Ward, and helps it recover faster.

Requires Level 25, 30 Str, 30 Dex, 30 Int. Ward: 43.

  • +30 to Intelligence
  • 25% increased Ward
  • 26% faster Restoration of Ward
  • 23% increased Light Radius
  • Increases and Reductions to Maximum Energy Shield instead apply to Ward

Flavour text: The priests of the Kalguur worshipped knowledge, not gods.

Faithguard PoE

Ward Base Types Items

Name Category Requirement
Runic Helm Runic Helm Helmet Level 25, 30 Str, 30 Dex, 30 Int
Runic Crest Runic Crest Helmet Level 49, 55 Str, 55 Dex, 55 Int
Runic Crown Runic Crown Helmet Level 68, 66 Str, 66 Dex, 66 Int
Runic Greaves Runic Greaves Boots Level 24, 20 Str, 20 Dex, 20 Int
Runic Sollerets Runic Sollerets Boots Level 48, 37 Str, 37 Dex, 37 Int
Runic Sabatons Runic Sabatons Boots Level 69, 46 Str, 46 Dex, 46 Int
Runic Gloves Runic Gloves Gloves Level 24, 16 Str, 16 Dex, 16 Int
Runic Gages Runic Gages Gloves Level 48, 31 Str, 31 Dex, 31 Int
Runic Gauntlets Runic Gauntlets Gloves Level 69, 38 Str, 38 Dex, 38 Int

Ward Mechanics

The way that Ward works is that you have a certain amount of it, and that amount is fully deducted from the first incoming hit that you receive. Your Ward is then disabled, and takes five seconds to re-enable. At that point, the next hit you receive is substantially mitigated in the same way. It’s quite a different style of defensive property, and works very well in conjunction with systems like Evasion, Block or Dodge.

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