Table of Contents:

  1. Intro

  2. Setup

    • Gear

    • Skills

    • Attributes

    • Consumables, Race, and Mundus

    • Champion Points (CP)

    • Rotation

    • Misc Information

  3. Tips



Magicka Nightblade has the best sustain in the game due to Siphoning Attacks and Merciless Resolve.  If you’re new to the class you might not feel that though.


While this build does have access to Major Ward and Resolve, that’s about all the tankiness we get.  If you aren’t keeping up Harness Magicka in situations of high damage you’ll find yourself hurting.

40% Complete (success)

This build has the second highest self healing in the game for a damage dealer, but has the added benefit of also healing an ally near them.  If you want to give up damage you can actually fulfill a hybrid DPS and healer role extremely easily.

Currently the best ranged DPS in the game, this build has no problems pulling great numbers.  Still don’t expect to compete with a Stamina build, but at least you can play from a range!

40% Complete (success)

Mastery of this class is a long road that takes a lot of time to traverse.  You’ll need to learn a convoluted and dynamic rotation that changes between each fight and is compounded in complexity and punishment with mistakes.

40% Complete (success)

Between amazing self and group healing and fantastic ranged DPS, you’ll always find a place for this build.  It transitions seamlessly between solo and group content as well.


Beginner Setup

Support Setup

Pure Damage

Mobility Fights



Refer to the Misc tab to find where to find the sets and where they fit in.

Utility Route

Damage Route

Inferno Staff (Spammable and DoTs)

  • Impale (Execute | morph of Assassin’s Blade) – A ranged execute that’s arguably the best in the game for PvE.  Easy to weave, simply use this over your primary spammable once the target reaches 25% Health.

  • Spammable of Choice: Force Pulse (morph of Force Shock), Elemental Weapon (morph of Imbue Weapon), and Funnel Health (morph of Strife) all fit this bill.  If you choose Funnel setup your bars like the “Utility Route” setup, and anything else you’ll use the “Damage Route” setup.  Keep in mind that while Funnel is listed as utility, it still does very good damage.

  • Twisting Path (AoE DoT | morph of Path of Darkness) – Covering a huge area, this AoE DoT is simple and effective.  On top of great damage production, it also grants you Major Expedition while inside, and Major Ward and Resolve for ~6s after casting.

    • You may opt to take the other morph if you want healing, but you’ll lose ~10% damage per tick comparatively.

  • Merciless Resolve (Buff and Burst | morph of Grim Focus) – The centerpiece of this build, make sure this is up all the time.  After activating, the next 5 Light or Heavy Attacks will convert it into the Spectral Bow, which is a huge damaging, free cost ability.  After firing it you’ll be able to shoot it again after another 5 Light or Heavy Attacks.  It also grants Minor Berserk

  • Inner Light (Self Buff | morph of Mage Light) – A passive slot that offers us 7% Max Magicka and 2% Magicka Recovery.  It also can proc Empower if you cast it, but due to the high Magicka cost this is ill advised.

  • [Ultimate 1] Elemental Rage (AoE DoT | morph of Elemental Storm) – An ultimate capable of disgusting power from DPS and resource management, this is also needed on this bar to ensure the Ancient Knowledge passive is active while on this bar.  Any time this gets a killing blow you’ll get 3600 Magicka back from our passives, helping you melt enemies and stay in the fight.  If you’re using Master Architect for your group, don’t cast this since the cost is so high.

  • [Ultimate 2] Shooting Star (AoE Burst & DoT | morph of Meteor) – A fantastic Ultimate that refunds 12 Ulti per enemy hit, up to 6 enemies, allowing for 72 total Ultimate return if you hit a large group.  On top of this it does fantastic lingering damage in the area of impact, and offers 2% Max Magicka and Recovery.

    • If you didn’t use Force Pulse on your front bar, this will have to be Elemental Rage instead.

Inferno Staff (DoTs and Resources)

  • Blockade of Fire (AoE DoT | morph of Wall of Elements) – A centerpiece of power for any caster build, for good reason.  This thing does fantastic damage and gains even more damage when targets are afflicted with the Burning Status.  Keep this up at all times, regardless of AoE or Single Target.

  • Crippling Grasp (Single Target DoT | morph of Cripple) – On top of a great pressure ability, this also grants us Major Expedition for 8 seconds after casting.  Keep in mind this can only be active on one target at a time.

  • Harness Magicka (Self Shield | morph of Annulment) – A fantastic damage shield that helps soak a lot of damage and return Magicka when taking Elemental or Magical damage.  I suggest this for most players so they can take extra punishment while learning.

  • Rearming Trap Beast (Buff | morph of Trap Beast) – Even whilst this ability is a Stamina one, it serves the function of offering us Minor Force.  The main function of this over the new Psijic Order skill Acceleration, is that it costs us Stamina to cast and still deals damage instead of doing no damage and being further Magicka intensive.  You’ll need to be in melee range to use it.

    • You may also opt to run the Psijic Order Acceleration ability to gain Minor Force, but it will cost Magicka and do no damage, meaning it is weaker than Trap Beast comparatively, but can also be managed from a range easier.

  • Siphoning Attacks (Self Buff | morph of Siphoning Strikes) – Once mastered, this skill will add a sizable amount of Healing, as well as a HUGE amount of resource management along with it.  Granting a heal and a small bit of Magicka after every Light or Heavy Attack, it also explodes for a big bonus of Magicka based on how long the skill has run, meaning you can cast it early and still gain instead of lose.  Try to cast this every 2-3 bar swaps.

  • [Ultimate] Soul Harvest (Burst and Debuff| morph of Death Stroke) – A fantastic ultimate that’s cheap, does great damage, and empowers our damage against the target we cast it upon by 20% for a short duration.  Once your target reaches execute use this over your front bar, or if you’re using Master Architect always cast this.


Avoid putting points into Health if possible.  If you feel you need more Health, try using a Health Enchant on your armor instead.

Food Options: Bi Stat (Health & Magicka), Witch Mother’s Brew, or Clockwork Citrus Filet will be the best bets with this build.  Witchmother’s or Clockwork helps the most with sustain, while Bi Stat is if you can manage to sustain fine and just want big stats.

Potion Options: Spell Power Potions (Lady Smock, Corn Flower, and Water Hyacinth) is definitely ideal with this build, and will allow for 100% uptime on Major Sorcery, Intelligence, and Prophecy.  If you’re doing easier content or wish to save on money simply use Essence of Magicka. 

Race OptionsThe order for races in terms of holistic power is as follows;

Dunmer (best overall damage) > Altmer (very close overall damage and decent sustain) > Breton (close damage and better sustain) > Argonian (moderate damage but best sustain and healing)

Mundus Stone Options: If under 16000 Spell Penetration after buffs/debuffs are applied use The Lover (Physical and Spell Penetration).  If at or above 16000 Spell Penetration, or want damage and healing capabilities use. The Apprentice (Spell Damage)The Thief (Spell Critical) is ideal if you’re at or above 80% Critical Hit Damage, and are comfortable with your rotation.  If you’re struggling with sustain, do not opt to use The Atronach (Magicka Recoveryas there are better ways to obtain sustain.

Poisons Or Enchants: 

  • Front Bar; Flame or Shock Damage glyphs are idea.  Flame if your target will already have Concussion being applied to them, or Shock if you want the Minor Vulnerability.

  • Back Bar; Berserker or Absorb Magicka glyphs here.  Berserker offers the most raw damage, while Absorb Magicka helps if you’re struggling with sustain.

This segment shows the optimal CP setup for a player who is well knowledged in animation canceling and their rotation.

The Mage (Blue)

  • Elemental Expert – 43

  • Master-at-Arms – 66

  • Staff Expert – 9

  • Elfborn – 52

  • Spell Erosion – 28

  • Thaumaturge – 52

    • If your group is applying a lot of Spell Resistance Reduction buffs or you’re running a lot of innate Penetration, you can lower Spell Erosion.  Remember that if you add up all sources of Pen+Reduction and it’s over 18200, you’re not gaining any benefit.  If this is the case, start pumping up nodes like Master at Arms, Thaumaturge, and Staff Expert.

The Thief (Green)

  • Tenacity – 49

  • Arcanist – 49

  • Warlord – 40

  • Sprinter – 34

  • Tumbling – 56

  • Shadow Ward – 23

The Warrior (Red)

  • Elemental Defender – 37

  • Hardy – 37

  • Ironclad – 81

  • Thick Skinned – 61

  • Free 34 points

    • Keep in mind that each encounter has its own different damage types.  Some dungeons, trials, or boss encounters don’t deal Physical damage; so Hardy may become useless.  If you’re trying to optimize your mitigation always learn what sort of damage bosses deal, and change your CP accordingly.

Below is a written explanation of our rotation.  Keep in mind due to the volatility of Merciless Resolve, we have no true rotation.  This explanation also assumes you will be Light weaving between each ability.

Single target the order is as follows;
1) Buff up. Siphoning strikes + merciless resolve (ele drain as well if solo).
2) Now drop your ultimate and line up a heavy attack(inferno) and Funnel Health. Barswap immediately and place Wall of Elements, Cripple, and Twisting Path in that order. Light attack between each of those of course. Now barswap again and shoot your spectral bow. Now weave 4 funnel healths and then light attack once more to shoot the spectral bow again, and barswap.
3) Reapply WoE, Cripple, and Twisting, and Siphoning Strikes.  Barswap and fire the Spectral Bow and immediately refresh the buff.  This is the full rotation.  Now cycle between steps 2 (without the intro of ultimate + heavy attack) and 3.  While in execute merely replace Funnel Health with Impale, and use Soul Harvest instead of Destro Ulti or Meteor.

For a more simplistic explanation; make sure buffs are up.  Recast them as soon as they go down, but try not to break your rotation to do so (i.e, if Siphoning Strikes falls off and you still have 4 seconds on Wall of Fire, wait to recast).  If buffs are up, make sure your DoTs are down (Wall of Ele, Twisting Path, Cripple).  If your DoTs are down you’re weaving Funnel Health or Heavy attacking and firing the Spectral bow whenever you see it.  Cast your Ultimate any time it’s up.


Aoe there is no rotation; just make sure wall of elements and twisting path are down, and you have buffs up. If those things are done just spam sap essence or lightning heavy attacks.

Set Locations


Where to get;

Requires 3 Researched Traits and crafted at these locations

  • Grahtwood – Temple of the Eight

  • Stormhaven – Fisherman’s Island

  • Deshaan – Berezan’s Mine

How it performs;

This set is meant to offer beginner players a few extra set bonuses without costing too much.  Ease off this set as soon as you’re comfortable.

Law of Julianos

Where to get;

Requires 6 Researched Traits and crafted at these locations

  • Wrothgar – Boreal Forge

How it performs; An incredibly solid setup that offers us some nice Spell Damage.  This makes a prime candidate for a versatile setup between damage and healing, as well as AoE or single target damage.

Monster Sets

Shoulders come from the chests at the Undaunted Enclave.  Helmets drop in their respective dungeons.  Play around with configurations you like.


Where to get;

Comes from treasure vaults inside Imperial City Prison.  Also drops from doing Random Daily Dungeons in the Group Finder.

How it performs; Mainly meant for beginner players who don’t have access to Jewelrycrafting, or dungeon sets, it won’t help you break any records but it’s a nice and easy to obtain BoE set that will help your damage and healing.

Mechanical Acuity

Where to get;

Requires 6 Researched Traits and crafted at these locations

  • Clockwork City – Pavillion of Artifice

How it performs; Even after the nerfs in Summerset, this is an incredibly efficient set that helps us focus on other stats other than Critical Strike.  While it might not be “BiS” in as many situations as before, it’s still very close to the next best thing.  Keep in mind that if you’re not comfortable with a rotation yet, this set will not do well for you.

Mantle of Siroria

Where to get;

Drops from Normal or Veteran Cloud Rest, located in Summerset, as well as placing on the Weekly Veteran Leaderboards for Cloud Rest, and the weekly coffer quest from either difficulty.

How it performs; Undeniably the best Magicka DPS set in the game, assuming you can keep the fully stacked effect active for the majority of the fight.  This means high mobility fights you won’t want to use this too much unless you’re really good at micromanagement.

Maelstrom Staff

Where to get;

Drops in Veteran Maelstrom Arena, as well as placing on the Weekly Veteran Maelstrom Arena Leaderboards.

How it performs; A huge boon to any Magicka DPS, offering immense DPS simply for casting Wall of Elements and Light or Heavy Attacking enemies inside it.

Perfected Asylum Staff

Where to get;

Drops in Veteran Asylum Sanctorum Hardmode, as well as placing on the Weekly Veteran Maelstrom Arena Leaderboards.

How it performs; If you’re deciding to run a ranged build with Force Pulse, this always will be a valuable staff.  The Imperfected Staff isn’t really worthwhile though.

Burning Spellweave

Where to get;

Drops from Normal or Veteran City of Ash I&II.

How it performs; On any class with enough Fire Damage, this is one of the best caster setups in the game.  Offering great Spell Damage from the proc, it also has a unique form of Burning that stacks with other forms, allowing it to still out perform Julianos even if it’s under the 57% mark on uptime in some situations.

Master Architect

Where to get;

Drops from Normal or Veteran Halls of Fabrication located in Morrowind, as well as on the Weekly Veteran Leaderboards for Halls of Fabrication, and the weekly coffer quest from either difficulty.

How it performs; Offering fantastic group utility when paired with Soul Harvest, this set is mainly for group DPS over selfish DPS.

Mother’s Sorrow

Where to get;

Deshaan world events including Dolmens, Public Dungeons, Delves, Quests, and Treasure Chests.

How it performs; If you’re not using Force Pulse, it’s going to out perform Acuity in most situations.  Sorrow offers 11.46% (70% uptime on 16.38% total) Spell Critical, while Acuity will needs to have an uptime of 21% (Acuity offers 54.2% Critical Rating when it activates with this build) or more to reach this.  In most cases this will no longer be attainable unless you’re super lucky or have a higher amount of Direct Damage.

Tips & Tricks

  • The Magicka Nightblade is a great class for players who prefer the ranged caster play style, and want to offer a lot of different utility to their group.  Between phenomenal ranged DPS, synergy with great buff sets, and good group healing, you’ll always have something to offer.

  • Due to powerful self healing and damage shields as a Magicka character, this is a great build for players who prefer soloing content or those who don’t want to rely on a group to do well.

  • Any time you see an Off Balance proc (denoted on a target by a dizzy symbol above their head) try and get 1 or 2 Fully Charged Heavy Attacks off.  This will help your sustain incredibly!

  • Due to the incredibly intense requirements of Light Attacking in the Nightblade’s kit, this is not a build you should expect to do well with immediately.  Try and get a solid grasp on “weaving” as soon as possible to help utilize the build’s full potential.

  • Don’t hesitate to experiment!  If something doesn’t work for you, try something else.  You can always revisit specific interactions or suggestions I’ve referenced when you feel confident.