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Magicka Nightblade PvE DPS ESO Build

Magicka Nightblade PvE DPS ESO Build

Magicka Nightblade offers one of the highest DPS and most complex rotations in ESO

Magicka Nightblade
PvE DPS ESO build
[Wrathstone/Update 21]

You can find all our Pocket ESO Builds right here: Best ESO builds


Sorcerer Icon ESO

Nightblade Class

Build Overview

Magicka Nightblades are the Mage-Assassins of the Elder Scrolls Universe, and who doesn't like a magickally talented, stealthy, and very lethal professional killer? Their versatile toolkit lets them deal great Single Target and Area of Effect Damage, generate Ultimate points like no other Build can and survive even the most deadly encounters with relative ease. They are also the masters of sustaining resources, so prolonged engagements are their specialty. However, Magicka Nightblade Builds are difficult to master, known for punishing mistakes, and utilizing their great potential requires a lot of skill and experience. With all that being said, Magicka Nightblade is regarded as one of the best, and most well-rounded DPS Builds in Elder Scrolls Online. Important note: The best Races for Magicka Nightblades are currently Khajiit, Breton, Dunmer, and Altmer.

We have decided to feature only one item set based on the best items for general usage. There are better setups for certain encounters and tweaks for either Boss fights or AoE clearing. If you would like alternative gear options included please let us know in the comments section below.

Magicka Nightblade is ranked #2 on our ESO DPS Tier List.

 Pros  Cons
 Great Single Target DPS  Very hard to master end-game Rotation
 Very good AoE Damage   Mistakes during Rotation can be punishing
 Good Survivability  
 Can Sustain itself in long engagements  
 Good Ultimate generation tools  


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Attributes Priority

  1. Magicka - Affects your Damage Done with Staves, increases your Magicka ability Damage and Healing, and increases your total Magicka pool, which in turn lets you cast more spells. This is your primary stat, and all your points should be allocated here.
  1. Health - Determines how much punishment you can take, and how effective healing spells cast on you will be. Increasing Health may boost your survivability slightly, but because of Magicka Nightblade's already amazing resilience, spending points here is a total waste.
  1. Stamina -  Increases the effectiveness of Stamina-based abilities and skills, and boosts your Damage done with Axes, Daggers, Swords, Shields, and Maces - weapons which you will not be using, and abilities that are not your focus. It is very advised to leave this stat at the base level.


Primary Skillset
[Fire Staff -  Primary DPS Bar]

Impale Impale (Nightblade: Assassination, morphed from Assassin's Blade) - one of the best Execute phase DPS abilities, it deals good damage, which is increased by 300% against Targets below 25% Health. This should be used mainly to take advantage of its great Damage bonus against wounded Targets.
Elemental Weapon Elemental Weapon (Guild: Psijic Order, morphed from Imbue Weapon) - weapon buff which provides an additional 739 Magic Damage to your next Light Attack performed within 2 seconds. It also applies a negative status (Chill, Burning or Concussion) to your Target. This, as its effect suggests, should be cast just before using a Light Attack.
Merciless Resolve Merciless Resolve (Nightblade: Assassination, morphed from Grim Focus) - a self-buff that increases your Damage Done by 8% for 20 seconds. Every 5 Light or Heavy attacks performed during the uptime will morph this into the Assassin's Will which, when activated will Fire a Spectral Bow shot for 1645 Magic Damage, and half a cost. Great DPS buff, combined with an efficient Damaging Ability.
Crippling Grasp Crippling Grasp (Nightblade: Siphoning, morphed from Cripple) - this, when used, immobilizes your Target for 1,5s, and slows its movement by 40%, and increases your movement speed by 30%, in addition, it Deals Magic Damage and applies a Magic Damage DoT. Only one such effect can be active at a time.
Siphoning Attacks Siphoning Attacks (Nightblade: Siphoning, morphed from Siphoning Strikes) - when activated, causes your Heavy and Light attacks to restore 106 Magicka, and 1452 Health for 20 seconds, and additional Magicka based on how long the ability lasted when it ends or is recast (a max of 4270 Magicka for the whole 20 seconds). This is your main source of Magicka Regeneration in Combat and therefore should be maintained at all times.
Soul Harvest Ultimate: Soul Harvest (Nightblade: Assassination, morphed from Death Stroke) - very strong DPS ability combined with a self-buff. It deals high amounts of Magical Damage and increases your Damage Done to affected Target by 20% for 6s. Target's Healing Received and Health Recovery is also reduced by 30% during the uptime. When slotted, this also passively grants you 10 Ultimate points for every enemy killed, which boosts your Damage potential considerably.


Secondary Skillset
[Fire Staff - DPS/Support/AoE Bar]

Twisting Path Twisting Path (Nightblade: Shadow, morphed from Path of Darkness) - great AoE Damaging ability paired with a group mobility cooldown. It creates a corridor in which the movement speed of all allied Targets is increased by 30%; this effect lasts for 2 seconds after stepping out of the corridor. Every Enemy in the corridor takes 196 Magic Damage every second. This is great for both Single Target and AoE DPS situations.
Elemental Blockade Elemental Blockade (Weapon: Destruction Staff, morphed from Wall of Elements) - Creates an Elemental Barrier in front of you, which deals Elemental Damage every one second to all Enemies within the area. This also provides bonus effects based on the Element: Fire - deals additional Damage to burning Enemies, Frost - immobilizes chilled Targets, and slows Enemy movements, Storm - throws Concussed Targets off balance.
Inner Light Inner Light (Guild: Mages Guild, morphed from Magelight) - when slotted, it passively increases your Spell Critical by 2191, and your Maximum Magicka by 2%. This can also be activated in order to reveal Stealth and Invisible Targets. Inner Light provides you with a good passive buff which greatly contributes to your Damage output. It also synergizes with the Might of the Guild passive and should be used to capitalize on the buff.
Channeled Acceleration Channeled Acceleration (Guild: Psijic Order, morphed from Accelerate) - when activated, it increases your Critical Damage by 10% for 36 seconds, and Movement Speed by 30% for 9 seconds. This is a very good Mobility cooldown, which also provides some extra sustained Damage.
Harness Magicka Harness Magicka (Armor: Light Armor, morphed from Annulment) - Great defensive cooldown which also provides you with some additional Magicka regeneration. It surrounds you with a Magic Shield which absorbs a maximum of 2715 damage, capped at 40% of your Maximum Health. When a Spell Damage is absorbed, you regain 238 Magicka, increased by 6% for every piece of Light Armor equipped; this effect cannot occur more than three times per shield
Shooting Star Ultimate: Shooting Star (Guild: Mages Guild, morphed from Meteor) - Great AoE Burst Damage ability with the build-in self-refound mechanic. It calls down a Comet on the heads of your Enemies, dealing high Flame Damage, knocking them Back, and stunning them for 2s; all Enemies that remain within the Target area take Flame Damage every second for 10 seconds. Every Enemy hit by the Comet will give you 9 Ultimate. This should be used in AoE situations to maximize refunds, and in static phases of Boss Fights, in order to capitalize on the 10-second Flame Damage ground DoT.


Notable Passive Skills

Below you will find a list of the notable Passive Skills for this build. Please keep in mind that there are dozens of good passive skills for Magicka Builds available in the game, which provides a lot of space for customization, and tweaking. You should view the below-described passive abilities as rough guidelines that should be followed in order to optimize your character.
Refreshing Shadows Refreshing Shadows (Nightblade: Shadow) - increases your Helth, Magicka, and Stamina recovery by 15%. This provides you with some extra Magicka, which helps with your Sustain throughout the combat.
Transfer  Transfer (Nightblade: Siphoning) - activating a siphoning ability now grants you 2 Ultimate points; this effect has a 4-second internal cooldown. This passive furtherly increases your already great Ultimate generation and has synergy with your Siphoning Attacks.
Pressure Points Pressure Points (Nightblade: Assassination) - increases your Spell Critical by 438 for each slotted Assassination ability. Great for increasing Damage output.
Magicka Flood Magicka Flood (Nightblade: Siphoning) - this increases your Total Magicka by 8% if you have a Siphoning Ability slotted, and you have Siphoning Attacks. More Magicka is always good, simple as that.
Evocation Evocation (Armor: Light Armor) - increases your Magicka recovery by 2% for every piece of Light Armor equipped, and reduces the cost of your Magicka-based abilities by 4%. You will pretty much exclusively wear Light Armor, so this is more than good.
Prodigy  Prodigy (Armor: Light Armor) - increases your Spell Critical by 2191 when you have at least 5 pieces of Light Armor equipped. More Crit equals more Damage.
Concentration  Concentration (Armor: Light Armor) - increases your Spell Penetration by 4884 if you have at least 5 pieces of Light Armor equipped. This allows you to bypass some of the Enemy's magical resistances.
Ancient Knowledge Ancient Knowledge (Weapon: Destruction Staff) - your Damage done with the Single Target spells is increased by 4% if you have a Flaming Staff equipped. See a Damage boost, take a Damage boost.
Destruction Expert Destruction Expert (Weapon: Destruction Staff) - killing an enemy with Destruction Staff spell, or a Weapon Attack now restores 3600 Magicka. This lets you restore Magicka via the Elemental Blockade during AoE phases of encounters.
Might of the Guild Might of the Guild (Guild: Mages Guild) - Casting a Mages Guild spell now increases the Damage of your next Light Attack used within 5 seconds by 40%. This synergizes with the Shooting Star and the Inner Light.
Undaunted Mettle Undaunted Mettle (Guild: Undaunted) - increases your Magicka, Stamina and Maximum Health by 2% per type of Armor equipped. This has some synergy with your Siphoning Attacks  Magicka injection effect because it lets you avoid overcapping Magicka when the effect triggers, and straight up Magicka increase is great in and of itself.



Recommended Items and Sets:
Chest: Perfect Mantle of Siroria Set
Type: Light Trait: Divine Glyph: Magicka
Legs: Perfect Mantle of Siroria Set
Gloves: Light Trait: Divine Glyph: Magicka
Gloves: Mother's Sorrow Set
Type: Light Trait: Divine Glyph: Magicka
Boots: Mother's Sorrow Set
Type: Light Trait: Divine Glyph: Magicka
Belt: Mother's Sorrow Set
Type: Light Trait: Divine Glyph: Magicka
Head: Zaan Set
Type: Medium Trait: Divine Glyph: Magicka
Shoulder: Zaan Set
Type: Heavy Trait: Divine Glyph: Magicka
Necklace: Perfect Mantle of Siroria Set
Type: Jewelry Trait: Arcane Glyph: Spell Damage
Ring 1: Perfect Mantle of Siroria Set
Type: Jewelry Trait: Bloodthirsty Glyph: Spell Damage
Ring 2: Perfect Mantle of Siroria Set
Type: Jewelry Trait: Bloodthirsty Glyph: Spell Damage
Weapon 1: Mother's Sorrow Set
Type: Fire Staff Trait: Precise Glyph: Fire Enchant
Weapon 2: Maelstrom's Inferno Staff
Type: Fire Staff Trait: Infused Glyph: Absorb Magic Enchant
Sets used in this build:

Perfect Mantle of Siroria: A Light Armor, Weapons, and Jewelry, bound on pickup, Trial set, which comes in two versions: Perfect and Imperfect; Perfect being, of course slightly better. The 5-item bonus is exactly the same for both versions, however. As part of the Summerset Chapter, the whole set can be obtained in the Cloudrest mini-Trial, and is, no doubt one of the best Magicka sets in the game. This set grants the following bonuses:

  1. (2 items) Adds 129 Spell Damage
  2. (3 items) Increases your Damage Done to Dungeon and Trial Enemies by 5%
  3. (4 items) Adds 1096 Maximum Magicka
  4. (5 items) Adds 1096 Maximum Magicka and dealing Direct damage with single target abilities now creates a ring of fire; standing in the ring grants you 30 Spell Damage; this effect stacks up to 20 times, and the ring lasts for 10 seconds.

Zaan: A Shoulder and Helmet Light, Medium, and Heavy Armor Monster set. It requires the Dragon Bones DLC and can be obtained from the Urglarg Chief-Bane's Chest by using Undaunted key on it (Shoulder), and from Veteran mode Scalecaller Peak in Stormheaven (Helmet). Trait and type are RNG-based. The set grants the following bonuses:

  1. (1 item) Adds 833 Spell Critical
  2. (2 items) When you deal damage with a Light or Heavy Attack to a nearby enemy, a beam of fire will connect you to your enemy. The beam deals 3440 Flame Damage every 1 second for 5 seconds. Every second, this damage increases by 50%. The beam is broken if the enemy moves 8 meters away from you. This effect can occur every 15 seconds

Mother's Sorrow: this is an Overland Light Armor, Weapons, and Jewelry set from the base game, which can be obtained in the Deshaan. It is regarded as one of the best Overland Magicka sets currently available. It is bound on equip, so it can be bought from other players, and Guild Traders. Wearing this set will grant you:

  1. (2 items) Adds 1096 Maximum Magicka
  2. (3 items) Adds 833 Spell Critical
  3. (4 items) Adds 833 Spell Critical
  4. (5 items) Adds 1924 Spell Critical

Maelstrom Set - this set is made up by a single piece and can be obtained from veteran Maelstrom Arena. All Maelstrom weapons have a special proc which depends on a weapon type, and is related to a specific ability; a Maelstrom Inferno Staff will grant you:

  1. (1 item; Inferno Staff) Your Light and Heavy Attacks deal an additional 1341 damage to enemies in your Wall of Elements.


Champion Points

High priority
The Lover: Arcanist
The Steed: Ironclad
The Atronach: Master-at-Arms
The Shadow: Shadow Ward
The Apprentice: Elfborn
Medium priority
The Apprentice: Elemental Expert
The Shadow: Tumbling
The Tower: Warlord
The Lady: Elemental Defender, Hardy, Thick Skinned
Low priority
The Steed: Spellshield
The Ritual: Thaumaturge
The Atronach: Staff Expert
The Apprentice: Spell Erosion

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This is the premiere version of our Magicka Nightblade Pocket Build for Elder Scrolls Online. If you would like us to have this guide expanded and more detailed information added please let us know in the comments below. We are thinking about adding more optional skill options and gear choices for different purposes.

Pictures used in this article are the intellectual property of Bethesda Softworks