Table of Contents:

  1. Intro

  2. Setup

    • Gear

    • Skills

    • Attributes

    • Consumables, Race, and Mundus

    • Champion Points (CP)

    • Rotation

    • Misc Information

  3. Tips



Solid sustain, but requires constant weaving (Light Attacks between each ability) to obtain.


One of the “squishiest” or risky play styles out there.  Do not expect an easy learning curve.

40% Complete (success)

Pretty Standard for most Stamina builds.  Expect to rely on healers or Vigor a lot!

One of the highest single target damage dealers in the game.  Rather average area damage.

40% Complete (success)

This will be one of the hardest classes to master.  Reliance on timing, resource management, survivability, and intense rotations are all apart of what allows this class to shine.

40% Complete (success)

Can work anywhere to relative success with enough mastery.


Beginner Setup

AoE Setup

Single Target Setup


Refer to the Misc tab to find where to find the sets!

Dual Wield Bar (Main Damage Bar)

  • Steel Tornado (morph of Whirlwind | Dual Wield skill line) – A great Area of Effect ability that has two built-in executes.  Utilize this when attacking larger groups of enemies that you need to kill collectively.

    • Rending Slashes (morph of Twin Slashes | Dual Wield skill line) – An incredibly potent and easy to use Damage over Time function, use this on targets you need to focus if you’re fighting less than four enemies at a time.

  • Relentless Focus (morph of Grim Focus | Assassination skill line) – The main focus of the Stamina Nightblade, offering great damage but great mastery.  Make sure to Light or Heavy Attack between each ability (dubbed “weaving”) to generate stacks of this after casting the buff.  After five Light/Heavy Attacks, you can shoot the bow.  Keep this ability up ALL the time!  Work on getting at least 2 shots of the Bow per buff application, with attempts to get 3 or 4 in the end.

  • Surprise Attack (morph of Veiled Strike | Shadow skill line) – Our main spammable ability, offering great damage and utility.  Slotting grants us Max Health, casting it grants us Major Ward and Resolve (8% damage mitigation), and also applies Major Fracture (~8-11% extra damage to targets applied to) to the enemy.  Use this when all of your DoTs are active.

  • Killer’s Blade (morph of Assassin’s Blade | Assassination skill line) – An execute of great power.  When a target is at 25% or Below, use this skill instead of Surprise Attack to do bonus damage.

  • Deadly Cloak (morph of Blade Cloak | Dual Wield skill line) – Use this ability in areas where you’ll be taking heavy Area of Effect damage, or in Veteran Trials for some extra tankiness.  The damage is also decent if you’re fighting more than 3 enemies at once.

    •  Resolving Vigor (morph of Vigor | Alliance War Assault skill line) – A solid Heal for yourself and nearby allies.  Use this if you need some extra staying power and aren’t worried about being killed in one hit.

  • Ultimate: Incapacitating Strike or Soul Harvest (morph of Death Stroke | Assassination skill line) – A great single target skill that’s primarily used either in Execute for extra damage, or to offer group utility when paired with an item set.  Incap offers more raw damage, while Soul Harvest offers more ultimate generation when landing killing blows.

Bow Bar (Buffs and Supportive Damage)

  • Rearming Trap Beast (morph of Trap Beast | Fighter’s Guild skill line) – Used primarily as a form of Minor Force (bonus Critical Hit Damage), this skill will also offer us some nice single target pressure.  Try and cast this once every time you’re on this bar.

  • Poison Injection (morph of Poison Arrow | Bow skill line) – An incredibly potent DoT that all Stamina builds can utilize, this skill begins to shine especially so after a target reaches 50% Health.  Try and cast this last on your bar to ensure your Hawk Eye passive buffs the damage!

  • Endless Hail (morph of Volley | Bow skill line) – Without a doubt, the most important and powerful damaging ability any Stamina build has, especially so with a Maelstrom Bow.  Keep this skill up as much as you can, regardless of what content you’re doing.  Make sure this deals damage at least once before you swap off the bar if you have a Maelstrom Bow!

  • Razor Caltrops (morph of Caltrops | Alliance War Assault skill line) – Another very strong DoT ability that is worthwhile to keep up 100% in any situation.  If you’re worried about having to PvP to get this, either dip your feet into battlegrounds or go take resources in Cyrodiil.

    • If you don’t have this skill yet, feel free to fit anything here in the meantime.

  • Leeching Strikes (morph of Siphoning Strikes | Siphoning skill line) – Primarily serving as a form of resource management, this skill will also help your healing output a tiny bit as well.  Similarly to Relentless Focus, you’ll need to Light or Heavy Attack consistently to utilize this skill’s strengths.

  • Ultimate *Single Target/Cleave*: Dawnbreaker (Either morph | Fighter’s Guild skill line) – This will primarily function as one of two roles; take Smiting Dawnbreaker if you want a bit of AoE damage, or take Flawless Dawnbreaker if you’d like passive damage.  If you take Flawless, don’t bother casting the Ultimate.

    • *AoE/Splash*: Shooting Star (morph of Meteor | Mage’s Guild) – Generally it’s odd to see a more Magicka suited ultimate on a Stamina build when paired with Soul Harvest it has great AoE potential.  This is a highly situational pick, so don’t worry about grinding up Mages Guild if you’re not interested.


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 & Stamina) or Dubious Camoran Throne will be the best bets with this build.  Take Dubious if you need more sustain, otherwise Bi Stat offers the most survivability and damage.

Potion Options: Weapon Power Potions (Blessed Thistle, Dragonthorn, and Wormwood or Water Hyacinth) is definitely ideal with this build, and will allow for 100% uptime on Major Brutality, Endurance, and Savagery.  If you’re doing easier content or wish to save on money simply use Essence of Stamina.  Potions are especially helpful on the Stamina Nightblade with your catalyst passive, so even consuming junk potions will help!

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

Redguard (best sustain and overall damage) > Khajiit (very close overall damage) > Imperial (best survivability and damage mix) > Wood Elf (solid sustain and decent damage) > Orc (Great mix of damage, survivability, and mobility) > Nord (Immense survivability at expense of damage) > Dunmer (Low damage output but versatile between many playstyles)

Mundus Stone Options: If under 16000 Physical Penetration after buffs/debuffs are applied use The Lover (Physical and Spell Penetration).  If at or above 16000 Physical Penetration, or want damage and healing capabilities use The Warrior (Weapon Damage).  If you’re struggling with sustain, do not opt to use The Serpent (Stamina Recoveryas there are better ways to obtain sustain.

Poisons Or Enchants: 

  • If using Dual Wield; Poison Damage on your main hand and Berserker (Increase Weapon + Spell Damage) on your off hand are ideal for enchants.  Your Poison enchant will proc every 4 seconds, and your Berserker will be a buff that lasts 5 seconds on a 10 (5s if using Infused trait) second ICD (internal cooldown).

    • If using Two Handed; Poison Damage or Berserker is ideal.  Poison damage helps your single target burst, while Berserker will be better for AoE damage and self healing.

  • Bow Bar; Damage Health Poison IX is ideal.  These are a crafted poison that require Fleshfly Larva, Nightshade, and Violet Coprinus. These should have two components, “Deals X Poison Damage per second for 4.5 seconds.” as well as “Deals X Poison Damage per second for 6.4 seconds. (10s cooldown)”  The 4.5s and 6.4s will only be that high if you have Rank III Medicinal Use passive.  If you aren’t keen on constantly spending money to get these poisons you are free to use an Absorb Stamina enchant instead.  You will deal MUCH less overall damage however.

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

If you’re still learning your rotation or don’t have access to groups, try taking a few points out of Thaumaturge and Precise Strikes, and bumping up Piercing and Physical Weapon Expert.

The Mage (Blue)

  • Mighty – 43

  • Master-at-Arms – 66

  • Physical Weapon Expert – 9

  • Precise Strikes – 52

  • Piercing – 28

  • Thaumaturge – 52

    • If your group is applying a lot of Physical Resistance Reduction buffs or you’re running a lot of innate Penetration, you can lower Piercing.  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 Physical Weapon expert.

The Thief (Green)

  • Tenacity – 49

  • Mooncalf – 49

  • Warlord – 40

  • Sprinter – 33

  • 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.

If you prefer a written format refer to the section below:

  1.  Apply Buffs.  These include; Relentless Focus (20s duration), Leeching Strikes (20s duration), Deadly Cloak* (15s duration).

  2. Begin placing DoTs.  Always start by placing Endless Hail (10s duration) on your enemy, as it has a 2s wait time before dealing damage.  Immediately press Trap Beast (12s duration) as you place Endless Hail , and then Light Attack weave a Caltrops* (14s duration).  Light Attack weave again with a Poison Injection (10s duration) and bar swap immediately.  Light Attack weave a Rending Slashes (9s duration).

  3. Begin “spam” mode; repeatedly Light Attack or Heavy Attack weaving Surprise Attack.  You should be able to get off 2 or 3 in quick succession.  Cast Spectral Bow (successful Light or Heavy attack procs of Relentless Focus) whenever you can.

  4. By now some of your DoTs and buffs are fading.  Bar swap back and repeat steps 1-3.  If Stamina is running low look for a healer throwing Orbs or Shards, drink a potion, and/or begin Heavy Attack weaving instead of Light Attack weaving.

* denotes an optional step that not every player will want to do.  These can be considered extra steps until you are comfortable with the “base” rotation.  

Refer to the below video for an idea on how to approach your rotation.

Set Locations

Ashen Grip

Where to get;

Requires 2 Researched Traits and crafted at these locations

  • Auridon – Beacon Falls

  • Glenumbra – Par Molag

  • Stonefalls – Magmaflow Overlook

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.

Hunding’s Rage

Where to get;

Requires 6 Researched Traits and crafted at these locations

  • Reaper’s March – Broken Arch

  • Bangkorai – Wether’s Cleft

  • The Rift – Trollslayer Gully

How it performs; An incredibly solid setup that offers us some nice Weapon 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.


Arms of Relequen

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; For players who know how to stick to a target and get off a lot of Light Attack weaves, this set is undeniably the strongest Single Target DPS producer in the game.  In fights with high mobility or a lot of target swapping it begins to suffer greatly though.

Maelstrom Bow

Where to get;

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

How it performs; Undeniably one of the strongest pieces of gear a Stamina DPS will end up using.  It helps Single Target and AoE damage immensely.

Twin Fanged Snake

Where to get;

Drops from Normal or Veteran Sanctum Ophidia, located in Upper Craglorn, as well as on the Weekly Veteran Leaderboards for Sanctum Ophidia, and the weekly coffer quest from either difficulty.

How it performs; A super powerful set that offers a whopping 4000 Armor Penetration, helping players who aren’t at the 18200 cap in PvE.  It’s especially powerful in AoE encounters where groups can’t apply sets like Torug’s and Alkosh to a huge group of enemies.

Advancing Yokeda/Berserking Warrior

Where to get;

Drops from Normal or Veteran Hel Ra Citadel, located in Lower Craglorn, as well as on the Weekly Veteran Leaderboards for Hel Ra Citadel, and the weekly coffer quest from either difficulty.

How it performs; The new “Acuity” pretty much, offering a whopping 9.12% Weapon Critical when fully stacked.  Even if you run this on one bar and swap off, due to it’s ease of access to proc it’ll be back up to full stacks almost immediately when you go back to your front bar (80-90% uptimes).

Tips & Tricks

  • Get ready for a long learning process with the Stamina Nightblade.  Try and get a solid grasp on a mechanic known as “weaving”, which is simply squeezing in a Light or Heavy Attack between each ability you cast.  This is vital for both your damage, healing, and sustain management as a Stamblade.

  • Mistakes are learning tools.  Death is going to happen a lot with this build when you’re new to it, but instead of getting mad about them; learn from them and question what you could do next time.

  • 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!

  • You should be aiming to fire off 3 Spectral Bows (the secondary version of Relentless Focus) for every 1 cast of Relentless Focus.  In order to do this you’ll need to master weaving, as well as bar swap canceling with abilities.  Refer to the rotation section to see a first hand demonstration in real time.

  • 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.  Take things slow at first if you need to, and tack on more pieces of the puzzle as you get more comfortable.